It has been a very long time since I wrote on this blog. There are many reason, and there are few reasons why I have not written, but I thought I would come back now and try again.
When I shared this image on my own facebook page one of the first comments is that advice needs to be given in the right way. This to me seems defensive... like a diversion from the point being made. No one like being told they are doing something wrong, so regardless if the advice is given softly or harshly makes little difference. In fact, I imagine that most people perceive even the most gently given advice to be harsh because they don't want to be reminded what they are doing wrong.
As things seem to get worse and worse in the Muslim world, perhaps if we actually followed this quote, we would be doing better.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
The following article was shared with me, and I found it to be very beneficial. InshAllah it helps you as well.
THE SAYING OF ALLAAH'S MESSENGER sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, "EVERY BID'AH LEADS ASTRAY"
And you should be amazed at a people who recognise the words of Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, "Beware of the newly-invented matters, for every such matter is a bid'ah and every bid'ah leads astray, and everything that leads astray is in the Fire," [Reported by Aboo Daawood, Tirmidhee and others, no. 2549 in Saheehul-Jaami' without, "... every thing that leads astray is in the Fire ...", and hadith no.28 in an-Nawawees Forty Hadith] and they know that his words, "...every bid'ah..." are complete, comprehensive and universal, being encompassed by the strongest grammatical particle used to make a noun universal and all-encompassing, i.e., kullu (which means everything), and (they know that) the one who used this word, may Allaah's salawaat and salaam be upon him, knew what this word indicated and he was the most eloquent of all (in the Arabic language) and he was the sincerest of the creation towards the creation. Hence he would not use a word unless its meaning was that which he intended. Hence (they know that) when the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "... every Bid'ah leads astray ..." he knew what he was saying and he knew its meaning and this saying of his eminated as a result of complete sincerity and concern for the Ummah.
(They know that) when these three characteristics were all present in his words, i.e., complete sincerity and good wishes, complete clarity and eloquence and complete knowledge and understanding -then it is clear that what he said was what he wanted to say in order to convey his desired meaning. So (you should be amazed, that such a people, after recognising all this) think that bid'ah can be of three or five categories? Can this be correct? Never! And what some scholars do claim is that there exists the good innovation. But if this is so, then they can only be referring to two cases:
(i) that it is not an innovation but they do consider it to be one, or
(ii) it is an innovation, and hence it is something evil, but they do not know of its evil.
(And these are the only two possibilities, bearing in mind that the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "... every bid'ah leads astray ...")
THE SHARP SWORD AGAINST THE PEOPLE OF INNOVATION
So for everything that is used to claim that there exists a good bid'ah, then the answer for it is all the above. Thus there can be no room for the People of Innovation to claim that their innovations are good while we have in our hand the sharp sword that Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam gave us - i.e., his saying that "... every innovation leads astray." Indeed, this sharp sword was forged in the steel-works of Prophethood and Messengership. It was not forged in some second rate iron-mill, rather in the steelworks of the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam and he sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam forged it so eloquently, that anyone who has the likes of this sharp sword in his hand would never be dumb-founded by someone claiming that bid'ah is good, for the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said that, "...every bid'ah leads astray."
WHAT ABOUT THE SAYING OF 'UMAR radiallaahu 'anhu I AM PLEASED WITH THAT BID'AH?
Now I can sense that there is in your hearts a creeping doubt saying, 'But what about the words of the Chief of the Believers 'Umar bin al-Khattab radiallaahu 'anhu who succeeded in achieving something good when he ordered Ubayy ibn Ka'b and Tameem ad-Daaree to lead the people in prayer during Ramadaan. Hence he left having united the people behind a (single) Imaam, and so said, "I am happy with this innovation, but the part of the night they used to sleep through is better than the part they use to pray in." [Reported by al-Bukhaaree, (Eng. trans. vol. 3, p. 126, no.227).]
The reply to this is from two angles. Firstly, it is not permitted for anyone to oppose the saying of the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam by preferring the opinion of any other -be it the opinion of Abu Bakr who is better than anyone else in this ummah after its Prophet, or that of 'Umar who is the second best after its Prophet, or 'Uthmaan who is the third best after its Prophet, or 'Alee who is the fourth best after its Prophet or that of anyone else. As Allah, the Most High, says:
"So let those who oppose his (Muhammad's sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) command beware that they will be afflicted with a trial or a painful punishment." (24: 63)
Imaam Ahmad rahimahullaah said, 'Do you know what the trial mentioned here is? The trial is shirk - perhaps when someone opposes the Prophet's saying, some deviation may affect his heart such that he will be destroyed.' And Ibn Abbaas radiallaahu 'anhu said, 'Stones are about to be sent down from the sky! I say that, 'Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said so and so ...' while you reply with what Aboo Bakr and 'Umar said!'
Secondly, we know for certain that 'Umar ibn al-Khattab radiallaahu 'anhu was one of the strongest in glorifying the Words of Allaah and His Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam and he was famous for halting short of the limits laid down by Allaah, the Most High. To the extent that he was attributed with being a warden and safe-guard of the Speech of Allaah, the Most High.
So can this innovation be that which Allaah's Messenger was referring to when he said that "... every innovation leads astray ..."? No. Rather it can be said with certainity that this innovation about which 'Umar said, 'I am pleased with this innovation ...' falls outside what was intended by Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam when he said, "... every bid'ah leads astray." Thus when 'Umar said, 'I am pleased with this innovation ...' he was referring to the effect - that the people had gathered together behind one Imaam while before that, they were (praying) in separate groups. And this praying (behind a single Imaam) during Ramadhan had its origin from the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, as is proven from that which is reported by al-Bukhaaree and Muslim from 'Aa'ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, that the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam led the people in prayer for three nights and then hesitated doing so on the fourth night, saying, "Indeed I feared that it would become obligatory upon you, but you would not be able to cope with that." [Reported by Bukhaaree (Eng. trans. vol.1, no.696) and Muslim (Eng. trans. vol.1, no.1666].
Thus performing the night prayer in Ramadaan as a single Jamaa'ah is from the Sunnah of the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, and 'Umar radiallaahu 'anhu referred to it as a 'bid'ah' considering the fact that after the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam had left leading the prayer, the people became separated such that one person would he praying alone, and elsewhere two would be praying together, and somewhere else three would be praying in Jamaa'ah. So throughout the mosque there were people praying alone and in groups, so 'Umar, the chief of the Believers, had the idea - and this idea was perfectly correct - to gather the people to pray behind a single Imaam. So this action was an innovation in the sense that it was new and different to how the people were before, i.e., praying in separate groups. Hence this bid'ah was relative and subjective - not original and absolute, being set up by Umar radiallaahu 'anhu, as this sunnah was there during the time of the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam So it indeed was a Sunnah (not a bid'ah), which had been abandoned since the time of the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, until Umar radiallaahu 'anhu revived it.
As a result of all this, it should never be possible for the People of Innovation to use this saying of 'Umar as a way to condone their bid'ah.
WHAT ABOUT THE SAYING OF THE PROPHET sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam "WHOEVER ENACTS A GOOD SUNNAH ..."?
What if someone asks: How do you respond to what the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said i.e., "Whoever enacts a good sunnah into Islam, he will get the reward of it and of all those who act upon it up to the Day of Judgement," with the verb Sanna (i.e., 'enact') meaning Shara'a i.e., to introduce or to prescribe?
The reply to this is: Who is the one who said, "Whoever enacts a good sunnah into Islaam ... ?" He is the same one who also said, "... every bid'ah leads astray." It is not possible for a phrase to eminate from someone who is truthful and proven to be truthful, such that it would deny and negate another phrase of his, and it is absolutely impossible for any speech of Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam to be self-contradictory, nor is it possible to refute any particular meaning by claiming it to be contradictory. Whoever thinks that the words of Allaah's Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam are self-contradictory, then let him look again, for indeed this kind of thought eminates from a person possessing thoughts that are either deficient or limited. Indeed it is completely impossible that one would find a contradiction in the words of Allaah, the Most High, or that of His Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam.
If this is so, then it should be clear that the hadith, "... every innovation leads astray ..." does not contradict the hadith "Whoever enacts a good sunnah into Islaam ..." for the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "Whoever enacts a good sunnah into Islaam...," while innovations are not from Islaam. And he sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said "... a good sunnah ..." while innovation is not good. So he sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam made a distinction between enacting a Sunnah on the one hand and enacting an innovation on the other.
In any case, there is a reply that no one should have a problem with - that the meaning of, "Whoever enacts a sunnah ..." is, 'Whoever revives a sunnah that was present and then was lost.' Therefore it means that a matter has been revived, and thus in this way "... enacting a sunnah ..."is relative and secondary just as (in the case of 'Umar, where his use of) the word bid'ah (innovation) was relative and secondary in the sense that it involved the revival of a sunnah that had been abandoned.
There is even a second reply that can be given: That is the background of the whole hadith, for it is a story concerning the tribe that came to see the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam while being in exceptionally difficult circumstances. So the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam urged that donations be given to them, and hence one man form the Ansaar came forward with a bag of silver in his hand which was almost too heavy for him to carry. He placed it down before the Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam This made the face of the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam glow with joy and happiness and so he said, "Whoever enacts a good sunnnah into Islaam will have the reward of it and the reward of oil those who act upon it until the Day of Resurrection." So we have here that the meaning of " ... enacting a sunnah ..." means to enact an action in the sense of implementing it and not in the sense of setting up a new thing into the sharee'ah. Hence the meaning of his sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam saying, "Whoever enacts a good sunnah into Islaam ..." turns out to be, 'Whoever acts upon a good sunnah in the sense of implementing it as opposed to introducing a new thing in the sharee'ah,' for that would be prohibited as he sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "... every bid'ah leads astray."
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Its been almost 5 years since I accepted Islam. In late August of 2006 I took my shahada. A lot has happened since then. Good and bad, but I trust that Allah has chosen a path for me that will not be more than I can bear.
When I first accepted Islam, nothing really changed for me. I didn't change the way I dressed at all. Still had the mini skirts and low cut shirts. I had already given up pork and alcohol, so I didn't have to do anything with that, and I knew I was supposed to be praying, but I had no idea what to do.
As I started to learn more about my new faith, I made changes in the way I lived, dressed and interacted with others. I started to wear long sleeves and long skirts, I was careful about what I said, and I started to TRY to learn to pray. Our first Ramadan we fasted (although I'm sure we did lots of things wrong), and we tried to pray taraweeh on our own. I didn't get to the masjid until January of the following year and when I did I was so nervous.
Once I started going to classes at the Masjid, things started to change quickly for me. I met other Muslim women who were so nice and helpful. They taught me how to pray, and they taught me the basics of Islam. I started to read more books and ask more questions. With every passing day I felt more comfortable acting, and dressing like a Muslim. I didn't make the changes in my life because someone told me to, but because I understood why I should make them and I wanted to do it. Everything made sense, and it was all clicking.
Meanwhile, I did make some bad choices about forums and the Internet. The Internet is not the place to learn Islam. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of great resources, but you can get so confused by the information that it can be overwhelming. As for Islamic forums.... I really can't say that they are good for anyone. At first, it is great because you can find others that are asking questions just like you are, and then there are all of the 'great' answers you get. WRONG. Depending on what forum you go on, you will get everything from super mush to super strict, and neither are any help. People will make the haram halal and the halal haram. You will find that people will insult each other to make a point, or get angry when the truth is presented. Its an emotional roller coaster that is best avoided. I did meet lots of great people on forums and have kept connections with some of them.... others, were not so great and to this day continue to hold a grudge about things that happened years ago.
When someone becomes very passionate about something, they can make pretty big mistakes when defending what they believe. I am totally guilty of that. I was not very subtle or gentle on forums. At the time, I could not understand why anyone would think differently than I did about Islam. To me, it was very black and white, and there was no grey. I still don't really see grey, but I do understand how some people can, and I've learned to either be more gentle about it, or just leave it alone.
I guess the whole point of this post is to say that the best way for ME to learn about Islam is through books, classes and people that I trust. Not the Internet or forums. That has been made overly clear to me lately and I thought I needed to get it out there. I made mistakes in the past, and I can admit that. Inshallah others can get over the past and move on as well.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Recently at the school I work at an issue came up where some of the teachers told the parent group that they could not serve certain yogurt because it contained kosher gelatin. They said that even when it says its kosher it might not be and is haram. These sisters are from the Sufi masjid, and have caused fitnah like this before. 2 years ago it was that Capri Sun juice boxes were also haram because one of the flavorings had a carrier that is produced using alcohol... no clue what that meant or how they know that, but if it isn't on the ingredients I don't worry about it.
In any case, I was very bothered by this accusation that we were eating haram yogurt, so I did some research and I found this ruling on gelatin by