Daily Archives: August 25, 2011

Jumuah-Ramadan 1432

Shukhran Shukran….Fruits of Being Grateful to Allah by Nisaar Y. Nadiadwala

Shukhran Shukran….Fruits of Being Grateful to Allah by Nisaar Y. Nadiadwala

Reja bin Haiwa an Egyptian scholar narrates his expereince… this man was one of the few top scholars of his time. He wrote .. once I was in Masjid e Khaif during the Haj..we were sitting and there were others too in thousands, including the king, his princess, his ministers, top scholars of that time and all.. suddenly a man stood up amidst the crowd and called up loudly ” o People as long as there are three things among you the Azabo fallah will not come upon you.. first be grateful to Allah.. second do istighfar.. and third supplicate to him… saying this he made his way in the crowd and went out..

Reja says.. I wondered at the courage of this man as to how directly he announced it in front of the elite group and went away… a thought came in my mind… did he gave an authentic narration? He never refered to any hadith or Qur’anic verse to support his statement..

So as a student of knowledge  I got up and followed him and searched for him to ask him the reference for his claim.. but I could not find him.. I looked for him next day too in Mina but could not find him.. finally I decided to  look for the verification myself because I had a feeling that since the man spoke in such a confidence manner it meant that he was speaking the truth..

I opened the Quran and began with surah Fatiha and went ahead with Surah Baqarah and covered Surah Imran and reached 147 verse of surah Nisa’ to find the verification of his first claim…. What will Allah gain by punishing you if you are thankful and believers…

Imam Reza notes that I continued my search and reached 33 verse of Surah Anfal..and found that … and Allah will not punish them while you (the Prophet) was among them  nor will He punish them while they seek forgiveness…

Imam Reza then looked for the third reference till he reached Surah Furqan… my Lord pays attention to you only because of your supplications to Him.. but now since you have denied him so He will punish you….

Shukr leads to unbounded  reward…There are two deeds whose rewards, Allah says that it is upon Him. Fasting and Thanking Him. Allah has announced the rewards of all good deeds …For example if you perform Hajj e Mabroor all your past sins will be forgiven…

But for fasting and thanksgiving Allah has kept to Himself how much will He reward.

Consider this, Allah says in the Qur’an that all the seven heavens will be wrapped  up on his right hand on the day of Qiyamah…. If Allah gives us with His own hands  how much would be the amount ?

Shukr has lots of vitrues.

Shukr protects from Azab of Allah… as the 147 verse of Surah Nisa’ assures… What can Allah gain by punishing you.. if you are grateful and you believe ?

Today when ever there is an earthquake or tsunami, scientists and oceanologists rush to find the epic centers of earthquakes and other reasons..they give only geogaphical reasons.

Allah gives His reasons, nothing can happen wihout His own permission.  Not even a leaf can fall  without His approval and the same goes with earthquakes and Tsunamis.

Don’t miss out that, even Halal rizq is a blessing from Allah… here is a verse… so eat the sustenance which Allah has provided you, lawful and good.. halal and tayyab..andbe grateful  for the favours  of Allah if it is He whom you worship…and if you waste it? Like being a spendthirft..then it is ungratefulness according to the Qur’an.

People have become thankless to Allah in many ways for example even if you look at the epidemic of lavish expenditure you will notice that even little children are into it though the Qur’an calls the lavish spenders as Ikhwanus shaytan.. brothers of Shaytan and further says.. indeed shaytan is ungrateful to his Lord.. so are his brothers….Infact the 83 verse of Surah Nahl says that recognising the favours of Allah and then rejecting them.. read the verse verbatim…

they recognise the blessings of Allah and then they deny them.. and most of them are ungrateful….. Allah says wa,aksaruhoom are ungrateful… the word for ungratefulness here is again kufr !!!!!

Author : Nisaar Nadiadwala speaks and writes on socio-educatinal issues from Islamic perspective..he can be reached at  nisaar_yusuf@yahoo.com

Those Entitled to Receive Zakaat

Those Entitled to Receive Zakaat

by Imam Muhammad bin Saalih Al-’Uthaimeen

from Fusool fis-Siyaam wat-Taraaweeh waz-Zakaat

The people entitled to Zakaat are those places we can direct our Zakaat to. Allaah took charge of explaining for Himself what these places are, saying:

“The charity (Zakaat) is only for the poor, the needy, those employed to collect (the Zakaat), those whose hearts will be inclined (towards Islaam, by giving them Zakaat), for slaves, for those in debt, for (Jihaad in) the Cause of Allaah, and for the wayfarer ( i.e. destitute traveler). It is an obligation imposed by Allaah, and Allaah is the All-Knower, the All-Wise.”[Surah At-Tawbah: 60]

1. The Poor (Fuqaraa): They are those who are not able to support themselves with sufficient means, except for very little, which is less than half (a year). So if a person cannot find that which will support himself and his family for at least half a year, he is considered poor ( faqeer) and he should be given what will suffice him and his family for a year.

2. The Needy (Masaakeen): They are those who are able to support themselves with sufficient means for half of the year or more, but not enough for the entire year. So they should receive support that will complete the year for them. If a person does not have any cash on him, but yet has some other source of income, such as a profession, a salary or investment profits that will support him financially, he should not be given Zakaat. This is based on the Prophet’s statement: “There is no share in it (i.e. the Zakaat) for a wealthy person or for a strong able-bodied person who can earn a living.”

3. Those employed to collect the Zakaat: They are the ones put in charge by the ruler of a country to collect the Zakaat from those who owe it, distribute it to those who are entitled to it, guard the funds and all other types of duties involved with the supervision of Zakaat. So they should be given a portion of the Zakaat in accordance with the work they put in, even if they may already be wealthy.

4. Those whose hearts will be inclined: This refers to tribal and clan leaders, who do not have strong Faith. They should be given Zakaat so as to strengthen their Faith, which will make them callers to Islaam and good role models. But what if a person is weak in his Islaam, and he is not from the leaders who are followed and obeyed, but rather from the common folk, should he be given some Zakaat in order to strengthen his Faith?

Some scholars hold that it should be given to him since benefiting one’s religion is better than benefiting one’s body. Look at the example of a poor person. He is given Zakaat in order to nourish his body. So nourishing someone’s heart with Faith is greater and of more benefit. However some scholars hold that he should not be given the Zakaat since the benefit of strengthening his Faith is a personal benefit that is specific to him alone.

5. Slaves: What falls under this is buying slaves using Zakaat funds in order to free them, as well as assisting in the liberation of Muslim war captives.

6. Those in debt: They are the ones who owe debts. This is on the condition that they do not possess that which will enable them to remove their debts. So these people should be given enough (Zakaat) that will relieve them of their debt, whether it is a small or large amount, even if they may be wealthy due to their livelihood. So in the case where there is a man who has some income that is enough for the livelihood of himself and his family, but he has some debt that he cannot repay, he may be given sufficient Zakaat that will remove his debt from him. However, it is not permissible for a person who is owed money by a poor person to cancel that person’s debt, intending to give his share of Zakaat by that.

The scholars have differed regarding the case where the one in debt is someone’s father or son. Can he be given Zakaat in order to remove his debt? The correct opinion is that it is permissible. It is permissible for a person who owes Zakaat to go to the creditor (person owed the debt) and pay him back the loan of the indebted without the latter being aware of it. This is on the condition that the person owing Zakaat knows that the indebted one is unable to repay his debt.

7. In the Cause of Allaah: This refers to Jihaad in the Cause of Allaah. So those who fight in Jihaad should be given a portion of the Zakaat that will suffice them for their Jihaad and enable them to buy the necessary tools for Jihaad in the Cause of Allaah.

What also falls under “the Cause of Allaah” is religious knowledge. So a student of Islamic knowledge should be given that which will enable him to seek knowledge, such as books and so on. This is unless he already has money of his own that will enable him to achieve that.

8. The Wayfarer: This refers to a traveler that has been cut off from his journey. So he should be given enough Zakaat that will enable him to return to his homeland.

These are the people who are entitled to receive Zakaat, the ones whom Allaah has mentioned in His Book and informed us that this is an obligation that He mandated, which stems from His knowledge and wisdom. And Allaah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.

It is not permissible to direct the Zakaat to any other place, such as towards building masaajid or fixing roads. This is because Allaah has told us those who are entitled to receive the Zakaat for the purpose of limiting them to just those mentioned. So this limitation indicates that we are to negate all other potential recipients that due not fall under this limitation.

If we were to reflect on those individuals that we may give Zakaat to, we would come to realize that among them are those who are in need of the Zakaat for personal use as well as those who are in need of it for the Muslims generally. So by this, we can see the extent of wisdom behind the requirement of Zakaat. And we would come to know that the wisdom behind Zakaat is to build a complete and upright society, as best as possible. And that Islaam does not disregard money or the benefits that can be generated from wealth, nor does it leave greedy and stingy souls to go about freely an unchecked with their stinginess and vain desires. On the contrary, it is the greatest guiding force towards the good and betterment of nations. And all praise is due to Allaah, Lord of the universe.

The outlook of people of faith on death

The outlook of people of faith on death

“Every soul shall taste death. You shall receive your rewards only on the Day of Resurrection. Anyone who is spared the Fire and admitted to the Garden will surely triumph. The life of this world is just the enjoyment of delusion.(Surah Al ‘Imran, 185)

Death will come upon every man existing in this world at a predestined time in compliance with the verse, “Every soul shall taste death. In the end you shall return to Us”. (Surat al-’Ankabut, 57) Nothing a man possesses, neither property, fortune, status, fame, grandeur nor good looks can ward off death. Death is a law of Allah; no one can escape this absolute and unavoidable fact. As the verse, “Wherever you are, death will catch up with you, even if you are in impregnable fortresses…” (Surat an-Nisa’, 78) reminds us, there has never been anyone who could succeed in escaping from death.

This fact is an issue about which people of faith attain a profound understanding. Once they comprehend the certainty and closeness of death, they understand that they need to prepare for the life after death. Fearing an imminent death that may come upon them before attaining the moral perfection Allah demands from His servants and earning His approval, they embrace the religion of Allah with great sincerity and enthusiasm. They lose no time in drawing nearer to Allah and earning His approval, since they realise that they may meet death at any moment. The prayer of believers in the Qur’an is as follows:

… Originator of the heavens and earth, You are my Protector in this world and the Next. So take me as a Muslim at my death and unite me with those who are sincere. (Surah Yusuf, 101)

The people of faith accept death with full submission, since it is a law of Allah. Over and above this, they consider it as a gate through which to attain paradise. Meanwhile, they never forget that they must strive hard to avoid the punishment of hell and earn the approval of Allah. Believers unceasingly feel fear and hope until they meet death. They hope for paradise because they believe. Likewise, they fear hell since they never find themselves self-sufficient.

The severity of the pain and punishment experienced in hell is incomparable to any pain suffered in this world. The torment of fire is of various kinds. The people of hell constantly scream to be saved from fire, they are crammed into narrow places; their hands tied to their necks, they writhe in pain. They are whipped with iron whips. Their hunger and thirst become unbearable. Their pain never abates. This dire situation is exacerbated by profound regret, a feeling of desperation and hopelessness. They wish to disappear for all eternity but to no avail. They are addressed as follows:

Roast in it! And bear it patiently or do not bear it patiently. It makes no difference either way. You are simply being repaid for what you did. (Surat at-Tur, 16)

People of faith continuously contemplate the torment of hell depicted in the Qur’an and turn towards Allah. One of perfected faith always keeps in mind that he can, at any moment, meet the angels of death and thus pass on to the hereafter. His decisions, attitudes, behaviour and the way he speaks reflect his commitment to being worthy of paradise and staying away from hellfire, because no one in this world can be exempt from divine retribution.

Aware that “scales of justice” (Surat al-Anbiya’, 47) will be set up on the Day of Judgement, he does not want to miss an atom’s weight of good. Allah has warned people on this subject as follows:

That Day people will emerge segregated to see the results of their actions. Whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it. Whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it. (Surat az-Zilzal, 6-8)

Similarly, he strictly abstains from any act that would incur the disapproval of Allah, because each act he commits will draw him closer either to paradise or to hell. Nothing exists beyond these two places.

Believers who have a certain awareness of these facts feel constant “fear and hope” throughout their lives. They never forget the state of people awaiting to be taken either to paradise or to hell on the Day of Judgement.

How would someone behave if he were at the crossroads of paradise and hell right at this moment and realised that his eternal life would begin in earnest after his being judged? 

Being right on the verge of hell, would he ever dare to display a displeasing attitude, which would immediately be taken into account?

Certainly not! On the contrary, anybody in such a dire situation would do anything to attain paradise and would draw on his wisdom and conscience to display the attitude most pleasing to Allah. Even a person who had never engaged in such a serious effort throughout his life, deeming the Day of Judgement distant from himself, would feel great panic and strive to make up for his misdeeds. But on that day, no time is granted to make amends. The time granted terminates with death and records are thereupon finalised. From that moment on, no one will be requited for anything other than what he has done.

Having an unshakable faith in the hereafter, paradise and hell, and keeping their minds occupied with the remembrance of death, account for the unflagging efforts of people of perfected faith. To avoid fear and regret in the hereafter, they consider themselves as if awaiting Allah’s verdict on them on the Day of Judgement at every moment of their lives. They prepare themselves for the afterlife with clear consciousness and faith, in the manner of one who has seen the beauty of paradise and the horrors of hell with his own eyes and returned to this life. Therefore, in the face of each situation, they strive to display the best attitude, since they know that any minor heedlessness or unscrupulousness may set them on a course of regret for which there is no remedy.

To conclude, the utter conviction of those of faith ensures an unswerving commitment to draw nearer to Allah and to stand in fear of Him. In the light of the verse, “So fear Allah, as much as you are able to…” (Surat at-Taghabun, 16), believers fear Allah as much as they can and hope to be worthy of paradise.

By Harun Yahya