Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"EVERY BID'AH LEADS ASTRAY"

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

Money for Metta



Some of you may know our friend Metta. She is in need of financial help and I'm asking for donations. Please give anything you can. JazakAllah Khair

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Almost 5 years, alhamdulilah!


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

Useful ruling on Gelatin

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 Sheikh Albaani.

Bismillahi wa salaatu wa salaamu 'alaa rasulillah,

(Taken entirely from a dars given by Sh. Muhammad Bazmool, translated by Moosa Richardson and a fatwa given by Sh. al-Albaani)

Istihala is when something becomes pure. It was najis (impure) but it is now taahir (pure). A good example would be maitah (animal carcass): it is najis, but should it be burned and become ashes, or decompose and become earth, then it is taahir, it is no longer najis. This can happen with dung or feces or whatever. Whenever something changes from one property to another, then the ruling likewise changes.

Example: Let us say that someone uses the fat of a dead animal to make soap. That fat is najis, but the chemical change that it was put through makes it taahir.

Ibn Hazm put it concisely when he said,

"Ruling upon an object is upon what it is named (what it is), if the name (what it is) changes then so does the ruling."

He also mentioned in his book of fiqh, Al-Muhalla: "If the quality of the substance of naturally impure objects changes the name which was given to it so that it is no more applicable to it and it is given a new name which is given to a pure object, so it is no more an impure thing. It becomes a new object, with a new rule."

Meaning that if the natural composition of a substance changes to another substance of a different composition, so much so that you can no longer call the new substance by the name of what it was-- ruling upon that substance changes too.

Proof/Example 1:

The companions (radyallahu anhum) used to eat a cheese that came from the land of the disbelievers. In that cheese was a part of the calf which was slaughtered by the disbelievers in a way that is not in accordance with Islaam. The companions knew this, but they also knew that the prohibition was upon the calf, what is directly from the calf, and what could be properly called part of the calf; the ruling is not upon that which you cannot identify as part of the calf nor is it called any longer such-and-such part of the calf. This is called istihala.

Proof/Example 2:

Another proof from the Sunnah: The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) forbade making vinegar out of wine, but he said that if you should come across vinegar that has been made from wine then it is halaal.

Why?

The ruling is upon what the object is, and not what it was. Wine is haraam; vinegar is not, and before the wine became an intoxicant, it was halaal. Why? Because it was fruit before that.

Proof/Example 3:

Allah says in the Qur'an:

"And surely there is a lesson for you in the cattle we give you to drink of what is in their bellies from between the feces and blood, pure milk, wholesome to those who drink it." (16:66)

Allah is putting forth an example for us of how something pure can come from something impure.

And we can also use as proof something that we've already gone over. The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said that when the hide of maitah (the carrion) is tanned, then it is taahir. He (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) gave us a method to purify something which was first impure.

Let us examine things we are familiar with: mono and diglycerides, whey, gluten, emulsifiers, gelatin, and whatever else is on the international haraam list. These by-products sometimes come from animals, pigs even, in which case the ruling on the initial substances is that they are haraam. But the initial substances (e.g. fat, marrow, cartilage, etc.) are put through chemical change so that you no longer can even call it "pig fat" or "animal bone" or "skin" or "cartilage", etc. because it is no longer that, hence it is taahir, it is halaal.

What is gelatin? As Oxford dictionary of science defines: "A colorless or pale yellow, water-soluble protein obtained by boiling collagen with water and evaporating the solution. It melts when water is added and dissolves in hot water to form a solution that sets to a gel on cooling." (page 290)

Is this a chemical change or is this not a chemical change? Is it protein any longer? No, it is not.

You are in disbelief so you ask, "But how can it be halaal when it came from something haraam?"

Because of the proofs mentioned above, the ruling is not based upon what it was, the ruling is based upon what it is. A Hanafi scholar, Ibn Abedin gave the example: "the swine which drowns in a salt lake and decomposes and becomes salt itself, is now halaal."

And other Hanafi scholars go on to say: "salt is different from meat and bones. If they become salt, they are salt."

To take the salt example further: salt consists of sodium chloride (NaCl) when together they are the halaal food known as salt, when separated they make up two poisonous substances which are then haraam for consumption.

The ahnaaf (Hanafis) also use as an example the human semen, saying that it is najis, then when it inseminates the egg and becomes a blood clot it is still najis, but when it becomes flesh it is no longer najis. And the ahnaaf are not the only ones who take this position.

The examples are numerous and they extend beyond food: Yesterday a man was kaafir and going towards Hell, today he is Muslim, so what is the ruling upon him? It is based upon what he is today.

We must be careful when we call things haraam because it is a form of thulm (oppression). Scholars have said that it is worse that you make something halaal to haraam rather than making something haraam to halaal. This deen Allah has made yusr (easy) let us not make it 'usr (hard). Wallahu 'Alim.

For me, this cleared up a lot of things. What are your thoughts on it?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"The meaning has changed for me"

"The meaning has changed for me".... have you heard this before? I mostly hear or read this when Muslims are trying to justify celebrating holidays other than the 2 Eids. Aside from the following hadith telling us that we only celebrate Eid... just about every other holiday that is out there has some sort of pagan, religious or evil origin.

Anas (ra), a companion of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) reported that when the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) migrated from Makkah to Madinah, the people of Madinah used to have two festivals. On those two days they had carnivals and festivity. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) asked the Ansaar (the Muslims of Madinah) about it. They replied that before Islam they used to have carnivals on those two joyous days. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) told them: 'Instead of those two days, Allah has appointed two other days which are better, the days of Eid-al-Fitr and Eid-al-Adha.'

Lets take Thanksgiving for example. From a very young age, Americans are duped into thinking that Thanksgiving was a day that the pilgrims and Native Americans came together for a feast. The real story goes a little something like this:

In 1637 near present day Groton, Connecticut, over 700 men, women and children of the Pequot Tribe had gathered for their annual Green Corn Festival which is our Thanksgiving celebration. In the predawn hours the sleeping Indians were surrounded by English and Dutch mercenaries who ordered them to come outside. Those who came out were shot or clubbed to death while the terrified women and children who huddled inside the longhouse were burned alive. The next day the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony declared "A Day Of Thanksgiving" because 700 unarmed men, women and children had been murdered.

You can read more here if you like: http://www.manataka.org/page269.html

So back to my point. Even if you share this information with some, they will tell you that it does not mean that to them and its all about family and food. So lets create an imaginary holiday with a similar history and see how it sounds.

Victory Day is celebrated through out La La Land. Long ago, brave fighters from La La Land rode thousands of miles on horseback to a far away land called Splovia. The LaLa soldiers were on a mission and they plundered, killed, raped and burned their way through Splovia. It was said that Splovians were evil and wicked people. The blood ran in the streets of Splovia like rivers. When the battles were over, the King of La La Land declared the mission accomplished and the first Victory day was celebrated by burning a final village of Splovians to the ground and stringing up the bodies for all to see. In modern times, Victory day is celebrated with huge feasts and red and white flags flying. Families travel long distances to see each other and even exchange Victory candles. No one really thinks too much about the murderous past of the day because its 'All about family and food'.

How about we replace La La Land with Europe and Splovia with the 'Holy Land'. Now we have the crusades. Should we celebrate that? I mean come on!!??? It isn't about a murderous rampage... its about family and food! right?

Perhaps my little scenario is far fetched, but when I do my research on most holidays it amazes me that no one cares what they are really about. I'm not saying that we have to protest non Muslim holidays, we should just avoid them and go about our lives. Why do we need to participate in these things? They either involve shirk, pagan rituals, murder or nationalism. None of which we are supposed to give a second thought.

If commercialism wants to take the Christian holidays and make them into a marketing ploy, so be it, but why would we want to support their misguided greed? Santa and the Easter Bunny want one thing from everyone... their money. I don't even understand why Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25th... he was most likely born in the spring. The only reason the early Church established it in December was to appeal to the pagans of the time and make their transition easier to Christianity.

So saying that the meaning has changed for you is sort of like saying that you know better than Allah and his messenger. That you know whats best. May Allah make it easy for us all to follow the straight path.