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Bad Omens (Ahadith 2505 – 2506)

Bismillah.

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 110 :
Narrated by ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu)
I heard the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) saying. “Evil omen is in three things: The horse, the woman and the house.”

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 111 :
Narrated by Sahl bin Sad Saidi (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said “If there is any evil omen in anything, then it is in the woman, the horse and the house.”

What is proven in the Sunnah is that it is forbidden to believe in bad omens (tatayyur) or warn others about them, and that this is a kind of shirk. For example, al-Bukhaari (5776) and Muslim (2224) narrated from Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no ‘adwa (transmission of infectious disease without the permission of Allaah) and no tiyarah (superstitious belief in bird omens), but I like optimism.” They said, “What is optimism?” He said, “A good word.”

Ahmad (4194), Abu Dawood (3910), al-Tirmidhi (1614) and Ibn Maajah (3538) narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Tiyarah (belief in evil omens) is shirk.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.

Ahmad (7045) and al-Tabaraani narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever lets tiyarah stop him from doing something is guilty of shirk.” They said, “What is the kafaarah for that?” He said, “To say: Allaahumma la khayra illaa khayruka wa laa tayra illaa tayruka wa laa ilaaha ghayruka (O Allaah, there is no good except Your good, no birds (omens) except from You, and there is no god beside You).” [Classed as hasan by al-Arna’oot and as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 6264]

Al-Tabaraani narrated in al-Kabeer from ‘Imraan ibn Husayn that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “He is not one of us who practices augury [seeking omens in birds] or has that done for him, or who practices divination or has that done for him, or who practices witchcraft or has that done for him.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 5435.

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Sharh Muslim, no. 2224:

Tatayyur (belief in bad omens) is pessimism, and is based on something disliked, be it a word or action or something seen… They used to startle birds to make them move; if they went to the right they would regard that as a good omen and go ahead with their journeys or other plans, but if they went to the left they would cancel their journeys and plans, and regard that as a bad omen. So it would often prevent them from doing things that were in their interests. Islam cancelled out all that and forbade it, and said that it had no effect, whether good or bad. This is what is meant by the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “There is no tiyarah (superstitious belief in bird omens),” and in another hadeeth, “Tiyarah is shirk” – i.e., the belief that it can bring benefit or harm, if they act upon it believing that it has any effect, then this is shirk, because they think that it has an effect on what one does or that it can make things happen.

black cat

This is the basic principle regarding bad omens (tatayyur). But there are ahaadeeth which indicate that a bad omen may be in a woman, a house or a horse.

Al-Bukhaari (5093) and Muslim (2252) narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them both) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Bad omens are in a woman, a house and a horse.”

Al-Bukhaari (5094) and Muslim, (2252) narrated that Ibn ‘Umar said: Mention of bad omens was made in the presence of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If bad omens are to be found in anything, it is in a house, a woman and a horse.”

Abu Dawood (3924) narrated that Anas ibn Maalik said: A man said: “O Messenger of Allaah, we were in a house and our numbers and wealth were great, then we moved to another house where our numbers and wealth decreased.” The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Leave it, it is bad.” This hadeeth was classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.

The scholars differed concerning these ahaadeeth and how to reconcile them with the ahaadeeth that forbid tatayyur. Some of them interpreted them as they appear to be, and said that this is an exception from the ruling on tatayyur, i.e., that tatayyur is forbidden unless a person has a house which he does not want to live in, or a wife whom he does not want to keep company with, or a horse or servant, all of which he should get rid of by selling them, or by divorcing the wife.

Others said that a house may be regarded as a bad omen when it is too small, or there are bad neighbours who cause trouble; a woman may be regarded as a bad omen when she does not produce children, or she has a sharp tongue, or she behaves in a suspicious manner; a horse may be regarded as a bad omen when it is not used in jihad, or it was said, when it is difficult to handle or it is too expensive; and a servant may be regarded as a bad omen when he has a bad attitude or is not trustworthy or reliable.

Sharh al-Nawawi ‘ala Muslim.

The correct view is that all types of belief in bad omens are condemned, and that no kinds of women, houses or animals can cause harm or bring benefit except by Allaah’s leave. Allaah is the Creator of both good and evil. A person may be tested with a wife who has a bad attitude, or a house in which there is a lot of problems, in which case it is prescribed for him to rid himself of these things, fleeing from the decree of Allaah to the decree of Allaah, and so as to avoid falling into pessimism and belief in bad omens which is forbidden.

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

“Another group said: regarding these three as bad omens only affects those who believe in that. Whoever puts his trust in Allaah and does not believe in omens and superstition, that does not affect him. They said: this is indicated by the hadeeth of Anas, ‘A bad omen only affects the one who believes in it.’ If a person believes in bad omens, Allaah may make that the cause of bad things happening to him, just as He may make trust in Him and making Him alone the focus of one’s fear and hope one of the main causes of warding off evil that people may superstitiously expect.

The reason for that is that tiyarah (superstitious belief in omens) implies shirk or associating others with Allaah, fearing others besides Him and not putting one’s trust in Him. The superstitious person attracts evil to himself, so the superstition affects him more, because he did not protect himself with belief in Allaah alone and trust in Allaah. If a person fears something other than Allaah, it gains control over him and he is tormented by it; if he loves something else as well as Allaah, he will be tormented by it; if he puts his hope in something alongside Allaah he will be let down by it. These matters are well known from real life and there is no need to provide further evidence. Everyone inevitably feels superstitious but the strong believer wards off those superstitious feelings by putting his trust in Allaah. Whoever puts his trust in Allaah, He will suffice him and he will have no need of anyone or anything else. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“So when you want to recite the Qur’aan, seek refuge with Allaah from Shaytaan (Satan), the outcast (the cursed one).

Verily, he has no power over those who believe and put their trust only in their Lord (Allaah).

His power is only over those who obey and follow him (Satan), and those who join partners with Him (Allaah, i.e. those who are Mushrikoon, i.e., polytheists)”

[al-Nahl 16:98]

Hence Ibn Mas’ood said: “All of us sometimes feel superstitious, but Allaah causes it to disappear when we put our trust in Him.” They said: superstition with regard to houses, women and horses may affect only those who believe in it; as for the one who puts his trust in Allaah and fears Him alone, and does not believe in bad omens, then horses, women and houses cannot be bad omens for him.

Then he said:

Whoever believes that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) attributed a superstitious effect to anything in the sense that it may have an effect in and of itself independently of Allaah is telling a serious lie against Allaah and His Messenger and has gone far astray. His speaking of bad omens existing in these three things does not constitute proof of what he had denied before. All it means is that Allaah may a superstitious effect in objects for those who come near them or live in them, and there may be some blessing in some objects, and anyone who comes nears them is not affected by bad omens or anything bad. This is like when Allaah gives parents a blessed child and they experience goodness because of him, whilst He gives others a mean child and they experience bad things because of him. This applies to what may Allaah may bestow on His slave of houses, wives and horses. Allaah is the Creator of good and evil, good luck and bad luck. So some of these things may be “lucky” and blessed and bring happiness for those who come into contact with them, so they are blessed; and some of them may be “unlucky” and bring “bad luck” to those who come into contact with them, all by the will and decree of Allaah, just as He has created all other causes and effects which may vary. So He has created musk and other fragrant substances, which give delight to all those who come into contact with them, and He has created their opposites which cause disgust to all those who come into contact with them. The difference between the two types is known from experience. The same applies to houses, women and horses. This is one thing, and the shirki belief in bad omens is something else altogether.

He said concerning the Prophet’s command to that family to leave that house, as mentioned in the hadeeth quoted above:

This is not the kind of superstition that is forbidden. Rather he told them to leave it when they started to think along these lines, in order to achieve two aims and two benefits:

1 – It was so that they would leave a place that they disliked and felt scared in because of what had happened to them there, so that they might find relief from the panic, grief and depression that assailed them there, because Allaah has made it man’s nature to hate that which causes him harm even though it is not the fault of that thing, and to love that which brings him happiness, even though the thing itself does not intend to do good. So he commanded them to leave that which they disliked, because Allaah sent him as a mercy, and did not send him as a torment. He sent him to make things easy, not to make things hard. So how could he have told them to stay in a place where they were unhappy and felt scared to stay because of the great losses they had suffered there, when that would serve no purpose of worship or increase their piety or guidance, especially when they had stayed there for so long after they had begun to feel uncomfortable there which made them superstitious. So this protected them from two serious things:

1 – Committing shirk

2 – Protecting them from something bad happening to them because of their superstition, which usually affects those who believe in it. So he protected them because of his great mercy and kindness from these two disliked things, by telling them to leave that house and move to another without any harm coming to them with regard to either their worldly or religious interests.

Miftaah Daar al-Sa’aadah, 2/258

And Allaah knows best.

Taken from IslamQA

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Testimony of a Sinner (Ahadith 2314 – 2315)

Bismillah.

Volume 3, Book 48, Number 816 :
Narrated by ‘Urwa bin Az-Zubair (radiallaahu `anhu)
A woman committed theft in the Ghazwa of the Conquest (of Mecca) and she was taken to the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) who ordered her hand to be cut off. ‘Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa) said, “Her repentance was perfect and she was married (later) and used to come to me (after that) and I would present her needs to Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam).”

Volume 3, Book 48, Number 817 :
Narrated by Zaid bin Khalid (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) ordered that an unmarried man who committed illegal sexual intercourse be scourged one hundred lashes and sent into exile for one year.

Can the testimony of a sinner be accepted?

In case of slander, Allah has prescribed three punishments. They are: the hadd punishment; rejection of testimony; and describing the slanderer as an evildoer (Faasiq). Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And those who accuse chaste women, and produce not four witnesses, flog them with eighty stripes, and reject their testimony forever. They indeed are the Faasiqoon (liars, rebellious, disobedient to Allaah). Except those who repent thereafter and do righteous deeds; (for such) verily, Allaah is Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [al-Noor 24:4-5].

With regard to the hadd punishment, the fuqaha’ are unanimously agreed that the hadd punishment for slander is eighty lashes if the slanderer is a free person [i.e., not a slave], man or woman, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“flog them with eighty stripes” [al-Noor 24:4].

As for his testimony not being accepted, the scholars are unanimously agreed that the testimony of the slanderer should not be accepted so long as he has not repented, because he has committed a major sin, namely slander, and has not repented from it, so he cannot be described as being of good character, and good character is a condition of testimony being accepted; and because he is a liar and an evildoer according to the text of the verse: “They indeed are the Faasiqoon (liars, rebellious, disobedient to Allaah).

“Why did they not produce four witnesses? Since they (the slanderers) have not produced witnesses! Then with Allaah they are the liars” [al-Noor 24:13].

The testimony of the evildoer and liar cannot be accepted, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And take as witness two just persons from among you (Muslims)” [al-Talaaq 65:2]. So it is stipulated that the witness should be of good character, and the evildoer and liar are not of good character.

If he repents from slander and admits that he was lying, then the majority of scholars (Maalik, al-Shaafa’i and Ahmad) are of the view that his testimony may be accepted. They said:

1.     Because repentance erases the sins that came before it, so if he repents his sin and its effects are erased completely, and non-acceptance of testimony is one of the effects of that sin.

Imam al-Shaafa’i said in al-Umm (7/94):

If he admits that he lied, his testimony may then be accepted, but if he does not do that then his testimony cannot be accepted, until he does that, because the sin for which his testimony is rejected is slander, but if he admits that he was lying then he has repented. End quote.

2.     Because the expression “forever” in the verse applies so long as he persists in evildoing. Hence after that the verse mentions after the ruling that he is an evildoer: “and reject their testimony forever. They indeed are the Faasiqoon (liars, rebellious, disobedient to Allaah).” If the description of evildoer ceases to apply to him, then the reason for rejecting his testimony also ceases to exist.

3.     It was narrated from ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) that he said to those who had slandered al-Mugheerah ibn Shu’bah, after he had carried out the hadd punishment of flogging on them: “Whoever repents, his testimony will be accepted.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari in a mu’allaq majzoom report.

His repentance means that he admits that he was lying about the slandered person whom he accused of zina. Hence the words of ‘Umar according to Ibn Jareer were, “Whoever admits that he was lying, his testimony will be accepted.”

If the slanderer repents and mends his ways, his testimony will be accepted, like any other Muslim of good character.

Al-Mughni (12/386); al-Majmoo’ (22/98-101).

Taken from IslamQA

Save Your Ship (Hadith No. 2170)

Bismillah.

Volume 3, Book 44, Number 673:
Narrated An-Nu’man bin Bashir (radiallaahu `anhu):
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “The example of the person abiding by Allah’s order and restrictions in comparison to those who violate them is like the example of those persons who drew lots for their seats in a boat. Some of them got seats in the upper part, and the others in the lower. When the latter needed water, they had to go up to bring water (and that troubled the others), so they said, ‘Let us make a hole in our share of the ship (and get water) saving those who are above us from troubling them. So, if the people in the upper part left the others do what they had suggested, all the people of the ship would be destroyed, but if they prevented them, both parties would be safe.”

This is the result of not fulfilling Allah’s command:

“Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islam), enjoining Al-Ma‘roof (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:104] 

If the people on upper level don’t do anything to stop those on the lower level from digging a hole, they’ll all drown, equally guilty.

Enjoining what is good (al-ma’roof) and forbidding what is evil (al-munkar) is one of the most important Islamic duties, indeed it is the noblest and most sublime. This is the task of the Prophets and Messengers (peace be upon them all), as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Messengers as bearers of good news as well as of warning in order that mankind should have no plea against Allaah after the (coming of) Messengers” [al-Nisaa’ 4:165] 

Allaah has made the Muslim ummah the best nation ever raised up for mankind, in order to do this important task, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):  

“You (true believers in Islamic Monotheism, and real followers of Prophet Muhammad and his Sunnah) are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Al-Ma‘roof (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam has ordained) and forbid Al-Munkar (polytheism, disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden), and you believe in Allaah” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:110] 

If the ummah fails to do its duty of enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil, wrongdoing and corruption will spread throughout the ummah, and it will deserve the curse of Allaah. For Allaah cursed those among the Children of Israel who disbelieved because they failed in this important duty. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Those among the Children of Israel who disbelieved were cursed by the tongue of Dawood (David) and ‘Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary). That was because they disobeyed (Allaah and the Messengers) and were ever transgressing beyond bounds.

They used not to forbid one another from Al-Munkar (wrong, evildoing, sins, polytheism, disbelief) which they committed. Vile indeed was what they used to do [al-Maa’idah 5:78] 

Give Way Please! (Hadith No. 2142)

Bismillah.

Volume 3, Book 43, Number 645:
Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri (radiallaahu `anhu):
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Beware! Avoid sitting on he roads (ways).” The people said, “There is no way out of it as these are our sitting places where we have talks.” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “If you must sit there, then observe the rights of the way.” They asked, “What are the rights of the way?” He said, “They are the lowering of your gazes (on seeing what is illegal to look at), refraining from harming people, returning greetings, advocating good and forbidding evil.”

I don’t know why it’s ‘cool’ for a group of friends to hang out on a staircase or on a narrow pathway/corridor. It’s so inconvenient for passers-by when we block their way. Let’s be more considerate. Find a nice corner to chit chat and spend time.
Same goes for cars. Do NOT park on the road/street where other cars might find it difficult to pass, even if you’re getting off for a minute. Think of others before yourself.

If you, by any chance, are sitting/standing on the way or in a public place, give the right of way. Do NOT gawk at people, busy yourself with something more productive like homework? Do not harm people in any way, be it by blocking their way or making them feel uncomfortable. Return greetings when they greet you. Or you could greet them first if they feel shy about it. Advocate good and forbid evil, just like we should be doing all the time.

The Unacceptable Fast (Hadith No. 1622)

Bismillah.

Volume 3, Book 31, Number 127:

Narrated Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu):

The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting.)”

This tells us two things mainly:

  1. The person who’s fasting MUST avoid major sins e.g. lying, and all sorts of evil actions.
    The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The five daily prayers, from one Jumu’ah to the next and from one Ramadaan to the next are expiation for (sins committed) in between, so long as you avoid major sins.” [Muslim]
    Repeat the last phrase: “..so long as you avoid major sins”.
  2. Fasting is not just about leaving food and drink. There’s much more to it. This exercise of avoiding halal food and drink in obedience to Allah’s command is supposed to teach us how to leave the haram things (sins, for example) during and outside Ramadan in order to obey Allah (subhaanahu wata`aalaa). If you can fast, you can leave sins as well. It’s not impossible. :)
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