Wednesday, October 31

The Night Prayer

All Praise is due to Allah, Who has made Salah a relaxation for the believer, a refuge for the fearful, and a guidance for the savage. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon the leader of those who perform salah, perform tahajjud, and make rukoo and sujood. And also upon his family, companions, and those who follow them in the right way until the day of judgement.

As for what follows:

Night prayer is the diligence of the righteous, the transaction of the believers, and the action of the victorious. At night the believers are alone with their Lord - they turn towards their Creator complaining about their situations and asking of His bounties. They are standing in front of their Lord, devoted to the confidential talk with their Shaper, gently breathing the fragrances, taking from the lights of the good deeds, and seeking and begging for the greatest of gifts.

Night Prayer as mentioned in the Quran

Allah the Most Exalted said: “They arise from [their] beds” [As Sajda 32:16]
Mujahid and AlHasan said: “it means night prayer”.
Ibn Kathir explained the verse: “The meaning is night prayer, leaving sleep and rest upon a soft and flat furnishing.
AbdulHaq al Ashbeeli said: “Their sides find no rest upon a bed. So they are not settled on it because of the fear of the punishment, and hoping for reward.”

Allah the Exalted mentioned about the people who make tahajjud: “They used to sleep but little of the night, And in the hours before dawn they would ask forgiveness” [Dhaariyaat 51:17-18]
AlHasan said: “They burdened themselves with the night. They extended the salah until the early dawn, then they sat making dua and seeking forgiveness.”

Allah said: “ Is one who is devoutly obedient during periods of the night, prostrating and standing [in prayer], fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord, [like one who does not]? Say, “Are those who know equal to those who do not know?” Only they will remember [who are] people of understanding .” [Zumur 39:9]
In other words: Is the one whose character is this, similar to the one who sleeps at night and wastes himself? Can he be anything other than one who is knowledgeable about Allah’s rewards but ignorant of His punishments?

My brothers and sisters: Where are the people of the night? Where have the virtuous gone, and only the idle and inactive are left?!

Oh people of the night exert yourselves
[Seeking] A Lord who does not refuse when asked

Night Prayer as mentioned in the Sunnah

My dear Muslim brother/sister: The Prophet SAWS encouraged making night prayer and arousing interest in it.
It is upon you to perform night prayer, because it was the practice of the righteous people before you. It is a means of obtaining closeness to Allah the Exalted, it erases sins, it prevents wrondoings, and it drives away sicknesses from the body .” [Narrated by Ahmad, AlTirmidhi, and graded saheeh by AlAlbaani]

The Prophet SAWS said about the condition of Abdullah ibn Umar: “How excellent Abdullah is! If only he would pray salah at night ” [Agreed upon]
Saalim ibn Abdillah ibn Umar said: “After that, Abdullah slept very little at night.”

The Prophet SAWS said: “There is a room in Jannah where the exterior is seen from the interior, and the interior is seen from the exterior.
Someone said: “Who is it for, Messenger of Allah?”
He said: “It is for the one whose speech is pleasant, he feeds others, and he spends the night standing while the people are asleep ” [Narrated by AlTabarani, AlHaakim, and graded saheeh by AlAlbaani]

The Prophet SAWS said: “Jibreel came to me and said: ‘Oh Muhammad: Live as you wish for you will die. Love whom you will for you will be separated. Do as you will for you will be recompensed for it. Know that the most honored of the believer is his standing at night, and his prestige is in not needing anything from the people ” [Narrated by AlHaakim and AlBaihaqi. It has been graded hasan by AlMundhiri and AlAlbaani]

He SAWS said: “Whoever stands at night and recites ten ayaat is not recorded among the heedless. Whoever stands at night and recites one hundred ayaat is recorded among the pious. Whoever stands and recites one thousand ayaat is recorded among those who received a huge quantity of good deeds .” [Narrated by Abu Dawood and graded saheeh by AlAlbaani]

Someone told the Prophet SAWS about a man who slept the night until morning time. He said “That is a man in whose ear the Shaytan urinated! ” [Agreed upon]

The Prophet SAWS said: “The best prayer after the obligatory ones is night prayer” [Narrated by Muslim]

The Night Prayer of the Prophet SAWS

Allah the Most Exalted ordered His Prophet to perform night prayer in the following: “O you who wraps himself [in clothing], Arise [to pray] the night, except for a little - Half of it - or subtract from it a little. Or add to it, and recite the Qur’an with measured recitation. ” [AlMuzzammil 73:1-4]

And He said: “And from [part of] the night, pray with it as additional [worship] for you; it is expected that your Lord will resurrect you to a praised station .” [Israa 17:79]

Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said: “The Prophet would stand at night until his feet became cracked. I said to him: Why do you do this oh Messenger of Allah, while all of your sins past and future have been forgiven? He said: Shouldn’t I be a thankful slave? ” [Agreed upon]

This proves that thankfulness is not only by the tongue. It is only done by the heart, the tongue, and the limbs. The Prophet SAWS established the duties of worship in the most complete manner, and in the most perfect form. He did all of this despite the fact that he had to spread the Islamic Aqeedah, teach the Muslims, exert himself in the path of Allah, and fulfill the duties of his family and children.

He was as Ibn Rawaha said:

Among us is the Messenger of Allah reciting His book
When the courtesy is separated from the morning, glowing.

He showed us guidance after blindness, so our hearts
Are full of certainty that what he said is reality.

He spends the night separated from his bed
When the beds are heavy with the idol-worshippers.

Hudhaifa said: “I prayed with the Prophet one night. He started with AlBaqara, so I thought that he will make rukoo after that. Then he started AlNisaa and recited it. Then he started Aal-Imraan and recited it. He would recite slowly; when he came to an ayaa with Tasbeeh, he would make Tashbeeh. When he came to a request, he would request. When he came to a seeking of refuge, he would seek refuge…. ” [Narrated by Muslim]

Ibn Masood said: “I prayed one night with the Prophet. He continued standing until I thought of a bad idea. Someone said: What did you think of doing? He said: I thought to sit down and leave him! ” [Agreed upon]
Ibn Hajar said: “In this hadeeth is proof that the Prophet SAWS chose to prolong the night prayer. Ibn Masood was strong-willed in preserving his emulation of the Prophet SAWS. He did not think of sitting down until the prayer was much longer than he was used to.”

Night prayer in the lives of the early Muslims

Imam AlHasan AlBasri said: “I did not find any worship more powerful than salaah in the middle of the night”.

Abu Uthmaan AlHindi said: “I was the guest of Abu Huraira for seven [days]. He, his wife, and his servant would divide the night into three parts, praying one part and staying awake for another part”.

When Shaddad ibn Aws would go to bed, he would be like a grain in a frying pan. Then he would say: “Oh Allah, hell-fire does not stop me from sleeping”. Then he would stand to pray.

Taawus would strongly awaken his family, then he would make wudhu and face the qibla until morning. He would say “The sleep of the worshippers has caused them to completely stop remembering the hell-fire!”

Zum’a al-Aabid would pray long hours of the night. When dawn would approach, he would raise his voice and announce: “Oh riders of the beds, are you going to sleep and waste away the entire night? Will you not get up and leave the bed!” He would then hear crying from one place, a person making dua from another place, and someone making wudu from another place. When fajr time would come, he would say: “At the morning time, the people are thankful for the announcement”

The levels of the early Muslims with regards to Night Prayer

Imam Ibnul Jawzi said: You should know that the early Muslims were at one of seven levels with regards to night prayer:

  • Level one: These would stay up the entire night. Some of them would pray Fajr with the same wudu as Isha.
  • Level two: These would pray half of the night.
  • Level three: These would pray one-third of the night. The Prophet SAWS said: ” The most beloved salah to Allah The Exalted is the salah of Dawud. He would sleep half of the night, pray one-third, and sleep one-sixth“. [Agreed upon].
  • Level four: These would pray one-sixth of the night or one-fifth.
  • Level five: These would not specify an amount of the night. He would only pray until he became sleepy, and would then sleep. When he woke up, he would pray.
  • Level six: These would pray two or four rakah.
  • Level seven: These would stay awake between the two Isha times [the early time for Isha and the later, recommended time], and they would sweeten their mornings [with dua]. This way, they would join the night and morning. The Prophet SAWS said: ” Indeed in every night is a time wherein if the worshipper asks Allah for something good, He will give it. And this is in every night.” [Narrated by Muslim]

The factors that make Night Prayer easy

Imam Abu Hamid AlGhazali mentioned some external and internal factors that make Night Prayer easy.

External factors are four:

1: That the individual should not eat or drink too much. Then sleep will overpower him, and waking up will be difficult.
2: The person should not tire himself in the daytime with things of no benefit.
3: He should not avoid the mid-day nap because it helps with regards to waking up.
4: He should not make sins in the daytime because that will prevent him from night prayer.

Internal factors are four:
1: The heart should be free from these: malice towards the Muslims, bid’as, and excessive worldly interests.
2: The heart should have a lot of fear and not too much hope.
3: He should know the benefits of night prayer.
4: The best motivation: Love of Allah, and having strong eman that in his prayer every letter that he utters is freeing him from the punishment of his Lord.

Night Prayer in Ramadhan

Night prayer in Ramadhan is Salah at-Taraweeh which the Muslims perform during Ramadhan. It is one of the greatest acts of worship by which the worshippers seek to come closer to Allah in that month.

Al-Hafidh ibn Rajab said: “You should know that in Ramadhan the believer combines two actions by which he struggles against himself: during the day-time by fasting, and during the night-time by night prayer. Whoever combines these two forms of struggle receives his reward without any account.”

Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen said: “Salah at night during Ramadhan has benefits and merits not found in other times. The Prophet SAWS said: ‘Whoever makes night prayer during Ramadhan, with Eman and hoping for reward from Allah, all his previous sins are forgiven. ‘ [Agreed upon]. Night prayer during Ramadhan is inclusive of salah in the early as well as late part of the night. For this reason, Taraweeh is part of night prayer during Ramadhan. It is necessary to seek it, to protect it, and to hope for reward from Allah because of it. It is only during a limited number of nights, so the intelligent believer takes advantage of the opportunity before it is lost.”

Salah at-Taraweeh has been legislated as a congregation in the mosques. The Prophet SAWS was the first to start the Sunnah of Salah at-Taraweeh in the mosque, but then he left it out of fear that it would become obligatory on the people. When the Prophet SAWS left this world and went to be with his Lord, the Sharia was completed and there was no fear of Taraweeh becoming obligatory. Its religious nature as a congregational salah has remained and is established.

It is necessary for the Muslims to take care of this salah and offer it completely, and have patience for the sake of Allah the Exalted.

Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen said: “No one should fall behind in obtaining the rewards of salah at-Taraweeh. He should not leave until the Imam finishes it and Witr, so that he obtains all the reward for praying at night.”

It is allowed for the women to attend salah at-Taraweeh in the mosques so long as there is no danger, whether from them or against them. But it is necessary that she attends covered and wearing hijab, not showing off, perfumed, raising her voice, or displaying her beauty.

It is from the sunnah that they stand behind the men and away from them. They should begin with the last row because that is the opposite from men. They should leave the masjid right after the Imam makes tasleem and not stay unless due to some necessity.
This is because of the Hadith of Umm Salama (may Allah be pleased with her) who said: “When the Prophet would make salaam, the women would get up when he finished tasleem. He would stay in his place for a little while before he would stand. She said: We think, and Allah Knows Best, that this was so that the women could depart before the men would catch up to them .” [Narrated by Al-Bukhari]

May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet, his family, companions, scholars, and all the Ummah.

Voluntary prayers

"...My servant keeps drawing nearer to Me with voluntary deeds until I love him."

"Whoever prays twelve rak'ahs of prayer voluntarily in a day and night, Allah will build him a house in Paradise." ['Sahih Muslim'; 1/503]

he first thing which the people will be called to account for of their actions on the Day of Judgment is their prayer. If it is in a good state, then he is successful and has passed. If it is in a bad state, then he has failed and has lost. Allah will then say: "See if there are some optional prayers that can compensate for the deficiency in his obligatory prayer!" Then all the actions will be dealt with similarly." ['Sahih at-Tirmidhi'; 1/130]

Allah Says: "My servant approaches Me with nothing more beloved to Me than what I have made obligatory upon him, and My servant keeps drawing nearer to Me with voluntary deeds until I love him. And when I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, his sight with which he sees, his hand with which he seizes, and his foot with which he walks. If he asks me, I will surely give to him, and if he seeks refuge in Me, I will surely protect him."" ['Fath al-Bari'; # 6502]

1 - Fajr

"Two rak'ahs before the Fajr prayer is better than the World and all that is in it." ['Sahih Muslim'; 1/501]

'A'ishah said: "The Prophet was never more obliged to an optional deed than the two rak'ahs before Fajr." ['Sahih al-Bukhari'; 1/393]

2 - Dhuhr

"Whoever is constant and regular in praying four rak'ahs before Dhuhr and four afterwards, then the fire of Hell will not touch him."
['Sahih al-Jami''; # 6195]

3 - 'Asr

"May Allah have Mercy on the one who prays four rak'ahs before 'Asr."
['Sahih al-Jami''; # 3493]

4- Maghrib

And those who spend the night before their Lord, prostrate and standing."} [al-Furqan; 64]

al-Kalabi said: "Whoever prays two rak'ahs after the Maghrib prayer and four after the 'Isha prayer will be considered like those mentioned in this verse." ['Tafsir al-Qurtubi']

5 - 'Isha

{"And those who spend the night before their Lord, prostrate and standing."} [al-Furqan; 64]

Ibn 'Abbas said:
"Whoever prays two rak'ahs or more after the 'Isha prayer will be considered like those mentioned in this verse." ['Tafsir al-Qurtubi']

6 - Duha

"Whoever prays four rak'ahs of Duha prayer, and before the first, he prays four (for a total of eight), a house is built for him in Paradise." ['Sahih al-Jami''; # 6340]

"Allah Said: "O Children of Adam! Pray to me four rak'ahs (of Duha) at the beginning of the day, and I will suffice you until the end of it."" ['Sahih al-Jami''; # 1913]

"None is constant in performing the Duha except the one who is awwab, and it is the prayer of the awwabbin (the ones who return to the straight path, or return to their home in Paradise)." ['Sahih al-Jami''; # 7628]

"Whoever makes ablution and proceeds to the mosque for the Duha prayer, then this is easier for him than participating in a battle, has greater spoils, and is quicker in return." ['Sahih at-Targhib wat-Tarhib'; 1/349]

"Whoever prays two rak'ahs of Duha is never written as negligent; whoever prays four is written as a worshipper; whoever prays six, it is sufficient for him that day; whoever prays eight is written from amongst the devout servants; whoever prays twelve, then Allah has built for him a house in Paradise, and there is not a day or night therein except that Allah graciously bestows upon His servant some reward, and what Allah gives to any of His servants is better than anything one can imagine."
['Sahih at-Targhib wat-Tarhib'; 1/351]

7 - Witr

"O people of the Qur'an! Perform your Witr, for surely Allah Loves the Witr."
['Sahih al-Jami''; # 7860]

8 - Prayer after ablution

"Whoever makes ablution - and makes it well - then prays two rak'ahs, not letting his mind wander in them, then Allah forgives him all of his previous sins." ['Silsilat al-Ahadith as-Sahihah'; # 6041]

"Whoever makes ablution - and makes it well - then prays two rak'ahs concentrating on them intensely with his heart and his face, then Paradise is obligatory for him." ['Silsilat al-Ahadith as-Sahihah'; # 6062]

Monday, October 29

The Tawbah of Al-Fudayl b. ‘Ayyâd

Al-Dhahabî describes Al-Fudayl b. ‘Ayyâd as an Imâm, an example, and Shaykh Al-Islâm.

He is renowned as one of the pious Salaf, and many wise and inspiring statements are related from him. Allâh have mercy on him. Here is the story of how he made tawbah.

Al-Fadl b. Mûsâ reports:

Al-Fudayl b. ‘Ayyâd used to be a highwayman, between Abyûrd and Sarkhas. He was in love with a girl, and the cause of his repentance was that he was once climbing a wall to meet her when he heard someone reciting the following verses:

Has not the time come for those who believe, that their hearts should be humbled and submitted (to Allah)…? [Al-Hadîd: 16]

When he heard this, Al-Fudayl said, “Indeed my Lord, it is time.” So he left, and seeking a night’s shelter he found himself at some ruins, and there he saw some travelers. Some of them said, “We should move on.” Others said, “Wait until morning, Al-Fudayl operates in this area, he will rob us.” Al-Fudayl said, “So I thought and said to myself: I spend the night in sin and there are some Muslims here who fear me; I think that Allah only led me to them so that I might take lesson and stop what I am doing. O Allah! I have repented, and as part of my tawbah I will live next to Al-Bayt Al-Harâm (in Makkah).”

Al-Dhahabî, Siyar A’lâm Al-Nubalâ` in his biography of Al-Fudayl b. ‘Ayyâd.

Sunday, October 28

Points of Benefit from the Book Al-Fawaa'id

1. How can anyone who has common sense trade Paradise and what is in it for the pleasure of one hour?

2. When you fear the creation, you feel repelled by it and run away from it, but when you fear the Creator, you feel close to Him and run towards Him.

3. If knowledge without action were of benefit, why did Allaah condemn the scholars of the People of the Book? And if action without sincerity were of benefit, why did He condemn the hypocrites?

4. Repel the thought, for if you don’t, it becomes an idea. So repel the idea, for if you don’t it will become a desire. So fight against that (desire), for if you don’t, it will become a determination and a passion. And if you don’t repel that, it will become an action. And if you don’t replace it with its opposite, it will become a constant habit. So at that point, it will be difficult for you to change it.

5. When a decreed matter occurs to Allaah’s ‘abd (slave), which he dislikes, then he should have six perspectives about it

First: The Perspective of Tawheed: And that Allaah is the One who decreed it and willed it and created it. And whatever Allaah wills comes to pass, and whatever He doesn’t will doesn’t come to pass.

Second: The Perspective of Fairness: And that He ruled this event to occur in the past and that there is fairness in His Divine ordainment.

Third: The Perspective of Mercy: And that Allaah's mercy with regard to this thing which He decreed supercedes His anger and vengeance

Fourth: The Perspective of Wisdom: And that it was Allaah’s infinite Wisdom that brought that about. He did not decree it in vain nor did He divinely execute it for no purpose.

Fifth: The Perspective of Praise: And that to Allaah belongs the complete and entire praise for that thing that was decreed, from all perspectives of it.

Sixth: The Perspective of Worship to Allaah (‘Ubudiyyah): And that he is a pure worshipper of Allaah from every standpoint. His Master’s Rulings and Decrees occur to him by virtue of his being Allaah’s possession and slave. So Allaah administers him under His decreed rulings just as He administers him under His religious rulings. So it (i.e. the decreed event) becomes a place for these rulings to occur to him.

6. Little success (from Allaah), bad views, unawareness of the truth, corruption of the heart, laziness in making dhikr, wasting time, distaste for the creation, estrangement between the servant and his Lord, the prevention of the supplication from being answered, hardening of the heart, the termination of blessing from ones provision and lifespan, the prevention of knowledge, being covered in debasement, humiliation at the hands of the enemy, constricting of the chest, prolonged grief and sorrow, a wretched life of poverty, and a gloomy state of being are all produced from sins and neglecting to remember Allaah just as crops are produced from water and burning from fire. And the opposites of these things are produced from obedience to Allaah.

7. If your mind would free itself from the governorship of your desires, the state would return back to it.

8. You have entered into the abode of desires, so you have put your life at stake.

9. It was once to said to one devout worshipper of Allaah: "Until when will you continue to exhaust your soul?" So he responded: "It is its relaxation that I seek."

10. The women of this world were made beautiful to those who can see in order to test which of them prefers them over the women of the Hereafter. So whoever knows the extent of differences, he will choose what deserves to be chosen.

AUTHOR: Imaam Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah
SOURCE: Faid-ur-Rahmaan fee Al-Fawaa’id-il-Hisaan (No. 1, pg. 30-32)

Saturday, October 27

Guidelines for the husband in interacting with his wife

The family is that brick which forms the foundation of a society. It is composed of individuals that have permanent relations established between them. Most importantly, it possesses almost a majority of the different kinds of personal relations.

Because of this, there must be certain etiquettes placed in order to control and regulate these relations. This is such that it can be maintained in the best possible manner, and so that it can generate and produce its proper fruits. Family relations consist of the relationship between the spouses from one perspective, the relationship between the parents and the children from a second perspective, and the relationship between the children themselves from a third perspective.

Etiquettes of the husband:

1. It is not from the deficiencies, but rather from good manners, that the husband shares in the responsibility of specified matters, such as the mending of garments or what is similar to that.

2. It is appropriate for a man to not restrict himself from serving himself. This is since the wife takes care of the household affairs. So therefore, it is from good manners that the husband extend a helping hand to his wife in the house, during times of necessity, such as when she is sick, pregnant, has given birth or similar to that.

3. The exemplary husband is he who cooperates with his wife by bearing good relations and showing kind manners (to her), according to the full extent of the meaning contained in these (last) two expressions. Truly, the husbands who are best at working alongside their wives are the best of mankind in the view of Islaam. This good way of living between the spouses must be deeply imbedded into the daily marital life, even at the time of divorce.

4. Beware of characterizing the relationship between the spouses with over-seriousness! For indeed characterizing the family life with a militaristic nature amounts to one of the causes for failure and bad results.

5. From the kind and noble manners of the husband is that he complies and assents to the requests of his wife, so long as they are not forbidden in the Religion. And being luxurious in food, drink and clothing is at the entrance of matters forbidden in the Religion.

6. The husband should specify a time in which he can play around and pass free time with his wife.

7. The relationship between the spouses must contain one singular and specific nature. And it cannot be this way unless the couple begins demolishing all the obstacles and impediments that stand between them. For example, the husband should not feel timid and restrain himself from drinking out of the same cup that his wife drinks out of.

8. There is no human being that is perfect. So there is no doubt that the husband will see things in his wife that does not comply with his natural disposition and preferences. If these aspects are not in opposition to the fundaments of the Religion or to the obedience of the husband and his rights, then at that point, he should not try to change her personality so that it complies with his natural preference.

9. And he must always remember that for each member of the couple, there will be an aspect of ones personality that conflicts with the others personality. And he should also remember that if there are some characteristics that he doesn't find pleasing in his wife, then indeed she has other characteristics, which will definitely be pleasing to him.

10. Do not let Ramadaan be a barrier that impedes you from showing affection to your wife, such as by kissing her. But this is so long as you are able to refrain yourself, since what is forbidden during the days of Ramadaan is only sexual intercourse.

11. Do not chase after the errors of your wife and recount them to her, for too much blaming and reprimanding will worsen the relationship between the two of you, and it will pose a threat to your marital life. So overlook your wife's easy ability to make mistakes, and make her falling into them seem like something small.

12. If you are able, do not hold back from providing your wife with good clothing and food, and from being generous in spending money on her. This is of course according to the extent of your ability.

13. Do not give little importance to implementing the punishment required for any acts in opposition to the Religion, which your wife has committed, whether it is in the home or outside it. This should be the main reason that causes you to become angry, thus no other reason should affect you (besides this one).

14. What has been stated previously does not mean that you should leave matters alone until that result comes to happen. Thus, whenever you realize that a matter is left alone, weigh it with seriousness and determination, without being too harsh or rude about it.

15. The woman is the head of the household, the one responsible for it. So do not attempt to meddle into affairs that do not fall into your area of duties and responsibilities, such as the food and the order of the house.

16. Beware of scolding your wife or blaming her for a mistake she committed, in the presence of others, even if they are your own children. For indeed that is an act that goes against correct behavior and it will lead to raising anger in the hearts of people.

17. If you are forced to place punishment upon your wife, then let it be by staying away from her at bedtime. And do not boycott her except that it is done within the household. And avoid using foul language, insulting her, beating her and describing her with repulsive names. For these matters do not befit an exemplary husband.

18. Having jealousy and caring about the modesty of your wife is a praiseworthy thing, which shows your love for her. However it is on the condition that you do not go to great extremes in this jealousy. For then at that point, it would turn into something worthy of no praise.

19. Entering the house: Do not alarm your family by entering upon them suddenly. Rather, enter while they are aware of it, and greet them with Salaam. And ask about them and how they are doing. And do not forget to remember Allaah, the Mighty and Sublime, when you enter the house.

20. Beware of spreading any secrets connected with the intimate encounters you have with your wife, for that is something restricted and forbidden.

21. Constantly maintain the cleaning of your mouth and the freshening of your breath.

22. Guardianship of your wife doesn't mean that you can exploit what Allaah has bestowed upon you from taking charge of her, such that you harm and oppress her.

23. Showing respect and kindness to your wife's family is showing respect and kindness to her. And this applies even after her death, on the condition that it is not accompanied by an act forbidden in the Religion, such as intermingling of the sexes or being in privacy (with them).

24. Too much joking will lead to (your family having) little fear (of disobeying you) and a lack of respect for you. So do not joke too much with your wife.

25. Be considerate that fulfilling the conditions which you promised to your wife during the pre-marriage agreement is a matter possessing the highest of importance and priority. So do not neglect that after getting married.

26. When you lecture your wife or reprimand her or simply speak to her, choose the kindest and nicest of words and expressions for your speech. And do not reprimand her in front of others or in front of your children.

27. It is not proper for you to ask your wife to look for work outside of the house or to spend upon you from her wealth.

28. Do not overburden your wife with acts that she is not able to handle. Consider, with extreme regard, the environment she was raised up in. Rural service is not like urban service, and the service of a strong woman and her preparation for it is not like the service of a weak woman.

29. There is nothing in the obligation of a woman's service to her husband that negates his assisting her in that regard, if he should find the free time. Rather, this is from the good manners of living between the spouses.

AUTHOR: Dr. Marwwan Al-Qaisee
SOURCE: Al-Asaalah Magazine

Wednesday, October 24

How scores will be settled on the Day of Resurrection...

By Dr. 'Umar al-Ashqar

When the Day of Resurrection comes, a man's wealth and capital will be his hasanaat (good deeds). If he had done wrong to any people, they will take from his hasanaat to the extent that he mistreated them. If he does not have any hasanaat, or if his hasanaat run out, then some of their sayi`aat (bad deeds) will be taken and added to his burden.

Bukhari narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said:

"Whoever wronged his brother with regard to his honour or any other matter, should seek his forgiveness today, before there are no longer any dinars, or dirhams; and if he has any righteous deeds, they will be taken from him, in accordance with the wrong he did; and if he has no hasanaat, some of the sayi`aat of his counterpart will be taken and added to his burden.” [Bukhari: Kitaab al-Mazaalim, Baab man kaanat lahu mazlamah `inda rajul, Fath al-Baari, 5/101]

This person whose hasanaat are taken from him by the people, and then has their sayi`aat placed on his own back, is the one who is bankrupt, as the Messenger (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) called him. Muslim narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said:

"Do you know who is the one who is bankrupt?" They said, "The bankrupt is the one who has no money and no possessions." He said, "Among my ummah, the one who is bankrupt is the one who will come on the Day of Resurrection with prayer and fasting and zakah (to his credit), but he will come having insulted this one, slandered that one, consumed the wealth of this one and shed the blood of that one, and beaten that one. So they will all be given some of his hasanaat, and when his hasanaat run out, before judgment is passed, some of their sins will be taken and cast onto him, then he will be cast into the Fire." [Muslim: 4/1998, hadith no. 2581.]

If a debtor died when he still owed money to people, they will take from his hasanaat whatever is in accordance with what he owes them. In Sunan ibn Maajah it is narrated with a saheeh isnaad that Ibn 'Umar (radhiallahu `anhu) stated: The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said:

"Whoever dies owing a dinar or a dirham, it will be paid from his hasanaat, for then there will be no dinars or dirhams.” [Saheeh al-Jaami' as-Sagheer, 5/537, hadith no. 6432.]

If people wronged one another, the score will be settled between them. If they mistreated one another equally, then there will be no score to settle. If one of them is still owed something by the other, he will take what he is entitled to.

In Sunan at-Tirmidhi it is narrated that 'Aa'ishah said: "A man came and sat in front of the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam), and said, 'O Messenger of Allah, I have two slaves who tell me lies, betray and disobey me, and I insult them and beat them. What is my position with regard to them?” The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said:

'On the Day of Resurrection, their betrayal, disobedience and lying will be measured against your punishment of them. If your punishment is commensurate with their wrongs, then there will be no score to settle. If your punishment of them was less than their sins deserved, then this will count in your favour. If your punishment of them was more than their sins deserved, then the score will be settled against you.' The man turned away and started to weep. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said to him, 'Have you not read the words of Allah?' -

And We shall set up Balances of justice on the Day of Resurrection, then none will be dealt with unjustly in anything. And if there be the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it. And Sufficient are We to take account.” (Qur'an 21: 47).’” [Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 3/66, hadith no. 5561. It is also narrated in Saheeh al-Jaami`, 6/327, hadith no. 7895, where it attributed to Ahmad and Tirmidhi.]

Because dhulm (oppression) is such a serious matter, it is better for those who fear that Day to give up oppression and avoid it. The Messenger (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) has told us that oppression will be darkness on the Day of Resurrection. Bukhari and Muslim narrated from 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar that the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said:

"Oppression (dhulm) will be darkness (dhulumaat) on the Day of Resurrection." [Bukhari: Kitaab al-Mazaalim, Baab az-Zulm Zulumaat Yawm al-Qiyaamah, Fath al-Baari, 51100; Muslim, 4/1969, hadith no. 2579.]

Muslim narrated from Jaabir ibn 'Abdullah that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said:

"Beware of oppression (dhulm), for oppression will be darkness (dhulumaat) on the Day of Resurrection." [Muslim: 4/1969, hadith no. 2578.]

Wednesday, October 17

Fasting in the Month of Shawwal

Allaah `azza wa jall, says in the Qur’aan, what means: "Say (O Muhammad): ‘If you (really) love Allaah then follow me, Allaah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." [al-Qur’aan, 3:31]

This is a beautiful verse, named by some of the salaf as "the verse of the test", as it tests how true one’s love of Allaah is. They explained that if one loves Allaah, then he must show that in his/her following of the Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam. The verse tells us that those who follow the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, if sincere, can in shaa’ Allaah expect the following two:

- Allaah ta`aalaa loving them
- Allaah ta`aalaa forgiving their sins.

One of the ways to manifest our loving of Allaah, by following the Prophet, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, is to do those acts that he, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, advised his Companions, and the Ummah in general, to do. A sunnah which is certainly relevant to us in these days is his, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, practice to fast six days in the month of Shawwaal.

Aboo Ayyoob al-Ansaaree narrated: Allaah’s Messenger, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, said: "He who fasts Ramadhaan, and six of Shawwaal, it will be (in terms of rewards) as if the fasted a whole year." [Reported by Muslim, at-Tirmidhee, Aboo Daawood, Ahmad, Ibn Maajah]

So this is an established sunnah, which carries a great reward, even though we find a great Imaam differing in this issue. Ibn Rushd al-Qurtubee said that Maalik, raHimahumallaah considered this fast to be disapproved, "either because people might associate with Ramadhaan what is not a part of it, or either because the tradition had not reached him or it did not prove to be authentic for him, which is more likely." [Bidaayat ul-Mujtahid] However, we know that Imaam Maalik said: "Truly I am only a mortal: I make mistakes (sometimes) and I am correct (sometimes). Therefore, look into my opinions: all that agrees with the Book and the Sunnah, accept it; and all that does not agree with the Book and the Sunnah, ignore it." [Reported by Ibn `Abdul Barr, Ibn Hazm and al-Fulaanee]

In commenting on the above mentioned hadeeth, As-San`aanee said in Subul us-Salaam: "If the thirty days of Ramadhaan fasting are assimilated with the six days of fasting in Shawwaal, it altogether makes 36 days. According to Sharee`ah, each virtue is rewarded ten times. Therefore, if we multiply 36 with 10, it makes 360, a number which equals the days of a year. Some scholars are of the opinion that these six days of fasting in Shawwaal must be completed in a continuous order right after the end of Ramadhaan. Some believe that is enough to merely complete six days of fasting in Shawwaal (in any order, either successive or with intervals), an opinion which is deemed to be correct."

Perhaps it is proper for us to pray these days on Mondays and Thursdays, as in that case we would be following another Sunnah: `Aa’isha, radhiallaahu `anhaa, narrated: "The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, used to fast Mondays and Thursdays". [an-Nasaa'ee, Saheeh]

If it is easier for one to fast on weekends, then in that case one would still be following another sunnah at the same time: Umm Salama, radhiallaahu `anhaa, narrated: Allaah’s Messenger used to fast mostly on Saturday and Sunday, and he used to say: "They are the festival days for the mushrikeen, and I like to act contrary to them." [an-Nasaa’ee, Ibn Khuzaymah, who graded it saheeh, and Ibn Hajar agreed]

But, again, this fast is not obligatory, rather only recommended. There is reward for whoever does it, and no blame upon anyone who leaves it.


Saturday, October 13

99 Names

Allah’s Names and Attributes are unlimited in number, even though what we know of His Attributes is more than His Names.

The Prophet (saw) said, “Allah has 99 names (100 minus 1), whoever memorizes (enumerates) them will enter Paradise” [Bukhari/Muslim].

This is the authentic version. The inauthentic version continues on to list all 99 names. This addition was added by the narrator Waleed bin Muslim, and his students thought it was a part of the hadith. The narration with this addition is found in Tirmidhi, and Tirmidhi himself after recording it ruled that this hadith was weak. And this grading is almost unanimous amongst the scholars of hadith.

What this hadith means, that out of Allah’s INFINITE names, there are 99 specifically which if you memorize them you will enter Paradise.

No scholar has ever said there are only 99, and no Sahabah ever asked, which 99 are they. The point is to learn as much about Allah(swt) as we possibly can. Going through just the Qur’an one can find Allah) has well over 99 Names. Another proof that Allah (swt) has an infinite number of Names is the following dua of the Prophet (saw), “O Allaah, I am Your servant, son of Your servant, son of Your maidservant, my forelock is in Your hand, Your command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me is just. I ask You by every name belonging to You which You name Yourself with, or revealed in Your Book, or You taught to any of Your creation, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the unseen with You, that You make the Qur’aan the life of my heart and the light of my breast, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety.’”

We know that Allah has an unlimited number of Names. Of them, we have been told of a some of them. Of the ones we have been told about, 99 of them have this special significance attached to them. This does not mean that there are only 99 Names of Allah, nor does it mean that all the ones we know of fall into this special category.

It is simply that Allah has an unlimited number of Names, and of the ones He has informed us of, 99 of them hold the significance indicated in the hadith.

Thursday, October 4

The Last 10 Nights of Ramadan

Abu Umaamah radi allahu anh. said: "I said: 'O Messenger of Allah, tell me of an action by which I may enter Paradise'. He said: 'Take to Fasting, there is nothing like it.' " [An-Nasaa'ee, Ibn Hibbaan, Al-Haakim, Saheeh]

The last ten Nights of Ramadan are upon us and it is important for us to know the benefits of these days.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to strive hard (in worship) during the last ten days of Ramadaan in a way that he did not strive at any other times. (Muslim, 1175, from ‘Aa’ishah).

It is reported from the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that when the last ten days of Ramadaan came, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would stay up at night, wake his family and gird his loins. (al-Bukhaari, 1920; Muslim, 1174).

The Muslim should follow the example of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), for he is the best example, and he should strive hard in worshipping Allaah. He should not waste the hours of these days and nights.

For we do not know, perhaps this time will never come again, for the spoiler of pleasures, i.e., death, which must come to all men, may come and snatch him and his life will end; then he will feel regret at the time when regret will be of no avail.

Among the unique virtues of these special nights is that Laylat al-Qadr is among them. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

" We sent it (this Qur’aan) down on a blessed night [(i.e. the Night of Al-Qadr) in the month of Ramadaan]. Verily, We are ever warning [mankind that Our Torment will reach those who disbelieve in Our Oneness of Lordship and in Our Oneness of worship]. Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments. As a Command (or this Qur’aan or the Decree of every matter) from Us. Verily, We are ever sending (the Messengers), (As) a mercy from your Rabb. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” [al-Dukhaan 44:1-6]

The phrase Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments means, on that night the destiny of all creatures for the coming year is decreed. On that night it is written who will live, who will die, who will be saved, who will be doomed, who will be destined for Paradise

So Allaah has called it Laylat al-Qadr, because of its great value and high status with Allaah, and because so many sins are forgiven and so many faults are concealed during this night.

For it is the night of forgiveness, as it was reported in al-Saheehayn from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever stays up during Laylat al-Qadr out of faith and in the hope of earning reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven.” (al-Bukhaari, 1910; Muslim, 760).

Allaah described it as being better than a thousand months, as He said (interpretation of the meaning): “The night of al-Qadr is better than a thousand months” [al-Qadr 97:3].

On this night, the angels and the Spirit [al-Rooh] descend, “i.e., many angels descend of this night because it is so blessed, and the angels come down when Allaah’s blessing and mercy come down, just as they come down when Qur’aan is recited, and they surround the circles of dhikr (gatherings where Allaah is remembered), and they beat their wings for the one who sincerely seeks knowledge, out of respect for him.” (See Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 4/531).

The Spirit [al-Rooh] is Jibreel (peace be upon him), who is specifically mentioned in this manner as a sign of respect for him.

Allaah forgives the previous sins of the one who stays up and prays during this night out of faith and in hope of earning the reward from Him.

It was reported in the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever fasts the month of Ramadaan out of faith and in the hope of earning reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven, and whoever stays up during Laylat al-Qadr out of faith and in the hope of earning reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Agreed upon).

The phrase “out of faith and in the hope of earning reward” means, believing in Allaah’s promise of reward for this, and seeking the reward, with no other aim or purpose, such as showing off etc.” (Fath al-Baari, 4/251).

The Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months means, it is better than over eighty three years, as we have already mentioned.

This is a great virtue, the value of which no one can fully understand except the Rabb of the Worlds, may He be blessed and exalted.

This encourages the Muslim to spend this night in prayer and to seek the Face of Allaah by doing so. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to seek this night, hoping to gain some good from it, and he is the example for this Ummah.

As Muslims who are in Ramadan, we should make the most of these last ten days and nights by praying, fasting properly and reading the Quraan frequently so that they may help us in the hereafter.

Aishah (RA) reported: I asked: “O Messenger of Allah! If I realize Lailat-ul-Qadr (Night of Decree), what should I supplicate in it?” He (SAW) replied, “You should supplicate: Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun, tuhibbul-‘afwa, fa’fu ‘anni (O Allah, You are Most Forgiving, and You love forgiveness; so forgive me).” [At-Tirmidhi]

[Excerpts taken from Shaykh Salih Al-Munajjids article]

What The Prophet did in Sajdah

Abdul Malik Mujahid

I happened to pray one night with the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. The Prophet started reciting al-Baqarah chapter of the Quran and I thought he would stop after 100 verses.

But when he went beyond it I thought that he may want to recite the whole chapter in one Rakah.

When he finished al-Baqarah I thought he would do Ruku but then he immediately started reciting al-Imran and when he finished he started reciting an-Nisa.

The Prophet was reciting very slowly with enough pauses and would do Tasbih (praising God) and Dua (supplication) according to the subject being discussed in the relevant Ayah.

After that the Prophet did Ruku (bowing). In Ruku he stayed as long as he did when he was in Qiyam (standing in prayer). After Ruku he stood up for almost same time and then he performed Sajdah (prostration) and stayed there as long as he recited Quran while doing Qiyam". (Hudaifa, may God be pleased with him, narrated this hadith as in Sahih al Muslim, Nasai)

Of course, not all the Prayers of the Prophet were this long. In public he would pray for a shorter period of time and ask other imams to do the same. The Prophet use to make dua in Sajdah not just tasbeeh as we do in obligatory prayers. He used to cry in Sajdah. He would spend an extended amount of his time in Sajdah whenever he was praying on his own. Many times, however, Muslims would join him when they found him praying alone.

Aisha, may God be pleased with her, mentions that:
the Prophet one night stood up for Salah and he stayed in it for so long that I thought the Prophet had passed away or died. When I felt that way I stood up shook his toe and I felt the movement then I laid down again and I heard the Prophet saying in Sajdah "I seek refuge in Your pleasure from Your wrath, and in Your pardon from Your punishment, and in You from You. I cannot enumerate Your praises as You praise Yourself." (Transliteration: Audhu bi ridaka min sakhatika, wa bi muafatika min uqubatika wa bika minka, la uhsiy thana'an alayka, anta kama athnayta ala nafsika).

When he stood up from the Sajdah he asked Aisha, "do you think God's Prophet has betrayed you?" Aisha responded "No Preophet of God, because of the long Sajdah I thought you had died." (hadith from Baihaqi but Dua wording from Muwatta Imam Malik)

One of the Prophet's companion, Abdullah ibn Zubayr, would pray with such concentration that when he was in Sajdah the sparrows would come flying and sit on his back. In a separate narration, Abdullah ibn Abbas, another companion, said if you want to see how the Prophet of God used to pray, you should copy how Abdullah ibn Zubayr used to pray.

And consider these two Hadiths from the Sahih Muslim:

Ma'dan b. Talha reported:
I met Thauban, the freed slave of God's Messenger, and asked him to tell me about an act for which, if I do it, God will admit me to Paradise, or I asked about the act which was loved most by God. He gave no reply. I again asked and he gave no reply. I asked him for the third time, and he said: I asked God's Messenger about that and he said: Make frequent prostrations before God, for you will not make one prostration without raising you a degree because of it, and removing a sin from you, because of it. Ma'dan said that then he met Abu al-Darda' and when he asked him, he received a reply similar to that given by Thauban.

In the second Hadith, Rabi'a b. Ka'b said:
I was with God's Messenger one night and I brought him water and what he required. He said to me: Ask (anything you like). I said: I ask your company in Paradise. He (the Prophet) said: Or anything else besides it. I said: That is all (what I require). He said: Then help me to achieve this for you by devoting yourself often to prostration.

Sajdah is truly a humbling experience. We can beg for God's forgiveness and cry by thinking about our misdeeds, as well as seek refuge in God from the Hellfire. We are in one of the most submissive physical positions when in Sajdah. It is one of the best occasions to ask God for forgiveness, guidance, and all that we want. It is one of the best positions in which to talk to God. Seeking God's pleasure and forgiveness need to be given top priority in these remaining days and nights of Ramadan.

Tuesday, October 2

The Battle of Yarmouk took place in 636 AD. By the grace of Allah azza wa jal, the Muslims were victorious. Nearing the beginning of this battle, Khalid bin Waleed (RA), had received the letter that Abu Bakr (RA) had died and that Umar (RA) was now the Caliph. Abu Bakr (RA) was Khalipha for only 2 years, 10 months, and 3 days, and by the grace of Allah had opened up both the Persian and Byzantine Empire.

After the Battle of Yarmouk, soldiers came to Heraclius dragging their tales of defeat, and Heraclius lost his brother Theodore in that Battle.

Heraclius said: "Woe to you! Aren't these men like you?"
They said: "Yes"
Heraclius said: "Are you more, or are they more?"
They said: "We are more."
Heraclius said: "How come you are losing, and how come they are winning?"

One of the elders said:

"The reason why they are winning and we are losing is because they pray at night, and they fast during the day, and they fulfill their covenants, and they enjoin good and they prevent evil, and they are just among themselves, and because we drink alcohol, and we commit adultery and fornication, and we commit every sin, and we betray our promise, and we oppress, and we commit wrong and transgression, and because we encourage evil, and we prevent people from doing what pleases Allah azza wa jal, and because we corrupt in the land"

Heraclius said: "You are telling the truth"

Imam Anwar al-Awlaki commented: Unless we go back to what the sahabah were doing, the situation of the ummah will not change.


The Romans would send spies amongst the Muslim armies and find out more about them and their psychologies so that their Roman "orientalists" could interpret such information. A Roman Arab spy reporting to the Romans before the Battle of Yarmouk:

"They are people who pray at night, and fast during the day, and if the son of their leader would steal, they would cut their hand, and if anyone of them, high or low, would commit a crime, they would be punished."

Another description of the Sahabah (RA):

"They were fighters during the day, and monks during the night."


Before the Battle of Yarmouk, Khalid bin Waleed (RA), the Army General, gave the following khutbah to the Muslims before they, being 40-45,000, faced up to 250,000 Roman soldiers:

"This day is a day from amongst the Days of Allah. There should be in it neither pride nor wrongdoing. Make your striving sincere, seeking Allah by your work, for this day also has what lies beyond it...."