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Hijab (Niqab)- Why? — Dr. Bilal Philips


 

The covering of Muslim women has become one of the international symbols of female oppression in feminist circles.

 

1.

There are two major trends which have developed in the West over the past century. On one hand, the fashion industry has systematically unclothed women. From being fully clothed from head to toe at the turn of the century, she now wears virtually nothing when the weather permits.

 

On the other hand there has been a dramatic rise in the reported incidents of rape. In the USA in the early 90s the reported incidents of rape had crossed the 100,000 mark. And researchers estimated that the actual number was between 7 to 10 times that number since most women are shy to report rapes. The two trends are closely interrelated.

 

The woman in the West has become a sex-object with which to sell products thereby pumping up the sexual tension of the society. The Corvette is not sold based on its powerful engine or its special features, instead the car is displayed with a model in a bikini lying on it. Similarly, a new Gillette razor blade is not sold by giving details about its new titanium blades. Instead, a man is shown in ads shaving with a woman’s hand with long red fingernails coiled around hold his. The subliminal message being taught is: You buy the car, you get the girl. You buy the razor, you get the girl. 

 

2.

Islam prescribes the covering of females for two primary reasons stated in the Quran. God says in Soorah al-Ahzaab (33: 59):

Let them cast their outer garments over their bodies. That is best in order that they be known and not harmed.

 

3.

The hijab is to make the Muslim woman known in the society as a virtuous and honorable woman. Her hijab makes the statement that she is not available and not interested in any immorality. Many Muslim women who have emigrated to the West take of their scarves and outer garments because they claim it draws attention to themselves. If they expose their hair and dress in modest western dresses no one will look at them.

 

It is true that the hijab does provide a level of anonymity, as many of the woman’s physical details will be hidden. However, the intent is not to prevent men from looking. When men see a nun in her habit, fully covered like a Muslim woman in full hijab, they will turn their heads and stare at her. Similarly, when they see a woman walking in a bikini, they will also turn their heads and stare. However, the first stare is different from the second. The first is out of curiosity, having seen something unusual, while the second is out of lust and aroused sensuality. The consequence of the second is the molestation of women on a national scale while the first causes respect.

4.

The penalty in the Islamic state is very severe for rape in order to further guarantee protection for females. Where weapons of any type are used in the rape, the punishment is death. The death penalty has also been introduced in Philippines and it is being called for in India currently. However, to allow women to expose themselves and then kill those who react unduly is not practical. The law should be balanced. The circumstances, which might encourage rape, should first be removed from the society, then a severe penalty may be enacted.

 

5.

It may be said that even in societies where women are fully covered, they may still be approached and molested. However, if the vast majority of those who are molested are not properly covered, the principle of protection still applies. Even in the society of the Prophet, one thousand four hundred years ago, some women were molested and raped.

 

6.

Some people question the imposition of hijab by the Islamic state. Is it a personal choice of women or a legal obligation? It is the responsibility of the head of every family to insure that the women of his household leave the home in a legally acceptable state of dress. The state is further responsible to prevent any women who appear in public in a state of undress in order to protect public dignity and morality.

 

The West has set its own limits for dress which change according to the mood of society. At one point in time, strip joints were illegal. Now many bars have topless waitresses and dancers. In most states, a woman may not appear in public topless. However, a woman recently contested the law in Florida and won her case. Complete nudity remains public crime throughout the West, though nudist camps and nudist beaches have sprung up in different locations in Europe and America.

 

7.

There are conditions which must be fulfilled for the hijab to be acceptable. a) It should be wide and loose so as to not show the shape of the woman’s body; b) it should be made of thick material which will not reveal what is underneath; c) It should not be colorful and ornamented so as to attract sexual admiration.

 

8.

Where the hijab has become a cultural norm and women comply out of fear of embarrassment, it will not be worn properly. It may become transparent, or worn tight exposing the curves of the body, or it may become so ornamented as to be attractive by itself. It may be short so as to expose the dress underneath, or the face may be covered and the front of the hair exposed. Such practices are the result of women wearing hijab for the wrong reasons. They should be educated to realize that it is for their benefit and for the benefit of the society.

 

[From the book: Contemporary issues, pg. 12-14]

 

Answering claims that Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) composed the Quran helped by Jewish & Christian sources


 

We come now to an oft-repeated charge, namely that the Prophet (ﷺ) composed the Quran either with direct help from others, after reading books (despite the constantly reiterated fact of his illiteracy), or after being taught by someone of Jewish or Christian background. Like those other charges, these particular ones were again reiterated in the Middle Ages as well as more recently. Once more, it has to be pointed out that far from being original to this period these assertions were actually levelled by infidels in the lifetime of Mubammad (ﷺ) as reponed in the Quran itself in which they are challenged, (10:38; 11:13; 16:103).

 

Ibn Taymiyah makes the point that Muhammad (ﷺ), before reaching the age of forty never preached, nor could he utter a passage of the Quran which is clearly distinct even from his own speeches and sayings.

 

Had Muhammad (ﷺ) in fact learnt from a Christian monk, a bishop, a Jewish person, or even from Christian slaves, the following might have happened:

 

    1. Muhammad (ﷺ) would never have denied it because he was famous all his life for both preaching and telling the truth.

 

2. He could never have preached a faith so radically different from Christianity and Judaism, particularly with respect to their basic creeds.

 

3. Under the circumstances, and considering the climate of antagonism existing between him and those who did not believe in his message, particularly the Jews and polytheists, his teacher’s name could scarcely have remained unknown throughout all the years of the Prophet’s mission.

 

4. Whoever taught him would surely have written a book or at least a chapter similar to the Quranic revelations.

 

5. The Jews, referred to in the Quran as “The people of the Book” had been persistently cross-examining him, defying him and hiding their books from others. How then could they have taught him at the same time? If they had taught him anything would they not have been the first to declare it in order to disprove his prophethood? It is difficult to believe that they would not also have been careful to suppress the uncomplimentary references to them contained in the Quran.

 

6. Had Muhammad (ﷺ) not been sincere in his prophethood and honest in delivering his revelations his friends and followers would never have been so devoted to him, nor would they have clung to his teachings despite devastating hardship and persecution. It is a remarkable tribute to the character of Muhammad (ﷺ) and to those of his friends and followers that not one of them ever betrayed him.

 

7. The Quran confirms certain biblical records of previous prophets. Since the historical events in the Bible were originally revealed by God to Moses and other prophets why could not this confirmation be a sign that the source is one, and divine?

 

8. If divine authorship has never been claimed for the Bible by a Christian why should Muhammad (ﷺ) have risked additional persecution from his enemies by claiming the Quran to have been revealed by God if this were not so?

 

Allah refuted all such claims in a simple sentence by saying :

And We certainly know that they say, “It is only a human being who teaches the Prophet.” The tongue of the one they refer to is foreign, and this Qur’an is [in] a clear Arabic language.

[Quran 16:103]

 

[Source: Book “The Sublime Quran and the Orientalist”, pg 33-34]

 

 

 

Balancing between Seeking Knowledge and Softening the Heart— Ibn al-Jawzi


Imam abu’l-Faraj ibn a-Jawzi, in his book Sayd al-Khaatir, wrote the following on the importance of softening the heart in the midst of talab al-’ilm (seeking knowledge):

رأيت الاشتغال بالفقه وسماع الحديث لا يكاد يكفي في صلاح القلب إلا أن يمزج بالرقائق والنظر في سير السلف الصالحين‏.‏ لأنهم تناولوا مقصود النقل وخرجوا عن صور الأفعال المأمور بها إلى ذوق معانيها والمراد بها‏.

I feel that occupying oneself with fiqh and acquiring narrations is hardly enough to rectify the heart, unless one mixes with that the study of al-raqaa’iq (heart-softening narrations) and examining the biographies of the salaf al-saaliheen, because they [i.e. the Salaf] realized the intended purpose of those narrations and extracted the commanded actions from them, perceiving their intended meanings and desired understandings thereby.

 

 

‏ وما أخبرتك بهذا إلا بعد معالجة وذوق لأني وجدت جمهور المحدثين وطلاب الحديث همة أحدهم في الحديث العالي وتكثير الأجزاء‏.‏ وجمهور الفقهاء في علوم الجدل وما يغالب به الخصم‏.‏ وكيف يرق القلب مع هذه الأشياء‏.‏

And I do not inform you of this except after personal trials and error, because I have found that the majority of the muhadditheen and students of hadeeth are primarily concerned with the shortest chain of narration and increasing the number of narrations. And that the majority of the fuqahaa’(jurists) are primarily concerned with knowledge of debate, argumentation and how to win an a dispute. And how can hearts by softened with these things?

 

 

وقد كان جماعة من السلف يقصدون البعد الصالح للنظر إلى سمته وهديه‏.‏ لا لاقتباس وذلك أن ثمرة علمه هديه وسمته فافهم هذا وامزج طلب الفقه والحديث بمطالعة سير السلف والزهاد في الدنيا ليكون سبباً لرقة قلبك‏.‏

And there used to be a group of the salaf who would visit a righteous servant in order to observe his characteristics and manners, and not to take knowledge from him. And that is because the fruits of his knowledge were his manners and conduct, so understand this! So combine the study of fiqh and hadeeth with studying the lives of the salaf and those who exercises zuhd in this dunya in order that this might be a cause of softening for your heart.

 

 

وقد جمعت لكل واحد من مشاهير الأخيار كتاباً فيه أخباره وآدابه‏.‏ فجمعت كتاباً في أخبار الحسن وكتاباً في أخبار سفيان الثوري وإبراهيم بن أدهم وبشر الحافي وأحمد بن حنبل ومعروف وغيرهم من العلماء والزهاد والله الموفق للمقصود‏.‏ ولا يصلح العمل مع قلة العلم‏.‏ فهما في ضرب المثل كسائق وقائد والنفس بينهما حرون ومع جد السائق والقائد ينقطع المنزل ونعوذ بالله من الفتور‏.‏

And I have compiled a book for each and every one of the well-known and excellent people, containing their tales and their manners. I have compiled a book about the exploits of al-Hasan (al-Basri), and a book about the exploits of Sufyan al-Thawri, Ibrahim ibn Adhham, Bishr al-Haafi, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Ma’roof, and others from the ‘ulamaa’and those who were known for their zuhd, and Allah is the giver of success. And deeds are not performed correctly with (only) a little knowledge. And what should be understood (from all this speech) is in the parable of a stick and a carrot [i.e. a push-factor and a pull-factor, one thing which is motivating you by fear and another which is motivating you with a reward], and a person’s soul is stubbornly in between the two. But with a persistent stick and carrot, one can keep moving, and we seek refuge with Allah from apathy.

 

[Sayd al-Khaatir 1/71]

 

Connotative meanings of patience —Ibn Qayyim


 

Patience takes on the name what it refers to. Different names may be applied to patience in different situations. Ibn Qayyim (rahimahullah) has beautifully mentioned few examples here:

 

Patience is called chastity if it is associated with restraining a sexual desire.

 

Patience is called self-restraint if it refers to controlling one’s stomach.

 

When referring to refraining from disclosing what is better to keep secret, it is called keeping one’s secret.

 

If it consists of being content with what is sufficient for one’s needs, it is called asceticism.

 
If it consists of being content of what someone has of worldly life, it is called self-content.

 

If it refers to controlling one’s nerves when angry, it is called forbearance.

 
When it refers to detesting from haste, it is called gracefulness.

 
If it refers to not fleeing or running away, it is called courage.

 

If it refers to refraining from taking revenge, it is called forgiveness.

 

If it refers to not being stingy, it is called generosity.

 

When it refers to abstaining from food and drink for a specific period, it is called fasting.

 

If it consists of refraining from being helpless and lazy, it is called discretion.

 

If it refers to refraining from loading other people’s burden it is called chivalry.

 

In conclusion, patience has various names according to the situation it applies to, but all of them are included under patience. This indicates that all tenants and rites of Islam are associated with patience.

 
[Taken from “The way to patience and gratitude”, by Ibn Qayyim, pg. 21-22]

 

Different definitions of patience


No matter how severe affliction or excessive joy a Muslim may get, he is supposed to be patient or grateful. But to be patient, we should know what patience means.

 

Ibn Qayyim says:

“Man, by nature, prefers prosperity but when he meets with affliction which is inevitable, patience is the best quality.”

Patience has very vast meaning and understood differently by different scholars. Mentioned below are few basic simple definition of patience.

 

Al-Junaid:

“Patience is to keep calmly content while facing affliction.”

 

Dhu-Nun:

“Patience is to restrain yourself from ill-conduct, remain quiet during affliction and without complaining.”

 

Abu Uthman:

“The one who has patience is the one who had trained himself to handle hardship.” 

 

Amr ibn Uthman al-Makki:

“Patience means to keep close to Allah & to accept calmly the trials He sends, without complaining or feeling sad.”

 

Ruwaim:

“Patience means to refrain from complaining.”

 

Abu Muhammed Al-Hariri:

“Patience means that there is no difference in behavior in times of prosperity & that of adversity & to be content at all times.”

 

Abu Ali Ad-Daqqaq:

“Patience means not to object to your fate.”

 

Al-Khawwas:

“Patience is to adhere to the injunctions of the Quran and Sunnah.”

 

Prophet Muhammed (ﷺ) said:

“No one had ever been given anything better than patience.”

[Bukhari and Muslim]

 

[Taken from “The way to patience and gratitude”, by Ibn Qayyim, pg. 14-16 ]

The definition of sincerity— Sh. Salih al-Munajjid


 

Linguistically: It is extracted from the verb (Akhlas) whose source is (Ikhlaas), which means to make pure and not mixed with anything else.

 

This is why Chapter Al-Ikhlaas was given this name, because it emphasizes the Oneness of Allah and that He should be worshipped alone. Ibn Al-Atheer (rahimahullah) said:

“It was given this name because the one who recites it purifies his monotheism to Allah.”

The word Ikhlaas is the word of Tawheed (monotheism).

 

Al-Fayrooz Abaadi (rahimahullah) said:

“Akhlasa means to give up Riyaa’ (showing off) [i.e. offer worship purely for Allah].”

Al-Qaamoos Al-Muheet (797).

 

Al-Jurjaani (rahimahullah) said:

“Ikhlaas is to give up Riyaa’ when offering acts of worship.”

At-Ta’reefaat (28).

 

Technically: In Islamic terminology, the scholars defined it in different ways, and the following are the most important of these definitions:

Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullah)  said:

“Ikhlaas is to purify one’s intention when worshiping Allah and devote the act purely for Him.”

Madaarij As-Saalikeen (91/2).

 

Al-Jurjaani (rahimahullah) said:

“Ikhlaas means to cleanse the heart from any defect or impurity that affects its purity.”

It was also said that Ikhlaas is to scrub away anything that affects its clarity.

At-Ta’reefaat (28).

 

Huthayfah Al-Mar’ashi (rahimahullah)  said:

“Ikhlaas is when the slave feels that performing a deed is the same for him whether he performs it in public or in seclusion.”

Al-Bayaan Fi Aadaab Hamalat Al-Qur’aan (13).

 

Others said:

“Ikhlaas is not to expect any reward from anyone for the deed you perform and to want anyone to see the deed except Allah.”

Madaarij As-Saalikeen (92/2).

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In addition to this, there are many other definitions, which were stated by the righteous Salaf, may Allah have mercy upon them, such as:

1. To perform the deed for Allah and not to join anyone with Him in the intention
2. To perform the deed without people noticing.

Madaarij As-Saalikeen (91-92/2).

 

A sincere person is the one who does not care if people stop caring or respecting him in return for reforming and purifying his heart and making it sound in the scale of Allah. Also, he does not like that people know about anything he does, even if it is as small and minor as the weight of an ant.
It is very common in Islamic texts to use the word intention instead of the word sincerity. For jurists, intention in principle means to differentiate between acts of worship and habits when performing a deed, and it is to differentiate between acts of worship amongst themselves.

Jaami’ Al-‘Uloom Wal-Hikam (11/1)

 

Differentiating between acts of worship and habits when performing a deed, is like differentiating between taking a bath to clean one’s body or as a ritual bath to cleanse himself from impurity due to sexual intercourse or a wet dream. Differentiating between acts of worship amongst themselves, is like differentiating between praying four Rak’ahs for Dhuhr from those for ‘Asr.

 

However, if the word intention is used as a means to find out who is meant by performing a deed: is it performed purely and sincerely for the sake of Allah or not, then in this case intention is included and part of the definition of sincerity.

Truthfulness and sincerity when performing an act of worship have close meanings, but the difference is that sincerity takes place after one starts performing the deed, while truthfulness is usually before the deed starts. Therefore, sincerity branches out of truthfulness.

At-Ta’reefaat (28).

 

[From the book: Sincerity, page 4-7, by Sh. Salih al-Munajjid]

 

 

Different kinds of humility


 

Humility is one of the greatest blessings that Allaah can bestow upon His slave. He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And by the Mercy of Allaah, you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you”

[Aal ‘Imraan 3:159]

 

“And verily, you (O Muhammad) are on an exalted (standard of) character”

[al-Qalam 68:4]

 

This refers to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) being a true slave of Allah in many ways and his treating all people with the utmost kindness. His character was one of complete humility based on sincerity towards Allah and compassion towards the slaves of Allah, which was the complete opposite of the characteristics of the proud and arrogant.

Al-Majmoo’ al-Kaamilah li Mu’allafaat al-Shaykh al-Sa’di, 5/442, 443

 

There are many means of attaining humility, which no Muslim adopts but he will attain this characteristic. They were explained by Imam Ibn al-Qayyim as follows:

Humility comes from knowing about Allah and His names and attributes, and His greatness, venerating Him, loving Him and being in awe of Him; and also from knowing about oneself and one’s faults, and weaknesses. From that may develop the attitude of humility, which means feeling helpless before Allah, and being humble and compassionate towards His slaves, so that the person does not feel superior towards anyone, or think that he has any rights over anyone else; rather he thinks that others are better than him, and that their rights come before his. This is a characteristic that Allah gives to those whom He loves, honours and draws close to Him.

Al-Rooh, p. 233.

 

There are many reports which speak of the reward of humility. For example:

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“Wealth does not decrease because of charity, and Allah increases His slave in honour when he forgives others. And no one humbles himself before Allah but Allah will raise him (in status).”

Narrated by Muslim, 2588. Al-Nawawi included it in a chapter entitled: “The recommendation of forgiveness and humility.”

Al-Nawawi said:

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “And no one humbles himself before Allaah but Allaah will raise him (in status).” This is understood in two ways: the first is that He will raise him (in status) in this world, and give him status in people’s hearts because of his humility, and give him a high status in people’s eyes. The second is that what is meant is his reward in the Hereafter, where his status will be raised because of his humility in this world.

The scholars said: It may be that both are meant, (and that his status will be raised) both in this world and in the Hereafter. And Allaah knows best.

Sharh Muslim, 16/142.

 

Humility may mean various things, such as:

1.     A person humbling himself to the commands and prohibitions of Allaah, doing what He commands and avoiding what He forbids. 

Ibn al-Qayyim said:

Because a person may hesitate to obey His commands out of laziness, thus behaving in a reluctant way in an attempt to flee from servitude towards Allah, and his soul may have the desire to commit haraam actions, but when  the person humbles himself to the commands and prohibitions of Allah, he will humble himself to true submission (‘uboodiyyah).

Al-Rooh p. 233.

 

2.     Humbling oneself before the might, majesty and power of Allah. 

Ibn al-Qayyim said:

Every time he feels that he is great, he remembers the might of Allah and that might belongs to Him only, and he remembers His intense anger against those who compete with Him in that, then he humbles himself before Him and submits to the might of Allah. This is the ultimate humility and inevitably includes the first type of humility mentioned above, but the converse can never apply (i.e., this type of humility inevitably leads to the first type, but a person may submit to the commands and prohibitions of Allah but he does not humble himself before His might).

The one who is truly humble is the one who is blessed with both. And Allaah is the One Whose help we seek.

Al-Rooh, p. 233.

 

3.     Humility in one’s dress and manner of walking. 

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Umar that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“Whilst a man was letting his garment drag out of pride, he was swallowed up by the earth and will continue sinking in it until the Day of Resurrection.”

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3297.

It was also narrated by al-Bukhaari (5452) and Muslim (2088) from the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah. According to the version narrated by al-Bukhaari:

“Whilst a man was walking in a garment admiring himself with his hair nicely combed, Allah caused (the earth) to swallow him up and he will continue sinking in it until the Day of Resurrection.”

 

4.     Humility towards one who is of a lesser status and helping him  

It was narrated that al-Bara’ ibn ‘Aazib said:

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was moving soil with us on the day of al-Ahzaab, and I saw him with dust covering the whiteness of his stomach, and he (the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)) was saying, “(O Allah)! Without You, we would not have been guided, nor would we have given in charity, nor would we have prayed. So (O Allah!) send tranquility (Sakeenah) upon us as they (the chiefs of the enemy tribes) have rebelled against us. And if they intend affliction (i.e. want to frighten us and fight against us) then we would not (flee but would withstand them).” And he raised his voice whilst saying it.

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6809; Muslim, 1803.

 

5.     Humility in interactions with one’s wife and helping her. 

It was narrated that al-Aswad said: I asked ‘Aa’ishah what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to do in his house, and she said:

He used to serve his family and when the time for prayer came he would go out and pray.

al-Bukhaari, 644.

 

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar said:

This shows that we are encouraged to be humble and not arrogant, and that a man should serve his family.

Fath al-Baari, 2/163

 

6.     Humility towards the young and joking with them. 

It was narrated that Anas said:

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was the best of people in character. I had a brother whose name was Abu ‘Umayr. He said, I think he was weaned, and when he (the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)) came he would say, “O Abu Umayr, what happened to the nughayr (a small bird that he kept as a pet)?”

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5850; Muslim, 2150.

 

Al-Nawawi said:

The nughayr is a small bird.

This hadeeth teaches us many things, such as being kind to small children. This demonstrates the good character of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and how he was of noble character and humble.

Sharh Muslim, 14/129

 

7.     Humility towards servants and slaves 

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“If the servant of one of you brings his food and he does not want to make him sit and eat with him, then let him offer him a morsel or two, because he has prepared it and served it.”

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2418 and 5144; Muslim, 1663.

We ask Allaah to make us among those who humble themselves before His might.

 

Source: Islam-qa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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