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29 September 2013

Hadith Info: Which Friends are Best?

It was inquired of the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam): “O Messenger of Allah! Which associates of ours are the best?” He said: “One whose sight reminds you of Allah, whose conversation adds to your knowledge, and whose action helps you remember the Hereafter. [The Lives of the Sahabah by Maulana Muhammad Yusuf Kandhlawi]

When you need to socialize, turn to people with the above mentioned qualities.

Keep yourself content with those who call their Lord morning and evening seeking His pleasure, and let not your eyes look beyond them, seeking the splendor of worldly life.” [Quran: Surah Al-Kahf, Ayat 28]

26 September 2013

Purification of the heart and soul in Islam

The command to purify our hearts from sin was an essential Islamic teaching ever since the early stages of the revelation in Makkah. This is known as 'purification of the soul' (tazkiyyat an-nafs).

Allah said: "He has succeeded who purifies the soul, and he has failed who corrupts the soul." (Qur'an, 91:9-10)

And Allah said: "A day when there will be no benefit in wealth or children, but only in he who comes to Allah with a pure heart." (Qur'an, 26:88-89)

We learn from these verses that our success in the Hereafter depends upon the purification of our hearts in this life. We must purify our hearts from spiritual sins such as greed, malice, envy, arrogance, and worldliness. In their place, we must adorn the heart with spiritual virtues such as generosity, compassion, benevolence, humility, and asceticism.

Purification of the heart was one of the first commands with which Moses (peace be upon him) was sent to Pharaoh.

Allah said: "Go to Pharaoh, for verily, he is a transgressor. Say to him: 'Will you purify yourself'?" (Qur'an, 79:17-18)

Purity of heart is also one of the defining characteristics of Abraham (peace be upon him).

Allah said: "Verily, among his people was Abraham, when he came to his Lord with a pure heart." (Qur'an, 37:83-84)

One of the primary methods we can use to purify our hearts is to perform sincere supplications and prayers according to the prophetic way (sunnah).

Allah said: "He has succeeded who purifies himself, who remembers the name of his Lord and prays." (Qur'an, 87:14-15)

When we exalt Allah and ask for our sins to be forgiven, this removes arrogance from our hearts and makes us humble. When we pray for Allah to guide others, this removes malice and hatred from our hearts and makes us love others for the sake of Allah. When we remember the Hereafter and the Day of Resurrection, this makes us less attached to the world and more inclined to help others.

In this way, the Messenger of Allah would purify his heart every morning and evening by performing supplications and prayers.

Anas ibn Malik reported: "The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said to me: 'O boy, if you are able to remove every morning and evening any rancor from your heart toward anyone, then do so.' Then the Prophet said to me: 'O boy, that is my tradition and whoever revives my tradition, has loved me, and whoever loves me will be with me in Paradise'." (Sunan At-Tirmidhi, 2678)

The ritual prayer is meant to prevent us from committing sins and immoral deeds. Allah said: "Verily, the prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater." (Qur'an, 29:45)

Abu Huraira reported: "A man came to the Prophet, peace be upon him, and he said, 'Indeed, so-and-so prays in the night but he steals in the morning.' The Prophet said: 'Verily, it should prevent him from doing that'." (Musnad Ahmad, 9486)

The next method we can use to purify our hearts is to give in charity and perform good deeds for others. Allah said: "But the righteous one will avoid Hellfire, who gives from his wealth to purify himself." (Qur'an, 92:17-18)

And Allah said: "Take from their wealth a charity by which you cleanse them and purify them, and invoke blessings upon them." (Qur'an, 92:103)

When we give away our wealth in charity, this removes worldliness from our hearts and envy of what others have and it makes us hope for our good deeds stored in the Hereafter. Charity means not only giving wealth, but also giving people your time, your effort, your work, and even a smile or a kind word.

Jabir ibn Abdullah reported: "The Messenger of Allah peace be upon him said: 'Every good deed is charity. Verily, it is a good deed to meet your brother with a smiling face, and to pour what is left from your bucket into the vessel of your brother'." (Sunan At-Tirmidhi, 1970)

Charity is a duty upon every Muslim, for every person can give something from his wealth, time, and energy. At the very least, Muslims can refrain from harming others and that is also charity.

Abu Huraira reported: "The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: 'Charity is due upon every joint of the people for every day upon which the sun rises. Being just between two people is charity, and helping a man with his animal and lifting his luggage upon it is charity, and a kind word is charity, and every step that you take toward the mosque is charity, and removing harmful things from the road is charity'." (Sahih Muslim, 1009)

When a Muslim commits a sin, his or her heart is covered by a stain, but it is removed by repentance and good deeds.

Abu Huraira reported: "The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: 'Verily, when the believer commits a sin, a black spot appears upon his heart. If he repents and abandons the sin and seeks forgiveness, his heart will be polished, but if he increases in sin, the blackness increases. That is the covering which Allah has mentioned in his Book: 'Nay, but on their hearts is a covering because of what they have earned,' (83:14)" (Sunan ibn Majah, 4244)

Therefore, a Muslim must continue to perform supplications, prayers, charity, and good deeds until the heart is purified from sin.

In conclusion, the salvation of a Muslim depends upon purification of the heart soul from vices and adorning the heart with virtues. Purification is achieved through performing sincere supplications, prayers, and acts of charity toward others. We must remember that we will be judged on the Day of Resurrection according to the purity of our hearts and the righteousness of our deeds.

Abu Huraira reported: "The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: 'Verily, Allah does not look at your appearance or wealth, but rather He looks at your hearts and actions'." (Sahih Muslim 2564)

Success comes from Allah, and Allah knows best.

22 September 2013

Know the final Messenger of Peace by Yusuf Estes

Yusuf Estes was raised in a strong Christian home, he was educated in Texas, became successful in music business, owning stores, TV shows and used his talents to promote faith in God, while doing some preaching from the Bible.

In 1991 he tried to convert a Muslim from Egypt, but he found the true facts about real Islam and he became a Muslim. Al Hamdulillah.

17 September 2013

Hadith Info: Assess Yourself

The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “When Eeman (faith) enters the heart, the heart opens up to Islam.” At that he was asked: “O Messenger of Allah, is there a sign by which this may be recognized?” He (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Yes, loss of interest in the place of deception, longing for the place of eternity, and preparation for death before it comes.[Bayhaqi]

“The place of deception” refers to this transitory world, while “the place of eternity” refers to the Hereafter.

The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) once recited the Ayat: “And whoever Allah wishes to guide, He opens his heart to Islam.” [Surah al-Anaam, Ayat 125] Then he (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) explained this Ayat by the above mentioned Hadith.

This Hadith informs us of several realities:

1. First Eeman enters the heart then the person’s heart accepts Islam.

2. The sign of a person’s heart having Eeman and having opened up to Islam is that:
(a) The person loses interest in the things of this world.
(b) The person longs for the Akhirah; longs for having the test of life behind him and being granted an eternal abode in Paradise where he can live a peaceful, struggle-free existence, with his happiness never diminishing.
(c) The person worries more about his home in the soil then his home on the ground; what he can do to convert his grave into one of the spacious and beautiful gardens of Paradise. The home on earth is to be lived in for only a short time while the home underground is not only to be lived in for much longer but is also an indicator of what is to come next. So his days are spent preparing for his death more than they are spent enjoying his life.
Take stock of your heart yourself.

16 September 2013

Fear the PRAYER of the one who has been wronged

If a person has been wronged by someone, Allah accepts the du’a of that person against the person who has wronged them. This ‘wrong’ could be in respect to one’s rights, oppression, persecution, slander or any other type of wrong that a person could be inflicted with.

The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

Three people’s du’as are never rejected: the one who is fasting, until he breaks his fast; the just ruler; and the one who has been wronged. Allah raises it above the clouds, and the doors of the skies are opened for it, and the Lord says, ‘By my Honour and Glory! I will help you, even if it be after some time!’” (Recorded in al-Tirmidhi)

This is a very severe warning to the one who wrongs others, and a comfort and solace to the one who has been wronged. All praises be to Allah Who has sworn that He will definitely come to the aid of the one who is wronged.

The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, mentioned in numerous ahadith that a Muslim should fear the du’a of the one who has been wronged:

Fear the du’a of he who has been wronged, for verily it ascends to the skies faster than sparks (of light).” (Recorded in al-Hakim)

Fear the du’a of he who has been wronged, even if he is a disbeliever, for there remains no veil between it.(Recorded in Ahmad)

This hadith shows us that there is no difference between doing wrong to a Muslim or to a disbeliever, and that both their du’as are answered by Allah. If this is the case of the disbeliever, then how much more so the case of the sinful Muslim? We should never despair in the mercy of Allah.

15 September 2013

Love for the Animals - (Animal rights in Islam)

In Islam, mistreating an animal is considered a sin. The Quran and guidance from the Prophet Muhammad, as recorded in hadith, give many examples and directives about how Muslims should treat animals.

Animal Communities

The Quran describes that animals form communities, just as humans do: "There is not an animal that lives on the earth, nor a being that flies on its wings, but they form communities like you. Nothing have we omitted from the Book, and they all shall be gathered to their Lord in the end" (Quran 6:38).

The Quran further describes animals, and all living things, as muslim - in the sense that they live in the way that Allah created them to live, and obey Allah's laws in the natural world. Although animals do not have free will, they follow their natural, God-given instincts - and in that sense they "submit to God's will," which is Islam. “Seest thou not that it is Allah Whose praise all beings in the heavens and on earth do celebrate, and the birds (of the air) with wings outspread? Each one knows its own (mode of) prayer and praise, and Allah knows well all that they do.” (Quran 24:41)

These verses remind us that animals are living creatures with feelings and connections to the larger spiritual and physical world. We must consider their lives as worthwhile and cherished. "And the earth, He has assigned it to all living creatures" (Quran 55:10).

Kindness to Animals

It is forbidden in Islam to treat an animal cruelly, or to kill it except as needed for food. The Prophet Muhammad often chastised his Companions who mistreated animals, and spoke to them about the need for mercy and kindness. Here are several examples of hadith which instruct Muslims about how to treat animals.

Reward for mercy: It is related from Abu Umama that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Whoever is merciful even to a sparrow, Allah will be merciful to him on the Day of Judgment."

Animals are like humans: A good deed done to an animal is like a good deed done to a human being, while an act of cruelty to an animal is as bad as cruelty to a human being."

Animals cannot speak up for themselves: It is related from Sahl ibn Al-Handhaliyya that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, once passed by a camel that was so emaciated that its back had almost reached its stomach. He said, "Fear Allah in these beasts who cannot speak." (Abu Dawud)

Mental cruelty also forbidden: It is related from AbdulRahman bin Abdullah that a group of Companions were once on a journey with the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he left them for a while. During his absence, they saw a bird with its two young, and they took the young ones from the nest. The mother bird was circling above in the air, beating its wings in grief, when the Prophet came back. He said, "Who has hurt the feelings of this bird by taking its young? Return them to her." (Muslim)

Forgiveness of sins: It is related from Abu Hurayra, from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, that a prostitute once saw a dog on a very hot day going round and round a well, lolling its tongue because of its thirst. She drew some water for it using her shoe, and for this action all her sins were forgiven her. (Muslim)

Mistreatment is a sin: It is related from Jabir that the Messenger of Allah, once saw a donkey which had been branded on its face and he said, "May Allah curse the one who branded it." (Muslim)

Give rest to beasts of burden: It is related from Abu Hurayra that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Do not use the backs of your animals as chairs. Allah has made them subject to you, so that by them you can reach places that you would not otherwise be able to reach except with great fatigue." (Abu Dawud)


Muslim who chooses to keep a pet takes on the responsbility of the animal's care and well-being. They must be provided with appropriate food, water, and shelter. The Prophet Muhammad described the punishment of a person who neglected to care for a pet:

It is related from Abdullah ibn Umar that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "A woman was once punished after death because of a cat which she had kept confined until it died, and because of this she entered the Fire. She had neither given it food or drink while confining it, nor had she let it free to eat the creatures of the earth." (Muslim)


In Islam, hunting for sport is prohibited. Muslims may only hunt as is needed to meet their requirements for food. This was common during the time of the Prophet Muhammad, and he condemned it at every opportunity:

It is narrated from Ibn Umar that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, cursed those who used any living thing as a target. (Muslim)

It is related from Ibn Abbas that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, forbade inciting animals to fight one another. (Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi)

It is related from Abu Al-Darda' that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, forbade eating mujaththama animals, that is, animals which have been tied up and shot with arrows. (Tirmidhi)

Slaughter for Food

Islamic dietary law allows Muslims to eat meat. Certain animals are not allowed to be used as food, and when slaughtering, several guidelines must be followed to minimize the animal's suffering. Muslims are to recognize that when slaughtering, one is taking a life only by the permission of Allah in order to meet the need for food.

Cultural Misguidance

As we have seen, all animals are to be treated with respect and kindness. Unfortunately, in some Muslim communities these guidelines are not followed. Some people mistakenly believe that since humans needs take priority, animal rights are not an urgent issue. Others find excuses to mistreat certain animals, such as dogs. These actions fly in the face of Islamic teachings, and the best way to combat such ignorance is through education and good example. Individuals and governments have an important role to play in educating the public about the care of animals, and establishing institutions to support animal welfare.

"Whoever is kind to the creatures of God, is kind to himself." -The Prophet Muhammad

Related posts:

14 September 2013

Poem: I wear my Hijab for...

I wear my hijab
Not for my father
Not for my brother
Not for any other Than ALLAH

I cover myself for ALLAH,
No one makes me
No one forsakes me
No one rejects me
No one subjects me

My modesty is for ALLAH,
Commanded in Qu'ran
For Him and no one else
Seeking His reward
Moving closer toward ALLAH. 

12 September 2013

Hadith Info: Remember Death Twenty Times a Day

Aisha (radi Allahu anha) asked the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam): “O Messenger of Allah, will anybody rise with the martyrs?” He (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “He will rise with them who remembers death twenty times a day. [Ihya Ulum-Id-Deen]

The reason for this good fortune of rising with the martyrs is that the remembrance of death keeps him far away from this world of deception and compels him to prepare for the next world.

He spends little money on the things of this world because when he remembers death and imagines that he might die in a few hours he sends his money to his home in the Hereafter instead, by spending it in the path of Allah. You will not see him in fancy clothes, extravagant surroundings, or expensive cars.

You will not find him playing games and entertaining himself because when he feels the need to unwind he remembers death and finds solace in talking to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) instead.

He who remembers death considers how little is the time he has to perform good deeds and repent for his mistakes. So he can’t be bothered with holidays and parties and photographs.

He who remembers death lives his life in a state of preparedness to meet death and so will be raised with the martyrs on the Day of Resurrection and will enjoy the favours that are reserved for them, inshaAllah.

11 September 2013

08 September 2013

Characteristics of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

The life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the last and final messenger of Allah (the God in English). It is the study of his life and all that is related to him.

The life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) with Sheikh Yasir Qadhi aired every Sunday on Peace TV.

Episode 01
Names of the Prophet (pbuh)

Topics covered in this episode:

Prophet of Mercy
Prophet of Repentance
Names given by the Companions & Scholars
Forbidden names (aspects of divinity / divine)

Yasir Qadhi was born in Houston, Texas and completed his primary and secondary education in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He graduated with a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Houston, after which he was accepted as a student at the Islamic University of Madinah. After completing a diploma in Arabic, he graduated with a B.A. from the College of Hadith and Islamic Sciences. Thereafter, he completed a M.A. in Islamic Theology from the College of Dawah.

His published works include Riya'a: The Hidden Shirk, Du'aa: The Weapon of the Believer, and An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur'an.

Yasir Qadhi is currently pursuing his doctorate, in Religious Studies, at Yale University in New Haven, CT.

05 September 2013

The Prophet (pbuh) & the Alcoholic companion

There was a man named `Abd Allah who loved Allah and His Messenger so much that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had to declare about him: "Indeed, he loves Allah and His Messenger." [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (6282)] 

This man named `Abd Allah so loved the Prophet (peace be upon him) that he used to delight in presenting the Prophet with any delicacy that came to Medina, so when any merchant caravan arrived with something like butter or honey, he would take it for him as a gift. Later, when the seller demanded payment, `Abd Allah would bring the seller to the Prophet and say: "Give this man its price." 

The Prophet (peace be upon him) would then say: "Didn't you give it to me as a gift?" 

`Abd Allah would say: "Yes, O Messenger of Allah; however I cannot afford to pay." 

The two of them would laugh together and then the Prophet (peace be upon him) would have the merchant paid. 

This was the type of close and jovial relationship that `Abd Allah and the Prophet had with each other. 

It remains to be said that `Abdullah was an alcoholic. He would often become so drunk that he had to be brought staggering through the streets before the Prophet (peace be upon him) to be sentenced for public drunkenness, and each time, the Prophet would rule to have the prescribed punishment carried out. This was a common occurrence. 

After `Abd Allah had departed from one of these all too frequent sentencings, one of the Companion's declared about `Abd Allah: "O Allah curse him! How often he is summoned for this!" 

The Prophet (peace be upon him): rebuked that Companion, saying: "Do not curse him, for I swear by Allah, if you only knew just how very much indeed he loves Allah and His Messenger." [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (6282)] He then added: "Do not help Satan against your brother." 

We can learn a lot from the Prophet's attitude. 

We should reflect first upon the close and affectionate relationship this Companion enjoyed with the Prophet (peace be upon him), in spite of this Companion's shameful fault. Though the Prophet (peace be upon him) was who he was, it did not prevent him from relating to `Abd Allah in a familiar manner, of being his friend, and joking with him. 

This shows us that in the society envisioned by the Prophet (peace be upon him) people were not segregated into the pious and the sinners, with social interactions debarred between the two groups. Rather, it was a unified, inclusive society, where each person could be at a different level of piety. Some were at the forefront of righteousness, some were moderately pious, while others were prone to fall into sin. However, no one lived aloof from society, nor was anyone shunned. Everyone remained part of society. 

This inclusiveness meant that when some members of society fell into error, the effects of their mistakes were limited and short-lived. No one was marginalized, so there was no chance sinfulness to grow on society's "fringes". When anyone made a mistake, there was no end of brotherly support from others in society who were more than willing to lend a helping hand and get that person back on track. 

Another lesson the Prophet's conduct shows us is the importance of maintaining a positive outlook. In spite of the fact that `Abd Allah was frequently being summoned before the Prophet (peace be upon him) for public drunkenness, the Prophet drew everyone's attention to one of Abd Allah's positive qualities – that he loved Allah and His Messenger. Yet, when we think about this particular quality, we find that it was not something unique for `Abd Allah, but a quality that all believers have in common. Nevertheless, the Prophet (peace be upon him) chose to praise `Abd Allah for this reason. In doing so, the Prophet could cultivate, encourage, and strengthen this quality in everyone. He also reminded them that if someone slips up, that person's faith and love of Allah is still intact. 

We can imagine how `Abd Allah must have felt when he learned that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said this about him. He must certainly felt it as an immense honor to have Allah's Messenger declare this about him. It served to help him overcome his bad habit and gave him hope, by confirming that his essential being was not permanently marred by the mistakes. 

It was the Prophet's way to point out the good qualities of those who sinned and fell into error. We sometimes forget this, and treat past sins as impenetrable barriers to future good. A person who commits a shameful deed is never allowed to live it down, but is instead often remembered only for that sin. We need to realize that this helps Satan to avail upon the sinner and get that person to sin again. The Prophet's approach, by contrast, inspires virtue. When reminded of `Abd Allah's frequent drunkenness, he boasted of that man's possessing the greatest virtue of loving Allah and His Messenger. 

Finally, `Abd Allah had done something that was clearly wrong. There can be no doubt that `Abd Allah committed a sin. Imbibing intoxicants is a major sin, and the Prophet (peace be upon him) had often cursed wine. Nevertheless, after the Prophet had the prescribed sentence carried out upon `Abd Allah for his public drunkenness, he did not seek anything further against him. He saw any further reprimand to be helping Satan against the man. Rather, he turned everyone's attention to his merits that compensate for his shortcomings. 

This should give us pause, when we consider how harshly we sometimes behave in our disagreements with others whose transgressions are far less serious or certain than `Abd Allah's were. Sometimes, it is merely our opinion that someone has done something wrong and the matter is really open to other points of view, but we still have no hesitations about railing against our opponents with everything in our verbal arsenal. How far this is from the example set by the Prophet (peace be upon him), who when faced with a person committing an obvious sin, still found it better to speak good about that person. He still kept up his good relationship with that person, despite his shortcomings. 

The Prophet's conduct with `Abd Allah is an excellent example for us, full of valuable lessons regarding not only how we should treat one another, but how society can foster social bonds that are strong, wholesome, and nurturing, bonds which can serve to dissuade people from falling into sin. 

Sheikh `Abd al-Wahhâb al-Turayrî, former professor at al-Imâm University in Riyadh

04 September 2013

Hadith Info: Definition of Success

Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wasallam) said: “He is successful who has accepted Islam, who has been provided with sufficient for his wants and been made contented by Allah with what He has given him.[Muslim]

Nowadays when people say, ‘So and so is very successful’ what they mean is, ‘He/she is making a lot of money.’ In the above mentioned hadith Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) explains who qualifies to be called successful. It’s not having Car X, House in W and Job Z but:

1. Islam.
2. Needs fulfilled.
3. Possession of a thankful heart.