Monthly Archives: March 2014

The Story of Sarah and the King of Egypt (Hadith No. 1915)

Bismillah.

Volume 3, Book 34, Number 420 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “The Prophet Abraham (`alayhissalaam) emigrated with Sarah and entered a village where there was a king or a tyrant. (The king) was told that Abraham (`alayhissalaam) had entered (the village) accompanied by a woman who was one of the most charming women. So, the king sent for Abraham (`alayhissalaam) and asked, ‘O Abraham! Who is this lady accompanying you?’ Abraham replied, ‘She is my sister (i.e. in religion).’ Then Abraham (`alayhissalaam) returned to her and said, ‘Do not contradict my statement, for I have informed them that you are my sister. By Allah, there are no true believers on this land except you and I.’ Then Abraham (`alayhissalaam) sent her to the king. When the king got to her, she got up and performed ablution, prayed and said, ‘O Allah! If I have believed in You and Your Apostle, and have saved my private parts from everybody except my husband, then please do not let this pagan overpower me.’ On that the king fell in a mood of agitation and started moving his legs. Seeing the condition of the king, Sarah said, ‘O Allah! If he should die, the people will say that I have killed him.’ The king regained his power, and proceeded towards her but she got up again and performed ablution, prayed and said, ‘O Allah! If I have believed in You and Your Apostle and have kept my private parts safe from all except my husband, then please do not let this pagan overpower me.’ The king again fell in a mood of agitation and started moving his legs. On seeing that state of the king, Sarah said, ‘O Allah! If he should die, the people will say that I have killed him.’ The king got either two or three attacks, and after recovering from the last attack he said, ‘By Allah! You have sent a satan to me. Take her to Abraham and give her Ajar.’ So she came back to Abraham (`alayhissalaam) and said, ‘Allah humiliated the pagan and gave us a slave-girl for service.”

Ibn Kathir mentions a hadith about this incident in his book “Stories of the Prophets“. Here is the relevant part of it to help you understand the story better:

Abu Hurairah narrated that Abraham (peace be upon him) did not tell a lie except on three occasions, twice for the sake of Allah, Exalted and Almighty.

The first time was when he said: “I am sick.” When his people were holding a festival in honor of their gods, Abraham excused himself by saying he was sick.

The second time was when he said: “I have not done this but the big idol has done it.”

The third was while Abraham and Sarah, his wife, were going on a journey. They passed by the territory of a tyrant. Someone said to the tyrant: “This man (Abraham) is accompanied by a very charming lady.”

So the tyrant sent for Abraham and asked him about Sarah asking, “Who is this lady?” Abraham said: “She is my sister.” Abraham went to Sarah said “O Sarah! There are no believers on the surface of the earth except you and me. This man asked me about you and I have told him that you are my sister. Do not contradict my statement.” The tyrant then called Sarah.

When she went to him, he tried to take a hold of her with his hand, but his hand got stiff and he was confounded. He asked Sarah: “Pray to Allah for me and I shall not harm you.” Then, Sarah asked Allah to cure him and he got cured.

He tried to take hold of her for the second time, but his hand got as stiff as — or stiffer — than before, and he was once more confounded.

He again requested Sarah: “Pray to Allah for me, and I will not harm you.” Sarah asked Allah again to cure him, and he became all right. He then called one of his guards who had brought her and said: “You have not brought me a human being but have brought me a devil.” The tyrant then gave Hajar as a maid servant to Sarah.

Abraham, gesturing with his hand, asked: “What has happened?” She replied: “Allah has spoiled the evil plot of the infidel or immoral person and gave me Hajar for service.

These “lies” were, in fact, not lies at all. They were merely allusions and ambiguous statements.

When he said to his idolatrous people: “I am sick” [Sûrah al-Sâffât: 87], he intended to insult their idols, of which he was sickened, and to support Allah’s religion. He wanted to show them the falsehood of their idolatry.

When Abraham destroyed the idols of his people, he left the largest idol standing. When his people confronted him and accused him, he said: “Nay! It was done by this largest one of them.” [Sûrah al-Anbiyâ’: 63] By this, he intended to show them clearly that their idols could not actually talk or act or help themselves in any way, and that they were the same as any other pile of rocks. He was forcing them, in this way, to admit that their idols were helpless.

As for his saying to his wife: “Tell him that you are my sister”, we have already seen how he was referring to her being his sister in faith.

Read more on this here. (While I link the post here for the benefit of further reading, I do not recommend its author nor trust his opinions regarding hadith and its legislative position in general.)

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Trade with Non-Muslims (Hadith No. 1914)

Bismillah.

Volume 3, Book 34, Number 419 :
Narrated by ‘Abdur-Rahman bin Abu Bakr (radiallaahu `anhumaa)
We were with the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) when a tall pagan with long matted unkempt hair came driving his sheep. The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) asked him, “Are those sheep for sale or for gifts?” The pagan replied, “They are for sale.” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) bought one sheep from him.

Ibn Battaal said,

Trade with the disbelievers is permitted, but you cannot sell things to people at war with the Muslims, thereby helping them against the Muslims.

Ibn Taymiyyah said:

The principle is: people are allowed to do whatever they need to do, so long as this has neither been prohibited by the Qur’an nor Sunnah. This same principle applies inversely to acts of worship; by which one intends to draw near to Allah: such acts are invalid without authority from either of these sources. The aim of worship is only to draw near to Allah. For religion is what Allah has sanctioned, and the prohibited is what Allah has forbidden; in contradiction to those whom Allah has condemned, who forbade things which He had not forbidden, associated partners with Him without any instruction, and invented acts of worship without His Authority.

Starting from this rule, and relying upon the text of the Qur’an, the Sunnah, the practice of the Prophet, his Companions and the Imams of the Ummah, we can say, dealings with the disbelievers for purposes of trade and so on cannot be considered evidence of alliance. In fact, trade with them is allowed. When Ibn Taymiyyah was asked about trade with the Mongols he said, “Whatever trade is allowed with others is also allowed with Mongols. That which is not allowed with others is not allowed with Mongols. You may buy goods they produce, horses and so on from them, just as you may buy such things from Bedouins, Turks or Kurds. You may likewise sell them food, clothing and such things as you are allowed to sell to others.

Asking Allah by Virtue of Our Good Deeds (Hadith No. 1913)

Bismillah.

Volume 3, Book 34, Number 418 :
Narrated by Ibn ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “While three persons were walking, rain began to fall and they had to enter a cave in a mountain. A big rock rolled over and blocked the mouth of the cave. They said to each other, ‘Invoke Allah with the best deed you have performed (so Allah might remove the rock)’. One of them said, ‘O Allah! My parents were old and I used to go out for grazing (my animals). On my return I would milk (the animals) and take the milk in a vessel to my parents to drink. After they had drunk from it, I would give it to my children, family and wife. One day I was delayed and on my return I found my parents sleeping, and I disliked to wake them up. The children were crying at my feet (because of hunger). That state of affairs continued till it was dawn. O Allah! If You regard that I did it for Your sake, then please remove this rock so that we may see the sky.’ So, the rock was moved a bit.
The second said, ‘O Allah! You know that I was in love with a cousin of mine, like the deepest love a man may have for a woman, and she told me that I would not get my desire fulfilled unless I paid her one-hundred Dinars (gold pieces). So, I struggled for it till I gathered the desired amount, and when I sat in between her legs, she told me to be afraid of Allah, and asked me not to deflower her except rightfully (by marriage). So, I got up and left her. O Allah! If You regard that I did if for Your sake, kindly remove this rock.’ So, two-thirds of the rock was removed.
Then the third man said, ‘O Allah! No doubt You know that once I employed a worker for one Faraq (three Sa’s) of millet, and when I wanted to pay him, he refused to take it, so I sowed it and from its yield I bought cows and a shepherd. After a time that man came and demanded his money. I said to him: Go to those cows and the shepherd and take them for they are for you. He asked me whether I was joking with him. I told him that I was not joking with him, and all that belonged to him. O Allah! If You regard that I did it sincerely for Your sake, then please remove the rock.’ So, the rock was removed completely from the mouth of the cave.”

This Hadith is an example of tawassul. We learnt previously that the correct Islamic tawassul is of various types. Seeking to draw close to Allaah through righteous deeds is one of them, whereby a person asks Allaah by virtue of the best deeds that he has done, such as salaah, fasting, reading Qur’aan, avoiding haraam things, and so on.

It happened with me and my friends once. We were out stuck in the rain with no umbrellas and no ride. Then we thought to ask Allah by virtue of our good deeds to ease our situation. Alhamdulillah it worked. You should try it some time! :)

Preemption (Ahadith 1910 – 1912)

Bismillah.

Volume 3, Book 34, Number 415 :
Narrated by Jabir (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) gave pre-emption (to the partner) in every joint property, but if the boundaries of the property were demarcated or the ways and streets were fixed, then there was no pre-emption.

Volume 3, Book 34, Number 416 :
Narrated by Jabir bin Abdullah (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) decided the validity of pre-emption in every joint undivided property, but if the boundaries were well marked or the ways and streets were fixed, then there was no pre-emption.

Volume 3, Book 34, Number 417 :
Narrated by Mussaddad from ‘Abdul Wahid
The same as above but said, “… in every joint undivided thing…” Narrated Hisham from Ma’mar the same as above but said, ” … in every property… “

The word Shuf’ah (preemption) is derived from Shaf’ meaning “to join” [because the property is joined to the shafi’ [pre-emptor]. In the terminology of the Fuqahaa it is the right to take possession of a house and land to prevent the harm of a neighbour e.g. if a man sells his house or land and tells his neighbour or partner about this sale the partner/neighbour has a right to object to the sale. He can take that was sold at the price at which it was sold. The one who has this right, is called a shafi’ [pre- emptor].

‘Shuf’ah’ (pre-emption) is the right someone has on his property or land, etc. According to Shari’ah three types of people have a right of pre-emption: i) a partner in the property who has a share in it, but the other partner sells the property without his consent. So he has the right to appeal against this in the Shari ‘ah Court on the basis of Shuf’ah. ii) Someone who is affected by the selling of a property (though not directly involved in that property) i.e. A neighbour who shares a path or a well, etc. That neighbour has a right of Shuf’ah and can issue a writ. There are no different opinions about i) and ii) above. Finally, iii) The neighbour – if he has separate boundaries for his land/home and no joint rights with the other, the neighbour should still be given priority when you come to selling your property. If the owner doesn’t inform him, he is not allowed to issue a writ for right of pre-emption.
The period or limit of pre-emption is for it to be made immediately after knowing of the dealing. If it is not possible to contact an Islamic Court then at least announce it to responsible members of the community. Otherwise, if delayed considerably, then it is not acceptable.

It is quite clear that the right of shuf’ah has been devised in Islam to adjust and to stabilize partnerships and to eliminate losses and other mischief resulting from partnership of properties, for in many cases, the possession of the property by the new partner inflicts losses on the partner having the right of shuf’ah or serves as the source of a series of conflicts and disagreements due to differences of opinion or it may be that freedom of ownership may have benefits for the one who has the right of shuf’ah without causing any loss for the partner who wants to sell his share. The right of shuf’ah holds good for lands, houses, gardens, and other immovable properties, but it does not apply to movable properties.

Guardian Taking from Orphan’s Wealth (Hadith No. 1909)

Bismillah.

Volume 3, Book 34, Number 414 :
Narrated by Hisham bin ‘Urwa from his father
Who heard Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa) saying, “The Holy Verse; ‘Whoever amongst the guardians is rich, he should take no wages (from the property of the orphans) but if he is poor, let him have for himself what is just and reasonable (according to his labors)’ (4.6), was revealed concerning the guardian of the orphans who looks after them and manages favorably their financial affairs; if the guardian is poor, he could have from it what is just and reasonable, (according to his labors).”

Islam regards taking an orphan’s wealth unlawfully as one of the seven sins that doom one to Hell – as it was narrated by al-Bukhaari (2615) and Muslim (89) from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), because it is a great trust which many are unable to fulfil. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to Abu Dharr, when advising him: “And do not take care of the property of an orphan.” Narrated by Muslim (1826).

Islam commands the one who has orphans under his care to look after them properly and raise them well, and if they have wealth he is to guard it and invest it, and pay zakaah on it. If he is rich then it is better for him to refrain from touching their wealth at all, and if he is poor he may consume some on a reasonable basis; if he invests their money he may take payment equal to that of anyone else doing a similar job. These are the rulings of sharee’ah, and they are most wise and just.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And give not unto the foolish your property which Allaah has made a means of support for you, but feed and clothe them therewith, and speak to them words of kindness and justice. And try orphans (as regards their intelligence) until they reach the age of marriage; if then you find sound judgement in them, release their property to them, but consume it not wastefully and hastily fearing that they should grow up, and whoever (amongst guardians) is rich, he should take no wages, but if he is poor, let him have for himself what is just and reasonable (according to his labour). And when you release their property to them, take witness in their presence; and Allaah is All‑Sufficient in taking account.” [al-Nisa’ 4:5, 6]

Ibn Katheer said:

In the words, “consume it not wastefully and hastily fearing that they should grow up”, Allaah forbids consuming orphans’ wealth unnecessarily. “wastefully and hastily” means hastening before they reach puberty. Then Allaah says: “and whoever (amongst guardians) is rich, he should take no wages” meaning, he should not consume anything from it. Al-Sha’bi said: For him it is like dead meat and blood [i.e., forbidden]. “but if he is poor, let him have for himself what is just and reasonable (according to his labour)”. This was revealed concerning the guardian of an orphan who looks after him and takes care of him, if he needs to take from it. It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah said: This verse was revealed concerning the guardian of an orphan: “and whoever (amongst guardians) is rich, he should take no wages, but if he is poor, let him have for himself what is just and reasonable (according to his labour)”.

The fuqaha’ said: He may take whichever is the lesser amount – the equivalent wages for his work or as much as he needs. They differed as to whether he should repay it if he becomes well off. There are two views, one of which is that he should not, because he took it in return for his work when he was poor. This is the correct view according to the companions of al-Shaafa’i, because the verse allows taking without replacing it later on.

The other view is that yes, he should repay it, because the orphan’s wealth is forbidden, and it was only permitted because of need, so he should repay it just as if he took wealth from someone else when he was in need.

and whoever (amongst guardians) is rich, he should take no wages” means, whoever among guardians. “but if he is poor” also refers to guardians. “let him have for himself what is just and reasonable” means, in the way that is better, just as it says in another verse, “And come not near to the orphan’s property, except to improve it, until he (or she) attains the age of full strength” [al-An’aam 6:152], i.e., do not come near it except with the intention of disposing of it in the best way, and if you need it then use it in a way that is just and reasonable.

Tafseer Ibn Katheer (1/454, 455).

More on it here.

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