Archive for September, 2009

“Enjoy this House.”

Posted in The Words of the Salaf on September 30, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

With Hajj season coming up, I thought it appropriate to present these narrations regarding the Ka’bah from Hamud at-Tuwayjri’s ‘Ithaf al-Jama’ah’ (3/214):

Ibn ‘Umar narrated that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “Enjoy and take advantage of this House, as it has been destroyed twice and will be raised up on the third.”

[Reported by Ibn Hibban in his ‘Sahih’ and the ‘Mustadrak’ of al-Hakim, and adh-Dhahabi agreed on its authentication in his ‘Talkhis’]

Ma’mar said: “It has reached me from some that the Ka’bah will be destroyed three times, and will be raised up on the third or fourth time. So, enjoy and take advantage of it.”

[Reported in the ‘Musannaf’ of ‘Abd ar-Razzaq]

Ka’b said regarding the Ka’bah: “You will destroy it three times, O people. It will then be raised up on the fourth time. So, enjoy and take advantage of it.”

[Reported in the ‘Musannaf’ of ‘Abd ar-Razzaq with a chain that is authentic according to the conditions of al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Mothers: Producers of Heroes

Posted in 'Abdullah 'Azzam on September 22, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

“…Mothers play a great role in building a generation. The better a mother is at raising her children, the more successfully the Ummah is built and the more successful it is at producing heroes. You hardly ever see a great man except that a great woman is behind him who left some of her traits in his personality by way of the milk from which he was fed and the warm embrace in which he sought refuge.

Most men find it hard to remove these shining images from their minds that they retain of their mothers. These outstanding images that ran through his veins from a young age remain engraved in his mind, and he cannot help but to remember them with veneration and pride. He recalls the simple, clear words that his mother left his spirit with, and these words grow to become milestones on his path and guiding lights on his quest.

He cannot help but to place himself under the vast shade that his mother provided for him throughout the long course of his life, nurtured by the pleasant emotions and mixed with the eternal days of his life. These realities grow in his spirit and become an inseparable part of his personality that he cannot let go of without letting go of his humanity.

This is why preserving this affection and repaying this kindness with kindness is an obligation in Islam that is directly partnered with Tawhid: {“…and your Lord ordained that you worship only Him, and that you treat your parents with excellence…”} [al-Isra’; 23] And disobedience to them is directly partnered with kufr.

Respect for mothers occupies a very high position on the ladder of Islam, and is very heavy in its scales. It is reported in the ‘Sahih’ that a man came to the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and said: “O Messenger of Allah, who is most deserving of my kind treatment?” He replied: “Your mother.” The man asked: “Then who?” He replied: “Your mother.” The man asked again: “Then who?” He replied: “Your mother.” The man asked again: “Then who?” He replied: “Your father.”

I once said to Ibrahim al-Akhdar – the imam of the Haram in Makkah – “Why do you prevent your sweet voice from being heard by the Muslims who come from everywhere to hear it? How can you request to return to Madinah when some people say that hearing you recite the Qur’an is like hearing it descending fresh from the heavens?”

So, he replied: “My treasures in this world are my grandmother and mother, and I must fulfill my responsibilities to them and treat them well. Nobody can do this but me.”

I said: “Why don’t you bring your grandmother here?”

He said: “She refuses to leave Madinah out of fear that she might die outside of it, and her greatest wish is to be buried in the graveyard of al-Baqi’.”

And indeed, Ibrahim actually left the Haram in Makkah and went back to leading a small mosque in Madinah, sticking to the Paradise that is at the foot of his mother and grandmother…”

[‘Majallat al-Jihad’; #36, Rabi’ al-Awwal 1408]

‘Id al-Fitr: ِHappiness and Acceptance

Posted in Ramadan on September 19, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

eid_mubarak_13

Qays bin Sa’d said:

“I see everything that we used to do during the era of Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) except for one thing: they used to play and celebrate in front of him on the day of ‘Id al-Fitr.”

This was reported by Ibn Majah (1303), and declared authentic by Muqbil al-Wadi’i in ‘al-Jami’ as-Sahih’ (2/451) through one of its three chains.

It’s mentioned in ‘Lisan al-‘Arab’ (3/319) that Ibn al-A’rabi said:

‘Id is called ‘Id because it returns (ya’ud) every year with renewed happiness.”

Ibn ‘Abidin said in his ‘Hashiyah’ (2/165):

‘Id was given this name because Allah brings back His customary Kindness to His worshipers that they would experience everyday. For example, they can now eat after they were fasting, they receive the Sadaqat al-Fitr…etc. Also, because the custom on this day is happiness and joy, and energy and rejoicing.”

Ibn Hajar mentioned in ‘Fath al-Bari’ (2/446) that the practice of the Companions on this day was to say:

تقبل الله منا و منك

Taqabbal Allah minna wa mink

‘May Allah accept from us and you’

In the Shade of Laylat al-Qadr

Posted in Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani, Ibn Kathir, Ramadan, Sayyid Qutb on September 13, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

1 – The Meaning of Qadr

Ibn Hajar said in ‘Fath al-Bari’ (4/323-324):

“There are various explanations of the meaning of the qadr that this night is ascribed to.

It was said that it means veneration, as in the verse: {“…and they didn’t venerate (qadar) Allah as He deserved…”} [al-An’am; 91] This refers to it being a night of veneration due to the revelation of the Qur’an taking place in it, or due to the descent of the Angels in it, or due to the blessing and mercy and forgiveness that descend in it, or that those who stay up that night in worship are venerated.

It was also said that qadr here means constriction, as in the verse: {“…and who is constricted (qadara) in his provision…”} [at-Talaq; 7] This refers to it being a night of constriction due to the exact night being hidden, or because the Earth is constricted due to the presence of such a large number of Angels.

It was also said that it is qadar, derived from the word for judgment. This refers to the fact that all the judgments of that year are made on this night…”

Continue reading

Hardship Isn’t the Point

Posted in Ibn Taymiyyah on September 12, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

“…And it should be known that Allah’s Pleasure and Love are not dependent on you torturing yourself and going through hardship, such that something is better simply on account of how hard it is. It is assumed by many ignorant people that the reward is obtained in accordance with hardship in everything. No! Rather, the reward is in accordance with the benefit of the act and how much it manifests obedience to Allah and His Messenger.

So, the more beneficial an act and the more obedient its doer, the more virtuous it is. Actions aren’t virtuous due to their quantity. Rather, they are virtuous due to the effect they have on the heart.

Continue reading

Being Generous: A Source of Relaxation

Posted in Ibn al-Qayyim, Ramadan on September 7, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

“…The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) was the most generous person in giving away what he owned, and he would never look at something as being either too big or too insignificant to give up for the sake of Allah.

Nobody would ask him for anything except that he gave it to them, regardless of how big or small it was.  He gave things away in a way that made it seem that he never feared poverty, and generosity and charity were the most beloved things to him. His happiness and joy in giving something away was more than that felt by those who would accept his gifts. He was the most generous person, and his generosity was like the blowing wind.

If a person in need would approach him, he would always prefer that person to himself. This was sometimes in the form of food, and was sometimes in the form of clothing.

He would have variety in terms of how he would give things away:

Continue reading

Recommendations for Qur’an Recitation

Posted in Hasan Ayyub, Ramadan on September 1, 2009 by Tarek Mehanna

“…It is recommended to use miswak and to clean your mouth before reciting the Qur’an, as well as to cleanse your body using some kind of pleasant scent in order to respect the time in which you are reading.

Wear the clothes that you would wear in front of others to look good, because you are in front of the Bestower despite this privacy. The one who recites someone else’s words is like one who is speaking on his behalf, and this is the pinnacle of honor from Allah.

It is recommended to be sitting and to be facing the Qiblah. Sa’id bin al-Musayyab was asked about a hadith while he was leaning back. So, he sat up and said: “I hate to relay the words of the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) while I’m leaning back,” and the Words of Allah are even more deserving of such an attitude.

And it is recommended to have ablution…”

[‘al-Hadith fi ‘Ulum al-Qur’an wal-Hadith’; p. 67]