Times of difficulty are always a good time to reflect about one’s position in life. This is not only true for individuals, but also for nations. The past year has been troublesome for Muslim ummah. The dissatisfaction of the people with their living conditions reached a point that they took to the streets to demand better leadership for their countries. Today, they are still in the process of finding a new order for their lives and their societies.
As long as the stream of life runs calm and everything seems to be in order, a lot of problems remain hidden under the surface and people enjoy a superficial sense of relief and satisfaction. Nevertheless, even a seemingly calm running river, with a shiny surface, hides a lot of trash underground! It is in times of disturbances that much of this filth comes to the surface and people start to wonder where all these impurities are coming from. It is a mercy of Allah that once in a while he forces us to face reality to recognize all the trash that has built up in the so-called Muslim countries.
Allah said, “Evil, (sins and disobedience to Allah) has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned (by oppression and evil deeds), that He (Allah) may make them taste a part of that which they have done, in order that they may return (by repenting to Allah, and begging His pardon.)” (Qur’an, 30:41) This is precisely the moment when people have to look deeper into the realities of life to find the root of all this mischief that happened, which led their countries into this state of backwardness.
It is about time that Muslims look for a new path and move in the right direction by leaving behind the path of falsehood, which has given nothing but misery.
The best example to change a society can be found in the life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his Companions. They transformed a country from utmost backwardness into a large Muslim empire which dominated the world for a long time.
If, however, Muslims do not wake up and do not try their best to clean the society of all impurities, like the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) cleaned the Ka’ba from all impurities, then we will break our contract with Allah and would be doomed!
Allah said in the Glorious Qur’an, “But those who reject our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations) and treat them with arrogance, they are the dwellers of the (Hell) fire, they will abide therein forever.” (Qur’an, 7:36)
The times through which we are passing are disturbing and distressing mainly because some Muslims do not follow the true teachings of the Glorious Qur’an and the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) anymore! “How shall Allah guide a people who disbelieved after they belief and after they bore witness that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) is true and after clear proofs had come unto them? And Allah guides not the people who are Zalimun (polytheists and wrongdoers).” (Qur’an 3:86)
Success is only from Allah. It is mercy from Allah for those who follow His way, regardless of the fact he be whether an individual, society or nation. In Islam there are two kinds of societies — Islamic and un-Islamic. The Islamic society is the one that follows Islam not only in belief and worship, but also in matters of law, economy and organization. This is the foundation of a successful Islamic nation and it was the secret behind the success of the first Muslim nation; to follow the teachings of the Noble Qur’an and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) unconditionally and wholeheartedly.
“The only saying of the faithful believers, when they are called to Allah (His words, the Qur’an) and his Messenger (peace be upon him) to judge between them, is that they say: “We hear and we obey.” And such are the successful (who will live forever in paradise).” (Qur’an, 24:51)
“You do not worship besides Him but only names which you have named (forged) — you and your fathers — for which Allah has sent down no authority. The command (or the judgement) is for none but Allah. He has commanded that you worship none but Him (i.e His monotheism); that is the (true) straight religion, but most men know not.” (Qur’an, 12:40)
One can just hope that Muslims today realize their chance to transform their countries into real Islamic states, according to the will of Allah! We need to understand that life in an Islamic State encompasses our tradition, lifestyle, values and behavior as well as the way we are governed.
– by Tahseen Abu Djihad
All of us, no matter how long we have been Muslim, have ups and downs in our Iman (faith). So we must always strive to improve and not get discouraged when we are feeling our Iman at its lowest. Some people give up trying when their Iman is low, and they may end up losing it completely. Don’t let that happen to you!
The first thing one should do, of course, is to learn how to perform Salah (the formal prayer) properly, and then get into the habit of performing the five daily prayers at their proper times. This means learning a little bit of the Qur’an — at east Surat Al-Fatihah (Chapter 1) and at least one or two short surahs — so that you can pray.
It is better, of course, if you learn more of the Qur’an. So make as much effort as you can to learn a bit each day. Also try to learn how to read the Qur’an in Arabic. Your pronunciation will be much better if you learn Qur’an from the Arabic script rather than from a transliteration into Latin letters. This advice is a “too much thing to do” at the beginning, I understand. At least have it at the back of your mind that it is recommended and a long-term goal. Yet, bear in mind that it is not a must.
Another important step in developing your Iman is to make new friends with devout Muslims and try to spend time with them. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to totally give up the friends you had before you were Muslim. Yet, if you spent your time with your old friends drinking or gambling or doing other negative and haraam (forbidden) things, you will have to avoid those activities. This may or may not mean dropping those friends also. If they are real friends, they should be willing to accept you for what you are now. You can still watch football together, for example, but substitute soft drinks for alcohol. If they’re not willing to do that, they’re not real friends.
You can also increase your knowledge of Islam by reading, attending lessons at the mosque or in homes, and listening to audio files on the Internet or to tapes. Try to find a knowledgeable person who can answer your questions. Beware of those who seem to be knowledgeable, while they are not. Search for scholars through Islamic centers and get close to them. Seek knowledge from them.
Also, try to get information from more than one source so that you get a more balanced view of what Islam is. The hardest thing for new Muslims is to figure out where they fit on the spectrum of Islam — are they liberal, moderate, or conservative? Some people have very strict views of what is right and wrong and always choose the more difficult of two Halaal (permissible) choices. Try to take the middle ground and be moderate. Usually, there is more than a black-or-white choice, with many shades of gray in between.
In learning to practice your new faith, take things slowly. Don’t be over-enthusiastic by plunging in and trying to do many extra acts of worship at once.
It was reported by Al-Bukhari that the Prophet (peace be upon him) told us that Allah loves best the acts that are performed regularly, even if they were little. So choose one new action at a time and become very regular in performing it before adding another one.
Finally, the prayers that can be recommended in times of trial. The best thing to do is to pray from your heart. Ask God for what you need and expose your soul at His attendance. However, the only other prayers that are to be recommended are Prophetic supplications used by Prophet Muhammad and other great Prophets (peace be upon them all) or the great Companions.
Otherwise, it is never recommended to oblige oneself to use specific supplications that one doesn’t feel or develop personally. Supplication is a way to communicate on personal level with the Divine. We can only use the Prophetic example as a role model here, from where we start to launch a deep personal relation.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: He among you who sees something abominable should rectify it with the help of his hand; and if he has not strength enough to do it, then he should do it with his tongue; and if he has not strength enough to do it, (even) then he should (abhor it) from his heart, and that is the lowest level of faith. (Muslim)
To ensure that our supplication is answered, we must be firm in our belief that Allah is able to rectify the problem and that He will answer our prayers. If we have little hope that Allah will answer our prayers, then we have poor understanding of His power or little faith in His mercy, or both.
So supplicate and pray for the sake of your brothers and sisters in Islam, as well as for all humanity, as much as you can and have faith that Allah will help them, and help all of us to help them,In Sha Allah.
Abdur-Rahmaan Ibn Sahl, Huwaisah Ibn Masood, and Muhaisah Ibn Masood – when these three went to the Prophet (saas) in regard to a dispute, Abdur-Rahmaan, the youngest among them, began to speak. The Prophet (saas) said to him words to the effect of,
Let the oldest one speak (first) 1
The Companions (ra) honored their elders and showed mercy to the young among them, which is perhaps why Ibn Umar (ra) refrained from coming to the forefront when he was the youngest in a gathering. This occurred when the Prophet (saas) said to his Companions (ra)
Inform me of a tree, the example of which is the example of the Muslim. It bears its fruits at all times by the permission of its Lord, and its leaves do not wear away.
Ibn Umar (ra) knew the answer to this question, for he later said it occurred to me that it is the date-tree, but I disliked to speak when Abu Bakr (ra) and Umar (ra) were there without any of them speaking (with the answer). The Prophet (saas) (then) said.
It is the date-tree.
When I left with my father (i.e., Umar (ra)), I said, O my father, it had occurred to me that it is the date-tree. He said, what prevented you from saying it? Had you said it, that (i.e., the honor you would have earned for giving the right answer) would have been more beloved to me than such and such. Ibn Umar (ra) then said, The only thing that prevented me was that I Saw neither you nor Abu Bakr speak, so I disliked (putting myself in a place of prominence – by speaking – before such distinguished company).
1 ) Related by Bukhaare (6142), Muslim (1669), Al-Tirmidhee (1422
A believer is a no-problem person. In all situations and circumstances he stands out as Mr. No Problem. His sensitivity towards others is so heightened that he does not like creating any problems whatsoever. The companions of the Prophet were very sensitive in this way, so much so that if a horse-rider’s whip fell to the ground, he would not ask a passerby to pick the whip for him. Instead, he would dismount and pick the whip himself (Abu Dawud, 2/124).
We learn from Islamic traditions that the best Muslim is one from whose evils people are safe. From one of these traditions we have the saying: A believer is one who fears God and keeps people safe from his evil (Al-Bukhari).
According to another tradition recorded in Al-Bukhari, the Prophet of Islam observed: “Sadaqa (voluntary alms) is incumbent upon every Muslim.” That is, every Muslim should be a giver. Asked what to do if one had nothing to give, he replied that one should earn and be a giver. When asked what the would-be giver should do if he were unable to earn, the Prophet replied: He should voice his good intentions towards others. Asked if he were unable to do even that, the Prophet replied that he should then refrain himself from causing harm to others, because this is also a gift. (Fathul Bari, 10/462).
According to another hadith the Prophet observed: “A believer with perfect faith is one who struggles to spend his life and property in the cause of God. And the second in rank is one who is engaged in prayer in some corner and from whom people are safe (Sunan Abi Dawud, 3/5).
We have a large number of such traditions in book of hadith. These demonstrate a range of characters which can be taken as models for posterity. Of this selection, the individual, who ranks highest in character is one who benefits others. The honest, but still acceptable standard of character in Islam is that of the individual who, being entirely harmless, creates no problems for the rest of society.
Islam is an Arabic word which connotes submission, surrender and obedience. Islam is complete submission to Allah (God), Alone. Islam is a true religion given by Allah to mankind and the religion of all the Prophets sent by Allah, and Islam is the religion of all Muslims.
Who is a Muslim?
A Muslim is one who believes in the Oneness of Allah and he submits to the Will of Allah, Alone, without associating any partners with the Creator. The one who practices Islam is a true Muslim.
Where does the name Muslim come from?
From Allah. He has given this name. It is mentioned in the Final Revelation of Allah to mankind: “It is He Who named you Muslims both before and in this (Revelation).” (Qur’an, 22:78)
Why should we be Muslims?
Because Islam is Allah’s religion and the only that is acceptable to Him. The Qur’an says: “If anyone desires a religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted from him, and in the Hereafter, he shall be among the losers.” (Qur’an, 3:85)
Submission is of two types:
1. Compulsory: Such as that of the sun, the moon, the stars, the oceans, plants, animals, etc. Even one’s blood pressure or biological system have no choice but to obey the Law of Allah.
2. Voluntary: To do or not to do something in obedience to the Commands of Allah. So we can say that Islam is the natural way of life, the natural religion.
What are the Pillars of Islam?
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Islam is built upon five (pillars):
1. To testify that none is worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah;
2. To establish prayer;
3. To pay Zakat (obligatory charity upon the rich to the poor);
4. To fast the month of Ramadan;
5. And to perform Haj to the House of Allah for whomsoever has the means.” (Al-Bukhari)
What are the Pillars of Faith?
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Faith is to believe in:
1. Allah (that He is the One and Only Lord and Creator, Who Alone has the right to be worshiped and that He has Names and Attributes that are not shared by any of His creatures);
2. His angels (created by Allah from light, they perform certain duties assigned to them and they are totally obedient to Allah).
3. His Books (the Torah, the Injeel, the Zaboor and the Qur’an, which confirms and fulfills the previous Revelations).
4. His Messengers (the bearers of Revelation sent to mankind).
5. The Final Day (the Day of Resurrection, when man will be judged).
6. And to believe in Qadr (Allah’s Divine Decree) both good and bad (i.e. to be content with whatever Allah has decreed for us, while taking the precautions and lawful causes that lead to the desired result).” (Sahih Muslim)
Why has Allah created us?
Allah has created us to worship Him: He says: “And I created not the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (Qur’an, 51:56)
What is worship?
Worship is a comprehensive term which includes all actions and deeds which are loved and ordained by Allah, such as du’a (supplication), prayer, reciting the Qur’an, giving charity etc.
How do we worship?
We worship Him in the way that He and His Messenger commanded us. Allah says: “O, you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and render not vain your deeds.” (Qur’an, 47:33)
Why did Allah send prophets?
He sent them to call mankind to the worship of one God – Allah, and to reject the association of partners with Him. He says: “And verily, We sent among every nation a Messenger (proclaiming): ‘Worship Allah (Alone) and avoid the Taghoot (false gods).’” (Qur’an, 16:36)
As we wear new clothes and go to the prayer place of Eid …
As we go to meet our dear ones …
As we exchange congratulations and good wishes …
As we have delicious sweets …
As we give our children Eid gifts …
As we grin from ear to ear …
As we feel overjoyed on this day … We should remember:
That Allah’s favor on us requires continuous gratitude in order to last, for Allah Almighty says: “And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: If you give thanks, I will give you more; but if you are thankless, My punishment is severe.” (14:7).
That it is our duty to be moderate in everything, for Allah has prohibited us from wastefulness in his Noble Book saying: “O Children of Adam! Take your adornment while praying, and eat and drink, but waste not by extravagance, certainly He likes not Al-Musrifun.” (7:31).
That millions of our Muslim brothers and sisters in different areas of the earth are deprived of the graces we enjoy.
That there are millions of Muslim or phans who do not find enough food, drink, or clothes.
The distressed, grieving widows.
The Muslim mujahideen who anticipate their reward from Allah.
The captives in the prisons of our enemies in occupied territories.
The defenders of Muslim lands in Palestine, Iraq , Afghanistan and Chechnya .
The banner of Jihad, which needs those who will raise it, Allah willing.
Our duties to our Lord Almighty that we must support this religion and elevate the banner of Islam.
The aim for which we we re created by Allah Almighty, Who says: “And I created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me [Alone].” (51:56).
The effective weapon the Lord Almighty granted us, with which we can shield ourselves day and night, the weapon of supplication. (Ghafir 40:60).
That it is our duty to support our religion and our Muslim brothers and sisters as much as we can at every time and every place.
That our enemies spare no effort to support their causes, and that we must exert more efforts in supporting our causes.
Countering the intellectual attack
We must confront the intellectual onslaught represented in the radio, books, newspapers, magazines and writings which the Muslim communities in our present time have been afflicted with.
The Muslim male and female spend most of their time with such, despite the fact that they contain deadly poison and misleading propagation most of the time. Therefore confronting this is a very important issue if we want to protect Islam and the Islamic culture from its conspiracies and evil.
The da’ees and the defenders of Islam must devote their time in writing beneficial researches, articles, periodicals and give da’wah. They should respond to different types of cultural attack and expose its defects and clarify its falseness. The enemies have gathered now and are preparing all their efforts and abilities to establish different organizations and various ways to scheme and plot against the Muslims and deceive them.
Therefore we must counter attack these enemies. We must refute and disapprove of their networks, expose them, and present Islam as a faith, belief, legal system and a social and moral system. This should be done in a way that will make the people learn it, through good methods suitable for the age, and with wisdom and good admonition, arguing in a way that is best. We should use all the methods of the media, according to the resources available and our ability.
The deen of Islam is a complete deen, which contains all good. It is the source of happiness for all mankind, and helps us in achieving righteous prosperity, sound progression, security, tranquillity and a noble life and victory in this life and in the Hereafter.
The leaders and the scholars should exert efforts to enlighten and direct the population of Muslims and combat the efforts of the enemies of Islam, by retaliating with their own efforts.
The Muslim Ummah is an Ummah that has been entrusted with this religion and has the responsibility of conveying it. If we are careful to arm our boys and girls in Islamic societies, with knowledge, understanding and comprehension of Islamic Jurisprudence and accustom them to apply these things from a small age, then we will not fear, by the permission of Allah, the Most High, as long as they continue to holding onto the deen of Allah, glorifying it, following its laws, and fighting that which contradicts it. And indeed their enemies will fear them.
Allah says in the Qur’an:
“O you who believe! If you help Allah, He will help you and make your foothold firm.” (Qur’an, 47:7)
“If you remain patient and become pious not the least harm will their cunning to do you. Surely Allah surrounds all that they do.” (Qur’an, 3:120)
There are many verses in the Qur’an which convey this message. The most important factor for us in fighting against the efforts of our enemies is raising and preparing a generation that knows the reality of Islam.
This can be achieved through guidance, taking care of the house and family, the method of educating them, the media and improvement of the society.
In addition to this is the role of steering and guiding which needs to be taken by the Muslim leadership, persevering in beneficial work and continually reminding the people that which will benefit them and make the belief within them grow and flourish.
– Words of Advice regarding Da`wah , Al-Hidaayah Publishers
In everything the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, whether a comment on a situation, a story, an advice, or a sermon, and in everything he dictated, such as an agreement, a promise or a letter, he was in effect delivering God’s message, explaining the part of it that was related to the situation in hand.
He realized that his mission meant that he dedicated his life to this task. God tells us that His messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him), provides a good example for us to emulate if we aim to earn His pleasure and happiness in the life to come. Therefore, the Prophet realized that he had to provide such good example, by word and deed. He certainly did that in the best way a human being could do.
One value that the Prophet wanted instilled in his followers was humility. This is a virtue that people would do well to have. However, it is easily lost when a person is in a position of authority. The Prophet wanted those whom he appointed as commanders or governors to make this virtue natural to them. Last week, we looked at a hadith which detailed some of the instructions the Prophet gave to such commanders, when they faced an enemy. Before they could engage the enemy in a fight, they were to offer them one of three choices. The same hadith gives further instructions, as follows: “If you besiege people in a fort and they want to make an agreement with you, asking you to give them a pledge on God’s honor and His messenger’s honor, do not give them that. Give them a pledge on your own and your companions’ honor. Should you violate a pledge on your honor is much lesser (as an offense) than violating a pledge on God’s and His messenger’s honor. If you besiege people in a fort and they want you to administer to them God’s judgment, do not do that, but give them your own judgment. You do not know whether you exactly pass God’s judgment on them or not.” (Related by Muslim).
In this outline, the Prophet urges anyone who is in a leadership position to keep focused on their positions. They are entrusted with duties of responsibility and they must discharge their responsibility without losing sight of the fact that as human beings, they are liable to make mistakes or take wrong actions. Hence, if an enemy wants to arrive at some peaceful arrangements with the Muslims, the Muslim commander should grant them that. It is natural that the surrendering enemy wants to be certain of the commitment of the Muslim army. Therefore, they ask for the agreed arrangements to be solemnized with a pledge on God’s and His messenger’s honor. The Prophet tells such commanders not to give such a pledge. Should circumstances change, a different commander takes over, or a threat is perceived, or anything that might compel or persuade the Muslims to go back on their commitment, they would be violating a pledge given in God’s name and on His honor. This is very serious. Hence, they should never put that to the test. Instead they make their pledges on their own honor. This is sufficient for any party, because Muslims must never violate their promises.
The same applies to anyone asking for his case to be dealt with according to God’s verdict. A Muslim governor or commander must never give such a pledge, because he will rule according to the circumstances and conditions that are presented to him. There may be something he does not know that may affect his judgment. Hence, he cannot tell in advance that his judgment will concur with God’s judgment. Therefore, his pledge is to look into the matter in hand and consider it in accordance with God’s law, but his judgment will be on the basis of what he sees to be right. Of course he will have to make every effort to arrive at the right judgment, but in the end it will be his own. We see how in our world dictators utilize every means at their disposal to instill in people’s minds that what they do is the absolute right, producing the ultimate good. Even leaders in democratic regimes make similar claims, albeit a little tamed. A Muslim ruler will always know his place and say that he will endeavor to be right, but as a human being he is liable to err.
– by Adil Salahi
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever seeks a way to acquire knowledge, Allah will make his way easy to Paradise.” (Sahih Muslim)
The above Hadith is a part of a long Hadith which talks about the importance and virtues of seeking knowledge.
This Hadith mentions that if one chooses to seek the path of knowledge then he has a lot to gain from it. If we try to analyze, we will understand that the type of knowledge our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is mentioning hear is the knowledge of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. This kind of knowledge will lead one to paradise. Othman Bin Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The most superior among you are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it.” (Bukhari)
The road to paradise becomes easy when a Muslim seeks knowledge for the sake of Allah Alone, for only His pleasure and to seek His reward. Since Islam teaches every aspect of life one can easily identify a change in behavior, outlook and perspective of the seeker.
To gain proper kind of knowledge a Muslim should do actions that are ordained by Allah and avoid things forbidden by Him. He should become punctual in offering his Salah, Sawm and other obligations. He should not only improve his relationship with his Lord but also improve his relationship with his kith and kin and all human beings in general.
In any case knowledge is light and ignorance is darkness. But in the light of this Hadith the only kind of knowledge that can be beneficial in the Hereafter is the knowledge of Islam. By gaining knowledge knowledge a person’s life is enlightened and his vision is widened, which reduces the chances of one being misguided.
He doesn’t do anything wrong with himself nor he does it with others. He himself walks in light and helps others to do the same. Furthermore, he is guided by Allah from darkness and evil.
A person who is enriched with the knowledge of Qur’an and Sunnah is blessed with many virtues attached as mentioned in the Qur’an and Ahadith. The birds and creatures on land, the fishes in the oceans pray for the forgiveness of a person who he set out in search of knowledge.
To gain knowledge a person has to choose the correct route for it, which is attending Islamic lectures, being a part of gatherings where reflect on Ahadith and verses from the Qur’an, reading religious books and so on. Thus, if a person strives to acquire knowledge then Insha’Allah one shall be able to acquire it, and the road to paradise would become easy as well.