The virtues of Sunnah Mu’akkadah Prayers

 

The Virtue and times of Regular Sunnah Mu’akkadah

I would like to know whether you wait for the time of the prayer before praying any Sunnah which comes before it; or whether these Sunnah are prayed before the time for the prayer enters. If so; how long before a prayer can you pray the Sunnah which comes before it? For example, could I pray the 4 rak’ah Sunnah which comes before Asar 3 hours before the time for Asar enters? Or do I wait for the time of Asar to enter and then pray the 4 Sunnahs after the time for Asr has entered and follow them immediately by the fardhu rak’ats?.

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;

All the praise and thanks are due to Allah, and Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon His Messenger.

Categories of regular Sunnah Mu’akkadah prayers

The regular Sunnah prayers fall into two categories:

  • Sunnahs which are done before the fardhu prayer i.e two rak’ahs before Fajr and four before Zuhur.
  • Sunnahs which are done after the fardhu prayer i.e two rak’ahs after Zuhur, two rak’ahs after Maghrib and two rak’ahs after ‘Isha’.

Many hadiths mentioned the virtues of optional Solah as the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:

  • “Prostrate as much as you can, because whenever you prostrate, Allah elevates your rank by a degree and wipes out a sin from your record” (Muslim).
  • In another narration: “Whenever a servant prostrates to Allah, Allah writes a reward for him, wipes out one of his sins and elevates his rank by one degree; so prostrate as much as you can” (Ibn Majah).

The way to perform Solah is as the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam) described:

  • “The night Solah is done two (raka’ahs) at a time” (Al-Bukhari)
  • “The optional Solah at night and during the day is done two Raka’ahs at a time” (Ahmad, Ibn Majah and others).

Virtues of Sunnah Mu’akkadah Prayers

In term of its virtue, Umm Habibah (radiallahu `anha) narrated that The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam) in which he said:

“Whoever is regular with twelve Rak’ah of Sunnah (prayer, Allāh will build a house in Paradise:  (as follows): 4 Rak’at before and 2 after the Dzuhur (Midday) Prayer, 2 after the Maghrib (Sunset Prayer), 2 after the ‘Ishā’ (Evening) Prayer and 2 before the Fajr (Dawn) Prayer.”

[Hadith sahih narrated by at-Tirmidzi No. 415 (Sahih) and by others. Hadith No. 6183 in Sahih al-Jāmi’]

The time frame for a Sunnah

The time frame for a Sunnah prayer that comes before a fardu prayer is from the beginning of the time for that prayer, until the iqāmah.

The time for a Sunnah prayer that comes after a fardu prayer is from after the Salam at the end of the fardhu prayer until the end of the time for that prayer.

Ibn Qudāmah (rahimallah) said: “The time for every Sunnah prayer that comes before a fardhu prayer is from the beginning of the time for that prayer, until the prayer is done, and the time for every Sunnah prayer that comes after a fardhu prayer is from after the prayer is done until the end of the time for that prayer.”

[Al-Mughni, 2/544]

Based on this, it is not correct to pray the Sunnah prayer before the time for the fardhu prayer begins; rather you should wait until the time for that prayer comes, then pray it.

The ‘Asar (Late-Afternoon) Prayer

The ‘Asar (Late-Afternoon) Prayer has no routine Sunnah (basic recommended voluntary prayer). However, it is mustahab (preferable and recommended) that one prays 4 rak’at before the ‘Asar Prayer. The 4 rak’ahs are of less reward and significance in importance of adhering to them compared to the “Sunnan al-Rawātib” described above. The 4 rak’at are the ones intended by the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam) in saying:

“May Allāh have mercy on one who prays 4 raka’at before the ‘Asar Prayer.”

[Narrated by at-Tirmidzi no. 430, reported by Ibn Umar and he declared it a Hassan and gharīb Hadith. Al-Albāni rated the Hadith as Hassan in Sahih al-Jami’ No. 3493]

All the foregoing 4-rak’ah voluntary prayers are to be prayed two at a time according to Imam ash-Shafi’ie and Imam Ahmad (rahimahumullah).

And Allaah Almighty Knows best.

[Adapted from the Islam QA (Fatwa Nos: 33779; 1048)]

Remembrance of Allah in the Morning and in the Evening

Remembrance of Allah in the Morning and in the Evening

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful,

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

 

Allah, the Exalted, says:

“And remember your Rabb by your tongue and within yourself, humbly and with fear and without loudness in words in the mornings, and in the afternoons and be not of those who are neglectful.” (7:205)

“And declare the perfectness of your Rabb before the rising of the sun, and before its setting.” (20:130)

“And declare the perfectness of your Rabb and praise Him in the `Ashi (i.e., the time period after the midnoon till sunset) and in the Ibkar (i.e., the time period from early morning or sunrise till before midnoon).” (40:55)

“In houses (mosques) which Allah has ordered to be raised (to be cleaned, and to be honoured), in them His Name is mentioned in the mornings and in the afternoons or the evenings. Men whom neither trade nor sale diverts from the remembrance of Allah (with heart and tongue).” (24:36, 37)

“Verily, We made the mountains to declare the Perfectness of Allah with him [Dawud (David)] in the `Ashi (i.e., after the midday till sunset) and Ishraq (i.e., after the sunrise till midday).” (38:18)

 

1451. Abu Hurairah (radiallahu`anhu) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallām) said, “He who recites in the morning and in the evening the statement: “Subhan-Allahi wa bihamdihi, Subhan-Allahil-Azim”(Glory is to Allah and to Him is the praise, Glory is to Allah, the Greatest devoid of imperfection)’one hundred times, will not be surpassed on the Day of Resurrection by anyone with better deeds than one who utters the same words or utters more of these words.”

[Muslim]

1452. Abu Hurairah (radiallahu`anhu) reported: A man came to the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallām) and said, “What a trouble I suffered from a scorpion which stung me last night!” He (sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallām) said, “Had you said in the evening: `A`udzu bikalimatillahit-tammati min sharri ma khalaqa (I seek the protection of Allah’s Perfect Words from the evil of whatever He has created),’ it would not have harmed you.”

[Muslim]

Commentary:  Kalimat means the Words of Allah, His Decisions and His Power. At-Tamat is being free from every defect and shortcoming. Thus, it means “I seek the protection of Allah, by means of faultless Words, Decisions and Power of Allah, from the mischief of every living being”. It is the best prayer for protection from dangerous animals, insects and people.

1453. Abu Hurairah (radiallahu`anhu) reported: The Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallām) used to say in the morning: “Allahumma bika asbahna, wa bika amsaina, wa bika nahya, wa bika namutu, wa ilaikan-nushur” (O Allah! With Your Power we have come to the morning, with Your Power we come to the evening, with Your Power we live, and we die, and to You will we return).” In the evening he would say: “Allahumma bika amsaina, wa bika nahya, wa bika namutu, wa ilaikan-nushur” (O Allah! With Your Power, we have come to the evening, by You do we live, by You do we die, and to You is the return).

[At-Tirmidzi and Abu Dawud]

1454. Abu Hurairah (radiallahu`anhu) reported: Abu Bakar asked, “O Messenger of Allah! Teach me some words so that I may recite them in the morning and in the evening.” The Messenger of Allah (sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallām) said, “Recite these words: “Allahumma fatiras-samawati wal-ardi, `alimal-ghaibi wash-shahadati, Rabba kulli shai’in wa malikahu. Ash-hadu an la ilaha illa Anta, a`udhu bika min sharri nafsi, wa sharrish-Shaitani wa shirkihi” (O Allah! Creator of the heavens and the earth! Knower of the hidden and the exposed! Rabb of everything and everyone. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped but You. I seek Your Protection from the evil of my own self from the evil of Satan and from the evil of Shirk to which he calls).”’ The Messenger of Allah (sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallām) added: “Recite these words in the morning and the evening and when you go to bed.”

[Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidzi]

1455. `Abdullah bin Mas`ud (radiallahu`anhu) reported: When it was evening, the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallām) used to supplicate: “Amsaina [Asbahna] wa amsa [asbaha] l-mulku lillah, wal-hamdu lillah. La `ilaha illallahu wahdahu la sharika lahu (We have entered upon evening and the whole kingdom of Allah, too, has entered upon evening. Praise is due to Allah. There is none who has the right to be worshiped but Allah, the One who has no partner with Him).” He (the narrator) said: I think that he (PBUH) used to follow the recitation with these words: “Lahul-mulku, wa lahul-hamdu, wa Huwa `ala kulli shi’in Qadir. Rabbi as’aluka khaira ma fi hadhihil-lailati [hadhal-yaumi], wa khaira ma ba`daha[ma ba`dahu]; wa a`udhu bika min sharri ma fi hadhihil-lailati, wa sharri ma ba`daha; Rabbi a`udhu bika minal-kasali, wa su’il-kibari; Rabbi a`udhu bika min `adhabin fin-nari, wa `adhabin fil-qabri”(His is the sovereignty and to Him is all praise due, and He is Omnipotent. My Rubb, I beg of you good that lies in this night and good that follows it, and I seek refuge in You from the evil that lies in this night and from the evil of that which follows it. My Rabb! I seek refuge in You from lethargy and the misery of old age. O Allah! I seek Your Protection from the torment of Hell-fire and the punishment of the grave).” When it was morning, he (sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallām) would recite the same, replacing the words: “We have entered upon evening and the whole kingdom of Allah, too, has entered upon evening” with “We have entered upon morning and the whole kingdom of Allah entered upon morning.” (Replace the words “Amsaina, amsa, hadhihil-lailati, ma ba`daha with Asbahna, asbaha, hadhal-yaumi, ma ba`dahu, respectively.)

[Muslim]

Commentary:  It is desirable to recite the invocations cited in the Hadith in the morning and the evening and also when one goes to bed and awakes. The purpose is that the concept of Allah’s Providence and Divinity remains alive all the time in one’s mind. With these words one seeks Allah’s Protection in life and the Hereafter from things which are harmful. One also begs for his safety and guidance in this life and the Hereafter. This Hadith fully expresses one’s recognition of Allah’s Godhood and Lordship.

1456. `Abdullah bin Khubaib (radiallahu`anhu) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallām) said to me, “Recite Surat Al-Ikhlas and Al-Mu`awwidhatain (Surat Al-Falaq and Surat An-Nas) three times at dawn and dusk. It will suffice you in all respects.”

[Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidzi]

Commentary:  “Recite Surat Al-Ikhlas and Al-Mu`awwidhatain (Surat Al-Falaq and Surat An-Nas) three times at dawn and dusk. It will suffice you in all respects” means that then one would not need any other recitation for the remembrance of Allah. Moreover, by virtue of these three Surah, Allah will protect the reciter from every dangerous thing. In other Ahadith, it is stated that after lying in the bed, the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallām) used to recite these Surah, then blow on his hands and rub them over his body to the extent he could.

1457. `Uthman bin `Affan (radiallahu`anhu) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallām) said, “He who recites three times every morning and evening: “Bismillahil-ladzi la yadurru ma`as-mihi shai’un fil-ardi wa la fis-sama’i, wa Huwas-Sami`ul-`Alim” (In the Name of Allah with Whose Name there is protection against every kind of harm in the earth or in the heaven, and He is the All-Hearing and All-Knowing),’ nothing will harm him.”

[Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidzi]

Commentary:  The prayer cited in this Hadith means that “I seek the Protection of Allah by means of which one can save himself from every vice, whether it is an animal or man, a jinn or Satan because He is Aware of everyone’s condition and Capable of hearing everybody’s petition. He who comes in His Protection none can harm him, except that which He wills.”

[Via Wponline.Org, Chapter 248 Remembrance of Allah in the Morning and in the, Riyad-Us-Saliheen Compiled, By Al-Imam Abu Zakariya Yahya bin Sharaf An-Nawawi Ad-Dimashqi]

The Remembrance of Allah

The Remembrance of Allah

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, Most Merciful,

All the praise and thanks are due to Allah Subhanahu wata’ala, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Allah Subhanahu wa ta`ala tells us to do as much dzikir as it helps a person to be closer to Allah  and provides a lot of benefits do daily life and in the Hereafter.

Allah Says:

  • “O you who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance.” [Al-Ahzab, 33: 41].
  • “… and the men and the women who remember Allah much with their hearts and tongues (while sitting, standing, lying, etc. for the remembrance of Allah during the five compulsory congregational prayers) or praying extra additional Nawafil prayers of night in the last part of night, etc.) Allh has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward (i.e. Paradise).” [Al-Ahzab, 33:35].
  • “O you who believe! When you meet (an enemy) force, take a firm stand against them and remember the Name of Allâh much (both with tongue and mind), so that you may be successful.” [Al-Anfal, 8: 45].

The person has to do as much Dzikir as he can as this will give him great benefits and profits in this life and the Hereafter. Some scholars believe that there numerous such as mentioned by Ibn al-Qayyim in book “Al-Wabil Al-Sayib”.

Dzikir is not a mandatory act which  is only a supererogatory act which helps the person get closer to Allah. But the person commits a sin if he leaves any of the Dzikir that should be said in the prayer like the Dzikir during the Ruku, the Sujud, the Tashahud and invoking blessing on the Prophet s.a.w as stated by some scholars.

The benefits of mentioning Allah that the slave will harvest in this world as well as the Hereafter:

Allah would provide trees of in the Paradise.

Ibn Mas`ud r.a narrated that Allah’s Messenger s.a.w said:

“I met Ibrahim a.s on the Night of Isra’ [i.e., the night journey from Makkah to Al-Quds (Jerusalem)]. He said: `Convey my greetings to your nation, O Muhammad, and tell them that Paradise consists of vast plains of pure soil and sweet water. The plants grow there by (the utterance of): ‘Subhaanallah’ (i.e., Glory be to Allah), ‘Al-Hamdulillah’ (i.e., All praise is due to Allah), ‘Laa Ilaaha Illallah’ (i.e., There is none worthy of worship but Allah); and ‘Allahu Akbar’ (i.e., Allah is the Greatest). `”

[At-Tirmidzi]

Abu Hurairah(radiallahu’anhu)  reported: The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said, “He who recites after every prayer: Subhan-Allah (Allah is free from imperfection) thirty-three times; Al-hamdu lillah (praise be to Allah) thirty-three times; Allahu Akbar (Allah is Greatest) thirty-three times; and completes the hundred with: La ilaha illallahu, wahdahu la sharika lahu, lahul-mulku wa lahul-hamdu, wa Huwa `ala kulli shai’in Qadir (there is no true god except Allah. He is One and He has no partner with Him. His is the sovereignty and His is the praise, and He is Omnipotent), will have all his sins pardoned even if they may be as large as the foam on the surface of the sea.”
[Muslim]

Abu Hurairah (radiallahu’anhu) reported: The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said, “The uttering of the words: “Subhan-Allah (Allah is free from imperfection), Al-hamdu lillah (all praise is due to Allah), La ilaha illallah (there is no true god except Allah) and Allahu Akbar (Allah is the Greatest)’ is dearer to me than anything over which the sun rises.”
[Muslim]

Commentary:  This Hadith highlights the fact that the formulas which mention the Praise and Glory of Allah, His Majesty and Oneness are liked by the Prophet (s.a.w) more than anything in the world, because this is one of the virtues which will survive and will be rewarded, while the world and all that it has will perish.

Jabir ibn Abdullah (radiallahu’anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w} said: “He who says: `Subhan-Allahi wa bihamdihi, Subhan-Allahil-Azim’ (Glory be to Allah, and to Him belongs all praise)

Will have a palm-tree planted for him in Paradise.”

[At-Tirmidzi]

Abu Hurairah(radiallahu’anhu)  reported: The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said, “There are two statements that are light for the tongue to remember, heavy in the Scales and are dear to the Merciful: `Subhan-Allahi wa bihamdihi, Subhan-Allahil-Azim [Glory is to Allah and to Him is the praise, Glory is to Allah, the Greatest, devoid of imperfection)’.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Commentary: This Hadith affirms that man’s actions carry weight. On the Day of Judgement, his actions will be cast into the Balance. At that time Allah will endow these actions with weight, or according to some scholars, those records which register man’s actions will be weighed. This is quite possible for the reason that Almighty Allah is Capable of weighing things without even their physical form. This discussion apart, when actions will be cast into the Balance, the formula mentioned in the Hadith, the utterance of which is very easy, will prove weighty. Every Muslim should make it a practice to repeat them frequently.

Abu Hurairah (radiallahu’anhu)  reported: The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said, “He who recites in the morning and in the evening the statement: “Subhan-Allahi wa bihamdihi, Subhan-Allahil-Azim”(Glory is to Allah and to Him is the praise, Glory is to Allah, the Greatest devoid of imperfection)’one hundred times, will not be surpassed on the Day of Resurrection by anyone with better deeds than one who utters the same words or utters more of these words.”

[Muslim]

The continuous mentioning of Allah by His slaves protects them from being neglected by Allah, which is the direct cause of their misery in this world and the Hereafter.

Forgetting Allah leads to forgetting one’s own self and what benefits it, as Allah Says:

“And be not like those who forgot Allah, so He made them forget themselves. Those are the defiantly disobedient.”

[Al-Hashar, 59: 19]

By forgetting one’s own soul, a person becomes oblivious of taking care of its interests, which inevitably causes its degradation and destruction. Had there been no other benefit of mentioning Allah than guarding oneself against this, it would have been reason enough. Whoever forgets Allah Almighty will be made to forget his own soul in this world, and the Lord will leave him in the torture of the Hellfire in the Hereafter; Allah Says:

“And whoever turns away from My Reminder (i.e. neither believes in this Quran nor acts on its orders, etc.)  – indeed, he will have a depressed [i.e., difficult] life, and We will gather [i.e., raise] him on the Day of Resurrection blind. He will say: ‘My Lord! Why have you raised me blind while I was [once] seeing?’ [Allah] will say: ‘Thus did Our signs come to you, and you forgot [i.e., disregarded] them; and thus will you this Day be forgotten.'”

[Ta-Ha, 20: 124-126] Meaning, such a slave will be forgotten in the torment just as he forgets the Lord’s proofs, verses, signs and revelations, neither reciting them nor acting upon them. The depressed and difficult life mentioned in the verses refers to the difficulties, privation and sufferings he will face in this world, the grave and the Hereafter. Opposite to this is what the righteous people will lead, which is a happy life in this world, the grave and the Hereafter; Allah Says:

“Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer – We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do.”

[Al-Nahl, 16: 97]

This applies both to his stay in the grave as well as the Hereafter.

Speaking about his teacher Imam Ibn Taymiyyah, Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim said: “Allah is my witness that I have never seen anyone living in a better condition than him, despite the hardships he faced including lack of welfare, imprisonment, constant threat, and exhaustive suffering. He was very tranquil (in his heart), optimistic, cheerful and radiant.”

The mentioning of Allah is a deed that has a unique and distinctive sweet taste that other good deeds cannot come close to producing.

Malik bin Deenaar said: “Nobody ever found more sweetness and enjoyment than in mentioning Allah.”

Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim said: “I heard Shaykh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah saying: ‘There is a Paradise in this worldly life (i.e. the mention of Allah); he, who does not enter it, will not enter the Paradise of the Hereafter’”.

Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim also quoted Imam Ibn Taymiyyah as saying: “What can my enemies do to me? My Paradise (i.e. the mentioning of Allah) is in my heart; it moves with me wherever I go. Imprisonment for me is a religious retreat. To kill and be killed (for me) is martyrdom, and to be expelled to another land is a spiritual journey” and also: “If I were to pay them (i.e., his enemies who imprisoned him) as much as the weight of this fortress (where he was imprisoned) in gold, that would still not repay them for the great favour they have done to me by imprisoning me; they cannot realise the great benefit I have gained from being in seclusion.”

It is a light for the one who mentions Allah in this worldly life, in his grave and on the Day of Resurrection.

It will illuminate his way on the Sirat (i.e. the bridge over Hell) to pass it easily; Allah Says:

“And is the one who was dead and We gave him life and made for him light by which to walk among the people like one who is in darkness, never to emerge there from?…”

[Al-An’am, 6: 122]

The first person mentioned in the verse is he who mentions Allah and is thus granted the light of faith and the love of Allah, while the second is he who is heedless of doing so.

It makes the person closer to Allah and worthy of His love, support, and company.

Allah says in a Qudsi narration:

“I am with My slave when he mentions Me and his lips move with utterance of Me.”

[Al-Bukhari]

It is superior to spending in charity for the sake of Allah and better than fighting Jihad.

Abu Ad-Darda’ reported that the Messenger of Allah s.a.w said:

“Shall I not inform you of the best of your deeds which are the purest to your Lord, which exalt you to the highest ranks, which are more efficacious than spending gold and silver (in charity), and better for you than encountering your enemies whose necks you will smite and who will smite your necks?” The people replied: “Certainly!” He said: “The mentioning of Allah the Exalted.”

[At-Tirmidzi]

It is the highest form of expressing gratitude; one who does not mention Allah is certainly of the ungrateful.

Mu’adz bin Jabal r.a reported that the Messenger of Allah s.a.w once held him by the hand and said: “O Mu’adz! I swear by Allah that I love you. I advise you not to miss supplicating after every solah saying:

Allaahumma a`inni `alaa dzikrika, wa shukrika, wa husni `ibadatika.’

(O Allah! Assist me in mentioning You, expressing gratitude to You, and worshiping You in the finest manner).”

[Abu Dawud; An-Nasa’ie]

Here, the Prophet s.a.w combined between gratitude and the mentioning of Allah, because they are the means of attaining true felicity.

There is hardness in the heart that cannot be melted except by mentioning Allah the Almighty.

Therefore, the slave must treat his hardened heart by mentioning Him. A man complained of his hard heart to Al-Hasan who responded by saying: “Melt it by mentioning Allah.”

Hearts are cured by the medicine of mentioning Allah and sickened by being heedless of and forgetting Him.

`Umar said: “Mention Allah, as it is the ultimate cure.”

Allah’s blessings are not drawn, nor are His wrath appeased, by anything better than mentioning Him.

Remembrance of Allah calls for the mercy of Allah and the supplications of His angels for the one who does so.

Such a person will indeed be amongst the successful; Allah Almighty Says:

“O, you who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance. And exalt Him morning and afternoon. It is He who confers blessing upon you, and His angels [ask Him to do so] that He may bring you out from darkness into the light. And ever is He, to the believers, Merciful.”

[Al-Ahzab, 33: 41-43]

This mercy from Allah, glory be to Him, and the supplications by His angels for those who frequently mention Him are the means by which they are brought out of darkness into the light, which entails the attainment of all goodness and the protection from all evil. Woe to those who are forgetful of their Lord, for being deprived of His graces! May Allah grant us all success in mentioning Him.

The assemblies in which Allah is mentioned are the only ones, anywhere, which the angels attend.

Abu Hurayrah (radiallahu’anhu) reported that Allah’s Messenger s.a.w said:

“Allah has mobile squads of angels who traverse the roads seeking those who mention Him. When they find people doing so, they call one another and say: ‘Hasten to what you are looking for!’ They then surround them with their wings until the space between them and the sky is full. Allah the Exalted and Glorious then asks them (although He is best informed about everything): `What are My servants saying?` They reply: `They are glorifying You, uttering Your Greatness, recognising Your Oneness, and celebrating Your praise.` Allah will say: `Have they ever seen Me?` They say: `No, we swear by Allah that they have never seen You`. Allah says: `How would it have been if they saw Me? ` The angels reply: `If they saw You, they would worship You more devoutly and celebrate Your Glory more deeply, and declare Your freedom from any resemblance to anything more often` …” until he said:  “… Then Allah says: `I make you witnesses that I have forgiven them`. One of the angels then says: `There is someone amongst them, and he is not one of them, but came for some need`. Allah would say: `These are people whose companions will not suffer from misery.’”

[Al-Bukhari; Muslim]

In this way, the assemblies that contain the mentioning of Allah are the assemblies of the angels, while those of forgetfulness and heedlessness of Allah are the assemblies of the devils. Everyone selects his counterpart, whether angelic or devilish.

Allah the Almighty boasts to the angels about those who remember Him.

Mu`awiyah narrated that the Messenger of Allah s.a.w came to an assembly in the mosque and said to the people present:

“What makes you sit together?” They replied: “We sat to mention Allah and praise Him for guiding us to Islam and bestowing His favours upon us.” He said: “I adjure you by Allah, has anything else made you sit in this way?” They replied: “We swear by Allah! Nothing made us sit here but that.” He said: “I did not adjure you because I suspected you (of lying), but (the angel) Jibrail came and told me that Allah was boasting about you to the angels.”

[Muslim]

This boasting is an indication of the lofty rank that mentioning Allah holds in His sight, and how much it is loved by Him.

All righteous deeds were legislated in order to establish the remembrance of Allah.

As Allah says: “…Establish prayer for My remembrance.” [Ta-Ha, 20:14], in order to establish My rememrance. Allah also Says: “Recite, [O Muhammad], what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the mention of Allah is greater…” [As-Sajdah, 32: 45]

Imam Ibn Taymiyyah said: “The correct way to understand this verse is that solah achieves two great objectives, the first of which is prohibiting immorality and the second being the mentioning of Allah, which is the greater of the two objectives.”

‘Aishah r.a narrated that the Messenger of Allah s.a.w said:

“Circumambulation around the Ka’abah, walking between mount Safa and mount Marwah, and the casting of the stones at the Pillars (during Hajj) was only legislated to establish the mentioning of Allah.”

[Abu Dawud]

Continual remembrance of Allah can be a substitute for optional acts of worship.

Abu Hurayrah r.a reported that some of the poor Emigrants came to the Messenger of Allah s.a.w and said to him:

“The wealthy have obtained the highest ranks and everlasting bliss!” He asked: “How is that?” They replied: “They offer prayers as we do, and observe fasting as we do, but they give in charity and we do not, and they emancipate slaves and we cannot.” He said: “Shall I not teach you something whereby you will catch up with those who have preceded you and be ahead of those who follow you; something in which no one can better you, unless he does as you do?” They said: “Indeed, O Messenger of Allah!” He s.a.w said: “Say: ‘Subhanallah, Allahu Akbar and Al-Hamdu lillah’ (i.e. Glory be to Allah, Allah is the Greatest, and All praise is due to Allah) thirty-three times at the end of every prayer.”

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Thus, he made the mention of Allah make up for whatever deeds they missed out on.

It assists one in performing more good deeds and in remaining obedient to Allah.

`Abdullah bin Bishar reported that one of the Companions said:

“O Messenger of Allah! There are many injunctions of Islam upon me, so tell me something to which I may hold fast.” He (s.a.w) replied: “Keep your tongue moist with the remembrance of Allah.”

[At-Tirmidzi]

The man was not suggesting that the Prophet s.a.w should exempt him from his religious obligations; rather, he needed something that would help him perform them all. Therefore, he guided him to what would assist him to perform them and cause him to be keen to adhere to them, thus facilitating their performance. The person who frequently mentions Allah will love Him and whatever pleases Him, and nothing would then be dearer to him than endeavoring to please his Lord.

[Excerpted from the Fatwa Center at Islam web Fatwa No. 84771, 26 Jamadil-Akhir 1423 / 04-09-2002]

How can a person know if Allah is pleased with him?

How can a person know if his Lord is pleased with him?

Is there anything that will tell a person that his Lord is pleased with him?

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All the praise and thanks is due to Allah, Subhanahu wata`ala. Peace and blessings be upon His Messenger and his family.

1. Among the signs that the Lord is pleased with His slave is that He guides him doing good deeds and avoiding haram things.

This is confirmed by the words of Allah: “While as for those who accept guidance, He increases their guidance and bestows on them their piety” [Muhammad, 47:17] ; “As for those who strive hard in Us (Our Cause), We will surely guide them to Our paths (i.e. Allah’s religion of Islamic Monotheism)” [Al -‘Ankabut, 29:69]

But if a person is hindered from doing good deeds and avoiding haram things – which we seek refuge with Allah – then that is a sign that Allah is not pleased with him.

“But whosoever turns away from My Reminder (i.e. neither believes in this Quran nor acts on its orders, etc.) verily, for him is a life of hardship, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection.”; He will say, “My Lord, why have you raised me blind while I was [once] seeing?” ; (Allah) will say: “Like this, Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) came unto you, but you disregarded them (i.e. you left them, did not think deeply in them, and you turned away from them), and so this Day, you will be neglected (in the Hell-fire, away from Allah’s Mercy).” [Ta-Ha, 20:124-126]

2. Allah has also explained in His Book that the sign of His being pleased with His slave and of His guidance is that He opens his heart to true guidance and true faith. And the sign of misguidance and being far from the Straight Path is distress and constriction in the heart.

Allah says:

“And whomsoever Allah wills to guide, He opens his breast to Islam; and whomsoever He wills to send astray, He makes his breast closed and constricted, as if he is climbing up to the sky. Thus Allah puts the wrath on those who believe not” [Al-An’am, 6:125]

Ibn ‘Abbas said, commenting on this verse: “And whomsoever Allah wills to guide…” means Allah opens his heart to Tawhid and belief therein. [Tafsir Ibn Kathir, 2/175]

3. Another sign of Allah’s love for His slave and His being pleased with him is that He makes him beloved to His slaves.

Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“When Allah loves a person, He calls out to Jibreel: ‘Allah loves So and so,’ so Jibreel loves him. Then Jibreel calls out to the people of heaven, ‘Allah loves So and so, so love him.’ So the people of heaven love him and he finds acceptance on earth.” [Narrated by Al-Bukhari (3209) and Muslim (2637)]

Al-Nawawi said: “and he finds acceptance on earth” means that people love him and are pleased to see him, so their hearts incline towards him. It says in another report: “and he finds love on earth.”

And Allah knows best.

[Via Islam Q&A (34829)]

Humility and Humbleness

Humility and Humbleness

Al-Abdullah

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful;

All the praise is due to Allah, the Lord of al-‘Alamin. And May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet SAW, his household and the companions.

The Character of humility or humbleness is one of the greatest blessings that Allah the Exalted could bestow upon His servant. Islam highly commends humbleness and simplicity and reckons that as one of the traits of a true believer, the people of truth.

 Allah Says:  “He whom Allah guides, he alone has found the right way; whereas for him whom He lets go astray thou canst never find any protector who would point out the right way.” [Al-Kahf, 18:17]

 The Prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wassallam) said: “Al-Kibr (proud and arrogance) is the rejecting of the truth and looking down upon people.” [Muslim, At-Tirmidzi and Abu Dawud]

 Meaning of  humbleness

The first meaning is to accept the truth from any person conveying it.  Humility is when one who disregard self importance and avoid gaining notoriety or to become too great among people. Many people have a problem accepting the truth when it comes from those who are younger than them and they only accept it from those who are older or better in status.

As it was said, “Humble yourself, you will be as a glimmering star to the viewer on the surface of the water even if it is lofty.” We should accept the truth no matter who conveys it to us, whether he is weak or strong, rich or poor, noble or commoner, a relative or not, a friend or an enemy.

The second meaning is to be modest in the way you treat people.  You should be kind to people, whether servants or masters, rich or poor, noble or common.  You should treat all human beings tenderly and cordially.

The opposite of humility is arrogance.

The Prophet (SAW) says, “Arrogance disdains the truth (out of self-conceit) and contempt for the people.”

 [Part of an authentic Hadith; Sahih Muslim, the book of faith (41), page/number 275; Narrated by Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud]

It means disdaining the truth and not accepting it.  So, humility would be “to accept the truth.” It is showing contempt toward people is to be conceited with the improper thinking that you are much better than them.

Allah the Exalted says:

“And by the Mercy of Allah, you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you”

[Al-‘Imran, 3:159]

“And verily, you (O Muhammad) are on an exalted (standard of) character”

[Al-Qalam, 68:4]

This refers to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) being a true slave of Allah in many ways and his treating all people with the utmost kindness. His character was one of complete humility based on sincerity towards Allah and compassion towards the slave of Allah, which was the complete opposite of the characteristics of the proud and arrogant.

[Al-Majmu’ Al-Kaailah Li Mu’allafat Al-Shaikh Al-Sa’adi, 5/442, 443]

There are many possible ways of attaining humility, which not all Muslim have it but he will aspire to attain the characteristic.

They were explained by Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim as follows:

Humility comes from the knowing about Allah and His names and attributes, and His greatness, venerating Him, loving Him and being in awe of Him; and also from knowing about oneself and one’s faults, and weaknesses. From that may develop the attitude of humility, which means feeling helpless before Allah, and being humble and compassionate towards His slaves, so that the person does not feel superior towards anyone, or think that he has any rights over anyone else; rather he thinks that others are better than him, and that their rights come before his. This is a characteristic that Allah bestows to those whom He loves, honors and draws close to Him.

[Al-Ruh, p. 233.]

The Grace of Humility

The Prophet (SAW) said, “…. no one is humble (for the sake of Allah) unless Allah raises him [in rank].”

[Authentic hadith reported by Muslim in al-Sahih al-Jami’, book 19, page/number1599, narrated by Abu-Hurayrah]

The Prophet (SAWS) said, “He who is humble for the sake of Allah by a degree, Allah will elevate him one degree, until he reaches the highest degrees and he who is arrogant toward Allah, Allah will lower him one degree until he reaches the lowest of low degrees.”

[Hasan Hadith;  Narrated by Abu-Said Al-Khudri on the authority of Ibnu-Hijr Al-Asqalani,  number, 89.]

The Prophet (SAWS) said, “Allah revealed to me that we should be humble amongst ourselves and none should show arrogance toward others.”

[Authentic hadith reported by Muslim in al-Sahih al-Jami’, book 040, number 6856. Narrated by Ayad ibn-Hammar]

The Prophet (SAWS) said, “Allah (SWT) says, He who is humble toward Me like this (and he lowered his palm to the ground until it was leveled with it, I will elevate him like this (and the Prophet (SAW) raised his palm upwards facing the sky until it was high up)”

[Sahih Hadith: Al-Albany, 2894]. 

Look at the Prophet’s depiction!

The Prophet (SAWS), said: “He who has in his heart the weight of a mustard seed of arrogance shall not enter paradise.”

[Sahih Hadith: Al-Albany, 2894]

This Hadith reminds you that if your heart has but the size of a mustard seed of arrogance in it you will be deprived from paradise, even with all your praying, fasting, zakat and attending religious lessons.  Beware of arrogance!

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: Allah (SWT) said: “Pride is my cloak and Might is My robe, and he who competes with Me in [respect of] either of them I shall torment him”

[Hadith Qudsi. It was related by Abu Dawud (also by Ibn Majah and Ahmad) with sound chains of authority. This Hadith also appears in Muslim in another version].

Among the teachings of Luqman to his son in Qur’an, Allah says,

  “And turn not your cheek away from people in [false] pride, and walk not haughtily on earth: for, behold, Allah does not love anyone who, out of self- conceit, acts in a boastful manner.”

[Luqman, 31:18]

The word used in Arabic for ‘turn your cheek away…in [false] pride’ is tusa’ir which is taken from an illness that afflicts camels named sa’ar. When they are afflicted with this illness their necks are twisted and they never return back to the normal position.  It is like Allah is warning you not to turn your cheek lest your neck would stay in this position and it would never return to its normal position.

In another ayah Allah (SWT) says, “And walk not on earth with haughty self-conceit: for, verily, you can never rend the earth asunder, nor can you ever grow as tall as the mountains!” (Al-Isra’, 17:37)

 Son of Adam, be humble; you won’t own anything forever, so why are you conceited?

The reward of humility

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“Wealth does not decrease because of charity, and Allah increases His slave in honour when he forgives others. And no one humbles himself before Allah but Allah will raise him (in status).”

[Muslim, 2588]

Imam Al-Nawawi included it in a chapter entitled: “The Recommendation of Forgiveness and Humility.” Al-Nawawi said:

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “And no one humbles himself before Allah but Allah will raise him (in status).” This is understood in two ways: the first is that He will raise him (in status) in this world, and give him status in people’s hearts because of his humility, and give him a high status in people’s eyes. The second is that what is meant is his reward in the Hereafter, where his status will be raised because of his humility in this world.

It may be that both are meant (and that his status will be raised) that it is in this world and in the Hereafter. And Allah knows best.

[Sharh Muslim, 16/142.]

Kinds of Humility and Humbleness

The level of Humility and humbleness are seen in various situations, such as the following:

1. A person humbling himself to the commands and prohibitions of Allah SWT, doing what He commands and avoiding what He forbids.

Ibn Al-Qayyim said:

It is because a person may hesitate to obey His commands out of laziness, thus behaving reluctantly in an attempt to flee from the servitude towards Allah, and his soul may have the desire to commit haram actions, but once the person humbles himself to the commands and prohibitions of Allah, he will humble himself to the true submission to Allah [‘Ubudiyyah].

[Al-Ruh p. 233]

2. Humbling oneself before the might, majestic and power of Allah

Ibn Al-Qayyim said:

Every time he feels that he is great, he remembers the might of Allah and that might belongs to Him only, and he remembers His intense wrath against those who compete with Him in that, then he humbles himself before Him and submits to the might of Allah. This is the ultimate humility and inevitably includes the first type of humility mentioned above, but the converse can never apply (i.e., this type of humility inevitably leads to the first type, but a person may submit to the commands and prohibitions of Allaah but he does not humble himself before His might).

The one who is truly humble is the one who is blessed with both. And Allah is the One whose help we seek.

[Al-Ruh, p. 233.]

3. Humility in one’s dress and manner of walking [behavior and mannerism].

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Umar that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him said:

“Whilst a man was letting his garment drag out of pride, he was swallowed up by the earth and will continue sinking in it until the Day of Resurrection.”

[Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 3297]

It was also narrated by al-Bukhari [5452] and Muslim [2088] from the hadith of Abu Hurairah. According to the version narrated by Al-Bukhari:

“Whilst a man was walking in a garment admiring himself with his hair nicely combed, Allah caused (the earth) to swallow him up and he will continue sinking in it until the Day of Resurrection.”

4. Humility towards one who is of a lesser status and helping him

It was narrated that Al-Bara’ Ibn ‘Azib said: The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was moving soil with us on The Day of Al-Ahzab, and I saw him with dust covering the whiteness of his stomach, and he (the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)) was saying:

“(O Allah)! Without you, we would not have been guided, nor would we have given in charity, nor would we have prayed. So (O Allah!) send the tranquility (Sakinah) upon us as they (the chiefs of the enemy tribes) have rebelled against us. And if they intend afflictions (i.e. want to frighten us and fight against us) then we would not (flee but would withstand them).”

And he raised his voice whilst saying it.

[Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 6809; Muslim, 1803]

5. Humility with our parents

 He treats them with kindness and respect, infinite compassion, utter politeness and deep gratitude. He recognizes their status and knows his duties towards them.

 Allah Says:

 “And serve Allah. Ascribe nothing as partner unto Him. (Show) kindness unto parents…”

 [An-Nisa’, 4: 36]

“And lowers to them the wing of humility out of mercy.”

 [Al-Isra’, 17:24]

 If your parents were alive, would you kiss their hands?  Can you kiss your mother’s hands in public?  This is one of the signs of humility.  If they are not living anymore, then ask forgiveness for them and do something good with your life, something that can be added to their book of good deeds.

 If you want to be a humble person, please try all the above for just one month and you will see how easily it will come to you.  Just try kissing your mother’s hands and, by Allah, you will learn by just that small act how to be humble before Allah.

 6. Humility in interactions with one’s wife and helping her.

It was narrated that Al-Aswad said: I asked ‘Aishah what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to do in his house and she said:

 “He used to serve his family and when the time for prayer came he would go out and pray”

[Al-Bukhari, 644]

Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar said:

This shows that we are encouraged to be humble and not arrogant, and that a man should serve his family.

[Fath Al-Baari, 2/163]

7. Humility towards the young and gracious with them.

It was narrated that Anas bin Malik said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was the best of people in character. I had a brother whose name was Abu ‘Umair. He said, I think he was rather weaned, and when he (the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)) came he would say, “O Abu Umair, what happened to the nughair (a small bird that he kept as a pet)?”

[Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 5850; Muslim, 2150]

Al-Nawawi said:

The term nughair is for a small bird.

This hadith teaches us many things, such as being kind to small children. This demonstrates the good character of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and how he was of noble character and humble.

[Sharh Muslim, 14/129]

8. Humility towards servants and slaves [or employee].

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“If the servant of one of you brings his food and he does not want to make him sit and eat with him, then let him offer him a morsel or two, because he has prepared it and served it.”

[Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 2418 and 5144; Muslim, 1663]

Humility includes humble oneself to one who is also below you. If you find someone who is younger than you, or of less importance than you, you should not despise him, because he might have a better heart than you, or be less sinful, or closer to Allah than you. Even if you see a sinful person and you are righteous, do not act with arrogance towards him, and thank Allah that He saved you from the tribulation that He put him through. Remember that there might be some Riya’ (showing off) or vanity in your righteous deeds that may cause them to be of no avail, and that this sinful person may be regretful and fearful concerning his bad deeds, and this may be the cause of forgiveness of his sins.

 According to Jundub, may Allah be pleased with him, the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, mentioned,

  “A man said, “By Allah, Allah will not forgive so-and-so,” and that Allah Says: “Who is swearing by Me that I will not forgive so-and-so? I surely have forgiven so-and-so and nullified your deeds.”

  [Muslim]

 Therefore, act humbly towards anyone. Even when you see a sinner, do not show superiority towards him, nor treat him with arrogance and domination. If you feel that the sinner may perform some acts of obedience which you do not, and that you may also poses some defects which the sinner may not, then deal kindly with him, and gently offer da`wah which will hopefully be the cause of his acceptance and remembrance.

 All deeds also should not become too great in your eyes. If you do a good deed, or attempt to get closer to Allah through an act of obedience, your deed still may not be accepted. Allah Says:    “…Indeed, Allah only accepts from the righteous [who fear Him].” [Quran 5:27] This had made some of the Salaf (predecessors) said, “If I knew that Allah accepted one Tasbih (saying “Subhanallaah”) from me, I would have wished to die right now!”

 The arrogant person would never give credit to anybody or mentions good about someone, and if he needed to do so, he would also mention defects of that person. But if he hears somebody reminding him about his own defects, he will not be flexible nor comply due to his inferiority complex. A humble man would accept criticism or comment without any sensitivity or discomfort or feelings of shame and weakness.

 The ‘Amir of the Believers, `Umar Al-Khattab (radiallahu`anhu), May Allah be pleased with him, held the adage of, “May Allah have mercy on a person who informed us of our defects.”

We therefore seek for Allah’s blessing and guidance to be among of those who humble themselves before His might.

Allah the Exalted knows best.

[Adapted from Islam QA and AmrKhalid.net]

The Noblest Man is the One with Most Taqwa.

The Noblest Man is the One with Most Taqwa.

 Dr Billal Philips

 Among the community of believers, some are superior to others; and this superiority is a direct result of their own strivings. It is a superiority linked to Eman, the strength and depth of faith. A living faith drives the one who possesses it to shield himself from whatever displeases Allah. This shield in Arabic is called “Taqwa.”

 It has been variously translated as “Fear of God”, “Piety”, as well as “God-consciousness”; and it carries all these meanings and more.

 Allah the Almighty clearly expressed the superiority of Taqwa as follows:

 “O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa [i.e. one of the Muttaqun (pious – see Al-Baqarah, 2:2). Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.” 

  [Surah Al-Hujurat 49:13]

 Allah is here saying that the only factor which makes a believing man or woman truly superior to another is the level of Taqwa. It is this piety or fear of God which elevates man from the level of “thinking animal” to that of governor (Khalifah) of the planets. The importance of the fear of Allah in a Muslim’s life cannot be overstressed. Allah mentioned Taqwa and its derivatives 26 times in the Qur’an, everywhere emphasizing that Taqwa is the driving force behind living faith. Without it, faith is only a meaningless jumble of memorized words and phrases, and ‘righteous’ deeds only shells of pretense and hypocrisy.

 Consequently, piety is preferred over all other considerations in all of life’s transactions. Abu Hurairah reported the Messenger of Allah SAW said:

 “A woman is married for four [reasons]: her wealth, her nobility, her beauty, and her piety. Choose the pious one and be successful.”

 [Narrated by Al-Bukhari (Sahih Al-Bukhari; (Arabic-English), vol.7, pp.18-9, and no.27] and Muslim (Sahih Muslim, (English Trans.), vol.2, p.749, and no.3457)]

 No matter how beautiful, rich or well bred a woman might be, if she is not pious, she is inferior to a pious, ugly, poor woman from a dishonorable family.

 The converse is also true, as reported by Abu Hurairah the Prophet SAW said:

  “If a man whose practice of the religion satisfies you, asks you for your daughter in marriage, you should marry them; otherwise there will be corruption in the land.”

 [Narrated by at-Tirmidzi]

 ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr reported  the Prophet SAW once reprimanded Abu Dharr for derisively calling Bilal ibn Rabab, ‘son of a black woman’, and then he went on to say,

 “Look! Surely you are not better than a brown man or a black man except by fearing Allah more than them.”

 [Narrated by Ahmed]

 This understanding was hammered home time and time again by Allah’s messenger SAW. Even in the Farewell Pilgrimage, done shortly before he died, he lectured the people on the insignificance of racial differences and the all importance of Taqwa. The most pious individuals are only known to Allah, because the seat of Taqwa is the heart. Man can only judge people by each other’s outward deeds which may or may not be misleading.

 Allah the Exalted made that abundantly clear in the following verse:

 “There is among people in this life, he whose speech will dazzle you. And he will call on Allah as a witness to what is in his heart; yet, he will be among the most vicious of enemies.”

 [Surah Al-Baqarah 2:204]

 Therefore, it is not permissible for humans to designate certain people as being particularly saintly and pious to a degree beyond the reach of ordinary humans. The Prophet Muhammad SAW specified among his companions [Sahabah] some whom he gave glad tidings of paradise in this life. [ Among them are ten well known, Abu Bakar, ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab , ‘Uthman bin Affan , ‘Ali ibn Talib, Talhah, Az-Zubair, Sa’ad Ibn Abi Waqqas, Sa’id Ibn Zaid, ‘Abdul Rahman Ibn ‘Awf, Abu ‘Ubaidah Ibn Al-Jarrah [see al-‘Aqidah at-Tahawiyah, pp.485-7.] However; such pronouncements were based on revelation and not his own ability to judge the hearts. For example, as reported by Jabir when the Prophet SAW said concerning those who make a pledge of allegiance known as Bai’ah Ar-Ridwan:

  “No one who made the pledge beneath the tree will enter the hellfire,”

 [Narrated by Muslim [Sahih Muslim (English Trans.), vol.3, p.1034, no.4576]]

 He was confirming the Qur’anic verse revealed to that effect: “Allah is pleased with the believers when they pledged allegiance to you beneath the tree…” [Surah Al-Fath 48:18]

 Similarly, he judged some whom everyone thought were destined to paradise to be among those destined for the hellfire. All such judgments were based on revelation. Ibn ‘Abbas said that he was told by ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattab that on the day of [the battle] of Khaibar, some of the Prophet’s companions came and said, “So and so is a martyr and so and so is a martyr,” but when they came to a man about whom they said, “So and so is a martyr,” Allah’s messenger declared, “By no means! I have seen him in hell in a cloak which he took [from the spoils] dishonestly.” Allah’s messenger then said:

 “Go, Ibn Al-Khattab, and announce among the people three times that only the believers will enter paradise.”  

  [Narrated by Muslim; See Sahih Muslim [English Trans.] vol.1, p.65, no.209]

 In Christian tradition down through the ages, some individuals were highly praised for their supposed spiritual achievements. Miracles were attributed to them and the rank of “saint” was bestowed on them. In pre-Christian Hindu and Buddhist tradition, teachers who were supposed to have climbed the ladder of spiritual excellence and who had performed supernatural feats were also given titles like Guru, Avatar, etc., indicating spiritual superiority.

 These designations have led the masses to either seek intercession through them or to worship them as gods. Consequently, these religious traditions have lists of saints to whom the masses fervently pray. Islam, on the other hand, opposes even the excessive praise of Prophet Muhammad SAW who said:

  “Do not praise me excessively as the Christians did to ‘Eesa ibn Maryam, verily I am only a slave, so call me instead the slave of Allah and His messenger.”

 [Reported by ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattab and collected by Al-Bukhari and Muslim (See Sahih Al-Bukhari, (Arabic-English), vol.4, p.435, no.654]

 [Via MSA]

The Difference between Zakah and Sadaqah

The Difference between Zakah and Sadaqah

All the Praise is due to Allah subhanahu wata’ala. Peace and blessing be to his Messenger, his household and Companions.

Zakah in Arabic means: growth, blessing and purification.

[See Lisaan al-‘Arab, 14/358; 2/399]

Sadaqah comes from the word sidiq (sincerity), i.e. it is a sign of sincerity of faith on the part of the person who gives it.

[See Fath al-Qadeer, 2/399]

With regard to the shar’ie definition:

Zakah means worshipping Allah by giving that which He has enjoined of different kinds of zakah to those who are entitled to them, according to the guidelines prescribed in syari’ah.

Sadaqah means worshipping Allah by giving money [and deeds] without that being made obligatory in syari’ah. The word sadaqah is sometimes used to refer to obligatory zakah.

With regard to the difference between zakah and sadaqah, it is as follows:

1 – Zakah is enjoined in Islam on specific things, which are: gold, silver, crops, fruits, trading goods and livestock, i.e., camels, cattle and sheep.

With regard to sadaqah, it is not obligatory on any kind of wealth; rather it is what a person can offer, without any specific limits or guidelines.

2 – Zakah is subject to the conditions that one full Hijri have passed since acquiring the wealth, and that the wealth meets the minimum threshold (nasab) and it is a specific portion of wealth.

Sadaqah is not subject to any conditions, and it may be given at any time, in any amount.

3 – Allah has enjoined that zakah be given to certain types of people, and it is not permissible to give it to anyone else. They are the people mentioned in the verse:

“As-Sadaqaat (here it means Zakah) are only for the Fuqara’ (poor), and Al Masakin (the poor) and those employed to collect (the funds); and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islam); and to free the captives; and for those in debt; and for Allah’s Cause (i.e. for Mujahidun — those fighting in a holy battle), and for the wayfarer (a traveller who is cut off from everything); a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise” [Al-Tawbah 9:60]

With regard to sadaqah, it may be given to those mentioned in the verse on zakah and to others.

4 – Whoever dies and owes zakah, his heirs must pay it from his wealth, and that takes precedence over the will (wasiyah) and inheritance.

As for sadaqah, there are no such obligations with regard to it.

5 – The one who withholds zakah is to be punished, as it says in the hadeeth narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “There is no owner of treasure who does not pay his zakah, but it will be heated in the Fire of Hell and made into plates with which his sides and forehead will be branded until Allah passes judgement between His slaves on a Day the length of which will be like fifty thousand years, then he see shown his path and whether it leads to Paradise or to Hell. And there is no owner of camels, who does not pay zakah on them, but a soft sandy plain will be prepared for him and they will be made to step on him. Every time the last of them has gone the first of them will return, until Allah passes judgement between His slaves on a Day the length of which will be like fifty thousand years, then he will see his path and whether it leads to Paradise or to Hell. And there is no owner of sheep who does not pay zakah on them but a soft sandy plain will be prepared for him, and he will find none of them missing, with twisted horns or without horns or with broken horns, and they will be made to gore him with their horns and trample him with their hooves. Every time the last of them has gone the first of them will return, until Allah passes judgement between His slaves on a Day the length of which will be like fifty thousand years, then he will see his path and whether it leads to Paradise or to Hell…” [Muslim (987)]

With regard to sadaqah, the one who fail to give it will not be punished.

6 – According to the four schools of law, it is not permissible to give zakah to one’s ascendants or descendents. Ascendants include one’s mother, father, grandfathers and grandmothers; descendents include one’s children and their children.

Sadaqah may be given to one’s ascendants and descendants.

7 – It is not permissible to give zakah to one who is rich or who is strong and able to earn a living.

It was narrated that ‘Ubaidallah ibn ‘Adiyy said: Two men told me that they came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) during the Farewell Pilgrimage when he was distributing the zakah and asked him for some of it. He looked them up and down, and saw that they were strong and able-bodied. He said, “If you wish, I will give you some, but those who are rich or strong and able to earn have no share of it.”

[Narrated by Abu Dawud, 1633; al-Nasa’i, 2598; classified as saheeh by Imam Ahmad and others.]

[See Talkhis al-Haber, 3/108 ]

Sadaqah may be given to those who are rich and those who are strong and able to earn.

8 – In the case of zakah, it is better for it to be taken from the rich of a land and given to their poor. Many scholars are of the view that it is not permissible to send it to another country unless that serves an interest.

But charity may be spent on those who are near and those who are far.

9 – It is not permissible to give zakah to kuffaar and mushrikeen.

Sadaqah may be given to kuffaar and mushrikeen.

Allah says : “And they give food, in spite of their love for it (or for the love of Him), to the Miskeen (the poor), the orphan, and the captive” [Al-Insan, 76:8]

Al-Qurtubi said: In Dar al-Islam (the Muslim lands), a captive could only be a mushrik.

10 – It is not permissible for a Muslim to give zakah to his wife. Ibn al-Mundhir narrated that there was scholarly consensus on this issue.

But sadaqah may be given to one’s wife.

These are some of the differences between zakah and sadaqah.

The word sadaqah may be applied to all kinds of good deeds. Al-Bukhari (may Allah have mercy on him) said in his Saheeh: “Chapter: every good deed is a charity” then he narrated from Jabir ibn ‘Abdallah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Every good deed is a charity.”

Ibn Battaal said: “This hadeeth indicates that every good thing that a person does or says is recorded for him as an act of charity”.

Al-Nawawi said: The Prophet’s words “Every good deed is a charity” means that it is like charity in offering reward.

And Allah knows best.

[Excerpted from Fatwa No: 9449 published in Islam Q&A]