Posts Tagged ‘prophet’

Quran Reflections – Juz Nine‏

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Juz Nine

Hardships and Ease

 وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا فِي قَرْيَةٍ مِّن نَّبِيٍّ إِلَّا أَخَذْنَا أَهْلَهَا بِالْبَأْسَاءِ وَالضَّرَّاءِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَضَّرَّعُونَ. ثُمَّ بَدَّلْنَا مَكَانَ السَّيِّئَةِ الْحَسَنَةَ حَتَّىٰ عَفَوا وَّقَالُوا قَدْ مَسَّ آبَاءَنَا الضَّرَّاءُ وَالسَّرَّاءُ فَأَخَذْنَاهُم بَغْتَةً وَهُمْ لَا يَشْعُرُونَ
We did not send any prophet to a town, but We seized its people with hardship and suffering, so that they might humble themselves; then We transformed the affliction into ease of life, so that they thrived and said (to themselves), “Misfortune and hardship befell our forefathers as well”—whereupon We took them to task, all of a sudden, without their being aware (of what was coming). (Al-Aʿrāf, 7:94-95)

This sūrah narrated stories of many Messengers whose nations refused to  listen to  them and were ultimately destroyed. Here is then a general statement about their behavior. The hardships and ease of life were created by Allāh as a way of shaking them out of their complacency with their ignorant ways. They are not accidents that just happen randomly, nor are they ultimately the result of just the local and apparent causes. There is a Divine plan behind everything that  is happening in the world. People of wisdom can see the Hand of Allāh in their afflictions as well as their prosperity and use both to come closer to Him and to submit to Him. Others fail—even refuse—to  see it that way and are destroyed. This is a very important reminder for developing the right outlook about the news of the day.

Blind Imitation

وَجَاوَزْنَا بِبَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ الْبَحْرَ فَأَتَوْا عَلَىٰ قَوْمٍ يَعْكُفُونَ عَلَىٰ أَصْنَامٍ لَّهُمْ ۚ قَالُوا يَا مُوسَى اجْعَل لَّنَا إِلَٰهًا كَمَا لَهُمْ آلِهَةٌ ۚ قَالَ إِنَّكُمْ قَوْمٌ تَجْهَلُونَ. إِنَّ هَٰؤُلَاءِ مُتَبَّرٌ مَّا هُمْ فِيهِ وَبَاطِلٌ مَّا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ
We made the children of Isrā’īl cross the sea, then they came across a  people sitting in devotion before their idols. They (the Israelites) said, “O Mūsā, make a god for us like they have gods.” He said, “You are really an ignorant people. What these people are engaged in is sure  to  be  destroyed;  and  false  is  what  they  are  doing.”  (Al-Aʿrāf, 7:138-139)

This is after the Israelites had been rescued from the Pharaoh’s oppression. Long years of slavery had taken their toll on their ways of thinking and this can be seen in the slavish mentality showcased here. Blind imitation of the other (as can be seen in the vast areas of the Muslim world today regarding the West) is a serious disease. We want the same objects of devotion, days of celebration, and pursuits and patterns of life as those who we think to be successful.

Ibn ʿAṭiyyah says, the children of Israel perhaps were not proposing idol worship per se; they might have been rationalizing that the statue would help them visualize and thereby do their worship of God with more concentration. If true, it only shows that such rationalizations camouflaging a slavish mentality—so common today as a result of colonial experience—have a long history. Let us not forget that the children of Israel did end up doing calf worship after all.
In any case the reply of Prophet Mūsā is so fitting and it can help rid us of this debilitating sickness.

The Prophet and His True Followers

الَّذِينَ يَتَّبِعُونَ الرَّسُولَ النَّبِيَّ الْأُمِّيَّ الَّذِي يَجِدُونَهُ مَكْتُوبًا عِندَهُمْ فِي التَّوْرَاةِ وَالْإِنجِيلِ يَأْمُرُهُم بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَاهُمْ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَيُحِلُّ لَهُمُ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَيُحَرِّمُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْخَبَائِثَ وَيَضَعُ عَنْهُمْ إِصْرَهُمْ وَالْأَغْلَالَ الَّتِي كَانَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ فَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِهِ وَعَزَّرُوهُ وَنَصَرُوهُ وَاتَّبَعُوا النُّورَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ مَعَهُ ۙ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ
Those who follow the Messenger, the Ummī (unlettered) prophet whom they find mentioned in their own (scriptures), in the Torah (law) and the Injīl (Gospel), and who bids them what is fair and forbids what is unfair, and makes lawful for them good things, and makes unlawful for them impure things, and relieves them of their burden, and of the shackles that were upon them. So, those who believe in him and support him, and help him and follow the light sent down with him, those are the ones who are successful. (Al- Aʿrāf, 7:157)

This is a concise introduction to Prophet Muḥammad  ﷺ and his message. He commands what is fair, just, and good. He  forbids what is unfair, unjust, and  evil. He  declares permissible what is clean and pure. He declares impermissible what is unclean and unhealthy. He liberates humanity from the shackles that it had put upon itself—those of customs, traditions, superstitions and man-made laws. His is the most empowering and  liberating  message that  leads to  eternal success. This success is  only  for those who reject all the competing heroes and  exemplars for the light of guidance brought by him.

The Sabbath-Breakers

وَاسْأَلْهُمْ عَنِ الْقَرْيَةِ الَّتِي كَانَتْ حَاضِرَةَ الْبَحْرِ إِذْ يَعْدُونَ فِي السَّبْتِ إِذْ تَأْتِيهِمْ حِيتَانُهُمْ يَوْمَ سَبْتِهِمْ شُرَّعًا وَيَوْمَ لَا يَسْبِتُونَ ۙ لَا تَأْتِيهِمْ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ نَبْلُوهُم بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْسُقُونَ
Ask them about the town which stood by the sea, when they used to transgress in the matter of Sabbath, when their fish came to them openly on the Sabbath, and did not come when they did not have Sabbath. In this way, We put them to a test, because they used to act sinfully. (Al-Aʿrāf, 7:163)

Muhammad Asad writes: “The story of the Sabbath-breakers (alluded to  in  several places in  the Qur’ān) is a general illustration of the  tendency, so often manifested by the children of Israel, to offend against their religious laws in pursuit of their passions or for the sake of worldly gain.”

Unfortunately the description of the past of the children of Israel fits the present of much of the Muslim world with all sorts of economic justifications being offered for putting Allāh’s  commands on the side. Those who put forward or accept such fancy justifications, sometimes in highly academic language, should realize that  when economic gains result from breaking Allāh’s commands, then the situation is itself a punishment for our transgressions. And the proper thing to do is to throw away the balance sheets and turn to Allāh in repentance.

Innate Sense of the Creator

وَإِذْ أَخَذَ رَبُّكَ مِن بَنِي آدَمَ مِن ظُهُورِهِمْ ذُرِّيَّتَهُمْ وَأَشْهَدَهُمْ عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ أَلَسْتُ بِرَبِّكُمْ ۖ قَالُوا بَلَىٰ ۛ شَهِدْنَا ۛ أَن تَقُولُوا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ إِنَّا كُنَّا عَنْ هَٰذَا غَافِلِينَ
(Recall) when your Lord brought forth their progeny from the loins of the children of Ādam, and made them testify about themselves (by asking them,) “Am I not your Lord?” They said, “Of course, You are. We testify.” (We did so) lest you should say on the Day of Judgment, “ We were unaware of this.” (Al-Aʿrāf, 7:172)

According to the Qur’ān, as explained further by several ahadith, all human beings who will be born until the Last Day had a prior existence when the witnessing referred to above took place. Our innate sense of our Creator and our obligation to worship and obey Him is a result of that event. That is why belief in a deity and acts of worship have been a common phenomenon in all human societies. Another hadith informs us that all human beings are born in the state of fiṭrah, which is in perfect harmony with Islam, and only later parents and environmental influences make them deviate from that path.

The awareness  may be obscured from our conscience and buried deeply under false ideas but it comes to the surface at extraordinary times. Thus at times of great calamities people of all persuasions suddenly remember God.

The Prophet and the Knowledge of the Unseen

قُل لَّا أَمْلِكُ لِنَفْسِي نَفْعًا وَلَا ضَرًّا إِلَّا مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ ۚ وَلَوْ كُنتُ أَعْلَمُ الْغَيْبَ لَاسْتَكْثَرْتُ مِنَ الْخَيْرِ وَمَا مَسَّنِيَ السُّوءُ ۚ إِنْ أَنَا إِلَّا نَذِيرٌ وَبَشِيرٌ لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ
Say, “I have no power to bring a benefit or a harm to myself, except that which Allāh wills. If I had the knowledge of the Unseen, I would have accumulated a lot of good things, and no evil would have ever touched me. I am but a warner, and a herald of good news for a people who believe.” (Al-Aʿrāf, 7:188)

Prophets receive communications from God and speak to the people for Him, but they are not God. Many people have difficulty in comprehending this distinction. Non-believers, including the mushrikeen of the pre-Islamic Jāhiliyyah said that if the Prophet did not have divine powers then he could not be the Prophet. Ignorant followers  later claimed that he indeed had full knowledge of the unseen. This āyah sets the record straight. The Prophet is a human being, but he is appointed by Allāh to speak for Him to humanity. His knowledge of the unseen world exceeds that of other human beings, because it has been given to him by Allāh. But this is not the all encompassing knowledge of the unseen, which is held by no one except Allāh.

Listening to the Qur’ān

وَإِذَا قُرِئَ الْقُرْآنُ فَاسْتَمِعُوا لَهُ وَأَنصِتُوا لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ
When the Qur’ān is recited, hearken unto it, and listen in silence, so that you may be blessed. (Al-Aʿrāf 7:204)

This is the proper etiquette regarding Qur’ānic recitation. The Qur’ān should command our attention and devotion unlike any other word, as this is the Word of Allāh. Disrespect here will deprive us of the mercy contained in it. Consequently a person should not recite it audibly at a place where people are busy in other activities and will not be able to listen to it attentively. Unfortunately in the media age this situation has become more common. Electronic devices make recitation easy but many a time the required attention is lacking. We should remember that the Qur’ānic recitation should never form the background sound for our activities. We should either listen to it with full attention or turn it off. For the same reason using it as a ring toner in mobile phones is an act of disrespect.

When the Qur’ān is recited in tarāwīh, the spirit of this āyah requires that we listen to it and not leave in the middle without a good reason. Even worse would be to engage in socializing and ignore the recitation of the Qur’ān. Unfortunately these are becoming a common trend in our communities, and especially amongst the youth in the West.

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The Beauty of Prophet Muhammad – Volume 2

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

AVAILABLE NOW

The Beauty of  Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace): As Reflected In Lectures on Sahih al-Bukhari [VOLUME 2)
In Continuing from Volume One, Shaykh Yusuf Motala, in Volume Two of The Beauty of Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) as Reflected in Lectures on Sahih al-Bukhari, conveys, with perfect lucidity, accounts, narratives and key moments of the life of the Noble Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), the Respected Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) and His pious servants (may Allah have mercy on them) as they appear in the Glorious Quran, Hadith and authentic works of history. The Shaykhs lectures offer guidance and inspiration to the readers, young and old.  Path of reform, perfect morals, chastity, forgiveness, forbearance, sacrifice, altruism are just a few of the many important themes along with the key concepts of iman and aqidah that the Shaykh explores in a simple but unique manner.

This collection has all the hallmarks of impelling the attention of readers irrespective of their backgrounds.

Cover: Hardback
Author: Shaykh al-Ḥadīth Mawlana Yusuf Motala
Publisher: Azhar Publications
Size: 22 cm x 14.5 cm

Buy now from Darul Ishaat UK: Click here

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The Beauty of Prophet Muhammad

Monday, March 19th, 2012
The Beauty of Prophet Muhammad

The Beauty of Prophet Muhammad

The Beauty of  Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace): As Reflected In Lectures on Sahih al-Bukhari.

A broad overview of the life of Allah’s Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), delivered in the form of lectures which capture the imagination. This translation allows the English-speaking audience to benefit from Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Yusuf Motala’s vast knowledge, spirituality and Islamic scholarship. It covers various aspects of the Noble Prophet’s (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) life whilst promoting the essential message of unity, peace, love and harmony.

To draw Muslims closer than ever before to Allah and His Messenger  (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), the shaykh, with perfect lucidity, conveys accounts, narratives and key moments of the life of the Noble Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and his Respected Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) as they appear in the Glorious Qur’an, Hadith and authentic works of history. It encompasses the many struggles he and his Companions endured for the perfection of humanity, illustrates the absolute restoration of the natural and moral order in a society that was blighted with ignorance (jahiliyyah), and describes the beautiful example which he practically demonstrated throughout his life.

The shaykh’s lectures offers guidance and inspiration to the readers, young and old. Throughout, it explains ways of how one may imbue the love of the Noble Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) in his heart and strike a heartfelt connection with his sublime person.

In summary, the book features detailed reflections of the day and night spent by the Noble Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and his Respected Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) as well as stories of individuals for whom this true love acted as a nourishment for the soul. For those consumed by his thoughts, it was unthinkable for them to part from it. Few books make a deeper impression, but this is certainly one of them. It has all the hallmarks of impelling the attention of readers irrespective of their backgrounds. It is without doubt a significant contribution to the works on the life of the Noble Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), despite the fact that the topic and materials are so fundamental.

Download contents & sample pages

Cover: Hardback
Author: Shaykh al-Ḥadīth Mawlana Yusuf Motala
Publisher: Azhar Publications
Pages: 510
Size: 22 cm x 14.5 cm

ISBN: 9781848281233

Available at Darul Ishaat UK

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The Seerah Trail – Map Puzzle

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011
The Seerah Trail - Map Puzzle - darul ishaat uk

The Seerah Trail - Map Puzzle

 

Capture the seerah instantly with the Seerah Trail. This powerful image lays out the main events of the life of the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) in one comprehensive map. Experience learning about the seerah like never before with this ingenious interactive resource. First, construct the 40 piece jigsaw puzzle of the seerah map. Then follow the seerah timeline and locate the places mentioned for each event on the map using grid references. Walk the seerah trail once, and you’ll wish to take this incredible journey time and time again!

Contents: 40 piece seerah map puzzle measuring 58cm by 87cm. A double sided seerah timeline measuring 77cm by 17cm.

Publisher: Learning Roots

Available from Darul Ishaat UK

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Women Around The Messenger

Sunday, October 16th, 2011
Women Around The Messenger - darul-ishaat.co.uk

Women Around The Messenger - darul-ishaat.co.uk

 

This is the ‘women’s lib’ age as the WEST prefers to term it. But is it TRUE? Is it not a lip-service age turning women practically to ‘dolls’ or something like dolls in the real life?

Women entering the fold of Islam played an enviable prominent role, side by side their counterparts, men, in shaping and developing the Muslim society as a model from the onset, emancipating humanity, men and women, from the shackles of deep-footed ignorance. Women in Islam have very special place, status and dignity unknown to mankind before or after.

The life sketches of the early female believers, in this book, stand as beacon and outstanding models for the so-called ‘weaker sex’ and call for the revival of the pristine lofty high position of women in the society once again.

This work is an attempt at dispelling any misconception by bringing into focus biographies of the first generation of Muslim women and the important role they played in the overall development of their society, right from the beginning. It is hoped that this book will not only strengthen the resolve of the already well-acquainted Muslims who follow the footsteps of their predecessors, it will also spur them into emulating the examples of those righteous, noble and pure women

Cover: Hardback
Author: Muhammad Ali Qutb
Publisher: IIPH
Pages: 363
Size: 22 x15 cm

Available now at Darul-ishaat.co.uk

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Manifestations Of Prophet Muhammads Beauty

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Manifestations Of Prophet Muhammad's Beauty - darul-ishaat ukManifestations Of Prophet Muhammad’s Beauty (may Allah bless him and grant him peace): The Hearts of Allah’s Saints

This book comprises of the words of guidance by Hadhrat Shaykh-ul-Hadith Mawlana Yusuf Motala, Senior Deputy of the Eminent Hadhrat Shaykh-ul-Hadith Mawlana Muhammad Zakariyya Muhajir Madani (may Allah illuminate his grave) and founder and Shaykh-ul-Hadith of Darul Uloom Al-Arabiyya Al-Islamiyya, Bury, UK, that were delivered in Hadhrats spiritual gatherings during the blessed month of Ramadhan over a period of years.

This book contains detailed accounts of the lives, eminence and excellence of the saints of the Chishti order from the Noble Messenger up to Hadhrat Shaykh Mawlana Muhammad Zakariyya Muhajir Madani (may Allah illuminate his grave) in a unique manner.

In the blessed biography of the Noble Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), along with the mention of his lofty status, an outline of the blessed life of the Noble Messenger has been achieved in an interesting and extraordinary style.

The lives and excellence of these esteemed saints have been elucidated in such an effective and impeccable style that, besides informing the reader of their high standing, it also ignites a passion and desire within the reader to emulate them. The highly complex subject of sulook (spiritual path-treading) and tasawwuf (Sufism) has been explained in a simple, straightforward and impactful manner, which can only be accomplished by a master of the field. In the process, objections that generally arise regarding tasawwuf and the noble assembly of Sufis are automatically resolved and those treading in their righteous footsteps acquire invaluable and necessary guidance. In summary, this book is the essence of sulook and tasawwuf, an account of its eminent masters and a precious gift to the path-treaders.

Translation by a group of Graduates from Darul Ulom Bury.

Author: Lectures by Shaykh Mawlana Yusuf Motala
Publisher: Azhar Publications
Pages: 664
Size: 22 x 14.5 cm

Available at Darul Ishaat UK

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Seeratul Mustafa (English Translation) – 3 Volumes

Friday, July 1st, 2011
Seeratul Mustafa (English Translation) - 3 Volumes

Seeratul Mustafa (English Translation) - 3 Volumes

Available to pre-order. Please note that any items ordered with this book will be sent with this book once it becomes available.

A comprehensive biography of The Messenger of Allah (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) in the English language.

Seeratul Mustafa (English Translation) – Complete Set in 3 Volumes. Boxed set.

According to some, this is the masterpiece of all the literary works of Maulana Idris Kandehlawi. It stands out like a shining star and enjoys the most acceptance from amongst all of Maulana’s works.

No work on the blessed Sirah in the Urdu language surpasses Seeratul Mustafa in depth of research and the usage of original sources as its foundation. The author makes clear what feelings and ambitions a true believer should have with regards to the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant hime peace).

A comprehensive work based principally on authentic narations, unaffected by objections of orientalist scholars.

Translated from the original Urdu by Mufti Muhammed Kadwa and Maulana Mahomed Mahomedy.

The author, Maulana Idris Kandehlawi completed his studies at Mazahir ‘Ulum (Saharanpur) and Darul Ulum Deoband in India. His teachers included the likes of Maulana Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri, ‘Allamah Shabbir Ahmad Uthmani and ‘Allamah Anwar Shah Kashmiri. He stood out as a scholar of hadith and tafsir, as a poet and ascetic. He was a man of learning and spent his life immersed in the study and teaching of the sacred sciences. He authored a number of books on tafsir, hadith, and Islamic theology.

Cover: Hardback
Author: Maulana Idris Kandehlawi
Publisher: Madrasah Arabia Islamia & Zam Zam Publishers
Pages: 1564
Size: 25 x 17 cm (approx)

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Enjoy the skills

Friday, June 10th, 2011

These skills give us physical pleasure, and I do not mean by this the pleasure of the hereafter only. Rather, it is that pleasure one actually feels in this world. So enjoy these skills and practise them with the old, young, rich, poor, near or far. Use these skills with them in order to guard yourself from their harm, to earn their love, or to rectify them.

‘AIi bin al-jahm was a very eloquent poet, but he was a Bedouin.The only life he knew was the desert life.The Caliph, al-Mutawakkil, was very powerful. People would go to visit him and return with whatever they wished. One day, ‘Ali bin al-jahm entered Baghdad and it was said to him,”whoever praises the Caliph, is bestowed with honour and gifts.”

‘Ali became excited and went to the Caliph’s palace.There he saw the poets reciting their poems in praise of the Caliph and returning with gifts. Al-Mutawakkil was known for his authority, awe and power. ‘Ali began to praise the Caliph with a poem in which he likened him to a dog, a goat and a bucket, whilst other poets likened him to the sun,the moon and the mountains!

The Caliph became angry, and his guards unsheathed their swords and prepared to strike off his neck. But then, the Caliph realised that ‘Ali bin al-jahm was from the desert and that his
personality and poetic taste was shaped accordingly. He decided to change his personality, so he ordered his men to house him in a section of the palace, be treated with kindness and be given all the available pleasures.

Al-jahm tasted some of these bounties and sat on couches side by side with eloquent poets and authors for seven months. One day, as the Caliph was sitting in his nightly gathering, he
remembered ‘A|i bin al-jahm, so he sent for him.When al-jahm finally came to him, he said,”Sing some verses to me, O ‘Ali bin al—jahm!” Al-jahm began to move emotions using soft and kind words, and likened the king to the sun, the stars and the sword.

Notice how the Caliph was able to change Ibn al-]ahm’s personality. How often have we been upset by the bad behaviour of our children and friends? Did we ever try to change their nature successfully? Even more,you should be able to change your own personality by replacing a frowning face with a smiling one, replacing anger with forbearance, and miserliness with generosity. None of this is difficult, but it does require determination and persistence, so be brave!

Whoever reads the life of the Prophet peace be upon him  realises that he would deal with people with these skills and capture their hearts. The Prophet  peace be upon him would not simply pretend to have these skills in front of people and replace his forbearance with anger when being alone with his family. He was never one to be cheerful with some but sulky with his own family. He was never one to be generous with everyone except his own children and wives. Rather;  he always acted naturally. He would worship Allah by his fine manners just as he would worship Him by offering the Duha or night prayers. He would consider his smile to be a virtue, his gentleness an act of worship, and his forgiveness and leniency a good deed.The one who considers good manners to be acts of worship will always remain well-mannered, in war and peace, when he is hungry and when he is full, when healthy or ill, and even when happy or sad.

How many women only hear about the refined manners of their husbands, such as their patience, cheerfulness and generosity, but never witness any of these qualities at home? Such husbands, often when at home, are ill-mannered, impatient, sulky and constantly cursing.

As for the Prophet peace be upon him he said, “The best of you is the one who is best to his family, and I am the best of you to my fami|y.” (al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Maiah, Sahih)

Now read how he would deal with his family: Al-Aswad bin Yazid said, “l asked ‘A’ishah — may Allah be pleased with her  how Allah’s Messenger   would behave in his house. She said: ‘He would be serving his family, and when the time for prayer would come he would perform ablution and leave to pray.”

The same can be said about parents. How often is it that we hear of the good manners that some display, such as generosity, cheerfulness and kind behaviour towards others, and yet with the closest people to them who have the greatest rights over them, such as their parents, wives and children, they are distant and cold.

Yes, the best of you is the best to his family, to his parents, to his wife, and to his children. One night, as Abu Layla —- may Allah be pleased with him — sat next to the Prophet  peace be upon him there came to him, either al-Hasan or al-Husayn, so the Prophet peace be upon him  lifted him up and placed him on his stomach. The toddler then urinated on the Prophet’s stomach. Abu Layla said, “l saw the urine trickling down from the Prophet’s stomach.  So we leapt up to the Prophet peace be upon him but he said:‘Leave my son alone. Do not scare him.”’

When the toddler had finished urinating, he called for some water and poured it over his stomach.’ (Ahmad and al-Tabarani, with trustworthy narrators)

How amazing was the Messenger of Allah  peace be upon him to train and adorn himself with such manners! No wonder he was able to win the hearts of the young and old.

Opinion…
Instead of cursing the darkness, try to fix the lamp.

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The Mawlid – The Blessed Birth Of The Prophet

Sunday, April 24th, 2011
The Mawlid - The Blessed Birth Of The Prophet

The Mawlid - The Blessed Birth Of The Prophet

This book, which is a lesser known work of Imam Ibn Kathir, seeks to present the circumstances surrounding Quraysh and ‘Abd al-Muttalib, the grandfather of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), some of the premonitory dreams and oracular announcements of his coming, and the birth itself and early years of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), some of his outstanding merits and noble qualities of character, and traditions relating to his high position as the Chosen One (Mustafa) and Beloved (habib) of Allah and Seal of the Messengers of Allah. The author’s careful choice of traditions and his sifting the original material from the earliest sources is here reinforced by the modern editors of the text and their judicious checking and assessment of the traditions cited.

Ibn Kathir

The Imam, hafiz and historian ‘Imad ad-Din Abu’l-Fida’ Isma’il ibn ‘Umar ibn Kathir was born in 701/1301 near Busra in Syria, and grew up in Damascus where he studied the traditional sciences of Islam with a wide variety of teachers, among the most famous of them being Shaykh ‘Alam ad-Din al-Qasim ibn Muhammad al-Barzali and Hafiz Jamal ad-Din Abu’l-Hajjaj Yusuf ibn ‘Abd ar-Rahman al-Mizzi. However, it is as a student of Shaykh al-Islam Taqi ad-Din Ahmad ibn ‘Abd al-Halim ibn Taymiyah that he is best remembered. He is well known for his history al-Bidayah wa’n-nihayah, his work on the biography of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) as-Sirat an-nabawiyyah and his work on Qur’anic commentary Tafsir al-Qur’an al-‘Azim. He died in Damascus on Thursday 26th Sha’ban 774/1373 and is buried there by the side of his shaykh Ibn Taymiyah, may Allah have mercy on them both, in the Sufi Graveyard.

Read an Excerpt

# Cover: Paperback
# Author: ‘Imad ad-Din Abu’l-Fida Isma’il ibn Kathir
# Publisher: Turath Publishing
# Pages: 52
# Size: 11 x 15.5 cm

 

For more information please click here:

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Christmas Lessons: Prophets Birthday

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011


“Say O People of the Book! Exceed not in your religion the bounds of (what is proper), trespassing beyond the truth. Nor follow the vein desires of people who went wrong in times gone by, — who misled many, and strayed (themselves) from the even Way.” [Al-Maidah, 5:77]

Both Muslims and serious Christians can learn a lot from Christmas, the annual celebration of the victory of paganism over the religion of Prophet Isa (Jesus Christ), alayhi salam.

No one disputes that the event and all its symbols came from pagan religions; it has nothing to do with the birth or teachings of Jesus Christ. For one thing, no one knows with certainty the date of birth of Jesus Christ. “In fact, dates in almost every month in the year were suggested by reputable scholars at one time or another,” notes The American Book of Days. For another, the celebration of birthdays is itself a pagan idea, never promoted by any Prophet or Book of God, including the Bible. Early Church leaders opposed it strongly. As late as 245 CE African Church father and philosopher Origen wrote that it was sinful even to contemplate observing Jesus’s birthday `as though he were a King Pharaoh.”[The American Book of Days].

But the pagan world did have prayers and celebrations during the winter season. Those who worshipped the sun god because of its apparent power, used to become concerned about the fate of their god, in a world of many gods, as days became shorter and air very cold. It looked like the sun was being defeated by the god of snow that brought death and misery with it. “… in Rome, the sun in its winter solstice was at its weakest on December 25 and had to be born anew with the help of bonfires, lights, processions and prayer.” [Reader’s Digest Book of Christmas]. The Roman pagan celebration was called Saturnalia. The Persians also had similar celebrations for Mithras, their sun god.

The evergreens, holly, ivy, and mistletoe plants, which remained green even during this wintertime, were similarly considered by the pagans to have magical powers. The Druids, whose Stonehenge temples can be seen in England, regarded mistletoe with reverence and used to burn it in sacrifice during the solstitial festivities. They also used to hang it in their houses. When you don’t know the One True God, even leaves and plants can become god. They thought it brought good luck, fertility, and protection from witchcraft, and was an antidote to poison. Mistletoe is used even today, although the U.N. might consider banning it if the fertility claim proves true!

In 1822 a Dr. Clement Moore, professor of divinity, wrote a poem titled “The visit of St. Nicholas.” The poem became popular and Santa Claus was born. The reason for popularity? “… the time was ripe. A myth was needed, and the recreation of `old Christmas’ was well in the wind.”[William Sanson, A Book of Christmas]. Some decades later The New York Sun answered an 8 year old’s question: Is there a Santa Claus? The answer has become classic and is worth noting. “Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see.” So Santa Claus is divine, and judging from the Christmas celebrations, certainly more important than Jesus Christ himself.

Early church leaders wanted to Christianize the pagan festivities, but their operating principle became: When you can’t beat them, join them. For as Pope Gregory declared in 601 CE, “… from obdurate minds it is impossible to cut off everything at once.” It was a license for another pearl of “wisdom”: When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

And so they did. First slowly and then rapidly. The Son of God replaced the sun god. Saturnalia was replaced by the ceremony for Christ or Christ Mass, which later became Christmas. For several centuries it was solely a church anniversary, observed by religious services. “At Christmas, men and women were not, repeat not, to dress up or mime; there were not to be auguries, such as superstitions about fire; houses were not to be decorated, no presents given, no well-laden tables, and a strict watch was to be kept on drink.” But false religion drives out true religion. Consider Christmas gifts, a carryover from the Roman practice of giving dolls as gift in lieu of their earlier barbaric custom of offering human sacrifices. “The early Church frowned on gift giving as a pagan custom. But the people enjoyed it too much to abandon it, and so finally the Church accepted the idea and sanctioned it.” [Barbara Rinkoff, The Family Christmas Book]. Evergreens? “The early church forbade the use of them, but here again the custom was too deeply rooted and the ban was ignored. Finally the church accepted the use of evergreens for decoration.” And on and on. Now consider this portrait of Saturnalia and contrast it with the original don’ts mentioned above: “… a fortnight of near riot, of drunkenness, noise and games, naked slaves singing, men dressing up as animals and behaving with less dignity, sex, often with perversion.” [Reader’s Digest Book of Christmas]. Anyone can see which picture represents today’s Christmas more closely.

With the advent of Capitalism, the old pagans got a new supporter in the form of the adman. George Bernard Shaw observed: “Christmas is forced on a reluctant … nation by…shopkeepers and the press.” This is how they can serve God, and make money at the same time. This in itself is a pagan idea and it is alive and well today.

This defeat of Christianity at the hands of paganism must be contrasted with Islam’s resounding victory over it. Before Islam, Arabia was a pagan country–big time. But none of the pagan customs survived after Islam. None whatsoever. There was no such thing as `the people wanted it very much so the church allowed it.’ Islam completely eradicated not only the beliefs but also the practices and the symbols of paganism. This in itself is a miracle that serious students of comparative religions must reflect upon. Here is a living proof of the authenticity of the last Messenger, Salla-Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

The success continued throughout the centuries. The secret of this great success lies in what Stuart Brown (The Nearest in Affection, see book review), deplores as Muslim “antipathy to innovation.” The first Khalifah, Abu Bakr, Radi-Allahu anhu, had declared in his first address as the new ruler, that he was a follower not an innovator, thereby setting the tone for all successors.

Throughout Islamic history there have been attempts to introduce bida (innovation) as innocent good practices, but unlike Christianity, there have always been rightly guided ulema who fought them strongly. The struggle continues today. Yes, Muslims can learn from Christmas. Those of us who may be wondering what is wrong with Milad Nabi celebrations may do well to realize that Christmas also started as Milad for Jesus Christ.

By Khalid Baig

Source: Al-balagh

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