23) WEARING TA'AWEEZ
24) SIX KALIMAHS
27) GROWING BEARD
Allah (Mighty and Exalted be He) knows before creating anything, that He is going to create it and that it shall be of such and such magnitude, quality or nature, etc. He also specifies the time of its coming into being and its passing away, and the place of its occurrence. If so, then one who believes in the true God should believe that there are no accidents in nature. If something disagreeable happens to him, he should say "Allah qaddara (ordained), and He did what He willed" and not grieve himself by wishing that it had not occurred, or worrying why it should occur. If, in contrast, something agreeable happens to him he should not boast of it, but thank Allah for it.
In this context, Allah says, "Naught of disaster befalleth in the earth or in yourselves but it is in a Book before We bring it into being. Lo! That is easy for Allah. (22) That ye grieve not for the sake of that which hath escaped you, nor yet exult because of that which hath been given. Allah loveth not all prideful boasters." (Al-Hadid 57: 22-23)
If Allah Almighty predetermines everything, that includes our so-called free actions, in what way can they be said to be free, and how are we responsible for them? This question occasioned the appearance, at a very early history of Islam, of two extreme theological sects.
One of them, called the Qadariyyah, asserted
man's free will and responsibility to the extent of denying Allah's
foreknowledge, and claiming that Allah knows our free made actions only
after we have performed them. The other, called the Jabriyyah, held the
opposite view and claimed that there was no difference between the
motions of inanimate things and our movements in performing so-called
free actions, and that when we use intentional language we speak only
"If so," a Qadari might say, "He could have prevented us from doing
"Had Allah willed, they were not idolaters; and We have not
appointed thee a watcher over them neither art thou their guardian."
(Al-An`am 6 : 107)
"If you art ungrateful, Allah is independent of you. Yet He approves not ungratefulness in His servants; but if you are grateful, He will approve it in you…" (Az-Zumar 39: 7)
It says in Soorat Al-Hajj 22:18 that the dawaab (moving living creatures, beasts, etc.) prostrate to Allah. What is the nature of this prostration?
Answer: Praise be to Allah.
Note that this universe and all the created beings in it is in thrall to Allah, whether by choice or by force. The believer worships Allah by choice and is rewarded for his worship. Even though the kaafir may be alienated from his Lord and failing to worship Him, the atoms of his body and everything in him is worshipping Him and glorifying Him, but because our understanding and perception are limited, we are unaware of that tasbeeh (glorification of Allah) and unable to understand its nature. Allah says :
“The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein, glorify Him and there is not a thing but glorifies His Praise. But you understand not their glorification. Truly, He is Ever Forbearing, Oft‑Forgiving” [Al-Isra’ 17:44]
What this means is that every created being is in a state of submission to Allah and worships Him in a manner appropriate to its situation. The sun, moon, stars, trees and animals are all in a state of subjugation to Allah and prostrate to Him, and all of them worship Him in an appropriate manner. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“See you not that whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the mountains, and the trees, and Ad‑Dawaabb [moving (living) creatures, beasts], and many of mankind prostrate themselves to Allah. But there are many (men) on whom the punishment is justified. And whomsoever Allah disgraces, none can honour him. Verily, Allah does what He wills” [Al-Hajj 22:18]
“Have they not observed things that Allah has created: (how) their shadows incline to the right and to the left, making prostration unto Allah, and they are lowly? (48) And to Allah prostrate all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, of the moving (living) creatures and the angels, and they are not proud [i.e. they worship their Lord (Allah) with humility]” [An-Nahl16:48-49]
Imaam Ibn Katheer said: Allah is telling us of His Might, Majesty and Pride, for everything submits to Him and all things and creatures humble themselves before Him, inanimate objects and animals, and those which are accountable among mankind and the jinn, and the angels. Allah tells us that everything that has a shadow that inclines towards the right and towards the left – i.e., morning and evening – prostrates to Allah. Mujaahid said: When the sun passes its zenith everything prostrates to Allah.
Allah has confirmed that all beings prostrate to Him, and He has explained how some of them prostrate, which is by the inclining of its shadow towards the right and the left. It does not mean that everything prostrates on seven parts of the body; that applies only to the Muslims. The prostration of all other beings is in accordance with their nature. The fact that this prostration is prostration in the real sense is indicated by the apparent meaning of the text, because there is no valid reason for not interpreting the text as it appears to be, so we must accept it. That is also supported by the fact that the prostration of the sun, moon, stars, trees and animals is mentioned in conjunction with the prostration of the angels and humans, which indicates that this is prostration in a real sense for all the entities mentioned. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Prostration is a form of humility, so the prostration which includes all creatures implies the utmost submission and humility. For every created thing submits to His greatness and humbles itself before His might and power. This does not mean that everything prostrates like human beings do, on seven parts of the body, putting the forehead on the ground. This kind of prostration is only for human beings. Some other nations bow but do not prostrate, and that is their prostration. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): ‘....and enter the gate in prostration (or bowing with humility) and say: “Forgive us....”’ (Al-Baqarah 2:58)
What is the ruling on, when a Muslim say "We believe we are all children of Allah". Basing it on the weak Hadeeth (All creations are sustained by Allah). Please provide details of the ruling.
Praise be to Allah.
The hadeeth mentioned was narrated by al-Bazzaar and Abu Ya’la from Anas, and says, “All of mankind are the dependents of Allah, and the most beloved of them to Allah are those who are most helpful to their dependents.” This is a very weak (da’eef jiddan) hadeeth as al-Albaani said in Da’eef al-Jaami’, hadeeth no. 2946.
Any Muslim who says, “We believe that we are all the children of Allah” should be asked to explain what he means before any judgement is made concerning him.
1 – If what he means by being children is the metaphorical meaning, which is that people are dependent upon Allah, and he is using this word for a purpose allowed in sharee’ah, such as refuting the Christians who say that the Messiah is the son of God, then there is nothing wrong with that if he uses it only with Christians in order to show that their belief is false, but he should not use it with others lest that generate confusion and misunderstanding.
That is because one of the means of showing the Christians’ beliefs concerning ‘Eesa (peace be upon him) to be false is to use the same expressions as are mentioned in their holy Book (the Bible) to prove that others were described as “sons of God” as well as ‘Eesa, which clearly indicates that what is meant by being a son of God in the texts of the Gospels is not “sonship” in the literal sense, which St. Paul claimed for Jesus in order to lead them astray from belief in Divine Oneness (Tawheed). St. Paul based his argument on the confusion that may arise from the use of the words “father” and “son”. Some of the Bible texts that may used to refute their argument are as follows:
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus said of those who believed in him:
“They are like the angels. They are God’s children since they are children of the resurrection.” [Luke 20:36]
And in the Book of Isaiah:
“Bring back My sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth” [Isaiah 43:6]
And this is what was said describing God as the Father, as it is narrated in the Gospel of Matthew that the Messiah said to his students:
“If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” [Matthew 6:1]
In the Gospel of Luke:
“When you pray say, ‘Our Father, Who art in heaven…” [Luke 11:2]
In the Gospel of John:
“I am returning to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.” [John 20:17]
The Christians do not say that the angels, the Children of Israel and the Disciples were sons of God in a literal sense, or that God was their father in a literal sense, rather they interpret that in a metaphorical sense, i.e., that He is a father to them in the sense of blessing them, being kind to them, protecting them and taking care of them, and they are His children in the sense that they worship Him, need Him and are dependent upon Him.
This demonstrates the falseness of their understanding of ‘Eesa being the son of God, basing their argument on some texts that say that he is the son of God.
2 – If he means that all people are children of Allah just as ‘Eesa is the son of Allah, in the sense of the Christian belief, then this is kufr (disbelief) that is worse than the kufr of the Christians.
3 – If he means that we are all children of Allah or dependent upon Him, with no difference between Muslims and kaafirs, and he means that the Jews, Christians and idol-worshippers are not kaafirs, then this is riddah or apostasy from Islam, because whoever doubts that the Jews and Christians are kaafirs or approves of their religions is a kaafir, according to scholarly consensus.
4 – If he means thereby to justify using the word “brother” for Jews and Christians, because we are all the children of Allah, this is false, because there is no brotherhood between the believers and the disbelievers. The hadeeth (which some may interpret as meaning that all men are brothers) has been proven to be not saheeh. Even if it was saheeh, it could not be interpreted in this fashion.
We must beware of using confusing words which may cause a person to fall into something haraam or make people think badly of him, especially words which have to do with the Oneness of Allah (Tawheed) and His Uniqueness in His names and attributes. For the rights of Allah take precedence and must be taken care of, and we must avoid anything that may violate them, especially when those words are used by the Jews and Allah quotes them in the Qur’aan in the context of condemnation.
“And (both) the Jews and the Christians say: ‘We are the children of Allah and His loved ones.’ Say: ‘Why then does He punish you for your sins?’ Nay, you are but human beings of those He has created…” [Al-Maa’idah 5:18]
I do hope I am not asking a stupid question. I would like to know how a believer in Islam should imagine Allah to be. I know He is invisible but should I visualize him in a human form or a light. Please help me.
Answer: Praise be to Allah.
Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“....There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, All-Seer.” [Ash-Shoora 42:11].
There is nothing like unto Him, nothing that is equal or comparable to Him or that can rival Him. He is far above any resemblance to any created being. Whatever crosses the mind of the son of Adam with regard to his Lord, He is greater than that. No creature can encompass Him, may He be glorified and exalted, or imagine what He looks like. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“…and they will never encompass anything of His Knowledge.” [Ta-Ha 20:110]
The Muslim is not supposed to try to imagine or picture Allah; rather, he has to believe in the sublime attributes which befit His Might and Majesty in which there is none like unto Him. Part of the ‘aqeedah (basic beliefs, creed) of the Muslims is that Allah cannot be seen in this world, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“No vision can grasp Him....” [Al-An’aam 6:103]
But the believers will see Him in the Hereafter, in the gathering-place where judgment will be passed, and in Paradise. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was asked – as it was reported in Saheeh Muslim – “Did you see your Lord?” He said, “I saw Light.” According to another report: “ Light, how could I see Him?” This is in accordance with what Allah said to Moosa in Soorat al-A’raaf 7:143 (interpretation of the meaning):
“…You cannot see Me…” i.e., in this world.
Neither the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) nor anybody else has seen Allah with his own two eyes. In the Hereafter, when the people see Him in the place of gathering, they will fall down in prostration before His Might and Majesty. Seeing Him in Paradise will be the greatest of all the joys that the people of Paradise will experience.
The God of the Koran wants the nation of Israel destroyed. The God of the Bible wants Israel preserved (and He has done it upto this day from the time of Father Abraham). Since the god of the Koran contradicts the God of the Bible, which God is telling the truth? Very logically one is a liar since both cannot be true at the same time!
First of all, this is not a logical way of thinking because the "god" of the Qur'an and the "god" of the Bible are the same, and it is God (with the capital G), or Allah (in Arabic - as Arab Jews, Christians, and Muslims call Him) or Dieu (in French) that all of us worship. God is always correct, He doesn't contradict Himself, and He has ordered people to follow Him.
But some people are blind, they go astray, they interpret Him wrongly, and temper with His revealed Books. Had the Jews obeyed Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) and understood the Bible correctly, they would have followed Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) and some of them actually did such as the majority of his disciples. Similarly, had the Christians obeyed Christ and understood the Bible correctly, they would have accepted Islam and followed Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and many of them actually did in the past and still do in the present when they read the Bible and the Qur'an objectively.
Now, even if I were to follow the incorrect line of thinking that the "god" of the Qur'an is different from the "god" of the Bible, and that one of them is a liar, you still have to resolve the problem of the Jews and the Christians believing in the same "god" of the Bible, because the Jews believe in the unity of God and refute the concept of Trinity, which means that God in the Old Testament for the Jews is different from God in the Old and New Testament for the Christians.
Therefore, either the Christians or the Jews are correct (or both of them are wrong). Both cannot accept each other's belief and live peacefully until the "god" of one group prevails and rules over Jerusalem. At the end, it will either be synagogue or a church (or, for the sake of logical processing, a mosque in case both are wrong). Therefore, before worrying about God preserving Jerusalem, you have to define whose "god" will preserve the city, because Jews already refuted the teachings of Jesus Christ and conspired against him, and therefore, both of them (Jews and Christians) will not be on the same side when the final destiny of Jerusalem will be decided.
You also have to resolve the issue of the Palestinian Christians (local inhabitants) who are supported by the Christians in the world community, to fight the Jewish forces on their land. By the way, these Christians are currently on the Muslim side and want to get rid of the Jews. This is a fact, not a personal opinion. Then you have to resolve a third dilemma: The Bible states that the armies who will free Jerusalem from the Anti-Christ will come from Northern Palestine. Today, the general consensus among Christian scholars is that these armies will definitively be Muslims due to the populations of Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Eastern Europe and Southern Russian Republics, who are predominantly Muslims.
These same Christian scholars also believe that the Anti-Christ will be Jewish. Well, but how could that be when Muslims accept Jesus (peace be upon him) and respect him but believe he is a prophet and not the son of God. It is getting a little complicated here:
Therefore, here is the Islamic view: Justice will prevail at the end. Oppression will be over when Jesus comes again (Second Coming) to fight the Anti-Christ and liberate Jerusalem from the oppressors who have done injustice in the entire world. These oppressors not only killed people, promoted wars, and supported unjust governments, but they also exploited people economically through the unfair banking practices that deal with interest, through promoting unethical behavior with the movie industry, through misleading media coverage, through drug trading, through corruption, etc.).
Muslims also believe that Jesus (peace be upon him) will also explain to the world community about the truth of his nature, i.e., that he was a prophet and not the son of God. Once Christians and anyone who seeks to learn the truth corrects his/her basic understanding of God, (who is by the way the same "god" of the Jews, Christians, and Muslims), then, the seekers of justice will join their efforts to fight the Anti-Christ and his supported to free Jerusalem from its occupiers and oppressors. Now, you can make up your mind about whose "god" is a liar, or more correctly, whose ideology to follow.
Some atheists ask questions such as, “If Allah is able to do all things, can He create another god like Himself?” or “Can He create something so heavy that He cannot lift it?”
Answer: Praise be to Allah.
The atheist needs someone who will call him to Allah and remind him of the blessing and signs of Allah which point to His existence, Oneness and might. The entire universe points to Allah, may He be exalted, how can anyone deny it? How could anyone disobey God or how could anyone deny Him, when God has a sign in everything that exists to point to His Oneness?
No attention should be paid to the specious arguments of the atheists and those who have gone astray, except by the one who is qualified to refute them. So we must be very cautious, because a specious argument may become settled in the heart, after which it is difficult to get rid of it.
This argument is one of the oldest specious arguments offered by the atheists, and the scholars have a well known answer to it, which may be summed up in two points:
1 – This matter is impossible, because if the other one was a god, it would not be possible to create him. To assume that he can be a god and be created is impossible.
It says in al-Durar al-Saniyyah min al-Ajwabah al-Najdiyyah (3/265): A story discussing a different issue was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas, which is that the devils said to Iblees, O our master, why do we see you rejoicing over the death of a scholar in a way that you do not rejoice over the death of a worshipper? For we cannot influence the scholar but we can influence the worshipper. He said: Go a worshipper, go to him when he is worshipping. They said: We want to ask you. He turned to them and Iblees said: Can your Lord create another like Himself? He said: I do not know. He said: Don’t you see that his worship cannot benefit him when he is so ignorant?
They asked a scholar about that and he said: That is impossible, because if he were like Him, he could not have been created, and the idea that he is created and is like Him is impossible. If he is created he is not like Him, rather he is just one of His slaves. He said: Don’t you see that this man can destroy in an hour what it took years to build? And Allah knows best. End quote.
2 – The idea of another god existing alongside Allah is inherently impossible. There is a great deal of evidence to suggest that it is impossible, the least of which is the existence of this organized universe. If there were another god, the system of the universe would be spoiled because they would compete with one another and each of them would want to prevail over the other, as Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Had there been therein (in the heavens and the earth) aalihah (gods) besides Allah, then verily, both would have been ruined. Glorified be Allah, the Lord of the Throne, (High is He) above all that (evil) they associate with Him!....” [Al-Anbiya’ 21:22]
“No son (or offspring) did Allah beget, nor is there any ilaah (god) along with Him. (If there had been many gods), then each god would have taken away what he had created, and some would have tried to overcome others! Glorified be Allah above all that they attribute to Him!” [Al-Mu’minoon 23:91]
Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said in his Tafseer: i.e., if there was a number of gods, each one of them would have taken away that which he created and the universe would be in disarray. What we see is that the universe is organized and orderly, and each realm, upper and lower, is connected to the other in the most perfect manner. “you can see no fault in the creation of the Most Gracious....” [Al-Mulk 67:3]. And each of them would seek to dominate the others and some of them would prevail over others.
Creating something so heavy that He cannot lift it
This is very illogical question. Suppose being sensible human you are asked to kill yourself and your family (without any problems with you and them and living a very peaceful life). Will you not doubt the one who asks it? The same applies to the creation of an object so heavy that Allah could not lift it. It is impossible, because Allah is the One who creates it, and He is able to destroy it at any moment, so how can He be unable to lift it?
The atheist only wants to cast aspersions on the general meaning of the words of Allah, “....Allah has power over all things....” [At-Talaaq 65:12]. So he says, if He has power over all things, why does He not have the power to do this?
The answer is: Because it is impossible, it is nothing.
That which is impossible does not exist, because it cannot exist, so it is nothing, even if the mind can imagine it. It is known that the mind can assume and imagine the impossible, the mind can imagine two opposites, such as something existing and not existing, at the same time.
The verse states that Allah has power over “things” but that does not include things that are inherently impossible, because they are not things, rather they do not exist and they cannot be brought into existence.
Hence more than one of the scholars have stated that the power of Allah has to do with that which is possible, for the reason that we have mentioned, which is that that which is non-existent and impossible is not a “thing”.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: As for Ahl al-Sunnah, in their view Allah, may He be exalted, has power over all things, and everything that is possible is included in that. As for that which is inherently impossible, such as a thing both existing and being non-existent, there is no reality in it and its existence cannot be imagined, so it cannot be called a “thing” according to the consensus of the wise. This includes the idea of creating another like Himself, and so on. End quote from Manhaaj al-Sunnah (2/294).
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Shifa’ al-‘Aleel (p. 374): Because that which is impossible is not a “thing”, so His Power has nothing to do with it. Allah has power over all things and no possible thing is beyond His power. End quote. And Allah knows best.
What are different qualities of Hypocrisy?
Answer : Praise be to Allah.
Hypocrisy is of two types:
1. Hypocrisy in Belief.
2. Hypocrisy in Deeds and Actions.
Hypocrisy in Belief
There are six aspects of hypocrisy in belief.
1. To belie the prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
2. To belie some or all that was brought by the prophet Mohammed (PBUH). For Example : Quran, authentic Ahadiths and laws of sunnah having Muslim Scholars consensus, etc.
3. To hate prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
4. To hate some of that which prophet Mohammed (PBUH) brought.
5. To feel happy at the disgrace of or set back for the religion of Islam.
6. To dislike that religion of Islam becoming victorious.
A person having these six types of hypocrisy, will be in the lowest depth of fire (Hell)
“Verily, the hypocrites will be in the lowest depth (grade) of the Fire; no helper will you find for them” (An-Nisa’ 4:145)
Hypocrisy in Deeds and Actions
There are five aspects of hypocrisy in Deeds and Actions.
As per hadith of prophet Mohammed (PBUH), they are:
1. Whenever he speaks, he tells lie.
2. Whenever he promises, he always breaks it.
3. If you trust him, he proves to be dishonest (if you keep something with him, he will not return it).
In another prophet Mohammed (PBUH) narration:
4. Whenever he quarrels, he behaves in a very imprudent, evil, insulting manner.
5. Whenever he makes a covenant, he proves himself treacherous.
May Allah save us from all type of hypocrisy.
What are the actions which, if a Muslim does them, he will be an apostate from Islam?
Answer: Praise be to Allah.
Allah has commanded all people to enter Islam and to adhere to it and to beware of whatever is contrary to it. He sent His Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to call mankind to that. He tells us that those who follow him will be guided and that those who turn away from him have gone astray. In many verses He warns against the means that lead to apostasy and all forms of shirk and kufr. The scholars (may Allah have mercy on them) have said, when discussing apostasy, that a Muslim may apostatize from his religion by doing many acts that nullify Islam, which makes it permissible to shed his blood and seize his wealth, and which will put him beyond the pale of Islam.
1 – Shirk or associating others in worship with Allah. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily! Allâh forgives not (the sin of) setting up partners in worship with Him, but He forgives whom he pleases sins other than that, and whoever sets up partners in worship with Allâh, has indeed strayed far away” (An-Nisa’ 4:116)
“…. Verily, whosoever sets up partners (in worship) with Allah, then Allah has forbidden Paradise to him, and the Fire will be his abode …” (Al-Maa’idah 5:72)
That includes praying to the dead, seeking their help, making vows and offering sacrifices to them or to the jinn or to the grave.
2 – Whoever sets up intermediaries between himself and Allah, asks them to intercede, and puts his trust in them, is a kaafir according to scholarly consensus.
3 – Whoever does not regard the mushrikeen as kaafirs, or doubts that they are kaafirs, or regards their way as correct, is a kaafir.
4 – Whoever believes that anything other than the teaching of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is more complete than his teachings, or that the rulings of anyone else are better than his rulings – such as those who prefer the rule of false laws to his rulings – is a kaafir.
5 – Whoever hates any part of that which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) brought, even if he acts in accordance with it, is a kaafir, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“That is because they hate that which Allah has sent down (this Qur’aan and Islamic laws); so He has made their deeds fruitless” (Muhammad 47:9)
6 – Whoever makes fun of anything in the religion of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), or makes fun of any texts that refer to rewards or punishments, is a kaafir. The evidence for that is the verse (interpretation of the meaning):
"If you (O Muhammad) ask them (about this Quran), they declare: ‘We were only talking idly and joking.’ Say: ‘Was it at Allah, and His Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and His Messenger that you were mocking?’ (65) “Make no excuse; you disbelieved after you had believed ………” (Al-Tawbah 9:65 - 66)
7 – Sihr (witchcraft) – including spells to turn one person against another or to make someone love another. Whoever does this or approves of it is a kaafir. The evidence for that is the verse (interpretation of the meaning):
“They followed what the satan gave out (falsely of the magic) in the lifetime of Sulaimân (Solomon). Sulaimân did not disbelieve, but the satan disbelieved, teaching men magic and such things that came down at Babylon to the two angels, Hârût and Mârût, but neither of these two (angels) taught anyone (such things) till they had said, "We are only for trial, so disbelieve not (by learning this magic from us) ...." (Al-Baqrah 2:102)
8 – Supporting the mushrikeen and helping them against the Muslims. The evidence for that is the verse in which Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as Auliyâ’ (friends, protectors, helpers), they are but Auliyâ’ of each other. And if any amongst you takes them (as Auliyâ’), then surely, he is one of them” (Al-Maa’idah 5:51)
9 – Whoever believes that some people are allowed to operate outside the
law of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) just as al-Khidr
operated outside the law of Moosa (peace be upon him) is a kaafir,
because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (All spiritual good)” (Aale-Imran 3:85)
10 – Turning away from the religion of Allah, not learning it and not acting in accordance with it. The evidence for that is the verse (interpretation of the meaning):
“And who does more wrong than he who is reminded of the Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of his Lord, then turns aside therefrom? Verily, We shall exact retribution from the Mujrimoon (criminals, disbelievers, polytheists, sinners)” (As-Sajdah 32:22)
And Allah knows best.
I was told in the time of the Salaaf they would differ on issues such as the one who did not perform prayer and the on the one who ruled by laws other than what Allah has revealed, is it true this is called Khilaf Al Mu`tabar (A difference which is taken into consideration)? If the Salaaf did differ may I please ask whom of the Salaaf differed on both of these issues?
Answer : Praise be to Allah.
There are differences between the Islamic madhhabs whose views may be taken into consideration concerning the ruling on one who does not pray. The dispute is only with regard to the one who does not deny that the prayer is obligatory. The person who denies that prayer is obligatory is definitely a kaafir. The majority of the Salaf, of the Sahaabah and Taabi’een, were of the view that the person who does not pray is a kaafir, because of the saheeh texts which clearly state that. The dispute arose after their time, but the scholars who examined this issue said that the opinion stated is the more sound view, that the person who does not pray is guilty of major kufr which puts him beyond the pale of Islam. This is the opinion according to which fatwas are issued nowadays.
With regard to ruling according to laws other than those revealed by Allah, whilst acknowledging that the ruling of Allah is more complete and more perfect, and more beneficial to mankind than any other (law), a group of scholars said that this is a lesser form of kufr. But giving preference to man-made laws and giving them precedence over the laws (sharee’ah) of Allah, and believing that the laws of Allah are not suitable for our times, for example, this is a form of major kufr which puts a person beyond the pale of Islam. The dispute among the scholars in this case has to do with the person who judges according to laws other than those revealed by Allah, whilst still believing that the laws of Allah are more perfect and more fitting – is he guilty of major kufr or a lesser form of kufr? Because Allah has described those who rule according to laws other than His in different ways, sometimes as kaafirs, sometimes as faasiqoon (evildoers), sometimes as zaalimoon (wrongdoers). This is to be interpreted either as referring to different cases in which people rule according to laws other than those revealed by Allah, or as meaning one and the same thing, because the kaafir is also a faasiq and a zaalim.
Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/en/
If a person converts to Islam to get married, with no intention to practice the religion, is the conversion accepted in Islam?
a divine religion, pays great attention to the importance of conviction
for those who embrace it. Therefore, it lays down the principle that
there is no compulsion in religion. In the same vein, it doesn’t
accept conversion for other objectives such as marriage.
Focusing more on the question you posed, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:
must never embrace Islam solely for the purpose of getting married to a
Muslim woman; Islam does not sanction such conversions.
If, therefore, at the time of conversion, a person did not have the intention of seriously considering the religion for practice, then such a conversion is simply invalid and unacceptable. Whoever is making this gesture is simply deceiving himself and wronging his own soul as he can never deceive Allah who knows not only what we do, but also what we cherish in the innermost recesses of our hearts.
When a person says upfront that he is simply taking the Shahadah (saying that there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah), and yet he has no intention of practicing Islam, then in reality he is not embracing Islam at all but is merely making a show of conversion for wooing the girl he wants to marry.
Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net
I was asked to talk to non-Muslims about the Holy Qur`an by introducing it to them, without engaging myself in debates or arguments (i.e. preaching), as a form of Da`wah given by educated Muslims in a non-Islamic environment.
With regard to your question, Sheikh Yusuf Estes, Director of Islamtoday.com, and National Chaplain WAMY, answers:
“Dear brother in Islam, may Allah reward you and keep you strong in this endeavor, ameen. Consider the following tips from one who endeavors to give Da`wah for Allah's sake:
First of all, be confident that it is Allah, Most High, who provides the right words and only He is the one who guides people to the straight path. You will do fine, Insha'Allah, but you need to put your trust in Allah the Almighty.
I highly recommend presenting the essential basics to those people and let them know about some of the good web sites (such as this one (http://www.islam-online.net and http://www.islamtoday.com) for more details, insha'Allah.
Use the first 12 to 15 minutes presenting the most prized and wonderful part of Islam: Focus on the fact that the whole universe is full of evidence indicating that there is Allah (God) and that He is the Creator and Sustainer of all that exists. We can prove this by acknowledging that all this did not occur by accident in space. So if there is a creation, it logically follows that there is a Creator. As such it is up to Him to determine what the purpose of this creation is all about. God, in His Infinite Wisdom, has chosen to reveal this purpose and plan to us through the system of messengers and books.
Establish the fact that we are not in opposition with the belief in God, but rather we are only bringing about a clarification and return to the more original concepts with Islam. You might even let them know that we are all brothers in humanity as well as acknowledging that we come from Adam. The idea of being a Muslim brother or sister is that we are “brothers in faith.” So make them feel comfortable that we are not trying to deny God, His Books, His Angels and His Messengers, not at all. Islam is only making clear what the concept and relationship of Allah is to us.
Then try to shed light on the concept of Allah by stating that:
1. Muslim does not have a different God, but He is the same as their GOD, but we call him Allah as He called Himself in Last Testament;
2. He is the Creator, but not created;
3. He Sustains, but is not sustained;
4. He exists, but never within what He created;
5. He has Divine Attributes, but they are the epitome or ultimate of that characteristic;
6. He has features, but they are not to be compared to what is in His creation. While He is Perfect in every aspect, His creatures (us) are not.
You must also emphasize that Allah is far Exalted above His creation and as such we should never try to make Him manifest somehow inside of anything or anyone. Regarding the status of angels, they are perfect. They obey every single command of Allah and never falter in their duties. The idea of the devil being a “fallen angel” is totally alien to Islam. The devil was elevated to worship Allah along with the angels, but he was not one of them. This is usually a good starting point for making things clear for them.
Another point is to let them know about Adam and Eve. Adam is created from clay. Eve is created from his rib (same as the Bible). The subject of the “sin of the forbidden fruit” is that both sinned. They repented and Allah accepted their repentance and forgave them. Sending them down out of Paradise to the earth was not a punishment from Allah for what they did. Rather, it was something that Allah had destined for them before He ever created them. All of this is a part of the Divine Plan of Allah to make the world a “testing ground” as it were, for them and all the humans that came after them.
This would lead you into the subject of Islam's stance on the purpose of this life. We are only in this existence for a short period of time to see if we will do one of two things: worship Allah as He has ordered, or worship something that He created. If we fulfill our obligation to Allah in worship and exert our efforts in offering Him sincere devotion, then He will forgive the other minor sins upon repenting to Him, and we would then be admitted to His Paradise insha'Allah. On the other hand, if we do not fulfill our duty to Allah, then we would be thrown into total ruin by our own choice.
How can we know what Allah wants for us and how can we best achieve our goal, which is Paradise?
We cannot begin to guess the answer to this anymore than we can create ourselves in the first place.
We need guidance for this. Where do we obtain it? The only way possible is if Allah the Almighty reveals something to us. This will bring you to the subject of the Glorious Qur'an about half way through your talk. Then explain that the Qur'an is the final revelation in a long series of revelations from Almighty Allah to mankind. It supercedes the previous revelations and as such replaces whatever might remain of them. So, in simple terms you might say that, as the Bible is understood to be the “Old Testament” and “New Testament” then the Qur'an would be the “Final Testament” according to this type of labeling.
Part of the essential belief for the Muslim is to have firm faith in the fact that Allah, the Exalted, sent down the original revelations in the past. They include:
•Scrolls of Abraham
•Torah of Moses
•Psalms of David
•Gospel of Jesus
•The Glorious Qur'an to Muhammad
Each Prophet, peace be upon all of them, came only to bring the simple message of “There is no deity to worship throughout the entire creation, except Allah Who is the Creator but never in His Creation.”
I know that this is very wordy and seems too long to say… but trust me, many people came to a better understanding of Islam through this explanation – and by the way, many also made Shahadah (declaration of faith) as well.
You can now move to the subject of prophethood in Islam. Muslims are taught to elevate all the Prophets to a level of high honor and respect. We do not associate them with major sins and crimes. While we take all the Prophets to such a high degree in Islam, we do not make them as gods or semi-gods. So, Islam clears Prophet Lot of the crime of incest and Prophet David from committing adultery, and so on. Additionally, while taking these Prophets to such lofty status, Islam simply never approves of the status Jesus, peace be upon him, is held in Christianity, rather it returns him to the level that he mentioned about himself as being subject to the authority of Almighty Allah (God).
By now, you should be close to 30 minutes in your speech. Wrap it up by saying that we must make a clear distinction between Islam and what some Muslims do. Islam is a verbal noun. It is an action, something that you do. It means to surrender, submit, and obey Allah in sincerity and peace in all that we do while here on the earth. If someone does this, then he or she is a Muslim whether or not they know it. “Muslim” simply means the one who is performing the verb or action of “Islam.” Some people have the name “Muslim” while not actually fulfilling the title. So, we would separate the two words and understand that while “Islam” is perfect, those who try to do it (Muslims) are not perfect.
After many these final conclusions you are ready for your questions and answers. But be ready for the hard part…
They may ask you questions that you are not prepared for. For instance they might ask about current events in various countries, treatment of women, behavior of some Muslims, etc.
A simple default answer prepared by you ahead of time is a wise investment in time. You might like to say something like:
“This is a good question, but it refers to a deeper level of understanding of Allah, Islam and the Muslims. So perhaps I might have another opportunity to speak on these topics in detail.”
Or you might answer the ones that are difficult or confusing in their nature by saying: “As such, according to the wisdom of Islam, I should not try to answer questions that I do not have enough information on.”
We congratulate you on your opportunity to serve Islam and to represent all of us as good Muslims. Remember to pray to Allah for success in this event. Make the Du`a' of Moses when he asked Allah to open his chest, make it easy for him, and to untie his tongue and to make people understand his message (or words to this affect).
Be sure to be early for the event, set up any recording equipment (if you plan to record it) well in advance. Start on time. And just be yourself as a good Muslim. Afterwards, remember to make Du`a' for them later that night, so that Allah will guide them to the truth.
Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net
I wish to write an article on the current status of Muslims from their decreasing application of Islam, to their surrender and imitation of the western culture, to the practice of the few of terrorism. I have heard of hadiths that the Prophet spoke of regarding the future demise of Muslims in their faith and the time where Muslims and their rulers will turn away from true Islam. Please give me the appropriate Qur'anic verses on the future of Muslims declining faith and the appropriate hadiths on this subject.
Almighty Allah says: “But when they forgot the warning they had received, We opened to them the gates of all (good) things, until, in the midst of their enjoyment of Our gifts, on a sudden, We called them to account, when lo! they were plunged in despair!” (Al-An’am 6:44)
He also says: “O ye who believe! What is the matter with you, that, when ye are asked to go forth in the Cause of Allah, ye cling heavily to the earth? Do ye prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter? (38) But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the Hereafter. Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place; but Him ye would not harm in the least. For Allah hath power over all things. (39) If ye help not (your Leader), (it is no matter): for Allah did indeed help him, when the Unbelievers drove him out: he had no more than one companion: they two were in the Cave, and he said to his companion, "Have no fear for Allah is with us": then Allah sent down His peace upon him, and strengthened him with forces which ye saw not, and humbled to the depths the word of the Unbelievers. But the word of Allah is exalted to the heights: for Allah is Exalted in might, Wise.” (At-Tawbah 9: 38-40)
Allah also says: “O ye who believe! if any from among you turn back from his Faith, soon will Allah produce a people whom He will love as they will love Him, lowly with the Believers, mighty against the Rejecters, fighting in the Way of Allah, and never afraid of the reproaches of such as find fault. That is the Grace of Allah, which He will bestow on whom He pleaseth. And Allah encompasseth all, and He knoweth all things. (54) Your (real) friends are (no less than) Allah, His Messenger, and the (Fellowship of) Believers, those who establish regular prayers and regular charity, and they bow down humbly (in worship). (55) As to those who turn (for friendship) to Allah, His Messenger, and the (Fellowship of) Believers, it is the Fellowship of Allah that must certainly triumph.” (Al-Ma'idah 5: 54-56)
Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“Islam started as a stranger and it will return in time
to its initial position (i.e. strangeness).”
Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net
(By Yusuf Estes Last Updated, 27 October 2006)
Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said: "Ad-Dunyaa sijnul mu-min wa jannatul kaafir." (This world is a prison to a true believer - and a paradise to the disbeliever.) How do we relate to this in today's world?
Notice, he did not compare the life of this world for the believers to a "Hell" as some might do. The comparison is between a paradise and a prison.
How would we understand that in today's world?
This life is not really "Hell" - may Allah save us from that, ameen. Rather, everything in this life is limited and restricted for the believers. They are in a similar condition to those who are locked away. Think about it.
When a person truly understands the message of "Islam" (meaning: to submit to God's authority and obey His Commandments in sincerity and peace), the person could only be happy when they would be closer to Almighty God. The faithful believer is most happy whenever contemplating and remembering Allah, the most High, the Most Loving. And to be with Allah in the Next Life is the absolute goal of each and every believer.
Consider what happens when a person is put into a prison. The first thing is they loose their freedom to move about anywhere they would like to go. They would be cut off from those they most love and desire to be with. True? Food and drink would be another item that would be restricted. Things we take for granted every day would not be available to the one in jail. One choice only: Eat it - or leave it!
Clothing is definitely something we just assume is our right and we make choices about this everyday without even considering how limited these things are while in prison.
Communication with the outside exists, but it is quite limited and often difficult to manage. There is a feeling of being cut off.
Most of all, there is the loss of being close to the one whom you love the most and desire to be with, your loved one.
All of these things point toward the condition of the one who is believing in Allah and understanding what is awaiting in the real Paradise in the Next Life. Imagine having anything in the way of food, drink, dress and the freedom to be able to have whatever you desire is what Paradise is all about, isn't it?
Let us contrast that to the unbeliever's condition here in this world. For them, there is no "Next Life." They consider this to be the only life and for them it is important to get whatever they want here.
Money, power, wealth, fame and glory are all very important to them. After all, their idea of "Heaven" is right here in front of them.
Often the believer sees these people being so "successful" in this world, to the extent the believer might ask, "Why is this person getting so much?" or "How come this person is doing bad things, but getting away with it?"
The seeming unfairness we observe first hand on a daily basis should be one of the indicators, that there really is a God and that He is going to have a Day of Judgment and for sure everyone will see their true deeds and be held accountable for them on that Day. After all, how could it be fair for the rich, wealthy and famous to do some of the things they do and not be punished, while certain innocent people are put to very horrible circumstances and even death without having done anything near as bad as these people?
But when you consider the statement of our blessed prophet, peace be upon him: "This world is a prison to believers and a paradise to disbelievers" it all begins to come into balance and reassures the believers: "There really is a God. He is One, without any Partners - and for sure, Muhammad, peace be upon him, is His messenger."
Excerpted, with slight modifications from: www.islamnewsroom.com/
I have read in some of your answers on the issue of apostasy that the punishment for the apostate is to be put to death. But I have read on another website that the apostate who is to be put to death is the one who wages war on Islam (muhaarib). I am more inclined towards the second opinion. The reason for that is that I have friends who were born in Muslim families and who have Muslim names, but some of them do not know how to do wudoo’ or how to pray, but they acknowledge the Shahaadatayn.
Can we regard these people as apostates and thus put them to death?
Answer : Praise be to Allah.
The Muslim should not incline more towards one scholarly opinion rather than another just because it is in accordance with his whims and desires or his reasoning. Rather he has to accept the ruling based on evidence from the Quran and Sunnah. It is essential to put the texts and rulings of sharee’ah before all else.
Apostasy (riddah) and going out of Islam are things that may be done in the heart, on the tongue or in one's actions.
Apostasy may take place in the heart, such as disbelieving in Allah, or believing that there is another creator alongside Allah, or hating Allah or His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
Apostasy may take the form of words spoken on the tongue, such as defaming Allah or the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
Or apostasy may take the form of outward physical actions, such as prostrating to an idol, mistreating the Mus-haf, or not praying.
The apostate (murtadd) is worse than one who is a kaafir in the first place.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said, refuting the pantheistic belief of the Baatinis:
It is well known that the kaafir Tatars are better than these (Baatinis), because the latter are apostates from Islam, of the worst type of apostates. The apostate is worse than one who is a kaafir in the first place in many aspects.
Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 1/193
Not every Muslim who falls into kufr is a kaafir and apostate. There are reasons why a Muslim may be excused and not judged to be a kaafir, for example:
· being forced,
· and making mistakes.
With regard to the first, a man may be ignorant of the ruling of Allah, because he lives far from the Muslim lands, such as one who grows up in the desert or in a kaafir land, or has only recently come to Islam. This may include many of those Muslims who live in societies where ignorance prevails and knowledge is scarce. These are the ones concerning whom the questioner is confused as to whether they are to be judged as kaafirs and executed.
The second reason is if a person interprets the ruling of Allah in a manner not intended by the Lawgiver, such as those who blindly follow the people of bid’ah (innovation) in their misinterpretations, such as the Murji’ah, Mu’tazilah, Khawaarij and the like.
The third reason is if an oppressor overwhelms a Muslim and will not let him go until he makes a blatant statement of kufr out loud in order to ward off the torture, when his heart is at ease with faith.
The fourth is when words of kufr come to one's lips without meaning it.
Not everyone who is ignorant about wudoo’ and prayer can be excused, when he see the Muslims establishing prayer and praying regularly, and he can read and hear the verses on prayer. What is preventing him from praying or from asking about how it is done and what its essential conditions are?
The apostate is not to be put to death immediately after he falls into apostasy, especially if his apostasy happens because of some doubt that arose. Rather he should be asked to repent and he should be offered the opportunity to return to Islam and resolve his doubts, if he has any doubts. Then if he persists in his apostasy after that, he is to be put to death.
Ibn Qudaamah said in al-Mughni, 9/18:
The apostate should not be put to death until he has been asked to repent three times. This is the view of the majority of scholars, including ‘Umar, ‘Ali, ‘Ata’, al-Nakhaii, Maalik, al-Thawri, al-Awzaa’i, Ishaaq and others. Because apostasy comes about because of doubt, and cannot be dispelled in an instant. Time should be allowed for the person to rethink the matter, and the best length of time is three days.
The saheeh Sunnah indicates that it is essential to put the apostate to death.
Al-Bukhaari (6922) narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever changes his religion, put him to death.”
Al-Bukhaari (6484) and Muslim (1676) narrated that ‘Abd-Allah ibn Mas’ood said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “It is not permissible to shed the blood of a Muslim who bears witness that there is no god except Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah, except in one of three cases: a soul for a soul (i.e., in the case of murder); a previously-married person who commits zina; and one who leaves his religion and separates from the main body of the Muslims.”
The general meaning of these ahaadeeth indicates that it is essential to put the apostate to death whether he is waging war on Islam (muhaarib) or not.
The view that the apostate who is to be put to death is the one who is waging war on Islam (muhaarib) only is contrary to these ahaadeeth. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said that the reason why he should be put to death is his apostasy, not his waging war against Islam.
Undoubtedly some kinds of apostasy are more abhorrent than others, and the apostasy of one who wages war against Islam is more abhorrent than that of anyone else. Hence some of the scholars differentiated between them, and said that it is not essential to ask the muhaarib to repent or to accept his repentance; rather he should be put to death even if he repents, whereas the repentance of one who is not a muhaarib should be accepted and he should not be put to death. This is the view favoured by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him).
Apostasy is of two types: ordinary apostasy and extreme apostasy, for which execution is prescribed. In both cases there is evidence that it is essential to execute the apostate, but the evidence indicating that the sentence of death may be waived if the person repents does not apply to both types of apostasy. Rather the evidence indicates that that is allowed only in the first case – i.e., ordinary apostasy – as will be clear to anyone who studies the evidence that speaks about accepting the repentance of the apostate. In the second type – i.e., extreme apostasy – the obligation to put the apostate to death still stands, and there is no text or scholarly consensus to indicate that the death sentence may be waived. The two cases are quite different and there is no comparison between them. It does not say in the Quran or Sunnah, or according to scholarly consensus, that everyone who apostatizes in word or deed may be spared the death sentence if he repents after he is a captured and tried. Rather the Quran and Sunnah, and scholarly consensus, differentiate between the different kinds of apostates.
Al-Saarim al-Maslool, 3/696
Al-Hallaaj was one of the most well known heretics who were put to death without being asked to repent. Al-Qaadi ‘Iyaad said:
The Maaliki fuqaha’ of Baghdad at the time of al-Muqtadir were unanimously agreed that al-Hallaaj should be killed and crucified because of his claim to divinity and his belief in incarnation, and his saying “I am al-Haqq [God],” even though he outwardly appeared to adhere to sharee’ah, and they did not accept his repentance.
Al-Shifa bi Ta’reef Huqooq al-Mustafa, 2/1091.
Based on this, it is clear that what the questioner says about the apostate not being killed unless he is waging war on Islam is mistaken, and the differentiation that we have quoted from Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah may dispel any confusion and make the matter clearer.
Waging war against Islam is not limited only to fighting with weapons, rather it may be done verbally such as defaming Islam or the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), or attacking the Quran, and so on. Waging verbal war against Islam may be worse than waging war against it with weapons in some cases.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said:
Muhaarabah (waging war against Islam) is of two types: physical and verbal. Waging war verbally against Islam may be worse than waging war physically – as stated above – hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to kill those who waged war against Islam verbally, whilst letting off some of those who waged war against Islam physically. This ruling is to be applied more strictly after the death of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Mischief may be caused by physical action or by words, but the damage caused by words is many times greater than that caused by physical action; and the goodness achieved by words in reforming may be many times greater than that achieved by physical action. It is proven that waging war against Allah and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) verbally is worse and the efforts on earth to undermine religion by verbal means is more effective.
Al-Saarim al-Maslool, 3/735
And Allah knows best.
Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/en/
If a Muslim changed his religion to other religion what will Shari`ah say? And is it right that he will be executed (death)? And if the answer is no? can you please tell me what the Islamic court will decide in this status for a person that was Muslim and he changed his religion?
Allah says: “…. And if any of you Turn back from their faith and die in unbelief, their works will bear no fruit in this life and in the Hereafter; they will be companions of the Fire and will abide therein.) (Al-Baqarah 2: 217)
Regarding this issue, two points have to be kept in mind. The first point is that Islam is a choice and it is not to be forced on anyone. So, anyone who chooses Islam with conviction and total satisfaction means that he adopts this way of life without any force, and Islam asks this person to choose this way of life without return. So it is an issue of agreement, to choose Islam without revoking it.
The second point is that if someone breached this agreement and he is living in a country where Islamic Shari`ah is applied. So the Shari`ah will handle the situation as a breach of covenant. If someone is living outside the jurisdiction of Islam, so this is not the responsibility of the Muslim community to apply the rules of Shari`ah on that person, but this person will face the consequences in the hereafter if he or she does not repent in this life.
process would be as follows: first, the state has to confirm the
issue of apostasy and that the person is breaching the
covenant and CALLS FOR HIS DISBELIEVING IDEAS. Then the court will give
him or her the chance to repent and revoke his or her ideas and stop
spreading them in the Muslim community. If the court confirmed that the
person admitted explicitly that he intends to change Islam and he does
not care about it, and does not want to repent, then the court will take
an action until the clause of treason, because that would be considered
a law of the land and an issue of loyalty to the state.
Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net
I would be very grateful if you could advise me whether a ta`weez can be worn for purposes of an illness or nazar.
unanimously agreed upon among the majority of Muslim scholars that
wearing amulets or ta`aweez that contain other than verses from
the Qur’an is forbidden as far as Islamic Shari`ah is concerned.
cite for you one of the Prophet’s hadiths that indicates the prohibition
of wearing such things: Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon
“Whoever wears anything (meaning an amulet) will be
entrusted to its care …”
(Reported by Abu-Dawud)
Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net
What are six Kalimahs of Islam?
Following are six Kalimahs of Islam?
Word of Purity
There is no god except Allah. Muhammad is His messenger.
Hadrat Zaid bin ‘Arqam (Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “Whoever says La ilaaha illal-laahu… sincerely will enter the Paradise.” It was said: And what is the [sign of] sincerity? He said: “That this kalimah stops him from those things which Allah has forbidden.”
(Tabaraani in Awsat-ul-Kabeer)
“Do you not see how Allah puts forth the likeness of a good word (kalimah tayyibah)? It is like a good tree, whose root is firmly fixed and whose branches reach to the sky (24) It brings forth its fruit in all seasons by the command of its Lord. And Allah sets forth parables for men, so that they may take heed (25) And the likeness of an evil word (kalimah khabeetha- a word of shirk) is like an evil tree, which is uprooted from the face of the earth, and has no stability.” (Ibraheem 14: 24-26)
Word of Testification
I bear witness that there is no god except Allah, Who is Alone and has no partners; And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger.
Word of Glorification
Glory be to Allah. And
praise be to Allah. And there is no god except Allah.
Ibn Mas’ood (Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “When I met Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) in the night of Mi’raaj he asked me to convey his Salaam to my Ummah and to tell them that the Paradise has a fertile soil and sweet water, and is like a vast field. And its plants are [the words above].” Another version says: “Whoever recites the words above, a tree in Paradise is planted for him for each word he says.” (Virtues of Dhikr; Tirmidhi)
Word of Oneness of Allah
There is no god except Allah, Who is Alone and has no partners. For Him is the Dominion and for Him is all praise. He gives life and causes death. And He is Living and will never ever die. Owner of Majesty and Honor: In His Hands is all goodness. And He has power over all things.
Abu Hurairah (Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “A person who recites: Laa ilaaha illal-laahu wahdahu laa shareeka lahu, lahul-mulku wa lahul-hamdu wa huwa ‘alaa kulli shay-in qadeer, a hundred times daily will have reward equal to that of freeing ten slaves and one hundred good deeds will be written for him, and one hundred of his sins will be lifted from him, and for the whole day, he will remain immune from the Shaytaan until the evening, and on the Day of Judgment, no one will exceed him in merit except one who has done [these phrases] more.” (Agreed upon)
Word of Repentance
I seek forgiveness of my Lord for every sin that I have sinned- intentionally or accidentally, in secret or in open- and I repent to Him for the sins that I am aware of, and for the sins that I am not aware of. Truly You (Oh Allah!) are the Knower of the Unseen, and the Coverer of Faults, and the Forgiver of Sins. And there is no power and no strength except with Allah, the Most High, Most Great.
Agharr ibn Yasaar (Allah be pleased with him) said that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “O you people! Repent to Allah and seek His forgiveness. Truly I myself offer repentance one hundred times each day.” (Muslim)
Word of Rejection of Disbelief
Oh Allah! Truly I seek refuge in You from holding any partners with You knowingly. And I see forgiveness of You for that which I am not aware of. I repent of such deeds and I clear myself from any actions of disbelief and idolatry and lying and backbiting and innovation and slander and lewdness and abomination and every type of sin. And I submit to You and I say:”There is no god except Allah; Muhammad is His Messenger”
What evidence do you have that tells you Imama Ali (A.S.) is not supposed to be the leader after the Prophet Muhammed (A.S).
Answer: Praise be to Allah.
One of the basic principles of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah is that they have nothing against the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and they do not say anything against them. Their hearts are free of any hatred, resentment and rancor (towards them) and they do not say anything (about them) that is not appropriate or befitting, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“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” [Al-Hashr 59 :10]
And they obey the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) who said: “Do not revile my companions, for by the One in Whose hand is my soul, if one of you were to spend in charity gold equal to the size of Mount Uhud, he would not achieve the status of one of them, or even come halfway.” (narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3637; Muslim, 2541).
Firstly : One of the basic principles of Ahl al-Sunnah is that they accept that which has been narrated in the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and the consensus of the scholars, concerning the virtues and status (of the Sahaabah). They give precedence to those who spent and fought before the victory – the treaty of al-Hudaybiyah – over those who spent and fought afterwards, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“....Not equal among you are those who spent and fought before the Victory. Such are higher in degree than those who spent and fought afterwards. But to all Allah has promised the best (reward). And Allah is All‑Aware of what you do” [Al-Hadeed 57:10]
They give precedence to the Muhaajireen over the Ansaar, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And the foremost to embrace Islam of the Muhaajiroon and the Ansaar and also those who followed them exactly (in Faith). Allah is well-pleased with them as they are well-pleased with Him. He has prepared for them Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise), to dwell therein forever. That is the supreme success” [At -Tawbah 9:100]. So the aayah gives precedence to the Muhaajireen over the Ansaar.
They believe that Allah said concerning the people of Badr – who numbered three hundred and thirteen – “Do whatever you like, for I have forgiven you,” because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Maybe Allah looked at the people of Badr and said, ‘Do whatever you like, for I have forgiven you.’” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3007; Muslim, 2494 - from the hadeeth of ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib)
They believe that no-one who gave the oath of allegiance (bay’ah) under the tree will enter Hell, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said. Rather Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him, and they numbered more than one thousand and four hundred. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Indeed, Allah was pleased with the believers when they gave the Bay‘ah (pledge) to you (O Muhammad) under the tree, He knew what was in their hearts, and He sent down As‑Sakeenah (calmness and tranquillity) upon them, and He rewarded them with a near victory” [Al-Fath 48:18]
And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “In sha Allah, no one among the companions of the tree, those who gave their oath of allegiance beneath the tree, will enter Hell.” (Narrated by Muslim, 2496). Among those who pledged allegiance beneath the tree were Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthmaan and ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with them all.
And they (Ahl al-Sunnah) bear witness that those will enter Paradise who the Messenger of Allah bore witness that they would enter, such as the ten (who were given the glad tidings of Paradise), and Thaabit ibn Qays ibn Shammaas, and others among the Sahaabah (may Allah be pleased with them). The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Abu Bakr will be in Paradise, ‘Umar will be in Paradise, ‘Uthmaan will be in Paradise, ‘Ali will be in Paradise, Talhah will be in Paradise, al-Zubayr will be in Paradise, ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn ‘Awf will be in Paradise, Sa’d will be in Paradise, Sa’eed will be in Paradise and Abu ‘Ubaydah ibn al-Jarraah will be in Paradise.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood, 4649; al-Tirmidhi, 3747; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani).
They affirm that which has been narrated in mutawaatir reports from ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib (may Allah be pleased with him) and others, that the best among this ummah after its Prophet is Abu Bakr, then ‘Umar.
It was narrated that Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah said: “I said to my father (‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib), ‘Which of the people is the best after the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)?’ He said, ‘Abu Bakr.’ I asked, ‘Then who?’ He said, ‘ ‘Umar.’ I was worried that he would say ‘Uthmaan, so I said, ‘Then is it you?’ He said, ‘I am just a man among the Muslims.’” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3671). So they (Ahl al-Sunnah) list ‘Uthmaan as the third and ‘Ali as the fourth, may Allah be pleased with them.
See al-Waasitiyyah by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, with commentary.
Secondly: it is part of the belief of Ahl al-Sunnah that the most deserving of the people to succeed the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq (may Allah be pleased with him). The evidence for the leadership of Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) is as follows:
1 – It was narrated from Muhammad ibn Jubayr ibn Mut’im that his father said: “A woman came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and he told her to come back later. She said, ‘What if I come back and do not find you?’ as if she was referring to death. He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘If you do not find me, then go to Abu Bakr.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3659).
2 – It was narrated that Ibn Mas’ood said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘Take as your leaders those who come after me, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar.’” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 3805; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani).
3 – It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with them both) said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘Whilst I was standing by a well, drawing water from it, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar came. Abu Bakr took the bucket and drew one or two buckets, but there was some weakness in his drawing. May Allah forgive him. Then ‘Umar bin Al-Khattaab came and the bucket turned into a very large one in his hands. I had never seen such a mighty person as he in doing such hard work till all the people drank to their satisfaction and watered their camels that knelt down there.’” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3676).
Ibn Hajar said in his commentary on this hadeeth:
“Whilst I was standing by a well” means, in a dream. “Drawing water from it” means, filling a bucket with water. “He drew one or two buckets (dhanooban aw dhanoobayn)”: dhanoob refers to a large bucket when it is full of water. It seems to me that this refers to the major conquests which took place during his reign (as khaleefah), which numbered three. Hence the hadeeth does not refer to the number of buckets in the case of ‘Umar, rather it describes his drawing of water as ‘mighty’, referring to the many conquests that would occur during his reign as khaleefah. And Allah knows best.
Al-Shaafa’i mentioned the interpretation of this hadeeth in al-Umm, where after quoting it he said: The meaning of the phrase “but there was some weakness in his drawing” is that his time of leadership was short, because of his untimely death and the fact that the war against the apostates (ahl al-riddah) kept him from reaching the level of conquests attained by ‘Umar during his lengthy reign as khaleefah.
With regard to the phrase “May Allah forgive him,” al-Nawawi said: This is a du’aa’ on the part of the one who is speaking, i.e., there can be no other interpretation. Others said that it was an indication that the death of Abu Bakr was close. A similar case is to be seen in the aayah in which Allah says to His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him):
“So glorify the Praises of your Lord, and ask His forgiveness. Verily, He is the One Who accepts the repentance and Who forgives” [An-Nasr 110:3 – interpretation of the meaning]
This aayah was an indication that the death of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was close. I say: it may be that it was an indication that the small number of conquests during his time was not his fault, because the reason for that was the brevity of his rule, and the meaning of forgiveness is to remove any blame from him.
“And the bucket turned into a very large one in his hands” means, it became a huge bucket. “I had never seen such a mighty person as he” means that he achieved the ultimate.
4 – It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to me when he was sick, ‘Call Abu Bakr for me, your father and your brother, so that I may dictate a letter. For I am worried lest someone who is ambitious says that he is more entitled to the position of leadership, but Allah and the believers will not accept anyone other than Abu Bakr.’” (Narrated by Muslim, 2387).
5 – During his final illness, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) appointed Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq to lead the Muslims in prayer and he did not accept anyone else to take his place. The fact that he was appointed to take his place in the case of minor leadership (leading the prayers) indicates that he would succeed him in the case of major leadership (as imaam or khaleefah).
What is “Nafs” and its references in Quran. Detail each kind of Nafs mentioned in Quran.
Answer : Praise be to Allah.
Meaning of Nafs
Allah infuses “some spirit of Allah, or Rooh” inside the fetus of every woman, when her pregnancy is about 4 months, and Nafs is part of it. By Nafs we can derive meaning.
1. “Self of a human or creature” (life)
2. “Soul” (rooh) in human body
3. “Spirit” (some spirit of Allah)
Nafs part, which relates to human responsible activities will end after death therefore its meaning stands for this world only. After death, it does not exist anymore. After resurrection, human will be having different qualities (e.g. no more accountability after one has entered Hell or Hell, no more death, no more evil thoughts, no more greediness, hate, etc. etc)
Nafs in human is life also, similar to all nonhuman beings. However it has an additional “soul”, explained below.
1. Nafs in all human beings is not “life” alone. It has “some Spirit of Allah” or “Rooh”.
2. “Some Spirit of Allah” or “Rooh” is for this world as well as for the world after.
3. “Some Spirit of Allah” or “Rooh” does not terminate with “death”. It is imperishable.
4. “Life” for human “Rooh” ends in this world. Another “Eternal Life” begins after death.
5. “Eternal Life” after “death” shall be spent after accountability by Allah, may be in Hell or Heaven.
Nafs: Nafs in human is the totality of sentiments, tendencies, desires, wishes, experiences, responses to different situations, and our heredity characteristics; in short, it is human’s personality responding, directing, forbidding or restraining to different situations.
Characteristics of “Nafs”
In its primitive state the nafs has seven heads that must be defeated:
1. False pride (Takabbur)
2. Greed (Hirs)
3. Envy (Hasad)
4. Lust (Shahwah)
5. Backbiting (Gheebah)
6. Stinginess (Bokhl)
7. Malice (Keena)
Three principal stages of “Nafs”
There are three principal stages of Nafswhich are specifically mentioned in the Quran. They are stages in the process of development, refinement and mastery of the Nafs.
Nafs-e-Ammara (Commanding or Inciting Soul):
In its primitive stage the Nafs incites us to commit evil:
The prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said after returning from a war, "We now return from the small struggle (Jihad Asghar) to the big struggle (Jihad Akbar)". His companions asked, "Oh prophet of God, what is the big struggle?" He replied, "The struggle against Nafs."
There are various verses in the Holy Qur'an relative to the existence of this kind of Nafs. This Nafs commands us to commit sin. It is lower than animals because they behave according to the demands of nature. When a lion or tiger devours another animal it is because it needs food. And once an animal is full it does not pursue another animal, while a man is capable of swallowing the whole world and still be hungry. Man can kill thousands and still long for more blood.
Commanding on this Nafs, a human tramples upon his nature and behaves relative to the demands of its desires and whims for which there is no limit. For his satisfaction he can do anything logical or illogical, human or inhuman and can become to the lowest degree of mankind. In short, Ammara is lowest of all the Nafs and Dr. Shariati has compared it to mud.
“I do not exculpate myself. Lo! The Nafs e ammara (carnal, human) soul enjoins (teaches) unto evil. Save that whereon my Lord hath mercy. Lo! My Lord is Forgiving, Merciful” (Sura Yusuf 12:53)
Lawwama (Nafs-e-Lawwama / self-accusing soul):
This word is derived from 'Lom' which means to 'reproach.' At this stage Nafs reaches a point that if it commits a sin its conscience wakes up and criticizes the doer. This is the first indication that man's Nafs is wakening up and perhaps most men in the world are at this stage.
It is this self critics that forces and reminds human that action you are doing, are against higher living and moral ethics rooted in human and directed by God. "the conscience” is awakened to let the human adopt a right path. It commands to leave bad habits and actions. If listened, one leaves bad thoughts, habits, actions and repents and asks for forgiveness. Here Nafs reminds you the results of your actions, and inspires to perfection by listening to it.
Quran mentions "the self-accusing Nafs"
“Nay! I swear by the self-accusing soul” (Qiyammah 75:2)
Nafs e Mutmaenna : (The surrendered blissful soul)
The ‘Nafse Lawamma’ gives guidance to the heart and mind with moral precepts and ‘Nafs e mutmaenna’ is in total peace with the Lord by following the commands of the Lord and His Prophet (SAS). When the nafs or soul is surrendered to the Lord, then the Lord bestows his secrets in the heart and such persons become humble devotees of the Lord. The Lord answers the prayers of the persons whose nafs has reached the stage of the surrender and humbled itself to the Lord’s service.
Such persons are awe inspiring persons and Allah refers to such persons as his friends i.e. Walies. They are always in Allah’s service seeking His help and guidance and pursuing His qualities all the time. Such persons are fit to receive Allah’s grace and bounties.
They are godly and heavenly. They live in total awe and fear of the Lord and are referred to as ‘Mutaqeens’ Those with righteous living are ‘Zahedeens’. They exercise patience during adverse periods and are always thankful to the Lord for the bounties showered on them. Hence they are also called ‘Sabereens’ and ‘Shakeareens’. They are in Lord’s service and serve His creatures and they are also called ‘Saliheens’. As they humble themselves in prayers and carry themselves in prayers and carry out the ‘ibadaat’, they are also referred as ‘Abideens’ and ‘Sajjideens’. Allah refers to ever humbled persons by various names. As they are always reciting the Prayers of Allah, they are also referred as ‘Zakireens’. When their ends come, Allah commands such soul to return to their heavenly abode, the final abode of peace.
“(To the righteous soul will be said:) "O (thou) soul, in (complete) rest and satisfaction (27)Come back thou to thy Lord,- well pleased (thyself), and well-pleasing unto Him(28)Enter thou, then, among My devotees (29)"And enter you My Paradise!" (Al-Fajr 89:27 - 30)
Are Muslim men required to grow beards or is it optional? I have heard from some that it is obligatory, but others say that it is the Sunnah. What is your view and why is there a difference of opinion on this subject?
It is obligatory (wajib) in Islam to grow a beard, and it is allowed to shave it off only when it is necessary (e.g., facial surgery, persecution, etc.). Not growing a beard is considered a sin but it is not considered kufr (disbelief in Allah). Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) ordered the Muslim men to shave their mustache and leave the rest of the beard grow.
Al-Bukhari, on the authority of Ibn 'Umar, reported the Prophet (peace be on him) as saying, "Be different from the polytheists (mushrikeen): let the beard grow and trim the moustache."
It is also a Sunnah for a Muslim man to trim his beard, i.e., remove the excess hair that may be sticking out or looking odd. This is the position of the majority of the Muslim scholars.
There are three opinions with regard to the shaving of the beard:
· It is haram, which is the opinion of Ibn Taymiyyah and others.
· It is makruh, the opinion of 'Ayyad as mentioned in Al-Fatah al-Bari but of no one else.
· It is permitted, which is the opinion of some modern scholars.
Perhaps the second opinion, that it is makruh, is nearer to the truth and more moderate. As the stated reason for growing the beard is to be different from the non-believers, it is similar to the matter of dyeing gray hair in order to be distinct from the Jews and Christians; it is known that some of the sahabah did not dye their gray hair, signifying that it was commendable rather than obligatory. Similarly, growing the beard may be regarded as commendable but not obligatory, and, accordingly, shaving it would be classified as makruh rather than haram. It is true that none of the sahabah was known to have shaved his beard. Perhaps there was no need to shave, and perhaps growing the beard was a custom among them.
Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: http://islamicity.com
I would like to know what is the ruling on Nadhr, ie. promising Allah you will do some ibadah in return for a favour, eg. passing your exams. Is it permissible/recommended or just allowed?
Nadhr in Islam is Makrooh (or not recommended). It is always better for a Muslim not to do it, but if a person does it, he/she must fulfill the promise as Allah Almighty said in the Qur'an.
“And they fulfill their Nadhr (or vows) ……………”. (Al-Insan 76:7)
Still, it is important to know that Allah has praised those who fulfill their vows and promises, because a Nadhr is a type of a contract between the servant and his Lord, and the contract has to be executed as Allah said in al-Maidah.
“O ye who believe! fulfil (all) obligations…….” (Al-Maeda 5:1)
Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/en/
What is the definition of Eemaan (faith) according to Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah? Does it increase and decrease? What are the things that make faith decrease?
Answer: Praise be to Allah.
According to Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah, Eemaan (faith) is “belief in the heart, words on the tongue and actions of the body.” This includes three things:
1. Belief in the heart
2. Words on the tongue
3. Actions of the body
As this is the case, then it will increase and decrease in life according to one’s belief and practice. That is because the degree of belief in the heart differs from one person to another. Believing in what someone tells you is not the same as believing something that you see with your own eyes. Believing in what one person tells you is not the same as believing what two people tell you, and so on. Hence Ibraaheem (peace be upon him) said:
“When Abraham said: "Show me, Lord, how You will raise the dead, " He (Allah) said: "Do you not believe?" He (Ibraheem) said "Yes (I believe), but to be stronger in faith" ………………” (Al-Baqarah 2:260)
Eemaan may increase with regard to belief, contentment and tranquility in the heart. A person may experience that in himself when he attends gatherings of Dhikr where he hears a lesson. Remembering Paradise and Hell increases eemaan to the point where it as if you can see them with your own eyes. But when a person is negligent and leaves those gatherings, this certain faith is reduced in his heart.
Eemaan in the sense of words may increase similarly. Whoever remembers Allah a few times is not like one who remembers Him one hundred times. The latter is far better in eemaan.
And the one who does an act of worship in a perfect manner will have more faith than one who does it in an imperfect manner.
The same applies to righteous deeds. If a person does good deeds
physically more than another, the one who does more will have more
eemaan than the one who does less. This is stated in the Quran
and Sunnah – I mean the fact that eemaan may increase and
decrease. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And whenever there comes down a Soorah, some of them (hypocrites) say: “Which of you has had his Faith increased by it?” As for those who believe, it has increased their Faith, and they rejoice” (124) But as for those in whose hearts is a disease (of doubt, disbelief and hypocrisy), it will add suspicion and doubt to their suspicion, disbelief and doubt; and they die while they are disbelievers (At-Tawbah 9:124-125)
Thus eemaan increases and decreases.
Things that make faith decrease?
The things that make faith decrease are as follows:
1. Ignorance of the names and attributes of Allah makes a decrease in faith inevitable, because if a man is lacking in knowledge of the names and attributes of Allah, he will be lacking in faith.
2. Neglecting to think about the signs of Allah in the universe and the signs of sharee’ah (i.e., verses of the Quran and miracles of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), etc.). This causes a decrease in faith or at the very least it causes it to stagnate and not grow.
3. Committing sins, because sin has a profound effect on the heart and on faith. Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The adulterer at the time when he is committing adultery is not a believer.”
4. Neglecting to do acts of worship, because neglecting to do acts of worship causes a decrease in faith. But if the act of worship is obligatory and a person neglects it with no excuse, then he is to be blamed and deserves punishment. If the act of worship is not obligatory, or it is obligatory but a person does not do it for a valid reason, then he is lacking but is not to be blamed. Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) described women as lacking in reason and in religion, and he explained their lacking in religion as being because of the fact that when they menstruate, they do not pray or fast. But they are not to be blamed for not praying or fasting during their menstruation; rather they are commanded not to do these things at that time. But because they miss out on doing some of the things that men do, they are regarded as lacking in this regard.
5. Not reading Quran, hadith books, not practicing prayers and fasts of Ramadan, makes one totally at the lowest of Eiman. Some even don’t remember the first Kalimah of Eiman, then they are, and may be Muslims by name but stranger to Islam.
Thus we should try to keep our Eiman at least to a level that we should not feel ashamed of being Muslim when faced by questions by our own religious brother or other religion questioner.
First Kalimah remembrance and believing by heart, at least keep one in the pale of Islam, but remember, Heaven will be attained by belief, then good deeds and then on the mercy of Allah.
Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa
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