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Tafsir of Chapter 049 Verse 18: "Verily, Allah knows the hidden things of the heavens and earth and Allah sees whatever you do."
- Published on 13 August 2014
- Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips
"Verily, Allah knows the hidden things of the heavens and earth and Allah sees whatever you do." 1
The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) is instructed in this verse to inform Banu Asad and all who would consider their acceptance of Islam a favour to others that the true motives and factors behind their actions and statements can not be hidden from Allah, so they should be honest and humble. The verse also contains a general reminder to the wise; nothing escapes Allah's knowledge, therefore, the wise are those who are conscious of His presence at all times and act accordingly. They carefully perform all of their obligatory (fardh) duties, then they piously try to make up for the inevitable deficiencies by doing a host of voluntary acts of worship. These voluntary acts protect the obligatory duties from decay, for if someone who regularly does voluntary worship gets a bit lazy, he might neglect to do some of the voluntary acts but his obligatory acts of worship will remain intact. Whereas, if he did not have a protective shield of voluntary acts around his obligatory duties and he fell into a period of laziness, perhaps his obligatory duties might suffer. The more someone strengthens his fardh by performing extra voluntary acts known as sunnah and nawafil, the more his life comes in conformity with the shari'ah, the will of Almighty Allah.
Allah conveyed this principle through the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) saying:
"The most beloved thing with which my slave may come close to me is what I have made fardh (obligatory) on him. My servant will continue to come close to me by doing voluntary acts of worship until I love him. When I love him, I will become his ears by which he hears, his sight by which he sees, his hand by which he grasps, and his foot by which he walks. If he asks Me anything I would give it and if he seeks refuge in Me, I will protect him."
This close friend, wali, of Allah only hears, sees, grasps and walks toward what is halal (permissible) and cautiously avoids the haram (forbidden) as well as that which leads to it or resembles it. This is the only true goal worthy of dedicating one's life. Its attainment is the perfection of the role of Khalifah, governor of the world, to whom Allah commanded the angels to bow. But it cannot be reached except by the route prescribed in Allah's statement mentioned above. First the fardh obligations have to be completely established, then the prescribed voluntary acts of worship have to be performed consistently and according to the correct manner. Allah emphasized this method by telling His Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) to inform the Believer:
"Say, if you all love Allah, follow me (Muhammad) and Allah will love you."
Therefore, Allah's love can only be attained by strictly following the directives of His Apostle and avoiding all innovations in religious matters. This formula is contained in a previously quoted hadith in which the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) was reported by Abu Najih to have said:
"Keep to my sunnah and that of rightly guided Caliphs and bite on to it with your molars. But beware of innovations, for verily, they are all bid'ah (heresy), which themselves are all misguidance leading to the Hellfire." [Collected by Abu Dawud (Sunan Abu Dawud (English Trans.), vol. 3, p. 1294, no. 4590) and At-Tirmidhi, and authenticated by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan Abi Dawud, vol. 3, p. 871, no. 3851]
- Published on 14 January 2012
Shawwal is the Islamic month that is immediately after Ramadhan, the first day being 'Eid al-Fitr.
What is the ruling on fasting six days of Shawwal? Is it wajib (obligatory)?
Praise be to Allah.
Fasting six days of Shawwal after the obligatory fast of Ramadhan is Sunnah Mustahabbah, not wajib. It is recommended for the Muslim to fast six days of Shawwal, and in this there is great virtue and an immense reward. Whoever fasts these six days will have recorded for him a reward as if he had fasted a whole year, as was reported in a sahih hadith from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Abu Ayyub (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
"Whoever fasts Ramadhan and follows it with six days of Shawwal, it will be as if he fasted for a lifetime."
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) explained this when he said: "Whoever fasts for six days after ('Eid) al-Fitr has completed the year: (whoever does a good deed (hasanah) will have ten hasanah like it)." According to another report: "Allah has made for each hasanah ten like it, so a month is like fasting ten months, and fasting six days completes the year." [An-Nisa'i and Ibn Majah. See also Sahih at-Targhib wa't-Tarhib, 1/421). It was also narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah with the wording: "Fasting for the month of Ramadhan brings the reward of ten like it, and fasting for six days brings the reward of two months, and that is the fasting of the whole year."
The Hanbali and Shafi'i fuqaha' explained that fasting six days of Shawwal after fasting Ramadhan makes it as if one has fasted for an entire year of obligatory fasts, because the multiplication of the reward applies even to nafil fasts, because each hasanah brings the reward of ten like it.
Another of the important benefits of fasting six days of Shawwal is that is makes up for any shortfall in a person's obligatory Ramadhan fasts, because no one is free of shortcomings or sins that have a negative effect on his fasting. On the Day of Resurrection, some of his nafil deeds will be taken to make up the shortcomings in his obligatory deeds, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
"The first thing for which people will be brought to account on the Day of Resurrection will be their salah (prayer). Our Lord, may He be glorified and exalted, will say to His angels - although He knows best - 'Look at the salah of My slave, whether it is complete or incomplete.' If it is perfect, it will be recorded as perfect, and if something is lacking, He will say, 'Look and see whether My slave did any voluntary (nafil) prayers.' If he did some voluntary prayers, [Allah] will say, Complete the obligatory actions of My slave from his voluntary actions.' Then all his actions will be dealt with in a similar manner."
And Allah knows best.
When should a Muslim start fasting six days of Shawwal? When can I start fasting six days of Shawwal, since we have annual leave right now?
Praise be to Allah.
You can start fasting six days of Shawwal from the second day of Shawwal, because it is haram to fast on the day of 'Eid. You can fast the six days at any time during Shawwal, although the best of good deeds are those which are done soonest.
- Published on 27 July 2014
Alhamdulillahi wa kafa, was-salatu was-salamu 'ala 'ibadihi'l-ladhina stafa
We leave the blessed month of Ramadhan, its beautiful days and its fragrant nights. We leave the month of the Qur'an, taqwa, patience, jihad, mercy, forgiveness and freedom from Hellfire ...
Have we fulfilled the requirements of taqwa and graduated from the Ramadhan school with the diploma of the god-fearing?
Have we fought our souls and desires and defeated them, or have we been overtaken by our customs and blind imitations?
Have we performed our actions in a way that fulfills the conditions for receiving mercy, forgiveness and release from the Fire?
Many questions and numerous thoughts come to the heart of the sincere Muslim, who asks and answers with truthfulness.
What Have We Gained From Ramadhan?
Ramadhan is a school of iman and a 'stop to recharge one's spiritual batteries' - to acquire one's provision for the rest of the year ...
For when will one take a lesson and change for better if not in the month of Ramadhan?
The noble month is a true school of transformation in which we change our actions, habits and manners that are in variance with the Law of Allah 'azza wa jall.
"Verily, Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves." [Al-Qur'an 13:11]
If you are from those who benefited from Ramadhan, fulfilled the requirements of taqwa, truly fasted the month, prayed in it with truthfulness, and strove against you soul, then praise and thank Allah, and ask Him for steadfastness upon it until you meet your death.
Be not like one who has sewn a shirt and then destroyed it ... Have you seen one who sewed a shirt or thawb, so when she looked at it, she liked it. Then she destroyed it pulling a thread by thread for no reason. What would people say about such a person?! Or have you seen one who earns a fortune trading throughout the day, then when the night comes, he throws away all that he earned, dirham by dirham. What would people say about such a person?!
- Published on 30 January 2012
- Salih al-Fawzan
Sufyan ibn 'Abdullah radiallahu 'anhu said: "O Messenger of Allah, tell me something about Islam, which I cannot ask anyone else besides you." He said: "Say: 'I believe in Allah' and then be steadfast (upon that)." [Sahih Muslim 38]
The hadith is proof that the servant is obligated, after having iman in Allah, to persevere and be steadfast upon obeying Him by performing the obligatory acts and avoiding the prohibited ones. This is achieved by following the Straight Path, which is the firm Religion without drifting away from it, to the right or to the left.
If the Muslim lives through Ramadhan and spent his days in fasting and his nights in prayer and he accustomed himself to doing acts of good, then he must continue to remain upon this obedience to Allah at all times. This is the true state of the slave, for indeed, the Lord of the months is One and He is ever watchful and witnessing over his servants at all times.
- Published on 17 July 2014
- Abu Aaliyah
A young man enters a gathering in which an elderly scholar is addressing an audience. Clearly agitated, the young man struggles to wait for a pause in the scholar's speech in order to interject. Finding his moment, the man gets up to say his piece. Voice raised and angry, he asks (or rather shouts): Mata ta'udu ilayna afghanistan? - 'When will Afghanistan be returned to us?' Mata ta'udu ilayna al-'iraq? – 'When will Iraq return to us?' Mata ta'udu ilayna falastin? – 'When will Palestine be returned to us?' Mata, mata, mata!? – 'When, when, WHEN!?'
The shaykh takes a deep breath and lets out a gentle sigh of pain, as his head bows to the hurt. He takes a moment to gather his thoughts, lifts his head to respond … But by then, the youth has already stormed out of the assembly.
Somewhat dismayed, the scholar turns to the audience and says in a subdued tone: Mata ta'udu ilayna baladuna? Idha 'udtum ilallah 'adat ilaykum baladukum: 'When will our land return to us? When you return to God, your land will return to you.'
- Published on 21 July 2014
- Hamzah Muhammad Salih Ajjaj
- Recite as much of the Qur'an as you can every day. Ask for the peace and blessings of Allah upon His Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, often.
- Keep up the five obligatory prayers, as well as voluntary night prayer and the forenoon (dhuhr) prayer, even if it be only two raka'at.
- Pay your obligatory zakat, and give in charity every day, even if it be only very little. If you cannot afford to, then give it in the form of a kind word. Fast Ramadhan, and three days each month.
- Would you not like to be one of those whom Allah loves? Then love your Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, and his family. Be good to your parents.
- Would you not like to be one of those who say, "O Lord, O Lord" and to whom Allah says, "Here I am, O My servant; ask, and it shall be given to you"? Your prayers will be answered if you eat only what is good and halal; be just to people, even if it be at your own expense; and show good character in all your dealings with people.
- Would you not like to be one of those whose supplications are favourably answered, for your written record to be radiant with light on the Day of Ressurection? Purify your heat and repeat frequently, "There is no god but Allah" (la ilaha illallah). Ask forgiveness for your sins, and for those of all believers, male and female. Never let yourself be one of those who forget to call upon Allah.
- Would you not like to be one of those who gives praise and thanks to Allah and is brought neat to Him? When Allah's servant says, "Praise be to Allah," Allah says, "My servant has praised and thanked Me"; so be sure to repeat often, "Praise be to Allah, and peace be upon His chosen servants" (alhamdulillahi wa salamun 'ala 'ibadihi 'lladhina'stafa).
- Would you not like to be one of the thankful, and that Allah makes your offspring good and pious? Then you should recite the following two verses of thanksgiving: (i) "My Lord, grant that I may be grateful for Your favours, which You have bestowed on me and on my parents, and than I may act righteously so as to please You; and admit me, by Your Mercy, to the ranks of Your righteous servants," [Al-Qur'an 27:19] and (ii) "O my Lord, grant that I may be grateful for the favours which You have bestowed on me and upon my parents, and that I may act righteously so as to please You; and make my offspring good for me. I have turned to You in repentance, and I am of those who submit themselves to You (muslimin)." [Al-Qur'an 46:15]
- Would you not like to be guided as to how to integrate soundly your religious and your wordly affairs? Do your utmost to act according to the Divine Command: "O you who believe, bow down, prostate yourselves, and adore your Lord; and do good, that you may prosper." [Al-Qur'an 22:77]
- Would you not like to be guided to the heart of the matter? "Say: 'I believe in Allah'; then follow the Straight Path."