Friday Sermon: The Virtues Of The Day Of Arafah And It’s Rulings In Islam, By Imam Murtadha Gusau

In The Name Of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, and may His blessings and peace be upon the Messenger after whom there are no Messengers.

Dear Respected Brothers and Sisters! The day of Arafah is the 9th day of the month of Dhul-Hajj on the Islamic calendar. It occurs near the end of the Hajj pilgrimage as pilgrims stand on the plain of Arafah to perform prayers, supplications and acts of worship.

About two million pilgrims or more attend the plain of Arafah during each annual pilgrimage. This event is the culmination and the climax of the Hajj pilgrimage, the most important ritual for the pilgrims.

The day of Arafah is among the most virtuous days. On that day, supplications are answered, sins are forgiven, and Allah boasts to the angels of the people of Arafah. It is a day that Allah granted a great value to and favoured over other days. It is the day of perfecting the religion and completing the favour and the day of forgiveness of sins and salvation from Hellfire.

You should know the virtues of this day, how Allah favoured it over other days and the guidance of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) therein. I ask Allah to save us from Hellfire on that great day. Ameen.

The virtues of the day of Arafah are as follows:

1. It Is The Day On Which The Religion Of Allah Was Perfected And Allah’s Favour Was Completed

Narrated Tariq Bin Shibab that:

“Some Jews said, “Had this Verse been revealed to us, we would have taken that day as Eid (festival).” Umar said, “What Verse?” They said: “This day I have Perfected your religion for you, Completed My Favour upon you And have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” [Quran, 5:3] Umar said, “I know the place where it was revealed; It was revealed while Allah’s Messenger was staying at Arafah.” [Bukhari, Muslim and An-Nasa’i]

2. It Is A Day Of Eid For The People Who Are In That Place

Uqbah Bin Amir narrated that:

“The Messenger of Allah said: “The Day of Arafah, the Day of Nahr, and the Days of Tashriq are Eid for us, the people of Islam, and they are days of eating and drinking.” [At-Tirmidhi]

It was narrated from Uqbah Bin Amir that the Messenger of Allah said:

“The day of Arafah and the day of sacrifice and the day of At-Tashriq are our Eid, the people of Islam, and they are days of eating and drinking.” [An-Nasa’i and Abu Dawud]

3. It Is A Day By Which Allah Swore An Oath

The Almighty cannot swear by anything except that which is mighty. The Day of Arafah is the “witnessed day” mentioned in the verse:

“By the witnessing day [Friday] and by the witnessed day (the Day of Arafah).” [Surah Al-Buruj, 85:3]

It was reported from Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“The promised day is the Day of Resurrection, the witnessed day is the Day of Arafah, and the witnessing day is Friday.” [At-Tirmidhi]

The View Of Ikrimah And Al-Dahhak:

“And by the even and the odd.” [Surah Fajr, 89:3]

Ibn Abbas said:

“The even is the Day of al-Adha (i.e. 10th Dhul-Hajj) and the odd is the day of Arafah (i.e. 9th Dhul-Hajj).”

4. It Is The Day On Which Allah Took The Covenant From The Progeny Of Adam

It was reported that Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) said:

“The Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah took the covenant from the loins of Adam in Na’man, i.e., Arafah. He brought forth from his loins all his offspring and spread them before Him, then He addressed them, and said: Am I not your Lord? They said, ‘Yes, we testify,’ let you should say on the Day of Resurrection: ‘Verily, we have been unaware of this.’ Or lest you should say: ‘It was only our fathers aforetime who took others as partners in worship along with Allah, and we were (merely their) descendents after them; will You then destroy us because of the deeds of men who practised Al-Batil (i.e., polytheism and committing crimes and sins, invoking and worshipping others besides Allah)?” [Musnad of Ahmad]

5. The Standing On Arafah In The Hajj

Abdurrahman Bin Yamur Ad-Daili said:

“I saw the Prophet in Arafah when some people from Najd came to him. They told a man to ask him about Hajj. He said: “Hajj is Arafah. Whoever comes on the night of Al-Muzdalifah before Subh prayer, then he has caught up with Hajj.” [An-Nasa’i and Malik in Muwatta]

Shaykh Uthaimin said:

“What is meant by the words of the Prophet (Blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), “Hajj is Arafah” is that in Hajj it is essential to stand in Arafah. Whoever does not stand in Arafah has missed out on Hajj. It does not mean that the one who stands in Arafah no longer has to do any of the actions of Hajj, according to scholarly consensus, because if a person stands in Arafah, he still has to do some actions of Hajj, such as staying overnight in Muzdalifah, tawaf al-ifadah, sa‘ayi between as-Safa and al-Marwah, stoning the Jamarat and staying overnight in Mina. Rather what is meant is that standing in Arafah is an essential part of Hajj and if he does not stand in Arafah then there is no Hajj for him. Hence the scholars said: Whoever misses the standing (in Arafah) has missed Hajj.” [Majmu’u Fatawa of Ibn Uthaimin, vol. 23 page 24]

6. It Is The Day Of Forgiveness Of Sins And Freedom From The Fire

Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) reported Allah’s Messenger (May peace be upon him) as saying:

“There is no day when Allah sets free more servants from Hellfire than the Day of Arafah. He (Allah) draws near, then praises them to the angels, saying: What do these want?” [Muslim]

7. Allah Expresses His Pride To His Angels On This Day

It was reported from Ibn Umar that the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“Allah expresses His pride to His angels at the time of Isha’ on the Day of Arafah, about the people of Arafah. He says, ‘Look at My slaves who have come unkempt and dusty.’” [Musnad of Ahmad]

8. Ruling On Fasting On The Day Of Arafah (9th Dhul-Hajj) For Pilgrims And Non-pilgrims

Fasting on the day of Arafah is a confirmed Sunnah for those who are not performing Hajj.

Narrated Abu Qatadah that the Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was asked about fasting on the day of Arafah (9th of Dhul-Hajj), whereupon he said:

“It expiates the sins of the preceding year and the coming year.” [Muslim and Abu Dawud]

It was narrated from Hunaidah Bin Khalid, from his wife, from one of the wives of the Prophet, that: the Messenger of Allah used to fast nine days of Dhul-Hajj, the day of Ashura, and three days of each month: The first Monday of the month, and two Thursday. [An-Nasa’i and Abu Dawud]

Ikrimah said:

“We were with Abu Hurairah in his house when he narrated to us that: The Messenger of Allah prohibited fasting on the day of Arafah at Arafah.” [Abu Dawud]

Narrated Maimunah that:

“The people doubted whether the Prophet was fasting on the day of Arafah or not, so I sent milk while he was standing at Arafah, he drank it and the people were looking at him.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

Imam Al-Nawawi said:

“With regard to the ruling on this matter, Imam Ash-Shafi’i and his companions said: It is mustahabb to fast on the day of Arafah for the one who is not in Arafah. As for the pilgrim who is present in Arafah, Imam Ash-Shafi’i said in al-Mukhtasar and his companions said: It is mustahabb for him not to fast, because of the Hadith of Umm al-Fadl. A number of our companions said: It is makruh for him to fast this day. Among those who stated that it is makruh were al-Darimi, al-Bandaniji, al-Muhamili in al-Majmu’ and al-Musannaf fil-Tanbih, and others.” [Al Majmu’, vol. 6 page 428]

Imam Al-Kasaani said:

“With regard to fasting the day of Arafah, for people other than those who are performing Hajj it is mustahabb, because of the many Hadiths which recommended fasting on this day, and because it is superior to other days. That also applies to the pilgrim if it will not make him too weak to stand in Arafah and say Du’a, because this is combining two acts of worship. But if it will make him too weak, then it is makruh (disliked), because the virtue of fasting on this day is something that may be made up in some other year, whereas the virtue of standing in Arafah and making Du’a is something that is not attainable for most people, except once in a lifetimes, therefore attaining that virtue (of standing in Arafah and making Du’a) takes precedence.” [Bada’i Al-Sana’i, vol. 2 page 76]

Imam Al-Khurashi said:

“Fasting on the day of Arafah, for one who is not doing Hajj, and the ten days of Dhul-Hajj”, what is meant is that fasting on the day of Arafah is mustahabb for the one who is not doing Hajj. As for the pilgrim, it is mustahabb for him not to fast this day, so as to strengthen himself for supplicating (Du’a), and the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not fast during Hajj.” [Sharh Mukhtasar Khalil, vol. 6 page 499]

Shaykh Ibn Uthaimin (May Allah have mercy on him) was asked:

What is the ruling on fasting the day of Arafah for non-pilgrims and pilgrims?

He replied:

“Fasting on the day of Arafah for non-pilgrims is a confirmed Sunnah. The Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was asked about fasting on the day of Arafah and he said: “I ask Allah that it may expiate for (the sins of) the year that comes before it and the year that comes after it.”

According to another report he said:

“It expiates for the past and coming years. As for the pilgrim, it is not Sunnah for him to fast on the day of Arafah, because the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not fast on the day of Arafah during the Farewell Pilgrimage. In Sahih al-Bukhari it is narrated from Maimunah (May Allah be pleased with her) that the people were not sure whether the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was fasting on the day of Arafah, so she sent him some milk when he was standing in Arafah, and he drank it whilst the people were looking on.” [Majmu’u Fatawa Ibn Uthaimin, part 20, question no. 404]

9. Fasting On This Day Is An Expiation For Two Years

Narrated Abu Qatadah that the Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was asked about fasting on the day of Arafah (9th of Dhul-Hajj), whereupon he said: It expiates the sins of the preceding year and the coming year.” [Muslim and Abu Dawud]

10. Ruling On Fasting On The First Eight Days Of Dhul-Hajj For Pilgrims And Non-pilgrims

Fasting on the first eight days of Dhul-Hajj is mustahabb for pilgrims and others, because, as Narrated by Ibn Abbas that:

“The Prophet said, “No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these (first ten days of Dhul-Hajj).” Then some Companions of the Prophet said, “Not even Jihad?” He replied, “Not even Jihad, except that of a man who does it by putting himself and his property in danger (for Allah’s sake) and does not return with any of those things.” [Bukhari, At-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud]

“The fuqaha (Jurists) are unanimously agreed that it is mustahabb to fast during the eight days of Dhul-Hajj, before the day of Arafah. The Malikis and Shafi’is stated that it is Sunnah to fast on these days for the pilgrim too.” [Al-Mausu’ah al-Fiqhiyyah, vol. 28 page 91]

It is Sunnah to fast the eight days before the day of Arafah, as is stated in al-Rawdah, and that applies equally to pilgrims and others, but it is not Sunnah for the pilgrim to fast on the day of Arafah, rather it is mustahabb for him not to fast then, even if he is able for it, following the example of the Messenger (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and so that he will have more strength for Du’a. [Nihayatul Muhtaaj, vol. 3 page 207]

It was narrated from Hunaidah Bin Khalid, from his wife, from one of the wives of the Prophet, that: the Messenger of Allah used to fast nine days of Dhul-Hajj, the day of Ashura, and three days of each month: The first Monday of the month, and two Thursday. [An-Nasa’i and Abu Dawud]

This (fasting) of eight days of Dhul-Hajj is mustahabb for Both pilgrims and Non-pilgrims. In the case of the one who is on Hajj, it is not Sunnah for him to fast on the Day of Arafah (9th Dhul-Hajj), because the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not fast on this day in Arafah. It was narrated that he forbade fasting on the Day of Arafah in Arafah. As I have explained in Point Number eight.

11. The Ruling On If A Country Differs With Makkah With Regard To Sighting The New Moon

Shaykh Ibn Uthaimin was asked:

“What if the day of Arafah is different because of the moon being sighted at different times in different countries? Should we fast according to the moon sighting in the country where we are or according to the moon sighting in al-Haramain (the two Noble Sanctuaries)?”

He replied:

“This is based on a difference of opinion among the scholars: Is there only one moon sighting for the whole world or does it vary according to when the moon rises in different places? The correct view is that it varies according to when the moon rises in different places. For example, if the moon is sighted in Makkah, and today is the ninth, and it is sighted elsewhere one day before Makkah, and the day of Arafah in Makkah is the tenth for them, it is not permissible for them to fast on this day because it is Eid. Similarly if it so happens that they sight the moon after Makkah, and the 9th in Makkah is the 8th for them, then they should fast the day that is the 9th for them, which is the 10th in Makkah. This is the correct view, because the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “When you see it (the new moon) fast and when you see it break your fast.” Those who did not see the moon in their own location have not seen it. Just as people are unanimously agreed that the times for dawn and sunset vary according to their own location, so too the months are also worked out by location, just like the daily timings.” [Majmu’u Al-Fatawa, 20]

12. Prophet Muhammad’s (Peace be upon him) Khutbah On The Day Of Arafah

Narrated Ibn Abbas that: “I heard the Prophet delivering a sermon at Arafah.” [Bukhari]

Ja’afar Bin Muhammad reported on the authority of his father that:

“…The Messenger of Allah (May peace be upon him), however, passed on till he came to Arafah and he found that the tent had been pitched for him at Namirah. There he got down till the sun had passed the meridian; he commanded that al-Qaswa should be brought and saddled for him. Then he came to the bottom of the valley, and addressed the people saying: Verily your blood, your property are as sacred and inviolable as the sacredness of this day of yours, in this month of yours, in this town of yours. Behold! Everything pertaining to the Days of Ignorance is under my feet, completely abolished. Abolished are also the blood-revenges of the Days of Ignorance.

The first claim of ours on blood-revenge which I abolish is that of the son of Rabi’ah Bin al-Harith, who was nursed among the tribe of Sa’ad and killed by Hudhail. And the usury of the pre-Islamic period is abolished, and the first of the usury I abolish is that of Abbas Bin Abdul-Muttalib, for it is all abolished. Fear Allah concerning women! Verily you have taken them on the security of Allah, and intercourse with them has been made lawful unto you by words of Allah. You too have right over them, and that they should not allow anyone to sit on your bed whom you do not like. But if they do that, you can chastise them but not severely. Their rights upon you are that you should provide them with food, shelter and clothing in a fitting manner. I have left among you the Book of Allah, and if you hold fast to it, you would never go astray. And you would be asked about me (on the Day of Resurrection), (now tell me) what would you say? They (the audience) said: We will bear witness that you have conveyed (the message), discharged (the ministry of Prophethood) and given wise (sincere) counsel. He (the narrator) said: He (the Noble Prophet) then raised his forefinger towards the sky and pointing it at the people (said):” O Allah, be witness. O Allah, be witness,” saying it thrice. (Bilal then) pronounced Adhan and later on Iqamah and he (the Noble Prophet) led the noon prayer. He (Bilal) then uttered Iqamah and he (the Noble Prophet) led the afternoon prayer and he observed no other prayer in between the two…” [Muslim]

13. The Gathering And The Resurrection Of Mankind Will Be In Al-Sham Not In Arafah

Because there is no authentic evidence to indicate that.

Shaykh Sa’ad Al-Humaid said:

Rather it is proven in the sahih (authentic) Hadith that the gathering will be in al-Sham (Greater Syria, including Palestine).

It was narrated from Abu Dharr (May Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“Al-Sham is the land of the gathering and the resurrection.” [Musnad of Al-Bazzar]

Imam Al-Manawi said:

“It is the place where the people will be gathered for the Reckoning. They will be resurrected from their graves then they will be driven to that land. It has been singled out for this because it is the land of which Allah said: “The land which We have blessed for the Aalamin (mankind and jinn).” [Surah Al-Anbiya, 21:71] Most of the Prophets were sent from that land and their laws spread throughout the world, so it is appropriate that it should be the land of the gathering and the resurrection.” [Faid Al-Qadir of Imam Al-Manawi, vol. 4 page 171]

14. The Best Day For Du’a (Supplication) Is The Day Of Arafah And The Best Du’a Of The Prophets Is…

On the authority of Amru Bin Shu’aib, from his father Muhammad, from his grandfather Abdullah Bin Amru Bin Al-As, Allah is pleased with them that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:

“The best supplication offered is on day of Arafah. And the best that I and the Prophets before me uttered is La Ilaha Ilallah, Wahdahu La Sharika Lah Lahul Mulk Wa Lahul Hamd Wa Huwa Ala Kulli Shai’in Qadir.” [This Hadith is in Jami At-Tirmidhi no. 3585 and Al-Albani graded it as sound in Sahihul Jami no. 3274 and Sahihut-Targhib no. 1536]

Imam Ibn Abdil-Barr said:

“In this Hadith is a proof that some Du’a is more virtuous than other Du’a, and some days are more virtuous than others. And it proves that the Du’a on day of Arafah is all answered in most cases except those who  do not transgress in the Du’a.” [Al-Idhtidhkar, vol. 1 page 10860]

The Irsal (severance in chain) between Amru Bin Shu’aib and Abdullah Bin Amru does not harm because Imam Adh-Dhahabi stated that Shu’aib stayed in the house of his grandfather Abdullah Bin Amru Bin Al-As Allah is pleased with them.

15. Da’if (weak and unauthentic) Hadith Regarding Arafah

The saying:

“If Arafah falls on a Friday then Hajj in that year is equivalent to seven Hajjs or Seventy two Hajj.”

All the Imams judged this Hadith to be false and not authentic.

Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim said:

“As for that which is commonly spoken of among the common folk, that it is equivalent to seventy-two Hajjs, this is false and there is no basis for it (in any report) from the Messenger of Allah or from any of the Sahabah or Tabi’in, and Allah knows best.” [Zaad Al-Ma’ad, vol. 1 page 65]

Shaykh Al-Albaani (May Allah have mercy on him) said:

“The Hadith is false and has no basis at all.” [Al-Silsilah Al-Da’ifah, 207]

16. Congratulations For Those Who Will Stood At Arafah

Congratulations for you, dear pilgrims, you whom Allah granted standing in Arafah next to people who race to Allah with yearning hearts and flowing tears. Among them, there are many fearful servants who were disturbed and worried by fear. Others are loving servants who suffer passionate yearning. Many of them are hopeful servants who trust the promise of Allah and its sincerity. There are also many repentant servants who made their repentance sincere and true for the sake of Allah. There are refugees resorting to the door of Allah and knocking on it.

Some of them deserve Hellfire, but Allah rescued them, saved them, and freed them from the heaviest burdens. There upon, the Most Merciful Lord looks at them and boasts about their gathering to the residents of heavens. Then, He comes near and says:

“What do these people want? We have, upon their arrival, protected them against deprivation, and the Merciful has granted them their ultimate requests.”

Pilgrims should remember to pray for their countries, for their loved ones, the Muslims, the righteous, and humanity at large. At the same time, Muslims who are not performing the pilgrimage should pray for those who are. If we meet any pilgrims on their journey, we should honour them as they are the guests of Allah the Almighty.

In sum, the day of Arafah is among the holiest times of the year in Islam. It commemorates the finality of revelation and the completion of the Hajj pilgrimage. We should increase our good deeds, prayers, and supplications during this time. If we are not present at Arafah, it is best to fast the day in remembrance. If we are on the plain of Arafah, it is best to save our strength for worship.

I ask Allah to bless this day for us and all Muslims everywhere.

I ask Allah to assist us in living by the Quran and Sunnah.

I pray He lets us recognise the truth for what it is and helps us to follow it, and that He lets us see falsehood for what it is and helps us to avoid it.

O Allah! Guide us and protect us from the causes of ignorance and destruction!

O Allah! Save us from the defects of ourselves! Cause the last of our deeds to be the best and most righteous! And forgive all of us.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Anything good I have said in my today’s Sermon is from Allah the Almighty, and any mistakes are my own and I seek refuge in Allah from giving wrong advice and from all forms of calamities and fitnah. And I ask Allah’s forgiveness if I stepped beyond bounds in anything I said or I do.

May Allah be praised; and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon His Messenger Muhammad and upon his family and Companions.

With this I conclude the Sermon and ask Allah, the Almighty and the Sublime, to forgive all of our sins. So seek his forgiveness, He is all forgiving and Most Merciful.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today Friday, Dhul-Hajj 6, 1439 AH (August 17, 2018), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

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Hajj 2018: NAHCON Urges Strict Compliance With Mina Movement Schedule

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, has requested all officials on the Hajj 2018 national and state teams, to ensure strict compliance to schedules drawn up for the movement to Mina from Makkah.

Deputy Co-ordinator of NAHCON, Makkah operations and Chairman of the Taradudiyyah committee, Alhaji Aliyu Abubakar Tanko, gave the advice while addressing representatives of Muslim Pilgrims’ Welfare Boards and Agencies, during a visit to the Mina tent site for Nigerian pilgrims.

He appealed to the state officials in particular, to collaborate with NAHCON in order to achieve strict adherence to the stipulated guidelines on the movement to Mina, set for the 8th day of Dhul-Hijja (August 12).

“The previous years’ arrangement for the movement of pilgrims to, Mina, Arafat, Muzdalifah and back to Makkah after the required two or three days stay, has not changed,” Alhaji Aliyu said.

He emphasised that: “as has been the practice in recent years and coupled with the harsh weather condition in the Holy land, movement of pilgrims will start from midnight of Saturday (August 11), until the morning of Sunday, the 8th of Dhul-Hijja.

Alhaji Aliyu implored the state officials to ensure orderliness, timeliness and exemplary conduct by their respective pilgrims to the Mashaa’ir (religious) sites.

“Keep the pilgrims indoors until the arrival of buses instead of allowing them to mill out onto the streets and get tired and exhausted before the arrival of the buses,” adding that there was “no need for any haste or rush as no pilgrim will be left behind during the evacuation,”he advised.

“No pilgrim should overwork himself/herself or be agitated about being left behind. When seats in one bus are fully occupied, he/she should wait for the next bus,” Dr Tanko said.

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The First Ten Days Of The Month Of Dhul-Hajj In Islam, By Imam Murtadha Gusau

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Prophet Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger.

The month of the Dhul-Hajj is one of the most important months in Islam. This is the month of Eid-al-Adha and the month of Hajj. Dhul-Hajj is the last month of Islamic calendar which reminds us of the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and His son Prophet Isma’il (AS). In this noble month, Muslims go to Saudi Arabia for performing Hajj and also celebrate Eid-al-Adha by sacrificing animals for the sake of Allah Almighty. With the start of noble month of Dhul-Hajj, Muslims from all over the world have embarked on a journey of a lifetime that is for Hajj.

Those who can’t go for Hajj can do some special deeds in the first Ten days of Dhul-Hajj. These Ten days are the best in the whole year, and it’s so important that we take advantage of them if we are not able to perform pilgrimage this time. We have no guarantee that we’ll live to see the next Dhul-Hajj so make the most of the days while performing some special deeds. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said:

“There is no deed that is better in the sight of Allah or more greatly rewarded than a good deed done in the (first) Ten days of Al-Adha.” It was asked, “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah?” The Prophet (Peace be upon him) replied, “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah, unless a man goes out himself for Jihad taking his wealth with him and does not come back with anything.” [Bukhari]

* Things To Do In The First Ten Days Of Dhul-Hajj

Following are some deeds or the acts of worship that one should perform in the first blessed Ten days of Dhul-Hajj, surely they will help to gain the pleasure of Almighty Allah, In Shaa Allah.

1. Perform Hajj And Umrah

No doubt, the best thing one can do on these blessed days is to perform Umrah and Hajj. Abu Hurairah (RA) reported that:

“The Prophet (Peace be upon him) was asked which deed is best. He said, “Belief in Allah and His Messenger.”He was asked, then what? He said, “Jihad for the sake of Allah.” He was asked, then what? He said, “An accepted Hajj.” [Muslim]

2. Fasting

The first nine days of Dhul-Hajj are a really good time to fast. We should try to fast on all nine days up until the day of Eid-al-Adha as fasting on the day of Eid is not permitted. If one should not fast in all nine days fast on the ninth day of Dhul-Hajj, because the Prophet (Peace be upon him) recommended us to do good deeds during this time, and fasting is one of the best of deeds one could do.

“The Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to fast on the ninth of Dhul-Hajj, on the day of Ashurah, on three days of each month, and on the first two Mondays and Thursdays of each month.” [An-Nasa’i]

3. Give Charity

There are extra blessings in this noble month of Dhul-Hajj so, take this opportunity and give charity. It does not matter how much we are going to donate, always remember that whoever gives in the cause of Allah, He (Allah) multiplies it when He returns it to you. Use this month to get into the habit of giving charity, no matter how small it is.

4. Recite Tahlil, Takbir And Tahmid

It is Sunnah to recite Takbir (Allahu Akbar), Tahmid (Alhamdulillah) and Tahlil (La Ilaha illallah) during the first blessed Ten days of Dhul-Hajj. These words should be recited abundantly in the Mosque, homes, office, streets and every place where it is permissible to remember Allah Almighty. In Noble Quran Allah Almighty says:

“That they may witness things that are of benefit to them (reward of Hajj in the Hereafter and also some worldly gain from trade), and mention the Name of Allah on appointed days, over the beast of cattle that He has provided for them (for sacrifice).” [Quran, 22:28]

5. Read Quran

Many of us don’t quite understand the significance of Dhul-Hajj and Eid-al-Adha. If someone wants to know about the significance of this noble occasion should return to the source of our knowledge, that is the Noble Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (Peace be upon him). Read the story of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and remind yourself of his sacrifice. Try to understand the importance of his sacrifice to better understand why we sacrifice animals and what the significance of this Eid is.

6. Perform The Sacrifice

One of the good deeds that will bring a person closer to Allah Almighty during these blessed Ten days is offering a sacrifice of an animal. Sacrificing an animal revives the Sunnah of Prophet Ibrahim (AS). He (AS) was ready to give up everything for the sake of Allah Almighty and submitted unconditionally to Allah’s commands by even offering his beloved son as a sacrifice. In Hadith, our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said:

“When anyone of you intends to sacrifice the animal and enter in the month of Dhul-Hajj, he should not get his hair cut or nails pared till he has offered his sacrifice.” [Muslim]

7. Make Sincere Repentance

Allah loves those who repent to Him with complete submission. In these blessed Ten days of Dhul-Hajj return to Allah by giving up all the bad deeds, open and secret, that He dislikes. Be regretful of your sins and disobedience and resolve to never return to sin and to firmly adhere to the path which Allah loves.

8. Perform All Good Deeds

If one is not able to perform Hajj this year then he/she should perform every possible good deed during these blessed days of Dhul-Hajj. Every act that is done with sincerity for the pleasure of Allah Almighty will bring you closer to Him, In Shaa Allah.

9. Forgive Others

Allah is the most forgiving and He the Most High is not the only one who can forgive. We also should forgive other for the sake of Almighty Allah. Begin the Islamic New Year with a fresh start and a clean heart by forgiving those who did wrong with you. Allah loves those who forgive, so forgive others.

In short, there are so many blessings of these blessed Ten days of Dhul-Hajj, some of them are mentioned above. So make the most of this perfect opportunity offered by these invaluable and irreplaceable Ten days. Participate to do good deeds and appreciate this blessing and make the most of it.

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our Noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true followers.

Your Brother:

Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, from Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached through gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

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Friday Sermon: A Brief Guide On How To Perform Hajj And The Story Of Prophet Ibrahim, By Imam Gusau

In The Name Of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam; Allah, the Exalted, ordained it in the ninth year after Hijrah (the Prophet’s migration from Makkah to Madinah), according to the preponderant opinion. Allah Almighty Says:

“And [due] to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House – for whoever is able to find thereto a way. But whoever disbelieves – then, indeed, Allah is free from need of the worlds.” [Quran, 3:97]

Hajj is the mandatory religious obligation which is obligatory on every sane, matured, financially and physically stable Muslim once in a lifetime. Every year, from the month of Shawwal to Dhul-Hijjah Muslims from all around the world travel to Saudi Arabia in Makkah for offering Hajj (Pilgrimage). Hajj with pure intention and just for the sake of Allah Almighty will cleanse the person internally; his soul will be like a newborn with his body free from previously committed sins. There is an excessive amount of information associated with Hajj; most is critical to ensure that Hajj is performed not only in the best intentions but also in the correct manner. For performing this obligation in the correct manner with full devotion and respect we all should know about the facts related to Hajj (Pilgrimage). Hajj is one of the best deeds that draws the person closer to Allah, the Exalted. There are three types of Hajj:

1. Hajj At-Tamattu

2. Hajj al-Qiran

3. Hajj al-Ifrad.

Here, I shall talk about Hajj at-Tamattu as it is the most recommended one, and also the one performed mostly by our people.

Respected Brothers and Sisters! In this type of Hajj, one is to perform Umrah during the Hajj months (i.e. Shawwal, Dhul-Qa’adah and the first nine nights of Dhul-Hijjah) and to perform the Hajj in the same year with a sacrifice slaughtered in Mina on the day of Eid-Al-Adha (The 10th day of Dhul-Hijjah) or during the days of at-Tashriq (i.e. the 11th, 12th and 13th of Dhul-Hijjah). The pilgrim may remove his Ihram garments and continue his normal activities between Umrah and Hajj. It is necessary to make the Tawaf and the Sa’ayi twice, the first time for Umrah and the second time for Hajj.

The different steps of the Hajj Journey are described below:

– Ihram

Ihram is the intention of the person willing to perform all rites of Umrah, Hajj or both when he arrives at the Miqat. Each direction coming into Makkah has its own Miqat. It is recommended that the one who intends to perform Hajj makes Ghusl (a shower with the intention to purify one’s self and to be ready for Hajj), perfumes his body, but not his garments, and puts on a two-piece garment with no headgear. The garments should be of seamless cloth. One piece to cover the upper part of the body, and the second to cover the lower part. For a woman the Ihram is the same except that she can wear any kind of wide garments, and should not use perfumes at all and her dress should cover the whole body decently, leaving the hands and the face uncovered. The pilgrim should say the intention according to the type of Hajj. For Hajj At-Tamattu one should say:

“Labbaikallahummah Umrah”, which means, “O Allah I answered your call to perform Umrah.”

It is recommended to repeat the well-known supplication of Hajj, called Talbiyyah, as frequently as possible from the time of Ihram till the time of the first stoning of Jamrat Al-Aqabah in Mina on the tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah.

Men are recommended to utter the talbiyyah aloud while women are to say it quietly. This Talbiyyah is the following:

“Labbaikallahummah labbaik. Labbaika la sharika laka labbaik. Inna al-hamda wan-ni’mata laka wa al-mulk. La sharika lak.”

Meaning:

“Here I am at your service. O my Lord, Here I am. No partner you have. Here I am. Truly, the praise and the provisions are yours, and so is the dominion. No partner you have.”

– Tawaf

When a Muslim arrives in Makkah, he should make Tawaf around the Ka’abah, as a gesture of greeting Al-Masjid Al-Haram. This is done by circling the Ka’abah seven times in the counterclockwise direction, starting from the black stone with Takbir and ending each circle at the black stone with Takbir, keeping the Ka’abah to one’s left.

Then the pilgrim goes to Maqam Ibrahim (Ibrahim’s station), and performs two Raka’ah behind it, (close to it if possible), but away from the path of the people making Tawaf. In all cases one should be facing the Ka’abah when praying behind Maqam Ibrahim.

– Sa’ayi

The next rite is to make Sa’ayi between Safa and Marwah. The pilgrim starts Sa’ayi by ascending the Safa. While facing the direction of the Ka’abah he praises Allah, raises his hands and says Takbir “Allahu Akbar” three times, then makes supplication to Allah. Then the pilgrim descends from the Safa and heads towards the Marwah.

One should increase the pace between the clearly marked green posts, but should walk at a normal pace before and after them. When the pilgrim reaches the Marwah, he should ascend it, praise Allah and do as he did at the Safa. This is considered one round and so is the other way from the Marwah to the Safa. A total of seven rounds are required to perform the sa’ayi.

– Shaving The Head Or Trimming The Hair

After Sa’ayi, the Muslim ends his Umrah rites by shaving his head or trimming his hair (women should cut a finger tip’s length from their hair). At this stage, the prohibitions pertaining to the state of Ihram are lifted and one can resume his normal life.

There are no required supplications for Tawaf or for Sa’ayi. It is up to the worshipper to praise Allah or to supplicate Him with any acceptable supplication or to recite verses of the Qur’an.

There are no many specific supplications that the Prophet used to recite during the rites.

A Pilgrim performing Hajj Al-Tamattu should intend Ihram, from the place where he is staying, on the eighth of Dhul-Hijjah, which is the Tarwiyyah Day, and it is better to leave for Mina in the morning. In Mina, the pilgrims pray Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha of the 8th day of Dhul-Hijjah and Fajr of the 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah (Arafah Day). Zuhr, Asr and Isha are each shortened to two Raka’ah only, but are not combined.

The pilgrims remain in Mina until sunrise of the 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah and then leave for Arafah.

– Departure To Arafah

On the 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah, the Day of Arafah, the pilgrims stay in Arafah until sunset. It is preferable to pray Zuhr and Asr at Arafah, shortened and combined during the time of Zuhr to save the rest of the day for glorifying Allah and for supplication asking forgiveness. A pilgrim should make sure that he is within the boundaries of Arafah, not necessarily standing on the mountain of Arafah, he should also be sure that he has spent any part of the night – even a few minutes-within Arafah. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“I stood here on this rocky hill and all Arafah is a standing place.” [Muslim]

One should keep reciting Talbiyyah, glorifying Allah the Greatest and repeating supplication.

It is also reported that the Prophet used to say the following supplication:

“There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, the one without a partner. The dominion and the praise are His and He is powerful over everything.”

Anas Ibn Malik was asked once how he and his friends used to spend their time while walking from Mina to Arafath in the company of the Prophet. Anas said:

“Some of us used to cry out Talbiyyah, others used to glorify Allah the Greatest and the rest used to repeat supplications. Each one of us was free to worship Allah in the way he likes without prejudice or renunciation of his right.” [Al-Bukhari]

In the vast plain of Arafah, tears are shed, sins are washed and faults are redressed for those who ask Allah for forgiveness and offer sincere repentance for their wrong doings in the past. Happy is the person who receives the Mercy and Pleasure of Allah on that particular day.

Soon after sunset on the day of Arafah, the pilgrims leave for Muzdalifah quietly and reverently in compliance with the advice of the Prophet who said when he noticed people walking without calmness:

“O people! Be quiet, hastening is not a sign of righteousness.” [Al-Bukhari]

To follow the example of the Prophet keep reciting the Talbiyyah, glorifying Allah the Greatest and mentioning the name of Allah until the time of stoning Jamrat Al-Aqabah, Al-Jamrat al-Kubrah (a stone pillar in Mina). In Muzdalifah, the pilgrim performs Maghrib and Isha prayers combined, shortening the Isha prayer to two Raka’ah. Pilgrims stay overnight in Muzdalifah to perform the Fajr prayer and wait until the brightness of the morning is widespread before they leave for Mina passing through the sacred Mash’ar Al-Haram valley. Women and weak individuals are allowed to proceed to Mina at any time after Midnight to avoid the crowd.

– Back To Mina

Stoning Jamrat Al-Aqabah:

When the pilgrims arrive in Mina, they go to Jamrat Al-Aqabah where they stone it with seven pebbles glorifying Allah “Allahu Akbar” at each throw and calling on him to accept their Hajj.

The time of stoning Jamrat Al-Aqabah is after sunrise. The Prophet threw the pebbles late in the morning and permitted the weak people to stone after leaving Muzdalifah after Midnight. The size of the pebbles should not be more than that of a pea as described by the Prophet (Peace be upon him) who warned against exaggeration. The pebbles can be picked up either in Muzdalifah or in Mina.

– Slaughtering Of Sacrifice

After stoning Jamrat Al-Aqabah, the pilgrim goes to slaughter his sacrifice either personally or through the appointment of somebody else to do it on his behalf. A pilgrim should slaughter either a sheep, or share a cow or a camel with six others.

– Shaving The Head Or Trimming The Hair

The final rite on the tenth day after offering one’s sacrifice is to shave his head or to cut some of the hair. Shaving the head is, however preferable for it was reported that the Prophet prayed three times for those who shaved their heads, when he said:

“May Allah’s Mercy be upon those who shaved their heads.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

For women, the length of hair to be cut is that of a fingertip. The stoning of Jamrat Al-Aqabah and the shaving of head or the trimming of hair symbolizes the end of the first phase of the state of Ihram and the lifting of its restrictions except for sexual intercourse with one’s spouse. Stoning Jamrat Al-Aqabah, slaughtering the sacrifice and shaving the head or cutting part of the hair are preferred to be in this order, as it is the order that the Prophet did them. However, if they are done in any order, there is no harm in that.

– Tawaf Al-Ifadah

Tawaf Al-Ifada is a fundamental rite of Hajj. The pilgrim makes Tawaf Al-Ifadah by visiting Al-Masjid Al-Haram and circling the Ka’abah seven times and praying two Raka’ah behind Maqam Ibrahim if possible and without causing any harm to Muslims. Then the pilgrim should make Sa’ayi between the Safa and the Marwa. After Tawaf Al-Ifadah the state of Ihram is completely ended and all restrictions are lifted including sexual intercourse with one’s spouse. Tawaf Al-Ifadah can be delayed until the days spent in Mina are over.

The pilgrim should return to Mina and spend there the days of Tashriq (i.e. the 11th 12th and 13th days of Dhul-Hijjah).

During each day, and after Zuhr prayer until the midnight, the pilgrim stones the three stone pillars called “Jamrat”: The smaller, the medium and Jamrat Al-Aqabah, glorifying Allah “Allahu Akbar “with each throw of the seven pebbles stoned at each pillar.

These pebbles are picked up in Mina. A pilgrim may leave Mina to Makkah on the 13th of Dhul-Hijjah or on the 12th if he wishes, there is no blame on him if he chooses the latter, but he has to leave before sunset if not he must stay in Mina till he throws the pebbles the next day (13th).

– Farewell Tawaf

Farewell Tawaf is the final rite of Hajj. It is to make another Tawaf around the Ka’abah. Ibn Abbas said:

“The people were ordered to perform the Tawaf around the Ka’abah as the last thing before leaving Makkah, except the menstruating women who were excused.” [Bukhari]

* The Story Of Prophet Ibrahim (AS)

Dear Servants of Allah! In the religion of Islam, Allah Almighty sent many Prophets in this world for the guidance of mankind, almost twenty-five are mentioned in the Noble Quran. One of them is Prophet Ibrahim (AS), a very important Prophet in the religion of Islam. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) is greatly associated with Hajj because the origin of Hajj is as old as the Ka’abah, which was built by Ibrahim (AS) and his son Isma’il (AS). Every act of Hajj reminds Muslims about the noble family of Ibrahim (AS). Every act of Hajj refers back to the righteous actions and struggle of either Ibrahim (AS), his wife Hajarah or his son Isma’il (AS).

Prophet Ibrahim (AS) lived in a time, long before the time of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). When He was young boy He used to watch people who worship idols and considering them their gods. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was very clever and intelligent. He (AS) always used to ask questions about things that happen around him. Ibrahim (AS) could not believe that anyone could consider these idols, made of stone to be their gods and worship them. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was confused and one day he (AS) told his father he didn’t think people should worship objects they had made themselves. His father was angry and told him not to say anything about the gods again.

Prophet Ibrahim (AS) decided to show the people they were wrong, so he (AS) made a plan. One night Prophet Ibrahim (AS) sneaked into the place where all the statues were kept. He (AS) chopped off the heads of all statues with an Axe but left the biggest one and hung the Axe around the neck of the big idol and then went away. Next morning when people returned they were shocked, “What happened to our Idols?” they thought about it. They discussed it for a while and concluded that Ibrahim (AS) would know because he (AS) was known to speaking out against their idols. When they asked Ibrahim (AS) whether he did this act of breaking of their idols. He (AS) told them that it was the biggest ‘god’ statue to have done it as he held the Axe on his shoulder. Despite that the people realized that the idols were not able to speak, their foolishness led them to decide to burn Prophet Ibrahim (AS).

The foolish people chained Prophet Ibrahim (AS), dug a deep hole, filled it with firewood and lit an intense fire and decided to throw him in the fire. Before throwing Prophet Ibrahim (AS) in, Angel Jibril came close to his head and asked him whether he (AS) wished for something, then Prophet Ibrahim (AS) said that he only wanted Allah (SWT) to be pleased with him. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was thrown into the fire, at that moment Allah (SWT) ordered the fire to be cool for him. The fire obeyed and Prophet Ibrahim (AS) came out unharmed. Still, the foolish people denied Allah’s (SWT) miracle.

After this incident, Prophet Ibrahim (AS) moved away and got married to his wife named Sarah. They lived happily for a long time. However, there was some heartache in Ibrahim (AS) and Sarah’s life. They had been happily married for so long and Allah had not granted them any children. Sarah knew that Ibrahim (AS) was eager for a child but she was getting old and may not be able to give him a child. She suggested to Prophet Ibrahim (AS) that he should marry Hajarah, their slave girl, and maybe Allah would bless them with a child through her. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) accepted the advice of his beloved wife Sarah and married Hajarah. It wasn’t long before Ibrahim (AS) and Hajarah were blessed with a baby boy whom they named Isma’il.

After sometime, Sarah became jealous of Hajarah and Isma’il (AS). She told Prophet Ibrahim (AS) to take the child and mother to a land far away from them. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) then decided to take them to a place in Hijaz (Arabian Peninsula), which was then a dry, mountainous and barren land. Here Prophet Ibrahim (AS) left Hajarah and Isma’il (AS) under the shade of a lofty tree, near the hills of Safa and Marwa. This place had very little vegetation and had no water. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) left some food with Hajarah and a pouch of water. After some time both the food and water ran short and Isma’il (AS) began to cry. Hajarah was scared and she started to ran between the hills of Safa and Marwa looking for food or water but could not find anything. She ran between the two hillocks seven times. After the hectic search, she returned and found a spring had appeared where Ismail (AS) was kicking the sand with his feet. This spring, called Zamzam, producing clean water and Hajarah and Isma’il (AS) drank from it.

After many years, Prophet Ibrahim (AS) returned to Makkah to see his son a grown man. He learned that Hajarah had passed away in his absence. Allah wanted to test Ibrahim’s submission again in a dream; the Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was instructed to sacrifice his son Isma’il (AS) to Allah. Ibrahim (AS) told his son Isma’il (AS) about the dream, and both agreed to submit to the will of Allah (SWT). Isma’il (AS) lay prostrate with his forehead touching the ground, while his father laid a sharp knife upon his neck. At that moment, Allah Almighty called down:

“O Ibrahim! You have done my bidding and now you will be rewarded!”

A large ram appeared as an alternative sacrifice, and instead of killing his son, Prophet Ibrahim (AS) slaughtered the sheep to the glory of Allah Almighty.

After that Allah (SWT) ordered Prophet Ibrahim (AS) to build a house for the worship of Almighty Allah. He (AS) then went to his son, Isma’il (AS) for some help. They both set the foundation of the Ka’abah using a rock that came from Heaven. Today, this rock is found in the core of the Ka’abah, known as the black stone. They started to build it and when the walls became high, Isma’il (AS) brought a stone for his father who stood over it. This stone was called the Maqama Ibrahim. The Ka’abah was finished and everyone worshipped there. The Ka’abah is known as the house of Allah. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) then asked the tribes to make the pilgrimage to this house of Allah the noble Ka’abah.

Every year, millions of Muslims from all over the world travel to Makkah to circle the Ka’abah that Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and Isma’il (AS) built and run between the two hills of Safa and Marwa, just like Hajarah did. We also observe the obedience of the Prophet Ibrahim (AS) by sacrificing an animal on their behalf and distribute the meat among the poor people.

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our Noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true followers.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today Friday, Dhul-Qa’adah 27, 1439 AH (August 10, 2018), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

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Redeemed Church Ordains 11,228 Deacons, Deaconesses To Mark 66th Convention

General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, on Monday, ordained 11,228 as Deacons and Deaconesses.

This is just as the Church commenced its 66th Annual National Convention being held at the church’s headquarters at the Redemption Camp, KM 46, Lagos/Ibadan Expressway, with the theme: “Dominion’’

In his address, Pastor Adeboye, prayed for the ordained clerics and urged participants to spend quality time praying, so as to have an encounter with Jesus.

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The Believers Are Nothing Else Than Brothers, By Imam Murtadha Gusau

In The Name Of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

Brotherhood in Islam is a comprehensive concept that is based upon good character with others, treating others the way we want to be treated, and uniting together upon common values. It has three levels of degree: religion, family, and humanity. Each of these levels has a set of rights and duties that a Muslim must uphold with others.

The strongest level of brotherhood is the sense of community, friendship, and common purpose in Islam for the sake of Allah. At this level, the believers work together towards fulfilling the goals of the religion and living out its divine values.

The believers are brothers in Religion just as Allah has described them in the Qur’an:

“The believers are nothing else than brothers. So make reconciliation between your brothers, and fear Allah, that you may receive mercy.” [Surah Al-Hujurat, 10]

Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:

“Do not be jealous of one another, do not artificially inflate prices against one another, do not harbour hatred against one another, do not turn against one another, do not desert one another, one of you should not enter into a transaction when the other has already entered into it; rather be brothers one to another and servants of Allah. A Muslim is a brother to another Muslim. He does not wrong him, and does not desert him, nor despise him. Piety is found here [pointing three times to his chest]; despising his Muslim brother is enough of an evil for any man to fall into. Every Muslim’s blood, property and honour are unlawful to be violated by another Muslim.” [Related by Muslim]

Anas Ibn Malik (RA) narrated from Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) that he said:

“None amongst you believes (truly) until he loves for his brother” – or he said “for his neighbour” – “that which he loves for himself.” [Muslim]

Imam Ahmad reported from Ibn Umar (RA), from the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) that:

“The servant of Allah will not reach true iman (faith) until he loves for the people the good which he loves for himself.”

Imam Muslim reported from Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn al-As (RA) that he said:

“While we were with the Messenger of Allah on a journey, we stopped to camp, and some of us were pitching tents, some were competing in shooting arrows, and some were taking the animals out to race them. Then the caller of the Prophet called out: As-Salatu Jami’ah (call to prayer). So we gathered, and the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) stood up and addressed us. He said:

“There has never been a Prophet before me who was not obliged to tell his nation of what he knew was good for them, and to warn against that he knew was bad for them. With regard to this Ummah of yours, its wellbeing has been placed in its earlier generations, and the last of them will be afflicted with calamities and things that you will hate. Then there will come tribulations which will make the earlier ones pale into insignificance, and the believer will say: “This will be then end of me,” then relief will come. Then more tribulations will come and the believer will say: “Surely, this will be the end of me,” then relief will come. Whoever would like to be taken far away from the Fire and be admitted to Paradise, let him die believing in Allah and the Last Day, and let him treat people as he would like to be treated himself…”

So these narrations prove that a believer is happy when his brother is happy and is saddened when his brother is sad. So he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself of goodness. This is achieved when a Muslim is free from trickery, cheating, animosity, jealousy and envy.

Jealousy entails that a person hates the fact that blessings have been bestowed upon someone else – or that another should even be bestowed the likes of what he himself possesses. This is because he wants to be distinguished above the people with bounties – and wants to be singled out with distinction. So having true iman (faith) opposes this attitude. Having true iman (faith) entails that a person wants for all the believers that they too share in what Allah has given him without there being any reduction of what he has of goodness and bounties.

Allah, the Most High, has praised and extolled the one who possesses these noble qualities:

“Surely that home of the Hereafter We assign to those who do not desire exaltedness and high-mightiness upon the earth or corruption. And the [best] outcome is for the righteous.” [Surah Al-Qasas, 83]

Ikrimah (rahimhullah) and others said regarding this verse that:

“Seeking highness in the earth is to be haughty and proud, and to seek elevation in society, and to seek a special position with the leader; and corruption is to commit acts of disobedience.”

Allah, the Most High, stated in his praise of the believers:

“And those who came after them say: “Our Lord! Forgive us and our brethren who have preceded us in Faith, and put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord! You are indeed full of kindness, Most Merciful.” [Surah Al-Hashr, 59:10)

So from the qualities of the believers is that their hearts and tongues are safe and secure from harming their believing brothers who have preceded them in iman (faith) and their brothers who are present with them. So the believers praise their brothers, make supplications for them that Allah forgives them – and that He forgives them all. And this is even more so when referring to the first and foremost of believers: the Companions of Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him), the Muhajirun and the Ansar and those who follow them correctly. Whoever finds in his heart hatred for the Companions of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) or he seeks to lower their great status, then he is not a believer. Abu Hurairah (RA) reported Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) as saying:

“Do not revile my Companions! Do not revile my Companions! By Him in Whose Hand is my soul, if one amongst you would have spent as much gold as Uhud in charity, it would not amount to even a handful or even half a handful of what they have given.” [Muslim]

So may Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, disgrace those who curse and revile the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). They revile the Rightly Guided Khulafa’, diminish their worth and belittle them. So if this is how they treat the best of brothers in iman and best of the believers, how do you think they will treat you? If they have no respect for the best of the people around the Messenger (Peace be upon him), his Companions and his wives, then what respect and honour will they have for the Muslims today. If they are treacherous towards the best of mankind and despise them, then how will they love you and show loyalty to you?! So their claims of loving the Muslim ummah is a blatant lie since they cannot even find it in them to love the Companions of the Prophet (Peace be upon him). Allah, the Most High, stated:

“And the first to embrace Islam of the Muhajirun (those who migrated from Makkah to Al-Madinah) and the Ansar (the people of Al-Madinah who helped and gave aid to the Muhajirun) and also those who followed them exactly. Allah is well-pleased with them as they are well-pleased with Him. He has prepared for them Gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein forever. That is the supreme success.” [Surah At-Tawbah, 9:100]

Allah, the Most High, said about the Companions:

“…So through the Companions Allah may enrage the disbelievers. Allah has promised those who believe and do righteous deeds among them forgiveness and a great reward.” [Surah Al-Fath, 48:29]

This verse is a proof that those who harbour hatred for the Companions are unbelievers in Allah and His Messenger. As for the true believers: They love the Companions of the Messenger (Peace be upon him), they ally themselves with them and seek forgiveness for them, and emulate them.

So upon the believers is to love for others what they love for themselves and dislike for them what they dislike for themselves. If a Muslim sees a deficiency in his Muslim brother in terms of his religion, or his affairs then he strives to rectify him, advise him and aid him. He does not backbite and expose his shortcomings because no one would love that for themselves. Allah, the Most High, stated:

“And do not spy on each other, neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it [so therefore you should hate backbiting]. And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is the One Who accepts repentance, Most Merciful.” [Surah Al-Hujurat, 49:12]

If a believer would not be happy that a person carries scandalous tales between him and the ones he loves causing animosity; then why would he ever allow himself the leeway to rumour-monger between a brother and those whom he loves and respects, thus causing discord between the hearts? Allah, the Most High, said:

“And obey not everyone who swears much, and is considered worthless; A slanderer, going about with malicious gossip!” [Surah Al-Qalam, 10 -11]

The one who walks amongst the people whispering tales, “By Allah, I heard him say this… and I saw him do that…” They open the doors of backbiting and malicious gossip amongst the ranks of Muslims.

To speak behind a person’s back with that which he hates is forbidden except in exceptional circumstances which the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and his Companions and the early scholars made clear, such as: warning against the misguided people by name; to silence the weak narrators and liars in the chains of narrations in order to protect the purity of the Prophetic narrations; to warn against the open sinners who do not hide their sins, so as to protect the believers from their immorality; the one seeking a fatwa from a scholar or a ruling from a judge.

As for slandering, inventing stories and lying against another, and spreading malicious rumours, then this absolutely forbidden – even against bad people this is forbidden. Sincere Muslims suffice themselves with the truth – they are not in need of lying upon anyone!

It is reported that news reached Hudhaifah that a certain man carried tales. Upon this he remarked: I heard Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) saying:

“The malicious tale carrier will not enter Paradise.” [Muslim]

And the Salafus-Salih (Our pious predecessors) would regard the tale-carrier who seeks to destroy marriages as harmful as a magician, “what the scandal-monger achieves in a day, takes the magician a year to achieve!”

Likewise a Muslim would hate that he is mocked and ridiculed and belittled, so therefore he does not ridicule and mock others. Allah, the Most High, stated:

“Woe to every slanderer and backbiter.” [Surah Al-Humazah, 1]

“Indeed, those who committed crimes used to laugh at those who believed. And whenever they passed by them, used to wink one to another [in mockery].” [Surah Al-Mutaffifeen, 29 – 30]

Also, a believer would hate to be tricked and cheated when buying and selling, so how could he possibly trick, cheat and deceive others? A believer would hate that he be annoyed by his neighbours and harmed by them, so why would he therefore annoy his neighbours? The Prophet (Peace be upon him) 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 Messenger (Peace be upon him)?” He said, “That person whose neighbour does not feel safe from his evil.” [Bukhari]

If a believer hates to be oppressed, then how can he find it in him to oppress others? To the point that a believer would not even propose to a woman that his fellow Muslim has proposed until he withdraws his proposal or she turns him down:

“A person should not enter into a transaction when his brother (had already entered into but not finalised), and he should not make a proposal of marriage upon the proposal already made by his brother, until he permits it.” [Muslim]

A believer should constantly exert himself in diverting evil from others and from his brothers just as he would like it to be diverted from himself – and this is beneficial comprehensive principle.

I swear by Allah the Most High, if Muslims were to act upon these guidelines and admonitions, the Ummah would be in a much better condition – and the non-Muslims would adopt this faith much more readily because they would see the fruits of these faith in its adherents.

May the blessings and peace of Allah be upon Muhammad and all his family and Companions.

Your Brother: Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, from Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. The Imam can be reached through: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

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Let’s Stop Pretending There’s Nothing And Start Al-qunut Prayers In Our Mosques! By Imam Murtadha Gusau

In The Name Of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

All praise is due to Allah Alone; and may peace and blessings be upon the Final Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

I don’t know why we should be playing politics with peoples lives. In a responsible society these things wouldn’t happen. We tend to put premium on politics over peoples lives. If the Inspector General of police is incompetent he should be removed. I don’t see why we will take lives for granted. As these killings are taking place now, only Allah knows what will happen during election and after the election.

Making Qunut when the people are afflicted by temporary trials is one of the lawful acts in Salah (Prayer). This is one of the authentically established acts of Sunnah reported in the two authentic Books of Hadith (i.e. Al-Bukhari and Muslim) in addition to other books. It is narrated on the authority of Anas Ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) that:

“The Prophet (Peace be upon him) sent seventy men, called Al-Qurra’ (Quran Reciters), for some purpose. Two clans of Banu Sulaim, namely Ri’il and Zakwan, obstructed their way near a well known as Ma‘unah Well. The people (i.e. Al-Qurra’) said, ‘By Allah, we have not come to harm you, but we are passing by you on our way to do something for the Prophet (Peace be upon him).’ But (the two clans) killed them. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) therefore invoked against them for a month during Salatul Subhi (morning Prayer).”

It is also narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah and Anas
(May Allah be pleased with them) that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) made Qunut after Ruku‘u (bowing) in the last Raka‘ah (unit of Prayer) for one month: “Upon raising his head (from bowing) he would say, ‘Sami Allahu liman hamidah [Allah listens to those who praise Him], Rabbana wa lakal hamd [Our Lord, to you is the Praise],’ then he would supplicate to Allah for certain men whom he mentioned by name, saying, ‘O Allah! Save Al-Walid Ibn Al-Walid and Salamah Ibn Hisham and Ayyash Ibn Abu Rabi’ah and the oppressed believers. O Allah! Harden Your Punishment against the tribe of Mudar and inflict upon them years (of famine) like the years (the famine which broke out at the time) of Yusuf (AS).’” There are many other well-known Hadith supporting the same meaning.

Afflictions for which supplication while standing in Salah is legislated are those which concern the Ummah in general, such as when the disbelievers attack Muslims, supplicating for the Muslim captives, and for Muslims who are afflicted by famine, for the killing of the innocent people and for the spread of epidemics, etc.

Qunut Al-Nawazil (Qunut for removing calamities) is to be said after rising from the Ruku‘u (bowing) of the last Raka‘ah in all the obligatory Prayers, whether Prayer recited out loud or Prayer with subvocal recitation. This is more confirmed in Fajr (Dawn) Prayer. It is reported on the authority of Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) that:

“The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) continued to make Qunut for a month successively at the Zuhr (Noon), Asr (Afternoon), Maghrib (Sunset), Isha’ (Night) and Fajr (Dawn) Prayers, at the end of every Salah. When he said, ‘SamiAllahu liman hamidah [Allah listens to those who praise Him],’ in the last Raka‘ah, he would invoke Allah against some clans of Banu Sulaim, namely Ri’il, Zakwan, and Usayyah while those praying behind him would answer, Ameen.’” [Related by Imam Ahmad and Abu Dawud]

There is no specific Du‘a to say in Qunut Al-Nawazil, but Muslims should supplicate at every time with what is suitable for their circumstances under the affliction. Anyone who supplicates in afflictions with Du‘a-ul-Qunut that is said in the Witr (Prayer with an odd number of units), which is, “Allahummahdina fiman hadait… [O Allah, guide me among those You have guided…], has contradicted the Sunnah and missed the purpose. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) did not invoke Allah in afflictions with this Du‘a; rather, he used to teach it to the people to say it in the Witr Prayer.

Qunut Al-Nawazil is legislated from the time a calamity occurs until it is removed.

The Imams of the Mosques, may Allah grant them success, have to strive to learn the Sunnah and to abide by it in all matters, because people imitate them and learn from them. Careful caution must be paid not to contradict the Sunnah, either out of exaggeration or negligence. This applies to Du‘a-ul-Qunut said in the Witr Prayer and upon occurrence of Nawazil (calamities). What Islam prescribes is to supplicate with all-inclusive words, using the authentically reported supplications that should be said with calmness and submissiveness. There must be no elongation, redundancy, or causing hardship to the persons being led by an Imam in Prayer. The Imam should make Qunut only in general afflictions.

Truly, the Ummah is in dire need of our prayers. Try to get together with friends and family at fajr at least and ask the Imam to perform the qunut for the oppressed, particularly for the killing of innocent people taking place in Nigeria!

All praise be to Allah Alone, Lord of the worlds, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger, and his family and Companions.

Wassalamu Alaikum,

Your Brother: Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, from Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached through: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

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Friday Sermon: How To Benefit The Decease After Death, By Imam Murtadha Gusau

In The Name Of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Allah the Almighty said:

“And that the human being can have nothing but what he has earned (good or bad). And that his deeds will be seen. Then he will be recompensed with a full and the best recompense.” [Al-Quran, 53:39-41]

Commenting on this Quranic verse, Imam Ibn Kathir, rahimahullah, said:

“Imam Shafi’i concluded from this verse that reciting the Quran does not benefit the dead, because it is not from their doing and earning. For this reason, Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him), did not recommend it to his Ummah, did not encourage them to do it, or guide them to it with a text or a hint. Nor was such a thing reported from any of the Sahabah (Companions). Had this been any good, they would have preceeded us in doing it. Matters of worship must be limited to the texts (Nusus), and are not liable to modifications based on analogies and opinions.” [See Tafsirul Quranil-Adhim of Imam Ibn Kathir]

It is in general true that one cannot benefit from other people’s deeds after his death. But this has important exceptions detailed in this chapter.

* Funeral (Janazah) Prayer

When the Muslims pray janazah for their deceased brother, they are granted intercession for him. The more the number of Muslims who join in the prayer, the more beneficial it is for the deceased.

This means that Allah takes their testimony and their legal supplication regarding the deceased’s apparent actions as a sufficient reason for forgiveness. Since those Muslims who associated with him did not find any major problem to prevent them from supplicating for him, Allah the Most Generous, accepts that and agrees to forgive many of his hidden sins that they did not know. Anas and Aisha (RA), reported that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“Whenever a person dies, and a group of Muslims numbering one hundred pray janazah for him, all interceding on his behalf, their intercession is granted (by Allah) and he is forgiven.” [Muslim and others]

Ibn Abbas (RA) reported that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“Whenever a Muslim man dies, and forty men stand for his janazah prayer, all of them not joining anything with Allah in worship (i.e. not committing shirk), Allah grants them intercession for him.” [Muslim and others]

Maimunah (RA), reported that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“Whenever a (Muslim) person dies, and a group of (Muslim) people pray janazah for him, they are granted intercession for him.” [An-Nisa’i. Verified Hasan by Shaykh Al-Albani in Sahih al-Jami’ no. 5787]

Malik Ibn Hubairah (RA) reported that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“Whenever a Muslim dies, and three lines of Muslims pray janazah for him, he is granted forgiveness.” [Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and others. Verified Hasan by Al-Hafidh and others; Shaykh Al-Albani disagrees with this because Muhammad Ibn Ishaq one of the narrators is known to be a Mudallis (i.e. one who is ambiguous in stating his sources) and did not declare direct hearing of this report. Also See Ahkamul-Jana’iz, 128]

Yet the Prophet’s (Peace be upon him) practice of forming three lines for janazah prayer provides a further supporting evidence for this Hadith.

* Deeds Of Renewed Benefit

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Any good deed that a Muslim starts during his lifetime, and that is of renewed benefit and ongoing use for the Muslims, will continue to benefit him and augment his record of good deeds, even after his departure – as long as its benefits continue to reach others. Allah the Most High says:

“We record that (deeds) which they have put forward and their traces (that which they have left behind).” [Al-Quran, 36:12]

Abu Hurairah (RA) reported that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“When a human being dies, all of his deeds are terminated except for three types: an ongoing sadaqah, a beneficial knowledge from which others benefit, and a righteous child who makes Du’a for him.” [Muslim and others]

Abu Qatadah, rahimahullah, reported that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“The best that a man can leave behind after his death are three things: a righteous child who makes Du’a for him, an ongoing sadaqah whose rewards continue to reach him, and a knowledge that continues to be implemented after him.” [Ibn Majah and others. Verified to be Sahih by Imam Al-Mundhiri and Shaykh Al-Albani]

Abu Qatadah, rahimahullah, reported that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“Among the good deeds that continue to benefit a believer after death are: a knowledge that he taught and disseminated, a righteous child who lived after him, a Quran book that he left as inheritance, a Masjid that he built, a house that he built for the two wayfarers, a stream that he ran, or a charity that he gave from his wealth during his healthy lifetime so that it would reach him (in rewards) after death.” [Ibn Majah and others. Verified Hasan by Imam Al-Mundhiri and Shaykh Al-Albani]

Commenting on this, Imam Al-Mundhiri, rahimahullah, said:

“Some scholars say that the deeds of a human being end with his death. However, since he had caused these things (which are mentioned in the above Hadiths), such as the earning of a child, disseminating the knowledge among those who take it from him, compiling a book that remains after him, or establishing a sadaqah, the rewards of these things continue to reach him as long as they continue to exist.” [See Awn al-Ma’bud, 8:86]

The reason that one continues to receive rewards for these deeds even though they are done by other people, is that he had initiated them during his life or contributed to them to a certain degree, whether little or large. Since Allah does not neglect an atom’s weight of deeds, He records these contribution for a person even after his death.

Imam Abu al-Wafa Ibn Aqil said:

“The best explanation for this in my view is that a human being, by his efforts and good conduct, had earned friends, produced children, married spouses, done good, and was amiable to the people. Because of this, they invoke mercy for him and do good on his behalf. All of this is then a result of his own earning.” [See Kitab Ar-Ruh, by Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim, page 171]

And Rashid Ridah, rahimahullah, said:

“Among the deeds that benefit a person, even though they are done by others, are those that count like his own because he caused them, such as his children’s supplication for him, or their performing Hajj on his behalf, giving sadaqah on his behalf, or fasting on his behalf – all of which having been established with authentic Hadiths.” [See Tafsir al-Manar 8: 247]

* Charitable Deeds From A Child

* One’s Child Is From His Earning

Respected Brothers and Sisters! The above Hadiths indicate that a righteous child benefits his deceased parents with Du’a. It is further demonstrated here that he can benefit them by spending sadaqah, as well as doing other charitable deeds, on their behalf. Aisha (RA) reported that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“Indeed the best that one eats is that which he earns. And his child is from his earning.” [Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and others. Verified as Sahih by Shaykh Al-Albani in Akhamul- Jana’iz , 217]

The reason for this is that a parent benefits himself by rearing his child according to the teachings of Islam, and exerting a consistent effort to raise him as a righteous person. As the child grows into adulthood and does righteous deeds, his parents deserve a merit in that they helped him accomplish that and his good actions are therefore, at least in part, from his parents’ earning.

* Sadaqah From A Child

Aisha (RA) reported that a man asked Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him):

“My mother had a sudden death, and did not have chance to bequeath anything. Had she been able to do, I think that she would have given sadaqah. Would she or I get any rewards if I give sadaqah on her behalf?” He replied, “Yes! So give sadaqah on her behalf.” [Al-Bukhari, Muslim and others]

Ibn Abbas (RA) reported that Sa’ad Bin Ubadah’s mother died during his absence on a trip. He came to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and asked him:

“O Allah’s Messenger! My mother has passed away during my absence. Would it be of benefit to her if I give sadaqah on her behalf?” He replied: “Yes!” He said: “Be my witness then that I give my fruitful garden as sadaqah on her behalf.”

Abu Hurairah (RA) reported that a man asked the Prophet (Peace be upon him):

“My father has died, leaving behind a wealth; but he did not bequeath anything. Would it help him if I give sadaqah on his behalf?” He (Peace be upon him) replied: “Yes!” [Muslim, Ahmad and others]

Abdullah Ibn Amr (RA) reported that al-As bin Wa’il as-Sahmi (his grandfather) bequeathed that one hundred slaves be freed on his behalf. His son, Hisham, freed fifty; and Amr wanted to free the other fifty, but decided to ask Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) first. He came to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and said: “O Allah’s Messenger! My father has bequeathed that one hundred slaves be freed on his behalf. Hisham has freed fifty and fifty are left. Should I free them for him?” He replied: “Had he been a Muslim, your freeing slaves, giving sadaqah, or performing Hajj on his behalf would all have reached (in rewards) and benefited him.” [Ahmad, Abu Dawud, al-Baihaqi. Verified as Hasan by Shaykh al-Albani, in Ahkamul-Jana’iz, 218]

Commenting on these Hadiths, Imam ash-Shawkani said:

“This indicates that the rewards for a sadaqah from a child reach the parents after their death – even if they had not bequeathed it. These Hadiths restrict the general meaning of Allah’s saying: “And that the human being can have nothing but what he has earned.” [Al-Quran, 53:39] But there is no indication in these Hadiths that the sadaqah except from one’s own child, helps. Since it is established that a person’s child is his own earning, it is not possible to claim that the meaning (of these Hadiths) needs to be restricted. As for the sadaqah from other than one’s child, it is apparent from general Quranic texts that it does not help the deceased. This should then be maintained unless an additional evidence can be brought to restrict it.” [See Nail al-Awtar, 4:97]

* Charitable Deeds From A Non-Child

Some scholars, such as Imam an-Nawawi, hold the opinion that all charitable deeds on behalf of a deceased person can benefit him, whether done by his children or other people. But this is refuted by Imam ash-Shawkani’s strong argument above. Similarly, Shaykh al- Albani says in this regard:

“Some scholars have treated a non-child as a child (in this matter). This analogy is invalid for various reasons:

1. It conflicts with the general Quranic texts that make a person’s good deeds a condition for entering Jannah. There is no doubt that a parent benefits himself by raising his child and nurturing him. Thus unlike other people, he deserves a reward for this.

2. The difference between the two cases inhibits such an analogy. As in Aisha’s Hadith, Allah has made a child part of his parent’s earnings – but not of other people’s earnings. The Sultan of Ulama’, Imam Al-Izz Ibn Abdus-Salam said:

“If one does an act of obedience and dedicates its reward to a living or dead person, the reward will not reach that person. And if he starts an act of worship intending it on behalf of a dead person, it would not be as intended – except for things excluded in Islam such as sadaqah, fasting and Hajj.” [See Al-Fatawah, 24:2]

3. Had this analogy been possible it would have implied that it is recommended to dedicate rewards to the dead. In such a case, the Salaf would have done this, because they surely used to have more concern than us about doing good. But they did not do it. Imam Ibn Taimiyyah said:

“It was not the practice of the Salaf (Pious predecessors), when they performed a voluntary prayer, fasting, Hajj or Quranic recitation, to dedicate the rewards of that to the dead Muslims. Thus, one should not abandon the way of the Salaf, because it is better and more complete.” [See Al-Ikhtiyaratul-Ilmiyah, 54]

Note that Imam Ibn Taimiyyah has another opinion contradicting this one, which was advocated by his student, Imam Ibn al-Qayyim in his book, ar-Ruh. That opinion conflicts with Ibn Taimiyyah’s known position of rejected qiyas in matters of worship; and it was refuted in a strong and sound manner by Rashid Ridah, in Tafsirul-Manar 8: 254-270.

* Claims For Consensus (Ijma’)

It should be noted that there are claims for Ijma’ (consensus) that a dead person benefits from the good deeds, including Quranic recitation done on his behalf by other people. Whereas these claims have been demonstrated to be invalid in the above discussion, they further fall under the following two considerations:

1. It has been demonstrated by staunch scholars, such as Ibn Hazm in Usulul-Ahkam, ash-Shawkwani in Irsadul-Fuhul, and Abdul-Wahhab Khallaf, in Usulul-Fiqh, that it is not possible to justify ijma’ for other than the most obvious matters in Islam. Imam Ahmad has indicated this in his famous refutation against those who claim ijma’.

2. I have investigated many of the cases for which there have been claims of ijma’ and found that there is an obvious difference of opinion concerning them. I (Shaykh al-Albani) even found (in some cases) that the opinion of the majority of scholars is contrary to the claimed ijma’!” [See Ahkamul-Jana’iz, 219]

* A Dangerous Belief

The danger of holding a wrong belief in regard to this issue has been clarified and emphasized by Shaykh Al-Albani:

“We do not doubt this wrong belief’s evil effects upon one who adopts it. He would rely upon others for acquiring rewards and high ranks (in the hereafter), because he knows that the Muslims dedicate hundreds of good deeds everyday to all of the living and the dead Muslims, and he is one of them; that would then relieve him from having to work hard when others are striving on his behalf! … A more dangerous saying is that it is permissible to perform Hajj on behalf of others, even if there is no valid excuse preventing them from performing it by themselves. This causes many of the wealthy people to drop Hajj or other obligations, giving themselves the excuse, ‘They will perform Hajj on my behalf after my death! .. There are many other similar opinions that clearly have evil effects on the (Muslim) societies. It is imperative for the scholars who wish to reform (the societies) to reject such opinions, because they conflict with the texts, as well as the spirit of the Shari’ah. As for the person who rejects the opinions described above, it is inconceivable that he would ever rely on other people in doing deeds and acquiring rewards. He realizes that only his own deeds can save him, and he is rewarded in accordance with what he himself earns. It is then incumbent that he strives at the utmost to leave behind him good traces which will result in good rewards for him even in the loneliness of his grave – instead of those imaginary good deeds.” [See Ahkamul-Jana’iz, 222-223]

* Fulfilling The Deceased’s Vows

* Fasting The Vowed Days

Aisha (RA) reported that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“Whoever dies while he has a fasting to fulfill (as a vow), his wali’ (kin/guardian) should fast for him.” [Agreed upon]

Ibn Abbas (RA) reported that a woman was travelling in the sea, and she vowed that if Allah saved her she would fast for one month. Allah saved her, but she died before fulfilling her vow. Her daughter came to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and mentioned this to him. He asked: “Had she owed money as debt, wouldn’t you have paid it on her behalf?” She replied: “Yes.” He said: “Allah’s debt is more worthy of being fulfilled. So fulfill (the vow) for your mother.” [Agreed upon]

Sa’ad Bin Ubadah reported that he told Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him):

“My mother has died and she had an unfulfilled vow.” He instructed him: “Fulfill it for her.” [Agreed upon]

These Hadiths clearly indicate that it is recommended for a deceased’s wali to fulfill his vows of fasting.

* Fasting The Missed Days Of Ramadan

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Some scholars recommended, in addition to this, fasting the days of Ramadan that the deceased had missed. However, the correct position in this regard is expressed by Imam Ahmad rahimahullah. He said:

“One may not fast for a dead person except in the case of a vow.” [See Al-Masa’il, 96 by Abu Dawud]

This position is confirmed by the understanding of two of the Companions, Aisha and Ibn Abbas. Amrah reported that her mother died without making up her missed days of Ramadan. She asked Aisha (RA):

“Should I make that up on her behalf?” She replied: “No! Rather give sadaqah to the needy in the amount of a half sa’i (of grains or food) for every missed day.” [At-Tahawi, Ibn Hazm. Verified to be Sahih by Shaykh al-Albani in Ahkamul-Jana’iz, 215]

Sa’id Ibn Jubair (RA) reported that Ibn Abbas (RA) said:

“If a man gets sick in Ramadan and then dies without fasting, food should be given on his behalf – without a need to make up for the fasting. But if he had made a vow (to fast), his wali’ should fast for him.” [Abu Dawud, Ibn Hazm. Verified Sahih by al-Albani in Ahkamul-Jana’iz, 215]

Commenting on this, Shaykh Al-Albani says:

“This understanding is adopted by the Mother of the Believers, as well as Ibn Abbas, the great scholar of the Ummah, and is further held by the Imam of Sunnah, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal. It is the most moderate and appropriate opinion in this regard; and it fulfills all of the relevant Hadiths, without rejecting any of them, especially the first, which the Mother of the Believers (RA) did not find applicable to the fasting of Ramadan. She is the reporter of the Hadith, and it is established that a narrator of a Hadith is more knowledgeable about the meaning of what he reports, especially when his understanding agrees with the rules and foundations of the Shari’ah, as is the case here.” [See Ahkamul-Jana’iz, 215-216]

And Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim rahimahullah, comments on Aisha’s above Hadith by saying:

“One group (of scholars) generalizes this and enable other people to follow it clean and pure, as it was revealed, and says that both the vowed and missed obligatory fasting should be made up for the deceased. Another group rejects this and says that no fasting may be made up for him. A third group is more specific in saying that only the vowed fasting, but not the obligatory fasting, should be for his brother, the appointed angel says, Amin; and the same be given to you.'”

* Guarding In Allah’s Way

As has been previously demonstrated standing guard in the way of Allah benefits a person after his death. Fudalah Ibn Ubaid and Uqbah Ibn Amir (RA) reported that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“The deeds of a dead person are sealed (at the time of death) except the one who stands guard in the way of Allah; his good deeds continue to increase until the Day of Resurrection, and he is protected from the trial of the grave.” [Ahmad, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, and others. Verified Sahih by Shaykh Al-Albani in Sahihul-Jami’ no. 4562]

* Reviving The Sunnah Of The Prophet (Peace be upon him)

Calling to a forgotten Sunnah or fighting an established Bid’ah are amongs the most important charitable deeds that a person can do during his lifetime. They help revive Allah’s religion revealed to Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). Jarir Bin Abdullah (RA) reported that they (the Companions) were with Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) in the middle of the day when a group of people arrived (from outside Madinah) to see him. They were barefoot, (almost) naked, wearing only woolen lined cloth pieces or cloaks, armed with swords, wearing no izars or anything else beside that. Most or all of them were from (the tribe of) Mudar. The face of Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) changed (reflecting sadness) when he noticed their extreme poverty. He went in (to his house), then he came out. He commanded Bilal to give Adhan, prayed Zuhr, then mounted a small Minbar. He gave a Khutbah (Sermon) in which he praised and thanked Allah, and then said: “After this, (I say that) Allah has revealed in His book: ‘O people! Revere your lord who has created you from one soul, and created from it its mate, and from these two spread forth multitudes of men and women; and fear Allah through whom you demand your mutual rights, and revere the ties of the wombs. Indeed Allah is ever watchful over you.’ [Al-Quran, 4:1] “And He says: ‘O you who believe! Revere Allah, and let every person look to what he has sent forth for the morrow; and revere Allah. Allah is well Aware of what you do!And be not like those who forget (disobey) Allah, and He caused them to forget themselves. Those are the disobedient. Not equal are the dwellers of the Fire and the dwellers of Jannah. It is the dwellers of Jannah that will be successful.’ [Al-Quran, 59:18-20] “Spend (in Allah’s way) before you are prevented from spending. Let a man spend of his dinars, dirhams, clothes, measure of wheat, barley or dates.” Until he said: “Do not belittle any amount of sadaqah (charity). Safeguard yourselves from the Fire, even with half a date.” Observing the people’s slow response, the Prophet’s face showed signs of anger. But then, one man from the Ansar came with a parcel full (of money) of silver and gold, which he could hardly hold in his palm. He handed it to Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) while he was still on the Minbar, and said: “O Allah’s Messenger! Take this in Allah’s way.” He (Peace be upon him) took it. Abu Bakr, (RA) then stood and gave something. Then Umar (RA) gave something. Then the rest of the Muhajirun and Ansar gave. Thus people followed each other in giving charity. This one would give a dinar, this a dirham, this such and this such – until there were two piles of food and clothes; and the face of Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) lighted up with a reddish-golden colour. So he said: “He who initiates in Islam a good way gets his reward for it, as well as rewards similar to those who follow him into it, without reducing any of their rewards. And he who initiates in Islam an evil way gets his burden for it, as well as burdens similar to those who follow him into it, without reducing any of their burdens.” He (Peace be upon him) then recited: “We record that which they have done, as well as their traces – and We have enumerated everything in a clear book.” [Al-Quran, 36:12] And he (Peace be upon him) divided what was collected among them (the poor people from Mudar).” [Muslim, Ahmad and others. See also Ahkamul-Jana’iz, 224-226]

Respected Brothers and Sisters! From the above discussion, we can conclude that:

1. A person’s deeds are sealed by his death. Nothing that takes place after that can affect his records.

2. The exception to the above rule is that anything, good or bad, that takes place after a person’s death, which he contributed to its occurrence in any manner during his lifetime, will appear in his records in proportion with his contribution to it.

Wallahu ‘Alam

Dear Brothers and Sisters! I ask Allah to assist us in living by the Quran and Sunnah. I pray He lets us recognise the truth for what it is and helps us to follow it, and that He lets us see falsehood for what it is and helps us to avoid it.

O Allah! Guide us and protect us from the causes of ignorance and destruction! Save us from the defects of ourselves! Cause the last of our deeds to be the best and most righteous! And forgive all of us.

Respected Servants of Allah! Anything good I have said in my today’s Sermon is from Allah the Almighty, and any mistakes are my own and we seek refuge in Allah from giving wrong advice and from all forms of calamities and fitnah. And I ask Allah’s forgiveness if I stepped beyond bounds in anything I said or I do.

May Allah be praised; and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon His Messenger Muhammad and upon his family and Companions.

With this, I conclude my Sermon and ask Allah, the Almighty and the Sublime, to forgive all of our sins. So seek his forgiveness, He is all forgiving and Most Merciful.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today Friday, Shawwal 29, 1439 AH (July 13, 2018), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

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Friday Sermon: The Prayer (Salah) Is Enjoined On The Believers At Fixed Hours, By Imam Murtadha Gusau

In The Name Of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

All thanks and praises are due to Allah, we seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil within ourselves and from the consequences of our evil deeds. Whoever Allah guides will never be led astray, and whoever Allah leads astray will never find guidance.

I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, He is alone without any partners, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His Servant and His Messenger.

“O you who believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims in submission to Him.” [Quran, 3:102]

“O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Verily, Allah is Ever-watching over you.” [Quran, 4:1]

“O you who believed, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice. He will then amend for you your deeds and forgive your sins, and whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly attained a great attainment.” [Quran, 33:70-71]

Verily, the most truthful speech is the Book of Allah, the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad, and the worst affairs are newly invented matters (in the religion). Every newly invented matter is a religious innovation, and every religious innovation is misguidance, and every misguidance is in the Hellfire.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Know that Islam gives the highest of stations to the prayer, it has the highest of levels and greatest position after the testimony of faith (the Shahadatain). Ibn Umar (RA) said that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“Islam is built upon five pillars: That Allah alone is to be worshipped and to disbelieve in the worship of others besides Him, to establish the daily prayers, to pay the Zakah, to perform the Hajj and to fast the month of Ramadan.” [Muslim]

And in another narration he said:

“Islam is built upon five pillars: That none has the right to be worshipped besides Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, to establish the daily prayers, to pay the Zakah, to perform the Hajj to the House and to fast the month of Ramadan.” [Muslim]

My Beloved People! The prayer is the first affair that the servant of Allah will be asked about on the Day of Resurrection. Abdullah Ibn Qarat narrated from Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) that he said:

“The first thing that the slave will be accounted for on the Day of Resurrection will be the prayer – if that is sound then the rest of the deeds will be sound, and if that is corrupt then the rest of the deeds shall be likewise corrupt.” [At-Tabarani in Al-Awsat – Al-Albani declared it sahih in As-Sahihah]

Jabir (RA) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“Verily between man and polytheism and unbelief is the abondonment of prayer.” [Muslim]

And the prayer is the barrier between a person and sins, just as Allah said:

“Recite, [O Muhammad], what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing.” [Al-Ankabut:45]

Its importance is such that during the final hours of the life of the Noble Prophet (Peace be upon him) he advised with it. Narrated Ali Ibn Abi Talib that:

“The last words which the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) spoke were: “The prayer, the prayer! And fear Allah about those whom your right hands possess.” [Sunan Abu Dawud – Al-Albani declared it sahih]

So the Salah (Prayer) has a tremendous position in Islam, and due to this station, there are numerous benefits and bounties attached to it:

1. The Prayer is an expiation for mistakes and sins. Allah the Almighty said:

“And establish prayer at the two ends of the day and at the approach of the night. Indeed, good deeds do away with misdeeds. That is a reminder for those who remember.” [Hud: 114]

Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Do you think that if there was a river by the door of any one of you, and he bathed in it five times each day, would there be any trace of dirt left on him?” They said: “No trace of dirt would be left on him.” He said: “That is the likeness of the five daily prayers. By means of them Allah erases sins.” [An-Nasa’i]

2. The prayer is a bright guiding light for the servant of Allah. Abu Malik Al-Ash’ari (RA) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“Purification is half of Iman (faith) and Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah) fills the scale; Subhanallah (Glory be to Allah) and Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah) fill up whatever is between the heavens and the earth; the Prayer (Salah) is a light; charity (sadaqah) is proof (of one’s faith); patience is a brightness; and the Quran is a proof for you or against you. All people go out early in the morning and sell themselves, thereby either setting themselves free or destroying themselves [depending on their deeds].” [Muslim]

3. By a Muslim establishing the Salah, paying the Zakah and fasting Ramadan, he can attain the station of the Siddiqin and the Shuhada. Abu Hurairah (RA) said:

“There were two brothers from Baliy who came to Allah’s Messenger and they had both become Muslims together. One of them was martyred, and the other one lived for another year. Talhah Ibn Ubaidillah (RA) said: I saw Paradise in a dream and I saw that the one who lived longer out of the two entered Paradise before the martyr. I was surprised at that. So when I awoke I mentioned that to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) or it was mentioned to him by another, so he responded: “Why are you surprised at that? Did he not continue to fast after his death, and did he not prayed with six thousand Ruku’us (bowings) and with such-and-such a large number of Sunnah prayers? The difference between them is greater than the difference between heaven and earth.” [Ahmad in Musnad and Ibn Majah]

The prayer itself must be prayed at the times allocated in the Shari’ah not the time we like. Allah, the Most High, said:

“Verily, the prayer is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours.” [An-Nisa’, 4:103]

Imam Al-Bukhari said:

“That the times are prescribed upon them.”

And the fulfilment of the prayers at their prescribed times is from the most beloved acts to Allah. Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud said:

“I asked the Prophet (Peace be upon him): “Which of the deeds are most beloved to Allah?” He replied: “The prayer on its time.” I said: “Then what?” He replied: “Being kind and dutiful to one’s parents.” I said: “Then what?” He replied: “Jihad in the path of Allah.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

There is another amazing narration regarding the condition of people in the Barzakh (life of the grave) after their deaths, and one of the people who is tried in his grave is the one who neglected his prayer. Narrated Samurah bin Jundub that:

“Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) used to often ask his Companions, “Did anyone of you see a dream?” So dreams would be narrated to him by those whom Allah wished to tell. One morning the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “Last night two persons came to me (in a dream) and woke me up and said to me, ‘Proceed!’ I set out with them and we came across a man lying down, and behold, another man was standing over his head, holding a big rock. He was throwing the rock at the man’s head, injuring it. The rock rolled away and the thrower followed it and took it back. By the time he reached the man, his head returned to the normal state. The thrower then did the same as he had done before. I said to my two Companions, ‘Subhanallah! Who are these two persons?’ They said, ‘Proceed!’ So we proceeded and came to a man lying flat on his back and another man standing over his head with an iron hook, and behold, he would put the hook in one side of the man’s mouth and tear off that side of his face to the back (of the neck) and similarly tear his nose from front to back and his eye from front to back. Then he turned to the other side of the man’s face and did just as he had done with the other side. He hardly completed this side when the other side returned to its normal state. Then he returned to it to repeat what he had done before. I said to my two Companions, ‘Subhanallah! Who are these two persons?’ They said to me, ‘Proceed!’ So we proceeded and came across something like a kind of baking oven, [a baking pit clay-lined]. In that oven there was much noise and voices.” The Prophet (Peace be upon him) added, “We looked into it and found naked men and women, and behold, a flame of fire was reaching to them from underneath, and when it reached them, they cried out loudly. I asked them, ‘Who are these?’ They said to me, ‘Proceed!’ And so we proceeded and came across a river, red like blood.” The Prophet (Peace be upon him) added, “And in the river there was a man swimming, and on the bank there was a man who had collected many stones. While the other man was swimming, he went near him. The former opened his mouth and the latter (on the bank) threw a stone into his mouth whereupon he went away swimming. He returned and every time the performance was repeated. I asked my two Companions, ‘Who are these (two) persons?’ They replied, ‘Proceed! Proceed!’ And we proceeded till we came to a man with a repulsive appearance, the most repulsive appearance, you ever saw a man having! Beside him there was a fire and he was kindling it and he was running around it. I asked my Companions, ‘Who is this (man)?’ They said to me, ‘Proceed!Proceed!’ So we proceeded till we reached a garden of deep green dense vegetation, having all sorts of spring colours. In the midst of the garden there was a very tall man and I could hardly see his head because of his great height, and around him there were children in such a large number as I have never seen. I said to my Companions, ‘Who is this?’ They replied, ‘Proceed! Proceed!’ So we proceeded till we came to a majestic huge garden, greater and better than I have ever seen! My two Companions said to me, ‘Go up’ and I went up. So we ascended till we reached a city built of gold and silver bricks and we went to its gate and asked (the gatekeeper) to open the gate, and it was opened and we entered the city and found in it, men with one side of their bodies as handsome as the most handsome person you have ever seen, and the other side as ugly as the ugliest person you have ever seen. My two Companions ordered those men to throw themselves into the river. There was a river flowing across (the city), and its water was like milk in whiteness. Those men went and threw themselves in it and then returned to us after the ugliness (of their bodies) had disappeared and they became the best of forms. My two Companions (Angels) said to me, ‘This place is the Paradise or Garden of Adn (Eden), and that is your place.’ I raised up my sight, and behold, there I saw a palace like a white cloud! My two Companions said to me, ‘That (palace) is your place.’ I said to them, ‘May Allah bless you both! Let me enter it.’ They replied, ‘As for now, you will not enter it, but you shall enter it (one day). I said to them, ‘I have seen many wonders tonight. What does all that mean which I have seen?’ They replied, ‘We will inform you: As for the first man you came upon whose head was being injured with the rock, he was one who studied the Quran and then neither recited it nor acted on its orders, and sleeps, neglecting the prescribed prayers. As for the man you came upon whose sides of mouth, nostrils and eyes were torn off from front to back, he is the man who goes out of his house in the morning and tells so many lies that it spreads all over the world. And those naked men and women whom you saw in a pit resembling an oven (Tannur), they are the fornicators, adulterers and the adulteresses. And the man whom you saw swimming in the river and given a stone to swallow, is the eater of usury (Riba). And the bad looking man whom you saw near the fire kindling it and going round it, is Malik, the gatekeeper of Hell. And the tall man whom you saw in the garden, is Prophet Ibrahim and the children around him are those children who die upon the Fitrah (upon the innate nature of the tawhid of Allah). The narrator added: Some Muslims asked the Prophet, “O Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him)! What about the children of pagans?” The Prophet (Peace be upon him) replied, “And also the children of pagans.” The Prophet (Peace be upon him) added, “My two Companions added, ‘The men you saw half handsome and half ugly were those persons who had mixed an act that was good with another that was bad, but Allah forgave them.’” [Al-Bukhari]

Dear Servants of Allah! Know that, the most difficult of prayers upon the hypocrites who profess faith is the Isha’ and fajr prayers. Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“The most burdensome prayers for the hypocrites are the Isha’ prayer and the Fajr prayer. If only they knew what reward there is in them, they would come to them even if they had to crawl.” [Ibn Majah]

There also occurs in the Hadith of the seven who will be shaded upon the Day when there is no shade except for His shade. Abu Hurairah narrated that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“Allah will give shade to seven, on the Day when there will be no shade but His:

1. A just leader,

2. A youth who has been brought up in the worship of Allah (i.e. worships Allah sincerely from childhood),

3. A man whose heart is attached to the Mosques (i.e. to pray the compulsory prayers in the Mosque in congregation),

4. Two persons who love each other only for Allah’s sake and they meet and part in Allah’s cause only,

5. A man who refuses the call of a charming woman of noble birth for illicit intercourse with her and says: I fear Allah,

6. A man who gives charity so secretly that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given (i.e. nobody knows how much he has given in charity),

7. And a person who remembers Allah in seclusion and his eyes fill with tears.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

A Masjid (Mosque) is from the houses of Allah, so whoever enters a Masjid of Sunnah and Tawhid is a guest of his Lord – and there is not heart better, nor a soul more joyous than the one that is a host of Allah in one of His houses. Abu Darda’ (RA) stated that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“The Masjid (Mosque) is a home for every Allah-fearing, pious and dutiful person (Taqiy). Allah promises the one who makes the Masjid his home to give him ease, tranquility, mercy and permission to cross the Sirat (bridge over hell) to the pleasure of Allah and Paradise.” [At-Tabarani in Al-Kabir – Al-Albani declared it Hasan in his checking of Al-Mundhiri’s At-Targhib wat-Tarhib]

This is the joy and happiness given to the believer who worships his Lord and desires the Masjid of Sunnah and Tawhid, making that his home.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Islam gives tremendous importance to the Prayer (in Arabic: Salah). It has the highest position after the testimony of faith, Shahadatain, which enters a person into Islam.

The Prayer is the first affair that the people will be asked about on the Day of Resurrection.

A person’s Islam depends on his Prayer such that if he abandons the prayer, he loses his grasp on Islam and becomes a non-Muslim.

The Prayer is the barrier between a person and sins, just as Allah the Most High mentioned in His Noble Book (Al-Quran).

Its importance is such that during the final hours of the life of the Noble Prophet (Peace be upon him) he advised with it.

The five daily Prayers have a tremendous position in Islam, therefore, they must not be neglected by a true Muslim.

A Muslim should never underestimate the importance of the Prayers. Each prayer out of the five daily Prayers consists of a fixed number of Raka’ahs (or units) that have a sequence of movements and sayings. So the dawn prayer (Fajr) has two Raka’ahs, the early afternoon prayer (Zuhr) has four, the mid-afternoon prayer (Asr) has four, the after-sunset prayer (Maghrib) has three and the late evening prayer (Isha’) has four. Every Muslim is obligated to know how to perform these prayers and to pray them wherever they are: at work, school, college, home, hospital, countryside, etc. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“The whole of the earth has been made for me as a place of purification and prayer.”

So an adult, sane Muslim has no excuse to miss the prayer.

Respected Brothers and Sisters! I ask Allah to assist us in living by the Quran and Sunnah. I pray that He lets us recognise the truth for what it is and helps us to follow it, and that He lets us see falsehood for what it is and helps us to avoid it.

O Allah! Guide us and protect us from the causes of ignorance and destruction! Save us from the defects of ourselves! Cause the last of our deeds to be the best and most righteous! And forgive all of us.

O Allah! Who saved Prophet Yunus from Fish, Prophet Ibrahim from fire, Prophet Musa from Fir’awn, Prophet Yusuf from well, Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) from Quraish, save us from every difficulties of life, turn all our expectations into reality, because you turn egg into bird, seed into tree, fluid into human, hardship into relief and cloud into rain.

O Allah! Answer our open and secret prayers and prosper the work of our hands, wipe away our open and secret tears and bless us with multiple Grace. Take us to the position we belong, grant our heart desire and bless us. Rebuild our scattered dreams and change our status to victory. Forgive our sins and purify our parents of their sins. Guide our children and heal our sickness. Have mercy on our soul. Defeat our enemies and guide our love ones.

O Allah! Respond to all our Du’as and supplications, grant us Jannatul firdaws, Aameen Ya Rabbal Alamin.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Anything good I have said in my today’s Sermon is from Allah the Almighty, and any mistakes are my own and we seek refuge in Allah from giving wrong advice and from all forms of calamities and fitnah. And I ask Allah’s forgiveness if I stepped beyond bounds in anything I said or I do.

May Allah be praised; and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon His Messenger Muhammad and upon his family and Companions.

With this I conclude my Sermon and ask Allah, the Almighty and the Sublime, to forgive all of our sins. So seek his forgiveness, He is all forgiving and Most Merciful.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today Friday, Shawwal 8, 1439 AH (June 22, 2018), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

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The Islamic Way Of Celebrating Eid, By Imam Gusau

In The Name Of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Eid-ul-Fitr starts as Ramadan ends and is dated the 1st of Shawwal in the Islamic calendar every year. It celebrates the ‘breaking of the fast’, the end of the strict discipline of fasting in the daylight hours. The Eid prayer is held outside, weather permitting, to allow as many people to pray together. Everyone wears their best clothes and many people buy new clothes for the occasion. On the way to the Eid prayer, the people recite aloud Allahu akbar (Allah is Great), Alhamdulillah (all praise if for Allah), La ilaha illallah (there is none worthy of worship except Allah), repeatedly.

After the Prayer which consists of two Raka’ahs, the Imam delivers a Sermon (Khutbah) and reminds the people to obey Allah, to remember Him, to worship Him, to fear Him, to avoid sins, to be kind, brotherly and generous, and to help those in need by giving in charity. Muslims should go away from the Sermon wanting to be better worshippers, obedient to Allah, adhere to the Sunnah, to end suffering and to follow the truth. When the Imam has finished, the people greet each other, often hugging and supplicating for one another. Then they visit their friends and family to share this joyous occasion – they eat and drink together and they share gifts.

Segregation between men and women is a must in Islam, though (unfortunately) not always practiced. Women beat the ‘Duff’ (a simple drum), and sing pleasant songs, young girls enjoy singing the most! There is a great community spirit and no one is left out – the elderly are shown kindness and respect, the young are given toys.

No haram acts are permitted on this lovely day such as flirting with the opposite sex, fornicating, committing adultery, smoking, drinking alcohol, etc. Muslims are expected to give a special payment to charity in the form of food (rice, corn, or wheat, or barley, etc.) in thankfulness to Allah and as expiation for any shortcomings. This payment must be given before the Eid prayer. Visiting the graves of deceased relatives is not from the recommended acts of Eid day that are reported in the Hadith.

Eid-ul-Fitr around the world: The way Eid-ul-Fitr is celebrated varies across the Muslim world, but almost everywhere food plays an important part and special dishes are prepared for the occasion. In Nigeria, government announces two day public holiday (Friday and Monday). In Malaysia, there are three days of public holidays. Their special dishes include rice cooked in coconut leaves or bamboo shoots served with beef. In Iraq, a special breakfast of buffalo cream with honey and bread is eaten, while in Egypt, the festive meal is fish based.

Respected Brothers and Sisters! Anas (RA) said:

“The Prophet (Peace be upon him) came to Madinah and the people of Madinah had in Jahiliyah two days of play and amusement (they are the day of Nairuz (New Years Day) and the day of Maharajan (Final Day of the Year). So, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “I came to you and you had in Jahiliyah two days of play and amusement. Indeed, Allah has replaced them for you by that which is better than them: The day of Nahr (slaughtering) and the day of Fitr (breaking fast).” [Sahih, Imam Ahmad in Musnad and others]

Imam Shaikh Ahmad Abdur-Rahman al-Bana said:

“This is because the two days, the day of Fitr and of Nahr are from the legislation of Allah, the Most High, His choice for His creation and because they succeed the performance of two great pillars of Islam, which are Hajj and Fasting. In them, Allah forgives the pilgrims and those who fast, and spreads His Mercy over all His obedient creation. As for the days of Nairuz and Maharajan, then they were chosen by the wise men of that era, either because of the mildness of the climate and season or because of other transitory virtues. Thus, the difference between them is clear for those who contemplate.” [See Fat-hur-Rabbani, vol. 6, page 119]

Eid (plural ‘Ayad’) is any day of gathering. It is derived from ‘ada’ (meaning returned), because people return to it periodically.

Ibnul Arabi says:

“It is called Eid because it returns every year with renewed happiness. Some scholars say it is derived from ‘adah’ (custom or practice) because people are accustomed to celebrating it.

Ibn Abidin said:

“The Eid days are thus named because Allah renews His Bounties in them; and He distributes His blessings to His servants. From these are Fitr (eating), after food had been prohibited and Sadaqatul Fitr (the charity of breaking the fast) to the needy. And on Eid-ul-Adha, the completion of Hajj with the final Tawaf of visiting; the meat from sacrifices and many other acts. Also because the custom in Eid is joy, happiness, cheerfulness and gladness.” [See Hashiyah of Ibn Abidin, vol. 2 page 165]

– Recommended Acts on Eid:

Eid is a purely religious occasion, since it is granted by Allah through the revelation and when Allah grants something, he grants it complete and perfect. Thus, He granted us Eid and instructions to celebrate it.

1. Ghusl (Bathing):

It is recommended to take bath on the morning of Eid. Nafi’ reports:

“Abdullah bin Umar (RA) used to bathe on the day of Fitr before setting out to the Musallah (Eid Praying Ground).” [Sahih, Reported by Malik and Shafi’i]

2. Adornment And Beautifying Oneself For Eid:

Ibn Umar (RA) said:

“Umar (RA) bought a silk outer-garment that was being sold in the market. He came to the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) and said: “Take this garment, to adorn (yourself) with on Eid and for meeting delegations with. Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) replied: “Indeed, this is the garment of the one who has no share of the Hereafter.” Umar remained as long as Allah willed him to remain and then left. Then, the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) sent to him the silk garment. So Umar came with it to the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) and said: “O Messenger of Allah! You said indeed this is the garment of the one who has no share of the Hereafter but you sent this garment to me!” So the Messenger of Allah said: “Sell it and fulfill your needs with its profit.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim and others]

Imam Hafiz Ibn Hajar (Rahimahullah) said:

“The evidence derived from this Hadith is that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) approved Umar on the basic principle of beautifying oneself for Eid and restricted him to wear garment made of silk.” [See Fat-hul-Bari vol. 2 page 234]

From beautifying oneself on Eid is wearing Kohl (Kwalli), perfumes and oil, wearing turban, caps etc. It is also recommended to wear best clothes on Eid.

3. Eating some dates on the morning of Eid:

Narrated Anas Ibn Malik (RA):

“The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) would not leave (his house) on the day of Fitr until he ate some dates.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari and others]

Imam Al-Muhallab said:

“The wisdom in eating before the prayer is to avoid the assumption that one must continue to fast until the Eid prayer is over.” [See Fat-hul Bari, vol. 2, page 447]

4. Proceeding to the Musallah (Eid Praying Ground):

The Sunnah is to hold the Eid prayer in the open. The outdoor place is known as the Musallah. Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri (RA) said:

“The Prophet (Peace be upon him) on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha would go to the Musallah and the first thing that he would begin with is the prayer.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim and an-Nasa’i]

The renowned Islamic scholar Ibn Hajj Al-Maliki said:

“The Sunnah with regards to the Eid Prayer is to perform it at the Musallah. This is because the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said: “Prayer in my Masjid is a thousand times better than a Prayer anywhere else except the Masjid al-Haram.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim]

Despite this great excellence in his Masjid, he (Peace be upon him) went out (to the Musallah) and left his Masjid.” [See Al-Madhkal vol. 2, page 283]

He, who is unable to proceed to the Musallah, due to illness or old age or due to the rain, can pray in the Mosque and there is no blame on him, In Shaa Allah. [Refer to Al-Mughni, vol. 2, page 230]

5. Going to and returning from the Musallah:

Jabir Ibn Abdullah (RA) said:

“When it was the day of Eid, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) would alter his routes (of returning).” [Sahih Al-Bukhari]

Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah said:

“The Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to change his route on the days of Eid, such that he went by one route and returned by another. It is said (he did this) to give salams upon the people of both routes. Or so that both groups get some of his blessings. Or so that anybody who has a need can take care of it. Or to make manifest the ruling of Islam… and this is the most correct opinion for all these reasons and for other reasons of wisdom which his actions contain.” [See Zad Al-Ma’ad Fi Hadyi Khairil Ibaad, vol. 1, page 449]

Imam An-Nawawi after mentioning the previous sayings writes:

“Even if the reason is not known, it is still definitely preferred to make it a ruling guideline to be followed and Allah knows best.” [See Rawdatul Talibin, vol. 2, page 77]

6. The goal of offering the prayer in the Musallah is to gather the majority of Muslims in one place. However, we see that people in many  countries today have established many Musallahs, even without the need for them, in order to disunite the Ummah. The Islamic scholars and Muslim leaders have warned people against such a thing. [See Nihayatul Muhtaj, by Imam Ar-Ramli, vol. 2, page 375]

And wallahi these numerous Musallahs have turned into podiums set up to declare loyalty to different political parties and divide the word of Muslims. Indeed, there is no Might or Power except with Allah!

7. Going To The Eid Early:

Imam Al-Baghawi said in Sharhus Sunnah, vol. 4, page 302 – 303:

“It is preferred that the people leave for the Musallah after praying the dawn prayer (Fajr), so that they can take their places and make Takbir. While the Imam proceeds when it is time for the prayer.”

8. Walking to the Musallah:

It is recommended to walk to the Musallah, if it is at a short distance. Ali Ibn Abi Talib (RA) said:

“From the Sunnah is to proceed to the Eid (Musallah) by foot.” [At-Tirmidhi]

9. Making Takbir:

Allah the Almighty says:

“… You must exclaim Allah’s greatness for having guided you, so that you may be grateful.” [Quran, 2:185]

Takbir is a distinctive feature of Muslim Eid celebration. It starts from the time one leaves his house heading towards the Musallah. It is established that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) would emerge on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr and say the Takbir until he reached the Musallah and until he had performed the prayer. So, when he had performed the prayer, he stopped saying the Takbir. [See Silsilah Ahadith As-Sahihah by Shaikh Al Albani]

Shaikh Al Albani (Rahimahullah) said:

“This Hadith contains evidence concerning legality of the common practice of Muslim of saying the Takbir aloud on route to Musallah. Even though many people are now neglecting this Sunnah so much so that it is almost totally forgotten! It would be useful at this point to remind that saying the Takbir in unison (in groups), is not permissible. This applies as well to any other form of Zikr (Remembrance of Allah), whether it is supposed to be said loudly or secretly. Let this be a warning for us, and let us keep in our minds that the best guidance is of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).” [See As Sahihah, vol. 1, page 121]

– The wisdom in Takbir:

Muslims are instructed to proclaim the Takbir frequently, especially in situations, which might imply feelings of arrogance in the heart. For example; when a person slaughters an animal, he may feel arrogant because he has the power to kill, but when he says: ‘Allah is the Greatest’, he remembers his true position, and that no matter how great and mighty he thinks himself, Allah is Greater and Mightier, and He is the One Who provided him with the animal and gave him the strength to slaughter it. Similarly, throwing stones in Mina is an act of power and aggression. But when the pilgrims say: ‘Allahu Akbar’, they remembers Allah’s Power and Might.

In their travels, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and his Companions used to say, ‘Allahu Akbar’ when they ascended a hill. Rising to a high place is another act that may cause arrogance in the heart. By applying this Sunnah, one controls himself and remembers that Allah is Greater and Higher.

Likewise, celebrations are occasions of rejoice and happiness. People tend then to be arrogant. But when they remember Allah’s greatness so very frequently, they retain their position of submission and servitude before Him.

Furthermore, saying the Takbir loudly and frequently makes people remember that the Eid is a gift granted by Allah, He is greater than worries and fears, which could mar the Eid spirit; He is the One who guides them, and who is capable of protecting them, removing their worries, and accepting their acts of worship that precedes the Eid.

– The Words of Takbir:

No authentic saying (Hadith) of Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) is found describing the exact words of the Takbir. However, the following have been reported from the Sahabah (Companions RA):

1. Ibn Mas’ud (RA):

“Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La ilaha illallah, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar wa lillahil-Hamd.” [Sahih, Irwa al-Ghalil no. 650, Daraqutni and Ibn Abi Shaibah]

Meaning: “Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, There is none worthy of worship except Allah. Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest and to Allah belongs all praises.”

2. Ibn Abbas (RA):

“Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar wa lillahil-Hamd; Allahu Akbar wa ajal, Allahu akbar ala ma hadana.” [Sahih, Baihaqi]

Meaning:

“Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest and to Allah belongs all praises. Allah is the Greatest to that which He has guided us to.”

3. Salman (RA):

“Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar kabira.” [Sahih, Baihaqi]

Meaning:

“Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest.”

Many people have differed from the pious predecessors (Salaf) in this Zikr, adding innovations and pronouncing the Takbir in unison which have no basis.

Imam Ibn Hajar (Rahimahullah) said:

“Some additions to the Takbir have been innovated in these times for which there is no basis.”

– Eid Greetings:

It is permissible for Muslims to greet each other on the day of Eid with specific greetings, which have been reported from the Sahabah (RA). Responding to a question in this regard, Imam Ibn Taimiyyah (Rahimahullah) said:

“As for the greetings on the day of Eid, then it is by saying to one another when meeting after the prayer: “’Taqabbalallahu minna wa minkum wa Ahalallahu ‘alaika’ [See Majmu al-Fatawa, vol. 24, page 253]

Meaning:

“May Allah accept it from you and us and may Allah make it return to you, and other things of this nature.”

Imam Hafiz Ibn Hajar said:

“We have related in ‘Mahamiliyat’ with a chain of narration, which is hasan, from Jubair bin Nufair, who said: “The Companions of Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) when they met on the day of Eid, would say to each other: ‘Taqabbalallahu minna wa minkum’ “May Allah accept it from you and us.” [See Fat-hul-Bari, vol. 2, page 446]

This is the greeting with which the Sahabah (RA) used to greet each other with. Therefore, greeting one another in this manner is a part of the religion and thus one will be rewarded for it by Allah.

– Rulings Concerning The Two Eids:

Imam Ibn Taimiyyah said that it is mandatory for every Muslim to attend Eid prayer. Imam Al-Shafi’i said that Eid prayer is mandatory on whomever Jumu’ah prayer is mandatory. Indeed, the Companions narrated that:

“The Prophet (Peace be upon him) ordered them to go out to the Musallah (Eid Praying Ground) when the Eid day starts.” [Related by Al-Tahawi, Al-Baihaqi, and others]

– There Is No Adhan, Nor Iqamah, Nor Saying “Al-Salatu Jami’ah” Before Eid:

Jabir Ibn Samurah (RA) said:

“I prayed (Eid Prayers) with the Prophet (Peace be upon him) more than once without there being Adhan or Iqamah.” [Related by Muslim]

– The Time Of The Prayer:

Imam Ibn Qudamah said:

“It is Sunnah to pray early on Eid-ul-Adha to allow some time for the Sacrifice, and to pray late on Eid-ul-Fitr to have time to give Zakatul-Fitr. To my knowledge, there is no disagreement among scholars on this issue.”

– Eid Prayers Is Not Preceded Or Followed By Sunnah/Nafilah Prayer:

There is no Sunnah (desirable) Prayer before or after Eid Prayer. Ibn Abbas (RA) said:

“On the day of Eid-ul-Fitr, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) went out and offered a two Raka’at Prayer and did not offer any other Prayer before or after it….” [Related by Al-Bukhari and others]

– Women And Children Are Allowed To Attend The Eid Prayer:

Ummu Atiyyah (RA) said:

“Our Prophet (Peace be upon him) ordered us to come out (on Eid day) with mature girls and the virgins to attend the gathering of the Muslims but the menstruating women (even though they came out) had to keep away from the Musallah.” [Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

– The Manner Of Performing Eid Prayer:

1. The Takbir:

Aisha (RA) said:

“When performing Eid Prayers of Al-Fitr and Al-Adha, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to make Takbir (i.e., say Allahu Akbar) seven times in the first Raka’ah and five times in the second one.” [Related by Abu Dawud and Al-Hakim]

2. What to say between Takbir:

Ibn Mas’ud (RA) said:

“Praising Allah, Subhanahu wa ta’ala, and thanking Him of what is due to Him (e.g., saying Alhamdulillah wa Subhanallah) could be said between each two Takbirat (i.e., between each two “Allahu Akbars”).

3. When to raise the hands:

Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim, in his book Zad Al-Ma’ad, said:

“Ibn Umar (RA), who never performed any action (of worship) until he verified its authenticity (Sunnah), used to raise his hands at every Takbirah.”

– What To Read In Eid Prayer:

“The Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to read in Eid Prayer Surah Al-A’la (Surah 87) in the first Raka’ah and Surah Al-Ghashiyah (Surah 88) in the second Raka’ah.” [Related by Ahmad]

He (Peace be upon him), also urged to read Surah Al-Qamar (Surah 54) and Surah Qaf (Surah 50). [Related by Muslim]

– Khutbah (Sermon) Is After The Eid Prayer:

Ibn Abbas (RA) said:

“I offered the Eid prayer with the Prophet (Peace be upon him), Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman (RA), and all of them offered prayer before delivering the Khutbah.” [Related by Al-Bukhari]

– The Way Of Giving The Eid Khutbah (Sermon):

Upon finishing the prayer, the Imam should stand up and give Khutbah.

– Encouraging People To Give Sadaqah:

Ibn Abbas (RA) said:

“I (in my boyhood) went out with the Prophet (Peace be upon him) on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr or Eid-ul-Adha; the Prophet (Peace be upon him) prayed and then went towards the women, preached and advised them and ordered them to give alms.” [Related by Al-Bukhari]

– Songs And Amusements Permitted On Eid Days:

Aisha (RA) said:

“On the days of Mina (11th, 12th, and 13th of Dhul-Hijjah), Abu Bakr (RA) came to me while two young girls were beating the tambourine and the Prophet (Peace be upon him) was lying covered with his clothes. When Abu Bakr (RA) scolded them, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) uncovered his face and said to him, “Leave them, for these days are the days of Eid and the days of Mina.” [Related by Al-Bukhari]

One should note, however, that the kind of instrument permitted is (tambourine or Duff) since other instruments are prohibited.

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our Noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true followers.

Wassalamu Alaikum, Eidukum Mubarak, wa taqabbalallahu minna wa minkum.

Your Brother:

Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, from Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. The Imam can be reached via: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

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Zakatul-Fitr/Sadaqatul-Fitr: The Purifying Charity Of Breaking The Ramadan Fast, By Imam Gusau

In The Name Of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! The scope of worship in Islam is universal, in the literal sense. For the Quran tells us that each and every constituent of creation near or far, seen or unseen, animate or inanimate – worships The True and Only Allah.

“Indeed, every being in the heavens and the earth but comes to the All-Merciful as a worshipper.” [Quran, 19: 93]

It is only human beings, then, that are called upon to voluntarily join in the wonderful symphony of worshipful creation.

Islam’s five pillars are the cornerstones upon which we build such an outstanding and worshipful life. But no such establishment of a dignified life of faith on earth, either personally or socially, can take place without one essential pillar that represents the intersection of our professed convictions and our practical lives. Zakah is that pillar, for it is the primary instrument that Allah has placed at our disposal to spiritually and socially uplift every Muslim and the entirety of our Ummah and thereby to assert a benevolent hand for the Commonwealth of humanity. Among Zakah’s most blessed manifestations – and certainly its most widespread – is the obligatory annual giving of the Zakatul-Fitr charity, before the solemnizing of Ramadan by Eid prayer.

Respected Servants of Allah! The Arabic word ‘Zakah’ means ‘purity,’ ‘cleansing,’ ‘wholesomeness,’ and ‘integrity’ (in both their physical and moral senses). It means, also, ‘growth’ or ‘increase.’ Understanding these linguistic meanings helps our proper appreciation of what Zakah is as a financial, or fiduciary rite mandated by Allah. For, indeed, each of these senses finds its native expression in Zakah’s correct function in our lives and in our local communities and societies. It is known also by the term Sadaqatul-Fitr, or the Sincere, or Righteous Charity of Fast Breaking, because it testifies to one’s sincerity to Allah and his or her righteousness in seeking to comply with Allah’s legislation, or Sanctioned Laws and legislations.

Zakah’s primary goal is not that of simple “charity.” Allah has instituted other mechanisms for this purpose. Rather, Zakah is much farther seeing and reaching. Its objective is to secure the psycho-spiritual well-being of every single Muslim as an individual servant of Allah, and to safeguard the socio-moral welfare of the entire Muslim nation.

The reason that the objectives of Zakah are so profound and sweeping is that its principle is so universally sound and materially decisive. Zakah is the incumbent giving of wealth, in all its material manifestations, from all those who have it (and this is its comprehensive aspect) to all those whose need gives them a right to a minimally dignifying sum from it — and this is its deeper significance. For it means that Allah has chosen to invest the wealth of some of us, for lawful increase, with others among us as a trust that must be conveyed to its rightful beneficiaries, if our own holdings are to remain pure and our societies are to have integrity.

What is, indeed, so profound about this is that it underscores to humanity that all of its wealth, in fact, is disbursed to it on loan from Allah, who, as the Creator, is the sole Owner of life and all that the living possess. Allah has revealed this pillar of faith to every believing community in history. But He has expanded it into an inclusive, highly systematized institution enjoined upon all who would follow Islam.

– The Sum Of Zakatul Fitr

Originally, the stated amount of Zakatul-Fitr was a Sa’i of dates, or barley, or wheat. A Sa’i was a “goblet,” or drinking utensil, at the time of the Prophet. There have been periodic inquiries by Muslim scholars (like the well-known investigation by Abu Yusuf, the great Hanafi scholar) to determine updated weight-and-measure equivalents to that of the of Sa’i at the time of the Prophet. There is some minimal discrepancy, or difference, in determining this weight based upon the conversion of quantities of varying items (dates and wheat, for example) into a unified measure. Thus a Sa’i is now estimated to be equal to anywhere from 2.176 to 2.25 kilograms, or just under 5 lbs.

There is, however, an opinion in the Hanafi school of jurisprudence with regard to determining the correct amount of Zakatul-Fitr that specifies a half a Sa’i of harvested wheat grain or its flour, but one full Sa’i for items such as barley, dates, and raisins. However, this was based on the availability, or scarcity, of these items at the time this opinion emerged. Hence, the price of the staple items by which Zakatul-Fitr is determined must be reconsidered in contemporary circumstances to the advantage of the Zakat-Fitr recipients.

The classical Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali positions on the type of Zakatul-Fitr offering discusses payment only in terms of weights and measures of provisions, or foodstuffs. It is the Hanafi opinion, however, that holds sway in this matter, which states that Muslims may give the price of Zakatul-Fitr, originally determined for grains and dates, in contemporary currency equivalents. They argue this position on the basis of a higher good or more practicable benefit, saying that money enables the needy person to buy what he or she deems to be most desirable or necessary on the day of Eid. They point out that a person may, for example, not be in need of a provision of corn, or the like, but rather in want of clothing, or meat, etc.

– Who is liable for the Zakat al-Fitr Payment

Dear Servants of Allah! As I have noted previously, every Muslim is liable for the payment of Zakatu-Fitr, provided food exists for one, and one’s dependents, for Eid eve and the following day. Knowing now what a Sa’i is, in terms of its contemporary weight equivalents, we can be more exact in defining who is liable to make the Zakatul-Fitr payment. Every Muslim, whether rich or poor, who possesses (or has stored on his behalf) grains, or similar foodstuffs – or the monetary means of achieving the like of this – sufficient for one’s sustenance, and that of one’s dependents for a full night and day, must give Zakatul-Fitr.

This sum is due not per household, but per person. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Give Zakatul-Fitr on behalf of [all your] dependents.” [Al-Baihaqi]

For he indicated that Zakatul-Fitr would purify the wealth of the rich and be the cause of Allah giving more to the poor than what they have given. Thus whoever meets the feeding requirements for his or her family must pay the Zakatul-Fitr payment for each and every household member.

The Shafi’i and the Hanbali schools of jurisprudence state that a Muslim should give the Zakatul-Fitr payment on behalf of him – or herself and on behalf of every single person under his or her care—including one’s wife; children (even if they are older but still dependent, or ineligible to make the payment according to Zakatul-Fitr requirements); parents (if they are poor or dependent); and any others who are established dependents of the household (such as foster children, orphans, and the like).

– When Is The Payment Due

Imams Ash-Shafi’i and Ahmad state that the Zakatul- Fitr payment becomes obligatory after sunset on Eid’s eve, or the last day of fasting, because this is the end of Ramadan. Abu Hanifah (and also Ash-Shafi’i in an earlier opinion of his) held that the sum of Zakatul-Fitr becomes obligatory at the dawn of Eid day because it is reported that the Prophet commanded his Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, to pay Zakatul-Fitr before going out to perform the prayer of Eid. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Therefore, if one has a newborn before the dawn of Eid, or one dies after the sunset of the final day of fasting, his or her Zakatul-Fitr must be paid, according to Imam Abu Hanifah.

Also, according to him (Imam Abu Hanifah) it is possible to pay Zakatul-Fitr in Ramadan in advance of Zakatul-Fitr, or even just prior to the commencement of Ramadan. Imam Ash-Shafi’i however, holds that Zakatul-Fitr can be given on the first day of fasting Ramadan. Imams Malik and Ahmad state that its payment becomes obligatory after the sunset of the last day of Ramadan, but can be paid one or two days earlier.

– Where Should Zakatul-Fitr Be Paid?

In general, the best place for the collection and distribution of one’s Zakah and charity — and this includes Zakatul-Fitr — is one’s locality or community, be it in one’s city, state, or country. This is strongly implied in the statement of the Prophet in sending the famed Companion Mu’az Ibn Jabal, may Allah be pleased with him, to teach the people of Yemen. He said to him:

“Inform them that Allah has made the paying of Zakah obligatory on them. Take it from their rich and give it to their poor.”

There are provisions for transferring Zakah resources to other communities among Muslims; however, special guidelines for doing so have been established by Muslim scholars in accordance with Islamic legislation, to which the institutions responsible for the collection and distribution of Zakah among Muslims are to adhere.

– Zakatul-Fitr A Favorable Sign For Our Community

The re-emergence of Muslim concern for the paying and collection of all Zakah resources and charities — especially Zakatul-Fitr — is an auspicious sign, indeed, for the Muslim community. Zakah has increasingly taken a central place in contemporary Muslim discourse, as its dynamic (almost miraculous) possibilities are again being realized by Muslims. At least seven conferences on this topic have taken place in Kuwait (and others in Pakistan, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt) in recent decades. Their focuses have been diverse. A good summary of their scholarly recommendations concerning Zakatul-Fitr, however, is represented in the Sixth International Conference on Contemporary Zakah Issues held in Kuwait in 1997. They are summed up herein to augment this look at one of the most blessed and pleasing expressions of our worship, to which Allah alone has guided us. And all goodness and truth is from Him alone.

– Summary of the Recommendations of the Sixth International Conference on Contemporary Zakah Issues (Kuwait, 1997):

1. Zakatul-Fitr is obligatory upon every Muslim who has the food or provision to sustain himself, and those whom he is obligated to support, on the eve and the day of Eid, provided that this exceeds his basic needs.

2. A man is obliged to pay Zakatul-Fitr for his wife and minor children who have no money of their own. In the case of one who has independent children, one is not obliged for their payment.

3. What is obligatory is the giving of a Sa’i (four handfuls or four mudun Nabi) of dates, barley, raisins, or other such grain, equal to approximately 2.25 kilograms of wheat. Originally, the giving of Zakatul-Fitr was limited to the kinds of food that had been stated in the relevant statement of the Prophet (Peace be upon him). However, jurists (Fuqaha) have established (through proper methods) that it may be given out of other commonly consumed foods, such as rice, millet, corn, guinea corn, garri, meat, milk and so forth, but should be valued in accordance with the items specified by the Prophet. Moreover, it is permissible to give Zakatul-Fitr in currency by paying the equivalent value of what is obligated.Those Muslim Institutions entrusted with its collection and distribution are required to assess the value of the originally specified items in their areas, and to disseminate that information in their communities, accordingly.

4. Zakatul-Fitr must be given before the prayer of Eid. It is forbidden to delay it until after the Eid day. If one, for any reason accepted by Shari’ah, is prevented from giving it at that particular time, one must pay it after that time passes. If there is a need, Zakatul-Fitr may be given at any time from the beginning of the month of Ramadan that is, its first day — until the end of the specified time [of Eid day].

5. It is permissible for one to delegate another to give Zakatul-Fitr on one’s behalf.

6. It is permissible for the institutions that collect Zakatul-Fitr to exchange it from goods to currency, and vice versa, based on the general interest of the community.

7. It is permissible, in special cases, to transfer Zakatul-Fitr collections from the people or locality in which it was collected to nearby communities in more need. And it is equally permissible to spend Zakatul-Fitr in another community, if the giving community has no one in need of it.

8. One must have a clear intention before giving one’s Zakatul-Fitr. If one delegates, or gives permission, to another to give Zakatul-Fitr on his behalf, it is considered an explicit intention.

9. If the community decides, after due process of consultation among its leadership and scholars, to delay the spending of what it has collected from Zakatul-Fitr payments until after the day of Eid, then this may be done, provided that it serves a clear benefit for the community.

10. The Zakatul-Fitr payment should be dedicated to the poor and the needy. In some cases, however, it can be given to eligible recipients of Zakah of wealth; namely those stated by Allah in the following Quranic verse:

“For the poor and the needy, and for those who work [to administer it], and for those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and for freeing captives (or slaves), and for those in debt, and for the cause of Allah, and for the wayfarer…” [Quran, 9:60]

Wallahu ‘Alam.

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our Noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true followers.

Ma’assalam,

Your Brother:

Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, from Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. The Imam can be reached via: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

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The Last Ten Days Of Ramadan, By Imam Gusau

In The Name Of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

Dear Brothers and Sisters! The Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to strive hard (in worship) during the last ten days of Ramadan in a way that he did not strive at any other times. [Muslim from Aisha]

Among the things he did were secluding himself in I’tikaf and seeking Lailatul Qadr during this time. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

In Sahihain it is reported from the Hadith of Aisha that when the last ten days of Ramadan came, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) would stay up at night, wake his family and gird his loins. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Muslim added: he strove hard and girded his loins.

Her phrase “girded his loins” is a metaphor for his preparing himself to worship and strive hard in worship, more than usual. It has the meaning of “rolling up one’s sleeves” to worship (i.e. getting ready to make a great deal of effort).

It was also said that it was a metaphor for keeping away from women and abstaining from sexual relations.

The phrase “stay up at night” means that he would stay awake, spending the night in prayer, etc.

It was reported in another Hadith that Aisha said:

“I never saw the Prophet (Peace be upon him) recite the entire Quran in one night, or spend a whole night in prayer until the morning, or fast an entire month, except in Ramadan.” [Sunan al-Nasa’i]

The words “stay up at night” may mean that he spent most of the night in worship, or that he did not stay up for the entire night, but he did that at the times of Isha’ and Suhur, and other times, in which case it would mean that he stayed up for most of the night.

The phrase “and wake his family” means that he would wake his wives to pray Qiyam al-Lail. It is known that he (Peace be upon him) used to wake his wives all year round, but he used to wake them to spend part of the night in Qiyam. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) woke up one night and said:

“Subhanallah! What tribulations have come down tonight! What treasure has come down tonight! Who will wake up the dwellers of the apartments? There may be women who are clothed in this world and naked in the Hereafter.” [Al-Bukhari]

It was also reported that he (Peace be upon him) used to wake Aisha when he wanted to pray Witr. [Al-Bukhari]

But when he woke his wives during the last ten nights of Ramadan, this was more persistent than at other times of the year.

The fact that he (Peace be upon him) did this indicates the importance he attached to worshipping his Lord and making the most of this special time.

The Muslim should follow the example of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) for he is the best example, and he should strive hard in worshipping Allah. He should not waste the hours of these days and nights. For we do not know, perhaps this time will never come again, for the spoiler of pleasures, i.e., death, which must come to all men, may come and snatch him and his life will end; then he will feel regret at the time when regret will be of no avail.

Among the unique virtues of these special nights is that Lailatul-Qadr is among them. Allah says:

“Ha-Mim. [These letters are one of the miracles of the Quran and none but Allah (Alone) knows their meanings.] By the manifest Book (this Quran) that makes things clear. We sent it (this Quran) down on a blessed night [(i.e. the Night of Al-Qadr) in the month of Ramadan]. Verily, We are ever warning [mankind that Our Torment will reach those who disbelieve in Our Oneness of Lordship and in Our Oneness of worship]. Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments. As a Command (or this Quran or the Decree of every matter) from Us. Verily, We are ever sending (the Messengers). (As) a mercy from your Lord. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” [Quran 44:1-6]

Allah sent down the Quran on this night which the Lord of the Worlds has described as blessed. It was reported from a group of the Companions of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) including Ibn Abbas, Qatadah, Sa’id Ibn Jubair, Ikrimah, Mujahid and others – that the night on which the Quran was sent down was Lailatul-Qadr.

The phrase Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments means, on that night the destiny of all creatures for the coming year is decreed. On that night it is written who will live, who will die, who will be saved, who will be doomed, who will be destined for Paradise, who will be destined for Hell, who will be granted honour, who will be humiliated, where drought and famine will occur, and everything else that Allah wills in that year.

What is meant by the idea that the destiny of all creatures is written on Lailatul Qadr is that on Lailatul Qadr they are transferred from al-Lawh al-Mahfuz. Ibn Abbas said: “You may see a man furnishing his home or plowing his field, and he is one of those who are going to die,” i.e., it has been decreed on Lailatul Qadr that he is one of those who are going to die (in the coming year). And it was said that on this night, the destiny of people is shown to the angels.

The meaning of “Qadr” is veneration or honour, i.e. it is a night that is venerated because of its special characteristics, and because the one who stays up during this night becomes a man of honour. And it was said that Qadr means constriction, in the sense that the knowledge of precisely when this night is, is hidden. Al-Khalil Ibn Ahmad said: it was called Lailatul Qadr because the earth is constricted by the great numbers of angels on that night, and Qadr means constriction. Allah says: “But when He tries him, by straitening his means of life [fa qadara alaihi rizqahu].” [Quran 89:16] , i.e., by constricting or reducing his provision.

And it was said that Qadr means Qadar, i.e., that on this night the decrees for the coming year are ordained, as Allah says:

“Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments” [Quran 44:4]

And because Allah’s decrees are decided and written down on this night.

So Allah has called it Lailatul Qadr, because of its great value and high status with Allah, and because so many sins are forgiven and so many faults are concealed during this night. For it is the night of forgiveness, as it was reported in Sahihain from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Whoever stays up during Lailatul Qadr out of faith and in the hope of earning reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim

Allah has given this night special characteristics which make it unique:

1. It is the night on which the Quran was sent down, as I have stated above. Ibn Abbas and others said:

“Allah sent down the Quran at one time from al-Lawh al-Mahfuz to Baitul-Izzah in the first heaven, then it was revealed to the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) in stages according to events over twenty-three years.” [See Tafsir Ibn Kathir]

2. Allah described it as being better than a thousand months, as He the Almighty said:

“The night of al-Qadr is better than a thousand months” [Quran 97:3]

3. Allah described it as being blessed, as He the Most High said:

“We sent it (this Quran) down on a blessed night” [Quran 44:3]

“On this night, the angels and the Spirit [al-Ruh] descend, “i.e., many angels descend of this night because it is so blessed, and the angels come down when Allah’s blessing and mercy come down, just as they come down when Quran is recited, and they surround the circles of Zikr (gatherings where Allah is remembered), and they beat their wings for the one who sincerely seeks knowledge, out of respect for him.” [See Tafsir Ibn Kathir]

The Spirit [al-Ruh] is Jibril who is specifically mentioned in this manner as a sign of respect for him.

4. This night is described as peace, i.e., it is safe, for the Shaitan (Satan) cannot do any evil or cause any harm on this night, as Mujahid said. [See Tafsir Ibn Kathir]

5. On this night, many people are saved from punishment because of what they do to worship Allah, may He be glorified.

6. “Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments” [al-Dukhan 44:4] , i.e., the affairs of that year are dispatched from al-Lawh al-Mahfuz to the angels who record the decrees: who will live, who will die, what provision people will be given, what will happen until the end of that year, every matter of ordainments is decreed, and it cannot be altered or changed. [See Tafsir Ibn Kathir]

All of this is already known to Allah before it is even written down, but He makes known to the angels what is to happen, and commands them to do whatever they are enjoined to do. [See Sharh Sahih Muslim of Imam an-Nawawi]

7. Allah forgives the previous sins of the one who stays up and prays during this night out of faith and in hope of earning the reward from Him. It was reported in the Hadith of Abu Hurairah that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Whoever fasts the month of Ramadan out of faith and in the hope of earning reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven, and whoever stays up during Lailatul Qadr out of faith and in the hope of earning reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Agreed upon]

The phrase “out of faith and in the hope of earning reward” means, believing in Allah’s promise of reward for this, and seeking the reward, with no other aim or purpose, such as showing off etc.” [See Fath al-Bari]

8. Allah has revealed a surah (chapter) concerning this night which will be recited until the Day of Resurrection, in which He mentions the honour and great value of this night. This is the surah in which He the Most High says:

“Verily, We have sent it (this Quran) down in the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree). And what will make you know what the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is? The Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months). Therein descend the angels and the Ruh [Jibril] by Allah’s Permission with all Decrees. (All that night), there is peace (and goodness from Allah to His believing servants) until the appearance of dawn.” [Quran 97:1-5]

The phrase And what will make you know what the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is? serves to draw attention to the importance and great significance of this night.

The Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months means, it is better than over eighty three years, as I have already mentioned. This is a great virtue, the value of which no one can fully understand except the Lord of the Worlds, may He be blessed and exalted. This encourages the Muslim to spend this night in prayer and to seek the Face of Allah by doing so. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to seek this night, hoping to gain some good from it, and he is the example for this Ummah.

It is mustahab to seek it during Ramadan, especially in the last ten nights of the month. Abu Sa’id al-Khudri said:

“The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) did I’tikaf during the first ten days of Ramadan, then he did I’tikaf during the middle ten days in a Turkish tent [the word qubbah, translated here as “tent”, refers to a tent or any circular structure] in which a mat was placed. He said: so he took the mat in his hand and put it at the side of the tent, then he raised his head to speak to the people, so they came closer to him. He said: “I did I’tikaf during the first ten days, seeking this night, then I did I’tikaf during the middle ten days. Then someone came to me and told me that it is in the last ten days, so whoever among you wants to do I’tikaf, let him do so.” So the people did I’tikaf with him. He said: “I was shown an odd-numbered night, in the morning of which I was prostrating in mud and water.” Then in the morning of the twenty-first, he got up to pray Subh and it was raining; the roof of the Mosque leaked, and there was mud and water. He came out when he had finished praying, and there was mud and water on his forehead and nose. That was the morning of the twenty-first, one of the last ten days.” [Sahih Muslim]

In a report, Abu Sa’id said:

“It rained on the night of the twenty-first, and the roof of the Mosque leaked over the place where the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) was praying. I looked at him, when he had finished praying Salat al-Subh, and his face was wet with mud and water.” [Agreed upon]

Muslim narrated a Hadith from Abdullah Ibn Unais that was similar to the Hadith of Abu Sa’id, except that he said, “it rained on the night of the twenty-third.” According to a Hadith narrated by Ibn Abbas, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “Seek it in the last ten days of Ramadan, when there are nine days left, and seven days left, and five days left.” [Narrated by al-Bukhari]

Lailatul Qadr is in the last ten days of Ramadan, as stated in the Hadith of Abu Sa’id quoted above, and as stated in the Hadith of Aisha, and in the Hadith of Ibn Umar who said that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said “Seek Lailatul Qadr in the last ten days of Ramadan.” [The Hadith of Aisha was narrated by al-Bukhari; the Hadith of Ibn Umar was narrated by Muslim. This wording is that of the Hadith of Aisha]

It is more likely to be in one of the odd-numbered nights, because of the Hadith of Aisha who said that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:

“Seek Lailatul Qadr in the odd-numbered nights of the last ten nights.” [Narrated by al-Bukhari]

We should seek it especially in the odd-numbered nights, i.e., on the twenty-first, the twenty-third, the twenty-fifth, the twenty-seventh and the twenty-ninth. It was reported in Sahihain that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Seek it in the last ten nights, on the odd-numbered nights.” [Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

According to the Hadith of Ibn Abbas, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Seek it in the last ten nights of Ramadan, when there are nine left, when there are seven left, when there are five left.” [Narrated by Al-Bukhari]

So it is more likely to be in one of the odd-numbered nights.

Ubadah Ibn al-Samit said:

“The Prophet (Peace be upon him) came out to tell us when Lailatul Qadr was, and two of the Muslims were arguing. He said: “I came out to tell you when Lailaul Qadr was, and So and so and So and so were arguing, so it [the knowledge of when Lailatul Qadr] was taken away from me. Perhaps this is better for you. So seek it on the ninth and the seventh and the fifth.” [al-Bukhari], i.e., on the odd-numbered nights.

This Hadith indicates how bad it is to argue and fight, especially with regard to matters of religion, and that this is a cause of goodness being taken away or concealed.

Shaykhul Islam Ibn Taymiyah said:

“But odd-numbers have to do with what is past [i.e., when one starts counting from the beginning of the month], so it should be sought on the twenty-first, the twenty-third, the twenty-seventh or the twenty-ninth; or it may be with regard to what is left, as the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: ‘when there are nine left, or seven left, or five left, or three left.’ On this basis, if the month has thirty days, these will be even-numbered nights, so on the twenty-second there will be nine days left, on the twenty-fourth there will be seven days left. This is how it was explained by Abu Sa’id al-Khudri in the Sahih Hadith, and this is how the Prophet (Peace be upon him) prayed Qiyam during this month. If this is the case, then the believer should seek it in all of the last ten days.” [See al-Fatawa]

Lailatul Qadr is more likely to be in the last seven days. Ibn Umar reported that a man among the Companions of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) was shown Lailatul Qadr in a dream, and that it was one of the last seven nights. The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:

“It seems that your dreams agreed that it is one of the last seven nights, so whoever wants to seek it, let him seek it in the last seven nights.” [narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

It is most likely to be on the night of the twenty-seventh. It was reported, in a Hadith narrated by Ahmad from Ibn Umar, and a Hadith narrated by Abu Dawud from Mu’awiyah, that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Lailatul Qadr is the night of the twenty-seventh.” [Musnad Ahmad and Sunan Abu Dawud]

The view that it is the night of the twenty-seventh is the opinion of most of the Sahabah and the majority of scholars, and Ubay Ibn Ka’ab used to assert, without saying “In shaa Allah”, that it was the night of the twenty-seventh. Zurr Ibn Hubaysh said: I said: What makes you say that, O Abul Mundhir? He said: by the signs of which the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) told us: that the sun rises that morning with no visible rays. [Narrated by Muslim]

And many marfu’ Ahadith were narrated which said that it was on this particular night.

Ibn Abbas also stated that it is the night of the twenty-seventh. He reached this conclusion by means of an amazing process. It was reported that Umar gathered the Sahabah together and included Ibn Abbas even though he was very young. They said, “Ibn Abbas is like one of our children. Why have you brought him here with us?” Umar said: “He is a youth who has a good mind and who asks lots of questions.” Then he asked the Sahabah about Lailatul Qadr, and they agreed that it was one of the last ten nights of Ramadan. He asked Ibn Abbas about it, and he said: “I think I know when it is: it is the night of the twenty-seventh.” Umar said, “What makes you think that?” He said, “Allah made the heavens seven, and the earths seven, and the days seven, and He created man from seven, and He made Tawaf seven (circuits), and al-Sa’ayi seven, and the stoning of the Jamar seven.” So Ibn Abbas thought that it was the night of the twenty-seventh because of this analysis. This has been soundly reported from Ibn Abbas. Another of the ways in which the conclusion was reached that it is the night of the twenty-seventh is by noting that the word fiha (therein) in the verse: “Therein descend the angels and the Ruh [Jibril]” [Quran 97:4] is the twenty-seventh word of Surah al-Qadr [in the original Arabic].

But there is no shar’i evidence (Dalil/Hujjah) to support this manner of analysis, and there is no need for such calculations, because we have sufficient shar’i evidence available to us.

The fact that it is usually the night of the twenty-seventh does not mean that this is always the case. It could be the night of the twenty-first, as mentioned in the Hadith of Abu Sa’id quoted above, or it could be the twenty-third, as mentioned in the report of Abdullah Ibn Unais quoted above. According to a Hadith narrated by Ibn Abbas, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Seek it in the last ten days of Ramadan, when there are nine days left, and seven days left, and five days left.” [Narrated by al-Bukhari]

Some of the scholars thought that it is more likely that Lailatul Qadr moves and does not come on a specific night each year. Imam Al-Nawawi said:

“This is the apparent meaning because of the conflict between the Sahih Ahadith on this matter, and there is no way to reconcile the Ahadith apart from saying that Lailatul Qadr moves.” [See al-Majmu’]

Respected Servants of Allah! Allah has concealed this night so that His slaves will strive to seek it, and will strive hard in worship, just as He has concealed the hour of Jumu’ah, and so on. So the believer should strive hard during the days and nights of these ten days, seeking Lailatul Qadr and following the example of our beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him) and he should strive in making Du’a and seeking to draw close to Allah.

It was reported that Aisha said:

“I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, what do you think, if I witness Lailatul Qadr, what should I say?’ He said: ‘Say, O Allah, You are Forgiving and Generous, and you love forgiveness, so forgive me.'” [Narrated by Imam Ahmad, al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah. Its isnad is Sahih]

Thirdly: a greater virtue is attached to I’tikaf on this night than on any other night of the year. I’tikaf means staying in the Mosque to worship Allah, may He be exalted. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to spend these ten days in I’tikaf, as stated in the Hadith of Abu Sa’id quoted above. He spent the first ten days in I’tikaf, then the middle ten days, then he told them that he had been seeking Lailatul Qadr, and that he had been shown that it was in the last ten days, and he said:

“Whoever was doing I’tikaf with me, let him do I’tikaf for the last ten days.”

It was reported from Aisha that:

“The Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to do I’tikaf during the last ten days of Ramadan until he passed away, then his wives did I’tikaf after him.” [Agreed upon]

The four Imams and others (may Allah have mercy on them) said that he entered it before the sun set, and they interpreted the Hadith as meaning that he entered his place of I’tikaf and kept away from people after Salatul Subh, not that this was the time when he started his I’tikaf. [See Sharh Muslim of Imam  Al-Nawawi and Fath al-Bari of Imam Ibn Hajar]

It is Sunnah for the person in I’tikaf to keep himself busy with worship, and it is forbidden for him to have intercourse with his wife or to do anything that leads to it, because Allah says:

“And do not have sexual relations with them (your wives) while you are in I’tikaf (i.e. confining oneself in a Mosque for prayers and invocations leaving the worldly activities) in the Mosques” [Quran 2:187]

And he should not go out of the Mosque except in the case of a pressing need.

– The signs by which Lailatul Qadr is known

The first sign:

Ubay Ibn Ka’ab said that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) announced that one of its signs was that when the sun rose on the following morning, it had no (visible) rays.” [Muslim]

The second sign:

Ibn Abbas narrated by Ibn Khuzaimah, and by al-Tayalisi in his Musnad, with a Sahih isnad, that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Lailatul Qadr is a pleasant night, neither hot nor cold, and the following day the sun rises red and weak.” [See Sahih Ibn Khuzaimah and Musnad of al-Tayalisi]

The third sign:

Wathilah Ibn al-Asqa said that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Lailatul Qadr is a bright night, neither hot nor cold, in which no meteors are seen.” [Narrated by al-Tabarani in al-Kabir also See Majma’ al-Zawa’id and Musnad of Imam Ahmad]

These three Sahih Ahadith explain the signs which indicate Lailatul Qadr.

It is not essential for the one who “catches” Lailatul Qadr to know that he has “caught” it. The point is to strive hard and to be sincere in worship, whether or not one knows that one has “caught” it. It may be that some of those who do not know that may be better with Allah and higher in status than those who did know which night it was, because the former strove hard.

– Don’t Miss The Last Ten Days Of Ramadan !!!

Respected Brothers and Sisters! The last ten nights of Ramadan are very special. The first of these nights occurs on the eve of the 21st day of Ramadan. In other words, it is the night that commences after the completion of the 20th day of fasting. Sometimes there are only nine nights, whenever the month of Ramadan lasts for only 29 days. Nevertheless, they are still traditionally referred to as “the last ten nights.”

The last ten nights of Ramadan are very special. These are the nights that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) would spend in constant worship. Among these nights is Lailatul Qadr – a night more blessed than a thousand months.

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to single these nights out for worship and the performance of good deeds. He would exert himself in worship during these ten nights more than any other nights of the year.

1. Waking Up The Family

Aisha informs us that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to wake up his family during the last ten nights of Ramadan. Indeed, he used to wake up his wives for prayer throughout the year, but that was so that they could pray for a small fraction of the night.

We know this, because Ummu Salamah relates that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) woke her up one night and said:

“Glory be to Allah. What has been sent down of trials during this night? What has been sent down of treasures, so that the denizens of the bedchambers will be awakened? O Lord! To be clothed in this world by naked in the Hereafter.” [Al-Bukhari]

During the last ten nights of Ramadan, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) would wake up his wives to pray for a much longer portion of the night than during the rest of the year.

2. Exerting Oneself In Worship

Aisha tells us:

“The Prophet would exert himself in worship during the last ten nights more than at any other time of the year.” [Muslim]

The great jurist, Imam al-Shafi’i declares:

“It is Sunnah for one to exert greater efforts in worship during the last ten nights of Ramadan.” [al-Majmu’]

When Aisha tells us that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) would “tighten his waistbelt”, she is speaking figuratively. The phrase means to set about to devote oneself fully and wholeheartedly to the task at hand.

3. Seeking Out Lailatul Qadr

One of the greatest distinctions of these ten special nights is that one of them is Lailatul Qadr – the Night of Decree. This is the greatest night of the year – better than a thousand months. This means that a Muslim can earn more rewards on Lailatul Qadr than he would if – excluding this special night – he were worship his Lord for eighty-four years straight. This is one of the immense favours that Allah has bestowed upon the Muslim Ummah.

Ibrahim al-Nakha’i says:

“Good works performed on this night are better than those performed consistently for a thousand months.”

Abu Hurairah relates that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Whoever spends Lailatul Qadr in prayer, believing in Allah and seeking His reward, will be forgiven all of his past sins.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Belief in Allah, in this Hadith, means not only to believe in Allah, but to believe in the reward that we are promised for observing prayer on this night.

A Muslim should seek out this special night by spending the last ten nights of Ramadan engaged in various acts of worship. These include reciting the remembrances of Allah, reading the Quran, and begging Allah’s forgiveness.

It is best for us to strive hard on all ten nights, because the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: The way we “look for” Lailatul Qadr is by engaging in extra worship.

When the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “Look for it in the last ten nights” he did not mean that we should literally “look for” signs and indications that distinguish Lailatul Qadr from other nights. The things that distinguish Lailatul Qadr from other nights are part of the Unseen.

Allah the Almighty says:

“Surely We revealed it on a blessed night. Surely We ever wish to warn (against evil) – On this night, every wise matter is made distinct.” [Surah al-Dukhan, 3-4]

He the Most High also says:

“Lailatul Qadr is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit descend therein, by the permission of their Lord, with every decree. (This night is) peace, until the rising of the dawn.” [Surah al-Qadr, 3-5]

These are the ways in which Lailatul Qadr is special. They are not things that we can see with our eyes. No one after the Prophet (Peace be upon him) can see the angels.

4. Observing a Retreat in the Mosque (I’tikaf)

Observing a retreat in the Mosque is of the best things we can do during the last ten nights of Ramadan.

The practice of i’tikaf is a strongly recommended act. The purpose of doing so is to devote one’s heart exclusively to Allah. The person engaging in i’tikaf keeps this intention close to mind and seeks Allah’s blessings. He should not forget the reason why he is observing this retreat.

A person observing i’tikaf does not leave the Mosque except for what is absolutely necessary (like going to the bathroom). While in the Mosque, he should busy himself with the remembrance of Allah. He should make sure to offer the remembrances of the morning and evening and the prescribed remembrances for the five daily prayers. He should perform all of the Sunnah prayers and all other recommended prayers, like the Duha prayer. He should read as much of the Quran as he can.

He should spend less time eating and sleep as little as possible. He should avoid unnecessary talk. However, he should engage in advising his fellow Muslims and in enjoining them to truth and to patience.

5. Generosity

It is encouraged for us to be extra generous during the last ten nights of Ramadan, without being extravagant or ostentatious in our giving. Ibn Abbas relates that:

“Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him ) was the most generous of all people in doing good, and he was at his most generous during the month of Ramadan. Angel Jibril used to meet with him every year throughout the month of Ramadan, so the Prophet could recite the Quran to him. Whenever Jibril met with him, he became more generous than a beneficial breeze.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Imam Al-Nawawi states in al-Majmu’, vol. 6 page 398 that:

“Generosity and open-handedness are strongly encouraged in Ramadan, especially during the last ten nights. By doing so, we emulate the example of Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) as well as of our Pious Predecessors (Salafus Salih). Also, this month is noble, and good works carried out in this month are more blessed than they are at any other time. Also, during this month, people are preoccupied with fasting and worship, and this distracts them from their livelihood, so they might need some assistance during this time.”

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our Noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true followers.

Ma’assalam,

Your Brother:

Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, from Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. The Imam can be reached through: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

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