Ramadan Message from Mercy Mission and AlKauthar Institute

Last week I have received this email from Tawfique Chowdhury (director of the Mercy Mission and AlKauthar Institute).

Dear student and friend,

Assalamualiakum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

It is truly by Allah‘s immense blessings that we are alive for yet another Ramadan. Words cannot describe our gratitude to Allah and the joy in our hearts as we ease into this Month of Mercy. What an amazing time this month will be! A month of forgiveness and safety from the fire; a month in which there is a special dua that He accepts every day at the time of breaking our fast; a month in which we remember our poor and our brothers languishing in the depths of the prisons away from their families; where the wretched devils are chained; and the beautiful angels descend; where evil is destroyed and goodness prevails; a month of great victory for the ummah at the battle of Badr, the conquest of Makkah, the tremendous victory of the valiant Tariq bin Ziyad over the lands of Andalusia, the victory of brave Salahuddeen over the Crusaders, the victory of the gallant Salahudden Qutz and his Muslims knights in the plains of Ain Jalut in that epic battle over the Mongols – all of this in the month of divine help and glory: Ramadan; a month of devotion to Allah and prayers upon His noble Prophet; a month of friendship and love with our beloved ummah; a month of charity and Zakat and cleansing; a month of the Quran and wondering in its wisdoms; a month of journey every night into the gardens of prayer to a Lord that is delighted to see His slaves begging and asking for His bounty; a month with days of seclusion with Allah in the corners of His mosques to remember and remind us of the imminent seclusion in the belly of the grave; a month of the most powerful night of all when the angels descend with mighty Jibraeel alaihis salam to spread peace and tranquillity until the morn. What a shame that our non-Muslim colleagues fail to realise our sheer joy at the coming of this month. Truly, it is just as the pious predecessors used to say: The people of worship in their worship are more joyous than the people of frivolities in their playfulness.

I would like to take this opportunity to greet you, to congratulate you on the advent of Ramadan, to make my sincere dua for you, to express my deepest friendship and love for you and my sincere care and support for you and your families with the sincere hope that Allah makes this month a means to ease your worries, to replace it with goodness and transform your world into a Jannah in this life. May Allah give you what your heart desires and amaze you with His bounty and grace. Today, with the Ummah in the grips of wars and military aggression, earthquakes and natural disasters and a constant intellectual war on our way of life and our Islamic ethics and values – at a time like this, we are in need of a divine intervention. In times like this, Allah the most high has equipped us with a weapon more powerful than anything known to man. A weapon that we can use any time, where ever we may be, having unlimited ammunition and unlimited strength – it is the weapon of every believer: Dua. I urge you to use that divine weapon in this month; to fortify yourself from every evil and trial and use it to replace the honour and glory that is rightly for this Ummah. I ask Allah that He makes this a month of unity and strength and honour and glory and forgiveness and hope for you, me and all Muslims. Ameen.

My friends, the key to success in this Ramadan, will not be the performance of major deeds in some of the nights rather than others. It is and always will be the performance of those little things, but with precise regularity. Such will be the path to our spiritual revival, the means to have every gate of Jannah to bear our names and the way to making Allah amazed and content with us. It is in with this in mind that I have designed a list of activities and deeds that a Muslim should endeavour to do in Ramadan. If you stick to it and do as much of it as possible, then I have no doubt that you will qualify for being a true and exemplary believer. http://www.alkauthar.org/downloads/Ramadanchecklist.pdf

Also, in the last few months, Islam Channel in the UK was kind enough to film a series of heart warming lectures by myself in Europe’s first Muslim only graveyard – the Gardens of peace. The series will have started to show already on Islam Channel daily. I encourage you to make some time to see every episode in that series since I myself have been profoundly touched ever since I did that series in that amazing graveyard. I hope that it will help you to put your life in perspective and to realize that in the grand scale of our Journey to the Hereafter, we are only here for a fleeting time.

Lastly my friends, if there is anything at all that I can do to help you or to make Ramadan more enjoyable for you and more successful for you, then please do not deny me the honour of aiding you in it. Please don’t hesitate to email me if you wish, or use the forums for any non-personal issues and questions that you may have: http://forums.alkauthar.org I hope to see you again sometime soon inshaAllah.

Wassalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

Tawfique Chowdhury
DirectorMercy Mission and AlKauthar Institute
alkauthar.org

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Q & A: How much do you need to listen for your Friday prayer to be valid?

QA: How much do you need to listen for your Friday prayer to be valid?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Q: How much of Friday Khutbah do you need to listen to for your Friday prayer to be valid

A:
bismi-llāhi ar-raḥmāni ar-raḥīmi

Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

1. Attending the khutba is a necessary duty, and it is sinful to be late for the khutba. It is necessary, too, to take the means to be able to attend the khutba in full; and anything that delays one’s attendance of the khutba–even an otherwise praiseworthy matter such as a sunna ghusl for Friday–is interdicted, because of the Divine Command, “… if the call to prayer is given on Friday, then hasten to the remembrance of Allah [f: namely, the khutba] and leave your trade.” [Qur’an]

2. However, the validity of one’s Friday prayer itself is not contingent upon attending the khutba. Rather, one’s Friday prayer itself is valid and counts even if one joined the congregation at the very end.

[Ref: Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani

Source: SunniPath

Friday Khutbah (09 March 2007): Spreading salaams

Friday Khutbah (09 March 2007): Spreading salaams

One of the first words that the Prophet, صÙ?Ù?اÙ?Ù?Ù? عÙ?Ù?Ù? Ù?سÙ?Ù? is reported to have said on entering Madeenah were: “O people! Spread Salaam (glad tidings/greetings of peace), feed (the poor and needy), maintain the ties of the wombs, and offer prayer when the people are normally asleep, and (thus) enter Paradise in peace.”

What is the meaning of spreading salaam? Is it merely to say the words: As-salaamu’alaykum (peace be upon you) to one another by way of greeting? Or does it have a deeper meaning?

Muslims who understand the true meaning of afshus-salaam (spreading salaam) will try and keep others secure from their sharr (evil) by thought, word and deed. That means: they will not act on the evil suggestions of their Self, by not thinking evil thoughts about others (envy/jealousy/enmity/suspicion/thoughts of a sexual nature). They will safeguard the tongue and stop themselves from speaking evil(lies/slander/gossip/backbiting/vain talk) about others. They will control their bodies and restrain themselves from physically harming others — by way of physical assault or taking an innocent life that is forbidden by Allaah; or by indulging in unlawful physical contact.

If a Muslim does all this, he is said to extend salaam to others.

People who set out to spread the opposite of salaam

There are people who deliberately (or unknowingly) set out to spread the opposite of salaam. They create discord among husbands and wives, parents and children, among extended families, neighbours and communities, among nations and the Ummah.

Their situation is like the ones mentioned in the Qur’aan: “And when it is said to them: ‘Do not cause discord/corruption on earth’, they say: ‘Rather, we are but reformers’. Unquestionably, it is they who spread discord/corruption; but they do not perceive it.” (2: 11-12)

Friday Khutbah (02 March 2007): Reviving the individual

Friday Khutbah (02 March 2007): Reviving the individual

Alhamdulillah. Thanks to the Almighty for everything that He provides. Nothing in this world can replace the feelings of holding on tight to Him. Found an article from islamonline. Very inspirational and motivating. Enjoy~

By Arshad Gamiet

Individuals committed to serving Islam, are like building bricks fused together to form a solid wall. Each individual, like a brick, must be strong and capable of withstanding the loads and stresses that he or she is called upon to bear. Just as each brick must be fully burnt and purified in a kiln and pass certain minimum standards, an individual also has to go through a process of training and development in order to be an effective ambassador of Islam. But what is involved in this construction of the individual? What has the individual got to do in order to prepare for this God-given role? These are fundamental questions because a prerequisite to the revival of Muslim society is a revival of the individual or the self.

The starting point in this process is what the Qur’an calls the human heart. Look at yourself and you will find inside you a whole universe â?? emotions, desires, urges, and instincts â?? which motivates you from within. The heart does not mean the pump which pushes blood around the body; it means the center of the personality that pumps motivations, desires, and urges and which makes us do what we want to do. The Qur’an goes on to explain that this is the key to ourselves. Our success depends not on what we are physically nor on what we do, but on what lies at the center of our personality.

On the Day of Judgment, successful only is (the one who comes to Allah with a sound heart ) (Ash-Shu`araa’ 26:89)

A hadith of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) says:

Beware,there is a piece of flesh in the human body. If it is right, then the whole body is right and sound; and if it is corrupted then the whole body is corrupted. Look, this is the ‘heart’.(Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

According to the Qur’an, the basis of corruption stems from within ourselves. The social institutions may be corrupt, there may be exploitation and abuse in the economic and politics spheres, but the basis of all these diseases lies inside our hearts.

What is it that stops mankind from seeing right and doing what’s right and turns them blind? The Qur’an explains, (It is not the eyes which go blind but it is the hearts within breasts which go blind) (Al-Hajj 22:46)

Then, the heart is the basic starting point for any positive change or any effort to improve our current situations. We have to purify the heart and then summon it to the service of Allah, through service to mankind, whether it be in a professional career, in government, in political institutions, or in economic ventures. Our whole attention must be focused on this continuous refinement of heart. All the rites that have been prescribed by the Qur’an reach out to purify the deepest regions of our self.

The Qur’an says,

(It is not their meat nor their blood (the sacrificial animals), that reaches Allah: it is your taqwa (piety) that reaches Him) (Al-Hajj 22: 37)
If the individual is the primary building block of society, then the heart is its foundation within each person. The important question therefore is how should we set about preparing this most basic element. First we must understand that the heart must submit totally and exclusively to its Creator. It cannot be compartmentalized â?? we cannot dedicate one piece of it to Allah and another to some other “god,” like our wealth, our status, our career, our families, and so on.

Allah is One, indivisible, and wants our service to be undivided to Him. So long as we remain divided within ourselves, so long as our hearts lie in a 100 places, so long as our eyes are set to 100 directions, so long as our destination is not one but many, we shall never be able to achieve that first condition for building a strong and pure Islamic personality.

We should remember that nothing of this world is going to be of use to us when we die however hard we may have striven for it and however valuable it might seem to us. We must recognize that the prizes we should want are not the worldly possessions received from human beings like ourselves. It is only our Creator who can put a real value on our striving and bestow the real reward.

In the Qur’an, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is told to ask [Shall I tell you of a business which will save you of painful torment?] (As-Saff 61:10).

This “business” amounts to people person committing their whole undivided being to Allah alone and selling themselves in order to seek His pleasure. This is the first step towards the building of the individual. The second step is to love Allah.

The Qur’an says (And there are some among men who take for themselves objects of worship besides Allah, whom they love as they love Allah, and those who believe are stronger in love for Allah) (Al-Baqarah 2:165).

It does not say that one must love only Allah and no one else. Love is a blessing given to us by Allah, which is manifested in so many aspects of life. In Islam, however, love must be foremost for Allah and the Prophet.

What is love? Perhaps it cannot be defined in terms that adequately reflect its nature and importance in people’s lives. It is not possible to define it by a formula as we define a scientific fact, nor can we define it by a mathematical equation. But still each one of us knows what love is and can tell, from personal experience, the powerful force it is once it comes to reside in the heart. It becomes the overpowering force in life. It captivates you, it grips you, it moves you and it makes you prepared to do anything for the sake of it. Once love is there, what you do is not something that has to be imposed upon you, because you need imposition only for the things you do not love.

Iman is something that must penetrate deep in our heart and generate love for Allah and His Prophet more than for anything else. Unless that happens inside you, you cannot get the real taste of iman. According to a famous hadith, nobody can taste iman unless Allah and His Prophet are more beloved to him than everything else. But we must remember that this love for Allah and His Prophet is not of a kind to take us into the seclusion of a monastery. It is a love that makes us do our duty to Allah while we are in the street, at home, or at work â?? everywhere we live as servants of Allah, willingly making every sacrifice required of us. Whether or not we have that love is something for each one of us to closely examine. One of the criteria is that if you love something, one of your most intense desires is to get nearer to it. Now we have a way in which we can come nearer to Allah and talk to Him, and that way is the prayer. When someone performs prayer, they actually comes nearer to Allah and talks to Him.

If you look at how you pray five times a day, you will have a barometer in your hand to find how much you love Allah. Once you are praying to Him, you are in front of Him, you are near to Him, you are talking to Him, you are responding to Him in gratitude, you are asking for His forgiveness. Prayer is not just a ritual in which you go through certain postures. The soul has to surrender itself exclusively to Allah and love Him. This love is like a seed that, as it grows, envelops the entire personality. This will make us the sort of person Islam needs today.

The next question is how to nurse and cultivate this seed of faith. The most important nourishment for it is the Qur’an. We know that the first workers for Islam got their training from the Qur’an. It was their guide, their light, their leader. It is a treasure house of soul-stirring inspiration and wisdom. We should spend much effort in trying to understand the Qur’an. But we must know that the real test of benefiting from the Qur’an lies in translating those divine words and ideas into action in our own daily life.

The Qur’an says that when people really listen to it, their faith will increase. The eyes of those who truly listen to the Qur’an, allowing their hearts to be affected, will well up with tears that trickle down their cheeks. Sadly, many of us listen to the Qur’an or read it, but our hearts are not moved, nor do our lives change. It is as if water is falling on a rock and flowing away. Our task is to replace this hard rock with soft absorbent soil so that the Qur’an may nourish the seed that has been planted. We should always study the Qur’an as if it were being revealed today. One of the greatest injustices we do to the Qur’an is to read it as if it were something of the past and of no relevance to the present.

The next method of sustaining the seed of iman is to develop a strong bond of brotherhood. Brotherhood reinforces people’s lives like nothing else. The Qur’an says (Withhold yourself with those who call upon Allah in the early morning and nightfall) (Al-Kahf 18: 28). As soon as you have planted the seed of iman in your own heart, you will recognize it in others. You find that there is some sort of harmony between you and them.

The final method to nourish the seed of iman is da`wah â?? to strive and invite others to the path of Allah, the same path as you are following yourself. Again, if the faith is there inside you, this is a necessary outcome of it. As iman increases you get aroused and you want to go out and tell everybody what you think is right, or call upon them to join your mission and your group. Moreover, as your group grows, your iman grows as well, each reinforcing the other, and that is how the whole of life becomes integrated and turns into a path to what pleases Allah. To sum up, you, the individual, are the key to the Ummah, and your heart is the key to you.

* Based on a Friday sermon delivered at the Royal Holloway,University of London, UK, on April 30, 1999. Courtesy of http://www.khutbahbank.org.uk. Arshad Gamiet is a South African writer living in the United Kingdom. He is a co-founder of the Khutbah Bank.

Validity Of Two Rakaats During Khutbah of Jum’ah

Validity Of Two Rakaats During Khutbah of Jum’ah

As Salaamu Alaikum

Quran & Sunnah Panacea For All Muslim Disputes:
Every Friday, the scenario is the same in most masjids of United Kingdom: Latecomers offer two Rakaats while the Imam delivers the Khuthbah. In some Masjids, this action is frowned upon, in others, it is discouraged; yet in other Masjids, it… What is the correct hukm on offering two rakaats during the Khutbah of Jum’ah?The golden rule when we fall into disputes among ourselves in matters of Deen is to return to Qur’an and the Sunnah for a resolution. The Qur’an says: “O you who believe! obey Allah and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you. If you differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and the Messenger if you do believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is best and most suitable for final determination.” (Q.4:59).

Ahaadith Narrated On The Issue.
  1. Abu Sa’eed (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that a man entered the masjid on the day of Jum’ah3 while the Prophet (S) was delivering the khutbah on the minbar, and he ordered him to pray two rakaats. (Reported. by Ibn Majah and others).
  2. That a man came on the day of Jum’ah looking shabbily while the Prophet (s) was delivering the khutbah, and he ordered him to pray two rakaaats ( Reported by AtTirmidhi).
  3. Jaabir (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that a man came on the day of Jum’ah while the Messenger of Allah (s) was delivering the khutbah. He said. “Did you pray?” The man answered: “No.” He then commanded him : “Pray two rakaats.” (Reported by the Jamaa’ah, lbn Majah, Tirmidhi, and several others.)
  4. In one narration, it is mentioned “If one of you comes on the day of Jum’ah while the Imaam is delivering the khutbah, let him pray two rakaats lightly and quickly.” Reported by Ahmad, Muslim, and Abu Dawood).
  5. In another narration:”If one of you enters a masjid, let him not sit until he prays two rakaats.” (Reported by the Jamaa’ah). These ahaadith clearly indicate the shar’ee4 validity of praying two rakaats during the khutbah of Jum’ah.
Legal opinions On The Issue
  1. The first group of scholars, Imaams Shaafi’ee, Ahmad, Maalik in one ruling of his, and others held that two rakaats prayed during the khutbah of Jum’ah is permissible, citing the above-mentioned ahaadith as their proof
  2. The second group of scholars, AthThawree and the learned of Koofah5 held that no one should pray while the Khutbah is being delivered. This view was also held by Abu Haneefah, Maalik in another ruling of his, and most of the salaf (righteous predecessors) from among the Sahaabah6 and Taabi’een7 including Ibn Abbaas, Ibn Umar, Ali, Qataadah, and ‘Ataa’.
Reason For Difference Of Opinions
The opinion of the second group of scholars is based on the reasoning that the Prophetic command to pry two rakaats during the khutbah on Jum’ah was addressed specifically to Sulaayk, the name of the man mentioned in the above-cited ahaadith, due to his impoverished condition (see hadith b above) and therefore does not apply to others unlike him. He was ordered by the Prophet (s) to pray so that people would see his poor condition and respond to his needs by charity and so forth.
Refutation of Those Who Prohibit Prayer During Khutbah
Scholars rebut that the origin of the hukm has nothing to do with specificity, that is, specific reference to one individual. Also, the Prophetic command to Sulayk to pray during the khutbah for the sake of charity does not necessarily prohibit the permissibility of prayer offered during the khutbah. This statement is supported by ahaadith (d, e,). in the words of the Prophet (s): “If one of you comes… ” is a general address to anyone who finds himself in that situation on Jum’ah. Argument: The ayah8 (“When the Qur’an is read, listen to it,” Q.7:204) supports the view of the second group of scholars Reply: Khutbah and Quran are two different things. The issue concerns praying during the Khutbah -not reading of the Quran or listening to it:Argument: The hadith (“If you say to your companion `keep quiet.” while the Imaam is giving the khutbah, you have indulged in idleness.” Agreed Upon) is proof for the second group.

Reply: The prohibition in the hadith is against cross-talk during the delivery of the khutbah not Salaah. The two of them cannot be equated so that the prohibition of one is necessarily a prohibition of the other.

Argument The following hadith is proof for the second group (A man [entered the masjid] making a pathway dough the necks of the people on Jum’ah while the Prophet (s) was delivering his khutbah. He said to him: “Sit! You have caused disturbance.” Reported Abu Dawood). The proof lies in the fact that the Prophet (s) ordered him to sit and not pray.

Reply: A possible interpretation of the hadith is that the Prophetic order to sit and not pray the two rakaats was a specific command to that particular individual who made himself a nuisance by annoying people who were already seated in the masjid. There are other interpretations of the hadith, but the fact remains is that it is not a clear proof to support the second group of scholars in their prohibition of pray during the khutbah.

Argument: The following hadith is also used as proof by the second group of scholars (“If one of you enters the masjid while the Imaam is on the minbar there is no salah nor speech until the Imam finishes.” (Reported by At -Tabaraani).

Reply: The hadith reported by At Tabaraani is da’eef (weak). The hadith scholar Abu Haatim describes it as “rejected” (munkar).

Argument: The following hadith is also cited as proof (A man came while the Messenger of Allah was delivering the khutbah and the Prophet (s) said to him: “Stand and pray two rakaats!” Then he stopped his delivery of the khutbah until the man had finished his prayer. (Reported by Ad Daaraqutni)

Reply: This hadith is inauthentic. As a matter of fact, Daaraqutni himself weakened the hadith, saying that it is either mu’dil9 or mursal10

Argument: When the Prophet (S) preoccupied himself by speaking with Sulayk, it nullified the obligation of listening to the khutbah at that point in time. Ibn Al-Arabi said: “This is the strongest argument of theirs.”

Reply: According to Ibn Hajar, “This is actually their weakest argument, since when the Prophet spoke to Sulayk he returned to delivering the khutbah while Sulayk occupied himself with the Prophetic command of performing the two rakaats. And it is authenticated that he did so during the khutbah of the Prophet (s).

Argument: Scholars are in agreement that the Salaah upon entering the masjid (At_ Tahiyyah) is not a right upon the Imaam. If that is the case with the Imam, that is, leaving out that prayer upon entering the masjid, then it must be even more so upon the follower to leave out that prayer if he enters the masjid while the Imam is giving the khutbah.

Reply: This qiyaas11 is invalid since it contradicts unambiguous ahaadith of the Prophet (S) on the matter of offering two rakaats during khutbah of Jum’ah as we have mentioned above (see hadith c, d, e)

Argument: The early scholars of Al-Madinah during the period of the salaf and the view of Umar, Uthman, and others among the Salmbah is sufficient proof to establish the hukm of prohibition of pray during khutbah.

Reply: This view of the majority of the salaf does not tantamount to ijmaa (consensus) so that it can be considered as shar’i proof. There are many among them who hold the view of permissibiltiy on prayer during the khutbah, such as Abu Sa’eed, Al-Hasan, Makhool, Abu Thawr, and so forth. Further more the majority view contradicts authentic ahaadith and they cannot be considered shar’i proof .

CONCLUSION
Preferred View: The opinion of the first group of scholars who held that it is Sunnah to perform two rakaats during the khutbah of Jum’ah based an authenticated ahaadith of the Prophet(S) narrated on the issue. No one has the right under Shari’ah to prohibit someone from offering this prayer if he enters the masjid while the khutbah is been given. It should be noted, however, that there is a certain adaab or etiquette in performing this two rakaats:
  1. That it should be performed lightly and quickly.
  2. It should not be offered at the expense of causing disturbance to others. This adaab is gleaned frorn the following hadiths:
    1. The Prophet (s) said: “If one of you comes[to the masjid] and the Imaam is delivering the khutbah, let him pray two short, light rakaats.” (Reported by Ahmad, Muslim, Abu Davwod).
    2. A man came [to the masjid and proceeded to] walk trough the necks of the people on the day of Jum’ah. The Prophet (s) said to him: ” Sit! You have disturbed {others)”. (Reported by Abu Dawood and An-Nasaa’i.)

Footnotes to Article

  1. Hukm – Islamic legal ruling on an issue
  2. Deen – Religion; more appropriately the way of life of Islam.
  3. Jum’ah-The day of Friday, the last day of the Islamic calendar week
  4. Shar’ee – Pertaining to the legality of Islaamic laws
  5. Koofah – An ancient city of leaming in Iraq.
  6. Sahaabah – Companions of the Prophet (s)
  7. Taabi’een -Followers, or the generation after the Sahaabah.
  8. Ayah -Verse of the Qur’an
  9. Mu’dil – “Problematic”, a type of weak hadith
  10. Mursal “Incompletely transmitted”, a type of weak hadith

Qiyaas Juristic analogy, a legal proof of Islamic law agreed upon by most scholars.

source: Minhaj al-Muslim