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  1. Assalamu Alaikum, How should a person fill his spare time? Question : I am suffering from the problem of too much spare time, because of which I have begun to feel very strange. My worship has become noticeably less, not because of anything that is distracting me but because I have become depressed. I am learning to memorize Qur’aan with a teacher but I am still in Juz’ ‘Amma (the 30th juz’). I memorize what is required of me, but I still have too much spare time. In an attempt to rid myself of depression I turn on the TV, but I hate it and I do not really want to watch it, but I sit in front of it for ten hours. Can you believe it – ten hours? And I used to watch it only a little. I don’t know. Please advise me as to how I may kill this spare time. Answer : Praise be to Allaah. The blessing of time is one of the greatest blessings that Allaah can bestow upon His slaves. Allaah even swears by time in some cases, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): “By Al‑‘Asr (the time)†[al-‘Asr 103:1] - because of the importance and blessing of time. And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Make the most of five things before five others: life before death, health before sickness, free time before becoming busy, youth before old age, and wealth before poverty.†See Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 1077. But most people are unaware of the importance of this blessing and are neglectful of their duties towards it, namely to fill it with acts of gratitude and obedience towards Allaah. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are two blessings which many people do not make the most of and thus lose out: good health and free time.†Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6412. Al-Teebi said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) likened the Muslim (who is accountable for his deeds) to a merchant who has capital and seeks to make a profit whilst also preserving his capital. The way to do that is to look for the right people to deal with and he himself will be honest and will try to be smart lest he be cheated. Good health and free time are our capital, and we should deal with Allaah with faith, striving against the evil inclinations of our nafs and the enemy of religion i.e., the Shaytaan, so that we may attain the best in this world and in the Hereafter. This is similar to what is mentioned in the passage where Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Shall I guide you to a trade that will save you from a painful torment?†[al-Saff 61:10] We should avoid following the dictates of the nafs and keep away from the Shaytaan lest we lose both our capital and our profit. Fath al-Baari by Ibn Hajar. If time is so important, then the Muslim should not have any free time, for he should be going from one act of worship and obedience to another. If he cannot spend all his time going from one act of obedience and worship to another then, he may spend some of his time in permissible pursuits, in which he should ensure that his intention is correct, so that he may earn reward thereby, as Mu’aadh (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “I get up and I sleep, and I hope for the same when I sleep as I hope for when I get up.†Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6923; Muslim, 1854. The problem that the sister is suffering from is caused by several things: Firstly: she does not understand the value of time. This is true of many people, as stated above. Even worse than that, by neglecting this great blessing, her spare time has become something destructive, and she regards it as an enemy that she wants to kill, but she does not realize that she is killing herself. Secondly: she feels depressed. There is no doubt that wasting one's time and one's life causes deep depression in man, because he feels that he is like an animal that eats so it can sleep, and sleeps so it can eat. Hence we see many disbelievers ended their life by suicide, after being afflicted by depression and other incurable diseases – may Allaah keep us safe and sound from that with which He has tested them. One of the primary causes of depression is disobedience towards Allaah. Undoubtedly wasting time watching TV leads a person to commit sin, such as watching and listening to haraam things, wasting time, and other things caused by this evil machine. The benefits that the sister gains by joining a halaqah for memorizing Qur’aan are largely cancelled out, if not erased entirely, by sitting in front of the TV. Just as good deeds erase bad deeds, bad deeds cause good deeds to be lost. [You can refer to the Books section of this website; in Dealing with Worries and Stress you will find more details about the causes of worry and how to overcome them. In Dangers Facing the Home you will find mention of some of the harmful effects of TV.] Thirdly: She has given up with regard to time, and she has no determination to fill her time with beneficial things. In order to solve this problem, the sister must strive to achieve the following: 1- Doing acts of worship such as reciting dhikr and wird, praying, reading Qur’aan, fasting and thinking about the signs and blessings of Allaah. 2- She should pay special attention to the Qur’aan, since she says that she memorizes what is required of her, then she has spare time that she kills by watching TV. Why doesn’t she use that time to remember Allaah and read Qur’aan, and memorize more so that she can memorize the whole Qur’aan, before she becomes burdened with the responsibilities of life. For (reading) each letter is a hasanah, and each hasanah brings a tenfold reward. And each verse raises one in status and increases one’s reward, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Read and rise (in status), for as you used to recite in this world, your position (in the Hereafter) will be determined by the last verse you read.†Narrated by Abu Dawood, 1464; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Saheehah, 2240. 3- Adopt a cause affecting Muslim women in the country where you live, such as helping to teach Muslim girls, undertaking charitable projects, and so on. 4- Find good and righteous friends with whom you can meet and get together. 5- Read Islamic books in particular and useful stories in general. 6- Get involved in da’wah, women’s activities and children’s sports in Islamic centres. 7- Listen to tapes and lectures, and write summaries which you can distribute to those who will benefit from them. 8- Learn some useful areas of worldly knowledge such as cooking, sewing, etc. 9- Learn about computers and useful programs, for this is a vast area which will take up a lot of time and can be used to do a lot of good and useful things. This will take you away from sitting in front of the TV which does not help you in any way, and does more harm than good. 10-You should read some books which speak of the importance of time and how to manage it; listen to some useful lectures on this topic too. May Allaah help you and us to do all that is good.
  2. Assalamu Alaikum, Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said in al-Fawaa’id: Allaah the Exalted said: Verily, therein is indeed a reminder for him who has a heart or gives ear while he is heedful. (Qaaf 50:37) When you desire benefit from the Qur’an, then bring your heart together during its recitation, listen heedfully and have the presence of the one who is being addressed and spoken to, since it is a speech from Him, the Sublime, to you, upon the tongue of His Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam). This is because the best and most complete effectis suspended between the following: 1. that which produces the required effect, 2. a place which receives this effect, 3. the condition which is necessary to receive such an effect and 4. the absence of that which prevents this effect from being obtained. This verse has included all of the above with the most concise and clear of wording, which is most direct in expounding the intended meaning. His speech: (Verily, therein is indeed a reminder...) is an indication of what has preceded from the beginning of Surah Qaaf to the present and this constitutes that which produces the desired effect. And His speech: (...for him who has a heart...) this is the place which receives the effect and what is desired by it is: a living heart which understands from Allaah, just as the Exalted has said: It is but a Reminder and a Manifest, Clear Qur’an, that he (Muhammad) may give warning to him who is alive (i.e. the healthy and live heart of the believer.) (Yaa Seen 36:69-70) And His speech: (...or who gives ear...) the one who directs his listening and the perceptive faculty of his hearing to what is being said to him, and this is the condition of benefitting and receiving the desired effect from the words (that one hears). And His speech: (...while he is heedful) meaning his heart is present and witnessing, not absent and unmindful. Ibn Qutaibah said: "Listen to the Book of Allaah, while your heart and understanding are present, not while you are unmindful and forgetful." And this is an indication of that which prevents the desired effect [from the Book of Allaah] from being obtained and that is the forgetfulness and absence of the heart from understanding what is being said to it, looking at it with care and pondering slowly and carefully over it. So when that which produces the effect and that is the Book of Allaah; a place which receives the effect and that is the heart; the necessary condition, which is paying attention; the absence of that which prevents the effect and that is the hearts occupation and distraction away from the meaning of the speech and its turning way to something else are all present, then the effect will be obtained and realised and that is benefiting from the Qur’an and its remembrance.
  3. Assalamu Alaikum, When I Covered My Head I Opened My Mind Shariffa Carlo As a non-Muslim living in Western society, the idea of modesty was not exactly foremost in my mind. Like all other women of my generation and mind-set, I thought such ideas were antiquated and excessive. I felt pity for the poor Muslim woman who had to "wear all that junk," or "walk around in bed - sheets" as I used to call it I was a modern woman, educated and liberated. Little did I know the awful truth. I was more oppressed than any Muslim woman in the most culturally oppressive village in the Muslim world. I was oppressed not by an inability to choose my clothing or to choose my life-style, I was oppressed by an inability to see my society for what it really was. I was oppressed by the idea that a woman's beauty was public, and that lustful admiration was equal to respect. It was when Allah guided me to Islam, and I put on the hijab, that I was finally able to step out of the society in which I lived and see it for what it really is. I could see how the highest paid women were those who exposed themselves to public display, like actresses, models and even strip-tease dancers. I was able to see that the relationship between men and women was unfairly stacked in the man's direction. I knew I used o dress to attract men. I tried to fool myself by saying I did it to please myself, but the painful reality was that what pleased me was when I was admired by a man I considered attractive. I now know that there is no way for a person to know that he is dirty if he has never been clean. Similarly, I was not able to see that I was oppressed until I stepped out of the darkness of this oppressive society into the light of Islam. With that light shined on the truth, I was finally able to see the shadows that had been so obscured by my Western philosophies. It is not oppression to protect yourself and society; it is oppression to voluntarily throw yourself into the quagmire while denying it is dirty. I am grateful to Allah that He allowed me to recognize that when I covered my head, I was taking away from people any means for judging me other than my mind, my soul and my heart. When I covered my head, I took away the incentive for exploitation based on beauty. When I covered my head, I made people respect me because they saw that I respected myself, and when I covered my head, I finally opened my mind to the truth. Teach, Don't Preach One of the factors which attracted me to this great deen of ours was the fact that so much of it can be understood based on logic and reason. that is why I feel that many Muslims parents do themselves a great disservice by not explaining more to their children. The old, "Because I say so...", or because you are an Arab, Pakistani, Somali, (fill in your cultural preference)..." never has worked and never will work. Human beings have a natural desire to understand what they do and why they do it, that is why Islam is such a great religion, because it satisfies all of our basic intellectual and emotional needs; it does this simply because it is the truth, and the truth is always easy to understand and defend. When we teach our children, we should use the same sound reasoning and logic that we use to convince ourselves that a particular deed is beneficial. Thus, as we accept it, so, inshallah, will they because it will be understandable. Of course we preface every instruction with the understanding that we do what we do to please Allah and Allah only, even if we can not understand it, but alhamdulillah we have a means to understand the majority of what we do and avoid as Muslims. For instance, we know that we don't eat pork because Allah commands us in the Glorious Quraan to avoid it. Then, we know that our beloved Prophet (Sal Allahu alayhi wa salam) commanded us to avoid it. We need to tell this to our kids, and as they grow and increase in their understanding we need to show it to them. This teaches them some important lessons. It shows them Allah's commands; it shows them the importance of the Prophet's (Sal Allahu alayhi wa salam) commands, and it shows them the basics of researching into the deen. Then, once we set this as our base, we need to explain to them the wisdom of this command. Talk about the diseases associated with eating pork. Discuss the unsanitary living/eating habits of this animal. Essentially, teach them those things which help you to avoid this sin. Teach them to use their faith and their mind in unison as tools towards achieving the ultimate goal of reaching Jannah. "Say: Indeed my prayer, and my sacrifice, and my living, and my dying are for none other than Allaah, Lord of all that exists"
  4. Assalamu Alaikum, Where in the world, are the Muslim youth getting their ideals about love, marriage and family? Are we turning to the Qur'ân and the Sunnah of the Prophet SallAllâhu 'alayhi wa sallam? Unfortunately, we do not. In the Indian subcontinent, we're turning to Indian films; In America and possibly the rest of the world, we're turning to Hollywood. Mumbai, a famous mainstream Indian film, features a Muslim girl who falls in love and ultimately marries a Hindu boy. At the beginning of the film, she is shown in niqab [veil]. After her family refuses to allow their marriage, the girl runs away and does not speak to them for six years. At the end her parents come to her and all are happy. Hollywood, one of the largest influences in the world, plays a huge role in the formation of concepts about love, marriage, and family. These films portray men and women who are 'in love.' And yet, often times the individual they 'love' will be someone they just saw or spoke to briefly. Suddenly, however they are willing to lose their spouse, their family, their job, their life, and even their Lord. It is, therefore, more correct to say that they make these sacrifices because their desires have become their god. Allâh speaks of these people when He says: Have you seen the one who takes as his god his own vain desire? Allâh knowing [him as such] has left him astray, and sealed his hearing and his heart (and understanding), and put a cover on his sight. Who, then, will guide him after Allâh (has withdrawn guidance)? Will ye not then receive admonition?†(45:23) But yet these very same people that Allâh has described in His book as most astray have become our example and ideal. In 1998, Titanic, grossing more than 1 billion dollars in sales worldwide, became the most popular movie across the globe. The story features a young girl of age 17 who is engaged to be married. After meeting and ultimately falling in love with another man, the young girl cheats on her fiancé and disobeys her mother. Both the mother and the fiancé are shown as superficial in order to make her disloyalty more acceptable. The messages of these films are very penetrating. The most powerful message is: if you sacrifice for 'love', all will be well in the end. In other words, if you disregard your religion, your family, your God, following only your desires, you will be rewarded in the end. If we look to America, we can see the clear effects of these misshapen concepts. 'Why has divorce reached the unprecedented rate of 40-60%? The answer lies in the misconstrued definition of what true love and marriage actually is. These movies feature the wedding as the end of the movie, and thus marriage is seen as the end of a love story, rather than the beginning. Does Piety Matter? What effect does this have on our society, on our youth in particular, who are the victims of these misconstrued ideals. What is the basis of the "love" portrayed in these movies? What criterion will young Muslims affected by these images use when choosing a spouse? Will they follow the Sunnah of the Prophet Sallallalhu 'alayhi wa sallam, who says the one who marries for Dîn [religion and conduct] is blessed? Or, will they base their choice on an empty, fleeting attraction disguised as “love"? If the youth begin to choose their spouses based on this ephemeral emotion rather than on Dîn, what effect will that have on the Ummah as a whole? Will not more families be broken due to divorce and strife? Will more youth not be forced to cut ties with their families (assuming they do not agree)? Thus, we should be aware and guard ourselves and our children from this deceptive tool of Satan. Allâh describes those people who only follow their desires numerous times throughout the Qur'ân. Let us not be among those who Allâh describes as most astray and let those not become our ideals. "Who is more astray than one who follows his own lusts, devoid of guidance from Allâh? For Allâh guides not people given to wrongdoing" [28: 50] Adapted from an article by Yasmien Mogahed.
  5. Originally posted by Fathia: It’s frightening how we are manipulated into questioning our faith and beliefs. The other day, I had an interesting debate with a friend who is an atheist and even when I have used verses from the Qu’ran verifying recent findings by scientist such as mountains having roots, formation stage of a foetus to the birth of a child, different sea water not mixing, I was unable to convince him of the simple existence of Allah. I do not doubt my religion and I strongly believe in the Qu’ran yet I felt powerless and weak in my argument. How do you make someone belief, for I really would like him to be a Muslim. Assalamu Alaikum, I have been through the same debate...except this was on a forum (Somalinet) instead of a 'face-face' debate! There is no point debating with this person bro/sis because no matter how much you try...they will always disagree. The best thing you can do after showing them proof and all is praying for their guidance Insh'Allah! Most non-Muslims who debate with you concerning Islam do not do it for the sake of gaining knowledge but rather for the sake of degrading Islam! "Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us, and grant us Mercy from You...." Ameen
  6. Originally posted by axmed_fiqi: something is missing in those websites, It's the same thing about them, Increase the rituals, Forget the ixsaan. It's very sad. Ihsaan is worshipping Allah (SWT) as though you see Him right? Now how are these websites missing that? :confused: Jazakum'Allahu Kairan for the links...will check them out Insh'Allah
  7. Assalamu Alaikum, There is no need to have any sort of "respect" towards this so called "holiday" of theirs. The correct word the author of these articles should have used is "tolerate" and/or "ignore"! Why respect something that associates partners with Allah (SWT)? Why have some sort of a respect towards falsehood? Would you respect a lie?
  8. Originally posted by Haseena: Allah’s Love and Aid for his True Devotee] Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him. It was related by al-Bukhari. Text copied from Al-Nasir’s Hadith Qudsi Software Assalamu Alaikum, Mash'Allah, Subhan'Allah...this one is just beautiful. Good to read it whenever you are feeling down or sad about what's happening to us (Muslims) all over the world. Jazakum'Allahu Kairan for sharing it with us. Sister Modesty, Jazakz sister...may Allah (SWT) reward you Insh'Allah. Ameen Keep them coming sister
  9. Assalamu Alaikum, Allah says in His Quran: "O you who believe, keep your duty to Allah, and seek means of nearness to Him, and strive hard in His way that you may be successful " [Al-Maidah:35] A large number of scholars and mufassir have explained the Arabic word "wasila" as a method to get closer to Allah by doing good deeds. In "tafsir ibn kathir", ibn Kathir writes that no Mufassir has disregarded the above meaning and all of them agree upon it. Moreover in Sahih Bukhari we find a hadith Qudsi which explains that one gets closer to Allah (tawasil) and is loved by Him when he offers his compulsory and optional prayers. In the collection of hadith in Sahih Muslim we come across a hadith narrated on the authority of Rabia b.Kaab, in which he said: "I was with Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) one night, and I brought him water and what he required. He said to me: 'Ask (anything you like)'. I said: 'I ask for your company in Paradise.' He (the Holy 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' " [sahih Muslim] It is repeatedly stated in The Quran that along with accepting Islamic faith one is expected to do good deeds. From the above mentioned hadith we come to know that the meaning of finding a Wasila towards Allah is to do good deeds. In fact the verse in itself suggests a form of Wasila, that is Jihad. Dua or calling upon Allah is one of the most prestigious act which one can do. That’s why our Prophet told us that calling upon Allah is a prayer and if we don’t ask from Allah then He gets angry with us. Similarly in Quran we have: "And your Lord says: Call on Me, I will answer your (prayer). But Those who are too arrogant to serve Me will surely find themselves in hell, in humiliation " [Al Mu'min:60] "When My servants ask you concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them). I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on Me' let them also, with a will, listen to My call, and believe in Me, that they may walk in the right way " [Al-Baqarah:186] When we look in The Quran and the Sahih ahadith, we find many supplications. Important thing about them is that they reflect a direct relationship between the suppliant and Allah. There is no third person or a source involved between the two. No Prophet associated any pious person or a senior Prophet (before him) in his supplication as an intercessor while calling Allah. If this is the case, then what permits anyone to use pious people or Prophets as intercessors while calling Allah. If we can't find our Prophet or his companions do such a thing then how can we do it on our own. It is certainly not a good deed, in fact it is lethal. There are some narrations which are commonly presented as evidence to intimate wasila regarding rank or status of a dead Person, but the truth is that they are either unauthentic or misunderstood. Please read the article Intimating Wasila Regarding Rank or Status of a Dead Person for details. BIG MISTAKE - Calling on others instead of Allah If one makes a pious dead person an intercessor of his supplications to Allah, then he is indulging himself in innovations which may lead to shirk (Polytheism). Today we find a large number of people calling the dead and thinking that they have the ability to convey their message to Allah. They say like: "O' Jesus, O' Ali, O' Muhammad, O' Ghaus, O' Abdul Qadir, O' Daata, please help us convey our message to Allah as He cannot say no to you and we don’t feel confident that He (Allah) will listen to us." They make these persons as intercessors or associates with Allah, and do not fear about the biggest of all sins, called shirk (Polytheism). If one commits shirk then he earns Hell forever. Polytheists of Makkah also had these sort of believes, and Allah mentions in the Quran: "And they serve besides Allah that which can neither harm them nor profit them and they say, These are our intercessors with Allah. Say, Would you inform Allah of what He knows not in the heavens and the earth? Glory be to Him, and supremely exalted is He above what they set up! (with Him)." [Yunus:18] "Now surely sincere obedience is due to Allah (alone). And those who choose protectors besides Him (say), we serve them only that they may bring us nearer to Allah. Surely Allah will judge between them in that in which they differ. Surely Allah guides not him who is a liar, ungrateful." [Al Zumar:3] A hadith in Sahih Muslim also throws light upon the faith of the polytheists of Makkah. Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) reported that the polytheists recited the talbiyah[uttering loudly (at the time of pilgrimage) to Allah that one is obedient to Him] as: "Labaik Allahumma, Labaik! Labaika laa shareeka lakal labaik." (Here I am at your service, there is no associate with You). But they added this, "Only one associate with You, You possess mastery over him, but he does not possess mastery (over You). They used to say this and go around the Kaaba (House of Allah in Makkah). Because of their adding this statement to the talbiyah, the prophet, peace be upon him, sayyid "Woe to them, because they have said, 'But one associate with You, You possess mastery over him, but he does not possess mastery (over You). [recorded in Sahih Muslim] So when Allah never made anyone His partner then how can people associate partners or intercessors with Him. Some people argue that these verses are for idols and not human beings, as the polytheists used to worship idols and not human beings. Well its very simple to answer this, just open the most authentic book of ahadith The Sahih Bukhari, and you will find in the chapter of Tafsir that the idols worshipped in Prophet Noah's time were actually reminders of Pious people before them. Second evidence is provided by the conquest of Makkah. When the Prophet took charge of The Kaaba he threw away all the idols and amongst them found idols of the Prophet Ibrahim and Ismael (Bukhari Kitab Al-Maghazi). So all these idols were reminders of human beings and the following Quranic verse makes it clear to understand this fact: "Those whom you call on besides Allah are slaves like yourselves, so call on them, then let them answer you, if you are truthful." [Al Araf:194] "Those whom they call upon desire, (for themselves) means of access to their Lord (Allah), as to which of them should be the nearest. And they hope for His Mercy and fear His Torment. Verily the Torment of your Lord is (something) to be afraid of!" [Al Isra:57] No one merely worshipped an idol of wood or stone. Worshipping of idols by Hindus and Fire by Majusis (fire worshippers) is based on the fact that they used idols and fire as a source or media to worship God. It’s a pity that many Muslims today have the same believes like these Hindus and think that these dead or alive pious people would get them closer to God. Some say that God is in them and everything is God. Some say that Muhammad (peace be upon him) can save them from Allah but if Muhammad (peace be upon him) gets hold of anyone then no one can help. These concepts of polytheism came only because Quran was not read and understood properly. By looking up in the Quran, we find that if Allah decides to punish someone then that person cannot be helped by anyone, even the Prophets of Allah become helpless at that moment. The story of the Prophet Noah and His son is a very good example to explain the point. When Noah (peace be upon him) saw his son drowning, he cried to his Lord and said: My Lord, surely my son is of my family, and Your promise is true and You are the Most Just of the Judges. Allah replied: O Noah, he is not of your family; he is (an embodiment of ) unrighteous conduct. So ask not of Me that of which you have no knowledge. I admonish you lest you be of the ignorant. [Hud:45-46] Now an honest look at the above mentioned Quranic verse clearly explains that even the Prophet of Allah could not save his own son, although he had been preaching Allah's religion for 950 years. In Quran Allah told His Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him): "Surely you cannot guide whom you love, but Allah guides whom He pleases, and He knows best those who walk aright " [Al Qasas:56] Moreover in ahadith of Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim we find Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) advising his relatives to do good deeds. He clearly told them that it was not possible for him to save them from Allah's anger. He specifically made it very clear to his own daughter Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with her), that he would be unable do anything for her, once in front of Allah on the day of judgment. He advised her to do good deeds in order to save her self from Allah's wrath. Now these examples from Sahih Ahadith clearly explain the true concept of Wasila. O yes! The supplication of the Prophet was definitely a wasila for his companions. They used to come to him for their problems and asked him to pray for them. The prophet used to pray for them and Allah solved their problems. But this was when he was alive. After he died, his companions never went to his grave to use him as an intercessor between Allah and themselves. They were very clear that once someone dies, he breaks his links with this world and is not aware of what happens behind him. This was the reason that during the need for rain (after Prophet's death) they (Prophet's companions) never went to his grave, they used to go to his uncle Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him), to invoke Allah for the rain. Anas (radiallahu anhu) narrated: " Whenever drought threatened them, Umar bin Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) used to ask Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib to invoke Allah for rain. He used to say, 'O Allah! We used to ask our Prophet (peace be upon him) to invoke You for rain, and You would bless us with rain, and now we ask his uncle to invoke You for rain. O Allah! Bless us with rain'. And so it would rain." [bukhari - Chapter Al-Istisqa (Invoking Allah for rain)] It is of great importance to notice that it is permissible for one to request a living religious person to invoke Allah on his behalf but if you ask Allah through a dead or an absent (person etc) then it is not allowed. Moreover we find in this hadith the Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) also prayed to Allah himself. Thus praying to Allah by oneself is also essential, apart from requesting someone else to pray on behalf of someone. So it is very obvious now that the companions of the Prophet never went to his grave to solve their problems. This was because they were trained that way. The following hadith taken from Sahih Muslim would explain the teachings of the Prophet about graves: "Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) reported: As the messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) was about to breathe his last, he drew his sheet upon his face and when he felt uneasy, he uncovered his face and said in this very state: Let there be curse upon the Jews and the Christians that they have taken the graves of their Apostles as places of worship. He in fact warned (his followers) against what they (the Jews and the Christians) did." [sahih Muslim] "Narrated by Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her), she said: The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said during his illness from which he never recovered: Allah cursed the Jews and the Christians that they took the graves of their Prophets as mosques. She (Ayesha) reported: Had it not been so, his (Prophet) grave would have been in an open place, but it could not be, due to the fear that it may not be taken as a mosque." [sahih Muslim] So dear brothers! Call upon Allah ONLY. Call on Him, without making anyone as an intercessor or associating anyone with Him. Allah knows what we have in our hearts. Surely He listens to His people and fulfils their needs. Also read the article: Intimating Wasila Regarding Rank or Status of a Dead Person for research regarding narrations which are commonly presented as evidence to intimate wasila of dead persons in supplications. Intimating Wasila Regarding Rank or Status of a Dead Person --->
  10. Peace again Callypso, Found this article that will help understand the issue with women and hadith better Insh'Allah (God Willing) Belittling Women with the Hadeeth: “Women are Deficient in Intellect and Deen.†By Ash Shaykh Al ‘Allaamah ‘Abdul ‘Azeez ibn Baaz (رحمه الله) Question: We often hear the noble Hadeeth "Women are deficient in their intelligence and in their Deen†and some men use this Hadeeth as a form of belittlement towards the women. We desire from you O noble shaykh, clarification of the meaning of this Hadeeth? Answer: The meaning of the Hadeeth of the Messenger of Allaah (s.a.w.): “I have never seen anyone with a deficiency of ‘Aql (intellect) and Deen (religion) who are more overpowering to men than one of you [women].†So it was said: “O Messenger of Allaah, what is the deficiency in her intelligence?†He said: “Isn’t the witness of two women equal to that of one man?†So it was said: “What is the deficiency in her Deen?†So he said: “Isn’t it the case that if she is menstruating she doesn’t pray or fast?†So the Messenger (s.a.w) clarified that the deficiency of her intellect was from the angle of her weak memory and that her testimony is strengthened with the testimony of another woman. This is because of the preciseness of the witness (in Islaam) and because she could forget and make an addition or deletion to the testimony. Just as Allaah says: {And bring forth two witnesses from your own men. If there are not two men (available) then a man and two women, such as you agree for witnesses, so that if one of them (two women) errs then the other can remind her…} [2282] As for deficiency in her Deen, then it is because during her state of menstruation and post-partum bleeding, she abandons the Salaat and fasting, and she doesn’t make up the salaat. This is from the deficiency in her Deen. But this deficiency is not blameworthy upon her. Rather it is a deficiency, which happens as a result of that which Allaah had decreed for her and this was done in a manner of leniency and easiness towards her. For if she were to fast in a state of menstruation or in a state of postpartum bleeding it would harm her. So from the Mercy of Allaah (towards women) He has legislated for her to abandon the fast at the time when she is menstruating or in a state of Nifaas, and to make up the fast afterwards. As for the salaat, then without a doubt, the state of menstruation prevents her from purification. So from the mercy of Allaah, He legislated for her to abandon her prayer and likewise in the state of Nifaas. He also legislated for her not to make it up, because in making up the (Salaat) is difficulty, because the Salaat is tremendous, and repetitious, five times throughout the night and day, and the days of menstruation can be plentiful, sometimes seven or eight days or more than that. And the Nifaas could reach 40 days. So from the mercy of Allaah upon her and from His Ihsaan (doing good) towards her is that He removed the Salaat from her whether it be the initial Salaat or the make-up. And this does not necessitate that her intelligence is deficient in everything! Nor that her Deen is deficient in everything! But indeed the Messenger (saw) clarified that the deficiency in her intelligence is from that which happens to her from the lack of precision in her memory and testimony, and that the deficiency in her Deen is from the fact that she leaves off the prayer and fasting at the time of her menses or in the state of Nifaas. Also this doesn’t necessitate that she is less than a man in everything! or the fact that the man is better in everything! Yes, generally the male gender is better than the gender of the females generally for many reasons. Just as Allah the High and Sublime says: {Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend their wealth (to support them)…} [434] But she can surpass him, sometimes, in many things. And by Allaah how many women surpass many men in their intelligence, Deen and precision! But verily that which is narrated on the Messenger (s.a.w) is that the women are surpassed by men, generally, in intelligence and in the religion only. There can proceed from her many righteous actions, in which, she can surpass the men and in her Taqwah of Allaah, Azza Wa Jall, and in her station in the hereafter. There could be some affairs that she places great importance on and is precise in them more so than the precision of a man. There are many issues, which she carefully considers, and is diligent in memorizing and precise in. She would become the foundation in Islaamic history and point of reference in many affairs and this is clear to those who ponder and reflect on the state of the women during the time of the Prophet (s.a.w) and after that. With this it should be understood that this deficiency should not prevent her from being treated equally in her narrations and in her testimony, if it is strengthened with the testimony of another woman. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that it (this deficiency) should prevent her from having Taqwah of Allaah and the fact that she could be from the most virtuous slaves of Allah if she is upright in her Deen, even if the fasting and Salaat is not obligatory upon her at the time of menstruation and Nifaas rather this is a deficiency which is specific to the intellect and Deen just as the Messenger (s.a.w) clarified. It is not appropriate that a believer should accuse her of being deficient in everything and weak in every area of her Deen, and its clarification is pertinent and important so that the speech of the Messenger is understood in it’s proper context and in the best possible manner and Allaah knows best. Majmoo’ Fatawaa Wa Maqalaat Mutanawi’ah. Vol. 3/292
  11. Assalamu Alaikum, My wish, to be a good Muslim and to enter Jannah Insh'Allah
  12. Assalamu Alaikum, Ishhh, tell me about it :rolleyes: Islam is a "threat" to them because they KNOW it's the truth!!! Insh'Allah they will get what they deserve! To be honest with you, what's happening to us Muslims is NOTHING compared to how the early Muslims were treated so we should be thank-ful to Allah (SWT) and be patient for we shall be the successful ones Insh'Allah!
  13. Assalamu Alaikum, Islam = "Doing God's Will On Earth, As It Is In Heaven." Almighty Allah has ordained for His Creation a "Way of Life" - Any contradictions violate His Will. Believers Have No Opinion - Except Allah's Decision "It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision." Quran [33:36] My question is about using my own opinions in matters where it seems "Islam" just doesn't match up with the way I look at things and to follow my ideas over what the Quran and the hadeeths say. Is there any problem with me sort of "rethinking" the way Islam should be? There are a number of things that people say about Islam that make sense, but some things just don't appeal to me and I don't agree with it. So, what should I do? And does this affect my being a real Muslim? (a sister - name deleted) Answer: Bismillah Rahman Raheem Salam alaykum: Here is something that the Quran (which means the "Speech of Allah) says about what the believers are to do when they find something in the Quran and the hadeeths: 33:36. It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path. 4:65. But no, by your Lord, they can have no (real) Faith, until they make you judge in all disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance against your decisions, but accept them with the fullest conviction. It is very important for us to know that Allah is the only one who can tell us what He wants for us in the way of worship to Him. He makes the rules and we try to do it. That is how it is described in Islam. Again, in the Quran Allah says: 3:19 "The only deen (way of life in religion) for Allah is the deen of Islam." 3:85 "Whoever seeks a way of life (deen) other than the one that Allah has prescribed (Islam), it will never be accepted from them and in the Hereafter, they will be amongst the losers." 5:3 "On this day have I perfected your religion for you, confirmed my favor upon you, and have chosen for you to submit to me in Islam (as your way of life)." 2:208. O you who believe! Enter into Islam wholeheartedly; and follow not the footsteps of Satan; for he is to you an avowed enemy. These are more or less the meaning to the English language. By the way, as Muslims we still have the original of the Arabic to compare the translations to for examination. For other religions, they do not have their originals anymore. As regards your other statements, I would encourage you to read the Quran (at least 2 pages per day -- even though you might be very busy): For an explanation of the meanings of the verses of the Quran, you might like to visit this link: And read from the authentic hadeeths in Al Arbaeen (40 Hadeeth) by Imam AnNawawi. Also, read from the "Forty Hadeeth Qudsi" The more that you read from the Book of Allah and the sayings of the messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, the more that you will find that you are becoming better equipped to understand and apply the teachings, inshallah. Remember also the nine steps to the purification of the heart that I mentioned in the story of Priests and Preachers Entering Islam: May I suggest to the seeker of truth do the following NINE STEPS to purification of the mind: 1.) Clean their mind, their heart and their soul real good. 2.) Clear away all the prejudices and biases 3.) Read a good translation of the meaning of the Holy Quran in a language that they can understand best. 4.) Take some time. 5.) Read and reflect. 6.) Think and pray. 7.) And keep on asking the One who created you in the first place, to guide you to the truth. 8.) Keep this up for a few months. And be regular in it. 9.) Above all, do not let others who are poisoned in their thinking influence you while your are in this state of "rebirth of the soul." The rest is between you and the Almighty Lord of the Universe. If you truly love Him, then He already Knows it and He will deal with each of us according to our hearts. If you have any questions please write to me at: Until then, Salam alaykum - Allah has All Knowledge. Any good is from Allah & the mistakes were from myself. Please pray for me and ask Allah to Forgive me. May Allah guide all of us to His Truth, ameen. Salam alaykum Yusuf Estes National Muslim Chaplain
  14. Assalamu Alaikum,Peace to any Non-Muslim Author: Yusuf Estes There is a popular theory referred to as the 'Big Bang' theory. It tries to explain the existence of the universe in an evolutionary manner having an initial beginning with an immense explosion of some gases or solid mass. Some say there first was a void or a 'nothingness', or perhaps, some gases which exploded then from this everything in the universe simply began to evolve to the stage that we see now. There has never really been any solid evidence for this idea of 'something out of nothing' concept. Nor for that matter, the evolutionary theory itself. We would like to explore the idea of creation from a purely logical standpoint using simple terminology without religious hype, emotional pre-convictions or superstitions. What if someone called a 'scientist' tells you his 'theory' of how cars are made is like this: A salvage yard on the south side of town blows up and all the metal pieces fly into the air and fall back down in one place forming a brand new Chevrolet Caprice automobile . . with no left over parts . . and the motor is running . . Or what if his theory for how a chair is made is: An explosion occurs in a forest and the trees go flying into the air and then suddenly they combine with some flying cloth to make a beautiful chair . . . and then it lands in a furniture showroom complete with matching table and lamp . . . He further explains that: An earthquake in California's 'Silicon Valley' causes the computer chips and circuit boards and other various parts to fall out of their boxes and off of their shelves and just come in place together as they are rolling around on the floor and form the most advanced technical computers existing on the earth? . . . Or what of his 'Medicine Theory'? He now claims that: A gas leak in a pharmacy warehouse causes a terrific explosion. All the different chemicals and substances just smash into each other in exactly the correct amounts to produce a miracle drug which cures everything form cancer to heart and liver disease, old age and warts? . . . Wait . . . there's more to this one: It is all in one formula, packaged in the bottles with labels and ready to sell with no mess left on the floor? . . . Now after all this exploding and excitement this 'scientist' tells you of a great place to relax and have something to eat. It is his favorite place and he calls it: "Burger Blast"! He says: You just go in and sit down and suddenly a 'blast' from the kitchen occurs and immediately a burger lands right in front of you with all the trimmings.. just the way you like it complete with fries, a drink and even your favorite dessert? . . . AND . . . No one works at "Burger Blast", it just runs itself, automatically cleaning itself and as you leave it scans your billfold for a valid credit card and charges your bank account for what you have eaten? . . . Now the question is: "Are you really going to accept any of this as 'fact'? Of course not! We wouldn't believe a new car is made from flying junk; chairs don't fall down from exploding trees; earthquakes do not produce computers and blasting burgers don't rain down on us from above. Question: So how come we don't challenge a theory of something coming from nothing and then colliding in the cosmos to make the universe? Is it because of its tremendous magnitude that we have so little comprehension about it, that we are willing to accept any theory from a few telescope 'peeping Toms' to tell us that it came from 'nothingness'? Or just some gases colliding and then. . . 'Poof'!? Instant Universe? How? Let us now come to our main subject: Creation or Explosion? We can turn our attention to the earth and the heavens and make observations on our own without a 'genius' scientist telling us what we are seeing. And then the idea that nothing is sustaining the heavens and the earth! - 'It just runs itself'? How? Think about the stars, the sun, the moon and the countless solar systems and galaxies in the universe. Who or What created them in the first place? They continue to function and move with the utmost precision and accuracy. Who does this? Who keeps them gliding along on their courses and orbits preordained for them? The Qur'an on the Origin of the Universe Look closer to the heaven surrounding the earth. We call it the 'sky'. Notice the clouds? What are they? The Qur'an on Clouds Let us now bring our gaze a bit closer to earth. Consider the mountains and their majesty. Is there anything about these massive formations that may give us a clue as to the origin of creation? The Qur'an on Mountains What about the water covering the earth? Is there another clue hiding beneath the seas? The Qur'an on Deep Seas and Internal Waves Water covers so much of the earth and even mixes with the land in rivers and streams. Yet is there something keeping it from mixing with itself? What is contained in this mystery of separation of waters? The Qur'an on Seas and Rivers What about us? Are we are part of creation? How did we begin? What develops us and causes us to live and die? How are we sustained? The Qur'an on Human Embryonic Development Think about the humans. How did we all get here? What is the nature of mankind? What causes us to act as we do? Are we ungrateful to the One who created us and sustains us? What is this clue? Think about yourself. Did you create yourself? The Qur'an on the Cerebrum (forehead area of the brain in humans) Who or What created all this? Who is sustaining everything? How do organisms reproduce themselves? How can a tree grow up out of a seed?
  15. Assalamu Alaikum, "And KILL them where ever you find them..." Holy Quran chapter 2, verse 191 "Let There Be No Compulsion in Religion." Surah Al Baqarah, verse 226 (same chapter as above) by Sheikh Sami Al-Majid (with notes by Sheik Yusuf Estes) What Does Islam Say About "Forcing People in Religion?" A basic and fundamental truth established by the sacred texts of Islam (Quran and Hadeeth) is that: - "No one can be compelled to accept Islam!" It is the duty of the Muslims to establish proof of validity of Islam to the people in order for the truth to be distinct from falsehood. Once that is done, whoever wishes to accept Islam may do so and whoever wishes to continue upon their belief may do so. No one is to be threatened or harmed in any way should they chose not to accept Islam. Note: It is not only forbidden to compel someone to accept Islam - it is impossible to do so. Please consider the meaning of the word"Islam" before continuing to read: ['Islam'; Ar. from the root 'slm' (silm), to be in peaceful submission; to surrender; to obey; peace; Islam lit. 'The active willful surrender, submission, obedience, in purity to the will of another (Allah) in complete peace.'] The understanding from the meaning of the word "Islam" itself makes it clear that there is no way that you could possibly force someone to do something that requires them to do it of their own free will and accord. If someone were "forced to enter Islam" then it would not be "Islam" anyway, as a condition of "Islam" is that it is by free choice in peace. Forcing people into Islam is totally illogical and certainly not acceptable in concept nor practice. More about the word "Islam" [click] [Y. Estes] It is the duty and obligation of the Muslims to establish the truth and proofs of Islam and then allow others the freedom of choice to accept or reject the proofs. There are two principle sources of proof for the Muslim. They are: The Quran - considered by Muslims to be the absolute Speech or Recitation of Allah, the Almighty. ('Quran' Ar. from the root; qr'a: to recite; Quran; lit. "That which is recited"). More about Quran . . . [click] The Hadeeth - teachings of Muhammad, peace be upon him. (hadeeth - Ar. meaning, stories or narrations. The hadeeths have been collected, authenticated [in collections by Bukhari and Muslim called 'sahih', categorized, preserved and memorized for over 1,400 years; all in the original language [Arabic]). More about Hadeeth . . . [click] Among the many decisive pieces of evidence in Islam to prove that "There is no compulsion in Islam" are the following: Allah says in His Quran: “Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth has been made clear from error. Whoever rejects false worship and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that never breaks. And Allah hears and knows all things.†[surah al-Baqarah: 256] Allah also says in Quran: “If it had been your Lord’s will, all of the people on Earth would have believed. Would you then compel the people so to have them believe?†[surah Yunus: 99] And Allah says: “So if they dispute with you, say ‘I have submitted my whole self to Allah, and so have those who follow me.’ And say to the People of the Scripture and to the unlearned: ‘Do you also submit yourselves?’ If they do, then they are on right guidance. But if they turn away, your duty is only to convey the Message. And in Allah’s sight are all of His servants.†[surah Al `Imran: 20] Allah The Almighty has also said: “The Messenger’s duty is but to proclaim the Message.†[surah Al-Maidah: 99] It is important to note that these last two verses were revealed in Madinah. This is significant, since it shows that the ruling they gave was not just contingent on the Muslims being in Mecca in a state of weakness. NOTE: See Footnote About JIHAD (1) Some people might be wondering that if Islam indeed advocates such an approach, then what is all this we hear about jihad? How can we explain the warfare that the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Companions waged against the pagans? The answer to this is that jihad in Islamic Law can be waged for a number of reasons, but compelling people to accept Islam is simply not one of them. The reason why jihad was first permitted in Islam was so the Muslims could defend themselves against persecution and expulsion from their homes. Allah, Most High says: “To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight), because they are wronged – and verily Allah is Most Powerful for their aid – (They are) those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right – (for no cause) except that they say, ‘Our Lord is Allah’. Did Allah not check one set of people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, in which the name of Allah is commemorated in abundant measure. Allah will certainly aid those who aid his cause, for truly Allah is full of strength and might.†[surah al-Hajj: 39-40] Many of the earliest scholars mention that these were the first verses of the Quran that was revealed regarding jihad. Thereafter the following verses were revealed: “Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loves not transgressors. And kill them wherever you catch them and drive them out from whence they drove you out, for terrorism is worse than killing. But do not engage in combat with them at the sacred mosque unless they engage you in combat there. But if they combat against you, kill them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith. But if they cease, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. And combat them on until there is no more terrorism or oppression and there prevail justice and faith in Allah. But if they cease, don't let there be hostility except to those who practice oppression.†[surah al-Baqarah: 190-193] From this point on, the scope of jihad was broadened from being purely for defense against direct attack to being inclusive of resistance against those who suppress the faith and deny people the freedom to choose their religion for themselves. This came later, because it is legislated for the Muslims only when they are capable of doing so. In times of weakness, Muslims may only fight against direct attack. As for the spread of Islam, this is supposed to take place peacefully by disseminating the Message with the written and spoken word. There is no place for the use of weapons to compel people to accept Islam. Weapons can only be drawn against those who persecute and oppress others and prevent them from following their own consciences in matters of belief. The Muslims cannot just stand by while people are being denied the right to believe in Islam and their voices are being crushed. This is the meaning of Allah’s words: “And fight them on until there is no more terrorism or oppression and there prevails a way for justice and faith in Allah.†[surah al-Baqarah: 193] The Prophet (peace be upon him) said in his letter to the Roman governor Heracles: “I invite you to accept Islam. If you accept Islam, you will find safety. If you accept Islam, Allah will give you a double reward. However, if you turn away, upon you will be the sin of your subjects.†[sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim] Once people have heard the Message without obstruction or hindrance and the proof has been established upon them, then the duty of the Muslims is done. Those who wish to believe are free to do so and those who prefer to disbelieve are likewise free to do so. Even when the Muslims are compelled to fight and then subdue the land, their duty thereafter is to establish Allah’s law in the land and uphold justice for all people, Muslim and non-Muslim. It is not their right to coerce their subjects to accept Islam against their will. Non-Muslims under Muslim rule must be allowed to remain on their own faith and must be allowed to practice the rights of their faith, though they will be expected to respect the laws of the land. Had the purpose of jihad been to force the unbelievers to accept Islam, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would never have commanded the Muslims to refrain from hostilities if the enemy relented. He would not have prohibited the killing of women and children. However, this is exactly what he did. During a battle, the Prophet (peace be upon him) saw people gathered together. He dispatched a man to find out why they were gathered. The man returned and said: “They are gathered around a slain woman.†So Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “She should not have been attacked!†Khalid b. al-Walid was leading the forces, so he dispatched a man to him saying: “‘Tell Khalid not to kill women or laborersâ€. [sunan Abu Dawud] Note: This should not be misconstrued to indicate that the prophet, peace be upon him, made the killing of women (and children, elders, clerics and other innocents) to be haram (forbidden) at this particular point and time. In fact, it was always haram (forbidden) and the prophet, peace be upon him, was only reconfirming what was already in place by the shari'ah (Islamic Law). [Y. Estes] Therefore, even in the heat of battle against a hostile enemy, the only people who may be attacked are those who are actually participating in the fighting. Had the purpose of jihad been to force the unbelievers to accept Islam, the rightly guided Caliphs would not have prohibited the killing of priests and monks who refrained from fighting. However, this is exactly what they did. When the first Caliph, Abu Bakr, sent an army to Syria to fight the aggressive Roman legions, he went out to give them words of encouragement. He said: “You are going to find a group of people who have devoted themselves to the worship of Allah (i.e. monks), so leave them to what they are doing.†We have demonstrated that it is a principle in Islam that there is no compulsion in religion and we have discussed the objectives of jihad. Now, we shall turn our attentions to some texts that are often misunderstood. One of these is the verse: “But when the forbidden months are past, then fight the pagans wherever you find them, and seize them and beleaguer them and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war). But if they repent and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them, for Allah is oft-forgiving, most merciful.†[surah al-Tawbah: 5] Some people – especially some contemporary non-Muslim critics of Islam – have tried to claim that this verse abrogates the verse “Let there be no compulsion in religion.†They argue that the generality of this statement implies that every unbeliever who refuses to accept Islam must be fought. They support their allegation by pointing out that this verse is one of the last verses to be revealed about fighting. However, this verse in no way abrogates the principle in Islamic Law that there is no compulsion in religion. It may be general in wording, but its meaning is quite specific on account of other verses of the Quran that are connected with it as well as on account of a number of pertinent hadîth. We will be discussing these texts shortly. The people being referred to by this verse are the pagan Arabs who had been waging war against the Prophet (peace be upon him) and who had broken their covenant and treaties with him. This verse is not speaking about the other pagan Arabs who did not break their treaties and take up arms against the Muslims. It is also most definitely not speaking about the Jews or Christians, or, for that matter, the pagans who were living outside of Arabia. If we look at the verses in Surah al-Tawbah immediately before and after the one under discussion, the context of the verse becomes clear. A few verses before the one we are discussing, Allah says: “There is a declaration of immunity from Allah and His Messenger to those of the pagans with whom you have contracted mutual alliances. Go then, for four months, to and fro throughout the land. But know that you cannot frustrate Allah that Allah will cover with shame those who reject Him.†[surah al-Tawbah: 1-2] In these verses we see that the pagans were granted a four month amnesty with an indication that when the four months were over, fighting would resume. However, a following verse exempts some of them from the resumption of hostilities. It reads: “Except for those pagans with whom you have entered into a covenant and who then do not break their covenant at all nor aided anyone against you. So fulfill your engagements with them until the end of their term, for Allah loves the righteous.†[surah al-Tawbah: 4] So when Allah says: “But when the forbidden months are past, then fight the pagans wherever you find them, and seize them and beleaguer them and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)â€, we must know that it is not general, since the verse above has qualified it to refer to the pagan Arabs who were actually at war with the Prophet (peace be upon him) and those who broke their covenants of peace. This is further emphasized by a few verses later where Allah says: “Will you not fight people who broke their covenants and plotted to expel the Messenger and attacked you first?†[surah al-Tawbah: 13] Ibn al-Arabi, in his commentary on the Quran, writes: “It is clear from this that the meaning of this verse is to kill the pagans who are waging war against you.†[Ahkam al-Quran: (2/456)] Allah also say right after the verse under discussion: “How can there be a covenant before Allah and His Messenger with the pagans except those with whom you have made a treaty near the Sacred Mosque? As long as they stand true to you, stand true to them, for Allah does love the righteous.†[surah al-Tawbah: 7] Another misunderstood text is the hadîth where the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “I have been commanded to fight the people until they bear witness that there is no God but Allah and that I am Allah’s Messenger. If they do so, then there blood and their wealth are inviolable except in the dispensation of justice, and their affair is with Allah.†[sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslims] There can be no qualms about this hadîth’s authenticity, since it is recorded in both Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. However, this hadîth is also not to be taken generally, out of context, and in complete disregard to all the other textual evidence. The term “people†here is not referring to all humanity. Ibn Taymiyah says: “It refers to fighting those who are waging war, whom Allah has permitted us to fight. It does not refer to those who have a covenant with us with whom Allah commands us to fulfill our covenant.†[Majmu al-Fatawa (19/20)] Islam commands the Muslims to be just with people of other faiths, whether they be Jews, Christians, or pagans. Islam calls us to treat them kindly and try to win their hearts as long as they do not take up arms against us. Allah says: “Allah forbids you not with regard to those who neither fight against you for your faith nor drive you out of your homes from dealing kindly and justly with them, for Allah loves those who are just.†[surah al-Mumtahanah: 9-10] Allah commands Muslims to respect their non-Muslim parents and to accompany them in this world in a good manner. The Quran commands us to argue with them in the best manner. Allah says: “Argue with the People of the Scripture in the best manner except those among them who act oppressively. Say: We believe in the revelation that has come down to us and in that which came down to you. Our God and your God is one, and it is to Him we submit ourselves as Muslims.†[surah al-Ankabût: 46] We are ordered to uphold our covenants with the non-Muslims and not betray them or transgress against them. The Prophet (peace be upon him) gave a stern warning to us against killing a non-Muslim with whom we are at peace. He said: “Whoever kills one with whom we have a covenant will not smell the scent of Paradise.†[sahih Muslim] The faith of a Muslim is not acceptable unless he believes in all of the Prophets who were sent before (peace be upon them all). Allah says: “O you who believe! Believe in Allah, His Messenger, the scripture that He revealed to His messenger and the scripture that he revealed before. Whoever disbelieves in Allah, His angels, His books, His Messengers, and the Last Day has gone far astray.†[surah al-Nisa] Read the rest of this article here --->