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- Published on 08 April 2015
On the manners to be observed before the meal
The first [rule of conduct]: that the food be lawful both in itself and in the means by which it was acquired; that it shall be in accordance with the Sunnah 1 and with piety. It should not have been gained through anything contrary to canonical law, nor through some evil inclination, nor deceit relating to debt - and agreeing with what will be presented in the Book of the Lawful and the Unlawful2 regarding the meaning of what is unconditionally good.
God has ordered the eating of that which is good (at-tayyib), this being the lawful. He has put the prohibition of 'wrongful eating' (al-akl bi'l-batil)3 before that of killing, in order to illustrate the gravity of that which is unlawful and the greatness of the blessing of that which is lawful. He said:
"O you who believe, squander not your wealth (la ta'kulu amwalakum) among yourselves in vanity ... and kill not one another," to the end of the verse (ta'kulu is from the same root as akl).
The basic principle with respect to food is that food must be good, this being one of the duties and fundamentals of religion.
The second [rule of conduct] is to wash one's hands. The Emissary of God (may God bless him and grant him peace) has said:
"Ablution performed before a meal banishes poverty, ablution after a meal banishes minor sins."
And in another version:
"[Ablution performed] both before and after the meal banishes poverty."
Since the hand cannot escape dirt in the performance of tasks, washing it is the best way to keep it clean and unsullied. And because eating as a support for religion is a form ofworship, it is proper that one approach it in the same state as for prayers.
The third [rule of conduct] is to place the food on a sufra4 on the ground - for this is closest to what the Emissary of God (may God bless him and grant him peace) did - rather than to place it on a raised table. "When food was brought to the Emissary of God (may God bless him and grant him peace), he would place it on the ground,"4A for this is closer to humility. If not, then it should be on a sufra, as a reminder of travelling;5 and travelling puts in mind travelling to the Afterlife and the need for provision in the form of pious deeds. Anas ibn Malik said:
"The Emissary of God (may God bless him and grant him peace) ate neither on a table (khiwan) nor in a sukurruja.''6 Someone asked: "On what have you been eating, then?" "On a sufra,"he said.
- Published on 01 April 2015
- 'Ali ibn Abi Talib
Kumayl ibn Ziyad said: 'Ali ibn Abi Talib took hold of my hand and took me off towards the desert. When we reached it, he sat down, took a deep breath and then said:
"O Kumayl ibn Ziyad! The hearts are receptacles, so the best of them is the one which preserves the best. So memorise what I say to you.
"The people are of three (types): the Scholar who is rabbani1, the one learning being upon the path of salvation, and the confused rabble who follow everyone who calls out - bending along with every wind - they are not enlightened by the light of knowledge, nor do they lean upon a firm support.
"Knowledge is better than wealth. Knowledge is a protection for you, whereas it is you that has to protect wealth. The zakat of knowledge is action, whereas spending decreases wealth. And love of the Scholar is part of the Religion. Knowledge brings about obedience for the Scholar in his own lifetime and causes him to have good repute after his death, whereas the benefit of wealth ceases when it passes away. The hoarders of wealth have died even though they are still alive, whereas the Scholars remain for as long as time remains - their persons are lost, but their examples remain in the hearts.
"Here, indeed here - (and he pointed to his chest) - there is knowledge, if only I could find carriers for it. But instead I have found them quick to comprehend, but not trustworthy. They use what pertains to the Religion for worldly ends. They seek to use Allah's proofs against His Book, blindly following the people of truth, but having no insight regarding receiving it.
- Published on 18 February 2015
- Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali
The Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam chose the station of al-'ubudiyyah (slavery and servitude) over and above the station of kingship. Once - on the day of the conquest of Makkah - a man stood-up (out of reverence) for the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, who, being shocked, said to him:
"Do not trouble yourself! Indeed I am not a king. Rather I am merely the son of a Qurayshi woman who eats dry meat."
It has also been authentically reported from the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam that he said:
"Do not over praise me as the Christians over-praised 'Isa son of Maryam. Indeed, I am only a slave. So call me the Slave of Allah and His Messenger."
Imam Ahmad - rahimahullahu ta'ala - reports from Muhammad ibn Fudayl, from 'Amarah, from Abu Zur'ah who said: I do not know this except from Abu Hurayrah - radhiallahu 'anhu - who said: Jibril was sitting with the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam looking towards the sky, when he saw an angel. So Jibril - 'alayhis-salam - said to him: Indeed, this angel has never descended before today. So when the angel had descended, he said: O Muhammad! I have been sent by your Lord (to inquire) whether He should make you a Prophet-King or a Slave-Messenger. [Related by Ahmad (2/321), Al-Bazzar (no. 4262) and Al-Haythami in Al-Majma' (9/18-19) where he said: "It has been narrated by Ahmad, Al-Bazzar and Abu Ya'la, and its initial narrators are all the narrators of As-Sahih."]
- Published on 16 February 2015
- Iftekhar Bano Hussain
Sayyedina Da'wud was descended from Judah, one of twelve sons of Sayyedina Ya'qub - who was otherwise known as Israel. Sayyedina Da'wud - who is known by the Jews and the Christians as the Prophet David - was one of the many Prophets who were sent to the Tribe of Israel after Sayyedina Musa in order to keep his teachings alive, blessings and peace be on all of them:
"Those of the Tribe of Israel who disbelieved were cursed by the tongue of Da'wud and of 'Isa son of Maryam - that is because they rebelled and exceeded the limits. They did not forbid each other the wrong they were doing - and what they used to do was certainly awful."
Indeed Sayyedina Da'wud was a Messenger as well as a Prophet, since he was given a revelation to supplement the Torah of Sayyedina Musa, which was called the Zabur, and which is also known by the Jews and the Christians as the Psalms:
"And your Lord knows best about whatever is in the heavens and the earth; and We certainly favoured some Prophets more than others; and We gave Da'wud the Zabur."
The references to Sayyedina Da'wud in the Qur'an do not describe his childhood, but the ayah from Surah Al-Baqarah which follow do describe his killing the champion of the Philistines, Jalut, who is more commonly known by the Jews and the Christians as Goliath. The passage begins by describing the appointment of Talut - who fought and, with Sayyedina Da'wud's help, overcame the Philistines - as the king of the Tribe of Israel by a Prophet of that time.
- Published on 08 February 2015
- Sayyid Qutb
... The third aspect the event refers to concerns the reality of the Arabian situation at the time. The Arabs did not have any role to play on the face of the earth; they did not have an identity of their own before Islam. In the Yemen they were subjugated by either the Persians or the Abyssinians. If they had any government of their own it was under the protection of the Persians. In the north, Syria was subject to the Byzantine rule which was either direct or in the shape of an Arab government under the protection of the Byzantines. Only the heartland of the Arabian Peninsula escaped foreign rule. But this also was in a state of tribalism and division which deprived it of any weight in world power politics. Tribal war could drag on for forty years or morel but neither individually nor as a group did these tribes count as a power in the eyes of the neighbouring mighty empires. What happened with regard to the "Elephant" aggression was a correct assessment of the real force of these tribes when faced with a foreign aggressor.
- Published on 02 February 2015
- Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani
Narrated 'A'ishah radhiallahu 'anha: Allah's Messenger sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam used to pray four rak'at in Duha prayer and added whatever Allah wished for him. [Reported by Muslim]
Let it be known that Ishraq, Salat ul-Awwabin and Duha are different names that stand for identically the same forenoon prayer. The time of this prayer starts with the sunrise and goes on until one-fourth of the day. The least number of rak'at of Duha prayer are two and the maximum is twelve. The preferable among them are four which is supported and approved by the ahadith of the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam. It may also be remembered that this prayer is a Sunnah of former Messengers as they used to offer it during their times. Hence this prayer is a Sunnah and mustahabb (desirable). As to the matter of this prayer being called a bid'ah (innovation) by 'Umar radhiallahu 'anhu, it only alludes to the fact that if someone develops a habit of continually offering it, it may be regarded as an innovation, as the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam did not always offer it.
Narrated Zayd ibn Arqam radhiallahu 'anhu: Allah's Messenger sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said:
"The prayer of those who are penitent is offered when the young weaned camels feel the heat of the sun."
This hadith indicates that the best time of Duha prayer is just before noon.
Narrated Anas radhiallahu 'anhu: Allah's Messenger sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said:
"Whoever prays twelve rak'at of Duha, Allah will build a castle for him in Paradise."
Narrated 'A'ishah radhiallahu 'anha: Allah's Messenger sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam entered my house and prayed eight rak'at of Duha prayer. [Reported by Ibn Hibban in his Sahih]