Q&A: Missing the Friday Prayer in the West Because of Work

Missing the Friday Prayer in the West Because of Work — Answered by Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam

Question:

I have a brother who is contemplating a career change primarily because he would not be able to hold a teaching position at the elementary school level if he had to leave every week for Jumu?a. I have apparently been told that the Syrian Hanafi position is that Jumu?a is not mandatory in the West because there is no Muslim ruler or established Islamic authority.

Answer:

The position of the mainstream and majority of scholars, both from the Subcontinent and the Arab world, is that the condition of having a Muslim ruler sultan in order to establish the Friday prayer is not a condition in of itself; rather, a means to ensure that there is no dispute regarding the establishment of the Friday prayer.

The renowned Hanafi Jurist faqih, Imam al-Kasani Allah have mercy on him explains in his Bada?i al-Sana?i that the condition of having the Sultan?s permission is to avoid any possible disputes and arguments, because the Friday jumu?a prayer is offered in a large congregating and to lead such a massive congregation in prayer is indeed a great privilege; hence, it may lead those who like to be in the limelight into competing and arguing with one another to acquire the post of leading the Friday prayer. For this reason, appointing the right person to lead the Friday prayer was left to the discretion of the Sultan, so that he may appoint whomever he feels fit for this esteemed position. As a result, there would be no dispute, for others would be forced into obeying the Sultan and may even fear his punishment. Bada?i al-Sana?i, 1/261

He further states that the above is when the Sultan or his representative is present. However, if the Sultan was not able to attend for one reason or another and the time of Jumu?a Salat came in, then there is nothing wrong in the congregation uniting in the appointment of an Imam and praying behind him. This is supported by what Imam Muhammad has narrated that when Sayyiduna Uthman Allah be pleased with him was surrounded by the enemies, people appointed Sayyiduna Ali Allah be pleased with him to lead them in the Friday prayer. ibid

In light of the above explanation and in light of the explanation given by many other jurists, it is not a condition of the Friday prayer that it be performed in a Muslim land. In the absence of a Sultan or a Muslim ruler, it is completely permissible for the Muslims to choose someone to lead the Friday prayer and such a Friday prayer would be considered valid.

When the Friday prayer is considered valid, it becomes obligatory upon each and every Muslim male to attend the prayer unless there is a dire and genuine excuse. Missing the Friday prayer without a legally accepted excuse would be extremely sinful.

Allah Most High says:

?O you who believe! When the call for Friday prayer is made, hasten towards the remembrance of Allah Prayer and Khutba and leave all transactions. This is best for you if you know.?
— Sura al-Jumu?a, V: 9

The above is the position of most contemporary Ulama. What you have been told regarding the Syrian Hanafi position, it is incorrect; rather, many top Syrian Ulama concur with the position of the Subcontinent Fuqaha, in that the Friday prayer is obligatory even in the West. I myself once heard Shaykh Muhammad Sa?id Ramadhan al-Buti Allah preserve him refuting quite vigorously the isolated position of Jumu?a not being obligatory in the West.

Hence, your brother will be doing the right thing by looking for an alternative job if he is unable to offer his Jumu?a prayer at his current post. It will not be permitted to take up a career where one is regularly unable to offer one?s Friday prayer, even in the West.

And Allah knows best

Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK

via Missing the Friday Prayer in the West Because of Work.

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The Blessings and Sunnahs of Eid ul Adha

Yawm al-Arafat: The day of Arafat

The 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah is the day of Arafat. It is this day when the pilgrims gather on the mountain plain of Arafat, praying and supplicating to their Lord. The day of Arafat holds great importance in Islam since this is the Day when Allah completed his revelation on His Messenger (SAW).

It is reported in the Sahhayn (i.e. Sahh al-Bukhar and Sahh Muslim), from Umar Ibn al-Khattab (RA) that a Jewish man said to him:

O Amr al-Muminn (O head of the Muslims)! There is a verse in the Qur`an, which if was revealed on us, the Jews, we would have taken that day as an Eid (festival). Umar asked: Which verse? He said:

“This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed my favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” [Surah al-Maidah (5): 3]

Umar (RA) said: “We know on which day and in which place was this verse revealed to Allah’s Messenger (SAW). It was when he was standing in Arafat on a Friday.”

Arafat is the day on which Allah took the covenant from the progeny of Adam (alaihis-salm), it was reported that Ibn Abbas (radhi Allahu anhu) narrated: The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alaihi wa-sallam) related:

(When Allah created Adam (AS) Allah took covenant from him in a place Na’man on the day of Arafat, then He extracted from him all the descendants who would be born until the end of the world, generation after generation, and spread them out in front of Him in order to take a covenant from them also. He spoke to them face to face saying:

“Am I not your Lord?”

And they all replied: “Yes, we testify to it”. Allah then explained why He had all of mankind bear witness that He was their Creator and only true God worthy of worship. He said:

“That was in case you (mankind) should say on the Day of Resurrection, ‘Surely, we were unaware of this. We had no idea that You, Allah, were our Lord. No one told us that we were only supposed to worship you.”

[(Sahah by Shaikh al-Albana in Silsilah al-Ahadath as-Sahahah vol: 4, no: 1623]

Fasting on the day of Arafat

Fasting on the day of Arafat is a true blessing and a means of great forgiveness for all who undertakes it and there is no doubt that we should all try our best to fast on this blessed day which is Tomorrow (Sunday the 7th)

In the UK Sehri ends (20 mins before Fajr starts) at 5.55 am and Iftar will be at sunrise at 3:51 pm.

The Prophet (saw) says: “Be content with the fact that Allah will expiate for your sins for a whole year before the day of Arafat and the year after the day of Arafat”! [Saheeh Muslim]

“There is no day on which Allah frees more people from the Fire than the day of Arafat. He comes close and expresses His pride to the angels saying, ‘What do these people want?” [Saheeh Muslim]

However whoever is at Arafat as a pilgrim then fasting is not expected of him as the Prophet (SAW) stopped at Arafat to eat.

Yawm an-Nahr:

The tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah is the greatest day of Hajj. It is known as Yawm an-Nahr (the day of Sacrifice), since it marks the ending of the major rite of Hajj – the Sacrifice. And it is on this day that the Muslims commemorate the bounties and blessings of Allah. It was recorded in a Hadath by Imam Ahmad (in his Musnad vol: 4, no: 350) that the day of Nahr is the most virtuous day to Allah. The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alaihi wa-sallam) said:

“The greatestday of Hajj (Pilgrimage) is the Day of an-Nahr (Slaughtering).” [(Sahah) by Shaikh al-Albana in Irwa al-Ghalal (no: 1101). Abu Dawad no: 1945]

Imam Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728H) said:

“The most excellent day of the week is the day of Jumuah (Friday), by the agreement of the Scholars. And the most excellent day of the year is the day of an-Nahr. Some of them said that it is the day of Arafat. However, the first opinion is the correct one, since it is related in the Sunan collections that the Prophet (SAW) said:

“The most excellent days with Allah is the day of an-Nahr, then the day of al-Qarr (the day that the Muslims reside in Mina).”

[(Sahah) by Shaikh al-Albana in Irwa al-Ghalal (no: 2018). Related by Abu Dawad no: 1765].” [Majma al-Fatawa vol: 25, pp. 288]

The day of An-Nahr is also known as ‘Eid al-Adha’ meaning the festival of Sacrifice and it is one of the two festivals which Allah has granted to the Ummah of Prophet (SAW). Anas (RA) narrated, Allah’s Messenger (SAW) came to Medina and the people of Medina in the days of Jahiliyyah had two days of play and amusement. So, Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said:

“I came to you and you had in Jahiliyyah, two days of play and amusement. Allah has replaced something better for you. The Day of an-Nahr and the day of al-Fitr.” [(Sahah) by Hafidh Ibn Hajr in Bulagh al-Maram. Related by Musnad Ahmad vol: 3, no: 103]

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:

“The day of al-Fitr, and the day of an-Nahr, and the days of at-Tashraq (the three days after an-Nahr) are our days of Eid (festivity); and they are days of eating and drinking.” [(Sahah) by Shaikh al-Albana in Sahah al-Jama (no: 8192). Related by Musnad Ahmad (no: 1945)]

Glorifying Allah with Takbar: (Takbar al-Muqayyid):

From the day of Arafat until the Asr prayer of the 13th day of Dhul-Hijjah, one should make Takbar after every obligatory Salat. Ibn Aba Shaybah relates that Ala (RA) used to make the Takbar beginning after the Fajr prayer on the day of Arafat, until after the Asr prayer on the last day of at-Tashraq. [(Sahah) by Shaikh al-Albana in al-Irwa. Related by Ibn Aba Shaybah in al-Musannaf]

Shaikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) said:

“The most correct saying concerning the Takbar – that which the majority of the Salaf (Pious Predecessors), and the Scholars from the Companions and Imams were upon – is to begin making the Takbar from Fajr (dawn) on the day of Arafat up until the last day of at-Tashraq (the thirteenth of Dhul-Hijjah), after every Prayer.” [Majma al-Fatawa (24/220)]

Imam al-Khattaba (rahimahullah) (d. 456H) said:

“The wisdom behind saying the Takbar in these days is that in the times of Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic ignorance), they used to slaughter for their Taghats (false objects of worship). So the Takbars were prescribed in order to indicate that the act of slaughtering is directed to Allah alone, and by mentioning only His Name.” [Fath al-Bara]

As regards to the actual wording of the Takbars, then nothing authentic has been related from the Messenger of Allah. However, the following have been reported from the Sahabah:

1. Ibn Mas’ad (RA): Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La ilaha illa Allah, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar wa lillahil-Hamd. [(Sahah) Irwa al-Ghalal (650), Daraqutne, Ibn Shaibah]

(Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, There is none worthy of worship except Allah. Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest and to Allah belongs all praises)

2. Ibn Abbas (RA): Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar wa lillahil-Hamd; Allahu Akbar wa-ajal, Allahu akbaru ala mahadana.

[(sahah) – Bayhaqa (3/315)] (Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest and to Allah belongs all praises. Allah is the Greatest to that which He has guided us to)

3. Salman (RA) : Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar kabara.

[(sahah) – Bayhaqa (3/316)] (Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest)

“Increase in these days with Tahlil, Takbar and Tamhid. (Takbar al-Mutlaq). And mention the name of Allah on the appointed Days.” [Sarah al-Hajj (22): 28]

This verse has been explained (by some) to mean the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. Scholars consider it desirable to increase Dhikr (remembrance of Allah) in these days, because the Messenger of Allah (SAW) is reported to have said:

“There are no days that are greater to Allah or in which deeds are more beloved to Him than these ten days, so increase your Tahlil, Takbar and Tamhid during these days.” [Musnad Ahmad]

Tahlil, Takbar and Tamhid mean saying ‘La ilaha illa Allah’, ‘Allahu Akbar’ and ‘al-Hamdu lillah’, respectively.

Ishaq narrates from the scholars of the Tabi’an that in these ten days they used to say: Allahu-Akbar, Allahu-Akbar; La-ilaha-ill-Allah; wallahu-Akbar, Allahu-Akbar; Wa-lillahil-hamd.

It is a beloved act to raise the voice when saying the Takbar in the markets, the houses, the streets, the masjids and other places, because of the saying of Allah Most High in Sarah al-Hajj verse 37:

“…that you may magnify Allah for His Guidance to you…”

Imam Bukhara (rahimahullah) said in the book of al-Idayn in the chapter of the Virtue of good) deeds during the days of Tashraq, Ibn Umar and Abu Hurayrah (RA) would go out in the marketplace during the ten days and say Takbar, and the people would say Takbar when they said Takbar. [Sahah al-Bukhara]

The Sunnah is to say the Takbar individually. The saying of Takbar in congregation, i.e., everyone pronouncing the Takbar with one voice, is not permissible since this has not been transmitted (to us) from the early generations of the Sahabah and those who followed their ways. This is applicable for all Dhikr and supplications, except if the person doesn’t know what to say. In that case he may repeat after someone else until he learns (the words to be said).

Narrated al-Bara (Allah be pleased with him) that he heard the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam) delivering a khutbah saying: “The first thing to be done on this day (first day of Eid-ul-Adha) is to pray; and after returning from the prayer we slaughter our sacrifices (in the name of Allah), and whoever does so, he has acted according to our sunnah. (Kitaabul-Eidayn, Bukhari)

Eid-ul-Adha is celebrated on the 10th through 12th day of Dhil Hijjah, the 12th month of the lunar calendar. Many of the rituals related to the Eid directly commemmorate the sacrifices of Hadrat Ibraham (alayhis-salaam) and his family for the sake of Allah. On the way to the Eid prayer, while waiting for it and on the way back from the prayer one should recite the following takbeer as much as possible:

Allaahu akbar – Allaahu akbar – Laa ilaaha illallaahu – wal-laahu akbar Allaahu akbar wa lil-laahil-hamd

(Allah is the Greatest; Allah is the Greatest; There is no god except Allah; And Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest and for Allah is all praise.)

It is the tradition of the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam) to go to the prayer by one way and return by another. The takbeer-e-tashreeq above is also to be recited after every fard prayer beginning from the Fajr prayer of the 9th to the Asr prayer of the 13th of Dhil Hijjah (23 times in all).

The following actions are also sunnah on the day of Eid:

  • To clean the teeth with miswaak;
  • To take a bath;
  • To adorn oneself and dress in the best clothes that are available and are permitted in Shariaah;
  • To use perfume;
  • To rise early and go to the prayer grounds early;
  • To walk to the prayer grounds if possible and to recite the takbeer above;
  • Nothing is to be eaten before the prayer of Eid-ul-Adha, unlike Eid-ul-Fitr;
  • No (nafl) prayers should be prayed at the Eid prayer ground, neither before or after the Eid prayer.

Procedure of the Eid Prayer

Eid-ul-Adha prayer consists of two rakaaah in congregation. The procedure of the prayer is as follows:

First, make the niyyah for the Eid salaah:

Nawaytu an usallee rakaatayil-waajibi salaata eidil-adhaa maaa takbeeraatin waajibatin

(I intend to pray 2 rakaaah of waajib prayer of Eid-ul-Adha with the (extra) waajib takbeeraat )

Then the Imam says Allahu akbar (and the followers do so after him). Then the hands are folded as in other prayers and the thanaa is recited:

Subhaanakal-laahum-ma wa bi hamdika wa tabaarakas-muka wa taaaalaa jad-duka wa laa ilaaha ghairuk

(O Allah! Glory and Praise are for You, and blessed is Your name, and exalted is Your majesty; and there is no god except You.)

Then Allahu akbar is said 3 times, every time raising the hands to the ears and dropping them except the last time when they are folded. Then the Imam recites the Taaawwudh and Bismillah quietly and then recites Surah Fatiha and another Surah. Then rukua and sujood are performed as in other prayers. In the second rakaaah, the Imam recites Bismillah quietly and then Surah Fatiha and another Surah loudly and then says Allahu akbar 3 times, each time raising the hands to the ears and dropping them. Then Allahu akbar is said a fourth time and the congregation goes into rukua and finishes the prayer as any other. After the Eid prayer is completed, the Imam stands up and gives two khutbah in Arabic, sitting between them, as was the practice of the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam).

An alternate method of performing twelve extra takbeeraat during the prayer, instead of the six extra that are described above, is also permissible: 7 and then 5 extra takbeeraat are performed during the first and second rakaaah respectively (Umdatus-Saalik, Shafia madhhab).

Selected Traditions from Sahih-al-Bukhari: The Chapter of the Two Eids.

-> Narrated Aisha (Radiyallaahu anhaa) that Allahas Messenger (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam) said: “There is an Eid for every nation and this is our Eid.”

-> Narrated Abdullah bin Umar (Radiyallaahu anhu) that Allahas Messenger (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam) used to offer the prayer of Eid-ul-Adha and Eid-ul-Fitr and then deliver the khutbah after the prayer.

-> Narrated Ibn Abbaas (Radiyallaahu anhu) that the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam) said: “No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these (first 10 days of Dhil Hijjah).” Then some companions of the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam) said, “Not even jihaad?” He replied, “Not even jihaad, except that of a man who does it by putting himself and his property in danger (for Allahas sake) and does not return with any of those things.”

-> Narrated Jaabir ibn Abdullah (Radiyallaahu anhu): On the day of Eid, the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam) used to return (from the prayer) through a way different from that by which he went.

-> Narrated Urwa on the authority of Aisha (Radiyallaahu anhaa) that on the days of Minaa (11th, 12th and 13th of Dhil Hijjah) Abu Bakr (Radiyallaahu anhu) came to her while two girls were beating the tambourine and the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam) was lying covered with his clothes. Abu Bakr (Radiyallaahu anhu) scolded them and the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa sallam) uncovered his face and said to Abu Bakr, “Leave them, for these days are the days of Eid and the days of Minaa.”

The Slaughter:

According to Imam Abu Hanifah, the slaughtering is a wajib. For Abu Hanifah, a wajib is more than a sunnah and less than a fard. The other Imams consider a wajib to mean fard (obligatory).

Therefore, he sees that it is wajib for those people who are capable to do it according to the hadith, “Whoever has the ability to slaughter and he doesnat, then let him not come near our prayer area.” So Abu Hanifa took from this hadith that it was a wajib. If we canat consider it as a wajib, at least it is a sunnah muakkadah and in it is a great bounty.

Its time of occurrence is after Salat al-Eid, meaning the earliest salat ul-Eid that has been performed in your area. After which, it is permissible to make the sacrifice. If it is done before that, it is not considered an Eid sacrifice.

For the Prophet (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) commanded the one who performs the slaughtering before the Eid prayer to consider his sheep as a “sheep of meat” and not as a “sheep of worship”. Even if he gave all of it in charity he will only be rewarded for it the reward of charity, not the reward for slaughtering for the Eid. For slaughtering is a an act of worship and the acts of worship if they have a fixed time and condition then it is not befitting for it to be performed early or late, like the daily prayers. Is it permissible for you to pray Dhuhr before its appointed time? So it is with the slaughtering of the Eid, it has its specified time too.

Some people in certain places slaughter the night before the Eid. This is incorrect and a misplacement of the Sunnah, as well as a loss of the reward that it contains. If this person realizes his mistake in time, especially if he made a vow to slaughter (then it is obligatory for him), he should repeat it in the correct time after the Eid prayer. It is also permissible to slaughter on the second and third days of the Eid.

It is best to slaughter before the sun reaches its zenith. If the time for Dhuhr comes and he has not performed the slaughter it is better to wait till the second day to do it. Some of the Imams have said that it is permissible after that during the day or even the night. For this reason I see that it is not absolutely necessary that everybody slaughters on the first day because there will be a lot of crowding at the site of the slaughtering. So, it is possible that some people can delay their slaughtering until the second or third day.

What is the Proper Animal for Slaughter?

Camels, cows, sheep and goats are the proper animal to use for slaughtering because they are considered livestock (anaam). So it is permissible to slaughter from any of these types. The sheep can be used for onea, meaning a man and the members of his household. As the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “This is on behalf of Muhammad and his family.”

Abu Ayyub has said, “During the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) a man used to slaughter one sheep for himself and his family until it came to the point that people competed with each other and they became what you now see.” This is the Sunnah.

As for cows and camels, 1/7 of either of them is sufficient for one person, so it is possible that 7 people could share one camel or one camel or one cow with the condition that the cow is not less than 2 years old or the camel less than 5 years old.

The better the quality of the animal that is used for slaughtering, with regards to its size and condition, the better. That is because it is a gift to Allah, Mighty and Majestic. Therefore, it is befitting for the Muslim to present to Allah the best possible thing. As for one giving to Allah what he himself would dislike, then no, this is not appropriate. But in the end, “It is not their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah, rather, it is the piety of the hearts that reaches Him.”

Hajj [Pilgrimage]

Dear brothers and sisters: My talk to you today is Hajj and its benefits. Allah says in the Qurâ??an: â??And proclaim to the people the Hajj (pilgrimage). They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel. They will come from every distant pass that they may witness (i.e., attend) benefits for themselves and mention the name of Allah on known (i.e., specific) days over what He has provided for them of (sacrificial) animals. So eat of them and feed the miserable and poor.â? (Al-Hajj: 27-28)

Dear brothers and sisters: Hajj is one of the greatest signs of Allah that what Muhammad brought is, in reality, the religion of truth; for no human power can gather pilgrims every year from all parts of the world with hearts full of yearning and love, who experience difficulties yet rejoice at leaving their homes and families, feeling that the hours of performing Hajj are the greatest of their lives and spending generously for this purpose.

Ibn â??Abbaas said, â??When Allah commanded the Prophet Abraham to proclaim Hajj amongst the people, he said, â??My Lord, how can I convey the message to the people when my voice cannot reach them?â?? Allah said, â??You call; it is Our duty to make it reach them,â?? so he stood in position and said, â??O you people! Your Lord has chosen a house, so perform pilgrimage to it.â?? It was said that the mountains were levelled and his voice reached all parts of the earth. All that were in the wombs were made to hear the call and everything that heard it responded. So those for whom Allah has decreed Hajj until the Day of Judgment responded, â??Labbayka Allahumma Labbayk (Here I am at your service, O Allah, here I am).â??â?

In this regard, I would like to say that Allah has mentioned it clearly that there are benefits for mankind. These types of benefits are indefinite in number. These benefits are not restricted to one particular area, or time of history. The benefits one may get from the performance of hajj are much more than to be counted. These benefits are good for people in this world and in the hereafter.

Dear brothers and sisters: let me mention some of the benefits for the individuals and for the Muslim society.

As far as the individual benefits are concerned, the following is a partial list of these benefits:

Renewal of the remembrance of Allah and strengthening the relation between the individual and the Creator. The chanting of the pilgrim is nothing more than a confirmation from the creature to Allah, i.e. by saying: Lab-bayk Allahum-ma Lab-bayk, Lab-bayk laa sharika laka Lab-bayk

Remembrance of the Day of Judgement. During Hajj the presence of few million peoples gathering at Arafat in one place, at one time for one purpose, is an indication and a sign of a hereafter. The dress of white towels and clothes are sign of coffins. Such type of remembrance is very important in making a person to remember death and the resurrection.

The performance of Hajj wipes out the sins of a pilgrim. This is a type of a new beginning that helps a person not to lose hope in this world. On the contrary he would strive effectively to please Allah after his sins and mistakes are wiped off. In this regard Abu Hurairah (ra) narrated that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: â??whoever performs pilgrimage without uttering immodest speech or abusing others, he returns just a new-born ( Muslim)

A person sacrifices through the performance of Hajj. He leaves his family, business and country. He spends lots of money, time, effort and energy; and he bears lots of difficulties due to travelling; all of these are for the pleasure and love of Allah. This type of sacrifice helps the individual to overcome all his difficulties in his daily life. The person who strives and sacrifices is amore successful person than a one who does not strive and sacrifice.

The performance of Hajj is a theoretical and practical training course for the individual on the following habits and manners: Patience, Perseverance, humility, organization, management, tolerance, co-operation, kindness, sympathy, politeness, affection, concern, helpfulness etcâ?¦

Dear brothers and sisters: We hope and pray that every Muslim make an effort to perform Hajj at least once in his life-time and let your Hajj be an act of repentance from sin. Finally, we ask Allah for forgiveness and to accept our deeds and prayers.

Eid mubarak & how to know if your Ramadan has been accepted

Assalamualaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

Eid Mubarak! May Allah the great accept from us and you! You have fasted and prayed and wept and begged Allah the Great and now is your time to rejoice as His mercy and forgiveness envelopes the Universe. May Allah shower you and your family with His choicest rewards and please you on the Day you meet Him just as you are pleased today.

A lot of people ask the question: How do I know if Allah has accepted my Ramadan? How do I know that my deeds were not rejected, but accepted and written in my scale of good deeds? And you too must ask this question, since Ali radiallahu anhu said:

â??Do not be so concerned about the number of deeds as the acceptance of it. Do you not remember what Allah the great said? (Verily Allah only accepts from the pious) [AlMaâ??idah: 27]â?

The answer to that, is simply: That your relationship with Allah after Ramadan is better than your relationship with Him before Ramadan. That you feel and act closer to Allah in Shawwal than you did in Shabaan. This strengthening of your relationship with Allah, is a feeling of the heart as well as from the action of the limbs.

The feeling of the heart, is that you see Allahâ??s signs in creation, and feel His authority and mercy and blessings in your life and thus draw nearer to Him by constant remembrance of Him. Ibnul Qayyim rahimahullah said:

â??The more that you witness the magnificence of His Lordship and the meagerness of our servitude to Him, and the more you learn about Allah and His greatness and about your soul and its meagerness, it will become manifestly clear to you that that which you have put forward from your offerings is not the least bit suitable for the Lord of Truth, even if you were to offer the deeds of all of Mankind and Jinn together. As a result, you would be full of fear how your measly offerings would ever be acceptable to Him. However, it is out of His honour and nobleness and graciousness that He accepts it. On top of that, He even rewards you for it, by His grace, nobleness and honour!â? [Madarij As-Salikeen (2/439)]

Glory be to Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful!

And that you draw closer to Him through your actions. That you feel the need to turn to prayer so you resolve to pray at the earliest time, that your heart wants to come back to the mosque so you make every attempt to pray in congregration, to open the Quran even on the day of Eid or start memorizing â?? so you make every effort to read it frequently, that you desire and miss the taraweeh and so make the resolve to continue to pray tahajjud and that you miss the fasts, so you resolve to do the 6 days of Shawwal. Then you remember the hadeeth of Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam:

â??If the Prophet used to do any action, then he used to stick to it (i.e. make it a habit).â? [Reported by Muslim]

Based on this, you resolve to make good habits out of the bootcamp that Ramadan provided so that good deeds become second nature to you.

Remember, if you want to get that special Ramadan feeling in your heart again, then take a path to gaining knowledge.

â??Whoever Allah wants good for, then He gives him the fiqh of this religion.â? [Reported by AlBukhari]

This is the surest sign that Allah accepted your Ramadan, that after it, you are more knowledgeable about Islam than you were before it. Islamic knowledge is now more accessible to you than ever before. So, make every effort to attend courses, read books and listen to lectures so that you draw closer to Allah every day. There is an AlKauthar course in your city, just around the corner, so make sure you attend it. Once you have gained that knowledge, then act upon it by calling to Allah through all those projects that are working on helping Allah deen. Mercy Mission has a project that you can get involved in or help you to launch your own.

Lastly, I hope to see you all soon in an event near you. Glory be to Allah that He has given us life until the end of this Ramadan, may Allah give us all the opportunity to see the next Ramadan and protect you and your families and all Muslims till then. Ameen.

Yours sincerely,

Tawfique Chowdhury
Director


AlKauthar Institute and Mercy Mission
www.alkauthar.org | www.mercymission.org.au | www.mercymission.org.uk

The Last Ten Days of Ramadan

By Magda Azzam

The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “If any Muslim comes out of Ramadan without gaining forgiveness and goodness, he is a real loser.” (reported by Ibn Hibban and At-Tabarani)

The last ten days of Ramadan are very special days in the life of every Muslim. According to Muslims, they are the most blessed days in the blessed month of Ramadan, the month the Qur’an was revealed. Muslims believe that although the Prophet Muhammad was promised Paradise, he used to exert himself even more in worship during these last ten days, hoping to draw closer to Allah. The Prophet’s wife `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said, “With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet used to tighten his waist belt (i.e., work hard) and used to pray all the night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers.” (reported by Al-Bukhari)

For Muslims, the last ten days should be a time to perfect one’s fast and avoid anything that may break it. It is a time to give more charity and to settle disputes and forgive one another. It is also a time for soul searching, evaluating one’s life, supplicating, and asking forgiveness. This should be done sincerely because if Allah accepts the supplications, the reward is the remission of one’s sins.

The best time to do it is in the last part of the night. Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “When the last one third of the night remains, our Lord, the Glorious One, descends towards the lower heaven and proclaims: Is there anyone supplicating to Me, so that I grant his supplication? Is there anyone begging of Me for anything, so that I grant him his wish? Is there anyone who seeks My forgiveness, so I forgive him?” (reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

During the last third of Ramadan, one should read more Qur’an and remember Allah more often, even constantly.

The last ten days are also known for i`tikaf (spiritual retreat). The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to perform i`tikaf in the mosque during the last ten days of Ramadan, barely sleeping during that time. I`tikaf requires a total devotion to Allah; it is a sort of vacation with Him. The time is spent worshiping, performing extra salah (ritual Prayers), reading the Qur’an, making dhikr (remembrance of Allah) and du`aa’ (supplication). One should leave behind the cares of this world, and even eat and sleep in the mosque. Those who cannot perform i`tikaf for ten days should try to do it for a shorter time, if only for one night or a day or two.

Laylat Al-Qadr also occurs during the last ten days of Ramadan. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Any Muslim who stands in Prayer during Laylat Al-Qadr out of faith and sincerity, his previous sins will be forgiven.”