EID IN PAKISTAN 2021

Q. Eid in Pakistan was on Thursday together with Saudi Arabia while all other Asian countries celebrated Eid on Friday. Please comment.
A. Rooyat (sighting) of hilaal was not possible in Pakistan. The Saudis have bought out Imran Khan. The Pakistani government is dancing to the tune of the Saudis. The Saudis do not go by sighting the moon. They do their own haraam calculations. Imran Khan has struck up an unholy monetary alliance with the Saudi kuffaar, hence Pakistan had to toe the Saudi line. The Maulana who was the head of the National Hilaal Committee was removed and a Pakistani government puppet was appointed. These people have no understanding of the Deen.

HOW TO PREPARE FOR RAMADHAN?

Q. How should one make preparations for the Month of Ramadhan?

A. One should always be prepared for Maut. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that the most intelligent person is one who makes preparations for Maut and the sojourn in Barzakh. While Ramadhaan comes once a year, Maut stalks us every moment of our life. No one knows when it will strike and snatch us from this dunya. The Mu’min’s preparation, whether for Ramadhaan or for Maut, is constant Istighfaar, constant Thikrullaah, abstention from sin and futility, following the Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), and strict obedience to the Shariah. This should be our preparation at all times, then we shall be prepared for Ramadhaan and for any other occasion.

Sha’ban; A time to prepare

The sighting of the Crescent of Sha’ban signals the good news of Ramadan’s imminent arrival. A believer grows in anticipation with the passing of each day. Days like these, are what a believer ‘lives for’.

The best month to fast, outside Ramadan

Nabi (sallallahu ’alayhi wasallam) would increase his optional (nafl) fast in this month.

Sayyidatuna ‘Aaishah (radiyallahu’anha) reports that I never saw Nabi (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) fasting in any other month as much as he did in Sha’ban.’

(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 1969 and Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2714).

In one narration, Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radiyallahu’anha) states she would choose Sha’ban to complete her qada fasts for the previous Ramadan (that were missed through menses) .

(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 1950 and Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2682)

In light of the above, and other Hadiths, some ‘Ulama state that Sha’ban is the best month for nafl fasts, especially if it is done with the motive of preparing for Ramadan.

(Lataiful Ma’arif, pg. 248-249. Also see Sunan Tirmidhi, Hadith: 663 Ma’arifus Sunan, vol.5 pg.274 and Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, Hadith: 9856 with Shaykh ‘Awwama’s footnotes.)

Caution

One should avoid fasting after the 15th of Sha’ban, so that strength may be preserved for Ramadan.

(Sunan Nasai, Hadith: 2923)

A Month for Rehearsal

In addition to it being the most virtuous month -outside Ramadan- to fast, another reason [among others] for Nabi (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) increasing his optional fast in Sha’ban was to prepare for Ramadan as well as to respectfully welcome Ramadan

(Lataiful Ma’arif, pg. 258 and Fathul Bari, Hadith: 1969)

This illustrates how Rasulullah (sallallahu ’alayhi wasallam) would spiritually prepare himself in advance for the most auspicious month of the year; Ramadan.

It is like the Sunnah Salah we offer before and after the Fard Salah. For the Fard fast of Ramadan, we are taught to offer nafl fasts before and after (viz. in Sha’ban and Shawwal)

(Lataiful Ma’arif, pg.249)

Similarly, the Sahabah (radiyallahu ’anhum) and Tabi’un (rahimahumullah) would also engage in what we would understand as ‘spiritual preparation’ for Ramadan.

Sayyiduna Anas (radiyallahu ’anhu) says:

‘When Sha’ban would commence, the Muslims (Sahabah and Tabi’un) would dedicate themselves to the recital of the Quran.’

Some are reported to have discharged their Zakah too, in Sha’ban.

(Lataiful Ma’arif, pg.258)

Hafiz Ibn Rajab Al-Hambaly (rahimahullah) writes:

‘Since Sha’ban is a prelude to Ramadan, Islam encourages certain deeds in this month, that are usually done in Ramadan. Like fasting and Quran recital. This prepares the soul to welcome Ramadan, when it arrives, with open arms.’

(Lataiful Ma’arif, pg.258)

Moral

These are glaring lessons on the spiritual preparation for Ramadan. It’s a month in which we can rehearse these additional nafl deeds (viz, optional fasts up to the 15th, Quran recital, Charity etc).

Another form of preparation

In addition to the above deeds and their like, there is another form of preparation that is absolutely essential.
That is to settle our disputes and cleanse the hearts from jealousy, rancour and I’ll-feelings.

People who hold onto old grudges, and do not settle their disputes, nor cleanse their hearts are usually deprived on Allah’s mercy, even on blessed occasions.

Therefore it is imperative for a believer, as part of his preparation for Ramadan, to sort out such issues ahead of time.

15th Shaban

The beginning of Sha’ban is a time for us to reset our minds hearts and routines for Ramadan.

Barely two weeks into the month, will bring the occasion of the fifteenth night of Sha’ban. This night is labelled as the second most auspicious night of the year, by some Scholars.

(Lataiful Ma’arif, pg. 264)

Allah Ta’ala, through His wisdom granted the Ummah this auspicious night as a prelude to Ramadan.

On that night too, those who harbour ill-feelings are deprived of Allah’s Mercy and Forgiveness.

Now is the time

The best time for change, is now! Never delay in making a reformed decision.

Therefore, one should understand that today is an ideal time to reflect on the above and to make efforts to implement them too. Let’s increase our nafl ‘ibadah from today, so that when Ramadan does arrive, we are well rehearsed and ready to maximise our benefit therefrom.

May Allah Ta’ala guide and inspire us all. Amin.

Al-Miftah

THE MUSAAJID IN LUSAKA

FONG KONG HARAAM, HUMILIATING TERMS FOR THE MUSAAJID IN LUSAKA

MUSLIMS OF LUSAKA! REJECT THE SATANIC CONDITIONS! DO NOT ATTEND THE MUSAAJID! PERFORM SALAAT AT HOME! ‘SALAAT’ THE WAY THE GESTAPO MOB IS ORGANIZING IS HARAAM AND NOT VALID!

A Brother from Lusaka writes:

As-salaam-u-alaikum Maulana

The management of the Jame Masjid in Lusaka have issued the following salaah instructions regarding the opening of the masaajid on 19 May, as attached.

“Esteemed members of the Community,

We hope and pray that you are well and safe in this blessed month of Ramadhaan. As Muslims we have done very well in countering the covid-19 pandemic, and we commend the Community in observing the regulations in these difficult times.

Alhamdulillah, through the grace and mercy of the Almighty, permission to perform Salah for 200 Musallees has been granted.

We are pleased to inform the Jaame Masjid Musallees that effective TODAY 20TH MAY, 2020 ASR SALAH the Masjid will be open.

Salaah times for Ramadhan only shall be as follows:

SALAAH JAMAT TIME

FAJR 05:20

ZOHAR 13:15

ASR 17:10

MAGHRIB IMMEDIATELY AFTER AZAAN

ESHA 19:15

1ST Jamaat for Juma Salah will be at 12:30

2nd Jamaat for Juma Salaah will be at 13:30

We kindly urge everyone to understand the situation and corporate fully.

Detailed guidelines have been attached hereunder, to be strictly adhered to.

 1. Kindly STAY AWAY if you have any FLU SYMPTOMS.

2. Elderly members of the Community are highly recommended to continue performing

3. Please perform Wudhu at home.

4. Please try to bring your own musallah/prayer mat.

5. Please follow all sanitization procedures that have been put in place.

6. Please note that you will not be allowed into the masjid and masjid yard without a face

mask.

7. Please ensure you have the mask on during your entire stay in the masjid and masjid yard.

8. Please follow all social distancing procedures that have been put in place.

9. Please refrain from handshakes and hugs.

10. Please refrain from gatherings in the Masjid and the Masjid yard before and after Salaah.

11. All those staying within walking distance from the masjid yard are requested to come

walking to the masjid.

12. Do NOT park vehicles outside the masjid yard. If the front yard is full kindly make use of

the Madrasah yard behind.

13. Please cooperate with the public management team that has been appointed by the mutawallis of the masjid. Included in their duties will be to monitor adherence to the sanitization procedures and refusing entry to anyone not wearing a face mask. The masjid management team humbly requests each individual to understand the current situation and give their full support by cooperating.

14. Please note that mandatory registration will be done for each Musallee.

Kindly follow the registration procedures by sending your name, Address and contact number via SMS or WhatsApp to 0777275282. Your access code will then be sent to you which will be required for any entry into the Mosque thereafter.

For & on behalf of Jaame Masjid Management

END

Similar notices are now being sent out by other masaajid in the city. Although it appears that many of the mutawallis of the various masaajid seemed reluctant to open the masaajid in the proper shariah manner, and not according to the ludicrous points above, there has been growing pressure by the musallis to open the masaajid.

This appears to be a huge mockery of the most fundamental hukm of Deen. Please advise on how we should perform our salaah given all the restrictions above?

Jazakallah (End of the Brother’s letter)

COMMENT

Never should Muslims submit to these humiliating, haraam terms and conditions which this Gestapo (the management committee of the Musjid) grovelling in a cesspool of kufr takes pride in imposing on Muslims.

Every condition is haraam and kufr. Also, the najaasat of the sanitizer rijs consisting of 70% alcohol renders the user impure (napaak).

In these trying satanic circumstances of the devil’s lockdown, perform Salaat at home in the proper manner prescribed by the Shariah. Let the Musaajid remain deserted to testify on the Day of Qiyaamah for the kufr and satanic infractions of these Gestapo entities who have assumed the role of the satanists. Just imagine the degree of shaitaaniyat! Policing satanically the Musaajid and controlling satanically the Musaajid as if they have inherited the Houses of Allah from their fathers.

Muslims should not contribute a cent to these evil shaitaani management committees which pillage and plunder the sanctity of the Musaajid. They furthermore have lost their Imaan. They are Munaafiqs. They reject the explicit Fatwa of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) who stated unequivocally:

“Laa adwaa” – There is no contagion. In flagrant and blasphemous denial of our Nabi’s Fatwa, this Gestapo Satanist says: “Adwaa”- Disease is contagious. Only those bereft of Imaan are capable of disgorging such blatant kufr then perfidiously    persist in professing themselves to be Muslims.

Their belief in the concept propounded by the atheists is Sareeh (Explicit) kufr. Their Imaan is eliminated. Their marriages are nullified by this kufr belief. The La’nat of Allah Ta’ala and His Malaaikah descend on scoundrels who pollute and desanctify the Musaajid with the plethora of the hideous conditions of kufr.

28 Ramadhaan 1441 – 22 May 2020

Jahl and Shaitaaniyat

Bid’ah, Jahl and Shaitaaniyat

Question: In Natal someone by the name ‘Jazbhay’ is exhorting Muslims to come on to the streets to recite Takbeer on the day of Eid during the time when people are allowed to exercise in terms of the lockdown regulations. He invites women to also participate. Is this permissible?

Answer: How can Satanism be permissible? The chap is preaching Satanism under guise of Islam. It is haraam for women to emerge onto the streets. Such emergence and parading are the acts of prostitutes and lesbians. It is also not permissible for males to participate in this new-fangled bid’ah advised by a jaahil. The juhala and the munaafiqeen are in preponderance during this devil’s saga engulfing us.

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Q. Should we perform Zuhr or Jumuah at home during the lockdown? Is a Musjid a requisite for the validity of Jumuah?

A. If you refer to our website you will find articles in which we have explained the issue of Jumuah during the devil’ lockdown. With four adult males, Jumuah may be performed at home. According to the Hanafi Math-hab, a Musjid is not a condition for the validity of Jumuah. It is a condition according to the Maaliki Math-hab.

Q. In Taraweeh the Imaam recites only Attahiyaat in Qa’dah. The Durood and Dua are totally omitted. Is this valid?

A. Even in Taraaweeh it is incumbent to recite Durood and Dua after Attahiyaat. It is a shaitaani inspiration to dispense with the Durood and Dua as is generally the case with those who rush with Taraaweeh. It is not permissible to discard the Durood and the Dua.

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MORE BRAINS THAN THE MUNAAFIQEEN

Quote

(End of quote)

 

This statement is an adequate commentary on the necrotized brains of the Bogus uucsa, Bogus jusa and Jaahil mjc Munaafiq characters.

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27 Ramadhaan 1441 – 21 May 2020

Laylatul Qadr- A detailed explanation

LAYLATUL QADR – Night of power

 

Amongst the nights of Ramadhaan, there is one called ‘Laylatul Qadr’,a night that is noted for its greatest blessings. The Noble Qur’an describes it as being greater in blessedness and spiritual virtue than a thousand months, which in turn means that it is more valuable than eighty three years and four months. Fortunate indeed is that person who attains the full blessings of this night by spending it in the worship of Allah, because he has then attained the reward of ‘Ibaadah’ (worship) for eighty three years,four months and even more. Indeed (the granting of) this night for the faithful Muslims is a great favour.

 

THE ORIGIN

 

Regarding this night in a Hadith reported by Anas (RA) in Durre Manthur, Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) is reported to have said: “Laylatul Qadr was granted to this Ummah (of mine) and not to any other ‘Ummah’ before this

” As regards the reason for the granting of ‘Laylatul Qadr’, various views are held.According to some Ahaadith, one reason is given thus: Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) used to ponder over the longer lives of peoples of the past ages and when comparing them with, the much shorter lives of his ‘Ummah’, he became greatly saddened, because if his ‘Ummah’ wished to compete with the people before them, then because of their shorter lives, it would be impossible for them to either emulate or surpass the previous ‘Ummahs’ in the doing of righteous deeds. Therefore, Allah in His Infinite Mercy granted them this night of great blessings. This means that, if any fortunate person of this ‘Ummah’ during his life-time spends ten such nights in the worship of his Maker, he would have gained the reward of ‘Ibaadah’ (worship) for eight hundred and thirty three years and even more.

Another report states that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) once related to the ‘Sahaaba’ the story of a very righteous man from among the Banu Israaeel, who spent one thousand months in ‘Jihaad’. On hearing this, the Sahaaba enviously felt that they could not attain the same reward, whereupon Allah granted them this Night (of Power). Still another report states that it so happened that our Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) once mentioned the names ofthe four most pious people from among the Banu Israaeel, each of whom spent eighty years in Allah’s sincere service, worshipping Him and not transgressing in the least. They were Nabi Ayyub, Zakariyya, Ezkeel and Yu’sha (Alayhimus salaam). The ‘Sahaaba’ heard this, wondering how to emulate their achievements. Then Jibraaeel (Alayhis salaam) appeared and recited ‘Surah Qadr’, wherein the blessings of this particular night were revealed.

 

There are reports too, explaining the origin of the Night of Power. But no matter which of these we accept, the important fact remains that Allah has granted us this night, as a great favour, and how fortunate are those divines who have never missed worship in this night. As to which particular night it is, here again approximately fifty different views are reported. It is not easy for me to enumerate them all, but the most generally accepted versions, shall follow in the ensuing pages of this chapter.

Because the Qur’an Majeed itself mentions the night, we shall commence with a short commentary of Surah Qadr.

 

‘We have indeed revealed this (message) in the Night of Power.’

 

Reference here is made to the fact that,on this specific night, the Qur’an was sent down from the ‘Lawhul Mahfoodh’ (the preserved Tablet) to the heavens (above the earth). The mere fact that the Qur’an was revealed on this night would have been sufficient to ensure its greatness. But apart from this fact, it is also noted for many other things. In the very next verse, by way of increasing out interest in the matter under discussion, a question is asked:

 

‘And what will explain to you what the Night of Power is?’

 

In other words, the question asked here is: Have you any knowledge as to the greatness and importance of this night? Have you any knowledge as to the great favours and bounties that go with it? The next verse proceeds to explain its greatness.

 

‘The night of Power is better than a thousand months’

 

The true meaning here is that the reward for spending this night in worship (Ibaadah) is better and more than that for having spent one thousand months in worship (Ibaadah); but as to how much more rewarding it is,we are not told here.

 

‘Therein come down the Angels and the Spirit, by Allah’s permission on every errand’

 

A fine explanation is given for this verse by Imaam Raazi. Commenting on this verse, he explains that when man first appeared on earth, the ‘Malaaikah’looked upon him with concern. They even ventured to ask Allah, ‘Will You place on this earth, one who shall be riotous therein and shed blood?’

 

Similarly, when his parents noted his original form as a mere drop of sperm, they too looked upon it with dislike, so much so, that they considered it as something which polluted the clothes and had to be washed away. But later, when Allah made that same sperm into a fine form of a child, they began to love and cherish him. So far have things now progressed that, when on this Night of Power we find that same man worshipping Allah and adoring Him, then those very Angels (Malaaikah) descend towards him, obviously repentant for the thoughts they had once harboured against him. In this verse, where in is mentioned (Wa-rrooh) ‘and the Spirit…’, the reference is to Jibraaeel (Alayhis salaam) who descends to the Earth during this night. Commentators of the Qur’an have given various meanings of this word. Let us look at some of them:

 

The vast majority of commentators are agreed that Jibraaeel (Alayhis salaam) is meant here and, according to Imaam Razi, this is the most correct meaning. Allah first makes mention of the ‘Malaaikah’ and then, because of Jibraaeel (Alayhis salaam)’s special status among them, a separate mention is made of him.

 

Some commentators hold the view that ‘Spirit’ here means one specific Angel of such extra-ordinary and gigantic proportions that before him the Heavens and the Earth appear as small as a morsel.

 

Another group of commentators opine that ‘Spirit’ here means one group of ‘Malaaikah’ who never ordinarily appear and only on this night are they seen by other ‘Malaaikah’

 

Some commentators believe that ‘Spirit’ here designates one specific creation of Allah, who partake of food and drink, and yet neither men nor angels.

 

There is also a view that ‘Spirit’ here refers to the Prophet Jesus (Alayhis salaam), who on this night comes down to look at the righteous deeds of the ‘Ummah’

 

The last interpretation we wish to mention here is that ‘Spirit’ means Allah’s special ‘Mercy’ which comes in the wake of the angels descent.

 

There are other interpretations also, but as already stated, the first opinion given above is the best known. In this connection, Imaam Bayhaqi (RA) relates a Hadith by Anas wherein Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) is reported to have said: ‘On ‘Laylatul Qadr’ Jibraaeel (Alayhis salaam) comes down with a group of angels and prays for mercy for every one whom they find busy in worship (Ibaadah).’

 

‘By Allah’s permission, descend on the Earth for blessed errands…’

 

The author of Mazaaire Haqq writes that on this night, ages ago, the ‘Malaaikah’ were created, long before the creation of Aadam (Alayhis salaam) was begun in the shape of a nucleous; on this same night Paradise was planted with tree and numerous Ahaadith bear witness to the fact that on this night prayers are accepted. Similarly, we read in the book, Durre Manthoor, that according to a Hadith it was on this night that the Prophet Jesus (Alayhis salaam) was lifted up bodily into the Heavens, and also it was on this night that the repentence (Tawbah) of Banu Israaeel was accepted.

 

‘Peace reigns until the break of dawn’

 

Indeed this night is the very embodiment of peace; the ‘Malaaikah’ offer salutations to the faithful believers adoring their Lord. As one group ascends, another group descends (with the same greetings), as indicated in some narrations. Another interpretation is that it is that it is a night of complete safety from evil and mischief. These blessings last all night until the break of dawn, and are not limited to anyone part of the night.

And now, having noted a few virtues of this night as explained in the Words of Allah, we now turn to the Hadith where we read more about the virtues of the night.

 

HADITH NO. 1

 

Abu Hurairah (Radhi Allaho anho) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Whoever stands in Prayers and worships on the night of power, with complete faith and with sincere hope of gaining reward, all his previous sins are forgiven.”

 

COMMENTARY

 

In the above Hadith, ‘Standing’ refers to ‘Salaat’, but includes any other form of ‘Ibaadah’, as for example ‘Zikr’, ‘Tilawah’, etc. The phrase … with sincere hope of gaining reward’, means that one’s intention should be pure and one should stand before Allah in utmost humility and sincerity. According to Khattabi, it means that one should have complete faith in the promise that deeds shall be rewarded and should not have the idea that this form of ‘Ibaadah’ is a burden, nor should he have any doubts (as to whether the promised reward shall be granted). After all, it is a known fact that when one aims high and desires a great reward, while at the same time having complete certainty of receiving it, the task of striving hard in prayers to attain that goal becomes easy. This is the reason why those who have become spiritually elevated in Allah’s sight find it easy to remain in “Ibaadah” almost at all times.

 

It will be noted that where the Hadith speaks about previous sins being forgiven, the Ulama have said that this forgiveness (as mentioned in the above Hadith and in others) refers only to minor sins, because as indicated in the Qur’an, the major sins can only be forgiven after sincere repentance, with the vow, never to commit such sins again. So whenever the Hadith states that sins are forgiven the Ulama take it to imply minor sins. My late father (May Allah bless him and grant radiance in his resting place) used to say that for two reasons the word ‘minor’ has been omitted in the Ahaadith. First, he says, a true Muslim is one on whom no major sins should remain, because whenever a major sin has been committed by him, he will never rest or find peace until he has sincerely repented to his Lord. Secondly, during such great and blessed days and nights, when a true Muslim stands before his Lord in prayers and adoration, hoping to gain reward, then he in his conscience feels greatly grieved for his previous sins, which together with the resolution not to return to such deeds, are the most important requirements of “Towbah” (seeking forgiveness). This means that, on such days and nights, the worshipper indeed repents for maior sins that have been committed by him. (Leaving only minor sins to be forgiven). It is best however that when a night like “Laylatul Qadr” comes along, one should first of all repent verbally, with his heart full of sincere longing for forgiveness, so that Allah in his infinite Mercy may forgive all forms of sins. And when you do this remember me too in your prayers.

 

HADITH NO. 2

 

Anas (Radhi Allaho anho) reports, “Once when Ramadhan commenced, the Messenger of Allah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) said: ‘A month has verily dawned over you.wherein lies a night better than a thousand months. Whoever misses such a night has indeed been deprived.of all that is good; and none is deprived of it, except he who is really unfortunate.”

 

COMMENTARY

 

Who can have any doubt as to the misfortune of the person who is either deprived or deprives himself of the great good cf “Laylatul Qadr”? There are those who, during the course of their service and terms of employment, have to stay awake by night throughout the year. How easy should it be, for the sake of gaining the reward of over eighty years worship (Ibaadah) to stay awake for one month in Allah’s service? Because of lack of interest, there is no urge in the heart: if that interest were present, then even a thousand nights in worship of Allah would become exceedingly easy. It is this urge and desire that we must create.

Look at our Holy Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam); he had been promised time and again that he had nothing to fear in the Hereafter, and had been given good news as to his exalted position. Yet night after night he was seen in “Ibaadah”, so much so that his feet became swollen. Among the believers of Islam, there are many saintly followers who copied his example. They were human beings like us, and none can thus say that it is impossible for us to have that same desire for worship; it is really a matter of taking this to heart. Let us look at the example of the following illustrious sons of Islam.

 

One such man was Hazrat Umar (Radhi Allaho anho) who, having performed his ‘Eshaa’ salaat, would return home and then remain in ‘Salaat’ throughout the night, until the ‘Azaan’ was heard for ‘Fajr’. Then there is the example of Hazrat Uthman (Radhi Allaho anho) who, after fasting the whole day used to spend the whole night in ‘Salaat’ apart from getting a little sleep during the first third of the night. It is well known about him that he used to recite the whole Qur’aan during one “Rakah” at a time. In the Ihya Ulumid Deen by Imaam Ghazaali, Abu Taalib Makki mentions some forty men from among the “Taabi’een”, who used to perform “Fajr” Salat with the same ablution (Wudhu) with which they had performed their ‘Eshaa” Salaat.’

 

Hazrat Shaddad (Radhiallaho anho) was one of the Sahabah who used to lie awake throughout the night from side to side until, ‘Fajr’ and used to say: “O Allah! the fear of fire of ‘Jahannam’ has driven away my sleep.” Aswad bin Yazeed (Radhi Allaho anho), apart from sleeping a little between ‘Maghrib’ and ‘Esha’ used to remain in ‘Ibaadah’ during ‘Ramadhan’ throughout the night. It is said of Saeed bin Musayyib that, for fifty years, he used to perform ‘Eshaa’ and ‘Fajr’ prayers with the same ablution (Wudhu). Then there is the example of Sila bin Ashyam who, after spending the whole night in Allah’s worship, used to say at the break of the day: “O Allah! I am not fit to beg “Jannah” (Heaven) of You, but all I beseech of You is that You save me from “Jahannam” (Hell).

 

Hazrat Qataada (Radhi Allaho anho) used to recite the whole Qur’an every three nights of Ramadhan but, during the last ten nights, he used to finish the whole Qur’an every night. About Imaam Abu Hanifa (Radhi Allaho anho) it is well known that, for forty years, he performed ‘Eshaa’ and the next morning’s ‘Fajr’ salaat with the same “Wudhu”. When his companions inquired of him as to how he had obtained the strength for this, he replied: “It is in answer to a special prayer that I made to Allah by the blessedness of His Special Names.” He merely slept a little in the afternoons, about which he said: “In the Hadith we are advised to do so” (In other words, even in the afternoon sleep, his intention was to follow the “Sunnah”). The same Imaam Abu Hanifa used to cry so much while reciting the Qur’aan that his neighbours used to feel pity for him. Once he wept all night, crying while reciting the following verse again and again:

 

“Nay, the Hour (of Judgement) is the time promised for them (for their recompense), and that hour will be most grievous and bitter.” Ibrahim bin Adham went so far as not to sleep at all in Ramadhan, night or day. Imaam Shafi’ee used to recite the Qur’aan about sixty times during the days and nights of Ramadhan. And apart from these, there were countless other saintly souls who used to act diligently on the injunctions of the Quranic verse:

 

“I have created the “Jinn” and Human that they may only serve Me.” These are some examples of those who lived in earlier times. Even today, there are many who, with the same devotion, serve Allah. Even in these times of laxness and iniquity, there are people who try to follow noble example of Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam), and do not let their worldly pursuits or their physical comfort stand in their way. The Messenger of Allah said: “Allah says: ‘O son of Aadam, spend your time in My service, and I shall bless you with freedom from want, and I shall remove your poverty. Otherwise, I shall load you with pressing engagements and duties, while your poverty and needs shall not diminish.” How frequently we observe the truth of this. Some people serve only Allah, while having no means of livelihood, and yet they need nothing

 

HADITH NO. 3

 

Anas (Radhi Allaho anho) reports that the Messenger of Allah (Sallalaho alaihe wasallam) said: “On the Night of Power, ‘Jibra’il’ (Alayhis Salaam) descends upon the Earth with a group of Angels, praying for blessings for every servant of Allah whom they see in worship, standing or sitting, and engrossed in Allah’s praise. Then on the day of Eid, Allah boasts about them to the angels (who had been critical at the time of Aadam’s creation). “O My angels, what is the reward of that worker who has done his job very well?’ They reply: “O our Lord, his reward should be given to him in full.” To this Allah replies “O My angels, verily My servants, the males among them as well as females, have they duly performed their obligatory duty, thereafter they set forth to Eid prayer ground raising their voices in prayer to Me. I swear by My Honour, by My Grandeur, by My Grace and by My Exalted position, that I shall surely answer the prayers of these people.” Thereafter Allah addresses the people: “Go forth, I have forgiven your sins, and have replaced your evil deeds with righteous ones.” These people then return from the ‘Eidgaah’ in such a condition that their sins stand forgiven.”

 

COMMENTARY

 

In this Hadith, it is clearly mentioned that ‘Jibraeel’ (Alayhis Salaam) comes down with the angels. Another Hadith reported by Ibne Abbas and quoted by Abdul Qaadir Jilaani in his book ‘Ghunya’ further elucidates the contents of this Hadith. It is reported that Jibraeel (Alayhis Salaam), after his descent, commands the angels to proceed to the house of everyone busy with players, and greet him by shaking his hands. Thereupon the angels spread forth, visiting every dwelling, whether large or small, whether in the jungle or on a ship, wherein a believer resides to shake his hands. However, certain houses are not entered; the house wherein a dog or a pig is found, the house wherein one is found unclean (Janaabah), as a result of adultery, and the house wherein pictures (images) of men and animals are displayed. How unfortunate that Muslims’ houses should be deprived of the blessed entry of angels simply because there are pictures of men and animals being displayed, solely for the sake of decoration. A single picture may have been hung by some member of the household, as a result of which the complete household is deprived of blessings.

 

HADITH NO. 4

 

‘Aaisha (Radhi Allaho anha) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) said: “Seek “Laylatul Qadr” among the odd numbered nights of the last ten days of the month of Ramadhan.”

 

COMMENTARY

 

According to the great majority of the religious scholars. the last ten nights commence on the 21st night; such is the case whether the month of Ramadhan consists of 29 days or 30. So one should seek “Laylatul Qadr” on the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th and 29th night.

 

Ibne Hazm has a different opinion, saying that the word ‘Ashra’ as used in the Hadith means ten. As such, the above calculations will only be correct in cases where the month of Ramadhan consists of thirty days. However, when there are only twenty-nine days in the month (as often happens), the last ten days will commence with the 19th day, and the night being the 20th night. According to this calculation, it would appear that the ‘Unevenly numbered’ nights will actually be the 20th, 22nd, 24th, 26th, 28th and the 30th nights.

 

But all authorities agree that when in search of ‘Laylatul Qadr’ Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) went into “Itikaaf”, he commenced it on the 21st night of Ramadhan. In view of this, these authorities consider the odd nights to be the appropriate nights for ‘Laylatul Qadr”.

 

Once should however spend each and every night from the 20th onwards in ‘Ibaadah’, so that one may be sure of having acquired the blessings of Ramadhaan. Spending ten or eleven nights in devotion is definitely not so difficult, if one looks at the great reward that is granted.

 

HADITH NO. 5

 

Ubaadah bin Saamit (Radi Allaho anho) said: ‘Once Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) came out to inform us of the (true date of) “Laylatul Qadr”. Unfortunately, a quarrel took place between two Muslims, whereupon he said: “I came out to inform you as to when “Laylatul Qadr” occurs, but because two people quarrelled with each other, the knowledge of the correct date was taken away; perhaps that is better for you. So, seek it among the ninth, seventh and fifth nights.

 

COMMENTARY

 

Three important points are referred to in this Hadith. Firstly, there is mention of a quarrel, as a result of which the knowledge of the precise night of “Laylatul Qadr” was lost to us. Arguments and quarrels are always the cause of loss of blessings. Once Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) inquired of the companions: “Shall I inform you of an action that is better than “Salaat”, fasting and charity?” The companions replied. “Certainly” Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) then said: “Maintain peaceful and good relations amongst yourselves, for verily quarrels among yourselves destroy (shave off) faith;” i.e. just as a razor shaves off the hair, so does quarrelling affect ‘Deen’.

 

Let alone the worldly people, even those among us who appear exceptionally religious and busy with “Zikr’, are victims of these arguments and strife, and are obstinate in our stand, in spite of the saying of the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam). In the first chapter of this book, we read how the Messenger of Allah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) said that to insult a Muslim is indeed a grave crime and equivalent to the worst category of usury, but we do not even spare a Muslim’s honour, or refrain from insults, and no notice is taken of the injunctions of Allah and His Messenger. The Holy Qur’aan says: “And argue not among yourselves, otherwise you will lose courage and your strength will depart.”

It is now the duty of those who always seek to injure and destroy the honour and dignity of others to sit back and reflect how much harm they have in fact done to themselves, and think how much they have, through these despicable deeds, become despicable themselves in Allah’s sight and in the sight of those around them. Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe Wasallam) said that he who severs relations with a brother Muslim for more than three days – and dies in this state, will go straight to Hell. In another Hadith, it is stated that on every Monday and Thursday, the actions of human beings are brought before Allah. Then through His Mercy (as a result of certain good deeds) forgiveness is granted, except to the idolaters. and those who set up equals to Allah. However, regarding those two people between whom a quarrel has taken place, friendship having been cut off, it shall be said: Leave their affair in suspense until such time as they become reconciled.”

 

Another Hadith states that, when actions are produced before Allah every Monday and Thursday, repentance is accepted from those who repent, and forgiveness is granted to those who seek pardon; as for those who had arguments (with each other) they are left as they were. A Hadith further teaches us that, on the night of the 14th of “Sha’baan” (Shab-i-Bara’at), the Mercy of Allah is directed at all Allah’s creation and forgiveness is freely granted, except to two persons: One, a”Kaafir” (disbeliever), and the other who harbours vindictiveness against others. In another Hadith it is stated: “There are three people whose “Salaat” does not ascend even a span above their heads.” Mentioned among these are those who quarrel among themselves.

 

In the above few paragraphs, have digressed from the point under discussion. It was not my intention to mention all these Ahaadith on quarrels or arguments. I merely did it to bring to your notice this great evil, which we greatly underestimate, so much so that even those whom we consider to be noble and righteous are guilty of it. On the other hand, it must be noted that this quarrelling use of harsh words and cutting oneself off from one another is a crime and evil in Islam, only when done out of enmity and hatred over worldly things and worldly causes. It is permitted to break off relations with someone because of his evil deeds or because of some religious matter (wherein he is in the wrong and blameable). Hazrat Ibn Umar(Radhi Allaho anho) once quoted a saying of Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam), to which his son said something that outwardly appeared as an objection to it. The result was that Ibn-e-Umar never again spoke to.that son, as long as he lived. There are several similar incidents related of the ‘Sahaabah’. In our own cases, Allah is All-Knowing. All-Wise and He alone knows the true state of affairs, as to which relations are broken off because of Deen and which because of our own honour, pride and dignity having become damaged.

 

The second point to which the Hadith under discussion draws attention is the fact that man should be satisfied with and accept in good grace, Allah’s ruling in all matters. For example, even though it seems that the loss of the knowledge as to when ‘Laylatul Qadr’ actually falls, is a great loss, yet it has to be accepted because it is from Allah. Because of this, Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) said: ‘It is better for us that way.” One should ponder over this. Allah is at all times Merciful to His servants. Even when someone becomes overtaken by a great calamity because of his own evil deeds, he needs only appeal to His Creator,.admit his own weakness, and that same calamity is made the cause for greater good.

 

Our “Ulama” have mentioned quite a few advantages in our not knowing the precise date for “Laylatul Qadr”. First, had we known the actual location of this blessed night, there would have been so many who would not have worshipped Allah at all during the other nights. As things are, one has to stay awake and be in prayers (Ibaadah) for quite a number of nights, hoping that each night is PERHAPS the night. This means spending more nights in Allah’s worship and getting reward for the same.

 

Secondly, there are among us those who are just not able to avoid evil. How extremely dangerous and unfortunate for them would it be, when, in spite of knowing that such-and-such a night is “Laylatul Qadr”, they might still spend it in sin and evil? Once Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) on entering the mosque saw one of the “Sahaaba” sleeping. He said to Ali (Radhi Allaho anho): “Wake him up so that he can make “Wudhu”. This Ali (Radi Allaho anho) did and then addressed the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) thus: ‘O Messenger of Allah, (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) you are always the first to hasten towards any good deed. Why then did you not wake him up youself” To this the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) replied: “I feared lest this man may refuse and refusal to my command is (Kufr) denial of ‘Deen’. If he had refused your command, it would not be ‘Kufr’. Similarly, Allah in his Mercy does not wish that, inspite of knowing which night is the real one, a Muslim should still spend it in sin and evil.

 

Thirdly, if we did Know and in spite of that, for one reason or another, within or outside our control, we allowed night to go by without “Ibaadah”, then it is very likely that thereafter, for the rest of Ramadhan, no other night would have been spent in ‘Ibaadah’, whereas now many people find it possible to spend one, two or three nights in ‘Ibaadah”, while we do not know which is the Night of Power.

 

Fourthly, every night spent in “Ibaadah” in search of ‘Laylatul Qadr’ is a night for which separate reward is assured.

 

Fifthly, we have read that Allah speaks highly to His angels about those believers who exert themselves in “Ibaadah” during Ramadhan. Now more such occasions of receiving Allah’s appreciation arise, in spite of not knowing when the real night of “Laylatul Qadr” is and, although they have only a vague idea about its fixed time, still they exert themselves to the utmost in Allah’s service, night after night. If such then is their exertion when “Laylatul Qadr” is not known, how much more will they exert themselves were it known to them?

 

There are other advantages alse. It is common knowledge that Allah often keeps certain things secret to Himself, as for example, the ‘Ismul Aazam’ (the Great Name of Allah, whereby, if we call upon Him, He answers). Similar is the case of that special moment on the day of “Jumah ” when a supplicant’s prayers are answered; this time too is not known with complete certainty.

 

The third point to which attention is drawn in the Hadith is the fact that “Laylatul Qadr” should be sought among three nights – the 9th, 7th and 5th. By reading this in conjunction with the other Ahaadith, we come to know that this refers to the last ten nights of Ramadhan. So to determine which nights are these, if we start from the 20th, counting upwards, then these three nights are the 25th, 27th and 29th. If, on the other hand, we start counting from the 29th backwards (where Ramadhan has 29 days) these nights would be the 21st, 23rd and 25th but if Ramadhan has 30 days, then these would be the 22nd, 24th and 26th nights. From the above, one can see how much uncertainty there is about the correct date, and in fact among the learned Ulama, there are approximately fifty different opinions. Because of this, some Ulama have said “Laylatul Qadr” does not fall on one and the same night every year. If in this particular year, it fell on a particular night, then the following year it will fall on another night. There are times when the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) commanded the companions to search among a number of nights, whereas at other times he used to fix a certain night.

 

Hazrat Abu Hurairah (RadhiAllaho anho)reports that once during a conversation with the companions, mention was made of “Laylatul Qadr”. Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) asked: “What is the date today?” They replied: ‘The 22nd of Ramadhan’ The Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) said: “Search for ‘Laylatul Qadr’ in the night following this day.”

 

Hazrat Abu Zarr (RadhiAllaho anho) reports that he inquired of the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) whether “Laylatul Qadr” was only granted during the life-time of Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) or whether it would continue to come after him. Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) replied: “It will continue until the day of judgement (Qiyaamah).” I then inquired: “In which section of Ramadhan does it come?” The Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) replied, “Search for it in the first ten and in the last ten days.” Thereafter the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) became busy with other work. I waited, and finding another chance inquired: “In which section of those ten days “Laylatul Qadr” comes?” Upon this, Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) became angry with me, as he had never been before, and said: “If it had been Allah’s wish to make it known, would He not have informed us? Search for it among the last seven nights, and ask no more.”

In another Hadith again, Rasulullah (Salllallaho alaihe wasallam) is reported to have told one “Sahaabi” that “Laylatul Qadr” was on the 23rd night. Ibn Abbas(RadhiAllaho anho) related: ‘While sleeping once, someone said to me in my dream. ‘Rise up, this is “Laylatut Qadr”. I woke up and proceeded in haste to Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) and I found him in “Salaat”. That was the 23rd night.” According to other reports again, the 24th was “Laylatul Qadr.” Hazrat Abdudah ibn Mas’ood (Radhiallaho anho) said: “Whoever remains all the nights of the year in prayer (Ibaadah) can find “Laylatul Qadr.” (In other words, the blessed night moves throughout the year and does not necessarily have to come in Ramadhan only.) When this was mentioned to Ubay bin Ka’ab (Radhi Allaho anho) he said: “Yes Ibne Masood meaning is that people may not stay awake just on this night and become contented.” Thereafter, he swore by Allah that “Laylatul Qadr” comes on the 27th. This is also the view held by numerous “Sahaaba” as well as “Tabi’een”. What Ibn Mas’ood and Ubay (Radhiallaho anho) actually meant was that, the person who remains in “Ibaadah” all the nights of the year will certainly realize when “Laylatul Qadr” is.

Among the Imaams, a well known opinon of Imaam Abu Hanifa (Rahmatullah alaih) is that “Laylatut Qadr” moves throughout the year, while another view of his is that it moves about throughout the month of Ramadhan. His famous student-followers, Imaam Muhammad and Imaam Abu Yousuf, however, were of the opinion that the night is fixed on one specific night (which is unknown) during the Holy month of Ramadhan. While the Shaafies believe that very likely it occurs on the 21st, Imaam Ahmed and Imaam Malik hold the view that it comes among the last ten nights of Ramadhan, shifting from year to year and is not fixed. But the vast majority of the ‘Ulama’, consider it most likely that “Laylatul Qadr” comes annually on the 27th (of Ramadhan).

 

Ibn Arabi (Radhi Allaho anho) says: “In my opinion, the view of those who believe that ‘Laylatul Qadr’ comes on various nights throughout the year is most likey correct, because twice I have seen it in Sha’baan – once on the 15th and once on the 19th; and twice I have seen it in the middle ten nights of Ramadhan – The 13th and the 18th. And I have seen it on every odd night of the last ten. For this reason, I am certain that it moves over all nights throughout the year, but comes mostly in Ramadhan.

 

Shah Waliyullah of Delhi believed that “Laylatul Qadr” comes twice every year (a) One “Laylatul Qadr” is that one, on which Allah’s commands are revealed (to the angels); this is also the night on which the Holy Qur’aan was sent down from the “Lowhul Mahfuz” to the Heavens. This night does not come in Ramadhan alone, but shifts and can come on any other night of the year. However, the particular night on which the Holy Qur’aan was revealed fell in Ramadhan. (b) The second “Laylatul Qadr” is the one of tremendous Spiritual value, when angels descend in large numbers, while “Shayateen” are held back, and when prayers are answered. This night comes only in Ramadhan, during the various odd nights of the last ten days. (This view of Shah Waliyullah used to be most acceptable to my father.)

Anyway, whether there are two ‘Laylatul Qadrs’ or whether there is only one, the fact still remains that one has to search for it; if not throughout the year, then at least in Ramadhaan; should that during the last ten days. When that too seems a bit too much for us, then at least the odd-numbered nights of the last ten days; in case one has missed some of these too, then the 27th should not be allowed to go by. Thus, if by good fortune one is blessed with the night, then it would outweigh all comforts and enjoyable things in the world.

Even if one fails to get the much-searched-for night, then at least the reward for the worship (Ibaadah) is received. At least efforts should be made that the ‘Salaat’ of Maghrib and Eshaa throughout the year is performed with “Jamaat”; because if it is ‘Laylatul Qadr’ the reward for both is so much more. It is a great blessing of Allah that when one makes an endeavour for religious aims and cannot meet with success, he is still rewarded for the efforts. But in spite of this, how few there are who would strain every nerve in the service of “Deen”? On the other hand, in worldly affairs when one’s endeavours do not bear fruit, then these efforts are written off as a loss. In spite of this, numerous people continue to spend their time, efforts and wealth in worldly pursuits that are fruitless and without worthwhile purpose, and do not hold forth any such such reward or consolation.

 

HADITH NO. 6

 

Ubaadah bin Saamit (Radhiallaho anho) reports that he asked the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) about “Laylatul Qadr”. He replied: “It is in Ramadhan, during the last ten days, on the unevenly numbered nights, either the 21st 23rd, 25th, 27th, 29th or the last night of Ramadhan. Whosoever stands in “Ibaadah” on this night, with sincere faith and with genuine hopes of gaining reward, his previous sins will be forgiven. Among the signs of this night is that it is a serene, quiet, shining night, neither hot, nor cold but temperate as if a moon is shining clear, and no meteors are shot at the “Shayateen” on that night; it lasts until the break of the dawn. Another sign is that at morn, the Sun rises without any radiant beams of light, appearing rather like the moon in it’s fullness. On that day, Allah prohibits the “Shayateen” from rising up with the Sun.”

 

COMMENTARY

 

Part of what has been mentioned in this Hadith has already been dealt with. Some signs are here mentioned about the actual night. These signs are clear and need no further elucidation. Apart from these, there are other signs too, as mentioned in the Ahadith or in the experiences of those who had the good fortune to experience “Laylatul Qadr.” The sign that is, however; most specific in the Hadith is the rising of the sun, ‘without any radiant beams of light.’ Other signs are not always there. One Sahaabi, Ab’da bin Abi Lubaaba (Radhi Allaho anho) says: “On the evening of the 27th , I tasted the water of the sea and it was sweet.” Ayub bin Khalid said: ‘I once had to bathe myself with sea water, and on tasting it, found, it sweet. This was on the 23rd night.” Some of the “Mashaaikh” (religious divines) wrote that, on the evening of “Laylatul Qadr”, everything prostrates itself before Allah, so much so that trees fall flat on the ground, then return to their normal position; these are however spiritual phenomena not visible to the ordinary person.

 

HADITH NO. 7

 

Aaisha (RadhiAllaho anha) reports: “I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam), should I find myself the “Laylatul Qadr”, hat shall I pray. The Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) replied: say, Allaahumma innaka afuwwun tohibbu al’afwa fa’fu anna “O Allah, Thou art the One who grants pardon for sins. Thou lovest to pardon, so O pardon me.”

 

COMMENTARY

 

This is indeed such an all-inclusive prayer, wherein one begs that Allah in His infinite Grace should forgive his sins. If that has been obtained, the path to the Hereafter is secure. What more would one require? Imaam Sufyaan Thowry used to say that to keep oneself busy on this night with ‘Duaa’ (invocations to Allah) is better than any other form of worship (Ibaadah). Ibne Rajab says that one should not only remain busy with ‘Duaa’, but should also take part in all other form of ‘Ibaadah’, e.g. recitation of the Holy Qur’an, ‘Salaat’, contemplation, etc. This latter opinion is most correct and nearer to what Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) had said, as already mentioned in the previous Ahaadith.

 

Source: Virtues of Ramadaan: Sheikhul Hadith Muhammad Zakariyya

THE “RAMDHAANI HUFFAAZ” ADVICE

THE DEPLORABLE STATE OF THE “RAMDHAANI HUFFAAZ” ADVICE AND WARNING

Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“The Bearer of the Qur’aan is the Standard Bearer of Islam.”

There are two kinds of Qur’aan Bearers—The Ulama and the Huffaaz. The Amaanat (Trust) of the Qur’aanic Text has been assigned to the Huffaaz. It is their obligation to zealously guard this Divine Text. But, today most of the huffaaz are treacherous abusers of this Amaanat. Besides the extreme deficiency of their Hifz, their moral condition is absolutely putrid and deplorable. Their character displays nothing of the Qur’aan.

When a Haafiz would visit Hadhrat Masihullah (Rahmatullah alayh), Hadhrat would ask: “Are you a Ramdhaani haafiz or a Haafizul Qur’aan?” Most of the huffaaz who lead Taraaweeh Salaat in the various Musaajid are Ramdhaani Huffaaz. They are not Haafizul Qur’aan.

A Ramdhaani hafiz is a chap who is advertised as a Haafiz whilst in reality he is nowhere near to a Haafizul Qur’aan. He became a haafiz at the Madrasah, but after leaving the Madrasah, the greater part of the Qur’aan Majeed vanished from his memory. Since the Qur’aan Majeed was never loaded into his heart, his memory fails to be a valid repository for Allah’s Kalaam. His moral condition is rotten. Many cut and shave their beards. They indulge in all the immoral filth in which the masses are sinking. Every immoral filth of the social media has become their hobby. Their dress is evil and haraam kuffaar fashions. They are utterly shameless and unconcerned of the Qur’aan Majeed which they had committed to memory.

Just before Ramadhaan, some of these louts begin preparations for leading the Taraaeeh Salaat. All day long they have to struggle to prepare a quarter Juz to perform just four raka’ts. Despite toiling to memorise what they have forgotten, even the quarter juz they recite is potted with errors. In addition, their recitation is putrid. It is haraam to appoint these kinds of Ramadhaani huffaaz to lead the Taraaweeh Salaat.

The Qur’aan Majeed invokes Allah’s La’nat (Curse) on these vagabond fake ‘huffaaz’. Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mubaarak (Rahmatullah alayh) said:

“Many people become bearers of the Qur’aan majeed, but the Qur’aan from within them curses them. When the haafiz disobeys Allah Ta’ala, then the Qur’aan Majeed from within him proclaims: ‘By Allah! What has happened to you? Why have you borne me. Have you no shame for your Rabb?”
Whenever Hadhrat Yusuf Bin Asbaat (Rahmatullah alayh) would make khatam of the Qur’aan Majeed, he would recite Istighfaar 700 times. Then he would supplicate 70 times: “O Allah! I have recited without practising (the teachings of the Qur’aan). Save me from Your Wrath.”
Hadhrat Fudhail Bin Iyaadh (Rahmatullah alayh) said:

“How can it ever be possible for a Haafiz to be disobedient to Allah Ta’ala when every word in the Qur’aan loudly proclaims: You have made hifz of me. For the sake of Allah Ta’ala do not be disobedient to Him.”

Allaamah Abdul Wahhaab Sha’raani (Rahmatullah alayh), giving naseehat to the Huffaaz, said:

“It is highly improper for the Haafiz of the Qur’aan to mingle with people of sport and futility. He should not join people who are uncaring (of the Deen).”
Nowadays even the Talaba who are becoming Ulama, are aided and encouraged by the Madaaris to indulge in haraam sport and futility. Some Darul Ulooms have even established kuffaar sportsfields for the Students who are supposed to be engrossed in the pursuit of the Knowledge of the Qur’aan and Hadith. The Darul Ulooms, the Asaatizah and the Talaba have become mercenaries. The Deen is furthest from their minds. Their objective is the dunya and gratification of the nafs.

Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (Radhiyallahu anhu), a very senior Sahaabi, said: “When the people (enjoy) eating, the Haafiz should abstain (i.e. from functions). When they engage in futile talk, the Haafiz should remain silent. When they are proud of their garments and worldly possessions, the Haafiz should adopt humility.”
Hadhrat Sufyaan Thauri (Rahmatullah alayh) said:

“Every word of the Qur’aan which the Haafiz bears (in his heart) disinclines him from the dunya.”
Hadhrat Saalih Al-Maree said:

“In a dream I recited the Qur’aan Majeed in the presence of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). When I made khatam of it, Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: ‘This is the Qur’aan Majeed (i.e. its recitation). Where is the fear and humility?”
Hadhrat Ali (Rahmatullah alayh) – the son of Hadhrat Fudhail – said:

“I am surprised by the one who expresses happiness on making khatam of the Qur’aan Majeed while he does not apprehend his nafs with anything from the advices and warnings of the Qur’aan Majeed.”

Hadhrat Anas Bin Maalik (Radhiyallahu anhu) said:

“There are many reciters of the Qur’aan whom the Qur’aan Majeed curse.”

Hadhrat Fudhail Bin Iyaadh (Rahmatullah alayh) said:

“On the Day of Qiyaamah the Huffaaz of the Qur’aan will be questioned regarding the same issue about which the Ambiya will be questioned. They will be asked if they had perfectly implemented the teachings of the Qur’aan Majeed. It is mentioned in the Hadith: “Most of the munaafiqeen of this Ummah are its qaaris.”
The Ummah today, including the Huffaaz and the Ulama have taken the Qur’aan Majeed as if it is a toy to be buffeted about. The Qur’aan Majeed which has been revealed for our hidaayat and moral reformation is being made an object of play and idle sport by the qaaris and molvis. The Qur’aan Majeed is subjected to Haraam competitions, Haraam prizes, riya and takabbur. It is precisely for this reason that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that most of the munaafiqeen are the qaaris. On the Day of Qiyaamah Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) will say to Allah Ta’ala:
“O my Rabb! Verily, my people have made this Qur’aan an object to buffet.”

The so-called huffaaz whose lifestyle the year round is in total conflict with the teachings and spirit of the Qur’aan Majeed, should not be allowed to lead the Taraaweeh. If a decent Haafiz is not available, the short Surahs should be recited. The huffaaz should reflect and meditate on the La’nat of Allah Ta’ala which settles on them for their gross abuse of this Amaanat of Hifz. They are ruined in this life and in the Aakhirah. The Qur’aan Majeed says in this regard:

“They are losers in the dunya and in the Aakhirah. Indeed it is a great loss.”

The Qur’aan curses the huffaaz who abuse this Amaanat with their moral corruption and neglect. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has mentioned that the Qur’aan Majeed as a whole, and also individual Surahs will be comforters in the Qabr as well as shield to prevent punishment from the inmate of the grave. But how can the Qur’aan ever be a comforter and defender in the Grave for these fake ‘huffaaz’ and munaafiq qaaris who convert the Qur’aan Majeed into a football and a toy for mock and for the acquisition of worldly and nafsaani objectives? Their recital in Taraaweeh is a mockery. They should not be permitted to lead the Taraaweeh. The trustees of a Musjid who allow these fussaaq fake ‘huffaaz’ to lead Taraaweeh are guilty of a kabeerah sin. Heed the warnings of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the Auliya!!!

30 Sha’baan 1440 – 6 May 2019

Ready, Set, Go! Food & Nutrition for a Healthy Ramadan

By Karimah Bint Dawoud- Muslim Chaplain & Clinical Nutritionist

Welcome Ramadan

Alḥamdulillāh, all praise is due to Allah the Creator of the heaven and earth and everything in between.  It’s the perfect time to take our deen, our Islamic lifestyle, to another level that includes nutrition.

Farewell to Fried Foods

fried food

It’s time to say good-bye to junk foods, toxins, and bad habits. Fried foods are essentially junk food in comparison to an Islamic “halal and tayyib” diet. Food studies reveal that fried foods damage your body and brain in many ways. They clog arteries and lead to strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, inflamed joints, heart attacks, aneurysms, and elevated blood pressure. This is no surprise when most corn oil and rape seed oil (canola) is genetically modified, contains pesticides, and more toxic than soy oil. For more information on these oils see,  “So, You Think Canola Oil is Healthy?”

Purify the Body, Illuminate the Soul

Islam is a complete religion for the mind, body, and soul. We have been gifted with an amazing body, Alḥamdulillāh, praise God. Narrated `Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-As:

Allah’s Apostle ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “O `Abdullah! Have I not been formed that you fast all the day and stand in prayer all night?”

I said, “Yes, O Allah’s Apostle!”

He said, “Do not do that! Observe the fast sometimes and also leave them (the fast) at other times; stand up for the prayer at night and also sleep at night. Your body has a right over you, your eyes have a right over you and your wife has a right over you.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

It is clear from the above hadith, that our body has rights over us. The body needs the right fuel to run at optimum performance. This means eating food that provides long, slow release of energy as well as vital vitamins and minerals.

Sacred Foods in a Six Hour Window

All the foods mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah are beneficial for our health. They are “halal and tayyib” meaning they are lawful AND pure. They are whole meal, quality foods that complement the body.

They are fresh foods, full of sun-fired vitality. However, the wrong combinations of healthy foods can be unhealthy. There is a difference of opinion about “Food Combining theory” between qualified nutritionists, vegan raw foodies whose business often depends on them justifying mixing certain fruits, nuts, and vegetables, and scientists who are usually paid by Big Pharma and the processed food industry.

Islamically, we are allowed to eat meat. Meat is part of the food combining equation. With a little skill and know-how we can eat from all the food groups. This year we are going to try something that seems radical. This is going to take a real shift for some of us. I know many Muslims eat through the night until Fajr, that’s not new, however  I am going to introduce good nutrition and food combining into this 6 hour window in which we can eat. This 6 hour, healthy banquet is a long meal. Starting with fluid and more fluid, soups, starters, and salad and then the main course at suhur. What, no dessert? No dessert! Let’s save that for Eid, inshā’Allāh.

Breaking Fast: Dates and Water

10-hydrating-fruits-ramadan

First and most important is hydration. Hydration is going to be the key factor in this year’s Ramaḍān nutrition. We are going to have to monitor, regulate, and force ourselves to drink water. It is essential during this 6 hour window that we drink at least 2 liters or 3 ½  pints of water. It can be broken down like this:

  • Iftar: 500 ml water and dates. Personally, I will be adding a spoon of honey to my iftar water, not only for the energy but also for the healing, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties, as well as much more.
  • Every hour after that 300 ml or 10 oz of water including at suḥūr.

There is a wisdom to why we eat dates. They are sun-fired packages of high energy multivitamins and minerals. If you don’t already, train yourself to love them, they are a superfood.

Caffeinated drinks such as tea or coffee so not count towards this fluid intake, as these will deplete your body of essential vitamins and minerals like magnesium, and also dehydrate you. If you must drink these, then have an additional mug of water and make sure you take a vegan multi-vitamin and mineral supplement.

Maghrib with a Side of Fruits

fruit salad summer12 095

Fruits are so special they will be in paradise. The Holy Quran mentions fruits as a generic term فاكهة  fourteen times.

1. And for them there is fruit, and for them there is what they ask for. [36:57]

2. Therein they will recline; therein they will call for fruit in abundance and drinks. [38:51]

3. Therein for you will be fruit in plenty, of which you will eat (as you desire). [43:73].

Bananas, dates, grapes, figs, and pomegranate are individually mentioned in other chapters.

Fruits are sun-fired foods that have a high water content as well as essential vitamins and minerals.

Eat some sort of fruit salad, fruit juice, or smoothie after breaking fast with water and dates. If time is not on your side, buy pressed fruit juice with bits, not smooth and not concentrate. If you are making it at home, smoothies are better than juices because they contain soluble and insoluble fibers. Fiber is good to combat constipation, encouraging elimination of toxins. It’s good for the digestive and circulatory systems of the body.

R 27,29,30,31,32

Fruits digest more quickly than vegetables, opening the digestive canal and providing energy, vitamins, and minerals to the organs. To combat your thirst at iftar, have a watermelon smoothie, agua fresca, with honey and lemon, then have another type of fruit smoothie. Melons are the quickest of fruits to digest, taking only 20 minutes. Watermelon can be blended or juiced, including the skin and seeds, which contain the important minerals magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, Zinc, Iron, potassium and copper. All essential!

Keep the smoothies just fruits, no nuts, no dairy, no veggies, then pray Maghrib. This will give your digestive tract time to open up, absorb these essential sugars, vitamins, and minerals and give you energy for the rest of the evening Insha’Allah.

Veggie-Licious

hydrating-veg-ramadan

Remember to drink more water while you are preparing this next part of the meal.

Herbage is mentioned a few times in the Quran. Herbage can mean “the succulent part of herbaceous vegetation,” 1 All edible plants are considered to be herbage.2

Seest thou not that Allah sends down water from the clouds, then makes it go down into the earth in springs, then brings forth therewith herbage of various hues; then it withers so that thou seest it turn yellow, then He makes it chaff? Surely there is a reminder in this for men of understanding. (39:21)

After Maghrib eat something vegetarian, healthy, and tasty. Have high fiber salads with an amazing dressing or soup. Raw vegetables also have high water, mineral, and vitamin content. This is where you can also eat your starchy carbs. We can have vegetable curry and rice, whole meal pasta with zucchini and tomato sauce, rice flour pancakes (substitute soaked flax seeds for egg to bind), or Mediterranean rice salad with scrumptious asparagus and artichokes. Check out some vegan recipes. There is so much choice BUT no protein at this point. Look at this list of amazing veggies from Allah’s Bounty Store:

Starches and Oils

This is where you get to eat your starchy carbs; black, brown, or red rice, whole-meal bread, whole-meal barley, oats, and pasta. White flour, white sugar, and white rice are all refined, processed foods and should be avoided for optimum nutrition.

The Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) never ate white flour even though it was available.

Narrated Abu Hazim: I asked Sahl bin Sad, “Did Allah’s Apostle ever eat white flour?” Sahl said, “Allah’s Apostle never saw white flour since Allah sent him as an Apostle till He took him unto Him.” I asked, “Did the people have (use) sieves during the lifetime of Allah’s Apostle?” Sahl said, “Allah’s Apostle never saw (used) a sieve since Allah sent him as an Apostle until He took him unto Him,” I said, “How could you eat barley unsifted?” he said, “We used to grind it and then blow off its husk, and after the husk flew away, we used to prepare the dough (bake) and eat it.”  (Sahih Bukhari and Tirmidhi)

This is the best time for your healthy oils.  Olive oil is sacred oil, once again mentioned in the Quran. Use olive oil for cooking or salad dressings. Healthy oils are essential for good mental health, helping the brain make the right connections, joint mobility, and lubrication of internal mucous membranes. Everything internal, even the cell walls, need oil.

It should be about 11 pm by the time you finish this meal, time for ‘Ishā’ and  Tarāwīḥ prayers. Keep drinking water, maybe with a little honey, during breaks in Tarāwīḥ.

If you are going to sleep a few hours, please drink water beforehand. Allow the previous food consumption at least 2-3 hours to digest before eating again, but still drink water.

Suḥūr: Protein Time

This meal needs to be animal protein and vegetables, but not starchy carbs like rice, pasta, or bread for optimum nutrition.

Tests show for the same caloric value, protein gives the most sustained energy. Meat takes 16 hours to digest. Animal protein is best at this time. In accordance with the Quran and Sunnah it is best if the meat is halal and free range, free from growth hormones and antibiotics.

Animal protein contains a special iron called heme iron which is 15% more absorbent than non-heme (plant) iron. Heme iron actually helps the absorption of non-heme iron; therefore, it is a good idea to combine foods from the plant and animal kingdoms for the best balance and benefit.3 Iron is essential for the blood and for transportation of oxygen around the body.

Suggested meals are vegetable omelet and salad, Thai fish veggie soup, kofta in sauce and cooked spinach, grilled chicken and garlic beans, mince lamb and okra salad or lamb tagine with loads of cooked veg. These can be prepared earlier. I know it’s really tempting to eat starchy carbs like bread or rice with these meals, it’s a habit, a tradition, and it’s a pattern we need to break. Starchy carbs need an alkaline stomach environment to enable the enzyme “amylase” to work.  The gastric enzyme “pepsin” is used to break down proteins; it cannot do so in an alkaline environment. The conflicting chemicals needed to breakdown these different food groups are disabled by the presence of the other, causing fermentation of the foods in the digestive tracts.4 The knock on effect of this is bloating, heart burn, indigestion, and wind. Worst of all, the optimum absorption of all the nutrients from the consumed food is inferior.

Please use this food combining chart, this illustrates food group combinations for optimum nutrition and digestion. Optimum nutrition means optimum ‘ibādah. And remember, “He who fails to plan, plans to fail.”

Food-Combining-Chart-2

May Allah make this Ramaḍān easy for us and a benefit to us all in this life and in Jannah, Ameen.

muslimmatters.org

Further reading:

http://www.cleanse-yourself-lose-weight.com/digestion-time.html

http://www.rawfoodexplained.com/digestive-physiology-and-food-combining/protein-starch-combinations.html

http://www.puristat.com/bloating/digesting-proteins-and-starches.aspx

BACK TO POST

[1] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/herbage[2] http://www.faculty.ucr.edu[3] http://www.islamawareness.net/Nature/existence.html[4] http://www.naturalnews.com/025651_food_protein_foods.html

Ramadaan – TV Free Month

Ramadaan : Understanding Television
What Can Be Done?
By Khalid Baig

Television has spread like a wild fire in the world, including the Muslim world. It seems to have overcome the limitations of space and time.

Consider place. In Saudi Arabia, one can find the imprints of Hollywood only a few yards away from the Haram, the most sacred of all sanctuaries of Islam. Videocassettes are easily available at stores. A hotel attendant, at a walking distance from the Haram al-Sharif in Makkah can be found busy watching English movies on the television in his office even as the prayers are going on. At the Jeddah airport, the Umrah pilgrims can watch a European beauty contest courtesy of an Egyptian TV channel being broadcast to the airport television sets.

Consider time. Ramadan is the most sacred month in the Islamic calendar, a period of time that is to be devoted to direct acts of worship of Allah. Yet, during Ramadan, believers around the world can be found glued to their television sets when they should be busy making dua, doing dhikr and tilawa or offering nafl prayers.

Or consider the time of suffering. Hardly a day goes by when we do not get the news of pain and suffering from Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq, Chechnya, Afghanistan, or a dozen other hot spots around the globe. Yet, between all the suffering and grieving that accompanies the tragedy, the dish antennas on the rooftops have been flourishing. In the past at times of catastrophes people would turn to Allah, would stop going to the cinema houses, and would repent from sins, even though temporarily. Today, there is an ever-increasing appetite for the television fun. This is also true in the lands closest to the areas of suffering. On days when a strike is called to protest Indian atrocities in Kashmir, the video stores in Karachi run out of videos of Indian movies.

Throughout the world religious, moral and social values have been drastically undermined by this great “technological gift” of the century. And entire nations seem to be helplessly “enjoying” the invasion. When people are doing nothing, they watch television. When they are doing something else, they still have television in the background. The device has contributed to the addition of a new space in the architecture of the private home: the TV lounge. It is a space where perfect strangers come to pedal nudity, immorality, and hedonism. This is the space, which increasingly controls the entire house.

It is fashionable to complain about “excessive” sex and violence on television. Even those who make money from this enterprise willingly do that. CNN tycoon Ted Turner said in July 93 before a U.S Congressional subcommittee: “I don’t need experts to tell me that the amount of violence on television today and its increasingly graphic portrayal can be harmful to children. Television violence is the single most significant factor contributing to violence in America.” And a poll released in February 95 in the U.S. by Children Now, whose directors include TV producers and Warner Brothers Chairman, reported that most children believe that what they see on television encourages fornication, disrespect for parents, telling lies, and aggressive behavior.

The most significant thing here is that what the TV industry wants us to discuss (and we willingly follow) is what is ON television, not television itself. Everyone will wholeheartedly agree with the problems with TV programs and offer all kinds of advice. (Watch the programs with your children. Tell them what is wrong. Be critical. Be creative.) Irrational and meaningless as it is, this exercise will nonetheless soothe your irritation. In the meantime, keep on watching. It is fun. It is also unavoidable.

In about two decades, this “wonderful” technical development has played havoc with societies around the globe. But what is even more unprecedented is the ambivalence with which these societies face this greatest of all invasions. Underlying this is a strongly held belief that television is a neutral tool that can be used with equal facility for good or evil. Unfortunately, this position has been taken without any critical examination of the facts. It is about time that we approached the subject with an open mind.

Neutral Tool?

Is technology ever neutral? “[Every technology] has within its physical form a predisposition toward being used in certain ways and not others,” writes Niel Postman, chair of the department of Communication Arts at New York University. “Only those who know nothing of the history of technology believe that a technology is entirely neutral.” (Amusing Ourselves to Death, 1985).

What about television? It reflects the idea that serious discourse can be carried out through pictures instead of words. As Postman explains: “The single most important fact about television is that people watch it, which is why it is called ‘television.’ And what they watch, and like to watch, are moving pictures?? millions of them, of short duration and dynamic variety. It is in the nature of the medium that it must suppress the content of ideas in order to accommodate the requirements of visual interest.”

Words and pictures do not occupy the same universe of discourse. A piece of writing requires one to go beyond the shape of the letters to read them. It requires thought to understand what is being said. Television does not require reflection, in fact it does not even permit it. That is why little children can spend hours in front of the mini screen. Television can titillate, it cannot teach. It can bring images into our heart, not ideas into our mind. It appeals to the emotions, not the intellect.

But isn’t a picture worth a thousand words? Is it? It is important to note that this claim itself is made in words. A picture cannot make any claims. For reason, arguments, claims, and judgment belong in the universe of words not pictures. That is why advertisers love pictures. Consider an ad for, say, Coca-Cola, that just shows young people singing, dancing, having fun, and enjoying the drink. The audiences make the connection between happiness and Coke. This ad cannot be refuted. It makes no claim, so there is nothing to refute.

Medium Is The Message

The above explains Marshal McLuhan’s famous aphorism. The inherent, built in biases of a medium allow certain types of messages and not others. The communication is conditioned by the medium. It is enhanced or distorted by it. The medium is the message. And when the medium is TV, the message is Entertainment. As Postman notes: “Entertainment is the supra ideology of all discourse on television.” Whether it is news, science, religion, or education, if it is happening on TV, it must follow the dictates of entertainment.

In fact, a new term has been coined indicating a blend of education and entertainment:Edutainment. It smells like the language problem of a TV baby. But remember that it is already being used by the serious press. Which suggests that edutainment will produce even more edutainment!

Like A Drug

Actually, TV is not just another kind of entertainment either. As a project by the National Institute of Mental Health in the U.S. involving 1200 subjects in nine studies over a 13 year period found in 1990, television is like a drug. The researchers asked the subjects, ages 10 to 82, to note down their activities and moods every time a beeper was activated, which was done randomly. The researchers found that when people sit down to watch TV, particularly for long periods, they tend to be in low moods. The longer they watch, the less able they are to concentrate. As time goes on, they grow sadder, lonelier, more irritable, and more hostile. Although people are relaxed when the television set is on, when they turn it off, they are less relaxed than before they began, “much like a drug that makes people feel better while they are doing it but worse afterward.” And just like a drug the weaker segments of the society are its greatest target. Thus in the U.S. blacks tend to watch more TV than whites. And now thanks to satellite TV transmissions over which the poor countries have no control, the rest of the world is being turned into the U.S. black under class

Islamic Work And Television

Can this dangerous drug be somehow converted into a medicine? Not too long ago, a young professional in the U.S. approached prominent Muslim scholar and Deputy Cairman of the Jeddah based Islamic Fiqh Council of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), Justice Taqi Usmani to inquire about his profession. He produced computer graphics for the television and motion picture industry. This is the age of the media, and the only effective way to spread Islam today is through television and movies, he argued. If we do not learn the trade how shall we be able to produce such programs and if we don’t who will, he inquired. Yet, some people had told him that it was not a good profession.

“I have given a lot of anxious thought to this issue,” replied Justice Usmani in his characteristic measured tone, weighing every word. “And I have reached the conclusion that the cause of Islam cannot be served through television, especially under the current circumstances. You should seek another line of work.”

Frankly, there are lot of enthusiasts who may be totally bewildered by this answer for it challenges both conventional wisdom as well as some dearly held dreams. They may even consider anyone making this suggestion as belonging to the Flat Earth Society: backward, anti-progress, ignorant of today’s realities. Let us grant them their day in court and look at their case objectively.

The enthusiasts have shown interest in three primary areas. The first deals with propagation of Islam. There are lots of sincere Muslims putting lot of hope in a yet-to-be-released video that will attract the people of the world to Islam by the thousands. They are simply confusing Dawah with propaganda! Dawah means inviting people to the Straight Path by relaying the True Message to them without any distortion. It is a very serious message and requires a serious medium to deliver it. The message is for their own benefit and what they do with it is their own business. Our job is done once we have communicated the message correctly. Our job is not to manipulate people into submission to Allah any more than it is to coerce them into it. A Dawah worker is a teacher, a propagandist is a manipulator. Television is a good tool for manipulating, not for teaching.

The second area deals with the education (“edutainment”) of children. Many videos have already been produced for this purpose. In one program from a popular series of such videos, a puppet named Adam drives a skateboard to the mosque. Scenes of Adam doing his antics are mixed with the videos of real children praying. But there is no doubt that Adam is the hero of this story. Here is a clear case of the medium distorting the message. The children who learn to pray this way may learn the mechanics of Salat, but they would have paid a terrible price for it. The idea of Salat will be associated in their mind with the images of puppets, skateboards, and the idea of fun. Missing will be the spiritual dimension of prayer, the solemnness and grace of this pillar of Islam. Such videos are very popular as they help assuage the guilt feelings of parents over their failure to control the TV in the first place.

To be fair there is a useful role for these videos but it is not normally perceived. Doctors use nicotine patches to help their patients stop smoking. Nicotine is not a medicine, but it becomes therapeutic under the circumstances. Similarly, the TV addicts may be helped by such videos to get over their addiction. It might work if that is the goal. But this is very different from the view that here is a Brave New Way of teaching Islam. The children and their parents must realize that ultimately they have to learn their religion the old fashioned way: read books, listen to lectures, work hard.

The third type of videos are used by relief organizations showing the terrible situation of Muslims in Kashmir, Bosnia, Palestine and elsewhere. The intentions are noble, the results look great. But someone must ask the hard question: Why should the Muslims need disaster pornography before they can come to the help of their brothers and sisters? What are the implications of this practice for both present and future?

There are, of course, cases where the TV is being used against its grain, where the only video is that of a talking head. Such Islamic programs in Egypt or Saudi Arabia, as elsewhere, may not contain all the dangers cited above, solely because there the TV is being used just as an expensive radio. The problem is such programs will not be able to withstand the onslaught of CNN or MTV, of dazzling colors and dynamic pictures. The question remains how long can you use a tool against its grain?

The simple fact is that no one buys a TV and VCR because they desperately wanted to learn about Islam and it was the best way of doing it. The TV lounge is not a study room and all the Islamic videos in the world are not going to make it one. It is a peace of Hollywood. The rest is camouflage or self-deception. The earlier we get out of it, the better.

What Can Be Done?

Television is powerful. It is everywhere. Is there anything that us mortals can do about it? The answer is yes.

Things can be done at individual, as well as collective levels. At the individual level, try using the ON/OFF switch. It takes some effort and will power, but the device can be turned off. The key is to involve the entire family. Those nervous about the idea may rest assured that there is no known disease linked to lack of exposure to TV! Also those who have tried it know that it becomes easier with time. Community Organizations and Islamic Schools can help by educating the people about the perils of watching TV, countering the social pressures, and providing healthy alternatives.

Ramadan: The TV Free Month.

Our best chance of kicking the television habit comes in Ramadan every year. It is the time of year when every Muslim who has any trace of Iman in his or her heart, is naturally inclined toward doing good and staying away from evil. And it should be like that. Did not the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, curse the Muslim who finds Ramadan but does not use it to seek forgiveness for his previous sins? If we cannot leave sins or vain activities during Ramadan, when can we? We not only have the strongest moral and religious reasons to do so, it is also easy because the regular activities of Ramadan leave little time to be wasted in front of television.

Muslim organizations and communities will do a great service by launching a campaign to declare Ramadan as the TV free month. Urge all the Muslims in your community to turn it off for at least one month. And who knows, after one month many may decide to stay away from it because of the personal insights they got through the experience.

Of course, if you are convinced, do not wait until the next Ramadan. Start today.

By Khalid Baig