By my brother, Muhammad Tim, 4th year student at Madinah University:

Assalaamu alaykum warahmatullahi wa barakaatuhu,

All praise is due to Allah, and may peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, and upon his family and his companions.

With regard to the matter of sincere intention, it seems that some people are confused with regard to certain aspects. Therefore, I wished to make the following points, and all success is from Allah:-

1. Firstly, the correct intention is one of two conditions for every act of worship to be accepted, along with the action being in accordance to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah – may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. The proof for this is the statement of Allah, the Exalted, The proof for this principle can be found in Allah’s statement: “So whoever hopes for the meeting with his Lord – let him do righteous work and not associate anyone in the worship of his Lord.” [Al-Kahf 18:110].

2. Secondly, the essence of the correct intention is for an action to be sincerely for the sake of Allah, and not to contain any form of shirk, or giving some of Allah’s rights to someone or something else. Fadl bin Ziyaad said, “I asked Abu Abdullah (i.e., Imaam Ahmad) about the intention in action, how should it be? He said, ‘One should treat his self when he intends to do an action, not desiring by it the people (i.e. showing off).’”

3. Thirdly, intention is something that needs to be constantly reviewed and worked upon. Sufyaan ath-Thawree said, “I have not battled with anything more difficult than my intention.”

4. Fourthly, the fact that another person is the cause for some of your good deeds, or that they call you to guidance, or that they encourage you to do something which you were not intending to do, does not affect your intention. This is part of the foundation of da’wah and calling people to guidance. The Prophet – may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him – used to encourage some of the companions to do actions that they were not intending to do, and he encouraged others to do the same. The Prophet – may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him – said, “Whoever calls to guidance has the reward of it and the reward of everyone who acts upon it, until the Day of Resurrection, without their reward being decreased in any way.” So if a brother comes to you and says, ‘come to the masjid’, and you were not intending to come, but because of him calling you to guidance, you decide to come, and you make your worship for the sake of Allah alone, then your intention is correct, if Allah wills, and the fact that another brother called you to do something that you had not planned to do does not affect your intention.

Similarly, if your intention was not pure, and then you realise that you have been showing off in some of your deeds, then you correct them and seek Allah’s forgiveness, then your intention returns to being correct, and if you do so before you complete the action (such as before you finish praying), then you do not lose the reward of the entire prayer.

5. Fifthly, showing off is a form of minor shirk and is extremely serious, but it is equally serious to not perform good deeds out of fear of showing off. Al Fudayl bin ‘Iyaad considered it another form of riyaa’. Rather you should say, ‘O Allah, I seek refuge with you from making partners with you while I realise, and I ask your forgiveness for what I do not realise.’ Leaving that which Allah has ordered you out of fear of what people may say can even reach the level of major shirk, so do not allow the shaytaan to open a door to your destruction!

To answer the question, “if a person became Muslim because of worldly reasons but later changed their intention sincerely for the sake of Allah and repented, then that is okay?”

To answer this question, my point was that it may happen, and that a person may correct themselves. A person’s Islam is not accepted by Allah until it is sincere – this is one of the conditions of laa ilaaha ill Allah, but as Muslims we are commanded to treat them as normal Muslims, since the matter of intention is left to Allah. In general, we shouldn’t rush to encourage a person who is not sincere. This does not benefit Islam and the Muslims, and the person themselves may be harmed.

However, we may see someone who has some fault in their intention, and we believe that there is a good chance that the person will be corrected, based on their environment and their character. First of all we should try to correct their intention before they become Muslim. In the example of marriage, we try to make the marriage secondary to pleasing Allah. If we believe that they will change, then we may accept their Islam. However, if the person who they are marrying is not even practising Islam, then it is unlikely that they will see the beauty of Islam, when the person they are marrying does not even see it. So, I think that we should be very careful in some of these cases. More information here:

6. Sixthly, a person may enter Islam for the sake of the dunyaa, or with a fault in their intention and then correct his or her intention, as Imaan enters their hearts, and so become from the true Muslims. This was the case of some of the companions, especially those who became Muslim after the conquest of Makkah. Some of them became Muslim for worldly reasons, but the sun did not set before Allah and His Messenger were more beloved to them than the earth and whatever was in it. This does not mean that we should encourage people to become Muslim who do not want to, however, we have not been asked to rule based on the hearts of the people, and it is possible for people to change once they see the beauty of Islam.

7. Finally, do not succumb to the whispers of shaytaan, that when a person calls you to do something good you say, ‘my intention is not right’ – this is nothing but the whisperings of the shayaateen, may Allah protect me and you from them. Rather embrace this good deed and make it sincere for Allah without showing off. This way you will get the reward for your action, as will the person who called you to do good. At the very least be honest and say, ‘I am too lazy to do it’, rather than inventing a religious excuse that Allah has given you no authority for; perhaps Allah will open your heart to the truth because of your honesty.

Don’t forget that intention alone is not enough for your deeds to be accepted. They must also be in accordance with the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah – may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. ‘Aa’ishah – may Allah be pleased with her – narrated that the Prophet – may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him – said, “Whoever does an action that is not in accordance with my affair [i.e., my sunnah] then it is rejected.”

May Allah grant us all beneficial knowledge and the ability to act upon it, and save us from the whisperings of the shaytaan,

Wassalaamu alaykum warahmatullahi wa barakaatuhu,
Muhammad Humble.

How is it possible that some people can call themselves Muslim yet they don’t pray?  Prayer is the second pillar in Islam after the declaration of faith.

If a Muslim is an alcoholic or a fornicator, scholars agree that these sins do not take that person outside the fold of Islam.  However, in regards to the prayer, the scholars disagree on this issue as the difference between a Muslim and kufr is the prayer.

Furthermore, often times, people think they are fulfilling their duty of prayer by praying five times a day.  However, we are not told to just pray, rather we are told to pray properly.  The Quran states, “So woe to the praying ones, who are unmindful of their prayers” (Translation of the Meaning of the Quran, 107:4-5).  Subhan’Allah, the one who prays yet is heedless in his prayer is condemned, then what about the one that doesn’t pray?!  Many of the scholars of the past held the opinion that if you miss one prayer during its time slot on purpose ONCE, then this is kufr (this is apparently the opinion of the Hanbali madhab).  Missing just one prayer outside of its time slot, if it is not kufr, is a major sin (other major sins include the likes of murder, adultery, etc).

The first matter that the slave will be brought to account for on the Day of Judgment is the prayer.  If it is sound, then the rest of his deeds will be sound.  And if it is bad, then the rest of his deeds will be bad.” [at Tabarani]

Next time you want to delay the prayer out of its time slot because of an exam or a meeting, take a step-back and think what’s more worthy of your time, the purpose for which you were created or anything else?  There is no excuse for praying “kaza,” period.

Allah (SWT) states in the Quran, “I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me” (Translation of the Meaning of the Quran, 51:56).

Here are ten Statements from the Salaf On Love and Hate for Allah (SWT)’s Sake
These are collected in al-Ghazzali’s ‘Ihya’ ‘Ulum ad-Din’ (2/195 onwards):

1 – ‘Umar bin al-Khattab said:

“If one of you is blessed with affection from his brother, he should hold onto that as tightly as possible, as it is quite rare for one to be blessed with this.”

2 – ‘Umar also said:

“Nobody is given anything besides his Islam better than a righteous friend.”

3 – ‘Ali bin Abi Talib said:

“Tend to your brothers, as they are your sustenance in this world and the next. Do you not hear the saying of the people of Hell: {“Now, we have neither intercessors nor close friends to help us!”} [ash-Shu’ara’; 100-1]?”

4 – ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar said:

“By Allah, if I fasted all day without eating, prayed all night without sleeping, spent all of my wealth in the Path of Allah, died the day I died, but had no love in my heart for those who obey Allah, and no hatred in my heart for those who disobey Allah, none of this would benefit me in the least.”

5 – ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud said:

“If a man were to stand for seventy years worshipping Allah between the Yemeni Corner and the Maqam of Ibrahim (at the Ka’bah), he would still be resurrected on the Day of Judgement with those whom he loved.”

6 – Ibn as-Sammak said, on his deathbed:

“O Allah! You Know that, even if I had disobeyed You, I loved those who obeyed You! So, make this for me a means of nearness to You!”

7 – Mujahid said:

“Those who love each other for Allah’s Sake, when they smile at each other, their sins fall from each other, just as the leaves fall from a tree before the winter.”

8 – al-Ghazzali said, commenting on the saying of the Prophet: “The strongest bond of faith is to love for Allah and to hate for Allah”:

“Because of this, it is a must that a person have those that he hates for Allah’s Sake, just as he has friends and brothers that he loves for Allah’s Sake.”

9 – Abu Hurayrah said:

“The slave will be brought between the Hands of Allah – the Exalted – on the Day of Resurrection, and Allah will Say to him: ‘Did you love one of my awliya’, so that I can join you with him?’“

10 – al-Hasan al-Basri said:

“Being harsh against a fasiq brings you closer to Allah – the Exalted.”

Related: Pitying the Kuffar?

Pitying the Kuffar?

March 22, 2009

Ibn Abbas held the opinion that touching the kafir breaks your wudhu.  I believe I read the above statement in the work of an orientalist and it had no evidence to support it so I am not sure if this truly is the opinion of Ibn Abbas.  However, the statement got me thinking about the issue of the kuffar and the Muslims approach to them.  Indeed, al wala wal bara is a part of the Muslim aqeeda and it is something that Muslims must adhere to very strictly.  The topic seems to be the current hot-topic amongst many Muslim bloggers after the article posted by Shaykh Tawfique Chawdhury on MuslimMatters and Imam Anwar al-Awlaki’s response to it on his own blog about working with the kuffar. 

However, one thing I wanted to point out and emphasize while all this debating is going on is the blessing, we, as Muslims, truly have been blessed with.  I mean, subhan’Allah, can you imagine life without Islam?  We have been blessed with guidance from the Lord of the Worlds.  In addition to al wala’ wal bara’, I feel great remorse towards the non-Muslim and I feel great pity towards them.  I was at a restaurant less than a week ago and they were playing a music-video of some MTV rapper.  The MTV rapper had women and money and the dunya in his music video, yet you could tell he wasn’t happy.  If you look at people in the Western society today, you notice that they go through ups and downs like it’s nobody’s business.  Depression is extremely common in the USA and UK nowadays.  When I look at the non-Muslim, I realize they have been deprived of so many things.  Just think about the following, the non-Muslim:

  1. Does not realize who is His Lord nor does he have a relationship with His Lord
  2. Does not understand the purpose of life
  3. Is in a continuous state of najis (impurity), hence why the first thing someone does after converting to Islam is take a bath (ghusl)
  4. Has never tasted the sweetness and khushoo of the prayer
  5. Has no comprehension of tawakkul and relying on God, therefore causing stress and depression
  6. Will never be truly happy for we know happiness is not with wealth but in the heart
  7. Has never experienced true brotherhood (not the one where you pay money to have friends in a fraternity)
  8. Does not have a proper relationship with society (where it’s with the parents, the masjid, or the community)
  9. Does not have the beauty of the greeting of the salam
  10. Does not experience the sweetness of faith (emaan)
  11. Solves problems with alcohol instead of with dua or the Quran
  12. Does not know what true fun/pleasure is (compare going to the club with brotherhood)
  13. Has nothing to look forward to it (everyday is a blessing for us and we look forward to meeting our Lord, insh’Allah)
  14. Money is their Lord and the lack of it depresses them and they will never have their fill (b/c of greed)
  15. Their women are completely degraded and slaves to a sexual society

Number ten really hits the nail on the head.  We need to be thankful everyday for the Islam that has bestowed upon us.  We need to make dua to Allah (SWT) that He allows us to die in a state of emaan.

Therefore, O Muslim, be thankful for the blessing that is Islam and feel extreme gratitude to have been excluded from those that have been deprived of it.

Related Article

Excerpts taken from Imam Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah’s book Ighaathah al-Luhfaan min Masayid al-Shaytaan.
Signs of an impure, diseased, and a dead heart: 

  • The person does not feel any hurt or pain when he commits evil deeds and sins.
  • The person finds both pleasure in committing acts of disobedience to Allah and a take it easy attitude after performing them.
  • The person looks after the less important matters and does not care about the more important ones.
  • The person dislikes the Truth and has difficulty accepting or submitting to it.
  • The person does not find comfort in being among the righteous people but finds a great deal of peace while among the evil and sinful.
  • The person is susceptible to be affected by misconceptions and doubts. He is attracted to discussions, debates and arguments that surround such misconceptions rather than trying to understand the Qur’an, follow the Sunnah and other such beneficial acts. [This aspect can truly be seen nowadays among Muslims, especially over the Internet. Today, a Muslim may spend hours discussing, for example whether or not Hijaab is part of Islam or if Riba [Usury, Interest] is forbidden and so forth. Many times, such discussions begin by quoting non-Muslim authors, hours are wasted and no one learns any aspect of the Deen].
  • The person may not be affected by any kind of admonition whatsoever. [Some people, for example, have the capacity of listening to many Khutbahs [Islamic lectures], but still it does not bring any change in them. Or when someone is given repeated advices and warnings from those who are knowledgeable in Deen, it doesn’t affect them. They arrogantly insist upon sticking with the falsehood].

Imam Hasan al-Basree [rahimahullah] once said to a man, “Cure your heart for Allah desires that His slaves should purify their hearts.  You should know that you never truly love Allah until you love obeying Him.” (Jaami’ al-‘Uloom v.1 by Ibn Rajab)
The heart cannot become purified until a person knows Allah, loves Him, fears Him, has hope in Him and trusts Him. This is the true realization of the statement Laa ilaaha ill-Allah.  The heart will never be pure until it loves, deifies [worships, exalts], fears, and submits to no one except Allah, eventually ending up of the limbs by following and making the actions pure.

Sufyaan ath-Thawree [rahimahullah] said:

  • Improve your secret and private life, and Allah will improve your public and social life. 
  • Make matters well between you and Allah, and Allah will make matters well between you and people. 
  • Work for the Hereafter, and Allah will be enough for you in your worldly concerns.
  • Purchase the Hereafter, and use this worldly life as a method of payment for your purchase, and as a result you will gain profit both in this world and in the hereafter. But do not purchase this world at the cost of the Hereafter, for if you do so you will lose out on both the worlds.

Sayings which have been reported from the Salaf us-Saalih regarding Intention, Ikhlaas and Riyaa'[1] From the Book of Sincerity (Al-Irshaad 1997) Translation by Abu ‘Iyad as-Salafi

1. It is reported about Bishr al-Haafee that he said: That I seek the world with a wind instrument is more loved by me than that I seek it with the deen.

2. It is reported from Ibraheem an-Nakha’ee that he said: When Shaytaan comes to you whilst you are engaged in prayer and says: You are showing off, increase it in length.

3. One of the Salaf said: Direct me to an action by which I will never cease to be performing for Allaah the Exalted. It was said to him: (Always) intend good because you will never cease to be performing even if you do not do any actions. The intention performs even in the absence of any actions. Whoever intended to pray at night and then slept, the reward for what he intended will be written for him.

4. One of them said: I love that I have an intention for every single thing until my food, drink and sleep.

5. It was said to Sahl: What is the hardest thing for the soul (to achieve)? He said: Sincerity, when there is no other desire in it.

6. It is reported from Ya’qoob al-Makfoof that he said: The sincere person is the one who hides his good deeds just like he hides his evil deeds.

7. One of them wrote to his brother: Make your intention sincere in all of your actions and little action will suffice you.

8. It is reported from Ayyoob as-Sakhtiyaanee that he said: Purifying the intention is harder than all other actions for those who act.

9. It is reported from Yahyaa bin Mu’aadh that he said: Ikhlaas separates (good) actions from faults like the separation of milk from dung and blood.

10. It is reported from as-Soosee that he said: What Allaah desires from the actions of His creation is Ikhlaas and nothing else.

11. It is reported from al-Junaid that he said: To Allaah belong servants who understand, and when they understand they act and when they act they make (their action) sincere. Their recalling of Ikhlaas at the time of doing righteousness is what accumulates the greatest (good for them).

12. It is reported about Hawshab that he used to cry and say: My name has reached the large mosque. [i.e. he disliked to be known out of humility and that people should mention him for fear of fame and repute]

13. It is reported from as-Soosee that he said: Ikhlaas is to lose the vision of Ikhlaas (in oneself).

14. One of them said: Whoever sees sincerity in his sincerity, his sincerity is itself in need of sincerity. The destruction of every sincere person lies in his sincerity, (he is destroyed) to the extent that he sees sincerity in himself. When he abandons seeing sincerity in himself he will be sincere and purified.

15. It is reported from Abu Uthmaan that he said: Ikhlaas is to forget the vision of creation by constantly looking at the Creator.

16. It is reported from Ibraheem bin Adham that he said: He is not truthful to Allaah who loves fame.

17. It is reported from ath-Thawree that he said: They used to hate fame and reputation due to wearing nice garments so that eyes would stretch towards them.

18. Ibn al-Jawzee reports from al-Hasan that he said: I was with Ibn al-Mubaarak one day and we came to a watering place. The people were drinking from it and Ibn al-Mubaarak came closer in order to get a drink. The people did not know him and shoved and pushed him. When he came out he said: Life is but this, meaning we are not known nor are we respected.

19. It is reported from Na’eem bin Hammaad that he said: Abdullaah ibn al-Mubaarak frequently used to sit in his house for long periods of time so it was said to him: Do you not feel lonely and isolated? He said: How can I feel isolated while I am with the Prophet (sas).

20. It is reported from Ibn al-Mubaarak that he said: I heard Ja’far bin Hayyaan say: The foundations of these actions are the intentions. Indeed a man reaches with his intentions a position he does not reach with his actions.

21. One of the people of wisdom used to say: When a man is speaking in a gathering and his speech amazes him let be silent and when he keeps silent and his silence amazes him let him speak.

22. It is reported from Mutraf bin Abdullaah ash-Shakheer that he said: That I spend the night sleeping and wake up remorseful is more loved to me than that I spend the night standing (in prayer) and wake up in admiration.

23. It is reported from an-Nu’maan bin Qais that he said: I never saw Abeedah (rh) performing any voluntary prayers in the mosque of al-Hayy.

24. It is reported from Alee (ra) that he said: The one who shows off has three characteristics: He is lazy when by himself, he is lively and energetic when with others and he in creases in his actions when he is praised and decreases in them when he is criticised.

25. It is reported from Al-Hasan (rh) that he said: The one who shows off desires to overcome what Allaah has decreed for him. He is an evil person who desires to inform the people that he is righteous in order to hear what they would say. He has obtained a position of vileness and wickedness from his Lord. It is therefore essential for the hearts of the believers to recognise him.

26. It is reported from Sahl bin Abdullaah (rh) that he said: There is nothing which is tougher upon the soul than (achieving) Ikhlaas. How many times have I tried to remove riyaa’ from my heart except that it sprouted in a different colour (i.e. in a different form).

27. It is reported from Ibn Mas’ood (ra) that he said: Do not learn knowledge for three (things): To amaze and confound the foolish, to argue with the learned and to make peoples faces turn towards you. (But) seek what is with Allaah with your hearts and actions, since only that will remain and whatever is besides it will go.

28. It is reported from Abu Sulaimaan ad-Daarinee (rh) that he said: Toobaa (the tree in Paradise) for the one who took a single step desiring nothing but the face of Allaah by it.

29. Some of the salaf said: Whoever had a single instance in his lifetime which was purely and sincerely for the sake of Allaah the Exalted will be saved, and this is due to the greatness of Ikhlaas.

30. It is reported from Abu Sulaimaan ad-Daarinee (rh) that he said: When the servant is sincere, riyaa’ and the many whisperings (of the shayaateen) are cut off from him.

31. It has also been said: Ikhlaas is that the servants inward and outward actions are equal. Riyaa’ is when the outward appearance is better than the inner self and truthfulness in one’s sincerity is when the inner self is better cultivated and more flourishing than the outward appearance.

32. Some of the salaf have said: Ikhlaas is that you do not seek a witness over your action besides Allaah and nor one who gives reward besides Him.

33. It is reported from Makhool (rh) that he said: Never does a servant maintain sincerity for forty days in succession except that the streams of wisdom from his heart appear on his tongue.

33. It is reported from Adiyy ibn Haatim that he said: The people destined for the Fire will be ordered (to come) towards Paradise until they come close to it and smell its fragrance, see its palaces and what Allaah has prepared in it for its people. Then an announcement will be made (to the angels) that they be turned away from it. There will be no portion for them in it. They will return in loss and ruin just like the ones before them (who were also commanded likewise). Then they will say: O our Lord. If you had entered us into the Fire before You showed us what You have shown us from Your reward and what You have prepared for you friends and allies it would have been easier upon us. Then the Exalted will say: “This is what I intended with you. When you used to be alone you would combat me (or show boldness to Me) with grave sins and when you used to meet people you would meet them with humility. You would show to the people other than that which you used to give Me from your hearts. You feared people but you did not fear Me. You honoured the people but you did not honour Me, you abandoned (actions) for the people but you did not abandon for Me. This day (therefore), will I make you taste a tormenting punishment along with your prevention from receiving that reward.”

34. It has been said: The damage (caused) to every servant lies in his being pleased with himself. Whoever looks at his soul and sees something in it which he deems to be good has caused its destruction. And whoever does not suspect his soul at every single moment is one who is deceived.

35. Ibn al-Qayyim (rh) said: Ikhlaas is the Tawheed of one’s wish/intent.


[1] The sayings have been taken from Ihyaa Uloom id-Deen of al-Ghazaalee, Mukhtasir Minhaaj il-Qaasideen of Ibn Qudaamah and Kitaab uz-Zuhd of Ibn al-Mubaarak. [TN] The author said, “I have quoted these statements without knowing their authenticity and it is allowable for a Muslim to take from what has been narrated from the Salaf without verification if the particular statement is in agreement with the Book and the Sunnah.  (I found this list on the AlMaghrib Forums).

Riyaa – Defined

Riyaa is showing off and can include the desire to seek praise or a reputation. It includes worrying what people think of one. Showing-off includes performing one’s deeds for someone else’s sake when they should be done for the sake of Allah (SWT). Does this not sound hypocritical?

Mahmood ibn Lubayd reported that Rasoolullah (SAW) said: “For you, my greatest fear is minor shirk.” The companions said: “O Messenger of Allah, what is minor shirk?” He replied: “Showing off (ar-riyaa), for verily Allah will say on the Day of Resurrection when people are receiving their rewards: ‘Go to those whom you were showing off to in the world and see if you can find any reward from them.'” (Ahmad, at-Tabaraanee, al-Bayhaqee)

Ibn ‘Abbas said: “Riyaa is more hidden than a black ant on a black stone in a dark night.”

Types of Riyaa

Riyaa’ of the body – This occurs by appearing to be emaciated and pale so that others may see the intensity of his striving and the abundant fear of the Hereafter. Also included in this is lowering the voice and sinking of the eyes, showing that one has a weak and feeble body in order to show others that he is diligent in observing fast.

Riyaa’ of the outward appearance – Such as the effects of prostration on the face or wearing a specific type of clothing which only a few people wear and whom people consider to be scholars. So he wears this apparel so that it may be said: “He is a scholar.”

Riyaa’ by one’s speech – This occurs mostly by admonishing others, reminding them, memorising details and narrations for the sake of argumentation, making it open and know that one has copious and abundant knowledge, moving one’s lips for the remembrance of Allaah in the presence of others, becoming angry when evil occurs between people, lowering the voice and making it soft and tender when reciting the Qur’aan so as to show otehrs his fear, sadness and other such things.

Riyaa’ with one’s actions – Like the showing off of the worshipper by lengthening the standing and prolonging the bowing and prostration during prayer. Outwardly displaying humility and showing off with fasting, going on military expeditions, pilgrimage, giving charity and other such things.

Riyaa’ on account of one’s friends and visitors – Like the one who burdens himself in order to visit a scholar or a pious worshipper so that it may be said: “So and so visited so and so”. This also occurs by inviting people to one’s house so that it may be said: “The people of the deen frequently visit him.”

Remedy to Avoid Riyaa:

1. Increasing knowledge of Islam
2. Du`a – The prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa salam) taught the specific Du`a for Riyaa: “Allahumma innaa na`oothu bika an-nushrika bika shay`an na`lamuhu, wa nastagfiruka limaa laa na`lamuh. [O Allah, we seek refuge in you from committing shirk knowingly, and ask your forgiveness for (the shirk that we may commit unknowingly”]
3. Reflecting upon Heaven and Hell and having complete dependence on Allah (SWT)
4. Hiding one’s good deeds as some scholars advise: “Remove the causes of Riyaa` from yourself by considering the opinion of people as important to you as animals and small children. Do not differentiate in your worship between the presence of people or their absence, or between their knowledge of your actions and their ignorance. Rather be conscious of the infinite knowledge of Allah alone.”
5. Reflection upon one self’s shortcomings
6. Accompanying the Pious
7. Knowledge of Riyaa
8. Always renewing one’s intentions (!) and continuously making istighfar


Sources include,, Riyaa: The Hidden Shirk by Yasir Qadhi and Bilal Philips

What are Angels?

April 4, 2008

By Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem al-Tuwayjri  

Praise be to Allaah.

Allaah created the angels from light. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The angels were created from light, the jinn were created from smokeless fire, and Adam was created from that which has been described to you.” (narrated by Muslim, 2996) 

The angels are by nature obedient to Allaah: 

“[they, i.e., angels] disobey not, (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allaah, but do that which they are commanded

[al-Tahreem 66:6 – interpretation of the meaning] 

They are created in such a way that they do not eat or drink. Their food is tasbeeh (glorification of Allaah) and tahleel (saying Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah), as Allaah tells us concerning them (interpretation of the meaning): 

“They (i.e. the angels) glorify His Praises night and day, (and) they never slacken (to do so) [al-Anbiyaa’ 21:20 – interpretation of the meaning] 

The angels bear witness to the Oneness of Allaah, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Allaah bears witness that Laa ilaaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), and the angels, and those having knowledge (also give this witness); (He always) maintains His creation in justice. Laa ilaaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the All-Mighty, the All-Wise”

[Aal ‘Imraan 3:18– interpretation of the meaning] 

Allaah has honoured some of the angels  by choosing them as Messengers, just as He has chosen some of mankind as Messengers: 

“Allaah chooses Messengers from angels and from men”

[al-Hajj 22:75  – interpretation of the meaning] 

When Allaah created Adam and He wanted to honour him, He commanded the angels to prostrate to him: 

“And (remember) when We said to the angels: ‘Prostrate yourselves before Adam.’ And they prostrated except Iblees (Satan), he refused and was proud and was one of the disbelievers (disobedient to Allaah)’”

[al-Baqarah 2:34 – interpretation of the meaning] 

The angels are a mighty creation, and they perform many tasks, and they are divided into many groups, which no one knows except Allaah. Some of them carry the Throne: 

“Those (angels) who bear the Throne (of Allaah) and those around it glorify the praises of their Lord, and believe in Him, and ask forgiveness for those who believe (in the Oneness of Allaah)…”[Ghaafir 40:7 – interpretation of the meaning] 

Among them is the one who brings down the Revelation to the Messengers. He is Jibreel (peace be upon him), who brought the Qur’aan down to Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): 

“Which the trustworthy Rooh [Jibreel (Gabriel)] has brought down

Upon your heart (O Muhammad) that you may be (one) of the warners”

[al-Shu’araa 26:193 – interpretation of the meaning] 

Among them is Mikaa’eel, who is appointed in charge of the rain and vegetation, and Israafeel who is appointed to blow the Trumpet when the Hour begins. And among them are the recording angels who are appointed to watch over the sons of Adam and their deeds:

 “But verily, over you (are appointed angels in charge of mankind) to watch you,

Kiraaman (Honourable) Kaatibeen —writing down (your deeds),

They know all that you do

[al-Infitaar :10-12 – interpretation of the meaning] 

Among them are those who are entrusted with the task of writing down all deeds, whether good or evil: 

“(Remember) that the two receivers (recording angels) receive (each human being), one sitting on the right and one on the left (to note his or her actions)

Not a word does he (or she) utter but there is a watcher by him ready (to record it)

[Qaaf 50:17-18 – interpretation of the meaning] 

Among them are those who are entrusted with the task of seizing the souls of the believers:

 “Those whose lives the angels take while they are in a pious state (i.e. pure from all evil, and worshipping none but Allaah Alone) saying (to them): Salaamun ‘Alaykum (peace be on you) enter you Paradise, because of that (the good) which you used to do (in the world)”

[al-Nahl 16:32 – interpretation of the meaning] 

And among them are those who are entrusted with the task of seizing the souls of the disbelievers: 

“And if you could see when the angels take away the souls of those who disbelieve (at death); they smite their faces and their backs, (saying): ‘Taste the punishment of the blazing Fire’”

[al-Anfaal 8:50 – interpretation of the meaning] 

Among them are the gatekeepers of Paradise and the servants of the people of Paradise: 

“And angels shall enter unto them from every gate (saying):

Salaamun ‘Alaykum (peace be upon you) for you persevered in patience! Excellent indeed is the final home!”

[al-Ra’d 13:23-24 – interpretation of the meaning] 

And among them are the gatekeepers of Hell: 

“O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe”

[al-Tahreem 66:6 – interpretation of the meaning] 

Among them are some who strive in jihaad with the believers: 

“(Remember) when your Lord revealed to the angels, ‘Verily, I am with you, so keep firm those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who have disbelieved, so strike them over the necks, and smite over all their fingers and toes’”

[al-Anfaal 8:12 – interpretation of the meaning] 

On Laylat al-Qadr in the month of Ramadaan, the angels come down to witness goodness with the Muslims, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“The Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allaah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months).

Therein descend the angels and the Rooh [Jibreel (Gabriel)] by Allaah’s Permission with all Decrees”

[al-Qadr 97:3-4] 

The angels do not enter a house in which there is a statue, picture (image) or a dog. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog or an image.” (Narrated by Muslim, 2106). 

Belief in the angels is one of the pillars of faith, and whoever denies it is a kaafir: 

“and whosoever disbelieves in Allaah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Last Day, then indeed he has strayed far away[al-Nisaa’ 4:136 – interpretation of the meaning] 


Intercession in Islam

January 8, 2008

Intercession in the Hereafter is real and it will occur.  However, as Muslims, we cannot pray to or make dua to other than Allah for the basis of Islam is tawheed and the oneness of Allah as the Holy Quran states, “And who is more astray than one who calls on (invokes) besides Allâh, such as will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware of their calls (invocations) to them? And when mankind are gathered (on the Day of Resurrection), they (false deities) will become their enemies and will deny their worshipping” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 46:5-6).

The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) does have a special type of intercession on the Day of Judgment.  Rasoolullah (SAW) will intercede for the Hisaab (reckoning) to begin on the Day of Judgment.  Rasoolullah (SAW) also has a special intercession for those who live in Madinah and die there as well as for his non-Muslim uncle, Abu Talib (who will still reside in Hell-Fire forever but in a lesser severity).

So, who are the intercessors on the Day of Judgment?  They include Allah (the Most Merciful), Rasoolullah (SAW), the Messengers, the Angels, the martyrs, children who passed away, the believers to one another, and the Holy Quran.  Allah’s Mercy will allow people who have only a mustard seed amount’s worth of Eeman to be saved from the Hell-Fire.

What are the types of intercession?  They include the type for people to get out of Hell-Fire once they are in Hell, for people to be saved from the Fire before they are thrown into it (i.e. Surat Tabarrak intercedes for this), for people to have their punishment reduced (in severity or time), to allow people to enter Jannah, and to raise the level for people in paradise once they are already there.

Now that we have covered the types of intercession, one may be inclined to ask about the intercession from grave-worshipping that occurs throughout some parts of the Muslim world.  However, it must be noted that grave-worshipping is strictly prohibited in Islam as Rasoolullah (SAW) said, “May Allah curse the Jews and the Christians, for they have taken the graves of their Prophets as places of worship” (narrated by Bukhari and Muslim). 

Some people claim that they ask these ‘saints’ because these saints are better people than themselves and closer to Allah.  Even if this may be true, it is pointless of one to make dua to this saint as Allah will reward this saint for his deeds and not the person making dua to him for his deeds.  Allah will not call on one’s prayer more if he makes his prayer directed to a righteous saint.  Instead, we should strive to be better believers and we should ourselves make dua sincerely to Allah (SWT).  One must follow the Quran and Sunnah in all which one does.

Finally, what are the conditions for intercession?  Firstly, Allah (SWT) must approve the one for whom intercession is made as the Quran states, “and they cannot intercede except for him with whom He is pleased” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 21:28).  Abu Hurayrah narrates in a longer hadith in which Rasoolullah (SAW) said, “The people who will be most blessed by my intercession on the Day of Resurrection are those who say Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah sincerely from the heart” (narrated by Bukhari).  Secondly, Allah (SWT) must allow the intercessor to intercede as the Quran states, “Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His Permission?” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 2:255).  Furthermore, Allah (SWT) can decide to accept (or reject) the intercession as the Holy Quran states, “…whose intercession will avail nothing except after Allaah has given leave for whom He wills and is pleased with” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 53:26). 

In closing, consider the words of Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid (of IslamQA):

it is clear to every fair-minded person that the correct kind of intercession is intercession that depends on the permission and approval of Allaah, because all intercession belongs to Him. That also includes asking for intercession from living people who are able to do that concerning worldly matters, for which Allaah has granted permission. It should be pointed out here that this kind of intercession is permitted because Allaah has given permission for it, since it involves no kind of emotional attachment to the person, rather the point is that it is a means, like all other means which Islam permits us to use. The kind of intercession which is forbidden is asking someone other than Allaah to do something that no one is able to do except Allaah, because intercession belongs to no one besides Allaah, and no one can do it unless Allaah grants him leave and approves of him. So whoever seeks intercession from anyone else has transgressed upon the exclusive preserve of Allaah and has wronged himself, and has exposed himself to being deprived of the intercession of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) on the Day of Resurrection. We ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound, and we ask Him to cause our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to intercede for us … Ameen.

The Muslim GPS

November 24, 2007

The Quran was sent down to mankind as a form of guidance. Who is guided? Now you may think the Muslim is guided. However, is everyone who is a Muslim guided? Indeed, every Muslim asks Allah (SWT) to guide him or her multiple times a day as we recite Surat al-Fatiha. “Show us the straight path” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 1:6) has been recited by every Muslim who prays his or her salah. Therefore, all Muslims ask Allah (SWT) for guidance. Then you may think, the one who has knowledge is guided. However, how many people do we know that know alcohol is haraam or know interest is haraam yet they still indulge in these detestable acts. Indeed, knowledge without actions cannot be considered guidance. We need to follow all of our statements with actions.

Al-Hasan Al-Basrî said, “Faith (îmân) is not by embellishment or wishful thinking, but it is what settles in the heart and is verified through your works. Whoever says good but does not do good, will have his words compared to his deeds by Allah. Whoever says good and does good, will have his words raised by his deeds. This is because Allah (SWT) said, “To Him ascends the good word, and the righteous deed raises it” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 35:10).”

Indeed, as Muslims, we need to follw-up our statements with actions. We need to make sure our actions follow the Quran and Sunnah in all that we do so that our deeds may be accepted as Al-Fudayl b. ‘Ayyâd said, “Allah(SWT) accepts only those deeds which are both correct and sincere (pure). If the deed is done correctly but not sincerely, it will not be accepted. And if it is sincere but not correct, it will not be accepted.” He was asked, “Abû ‘Alî! What is the sincere and correct deed?” He replied, “The sincere deed is one that is done only for Allah (SWT). And the correct deed is one done according to the Sunnah.”

O Muslim, walk the walk for we all talk the talk. Al-Qâsim b. Muhammad, the grandson of Abû Bakr said, “In my time, people were not impressed by speech, but by actions as anyone can say whatever he wants.”

Therefore, if you want guidance, take to the Quran. Consider the advice of Ubay b. Ka’b who said, “Take the Book of Allah as your leader (imām) and be pleased with it as a judge and ruler. It is what your Messenger left amongst you. It will be an intercessor for you. It is to be obeyed. It is a witness never doubted. In it is a mention of you and those before you, and judgment for whatever happens amongst you. In it is news about you and whatever will come after you.”

(Forgive me for I make mistakes in my writings for indeed these are from me and the good is from Allah.)

Bad Things Happen, Right?

November 18, 2007

Bad things happen, right?  Wrong!  Everything that happens to a believer is good or it has more good in it than bad.  Alhamdulillah, it is always a win-win situation for the believer.  Consider the hadith of Rasoolullah (SAW) told to us by Suhaib in which Rasoolullah (SAW) said, “The affair of the believer is amazing! The whole of his life is beneficial, and that is only in the case of the believer. When good times come to him, he is thankful and it is good for him, and when bad times befall him, he is patient and it is also good for him” (narrated by Muslim).

Indeed, we all fall sick, get into accidents, or are sadden at times of despair.  However, the believer easily overcomes such hardships.  Rasoolullah (SAW) said that, “When the believer is afflicted with pain, even that of a prick of a thorn or more, God forgives his sins” (narrated by Bukhari).  It is reported that Abu Hurayrah, the companion of the Prophet, had a favorite illness!  He is reported to have said, “There is no illness that afflicts me more beloved to me than fever; it enters every part of me and [because of it] Allah the Mighty and Sublime gives every part of me its share of reward” (narrated by Bukhari in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad).  Subhana’Allah, if only we could all celebrate when we got sick or something misfortunate happened to us!

In terms of hardship, we should look to the Quran for guidance as it states, “Those who patiently preserve will truly receive a reward without measure” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 39:10) and And bear in patience whatever maybe fall you: this, behold, is something to set one’s heart upon“(Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 31:17).  In times of hardship, many of us remember Allah (SWT), but do we remember Allah (SWT) in times of ease?  Rasoolullah (SAW) said, “Remember Allah in times of ease, and He will remember you in times of hardship” (narrated by Ahmad).

Whenever something afflicts us, we should smile and say Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah).  Consider the story of the King and his servant, Abdullah.  Abdullah would say Alhamdulillah to everything that would happen to him, whether good or bad.  One day while hunting, the King accidently shot-off his finger and Abdullah responded with his normal, Alhamdulillah.  Upset, the King jailed Abdullah to which Abdullah responded Alhamdulillah.  Soon thereafter, the King went out hunting again by himself.  He strayed into tribal enemy grounds and was captured.  The tribe was about to sacrifice him before they realized he was missing a finger.  Knowing full-well they should not sacrifice an incomplete human being, they released the King.  Ecstatic, the King knew that his misfiring the other day saved his life.  He went back home and freed Abdullah.  Afterwards, he asked Abdullah, “I understand the loss of my finger was something worth saying Alhamdulillah over, but why did you say it when I jailed you?”  Abdullah responded, “Had I been with you that one day instead of in jail, I would have been sacrificed, since I did have all of my fingers!”

Verily, the Quran states, “but it may happen that ye hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that ye love a thing which is bad for you. Allah knoweth, ye know not” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 2:216).  Therefore, O Muslim, always be optimistic and respond with Alhamdulillah!

Believing in Prophet Muhammad’s Prophethood

Saying Muhammad Rasool Allah is the second part of the testification

  • Believing that he is Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib al-Qurashee, who was born in Makkah and passed away in Madeenah
    • The name Muhammad was not a common name at the time
    • Now it is one of the most common names in the world
    • Means one who is grateful, thankful and praised by the people of the world
    • His names are descriptions: Jabayr ibn Mut’im said, “I heard Allah’s Messenger (SAW) saying, ‘I have various names: I am Muhammad, and I am Ahmad, and I am Al-Mahi with whom Allah obliterates disbelief, and I am al-Hashir at whose feet people will be gathered, and I am Al-‘Aqib, and Al-‘Aqib is the one whom there is no prophet after him.” [Al-Bukharee, Muslim]
  • He (SAW) was sent to ALL humankind and Jinn.
    • And We have not sent you (O Muhammad (SAW)) except as a giver of glad tidings and a Warner to all mankind, but most of men know not. [34:28]
    • [Surah 7, Verse 158]
  • We believe in the truth of everything he informed us, fulfill his Sunnah by following what he commanded, and leaving that which he forbade.
    • And when the believers saw Al-Ahzab (the Confederates), they said: “This is what Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad (SAW)) had promised us, and Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad) had spoken the truth.” And it only added to their faith and to their submissiveness (to Allah). [33:22]
    • Say (O Muhammad): “Obey Allah and the Messenger (Muhammad (SAW)).” But if they turn away, then Allah does not like the disbelievers.” [3:32]
    • More than 30 times in the Qur’an it says we must obey the Prophet
  • We love the Prophet (SAW)
    • Say: “If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, yoru wives, your kindred, the wealth you have gained, the commerece in which you fear a decline, and the dwelligs in which you delight…are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger, and striving hard and fighting in His Cause, then wait until Allah brings about His Decision (torment).” And Allah guides not the people who are Al-Fasiqoon (the rebellious, disobedient to Allah). [9:24]
      • Anas reported, “None of you believes until I am more beloved to him than his parents, children and all people.” [Al-Bukharee, Muslim]
  • We honor, respect him and support him and his Sunnah.
    • In order that you (O Mankind) may believe in Allah and His Messenger (SAW), and that you assist and honor him, and (that you) glorify (Allah’s) praise morning and afternoon. [48:9]
    • Abu Bakr said if I die and do not leave anything from the Sunnah of the Prophet, I fear my faith will not be correct.
    • When the Prophet commanded them Sahaba to do something, they did it.
    • Anas bin Malik said his father was drinking Alcohol and right before his cup was at his lips, he put it down immediately after hearing it
    • We deal with the statements of the Prophet as if they are ordinary statements.  We should show respect to what he said by following what he said.
    • Ibn Sa’d reported that the people used to teach the history of the Prophet as they used to teach the Qur’an
    • In 82 Hijri, the first book ever written was the life of the Prophet
  • We take him as our role mode.
    • Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad (SAW)) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much. [33:21]
  • He is the seal of the Prophets.
    • Muhammad (SAW) is not the father of any man amongst you, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the last (end) of the Prophets.  And Allah is Ever All-Aware of everything. [33:40]
    • There are no Prophets after Muhammad (SAW)
    • Isa will follow the Shari’ah of Muhammad (SAW) when he comes.
    • Isa will not accept Jiziyyah
  • We study his life and affairs (Seerah).
  • We love his family and companions.

Nullifies of Belief in Prophet

  1. Believing that he has lied or that something which he said is not true.
    1. And if they belie you (O Muhammad (SAW)), so were Messengers belied before you.  And to Allah return all matters (for decision). [35:4]
      1. If someone does not believe in one Hadith, question:
        1. If they say it is fabricated, nothing wrong
        2. If they say they know for sure Muhammad (SAW) said that, and they still reject it, they are Kafir
  2. Turning from his guidance and changing his religion.
    1. They (hypocrites) say: “We have believed in Allah and in the Messenger (Muhamamd (SAW)), and we obey,” then a party of them turn away thereafter, such are not believers. [24:47]
  3. Doubting in him or his religion
    1. Only those are the believers who have believed in Allah and His Messenger (SAW), and afterward doubt not but strive with their wealth and their lives for the Cause of Allah.  Those!  They are the truthful. [49:15]
  4. Hating him or what he brought.
    1. Whether you (O Muhammad (SAW)) ask forgiveness for them (hypocrites) or ask not forgiveness for them… (and even) if you ask seventy times for forgiveness…Allah will not forgive them, because they have disbelieved in Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad (SAW)).  And Allah guides not those people who are Fasiqoon (rebellious, disobedient to Allah) Those who stayed away (from Tabuk expedition) rejoiced in their staying behind the Messenger of Allah; they hated to strive and fight with their properties and their lives in the Cause of Allah, and they said March not forth in the light.” Say: “The Fire of Hell is more intnse in heat”, if only they could understand! [9:80-81]
  5. Criticizing him and mocking him or his Sunnah.
    1. Verily, those who annoy Allah and His Messenger (SAW), Allah has cursed them in this world, and in the Hereafter, and has prepared for them a humiliating torment. [33:57]
  6. Loving his enemies
    1. You (O Muhammad (SAW)) will not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day, making friendship with those who oppose Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad (SAW))… [58:22]
  7. Enmity towards him and fighting against his Sunnah
    1. That is because they opposed Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad (SAW)).  And whosoever opposes Allah, then verily, Allah is Sever in punishment. [59:4]

Evidence for Prophet Muhammad’s Prophethood

  • The Eternal Miracle: The Qur’an
    • The Prophet (SAW) said, “Every Prophet was given miracles, and these miracles led people to believe in him.  And what I was given was a relevation which was revealed to him from Allah, so I hope to be the one with the most followers on the Day of Resurrection.” [Al-Bukharee]
  • The Prophet’s message is similar to the message of the Prophets before him.
    • He (Allah) has ordained for you the same religion (Islam) which He ordained for Nooh, and that which We have inspired in you (O Muhammad (SAW)), and that which We ordained for Ibraheem, Moosa and Eesa saying you should establish religion (i.e. to do what it orders you to do practically), and make no division in it (religion) (i.e. various sects in religion)… [42:13]
    • All of the Prophets brought the same message
    • The ultimate goal is the same between them all: command the good and forbid the evil.
    • Muhammad (SAW)’s law is not different than the others, so why not obey and follow the laws?
    • Islam will add to your life, which is a good Dawah technique
    • Heraclius asked who the Prophet’s followers were, rich or poor?  They were poor.  When he heard the poor and weak are following him, he knew that he was not trying to gain position.
  • His Sharee’ah
    • Say (to them O Muhammad (SAW)): “I exhort you on one (thing) only: that you stand up for Allah’s sake in pairs and singly, and reflect (within yourself the life history of the Prophet): there is no madness in your companion (Muhammad (SAW)), he is only a Warner to you in face of a severe torment.” [34:46]
    • He did not compromise.  He stood upon Islam until the very end, because his goal was not to gain power, but to spread Islam and save souls
    • He taught how to treat women in a respectful ways
    • Surah Takweer says from the beginning if little girls should be buried alive
    • At that time in France, they were debating if women were the devil or humans: they debating they are devils in human bodies
  • Knowledge on some matters of the Unseen despite being illiterate
  • Prophecies of his coming in previous scriptures.
    • No one after Muhammad (SAW) was able to claim to be a Prophet as Allah exposed those who did.
  • His characteristics and manner of living
    • He used to live in very little poor conditions.
  • His miracles
    • A dead tree cried when a mimbar (podium) was built for the Prophet (SAW), because he used to stand on it.  The Prophet (SAW) had to go and hug it so it would stop crying. He said if I did not hug this tree, it would keep crying until the Day of Judgment.  Allah brought life to a dead tree to show how much it loved the Prophet (SAW).

Note:  I did not type these notes up, rather a really good brother I know did.  He truly is an awesome guy.  May Allah (SWT) bless him.

Simply put, Tawheed al-Asma wa al-Siffat is to affirm for Allah (SWT) all the Names and Attributes that are found in the Quran and authentic Sunnah, in a manner befitting to Allah (SWT), and to negate all attributes which are negated in the Quran and Sunnah.

 One must be careful not to commit ilhad (turn away from the truth, deviate) in Allah’s Names.  The Holy Quran states, “When it is said to them, ‘Adore ye ((Allah)) Most Gracious!’  They say, ‘And what is ((Allah)) Most Gracious?  Shall we adore that which you command us?’  And it increases their flight (from the truth)” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 25:60).  This verse criticizes the pagans for rejecting just one of Allah’s Names, despite their belief in Allah and the concept of mercy.

Hence, Allah (SWT) has warned us against ilhad in His Belief and Names as the Holy Quran states, “The most beautiful names belong to Allah.  So call on Him by them; but shun such men as use profanity [i.e. distort] in His Names: for what they do, they will soon be requited” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 7:180).  Ibn al-Qayyim has listed some of the types of ilhad to include:

  • To deny (tatil) or distort (tawil) their meanings, or claim that they have no meaning (tafwid)
  • To consider them as human attributes (anthropomorphism)
  • To derive names for Allah that are not befitting Him (e.g. ‘Father’)
  • To name idols or other beings with the names of Allah or their derivates (e.g. al-Uzza, al-Manat)

May Allah (SWT) guide us all.  Ameen.

The Quran and Sunnah contains within it all that we need as the Holy Quran states, “O ye who believe!  Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you.  If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if ye do believe in Allah and the Last Day: that is best, and most suitable for final determination” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 4:59).  Therefore, as Muslims and as Mumins (believers) insha’Allah, we must take everything back to Allah (the Quran) and the Prophet (the Sunnah).

The Holy Quran states, “…and all things have we explained in detail” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 17:12).  As Muslims, we should not look at the Quran and Sunnah with any preconceived notions.  We should accept wholeheartedly everything that is in the Holy Quran and in the authentic hadith of Rasoolullah (SAW).

Indeed, many people nowadays accept the Quran, yet some people who are very ignorant dispute the Sunnah.  Rasoolullah (SAW) informed us all that we need to know as the Holy Quran states, “O Messenger.  Proclaim the (message) which hath been sent to Thee from Thy Lord.  If Thou Didst not, Thou wouldse not have fulfilled and proclaimed His mission.  And Allah will defend Thee from men (Who mean mischief), for Allah guides not those who reject Faith” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 5:67).  According to the Holy Quran, we need to follow the way of Rasoolullah (SAW), “…if ye obey him, ye shall be on the right guidance…” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 24:54).

Verily, any guidance other than the guidance of the Prophet (SAW) is misguidance as the Holy Quran states, “Say: ‘Then bring ye a Book from Allah, which is a better guide than either of them, that I may follow it!  (Do), if ye are truthful!’  But if they hearken not to thee, know that they only follow their own lusts: and who is more astray than one who follows his own lists, devoid of guidance from Allah.  For Allah guides not people given to wrong-doing” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 28:49-50).  When asked about a good bidah, Imam Malik said it is for one who believes that the Prophet (SAW) did not fulfill his message (Umar did not commit a good bidah by congregating the taraweeh prayer in Ramadan, instead he revived a Sunnah).  Know that the people that reject Islam are following their desires. 

There is nothing that brings people closer to Paradise except that Rasoolullah (SAW) commanded us to it and there is nothing that brings us closer to the Hell-Fire except that Rasoolullah (SAW) warned us against it (recorded by Tabarani).  No prophet had come before Rasoolullah (SAW) except that he informed his nation of the good he knew and warned it against the fitna he knew (recorded by Muslim).  Rasoolullah told us that he left us upon the shining path.  Its nigh is like its day.  No one would deviate from it except (unless he would want to be) he would be destroyed (recorded by Abu Dawud).  The narrator of the hadith just mentioned (I believe it was Abu Dharr) said, “He (SAW) has told the truth, I swear by Allah.”

When Imam Ahmed ibn Hambal was being whipped while chained by the Khalifah, he would said, “O Khalifah, is this something the Prophet (SAW) claimed/believed, if not, then how do you know of something the Prophet (SAW) did not?”  Rasoolullah (SAW) told us his nation will divide into 73 sects.  We were told to follow the way Rasoolullah (SAW) and those with him (the Sahabah).  We are commanded to follow the Sunnah of the Rasoolullah (SAW) and the Sunnah of the right-guided khulafa (Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, and Ali).  Indeed, may Allah (SWT) make us all amongst the people who follow the example set forth by our beloved Prophet (SAW).

Tawheed can be broken down into three categories: Rububiyyah (Affirmation of Lordship), Asma wa al-Siffat (Names and Attributes), and Uloohiyyah (Worship).  Some of my earlier posts focused on Tawheed focused on Rububiyyah and Uloohiyyah.  Now, insha’Allah, I will try to write several posts dealing with Tawheed Asma wa al-Siffat.  Before those posts, I thought it would be nice that we could understand why it is important to study such an important matter.  The blessings of Tawheed Asma wa al-Siffat include:

  • It is half of the basis of Tawheed
  • It is the most noble of all sciences and knowledge
  • It is one of the purposes that mankind was created
  • We are commanded to learn it as the Holy Quran states, “Proclaim (or Read in other translations)!  And thy Lord is Most Bountiful”  (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 96:3)
  • The knowledge of Allah’s Names and Attributes gives life to the heart
  • Every single Name and Attribute gives life to a certain type of consciousness and humility in man
  • A love of this field of Islam is based on the love of Allah (SWT) as Jarir bin Abdullah al-Bajali reported that some of the Sahabah were with Rasoolullah (SAW) when Rasoolullah (SAW) looked at the full moon and said, “You will see your Lord in the Hereafter as you see this moon having no difficulty in seeing it.  So try your best to perform your prayers before the rising of the sun and that before its setting” (narrated by Bukhari and Muslim)
  • It is the basis of all other sciences, as everything in the creation returns either to the command of Allah, or His Words as the Holy Quran states, “Lo! your Lord is Allah who created the heavens and the earth in six days then mounted He the Throne.  He covereth the night with the day, which is in haste to follow it, and hath made the sun and the moon and the stars subservient by His Command.  His verily is all creation and commandment.  Blessed be Allah, the Lord of the Worlds!” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 7:54)
  • It is the fundamental building block of our iman as once Rasoolullah (SAW) appointed a man to lead the prayer for a group of the Sahaba when the group when traveling. The Sahabah complained to Rasoolullah (SAW) that the appointed man would always finish his recitations with Surat al-Ikhlas. Rasoolullah said, “Ask him why he does so.” The Sahaba asked the man and he responded, “I do so because it mentions the qualities of the Beneficent, and I love to recite it (in my prayer).” Rasoolullah (SAW) said to the Sahaba, “Tell him that Allah loves him” (this story can be found in Bukhari and Muslim).  Therefore, Allah (SWT) loved a person because this person loved reciting an surat that described Allah (SWT).
  • Knowledge of Allah’s Names and Attributes is the spiritual food of the soul as the Holy Quran states, “Who have believer and whose hearts have rest in the remembrance of Allah.  Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest!” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 13:28) which is why Allah (SWT) calls the one who does not worship Him as dead (spiritually).
  • Hadith of the 99 names as Abu Hurairah reported Rasoolullah (SAW) said, “Verily to Allah belongs ninety-nine names, one-hundred less one.  Whoever encompasses (memorizes and understands) them will enter paradise” (narrated by Bukhari and Muslim)
  • Understanding deviancy as much of today’s deviancy occurs within Tawheed Asma wa al-Siffat. 

May Allah (SWT) guide us all.  Wa assalamu alaykum.

Life in the Grave

July 11, 2007

One of the dua’s that Rasoolullah (SAW) used to make quite often towards the end of his prayer was the dua: “Oh Allah, I take refuge in You from the punishment of the grave, from the torment of the Fire, from the trial of life and death and from the evil affliction of the Al-Maseeh Ad-Dajjal” (narrated by Bukhari and Muslim).  Indeed, Rasoolullah (SAW) said “Verily there is a pressing that occurs in the grave, if anyone could be saved from it, then Sa’d ibn Mu’adh would have been.”  The trial of the grave includes the questioning of the angels in which the disbelievers, evil-doers, and hypocrites will have problems answering these questions (O Allah, save us from hypocrisy).

Indeed, there are rewards and punishments in the grave, many of which are established through mutawatirah hadith (the most authentic kind of hadith).  Examples of reward in the grave include:

  • widening of the grave
  • good company in the grave
  • light in the grave
  • having a comfortable, deep sleep
  • seeing one’s potential place in the Hell-fire, but then showing one’s true abode in paradise
  • telling of glad tidings

Punishment in the grave can be cruel and harsh.  All but humans and jinn can hear the sounds of the punishments in the grave since if Allah (SWT) were to expose the punishments of the grave to humans in this life, then we would all just live in fear.  Examples of the punishment in the grave include:

  • a bed of fire
  • being in darkness
  • being shown a position in paradise which would then disappear into a picture of the Hell-fire
  • having tightness to break one’s ribs
  • beating hammers in the grave

What causes one to have punishment in one’s grave?  Causes of punishment in the grave include:

  • kufr/shirk
  • poor cleaning of oneself after using the bathroom
  • gossiping, back-biting, spreading rumors
  • calling to innovations
  • usury/interest
  • stealing from orphans
  • exposing a Muslim’s mistakes
  • suicide
  • committing major sins in Al-Haram (i.e. Makkah)
  • learning Quran and being distant from it (including one who memorizes the Quran and does not pray the tahajjud (night prayer)!!!)
  • not waking up for prayers (i.e. fajr)
  • ruling against the Shariah
  • eating and breaking one’s fast before time
  • having one’s pants below the ankles due to pride (men only!)
  • being merciless to animals
  • not paying one’s debts (if one can)

Subhana’Allah, this list is very scary and insha’Allah, we are amongst those people who are spared the torment of the grave.  How can we be saved from this torment?  Two ways are by reciting the dua that Rasoolullah (SAW) used to recite (click on: and it is the first dua listed) and by Surat Tabarruk (Surat 67 of the Holy Quran).

And they ask you (O Muhammad) concerning the Rooh (the Spirit); Say ‘The Rooh (the Spirit): it is one of the things, the knowledge of which is only with my Lord.  And of knowledge, you (mankind) have been given only a little’” (Translation of the Holy Quran, 17:85).

After having listed some of the major signs of the Day of Judgment, I thought it may be nice to list some of the minor signs of the Day of Judgment.  When one researches these topics, there are many narrations that are found to be unauthentic and weak.  The list I have below is what has been authenticated by Yusuf Yuwabbal and used by Imam Anwar Al-Awlaki in his Hereafter Series.  Since there are so many minor signs to list, I have not included the proofs for them since it would take forever to type all of it up.  However, if one is curious as some of the proofs for a specific sign, let me know and I can get you the specific proof for that minor sign.  The signs of the Day of Judgment are as follows:

  1. Coming of Rasoolullah (SAW)
  2. Death of Rasoolullah (SAW)
  3. Opening of Jerusalem (done by Umar (ra)?)
  4. A plague in the Muslim Ummah (occurred 18 A.H.?)
  5. Abundance of Wealth
  6. Times and Trails of Tribulations
  7. False Prophets
  8. Spread of Peace
  9. Fire in Hijaz (volcanic eruption in 654 A.H.?)
  10. Wars with Turkish People (Turks originated from China, therefore the wars with the Mongolians?)
  11. Loss of Trust
  12. Knowledge will subsidize (in religion) and ignorance will prevail
  13. Increase in Security Forces
  14. Zina (fornication, adultery) prevails
  15. Spread of Riba (usury, interest)
  16. Decoration of Masajid
  17. Construction of Tall Buildings (skyscrapers)
  18. Slave Woman gives Birth to her Owner
  19. Bloodshed Spreads
  20. Shrinking of Time (time passes more quickly)
  21. Proximity of Markets
  22. Spread of Trade
  23. Appearance of Shirk in this Ummah!
  24. Earthquakes
  25. Sinking, Stoning, and Transforming into Animals
  26. Lowly people will be taking the affairs of the people
  27. People will give salams to only the people they know
  28. Woman who are dressed but naked!
  29. Appearance of Cars (cars was not stated but cars are described in the hadith)
  30. Spread of Print (printing press?)
  31. Dreams of the Believers come true
  32. Expansion/Bloation of the Crescent
  33. Lies and fabrications in religion (fabricated hadith?)
  34. People claim to receive revelation
  35. False Witness
  36. Increase in Ratio of Women to Men (50:1)
  37. Hostility between People
  38. Sudden deaths will occur frequently (heart attacks, strokes?)
  39. Arabian Peninsula becomes gardens with flowing rivers again
  40. The sky gives rain but nothing grows
  41. Euphrates River reveals gold
  42. Animals and Objects Speaking
  43. People desiring to die
  44. Population of Romans increases (caucasian population?)-whether they are Muslim or non-Muslim is not known here
  45. Battles with the Romans?
  46. Opening of Constantinople
  47. Reign of Al-Qahtani (a righteous man from Yemen)
  48. War with the Yahood (Jews)
  49. Madinah will expel its evils
  50. A blessed wind taking the soul of the believers
  51. Destruction of the Kaaba
  52. The Mahdi

No one knows when the Hour will occur.  All we know is about the Hour is that it falls on a Friday and that it is very near.  Rasoolullah (SAW) mentioned signs that will appear as the Day of Judgment draws closer.  There are major and minor signs of the Day of Judgment.  The major signs are found in the hadith of Hudhayfah Al-Ghifari who narrated that Rasoolullah (SAW) found the Sahaba while they were talking about the Hour.  Rasoolullah (SAW) asked, “What are you discussing?”  The Sahaba answered, “We are speaking of the Hour.”  Rasoolullah (SAW) said, “It will not be established until you have seen before it ten signs: the Smoke; the Dajjal; the Beast; the Rising of the Sun from its setting place; the descent of Jesus, Son of Mary; Yajooj and Majooj; three landslides: a landslide in the East, a landslide in the West, and a landslide in the Arabian Peninsula; and the last of this is a fire which will emerge from Yemen, driving people to their gathering place.”  This hadith is found in the books of Muslim, Abd Dawud, Tirmidhi, and Ibn Majah.

From the above hadith, we have established the ten major signs of the Hour.  Some scholars add the appearance of the Madhi as Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudree narrated that Rasoolullah (SAW) said, “And the Madhi will come out at the end of my Ummah’s time.  Allah will send a lot of rain with him, and the earth will bring out its plants, and wealth will be passed out in abundance, and cattle will increase and the Ummah will be great.  He will live seven or eight years” (narrated by Al-Haakim).  Ali (ra) narrated that Rasoolullah (SAW) said, “The Madhi is one of us, Ahl Al-Bayt (i.e. from the descendants of Rasoolullah (SAW))” (narrated by Ahmad).  The Madhi will go from Madinha to Makkah and the people will give him baiya (allegiance).

There is a difference of opinion amongst scholars whether the appearance of the Madhi is a major or minor sign of the Day of Judgment.  Nevertheless, let us attempt to understand the other major signs of the Day of Judgment.

  1. The emergence of ad-Dajjal (a.k.a. the False Messiah) is a major sign.  Dajjal is mentioned generally, not specifically, in the Quran (Surat an-Anaam, 6:158) because he does not deserve to be mentioned since he claims Ruboobiyyah (to be the Creator) as the Pharoah did not claim this as the Pharoah claimed Uloohiyyah (to be worshippeh).  Dajjal will appear when he is not mentioned too often in the minbars (i.e. khutbahs).  Dajjal will appear when there will have been no rainfall for one year as the earth will be very dry (as the believers will survive on dhikr (rememberance of Allah (SWT)).  Dajjal will come from the east (most of his followers will be Jewish) and he will enter every city except Makkah and Madinah and will enter every place except for four (al-Kaaba, Masjid an-Nabawi, Masjid al-Aqsa, and Masjid al-Tur in Sinai).  Dajjal will stay for forty days (the first day will be like a year, the second day will be like a month, the third day will be like a week, the remaining days will be normal).  We know that the Dajjal is alive right now.  True believers will read the letters kaf, fa, and ra on the forehead of Dajjal and it is known that he will have only one eye.  Dajjal will bring rain to the earth, raise the dead, and will reveal the treasures on earth.  He will first claim to be a prophet, then the Messiah, and then he will claim to be God.  Every prophet warned his believers about Dajjal since it was not known to them when Dajjal would be sent.  It is narrated that the first ten ayats of Surat-Kahf save us from the fitnah of Dajjal  as it tells us about the fitna of wealth, power, and disbelief.
  2. The Descent of Eesa (Jesus) (as) is another major sign as the Holy Quran states, “And (Jesus) shall be a Sign (for the coming of) the Hour (of Judgment): therefore have no doubt about the (Hour), but follow ye Me: this is a Straight Way” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 43:61).  Furthermore, the Holy Quran states about the followers of Jesus (as), “And there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in him before his death; and on the Day of Judgment he will be a witness against them” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 4:159).  Jesus (as) will come.  He will break the cross and he will be the one who kills Dajjal with a spear.  Eventually after Yajooj and Majooj also die, Jesus (as) will spread Islam for seven amazing years.
  3. Yajooj (Yagog) and Majooj (Magog) will be released after Dajjal dies.  People will flee the cities as will Jesus (as), who will take his followers to the mountains (causing no one to eat the fruits of the trees of the city of Madinah) when Yajooj and Majooj are released.  Yajooj and Majooj are described as having stretched eyes, flat faces, and it is known that they wear shoes made of hair and skin (leather?).  Yajooj and Majooj will be killed by worms that go into their ears.  Their bodies will be taken away by birds.  After their death, Jesus (as) will spread Islam on earth for an amazing seven years.
  4. The Great Landslide in the East (no particular order)
  5. The Great Landslide in the West (no particular order)
  6. The Great Landslide in the Arabian Peninsula (no particular order)
  7. Ad-Dukhan (the Smoke) is another major sign of the Day of Judgment.  Some scholars argue this has already occurred in the Arabian Peninsula.
  8. The Rising of the Sun from the West
  9. The Appearance of the Beast
  10. The Great Fire

Key points in understanding the Signs of the Hour include:

  • The Signs rely solely on authentic sources (including ahad hadith) as we not accept Israelite narrations.
  • It is important to differentiate between direct textual evidence (i.e. hadith) and the understanding of the scholars.
  • We should not spend too much time dwelling over the order of the signs.
  • Abu Hurairah narrated that Rasoolullah (SAW) said, “The signs will come one after the other, like beads falling from a string” (narrated by at-Tabarani).
  • The signs will occur by themselves as we should not try to MAKE them occur as they will occur when Allah wills them to occur.
  • The signs cannot be used in helping to establish rulings.  For example, a minor sign is that masajid will be decorated towards the end of times.  We cannot say it is haram to decorate our masajid based on this hadith.  Even though it may be incorrect to decorate our masajid, we cannot use this methodology to come to this ruling.
  • Not all signs are condemable actions.
  • It is important to understand these signs by their apparent meaning.  For example, it is narrated that a pile of gold will appear in Iraq.  We cannot say that the oil in Iraq is the gold referred to in the hadith.  We are told to avoid this mountain of gold, but that does not mean we need to avoid the oil.
  • No one can restrict the meaning of a prediction (sign) to a specific incident without proof.
  • Many of these signs are unseen matters and we may not understand them fully.  We believe in what has been narrated, even if we do not know HOW they will happen.  For example, we do not know if sword equals rifle.
  • No rules in Shariah are conditional to the appearance of any sign of the Day of Judgment.

As the Day of Judgment approaches, the entire system of reality will be different (i.e. time will be longer or shorter).  If we do not understand how something happens, we should not speculate upon it.  We should place our trust in Allah (SWT).

Check out part 2:

The Last Day has many different names by which it is knowns.  These names include the Day of Judgment, the Day of Resurrection, and the Day of Reckoning among other names.  Belief in the Last Day is one of the six pillars of eman and is required in the belief of the believer as the Holy Quran states, “And who believe in which has been sent down to you (Muhammad (SAW)) and in (the books) which were sent down before you and they believe with certainty in the Hereafter” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 2:4). 

As Muslims, our belief entails knowing that there will be another life after this one and knowing that there will be a Day of Judgment with recompense in Paradise (Jannah) or Hell-Fire (Naar).  The effects of believing in the Last Day are manyfold and they include:

  1. demonstrating the completeness, greatness, and uniqueness of Allah’s Names and Attributes
  2. increasing the love for meeting Allah (SWT) in the hearts of the believers
  3. establishing fear from Allah (SWT)
  4. aiding Muslims in hastening towards good deeds
  5. aiding in patience and perserverance in doing good
  6. aiding in abstaining from wrong
  7. aiding in patience in times of hardship
  8. establishing Zuhd (asceticism) towards matters of the duniya

Scholars have included belief in the last day to include the topics of: the End of Time (Apocalypse) and its signs, death, the soul, life in the grave, resurrection, the Day of Judgment, and Paradise and Hell-Fire.  Insha’Allah, my future posts about the Last Day will discuss these sub-topics.

Al-Qada wal-Qadar

May 29, 2007

Al-Qadar (literally meaning knew, predetermined, and planned perfectly) is Allah’s complete Knowledge, Writing in the Safe Tablet, and Willing of all things before their existence.  Al-Qada (literally meaning judged, ordained, and executed perfectly) is defined as Allah’s creation of all things by His Command and Will.  There are five pillars of Al-Qada wal-Qadar:

  1. Al-Ilm a.k.a. Allah’s Knowledge as this includes Allah’s knowledge of what would have happened for things that never happen (i.e. if this would have happened, then the outcome would have been…).  Proofs for Allah’s Knowledge can be found in the Holy Quran: “Verily Allah is the All-Knower of everything” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 8:75) and “Allah indeed encompasses all things in (His) Knowledge” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 65:12).  Allah’s Knowledge comes under Qadar as it is part of the planning.
  2. Al-Kitabah a.k.a. the Writing as the proof for this is included in the ayat: “Do you not know that Allah knows all that is in the Heaven and on earth?  Verily, it is all in the Book.  Verily, that is easy for Allah” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 22:70).  Furthermore, Rasoolullah (SAW) said, “Allah had written the ordained measures (and due proportions) of the creation fifty-thousand years before the creation of the heavens and the earth, and His Arsh was on the water” (as narrated in Muslim).  The Writing falls under the category of Qadar as it is part of the planning.
  3. Allah’s Mashee’ah a.k.a. the Will of Allah (SWT) as the Holy Quran states “If Allah willed He would have made you one nation, but that He may test yo in what He has given you…” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 5:48) and “…(Allah) hast power over all things” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 3:26).  Some people divide Allah’s Mashee’ah into two categories.  The first category is that which is general as it is before a creation exists as this comes under Qadar (planned).  The second category is that which is specific (on individuals) while a creation exists as this comes under Qada (executed).
  4. Al-Amr a.k.a. the Command as the Holy Quran states “Verily, His Command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, ‘Be!’ and it is!” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran).  Al-Amr comes under the category of Qada as it is part of the execution.
  5. Al-Khalq a.k.a. the Creation as the Holy Qurans states “Verily Allah is the Creator of everything…” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran).  Al-Khalq also comes under the category of Qada as it too is part of the execution.

Insha’Allah, I will try to write several posts in the future about beliefs in predestination.