Archive for August, 2010

Indeed the Shaytaan has succeeded in leading many people astray from the straight path of Allah. He promised this, as we were informed by our Lord – The Most High – when He said:

I will indeed sit on Your straight path. Then I will approach them from the front, from behind, from the right and then from the left. You will find most of them to be ungrateful. (Surah al ‘Araaf:18)

From the countless tricks of the shaytaan and his constant deception of the children of Adam (may the blessings of Allah be upon him) is that he seeks to divert the servant away from performing sincere repentance. He is keen to accomplish this through several means and sinister strategies. Amongst his strategies is persuading an individual to blame others for difficulties and calamities that occur as a result of one’s own sins. Due to this Allah – The Most High – has informed His servants that that which occurs in one’s life of calamity is a direct or indirect result of what a person has put forward by way of his own hands. Allah – The Most High – said:

That which befalls you of calamity is due to what your hands have put forward, and Allah pardons much. (Surah al Shura:30)

Sheikh ‘Abdul Rahmaan al Sa’di commented on the above verse:

Allah informs in this verse that a person is not afflicted with a trial in his body, wealth, children, or in anything that he loves and is dear to him, except that this occurs due to that which he has put forward of sins from his own hands. (Tayseer Kareem al Rahmaan pg.899)

The Salaf of the past realized this evil plot of the shaytaan and as a result, they did not seek to blame others if calamities took place, especially those which occurred as a result of one’s sins.

If one were to read the speech of the Salaf, one would find them to be undoubtedly well versed and exceptionally intelligent as it pertains to sins and repentance. The likes of their true understanding of the ill effects of sins and what follows them of trials and calamity can be witnessed in the statement of Fudayl bin ‘Eyaan, he said:

Indeed I disobey Allah and as a consequence, I witness the evil result in the character of my donkey and my servant. (Hilyat al Awliyah 8/109, Al Daa wa Dawaa pg.134)

Another example which shows how the Salaf viewed this matter is illustrated in the story of the repentance of Habeeb Abu Muhammad.

It is mentioned that he was a wealthy merchant who used to lend money to those in need, but with a stipulation that the debtor repays the loan along with interest. One day while Habeeb was leaving his home he passed by a group of young boys who upon seeing him began to chant:

Here comes the man who deals in interest!

Upon hearing this, Habeeb lowered his head in humiliation and said:

Oh Allah! You have exposed my affair even to these young boys!

Habeed then returned home, gathered his wealth and said:

Oh my Lord! I am a slave, and I seek to purchase myself with this wealth, so please free me.

In the morning Habeeb donated all of his wealth in charity and thereafter he began to diligently busy himself with the worship Allah.

It is mentioned that from that time on, if anyone saw Habeeb, he would either be fasting, or indulged in prayer and remembrance of Allah.

It took place that after some time Habeeb passed by a group of youth who upon seeing him mentioned:

Lower your voices. Here comes Habeeb, the devoted worshiper!

Upon hearing this Habeeb said:

Oh Allah! At times You admonish, and other times You praise. Indeed this is all from You.

The people of his time mentioned that Habeeb became in individual whose supplication was always accepted. (Tahtheeb al Kalaam 5/390)

Many lessons and points of reflection can be derived from this story. From amongst them:

1. When Habeeb realized that his affair became well known to the public, he immediately turned to Allah in repentance and sought His forgiveness.

2. He did not become angry because of the information being spread, but rather he straight away concluded that his own sins were the cause of the public becoming aware of his faults.

3. Without delay Habeeb removed from his presence that which he had gained of wealth by way of sin. This is an indication of his true sincerity in repentance.

4. Habeeb did not begin to inquire about who informed the youth of his sin, nor did he say that those who informed the youth had backbitten him. Instead, he grasped the most significant benefit derived from this occurrence, which is the fact that he has committed a wrong against his soul, and he is in need of Allah’s forgiveness.

In the actions of Habeeb are important lessons for the believers and we should all try to gain from this tremendous story.

A present day example of this is, if a Muslim female, for example, were to listen to music from time to time on the internet. One day while her husband is sitting with their children one of them says: Abee, do you know that Ummi listens to music on the computer? If the husband confronts and admonishes his wife, she should not become upset and angry with her children. Instead, she should recognize that possibly this means that her Lord wants well for her! How? It’s possible that if her husband never became aware of this sin, she would continue performing it thereby causing greater harm to her soul. But once her fault became known to her husband and she was admonished for it, at this point, if she stops the sin, turns to Allah and seeks His forgiveness, this trial in reality has become a blessing!

The statement of Fudayl and the story of Habeeb clearly illustrate how the Salaf understood the great affair of repentance, and how they attributed what befell them of trials and tribulations to themselves and not to others. Indeed when an individual comes to such a realization, he will begin to sincerely return to Allah and seek His forgiveness.

Another matter which is worthy of mentioning is that if a servant finds himself constantly committing wrong, but his Lord does not cause difficulties and misfortunes to occur in his life, but instead Allah continues to bless him, this is considered Istidraaj (leading to one’s destruction). This fact was mentioned by our beloved Prophet Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), he said:

If you notice that Allah continues to bless an individual with that which he loves of this world, while that person persists to indulge in sin, know that this is leading to his destruction. (Musnad Imam Ahmed and declared authentic in Silsilah al Saheehah 1/700)

The above narration clearly indicates that when Allah wants good for a person who has wronged himself, He will put in that person’s path a calamity that will affect him to such a degree that he sincerely returns to his Lord in a state of humiliation seeking His forgiveness and begging for His pardon. This information proves that tribulations in the life of the Muslim can in fact turn into enormously needed means of purification. But this only takes place if the servant notices this reality and uses the calamity to his benefit from the very beginning. In light of this, the Prophet of Mercy said:

Indeed patience is to be displayed at the beginning of the difficulty. (Sahih al Bukhari:1283, Sahih Muslim:2178)

With clarification of this important issue, it becomes evident how cleverly the shaytaan has allowed tremendous reward and forgiveness to escape the hands of those who are neglectful and careless at times of major tests in their lives!

May Allah correct our affairs and grant us Tawfeeq to understand all matters of our wonderful religion so that we may be saved from the endless plots of the shaytan.

Mustafa George DeBerry
Riyadh, K.S.A
August 24, 2010

Source: Recieved from http://www.authenticstatements.com/ mailing list


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The Virtues of Some Surahs as graded by Imaam Al-Albanee Rahimahullah


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Author: Imaam Muhammad Naasir-ud-Deen Al-Albaanee
Source: Al-Asaalah Magazine, Issue #10 al-manhaj.com
Translator: isma’eel alarcon

Question: What is the ruling on television today?

Answer: There is no doubt that television, today, is Haraam (forbidden). This is since television is like the radio and tape recorder – they are like all the other blessings that Allaah has bestowed upon His servants, as He has stated:

“And if you were to count the blessings of Allaah, you would never be able to count them.” [Surah An-Nahl: 18]

Thus, hearing is a blessing and eyesight is a blessing, and so are the lips and the tongue. However, many of these blessings become trials upon their possessors because they do not use them in a way that Allaah loves and wants for them to be used.

Therefore, I consider the radio, television and the tape recorder to be from the blessings of Allaah, but when are they deemed as blessings? When they are used to bring benefit to the ummah. Today, ninety-nine percent of what is on television is evil, licentious, immoral, forbidden, and so on, while one percent of it has some shows presented that are of benefit to some people.

But the consideration is with regard to the majority (and not the minority). So when a true Muslim state exists that can place programs based on knowledge, which would be beneficial for the ummah, at that point I will not say that television is permissible, but rather I will say that it is obligatory.

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It has been explained by the people of knowledge that whoever gives a Muslim something to break his fast with, he will receive this reward that came in this hadith. “Breaks” is a general word and giving him dates is considered breaking. The sunnah is to break your fasting by dates, as has been narrated by Anas (radiallaahu ‘anhu), who said, “The Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) used to break his Saum (fasting) before performing Maghrib prayer with three fresh date-fruits; if there were no fresh date-fruits, he would eat three dry dates; and if there were no dry date-fruits; he would take three draughts of water.” [At-Tirmidhi]

Suggestion: Buy a box [or boxes] of dates, and hand it [them] over to the masjid, for the sake of none but Allaah, to provide to the worshippers at the time of breaking the fast.

Anas (radiallaahu ‘anhu) reported: The Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) came to visit Sa’d bin ‘Ubadah (radiallaahu ‘anhu) who presented bread and olive oil to him. The Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) ate it and said, “The observers of fast have broken their fast with you (this is the literal translation, but the meaning is: ‘May Allaah reward you for providing a fasting people with food to break their fast’); the pious people have eaten your food and the angels invoked blessings on you.” [Abu Dawud]

The Commentary from Riyad-us-Saliheen reads: The word “Aftara” is informative in nature, but it is used in the sense of a prayer. Thus, what it denotes is “May Allaah give you the reward of one who arranges for the Iftar (breaking the Saum) of somebody.” Thus, it induces one to hospitality according to his means.

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In the Name of Allâh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

By Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

Ibn Rajab commented on the virtues of fasting in the heat in ‘Lata’if al-Ma’arif’ (p. 272-273):

“…And from the acts of worship whose reward is multiplied during the heat is fasting, and this is because of the thirst that one experiences in the mid-day heat.

And it was related that Abu Bakr would fast in the summer and not fast in the winter, and ‘Umar advised his son ‘Abdullah on his deathbed: “Try to obtain the characteristics of faith,” and the first one he mentioned was fasting in the intense summer heat.

And al-Qasim bin Muhammad said that ‘A’ishah would fast in the intense heat, and he was asked: “What drove her to do this?” He replied:
“She would take advantage of the days before death.” And some of the righteous women would choose the hottest days and fast them, saying: “If the price is low, everyone will buy,” meaning that she wanted to do those actions that only a few were capable of due to how hard it was to do them, and this is indicative of the high aspirations these women had.

Ka’b said that Allah Said to Musa: “I made it incumbent upon Myself that whoever is thirsty for My sake will have his thirst quenched on the Day of Resurrection,” and others said that it’s written in the Torah: “Glad tidings for whoever makes himself hungry in anticipation of the Great Day where he will have his hunger satisfied, and glad tidings for whoever makes himself thirsty in anticipation of the Great Day where he will have his thirst quenched.”

al-Hasan said: “A maiden of Paradise will speak to the wali of Allah while he is laying with her on the shore of a river of honey in Paradise while she hands him a glass of the sweetest drink, and she will ask him:

“Do you know what day Allah married me to you? He Saw you on a long summer day while you were thirsty in the mid-day heat, and He called the Angels and Said: “Look at My slave. He has left his wife and pleasure and food and drink for Me out of his desire for what I have for him. Bear witness that I have Forgiven him,” and He Forgave you on that day and married you to me.””

And Abu ad-Darda’ would say:

“Fast the very hot days in anticipation of the Day of Resurrection, and pray two rak’at in the darkness of night in anticipation of the darkness of the grave.”

When those who fast for Allah in the heat are patient despite their intense thirst, He set aside a specific gate of the gates of Paradise for them. This is the gate called Rayyan, and whoever enters through it will drink, and whoever drinks after entering it will never be thirsty again. When they enter through it, it will be locked for those after them, and none will enter through it except them…”

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[Source : A Gift For The Intellect In Explanation  Of The  Three Fundamental Principles  Of Islaam
By Sheikh Ubaid Al-Jaabiree (Hafizahullah) ]

The evidence for seeking deliverance (istighaathah) and rescue is the saying of Allaah, the Most High:
“When you  sought aid and deliverance of your Lord and he responded to you.” [Al-Anfaal 8:9]

“The evidence for seeking deliverance (istighaathah) and rescue” – Al-istighaathah is to seek deliverance and rescue; it is a du’aa  that is made at times of severe distress. The difference between  istighaathah  and  du’aa  is that  du’aa  is unrestricted to a particular situation, as it can be made at times of difficulty and ease, whereas istighaathah is made only at times of distress.

“is  the saying of Allaah, the Most High: “When you sought aid and deliverance of your Lord and he responded to you.”” – This is one of the verses where Allaah informs us about the people of Badr; He mentions that from His favours upon them is that He responded to them when they sought rescue and deliverance at the time when the Messenger of Allaah (Peace be upon him) sought the rescue and deliverance of Allaah. Allaah answered his supplication and sent angels to assist him. He made him victorious over the polytheists even though the believers were few in number and had inadequate weaponry, and the polytheists were great in number and were adequately equipped.  It is permissible to seek  istighaathah  from the creation and the rules pertaining to isti’aanah also apply here.

Understanding Istighaathah and its Conditions in Relation to Mankind:

[Source: spubs.com – taken from salafitalk.net]

Its Meaning: It  is to seek support, aid, in a time of distress, hardship, and it is connected to Ruboobiyyah, and it is worship.

Its Conditions: That the one from whom Istigaathah is sought is:
a) Hayy (living)
b) Haadir (present in the same location)
c) Samee’ (hearing)
d) Qaadir (able)
These conditions relate to mankind.

And as for Allaah He is Ever-living, and is present in the sense that nothing escapes his knowledge, will, hearing, sight, and command (while He is above the Throne, above the seven heavens), and he is all-hearing, and he is all-powerful and able, and to him belongs Ruboobiyyah. Thus, Istigaathah and providing aid and relief and support belongs to Him alone.

As for humans, then they do not possess these qualities absolutely, at all times, in all situations, thus, they die, they are not present, they do not have power or ability over many things (outside of their control), and they cannot hear those in distress because their hearing is limited. Thus, the combination of these conditions are required for Istigaathah through mankind, so that it does not enter into the Major Shirk.

Its Rulings:

When any of the four conditions are not present it is Major Shirk.


Seeking Istigaathah from a dead person.

Seeking Istigaathah from a person who is remote, distant from you, even though he is alive, hears and is able (in what you seek from him).

Seeking Istigaathah from a person who cannot hear you (like one who is dead, or far away in a different place), even though he is able (in what you seek from him).

Seeking Istigaathah from a person who is not able in that which you are seeking istigaathah (like asking someone to remove your illness or pain or calamity, or to calm the violent ocean, and so on, from those things that mankind have no control over, but only Allaah has control over), even if he is living, present and hears you.

Thus, the scholars have specified conditions for making Istigaathah from other than Allaah, for it not to be considered Shirk, and they are that the one being sought for aid, is living, present, hearing, able.

Further Clarifications: You fall into a lake, and you are holding onto some debris, near the shore. So you firstly seek aid from Allaah, seeking Istighaathah through him, depending upon him, then you shout hoping that someone might hear you. This is not major Shirk. Because you are shouting to bring the attention of one who is alive, present in that area, can hear, and is able to pull you out by any of a number of methods. So your call is to the creation in that which they can actually help you, should any one of them be present in that area. However, you acknowledge that it is Allaah who is actually helping you, should help arrive, and that  He is called upon first, and heart depends upon Him, and that by shouting to bring the attention of someone is from the ways and means that are permitted legislatively in the likes of this situation, in order to receive His support and aid. Apply this to all other similar situations.

You fall into a lake, and you are holding onto some debris, near the shore. So you shout, “O Abdul-Qadir al-Jeelaanee”. This is Major Shirk. Or you shout, “O Fulaan”, for a friend who is alive, hearing, able, that you know is certainly not in that area but miles away, or hundreds of miles away, at home, and cannot hear you or help you, but you call upon him in expectation of a response. This is Major Shirk.

So the issue revolves around the presence of these conditions and their absence.

Source: Adapted from Sharh Thalaathat Usool of Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh, with some additional points and explanations added.

May Allaah establish our hearts upon Tawheed and make us remain upon that in every instance of our lives. Ameen.

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The evidence for vows (an-nadhr) is the saying of Allaah, the Most High:
They fulfil their vows and they fear a day whose evil is widespread.” [Al-Insaan 76:7]

An-Nadhr: This is to take any kind of oath, whether it relates to taking an oath to fast, or to perform Hajj, or i’tikaaf (circumambulation), or whether it concerns money.  Regardless of what the oath pertains to, it is worship and  it is not permissible to direct it to anyone other than Allaah the Mighty and Majestic.  An example of this is when a person says, ‘I have sworn by Allaah the Blessed and Exalted to fast three days,’ to draw closer to Allaah.  This must be an unrestricted oath, not a restricted one.  This is because the restricted oath is disliked (makrooh).  The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said about it, “Indeed, the oath does not bring goodness.  It only makes a stingy person spend some wealth.”

It is like when one says, ‘If Allaah cures this illness of mine, then I will do such and such for the sake of Allaah.’  ‘If Allaah allows me to attain such and such, then I will do such and such for the sake of Allaah,’ such  as giving a certain amount of wealth, or something similar from fasting, or performing Hajj or ’Umrah or whatever resembles that.  This is what the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) warned against, and it is considered the restricted oath.  Here the servant makes something binding upon himself, so he commits a sin by not carrying it out.  So it becomes obligatory upon him to carry it out.

And the example of the unrestricted oath is  when one takes an oath as a means from amongst the means of drawing closer to Allaah the Blessed and Exalted.  It is not done for a specific cause.  So the person takes an oath to fast for three days for example, or he takes an oath to slaughter an animal and spread it out amongst the impoverished and unfortunate.  So there is no other motive behind that except hoping for the forgiveness of Allaah the Mighty and Majestic and His excellence.

So this is like the examples that the author – rahimahullaah – has previously mentioned.  And everything that takes the same ruling as the ruling of these aforementioned actions is considered an action of worship.

The following is taken from :A Gift For The Intellect In Explanation  Of The  Three Fundamental Principles  Of Islaam
By Sheikh Ubaid Al-Jaabiree (Hafizahullah)

“The evidence for vows (an-nadhr)” – Literally, ‘an-nadhr’ means: ‘to make something compulsory’.

In the sharee’ah, it is: ‘for a sane adult to make an act of worship, which has not originally been legislated as an obligation, compulsory upon himself.’

There are vows that are legislated and there are vows that are considered  shirk.

A legislated vow is that which is made solely for Allaah; and a vow that is considered shirk is if it is made for other than the sake of Allaah.

The legislated vow is divided into two categories:

  1. Conditional, this is a vow that is dependant upon the fulfilment of a chosen affair. For example, ‘If Allaah cures this sick family member of mine, I will fast for 10 days’ or ‘If Allaah returns my lost family member I will give such and such amount in charity.’
  2. Unconditional, which is a vow that isn’t restricted or dependant upon anything. An example is if someone said: ‘I vow to perform  ‘umrah this year’ or ‘I make a vow to Allaah that I will give 1000 dollars as charity’.

Some of the people of knowledge hold that vows are impermissible and use as a proof the hadeeth:
“Indeed, a vow does not bring good; it merely causes the miserly to spend.” [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

They state this is understood to show that this is a dispraise worthy act, and when an act is censured then this is a secondary sign of a prohibition; and initially a prohibition is understood to mean that this act is forbidden. However, the correct stance is that vows are not impermissible, but it is better to abstain from them; and whoever takes a vow then it is upon them to fulfil it, and the proof is His saying, the Most High: “They fulfil their vows and they fear a day whose evil is widespread.”

The conditions of a vow are:

  1. The person must be considered legitimately responsible; this requires puberty and sanity.
  2. The vow taken has to be to perform an act of obedience.
  3. The person making the vow must own and possess what he has vowed to give.
  4. He must have the ability.
  5. The condition that his vow depends upon must be fulfilled.

The first four apply to both the conditional and unconditional vow whereas the last one is specific to a conditional vow.

Two important matters regarding vows which need to be explained:

  1. Whoever is incapable of fulfilling a vow of obedience, has to free them self from this by offering the legislated expiation (kafaaratul yameen), which is to feed or clothe ten needy people, or emancipate a slave. If they are unable to do this then they should fast for three days.
  2. There is a unanimous consensus that it is impermissible to make  a vow of disobedience and that this kind of vow should not be fulfilled. However, a person still has to offer expiation for it based on the hadeeth: “A vow of disobedience has no validity and the expiation is the expiation for breaking an oath.” [Ahmad] (Authenticated by Al-Albaanee)

“is the saying of Allaah, the Most High: “They fulfil their vows and they fear a day whose evil is widespread.”” –
The verse prior to this is: “Verily the pious believers shall drink from a cup of wine mixed with water from a spring in paradise called kaafoor. A spring wherefrom the slaves of Allaah will drink, causing it to gush forth abundantly. They fulfil their vows and they fear a day whose evil is widespread.” [Al-Insaan 76:5-7]

This verse has come as a praise and commendation and therefore this verse is a proof that it is not haraam to make a vow, and that fulfilling a vow is from the characteristics of the pious believers.

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Following is a compilation of Ahadîth that speaks of ways in which we can erase our sins, InshaAllâh!

A servant [of Allâh’s] committed a sin and said: O Allâh, forgive me my sin. And He (glorified and exalted be He) said: My servant has committed a sin and has known that he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes for them. Then he sinned again and said: O Lord, forgive me my sin. And He (glorified and exalted be He) said: My servant has committed a sin and has known that he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes for them. Then he sinned again and said: O Lord, forgive me my sin. And He (glorified and exalted be He) said: My servant has committed a sin and has known that he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes for sins. Do what you wish, for I have forgiven you. [Hadîth Qudsi]

O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great at it. [Hadîth Qudsi]

Abû Bakr radhiAllâhu `anhu reported:

“I heard the Prophet sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam saying: ‘Allâh forgives the man who commits a sin (then feels ashamed), purifies himself, offers a prayer and seeks His forgiveness.’ Then he recited the ‘ayyah: ‘And those who, when they do an evil thing or wrong themselves, remember Allâh and implore forgiveness for their sins – and who can forgive sins except Allâh? – and will not knowingly repeat (the wrong) they did. The reward of such will be forgiveness from their Lord, and gardens underneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever- a bountiful reward for workers.”‘ [al-‘lmrân: 135-136]. [Abû Dawûd, an-Nasa’i, Ibn Majah, al-Baihaqi, and at-Tirmidhî who calls it hasan.]

Performing Wudhû
Narrated Abû Hurayrah radhiAllâhu `anhu: Allâh’s Apostle sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam said:

When a bondsman – a Muslim or a believer – washes his face (in course of ablution), every sin he contemplated with his eyes will be washed away from his face along with water, or with the last drop of water ; when he washes his hands, every sin they wrought will be effaced from his hands with the water, or with the last drop of water; and when he washes his feet, every sin towards which his feet have walked will be washed away with the water, or with the last drop of water, with the result that he comes out pure from all sins. [Sahîh Muslim]

Narrated Uthmân ibn AffânradhiAllâhu `anhu:

The Messenger of Allâh sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam said: He who performed ablution well, his sins would come out from his body, even coming out from under his nails. [Sahîh Muslim]

Performing Prayer
Narrated Uthmân ibn Affân radhiAllâhu `anhu: “I heard Allâh’s Apostle sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam say:

When the time for a prescribed prayer comes, if any Muslim performs ablution well and offers his prayer) with humility and bowing, it will be an expiation for his past sins, so long as he has not committed a major sin; and this applies to for all times. [Sahîh Muslim]

Narrated Abû Huraira radhiAllâhu `anhu: “Allâh’s Apostle said,

“The congregational prayer of anyone amongst you is more than twenty (five or twenty seven) times in reward than his prayer in the market or in his house, for if he performs ablution completely and then goes to the mosque with the sole intention of performing the prayer, and nothing urges him to proceed to the mosque except the prayer, then, on every step which he takes towards the mosque, he will be raised one degree or one of his sins will be forgiven. The angels will keep on asking Allâh’s forgiveness and blessings for everyone of you so long as he keeps sitting at his praying place. The angels will say, ‘O Allâh, bless him! O Allâh, be merciful to him!’ as long as he does not do Hadath or a thing which gives trouble to the other.” The Prophet further said, “One is regarded in prayer so long as one is waiting for the prayer.” [Sahîh Al-Bukhari]

Narrated Abû Hurayrah radhiAllâhu `anhu:

“The Messenger of Allâh sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam said: He who purified himself in his house, and then he walked to one of the houses of Allâh for the sake of performing a fard (obligatory act) out of the Fara’id (obligatory acts) of Allâh, both his steps (would be significant) as one of them would obliterate his sin and the second one would raise his status. [Sahîh Muslim]

Attending the Jumu’ah Salâh
Narrated Abû Hurayrah radhiAllâhu `anhu: The Messenger of Allâh sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam said:

Five prayers and from one Friday prayer to (the next) Friday prayer is an expiation (of the sins committed in between their intervals) if major sins are not committed. [Sahîh Muslim]

Narrated by Salman Al Farsi radhiAllâhu `anhu: The Prophet sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam said,

“Whoever takes a bath on Friday, purifies himself as much as he can, then uses his (hair) oil or perfumes himself with the scent of his house, then proceeds (for the Jumua prayer) and does not separate two persons sitting together (in the mosque), then prays as much as (Allâh has) written for him and then remains silent while the Imam is delivering the Khutba, his sins in-between the present and the last Friday would be forgiven.” [Sahîh Al-Bukhari]

Doing good deeds
Narrated Ibn Masud radhiAllâhu `anhu: A man kissed a woman and then came to Allâh’s Apostle and told him of that, so this Divine Inspiration was revealed to the Prophet sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam:

“And offer Prayers perfectly at the two ends of the day, and in some hours of the night; (i.e. (five) compulsory prayers). Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (small sins). That is a reminder for the mindful.” (Qur’aan : 11.114) The man said, Is this instruction for me only?” The Prophet said, “It is for all those of my followers who encounter a similar situation.” [Sahîh Al-Bukhari]

Performing Umrah and Hajj
Narrated by Abû Huraira : The Prophet sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam said,

“Whoever performs Hajj for Allâh’s pleasure and does not have sexual relations with his wife, and does not do evil or sins then he will return (after Hajj free from all sins) as if he were born anew.” [Sahîh Al-Bukhari]

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud radhiAllâhu `anhu narrated that the Prophet sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam said:

Alternate between Hajj and ‘Umrah (regularly), for these two remove poverty and sins just as the blacksmith’s bellows removes all impurities from metals like iron, gold and silver. The reward for Hajj Mabrur is nothing short of Paradise.” [Nasa’i and Tirmidhi, who regards it a sound hadîth ]

Narrated Abû Huraira radhiAllâhu `anhu: Allâh’s Apostle sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam said,

“(The performance of) ‘Umra is an expiation for the sins committed (between it and the previous one). And the reward of Hajj Mabrur (the one accepted by Allâh) is nothing except Paradise.” [Sahîh Al-Bukhari]

Saying ‘آmîn’
Narrated by Abû Huraira radhiAllâhu `anhu: The Prophet sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam said,

“When the Imâm says ‘Aamîn’, then you should all say ‘Aamîn’, for the angels say ‘آmîn’ at that time, and he whose ‘آmîn’ coincides with the ‘آmîn’ of the angels, all his past sins will be forgiven.” [Sahîh Al-Bukhari]

Fasting and performing prayers in the night of Qadr in Ramadân
Narrated by Abû Huraira radhiAllâhu `anhu: The Prophet sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam said,

“Whoever fasted the month of Ramadân out of sincere Faith (i.e. belief) and hoping for a reward from Allâh, then all his past sins will be forgiven, and whoever stood for the prayers in the night of Qadr out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allâh, then all his previous sins will be forgiven .” [Sahîh Al-Bukhari]

Sending salutations
Abû Talha Al Ansari radhiAllâhu `anhu said, “The Prophet, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, woke up one day cheerful and beaming. His companions exclaimed, ‘O Prophet of Allâh, you woke up today cheerful and beaming.’ He replied,

‘Yes! A messenger of Allâh, the Mighty and the Glorified, came to me and said, “If anyone from your ummah sends you a salutation, Allâh will record for him ten good deeds, wipe off ten of his sins, and raise him thereby ten degrees in rank, and He will return his salutation with a similar salutation”.’ [Ahmad] Ibn Kathîr considers this a sound hadîth ]

Being kind to animals
Narrated Abû Huraira radhiAllâhu `anhu: Allâh’s Apostle sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam said,

“While a man was walking he felt thirsty and went down a well and drank water from it. On coming out of it, he saw a dog panting and eating mud because of excessive thirst. The man said, ‘This (dog) is suffering from the same problem as that of mine. So he (went down the well), filled his shoe with water, caught hold of it with his teeth and climbed up and watered the dog. Allâh thanked him for his (good) deed and forgave him.” The people asked, “O Allâh’s Apostle! Is there a reward for us in serving (the) animals?” He replied, “Yes, there is a reward for serving any animate.” [Sahîh Al-Bukhari]

Narrated Abû Huraira radhiAllâhu `anhu: Allâh’s Apostle sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam said,

“A prostitute was forgiven by Allâh, because, passing by a panting dog near a well and seeing that the dog was about to die of thirst, she took off her shoe, and tying it with her head-cover she drew out some water for it. So, Allâh forgave her because of that.” [Sahîh Al-Bukhari]

Leaving grey hair
Amr ibn Shu’aib related on the authority of his father from his grandfather that the Prophet sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam said,

“Do not pluck the grey hairs as they are a Muslim’s light. Never a Muslim grows grey in Islam except that Allâh writes for him, due to that, a good deed. And he raises him a degree. And he erases for him, due to that, one of his sins.” [Related by Ahmad, Abû Dawûd, at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah] And Anas said, “We used to hate that a man should pluck out his white hairs from his head or beard.” [Sahîh Muslim]

Some simple supplications through which we can erase our sins, Insha’Allâh!
Narrated Abû Huraira radhiAllâhu `anhu: Allâh’s Apostle said,

Whoever says, ‘Subhan Allâh wa bihamdihi,’ one hundred times a day, will be forgiven all his sins even if they were as much as the foam of the sea.” [Sahîh Al-Bukhari]

Narrated Abû Huraira radhiAllâhu `anhu: Allâh’s Apostle sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam said,

“Whoever says: ‘La ilaha illal-lah wahdahu la sharika lahu, lahu-l-mulk wa lahu-l-hamd wa huwa ‘ala kulli shai’in qadir,’ one hundred times will get the same reward as given for manumitting ten slaves; and one hundred good deeds will be written in his accounts, and one hundred sins will be deducted from his accounts, and it (his saying) will be a shield for him from Satan on that day till night, and nobody will be able to do a better deed except the one who does more than he.” [Sahîh Al-Bukhari]

Narrated Abû Hurayrah radhiAllâhu `anhu: Allâh’s Apostle sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam said:

If anyone extols Allâh after every prayer thirty-three times [SubhanAllâh], and praises Allâh thirty-three times [Alhamdulillah], and declares His Greatness thirty-three times [Allâh hu Akbar], ninety-nine times in all, and say to complete a hundred: “There is no god but Allâh, having no partner with Him, to Him belongs sovereignty and to Him to praise due, and He is Potent over everything,” his sins will be forgiven even if these are as Abûndant as the foam of the sea. [Sahîh Muslim]

Abû Hurairah radhiAllâhu `anhu reported that the Prophet, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, said,

If anyone sits in an assembly where there is much clamor and says before getting up to leave, “Subhanaka Allâhumma wa bihamdika, ashadu an-la illaha illa-anta, astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayka” (Glory be to You, O Allâh, and I begin with declaring all praise is due to You, I testify that there is no god but You; I ask Your pardon and turn to You in repentance), he will be forgiven any sin that he might have committed while in that assembly. [Tirmidhi and Al-Baihaqi, (Kitab ad-D’wat Al-kabir)]

Mu’adh b. Anas radhiAllâhu `anhu reported that the Prophet, sallAllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, said,

“If anyone wears a new garment and says, “Alhamdu lillahillazi kasaabi hazaa wa razakabehi min ghairi hawlin minna walaa kuwwata” ‘All praise be to Allâh, Who clothed me with this garment and provided it for me, with no power or strength from myself’ Allâh will forgive all his previous sins.” [Abû Dawûd, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Maajah]

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“…And the worshipper – the more humble, needy, and subdued he is before Allah – the closer he will be to Him, and the dearer he will be to Him, and the greater in status he will be to Him. So, the happiest of the Creation is the one who is greatest in servitude to Allah.

As for the Creation, as it is said: be in need of whoever you wish, and you will be his prisoner; be sufficient from whoever you wish, and you will be his adversary; be kind to whoever you wish, and you will be his authority…

So, the greatest in status and honor the slave is with others is when he is not in need of them in any way, shape, or form. If you are good to others while not being in need of them, you will be greater in their eyes. When you are in need of them – even if for a sip of water – your status is reduced in their eyes in accordance with what it is you need from them. And this is from the Wisdom and Mercy of Allah, in order that the Religion all be for Allah, and that nothing be associated with Him.

Because of this, when Hatim al-Asamm was asked: ‘With what can one protect himself from people?’ he answered: “That you freely give them from what you have, and that you are cold and indifferent towards what they have.” However, if you are in a position to be compensated from them, and they are also in need of something from you, and the needs of the two sides become equal, you become like two merchants, none of whom has any virtue over the other. If they are the more needy side, that is when they will become subdued.

So, with the Exalted Lord, the most generous you are to Him is when you are most in need of Him. With the Creation, the most insignificant you are to them is when you are most in need of them…”

[‘Majmu’ al-Fatawa’; 1/67]

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All Praise is due to Allaah, and may the peace and blessings be upon His Messenger Muhammad.

It is legislated for all the Muslims to strive hard in the various types of worship during this noble month. They should strive to pray voluntary prayers and recite the Qur’an with reflection and thinking. They should increase the glorification of Allaah [saying “SubhanAllaah”], declaring his right to be worshiped alone [saying “La illaaha il Allaah”], praising Him [saying “Al-Hamdulillaah”], declaring his greatness [saying “Allaahu Akbar”] and seeking His forgiveness.

They should say legislated supplications, command the good, forbid the evil, invite to Allaah, be generous to the poor and needy, strive to be kind to parents, keep good family ties, honor the neighbor, visit the sick, and other types of good deeds.

This is due to the Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وسلم) statement: “Allaah looks at your competing for good works during it and He proudly tells the angels about you all. Therefore, show Allaah goodness from yourselves. For verily, the wretched person is the o­ne who is deprived of Allaah’s Mercy during it (Ramadaan).” – Majma ‘uz-Zawa’id 3:142; Kanzul-‘Ummal no. 23692.

This is also due to what is reported from him (صلى الله عليه وسلم) that he said: “Whoever draws near to Allaah during it (Ramadaan) with a single characteristic from the characteristics of (voluntary) goodness, he is like whoever performs an obligatory act in other times. And whoever performs an obligatory act during it, he is like whoever performed seventy obligatory acts in other times.” – Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah, no. 1887.

This is also due to his (صلى الله عليه وسلم) statement in the authentic hadith: “An ‘Umrah performed during Ramadaan is equal to a performance of Hajj – or he said – a Hajj with me.” – Al-Bukhari (no. 1863) and Muslim (no. 1256).

The ahadith and narrations that prove the sanctioning of competing, and being aggressive in performing the various acts of goodness in this noble month are numerous.

Allaah is the o­ne Who is asked to help us and the rest of the Muslims to do all that contains His Pleasure and to accept our fast and standing for night prayer. We ask Him to correct our situations and protect us all from the deviations of trials and temptations. Likewise, we ask Him to make the leaders of the Muslims righteous, and unite their word upon the truth. Verily, Allaah is the Guardian of that, and He is capable of doing it.

Source: Fataawa Islamiya, pp. 220-221

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