Monday, July 3, 2017



By Moulana Muhammad Abbasoomar.

"Some contemporaries, who degrade the Fiqh of the four Imams and their followers, actually do so because they view legitimate “difference of opinion” as evil. This is the reason for which they keep harping on the fact that we need to follow the Quran and Sunnah and not any of the Schools of Fiqh. This is an analysis of their claim.

My Honourable Teacher, Al-Muhaddith, Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwamah (may Allah protect him) responds to this with the following:

“Firstly, this implies that the Imams of the four Madhahib (Schools of Fiqh) were not following the Quran and Sunnah!"

Secondly, this can only be said in ignorance of the reality we are faced with; tell me in the name of Allah! Up to how many “schools” have they resulted in? After Muslims lived within the four schools for centuries? Where is the logic behind their claim? (I.e. They have created unlimited schools of thought)

Lastly, I will explain further that following the Quran and Sunnah actually leads us to legitimate difference of opinion.” 
(Atharul Hadithi Shareef, fi ikhtilafil A-immatil Fuqaha, pg.77) (The deeper the knowledge, the stronger the opinion)


Shaykh ‘Awwamah (may Allah protect him) has included the following incident in his glorious book “Atharul Hadith”.

“Sayyiduna ‘Urwah ibn Zubair – a Tabi’e- (rahimahullah) once objected to Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas -a sahabi- (radiyallahu ‘anhuma): “You have been misleading the people!”

Ibn ‘Abbas (radiyallahu’anhuma) asked for the reason, to which ‘Urwah replied: “When a person dons his Ihram for Haj or ‘Umrah and after arriving in Makkah performs the tawaf only, you state that he is now free of his ihram. Whereas Sayyiduna ‘Abu Bakr and ‘Umar (radiyallahu’anhuma) actually opposed this view!” (They said he will not be halal until he performs the saee and halaq or qasr)

Ibn ‘Abbas responded: “Are the two of them (Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiyallahu’anhuma) preferred to you over what is in the Quran and Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu’alaihi wasallam)?”

‘Urwah replied: “Sayyiduna Abu Bakr and ‘Umar (radiyallahu’anhuma) had more knowledge/ understanding of the Quran and Sunnah than me and you put together!”
(Al-Mu’jamul Awsat of Tabarani, Hadith:21)

In a narration of Musnad Ahmad Sayyiduna Ibn ‘Abbas (radiyallahu anhuma) responded to ‘Urwah’s objection by saying: “I am quoting a Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu’alaihi wasallam) to you, and you quote Abu Bakr and ‘Umar?!”

‘Urwah replied: “They followed Rasulullah (sallallahu’alaihi wasallam) more than you, and they knew more about him than you know”
(Musnad Ahmad, vol.1, pg.252)

The narrator; Ibn Abi Mulaikah (rahimahullah) comments: “Urwah defeated him.” (Won the argument)

Shaykh ‘Awwamah (may Allah protect him) explains:

“…’Urwah is actually saying to Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas: “By us taking the view of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr and Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radiyallahu’anhuma) we aren’t disregarding the way of the sunnah. In fact we find ourselves with two options; that which Ibn ‘Abbas (radiyallahu anhuma) witnessed (and understood) from Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and what Abu Bakr and ‘Umar (radiyallahu anhuma) witnessed/ understood. We then preferred their view because they were most knowledgeable regarding the sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu’alaihi wasallam).”
(Atharul Hadithi Shareef, fi ikhtilafil A-immatil Fuqaha, pg. 108)

Imam Sufyan Thawri (rahimahullah) said:
نسلم ما سمعنا، ونكل ما لا نعلم إلى عالمه، ونتهم رأينا لرأيهم
“We follow what we know, and hand over what we do not know to those who do know. We will even question our understanding in favour of theirs”
(Al-Intiqa, pg.265, 266)


Shaykh (may Allah protect him) writes further: “And this is our response to those who ask us to abandon the Fiqh of Imams: Abu Hanifah, Malik, Shafi’e and Ahmad (rahimahumullah) and to rather take –what they label as- “Fiqhus-Sunnah” or “Fiqhul-Quran was-Sunnah”

We say to them: “We are not prepared to accept you all as alternatives to those Imams, for they were undoubtedly more knowledgeable than you all regarding the sunnah. In fact there is no comparison between you all and them in knowledge.

It is actually our eagerness to follow the way of Rasulullah (sallallahu’alaihi wasallam) that leads us to follow what these great Imams had understood (and presented to the ummah) as the sunnah!” (Atharul Hadithi Shareef, fi ikhtilafil A-immatil Fuqaha, pgs. 108-109.)


The word fiqh actually translates as: understanding.

Shaykh ‘Awwamah writes: “Therefore, when we say “Fiqh of Abu Hanifah, Fiqh of Shafi’e and so on, the actual meaning of this is: the understanding of Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam Shafi’e. (I.e. Their research in to matters of deen)

The question that arises is: Their understanding of what?

It is their understanding of none other than the Quran and Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu’alaihi wasallam)

The reason for this is that “Fiqh” in fact means: understanding.”


“In light of the above, we can now realize a widespread grave mistake which nobody seems to pay attention to, or even rectify; when certain people label their “understanding” as “Fiqhus Sunnah” or Fiqhus Sunnah wal Kitab”

This term literally translates as: “the understanding of the Quran and Sunnah”. In this case it is the understanding of some unknown, or under qualified person. It is his understanding which he seeks to legitimise by attributing it to the Quran and Sunnah. This is done to give the impression that they are presenting before the people the “original authentic source” of knowledge (whereas it is merely their distorted understanding). In this manner they deter others from the Fiqh of the Imams; Abu Hanifah, Shafi’e, Malik and Ahmad (rahimahumullah).

They even boldly venture to say: “People! Do you want “Fiqh of Muhammad sallallahu’alaihi wasallam” or “Fiqh of Abu Hanifah and Shafi’ie”?

One of them had the audacity to ask before leading the salah; “Should I perform the salah of Muhammad (sallallahu’alaihi wasallam) or the salah of Abu Hanifah”!!

This is all the consequence of them attributing their Fiqh/understanding to the Quran and sunnah, and the fiqh/understanding of Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam Shafi’e to Abu Hanifah and Shafi’e, not to the Quran and Sunnah.

In so doing, they have separated the correct understanding of the Quran and Sunnah (the understanding of legitimate scholars) which in reality was the most appropriate explanation of the Quran and Hadith. They severed this and then produced a new understanding which they attribute to the Quran and Sunnah!” (Atharul Hadith, pgs.134-135)


Imam Malik (rahimahullah) said:
سلموا للأئمة ولا تجادلوهم، فلو كنا كلما جاءنا رجل أجدل من رجل اتبعناه: لخفنا أن نقع في رد ما جاء به جبريل عليه السلام

“Submit to the Imams and don’t argue with them, for if we were to make a habit of following every more convincing debater, I fear we may end up refuting what Angel Jibreel brought from the skies”. (Atharul Hadith, pg.117)

Imam Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah (rahimahullah) said:
التسليم للفقهاء سلامة في الدين

“In conceding to the Fuqaha (Jurists), is the security for our deen” (Atharul Hadith, pg.117)

Imam Sufyan Thawri (rahimahullah) said:
نسلم ما سمعنا، ونكل ما لا نعلم إلى عالمه، ونتهم رأينا لرأيهم

“We follow what we know, and hand over what we do not know to those who do know. We will even question our understanding in favour of theirs”. 
(Al-Intiqa, pg.265, 266)


So the next time someone confronts us with arguments like the ones discussed above, we shouldn’t be moved. In fact, these last three quotations are sufficient in response!

May Allah Ta’ala keep us under the shadows of our Imams which ultimately lead us to the shadow of Rasulullah (sallallahu’alaihi wasallam). Ameen.

~Al Miftah website

Friday, June 23, 2017

Very balanced fatwa on Mawlid celebration:

Shaikh Abdullah bin Bayyah on Mawlid celebration:


The celebration of the birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is an issue of controversy amongst the scholars. Thus, there were some who considered it a disliked innovation, a few even saying it reached the level of prohibition, and there were others who considered it a praiseworthy innovation.

This difference is traced back to a divergence concerning the division of innovation (bid’ah). Some scholars recognized the validity of such innovations and this was, primarily, the school of Imam Al-Shafi’i (May Allah have mercy upon him) and the head of this thought was Al-’Izzi Adin Abdul Salam (May Allah have mercy upon him). In addition, Imam Al-Qarafi (May Allah have mercy upon him) who was a Maliki, carried this same opinion, giving it great attention , explaining it in an exhaustive manner. In his discussion Al-Qarafi (ra) expanded the concept of innovation to included innovations that were commendable, highly recommended, obligatory and a disliked nature. Thus, he divided innovation into five parts: (obligatory, recommended, permissible, disliked and forbidden).

There were some scholars who failed to accept this division contending that, “Any innovation, if it appears, then it is repulsive in nature.” They did this by restricting the statement of ‘Umar (ra), regarding the tarawih prayers, “This is a good innovation” to its linguistic meaning. There was a large body of scholars who held this opinion such as Taqi al-Din Ahmad Ibn Taymiyyah, Al-Shatibi, in his book Al-’Itisam, and many scholars from the Maliki and Hanbali schools (may Allah have mercy upon all of them).

Finally, there were scholars who wrote in support of celebrating the Mawlid such as Al-Suyuti (May Allah have mercy upon him) and, at the same time, there were others who wrote against it. Thus, in my opinion, there is no need to drag this discussion out, nor continue to argue about it any longer.

The Ruling:

Whoever wants to celebrate the Prophet’s (sa) birthday should celebrate it and avoid doing any action contrary to Islamic Law. This act should be done with an intention that it is not a sunna nor an obligatory act. If these conditions are observed, and one is careful not to contradict Islamic Law, out of sincere love for the Prophet (Peace and blessing of Allah upon him), then, Allah willing, there is nothing wrong with this action and this person will be rewarded.

Commenting on this, the Shaykh of Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (May Allah have mercy upon him) said, “Indeed, such a person will be rewarded because of his intention.” Likewise, for the one who shuns this celebration, seeking to cling to the sunna out of fear of falling into innovation, then this person will also be rewarded, Allah willing. It is important to note that this is not a big issue. Nor is it necessary to give it more attention then it deserves.

The Methodology:

Our attention towards this issue is directed towards uniting the Muslims and curbing these differences. We base this understanding on facilitation (for both sides) and ease. This ease is not founded on an empty premise, but is referenced directly back to the Quran, traditions of the Prophet (sa), the fundamental objectives of Islamic law, and the order of the Prophet (sa) to work towards unity between others. If a contentious issue arises pertaining to a matter, we exercise great consideration and respect for both sides. This consideration is not simply an act of being overly accommodative, as some contend, or attacking those who hold weak opinions. But, this respect and consideration for differences is guided by the fact that both opinions are based on proofs from Islamic Law. In some regards these proofs are clear, and in other regards the opposite holds true. Thus, some (scholars) have provided evidences for these acts’ legitimacy, and others hold proofs for the opposite. In conclusion, our stance is that both are on goodness, Allah willing, as long as this act is not mixed with some type of evil and the intention is correct.

Allah knows best.

Translated by Suhaib Webb

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Advice for Muslim Graduates

Advice For Muslim Graduates

By Shaikh Omer Bajwa

[Omer Bajwa is the “Director of Muslim Life” in the Chaplain’s Office at Yale University.  He earned his Graduate Certificate in Islamic Chaplaincy from Hartford Seminary]

I have had the privilege of working with intelligent, talented and ambitious university students for over a decade, and over the years, I have developed some advice and then shared it with students as they graduate before entering the next phases of their lives. In this season of transitions and life moments, I wanted to share this advice and some action items:

Stay Humble

Studying at and receiving accolades from prestigious institutions can easily inflate the Nafs, especially if it’s not regularly monitored. Graduations literally feature ‘pomp and circumstance’ as commencement addresses laud students' accomplishments and families shower effusive praise on their children.

Indeed, you’ve likely worked diligently for many years, but don’t be distracted by the power, status, and privilege that you have accumulated. Indeed, these are both blessings and tests from Allah.

Were it not for Allah facilitating the path to your college education, you wouldn’t be there. Your loving and supportive parents, and their financial sacrifices, as well as your helpful teachers helped make you who you are. Our Islamic Tradition is replete with timeless wisdom about not claiming ownership for our worldly successes, be they coveted positions or prestigious professional school admissions.

Do not mistake worldly success for Allah being pleased with you because, remember, there are many successful people whom Allah is displeased with; Pharaoh was one of the most successful people in his time. If you want to know your standing with Allah, look at His standing with you.

Therefore, we must reassess and recalibrate our common definitions of success. True success (falah) consists of consistent commitment in worshipping Allah (ibadah) and selfless service to others (khidmah).

Thus, success is the realization we must use His divine blessings of our faculties and opportunities to seek His pleasure to serve His creation as we work for His paradise. Allah encourages us to, “Seek the life to come by means of what Allah has granted you, but do not neglect your rightful share in this world. Do good to others as Allah has done good to you.”1


Ask yourself: what does success mean to me?  What do I want my life to look like?  How did I get to where I am?  Where do I want to go from here? Every time you feel self-impressed, say Alhamdulilah, thank Allah, and recall one of your shortcomings. This will discipline your Nafs.

Inculcate Gratitude

No one accomplishes anything by themselves; surely, there are parents, friends, teachers and mentors who facilitated your work and impacted your trajectory. You should identify these people, from your past and present, and you should express sincere gratitude to them, for their patience and encouragement as well as their exhortation and admonition.
Their involvement in your life has likely had an immeasurable effect, all of which is from Allah who reminds us: “And whatever of blessings and good things you have, it is from Allah.”2

To express and inculcate genuine gratitude, our Prophet ﷺ taught us that, “Whoever does not thank people has not thanked Allah.”3
Thus, be more grateful to the people in your life and you will in turn be more grateful to Allah.

Gratitude is a state of being that you must actively choose, integrate and embody; thereafter, it will transform your terrestrial and celestial relationships. Gratitude is connected to humility because if you’re grateful, you’re ascribing agency to another, which demonstrates humility.

Much of our dominant culture’s malaise and ennui stem from deep spiritual ingratitude which leads to perpetual dissatisfaction and condemnation in the world. Our Prophet ﷺ cautioned us to, “Look at those who are lower than you and do not look at those who are higher than you. That is more likely to prevent you underestimating the blessing of Allah on you.”4  Perhaps no verse illustrates this consciousness better then ar-Rahman’s interrogative: “So which of Lord’s favors do you deny?”5  At the same time, Allah reassures us, “Remember that He promised, ‘If you are thankful, I will give you more.”6

Honestly ask yourself: who and what are you grateful for?  Why?  Have you actively expressed your gratitude?  If not, why?You should thank at least five people who helped you get to where you are. Write them a sincere letter of gratitude and then read it to them.

Develop Heartfelt Connection to Allah

We live in age of superficial “friendships” yet we restlessly seek notions of “authenticity” in our relationships, conversations and institutions.

Essentially, what we are all seeking, and in need of, is love. If we want Islam to be a vibrant and transformative force in our lives, we must understand that our core religious emotion needs to be love.7 

We will never succeed, in this life or the next, without love being indelibly rooted in our hearts. It is said that the Qur'an is the only book in which the ‘author’ is in love with the ‘reader’ and so Allah reminds us throughout the Qur'an about his love, mercy and compassion for us. These powerful states are engendered by His remembrance: “...It is in the remembrance of Allah that hearts find tranquility.”8  And know with conviction that He says if you, “Remember Me, I will remember you”9 and that “He is with you wherever you are.”10 Thus, the most powerful and meaningful relationship that you will ever experience will be with your Lord because your soul was created to know and love Him.

Graduations can be turbulent transitions because when you graduate you move away from friends and you may move away, again, from family for work. But the one constant is Allah. Therefore, building a connection with Allah will anchor you in the midst of all this movement. Your family and friends may be distant, but Allah promises “if My servant asks about Me, verily I am close.”11

Ask yourself: how often do I think of Him?  Who do I long to share my hopes and dreams, or fears and anxieties with?  When was the last time I unburdened my soul’s yearning or weariness unto Him?

Make your Dua a daily conversation with Allah. Start one small daily Zikr litany and be consistent. Excellent options include “The Book of Remembrances” [Kitab al-Adhkar] by Imam Nawawi and “The Accepted Whispers” [Munajat-e-Maqbul] by Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi.

Stay Connected to Community

We are witnessing a rise of spiritual rootlessness across society, especially as we live increasingly atomized lives, and emerging unmosqued voices are identifying genuine discontent, which must be acknowledged and addressed. But remember that community is your lifeline.
If we imagine the Prophet’s ﷺ Ummah as a beautiful, sturdy tree, then our communities are its branches and our people are its leaves.

Just as leaves that fall from a tree turn brown and die, so too can we as disconnected people wither away, especially from social and spiritual drought. Communities, like the tree branch, bring nourishment that would be impossible to obtain yourself.

Yes, our communities suffer from many problems, but do not let those problems drive you away from the community altogether. Rather, strive to create and nurture intentional communities that are committed to shared values and are still connected to the larger community.

Virtuous companionship (suhba) is essential for personal development and spiritual edification because hearts affect each other. The Prophet ﷺ counseled, “A man follows the religion of his friend, so everyone should consider whom he befriends.”12 

Life will only get more complicated and distracting, and so you need to actively seek out people and places that spiritually nourish and sustain you.

At the heart of this is thinking well of your community. This must be rooted in love, which our Prophet ﷺ said is invaluable because “No man loves another for Allah’s sake without his Lord honoring him,”13 and “Verily, Allah would say on the Day of Resurrection: Where are those who have mutual love for My Glory's sake?  Today I shall shelter them in My shadow when there is no other shadow but the shadow of Mine.”14

Ask yourself:  do I think well of others in my community just as I want them to think well of me?  What can I contribute to my community?  How can I benefit and uplift those around me?  Who do I sincerely love for the sake of Allah?  Where do I find spiritual solace?
Find a community and offer your time, treasure or talent. Follow the community on social media. Invite two people from the community to a meal.

Find a Mentor

Every field has specialists and we are all in need of mentorship and guidance, especially in our religious and spiritual lives. This life is a journey and an intelligent traveler seeks out a guide, as both companion and teacher, to elucidate the path, highlight the pitfalls, and show the fastest and easiest way to get to the destination.

Even Olympic athletes who have reached the pinnacle of performance still seek out coaches, nutritionists and personal trainers.
Our spiritual and personal development also need a wise, trusted and experienced figure who can appropriately guide, counsel and educate. Indeed, Allah beautifully instructs us to, “Ask the people of knowledge if you do not know.”15 

This is especially important in an age of autodidacticism and DIY-Islam. The purpose is to find an interlocutor for serious spiritual inquiries and trustworthy example of refined character (akhlaq). Undoubtedly, the Prophet ﷺ is our exemplar as he demonstrated this ancient arrangement of ‘teacher and student’ or ‘mentor and mentee’ with his Companions. He ﷺ taught us, “Verily, I have been sent only as a teacher,”16 and “the best amongst you are those who have the best manners and character.”17

Ask yourself:  what am I struggling with?  Who inspires me to become a better Muslim?  What are the areas I want to grow in?
Make a plan to identify and contact a potential mentor.

Graduations are life moments infused with anxiety about the unknown future as well as with excitement about new possibilities. I hope these recommendations are beneficial as you forge your path of personal and professional development. The path ahead will likely be filled with joys and struggles, and so let us reflect on the prayer attributed to Sayyiduna Ali ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him): “Oh Allah, when I lose my hopes and plans, help me remember that Your love for me is greater than my disappointments, and Your plans for me are better than my dreams.”

May Allah grant you the best of this world and the next; ameen!

1. Quran 28:77
2. Quran 16:53
3. Jami at-Tirmidhi
4. Agreed upon
5. Quran 55:13
6. Quran 14:7
7. Paraphrased from Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad in Introducing the Burda of al-Busiri documentary: “If religion is to survive and endure and to flourish, it’s no good imposing it on people. It’s no good trying to persuade people with abstract, doctrinal, theological, or philosophical arguments. What they need is to love it. They need to have that huge human capacity for a rich spectrum of emotions satisfied by the religion that seeks to sit at the core of their identity. And no amount of religion is going to succeed ultimately as a transformative, popular, vibrant force in society’s life, if it’s just about ideas or if it’s just about obedience. It has to be about emotion and the core of religious emotion always has to be love.”
8. Quran 13:28
9. Quran 2:152
10. Quran 57:4
11. Quran 2:186
12. Sunan Abu Dawud
13. Jami at-Tirmidhi
14. Sahih Muslim
15. Quran 16:43
16. Sunan Ibn Majah
17. Sahih al-Bukhari

Saturday, May 13, 2017

 Dua for freedom from Debts and haram earnings:

 Dua for freedom from Debts and Haram earnings:

وعن عليّ أنَّ مُكَاتباً جاءهُ فَقَالَ : إنِّي عَجِزْتُ عَنْ كِتَابَتِي فَأعِنِّي ، قَالَ : ألا أُعَلِّمُكَ كَلِماتٍ عَلَّمَنِيهنَّ رسُولُ الله لَوْ كَانَ عَلَيْكَ مِثْلُ جَبَلٍ دَيْناً أدَّاهُ اللهُ عَنْكَ ؟ قَالَ : قُلْ : « اللَّهُمَّ اكْفِني بِحَلاَلِكَ عَنْ حَرَامِكَ ، وَأغْنِنِي بِفَضْلِكَ عَمَّنْ سِواكَ » . رواه الترمذي ، وقال : ( حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ ) . فيه : استحباب الدعاء بهؤلاء الكلمات .

 'Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: A slave who had made a contract with his master to pay for his freedom, came to me and said: "I am unable to fulfill my obligation, so help me." He said to him: "Shall I not teach you a supplication which the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) taught me? It will surely prove so effective that if you have a debt as large as a huge mountain, Allah will surely pay it for you. Say: 'Allahumm-akfini bihalalika 'an haramika, wa aghnini bifadlika 'amman siwaka (O Allah! Grant me enough of what You make lawful so that I may dispense with what You make unlawful, and enable me by Your Grace to dispense with all but You)."


Commentary: It is important to recite this Du'a in order to seek Allah's Help in paying one's debts and in avoiding to beg of people.

  « اللَّهُمَّ اكْفِني بِحَلاَلِكَ عَنْ حَرَامِكَ ، وَأغْنِنِي بِفَضْلِكَ عَمَّنْ سِواكَ »
This sunnah Dua is also for getting sufficient Halaal Earnings and protection from Haraam income and it's temptations and also for financial independence.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Advise after death of a near one:

May Allah Grant the deceased Maghfirat and jannat ul firdaws.

Please do remember these things to benefit the departed soul:

1. Seek pardon on his/her behalf from the relatives, neighbors​, friends and those with whom they had any transactions.

2. Repay the loans or any other things they owed to others.

3. Do Hajj or arrange some one to do Hajj on their behalf if they had not done Fardh Hajj.

4. Pay fidya of any qadha Fardh or wajib Salah or  Ramadan missed fasts to the poor.

5. Fulfill the jaiz oaths or pay its fidya as the case may be.

6. Fulfill the jaiz Wills\wasiyath.

7. Then arrange for distribution of the inheritance left by them according to Shariah. It includes even the smallest value things they owned. Don't just give their items in charity with out full permission from all the heirs.

8. Follow the sunnah in the funeral rites. Avoid all Biddahs in this.

9. Continue to pray for their maghfirat.

10. Regularly send isaal e sawaab of nafil ibadaat and charity on their behalf.

11. Maintain respect and good relationship with their relatives and friends.

12. And lastly, we all have to prepare for our own meeting with our Lord. Every death is a reminder of our own mortality.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

More Than A Headscarf: How Hijab Has Lost Its Soul

More Than A Headscarf: How Hijab Has Lost Its Soul

Shazia Ahmad

6-8 minutes

Hijab1 is a frequently discussed topic in our community and a practice dissected and opined over from many different angles. While it is talked about frequently, in many of the most important ways it is little understood. Our discourse on hijab is often devoid of any meaningful consideration of it as an act of devotion, which is its primary purpose. There is also little reflection on the foundational quality from which hijab emanates — haya’ (modesty). These are the heart and soul of hijab that we, individually and as a community, often overlook.  

The Inward and the Outward

Islam teaches that at its core, hijab should be a spiritual act done seeking God. More than a means of personal expression, or a cultural or political statement, it should be an act of ‘ubudiyyah (devotion), done out of one’s heart longing for God and His closeness.

Like so many other acts of devotion in the Islamic faith, hijab has both an inner component and an outer one. The inward component is the state of one’s heart and its genuine seeking of God, while the external is the action itself.

In its external form, hijab has certain rulings, guidelines and restrictions, just as prayer has a specific formulation, or fasting has specific rulings. In our day and age this external expression of spirituality — be it religious practice in general, or exact conformity to the particulars of fiqh2 — is often scorned and dismissed as archaic, petty and trivial. However in the Islamic tradition, the ‘petty’ is powerful, and is the means by which an act has spiritual traction and can move into the realm of Divine acceptance. Outward conformity to religious teachings is an indispensable first step to one’s spiritual development. We often set our eyes on a lofty mysticism or a more meaningful spiritual state, and fail to see the important relationship between the body’s disciplined conformity to sacred law and the heart’s ascendance to the Divine.

For many of us, our view of hijab must change; it is not solely an act of personal expression, but its soul is `ubudiyyah (devotion) which must be enacted correctly and in line with religious teachings, in order to attain its spiritual fruit.

The Lost Quality of Haya’

While ‘ubudiyyah, devotion, is the lost soul of hijab, I would argue that its heart, the inner core which gives it life, is haya’. In Arabic, the term haya’ connotes modesty, shyness, bashfulness, shame, and refraining from impropriety or indecency. Lane’s Lexicon states that haya’ refers to the shrinking away of the soul from foul things. In a more general sense, it implies a heightened awareness of God such that one becomes cautious in one’s deeds and words, and has an increased sensitivity to acts that are shameful, indecent or offensive to Allah, the angels or others of creation.

The Prophet ﷺ praised haya` in both men and women; he himself was described as more modest than a young unmarried woman in her private quarters3, a figure traditionally considered the paragon of chastity and shyness. Once, he heard a man rebuking his brother for having too much haya’, to which he ﷺ responded, “Leave him, for modesty comes from belief.”4 He affirmed this essential relationship between haya’ and belief frequently, saying in one instance, “Belief has seventy or so divisions, and haya’ is a division of belief.”5

In our times, we have reduced hijab to a headscarf that serves as a badge of one’s Muslim identity, and have removed it from a larger understanding of haya’ and how this beautiful quality should cultivate our behavior in the public sphere and in our relationships with others.

The trend of hijab/hijabi fashion in particular has, in many ways, effectively divorced haya’ from hijab. The hijabi fashion trend has also taken no strides to changing spiritually unhealthy cultural norms, or to recasting definitions of beauty and a woman’s worth. Instead, in many cases, it has simply put a headscarf on mainstream fashion with all of its failings, including an extremely narrow and exploitative view of beauty and sexuality.


The heart and soul of hijab is a sense of God-consciousness and awareness, devotion and love for God, and interacting with others with humbleness, modesty, and refined manners fitting for a seeker of God. In a culture where brashness, crudeness and sexualized entertainment are often the norm and shyness is literally considered a psychological illness6, we must go against the grain and recapture the lost essence of hijab, the beautiful quality of haya’, which is, as our Prophet ﷺ has taught us, the trademark quality of our faith7. We must also reaffirm hijab as a religious, spiritual practice — not merely a personal, social, cultural or political statement, and reconnect it with a vibrant inner spirituality. In a time when disciplined religious practice is considered nothing more than mindless ritual, we must also reaffirm the link between our spiritual state and deference to the guidelines and rules of our religion, and reconnect what we wear to our faith.

May Allah give us proper understanding of Islam and its teachings. May He perfect our manners, actions, and dress in a way that reflects the beautiful quality of haya’. May He help us to fulfill our obligations and to conform to sacred law out of love for Him, the Gracious and Wise. May He adorn us with the beauty of faith and the mantle of taqwa (God consciousness) and help us be people who wear hijab, honoring the heart, soul, and spirit of this practice.  Ameen.

1. Hijab is an Arabic word connoting privacy and partition.  In the context of this article, I will be using the word hijab to refer to the obligation of covering (referred to more specifically as khimar in the Quran) as it pertains to the modest dress of Muslim women, including covering one’s hair and body.
2. Fiqh largely centers on the detailed rulings or ‘dos and don’ts’ of Islamic practice.
3. Bukhari and Muslim
4. Bukhari and Muslim
5. (( إنَّ لكل دين خلقاً ، وخلق الإسلام الحياء )) ((موطأ مالك ، وسنن ابن ماجه ))
6. See the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
7. Bukhari and Muslim ((الإيمان بضع وسبعون شعبة ، أفضلها قول لا إله إلا الله ، وأدناها إماطة الأذى عن الطريق ، والحياء شعبة من الإيمان)) ((أخرجاه في الصحيحين ))

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Explanation of the denotation in Ahadeeth Laisa Minna (ليس منا) "Not From Us":

Explanation of the denotation in Ahadeeth Laisa Minna (ليس منا) "Not From Us":

This article is an attempt to explain the meaning and the ruling of the denotation Laisa Minna (Translated as: Not from us) which is used in ahadeeth. This is taken from the work of Shaykh Hatim al 'Awni (Professor of Hadeeth at Umm al Qura university, Makkah).

Note: This article is paraphrased for clear explanation and more references are added.
There are many ahadeeth which have this denotation I will quote two of them

عن أبي موسى عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال من حمل علينا السلاح فليس منا

1) The one who  takes up arms against us, is "Not from us" [Saheeh Bukahri: 7071]

2) The one who cheats is "Not from me"(من غش فليس مني ) [Saheeh Muslim: 102]

Now when laymen read this hadeeth or any other which has this term might interpret that the one who does these acts does not remain Muslim. Because the apparent meaning indicate towards it, while in reality its not like that rather this was the interpretation of Khawarij (deviant group).

Shaykh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahullah said:

وكذلك تفسير الخوارج والمعتزلة بأنه يخرج من الإيمان  بالكلية ويستحق الخلود في النار تأويل منكر

And likewise the interpretation of Khawarij and Mu'tazila (with the denotation Laisa Minna that the one who does it) is out of faith completely and deserves to be in hell forever then this is a rejected interpretation [Majm'oo al Fatwaa 7/525]

Now the question If he remains Muslim then what does "Not From us" mean? and what is the ruling on act mentioned with it?

Meaning of Denotation (Laisa Minna)

 When this denotation is used then it would mean "Not Completely over our Sunnah or our methodology or our way"

Ibn Hajr asqalani rahimahullah comments on the chapter of Saheeh Bukhari (باب ليس منا من شق الجيوب) Chapter: The one who tears his clothes is "Not from us" and says
قوله ليس منا أي من أهل سنتنا وطريقتنا وليس المراد به إخراجه عن الدين ولكن فائدة إيراده بهذا اللفظ  المبالغة في الردع عن الوقوع في مثل ذلك كما يقول الرجل لولده عند معاتبته لست منك ولست مني أي ما أنت على طريقتي 

Saying of Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم ) "Not From us" (then) it means "Not from our Sunnah or our way" it does not mean (that the one who does it) is expelled from religion and on the contrary the benefit of him referring this word (i.e denotation) is to intensify condemnation over occurence of such things, like (when) a person says to his son while rebuking I am not from you and you are not from me, (then) it means you are not on my way.[Fath al Baari 3/163]

Ibn al Jawzi rahimahullah while commenting on the hadeeth of Saheeh Muslim (He who learnt archery and then neglected it, is not from us, (or said) He has been guilty of disobedience) says:
 قوله ليس منا أي ليس على سيرتنا وهذا لأن الرمي من آلة الجهاد فإذا تركه من علمه نسيه

His saying "Not from us" (it means) "Not on our way and this is because archery is tool of jihaad so, when the one who knows it leaves (i.e stop practicing) it forgets it. [Kashf al Mushkil min Hadeeth as Saheehayn 1/1111]

Imam Nawawi rahimahullah says regarding this denotation

ومعناه عند أهل العلم أنه ليس ممن اهتدى بهدينا واقتدى بعلمنا وعملنا وحسن طريقتنا كما يقول الرجل لولده إذا لم يرض فعله لست مني وهكذا القول في كل الأحاديث الواردة بنحو هذا القول

Meaning of denotation (laisa minna) near people of knowledge is (that the one who does that act) is not from those who are guided to our way or not from the followers of our knowledge and actions or not from those who follow the splendidness of our way, like a person to says to his son when he does not accede his action, you are not from me. This is the saying for all the ahadeeth which has come with this denoatation [ Sharah Saheeh Muslim 1/109]

Ruling on the acts mentioned with this denotation.

The denotation "Not From us" is apparently (البراءة)  disavowal and absolute disavowal is only from Kufr(that's the reason khawarij deduced with it over their Takfeer) but a conditional disavowal from the one who believes in Allah and his Messenger apparently indicate towards prohibition(of the act mentioned) and a conditional disavowal over a thing which is not prohibited evince towards Makrooh Tanzeehi (dislike) or leaving a preferable act. 

To rule out all the acts mentioned with this denotation to be prohibited is not correct either because it is has been used for other than prohibition too. I will quote two hadeeth

 (ليس منا من لم يتغن بالقرآن)

1) The one who does not recite Qur'an in a beautiful voice is "Not From Us". [Sahih Bukhari 7527]

From Ijmaa(consensus) of Scholars reciting Qur'an in beautiful voice is preferable not obligatory. So, here this denotation is used over leaving a preferable act and not prohibition. When this denotation comes for the things which are not prohibited then it is for urging not to leave preferable acts 

(من لم يأخذ شاربه فليس منا)

2) The one who does not trim his moustaches is not from us [Sunan Nasa'ee: 5047]

So, this denotation comes for the things which is prohibited as well as those which are not prohibited so a muhaqqiq(researcher) stands in need to know that this probability has come in the meaning of this denotation before he rules anything as prohibited

If it comes for those prohibition whose evil is clear or whose prohibition remains still (Likes taking up arms against muslims and likes of it) then it will be Haraam. If it is from the chapter of etiquette or from the things for which there is evidence of it being not prohibited (Like reciting Qu'ran in beautiful voice) then it is not prohibited. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Spiritual opportunities for Doctors:

 Spiritual opportunities for Doctors:

"The best achievement is that you should benefit mankind but should not expect any reward in return. Serve everyone but do not expect any service from anyone.

O living one! Live in this world in such a manner that you may enlighten the world. Neither have you to come to this world time again nor will you be sent here again. Your life should be an example for your nation.

Indeed service to the sick without remuneration is the most exalted and accepted worship of Allah the Almighty.”
Do not forget our beloved Prophet (Peace and Blessings be Upon him) states:
“If a person goes to visit a sick patient in the morning 70,000 angels send blessings and pray for his forgiveness till evening. If he goes to visit in the evening 70,000 angels say blessings and pray for his forgiveness till morning.”

In another hadith it is narrated:

Whoever visits the sick, an angel in the Heaven calls out:
“May you reap happiness in the Hereafter, may your walking in this world and the next be blessed, and may you enjoy a high rank in the Heaven” All this benefit and forgiveness is for a single visit to a patient. What would it be for continual treatment and care!

Worship is liked by Allah the Almighty.
Service is liked by Humanity and Allah the Almighty.
Worship may be accepted or rejected by Allah the Almighty, as He pleases.
Service is always accepted by Allah the Almighty.
Service is the best worship and is granted to the best of people."
-Shaikh Sufi Barkat Ali

 While visiting the sick, and dua made by the sick:

Umm Salamah  narrated that the Prophet  ﷺ said: 'When you visit the sick, or the dead  then say good, because the angels say 'Ameen' to whatever you say'
[Muslim  #2126]

Ali (RA) reported that the Prophet  ﷺ said:
'When a Muslim  visits his sick Muslim brother  in the morning, seventy thousand angels make dua for his forgiveness till the  evening. And when he visits him in the evening, seventy thousand  angels make dua for his forgiveness till the morning, and he will be granted  a garden for it in Jannah.'
 [at-Tirmidhi, Abu  Dawud]

 We should try to recall these hadeeths when we see any patient or at least while we are entering our clinics/hospital at the beginning of our duty.

 Imagine how much our approach and behavior with the patients will change if we start seeing everyone of our patients as an opportunity to earn limitless rewards from Allah and duas of the Angels instead of mere customers or even worse- as a fat wallet!