Al-Madinah: Its Virtues and Visiting Etiquette

By Sheikh Abdul-Muhsin ibn Muhammad al-Qasim – 13 Safar 1436

His Eminence Sheikh Abdul-Muhsin ibn Muhammad al-Qasim, may Allah preserve him, delivered the Friday Khutbah entitled, “Al-Madinah: Its Virtues and Visiting Etiquette”, in which he talked about the merits of al-Madinah, the city of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, as stated in authenticated hadiths. He also shed light on the virtue of the Prophetic Mosque along with the main landmarks of al-Madinah.

Praise be to Allah. We praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil within ourselves and from our wrong deeds. He whom Allah guides, none can misguide, and he whom Allah sends astray, none can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone, Who has no partners, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger. May Allah bestow his bountiful peace and blessings upon him and upon his family and Companions.

Now then,
Fear Allah as He should be feared, and be mindful of Him in secret and in your private conversations.

O Muslims!
One sign of Allah’s perfect wisdom and knowledge that demonstrates His Lordship and Oneness is that He has chosen His messengers, angels, and righteous servants. He has no partners who can create the like of His creation or choose the like of His choice.Allah, Glorified be He, says:

“And your Lord creates whatsoever He wills and chooses: no choice have they (in any matter). Glorified be Allah, and exalted above all that they associate (as partners with Him).” (Al-Qasas: 68)

In His infinite wisdom, Allah, Glorified be He, has favoured some days and months over others; and by His Knowledge, He has chosen some places and blessed them. He has chosen Makkah to be city of His Sacred Mosque and the Holy Land of Jerusalem to be the city of al-Aqsa Mosque. He has also honoured al-Madinah, the city of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and favoured it with special virtues that are unique to it.It has been given numerous names due to its honoured status. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, named it “al-Madinah” (the City), “Taibah” (the Good and Pure), and “Tabah” (the Pleasant). Allah describes it as “the home” and “the faith” for believers:

“And those who, before them, had homes (in Al-Madinah) and had adopted the Faith …” (Al-Hashr: 9)

It was to al-Madinah that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, migrated, and it was from there that he made his Victorious Return to Makkah and that conquests of other countries were launched.It was from al-Madinah that the Sunnah spread to all other countries. It was the homeland of Islam in its beginnings. Faith will come back to it just as it first emerged from it. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Faith will resort to al-Madinah just as a snake resorts to its hole”(Agreed upon).

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, described it as a city that can overpower other cities.The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “I have been commanded [to migrate] to a town that can devour other towns (that is, prevail over them). They call it Yathrib, and its name is [in fact] al-Madinah” (Agreed upon). It is a city that wipes out sins and wrong deeds.The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “It is Taibah (the Good and Pure); it purifies one from sins just as fire cleans silver from impurities” (Reported by al-Bukhari). It also expels wicked people out of it. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “It expels people [i.e. the wicked people] out of it, just as bellows remove the impurities of iron”(Agreed upon). The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, likened its cleansing power to that of bellows. He also said,“Al- Madinah is like bellows: It expels its impurities”(Agreed upon).

Allah has made it a safe city, so that the religion may spread from it and the rites of Islam may be established in it. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “It is a safe sanctuary” (Reported by Muslim). Whoever harbours evil intentions towards the city of Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, will certainly be destroyed by Allah. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “If anyone intends to do harm to this city, Allah will dissolve him as salt dissolves in water” (Reported by Ahmad). If anyone plots against its people, Allah will destroy him without delay. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “None plots against the people of al-Madinah but he will dissolve as salt dissolves in water”(Reported by al-Bukhari). Allah threatens whoever intends to do harm to its people with a painful torment in Hellfire.The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “None intends harm against the people of al-Madinah but Allah will make him melt like lead or dissolve as salt dissolves in water”(Reported by Muslim). If anyone seeks to terrify its people, Allah will make him feel terrified and will curse him. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “If anyone unjustly frightens the people of al-Madinah, Allah will make him feel frightened; the Curse of Allah, His angels, and all mankind will fall upon him; and Allah will not accept from him any obligatory or supererogatory act of worship”(Reported by an-Nasa’i).

Because of its distinguished status, Allah has made it a sanctuary, just like Makkah. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Ibrahim [Prophet Abraham] made Makkah a sanctuary and I have made al-Madinah a sanctuary” (Reported by Muslim). No weapon may be raised in it, and no blood may be shed in it except for implementing the law of equality in punishment (qisas) or enforcing prescribed legal penalties (hudud). It is also strictly forbidden to kill its game or cut down its trees. If anyone introduces any innovation in religion in al-Madinah or harbours a criminal in it, the curse of Allah will rest upon him. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “If anyone introduces any innovation in religion in al-Madinah or harbours an innovator in religion in it, then the Curse of Allah, His angels, and all mankind will fall upon him, and Allah will not accept from him any obligatory or supererogatory act of worship on the Day of Resurrection” (Agreed upon).

It has reached the utmost degree of safety, for all its roads are guarded by angels. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “On every mountain path leading to it, there are angels safeguarding it”(Agreed upon). Its ravines are also guarded by angels. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “By Him in Whose Hand my soul is, there is no ravine or mountain path in al-Medina but it is guarded by two angels.” It is virtually protected by angels from all sides. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “When ad-Dajjal (the False Messiah) comes to al-Madinah, he will find it guarded by angels”(Reported by al-Bukhari). Commenting on this hadith, an-Nawawi, may Allah’s mercy be on his soul, said, “It indicates the large number of the guarding angels who will cover all mountain paths.” It is safeguarded against ad-Dajjal. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, also said, “When ad-Dajjal comes, it will be forbidden for him to enter the paths of al-Madinah”(Reported by al-Bukhari).

When people hear of ad-Dajjal, they will panic and flee from him to the mountains. The people of al-Madinah, however, will not feel the fear caused by ad-Dajjal. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The terror of al-Masih ad-Dajjal (the False Messiah) will not enter al-Madinah”(Reported by al-Bukhari).

Allah has protectedal-Madinah from plagues. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “There are angels guarding the mountain paths of al-Madinah, so that neither plagues nor ad-Dajjal can enter it” (Agreed upon). The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, prayed to Allah to protect it from any epidemic. He said, “O Allah! Grant it safety!”(Reported by Ahmad).Ibn Hajar, may Allah’s mercy be upon him, said, “[Thanks to the Prophet’s supplication], al-Madinah became the healthiest of all cities after it had not been so.”

Living in al-Madinah is better than living in any other place even if it provides a prosperous life of plenty and opulence. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “There will come a time upon the people of al-Madinah when a man will invite his cousin and anyone of his kin saying, “Let’s go to prosperity! Let’s go to prosperity! But al- Madinah will be better for them, if they but knew”(Reported by Muslim).

Because of its good and pure nature, its believing inhabitants are purified. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The good among its inhabitants are purified” (Reported by al-Bukhari). Similarly, the good deeds done in al-Madinah are purified and appear on all horizons. In addition, a Muslim who patiently endures hardships in it will attain the intercession the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, or his testimony in his favour. If someone dies in it while he is a true believer, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, will intercede for him on the Day of Judgement. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “If any of you has the choice to die in al-Madinah, let him die there; for I will intercede for him or bear witness in his favour [on the Day of Judgement]” (Reported by an-Nasa’i).

It has become a blessed city by virtue of the supplication of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. Al-Madinah is even twice as blessed as Makkah. For the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, supplicated to Allah to grant two blessings together with each blessing in al-Madinah. He said, “O Allah! Let there be two blessings with each blessing.”Its food and drinks are also blessed. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, supplicated his Lord, saying, “O Allah! Bless our sa’. O Allah! Bless our mudd (Sa’ and muddbeing units of dry food measure)”(Reported by Muslim). An- Nawawi, may Allah’s mercy be onhis soul, said, “It seems that the blessing has encompassed the unit of measure itself so much so that the mudd has come to satisfy the needs of more people in al-Madinah than it does elsewhere. This is something that its inhabitants can feel.” Its fruits are also blessed. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, supplicated his Lord, saying, “O Allah! Bless our fruit!” (Reported by Muslim). The ‘ajwah dates grown in al-Madinah highlands are a cure. Those which are not from the highlands provide protection against poison and magic. All other types of dates grown in it, apart from ‘Ajwah, provide protection against poison, by Allah’s leave.

In al-Madinah, there is the Mosque of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, the first mosque to be founded upon piety. It is one of the three mosques that were built by Allah’s prophets, peace be upon them, and to which journeys may be made. Offering one prayer in this mosque is better that offering one thousand prayers in any other mosque, with the exception of the Sacred Mosque in Makkah.As an-Nawawi, may Allah have mercy on his soul, said, “This applies to both obligatory and supererogatory prayers, though it is preferable to perform supererogatory prayers at home.”

The pulpit of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, will be on his cistern on the Day of Judgement. “If anyone swears a false oath by his pulpit, then let him take his seat in Hellfire” (Reported by Ibn Majah).Between the house of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and his pulpit, lies one of the gardens of Paradise. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said,“The space between my house and my pulpit is one of the gardens of Paradise”(Agreed upon). Commenting on this Hadith, Ibn Hajar, may Allah have mercy on his soul, said, “That is, it is similar to the gardens of Paradise in that mercy descends upon those who attend circles of remembrance Allah in it and joy overwhelms them there, especially during the time of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him.” Praying in congregation in the first rows is better than praying in the last rows. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The best row for men is the first one, and the worst row [for men]is the last one”(Reported by al-Bukhari).

In al-Madinah there is also the Quba’ Mosque – a mosque that was founded on piety from the very first day. The prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, used to visit it every Saturday whether riding or on foot. He said, “Whoever performs ablution (wudu’) at home and then goes to the Quba’ Mosque and performs a prayer there will be granted the reward of performing ‘umrah”(Reported by Ibn Majah).

Also located in al-Madinah is Mount Uhud, which loves Muslims and is loved by them. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “This is a mountain which loves us and which we love”(Agreed upon). An-Nawawi, may Allah have mercy on his soul, said, “Mount Uhud truly loves us, for Allahhas endowed it with a special quality whereby it is able to love. We love it from the heart, without believing that there is blessing in it.” The al-‘Aqiq Valley there is a blessed valley. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Tonight, a messenger (i.e. Angel Jibril (Gabriel), peace be upon him) from my Lord came to me and said, ‘Pray in this blessed valley and say, “I intend to perform ‘umrahtogether with a hajj”’”(Reported by al-Bukhari). Even though it is a blessed valley, no one should ask it for bringing benefit or warding off harm.

Due to the great merit of al-Madinah, the prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, loved it so dearly and supplicated Allah to make his love for it equal to, or even greater than, his love for Makkah. He said in his supplication, “O Allah! Make us love al-Madinah as much as we love Makkah or even more”(Reported by al-Bukhari). Whenever he returned to it from a journey and saw its houses, he would increase his pace for it, out of love for it. Ibn Hajar, may Allah have mercy on his soul, said “Each believer feels an inner drive to visit al-Madinah because of his love for the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him.”I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Devil:

“… “Eat of the provision of your Lord, and be grateful to Him.” A fair land and an Oft-Forgiving Lord.” (Saba’: 15)

May Allah bless you and me with the Great Qur’an and make us benefit from its verses and wise words. I have said what you have heard and I ask forgiveness of Allah for myself, for you, and for all Muslims, for any sin that we have committed. Ask Allah for forgiveness. He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.

Radio Islam

Who is the Sacrifice?

Yesterday, Ebrahim Alayhis Salaam stood ready, with knife in hand, to sacrifice his only child to secure Allah’s pleasure. Today, we sacrifice every command of Allah for the happiness of our kids.
 
Affluenza! Affluenza is a term that describes a mental illness that develops in a child by a parent’s excessive molly coddling which translates into reckless behaviour and an inability to understand the consequences of one’s actions. This very condition was used in the recent defence of a 16 year old American youth who while drunk and stealing his father’s vehicle killed four people and injured twelve others in a horrific collision.
 
While the prosecution was pushing for a 20 year imprisonment, the defence mellowed the judgement down to ten years in a psychiatric facility. The defence argued that due to the pampered lifestyle afforded to him by his wealthy parents who gave him everything and never set any limits, the teenager never learned that he was responsible for his actions and that his actions have consequences. Hence, he was not fully responsible for his actions.
 
This type of mentality surely rings a bell when one considers many of the youth in our own community. Many are the parents who instead of parenting the child, dote on his/her every wish and encourage a lifestyle of indulgence. Flashy cell phones are given to kids still in primary school, expensive vehicles as soon as they can drive and plentiful cash to throw around. If the kids get into trouble, even if they are at fault,  the parents throw their power and influence around so that he/she gets away scot-free, instead of using such opportunities to teach the kids responsibility. One wonders if these parents realise that they are sowing the seeds of destruction for those they love the most.
 
The following Hadith imparts a most powerful lesson, “Whoever seeks Allah’s Pleasure at the expense of the people’s displeasure, will win Allah’s Pleasure and Allah will then cause the people to be pleased with him. And whoever seeks to please others at the expense of Allah’s Displeasure, will draw the Displeasure of Allah and Allah will then cause the people to be displeased with him.” (Ibn Hibban)
 
Is it then any surprise, that the very kids that were doted upon later become their parents’ greatest nightmares causing untold pain and grief? The time of Qurbani should be a moment of deep reflection in the upbringing of our kids. Yesterday, Ebrahim Alayhis Salaam stood ready, with knife in hand, to sacrifice his only child to secure Allah’s pleasure. Today, we sacrifice every command of Allah for the happiness of our kids.
 
The Hadith teaches us, “No father has given his child a gift better than good character.”(Tirmizi)
Unfortunately for many, the idea of gifts have been restricted to objects of material value, yet the Hadith, time and again, informs us that real wealth is the wealth of the soul. Have we not witnessed, with our very eyes, people whose monetary value is in the millions but who are valueless as human beings? It is hard to imagine that loving parents would wish the same internal bankruptcy for their kids. Reality is sometimes stranger than fantasy.
 
This year when we put the knife on the animal’s throat that we sacrifice to please Allah, reflect on the rest of your life. Are we sacrificing for Allah or are we sacrificing  Allah for others?
 
Jamiatul Ulama (KZN)

SUBMISSION

by Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (rahmatullah alayh)

When Hazrat Ibraheem (alayhis salaam) was told to submit to Allah Ta’ala, he responded that he had submitted himself to the Rabb (Sustainer) of the Worlds. …Some Mufassireen (Commentators) say that there are approximately 18 000 worlds.

Allah Ta’ala mentions this incident as follows: “ And remember when his Rabb said to him :  ‘ Submit (thy will to Me).’ 

“He said : ‘ I submit (my will) to the Lord and Cherisher of the Universe.” [ Surah Al – Baqarah : 131 ]

After Hazrat Ibraheem (alayhis salaam) made this declaration of submission, there followed many trials and tests.

As a young man, he was faced with opposition from his father, who was an idol-worshipper. When he invited his father to the worship of Allah Ta’ala, his father opposed and threatened him :

He (the father) said : ‘Do you reject my gods, O Ibraheem? If you stop not (this), I will indeed stone you. So get away from me safely before I punish you.’ [Surah Maryam 19 :46]

Due to Hazrat Ibraheem’s (alayhis salaam) rejection of idol-worship, and his preaching the message of Allah Ta’ala, he was thrown into the fire by Namrud and his people:

“They said, ‘Build him a furnace and throw him into the blazing fire.’ [Surah Saffaat : 97]

They said, “burn him and protect your gods if you do (anything at all)!” [Surah Ambiyaa 21 : 68 ]

It is stated that for an entire month, the people of Namrud collected firewood, which they thereafter lit, fanning it until it became an intense, blazing fire.

Using a catapult, they threw Hazrat Ibraheem (alayhis salaam) into the raging fire. However, The One who created fire and gave it the attribute to burn, now commanded the fire to become cool, as well as offer safety to Hazrat Ibraheem (alayhis salaam).

“We said, ‘O Fire ! Be you cool, and (a means of) safety for Ibraheem.” [Surah  Ambiyaa 21 : 68 / 69]

After being delivered from this test, saddened with his people, he left his country (Iraq) and made Hijrah to a place where he could worship Allah Ta’ala in peace, Syria.

Having no children, Hazrat Ibraheem (alayhis salaam) thus made dua for a child:

“ O My Lord, grant me a righteous son.” [Surah Saffaat 37 : 100]

In his old age, at the age of 86, Hazrat Ibraheem (alayhis salaam) was blessed with a son.

“So We gave him the good news of a boy ready to suffer and forbear.” [Surah Saffaat 37 : 101]

When the child became of age, Hazrat Ibraheem (alayhis salaam) was commanded to slaughter his son. What a great test!

“Then, when (the son) reached (the age of) work with him, He said: ‘O my son! I see in a vision that I offer you in sacrifice: Now see what is your view?…”  [Surah Saffaat 37 : 102]

What must have gone through his heart? And likewise the heart of Hazrat Ismaeel (alayhis salaam)?

But when Hazrat Ismaeel (alayhis salaam) was informed, he told his father to do whatever he had been commanded to do.

“(The son) said : ‘O my father! Do as you are commanded: You will find me, if Allah so wills, practising patience and constancy.” [Surah Saffaat 37 : 102]

Their entire lives were lives of Obedience and Submission. They were prepared to accept death but not prepared to abandon or reject the Hukm (Order) of Allah Ta’ala.

Allah Ta’ala mentions the reply of Hazrat Ismaeel (alayhis salaam). He said :  “…Insha-Allah, you will find me of the patient ones.”

Look at his humility. He did not say: “I will be patient”; rather: “Insha-Allah … if  Allah wills.”

His words clearly indicate the beautiful qualities of humility, etiquette, trust in Allah Ta’ala, patience and endurance. There was no claim whatsoever of pride, or boastfulness or superiority or conceit.

Despite having to face so many trials and tribulations, none of the Ambiya (alayhis salaam) made a claim of being perfect. They did not rely on their own ability and capacity; rather they focused on Allah Ta’ala. They made the effort and trusted in Allah Ta’ala.

“So when they had both submitted their wills (To Allah)…”  [Surah Saffaat 37 : 103]

The word “ Aslamaa ” alludes to the brave submission of father and son, without question. The claim of Divine Love was made manifest in this immediate surrender and compliance to Allah Ta’ala’s Command. …And as is known, despite the repeated efforts made, the knife would not cut the throat of Hazrat Ismaeel (alayhis salaam)…This being by the Will of Allah Ta’ala. Allah Ta’ala then ransomed Hazrat Ismaeel (alayhis salaam) with a ram from heaven.

Allah Ta’ala states : “Thus indeed do We reward those who do right” [Surah Saffaat 37 : 110]

Allah Ta’ala’s rewards encompass bounties of this world and bounties of the next for that person who surrenders himself to the commands of Allah Ta’ala and sacrifices his desires solely for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala.

We learn the lessons of SUBMISSION, OBEDIENCE, SACRIFICE  – attributes which are sorely lacking in our own lives.

We are commanded to submit ourselves to the Hukm (Command) of Allah Ta’ala; whichever one is directed to us.

There are different Ahkaam: sometimes it is the order of Salaah, sometimes it is the order not to perform Salaah; but at EVERY given moment the Command of Taqwa is directed to us, and that is we restrain ourselves from that which is Haraam.

Where is the truthfulness of our claim of Love and Imaan, if we cannot comply to obedience?

We have not been commanded to sacrifice our sons. We are only called to give up sins. Just don’t do the sin. Don’t cast lustful gazes, don’t commit zina, don’t gamble, don’t backbite, don’t do sins. …Don’t do and get rewards. Don’t do (sins) and become the Friend of Allah Ta’ala.

Nisbat (connection) with Allah Ta’ala is secured only on Taqwa and obedience to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

Once we have established friendship with Allah Ta’ala, then no difficulty, no hardship, no adversity or suffering becomes insurmountable, as is seen in the life of Khalilullah (Friend of Allah), Hazrat Ibraheem (alayhis salaam).

We also learn that when we say we believe, then we will be tested on our claim.

Allah Ta’ala states : “Do men think that they will be left alone on saying, ‘We Believe’ and that they will not be tested?”

“We did test those before them, and Allah will certainly know those who are true from those who are false.” [Surah Ankaboot 29 : 2]

“Or do you think that you shall enter the Garden (of bliss) without such (Trials) as came to those who passed away before you…” [Surah Baqarah 2 : 214]

These tests in life are to see who still remains sincere and faithful to Allah Ta’ala – and who gives up and turns away from Allah Ta’ala. Of course, we should not be asking for tests and trials. We are weak. However, this world is a world of test.

From our side, we should always seek safety and aa’fiyat (well-being), as has been taught by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

An Aalim has beautifully described the understanding and approach of a Believer in dealing with the tests of this worldly life :

“In whichever condition He keeps me,
It is the best condition for me;
Through whichever route He takes me,
It is the easiest route for me.”

In this journey of life, we are to establish and maintain our relationship with Allah Ta’ala, no matter what the circumstance and conditions we face…

For those who persevere and work hard to pass the examination of this worldly life, there will be innumerable rewards :

‘ …Those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!” [Surah Zumar 39 : 10]

And we ask Allah Ta’ala to make us ever-submissive to Him, and that He grant us ease in the matter of life and death, grant us well-being and the ability to maintain steadfastness in all conditions of life.

Qurbani

by Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (rahmatullah alayh)

Allah Ta’ala states regarding the lofty act of Qurbani:

“Their meat will not reach Allah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you. Thus have We subjected them to you that you may glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and give good tidings to the doers of good.”
[Surah Al-Hajj 22: 37]

Sadly, despite the knowledge disseminated of the merits and virtues of Qurbani and its obligatory nature, there are many who have the ability and means, yet they still present excuses of not having the money to undertake Qurbani. I am not talking about the poor and needy who are exempt from Qurbani. I am talking about those who are sitting with so many luxuries and they still ask if Qurbani is Waajib (obligatory) or not.

…Let us not take this act of Ibaadah so lightly. It is a great and very important Sunnah that has to be upheld, and it is compulsory for those who have the means to do so. Every adult Muslim, male and female, who owns 612.36 grams of silver or its equivalent in money, personal ornaments, stock-in-trade or any other form of wealth which is in excess of the person’s basic personal needs, is obligated to offer Qurbani.

It is also incorrect that we only promote Qurbani as a charitable undertaking – as something to assist the poor and needy – in different parts of the world. This is what is being highlighted in our advertisements and notices: That Qurbani be undertaken to distribute to the suffering Ummah, throughout the world.

Indeed, distributing to the poor is a great benefit of Qurbani. And similarly in all Ibaadaat, we will find that there are great benefits. However, the benefit is not the objective. This is something that should be understood.

The objective of Hajj is not just to meet everyone on Arafat, even though it is a congregation of millions of Muslims from around the world. Theobjective of fasting is not to lose weight, even though we are eating far less than usual. Similarly, the objective of Qurbani is not just to feed the poor. This is not the purpose.

If a person slaughters his animal or many animals, before the Eid Salaah, and then distributes all of that meat to the poor and needy, then even though that kind of generosity is very noble, every Mufti will say that the Qurbani is not valid, and for the Qurbani to be valid, it has to be done after the Eid Salaah. …In a town, if the Eid Salaah is performed at different venues, then after the first Eid Salaah, Qurbani will be valid.

Added to this, there are other rules, regulations and conditions to be fulfilled and met for Qurbani to be valid. …This shows that the Qurbani animal is different. Therefore Allah Ta’ala says:

“Their meat will not reach Allah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you. ”
[Surah Al-Hajj 22: 37]

So Qurbani is not charity. If Qurbani is only charity, then how can we eat of it? Can we utilize our Zakaat – or a portion of it – for ourselves? No.

Nabi (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) ate from his own Qurbani – but he (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) would not eat of Sadaqah.

So Qurbani should be done seeking the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala.

Sadly, most people opt to give their money to different organisations, so that their Qurbani is discharged without any labour. To give money is very easy but this is not the spirit of Qurbani.

If we just send our money to the neighbouring countries or overseas, then we are depriving ourselves and our children of the spirit of sacrifice.

Yes, send the Nafl Qurbanis to other places – if you wish to – and where the people will benefit. However, at least make one or two at home. Let the children see and take lesson. We ourselves need to see and take lesson.

In enlivening this Sunnah, we take so many beautiful lessons. The heart and the soul are stirred to move in the direction of submission to Allah Ta’ala.

We see how the sheep or goat or other Qurbani animal is made to lie down, and how its gives its life in the name of Allah Ta’ala. And we take lesson that just as that sheep sacrificed its life on the Hukm of Allah Ta’ala, so we, who are the servants of Allah Ta’ala, should be sacrificing our evil desires. In fact, our whole lives should be sacrificed for Allah Ta’ala.

Our respected Shaykh, Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) presented a wonderful analogy. Hazrat asked: “When does the sun rise?”

As we all know, it rises when the horizon turns red.

Hazrat then explained: “Just as the sun rises when the horizon turns red, similarly, the suns of Allah Ta’ala’s Muhabbat and Ma’rifat will rise when the horizons of the heart turn red with the blood of one’s evil desires, which have been sacrificed for Allah Ta’ala.”

Qurbani is the Sunnah of Hazrat Ibrahim (Alaihis Salaam) and we must remember that Hazrat Ibrahim (Alaihis Salaam) was not slaughtering a ram or sheep. The knife was placed on his beloved son. That was the test and what a test! After making Dua for a son and being granted a son, the Command is then to slaughter that very beloved son.

Hazrat Ibrahim (Alaihis Salaam) was Khaleelullah – the Friend of Allah Ta’ala, and he proved his love for Allah Ta’ala. It was not just a claim. It was supported by his entire life – which was clear proof of Ishq. And Ishq is something, that when it comes into the heart, it cannot be hidden. It is something which is evident in speech, in action – in everything and in every way.

We find that there was no questioning any of Allah Ta’ala’s Commands. There was immediate submission to every Command. …We should ask ourselves: What have we done to validate our claim of loving Allah Ta’ala and His Rasul (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam)?

Hazrat Isma’eel (Alaihis Salaam) was Zabeehullah. We find that there was no objection on hearing the Command of Allah Ta’aala; only immediate submission.

Imagine that scene: The son willingly and unhesitatingly tells his father to go ahead in fulfilling the Command of Allah Ta’ala.

“(The son) said : ‘O my father! Do as you are commanded: You will find me, if Allah so wills, practising patience and constancy.”
[Surah As-Saffaat 37 : 102]

Both father and son passed their tests with flying colours. And these were very great and difficult tests. … We are not being tested like that. Allah Ta’ala made it easy for us.

Despite the ease, we cannot even put the knife on our Haraam desires … yet, if we sacrifice our Haraam desires, we will benefit. We, ourselves, will be the beneficiaries.

I often say that in the word “Haraam”, there is the word “harm”. The outcome of Haraam will always be harm. And considering the double ‘a’ in the transliteration, we will experience double Harm : Harm in this world and Harm in the next. There is just no goodness. Sins bring restless, anxiety and a host of problems.

What is required is for us to place the knife over the throat of the animal within us. What is required is to place the knife over our anger – our unjustified anger; and place the knife over our greed, evil passions, jealousy and other evils.

Allah Ta’ala commands us to wake up for Fajr, to read our five Salaah, daily, in the Masjid, to fulfil the other rights of Allah Ta’ala and the rights of Creation. And we are commanded to stay clear, to stay far away, from whatever Allah Ta’ala has declared as Haraam. And in this easy way, gain the Muhabbat of Allah Ta’ala and enjoy the best of both worlds.

…There is so much to discuss about the Hajj that will be taking place and everything relating to this Mubarak month: The Farewell Hajj, the unforgettable sermon given by Nabi (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam), the Qurbani, and the great virtues of these Mubarak days and nights. We must not depend on only the Jumu`ah talk to learn Deen. We should seek to know and understand all these important events in our beautiful history as well as learn the related Masaa`il of the different Ibaadaat we are commanded to do.

May Allah Ta’ala grant us a good, proper understanding and the Taufeeq of striving to earn His Pleasure.

Repentance before Death

By Sheikh Salah Al-Budair – 03 Thul Qadah 1435

His Eminence Sheikh Salah Al-Budair, may Allah preserve him, delivered the Friday khutbah entitled, “Repentance before Death”, in which he talked about the importance of hastening to repent of sins before it is too late.

Praise be to Allah. Praise be to Allah, Whose blessings cannot in the least be counted, and Who says about those who desist from their crimes and repent of what they have committed:

“… if they cease (from disbelief) their past will be forgiven …” (Al-Anfal: 38)

I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone, Who has no partners – a testimony of one who has seen the light guidance and realized the truth; and I bear witness that our prophet and master, Muhammad, is His servant and messenger, the quintessence of virtue, goodness, generosity, and honour. May Allah bestow His peace and blessings upon him and upon his family, his Companions, and all those who follow their example and draw from the fount of their knowledge.

Now then, O Muslims!

Fear Allah, for fear of Allah brings about happiness, keeps harm at bay, and removes ignominy. 
You ought to fear Allah in every moment,
And you will find its positive consequences on the Day of Long Reckoning.
Verily, fear of Allah is the best outcome,
And it is the best provision for the departing traveller.
There is no good whatsoever in a long life,
If you depart it without piety.

O Muslims! 
Death awaits all people, disasters befall them all, and the vicissitudes of life leave no one unharmed.

O you who perceive lessons with your own eyes and listen to admonitions with your own ears! O you who have been reached by the warner and have heard his words! Advance towards your Lord in all humility, seek refuge in His door of bounty repentantly, raise your hands in prayer, showing your great need for Him, and pray humbly to Him, saying:

O Allah! I am Your disobedient servant and I have come to You
Admitting my sins and calling upon You.
If You forgive me, You are Most Worthy to forgive,
And if You turn me away, who else will have mercy on me?

O you who are overburdened with sins! O you who have given free rein to your pleasures in all kinds of vanity! O you who have been deafened and blinded by evil desires and have thus been sickened, grieved, expelled, and kept away from the right path! O you who fight against your Lord by doing what He abhors! O you who disobey His commands, feeling secure against His Plan! Repent of your sins and ask your Lord for forgiveness.

Repent of your sins and weep out of fear
Of what has been recorded against you in your scrolls of deeds. 
What misery a servant will be in 
When he stands before his Lord without repentance!

Abu Musa Al-Ash‘ari, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Allah extends His Hand in the night so that the sinners of the day may repent, and extends His Hand in the daytime so that the sinners of the night may repent, until the sun rises in the west [which is one of the signs of the Day of Resurrection]” (Reported by Muslim). Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “If anyone repents before the sun rises in the west, Allah will accept his repentance” (Reported by Muslim). Abdullah ibn Umar, may Allah be pleased with him and his father, narrated that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Allah, Might and Majesty be to Him, will accept the repentance of His servant as long as the death rattle does not reach his throat” (Reported by At-Tirmidhi).

Therefore, repent before you go through the affliction of the death rattle, the pain of the final gurgling, and the moment of sudden death. Make amends before death strikes, for then it will be too late to repent. Allah, Glorified be He, says:

“Say: “O (you) ‘Ibadi (my slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, verily, Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Az-Zumar: 53)

O Allah! Help us awaken from heedlessness and grant us sincere repentance before death, O All-Hearing, O Ever Near, O Responsive to prayers! – Radio Islam

Virtues of the Qur’aan

Abu Umamah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying, “Read the Qur’an, for it will come as an intercessor for its reciters on the Day of Resurrection.”
(Muslim).
 
‘Uthman bin ‘Affan (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “The best amongst you is the one who learns the Qur’an and teaches it.”
(Al-Bukhari).
 
‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “The one who is proficient in the recitation of the Qur’an will be with the honourable and obedient scribes (angels) and he who recites the Qur’an and finds it difficult to recite, doing his best to recite it in the best way possible, will have a double reward.”
(Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
 
Ibn ‘Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Envy is justified in regard to two types of persons only: a man whom Allah has given knowledge of the Qur’an, and so he recites it during the night and during the day; and a man whom Allah has given wealth and so he spends from it during the night and during the day.”
(Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
 
Ibn Mas’ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Whoever recites a letter from the Book of Allah, he will be credited with a good deed, and a good deed gets a ten-fold reward. I do not say that Alif-Lam-Mim is one letter, but Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter and Mim is a letter.”
(At- Tirmidhi). – Islaaminfo

10 Guidelines for the Day of Jumu‘ah

by Shaykh Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

Of the many blessings and gifts of Allāh ta‘ālā is the bounty of special seasons and places, during which and where the rewards of good deeds are multiplied to such extents known only to Allāh ta‘ālā. One such moment is the day of Friday, a day greater in virtue than the ‘Īdayn (two days of ‘Īd). It has been narrated that this day is the leader of all days.

Similarly, it is common knowledge that the Noble Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam is the leader of all mankind, hence these two leaders have a great bond, thus on the day of Friday we should pay much attention to the sunnah of the Noble Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam. Keeping this in mind, highlighted below are 10 guidelines that this humble one desires all of his associates to practice, in order to gain maximum benefit from this day:

1)    Send salāt and salām upon the Noble Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam in abundance. On the day of Friday, aim to do so at least 500 times. Thereafter slowly increase this number as you gain steadfastness. Initially, one may recite a short formula of salāt and salām, e.g.

and after becoming steadfast on this, one should gradually begin reciting longer narrations which can be found in the books of salāt and salām.

2)   On the night preceding the day of Friday (Thursday night), recite Sūrah ad-Dhukhān (Sūrah 44, Juz 25). The virtue of its recitation is that a palace is built in Jannah for the reciter.

3)    On the day of Friday, recite Sūrah al-Kahf (Sūrah 18, Juz 15). The virtue being that such a person will be saved from the trials of Dajjāl.  The trial of Dajjāl is the greatest of trials, and if by reciting this Sūrah one is saved from it, then it is hoped that he will most definitely be saved from all other trials which are relatively smaller in comparison to the trial of Dajjāl.

4)    Proceed to the masjid early for the Jumu‘ah salāh. The earlier one reaches the masjid, the more reward has been promised in the ahādīth.

5)    Offer Salah-at-Tasbīh. Its method can be learnt from here.

6)    Before getting up from your place after the ‘Asr salāh, recite 80 times:

7)    Spend the time between ‘Asr and Maghrib salāhs in the masjid, with the intention of Nafl I‘tikāf. It is preferable to spend this time reciting salāt and salām, however there is no harm in engaging in other good deeds, such as reciting the Qur’ān and Dhikr (remembrance of Allāh ta‘ālā).

8)    10-15 minutes before the Maghrib Adhān, engage yourself in du‘ā. It has been narrated that there is a moment every Friday, during which the du‘ā of a believer is certainly accepted. Of the many opinions with regards the specification of this moment, the weightiest opinions are:

a.    It is the period between the Imām sitting on the pulpit and the completion of salāh.

b.    It is the last few moments before sunset.

It has also been the experience of many ‘Ulamā and Mashā’ikh that this moment comes shortly before Maghrib.

9)   On the day of Friday, try to carry out as many good deeds as possible, be they sunnah, nafl or mustahabb.

10)  Totally abstain from all sinful and futile acts. Anything which is neither beneficial in this world nor in the hereafter should be totally abstained from, not only on the day of Friday but rather every day.

Acting upon these ten guidelines, together with acting upon every sunnah, nafl and mustahabb act related to this special day will inshā Allāh help in making our Jumu‘ah a means of great blessings and gaining the love and pleasure of Allāh ta‘ālā. May Allāh ta‘ālā grant us the ability to act upon all the sunnah acts of the Noble Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam. – At-Tazkiyah

A UNIQUE MOMENT FOR THE ACCEPTANCE OF DUA  

Sayyiduna Ubadah bin Samit (Radiyallahu Anhu) reports that the Prophet of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “Whoever’s sleep is broken in the night and he recites the following Dua and thereafter asks Allah to forgive him or he makes Dua, Allah will forgive him and accept his Dua. And if he makes Wudhu and performs Salaah, Allah will accept his Salaah.
 
The Dua is:
 
لاَ إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ، لَهُ المُلْكُ وَلَهُ الحَمْدُ، وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ، اَلْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ، وَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ، وَلَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ، وَاللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ، وَلاَ حَوْلَ وَلاَ قُوَّةَ إِلَّا بِاللَّهِ
 
Transliteration: Laa Ilaaha Illallaahu Wahdahu La Shareeka Lahu Lahul Mulku Wa Lahul Hamdu Wa Huwa Alaa Kulli Shay’in Qadeer, Alhamdulillah, Wa Subhanallah, Wa Laa Ilaaha Illallaahu Wallaahu Akbar, Wa Laa Hawla Wa Laa Quwwata Illaa Billah
 
Translation: There is no god besides Allah, the One, He has no partner and to Him alone belongs all kingdom and praise and He is able over everything. All praise is due to Allah, glory be to Allah and there is no god besides Allah and Allah is the greatest, and there is no might and power except by Allah.
 
(Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith #: 1154)
Jamiatul Ulama (KZN)

16 Qualities That Allah Loves

1) Patience:
“And Allah loves as-Sâbirun (the patient).” (Surah Imran 3:146)
 
2) Justice and Dealing with Equity:
“O ye who believe! Be steadfast witnesses for Allah in equity, and let not hatred of any people seduce you that ye deal not justly. Deal justly, that is nearer to your duty. Observe your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is informed of what ye do.” (Surah Maeda 5:8)
 “For Allah loves those who are fair (and just).”
[Surah Al Hujurat 49:9]
 
3) Putting Trust in Allah:
“Certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him).” (Surah Imran 3:159)
 
4) Kindness:
Ayesha (رضي الله عنها) narrated: The Messenger of Allah ( صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ) said: “Allah loves kindness in all matters.” (Bukhari)
 
5) Repentance:
“Truly, Allah loves those who turn unto him in repentance.” (Surah Baqarah 2:222)
 
6) Piety:
“Verily, then Allah loves those who are al-Muttaqun (the pious).” (Surah Imran 3:76)

“For Allah loves the righteous (the pious).” [Surah Al Tawbah 9:4]
Reported by Sa`d bin Abu Waqqas (رضي الله عنه :): Messenger of Allah ( صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ) said, “Allah loves a slave who is pious, free of all wants and the unnoticed.”
 
7) Good-doing:
“Truly, Allah loves Al-Muhsinun (the good-doers).” (Surah Baqarah 2:195)
 
8) Purification:
“And Allah loves those who make themselves clean and pure.” (Surah Tawbah 9:108)
 
9) Humility of the Rich:
Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqas (رضي الله عنه ) said: Allah’s Messenger ( صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ) said: “Allah loves the believer who is pious and rich, but does not show off.” (Muslim)
 
10) Magnanimity:
Al-Hakim narrated: The Messenger of Allah ( صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ) said: “ Allah is All-Generous and He loves generosity in sale, purchase and judgment.”
 
11) Virtuosity:
The Messenger of Allah ( صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ)said: “Allah loves the believer who is poor but virtuous enough to refrain from begging though he has many children.” (Muslim and Ahmed)
 
12) Love for the Sake of Allah:
Al-Tabarâni, Ibn Ya’lâ, Ibn Hibban and Al-Hakim narrated: Allah’s Messenger
( صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ) said: “If two individuals love each other for the sake of Allah, the stronger in love to his brother will be more loved by Allah.”

13) Continuous Performance of Righteous Deeds:
Allah’s Messenger ( صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ) said: “The best loved deeds to Allah are the ones that are continuous even if they are not very many.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
 
14) Sabr (Patience):
“And Allah Loves those who are firm and steadfast (As-Sabirin (the patient)).” [Surah Ali ‘Imran 3:146]
 
15)  Praying Salaah on time:
“The thing that Allah loves most is when his people pray salaah on time.” (Hadith- Bukhari)
 
16) Good Manners and Conduct:
Al-Tirmidhi narrated: Allah’s Messenger ( صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ) said: “The best loved by me and the nearest to me on the seats on the Day of Resurrection are those who have the best manners and conduct amongst you, who are intimate, are on good terms with others and are humble, and the most hated by me and who will be on the furthest seats from me are those who are talkative and arrogant.”

Love of Allah is the basis of worship that should be directed to Him alone. Any other love should be for his sake too. The real love of Allah is to do whatever He ordained and to abandon whatever He forbade, in addition to Following Rasulullah ( صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ)’s Sunnah. Whoever obeys someone or something other than Allah and His Messenger ( صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ), or follows any saying other than theirs, or fears other than Allah or seeks the pleasure of other than Allah, or puts his trust in other than Him, does not love Allah, nor does he love His Messenger ( صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ). Muslims should also love one another and wish the best for one another. Allah’s Messenger ( صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ) said: “One will not be a true believer unless he loves for his brother what be loves for himself.” (Bukhari) – Islaaminfo

11 T’s to a Successful Marriage

As Narrated by Moulana Muhammad Saleem Nawab

1. Taqwa (Marry someone with taqwa)
2. Tahajjud (Praying Tahajjud will bring blessing to your marriage)
3. Talk (Comminicate)
4. Temper (Control your temper)
5. Technology (Do not make technology the 3rd member of your relationship)
6. Tea (Eat/Drink Together)
7. Tolerance (Be tolerant of one another)
8. Tongue (Control your tongue)
9. Time (Make time for one another)
10. Trust (Trust one another and do not betray that trust)
11. Troublemakers (Stay away from troublemakers, within the family/community)