Wednesday, 29 July 2009

To err is human; to forgive, divine.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has granted intellect to human beings. The intellect entails responsibility. The more intellect a person has the more he/she is responsible. When the intellect is missing, the responsibility is also not there. Little children are not held responsible, because their intellect has not yet developed. The insane are not responsible, because they have lost the intellectual capacity. However, part of our being human is also that we make mistakes. Sometime we make mistakes without deliberation and intention. But sometime we knowingly and deliberately sin and do wrong to others. It is said, “to err is human and to forgive is divine.” Both parts of this statement are very true. As human beings we are responsible, but we do also make mistakes and we are constantly in need of forgiveness. Islam speaks about two aspects of forgiveness: a) Allah’s forgiveness; b) Human forgiveness. We need both, because we do wrong in our relations to Allah as well as in our relations to each other.

A. Allah’s Forgiveness:

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is the most Forgiving. There are many names of Allah given in the Qur’an. Some of these names are related to His mercy and forgiveness. Let me mention some of these names:

  1. Al-Ghafoor: The most Forgiving. This name occurs in the Qur’an more than seventy times. There are other names from the same root, such as Ghafir and Ghaffar. The meaning of the “ghafara” is to cover, to hide and from it comes the meaning “to excuse”, “to pardon”, “to remit” and “to forgive”. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala does all these things. In the Qur’an, it is mentioned that Allah does not forgive the Shirk (without repentance) but He may forgive every other sin for whomsoever He wills. (al-Nisa’ 4:116) We must turn to Allah to seek His forgiveness.

  2. Al-’Afuw: This has another aspect of forgiveness. This name occurs in the Qur’an five times. Literally the word ‘Afw means “to release” “to heal”, “to restore”, “to remit”. Thus in relation to Allah it means “to release us from the burden of punishment due to our sins and mistakes”, “to forgiveness; forgiveness;after we have dishonored ourselves by committing sins and making mistakes.” Sometimes in the Qur’an both names: ‘Afuw and Ghafoor come together.

  3. Al-Tawwab: The Acceptor of repentance. This name of Allah is mentioned in the Qur’an about 11 times. Allah accepts the repentance of those who sincerely repent and turn to him. The word “tawwab” gives the sense of “oft-returning” which means that Allah again and again accepts the repentance. We make sins and mistakes then we repent, He accepts our repentance. Then again we commit sins and make mistakes and when we repent, He again very kindly accept us and gives us another chance.

  4. Al-Haleem: The Clement. This name is mentioned fifteen times in the Qur’an. This means that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is not quick to judgment. He gives time. He forebears and is patient to see His servant to return to Him.

  5. Al-Rahman and al-Rahim: The most Merciful and Compassionate. These names are the most frequent in the Qur’an. Al-Rahman is mentioned 57 times and al-Raheem is mentioned 115 times. Al-Rahman indicates that Allah’s mercy is abundant and plenty and al-Raheem indicates that this is always the case with Allah. He is full of love and mercy and He is ever Merciful.

The Qur’an teaches that Allah is a Judge and He also punishes, but Allah is not bound to punish. The justice of Allah, according to Qur’an is that Allah does not and will not inflict undue punishment on any person. He will not ignore the good of any person. But if He wishes to forgive any sinner, He has full freedom to do that. His mercy is unlimited and His love is infinite.

There are many verses in the Qur’an and sayings of the Prophet -peace be upon him- on the love, mercy and forgiveness of Allah. In one of the prayers that the Prophet taught, he said, “O Allah, You are most Forgiving One, You love to forgive, so forgive me.”(reported by al-Trimidhi and Ibn Majah). We need Allah’s mercy and forgiveness all the time. It is wrong to assume at any time that one will find eternal salvation without the forgiveness of Allah.

B. Human Forgiveness in Islam:

Just as it is important to believe in the mercy and forgiveness of Allah, it is also necessary to base human relations on forgiveness. We cannot expect Allah’s forgiveness unless we also forgive those who do wrong to us. Forgiving each other, even forgiving one’s enemies is one of the most important Islamic teaching. In the Qur’an Allah has described the Believers as “those who avoid major sins and acts of indecencies and when they are angry they forgive.” (al-Shura 42:37) Later in the same Surah Allah says, “The reward of the evil is the evil thereof, but whosoever forgives and makes amends, his reward is upon Allah.” (al-Shura 42:40) In another place the Qur’an says, “If you punish, then punish with the like of that wherewith you were afflicted. But if you endure patiently, indeed it is better for the patient. Endure you patiently. Your patience is not except through the help of Allah… (al-Nahl 16:126-127)

In one Hadith the Prophet -peace be upon him- said that Allah has commanded him about nine things. One of them he mentioned was “that I forgive those who do wrong to me.”

The Prophet -peace be upon him- was the most forgiving person. He was ever ready to forgive his enemies. When he went to Ta’if to preach the message of Allah, its people mistreated him. They abused him and hit him with stones.

He left the city humiliated and wounded. When he took shelter under a tree, the angel of Allah visited him and told him that Allah sent him to destroy the people of Ta’if because of their sin of mistreating their Prophet. The Prophet -peace be upon him- prayed to Allah to save the people of Taif, because what they did was out of their ignorance. He said, “O Allah, guide these people, because they did not know what they were doing.” When he entered the city of Makkah after the victory, the Prophet -peace be upon him- had in front of him some of his staunchest enemies. Those who fought him for many years, persecuted his followers and killed many of them. Now he had full power to do whatever he wanted to punish them for their crimes. It is reported that the Prophet -peace be upon him- asked them, “What do you think I shall do to you now?” They pleaded for mercy. The Prophet -peace be upon him- said, “Today I shall say to you what Joseph (referring to Prophet Yusuf -peace be upon him- as mentioned in the Qur’an, Yusuf 12:92) said to his brothers, ‘No blame on you today. Go, you are all free.” Soon they all came and accepted Islam at his hands. He forgave even Hind who had caused the murder of his uncle Hamza -may Allah be pleased with him. After killing him she had his body mutilated and chewed his liver. When she accepted Islam, the Prophet even forgave her.

A very striking example of forgiveness we find in the Qur’an in reference to the most unfortunate event of “Slander of Sayyidah A’isha’”. Some hypocrites of Madinah accused her. They tried to put dirt on her noble character. One of the slanderers turned out to be Mistah, the cousin of ‘Aisha’s father Abu Bakr’s. Abu Bakr -may Allah be pleased with him- used to give financial help to this young man. After he slandered his daughter, Abu Bakr vowed not to help him any more. But Allah reminded Abu Bakr and through him all the Believers, “Let not those among you who are endued with grace and amplitude of means resolve by oath against helping their kinsmen, those in want and those who migrated in the path of Allah. Let them forgive and overlook. Do you not wish that Allah should forgive you? Indeed Allah is oft-Forgiving, most Merciful.” (Al-Nur 24:22) Abu Bakr -may Allah be pleased with him- came out of his home and said, “Yes, indeed, I want Allah’s forgiveness. He not only continued to help him but he gave him more. Islam emphasizes justice and punishment of the wrong doers, but it equally strongly emphasizes mercy, kindness and love. Justice, law and order are necessary for the maintenance of a social order, but there is also a need for forgiveness to heal the wounds and to restore good relations between the people. We must keep in mind that as much as we need Allah’s forgiveness for our own sins and mistakes, we must also practice forgiveness towards those who do wrong to us.

He who forgiveth, and is reconciled unto his enemy, shall receive his reward from God; for he loveth not the unjust doers.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Those who acquire knowledge

057.003 He is the First and the Last, the Evident and the Immanent: and He has full knowledge of all things.
It is a known fact that every language has one or more terms that are used in reference to God and sometimes to lesser deities. This is not the case with Allah. Allah is the personal name of the One true God. Nothing else can be called Allah. The term has no plural or gender. This shows its uniqueness when compared with the word god which can be made plural, gods, or feminine, goddess. It is interesting to notice that Allah is the personal name of God in Aramaic, the language of Jesus and a sister language of Arabic..

When there was nothing, Allah T'ala was, and when there will be nothing, He will be. He is the most Manifest of all the manifest, for whatever manifests itself in the world, does only by His attributes and His works and His light. And He is the Most Hidden of all the hidden, for not only do the senses fail to percieve Him but the intellect and thought and imagination also cannot attain to His essence and reality.

The best commentary in this regard are the words of a supplication of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings). which Imam Ahmad, Muslim, Tirmidhi, and Baihaqi have related on the authority of Hadrat Abu Hurairah, and Hafiz Abu Ya'la Mosuli in his Musnad on the authority of Hadrat 'A'ishah:
"Antal Awwal, fa-laisa qablaka shai'in; wa Antal Akhir fa-laisa ba 'daka shai 'in; wa Antal Zahir, fa-laisa fauqaka shai in; wa Antal Batin, fa laisa dunaka shai'in. " "You alone are the First; none is before You; You alone are the Last: none is after You; You alone are the Exalted none is above You; You alone are the Hidden: none is more hidden than You. "

Here, the question arises: How does this accord with the immortality and eternal life of the dwellers of Paradise and Hell mentioned in the Qur'an when Allah alone is the Last and Eternal? Its answer has been provided by the Qur'an itself: "Everything is perishable except Allah Himself." (AI-Qasas: 88). In other words no creature is immortal in its personal capacity; if a thing exists or continues to exist, it does so because Allah keeps it so, and can exist only by His letting it exist; otherwise in its own capacity everything is perishable except Allah. Immortality in Heaven and Hell will not be bestowed upon somebody because he is immortal by himself, but because AIIah will grant him eternal life. The same is true of the angels: they are not immortal by themselves. When Allah willed they came into existence, and will continue to exist only as long as He wills.

Virtues of Knowledge which is Learnt and Taught for the sake of Allah

Allah, the Exalted, says:

"And say: `My Rubb! Increase me in knowledge.'' (20:114)

"Are those who know equal to those who know not?''' (39:9)

"Allah will exalt in degree those of you who believe, and those who have been granted knowledge.'' (58:11)

"It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allah.'' (35:28)

1378. Abu Musa (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "The guidance and knowledge with which Allah has sent me are like abundant rain which fell on a land. A fertile part of it absorbed the water and brought forth profuse herbage and pasture; and solid ground patches which retained the water by which Allah has benefited people, who drank from it, irrigated their crops and sowed their seeds; and another sandy plane which could neither retain the water nor produce herbage. Such is the similitude of the person who becomes well-versed in the religion of Allah and receives benefit from the Message entrusted to me by Allah, so he himself has learned and taught it to others; such is also the similitude of the person who has stubbornly and ignorantly rejected Allah's Guidance with which I have been sent.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
We learn from this Hadith that there are three categories of people. First, those who acquire knowledge of the Qur'an and Hadith, act upon it and also impart it to others. Such people benefit from this knowledge themselves and extend this benefit to others also. By virtue of this quality they are the best of all. Second, those people who acquire knowledge and impart it to others, but do not fulfill the requirements of that knowledge. Such people are inferior in rank to the people of the first category and can be taken to task for their omissions. Third, those who shun the knowledge of the Qur'an and Hadith. Neither they study and hear the two themselves for their own benefit, nor do they acquire knowledge to impart it to others for their benefit. This is the worst category of people. Every Muslim should try to be in the first category of the people.

1390. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "He who is asked about knowledge (of religion) and conceals it, will be bridled with a bridle of fire on the Day of Resurrection.''
[Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi].
Commentary: We learn from this Hadith that to withhold guidance in the matter of religion from anybody who seeks it, is a grave sin which is threatened with Hell. Unfortunately, the religious scholars who are shackled in religious prejudices and terribly lack interest in juristic matters have developed a habit of concealing religious knowledge from people. In fact, this grave sin has become so alarming that any further delay to eradicate it will prove ruinous for us. May Allah grant us true guidanc

1392. `Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`As (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying: "Verily, Allah does not take away knowledge by snatching it from the people, but He takes it away by taking away (the lives of) the religious scholars till none of the scholars stays alive. Then the people will take ignorant ones as their leaders, who, when asked to deliver religious verdicts, will issue them without knowledge, the result being that they will go astray and will lead others astray.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Commentary: It is a sign of the nearness of the Day of Judgement that the world will be deprived of genuine religious scholars, and illiterate people will become leaders who will have neither the knowledge of the Qur'an nor that of the Hadith. Despite their ignorance of the Qur'an and the Hadith, they will be called Mujtahid (jurist entitled to independent reasoning) and Imam (leader) and will mislead people with their legal opinions and self-created problems. Besides urging us to acquire religious knowledge with a view to producing more scholars in the society, this Hadith also warns us against the ignorant self-styled `Ulama'. It also warns us against entrusting religious leadership to them.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Muhammad (PBUH)


In his youth he believed firmly in the Oneness of Allah (God)(SWT). He lived a very simple life and hated vanity and pride. He was compassionate to the poor, widows and orphans and shared their sufferings by helping them. He avoided all vices, which were commonly practiced among young people such as gambling, drinking wine, vulgarity and others. He was well-known as As-Sadiq (the truthful) and Al-Amin (the trustworthy). He was always trusted as a mediator between two conflicting parties in his homeland, Makkah

1) Muhammad (PBUH) as a Husband:
From Muhammad's Sayings:
Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) reported, the prophet (PBUH) said "among the believers who show most perfect faith are those who have best disposition and are kindest to their wives"………..narrated by Al-Tirmithi

From Muhammad's Life:
Amro (may Allah be pleased with him ) reported that the prophet (PBUH) was asked about the person he loves most. He replied that it is Aisha. The man said "from men?". He replied "her father".

2) Muhammad (PBUH) as a Father:
From Muhammad's Sayings :
Abu-Darda' (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that a man came telling him that he has a wife and that his mother orders him to divorce her, and asked him what should he do? He replied that he had heard the prophet (PBUH) saying that the parents represent the middle door to paradise, so you are free to keep this opportunity or lose it…….narrated by Al-Tirmithi

From Muhammad's Life:
Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah's Messenger (PBUH) entered his house while his son Ibarhim was in his last breathes. The eyes of Allah's messenger started shedding tears. Abu-Rahman ibn Auf said "O Allah's Apostle, even you are weeping!" He said "O Ibn Auf, this is mercy". Then he wept more & said "the eyes are shedding tears and the heart grieves and we shall not say except what pleases our Lord. O Ibrahim, indeed we are grieved by being separated from you"……Narrated by Al-Bukhari.

Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that while Allah's Messenger (PBUH) was in his last breathes he was distressed. Fatima (may Allah bless her) said "O father, how distressed you are!". He (PBUH) said "your father will suffer no distress after today". When he passed away she said "O father who has answered Allah's call. O father who will dwell in paradise. O father we announce your death to Gabriel". When he (PBUH) was buried she said "how could you possibly pour dust on Allah's messenger"……Narrated by Al-Bukhari.

3) Muhammad (PBUH) as a Grandfather:
From Muhammad's Sayings:
Amr ibn Shoeib (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah's messenger (PBUH) said "Those who do not show mercy to our young ones & do not realize the rights of our elders do not belong to us".

From Muhammad's Life:
Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah's messenger (PBUH) was kissing Al-Hasan ibn ali while Al-Akra' ibn Habes was with him. Al-Akra' said "I have 10 children whom I have never kissed". Allah's Apostle (PBUH) said "He who does not show mercy, gets no mercy"……….Agreed Upon.

4) Muhammad (PBUH) with Children:

From Muhammad's Sayings:
Aisha(r.a) reported that a poor woman with her 2 daughters came visiting her. Aisha(r.a) gave them 3 dates. The mother gave each of her daughters a date & while she was about to eat hers one of her daughters asked her for another, so she divided hers in 2 halves and gave her half and ate the other. Aisha said I admired her attitude and narrated what she did to Allah's Messenger (PBUH) who said "Allah (the Almighty) has grated her paradise or she was spared going to hell as a result of this"……….Narrated by Muslim.

Reported by Abu-Kutada Al Harith, may Allah be pleased with him, that the prophet PBUH said: “When I get up for prayer I want to take my time in it, but when I hear a child crying I hurry up in my prayer in the fear of disturbing his mother (who is praying behind me)”. Narrated by Buckhari.

From Muhammad's Life:
Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that he used to greet the children as he used to see Allah's Messenger (PBUH) doing the same………..Agreed Upon.

Anas also reported that the young girls in Madinah used to take Allah's Messenger (PBUH) by hand wherever they want………….Narrated by Al-Bukhari

5) Muhammad (PBUH) with Women:
From Muhammad's Sayings:
Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the prophet (PBUH) said: "among the believers who show most perfect faith are those who have best disposition and are kindest to their wives"………..narrated by Al-Tirmidhi

From Muhammad's Sayings :
Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah's messenger (PBUH) said: " A believing man should not hate his believing wife, if he dislikes one of her traits, he will be pleased with another"……….Narrated by Muslim.

Abdullah ibn Amr (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah's Messenger said: "The whole world is a provision, and the best object of benefit from the world is the pious woman"………Narrated by Muslim.

From Muhammad's Life:
Al-Aswad ibn Yazid said "I asked Aisha (ra) about what Allah's Messenger (PBUH) used to do at home?" she said "He (PBUH) was always serving his family till prayer time comes then he goes to the prayer"………….Narrated by Al-Bukhari.

A man from Bani Sawa' asked Aisha about the behavior of Allah's Messenger (PBUH). She replied "don’t you read the Quran describing him that he has the most noble manners. She said "Allah's Messenger (PBUH) was with his companions, so I made him some food & also Hafsa did the same but she preceded me. So, I told my servant to go & break hafsa's platter. She went on and sis what I told her in the presence of Allah's Messenger (PBUH). The food was scattered on the ground and he (PBUH) gathered it and ate it with his companions. He then took my platter and ordered my servant to give it to Hafsa saying "A platter in place of yours and the food is for you to eat". Aisha commented that despite of her act, Allah's Messenger (PBUH) never showed her that he was angry from her……….Sunan Ibn Majah.

6) Muhammad (PBUH) with his Relatives:
From Muhammad's Sayings:
Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him )reported that Allah's Messenger (PBUH) said: "Whoever loves that he be granted more wealth and that his lease of life be prolonged then he should keep good relations with his kinship"……………Agreed Upon.

From Muhammad's Life:
Anas b. Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: Abu Talha was the one among the Ansar of Medina who possessed the largest property and among his property he valued most his garden known as Bairaha' which was opposite the mosque, and the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) often visited it and he drank of its sweet water. When this verse was revealed:" You will never attain righteousness till you give freely of what you love" (Al-Imran. 92), Abu Talha got up and, going to Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him), said: Allah says in His Book:" You will never attain righteousness till you give freely of what you love," and the dearest of my property is Bairaha' so I give it as Sadaqa to Allah from Whom I hope for reward. The Messenger (peace be upon him) said: Bravo, that is profit earning property. I have heard what you have said, but I think you should spend it on your nearest relatives. So Abu Talha distributed it among the neatest relatives and his cousins on his father's side…….Agreed Upon.

7) Muhammad (PBUH) as a Visitor:
From Muhammad's Sayings:
Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the prophet (PBUH) said: A person visited his brother in another town and Allah deputed an Angel to wait for him on his way and when he came to him he said: Where do you intend to go? He said: I intend to go to my brother in this town. He said: Have you done any favor to him (the repayment of which you intend to get)? He said: No, except this that I love him for the sake of Allah, the Exalted and Glorious. Thereupon he said: I am a messenger to you from, Allah: (to inform you) that Allah loves you as you love him (for His sake)…….Narrated by Muslim

From Muhammad's Life:
Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger (PBUH) said to Gabriel "What prevents you from visiting us more often?" In reply to this the following verse was revealed "And we (angels) descend not except by the Command of your Lord (O Muhammad). To Him belongs what is before us and what is behind us, and what is between those two; and your Lord is never forgetful -"……….Surat Mariam (64)……Narrated by Al-Bukhari.

8-With the Orphans:
From Muhammad's Sayings:
Sahl Ibn Sa'ad (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah's Messenger (PBUH) said: "I and the person, who looks after an orphan and provides for him, will be in paradise like this" putting his index and middle finger together………Narrated by Al-Bukhari.

From Muhammad's Life :
Abu Hurraira (may Allah be pleased with him )reported that a man came to Allah's Messenger (PBUH) complaining of having a hard heart, Allah's Messenger (PBUH) replied "if you want your heart to be softened then donate food to the needy and rub over an orphan's head"……….Musnad Ahmed.

9-With the Needy:
From Muhammad's Sayings:
Allah's Messenger (PBUH) said "The worst food is that of a banquet to which the needy are not invited and those who are not in need are invited. ………Narrated by Muslim.

In another version of the same Hadith that is mentioned in both Al-Bukhari and Muslim, Allah's Messenger (PBUH) said "The worst food is that of a banquet to which the rich are invited and the poor are not".

Abu Darda' Oeimer (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah's Messenger (PBUH) said "Take care of the weak, because the weak are the reason behind your being granted victory and wealth"………Narrated by Abu Dawood.

From Muhammad's Life :
Abu Hubaira ibn Amro Al-Muzni (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that Abu Sufian came across a crowd which included Salman, Soheib and Belal. They told him "The swords of Allah did not take enough of Allah's enemy (meaning abu sufian). Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) said "Do you dare saying that to the Sheikh of Quraish and their master?"…..Then came Allah's Messenger (PBUH) and said to Abu Bakr "Abu Bakr you might have annoyed them, if you did so, then you would be annoying Allah ". Abu Bakr came to them saying "O brothers, have I annoyed you?"…..they replied "No, May Allah forgive you brother"………..Narrated by Muslim

10-With his Neighbors
From Muhammad's Sayings:
The Prophet (PBUH) said, "By Allah, he does not believe! By Allah, he does not believe! By Allah, he does not believe!" It was said, "Who is that, O Allah's Apostle?" He said, "That person whose neighbor does not feel safe from his evil doing".........Agreed Upon

In another version narrated by Muslim, Allah's Messenger (PBUH) said "he whose neighbor does not feel safe from his evil doings will not be admitted to heaven".

Allah's Messenger (PBUH) said "Anybody who believes in Allah and the Judgment Day should not harm his neighbor, and anybody who believes in Allah and the judgment Day should entertain his guest generously and anybody who believes in Allah and the judgment Day should talk what is good or keep quiet"……….Agreed Upon.

From Muhammad's Life:
Abu Dhar (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah's Messenger (PBUH) said: "O Aba Dhar, if you cook soup, make a lot of it and give your neighbors"…….narrated by Muslim

In another version Abu Dhar said "My intimate friend (PBUH) advised me "if you cooked soup then make more of it and give your neighbors some of it"

Abdu Allah ibn Omar(may Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah's Apostle (PBUH) said: "The best of friends are those who are most beneficial to their friends. The best of neighbors are those who are most beneficial to their neighbors"……….Narrated by Al-Tirmidhi.

11-With the Parents:
From Muhammad's Sayings:
A man came asking Allah's Messenger (PBUH) "O Allah's Apostle, who is the person most deserving of my friendly companionship?" He (PBUH) replied "Your Mother", the man said "then who?' He (PBUH) replied "Your mother", the man said "then who?", He (PBUH) replied "Your mother"……the man said "then who?"…….. He (PBUH) replied "Your father"

In another version: A man came asking Allah's Messenger (PBUH) about the person who is most deserving of my friendly, careful companionship. The Prophet (PBUH) said "Your mother, then your mother, then your mother, then your father then your closer kinship".

Asma'a bint Abu Bakr Al-Siddik (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that she asked Allah's Apostle (PBUH) whether or not she should keep good relations with her mother who was still polytheist at the time. He replied "Yes keep good relations with her"…………..Agreed Upon.

From Muhammad's Life :
It was narrated that Abu Hurraira said to some companions of Allah's Messenger (PBUH) "By Allah, any believer who will ever hear about me will love me"…..a companion asked him "How you know that Abu Hurraira?" He replied "My mother was a polytheist and I was calling her to Islam and she was always refusing. Once I called her to Islam again and she said very bad words about Allah's Messenger (PBUH). I came crying to the Prophet (PBUH) and told him what happened between me and my mother and asked him to pray to Allah to guide my mother to Islam. Allah's Messenger (PBUH) said" O Allah, guide Abu Hurraira's mother to the right path".

I ran to my mother to bring to her the good news of the prophet's (PBUH) prayer for her. When I came to her door, I heard the sound of water and her footsteps. She said "Abu Hurraira, stay where you are". Then she came opening the door with her clothes on saying:" I testify that there's no god but Allah, and that Mohamed is his messenger".

Abu Hurraira said I went running with joy to Allah's Messenger (PBUH) and said "O Allah's Messenger cheer up for Allah has answered your prayer and has guided my mother to the right path". I then asked Allah's Apostle (PBUH) to pray for Allah (the Almighty) to make all the believers love me and my mother and to make us love them. Allah's Messenger (PBUH) said "O Allah, please let the believers love Abu Hurraira and his mother and make them love all believers"…….from that time, Abu Hurriara said that whenever any believer hears or seas me or my mother he loves us………Musnad Ahmed (Part 2/page319).

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Concern grows for hungry

Concern grows for hungry

My friend told me this story in Africa and thought to share it.

A farmer had a tree which grew beautiful mangoes. Everyone in the village knew about the tree, and the mangoes. One day the farmer was inspecting his trees, and saw the loveliest mango he had ever seen. He picked it, and showed to his family. they were amazed by the beautiful mango. So were all his friends, who heard about the mango, and came to look..He!He!He! .
The farmer knew this was a special mango, but it wasn’t until his wide said, “That’s a mango fit for a king,” that he knew what to do. He was a poor farmer. He had no money, but he could take this mango and offer it to the king.

He wrapped the mango in a special cloth, and walked all the way to the palace. At first the guards laughed at him, but he unwrapped the mango and showed it to them. They were so amazed they called their commander, and the commander took the farmer to see the king.

The farmer unwrapped the mango once more. The king was amazed by the mango, but pleased by the generosity of the farmer. He asked the farmer what he would like in return but the farmer refused. He wanted no reward, and no gift. “All I wanted was to see the joy on your face when you saw the perfect mango,” he said. Then he quietly slipped away, and went home.

The king was sad when he discovered that the farmer had gone. He ordered one of the guards to take his finest horse to the farmer to show his gratitude.

Soon everyone knew the king had given his finest horse in return for a mango. A rich merchant in a nearby town heard of this. He saddled his fastest horse and rode quickly to the palace. There he offered the king his horse to replace the one which had been given to the merchant. The king thanked him graciously, and waited for the merchant to leave. But he did not.

“Ah,” said the king, “You want something in return,” and he went into the palace. The merchant could hardly wait. It might be jewels, fine clothes, perhaps even a big house. The king returned with a small casket. He opened it, and inside lay a mango. “This is my greatest treasure. It was given to me by a generous man who wanted nothing in return.”

The merchant was angry. Outside the palace he took the mango and threw it away. The king saw this and called his guards. “Take the merchant, and make sure he never comes back to my palace.” He does not understand that to give freely without expecting anything in return is the most precious thing anyone can do.”feed the needy

Why does it seem so complex or hard to comprehend when it comes to giving to other people, but it a lot of times seems so easy to accept?Giving will help you to get more blessed not only that but you’ll be blessing someone else. That’s a great feeling. It will also make you feel better inside.Give for Allah

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Be a mother to him, Barakah. And don't ever leave him,

......................Barakah or Umm Ayman(R)............
If you're looking for an important Muslim woman to talk about, look no further than the Seerah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) , and the woman he described as his "mother after my own mother. She is the rest of my family."

Be a mother to him, Barakah. And don't ever leave him," Amina instructed her about her son as she lay dying.
Barakah or Umm Ayman was the name of the woman whom the noble Prophet esteemed so highly. She was the first person to hold him in her arms when he was born and the only person who knew him from that point until his death. She was one of the few Muslims who the Prophet assured of a place in Paradise

As the Prophet faced tragedy upon tragedy, Umm Ayman was there for him. From the time when his mother died when he was six, to when his grandfather Abdul Muttalib died when he was eight, Umm Ayman stayed with the Prophet.

We do not know precisely how the young Abyssinian girl ended up for sale in Makkah. We do not know her 'roots', who her mother was, or her father or her ancestors. There were many like her, boys and girls, Arabs and non-Arabs, who were captured and brought to the slave market of the city to be sold.

A terrible fate awaited some who ended up in the hands of cruel masters or mistresses who exploited their labor to the full and treated them with the utmost harsh ness.
A few in that inhuman environment were rather more fortunate. They were taken into the homes of more gentle and caring people.
Barakah, the young Abyssinian girl, was one of the more fortunate ones. She was saved by the generous and kind Abdullah, the son of Abd al-Muttalib. 'She became the only servant in his household and when he was married, to the lady Aminah, she looked after her affairs as well.

Two weeks after the couple were married, according to Barakah, Abdullah's father came to their house and instructed his son to go with a trading caravan that was leaving for Syria. Aminah was deeply distressed and cried:

"How strange! How strange! How can my husband go on a trading journey to Syria while I am yet a bride and the traces of henna are still on my hands."

Abdullah's departure was heartbreaking. In her anguish, Aminah fainted. Soon after he left, Barakah said: "When I saw Aminah unconscious, I shouted in distress and pain: 'O my lady!' Aminah opened her eyes and looked at me with tears streaming down her face. Suppressing a groan she said: "Take me to bed, Barakah."

"Aminah stayed bedridden for a long time. She spoke to no one. Neither did she look at anyone who visited her except Abd al-Muttalib, that noble and gentle old man. "Two months after the departure of Abdullah, Aminah called me at dawn one morning and, her face beaming with joy, she said to me:

"O Barakah! I have seen a strange dream." "Something good, my lady," I said.

"I saw lights coming from my abdomen lighting up the

mountains, the hills and the valleys around Makkah." "Do you feel pregnant, my lady?"

"Yes, Barakah," she replied. "But I do not feel any discomfort as other women feel." "You shall give birth to a blessed child who will bring goodness," I said.

So long as Abdullah was away, Aminah remained sad and melancholic. Barakah stayed at her side trying to comfort her and make her cheerful by talking to her and relating stories. Aminah however became even more distressed when Abd al-Muttalib came and told her she had to leave her home and go to the mountains as other Makkans had done because of an impending attack on the city by the ruler of Yemen, someone called Abrahah. Aminah told him that she was too grief-striken and weak to leave for the mountains but insisted that Abrahah could never enter Makkah and destroy the Kabah because it was protected by the Lord. Abd al-Muttalib became very agitated but there was no sign of fear on Aminah's face. Her confidence that the Kabah would not be harmed was well-founded. Abrahah's army with an elephant in the vanguard was destroyed before it could enter Makkah.

Day and night, Barakah stayed beside Aminah. She said: "I slept at the foot of her bed and heard her groans at night as she called for her absent husband. Her moans would awaken me and I would try to comfort her and give her courage."

The first part of the caravan from Syria returned and was joyously welcomed by the trading families of Makkah. Barakah went secretly to the house of Abd al-Muttalib to find out about Abdullah but had no news of him. She went back to Aminah but did not tell her what she had seen or heard in order not to distress her. The entire caravan eventually returned but not with Abdullah.

Later, Barakah was at Abd al-Muttalib's house when news came from Yathrib that Abdullah had died. She said: "I screamed when I heard the news. I don't know what I did after that except that I ran to Aminah's house shouting, lamenting for the absent one who would never return, lamenting for the beloved one for whom we waited so long, lamenting for the most beautiful youth of Makkah, for Abdullah, the pride of the Quraysh.

"When Aminah heard the painful news, she fainted and I stayed by her bedside while she was in a state between life and death. There was no one else but me in Aminah's house. I nursed her and looked after her during the day and through the long nights until she gave birth to her child, "Muhammad", on a night in which the heavens were resplendent with the light of God."
When Muhammad was born, Barakah was the first to hold him in her arms. His grandfather came and took him to the Kabah and with all Makkah, celebrated his birth. Barakah stayed with Aminah while Muhammad was sent to the badiyah with the lady Halimah who looked after him in the bracing atmosphere of the open desert. At the end of five years, he was brought back to Makkah and Aminah received him with tenderness and love and Barakah welcomed him "with joy, longing and admiration".
When Muhammad was six years old, his mother decided to visit the grave of her husband, Abdullah, in Yathrib. Both Barakah and Abd al-Muttalib tried to dissuade her. Aminah however was determined. So one morning they set off- Aminah, Muhammad and Barakah huddled together in a small hawdaj mounted on a large camel, part of a huge caravan that was going to Syria. In order to shield the tender child from any pain and worry, Aminah did not tell Muhammad that she was going to visit the grave of his father.

The caravan went at a brisk pace. Barakah tried to console Aminah for her son's sake and much of the time the boy Muhammad slept with his arms around Barakah's neck.
The caravan took ten days to reach Yathrib. The boy Muhammad was left with his maternal uncles of the Banu Najjar while Aminah went to visit the grave of Abdullah. Each day for a few weeks she stayed at the grave. She was consumed by grief.

On the way back to Makkah, Aminah became seriously ill with fever. Halfway between Yathrib and Makkah, at a place called al-Abwa, they stopped. Aminah's health deteriorated rapidly. One pitch dark night, she was running a high temperature. The fever had got to her head and she called out to Barakah in a choking voice.

Barakah related: "She whispered in my ear: 'O Barakah, I shall depart from this world shortly. I commend my son Muhammad to your care. He lost his father while he was in my abdomen. Here he is now, losing his mother under his very eyes. Be a mother to him, Barakah. And don't ever leave him.'

"My heart was shattered and I began to sob and wail. The child was distressed by my wailing and began to weep. He threw himself into his mother's arms and held tightly onto her neck. She gave one last moan and then was forever silent."

Barakah wept. She wept bitterly. With her own hands she dug a grave in the sand and buried Aminah, moistening the grave with whatever tears were left in her heart. Barakah returned with the orphan child to Makkah and placed him in the care of his grandfather. She stayed at his house to look after him. When Abd al-Muttalib died two years later, she went with the child to the house of his uncle Abu Talib and continued to look after his needs until he was grown up and married the lady Khadijah.

Barakah then stayed with Muhammad and Khadijah in a house belonging to Khadijah. "I never left him and he never left me," she said. One day Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, called out to her and said: "Ya Ummah!" (He always called her "Mother".) "Now I am a married man, and you are still unmarried. What do you think if someone should come now and ask to marry you?" Barakah looked at Muhammad and said: "I shall never leave you. Does a mother abandon her son?" Muhammad smiled and kissed her head. He looked at his wife Khadijah and said to her: "This is Barakah. This is my mother after my own mother. She is the rest of my family."

Barakah looked at the lady Khadijah who said to her: "Barakah, you have sacrificed your youth for the sake of Muhammad. Now he wants to pay back some of his obligations to you. For my sake and his, agree to be married before old age overtakes you."

"Whom shall I marry, my lady?" asked Barakah. "There is here now Ubayd ibn Zayd from the Khazraj tribe of Yathrib. He has come to us seeking your hand in marriage. For my sake, don't refuse."
Barakah agreed. She married Ubayd ibn Zayd and went with him to Yathrib. There she gave birth to a son whom she called Ayman and from that time onwards people called her "Umm Ayman" the mother of Ayman.
Her marriage however did not last very long. Her husband died and she returned once more to Makkah to live with her "son" Muhammad in the house of the lady Khadijah. Living in the same household at the time were Ali ibn Abi Talib, Hind (Khadijah's daughter by her first husband), and Zayd ibn Harithah.
Zayd was an Arab from the tribe of Kalb who was captured as a boy and brought to Makkah to be sold in the slave market. He was bought by Khadijah's nephew and put in her service. In Khadijah's household, Zayd became attached to Muhammad and devoted himself to his service. Their relationship was like that of a son to a father. Indeed when Zayd's father came to Makkah in search of him, Zayd was given the choice by Muhammad of either going with his father or staying with him. Zayd's reply to his father was:
"I shall never leave this man. He has treated me nobly, as a father would treat his son. Not a single day have I felt that I am a slave. He has looked after me well. He is kind and loving towards me and strives for my enjoyment and happiness. He is the most noble of men and the greatest person in creation. How can I leave him and go with you?...I shall never leave him."
Later, in public Muhammad proclaimed the freedom of Zayd. However, Zayd continued to live with him as part of his household and devoted himself to his service.
When Muhammad was blessed with prophethood, Barakah and Zayd were among the first to believe in the message he proclaimed. They bore with the early Muslims the persecution which the Quraysh meted out to them.
Barakah and Zayd performed invaluable services to the mission of the Prophet. They acted as part of an intelligence service exposing themselves to the persecution and punishment of the Quraysh and risking their lives to gain information on the plans and conspiracies of the mushrikin.
One night the mushrikun blocked off the roads leading to the House of al-Arqam where the Prophet gathered his companions regularly to instruct them in the teachings of Islam. Barakah had some urgent information from Khadijah which had to be conveyed to the Prophet. She risked her life trying to reach the House of al-Arqam. When she arrived and conveyed the message to the Prophet, he smiled and said to her:
"You are blessed, Umm Ayman. Surely you have a place in Paradise." When Umm Ayman left, the Prophet looked at his companions and asked: "Should one of you desire to marry a woman from the people of Paradise, let him marry Umm Ayman."
Ali the companions remained silent and did not utter a word. Umm Ayman was neither beautiful nor attractive. She was by now about fifty years old and looked rather frail. Zayd ibn al-Harithah however came forward and said:
"Messenger of Allah, I shall marry Umm Ayman. By Allah, she is better than women who have grace and beauty."
Zayd and Umm Ayman were married and were blessed with a son whom they named Usamah. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, loved Usamah as his own son. Often he played with him, kissed him and fed him with his own hands. The Muslims would say: "He is the beloved son of the beloved." From an early age Usamah distinguished himself in the service of lslam, and was later given weighty responsibilities by the Prophet.
When the Prophet migrated to Yathrib, henceforth to be known as al-Madinah, he left Umm Ayman behind in Makkah to look after certain special affairs in his household. Eventually she migrated to Madinah on her own. She made the long and difficult journey through the desert and mountainous terrain on foot. The heat was killing and sandstorms obscured the way but she persisted, borne along by her deep love and attachment for Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him peace. When she reached Madinah, her feet were sore and swollen and her face was covered with sand and dust.

"Ya Umm Ayman! Ya Ummi! (O Umm Ayman! O my mother!) Indeed for you is a place in Paradise!" exclaimed the Prophet when he saw her. He wiped her face and eyes, massaged her feet and rubbed her shoulders with his kind and gentle hands.
At Madinah, Umm Ayman played her full part in the affairs of the Muslims. At Uhud she distributed water to the thirsty and tended the wounded. She accompanied the Prophet on some expeditions, to Khaybar and Hunayn for example.
Her son Ayman, a devoted companion of the Prophet was martyred at Hunayn in the eighth year after the Hijrah. Barakah's husband, Zayd, was killed at the Battle of Mutah in Syria after a lifetime of distinguished service to the Prophet and Islam. Barakah at this time was about seventy years old and spent much of her time at home. The Prophet, accompanied by Abu Bakr and Umar often visited her and asked: "Ya Ummi! Are you well?" and she would reply: "I am well, O Messenger of Allah so long as Islam is."
After the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, had died, Barakah would often be found with tears in her eyes. She was once asked, "Why are you crying?" and she replied: "By Allah, I knew that the Messenger of Allah would die but I cry now because the revelation from on high has come to an end for us."
Barakah was unique in that she was the only one who was so close to the Prophet throughout his life from birth till death. Her life was one of selfless service in the Prophet's household. She remained deeply devoted to the person of the noble, gentle and caring Prophet. Above all, her devotion to the religion of Islam was strong and unshakable. She died during the caliphate of Uthman. Her roots were unknown but her place in Paradise was assured
BARAKAH, better known as Hadhrat Umm Ayman(May Allah be pleased with her) is one of the very few persons, if not the only woman to have the special honour of having witnessed the different stages of the life of Nabi Muhammad(may Allah bless him and grant him peace) from before his birth, through his childhood - through his young and adult life through - to his demise.