The Answer to the Heat Wave of Fitnah. Grab the Umbrella of Taqwa (Advice for Summer): Ust. Suhaib Webb

Asalamu alaykum,I hope all of you are well and pray that everyone is in a state of being close to Allah. Just 10 short years ago I was struggling as a new convert to Islam and one of the greatest hurdles was the ladies. My college days were rough in many regards. Before my conversion I was a successful DJ (I had just got my hands on a really nice four track mixer. Okay so you know I’m old school. But, in those days I could make it fly) and was about to walk the Burning Sands and pledge Alpha Phi Alpha. All praise be to God that instead I became Muslim and slowly started to pull out of those things. It was rough but the most difficult part was dealing with the other gender.

Young brothers and sister I feel your pain man. It is difficult and as the summer months roll up it gets more and more difficult to manage as the clothes roll up as well. We all know the routine: “Lower the gaze! Lower the gaze! Lower the gaze!” But, if the heart is not lowered in awe of Allah’s magnificence and His tremendous bounties, then how can we expect the eyes to lower?

Tonight I attended a reading of the Shamil Muhamadiyah with Sh. Ibrahim al-Khalifa from Saudi Arabia. He is visiting Egypt for a few weeks and I had just finished my exam and decided to go and listen to his dars. The streets in Cairo are a mix of cars, buses, donkeys, cows and pollution that, seriously, when you make wudu slides off your face. I can only liken the air to a full vacuum bag that spews its contents creating a small cloud of dust. However, in the heat I remembered the homies in the West: My Boyz in Chicago, the brothers in L.A and most importantly the brothers in the Bay. I miss them all. The love for brothers is something that we should cherish and hold on to like we hold on to our checkbooks.

Anyways, after reading from the Shamail, the Sheikh moved on to al-Muhasibi’s Risalat Mustarshidin with the tahqiq by Sh. Abdul Fatah Abu Ghuda who is considered one of the greatest scholars of hadith from the last century. The Sheikh was talking about worshiping Allah as though you see the Hereafter close and understand that your time is up. “Be ready! Don’t let this life delude you! Be good people. Treat others with respect and worship your Lord as though you are going to leave this life soon.” It was a real masterpiece to watch the Sheikh tie vice with the rope of responsibility and knowing that one is going to die one day and answer for his time. Imam al-Muhasibi’s texts is intense and I felt a buzz in my chest as the Sheikh started to get into the flow.

This is for the all the young brothers and sisters struggling:

The Sheikh, after talking about this responsibility linked it to a very interesting story. That, for me, is the sign of a good Imam,teacher or Sheikh that they can tie things into our daily lives. Thus, such a style gives the din fresh legs, opens up one’s heart and soothes the coals of sin. He said that during the time of ‘Umar there was a young man who’s desires got the best of him. It all started with the look and the next thing the young man was alone with a woman. Suddenly, as the clock was starting to turn, the young man heard a verse of Qur’an being recited that reminded him of Allah’s greatness. He left the young woman, stood up shaking from the fear of Allah and fell dead from this fear. ‘Umar (may Allah have mercy on him) buried this youth and after hearing how he died walked over to the fresh grave and recited the following verse from Surah al-Rahman, “And for the one who fears the meeting with Allah there are two gardens.” Suddenly a response came from the grave reciting the verse, “We have found the promise of our Lord to be true.”

Dear brothers and sisters,

The summer is upon you and it is no joke. Statistics show that as the barometer rises that evil rise as well. One of the most important things you can take with you is Allah’s awesome nature and bounties. Reflect! Turn of the PS3! Put down the I-Pod and think for a minute! Put handcuffs on your Internet use and know that you will be asked about your youth. Where are you headed? What are you doing and how are you going to use this summer? Take sometime away from the gadgets and turn on your heart. Make some goals for yourself to do some good things in your community. Remember that when you see something that causes your temperature to fly that Allah is watching you. He knows what is in your heart and understands that it ain’t easy. Ask Him for His help and try to withstand the attacks of Iblis. I have a lot of faith that our young brothers and sisters can do loads of wonderful things in their communities!

Cool the heat of summer with the following:

1. Good friends who take you to good places. The Prophet (sa) said, “A person is on the faith of his friend.” One nice note about the hadith of the three people stuck in the cave. If they had not been together then they would have not been able to help each other get out. However, since they were all decent guys they were able to work together and use their good to remove the rock from the cave.

2. Have some goals for this summer:

1. Community (volunteer with any number of Muslim/Non-Muslim organziations and do something good for your neighborhoods
2. Spiritual (get those five prayers rocking and if you are real with it you will through in some night prayers and extra fasts)
3. Educational (try and attend some lessons or educational programs that will boost your faith)
4. Family (spend some time with the wife/husband (find one) kids and close relatives

3. Have some nice activities:
1. Qiyam
2. B-Ball tourneys (all nighters) followed by Qiyam, Fajir and some Aunties phat spicy eggs
3. Sleep overs
4. Camping
5. Weekly ‘Itikaf (inshallah, when I’m back in the stats I’m down)

I ask Allah to help us, bless us and let us use our time well. I would appreciate it if whoever reads this could help us generate a list of things to do this summer.

Suhaib

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On Celebrating The Prophet’s Birthday (sa)

 

On Celebrating The Prophet’s Birthday (sa)

 

 

On Celebrating The Prophet’s Birthday (sa) Sheikh Abdullah Bin Bayyah. Remixed by TheTranslators

Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah is one of the foremost scholars of Islamic Law alive today. He is a professor at the University of Usul al-Fiqh in Saudi Arabia, has held several government positions in his native Mauritania, and is a prominent member of many Islamic legal bodies, including the European Council for Fatwa and Research and al-Majma’ al-Fiqhi. He is also Vice President of the World Council of Muslim Scholars with Dr. Yusuf Qaradawi. At the same time he shares hosting duties with Dr. Qaradawi on the popular show, Shari’ah and daily shown on al-jazeerah every Sunday.

 


Background:

The celebration of the birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is an issue of controversy amongst the scholars. There were some who considered it a disliked innovation, a few even saying it reached the level of prohibition. And there were others who considered it a praiseworthy innovation. This difference is traced back to a divergence concerning the categorization of innovation (bid’ah). Some scholars held that there is such a thing as a praiseworthy innovation and these were, primarily, the Shafi’i scholars, foremost among them Al-’Izz ibn Abdul-Salam (May Allah have mercy upon him) and Imam Al-Qarafi (May Allah have mercy upon him), who was a Maliki. Al-Qarafi was of this opinion but he also delved into great detail in explaining it. In his discussion, Al-Qarafi (ra) stated that innovations may be shown by proof to be recommended, obligatory, disliked, and so on, depending on the ruling of Islamic Law (shari’ah) concerning each particular matter. Thus, he divided innovation into five parts (obligatory, recommended, permissible, disliked and forbidden). However, there were some scholars who did not accept this division contending that if the word innovation is used with its technical meaning (which is the norm), then it is a repulsive innovation. They relegated the statement of ‘Umar, regarding the tarawih prayers, “What a good innovation” to its linguistic meaning. This is what Taqi al-Din Ahmad Ibn Taymiyyah said, as well as Al-Shatibi in his book Al-’Itisam. Many scholars from the Maliki and Hanbali schools (may Allah have mercy upon all of them) also took this approach. Among the scholars there were those who wrote in support of celebrating the Mawlid, such as Al-Suyuti (May Allah have mercy upon him) and there were those who wrote against it. Thus, in my opinion, there is no need to drag this discussion out, nor to argue about it very much.

The Ruling:

Indeed, whoever wants to celebrate the Prophet’s birthday (peace and blessings be upon him) by reiterating his sira (biography) and the beautiful events of his life while avoiding any action contrary to Islamic Law and being sure to avoid the intention that this celebration is a sunna or an obligatory act may do so. If these conditions that I mentioned are observed, and one is careful not to contradict Islamic Law, and celebrates out of sincere love for the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), then, Allah willing, there is nothing wrong with this action and this person will be rewarded. The Shaykh of Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (May Allah have mercy upon him) said regarding this in his book Iqtida’ al-Sirat al-Mustaqim, “Indeed, such a person will be rewarded because of his intention.” As for the one who leaves this celebration, seeking to cling to the sunna and out of fear of falling into innovation, then this person will also be rewarded, Allah willing. It is important to note that this is not a big issue, nor is it necessary to give it more attention then it deserves. There are some Islamic lands in which the people celebrate the Mawlid and do acts of worship on other virtuous days of the year and the scholars differed regarding these things, some of them disapproving of them and some of them saying they are permissible, as was mentioned by al-Zaqqaq in his Manhaj and other Maliki scholars who wrote at great length on this issue, on innovation, and on whether all new matters are innovations or whether they can be categorized like the previously mentioned opinion of al-Qarafi.

The Methodology:

Our view towards uniting the Muslims by curbing these differences is a view of facilitation and ease. This ease is not founded on an empty premise, but is referenced directly back to the Qur’an, traditions of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), the fundamental objectives of Islamic law (maqasid al-shari’ah), and the order of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) to work towards unity between people. Therefore, if there is a valid difference of opinion pertaining to a certain matter, we exercise great consideration and respect for both sides. This consideration is not simply an act of being overly accommodative, as some contend, nor is it a type of laxity. Rather, this respect and consideration for differences is guided by the fact that both opinions are based on proofs from Islamic Law that are not sufficiently clear to prove conclusively that one side is right and the other side is wrong. These matters are new phenomenon – things that no one was doing and then people began to do them, and some scholars gave proof to support these actions and others disapproved of them. In conclusion, our stance is that both are on goodness, Allah willing, as long as this act is not mixed with evil and the intention is correct.

Allah knows best

Shaykh Abdullah Bin Bayyah (May Allah preserve him)