Monthly Archives: September 2010
A very interesting story for today. Keep reading.. =)
Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas:
Abu Sufyan bin Harb informed me that Heraclius had sent a messenger to him while he had been accompanying a caravan from Quraish. They were merchants doing business in Sham (Syria, Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan), at the time when Allah’s Apostle had truce with Abu Sufyan and Quraish infidels. So Abu Sufyan and his companions went to Heraclius at Ilya (Jerusalem). Heraclius called them in the court and he had all the senior Roman dignitaries around him. He called for his translator who, translating Heraclius’s question said to them, “Who amongst you is closely related to that man who claims to be a Prophet?” Abu Sufyan replied, “I am the nearest relative to him (amongst the group).”
Heraclius said, “Bring him (Abu Sufyan) close to me and make his companions stand behind him.” Abu Sufyan added, Heraclius told his translator to tell my companions that he wanted to put some questions to me regarding that man (The Prophet) and that if I told a lie they (my companions) should contradict me.” Abu Sufyan added, “By Allah! Had I not been afraid of my companions labeling me a liar, I would not have spoken the truth about the Prophet. The first question he asked me about him was:
‘What is his family status amongst you?’
I replied, ‘He belongs to a good (noble) family amongst us.’
Heraclius further asked, ‘Has anybody amongst you ever claimed the same (i.e. to be a Prophet) before him?’
I replied, ‘No.’
He said, ‘Was anybody amongst his ancestors a king?’
I replied, ‘No.’
Heraclius asked, ‘Do the nobles or the poor follow him?’
I replied, ‘It is the poor who follow him.’
He said, ‘Are his followers increasing decreasing (day by day)?’
I replied, ‘They are increasing.’
He then asked, ‘Does anybody amongst those who embrace his religion become displeased and renounce the religion afterwards?’
I replied, ‘No.’
Heraclius said, ‘Have you ever accused him of telling lies before his claim (to be a Prophet)?’
I replied, ‘No. ‘
Heraclius said, ‘Does he break his promises?’
I replied, ‘No. We are at truce with him but we do not know what he will do in it.’ I could not find opportunity to say anything against him except that.
Heraclius asked, ‘Have you ever had a war with him?’
I replied, ‘Yes.’
Then he said, ‘What was the outcome of the battles?’
I replied, ‘Sometimes he was victorious and sometimes we.’
Heraclius said, ‘What does he order you to do?’
I said, ‘He tells us to worship Allah and Allah alone and not to worship anything along with Him, and to renounce all that our ancestors had said. He orders us to pray, to speak the truth, to be chaste and to keep good relations with our Kith and kin.’
Heraclius asked the translator to convey to me the following, I asked you about his family and your reply was that he belonged to a very noble family. In fact all the Apostles come from noble families amongst their respective peoples. I questioned you whether anybody else amongst you claimed such a thing, your reply was in the negative. If the answer had been in the affirmative, I would have thought that this man was following the previous man’s statement. Then I asked you whether anyone of his ancestors was a king. Your reply was in the negative, and if it had been in the affirmative, I would have thought that this man wanted to take back his ancestral kingdom.
I further asked whether he was ever accused of telling lies before he said what he said, and your reply was in the negative. So I wondered how a person who does not tell a lie about others could ever tell a lie about Allah. I, then asked you whether the rich people followed him or the poor. You replied that it was the poor who followed him. And in fact all the Apostle have been followed by this very class of people. Then I asked you whether his followers were increasing or decreasing. You replied that they were increasing, and in fact this is the way of true faith, till it is complete in all respects. I further asked you whether there was anybody, who, after embracing his religion, became displeased and discarded his religion. Your reply was in the negative, and in fact this is (the sign of) true faith, when its delight enters the hearts and mixes with them completely. I asked you whether he had ever betrayed. You replied in the negative and likewise the Apostles never betray. Then I asked you what he ordered you to do. You replied that he ordered you to worship Allah and Allah alone and not to worship any thing along with Him and forbade you to worship idols and ordered you to pray, to speak the truth and to be chaste. If what you have said is true, he will very soon occupy this place underneath my feet and I knew it (from the scriptures) that he was going to appear but I did not know that he would be from you, and if I could reach him definitely, I would go immediately to meet him and if I were with him, I would certainly wash his feet.’ Heraclius then asked for the letter addressed by Allah’s Apostle
which was delivered by Dihya to the Governor of Busra, who forwarded it to Heraclius to read. The contents of the letter were as follows: “In the name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful (This letter is) from Muhammad the slave of Allah and His Apostle to Heraclius the ruler of Byzantine. Peace be upon him, who follows the right path. Furthermore I invite you to Islam, and if you become a Muslim you will be safe, and Allah will double your reward, and if you reject this invitation of Islam you will be committing a sin by misguiding your Arisiyin (peasants). (And I recite to you Allah’s Statement:)
‘O people of the scripture! Come to a word common to you and us that we worship none but Allah and that we associate nothing in worship with Him, and that none of us shall take others as Lords beside Allah. Then, if they turn away, say: Bear witness that we are Muslims (those who have surrendered to Allah).’ (3:64).
Abu Sufyan then added, “When Heraclius had finished his speech and had read the letter, there was a great hue and cry in the Royal Court. So we were turned out of the court. I told my companions that the question of Ibn-Abi-Kabsha) (the Prophet Muhammad) has become so prominent that even the King of Bani Al-Asfar (Byzantine) is afraid of him. Then I started to become sure that he (the Prophet) would be the conqueror in the near future till I embraced Islam (i.e. Allah guided me to it).”
The sub narrator adds, “Ibn An-Natur was the Governor of llya’ (Jerusalem) and Heraclius was the head of the Christians of Sham. Ibn An-Natur narrates that once while Heraclius was visiting ilya’ (Jerusalem), he got up in the morning with a sad mood. Some of his priests asked him why he was in that mood? Heraclius was a foreteller and an astrologer. He replied, ‘At night when I looked at the stars, I saw that the leader of those who practice circumcision had appeared (become the conqueror). Who are they who practice circumcision?’ The people replied, ‘Except the Jews nobody practices circumcision, so you should not be afraid of them (Jews).
‘Just Issue orders to kill every Jew present in the country.’
While they were discussing it, a messenger sent by the king of Ghassan to convey the news of Allah’s Apostle to Heraclius was brought in. Having heard the news, he (Heraclius) ordered the people to go and see whether the messenger of Ghassan was circumcised. The people, after seeing him, told Heraclius that he was circumcised. Heraclius then asked him about the Arabs. The messenger replied, ‘Arabs also practice circumcision.’
(After hearing that) Heraclius remarked that sovereignty of the ‘Arabs had appeared. Heraclius then wrote a letter to his friend in Rome who was as good as Heraclius in knowledge. Heraclius then left for Homs. (a town in Syrian and stayed there till he received the reply of his letter from his friend who agreed with him in his opinion about the emergence of the Prophet and the fact that he was a Prophet. On that Heraclius invited all the heads of the Byzantines to assemble in his palace at Homs. When they assembled, he ordered that all the doors of his palace be closed. Then he came out and said, ‘O Byzantines! If success is your desire and if you seek right guidance and want your empire to remain then give a pledge of allegiance to this Prophet (i.e. embrace Islam).’
(On hearing the views of Heraclius) the people ran towards the gates of the palace like onagers but found the doors closed. Heraclius realized their hatred towards Islam and when he lost the hope of their embracing Islam, he ordered that they should be brought back in audience.
(When they returned) he said, ‘What already said was just to test the strength of your conviction and I have seen it.’ The people prostrated before him and became pleased with him, and this was the end of Heraclius’s story (in connection with his faith).
Heraclius never accepted Islam, knowing it was the true religion. He knew and he believed. But he didn’t proclaim.
That’s the lesson for today. Proclaim!
We know about our religion, we believe in everything we’re supposed to. Let’s say it out loud to the world and not feel embarassed.
I AM A MUSLIM!
(Keep it as a status on Facebook, tweet on Twitter, or Digg it! ;) )
Been 20 days since Ramadaan passed. Ihtisaab (self-analysis) time!
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas:
Allah’s Apostle was the most generous of all the people, and he used to reach the peak in generosity in the month of Ramadan when Gabriel met him. Gabriel used to meet him every night of Ramadan to teach him the Qur’an. Allah’s Apostle was the most generous person, even more generous than the strong uncontrollable wind (in readiness and haste to do charitable deeds).
A lot of Sunnahs can be derived from this Hadith. I’ll mention a few:
- Be generous, especially in Ramadaan.
- Keep good company, e.g. Prophet (SAW) and Gabriel.
- Go through the Qur’an at least once during Ramadaan.
- Be eager to do good and charitable deeds.
Two of these are related to Ramadaan and two are general. Let’s check ourselves. Were we generous like the ‘uncontrollable wind’ during Ramadaan? Did we go through the whole Qur’an? If yes, WELL DONE! If not, set targets for next Ramadaan inshaAllah.
About good company, the only thing I need to say is: It’s REALLY important. What’s the criteria, you ask? Hang out with those who know more than you, who work better than you, who are more intelligent and more practicing when it comes to religion. Why? Because it’ll help YOU! You’ll get better in everything if you have better friends, inshaAllah.
“Haste to do charitable deeds”. What is that? It means to always be ready when it comes to doing ‘good’. Be eager. Always be looking for opportunities. And when you see a door opening, RUN towards it. Because only the lucky ones get second chances. ;)
I’ve made my checklist for the day. Have you?
When was the last time you ‘listened’ to Qur’an recitation?
Narrated Said bin Jubair:
Ibn ‘Abbas in the explanation of the Statement of Allah. ‘Move not your tongue concerning (the Quran) to make haste therewith.” (75.16) Said “Allah’s Apostle used to bear the revelation with great trouble and used to move his lips (quickly) with the Inspiration.” Ibn ‘Abbas moved his lips saying, “I am moving my lips in front of you as Allah’s Apostle used to move his.” Said moved his lips saying: “I am moving my lips, as I saw Ibn ‘Abbas moving his.” Ibn ‘Abbas added, “So Allah revealed ‘Move not your tongue concerning (the Qur’an) to make haste therewith. It is for us to collect it and to give you (O Muhammad) the ability to recite it (the Qur’an) (75.16-17) which means that Allah will make him (the Prophet ) remember the portion of the Qur’an which was revealed at that time by heart and recite it. The Statement of Allah: And ‘When we have recited it to you (O Muhammad through Gabriel) then you follow its (Qur’an) recital’ (75.18) means ‘listen to it and be silent.’ Then it is for Us (Allah) to make It clear to you’ (75.19) means ‘Then it is (for Allah) to make you recite it (and its meaning will be clear by itself through your tongue). Afterwards, Allah’s Apostle used to listen to Gabriel whenever he came and after his departure he used to recite it as Gabriel had recited it.”
So? When was the last time you ‘listened’ to Qur’an recitation? When I say ‘listened’, I mean ‘gave full attention to the words being recited and pondered over their meaning’.
You know, a lot of times it happens to us that when we hear Qur’an being recited, we don’t pay attention to it. We’re either busy talking or worse, we try to repeat the words with the Qari (the reciter)! And when it comes to the Surahs (chapters) we know by heart, WHOA!, don’t even get me started!
Allah commands the Prophet (SAW) to be silent while Qur’an is being recited. Quote:
‘Move not your tongue concerning (the Quran) to make haste therewith.’ (75.16)
‘When we have recited it to you (O Muhammad through Gabriel) then you follow its (Qur’an) recital.’ (75.18)
Means ‘listen to it and be silent’.
So, whether you’re just passing by a person who’s reciting out loud, or you’re trying to memorize a few Ayaat (verses) by listening to the recitation again and again, or you’re having Tajweed lessons, DO NOT move your tongue with the words! Let the recitation come to a pause, and then repeat.
It’s not just about dis-respecting the Qur’an, Allah is ordering us to do so. So be conscious.
I’ve learnt my lesson well. Being a Haafizah, I couldn’t resist repeating the words when I heard Qur’an being recited. It just comes naturally. Hehe. But now Alhamdulillah, I’ve learnt to control myself.
Now, try to bring your knowledge into practice. Hit ‘play’. It’s your test! ;)
Do tell me how it went. =)
A big smile came on my face when I realized that we’re doing this Hadith today. I love it! =)
Narrated ‘Aisha (the mother of the faithful believers):
The commencement of the Divine Inspiration to Allah’s Apostle was in the form of good dreams which came true like bright day light, and then the love of seclusion was bestowed upon him. He used to go in seclusion in the cave of Hira where he used to worship (Allah Alone) continuously for many days before his desire to see his family. He used to take with him the journey food for the stay and then come back to (his wife) Khadija to take his food, like-wise again till suddenly the Truth descended upon him while he was in the cave of Hira. The angel came to him and asked him to read. The Prophet replied, “I do not know how to read.”
The Prophet added, “The angel caught me (forcefully) and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read and I replied, ‘I do not know how to read.’ Thereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time till I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read but again I replied, ‘I do not know how to read (or what shall I read)?’ Thereupon he caught me for the third time and pressed me, and then released me and said, ‘Read in the name of your Lord, who has created (all that exists) has created man from a clot. Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous.” (96.1, 96.2, 96.3) Then Allah’s Apostle returned with the Inspiration and with his heart beating severely. Then he went to Khadija bint Khuwailid and said, “Cover me! Cover me!” She covered him till his fear was over and after that he told her everything that had happened and said, “I fear that something may happen to me.”
Khadija replied, “Never! By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you. You keep good relations with your kith and kin, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guests generously and assist the deserving calamity-afflicted ones.”
Khadija then accompanied him to her cousin Waraqa bin Naufal bin Asad bin ‘Abdul ‘Uzza, who, during the Pre-Islamic Period became a Christian and used to write the writing with Hebrew letters. He would write from the Gospel in Hebrew as much as Allah wished him to write. He was an old man and had lost his eyesight. Khadija said to Waraqa, “Listen to the story of your nephew, O my cousin!” Waraqa asked, “O my nephew! What have you seen?” Allah’s Apostle described whatever he had seen. Waraqa said, “This is the same one who keeps the secrets (angel Gabriel) whom Allah had sent to Moses. I wish I were young and could live up to the time when your people would turn you out.” Allah’s Apostle asked, “Will they drive me out?” Waraqa replied in the affirmative and said, “Anyone (man) who came with something similar to what you have brought was treated with hostility; and if I should remain alive till the day when you will be turned out then I would support you strongly.” But after a few days Waraqa died and the Divine Inspiration was also paused for a while.
Narrated Jabir bin ‘Abdullah Al-Ansari while talking about the period of pause in revelation reporting the speech of the Prophet “While I was walking, all of a sudden I heard a voice from the sky. I looked up and saw the same angel who had visited me at the cave of Hira’ sitting on a chair between the sky and the earth. I got afraid of him and came back home and said, ‘Wrap me (in blankets).’ And then Allah revealed the following Holy Verses (of Quran):
‘O you (i.e. Muhammad!) wrapped up in garments!’ Arise and warn (the people against Allah’s Punishment),… up to ‘and desert the idols.’ (74.1-5) After this the revelation started coming strongly, frequently and regularly.”
There are a lot of aspects of this Hadith. I’ll only talk about one: Khadija (RA).
The woman whom our Prophet (SAW) married, the woman for whom Jibreel (AS) brought Allah’s Salam, the same one who got the ‘good news’ in her lifetime: that palaces made of jewels and pearls wait for her in Paradise.
Ever think why? Why SO much reward? What did she achieve in her life that no other woman could? Again, I’ll just talk about one of the aspects: Unconditional Love.
Looking at the relationship between Prophet (SAW) and Khadija (RA), we can learn a lot about this kind of love. Let’s take the incident mentioned in this Hadith..
Before prophet-hood, Muhammad (SAW) began to go to Mount Hira to be alone and worship the One God. Khadija never asked why.. Cherry on top: she’d pack more food for him when he returned.
The first revelation.. Prophet (SAW) was scared to death! He came straight to Khadija, his secret-keeper. NOTE: he could’ve gone to his beloved uncle, Abu Talib.
Prophet (SAW) said: “Zammilooni! Cover me, cover me!” She didn’t panic.
He (SAW) said: “I fear something might happen to me.” She consoled him, counted all his good qualities to relax him: ‘You keep good relations with your kith and kin…” She took him to Waraqa bin Nawfal for more guidance. A wise woman, she handled the situation very well!
Words and lack of experience fail me when I try to describe this relationship. Anyway, in order to act upon this Hadith, I’m going to exercise this ‘unconditional love’. Target: my family. =)
If you have suggestions for me on the course of action, you can definitely share!
Listen to this AWESOME nasheed called Zammilooni. It’s about the beautiful relationship between Prophet (SAW) and Khadija. Enjoy!
Did you ever have your forehead sweating? Why? Was it because you were out in the market on a sunny day? Or was it because the light went out on June 25th? Or was it because you love extreme sports?
Let’s see what made our beloved Prophet (SAW)’s forehead sweat:
Narrated ‘Aisha (the mother of the faithful believers):
Al-Harith bin Hisham asked Allah’s Apostle “O Allah’s Apostle! How is the Divine Inspiration revealed to you?” Allah’s Apostle replied, “Sometimes it is (revealed) like the ringing of a bell, this form of Inspiration is the hardest of all and then this state passes off after I have grasped what is inspired. Sometimes the Angel comes in the form of a man and talks to me and I grasp whatever he says.”
‘Aisha added: Verily I saw the Prophet being inspired Divinely on a very cold day and noticed the sweat dripping from his forehead (as the Inspiration was over).
Can you imagine? Sweating on a very cold day.. That’s what he went through for about 23 years of his life. And what for? To deliver the Message to us. To make sure we got the knowledge that we needed. To make it easier for us..
I’ve been thinking since morning: what do we learn from this Hadith? How can I act upon it? It was getting really hard so I consulted a scholar, and this was the conclusion: Prophet (SAW) worked so hard to do his job, being a messenger, conveying Allah’s Message to us. We should follow his footsteps as well. But do we?
Dr Mahmood Ahmad Ghazi passed away today, the former Judge of Shariah court and President IIUI. Dr Israr Ahmed died earlier this April. Going through their profiles, one learns that they were one of a kind. We don’t find replacements of such good scholars today. WHY? We don’t follow the footsteps of the Prophet (SAW). We don’t work hard to gain knowledge.
So, to bring this Hadith into practice, we need to work hard in order to gain knowledge. Don’t take it lightly. ‘Oh who cares if I get an F on my exam?’ NO! We need to change our attitude. Work hard. And harder. Go all out. So much so that even on an extremely cold day, our forehead begins to sweat!
I plan to do so, inshaAllah. =)
I’m thankful to the person who helped me in this: Dr Farhat Hashmi. May Allah bless us with more scholars in the Ummah. Ameen.