Islam encourages marriage making it the way to build a solid and well-knit society. It is the only legitimate way to satisfy the sexual desire which Islam accepts as natural and healthy. It does not approve of relations outside marriage. Marriage is the proper way to build a family, which is the basic unit of society. It urges people to choose good marriage partners, seeking God’s help in doing so. When the choice is made and the official steps have been taken, marital life should start with the remembrance of God.
It is recommended that when the bridegroom meets his bride for the first time after the wedding ceremony, he should place his hand on her forehead and say: “In the name of God. May God bless each of us for his and her partner.” The bridegroom should then say: “My Lord, grant me the best in her and the best that you placed in her nature. I appeal to You to protect me against her worst and the worst that you placed in her nature.” She should say the same prayer. No one should wonder at such a prayer at such a time. Every one of us has weaknesses that are better kept unexposed. Anyone who claims to be perfect suffers from great delusion. Even when the married couple are very close, the continuity of their love and happiness requires them to focus on their partners and to pray God to help them maintain their piety.
A unique feature of Islam is that it surrounds man’s natural needs and his satisfaction with remembering and glorifying God. When we eat or drink, we begin by mentioning God’s name. Likewise, when a married couple have sex, they should mention God’s name. The Prophet says: “When any of you is about to have sex with his wife, he should say: ‘Our Lord, protect us from Satan and protect what you grant us from him. Should a child be the result on this occasion, that child will not be harmed by Satan.”
While sex is a pleasurable pursuit, it is right that it must be kept within marriage so as to bring about a family, which requires steady striving. Such are the pleasures of this life: They are always attended by hard struggle. In this case it starts with the woman as she struggles through her pregnancy. She then endures the pains of childbirth and the burden of breast-feeding. The father has then to strive hard in order to provide for his family and bring up his children. Hence, it is important to always seek God’s help to relieve our pain and to facilitate our purpose. The Prophet taught us numerous prayers and supplications to ensure that. Let us quote a few: “My Lord, I seek Your grace. Do not leave me to my own devices for even a twinkle of an eye; and set all my affairs on the right course. There is no deity other than You.”
“My Lord, You are the Ever-Living, the Eternal Master of all. I urgently appeal to You to bestow Your mercy on me”.
“My Lord, there is no deity other than You. All glory be to You. I have been a wrongdoer.”
By making marriage the rule of life and the legitimate way to satisfy the sexual desire, Islam steers a middle way between religions that shun the sexual desire and urge their followers to suppress it, and permissiveness that makes everything acceptable. To suggest that suppression of the sexual desire is a mark of true piety is wrong and has no foundation. Likewise, permissiveness ushers numerous problems. It is only through a mutually caring relationship of marriage that man finds a happy middle way. Hence, this is the way approved by Islam.
-By SHEIKH MUHAMMAD AL-GHAZALI
Salat is one of the five pillars of Islam, it is a most important constituent of the faith. It is prayer of a very high level.
The Holy Quran repeatedly enjoins the offering of salat and indeed declares it to be a fundamental trait of a believer. The benefits of salat are countless. The Holy Quran says:
“And enjoin Prayer on thy people, and be constant therein. We ask thee not for provision; it is We that provide for thee. And the end is for the righteous”.
Salat strengthens man’s spiritual faculties. It is the best way to form a relationship with one’s Creator. It purifies one’s spirit, and through it, constant remembrance of Allah delivers one of the self that incites to evil.
God created man to worship Him and salat is the most excellent kind of worship. The Holy Quran also says:
“Recite that which has been revealed to thee of the Book, and observe Prayer. Surely, Prayer restrains one from indecency and manifest evil, and remembrance of Allah indeed is the greatest virtue. And Allah knows
what you do.” (29:46)
Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, relates that he heard the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings be
on him, say: “Tell me if one of you had a stream running at his door and he should take a bath in it five times every day would any dirt be left upon him? He was answered: No dirt would be left on him. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be on him) observed: This is the case of the five prayers. Allah wipes out all faults in
consequence of them.” (Bukhari)
As for the punishment of not observing the salat, all matters of reward and punishment rest solely with Allah.
Jabir, may Allah be pleased with him, relates that he heard the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah
be upon him, say: “Giving up prayer is tantamount to disbelief and associating partners with Allah.” (Muslim)
Five Daily Prayers
Salat, the obligatory Muslim prayer, is said at appointed time fixed in relation to the sun’s position. The time of Fajr, the morning prayer begins at dawn and ends just before sunrise. The time of Zuhr, the midday prayer, begins after the sun has crossed the zenith point and has begun to decline. The Asr prayer is said when the sun has further advanced in decline, in the late afternoon. The time of the Maghrib prayer begins immediately after sunset. It lasts till dusk. The Isha prayer can be said after dusk has finally disappeared, giving way to darkness of the night.
ABU Al-Darda (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “Three (people) make me laugh, and three make me cry.
Those that make me laugh are
1. A person who puts his hopes in this worldly life while death pursues him,
2. A person who is heedless (of his Lord) while (his Lord) is not heedless of him, and
3. A person who always laughs while he does not know whether he has pleased Allah or angered Him.
What makes me cry is being separated from my beloved:
1. Muhammad and his party (the Companions),
2. The horrors of the time of death, and
3. Standing in front of Allah on the Day when the secrets will be revealed and I do not know if I will then go to Paradise or Hell?”
– Ibn Al-Mubarak, Al-Zuhd wa Al-Raqa’iq.
“Some faces that Day will be Nadhirah [shining, radiant], Looking at their Rabb.” [75:22-23]
Ibn al-Itheer said, “Seeing Allah is the ultimate joy in the Hereafter, the most precious gift of Allah. May Allah (swt) help us reach that goal.” [Jaami’ al-Usool, 10/557]
Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri reported that the Prophet (saw) said that “Allah will say to the people of Paradise, “O People of Paradise! They will say, “We are at Your Worship, our Rabb, and all goodness is in Your hand.” He will say, “Are you content?” They will say, “Why should we not be content, O Rabb, when you have given us what you have not given to anyone else of Your Creation?” He will say, “Shall I not give you better than that?” They will say, “O Rabb, what could be better than that?” He will say, “I grant you My pleasure and I will never be displeased with you after that.” [al-Bukhaari and Muslim, Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh]
Muslim and at-Tirmidhi reported from Suhayb ar-Rumi that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “When the people of Paradise enter Paradise, Allah will say: “Do you want anything more?” They will say, “Have You not made our faces white [i.e. honored us]? Have You not admitted us to Paradise and saved us from the Fire?” Then the veil will be lifted, and they will never have been given anything more dear to them than looking at their Rabb, may He be Blessed and Exalted.”
One report adds, “Then the Prophet (saw) recited the aayah, “For those who have done good is the best [reward i.e. Paradise] and even more [i.e. the honor of glancing at the Countenance of Allah]…” [10:26]
Thus seeing the Face of Allah (swt) was interpreted as part of the “more” [mazeed] which Allah has promised to al-Muhsinoon [those who have done good]:
“There they will have all that they desire – and We have more [for them, i.e. a glance at the All-Mighty, All-Majestic.” [50:35]
This is a joy and honor that will be denied to the Kuffaar and Mushrikeen:
“Nay, surely they [evildoers] will be veiled from seeing their Rabb that day.” [83:15]
Imaam Maalik ibn Anas, the Imaam of al-Madinah, used this aayah as proof that “Looking at their Rabb” [75:23] literally meant they would see the face of Allah, as some had interpreted it as meaning the people would be waiting for their reward. Maalik said, “They have lied…. The people will look at Allah on the Day of Resurrection with their own eyes. If the believers are not going to see their Rabb on the Day of Resurrection, why did Allah (swt) say that the kuffaar would be veiled from Seeing Him?” [See Sharh as-Sunnah, Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 3/100 no. 5662]
at-Tahhaawi, the great Hanafi Imaam, said in his “al-‘Aqeedah at-Tahhaawiyyah”, “This seeing [Allah] is true, something that will happen to the people of Paradise; it is not necessary to attempt to define it or describe how it will happen. It is mentioned in the Book of Our Rabb [75:23]. The way it will happen is according to the will and knowledge of Allah and we have to believe in it as it was narrated from the Messenger of Allah in the saheeh hadith. We should not interpret it according to our own inclinations and opinions, for no one is sound in his deen except the one who submits fully to Allah and His Messenger. What is ambiguous should be referred to one who has knowledge (i.e. a scholar)” [Sharh at-Tahhaawiyyah, 203]
The Messenger (saw) clearly stated that ten of his Companions would be in Paradise:
“Abu Bakr will be in Paradise, ‘Umar will be in Paradise, ‘Uthmaan will be in Paradise, ‘Ali will be in Paradise, Talhah will be in Paradise, az-Zubayr will be in Paradise, ‘Abdur-Rahmaan ibn ‘Awf will be in Paradise, Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqaas will be in Paradise, Sa’eed ibn Zayd will be in Paradise and Abu ‘Ubaydah ibn al-Jarraah will be in Paradise.” [sahih, Ahmad from Sa’eed ibn Zayd, at-Tirmidhi from ‘Abdur-Rahmaan ibn ‘Awf, Saheeh al-Jaami’ as-Sagheer, 1/70, no. 50]
“Ten will be in Paradise: the Prophet will be in Paradise. Abu Bakr will be in Paradise, ‘Umar will be in Paradise, ‘Uthmaan will be in Paradise, ‘Ali will be in Paradise, Talhah will be in Paradise, az-Zubayr ibn al-Awwaam will be in Paradise, ‘Sa’d ibn Maalik will be in Paradise, Abdur-Rahmaan ibn ‘Awf will be in Paradise, and Sa’eed ibn Zayd will be in Paradise.” [sahih, Ahmad, Abu Dawood, Ibn Maajah, ad-Diyaa, from Sa’eed ibn Zayd Saheeh al-Jaami as-Sagheer, 4/34, no. 3905]
The Books of the Sunnah tell us that one day the Prophet (saw) was sitting at the well of ‘Arees, with Abu Musa al-Ash’ari acting as his gatekeeper. Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq came and asked permission to see him, and the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “Let him in, and give him the glad tidings of Paradise”. Then ‘Umar came and he said, “Let him in and give him the glad tidings of Paradise”. Then ‘Uthmaan came and he said, “Let him in, and give him the glad tidings of Paradise because of an affliction that will befall him” [al-Bukhaari, Muslim and at-Tirmidhi. Jaami’ al-Usool, 8/562, no. 6372]
Ibn ‘Asaakir reported with a saheeh isnaad from Ibn Mas’oud that the Prophet (saw) said, “My successor will be in Paradise, his successor will be in Paradise, and the third and fourth will be in Paradise.” [namely, the Khulafaa Rashida] [Saheeh al-Jaami as-Sagheer, 4/149, no. 4311]
at-Tirmidhi and al-Haakim reported with a saheeh isnaad from ‘Aa’ishah that the Prophet (saw) said to Abu Bakr, “You are free from the Fire.” [Saheeh al-Jaami’ as-Sagheer, 2/24, no. 1494]
The People Of Paradise Will Inherit The Portion Of Paradise That Would Have Gone To The People Of Hell
Allah has given two positions to every descendent of Aadam: a position in Jannah and a position in Jahanam. Then whoever is destined to damnation of the kuffaar and mushrikeen will inherit the positions in Hell that had been allocated to the people of Paradise, and those of the people of Paradise for whom eternal bliss is decreed will inherit the portions of Paradise that had been allocated to the people of Hell. After describing the good deeds that would earn Paradise for the successful believers, Allah said, “These are indeed the inheritors, who shall inherit the Fridays”
Ibn Katheer said in his commentary on this aayah: “Ibn Abi Haatim said – and he quoted to the isnaad going back to Abu Hurayrah (ra) that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:
“There is no one among you who does not have two positions, one in Paradise and one in Hell. The believer will have a house built for him in Paradise, and his house in Hell will be demolished”. A similar report was narrated from Sa’eed ibn Jubayr.
The believers will inherit the positions of the kuffaar, because those positions were created for those who worship Allah (swt) alone and do not associate anything in worship with Him, because they did what they were commanded to do as far as worship is concerned, whilst the kuffaar neglected the duty for which they had been created. So the believers gained the share that the kuffaar would have gained if they had obeyed Allah (swt) and they will gain even more than that. Muslim reported from Abu Burdah from Abu Musaa that the Prophet (saw) said: “Some people amongst the Muslims will come on the Day of Resurrection with sins as great as a mountain. Allah will forgive them, and will pass [the burden of sin] to the Jews and Christians”. According to another version of this hadith, the Prophet (saw) said, “When the Day of Judgement comes, Allah (swt) will allocate a Jew or Christian for every Muslim and will say, “This is your ransom from the Fire”. This hadith reflects the words of Allah (swt):
“Such is the Paradise which We shall give as an inheritance to those of Our slaves who have been al-Muttaqoon” [19:63] and
“This is the Paradise which you have been made to inherit because of your deeds which you used to do [in the life of this world]” [43:72] [Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 5/10]