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Is It True That the Black Stone Was Originally an Angel?

Question: Is it true that the black stone was originally an angel?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

No, it doesn’t seem to be the case that the black stone was originally an angel since nothing sound has reached us stating that.

Even if it was originally an angel, or is still an angel for that matter, kissing or touching it would not constitute worshipping gods besides Allah.

The source of the hadith

As far as this imperfect researcher can tell, the only source stating that the black stone was originally an angel is the Shiite hadith collection of hadith, al Kafi by Kulini (d. 329 AH). Now that by no means makes it automatically weak, but at the end of the day, the hadith does not cite the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) or any of the Prophetic Companions as a source (Bihar al Anwar, Majlisi).

Had there been anything even passably authentic, Ibn Hajar would have mentioned it in his commentary on Bukhari on the discussion of why Sayyidna Umar did not want to kiss the black stone (Fath al Bari, Ibn Hajar al Asqalani).

As for whether or not the black stone has or will have a tongue, this is established in Sahih Ibn Khuzayma and other reliable works.

Shiite hadith sources

One of the beautiful things about the Islamic tradition in general, and the Sunni tradition in specific, is that it is very objective and non-partisan.

A hadith is narrated and its narrators are judged based on the likelihood of them lying, and the likelihood of there being errors in their reports. Lying about the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) is quite a big thing in any Muslim’s eyes, for which reason only the worst of certain extreme sects of Islam deemed it permissible to intentionally fabricate hadiths.

Consequently, we frequently find hadiths in reliable Sunni books in whose chains Shiite and Kharijite hadith narrators are found. In contradiction to Shiites, for Sunnis, you don’t have to be in our camp, or of our persuasion, for your hadith to be sound. You just have to be a solid and accurate preserver and narrator of hadiths.

Even when it comes to critiquing hadith, we rely on Shiite scholars like Ibn Khirash (d. 283 AH).

Gray areas of shirk

Shirk is a very clear cut thing: you either worship a god besides Allah, or you don’t. Showing veneration to a created thing, such as a parent, scholar, angel, book (e.g. mushaf), or a building (e.g. Kaaba or a grave) is not shirk in and of itself. Rather, when one believes that such a thing has the power to benefit or harm independent of Allah, this is when it becomes shirk. (Imdad e Fatawa, Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi)

Thus, if it turned out that the black stone was actually a living being, it would not constitute worshipping a god besides Allah.

Conclusion

In all likelihood, the black stone was not originally an angel, and even if we were to say that is was kissing or touching it would not constitute worshipping gods besides Allah.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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

 

Perfect Mercy – The Prophet as a Friend

Perfect Mercy Program by SeekersGuidance

The Prophet as a Friend

During the first twelve days of Rabi Al Awwal, SeekersGuidance put together a 12-day live program beaming with scholars and artists from around the world. They united to celebrate and commemorate our beloved Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). Each day was dedicated to exploring the legacy the Prophet left during his lifetime in the many roles he embodied. 

On day two, we explored the Prophet as a friend. Speakers included Imam Dawud Wahlid and Shaykh Muhammad Carr.

We were reminded by Shaykh Muhammad Carr from South Africa that we should choose our friends wisely, as they leave an imprint on our hearts. At the same time, we should strive to be interdependent, meaning to lean on each other, as Allah has created us to be dependent on one another. How can we have friends that will benefit in this world and the Hereafter? Did the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) have a khalil? Watch the video to learn more: 

 

Watch the full program from day 2 – The Prophet as a Friend: 

Begin Your Search for Knowledge with a Free Course: The Islamic Studies Curriculum 

 

The Prophet’s Smile – Giving Charity

Giving Charity to Please our Beloved Prophet Muhammad

By Shaykh Amin Buxton

 

In this series, the Prophet’s Smile, we visit the moments where the Prophet smiled and laughed. We also discuss how he was described when smiling and laughing.

By studying his characteristics, we gain insight into what he talked and thought about, and ultimately, the undeniable beauty of his character.

By knowing more about him, we hope to increase our love and longing for him. We also hope to gain his love and pleasure, which cannot be separated from the love and pleasure of Allah Most High.

 

Giving Charity to Please the Beloved

Jarir bin Abdullah narrates that he was sitting in the middle of the day with the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) along with some of the Companions when a group of people appeared. They were barefoot and hardly had any clothing. Jarir recognized them to be from the tribe of Mudar. The Prophet’s face went pale when he saw the state they were in. After everyone had assembled and prayed the congregational prayer, the Prophet stood up and addressed the people. He reminded them to have taqwa and to prepare for their meeting with Allah. Then he exhorted them to give whatever they could in charity: gold, silver, clothing or food, even if it was only half a date.

A man from the Ansar then came with a bag of coins so large that he could hardly carry it. From then on, people came one after the other bringing donations. Soon there were two piles, one of food and one of clothing.

When the Prophet saw this, his face shone with joy. He then said: “When someone establishes a good practice in Islam, they will have the reward for it and the reward of those who later act upon it without this detracting in the least from their reward.  When someone establishes a bad practice in Islam, they will bear the responsibility for it and for those who later act upon it without it detracting in the least from their responsibility.”  (Narrated by Muslim)

 

Take Action to Help Your Community

 It pains the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) to see members of his nation in a state of destitution and hardship and nothing pleases him more than to see people making sacrifices to help those in need.

When he saw these people in a state of hardship – he was greatly moved. The fact that he shared a common ancestor with them – since he himself was a descendant of Mudar – made him treat them with extra compassion. By helping them the Prophet was also honoring the ties of kinship which was something at the heart of his message.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) could have asked Allah to feed and clothe these people in whatever way He wished, but he wanted his Companions to take action. Once the community had come together for prayer, he called upon them to give whatever they could to help these unfortunate people. But he only did this after reminding them of their relationship with Allah – to show them that their belief in Him and awareness of Him dictated that they act in situations such as this. He wanted each person to give according to their means and their intention. So half a date from one man may have been more significant than another man’s gold or silver.

What made his face shine with joy was to see a man from the Ansar coming forward with a generous donation. He loved the Ansar dearly and Allah Himself testifies to their readiness to sacrifice out of love for Him: “they give others preference over themselves, even if they too are poor” (Quran, 59:9). He was happy that this man had taken the initiative and that others would follow his example. He then clarified an Islamic principle: that when someone establishes a good practice, they will be rewarded for doing so and they will be rewarded for the actions of those that follow that practice. The opposite is also true, as the Prophet stated.

We ask Allah to grant us the ability to do things that please Him and His Beloved (peace and blessings be upon him) and that in doing so we set an example for others to follow.

 


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 Triumphant in Times of Tribulations by Following the Prophet

Triumphant in the times of Tribulations by Following the Prophet

By Shaykh Faraz Khan

 

In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

In today’s age and time, we see many trials and tribulations all around the world. Perhaps, we feel that the most affected people from all these tribulations are from the Muslim community. Shaykh Faraz talks about how we can see the light in the midst of the darkness by following our beloved Prophet and his illuminated path (peace and blessings be upon him).


Tribulations in the Prophetic Life

Tribulation is what defines the context of Seerah. Our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) underwent the most difficult of trials. He was orphaned at birth, losing his father Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him). He lost his mother Aminah (may Allah be pleased with her) at the age of 6. Then, he lived under the care of his grandfather Abdul Mutalib whom he lost at the age of 8. Following this, he was brought under the care of Abu Talib and was brought up in his house.

He had seven children: Qasim, Zainab, Ruqaiya, Umm Kulthum, Fatima, Abdullah, Ibrahim (may Allah be pleased with them all). Of the seven children, he lost six of them in his life except for Fatima.

He was persecuted by his people, his own kinsmen, his own family. He was ridiculed and fought against, hostility was shown to him. All throughout the blessed Prophetic life, we find tribulation after tribulation. And when he was asked, what his most difficult time was? He referred to the year of sadness (Am al-Ḥuzn).

 

The Year of Sadness

The year in which our beloved Muhammad lost two of his loved ones: Abu Talib and Lady Khadija.

Abu Talib

A father figure to the Prophet but was also his means for the political protection in Mecca. Despite the hostility and ridicule directed against the Prophet, the Quraysh could not wage the war. They could not attack or threaten his blessed life while Abu Talib was alive. Because of the tribal system of the Quraysh and Abu Talib being the head of his clan, maintained that protection of him.

Lady Khadija

Lady Khadija (may Allah be pleased with her) is the beloved blessed wife, companion, best friend of the Prophet. She is the minister of truth, the genuine support for the Prophet. She is the one whom Allah Most High decreed that the Messenger of Allah would have most of his children. 

During their marriage, the revelation began and in the famous Hadith of the beginning of revelation, our mother Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) describes that when the Prophet came back from Hira after the first revelation and the encounter with Jibreel – Lady Khadija comforted him.

 

A Great Loss

After losing Abu Talib and Lady Khadija, the Prophet decided to make dawah to Tai’f, a place near Mecca. He preached and invited them to Islam. He was seeking support so that he can continue his preaching in Mecca. Perhaps they might afford him the political support now that Abu Talib passed.

But the leader of Tai’f mocked him, they were rude to him. Later, when the Prophet made dawah to the public of Tai’f, their leaders riled up the people to be hostile towards him and they got slaves and children to throw stones at him. This is the most intense tribulation for our Beloved Prophet.

 

Prophetic Light Tribulations

Supplication the of Prophet in Tai’f:

“O Allah! I complain to You of my weakness, my scarcity of resources, and the humiliation I have been subjected to by the people. O Most Merciful of those who are merciful. O Lord of the weak and my Lord too. To whom have you entrusted me? To a distant person who receives me with hostility? Or to an enemy to whom you have granted authority over my affair? So long as You are not angry with me, I do not care. Your Afiya is of more expansive relief to me. I seek refuge in the light of Your Face by which all darkness is dispelled and every affair of this world and the next is set right, lest Your anger or Your displeasure descends upon me. I desire Your pleasure and satisfaction until You are pleased. There is no power and no might except by You.”

This supplication teaches us his manifesting his servanthood to Allah, the Exalted. This was his concern: is this a manifestation that Allah is upset with me? Or is this simply a test? A test which is an expression of Allah’s love. Of course for the Prophet, everything was an expression of the intimate love of Allah for him.

 

Is Allah Upset With Me?

In facing hardship – we turn to Allah Most High in servitude and we ask Allah and ourselves: Is this a sign that Allah is upset with me? Or is this a raising of my ranks?

How do we answer these questions? By seeking forgiveness and asking ourselves: am I involved in something displeasing to Allah? Also, a way for us to have an indication of whether a test is an expression of Allah’s pleasure and love or His displeasure is how we respond during it? Do we have the patience, fortitude, and contentment with Allah Most High, and what He has decreed for us?

“Whoever relies on the beautiful choice of Allah for him, he will not desire anything other than what Allah chose for him” –Hussain ibn Ali

It is beautifully indicated by Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani (may Allah be pleased with him) when he said: if a person has patience and is content with Allah’s decree then it’s a sign that the test is coming from Allah’s pleasure and love. But if a person is lacking patience and falling apart then it is a sign that the test is from the displeasure of Allah.

“Your afiya is of a more expansive relief to me”

In the above dua when the Prophet said: “Your afiya is of a more expansive relief to me”. It can be understood from another Hadith, where the Prophet said that the best thing to ask Allah for, after certitude is afiya; afiya encompasses all good in terms of one’s life and livelihood.

The Prophet’s light triumphs during tribulation because his light is a mirror and expression of the light of Allah Most High. Allah is the light and the source of all light in the heavens and the earth (Quran 24:35).

 

The Answer is Allah

The answer to the philosophical problem of evil and suffering is explicitly given in this dua because it is the light of Allah that removes all darknesses. In other words, if we recognize Allah is governing all of our tribulations and He is the owner and master of every moment of existence and Allah is the one who has decreed everything eternally, then the darknesses of our tribulations, trials, anxiety, depression and trauma are illuminated by Allah Himself.

 

Reliance on Allah

  “Your need for Allah is intrinsic to what you are, who you are? It never leaves us, and when tribulations occur they are but reminders of what we forget, that we need Allah in every moment” – Ibn Ata-Allah

Relying on Allah, the illuminator and the light of the heavens and earth lights up the darknesses. The darkness of our circumstance is illuminated when we express our absolute intrinsic need for Allah.

The light of the Prophet is at heart the most salient virtue of his life is his perfection of slavehood to Allah, the Exalted, and expressing his need to Allah.

“If one’s need for Allah is authentic and real then one’s enrichment through Allah will be authentic and real.” – Abu Bakr Al-Kittani 

 

Means for increasing contentment with Allah Most High

The beauty of the Prophet, his blessed light is a perfect reflection of Al-Fatiha itself which begins after the Basmala, all praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the worlds. Whatever our circumstances are, whether we are having the good times or the bad times, what should be reverberating and echoing in our hearts and on our tongues is all praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the worlds.


 

About Shaykh Faraz Khan

Shaykh Faraz A. Khan has spent the last several years studying and teaching traditional Islamic sciences, with a focus on Hanafi jurisprudence, Hadith studies and methodology, theology, logic, and Arabic grammar.

In 2004 Shaykh Faraz moved to Amman, Jordan. Since then, he has been honored to sit at the feet of many eminent scholars. His teachers include Shaykh Ahmad al-Jammal, Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Ani (Allah have mercy on him), Shaykh Akram Abdul Wahhab, Dr. Ashraf Muneeb, Dr. Salah Abu ’l-Hajj, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Shaykh Bilal Najjar, Shaykh Hamza al-Bakri, and Shaykh Naeem Abdul Wali.

Shaykh Faraz also translated and annotated the classical Hanafi primer Ascent to Felicity (Maraqi ‘l-Sa`adat) by Imam Shurunbulali [published by White Thread Press, 2010], which Shaykh Faraz Rabbani has described as “the best mid-sized manual of Hanafi fiqh available in English. Highly recommended.”

 

 

 

Highest Station – A Poem by Baraka Blue

Highest Station

by Baraka Blue

The greatest of all creation
attaining the highest station
the personification of the final revelation
the weight he shouldered
the mountains would have crumbled
to boulders
the mountains would have
crumbled to…

The most humble
al-Ameen [the truthful]
I wish I could hold your hand
kiss it like the black
stone at the Ka’ba
you rode into Mecca with your head bowed
the rahma [mercy]
those who persecuted you and all of your sahaba [companions]
you forgave, so they could be saved
never in anyone who walked this earth
has their been a heart softer
yet so brave
whether marching in the battlefield,
feeding the poor, or meditating in the cave

I wish I could be the dirt
beneath your sandal
you’re a candle in the darkness
a spark that’s never extinguished
never relinquished
they never could sink this ark
the purest heart
the purest heart.

I wish I could catch the water
that dripped from you
wish I could have been at Uhud
and take that hit for you
How blessed are the companions
that sit with you
I close my eyes
my body trembles as I picture you
my throat swells
my eyes are wells
not being with you in the afterlife
thats hell

We are your umma [community]
we are here in this dunya [lower realm]
Ya RasulAllah [Messenger of God] we try our best
to follow your sunna [way]
I’ll never let you from my heart
on the Isra and Mi’raj [Night Journey and Ascension]
as you traveled
through the stars
Gibreel [Angel Gabriel] left your side
he couldn’t travel that far
I would have grabbed your cloak until
I burned and dissolved.

I bear witness
you have delivered
the Message
peace and blessings
upon your essence
I bear witness
you have delivered
the Message
peace and blessings
upon your essence
and we bear witness
you have delivered
the Message
peace and blessings upon your essence.

Source: https://barakablue.tumblr.com/ – a collection of poems by Baraka Blue.

Baraka Blue recited this poem for the SeekersGuidance Perfect Mercy Program which aired on 23th October. See full program here.  

If God Is Beyond Direction, How Do We Understand the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) Ascent to Him?

Question: If Allah is beyond and direction, how do we understand the Prophet’s ascent to Him on the Night of Miraj (Allah bless him and grant him peace)?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your question.

On the Night of Miraj, the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) went to a place where he saw Allah the Most High. This was a place where the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) saw Him, not a place where He was. Allah is far greater than being contained by any place.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) once said in a prayer to Allah, ‘O Allah, You are The First so there is nothing before You, and You are The Last, so there is nothing after You; You are the Outward, so there is nothing above You; You are the Inward so there is nothing beneath You’ (Muslim).

This hadith is very clear in stating that Allah is far beyond time and space. There is nothing above, below, to the right, or to the left of Allah. All space and time are in His grasp, and He is not in the grasp of anyone or anything.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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

What Is the Name of the Sandals of the Prophet?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: Assalam Alaykum, I am a convert and I would like to know what are the blessed sandals of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) called?

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

It gladdens me to hear of your conversion to Islam. May Allah make you a means for others to experience the beauty of Islam.

I have not come across any narrations giving the name of the Prophetic Sandals. There are many Hadith describing how they looked but none mention a specific name. They are mentioned as Na’layn (the Arabic word for a pair of sandals.)

Description of the Prophetic Sandals

Qatada narrates from Anas (may Allah have mercy on them both) that the sandal of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) had two toe straps. [Bukhari]

Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah have mercy on him) narrates that the sandal of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) had two toe straps and was laced. [Tirmidhi]

Other narrations describe that the His sandals were without fur and that He would sometimes make wudu while wearing them.

May Allah bless you and increase you in the love of the Messenger of Allah and facilitate for you and us to be able to follow Him in every aspect of our lives.

Allahu 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.

Satan And Mary

Answer by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu Alaikum, I read this hadith: “Satan touched every son of Adam the day his mother beareth him, save only Mary and her son.” What is its proper meaning in relation to the life of the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) and his Exalted Spiritual Station?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. I pray you’re well insha’Allah.

The hadith, ‘When any human being is born. Satan touches him at both sides of the body with his two fingers, except Jesus, the son of Mary, whom Satan tried to touch but failed, for he touched the placenta-cover instead’ is a sound hadith found in al Bukhari.

However, to conclude from this hadith that one prophet is better than the other, namely Sayyidina Isa (peace be upon him) is superior to Sayiddina Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) because of this, is incorrect thinking.

Incorrect conclusions

To understand why the above assumption is incorrect, please consider the following:

1. We affirm that Allah Most High gives to whom He pleases whatever He pleases.

2. Allah Most High tells us in the Qur’an, ‘The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, and [so have] the believers. All of them have believed in Allah and His angels and His books and His messengers, [saying], “We make no distinction between any of His messengers.” [2.285].

3. Using the logic that if God gives x something and he doesn’t give the same thing to y, x must be better than y, or to put it in another way, if God singles out x for special treatment in a matter, x must be superior to y because y does not receive the same special treatment in the same situation, is incorrect. This would mean the following:

a) That any prophet given something unique is better than others, such as Sayyidna Sulaiman (peace be upon him) is better than all other prophets because God granted him a kingdom and power over creation not given to anyone after him, Sayyidna Yusuf because of his manifest beauty, Sayyidna Adam (peace be upon him) is better than Sayyidna Isa (and all other prophets) because not only did Satan not touch him, but he was created directly by Allah, and even the four that spoke in the cradle, including Jesus because they spoke as babies, etc.

b) That Sayyidina Musa (peace and blessings be upon him) is better than all prophets because of the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), ‘Do not say I am better than Moses for mankind will faint on the Day of Judgment and I will be the first to recover, and Moses at that time will be holding the side of the Throne. I do not know if he would faint and recover before me, or if Allah will make an exception for him.’ [Muslim]

4. It is an integral part of our faith that we believe that all the Prophets were infallible and divinely protected (ma’sum). If a person is infallible and it is impossible that they sin, then this means that satan has no power of them. As such, it makes no difference whether satan touches them at birth or not! There must then be another reason for Sayyidna Isa being excluded from the norm.

5. It is documented in various instances that each person has an accompanying devil, and that the devil accompanying the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) not only had no control over him, but became Muslim!

Why Satan was unable to touch Maryam and her son

Imam al Qurtabi tells us that the touch of satan at birth is the beginning of his trying to control the person, but Allah protected Sidtina Maryam and her son through the blessings of Maryam’s mother’s du’a, ‘Verily, I seek refuge for her and her offspring from the cursed Satan’ [3:36], and Maryam had no progeny other than Isa (so the result of her supplication could only descend upon him). [Fathul Bari]

From the few simple examples above, it is clear that it is erroneous to conclude that because of an event, namely, Sayyidina ‘Isa not being touched by satan at birth, then it must mean that he is more exalted than the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him). Rather, Sayyidna ‘Isa was given a special exception in this situation through a) the Wisdom and Will of Allah who gives to whomever He pleases, and b) as an acceptance of his pure mother’s du’a for her offspring which God chose to answer in this way. Thus it was an honour for mother and son, not a sign of their superiority over others.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him)

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is the leader of all the Prophets and the leader of all mankind. ‘I will be the leader of the sons of Adam on the Day of Resurrection and the first for whom the grave will be opened and the first to intercede and the first whose intercession will be accepted.’ [Muslim]

His chest was open, his black spot (found in all hearts) was removed, and his heart was cleansed with Zamzam water on numerous times, not because he was blotted somehow by the devil. The removal of the spot was the removal of a matter found in everyone, as well as a means to make us know what is what is inside our hearts so we may be aware of the danger of letting it grow and spread.

As for the purifying of his blessed heart, this was never because of its need to be purified, but rather, it was in preparation for the tremendous gifts, bestowals, favours, strength, knowledge, wisdom, love and compassion that Allah Most High wished to pour into him, and to prepare him for the greatest experience ever bestowed upon anyone, the ascent to the heavens and the beatific vision of his Lord, an experience not given to any prophet before.

Warmest salams,

[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. He travelled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years privately studying a range of Islamic sciences under the foremost scholars and muftis from the Ribat Tarim, specializating in Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies under many of Amman’s most prominent scholars, in a range of Islamic sciences, including Islamic theology, logic, legal principles and precepts, hadith studies, grammar and rhetoric, seerah, Quranic studies and tafsir. He is also an experienced homeopath

Draw Near to Allah in Ramadan Through Service – Ustadha Umm Umar

Ustadha Umm Umar reminds us of incorporating the aspect of service in Ramadan as a means of drawing near to Allah Most High. She advises to not make Ramadan just revolve around one’s self, rather to also be concerned with others and their needs. Ustadha Umm Umar gives key advice and practical methods on how to engage in service through Ramadan.

I wanted to talk about another aspect of Ramadan that sometimes we forget. Often people think of Ramdana as my month. It‘s between me and Allah. Then they sort of annihilate the idea of doing goodness to others. It’s about me and my time with Allah. About how much time I can put in with the Qur’an. And then when we talk about service some people get a little bit bitter.

Especially the sisters. They’re like, well, why do I have to be the one to do this? why do I have to be the one to cook the iftar? I’d like to spend all day reading Qur’an. It’s sort of losing sight of what Ramadan is really about. And what the the scholars today talked and emphasized a lot is the love of Allah Most High. And rectifying the self. Turning to Allah and asking for His forgiveness.

But these two concepts do not contradict each other. Rather they run in parallel. Because it’s when we turn help each other, help fellow believers, and it’s all done out of love for Allah, that we manifest that love. That we love to have His creation turned to Him. And if there is anything we can do to help other people turn towards Allah we should run to that opportunity. Whether that be to people in our own family, whether it be our children, whether it be members of our community. We should be avid to do what we can to help other people.

Balance Service and Self

That being said, it needs to be balanced of course, because you can’t just spend all of your Ramadan running around serving other people with neglect to oneself. One needs that personal time where you’re turning to Allah. Reading the Qur’an with reflection and understanding. Spending time reading other beneficial material or listening to beneficial lectures. Benefiting the self.

But there are a lot of things, there is a lot of extra time in the day, in which one can do things for other people. And as our teachers say, it’s almost as if there’s a sale during Ramadan, because now actions that you do are multiplied. Good actions that you do, even reading the Qur’an – all the good things that you can think of doing are multiplied. So it is best to take advantage of this time .

And doing what you can to help other people is also part of making the most of one’s time. It is not that one spends a little time in intensive worship and then closes the book and goes to relax, and just sort of vegetate for part of the day. Or one decides to go to sleep for another part of the day. One strives to make the most of every moment. As we should on every other day of the year.

We should make the most of all parts of our day on a daily basis. Even when we get up from this gathering we should be striving to make the most of our lives as believers. To make all of our moments count for us and not against us.

Primary Benefits of Service

There are three primary benefits of service. One is that it erases your past sins. When you do things for other people these things get erased. So there is nothing better you can ask for. We’ve all made mistakes in the past and would do anything to not face Allah with those on our record. And by His mercy He can forgive a lot of those things when you’re serving other people with that intention.

Another benefit of doing service at this time is that you get the dua of fasting people. When you’re doing things to benefit them you’re earning their dua. And Allah knows whose dua is accepted. When you’re doing it for a number of people, that includes even small children, know that when we do things for other people they make a dua for you.

The Hidden Secret of Service

And perhaps that single dua from one single person, child or adult, known or stranger, is the reason for your success. It might not be all of these customs that you’ve done in the past or all of these other things. It might be the dua of one elder in the community that you helped in a real time of need. Allah has this knowledge. It is with Allah Most High.

It’s a hidden secret in our service to other people that we don’t know where where our ultimate success will lie. And with what action and with what person. That leaves us continuously striving to do our best at every moment.

And finally the third aspect of service is that the deeds are multiplied during Ramadan. So one might be doing things for other people at other times of the year but in Ramadan these deeds are actually multiplied. They weigh heavier on your record. So strive in this regard and in sha Allah the reward for your service will be multiplied.

 

Draw Near to Allah in Ramadan Through Service

 

Ramadan Seminar Q&A Session – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

* Originally posted on May 8, 2018

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani answers questions on the fiqh of fasting, including the nullifiers of fasts, expiation for broken fasts, and the spiritual retreat.

Among the many questions and points Shakyh Faraz addresses, he mentions that if one breaks fast deliberately or by accident, the time of fasting is not over, and one is able to fast, then one refrains from everything a fasting person refrains from until fasting ends. This is a sign of contrition and remorse.

Hasten to Break Fast

The Shaykh also mentions that one should not delay breaking fast excessively out of a mistaken sense of piety or fervor. Abu Huraira reported that the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said:

قَالَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ أَحَبُّ عِبَادِي إِلَيَّ أَعْجَلُهُمْ فِطْرًا

Allah Mighty and Majestic said: “The most beloved among my servants are those who hasten to break their fast.” (Tirmidhi)

Be Tactful and Considerate with Others

But one must also remember that when in a group of people who believe they are in the right to delay, one must be discreet about the matter and not make disagreement a point of contention or rancor. If you consider breaking it in such a situation do it tactfully.

These and many others points and rulings are covered in this session. And you should listen to it even if you know all the answers as there is no harm and abundant good in reviewing what one knows and strengthening one’s knowledge.

May Allah grant us eternal success in the blessed month of Ramadan and in all the months He has decreed for each and every one of us until we are brought before Him. Amin.


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 SeekersHub 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.

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