The Lawful and Unlawful are Clear

The Lawful and Unlawful are Clear

By Imam Nawawi

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

All the praise and Thanks is due to Allāh, the Lord of al-‘ālameen. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam is His Messenger.

 

On the authority of Abu Abdullah al-Nu’mān ibn Basheer (radiyallāhu’anhu) who said: 

“I heard the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) say, ‘That which is lawful is clear, and that which is unlawful is clear, and between the two of them are doubtful [or ambiguous] matters about which not many people are knowledgeable. Thus, he who avoids these doubtful matters certainly clears himself in regard to his religion and honour. But he who falls into the doubtful matters falls into that which is unlawful, like a shepherd who pastures around a sanctuary, all but grazing therein. Verily every king has a sanctuary and Allāh’s sanctuary is His prohibitions. In the body there is a morsel of flesh which, if it be sound, all of the body is sound and which, if it be diseased, all of the body is diseased. This part of the body is the heart’.”  

(Recorded in Bukhari and Muslim)

The Narrator

Abu Abdullah Al-Nu’mān Ibn Basjeer Al-Ansaari Al-Khazraji (radiyallāhu’anhu) was one of the first Muslims born to the Ansar of Madinah. He was around 10 years of age when the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) passed away. Although the scholars of hadith agree that hadith cannot be taken from a child, if someone memorised the hadith when they were a child and narrated it when they were an adult, then it is acceptable, as is the case with this hadith. Al-Nu’mān narrated more than 120 hadith, 6 of which are in Sahih al-Bukhari.

Lessons 

1. “That which is lawful is clear, and that which is unlawful is clear…”

In the first part of the hadith the Prophet, (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), has set a criterion by which Muslims must decide whether something is permissible or not. The hadith lays down an extreme importance principle that can be applied in all aspects of one’s life. It also shows the way to truth and righteousness.

This hadith indicates that one should only perform an act or deed which is permissible and proper if he is positive or certain of it. Performing this act will lead to some kind of tranquility or happiness in this life and in the Hereafter – this is one of the benefits of applying the hadith.

There are innumerable acts which are clearly permissible and sanctioned in the Shari’ah. In some cases these are explicitly mentioned as being permissible, whilst in other cases, it is clear that they fall under the general guidelines laid out in the Qur’an and Sunnah.

Allāh says in the Qur’an:

“This day are (all) good things made lawful for you. The food of those who have received the Scripture is lawful for you, and your food is lawful for them.”  

(Surah Al-Māidah,5:5)

In other cases expressions like “there is no sin upon you…” appear in the Qur’an, making it clear to us that something is permissible.  In the same way, acts that are forbidden are very clearly stated.

Allāh says in the Qur’an:

“Forbidden for you are only carrion and blood and swine-flesh and that which has been slaughtered in the name of other than Allāh and that which has been killed by strangling, or by violent blow or by a headlong fall or by the goring of horns and that which has been [partly] eaten by a wild animal, unless you are able to slaughter it [before its death] and that which is sacrificed on altars. [Forbidden] also is to use arrows for seeking luck. All that is disobedience to Allāh and sin.”

(Surah Al-Māidah,5:3)

Also included in this category of clearly unlawful acts, is every act for which Allāh (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and His Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) have prescribed a punishment, including adultery, fornication and murder. It is from the grace and mercy of Allāh (subhanahu wa ta’ala) that He sent this religion and message in a way that is clear and easy to understand. There can be no doubt about matters which are either lawful or unlawful.

2. Avoid Doubtful Matters 

 “between the two of them are doubtful [or ambiguous] matters…”

After stating that lawful and unlawful matters in Islam are clear, the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) mentioned in this hadith, that there are also ‘doubtful matters’. It is only a minority of acts that fall into this category, and there are different factors that may lead people to be uncertain about a particular act and whether or not it is permissible.

Firstly, we may find that there are differences of opinion amongst the scholars about different topics. Often, the reasons for differences can be explained very simply. For instance, one scholar may have made a decision based on his own personal reasoning, whilst another may have made a ruling whilst being unaware of another hadith on the subject. This aspect has been a common cause for differences amongst the scholars in different madzabs or schools of thought.

There are also occasions when the evidence related to an act appears to be contradictory. For example, one hadith from the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) states that one should not drink whilst standing up, and another hadith states that he (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) drank whilst standing. Both of these hadith are authentic, and the scholars have come to different conclusions about how to reconcile them.

Further, there are acts that may technically be permissible, but they may become doubtful because they may lead someone towards that which is forbidden. An example given here is ‘enjoying one’s wife’ without intercourse whilst she is menstruating. It’s permissible, but if he does not have strong self-control, it may lead him towards that which is forbidden.

There are also matters that may become impermissible due to the circumstances surrounding them, or acts which are disapproved (disliked) of (makroohaat) but not forbidden, which some scholars have classed as falling into this ‘doubtful’ category.

The example of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and how he conducted his affairs, shows us that he would avoid doubtful matters. Prophet Muhammad (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would also advise those that came to him with problems towards conduct that left nothing to doubt or uncertainty.

Prophet Muhammad (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“Verily, the permissible things are clear and the forbidden things are clear. And between them are some matter which are doubtful. Therefore, leave that which makes you doubt for what does not make you doubt.” 

(Recorded in An-Nasā’ie)

3.The Sound Heart 

“In the body is a morsel of flesh which, if it be sound, all the body is sound and which, if it be diseased, all of it is diseased. This part of the body is the heart.”

We now come to the last part of this hadith concerning doubtful matters. At the end of this hadith the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) reminded us about the importance of the state of our hearts. Our heart is so important that if it contains a disease, it will affect our whole being. We should realise that it is not cardiovascular fitness that is being referred to here, rather it is the spiritual state of the heart.

In many ways, our heart is the commander of our limbs. If our heart is inclined towards doing good then the limbs will do good also. But if our heart is inclined towards doubtful or forbidden things,  then it will become hardened, less inclined to remember Allāh (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and more likely to commit evil deeds. The state of our heart is therefore our defining characteristic, and Allāh (subhanahu wa ta’ala) distinguishes the human being from the rest of creation due to the heart and the intellect.

Allāh says in the Qur’an:

“Have they not travelled in the land, and have they hearts wherewith to feel and ears wherewith to hear? Verily, it is not the eyes that grow blind, but it is the hearts which are in the breasts that grow blind.”

(Surah Al-Hajj,22:46)

Subhanallāh! How many of us are blind in the heart? How many hearts are so shrouded in darkness they are unable to see the light? Know that the heart cannot be pure and sound until it remembers Allāh (subhanahu wa ta’ala), glorifies Him, loves Him, fears Him, has hope in Him and trusts Him. This is the true realisation of ‘There is no God except Allāh’.

The only heart that will aid a person in Allāh’s sight is the sound, wholesome, submitting heart.

Allāh says:

“The day when wealth and sons avail not (any man) save him who brings unto Allāh a sound heart.”

 (Surah Al-Shu’arā, 22:88-89)

 

3.1.What Are The Signs Of A Sound Heart?

They have been outlined by Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullah) as follows:

  1. A person considers themselves to be belonging to the next world and not this one. They feel a stranger in this world and cannot wait to reach the Hereafter.
  2. A person continues to be upset with themselves anytime they commit a sin until they repent to Allāh.
  3. If a person misses their daily recitation of Qur’an or dzikir, they are more upset than if they lost their wealth.
  4. The person finds more pleasure in worshipping Allāh than in eating or drinking.
  5. When they begin their prayer, their worries and concerns about the world leave them.
  6. Their only concern and worry is about Allāh and acting for His sake.
  7. They are careful to use all their spare time in worshipping Allāh.
  8. The person is more concerned with the correctness of the deed than with the performance of the deed itself.

May Allāh purify our hearts and intentions. Ameen.

4.Allāh’s Sanctuary 

“But he who falls into the doubtful matters falls into that which is unlawful, like the shepherd who pastures around a sanctuary, all but grazing therein. Verily every king has a sanctuary and Allāh’s sanctuary is His prohibitions”

The Prophet Muhammad (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) has furthered illustrated why we should avoid doubtful matters in this hadith. The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) stated that if we fall into doing things that are doubtful, or unclear as to their permissibility, this may lead us towards that which is unlawful or forbidden.

To illustrate this point the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used the parable of the shepherd. It was a custom among the Arabs that the most noble amongst them would have land that only his own animals were allowed to graze on. If a shepherd were to come close to the boundary of this land, it would easy for his sheep to stray into the man’s pasture. In the same way, if we are in the grey area of performing acts of uncertain permissibility, we are more likely to stray towards the dark area of what Allāh (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has forbidden. The safest place to be is far away from the boundary of what is forbidden.

Allāh (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says in the Qur’an:

“Those are the limits of Allāh and do not come near to them.”

(Surah Al-Baqarah,2:187)

This part of the hadith also reminds us of one of the important principles in Islam which is sadd al-dharaai or ‘blocking the means’. This is the concept of forbidding something because it may lead to something else. An example of this would be forbidding a man and a woman to be alone together. Although there may not be any harm in the act in itself, the act is prohibited because it may lead to something forbidden.

We can see then that the only way to be sure of avoiding what Allāh has prohibited, is to avoid going near anything that is doubtful. Staying away from these things is the best way to protect our religion and our honour.

And Allāh Almighty knows best.

[ Excerpted from : A commentary on Hadith 6: “The Lawful and  Unlawful are Clear”, 40 Hadiths Of Imam Nawawi, Via Honeyfortheheart; January 19, 2011]

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The Rights of the Kin in Islam

The Rights of the Kin in Islam

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

All the praise and Thanks is due to Allāh, the Lord of al-`ālameen. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam, is His Messenger

1. It is Obligatory to Uphold Ties of Kinship. 

It is an obligation upon every Muslim to uphold and keeping the bond of kinship which it is not as easy as it sounds. Families and friends give warmth and meaning to our lives. It keep us strong and fulfilled, make us feel loved and wanted, help us grow. At times we struggle to stay the course of an unpredictable and of unkind life. In Islam, Allah requires us to always maintain ar-rahim or good relationships with them. Allah the Almighty imposes on us to save not only ourselves and our family from the Punishment in which means that a good family can help us evade the Hell Fire of a miserable eternity.

Allah Says: “O Ye who Believe! Save yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is Men and Stones?”   [Surah At-Tahrim, 66:6]

Severing the ties of kinship is a major sin, because Allah says: “Would you then, if you were given the authority, do mischief in the land, and sever your ties of kinship? Such are they whom Allah has cursed, so that He has made them deaf and blinded their sight”   [Muhammad, 47:22]

Upholding the ties of kinship is obligatory to the extent that one is able to do it, beginning with the closest and then the next close kinship. There is a great deal of goodness in it and it serves many interests.

Muslim recorded in his Sahih that when a man asked the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam), “O Messenger of Allah, whom should I honour?” He said: “Your mother.” He said: “Then whom?” He said: “Your mother.” He said: “Then whom?” He said: “Your mother.” He said: “Then whom?” The fourth time he said: “Your father, then the next closest and the next closest.” [Muslim].

There are many ahadith on this issue. What you have to do is to uphold the ties of kinship to the extent that you are able to, by visiting them if possible, or by writing or phoning. It is also prescribed for you to uphold kinship ties financially too, if the relative is poor.

Allah says: “So keep your duty to Allah and fear Him as much as you can” [Al-Taghabun, 64:16]; “Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope” [Al-Baqarah, 2:286]

And the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said: “When I command you to do something, do as much of it as you can.”

But the intimacy, closeness, frequent interaction and mutual dependence of family and friends can lead to the opposite of the beautiful things. Warmth of love in a family can turn into situation of envious or even spilling of blood. The search for fulfilment can become thirst for humiliating others, and support in tough times can turn into hatred and rivalry even in good times. It happens when some members of a family do not possess the right values and attitude. Satan, that enemy of mankind, loves none of his snares more than sowing hatred within believing families and friends.

The excessive individualism of modern times as well as timeless ignorance and selfishness can replace the love of families and bonds of friendship with hatred and bad blood.

Unfortunately, some people quickly denounce and desert family members only because they forgot to invite them to the last get together. We can find family members who actually live door-to-door and refuse to even share the greeting amongst them when they met face to face. Each one claims that the other should initiate the first visit and “why should I be the one to go knock on their door? Plus, I got ill the other day and they did not even bother to stop by and see how I was doing!” Oh, does it hurt to hear these arguments.’ It makes us understand the words of the Messenger of Allah (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) that Satan runs through the blood stream of the son of Adam. The saddest thing is that their children were told to never speak to their relatives or even approach their door. It rips the hearts inside to even think about it.

2. Relatives are of two types: mahrams and non-mahrams.

Relatives are of two types: mahrams and non-mahrams. The guideline on mahram relatives is each two persons who, if one were male and the other female, it would not be permissible for them to get married, such as fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers, grandfathers and grandmothers no matter how far the line of ascent reaches, children and grandchildren no matter how far the line of descent reaches, paternal uncles and aunts, and maternal uncles and aunts.

With regard to the children of paternal uncles and aunts and maternal uncles and aunts, they are not mahram relatives, because it is permissible to marry them. The Non-mahram relatives are all other relatives, such as the son of your paternal aunt, the daughter of your paternal aunt, the son of your maternal aunt, the daughter of your maternal aunt, and so on.

There is a difference of opinion among the fuqaha’ concerning upholding ties of kinship. 

First opinion: Some fuqaha’ are of the view that the relatives with whom ties of kinship must be upheld are the mahram relatives only. As for non-mahram relatives, it is mustahabb to uphold ties with them but it is not obligatory.

This is the view of the Hanafis and is the lesser-known view of the Malikis; it is also the view of Abul-Khattab among the Hanbalis. Their evidence is that if it is obligatory to uphold ties of kinship with all relatives, it would be obligatory to uphold ties of kinship with all of the children of Adam, and that is impossible, so it is essential to set guidelines on the relationship which makes it obligatory to uphold and honour ties of kinship and makes it forbidden to cut those ties, and that is the mahram relatives.They also quoted as evidence the words of the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam):

“One should not be married to a woman and her paternal aunt, or a woman and her maternal aunt, at the same time.” 

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim (1408)]

Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani (rahimahullah) said: Al-Tabarāni added to the hadith of Ibn ‘Abbas (radiyallahu’anhu) : “If you do that, you have severed your ties of kinship.” This was classified as sahih by Ibn Hibbān. Abu Dawud narrated in “Al-Marasil” a report from ‘Eesa Ibn Talhah that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) forbade being married to a woman and any of her relatives at the same time, for fear of severing ties of kinship. [Al-Dirāyah fi Takhrij Ahadith al-Hidayah (2/56)]

The way in which they understood this hadīth to prove their point was explained by some of the Maliki scholars (rahimahullah).

Al-Qurafi (rahimahullah)said: The eighth issue regarding the obligation of upholding ties of kinship: Shaikh al-Tartushi (rahimahullah) said: one of the scholars said: rather upholding ties of kinship is obligatory if the relatives are mahrams, which refers to each two persons who, if one were male and the other female, it would not be permissible for them to get married, such as fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers, grandfathers and grandmothers no matter how far the line of ascent reaches, children and grandchildren no matter how far the line of descent reaches, paternal uncles and aunts, and maternal uncles and aunts. As for the children of these relatives, upholding ties of kinship between them is not obligatory, because it is permissible for them to get married.

The soundness of this view is indicated by the fact that it is haram to be married to two sisters, or to a woman and her paternal aunt or to a woman and her maternal aunt at the same time, because that leads to severing the ties of kinship, and avoiding something haram is obligatory, and honouring them and not harming them is obligatory. But is it permissible to be married to two female paternal cousins or two female maternal cousins at the same time, even if they are jealous of one another and sever ties with one another, and that is because upholding ties of kinship between them is not obligatory. [Al-Farouq (1/147)] 

The second opinion concerning this issue is that it is obligatory to uphold ties of kinship with all of them, with no distinction between mahrams and non-mahrams.

This is one view of the Hanafis and is the well known view of the Malikis. It was also stated by Imam Ahmad, (rahimahullah), and it is what may be understood from the general terms in which the Shafi’es discussed this issue, because none of them singled out the mahram relatives in this regard. [Al-Mawsu’ah al-Fiqhiyyah al-Kuwaitiyyah (3/83)]

[See also: Ghadha’ al-Albab by al-Safāreeni (1/354) and Bareeqah Mahmūdiyyah (4/153)]

There are other opinions concerning this matter. It says in Subul al-Salām (2/628): It should be noted that the scholars differed concerning the definition of the relatives with whom it is obligatory to uphold ties of kinship. It was said that it is relatives with whom marriage is harām, such that if one of them were male marriage to the other would be forbidden. Based on that, it does not include the children of paternal or maternal uncles and aunts. Those who hold this view quote as evidence the fact that it is haram to be married to a woman and her paternal aunt or maternal aunt at the same time, because that leads to severing of ties of kinship.

And it was said that it is those who are connected by inheritance which is indicated by the words of the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam), “then the next closest and the next closest.” [Narrated by Muslim]

And it was said that it refers to those who are related to one another regardless of whether they are connected by inheritance or not.

Moreover, upholding of ties of kinship, as Al-Qādi ‘Iyād (rahimahullah) said, is of varying degrees, some of which are higher than others. At the very least, it is not forsaking one another, and upholding ties by speaking, even if it only saying salām. That varies according to possibility and need. It may be obligatory or mustahabb. If a person upholds ties to some extent, even if it is not to the fullest extent, he cannot be called a breaker of ties of kinship, and if he fails to do what he is able to do and should do, then he cannot be called an upholder of ties of kinship.

Al-Qurtubi (rahimahullah) said: “The degrees of relationship which must be upheld are general and specific. The general relationship is that which is based on religion, which must be upheld by means of mutual love, sincerity, fairness and fulfilment of rights both obligatory and mustahabb. In addition to that, the specific relationship also involves spending on relatives, checking on them and overlooking their mistakes.”

This is a summary of what the scholars have said about this issue, but what has been narrated about the great reward for upholding ties of kinship and the severe punishment for severing them will be no secret to you. This means that you should be keen to uphold ties of kinship and beware of severing them, and be on the safe side with regard to your religious commitment, and avoid an area concerning which the scholars differed.

So hasten to uphold ties of kinship with the son of your paternal aunt, and treat him kindly as much as you can, for the reward of that will not be lost with Allah.

Allah’s Messenger, (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said:”The most virtuous behavior is to engage those who sever relations, to give to those who withhold from you, and to forgive those who wrong you” [At-Tabarāni].

The kindred (arham) are the blood relatives on mother’s and father’s sides. They are the ones meant in the verses in al-Qur’ān in which Allāh says: “But kindred by blood are nearer to one another (regarding inheritance) in the decree ordained by Allah” [Al-Anfal 8:57; Al-Ahzab 33:6]

3. The value of Ar-Rahim.

Severing relation has become a threatening epidemic that has found its way into many Muslim families. We have forgotten the tremendous value of Ar-Rahim. We become completely unmindful and oblivious of its significance, our selfishness and self-centeredness has gotten the best of us.

Before we go further, let us define the word rahim. The word in Arabic is extracted from rahim which literally refers to go the womb; the latter has been the abode of every human being before they came out to this world except for Adam (‘alayhissalam) and Hawa (Eve).

Islamic scholar Ar-Raghib Al-Asfahani (rahimahullah) said, “Ar-Rahim is the womb of the mother, and it stands for family ties knowing that it was the first source from which they were produced” In Islamic terminology, Ar-Rahim means family bonds and relations that we refer to in English as kinship relationships.

The Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) enlightens us on the noble position of rahim through a powerful allegory in a hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah (radiyallāhu`anhu).

The Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said: “Allah created all the creation, and when He finished, ar-rahim (the womb) got up and pleaded to Allah, where-upon Allah said to it, “What is the matter?” It said: “At this place, I seek your refuge from those who sever me (cut off ties of kinship).” Allah said, “Yes, will you not be satisfied if I bestow My favours on him who keeps your ties, and withhold My favours from him who severs your ties;” Upon this, it said, “Yes, O my Lord!” Allah said, “Then that is for you”. [Al-Bukhari]

This hadith lays out the very foundation of kinship, emphasizing its importance as well as the ramifications of’ severing kinship ties.

Ar-Rahim is a noun that encompasses all the relatives from the father’s and the mother’s sides. Islamic scholar Al-Qurtubi (rahimahullah) said: Generally speaking, ar-rahim has a broad and a particular meaning. The broad one includes all the believers and that is ar-rahim of religion, then there is the one pertaining to all relatives of any person from the father’s and the mother’s sides which is the one concerning us in this issue. Know that each one of them has a number of due rights over you. Allah revealed this verse regarding ar-rahim, which many Muslims throughout the world recognize, since they hear it every Friday from their Imams as part of the introduction of the khutbah: “And fear Allah through Whom you ask one another; and the wombs.” [Surah An-Nisa, 4: 1]

Silah, which literally means connecting, is used often in conjunction with rahim, and so silatur-rahim means to join the ties of kinship by treating one’s relatives fairly and compassionately.

On top of the list of these relations come our parents, who have sacrificed much of their lives to make us strong and worthy human beings. Then come our brothers and sisters with whom we shared the same womb, and then our grandparents along with all the other family members including our uncles, aunts and cousins from both the paternal and maternal sides.

4. Our Kin’s Rights over Us

Every member of our family has rights over us. These rights differ from one person to another. For instance, the mother stands higher than the aunt and the grandfather is most definitely above the brother in law.

Some of the rights our next of kin has on us are: To maintain a good relationship with them by showing respect, love and sympathy. Be there for them when they need you. Go visit them at times of sickness and be a good support at times of tribulations. Share with them glorious moments. Let them in on all your good news. Buy them gifts and congratulate them on ‘Eid days. Help them financially during harsh times.

When Allah revealed the verse: “You will not attain piety until you spend from that which is beloved to you” [Surah Ali-‘Imran, 3: 93], Abu Talhah (radiyallāhu`anhu) said: “The most beloved to me of my wealth is Bayrahā’ (a garden), and I am giving it as a charity for Allah, I yearn for its reward from Allah. O Messenger of Allah spends it as you see fit according to what Allah has shown you.” The Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said: “Bakhin! (An expression of amazement) That indeed is a profitable trade. I have heard what you said, and I recommend that you spend it on your kin.” Abu Talhah (radiyallāhu`anhu) responded, “O Messenger of Allah, I will do so.” And Abu Talhah (radiyallāhu`anhu) indeed gave it away to his relatives.

Spending on kinship has become a neglected responsibility, to the point that you can easily find people who will invite a friend to a classy restaurant and never spend a dime on their cousin. They offer valuable gifts and even money to their peers and co-workers while their parents are in dire situations. This brings to mind the event of Musteh who was Abu Bakar’s cousin and also among those who fell into the error of slandering his (Abu Bakar’s) daughter, the mother of the believers, ‘Aishah (radiyallāhu`anha) in the famous incident of ‘ifk (lie). This made Abu Bakar (radiyallāhu`anhu) so furious that he took an oath he would never again give charity to Musteh.

Following this incident Allah the Almighty sent down a number of verses attesting to the innocence of the mother of the believers, but among them was also this magnificent verse:

“And let not those among you who are blessed with graces and wealth swear not to give (any sort of help) to their kinsmen, and the poor, and those who left their homes for Allah’s cause. Let them pardon and forgive. Do you not love that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Surah An-Nur, 24:22]

Upon hearing this beautiful verse, the noble companion Abu Bakar (radiyallāhu`anhu) said, “Yes we love!”(Meaning yes O Allah, we love that you forgive us) Then he resumed his spending on Musteh.

Let us all pause and look deep into this verse and reflect upon its limitless wisdom, and see how Allah the Lord of the worlds guided to Abu Bakar (radiyallāhu`anhu) charity to his kin, even when this person had falsely slandered his daughter!

5. When Your Kinfolk Are Non-Muslim

We should know that kindness to parents is a personal duty imposed by Allah on every son and daughter. To be a dutiful child is to ensure that one is closer to Allah the Almighty. It makes it easier to win Allah’s pleasure and be eventually admitted into Paradise. Parents must be obeyed unless they order us to commit a sin. This is based on the Prophet’s (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) statement that: “No creature may be obeyed in what constitutes disobedience to the Creator.” All this assumes that the parents are Muslims. It may happen, however, that a Muslim child has non-Muslim parents. What should his attitude be toward them?

First and foremost, even if one’s kinsfolk are hostile to Islam, one should under no circumstance give up on them; continue to invite them to Islam with kindness, compassion and wisdom. We should pray to Allah constantly to guide them and open their hearts and lead them to the straight path.

Asma’ binti Abu Bakar (radiyallahu’anha) was the Prophet’s sister-in-law. She was the daughter of his closest companion and the sister of his wife ‘Aishah. Her mother, however, did not become a Muslim for quite a long time. Asma’ said: “My mother came to me during the time of the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) hoping to get something from me. I asked the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) ‘whether I should be kind to her'”. He answered: “Yes,” [Al-Bukhari].

The way this hadith is phrased suggests that her mother had not yet become a Muslim when she came to her. Another version states clearly that the mother was hostile to Islam. Had she shown any inclination to become a Muslim, Asma’ (radiyallahu’anha) would not have needed to ask the Prophet’s (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) permission to be kind to her. Many a Muslim at that time was extra kind to their parents and relatives who were not Muslims, hoping to win them over to Islam. The significance of this particular hadith is that even when a parent is determined not to become a Muslim, we still should treat him or her kindly.

Try all beautiful and wise ways to bring them into the fold of Islam. Bear in mind that this indeed is one of the most difficult tasks and one of the most honourable ones as well. Show them concern and be patient when dealing with them. Overlook the harsh words and pardon the ridicule.

Remember that never did the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) quit calling his uncle Abu Talib bin Abdul Mutallib to embrace Islam, even when his uncle was in his death bed. One of the most touching scenes in Quran is the dialogue that took place between Prophet Nuh (`alayhissalam) and his disbelieving son. Here is a Prophet of Allah trying eagerly to call his son to the path of light and safety. Despite the fact that his son was an adamant disbeliever, Nuh (‘alaihissalam) chose the kindest of words and used the most compassionate expressions to persuade his son.

Allah the Almighty says: “Allah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion nor drove you out of your homes. Verily, Allah loves those who deal with equity.” [Surah al-Mumtahana, 60:8]

So long as they do not stand as a barrier between us and our religion, we are obligated to fulfil all the rights they have on us. We must not become someone’s excuse for not wanting to become Muslim.

6. Between Islam and the family: Which should I Choose?

This is a question everyone with non-Muslim relatives wishes to never encounter. It represents one of those times we call the moment of truth and the most difficult of tests.

Kindness to non-Muslim parents does not depend on what religion they follow. We are supposed to be kind to them. It is true that such kindness may help win them over to Islam. This is, however, not the only reason. The parent-child relationship transcends matters of personal inclinations, desires, habits, creeds and faith. It is well known that a parent tries hard to overcome his prejudice against something if he feels that his son or daughter likes it. Islam does not like to stir trouble in every family where the parents are not Muslims. It recognizes that the parent-child tie need not be broken on account of faith. It, therefore, instructs its followers to be kind to their non-Muslim parents.

Only when such parents try to persuade their Muslim child to turn away from Islam does Allah command us not to listen to them or obey them.

Allah SAYS:“We have enjoined upon man goodness toward his parents: his mother bore him by bearing strain upon strain, and his weaning is within two years. Be grateful toward Me and toward your parents, with Me all journeys end. Yet should they (your parents) endeavour to make you ascribe divinity, side by side with Me to something of which you have no knowledge, then do not obey them. But even then bear them company with kindness in the life of this world and follow the path of those who turn toward me.”[Surah Luqman, 31:14-15]

It is reported that these verses were revealed when the mother of Sa’ad Ibn Abu Waqqas (radiyallahu’anhu) who was a companion of the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) was so upset when she learned that he had embraced Islam. She tried to persuade him to recant. Realizing that he was determined to follow the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) she tried to increase the pressure on him. She knew that he was a most dutiful child and he loved her dearly. She thought that if she brought hardship on herself, he would feel sorry for her and might listen to her. She swore that she would not taste any food or drink until he had left the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam).

The judgment in his case was given by Allah in the above quoted verses. Sa’ad Ibn Abu Waqqas (radiyallāhu`anhu) did not listen to his mother and continued to be one of the best companions of the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam)  He was later given the happy news by the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam)that he was certain to be admitted into Paradise.

It is clear from his story and the verses revealed by Allah concerning it that when it comes to matters of faith, a non-Muslim parent may not be obeyed. That, however, does not mean to be unkind to such a parent as we mentioned before. We are still required to be kind to him or her, hoping always that they may recognize the truth of Islam.

There is absolutely no graver sin than shirik, (i.e. to associate partners with Allah) yet Allah the Almighty advised us to keep them company in this life and show them benevolence. This is the only time when we can say no to parents—but not walk out on them. Instead, we should be with them, support them in all kinds of ways when they need us, so long as they do not ask you to go against the teaching of Allah and his Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam)  This also goes for the rest of our non-Muslim kinfolk.

Remember what Yusuf (‘alayhissalam) said as Allah informs us in the verse: “Verily, he who fears Allah with obedience to him, and is patient, then surely, Allah makes not the reward of the Muhsinun (righteous) to be lost.” [Surah Yusuf, 12:90]

We do good if we pray Allah to enlighten our non-Muslim parents and guide them to accept Islam. We cannot, however, pray Allah to forgive them. Allah forgives all sins with the exception of associating partners with him. All non-believers associate partners with Allah in one form or another. It is, therefore, futile to pray Him to forgive what he has told us He would not forgive. Moreover, it is an affront to Allah.

It may be hard for a Muslim person to be unable to pray for the forgiveness of his non-Muslim parents. Let us remember that the Prophet’s (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) own parents were non-Muslims. He asked Allah’s permission to pray Him to forgive his mother. His request was declined. We know that Allah granted every prayer the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) made either for himself or his companions or, indeed, Muslims generally. The fact that Allah did not permit the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) to pray for the forgiveness of his own mother suggests that this is not a trifling matter at all. It is indeed much more beneficial to one’s non-Muslim parents who are alive that he prays Allah to guide them to Islam.

7. The Merits and Benefits of Keeping Good Family Relations.

7.1. The Way to Paradise

The Messenger(Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said: “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, then let him be generous to his guest, and whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him maintain the bond of kinship, and whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him say that which is good or observe silence.” [Al-Bukhari]

Abu Ayub Al-Ansari (radiyallāhu`anhu) narrated: “A man said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, inform me of a certain deed that if I do it, I shall enter Paradise.’ He (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said: ‘Worship Allah and do not associate anything with him, establish Solah, Zakah and maintain bonds of kinship'”.

7.2. Abundance and Longevity

It is narrated by Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri (radiyallāhu`anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said: “Whoever desires for Allah to multiply his provision and increase his age, he should maintain good relations with his kin”.

7.3. Beautiful Pleasures of life

Take advantage of every opportunity which presents itself to help them, visit them and be there for them, for the sake of Allah.

Think about that great moment when your little nephew or niece opened the door and shouted out, “It is my auntie….! It is my uncle ..,” then threw themselves, innocently, in your arms. What a great blessing!

8. The Curse of Allah upon Those Who Sever Blood Relations

Allah has severely warned those who cut off their blood relations and family ties. The Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) also condemned such people.  Allah the Almighty Says:”Would you then, if you were given the authority, do mischief in the land and sever your ties of kinship? Such are they whom Allah has cursed, so that He has made them deaf and blinded their sight.” [Surah Muhammad, 47:22-23]

All Muslims should read these two verses over and over again, and let them sink in, because the verse right after that says: “Do they not then think deeply in the Quran? Or are their hearts locked up?”[Surah Muhammad, 47:24]

We seek refuge in Allah, the Lord of the worlds, from the concealing of our hearts and the subjugation of our weak selves.

Even the company of those who mistreat their families and are cut off from them is accursed. ‘Abdullah Ibn Abu ‘Awf (radiyallāhu`anhu) narrated that, “One time we were sitting with the Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) who said: `No one who cuts off his ties should sit with us.’ So a young man stood up from the crowd and went to visit his aunt, with whom he had some frictions, she then asked forgiveness for him, and he did the same for her, soon afterwards, he came back to our gathering circle, upon which the Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said:“The Mercy will not descend on people among whom there is a person who severs kin ties.”

Severing one’s blood ties is far from a trivial choice: it is an evil that may hinder you from entering Paradise. The Messenger of Allah (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said:”No one who severs his family ties will enter Paradise.” [At-Tirmidzi]

Part of the danger resulting from cutting off one’s relations can be sensed from the following hadith.

Abu Hurairah (radiyallāhu`anhu) related that a man came to the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) and said: “O Messenger of Allah, my relatives are such that I cooperate with them, but they cut me off; I am kind to them but they ill-treat me; I forbear but they are rude to me.“The Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) replied: “If you are as you say, you are then feeding them with hot ashes; and so long as you remain the way you are, Allah will always help you and he will protect you against their mischief.” [Muslim]

Imam An-Nawawi (rahimahullah) said: “The hot ashes are a metaphor for the amount of pain and agony experienced by the one who eats them.” The hadith pertains also to the people who behave differently. They will maintain good times as long as their kindred do the same, but otherwise they sever them. Real cherishing of the blood relation is not observed in anticipation of reciprocation on the part of one’s kin; but the ties should be maintained for Allah’s sake only, even if this is done from one side only neglecting the behaviour of the other side in return.

‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr (radiyallāhu`anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said: “A person who reciprocates in doing good is not the one who joins his blood relations generously; but he is one who joins with his blood relations when they sever the kinship ties.” [Al-Bukhari]

This wonderful hadith puts all things in perspective for those who are so skilled at pointing fingers, trying to justify the haughtiness of their own selves by always blaming other people, thus justifying their cutting of ties. The Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) penly states that regardless of their behaviour you should visit them; regardless of their detachment, you should maintain your ties; regardless of their offensiveness, reward them with forbearance, and most importantly, never cease to include in your supplications that Allah grant them a change of heart; for all the hearts are between His fingers, He flips them as He wills.

The Messenger of Allah (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) set for all humanity the greatest example of forgiveness and mercy after he conquered Makkah. The Makkans had tortured, killed, and humiliated Muslims for so long, and killed some of the dearest relatives of the blessed Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) himself. But the Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) answered them by saying “I would say to you what Yusuf said to his brothers: No reproach on you this day; May Allah forgives you; He is the most Merciful of those who show mercy. Go free; you are all pardoned!” This incident never fails to bring tears to a Muslim’s eye. In fact, any human being would be moved by such nobility and mercy to tears. No wonder ‘Aishah (radiyallāhu`anha) when asked about the character of the Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said that his character was the Quran. Better yet Allah bears witness that his Messenger stands on the highest plane of character.

Allah Says: “And verily, you have an exalted standard of character.” [Surah Al-Qalam, 68:4]

9. Ways to Enhance Your Relations

Here are ways for us to fortify our ties and strengthen our bonds with our kinsmen:

7.1. Arrange frequent visits with those who live close by, on a weekly basis if they are in the same town or on a yearly basis at least if they reside overseas, depending on a person’s abilities. But always remember, the least you can do nowadays is to pick up a paper and a pen and write to them how much your heart yearns for them and that they are not at all forgotten. If not, pick up the phone and tell them how much you love them and cannot wait to visit with them. Little things can make a big difference.

7.2. In a family gathering, do not let the opportunity to clear up all misunderstandings, pass you by and show all of your relatives your love and concern.

7.3. When conversing with them, take interest in what they have to say, even if it is not your cup of tea. Listen to their concerns, and help them if you can, and at least give them hope and your prayers—for sincere prayers, reassurance and love are worth much more than anything else.

7.4. Have respect for all elderly people in your family, be all-ears when they are telling their stories and try to learn from their past experiences.

7.5. Bring joy to family gatherings by creating an atmosphere of fun, sharing jokes or even getting a bit playful at times—but always within the limits of decency and without hurting anyone’s feelings.

7.6. Be there for them, and offer to help in every way you can.

Many good deeds bear fruit that will not be seen until the Hereafter. But keeping good family relations is something that will benefit you immediately, by making this life a lot happier, lighter, pleasant and more rewarding. Most importantly, Allah will reward us generously for every smile, every hug, and every act of generosity, every phone call or letter, every word of encouragement, every suppression of anger, and every instance of forgiveness towards your family members. Who can afford to be deprived of such an immense reward? Do not allow yourself to be of those who sever what Allah has ordered to be joined.

He the Almighty Says: “Those who break Allah’s covenant after ratifying it, and sever what Allah has ordered to be joined, and do mischief on earth, it is they who are the losers.”  [Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:27]

And Allāh Almighty Knows best.

[Via Islam Web]

Please See Also:

1.The Meaning of Silatul Rahim; 2.Guidelines on Ties of the Kinship;

3.The Obligation of Upholding the Ties of Kinship;

4.The Rights and Duties of Women in Islam.; 5. All Occurs By The Will And Decree Of Allāh;

6.Allah Obligates Kindness to Parents; 7.Acknowledging the Parents;

8.The Kindred of Kinship;

9. Not Permissible To Forsake A Muslim;

10. Ruling On Disputes and the Virtue of Reconciling;

11.Dealing With Relatives Who Backbite;12. Dealing with Hurtful Relatives;

13.Giving Zakah to Deserving Relatives;14.Is the Father’s Wife among the Relatives (Rahm);

15.Husband’s Duties towards His Wife’s Family ; 16.The Rights of the Husband and the Wife;

17.Upholding the Ties of Kinship for Females;18.A Woman’s Mahram;

19.The Seven under the Shade of Allāh

The Nine Conditions of Shahādah

The Nine Conditions of Shahādah

By Jamaluddin Zarabozo

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

All the praise and Thanks is due to Allāh, the Lord of the al-ā’lamīn. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu alayhi wa sallam, is His Messenger.

What Every Muslim Needs to Know.

There is something very important for both the new Muslims and those who grew up in Islām, without which a person may not really be a “Muslim.” It is called the “Shahādah.” The complete statement of the creed of the Muslim is: “Ash haduan Lā ilāha illallāh; Wa ashhaduanna Muhammadar Rasūlullāh. (I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh; and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger).”

Every Muslim has been taught that the key to “Jannah” (Paradise) is the statement in Arabic: “Lā ilāha illallāh.”  (There is none worthy of worship except Allāh). Yet too many Muslims simply rely upon this statement and believe that as long as they have made this statement, nothing will harm them.  They think they will be granted Paradise because of this mere verbal statement of the Shahādah.

There is no question that the mere saying of the Shahādah: “I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger” is not sufficient for salvation. In fact, the munafiqeen (hypocrites) used to make this statement quite often yet Allāh describes them as liars and says that they shall abide in the lowest abyss of the Hell-fire.

True scholars of Islām tell us that this testimony of faith is our “Muftah ul Jannah” (Key to Paradise). The famous follower Wahab ibn Munabbih was once asked; “Isn’t the statement of “Lā ilāha illallāh” the key to Paradise?” He answered;”Yes! But every key has ridges. If you come with the key that has the right ridges, the door will open for you. Yet if you do not have the right ridges the door will not open for you.”

Think about it. If you try to drive your car with the key to your house will it work? Of course, not. So, we see that the statement like a key, must meet certain conditions in order to work. In fact these conditions are what will determine who will benefit from the statement and who will not benefit from saying it, no matter how many times per day they say it. We must work hard to learn, understand and practice these conditions before we run out time and then it would be too late for our Shahādah to help us at all. This article has value only if we use it to look at ourselves and make sure we are really meeting these conditions.

Then by Allāh’s Mercy, the doors to Jannah will open for us with our KEY (muftah) of Lā ilāha illallāh”.

“Nine Conditions of the Shahādah”:

 The “Qur’an” and the “Hadīth” (saying narrated from or about the Prophet Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam regarding his words, actions, or attributes.) are the ultimate sources for knowledge in Islām. We find contained in them the reality of the conditions necessary for the “Shahādah” to work as a “muftah” to the “Jannah” for us. The number might be understood as seven, eight or even nine depending on how you would categorize them or combine them together. Regardless of how we would list them or divide them up, it still remains that we must understand and most important, apply these conditions of our Shahādah if we are to enter the Jannah. We listed them here as “nine” in order to give more attention and detail to each and every aspect. However, the scholars who have listed them as seven or eight have not left anything out. They have merely combined several for easier comprehension and memorization.

The nine conditions of the Shahādah are known as: 1. Knowledge; 2. Certainty; 3. Acceptance; 4. Submission; 5. Truth; 6. Sincerity; 7. Love; 8. Denial of false worship; and 9. Adherence

1. Knowledge (‘Ilm)

That is, one must have the basic and general knowledge of what is meant by the Shahādah. One must understand what the Shahādah is affirming and what the Shahādah is denying. Allāh says in the Qur’an, “So know that there is no God but Allāh, and ask forgiveness for your sin.” (Muhammad, 47: 19).

Similarly, the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Whoever dies knowing that there is no one worthy of worship except Allāh shall enter Paradise.” (Muslim)

In fact, the Shahādah itself is a testimony. When one testifies to something, one must know what it is that he is testifying concerns. Obviously, a testimony about something that one does not have any knowledge about is absolutely unacceptable.

Allāh says in the Qur’an, “Except him who bears witness unto the truth knowingly.” (Al-Zukhruf, 43: 86).

Now this condition probably sounds obvious; if someone said to you, “There is no God except Allāh,” and then said that what he meant by Allāh was Jesus, you would immediately tell him that this Shahādah is nonsense. Yet can you imagine that there is a Muslim country in the world that until recently used to have a yearly weeklong celebration to “the Gods of the Sea”! All along they call themselves Muslims and they make the Shahādah numerous times a day.

This clearly shows that they have no idea what the meaning of their Shahādah is. Do you think that this kind of Shahādah will open the doors to Paradise for them? Today, there are many Muslims who wonder why we should not accept secularism. They think that there is nothing wrong with secularism! Many of these Muslims pray five times a day and utter the Shahādah repeatedly. Yet they see nothing wrong with accepting a Lawgiver other than Allāh? What kind of Shahādah are these people making?

All of us do our best to learn at least the basics of Islāmic beliefs, the basics of what Shahādah means. In this way, Allāh willing, we will be making the correct Shahādah. We will be witnessing to the truth as we are supposed to be witnesses to it.

2 – Certainty (Yāqin)

This is the opposite of doubt and uncertainty. In Islām, in fact, any kind of doubt is equivalent to Kufr or disbelief. We must, in our hearts, be absolutely certain of the truth of the Shahādah. Our hearts must not be wavering in any way when we testify to the truth of, “There is none worthy of worship except Allāh.” Allāh describes the believers in the Qur’an as those who have belief in Allāh and then their hearts waver not. Allāh says, “The (true) believers are those only who believe in Allāh and His messenger and afterward doubt not, but strive with their wealth and their lives for the cause of Allāh. Such are the sincere.” (Al-Hujjarat, 49: 15)

Similarly, the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “No one meets Allāh with the testimony that there is none worthy of worship but Allāh and I am the Messenger of Allāh, and he has no doubt about that statement, except that he will enter Paradise.” (Muslim)

I ndeed, Allāh describes the hypocrites as those people whose hearts are wavering. For example, Allāh says, “They alone seek leave of thee (not to participate in jihad) who believe not in Allāh and the Last Day and whose hearts feel doubt, so in their doubt they waver.” (Al-Tawbah, 9: 45)

Many scholars have stated that the diseases of the heart, or the doubt and suspicions that one allows into one’s heart, are more dangerous for a person’s faith than lusts and desires. This is because lusts and desires may be satisfied at some time yet the person still knows them to be wrong and he may control himself and repent and give up that evil deed. On the other hand, the doubts and suspicions may linger in the heart, with no cure, until the person finally leaves Islām entirely or continues to practice Islām while, in fact, in his heart he does not have the true faith. The greatest cure for these doubts is seeking knowledge. It is through sound knowledge of the Qur’an and the Sunnah that most of these doubts will be removed.

3 – Acceptance (Qabūl)

If a person has knowledge of and certainty in the Shahādah, this must be followed by acceptance, with the tongue and heart, of whatever that Shahādah implies. Whoever refuses to accept the Shahādah and its implications, even if he knows that it is true and certain about its truth, and then he is a disbeliever? This refusal to accept is sometimes due to pride, envy or other reasons.

In any case, the Shahādah is not a true Shahādah without its unconditional acceptance. The scholars all talk about this condition as a general condition in the way that I have just stated. However, there is also a more detailed aspect that we must all be aware of. The believer accepts whatever the implications of the Shahādah are. This also means that he believes in whatever is stated in the Qur’an or stated by the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam), without any right to choose what he wants to believe and what he wants to reject.

Allāh says in the Qur’an, “Do you believe in part of the book and reject part of it? And what is the reward of those who do so, except humiliation in the life of this world, and on the Day of Resurrection they will be sent to the most dreadful doom.” (Al-Baqarah, 2: 85).

This is one aspect that the Muslims must be aware of. Although it is not the same as the complete refusal to accept the truth, by rejecting part of the truth that has come from Allāh, one also negates his testimony of faith. Unfortunately, many Muslims are doing this nowadays in various ways. Although not all of these forms may necessarily be considered apostasy, they are still very dangerous. For example, if they do not like what is stated in a verse in the Qur’an, they simply reinterpret the verse according to their liking. If they do not like what is stated in a hadīth, they simply state that the hadīth must not be authentic although they are not scholars in that area. This kind of behavior is the antithesis of the behavior of the true Muslims. Whatever comes from Allāh and His Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), the true Muslim believes in as the truth. This goes hand in hand with their testimony of faith.

4 – Submission and Compliance (Inqiyād)

This implies the actual physical enactment with our deeds of our Shahādah. In fact, this is one of the main meanings of the word Islām itself, “the submission to the will and commands of Allāh.” This is what Allāh commands in the Qur’an, “Turn unto Him repentant, and surrender unto Him” (al-Zumar, 39: 54).

Allāh has praised those who submit to His command by their actions. Allāh says, “Who is better in religion than he who surrenders his purpose to Allāh while doing good” (al-Nisā’, 4: 125).

Actually, Allāh has clearly made it a condition of faith that one submits to the command of Allāh and His messenger. Allāh says, “But nay, by your Lord, they will not truly believe until they make you [the Messenger of Allāh] judge of what is in dispute between them and find within themselves no dislike of which you decide, and submit with full submission” (al-Nisā’, 4: 65)

Unfortunately, there are many that claim that there is no relationship between faith and deeds. You can even hear one Muslim saying about another, “That is the best Muslim I have ever met,” yet the other person performs scarcely any of the deeds of Islām whatsoever. This incorrect understanding of faith has spread throughout the Muslim world. Indeed, our Shahādah or testimony of faith must be implemented or realized in our hearts, tongues and actions. In our hearts, we must have love for Allāh, fear Allāh and hope in Him. With our tongues we must testify to the Shahādah. And with our actions, we must implement what the testimony of faith requires from us.

Anyone who claims to be a Muslim and yet does no deeds either does not understand Islām whatsoever or is bearing testimony against himself that his testimony of faith is not a true and correct testimony of faith. This does not mean that the true believer never commits a sin. Indeed, true believers do commit sins, but as long as they recognize that what they did is not correct and it is inconsistent with their obligation of submitting to Allāh, then they have not violated the soundness of their testimony or Shahādah. But do not forget they are still sinners. And what is the minimum of submission that is required from a person beyond whom there can be no claim to faith? For those scholars who say that the abandonment of prayers is infidelity, it is the five daily prayers. Whoever does not perform, at least, the five daily prayers have gone beyond the limit that is acceptable for lack of deeds. Allāh knows best.

5 -Truthfulness (As-Siddiq), As Opposed To Hypocrisy and Dishonesty

This means that when we say the Shahādah, we are saying it honestly. We actually mean it. We are not lying when it comes to our testimony of faith. The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “No one bears testimony to there being no one worth of worship save Allāh, sincerely from his heart, except that Allāh makes the Hell-fire forbidden for him.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

We are all familiar with those who say the testimony of faith yet they are not saying it honestly. They do not believe in it but they are simply saying it in order to protect them or to get some gain from doing so; these are the hypocrites.

Allāh has described them in the opening of the Qur’an with the following words: “And of mankind are some who say, ‘We believe in Allāh and the Last Day,’ when they believe not. They think to beguile Allāh and those who believe, and they beguile none save themselves, but they perceive not. In their hearts is a disease and Allāh increases their disease. A painful doom is theirs because they lie” (Al-Baqarah: 8-10).

Obviously, the Shahādah of those who become Muslims simply to benefit from being Muslim and not because they believe in Islām will be rejected by Allāh in the Hereafter. They will face a painful punishment due to their lying.

6 – Sincerity (Al-Ikhlās)

That is, when we make the Shahādah, we must do so solely for the sake of Allāh. We must not do it for any other reason. And we must not do it for anyone else’s sake. In this manner, the meaning of sincerity is opposite of Shirk or ascribing partners with Allāh. We became and remain Muslims solely for Allāh’s sake.

Allāh says in the Qur’an, “Worship Allāh, and making religion pure for him” (al-Zumar, 39: 2).

And Allāh also says, “And they are ordained not else than to serve Allāh, keeping religion pure for Him, as men by nature upright and to establish worship and to pay the poor-due. That is true religion” (al-Baiyinah, 98: 5)

And the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) added, “Allāh has forbidden for the Hell-fire anyone who says, ‘There is no one worthy of worship except Allāh,’ and say so desiring the face [and pleasure] of Allāh.” (Muslim)

This is something that we should all think about, especially those of us who grew up in Muslim families and were born Muslim. We should make it very clear to ourselves that we are Muslims only for the sake of Allāh. We are not Muslims for the sake of our parents, friends, family or community. It must be clear in our minds that we are Muslims for the sake of Allāh first, last and only. One of the signs that we are Muslims for the sake of Allāh is that we do whatever Allāh asks of us, regardless of what anybody else desires or wants from us. That is, in the same way that we are Muslims solely for the sake of Allāh, all of our actions are done for the sake of Allāh.

However, sometimes one begins to wonder whether some people meet this condition. Some people from the Muslim world practice Islām to the extent that it is pleasing to their families. If there is anything in Islām that their families do not like- although their families are Muslim and therefore they actually should like all of Islām- then they do not practice that aspect of Islām. One common example of that nature is mixing between men and women. Sometimes a brother, will not mix with women and his wife will remain separate from the men. Yet, when they return to their homes, because this is not pleasing to their families who want to mix between men and women, they easily, simply and happily compromise their religion for the sake of their parents. These people must sincerely ask themselves why they are Muslims. Are they Muslims for the sake of their parents and therefore whatever their parents like they will do and whatever their parents do not like they won’t do? Or are they Muslims for the sake of Allāh and therefore whatever Allāh dislikes they will not do and whatever Allāh is pleased with they do?

7 – Love (Mahabbah)

That is, the believer loves this Shahādah, he loves in accordance with the Shahādah, he loves the implications and requirements of the Shahādah and he loves those who act and strive for the sake of this Shahādah. This is a necessary condition of the Shahādah. If a person makes the Shahādah but does not love the Shahādah and what it stands for, then, in fact, his faith is not complete. It is not the faith of a true believer. And if he loves something more that this Shahādah or if he loves something more than Allāh, then he has negated his Shahādah. The true believer, the one meeting the conditions of the Shahādah puts no one whatsoever as an equal to Allāh in his love.

Allāh says in the Qur’an, “Yet of mankind are some who take unto themselves (objects of worship which they set as) rivals to Allāh, loving them with a love like (that which is due to) Allāh only. However, those who believe are stauncher in their love of Allāh” (Al-Baqarah, 2: 165).

And elsewhere Allāh says: “Say: If your fathers, or your sons, or your brethren, or your wives, or your tribe, or the wealth you have acquired, or merchandise for which you fear that there will be no sale, or dwellings you desire are dearer to you than Allāh and His Messenger and striving in His way: then wait till Allāh brings His command to pass. Allāh guides not wrongdoing folk” (Al-Tawbah, 9: 24)

The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Whoever has three characteristics has tasted the sweetness of faith. [The first of these] is that he loves Allāh and His Messenger more than he loves anyone else…” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

This is one of the most important aspects of Islām yet, for some reason, it is missing from the lives of many Muslims. They act in Islām as if Islām were a chore instead of doing things out of the love of Allāh. When Allāh orders us to do something, like bear witness to the faith, we should realize that that thing is pleasing to Allāh and, therefore, out of our love for Allāh, we should be very pleased to do the acts that are pleasing to Allāh. But, as I said, this feeling is missing from many, many Muslims today.

8 – Denial of False Worship

Although that is clear in the words of the Testimony of Faith, it does not seem clear to everyone who makes that testimony. Therefore, I am mentioning it explicitly here. In Surah al-Baqarah, Allāh clearly reminds us of this important aspect of the Shahādah, the Shahādah is not merely an affirmation but it is both an affirmation and a negation.

Allāh states, “And he who rejects false deities and believes in Allāh has grasped a firm handhold which will never break” (Al-Baqarah, 2: 256).

Perhaps the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) made this point even clearer when he said: “Whoever says there is no one worthy of worship except Allāh and denies whatever is worshipped besides Allāh, then his wealth and blood are protected and his accounting will be with Allāh.” (Muslim)

Although this condition should be obvious to everyone who says the words of Shahādah, you can still find Muslims who say the Shahādah and then make acts of worship for beings or things other than Allāh. You will find them going to the graveyards and worshipping those in the graves. They will perform acts of worship, not for the sake of Allāh, but for the sake of the dead “saints” in the grave. What kind of Shahādah have these people made? Do you really think that their Shahādah will mean anything on the Day of Judgment as long as they believe that acts of worship may be done for other than Allāh?

9 – Adherence (Astaqīm) Until Death

This is must if the Shahādah is to mean anything for you in the Hereafter. You cannot rest on your laurels of what you may have done in the past. No, indeed, the Shahādah must be your banner until your death.

The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “A man spends a long time doing the deeds of the people of Paradise and then he ends his deeds with the deeds of the people of the Hell-fire. And a man spends a long time doing the deeds of the people of the Hell-fire and then he ends his deeds with the deeds of the people of Paradise.” (Muslim)

In another hadīth, the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “By the One beside whom there is no other God, one of you does the actions of Paradise until there is just a hand span between him and Paradise and then the book [preordainment] overtake him and he does the actions of the people of Hell and he enters into it.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

And Allāh says: “O believers, observe your duty to Allāh with right observance, and die not except as Muslims [in complete state of surrender, submission, obedience to Allāh]” [in complete state of surrender, submission, obedience to Allāh]” (Al-Imran, 3: 102).

These are the conditions or aspects of the Shahādah that each and every one of us should look deep down into our own hearts and ask ourselves:

  • “Is my Shahādah meeting those requirements?”
  • “Am I saying it sincerely, honestly and out of love for Allāh?”
  • “Am I saying it based on what it really means?”
  • “Am I denying all other false objects of worship?”
  • “Is there any part of my Shahādah that is weak or missing?”

It is not enough to simply memorize these conditions and the answers to the questions as though we were on our way to class to take a “pop quiz.” We might meet Muslims or even the teachers themselves, who have totally memorized these conditions and their meanings so much so that they can recite every detail. But if we look to the way they act and the way they treat others, we know that the conditions are not having the right effect on them. This is proof that no matter how much a person knows, it only matters how much they live up to it. In the Next Life their knowledge of these conditions of Shahādah will not benefit them in the least if they have not put them into practice. Actually, their knowledge will be proof against them because they clearly knew the conditions, yet they were not willing to live up to them in this life.

As Muslims we need to ask ourselves right now, before we die and go in front of Allāh for His Judgment. We need to consider our answers carefully to these questions. If we are weak in certain areas of these important questions, then we should work hard to remove that weakness. So that in the Next Life our Shahādah will be our “Key to Paradise” and the gates of the Paradise will open wide for us and we will be able to live forever in Allāh’s Jannah with Him being please with us.

“O Allāh, make us of those who learn, understand and apply the true meanings of the Shahādah, amīn. Forgive us were we fall short or make mistakes, ameen. Bring us closer to You by Your Mercy and enter us into Your Jannah, amīn.” Wal Hamdulillahi Rabbil Alamīn

Allah the Exalted Alone Know most.

[Excerpted from the article entitled “The Conditions of “Lā ilāha illallāh” By Jamaluddin Zarabozo, published in Al-Basheer Magazine]

The murders in Banting and Crimebusters

The murders in Banting and general necessity of  crime busters

MALAYSIANS  mainly the Malays like me must be aghast to read about the gruesome murders of their fellow Malays, the cosmetics millionaire Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and three others. This murder case surely rivals the infamous case of Mona Fandi than a decade ago.

Among the suspected perpetrators arrested are two Indian lawyers. The way of the killing was very brutal.

Our society has changed so much. So much so crimes like killing, rapes, robberies, throwing the young born, stealing, house breaking, breaching the laws are becoming common and reported regularly in the media. Early morning Friday my sons car was stolen in front of my house. Before puasa also a Honda Accord of my jiran was stolen. Two years ago MPV of my front jiran was stolen.

I am wondering what is happening to law and order.  There is no peace anymore. The authorities particularly Ministry of Home affairs, the Police, the local authorities are not doing enough to fight the crime. They must revamp the existing monitoring system.

It is a real threat to internal security. Ways must be found to step up the crime busters. People are becoming frustrated with the situation. They can only hope and pray that similar incidents do not happen to them and their families.

Even the hangman’s noose which awaits convicted murderers does not seem to deter or stop this misguided people from heinous crimes.

One can only offer condolences to the families of the murdered victims.

The question is what is happening to the state of law and order.  So much so as if there is no peace place anymore. The authorities particularly Ministry of Home affairs, the Police, the local authorities are not doing enough to fight the crime. They must revamp the monitoring system.

The Prime Minister must not only took care the interest of his family and friends; it is his job to look into the law and order of the country, providing safety to the general public and its citizens.

To whom the citizens should  rely their hope?

We can only hope that the policing system which will not leave any stone unturned in bringing the criminal perpetrators to justice as well as a providing public  safety. This they must do for the sake of the real victims.