"Rally behind a scholar, or rally behind the Sunnah. The one divides the Ummah, while the other unites the Ummah. The choice is yours."
There is no middle ground on this. If you rally behind the Sunnah, you will automatically be aligned with the scholar that is focused on the same. (via cynicallyjaded)

Ramadaan is not lost

simplesunnah:

If, like me, you are regretting all the opportunities that you missed this Ramadaan to benefit from the extension of Allah’s mercy even beyond its normal measure, then perhaps the following few thoughts may be of use, insha-Allah.

No doubt there are specific acts of worship that are emphasised for this blessed month, but that does not mean that it is the only way to obtain the blessings of Ramadaan. What we may not have been able to achieve or fulfill this year, insha-Allah we will be able to improve on next year, with a consistent and gradual build up of our iman from now until that point. And that is really part of the essence of the sincerity of a believer.

The benefits of Ramadaan are not limited to fulfilling the optional acts of worship only. So if you had good and sincere intentions of performing tarawih with jamaah, or you intended to sit for i’tilkaaf, or perhaps you wanted to contribute more actively towards a feeding scheme or other efforts that you had in mind, it will be good to remind yourself of the following hadith:

Book 1. Hadith Qudsi. Hadith 037.

On the authority of Ibn Abbas that the messenger of Allah, among the sayings he relates from his Lord is :

 ”Allah has written down the good deeds and the bad ones.” Then he explained it [by saying that] :” He who has intended a good deed and has not done it, Allah writes it down with Himself as a full good deed, but if he has intended it and has done it, Allah writes it down with Himself as from ten good deeds to seven hundred times, or many times over. But if he has intended a bad deed and has not done it, Allah writes it down with Himself as a full good deed, but if he has intended it and has done it, Allah writes it down as one bad deed.”

Reporters - Related by Bukhari and Muslim in their two salihs.

For every act that we made a sincere intention to follow through on, we already received an abundance of mercy and rewards from Allah. The one who struggles to fulfill those acts of worship will be rewarded even more than the one who finds it easy. It is all relative to our individual cases in Allah’s court as confirmed by the following hadith:

`Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “The one who is proficient in the recitation of the Qur’an will be with the honourable and obedient scribes (angels) and he who recites the Qur’an and finds it difficult to recite, doing his best to recite it in the best way possible, will have a double reward.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

So focus on the good that you did, and expect Allah to grant you benefit and blessings in that good that you have done. It could have been as simple as smiling at someone even though you felt weak and not in the mood while you were fasting, or perhaps you spent a little more time with your family, or bought extra gifts for them, especially those that were unexpected, or for no specific reason but to show appreciation for someone. Any improvement in your character, no matter how small, can be attributed to the blessings of Ramadaan making it easy for you to achieve those improvements.

Islam has never been a religion of chastisement but rather a way of life that encourages constant improvement. Don’t help Shaytaan by insulting your own efforts or the efforts of others, no matter how meek or weak it may seem. take the good from it and build on that, and insha-Allah any slump that you may feel like you were in will quickly subside while you focus on the blessings and mercy of Allah, rather than focusing on His wrath.

"Allah says, ‘I am as my servant expects Me to be, and I am with him when he remembers me. If he thinks of Me, I think of him. If he mentions Me in company, I mention him in an even better company. When he comes closer to Me by a handspan, I come closer to him an arm’s length. If he draws closer to Me by an arm’s length, I draw closer by a distance of two outstretched arms nearer to him. If my servant comes to Me walking, I go to him running.” (Al-Bukhari)

Ramadaan is never lost, unless you make it so.

A message from Anonymous
Does the Bible call for killing nonbelievers?
A reply from hijabimisfit

Deuteronomy 17 New International Version (NIV)

Do not sacrifice to the Lord your God an ox or a sheep that has any defect or flaw in it, for that would be detestable to him.If a man or woman living among you in one of the towns the Lord gives you is found doing evil in the eyes of the Lord your God in violation of his covenant, and contrary to my command has worshiped other gods, bowing down to them or to the sun or the moon or the stars in the sky, and this has been brought to your attention, then you must investigate it thoroughly. If it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done in Israel, take the man or woman who has done this evil deed to your city gate and stone that person to death. On the testimony of two or three witnesses a person is to be put to death, but no one is to be put to death on the testimony of only one witness. The hands of the witnesses must be the first in putting that person to death, and then the hands of all the people. You must purge the evil from among you.

The Bible also states to kill non-believers, as well as homosexuals, fortune tellers, people who curse their parents, witches, people who work on the Sabbath, and so on…

And for Christina’s that do not agree with the old testament and state that it no longer applies, Jesus stated in Matthew, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished” (Matthew 5:17-18). 

In my mind, this sounds like the Christian perspective of jihad against the disbelievers.

"Unless something is definitively outside the bounds of Shari’ah, why do the Ulema also not practice the advice of leaving alone that which is doubtful? Why do they insist on defining a specific opinion on something that is obviously open to latitude in practice and interpretation? The Qur’an teaches us that any omissions were out of mercy and not in error, so if something was left unclarified, it stands to reason that the mercy in that is that we are allowed to practice latitude in our implementation thereof."

partytilfajr:

Some people laugh at those they call “Ramadan Muslims” [don’t get me started] but let me ask you: what were you doing last year? What were you just looking at on the internet? How dare you look down on someone who has said “La ilaha ila Allah,” they are your brothers and sisters and yet you laugh?

You demand solidarity in every student organization you belong to and can’t find it in your heart to show some compassion to someone who has said such a weighty phrase?

But you know what? I was thinking how The Qur’an says that if you kill one person it is as if you have killed all of humanity, and if you save one person it is as if you have saved all of humanity, and then it hit me:

What if your little snarky comments push someone out of Islam? Are you ready to bear those consequences? Think of all the prayers they’d miss, because of your negativity. If killing one person is equivalent to killing all of humanity, what do you think it would mean to push someone out of Islam?

And yet if you were just a little kinder, a little more patient, a little more Muslim, actually following The Command of Your Lord and brought someone back to Islam what sort of reward do you think you would get?

Just something to think about while fasting this Ramadan:

for to fast is to do good unto yourselves - if you but knew it.”

- The Holy Qur’an [2:184]

"The sahabah were never chastised for applying their minds sincerely. And not all of them were equally learned either! So why this ridiculous insistence that you can’t offer advice if you’re not a self-proclaimed/man-made scholar? Show me how the current ‘scholarly’ titles were defined in the Sunnah, and I’ll reconsider the insistence by all those that claim that we are prone to be astray unless we follow a recognised scholar. Blind following is what got us here in this sorry state that we find the Ummah in. It therefore stands to reason that it will not get us out of it, because as you know, repeating the same behaviour and expecting a different outcome is the definition of insanity."

(via cynicallyjaded)

Insha-Allah at some point we’ll stop treating the Sunnah like an academic subject that must be debated, and Islam as a bunch of rituals that must be practised. Aameen!

Make every act an act of worship

simplesunnah:

Allah has honoured you in it. In every breath you take is a reward of Allah, your sleep is worship, your good deeds are accepted and your invocations are answered.

~ from The Propher’s (SAW) Sermon on Ramadaan

The beauty of Islam, as well as the infinite mercy of Allah is reflected in the above statement by our beloved Nabi (SAW). I often remind myself that it is possible to make every act an act of worship. Just the words ‘in every breath you take is a reward of Allah’ sums up the entire existence of a Muslim.

At face value, that reward is the gift of life that we receive from Allah. But the slightest reflection will show that with every breath we take, if we take it with the knowledge and intention that that will sustain our strength to do good deeds for ourselves and others, then the very intention of taking that breath for that purpose will earn us rewards for simply taking that breath.

The same applies to every action. If the action is done with the intention of earning a Halaal income, or fulfilling your rights towards others, or even fulfilling the rights that your body or your self has over you, then in that also is a reward.

Muslims are deliberate and conscious beings because the very purpose of a Muslim is to willingly submit. We cannot willingly submit if we’re not paying attention, and for this reason the fact that every act has a purpose behind it, prompts us to be mindful of the reasons for doing what we do, thereby ensuring that we’re creatures of conscience and not just creatures of habit or rituals.

May Allah accept our most trivial of efforts, and reward us with the greatest of rewards that only He is capable of endowing. Aameen.

Do we really know the sunnah?

Just a thought that crossed my mind today…if we were asked to describe the ideal Muslim community, and the environment that it would foster, would we be able to?

Chances are good that such a description will be focused on modesty, mahrams, public behaviour, and other such considerations that are excessively emphasised and re-emphasised by both commoners and scholars alike. But that, in my mind, does not describe a Muslim community. A community is a lot more than rules and rituals, and I often wonder if we as contemporary Muslims even know what that ideal is that we should be striving for.

I am convinced that, exceptions aside, the Ulama have robbed us of the most important Sunnah of moderation because of the consistent emphasis on the threats of repercussions for non-compliance, and the generic ‘fire and brimstone’ approach to preaching from the pulpits. Well-intentioned or not, the impact remains disastrous to the overall wellbeing of the Ummah.

This once again prompts the question as to why the Ulama being despised by the people will be a sign of the Hour? We’ve lost the art of moderation, which I believe is the very essence of the Sunnah. Even in those ahadith that mention such moderation we feel compelled to impose on others what our interpretation of that moderation should be. We cloak our excessive piety in clever words that claim that our interpretation of Islam is in fact that path of moderation, and any deviation either way would be classified as excess.

We’ve become know-it-alls about the do’s and don’ts of the Sunnah, but we’re oblivious to the beauty that is hidden in the practical application thereof. If Islam is supposed to be closest to our nature, then why is it that the way it is preached, and most often practiced, is so burdensome to most of us?

I look through the collections of ahadith, and numerous verses in the Qur’an, and the theme of Allah finding the most trivial of reasons to reward us far exceeds the mentions of punishment for non-compliance with specific instructions. Allah emphasises His mercy that extends before His wrath, yet even then we still focus on fearing His wrath more than we strive to realise the benefit of His mercy.

Islam is not what needs to be re-interpreted. Our mindsets are what needs to be critically questioned and realigned with the reality of Islam, rather than the distorted image of it that exists today.

There’s something better than Jannah.

becoming-awkward:

The Prophet (PBUH) once came upon his companion, Thawban , and noticed that his complexion changed, he lost weight and looked sad so he immediately asked him:

“O Thawban, what has changed your appearance?”

Thawban replied, “O Messenger of Allah, I do not have any sickness or any pain except that when I do not see you, I miss you and feel intense longing for you which does not cease until I meet you. Then I remember the Afterlife and I fear that I will not see you there, I know that you will be with the Prophets, and if I enter Jannah, I will be in a level lower than yours. But if I do not enter Jannah, then I will never see you again.”

Here a revelation was sent: ومن يُطع الله والرسول فأولئكَ معَ الذين أنعم الله عليهم من النبيين والصدِّيقين والشهداء والصالحين، وحسُن أولئك رفيقاً

What was the secret behind this love that Thawban had for the prophet? 
It’s the way he treated them, not his way of worship, it was him noticing that his face changed color and that he was sad.

Thawban loved him so much that even though he might be in Jannah, which is an ultimate goal of a Muslim, but still he was going to be sad if he was to be far from him. Which shows
that there’s something better than Jannah and that is the prophet’s (PBUH) company in Jannah.


Simple Sunnah.

"If any one of you improves (follows strictly) his/her Islam he will be rewarded ten times to seven hundred times for each good deed and a bad deed will be recorded as it is."

Narrated Abu Huraira (RadhiAllaahu-anhu), The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) :

[Sahih al-Bukhari]

This is concerning. The text contained in brackets appears to be a clear interpretation by someone who felt a need to insert ‘follows strictly’ as if it’s a condition inherent in the message of this hadith. But it can’t be for one simple reason. To improve implies growth from a weak state to a stronger state. To follow strictly implies flawless with no compromise or room for error.

By inserting those words, this hadith becomes self-contradictory, which (A’udhubillah) we know cannot be true about a sahih hadith.

It is subtle changes like these that we make to Islam because we somehow feel compelled to coerce others into compliance through invoking fear because we feel responsible for their implementation of the Sunnah. From experience, I’m convinced that it’s well intentioned egoism. This feeling of being aloof because we acquired some meritorious knowledge drives us to condescendingly guide others towards our perfect interpretation of Islam.

Now read that hadith again without the words in brackets and see how the beauty grabs your heart?

If any one of you improves his/her Islam he will be rewarded ten times to seven hundred times for each good deed and a bad deed will be recorded as it is.

May Allah protect us from excess, Aameen.

STOP!

cynicallyjaded:

I find it quite sickening to constantly listen to Muslims telling each other about when they’re a kaafir if they don’t accept this, or don’t believe that, or don’t practice a certain thing. How about using all that energy and resources to give people meaningful advice about how to hold on to their Imaan in a world that is full of distractions from the way of Islam?

Seriously, even the Imam today just had to quote some scholar’s view on why you’re a kaafir if you do not believe in this or that event in Islam. Stop! Please, for the love of Allah and everything that Allah has deemed good and beneficial, STOP! This judgemental fear mongering is getting us nowhere except into a state where we keep bickering and fighting against each other. STOP!!!

"When a hadith is found to be sahih, then that is my Madhab."
Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) [Reported by Ibn ’Aabideen, in Al-Haashiyah 1/63] (via sayingsofthesalaf)
"What the Ummah needs…is a sense of humour. We’ve forgotten how to laugh at ourselves because we’re constantly afraid of sinning, without realising that such excess is in fact a sin. This is not a joke, but it is ironical, isn’t it?"

Excessive Questioning

partytilfajr:

Therefore, if Allah legislates something, leaving it general while it can be executed in more than one manner, then it is not valid to restrict it in any way without the existence of evidence, since it would then be considered a reprehensible innovation. Consequently, it is impermissible to dispute over such matters.

The Prophet [pbuh] forbade persistent questions and debates and clarified that if Allah Almighty remains silent upon a certain matter, it is out of His mercy and generosity. The Prophet [pbuh] said: “Allah prescribed some duties so do not neglect them; prohibited certain things so do not violate them; set down certain limits so do not transgress them; He remained silent about some things, out of mercy for you and not out of forgetfulness, so do not delve into them” [Reported by Darqatni and others through Abu Tha’laba al-Khushani may Allah be pleased with him].

The scholar Taftazani wrote in his commentary on Imam Nawwai’s 40 hadith: “What is meant by ‘do not delve into them’ is not to ask about their rulings because asking about matters on which Allah remained silent leads to them becoming obligations which may be difficult to observe; so the general principle of permissibility of things stands.”

The Prophet [pbuh] illustrated the grave offence of those who caused restrictions upon Muslims due to their insistent questioning and delving into matters by saying: 

"The gravest sinner amongst Muslims is the one who asks about something and probes into it, so it becomes prohibited due to his insistent questioning." [Reported by Muslim through Amir ibn Sa`d through his father may Allah be pleased with him].

Abu Huraira [may Allah be pleased with him] said: “The Prophet [pbuh] delivered a speech and said: “O people! Perform Hajj for Allah has made it obligatory upon you.” 

Hearing this, a man said, “O Messenger of Allah! Should we perform it every year?” The Prophet [pbuh] remained silent, but when the man repeated the question thrice, he said, “If I say yes it will become obligatory upon you and you will be unable to do it.” He continued, “Do not ask me about matters on which I remain silent; the people who were before you were doomed for their constant questions to their Prophet.”

- Dar Al-Ifta Al-Missriyyah

For more detail on the issue of “excessive questioning” please read the following link, insha Allah.

Still the Distracted Ummah

The sad reality of this Ummah is that it is prone to being divisive while crying for unity. We find it so simple to speak disparagingly about the personal perspectives that some adopt, and choose to openly mock them in their absence, thinking that not mentioning names is sufficient to free us of the hypocrisy of that action.

We find it easier to highlight the shortcomings of every sect, every community, every sub-culture, or any person, but find it extremely difficult to celebrate the common ground, to build on the positive aspects that we share, or to jointly pursue beneficial programs that will contribute towards the unity of the Ummah rather than constantly hammering down on that wedge that sectarianism has created.

A strong and united Ummah doesn’t happen on its own, nor does it miraculously form through dua. Dua unaccompanied by action is fruitless, hence the very plain instruction that guides us to tie our camel AND trust in Allah, not just trust in Allah blindly without any action.

A united Ummah is a result of a united society. A united society is not possible without united communities. United communities will never be established if we have internal bickering and political agendas that make the American government look saintly. Unsurprisingly, united communities require united families to establish its foundations. A united family is not possible without committed individuals striving for harmony and understanding within the family unit. Finding the required common ground on which to build this entire structure that we all so achingly yearn for requires individuals committed to these holistic goals before they find reason to commit to selfish objectives that undermine these goals.

The simple truth is that it starts with us as individuals before it becomes a global problem. Every global problem is a result of a critical mass of idiots that contribute towards the universality of the issues that result in said problem. We need to stop pacifying ourselves against the shortcomings of others. We need to stop being creative in introducing western concepts and western agendas into Islam under the guise of progressiveness, liberation, feminism, or similar such euphemisms that belie the true nature of the courses being pursued.

Political correctness has no place in this Ummah. It has no place in Islam either. Political correctness breeds insincerity, and insincerity is at the heart of hypocrisy and disunity. If we’re forever prone towards counting our troubles and taking for granted our blessings, it’s hardly likely that our generation will see the Ummah progressing towards the noble status that we inherited from Rasulullah (SAW) and subsequently destroyed because of nothing more than infighting and selfish pursuits.

Talking about the need for a reawakening is only a distraction from actually doing it. The time to talk about the strategies is long gone. We have strategists and intellectuals crawling out of the woodwork in droves, but very few who are willing to put into practice the knowledge that they so fervently seek to acquire.

I’m often reminded of the prophecy that says that a time will come when the Ulama will be despised, and I realise that the basic assumption is that this will be so because people will despise the religious teachings that the Ulama try to establish. However, it is also entirely possible that the Ulama will be despised in the same way that unprincipled leaders are despised by their subjects. We have factories churning out Ulama by the dozens, online universities making the acquisition of Islamic knowledge easy and convenient, western institutions offering degrees in Islamic studies, and of course we have access to entire collections of ahadith and Qur’anic commentary through mediums that allow a layman to develop a critical and informed opinion on almost any aspect of Islam without leaving their favourite arm chair. Despite this massive and unfettered access to information, including students and scholars alike that have years of studies applied to acquiring this knowledge, the Ummah is in a state so despicable that we are impotent in the face of blatant persecution and abuse throughout the world, not least of which includes the so-called Muslim lands.

Yet we still have time to point out the errors of our brothers and sisters, and we also still have the presence of mind to judge who is deviant, who is kafir, and who is damned to hell, while Muslims are starving themselves to death to get us to notice that there is a bigger issue that the Ummah needs to deal with beyond the pettiness of liberalist agendas and personal preferences. May Allah have mercy on us for our distracted state, and may He guide us towards a path of conviction in the beauty that we all profess to hold in our hearts. That is the beauty of Imaan. Ameen.

Reblogged from a post I wrote a year ago. Unfortunately still relevant.