Thursday, May 29, 2003

Satan Hinders the Slave from Acting by Means of Procrastination and Laziness

Concerning this point, Satan has many ways and means. It is recorded in Sahih al-Bukhari that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

"During your sleep, Satan ties three knots at the back of your Decks. He breathes the following into them, 'The night is long so keep on sleeping.' If the person wakes and praises Allah, then one of the knots is unfastened. And if he performs ablution, the second knot is unfastened. When he prays, all of the knots are unfastened. After that he will be energetic and happy in the morning. Otherwise he would get up listless and grouchy."

It is also recorded in Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim that he said,

"When one of you rises from your sleep he should make ablution. He should rinse his nose three times. For Satan stays in the upper part of one's nose during the night."

Al-Bukhari also records that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked about a man who sleeps until the morning comes, that is, after the time of the dawn prayer. He said,

"That is a man whom Satan has urinated into his two ears."

What we have mentioned is from among the ways that Satan hinders the human from doing some actions. He also whispers into the human a love for laziness, postponing or procrastinating actions and thinking about what a long period of time one has for such and such action or work. Ibn al-Jauzi has written on this topic, stating,

"How many of the Jews or Christians have considered in their hearts love for Islam. But Iblees always hinders them. He says to them, "Do not be hasty. Look closer into the matter." And they postpone their conversion until they die as unbelievers. In the same way the one who is disobedient to Allah postpones his repentance. He sets his sights on his desires and he hopes he
will repent later. But, as the poet said, "Do not rush to perform the sins you desire and think about the period of repentance beforehand." How many are determined to do something and then they postpone it. Perhaps a scholar is determined to return to his study. Satan says, "Rest for a while." Or a servant is alerted to the prayer at night and he says to him, "You have plenty of time." He will not stop making people love laziness and postponing of actions and he makes the person rely on hopes and dreams.

It is necessary for the energetic person to take matters into his own hand and act upon his energy. The energetic finds the time to do things and does not procrastinate and he turns away from just dreaming. The one who has a real fear of Allah does not feel safe of punishment. The soul never stops in its dispute about evil and facing the good. But it always expects that it will have plenty of time to complete the good. One of the early scholars said, "Beware of procrastinating. It is the greatest of the soldiers of Satan." The serious, non-procrastinating person and the one who rests on his hopes and puts off working are like two who are passing through a city while journeying. The serious, energetic one buys his provisions early and waits for his traveling out of the city. The procrastinator says, "I will wait, as perhaps we will stay here a month," and continues to put off buying his provisions and preparing for his departure, until the last minute wherein he becomes rushed and mistake prone. This is how people are in this world. Some of them are prepared and alert. When the angel of death comes, he is not sorrowful. Others are deceived by thinking they can procrastinate and they will despair when the time to move on comes. It is part of one's nature to love laziness and dreams but then Iblees comes and builds upon that. This makes it difficult to struggle against him in that matter. But the one who is alert knows that he is in the middle of a battle. He knows that his enemy does not rest. And if it seems that he is
resting, it is actually just part of his strategy?

Ibn al-Jauzi, Talbees Iblees, p. 458

Pengalaman telah membuktikan bahwa sebagian besar "warna jiwa" kita di bentuk oleh lingkungan. Oleh karena itu, kesadaran untuk memilih lingkungan yang sehat adalah sikap yang sangat bijaksana. Sebagai ilustrasi, renungkanlah kisah yang dialami oleh kulit kambing berikut ini :

Ada dua helai kulit kambing. Yang satu "berteman" dengan Al-Qur'an dan yang satunya lagi "berteman" dengan kayu. Kulit kambing yang berteman dengan Al-Qur'an (maksudnya ia menjadi pembungkus Al-Qur'an), mengalami nasib yang amat baik. Ia tidak mungkin diinjak-injak orang atau pun diletakkan pada tempat yang kotor, bahkan banyak orang yang suka menciumnya sebelum mengeluarkan kitab Al-Qur'an yang dibungkusnya itu.

Lain halnya yang dialami oleh kulit kambing yang berteman dengan kayu. Tampaknya tidak akan pernah ada yang semalang nasibnya. Setiap hari, paling sedikitnya lima kali, ia dipukul orang dengan sekuat tenaga. Rupanya ia dijadikan beduk!

Message yang ingin disampaikan dengan ilustrasi di atas adalah, kita harus pandai-pandai dalam memilih teman. Janganlah penjahat dijadikan sahabat, atau ahli fitnah dijadikan teman serumah. Tapi jadikanlah ulama sebagai prioritas teman yang utama. Bukankah bila kita berdekatan dengan asap maka kita juga akan berbau asap?

Bila tidak memungkinkan bagi kita untuk menghindar dari lingkungan yang buruk, maka pandai-pandailah kita membentengi diri. Tirulah ikan laut. Ia demikian pintarnya membentengi diri, sehingga meskipun ia hidup dalam lingkungan yang asin, tetapi selama hayat di kandung badan, pantang baginya untuk menjadi ikan asin !!!!!

"Dan barangsiapa yang mentaati Allah dan Rasul~Nya, mereka itu akan bersama-sama dengan orang-orang yang dianugerahi nikmat oleh Allah, yaitu : nabi-nabi, para shadiiqin, orang-orang saleh. Dan mereka itulah teman yang sebaik-baiknya."
[An-Nisaa' (4);69].

Nasihat Luqman al-Hakim :
"Wahai anakku, barangsiapa berteman dengan seorang yang buruk perilakunya, niscaya ia akan terpengaruh. Temanilah orang-orang yang mulia dan jauhilah orang-orang yang rendah budi, karena jika engkau berteman dengan orang yang mempunyai jiwa mulia, maka ia akan menguntungkan dirimu, dan jika engkau berteman dengan orang yang rendah budi, jelas ia akan menghinakanmu dan akan meninggalkanmu di saat ia tidak lagi membutuhkanmu."

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Al-Baqara (The Cow)
Chapter 2: Verse 207

"And of men is he who would give himself away to seek the pleasure of Allah..."

Without such spirit, even the most religious of acts - prayers, reciting the Quran, martyrdom, and infaq (spending in the way of Allah) - would all be merely worldly acts. Imbued with this spirit of total dedication, even the smallest religious act, and all acts of worldly life, would stand heavy in the scale of Divine Justice.

If you are able to achieve this state of sincerity, even a little effort would suffice in imparting the colour of Allah in your life and soul. All the evils of the world - in men's souls, in their lives, in their mutual relationships - have their roots in lack of sincerity. Lack of sincerity in matters pertaining to religious activities specially leads to very evil effects.

Designate your niyyah (intent) purely for Allah and strive always to keep it so. This brief and simple prescription is the gist of true religious faith and of the desire to shape your life completely according to that mould. It is also the most effective formula to remember Allah at all times. This is the perpetual dhikr (remembrance), one that suffices for all occasions.

"Dying and Living for Allah" - Khurram Murad, pp. 37-38

Your Wealth Are For Your Father

A man came to the Prophet, peace be upon him, and said: 'O Messenger of Allah, I have wealth and children, and my father wants to take all of my wealth.' The Prophet said, 'You and your wealth are for your father. Your children are among your best earnings, so take from what your children earn.'
(Imam Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah)

Imam al-Khattabi commented: "He wants to take all my wealth means that he wanted to take it all and leave nothing. It appears that the reason why the man asked this question was that he was having to spend on his father, and the amount required would consume all of his wealth, not just what he had to spare. The Prophet did not give him the permission to stop spending on his father, but told him, 'You and your wealth are for your father,' which means that if your father needed all of your wealth, he will take as much as he needs, as if he were taking from his own wealth. If you do not have any accumulated wealth, but you have an income, you should earn money and spend it on him."

"The Ideal Muslim" - Dr. Muhammad Ali Al-Hashimi, pp. 57

Advising the torturer

Following is an excerpt of a conversation that took place between torturer Shams Bardan and jailed Zainab Al-Ghazali:

'Zainab. You woman! I want you to answer every question I ask or else! Suppose that the Ikhwan are ruling the country and that we are standing in front of you for trial, what would you do to us?'

'We don't dwell in the venues of those who have committed injustices against themselves, nor do we sully our hands with what they have sullied theirs with. We don't immerse our hands in blood. We do not sit in the seats of the despots of the earth!'

'Shut up! I asked you a question: If you were sitting where I am now, what would you do with me?'

'We are seekers of truth and leaders of a way of life, we are not contemplating taking over power. We are holders of the banner of "there is no god but Allah" that we give our wealth and lives for (Allah has purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is Paradise ... Al-Quran 9:111).

'Shut up you B .....! I repeat, what would you have done to us had you taken over power?'

'We are not seekers of power, and we are not bothered whether we are at the top of responsibility or its bottom. We are guardians of the way that leads to the man who carries the trust and is elected by the Ummah, as Allah's bondsman who rules by Allah's revelation, so that this abode becomes and abode of Islamic Renaissance.'

'Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! I want one single answer: Had you been sitting in the chair I am sitting now, what would you have done with me as the accused in front of you?'

'It will, probably, take many generations before Islam rules. We don't anticipate the phases. And when Islam rules, women's position will be at its proper place whereby they can educate the men of this Ummah.'

'You B .....! Just suppose hypothetically that you are sitting in my place, what would you do with me?'

'Islam is justice, light and mercy. In Islam there are no whips, no killings, no torture, prisons, expulsions, burying of people alive, nor tearing bodies apart. There is no displacement of children, widowing of women, pharaohs or idol-worship. In Islam, there is nothing but truth and justice, a word is confronted with a word and an argument with an argument.'

'Safwat, suspend her in the air and flog her!' ....

"Return of the Pharaoh" - Zainab Al-Ghazali, p. 132-134
This is Our Story (Part iv)

For words and thoughts I've carelessly thrown,
For my body and soul I do not own,
For time and fate I do not control,
For happiness and love I've always hoped for,
For life and death I've known very little of,
And for my end .
I verily know not!

I thank Thee Allah for everything
:: alhamdulillah ::
I beg Thy forgiveness for I have sinned
:: astaghfirullah ::
I seek Thy guidance for I am lost
:: ihdini seeraatakal mustaqeem ::
I seek Thy assistance for I am weak
:: yassir li amri ya Allah ::
I seek Thy refuge from the shaytaan and evil I have within me
:: a'uzubillahi minasy-syaitaanir rajeem, a'uzubillahi min syururi nafsi wa
min sayyi-ati a'maali ::

I seek Thy companionship for verily I am lonely,
In this obedience quest of this long, tiring journey,
Where I am a stranger to the world,
Nothing seems agreeable to me .

Without Thy love my life would be empty,
In this world I shall be just a refugee,
From unhappiness to distress,
Meaningless, aimless life without rest .
Without Thee
I am nothing!

To be Thy servant means being free,
Where I seek Thy pleasure in humility,
Guide me oh Lord,
Love me and set me free,
Untie me from these worldly chains,
That keep my soul grieving in pain .

Oh Allah I seek Thee,
In my prayers,
In my walks and dreams,
I seek Thee .
Oh Allah never leave me feeling lonely,
Let me feel sufficient believing in Thou,
Working in strong, good faith searching for Thou .
Thou . and only Thou!

Oh Allah, don't leave me alone
I shall go astray .

Oh Allah, don't leave me alone
I shall fade away .

*this story of ours, temporary and soon to end, verily will be accounted for
. let not it be the reason for us to grieve the Day where decisions are
final, the Day the unbelievers and those who went astray after He had guided
them will make various excuses to flee from punishments they had forgotten
when hardship was only temporary . but in eternity, losers they will be!
Na'uzubillahi min dzalik!*

khaleel el-wafy
220305 1035 am

Dikisahkan bahwa dahulu ada seorang pemuda yang tidak pernah mau mendengarkan nasehat ibunya. Malah dia terus menjalankan maksiat dan dosa. Pada suatu hari dia lewat di sebuah kuburan dan melihat banyak tulang-tulang yang berserakan. Maka diambilah satu diantaranya. Tiba-tibanya hatinya berkata: “Celaka kamu! Besok kamu akan seperti tulang ini dan badanmu akan menjadi tanah, sedangkan hidupmu berlumuran dengan dosa dan maksiat.

Maka dia mulai menyesal dan bertekad untuk tobat. Maka segera dia mengangkat wajahnya kelangit dan berkata: “O Tuhanku! Hanya kepadamu aku serahkan urusanku. Terimalah aku ini dan kasihanilah.

Lalu dia pergi ketempat ibunya dengan wajah pucat dan hati yang luluh. “O Ibu! Apa yang harus dilakukan oleh seorang hamba yang lari dari tuannya?” Ibu itu menjawab: “Memakai baju yang kasar, dan makanan makanan yang keras, mengikat tangannya dan kakinya”.

“O Ibu aku akan memakai pakaian dari wool (kasar) dan makan roti kering, dan tolong lakukanlah terhadapku o ibu seperti tuan memperdayai hambanya yang membankang. Mudah-mudahan tuan itu dengan melihat pada kehinaanku Dia akan mengesihaniku. Maka siibu pun memenuhi keinginannya.

Apabila malam tiba, pemuda itu mulai menangis, dan berkata pada dirinya: “Celaka engkau O Dinar! Apakah kamu kuat menahan api Neraka? (Kalau tidak) mengapa kamu selalu membuat sesuatu yang menyebabka Yang Maha Perkasa marah padamu? Demikian dia melakukan hal itu sampai pagi.

Pada suatu malam ibunya merasa kasihan melihat keadaan anaknya “O anakku! Kasihanilah dirimu itu! “ Anaknya menjawab: “Biarkanlah aku merasakan cape sedikit, mudah-mudahan aku biasa beristirahat panjang nanti. O Ibu! Tahukah bahwa aku akan berdiri nanti dihadapan Tuhanku, dan aku tidak tahu akan diperintahkan untuk bernaung dibawah naungan-Nya, atau diperintahkan untuk pergi ketempat kesengsaraan yang selamalamanya yang tiada taranya?

Ibunya berkata lagi: “Sudahlah istirahat sebentar!.. “O Ibu memang aku memerlukan istirahat, tapi apakah ibu berani menjamin saya untuk selamat nanti diakherat? “O anakku! Siapa yang bisa menjamin tentang hari itu?

Akhirnya pemuda itu berkata: “Kalu begitu oh Ibu, biarkanlah apa yang aku kerjakan sekarang ini. Aku saat ini merasa seolah-olah besok semua makhluk akan digiring ke Surga, dan aku akan digiring ke Neraka.

Pada suatu malam ibunya mendengar anaknya mengulang-ulang bacaan ayat-ayat berikut ini dalam salatnya: “ Maka demi Tuhanmu, Kami pasti akan menanyai mereka semua, tentang apa yang telah mereka kerjakan dahulu”. 15:92-93

Lalu dia merenungkannya kedua ayat tsb dan menangis. Tiba-tiba badannya menggigil sampai akhirnya dia jatuh pingsan. Ketika ibunya memanggilanya dia sudah tidak bisa menjawab lagi. “Oh permata hatiku, dimana tempat pertemuan nanti? Maka dengan suara yang terputus-putus anaknya menjawab: “Jika engkau tidak menjumpaiku dipintu surga, maka tanyalah Malaikat Khazin dipintu Neraka. Lalu dia menghembuskan nafasnya yang terakhir dan meninggal seketika.

Setelah dimandikan dan dikafani, maka si ibu bertriak: “Wahai manusai! Mari kita menshalatkan orang yang telah menjadi korban takut akan api Neraka! Maka orangpun berdatangan, dimana dikatakan bahwa tidak pernah ditempat itu ada mayat yang diiring dan ditangisi sebanyak seperti pada hari itu.

Wallahu ‘alam

Mohamad Joban
Dari buku Nuzhah Thaqafiyah

Menjauhi Rokok dan Arak

Perokok-perokok sering mengatakan rokok meredakan tekanan ke atas diri mereka. Sebaliknya kajian-kajian menunjukkan, nikotin yang terdapat di dalam rokok mengganggu otak dan saraf sehingga akhirnya perokok mengalami tekanan yang dikenali sebagai smokers stress ke tahap yang tinggi berbanding mereka yang tidak merokok. Perkara ini disebutkan oleh pakar-pakar dari Psychological ARTS yang beribu pejabat di Austin.

Institut Penyalahgunaan dan Ketagihan Alkohol Kebangsaan di Amerika mendapati alkohol juga meningkatkan tekanan. Hal ini disebabkan alkohol merangsang pengeluaran hormon-hormon seperti corticosterone dan adrenaline dari kelenjar-kelenjar pituitary, adrenal dan hypothal! amus. Hormon-hormon ini meningkatkan tekanan di dalam diri manusia. Justeru, Nabi Muhammad bersabda: “Jauhilah sesuatu yang memudaratkan..” (Riwayat Ahmad dan Ibn Majah)

Tidur Yang Mencukupi Adalah Penawar

Tidur yang mencukupi merehatkan badan serta otak. Nabi Muhammad bersabda: “Apabila salah seorang di antara kamu berasa mengantuk, hendaklah dia tidur sehingga hilang rasa mengantuknya. Apabila seseorang meneruskan solat ketika mengantuk berkemungkinan ketika sedang membaca istighfar tanpa disedari dia mengutuk dirinya sendiri.” (Riwayat Bukhari-Muslim)

Kajian menunjukkan, seseorang yang tidur 3-4 jam kurang dari kadarnya yang biasa akan mengalami tekanan atau stress dan ini akan melemahkan sistem pertahanan badan dan menjadikannya mudah dijangkiti kuman. Penemuan ini dilaporkan di dalam majalah perubatan Lancet pada bulan Oktober, 1999.

Warna! Persekitaran Yang Sesuai

Mengikut riwayat oleh Abu Naim daripada Abdullah ibn Abbas, Nabi Muhammad suka melihat kepada persekitaran yang menghijau seperti pohon-pohon dan ladang, serta air yang mengalir.

Mengikut pakar-pakar warna, warna hijau adalah warna semula jadi yang membawa kepada ketenangan dan kerehatan. Hijau juga merupakan warna kesegaran dan kehidupan. Warna biru muda juga mewujudkan suasana damai yang menguntungkan jiwa kerana ia dikaitkan dengan langit biru dan air yang tenang yang sering kali membawa kepada ketenangan.

*(Untuk lebih terperinci sila dapatkan buku "Perubatan Islam dan Bukti-Bukti Sains Edisi 2" oleh Dr. Danial bin Zainal Abidin. Ia diterbitkan oleh PTS Publication. Harga RM21.00. Berada di dalam pasaran sekarang. Nombor telefon PTS Publication: 09-2330485. Nombor telefon pejabat Dr. Danial: 04-6590208. Boleh didapati di Pameran Buku Antarabangsa)

Rangsang Minda Dr Daniel

pada 22 Mei 2003, hari Khamis di Radio Malaysia Pulau Pinang (RMPP). Moga mendapat manfaatnya..

Tuan-tuan dan puan-puan para pendengar RMPP yg dimuliakan, Assalamualaikum wbkt.

Saya meyakini agama islam adalah satu agama yg lengkap lagi komprehensif dan saya juga meyakini , anda juga meyakini konsep itu . Justeru pada hari ini kita hendak melonjakkan konsep yg saya sebutkan tadi . Kita hendak menampakkan kepada manusia sejagat tentang keunggulan dan kehebatan islam. Jika itulah tujuan kita bersama ,cara kita menerangkan tentang islam pada hari ini perlu berubah.

Jika kita selama ini hanya bercakap tentang perkara yg sama lagi sempit kita kena berubah. Pada minggu lepas saya menyatakan tentang satu lontaran idea yg saya lontarkan di Tapah di Sambutan Maulidur Rasul peringkat negeri Perak. Disana saya mengatakan bahawa , jika kita bercakap tentang Maulidur Rasul selama ini , kita sekadar mengulang - ulangi kisah-kisah lama yg tidak dikembangkan, saya tidak mengatakan kisah2 lama itu tidak bagus, saya cuma mengatakan kita sekadar mengulanginya dan tidak mengembangkannya .

Apa kata kita umat islam membuat perbandingan agama ketika kita membicarakan tentang Nabi Muhammad saw, kita bandingkannya dengan kitab-kitab terdahulu yg pernah menyatakan kisah tentang baginda. Sebagai contoh kita tonjolkan ayat-ayat bible yg menunjukkan bahawa Muhammad saw pernah dikisahkan dlm bible dan ia menunjukkan bahawa Muhammad adalah Rasul bagi seluruh alam.

Dalam bible, Nabi Muhammad diperkenalkan dengan satu gelaran. Gelaran itu saya sebutkan dalam Gospel St. John bab 16 ayat 7. Gelaran yg digunakan dlm bible itu ialah Paracletos. Mengikut bekas Reverend David Benjamin Caldini, Paracletos bermaksud " The Ilustrious one ". Dalam bahasa melayu, ia bermaksud " Dia yg terpuji ". Kalimat ini selari dengan Ahmad dan Muhammad.

Juga Dr.ved Prakash Upaddhayaya mengatakan Muhammad juga telah dikisahkan dalam Vedas dan Purana dengan 4 cara iaitu Narashangsa. Kalki Avtar , Antim Rishi juga dengan gelaran Mamaha dan Ahammidi. Bagi Professor Dr. Ved Prakasah Upaddhayaya, gelaran2 yg terdapat dalam Vedas dan Purana ini sebenarnya amat selari dengan Nabi Muhammad saw.

Ini ilmu baru yg perlu kita terokai utk menampakkan kehebatan Nabi Muhammad saw dan akhirnya risalah yg dibawa oleh baginda. Pada hari ini bila kita bercakap tentang islam ,contohnya kita bercakap tentang Feqah, demikian juga cadangan saya. Kita perlu perkembangkan ilmu kita. Sebagai contoh bila kita bercakap tentang tanah, kita bertayammum dengan tanah , kita samak dgn tanah, kita perlu menerangkan rahsia tanah.

Saya akui bila kita bercakap tentang rahsia tanah, kita tidak akan menemuinya dlm kitab-kitab Feqah. Itu tidak menampakkan kitab-kitab Feqah kita tidak baik, ia baik, ia bagus, ia perlu malah ia wajib kita kuasai dlm konteks ilmu fardhu ain, tapi untuk perkembangkan ilmu, contohnya tentang tanah sudah pasti ilmunya tidak ada dalam kitab-kitab Feqah sekarang. Umat
islam kena perkayakan bidang RMD mereka, kena perkayakan bidang kajian dan pembangunan mereka.

Akhirnya bila kita mengatakan kepada, contoh pelajar-pelajar remaja kita bahawa masyaallah bila islam menyuruh kita menyamak dengan tanah dan seumpamanya rupa-rupanya ada banyak rahsia yg terdapat pada tanah. Contoh, di antara 3,222 anti biotik yg ada pada hari ini, memang dunia sekarang kaya dgn anti biotik. Di antara 3,222 anti biotik ini ,kebanyakkannya diperolihi dari tanah. Kita sedang menampak masyaallah, tanah mengeluarkan anti biotik ataupun bahan pembunuh kuman . Ini mungkin satu di antara rahsia yg boleh kita lonjakkan, ledakkan utk menampakkan betapa feqah islam begitu saintifik.

Demikian juga bila kita bercakap tentang air, kita mengulangi feqah yg lama dlm kontek mazhab Syafie , air terbahagi kpd 4. It's ok , it's alright to repeat that , boleh ulanginya tapi sampai ke bila, tidak boleh kita perkembangkan lagi. Kita nak kaitkan air mungkin dgn firman Allah yg menyatakan " Dan Allah menjadikan setiap yg hidup itu drpd air ". Kita mungkin nak bincangkan air dlm konteks itu utk menarik perhatian umat islam terutamanya anak-anak muda yg sekarang ini banyak isu yg berkaitan dgn anak2 muda dgn seks bebasnya, dgn kesukaan dan cenderongan mereka utk melihat video lucah, bukan sangat utk mengkaji agama, mesti ada puncanya, mesti ada kesilapan yg datang dari kita sendiri.

Kadangkala kita itu bernama ustaz, kadangkala kita itu bernama tokoh2 islam, kadangkala kita itu Mak, Bapa, guru, pendidik, tokoh, semua ini perlu kita lihat. Mungkin kita yg silap, mungkin pendekatan kita , mungkin syllibus kita, mungkin.

Lantas saya ingin mencadangkan kita terokai agar ilmu penyampaian kita merupakan suatu yg menarik, contoh kita balik kpd air. Kita mulakan bahawa air ini kata Allah merupakan permulaan pada segala yg hidup. Kita kaji dan akhirnya kita dapati masyaallah betul , 3/4 drpd dunia ini adalah air. Otak kita 3/4 nya adalah air . Seluruh badan kita 70 % adalah air. Sel2 yg hidup, yg berkembang menjadi akhirnya organ dan seumpamanya, sel2 ini 3/4 nya adalah air, betul.

Ertinya setiap yg hidup ini bermula dari H2O drpd air. Selepas kita terangkan begitu secara saintifik, kita perkembangkan kpd feqahnya, air terbahagi kpd 4, insyaallah semuanya itu akan menampakkan bahawa islam kita ini islam yg begitu saintifik. Saya merasakan ini yg diperlukan oleh manusia. Manusia perlu diperlihatkan tentang islam yg saintifik, islam yg comprehensif, islam yg mudah, islam yg memang boleh selesaikan masalah dan utk itu, ilmu kita kena perkembangkan.

Semoga, insyaallah dgn ilmu yg berkembang itu kita dapat meyakinkan ramai orang bahawa islam adalah agama yg paling maju. Semua ini saya sebutkan kerana Nabi Muhammad saw ketika diutuskan oleh Allah , baginda diutuskan sebagai Rahmatan lil alamin, sebagai pembawa rahmat bagi seluruh alam, bukan hanya bagi arab, bukan hanya bagi melayu, bukan hanya bagi kelompok tertentu tetapi bagi seluruh alam. Allah menekankan kalimat Rahmatan, rahmat.

Justeru, adakah islam yg kita bawa ini islam rahmat. Adakah islam yg kita hayati ini islam rahmat. Jika suka mengata dekat orang tidak habis-habis, bukan rahmat. Jika kita sesama jiran asyik berkelahi setiap hari dan ini dilihat oleh jiran-jiran bukan islam yg lain, tengok jiran itu dia beragama islam tapi perangainya hodoh, keji, rahmat ke itu? Jika kita suka menipu orang, pergi kedai, pasaraya menipu , jika kita bayar silap kita bayar kurang alhamdulillah pandai , cerdik aku. Itukah rahmat?

Semua ini sebenarnya ada kesan. Kesan yg negatif jika itu perangai orang islam. Jadi tuan-tuan dan puan-puan, jika kita benar-benar beragama islam , If really we are true Muslim , ini peringatan pada diri saya dahulu. maka tunjukkan contoh yg baik di mana saja kita berada, bukan hanya di surau, di masjid. Lebih penting ialah cara kita faham islam mestilah dgn cara yg
betul, dgn cara yg lengkap, saintifik seperti apa yg telah saya sebutkan tadi. Semoga dgn minda yg berkembang itu, islam juga akan berkembang, insyaallah.

Al-Qasas (The Narration)
Chapter 28: Verse 17

Thereupon Moses vowed: "My Lord, because of the favour that You have done me I shall never support the guilty."

The favour alluded here consists of God concealing Moses', peace be upon him, act of killing and of His enabling him to escape.

Moses' pledge not only means that he would never lend any assistance to the guilty, but also that his help and assistance would never be for the perpetrators of insjustice and tyranny. Zamakhshari and many other Quranic commentators have taken these words to mean that, on that very day, Moses decided to sever his relations with Pharaoh and his government because it was a tyrannical government which had established an unjust rule over God's land.

Muslim scholars have deduced from Moses' pledge that a believer should shun helping a tyrant, regardless of whether that tyrant is a person, a group, or a government. Someone asked Ata ibn Abi Rabah, a well-known Successor (Tabi'i): "My brother is a scribe to the governor of Kufah under the Umayyads. Though he does not judge the disputes of people, the judgements are written by his pen. If he does not have the job, he will become penniless." Ata at this point recited this verse, saying: "It is better for your brother to throw away his pen for it is God Who provides livelihood."

"Towards Understanding the Quran - Vol 7" - Syed Abul Ala Mawdudi pp. 205-206

Being Tolerant

Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet said:
"May Allah have mercy on the tolerant man, when he buys, when he sells, and when he demands payment."

Abu Mas'ud al-Ansari said:
"The Prophet said: 'A man from those who were before you was brought to account and no goodness was found in him, except that he was a man who used to mix with people; he was rich, and he used to order his employees to let off the one who was in difficulty. Allah said: "We should be even more tolerant than him, so let him off.'"

"The Ideal Muslim" - Dr. Muhammad Ali Al-Hashimi
"Tolerance of the Prophet" - Dawud Wharnsby Ali

Providing opportunities :: to make your child feel like (s)he is part of the bigger Ummah of Islam

- Allow your teen to attend Muslim Youth camps and participate in organizing activities with other Muslims on a regular basis
- Form sports teams, organize structured sports activities for youth, and arrange for intercity exchange visits. This provides a very healthy supportive environment for teens and make them feel like they're not alone
- Actively participate in grassroots work with your teen. It could be anything from cleaning the environment around you, exchanging gifts with your neighbours, helping the less fortunate in your community ie. clothing drive, retirement home, food bank, soup kitchen etc.
- Make sure your teen accompanies you to various Islamic conferences and conventions. Keep in touch with the organizers of these functions and ask them to have suitable programs for youth included as part of the convention program
- Contact some of the Islamic national organizations who organize trips and make sure to send your teen to some of them
- Never isolate yourself or your family to only those from your own ethnic community... mix with Muslims from different parts of the world and build your relations based on Islam not ethnicity

"Muslim Teens: Today's Worry, Tomorrow's Hope" - Dr. Ekram & Mohamed Beshir, p. 71
Author: Abu Zifora

Editor: Abu Aufa

Maraji': Suara Hidayatullah 01/XVI 2003



Cinta itu ibarat taman yang penuh bunga warna-warni. Ada yang datang menikmati keindahannya, mencium bau harumnya, dan kemudian datang lagi. Namun ada juga yang tidak ingin pulang, ia menikmati taman tersebut bahkan ingin menguasainya, padahal banyak orang lain yang juga ingin menikmatinya. Cinta itu juga bagai lautan, di sana ada gugusan karang terbentuk alamiah, warna-warni ikan hias yang luar biasa indahnya, ombak, bening, hangat dan dinginnya air laut, subhanallah...semuanya indah. Namun, ada bedanya antara orang yang berenang dengan mereka yang tenggelam di dalamnya. Karena orang yang berenang, ia sedang dalam perjalanan menuju Allah SWT, tetapi orang yang tenggelam merasa dirinya sudah sampai kepada Allah, karena itu tak perlu lagi berenang. Nah, bagaimana mungkin orang yang tenggelam dapat menikmati indahnya lautan? Nikmatilah keindahan lautan cinta itu dengan berenang, karena dengan itu cinta akan selalu memberikan potensi, energi dan semangat pada diri kita. Selamat berenang di lautan cinta-Nya ya akhi wa ukhti. *******************************************************************

Syaikh Ali Ath-Thanthawi dalam bukunya ¡ÈRijalun min al-Tarikh¡É mengajak pembacanya untuk merenungi sejenak tentang kisah seorang pemuda kaya-raya yang karena tenggelam dalam lautan cinta akhirnya justru menjadi sengsara.

Pemuda sukses yang saudagar itu pada mulanya seluruh hidupnya hanya diabdikan untuk berdagang. Mulai dari bangun tidur hingga tidur kembali, bahkan mimpinya sendiri hanyalah soal dagang. Di luar dunia dagang, ia nyaris tidak memperhatikannya. Orang tuanya mulai gundah, sebab sang putera sudah cukup umur untuk menikah, sementara ketertarikannya kepada wanita nyaris tidak ada. Berkali-kali ditawari menikah, ia menolaknya.

Kedua orangtua pemuda itu tak putus asa. Hampir setiap hari keduanya mendatangkan wanita-wanita cantik nan terhormat di rumahnya, dengan harapan agar anaknya tertarik dan memilih salah satunya untuk dijadikan istri. Bujuk rayu orangtuanya tidak berhasil mencuri perhatian sang putera. Tak satu pun wanita-wanita cantik itu yang menarik perhatiannya.

Namun yang mengejutkan, tiba-tiba pada di suatu hari, sang pemuda pergi ke pasar budak. Di pasar itu ia menjumpai seorang budak wanita, lalu jatuh cinta ia jatuh cinta kepada budak wanita tersebut. Setelah dibelinya budak itu lalu dibawanya pulang dan diperistrinya.

Sejak saat itu berubahlah seluruh dimensi kehidupannya. Sang pemuda yang biasanya setiap pagi sudah pergi ke pasar dan baru larut malam ia kembali pulang, kini tidak seperti itu lagi. Ia tidak lagi mau pergi ke pasar, mengurus perdagangan dan meraup keuntungan. Ia kini hanya menyibukkan diri untuk mencintai sang isteri. Siang malam ia hanya bercumbu dengan isterinya, sampai akhirnya ia lupa segala-galanya.

Kejadian ini tidak hanya berlangsung dalam hitungan hari dan pekan. Hari berganti bulan, bulan berganti tahun, dan tahun terus bergerak, tapi pola kehidupan pasangan itu tidak berubah. Hingga sampai pada saatnya seluruh kekayaannya habis, bahkan perabot rumahtangga pun sudah mulai digadai.

Ketika orang-orang sekitarnya mengingatkan agar ia kembali berdagang, ia berkomentar sederhana, ¡ÈTujuan dagang itu untuk apa? Mengejar keuntungan. Lalu jika keuntungan itu sudah diperoleh, digunakan untuk apa? Untuk memperoleh ketenangan, kenikmatan, dan kebahagiaan. Ketahuilah, ketiganya kini telah kudapatkan pada isteriku, lalu untuk apa aku berdagang lagi?¡É

Sampai akhirnya ketika sudah tidak ada lagi miliknya yang bisa dijual, kecuali rumahnya yang tinggal tiang, dinding, dan atapnya saja, ia mulai menyadari. Kesadaran yang terlambat itupun datangnya bersamaan dengan saat-saat kritis menjelang kelahiran bayi pertamanya. Ketika sang istri akan melakukan persalinan, ia sudah tidak punya apa-apa lagi, hatta ke dukun bayi sekalipun ia tak mampu membayarnya.

Saat itulah sang isteri meminta dengan iba agar suaminya pergi mencari minyak dan peralatan persalinan. Atas permintaa itu sang suami keluar rumah, tapi sayangnya sudah tidak ada lagi orang yang dikenali.

Demi keselamatan sang isteri dan bayi yang akan lahir, ia terus berjalan, namun ia sudah lupa bagaimana cara mendapatkan setetes minyak dan peralatan persalinan lainnya. Lelaki itu hampir saja putus asa. Sekiranya ia tak segera sadar bahwa agama melarangnya untuk bunuh diri, tentu ia sudah mencebur ke sungai atau melemparkan badannya di tengah jalan ramai.

Lelaki itu terus berjalan dan semakin menjauhi rumah dan tempat sang isteri akan melakukan persalinan. Meskipun demikian, bayangan isterinya yang menangis dengan mengiba-iba agar sang suami pergi mencari minyak dan peralatan persalinan tak bisa hilang dari pikiran dan perasaannya. Justru bayangan itu mendorongnya untuk semakin jauh berjalan menyusuri jalan-jalan yang tak berujung.

Kisah pasangan ini sengaja diputus hanya sampai di sini,sebab yang menjadi fokus perhatian kita adalah sebuah pertanyaan, kenapa cinta berakhir dengan sengsara? Bukankah CINTA ITU SEBUAH ENERGI YANG DAPAT MENDORONG SESEORANG UNTUK BERBUAT DAN BERPERILAKU YANG JAUH LEBIH DAHSYAT DARIPADA SEBELUMNYA? Mengapa justru cinta mematikan potensi, energi, dan semangat yang ada dalam diri?

Cinta itu memang indah, ibarat taman yang dipenuhi bunga yang berwarna-warni. Ada orang yang datang menikmati keindahannya, mencium bau harumnya, menghirup udara segarnya, dan kemudian pulang untuk suatu saat kembali lagi. Akan tetapi ada juga orang sekali datang ke tempat itu, menikmati keindahannya, kemudian tak mau pergi lagi. Ia ingin menguasai taman itu, sekalipun banyak orang yang juga ingin menikmatinya.

Cinta itu kadang berubah menjadi semacam alkohol yang memabukkan. Sekali mencoba ingin terus mengulangi, hingga sampai pada titik tertentu ia kemudian mencandu. Jika sudah pada tingkatan ini, maka dari hari ke hari kadar alkoholnya semakin dinaikkan, dosisnya semakin tinggi, sampai pada saatnya orang tersebut sakit dan mati justru oleh sesuatu ¡Èyang dicintai¡É.

Jika cinta kepada manusia bisa seperti itu akibatnya, bagaimana dengan cinta kepada Allah? Dalam kaitan ini, banyak kaum sufi berpendapat bahwa cinta itu bahasa universal, berlaku pada siapa saja dan untuk apa saja. Berlaku universal untuk semua subyek dan obyek.


Di masyarakat kita banyak dijumpai para pecinta Allah yang menenggelamkan diri. Mereka asyik masyuk berdzikir kepada Allah berjam-jam lamanya di masjid, kemudian ia lakukan da¡Çwah dari rumah ke rumah berhari hari, berbulan-bulan, bahkan ada yang sampai hitungan tahun dengan meninggalkan keluarganya, bahkan kadang tanpa bekal apapun. Mereka tenggelam dalam lautan cinta.

Tenggelam di lautan itu memang mengasyikkan, terutama bagi mereka yang bisa menikmati keindahan taman laut. Di sana ada gugusan karang yang tertata alamiah dengan sangat indahnya. Di sana pula dijumpai warna-warni ikan hias yang luar biasa indahnya. Belum lagi ombak, bening, hangat dan dinginnya air laut. Semuanya indah, tapi BUAT APA KEINDAHAN ITU BAGI ORANG-ORANG YANG TENGGELAM?


Boleh saja orang menikmati khusyu¡Çnya shalat sebagai sarana komunikasi dialogis dengan Allah swt. Akan tetapi shalat itu dibatasi dengan bacaan dan gerakan-gerakan. Orang yang shalat tidak boleh hanya menikmati ruku¡Çnya saja, atau sujudnya saja, atau duduk tahiyyatnya saja. Semua gerakan, mulai dari takbiratul ihram hingga salam harus dinikmati semuanya secara proporsional. Inilah yang membedakan meditasi, baik meditasi agama-agama bumi maupun meditasi hasil karya cipta para spritualis yang kini berkembang bak jamur di musim hujan itu.

Boleh saja shalat itu dilakukan berlama-lama di masjid, akan tetapi syari¡Çat Allah tetap memberi batasan. Sehabis shalat kaum Muslimin harus segera pergi untuk menyebar di permukaan bumi, mencari karunia Allah berupa rizki. Dalam kaitan ini secara khusus Allah menyorotinya dalam firman-Nya:

Apabila telah ditunaikan shalat, maka bertebaranlah kalian di muka bumi, dan carilah karunia Allah dan ingatlah Allah sebanyak-banyaknya supaya kalian beruntung. (Surat Al-Jumu¡Çah: 10)

Apa bedanya orang yang berenang di lautan cinta Ilahi dengan mereka yang tenggelam di dalamnya? Orang yang berenang sadar bahwa ia sedang kepada Allah. Ia menikmati segala karunia yang disediakan Allah sambil terus berenang agar bisa sampai ke tujuan (Allah Swt). Adapun orang-orang yang tenggelam itu merasa dirinya sudah sampai kepada Allah. Ia tidak perlu lagi berenang, sebab tujuannya telah sampai. Ia tidak perlu lagi bersusah payah, karenanya ia menenggelamkan diri.

Kini, apakah kita termasuk kelompok perenang atau orang yang tenggelam?


Abu Aufa

Friday, May 09, 2003

[ Dari Buku "Empayar Minda Muslim" ]

Kebersihan hati menentukan kesahihan ibadah seseorang. Di dalam konteks solat, unsur-unsur ibadah hati yang ditekankan ada enam.. Keenam-enam itu, mengikut Imam Al-Ghazali di dalam Ihya Ulumuddin, ialah, kehadiran hati, pemahaman, pengagungan, merasai kehebatan, harap dan malu. Kehadiran hati bermaksud, hati tidak menerawang memikirkan perkara lain daripada solat. Pemahaman bermaksud, memahami segala perkataan yang dilafazkan di dalam solat. Pengagungan dan merasai kehebatan bermaksud, berasa takut terhadap Allah hasil daripada kefahaman berhubung keagungan dan kebesaran Ilahi. Harap bermaksud, mengharapkan pahala daripada Allah kerana Dialah saja tempat pergantungan bagi manusia. Malu bermaksud, berasa malu dengan ibadah yang telah dilakukan kerana pastinya terdapat kekurangan padanya.

Berhubung dengan ini, Imam Al-Hasan berkata: Mereka yang tidak menghadirkan hati ketika melakukan solat, solat mereka akan mencepatkan mereka kepada seksaan Allah.

Perlaksanaan ibadah-ibadah ini secara konsisten akan menyedarkan umat Islam tentang kepentingan memelihara hati dari serangan anasir yang boleh merosakkannya. Di antara perkara yang amat ditekankan agama ialah keikhlasan. Allah berfirman di dalam Al-Quran: Maka kecelakaanlah bagi mereka yang solat, (iaitu) mereka yang lalai dari solatnya. Yang mengerjakan kebajikan untuk dilihat orang (riyak).. (Surah Al-Maun ayat 4-6)

Mereka yang ikhlas akan mendapat kedudukan yang istimewa di hari akhirat. Nabi s.a.w bersabda: (Di antara mereka yang) duduk di bawah naungan Arasy Allah, pada hari yang tidak ada sebarang naungan melainkan naungan-Nya ialah, seorang lelaki yang bersedekah dengan tangan kanannya sehingga tersembunyi dari tangan kirinya. (Riwayat Bukhari dan Muslim)

Sebaliknya, mereka yang suka menunjuk-nunjuk akan mendapat dosa dan kehinaan. Nabi s.a.w bersabda: Sedikit daripada riyak (ketika beramal) adalah syirik.. (Riwayat At-Tabrani dan Al-Hakim. Isnadnya sahih).

Di hari akhirat, golongan yang riyak akan dipanggil dengan beberapa gelaran keji, seperti yang disebutkan oleh Nabi s.a.w: (Di hari kiamat mereka yang riyak akan dipanggil dengan gelaran) Wahai orang yang keji, wahai pengkhianat, wahai orang yang suka menunjuk-nunjuk.. (Riwayat Ibn Abi Dunya)

Di dalam Ihya Ulumuddin, diriwayatkan perkataan Saidina Ali ra berhubung dengan cara untuk mengenali riyak. Beliau berkata Mereka yang suka menunjuk-nunjuk (riyak) mempunyai tiga tanda: apabila bersendirian malas beribadah, sebaliknya apabila berada bersama-sama dengan orang ramai, dia menjadi rajin. Apabila dicaci, amal ibadahnya dikurangkan. Sebaliknya, apabila dipuji, dia menambahkan amalannya.

Hati yang bersih juga akan melahirkan peribadi yang jujur lagi beramanah. Peribadi seperti ini semakin ketandusan pada hari ini. John C. Maxwell di dalam Developing The Leader Within You berkata: Semua orang pernah menemui mereka yang penonjolan luarannya lebih hebat dari dalamannya. Amat menyedihkan, pada hari ini, ramai orang memberi fokus kepada pembinaan imej luaran lebih daripada imej dalaman. Yang anehnya apabila mereka jatuh mereka tidak tahu punca yang menyebabkan kejatuhan itu........ Rumah Putih, Pentagon, Capitol Hill, gereja, gelanggang sukan, akademi malah pusat penjagaan kanak-kanak, semuanya telah diserang pelbagai skandal yang memalukan pada hari ini....

Umat Islam adalah kekuatan yang diperlukan oleh manusia pada hari ini kerana mereka dilatih untuk mengutamakan kekuatan dalaman lebih dari kehebatan luaran yang memperdayakan.

(Untuk lebih terperinci sila dapatkan buku "Empayar Minda Muslim - Modul Tarbiah Asas Alaf Ketiga" oleh Dr. Danial bin Zainal Abidin. Ia diterbitkan oleh PTS Publication. ISBN 983-192-744-3. 294 halaman. Harga RM28.50. Berada di dalam pasaran sekarang. Nombor telefon PTS Publication: 09-2330485. Nombor telefon pejabat Dr. Danial: 04-6590208)

[ Dari Buku "Empayar Minda Muslim" ]

Tanah adalah penting di dalam kehidupan manusia. Nabi Adam as berasal dari tanah. Tumbuh-tumbuhan dan makanan asasi manusia juga berasal dari tanah. Apabila seseorang manusia meninggal dunia, dia disemadikan di dalam tanah. Di samping itu, tanah adalah penting sebagai alat pencuci. Berhubung dengan ini Nabi s.a.w bersabda: Apabila salah seorang daripada kamu datang ke masjid balikkanlah terompahnya. Jika didapati ada kotoran di bawahnya, gosoklah ia di atas tanah kemudian bersolatlah dengannya. (Riwayat Ahmad dan Abu Daud)

Di dalam riwayat yang lain yang berkaitan dengan jilatan anjing, Nabi s.a.w bersabda: Sucinya bejana salah seorang daripada kamu yang dijilat anjing ialah dengan dibasuh bejana itu tujuh kali dengan air dan pada basuhan yang pertama dicampuri dengan tanah. (Riwayat Muslim dan Ahmad)

Tanah mempunyai komposisinya yang tersendiri, 45% daripadanya adalah zat-zat logam (minerals), 25% udara, 25% air dan 5% adalah bahan-bahan organik. Tanah ada kelebihannya. Ahli sains di Norway menemui sejenis kulat di tanah yang mampu menghasilkan ubat yang bernama cyclosporin. Ia digunakan sebagai rawatan selepas pembedahan pemindahan organ (anti-rejection drug). Di sebuah ladang jagung, seorang pelajar dari Universiti Wisconsin menemui sejenis protein dari bakteria yang mampu mengeluarkan ais (bacterial ice-forming protein). Pada hari ini ia telah digunakan untuk mengeluarkan ais bagi pusat-pusat ski. Di Indonesia, pakar-pakar sains menemui sejenis bahan dari kuman tertentu (microbial molecule) di tanah yang mampu menukarkan kanji (starch) kepada glukos. Di sebuah padang golf di Jepun, seorang pakar sains menemui sejenis ubat yang mampu merawat penyakit parasit (parasitic infection) yang sering menyerang binatang ternakan. Bakteria yang diperolehi dari tanah juga telah menghasilkan produk yang bernama ivermectin...... Lebih dari itu, lebih kurang 3222 antibiotik yang terdapat pada hari ini sebenarnya diperolehi dari kuman dan kebanyakan dari kuman-kuman ini diperolehi dari tanah...... Tambahan dari itu, sabun, abu dan tanah selut adalah sama-sama efektif sebagai bahan pencuci, jika dilakukan dengan betul. Hal ini telah dilaporkan oleh Dr. Bilqis Amin Haque di bawah tajuk Comparison of Soap, Soil and Ash in Cleaning Hands After Defaecation: A Rural Bangladesh Experience di Dialogue on Diarrhoea Online, di dalam isu 54 bagi bulan September/November 1993.

Apabila seseorang Muslim bersuci dengan tanah, dia sedang mendekatkan dirinya kepada alam dan kunci kehidupan. Lebih dari itu, tanah merupakan alat pencuci yang murah, berkesan dan boleh diperolehi di seluruh dunia.

(Untuk lebih terperinci sila dapatkan buku "Empayar Minda Muslim - Modul Tarbiah Asas Alaf Ketiga" oleh Dr. Danial bin Zainal Abidin. Ia diterbitkan oleh PTS Publication. ISBN 983-192-744-3. 294 halaman. Harga RM28.50. Berada di dalam pasaran sekarang. Nombor telefon PTS Publication: 09-2330485. Nombor telefon pejabat Dr. Danial: 04-6590208)

[ Dari Buku "Empayar Minda Muslim" ]

Di Dalam Usul 20, Imam Hasan Al-Banna berkata: Islam membebaskan akal, mendorong supaya menganalisis dan mengamati kejadian alam sekeliling. Islam mengangkat tinggi kedudukan ilmu dan ahli-ahli ilmu serta mengalu-alukan sesuatu yang baik dan bermanfaat. Hikmat (atau ilmu pengetahuan) merupakan suatu yang telah hilang dari tangan seorang mukmin. Di mana saja beliau mendapatinya, beliaulah yang lebih berhak untuk memilikinya.

Contoh yang paling baik ialah Nabi Muhammad s.a.w Ketika berlaku perang Khandak, Baginda s.a.w memanfaatkan strategi perang orang-orang Parsi dengan mengorek parit yang besar. Strategi ini telah mendatangkan kesan yang positif ke atas umat Islam di dalam peperangan itu. Begitu juga dengan Omar Al-Khattab ra, di zaman pemerintahannya, beliau telah serapkan beberapa cara pentadbiran Parsi ke dalam pentadbirannya.

Semua ini sepatutnya merangsang umat Islam untuk fokus di dalam bidang penyelidikan dan pembangunan serta bersikap inovatif di dalam perancangan dan perjuangan mereka. Sebenarnya, di samping ketakwaan kepada Allah, inilah di antara sebab umat Islam dahulu menjadi gilang gemilang dan dikagumi hinggalah ke hari ini. Sebagai contoh, di zaman Nabi s.a.w dan dua khalifah yang pertama, kekuatan tentera Islam difokuskan untuk peperangan di darat. Namun, di zaman khalifah Uthman ra, pada tahun 28 H bersamaan dengan 648 M, arahan telah dikeluarkan oleh khalifah kepada Muawiyah ra agar memberikan tumpuan kepada kekuatan laut yang ketika itu dikuasai oleh Rom. Bermula dari tahun itu, pakar-pakar dan tenaga mahir Islam telah dihimpunkan sehingga berjaya membina sebuah armada yang kuat. Peperangan laut yang pertama di antara armada Islam dan Rom berlaku pada tahun yang sama di perairan pulau Cyprus dengan kemenangan berpihak kepada tentera Islam. Di saat kemuncaknya pada tahun 31 H (652 M), armada Islam mempunyai 1,700 buah kapal dan bermula dari tahun itu panglima armada Islam digelar sebagai Amirul Bahri dan dari gelaran inilah lahirnya kalimat Admiral kemudiannya. Kekuatan armada Rom menjadi lumpuh selepas dikalahkan oleh armada Islam di dalam peperangan Mount Phoenix pada tahun 652 M.

Umat Islam juga sebelum ini amat menonjol di dalam bidang sains. Mereka merupakan pemangkin kepada kebangkitan sains dan teknologi di Barat. Philip K. Hitti di dalam buku History of the Arabs di halaman berkata:

Moslem Spain wrote one of the brightest Chapters in the intellectual history of mediaeval Europe. Between the middle of the 8th and the beginning of the 13th centuries, as we have noted before, the Arab speaking peoples were the main bearers of the torch of culture and civilization throughout the world. Moreover, they were the medium through which ancient science and philosophy were recovered, supplemented and transmitted in such a way as to make possible the renaissance of western Europe and in all this Arabic Spain had a large share.

Ia bermaksud: Orang Islam Sepanyol telah mengukir sejarah intelektual yang paling gemilang di zaman pertengahan Eropah. Di antara abad kelapan dan ketiga belas, golongan ini telah membawa obor budaya dan tamadun ke seluruh dunia. Inilah sebenarnya yang menjadi pemangkin kepada arus kemodenan di Eropah.

(Untuk lebih terperinci sila dapatkan buku "Empayar Minda Muslim - Modul Tarbiah Asas Alaf Ketiga" oleh Dr. Danial bin Zainal Abidin. Ia diterbitkan oleh PTS Publication. ISBN 983-192-744-3. 294 halaman. Harga RM28.50. Berada di dalam pasaran sekarang. Nombor telefon PTS Publication: 09-2330485. Nombor telefon pejabat Dr. Danial: 04-6590208)

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Wadah Wanita Islam: Ciri pendidik bertakwa

Oleh Muzdalifah Mokhtadi

SABAN hari ada saja masalah disiplin pelajar. Pengetua atau guru besar banyak membuang masa untuk menyelesaikan masalah disiplin pelajar mereka. Selesai satu masalah akan timbul pula masalah lain.

Anak berusia di antara 10 hingga 15 tahun, khususnya akan sentiasa memerhatikan persekitaran mereka. Contohnya, mereka meneliti tindak-tanduk ibu bapa mereka, program televisyen, perangai manusia di luar rumah seperti jiran, rakan dan guru di sekolah. Tidak ketinggalan gelagat insan di sepanjang perjalanan dari rumah ke sekolah.

Golongan remaja ini sentiasa mencari 'role model' atau teladan yang akan mereka ikuti.

Persoalan pertama, adakah anak ini memahami tujuan mereka dilahirkan? Untuk apa dilahirkan dan ke manakah akhirnya hidup mereka? Di manakah peranan ibu bapa sebagai pendidik pertama ?

Adakah anak-anak diberikan garis panduan untuk bekalan sepanjang hidup mereka? Anak-anak tidak selamanya berada di sisi ibu bapa mereka. Ini kerana mereka akan keluar bersama mereka atau melakukan kegiatan seharian lain, seperti bekerja.

Persoalan kedua, adakah guru yang berhadapan dengan murid dari jam 7.30 pagi hingga 1.30 petang menjalankan peranan mereka dengan bijaksana? Tidakkah anak-anak ini akan bosan dengan beban kerja sekolah, di samping guru yang kurang berinteraksi dengan muridnya?

Guru yang berkesan dapat menghabiskan sukatan pelajaran dan membantu murid membuat persediaan bagi mencapai kejayaan dalam hidup. Adakah kejayaan hanya dilihat dari keputusan cemerlang dalam peperiksaan? Sekiranya anak itu tidak cemerlang dalam pelajaran adakah mereka akan gagal dalam hidupnya?

Persoalan ketiga, adakah masyarakat prihatin masih lagi wujud?

Bagaimanakah sensitifnya masyarakat untuk menegur anak jiran yang membuat kesalahan. Sikap biarlah anak orang lain yang rosak, asalkan anak kita selamat, perlukah diteruskan?

Sepatutnya kita tidak menyalahkan sesiapa sekiranya anak-anak ini tersalah memilih contoh 'role model' mereka.

Usaha berterusan tanpa jemu akan menghasilkan natijah yang baik sama ada melalui peranan ibu bapa, guru atau masyarakat yang memahami tanggungjawab melahirkan pelapis masyarakat cemerlang sama ada dari segi jasmani, rohani atau emosi.

Sebagaimana firman Allah bermaksud: "Beramallah kamu, sesungguhnya Allah akan melihat amal kamu, dan kamu akan dikembalikan kepada Allah yang mengetahui perkara ghaib dan nyata. Maka (Allah) akan memberitahu kamu apa yang kamu kerjakan." (Surah at-Taubah, ayat 105)

Setiap usaha yang dilaksanakan dengan rasa penuh bertanggungjawab akan menghasilkan insan yang saling menghormati di antara satu sama lain. Ia juga melahirkan rasa kasih sayang dan persaudaraan kental di jiwa orang yang terbabit sama ada anak, ibu bapa, guru atau masyarakat.

Seperti kata Imam Hassan al-Banna: "Berkasih sayanglah sesama kamu dan peliharalah persaudaraan (ukhuwwah) kerana ia rahsia kekuatan dan kemenangan kamu. Hendaklah kamu berterusan dalam demikian, sehingga Allah datangkan kemenangan bagi kamu dan agamamu. Sesungguhnya Allah adalah sebaik-baik pemberi kemenangan."

Sebagai seorang pendidik, sama ada ibu,bapa, penjaga, guru atau masyarakat yang prihatin, seharusnya mempunyai ciri seorang pendidik sebenar iaitu:

l Sifat ikhlas terhadap Allah dalam segala amal pendidikan sama ada perintah, larangan, nasihat, perhatian atau hukuman daripada Allah.

Setiap pendidik yang menjalankan tanggungjawab perlu menunjukkan setiap kerja yang dilakukannya hanya kerana Allah.

l Sifat takwa iaitu, bimbang akan seksaan Allah secara rahsia dan terang-terangan. Jika ini diabaikan, maka tiada syak lagi kanak-kanak akan membesar dalam penyelewengan dan dia akan berulang-alik kepada kumpulan perosak dan kejahilan.

l Sifat sayang kepada ilmu pengetahuan iaitu mengetahui dan mengenali dasar pendidikan yang ditunjukkan dalam syariat Islam.

Ini kerana ilmu yang ada dapat membantu meletakkan setiap perkara pada tempatnya.

l Suka memaafkan kerana sifat ini akan menarik anak-anak kepada pendidik dan dengan sebab itu, anak akan menyambut kata-kata dan perintah pendidiknya.

Sifat ini dapat meletakkan manusia di kemuncak adab dan kesempurnaan serta di tingkat tinggi dalam strata sifat budi pekerti.

l Sifat tanggungjawab yang besar dalam mendidik anak dalam segi keimanan dan kelakuan, membentuknya dalam segi jasmani dan rohani serta menyediakannya dalam segi mental dan sosial.

Pendidik hendaklah selalu bimbang jika dia melalai atau mencuaikan tanggungjawabnya. Ini kerana perbuatan demikian, pasti membuat anak itu akan terjebak ke dalam kerosakan sikit demi sikit dan selangkah demi selangkah.

l PENULIS adalah guru siswazah dan boleh dihubungi di

Monday, May 05, 2003

Chapter Three of The Hikam of Ibn 'Ata'illah

Better to look at the defects hidden within you
than to look for the unseen worlds that are veiled from you.

The Real is not veiled
- it is you that are veiled from seeing Him.
If there was anything veiling Him
what veiled Him would cover Him.
If he was covered,
His existence would be contained.
If something contains something else,
it overpowers it.
But He is the Conqueror, overcoming His slaves.

Among the qualities of humanness,
get rid of every quality incompatible with your slavehood
so you can answer when Allah calls and be near His presence.

The root of every act of rebellion, every appetite
and every moment of heedlessness
is satisfaction with one's self.

The root of every act of obedience, every restraint
and every moment of wakefulness
is lack of satisfaction with one's self.

Better to keep the company of an ignorant man
who is not satisfied with himself
than a man of knowledge who is satisfied with himself.

What knowledge does the self-satisifed scholar have?
What ignorance does the ignorant man who is not self-satisfied have?

The light of the inner eye lets you see His nearness to you.
The source of the inner eye lets you see your non-existence by your existence.
The truth of the inner eye lets you see His existence,
not your own non-existence or existence.

"Allah was and there was nothing with Him.
He is now as He was."

Sunday, May 04, 2003

The Place of Tasawwuf in Traditional Islam

© Nuh Ha Mim Keller 1995

Perhaps the biggest challenge in learning Islam correctly today is the scarcity of traditional ‘ulama. In this meaning, Bukhari relates the sahih, rigorously authenticated hadith that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, 

"Truly, Allah does not remove Sacred Knowedge by taking it out of servants, but rather by taking back the souls of Islamic scholars [in death], until, when He has not left a single scholar, the people take the ignorant as leaders, who are asked for and who give Islamic legal opinion without knowledge, misguided and misguiding" (Fath al-Bari, 1.194, hadith 100).

The process described by the hadith is not yet completed, but has certainly begun, and in our times, the lack of traditional scholars whether in Islamic law, in hadith, in tafsir ‘Koranic exegesis’ has given rise to an understanding of the religion that is far from scholarly, and sometimes far from the truth. For example, in the course of my own studies in Islamic law, my first impression from orientalist and Muslim-reformer literature, was that the Imams of the madhhabs or ‘schools of jurisprudence’ had brought a set of rules from completely outside the Islamic tradition and somehow imposed them upon the Muslims. But when I sat with traditional scholars in the Middle East and asked them about the details, I came away with a different point of view, having learned the bases for deriving the law from the Koran and sunna. 

And similarly with Tasawwuf which is the word I will use tonight for the English Sufism, since our context is traditional Islam quite a different picture emerged from talking with scholars of Tasawwuf than what I had been exposed to in the West. My talk tonight, In Sha’ Allah, will present knowledge taken from the Koran and sahih hadith, and from actual teachers of Tasawwuf in Syria and Jordan, in view of the need for all of us to get beyond clichés, the need for factual information from Islamic sources, the need to answer such questions as: Where did Tasawwuf come from? What role does it play in the din or religion of Islam? and most importantly, What is the command of Allah about it? 

As for the origin of the term Tasawwuf, like many other Islamic discliplines, its name was not known to the first generation of Muslims. The historian Ibn Khaldun notes in his Muqaddima: 

This knowledge is a branch of the sciences of Sacred Law that originated within the Umma. From the first, the way of such people had also been considered the path of truth and guidance by the early Muslim community and its notables, of the Companions of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), those who were taught by them, and those who came after them. 
It basically consists of dedication to worship, total dedication to Allah Most High, disregard for the finery and ornament of the world, abstinence from the pleasure, wealth, and prestige sought by most men, and retiring from others to worship alone. This was the general rule among the Companions of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and the early Muslims, but when involvement in this-worldly things became widespread from the second Islamic century onwards and people became absorbed in worldliness, those devoted to worship came to be called Sufiyya or People of Tasawwuf (Ibn Khaldun, al-Muqaddima [N.d. Reprint. Mecca: Dar al-Baz, 1397/1978], 467).

In Ibn Khaldun’s words, the content of Tasawwuf, "total dedication to Allah Most High," was, "the general rule among the Companions of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and the early Muslims." So if the word did not exist in earliest times, we should not forget that this is also the case with many other Islamic disciplines, such as tafsir, ‘Koranic exegesis,’ or ‘ilm al-jarh wa ta‘dil, ‘the science of the positive and negative factors that affect hadith narrators acceptability,’ or ‘ilm al-tawhid, the science of belief in Islamic tenets of faith,’ all of which proved to be of the utmost importance to the correct preservation and transmission of the religion.

As for the origin of the word Tasawwuf, it may well be from Sufi, the person who does Tasawwuf, which seems to be etymologically prior to it, for the earliest mention of either term was by Hasan al-Basri who died 110 years after the Hijra, and is reported to have said, "I saw a Sufi circumambulating the Kaaba, and offered him a dirham, but he would not accept it." It therefore seems better to understand Tasawwuf by first asking what a Sufi is; and perhaps the best definition of both the Sufi and his way, certainly one of the most frequently quoted by masters of the discipline, is from the sunna of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) who said:

Allah Most High says: "He who is hostile to a friend of Mine I declare war against. My slave approaches Me with nothing more beloved to Me than what I have made obligatory upon him, and My slave keeps drawing nearer to Me with voluntary works until I love him. And when I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, his sight with which he sees, his hand with which he seizes, and his foot with which he walks. If he asks me, I will surely give to him, and if he seeks refuge in Me, I will surely protect him" (Fath al-Bari, 11.340 41, hadith 6502);

This hadith was related by Imam Bukhari, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, al-Bayhaqi, and others with multiple contiguous chains of transmission, and is sahih. It discloses the central reality of Tasawwuf, which is precisely change, while describing the path to this change, in conformity with a traditional definition used by masters in the Middle East, who define a Sufi as Faqihun ‘amila bi ‘ilmihi fa awrathahu Llahu ‘ilma ma lam ya‘lam,‘A man of religious learning who applied what he knew, so Allah bequeathed him knowledge of what he did not know.’

To clarify, a Sufi is a man of religious learning,because the hadith says, "My slave approaches Me with nothing more beloved to Me than what I have made obligatory upon him," and only through learning can the Sufi know the command of Allah, or what has been made obligatory for him. He has applied what he knew, because the hadith says he not only approaches Allah with the obligatory, but "keeps drawing nearer to Me with voluntary works until I love him." And in turn, Allah bequeathed him knowledge of what he did not know, because the hadith says, "And when I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, his sight with which he sees, his hand with which he seizes, and his foot with which he walks," which is a metaphor for the consummate awareness of tawhid, or the ‘unity of Allah,’ which in the context of human actions such as hearing, sight, seizing, and walking, consists of realizing the words of the Koran about Allah that, 
"It is He who created you and what you do" (Koran 37:96).

The origin of the way of the Sufi thus lies in the prophetic sunna. The sincerity to Allah that it entails was the rule among the earliest Muslims, to whom this was simply a state of being without a name, while it only became a distinct discipline when the majority of the Community had drifted away and changed from this state. Muslims of subsequent generations required systematic effort to attain it, and it was because of the change in the Islamic environment after the earliest generations, that a discipline by the name of Tasawwuf came to exist. 

But if this is true of origins, the more significant question is: How central is Tasawwuf to the religion, and: Where does it fit into Islam as a whole? Perhaps the best answer is the hadith of Muslim, that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab said: 

As we sat one day with the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), a man in pure white clothing and jet black hair came to us, without a trace of travelling upon him, though none of us knew him.

He sat down before the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) bracing his knees against his, resting his hands on his legs, and said: "Muhammad, tell me about Islam." The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: "Islam is to testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and to perform the prayer, give zakat, fast in Ramadan, and perform the pilgrimage to the House if you can find a way."

He said: "You have spoken the truth," and we were surprised that he should ask and then confirm the answer. Then he said: "Tell me about true faith (iman)," and the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) answered: "It is to believe in Allah, His angels, His inspired Books, His messengers, the Last Day, and in destiny, its good and evil."

"You have spoken the truth," he said, "Now tell me about the perfection of faith (ihsan)," and the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) answered: "It is to worship Allah as if you see Him, and if you see Him not, He nevertheless sees you."

The hadith continues to where ‘Umar said:

Then the visitor left. I waited a long while, and the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said to me, "Do you know, ‘Umar, who was the questioner?" and I replied, "Allah and His messenger know best." He said, 

"It was Gabriel, who came to you to teach you your religion" (Sahih Muslim, 1.37: hadith 8). 

This is a sahih hadith, described by Imam Nawawi as one of the hadiths upon which the Islamic religion turns. The use of din in the last words of it, Atakum yu‘allimukum dinakum, "came to you to teach you your religion" entails that the religion of Islam is composed of the three fundamentals mentioned in the hadith: Islam, or external compliance with what Allah asks of us; Iman, or the belief in the unseen that the prophets have informed us of; and Ihsan, or to worship Allah as though one sees Him. The Koran says, in Surat Maryam, 

"Surely We have revealed the Remembrance, and surely We shall preserve it" (Koran 15:9), 

and if we reflect how Allah, in His wisdom, has accomplished this, we see that it is by human beings, the traditional scholars He has sent at each level of the religion. The level of Islam has been preserved and conveyed to us by the Imams of Shari‘a or ‘Sacred Law’ and its ancillary disciplines; the level of Iman, by the Imams of ‘Aqida or ‘tenets of faith’; and the level of Ihsan, "to worship Allah as though you see Him," by the Imams of Tasawwuf. 

The hadith’s very words "to worship Allah" show us the interrelation of these three fundamentals, for the how of "worship" is only known through the external prescriptions of Islam, while the validity of this worship in turn presupposes Iman or faith in Allah and the Islamic revelation, without which worship would be but empty motions; while the words, "as if you see Him," show that Ihsan implies a human change, for it entails the experience of what, for most of us, is not experienced. So to understand Tasawwuf, we must look at the nature of this change in relation to both Islam and Iman, and this is the main focus of my talk tonight. 

At the level of Islam, we said that Tasawwuf requires Islam,through ‘submission to the rules of Sacred Law.’ But Islam, for its part, equally requires Tasawwuf. Why? For the very good reason that the sunna which Muslims have been commanded to follow is not just the words and actions of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), but also his states, states of the heart such as taqwa ‘godfearingness,’ ikhlas ‘sincerity,’ tawakkul ‘reliance on Allah,’ rahma ‘mercy,’ tawadu‘ ‘humility,’ and so on. 

Now, it is characteristic of the Islamic ethic that human actions are not simply divided into two shades of morality, right or wrong; but rather five, arranged in order of their consequences in the next world. The obligatory (wajib) is that whose performance is rewarded by Allah in the next life and whose nonperformance is punished. The recommended (mandub) is that whose performance is rewarded, but whose nonperformance is not punished. The permissible (mubah) is indifferent, unconnected with either reward or punishment. The offensive (makruh) is that whose nonperformance is rewarded but whose performance is not punished. The unlawful (haram) is that whose nonperformance is rewarded and whose performance is punished, if one dies unrepentant. 

Human states of the heart, the Koran and sunna make plain to us, come under each of these headings. Yet they are not dealt with in books of fiqh or ‘Islamic jurisprudence,’ because unlike the prayer, zakat, or fasting, they are not quantifiable in terms of the specific amount of them that must be done. But though they are not countable, they are of the utmost importance to every Muslim. Let’s look at a few examples.

(1) Love of Allah. In Surat al-Baqara of the Koran, Allah blames those who ascribe associates to Allah whom they love as much as they love Allah. Then He says, 
"And those who believe are greater in love for Allah" (Koran 2:165), making being a believer conditional upon having greater love for Allah than any other.

(2) Mercy. Bukhari and Muslim relate that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, "Whomever is not merciful to people, Allah will show no mercy" (Sahih Muslim, 4.1809: hadith 2319), and Tirmidhi relates the well authenticated (hasan) hadith "Mercy is not taken out of anyone except the damned" (al-Jami‘ al-sahih, 4.323: hadith 1923).

(3) Love of each other. Muslim relates in his Sahih that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, "By Him in whose hand is my soul, none of you shall enter paradise until you believe, and none of you shall believe until you love one another . . . ." (Sahih Muslim, 1.74: hadith 54).

(4) Presence of mind in the prayer (salat). Abu Dawud relates in his Sunan that ‘Ammar ibn Yasir heard the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) say, "Truly, a man leaves, and none of his prayer has been recorded for him except a tenth of it, a ninth of it, eighth of it, seventh of it, sixth of it, fifth of it, fourth of it, third of it, a half of it" (Sunan Abi Dawud, 1.211: hadith 796) meaning that none of a person’s prayer counts for him except that in which he is present in his heart with Allah.

(5) Love of the Prophet. Bukhari relates in his Sahih that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, "None of you believes until I am more beloved to him than his father, his son, and all people" (Fath al-Bari, 1.58, hadith 15).

It is plain from these texts that none of the states mentioned whether mercy, love, or presence of heart are quantifiable, for the Shari‘a cannot specify that one must "do two units of mercy" or "have three units of presence of mind" in the way that the number of rak‘as of prayer can be specified, yet each of them is personally obligatory for the Muslim. Let us complete the picture by looking at a few examples of states that are haram or ‘strictly unlawful’: 

(1) Fear of anyone besides Allah. Allah Most High says in Surat al-Baqara of the Koran, 

"And fulfill My covenant: I will fulfill your covenant And fear Me alone" (Koran 2:40), the last phrase of which, according to Imam Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, "establishes that a human being is obliged to fear no one besides Allah Most High" (Tafsir al-Fakhr al-Razi, 3.42).

(2) Despair. Allah Most High says, 

"None despairs of Allah’s mercy except the people who disbelieve" (Koran 12:87), indicating the unlawfulness of this inward state by coupling it with the worst human condition possible, that of unbelief.

(3) Arrogance. Muslim relates in his Sahih that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, "No one shall enter paradise who has a particle of arrogance in his heart" (Sahih Muslim, 1.93: hadith 91).

(4) Envy,meaning to wish for another to lose the blessings he enjoys. Abu Dawud relates that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, "Beware of envy, for envy consumes good works as flames consume firewood" (Sunan Abi Dawud, 4.276: hadith 4903).

(5) Showing off in acts of worship. Al-Hakim relates with a sahih chain of transmission that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, "The slightest bit of showing off in good works is as if worshipping others with Allah . . . ." (al-Mustadrak ‘ala al-Sahihayn, 1.4). 

These and similar haram inward states are not found in books of fiqh or ‘jurisprudence,’ because fiqh can only deal with quantifiable descriptions of rulings. Rather, they are examined in their causes and remedies by the scholars of the ‘inner fiqh’ of Tasawwuf, men such as Imam al-Ghazali in his Ihya’ ‘ulum al-din [The reviving of the religious sciences], Imam al-Rabbani in his Maktubat [Letters], al-Suhrawardi in his ‘Awarif al-Ma‘arif [The knowledges of the illuminates], Abu Talib al-Makki in Qut al-qulub [The sustenance of hearts], and similar classic works, which discuss and solve hundreds of ethical questions about the inner life. These are books of Shari‘a and their questions are questions of Sacred Law, of how it is lawful or unlawful for a Muslim to be; and they preserve the part of the prophetic sunna dealing with states.

Who needs such information? All Muslims, for the Koranic verses and authenticated hadiths all point to the fact that a Muslim must not only do certain things and say certain things, but also must be something, must attain certain states of the heart and eliminate others. Do we ever fear someone besides Allah? Do we have a particle of arrogance in our hearts? Is our love for the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) greater than our love for any other human being? Is there the slightest bit of showing off in our good works?

Half a minute’s reflection will show the Muslim where he stands on these aspects of his din, and why in classical times, helping Muslims to attain these states was not left to amateurs, but rather delegated to ‘ulama of the heart, the scholars of Islamic Tasawwuf. For most people, these are not easy transformations to make, because of the force of habit, because of the subtlety with which we can deceive ourselves, but most of all because each of us has an ego, the self, the Me, which is called in Arabic al-nafs, about which Allah testifies in Surat Yusuf:
"Verily the self ever commands to do evil" (Koran 12:53). 

If you do not believe it, consider the hadith related by Muslim in his Sahih, that:

The first person judged on Resurrection Day will be a man martyred in battle.

He will be brought forth, Allah will reacquaint him with His blessings upon him and the man will acknowledge them, whereupon Allah will say, "What have you done with them?" to which the man will respond, "I fought to the death for You."

Allah will reply, "You lie. You fought in order to be called a hero, and it has already been said." Then he will be sentenced and dragged away on his face and flung into the fire.

Then a man will be brought forward who learned Sacred Knowledge, taught it to others, and who recited the Koran. Allah will remind him of His gifts to him and the man will acknowledge them, and then Allah will say, "What have you done with them?" The man will answer, "I acquired Sacred Knowledge, taught it, and recited the Koran, for Your sake."

Allah will say, "You lie. You learned so as to be called a scholar, and read the Koran so as to be called a reciter, and it has already been said." Then the man will be sentenced and dragged away on his face to be flung into the fire.

Then a man will be brought forward whom Allah generously provided for, giving him various kinds of wealth, and Allah will recall to him the benefits given, and the man will acknowledge them, to which Allah will say, "And what have you done with them?" The man will answer, "I have not left a single kind of expenditure You love to see made, except that I have spent on it for Your sake."
Allah will say, "You lie. You did it so as to be called generous, and it has already been said." Then he will be sentenced and dragged away on his face to be flung into the fire (Sahih Muslim, 3.1514: hadith 1905).

We should not fool ourselves about this, because our fate depends on it: in our childhood, our parents taught us how to behave through praise or blame, and for most of us, this permeated and colored our whole motivation for doing things. But when childhood ends, and we come of age in Islam, the religion makes it clear to us, both by the above hadith and by the words of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) "The slightest bit of showing off in good works is as if worshipping others with Allah" that being motivated by what others think is no longer good enough, and that we must change our motives entirely, and henceforth be motivated by nothing but desire for Allah Himself. The Islamic revelation thus tells the Muslim that it is obligatory to break his habits of thinking and motivation, but it does not tell him how. For that, he must go to the scholars of these states, in accordance with the Koranic imperative,

"Ask those who know if you know not" (Koran 16:43),

There is no doubt that bringing about this change, purifying the Muslims by bringing them to spiritual sincerity, was one of the central duties of the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace), for Allah says in the Surat Al ‘Imran of the Koran,

"Allah has truly blessed the believers, for He has sent them a messenger of themselves, who recites His signs to them and purifies them, and teaches them the Book and the Wisdom" (Koran 3:164),

which explicitly lists four tasks of the prophetic mission, the second of which, yuzakkihim means precisely to ‘purify them’ and has no other lexical sense. Now, it is plain that this teaching function cannot, as part of an eternal revelation, have ended with the passing of the first generation, a fact that Allah explictly confirms in His injunction in Surat Luqman,

"And follow the path of him who turns unto Me" (Koran 31:15).

These verses indicate the teaching and transformative role of those who convey the Islamic revelation to Muslims, and the choice of the word ittiba‘ in the second verse, which is more general, implies both keeping the company of and following the example of a teacher. This is why in the history of Tasawwuf, we find that though there were many methods and schools of thought, these two things never changed: keeping the company of a teacher, and following his example in exactly the same way that the Sahaba were uplifted and purified by keeping the company of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and following his example. 

And this is why the discipline of Tasawwuf has been preserved and transmitted by Tariqas or groups of students under a particular master. First, because this was the sunna of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) in his purifying function described by the Koran. Secondly, Islamic knowledge has never been transmitted by writings alone, but rather from ‘ulama to students. Thirdly, the nature of the knowledge in question is of hal or ‘state of being,’ not just knowing, and hence requires it be taken from a succession of living masters back to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), for the sheer range and number of the states of heart required by the revelation effectively make imitation of the personal example of a teacher the only effective means of transmission. 

So far we have spoken about Tasawwuf in respect to Islam, as a Shari‘a science necessary to fully realize the Sacred Law in one’s life, to attain the states of the heart demanded by the Koran and hadith. This close connection between Shari‘a and Tasawwuf is expressed by the statement of Imam Malik, founder of the Maliki school, that "he who practices Tasawwuf without learning Sacred Law corrupts his faith, while he who learns Sacred Law without practicing Tasawwuf corrupts himself. Only he who combines the two proves true." This is why Tasawwuf was taught as part of the traditional curriculum in madrasas across the Muslim world from Malaysia to Morocco, why many of the greatest Shari‘a scholars of this Umma have been Sufis, and why until the end of the Islamic caliphate at the beginning of this century and the subsequent Western control and cultural dominance of Muslim lands, there were teachers of Tasawwuf in Islamic institutions of higher learning from Lucknow to Istanbul to Cairo. 

But there is a second aspect of Tasawwuf that we have not yet talked about; namely, its relation to Iman or ‘True Faith,’ the second pillar of the Islamic religion, which in the context of the Islamic sciences consists of ‘Aqida or ‘orthodox belief.’

All Muslims believe in Allah, and that He is transcendently beyond anything conceivable to the minds of men, for the human intellect is imprisoned within its own sense impressions and the categories of thought derived from them, such as number, directionality, spatial extention, place, time, and so forth. Allah is beyond all of that; in His own words, 

"There is nothing whatesover like unto Him" (Koran 42:11)

If we reflect for a moment on this verse, in the light of the hadith of Muslim about Ihsan that "it is to worship Allah as though you see Him," we realize that the means of seeing here is not the eye, which can only behold physical things like itself; nor yet the mind, which cannot transcend its own impressions to reach the Divine, but rather certitude, the light of Iman, whose locus is not the eye or the brain, but rather the ruh, a subtle faculty Allah has created within each of us called the soul, whose knowledge is unobstructed by the bounds of the created universe. Allah Most High says, by way of exalting the nature of this faculty by leaving it a mystery,

"Say: ‘The soul is of the affair of my Lord’" (Koran 17:85).

The food of this ruh is dhikr or the ‘remembrance of Allah.’ Why? Because acts of obedience increase the light of certainty and Iman in the soul, and dhikr is among the greatest of them, as is attested to by the sahih hadith related by al-Hakim that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,

"Shall I not tell you of the best of your works, the purest of them in the eyes of your Master, the highest in raising your rank, better than giving gold and silver, and better for you than to meet your enemy and smite their necks, and they smite yours?" They said, "This what is it, O Messenger of Allah?" and he said: Dhikru Llahi ‘azza wa jall, "The remembrance of Allah Mighty and Majestic." (al-Mustadrak ‘ala al-Sahihayn, 1.496).

Increasing the strength of Iman through good actions, and particularly through the medium of dhikr has tremendous implications for the Islamic religion and traditional spirituality. A non-Muslim once asked me, "If God exists, then why all this beating around the bush? Why doesn’t He just come out and say so?" 

The answer is that taklif or ‘moral responsibility’ in this life is not only concerned with outward actions, but with what we believe, our ‘Aqida and the strength with which we believe it. If belief in God and other eternal truths were effortless in this world, there would be no point in Allah making us responsible for it, it would be automatic, involuntary, like our belief, say, that London is in England. There would no point in making someone responsible for something impossible not to believe. 

But the responsibility Allah has place upon us is belief in the Unseen, as a test for us in this world to choose between kufr and Iman, to distinguish believer from unbeliever, and some believers above others.

This why strengthening Iman through dhikr is of such methodological importance for Tasawwuf: we have not only been commanded as Muslims to believe in certain things, but have been commanded to have absolute certainty in them. The world we see around us is composed of veils of light and darkness: events come that knock the Iman out of some of us, and Allah tests each of us as to the degree of certainty with which we believe the eternal truths of the religion. It was in this sense that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab said, "If the Iman of Abu Bakr were weighed against the Iman of the entire Umma, it would outweigh it."

Now, in traditional ‘Aqida one of the most important tenets is the wahdaniyya or ‘oneness and uniqueness’ of Allah Most High. This means He is without any sharik or associate in His being, in His attributes, or in His acts. But the ability to hold this insight in mind in the rough and tumble of daily life is a function of the strength of certainty (yaqin) in one’s heart. Allah tells the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) in Surat al-A‘raf of the Koran, 

"Say: ‘I do not possess benefit for myself or harm, except as Allah wills’" (Koran 7:188),

yet we tend to rely on ourselves and our plans, in obliviousness to the facts of ‘Aqida that ourselves and our plans have no effect, that Allah alone brings about effects.

If you want to test yourself on this, the next time you contact someone with good connections whose help is critical to you, take a look at your heart at the moment you ask him to put in a good word for you with someone, and see whom you are relying upon. If you are like most of us, Allah is not at the forefront of your thoughts, despite the fact that He alone is controlling the outcome. Isn’t this a lapse in your ‘Aqida, or, at the very least, in your certainty? 

Tasawwuf corrects such shortcomings by step-by-step increasing the Muslim’s certainty in Allah. The two central means of Tasawwuf in attaining the conviction demanded by ‘Aqida are mudhakara, or learning the traditional tenets of Islamic faith, and dhikr, deepening one’s certainty in them by remembrance of Allah. It is part of our faith that, in the words of the Koran in Surat al-Saffat, 

"Allah has created you and what you do" (Koran 37:96); 

yet for how many of us is this day to day experience? Because Tasawwuf remedies this and other shortcomings of Iman, by increasing the Muslim’s certainty through a systematic way of teaching and dhikr, it has traditionally been regarded as personally obligatory to this pillar of the religion also, and from the earliest centuries of Islam, has proved its worth. 

The last question we will deal with tonight is: What about the bad Sufis we read about, who contravene the teachings of Islam? 

The answer is that there are two meanings of Sufi: the first is "Anyone who considers himself a Sufi," which is the rule of thumb of orientalist historians of Sufism and popular writers, who would oppose the "Sufis" to the "Ulama." I think the Koranic verses and hadiths we have mentioned tonight about the scope and method of true Tasawwuf show why we must insist on the primacy of the definition of a Sufi as "a man of religious learning who applied what he knew, so Allah bequeathed him knowledge of what he did not know." 

The very first thing a Sufi, as a man of religious learning knows is that the Shari‘a and ‘Aqida of Islam are above every human being. Whoever does not know this will never be a Sufi, except in the orientalist sense of the word like someone standing in front of the stock exchange in an expensive suit with a briefcase to convince people he is a stockbroker. A real stockbroker is something else.

Because this distinction is ignored today by otherwise well-meaning Muslims, it is often forgotten that the ‘ulama who have criticized Sufis, such as Ibn al-Jawzi in his Talbis Iblis [The Devil’s deception], or Ibn Taymiya in places in his Fatawa, or Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya, were not criticizing Tasawwuf as an ancillary discipline to the Shari‘a. The proof of this is Ibn al-Jawzi’s five-volume Sifat al-safwa, which contains the biographies of the very same Sufis mentioned in al-Qushayri’s famous Tasawwuf manual al-Risala al-Qushayriyya. Ibn Taymiya considered himself a Sufi of the Qadiri order, and volumes ten and eleven of his thirty-seven-volume Majmu‘ al-fatawa are devoted to Tasawwuf. And Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya wrote his three-volume Madarij al-salikin, a detailed commentary on ‘Abdullah al-Ansari al-Harawi’s tract on the spiritual stations of the Sufi path, Manazil al-sa’irin. These works show that their authors’ criticisms were not directed at Tasawwuf as such, but rather at specific groups of their times, and they should be understood for what they are. 

As in other Islamic sciences, mistakes historically did occur in Tasawwuf, most of them stemming from not recognizing the primacy of Shari‘a and ‘Aqida above all else. But these mistakes were not different in principle from, for example, the Isra’iliyyat (baseless tales of Bani Isra’il) that crept into tafsir literature, or the mawdu‘at (hadith forgeries) that crept into the hadith. These were not taken as proof that tafsir was bad, or hadith was deviance, but rather, in each discipline, the errors were identified and warned against by Imams of the field, because the Umma needed the rest. And such corrections are precisely what we find in books like Qushayri’s Risala,Ghazali’s Ihya’ and other works of Sufism.

For all of the reasons we have mentioned, Tasawwuf was accepted as an essential part of the Islamic religion by the ‘ulama of this Umma. The proof of this is all the famous scholars of Shari‘a sciences who had the higher education of Tasawwuf, among them Ibn ‘Abidin, al-Razi, Ahmad Sirhindi, Zakariyya al-Ansari, al-‘Izz ibn ‘Abd al-Salam, Ibn Daqiq al-‘Eid, Ibn Hajar al-Haytami, Shah Wali Allah, Ahmad Dardir, Ibrahim al-Bajuri, ‘Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulsi, Imam al-Nawawi, Taqi al-Din al-Subki, and al-Suyuti. 

Among the Sufis who aided Islam with the sword as well as the pen, to quote Reliance of the Traveller, were:

such men as the Naqshbandi sheikh Shamil al-Daghestani, who fought a prolonged war against the Russians in the Caucasus in the nineteenth century; Sayyid Muhammad ‘Abdullah al-Somali, a sheikh of the Salihiyya order who led Muslims against the British and Italians in Somalia from 1899 to 1920; the Qadiri sheikh ‘Uthman ibn Fodi, who led jihad in Northern Nigeria from 1804 to 1808 to establish Islamic rule; the Qadiri sheikh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jaza’iri, who led the Algerians against the French from 1832 to 1847; the Darqawi faqir al-Hajj Muhammad al-Ahrash, who fought the French in Egypt in 1799; the Tijani sheikh al-Hajj ‘Umar Tal, who led Islamic Jihad in Guinea, Senegal, and Mali from 1852 to 1864; and the Qadiri sheikh Ma’ al-‘Aynayn al-Qalqami, who helped marshal Muslim resistance to the French in northern Mauritania and southern Morocco from 1905 to 1909. 

Among the Sufis whose missionary work Islamized entire regions are such men as the founder of the Sanusiyya order, Muhammad ‘Ali Sanusi, whose efforts and jihad from 1807 to 1859 consolidated Islam as the religion of peoples from the Libyan Desert to sub-Saharan Africa; [and] the Shadhili sheikh Muhammad Ma‘ruf and Qadiri sheikh Uways al-Barawi, whose efforts spread Islam westward and inland from the East African Coast . . . . (Reliance of the Traveller,863).

It is plain from the examples of such men what kind of Muslims have been Sufis; namely, all kinds, right across the board and that Tasawwuf did not prevent them from serving Islam in any way they could.

To summarize everything I have said tonight: In looking first at Tasawwuf and Shari‘a, we found that many Koranic verses and sahih hadiths oblige the Muslim to eliminate haram inner states as arrogance, envy, and fear of anyone besides Allah; and on the other hand, to acquire such obligatory inner states as mercy, love of one’s fellow Muslims, presence of mind in prayer, and love of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). We found that these inward states could not be dealt with in books of fiqh, whose purpose is to specify the outward, quantifiable aspects of the Shari‘a. The knowledge of these states is nevertheless of the utmost importance to every Muslim, and this is why it was studied under the ‘ulama of Ihsan, the teachers of Tasawwuf, in all periods of Islamic history until the beginning of the present century.

We then turned to the level of Iman, and found that though the ‘Aqida of Muslims is that Allah alone has any effect in this world, keeping this in mind in everhday life is not a given of human consciousness, but rather a function of a Muslim’s yaqin, his certainty. And we found that Tasawwuf, as an ancillary discipline to ‘Aqida, emphasizes the systematic increase of this certainty through both mudhakara, ‘teaching tenets of faith’ and dhikr, ‘the remembrance of Allah,’ in accordance with the words of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) about Ihsan that "it is worship Allah as though you see Him."

Lastly, we found that accusations against Tasawwuf made by scholars such as Ibn al-Jawzi, and Ibn Taymiya were not directed against Tasawwuf in principle, but to specific groups and individuals in the times of these authors, the proof for which is the other books by the same authors that showed their understanding of Tasawwuf as a Shari‘a science. 

To return to the starting point of my talk this evening, with the disappearance of traditional Islamic scholars from the Umma, two very different pictures of Tasawwuf emerge today. If we read books written after the dismantling of the traditional fabric of Islam by colonial powers in the last century, we find the big hoax: Islam without spirituality and Shari‘a without Tasawwuf. But if we read the classical works of Islamic scholarship, we learn that Tasawwuf has been a Shari‘a science like tafsir, hadith, or any other, throughout the history of Islam. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,

"Truly, Allah does not look at your outward forms and wealth, but rather at your hearts and your works" (Sahih Muslim, 4.1389: hadith 2564).

And this is the brightest hope that Islam can offer a modern world darkened by materialism and nihilism: Islam as it truly is; the hope of eternal salvation through a religion of brotherhood and social and economic justice outwardly, and the direct experience of divine love and illumination inwardly.

[ i know it's long but this one is a must read, everyone needs to understand this i/Allah :: Allahumma ij'alna fahman nabiyyeen, wa hifzal mursaleen, wa ilhaamal malaaikatil muqarrabeen, ya rabb al-'aalameen ]

Saturday, May 03, 2003

Celeberating Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi
Imam Jalaluddin al–Suyuti (radi Allahu anhu)

In the Name of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful


'Abd al-Rahman ibn Abu Bakr ibn Muhammad ibn Sabiq al-Din, Jalaluddin al-Suyuti (radi Allahu anhu) was born in 849 A.H./1445. He was a Shafi'i mujtahid Imam, Mufassir, Sufi, Muhaddith - hadith master (Hafiz), and historian, a prolific writer who authored books in virtually every Islamic science. He was raised as an orphan in Cairo and memorized the Holy Quran at 8. Amongst his teachers were Siraj al-Din Bulqini, Sharaf al-Din al-Munawi, Taqi al-Din al-Shamani. He travelled to gain Sacred Knowledge to Damascus, the Hijaz, Yemen, India, Morocco, and the lands south of Morocco, as well as centres of learning in Egypt such as malalla, Dumyat and fayyum.

In this book, the great scholar he has shed light on the historical and legal status of the Meelad Shareef in his own characteristic scholarly style. Before forming any opinion on the status of this booklet in imparting knowledge and benefit, first of all consider the illustrious personality of the author. The highly acclaimed "Tafsir al-Jalalain" which he co-authored is still a prescribed textbook in religious institutions and Muslims of all shades of opinion study and teach it, and praise Imam al-Suyuti for this work. Apart from this, his book on Usul al-Tafsir called "al-Itqan fi Ulum al-Quran" became an indispensable source of reference for all later works on the subject. "Al-Badr al-Manshur", his Tafsir of the Holy Quran is referred to as an exemplary Tafsir. On the characteristics and miracles of the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), his work entitled "al-Kasa'is al-Kubra" has the distinction of being the foremost on this topic and excerpts from it are to be found in the works on Sirah by eminent Imams and Ulama.

It is thus obvious that when such a great religious luminary takes up his pen to write on the Meelad Shareef, i.e. celebrating the Birthday of the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), the result will be of a unique status and its every word will be a summary of his vast knowledge of Tafsir, Hadith, Fiqh, Usul and history. Thus it would form the conclusive verdict of this subject.

Imam Jalaluddin al-Suyuti (radi Allahu anhu) passed away in Cairo at 60 years of age in 911A.H./1505.

The question under consideration is what is the verdict of the Shari'ah on celebrating the Holy Birthday of the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) in the month of Rabi-ul-Awwal. From the point of view of the Shari'ah, is this a praiseworthy action or a blameworthy one? And do those who arrange such a celebration receive blessings or not?

The reply to this question is that in my view the Meelad Shareef, Celebration of the Birthday of the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) is in fact such an occasion of happiness on which people assemble and recite the Holy Quran to the extent that is easy. Then they relate the prophecies concerning the appearance of the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) that have been transmitted in Ahadith and Athar, and the miraculous events and signs that took place on his birth. Then food is set before them and according to their desire they partake thereof to satisfaction.This festival of celebrating the birthday of the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), is a Bid'ah Hasanah (a good innovation) and those arranging it will get blessings, since in such a celebration is found the expression of joy and happiness at the greatness and eminence of the Noble Prophet (salall laahu alaihi wasallam) at his birth.

The beginning of the celebration of the Meelad Shareef in its present form lies with the ruler of Irbil, Sultan Muzaffar whose full name is Abu Said Kukabri Ibn Zain al-Din Ali Ibn Baktagin, who is counted among the great Sultans and generous leaders. He was responsible for many other noble works as well. Among the many monuments set up by him was the Jami Muzaffari, which he had constructed near Mount Tasiyun.

Ibn Kathir (radi Allahu anhu) writes about Sultan Muzaffar as follows: "Sultan Muzaffar used to arrange the celebration of the Meelad Shareef with due honour, glory, dignity and grandeur. In this connection, he used to organise a magnificent festival. He was a pure-hearted, brave and wise Alim and a just ruler. May Allah shower His Mercy on him and grant him an exalted status. Sheikh Abu al-Khattab Ibn Dhiyah also wrote a book for him on the Meelad Shareef entitled 'al-Tanwir fi Mawlid al-Bashir al-Nadhir' (Enlightenment on the Birthday of the Bearer of Good News, the Warner). For this book Sultan Muzaffar awarded him a gift of one thousand dinars. Sultan Muzaffar remained the ruler until his death, which occurred in 630 A.H. in the city of 'Akka when he had the Europeans under seige. In short he was a man of piety and noble disposition".

Sibt Ibn al-Jauzi (radi Allahu anhu) wrote in "Mir'at al-Zaman" that one participant in the Meelad Shareef organised by Sultan Muzaffar states that on the royal table-spread were laid out five hundred prepared goats, ten thousand chickens, one hundred thousand earthen tumblers and thirty thousand baskets of sweet fruits. He further writes that eminent pious Ulama and illustrious Sufis used to attend the Meelad Shareef ceremony held by the Sultan, who used to honour them with robes of distinction and royal favour. For the Sufis there used to be a Mahfil-e-Sama from Zuhr until Fajr, in which the Sultan himself used to participate and derive ecstasy there-from together with the Sufis. Every year his expenditure on the Meelad Shareef amounted to three hundred thousand dinars. For those coming from outside (the city) he had a special guest house commissioned, where people from all walks of life used to come from different places and without any discrimination of status. The expenditure of that guest house used to be one hundred thousand dinars annually.

Similarly, he used to spend two hundred thousand dinars annually to ransom Muslim prisoners-of-war from the Europeans. Also for the maintenance of the two Harams and for providing water along the routes in Hijaz (for pilgrims), he used to spend three thousand dinars annually. These are in addition to the Sadaqat and charity that used to be given secretly. His wife, Rabi'ah Khatoon Bint Ayyub, the sister of Sultan Nasir Salahuddin narrates that her husband used to wear a garment (Qamis) of coarse cotton costing no more than five dirhams. She says that she once rebuked him for this, upon which he replied that his wearing a five-dirham garment and spending the rest of the money in charity is far better than wearing a costly garment and giving a poor or indigent person mere good wishes.

Ibn Khallikan wrote in the biographical sketch of Hafiz Abu al-Khattab Ibn Dihyah: "He was one of the pious Ulama and famous scholars. He travelled from Morocco to Syria and Iraq. In the year 654 A.H. he passed through the area of Irbil, where he saw that its ruler, the eminent Sultan Muzaffar al-Din Ibn Zainal-Din arranged for celebrating the Birthday of the Prophet. So he wrote the book 'Kitab al-Tanwir fi Mawlid al-Bashir al-Nadhir' for the Sultan and himself read it out to him.I myself heard the book read out in six sittings at the Sultan's place in 625 A.H."

Sheikh Tajuddin Umar Ibn Ali al-Khumi al-Iskandari, well known as al-Fakihani, has claimed that the Milad Shareef is a reprehensible Bid'ah (innovation). In this regard, he wrote an essay entitled "al-Mawrid fi-l-Kalam ala-l-Mawlid" (The origin in Discussion about the Birthday of the Prophet).

Now consider may discussion on what al-Fakihani has said in this brief essay.

In connection with this statement that he could not find any basis for the Meelad Shareef in the Quran and the Sunnah, our submission is that the negation of the knowledge of a thing does not necessarily imply the negation of the existence of that thing (i.e. someone not having knowledge of a thing does not necessarily mean that that thing does not in reality exist). The Imam of the Huffaz, Abdul Fadl Ahmad Ibn Hajar (radi Allahu anhu) has extracted a basis for the Meelad Shareef from the Sunnah. One more basis I have extracted, which will be mentioned later.

Al-Fakihani has stated that the Meelad Shareef is an innovation invented by useless and idle people, who are slaves of their stomachs and on whom the lower desires of the Nafs predominate.Further, having explained the different kinds of rules he stated that it is neither Wajib, nor Mandub, since neither did the Shari'ah demand it nor did the Sahabah, the Tabi'un and the Ulama of the early generations celebrate it. In this connection we say, as stated earlier, that it was a just Sultan who was an Alim who started the Meelad Shareef with the objective of obtaining nearness to Allah. There were many Ulama and pious people with him, yet none of them deemed it reprehensible. On the contrary, Ibn Dihyah (such an eminent Alim of that time) liked the celebration of the Milad Shareef, and wrote a book for the Sultan on this subject (as mentioned earlier). These were all Ulama of the earlier generations who liked the Meelad Shareef, who supported and confirmed it and did not criticise or refute it. (This is itself a self-evident proof that al-Fakihani's allegations are wrong).

Then there remains his statement that the Meelad Shareef is not even Mandub in reality, which the Shari'ah has demanded. In this regard our submission is that the demand of the Shari'ah is known sometimes through a Nass (an explicit textual statement in the Quran or in the Hadith literature) and sometimes through Qiyas (analogical deduction). For the Meelad Shareef, although no Nass is to be found, yet from those two bases in the Sunnah which are mentioned further on, Qiyas can definitely be made (i.e., when Qiyas is applied on those two bases the commendability – being Mandub – of the Milad Shareef can be realised).

His statement that the Meelad Shareef can also not be Mubah because the Ijma' of the followers of Islam is that anything that is a Bid'ah (innovation) in religion cannot be Mubah, is one that is not accepted. This is because Bid'ah (innovations) are not classified only as Haraam or Makruh, but they can also be Mubah as well as Mandub or Wajib.

Imam al-Nawawi (radi Allahu anhu) says in "Tahdhib al-Asma wal Lugat": "Bid'ah in the Shari'ah is the invention of that which was not there in the period of the Messenger of Allah, and it is divided into two categories, Hasanah (or good) and Qabihah (or evil)."

Shaikh Izzuddin Ibn Abd al-Salaam (radi Allahu anhu) writes in "al-Qawa'id": "Bid'ah is divided into Wajib, Haraam, Mandub, Makruh and Mubah. And the way to know to which category it belongs is to examine it together with the laws of Shari'ah. If it falls with those laws that deal with what is Wajib, then it is Wajib; if with those laws that deal with what is Haraam, then it is Haraam; if with the laws dealing with what is Mandub, then Mandub; if the laws dealing with what is Makruh, then Makruh; if with the laws dealing with what is Mubah, then Mubah".

After this he went on to give examples of the five kinds of Bid'ah and wrote: "As for Bid'ah that is Mandub, its examples are the setting up of inns and educational institutions and very good action which was not there in the first age. Among the latter are Tarawih, discussion on the intricacies of Tasawwuf and debates. And among these is the convening of assemblies for deduction of laws in connection with problems providing that the motive thereof is to seek the pleasure of Allah Ta'ala".

Al-Baihaqi (radi Allahu anhu) in "Manaqib al-Shafi'i" has transmitted with his isnad (chain of narrators) from Imam al-Shafi'i (radi Allahu anhu) himself, that he said: "The new things that are brought about are of two kinds. One kind is that which is brought about, inconsistent with something in the Quran or the Sunnah or with some Athar or some Ijma'. This is the category of Bid'ah Dalalah (heretic innovation). The second kind is that which is brought about from good things which are not inconsistent with any of the above".

Umar (radi Allahu anhu) did say about standing in prayer in the month of Ramadaan, "What a good Bid'ah this is!" meaning that this is a new thing which was not there before and being a new thing it does not contradict anything that went before.

This refutes al-Fakihani's statement that the Milad Shareef cannot also be Mubah. But on the contrary it is a Bid'ah that is Makruh.This is because the Meelad Shareef is of that category of new matters which involve no inconsistency with anything in the Quran or the Sunnah, or with any Athar or Ijma'. Thus, this is not blameworthy (i.e. from the point of view of the Shari'ah, there is no evil in it), as in the statement of Imam al-Shafi'i (radi Allahu anhu) and it is a good action which, even though (in its present form) was not done in the first age, was brought about afterwards.

The invitation to partake of food and drink in which there is no sin, is an act of goodness for sure. Therefore, in connection with the Meelad Shareef, that assembly in which someone, out of his lawfully earned wealth, invites his family, relatives and friends to partake of food and drink in which there is no action against the Shari'ah – that assembly is a Bid'ah (innovation) that is Mandub (commendable), as is clear from the above quoted statements of Shaikh Izzuddin Ibn Abd al-Salam (radi Allahu anhu).

In connection with the second manner al-Fakihani has described and criticised, his criticism is in itself correct. There is no doubt that the assembly (mahfil) is Haraam where men, women, youths and little boys are freely mixed, and which there is dancing and music, with musical instruments in busy use, or where women assemble separately and sing in raised voices. But this does not mean that to arrange for the Meelad Shareef has been deemed Haraam. On the contrary, in the above instances the reason for their being Haraam is not assembling to celebrate the Meelad Shareef but is due to those things which are Haraam in the Shari'ah and have become mixed with the blessed assembly. (And if these things are not indulged in, then the Meelad Shareef would be as assembly for remembering Muhammad Mustafa - sallal laahu alaihi wasallam - and would thus be full of goodness and blessings).

Furthermore, if these kinds of actions were to take place say, in the assembly for Salatul-Jumu'ah, then it is evident that would be a reprehensible step and an evil matter.However from this the criticism of the original assembly for Salatul-Jumu'ah does not necessarily ensue. It has been seen that some of these kinds of actions also take place on the nights of Ramadaan Shareef, when people assemble for Salatut-Tarawih. Now on the basis of those actions can one conceivably criticise assembling for Salatut-Tarawih? Definitely not! However, we will say that the original assembly for Salatut-Tarawih is Sunnah and an act of virtue and Ibadah, but that those above mentioned actions, which have become mixed with it, are evil and repulsive.

Similarly, we say in connection with the celebration of the Meelad Shareef that the assembly is itself Mandub (commendable) and an act of virtue, but the above mentioned kinds of other actions, which have become mixed with it, are blameworthy and unlawful.

In conclusion, al-Fakihani stated that Rabi-ul-Awwal is the month not only of the birth of the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), but also of his demise. Therefore, instead of grief and sorrow, exhibiting joy and happiness is neither better nor suitable. In reply to this, first of all we submit that the birth of the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) is the greatest favour of Allah granted to us, and that his death is the greatest affliction for us. However, the Shari'ah has encouraged us to show our gratitude for favours has taught us to observe patient, perseverance, silence and calm in the face of afflictions. The Shari'ah has ordered us to offer the Aqiqah on the birth of a child, which is an expression of gratitude and happiness on the birth of that child. But the Shari'ah has not ordered us to sacrifice any animal on the death of someone, nor to do any such action. On the contrary, it has prohibited wailing and lamentation.Thus the laws of the Shari'ah indicate that to exhibit happiness in this holy month in connection with the birth of the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), is better than showing grief at his demise.

Ibn Rajab (radi Allahu anhu) in his "Kitab al-Lata'if" wrote criticising the Rawafid (A Shia sect) that because of the martyrdom of Imam Husain (radi Allahu anhu) they have made Ashura (the 10th of Muharram) a day of mourning, whereas Allah and His Messenger (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), have prohibited taking the days of affliction on the Prophets and the days of their deaths (alaihimus-salaam) as days of mourning. What then is the justification for taking days of mourning for those who are not prophets?

Imam Abu Abdullah Ibn al-Haj (radi Allahu anhu) has discussed the subject of the Milad Shareef with great maturity and insight in his book "al-Madkhal". To sum up his discussion, he has praised celebrating the Milad Shareef with joy and happiness and exhibiting gratitude to Allah, therefor. And he has criticised those Haraam and prohibited things which have been included in it. Here, I quote his discussion section–wise.

"From among those innovations which those people have brought about, thinking that thereby they are engaging in a great act of Ibadah and participating in religious ceremonies (to celebrate the remembrance of some great event) is this that in the month of Rabi-ul-Awwal they celebrate the Meelad, which celebration is constituted of many innovations and unlawful things. Among these are the participants sing songs and Ghazals while at the same time using musical instruments – drums, flutes, fiddles, etc. – and in this connection do many other evil actions which are customarily done mainly at those times which Allah Ta'ala has endowed with excellence and greatness (e.g. Eid and other occasions) and which are innovations wholly and totally, and are prohibited. There is no doubt that this kind of Sama, if it takes place on other nights apart from this, even then it would not be permissible. What then is the justification for holding such a Sama in this holy month, which Allah Almighty the Most Excellent has endowed with excellence and blessings in that His Beloved was born therein – such a Sama in which musical instruments are used? What relation can such a Sama have to this holy and blessed month, in which Allah (Exalted is His Majesty) granted us the great Ihsan of the auspicious birth of the Noble Prophet, the leader of those who are first and those who are last, (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)?

"Therefore, it is Wajib that special gratitude to Allah Ta'ala should be expressed in this month and as much Ibadah and charity should be done as is possible, since He has bestowed on us this very great favour (that He caused the birth therein) of His beloved (servant) (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). Even though the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) did not engage in more Ibadah in this month as compared with other months (nor did he command us to do so), yet in reality, this was due to his mercy and kindness to his Ummah, and also to create ease and mildness for them. This is why at times the Noble Prophet would leave off doing an action, lest it should become compulsory on his Ummah.This is the result of his mercy on us".

"Nevertheless, the Noble Prophet has indicated the excellence of this great month in reply to a questioner. When he questioner wanted to find out about fasting on Mondays, the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) replied: 'That is the day on which I was born'. (al-Hadith)

"Since the excellence of this day (i.e. Monday) implies the excellence of this month (i.e. Rabi-ul-Awwal) in which the Noble Prophet graced this world, then it is our duty to give this month its due respect and sanctity, and we should understand it to be very excellent just as Allah Ta'ala has deemed other blessed months to be very excellent. In this connection the Noble Prophet is reported to have said: 'I am the leader of the children of Adam and there is no pride (in this)'. 'Adam and all other (Prophets alaihimus-salaam) will be under my flag (on the Day of Judgement)'.

"The merits and excellence of times and places are a result of those forms of Ibadah which are carried out therein, and by which Allah Ta'ala has specially favoured them. When it is known that times and places do not in themselves contain any honour and greatness accrues on account of those characteristics and distinctions (with which they have been granted exaltation), then reflect on this greatest favour of Allah Ta'ala, with which He has distinguished and ear-marked this blessed month, Rabi-ul-Awwal Shareef and the day, Monday. Do you not see that fasting on Mondays has great merit because the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) was born on a Monday?

"For this reason it is of the utmost appropriateness (and it behoves us to do so) that when this holy month comes, it should be treated with the exaltation, honour, esteem and respect it deserves. The example of the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) should be followed in that in times endowed with special distinction, he himself used to perform the maximum possible acts of virtue and of charity, and he used to make special arrangements thereof. Have you not seen the following statement of Hazrat Ibn Abbas? 'The Messenger of Allah was the most generous of men and his generosity was the utmost in Ramadan'".

"For this reason, just as the Noble Prophet honoured those times endowed with distinction, we carry out this very duty in accordance with our capacity, in the month of Rabi-ul-Awwal Shareef. If it be said that what the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) took upon himself in times of special distinction is known, but what he undertook in other months he did not do so in this month (i.e. Rabi-ul-Awwal Shareef) – then the answer is that it is well-known that the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) had this noble trait of wanting ease and relief for his Ummah, especially in those things concerning himself. Do you not see that the Noble Prophet, the leader of the world, (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) declared Madinah Munawwarah as sacred territory (Haram) just as Hazrat Ibrahim (alaihis-salaam) has declared Makkah Mukarramah to be, yet he did not fix any punishment for hunting, cutting down any tree, etc. in Madinah? – do you not see that he did this out of desiring ease and relief for his Ummah and out of mercy on them?

"As it were, the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)used to consider what things concerned his own self, and even though those things in themselves are of great merit, yet through desiring ease and relief for his Ummah, he used to abstain from them. The honouring of Rabi-ul-Awwal Shareef is of this category, that in it the maximum possible acts of virtue and charity should be done and he who cannot do so (i.e. for any reason is unable to perform these acts), at least he should abstain from all Haraam and Makruh things in this holy month, out of respect for it. Even though the abstention from all Haraam and Makruh things is required in other months as well, yet this month deserves the greatest respect. He should do so just as in Ramadan al-Mubarak and other sacred months, he remains careful to the utmost, abstains from misdeeds in religion and keeps away from other unsuitable things".

"However, at the present time some people are acting contrary to this. When this blessed month comes they busy themselves with amusement and sport, using musical instruments. However, regretful it is that they make music and merriment and then entertain the assertion that they are showing respect for this blessed month!Leave aside the fact that they begin such Meelad celebrations with the recitation of the Holy Quran. They then, for the sensual delight of the Nafs, take resort to those who are expert at the art of creating restlessness and excitement in the emotions – which in itself contains many causes of corruption and destruction.
"Yet they do not content themselves with that alone – but some of them add an even more dangerous thing in that the singer is young, handsome, mellow-voiced, well-attired and of a very pleasing appearance. He sings Ghazals, at the same time with crescendo and diminuendo in voice and ascent and descent in movements. Thus, he puts the audience, men and women into temptation. The result is that the two sides become prey to temptation and other many evils take the root. In some extreme cases, the husband-wife relationship is destroyed and it even reaches the extent of separation between them at times. Thus, the period of destruction and ruin begins, in which a settled and complete home is destroyed and peace of mind and heart ruined. These evils are the result of that kind of Meelad celebration in which there is also a session of Sama".

"Yes, if the Milad Shareef is free from those evils (and that kind of Sama) – only food is prepared and in that ones Niyyah (intention) is of celebrating the Meelad and Muslim brethren are invited and in which those matters contrary to the Shari'ah and those blameworthy matters described above are abstained from – then it is an innovation merely on account of one's Niyyah (intention) because this is an accretion in the religion. Also the pious predecessors have not done it, and it is evident that it is better than more appropriate to follow the predecessors from none of whom has this been transmitted, nor has it been said of any of them that they made the Niyyah (intention) of celebrating the Meelad. We are their followers and are obligated to observe the same precepts as they were. (Thus, we should do only that which they did)".

The gist of the above quoted writing of Ibn al-Haj (radi Allahu anhu) is that he has not criticised the Meelad Shareef. On the contrary, he has criticised those things which are Haraam and Makruh in the Shari'ah. From the opening section it is clear that this holy month should be accorded a special status and it should be honoured and respected. The maximum possible acts of virtue should be done therein. One should try to surpass one's limits in doing acts of Ibadah, of charity and other virtuous acts. This is the method of celebrating the Meelad Shareef which he has deemed praiseworthy and commendable, because in that there is nothing but the recitation of the Holy Quran and an invitation to partake of food and drink – and these are the acts of goodness, meriting reward.

As far as his statement goes that this is an innovation – either it is in clear contradiction to what he said earlier (when Ibn al-Haj himself stressed honouring the month of Rabi-ul-Awwal), or it means that it is a good innovation (Bid'ah Hasanah) the elucidation of which was given earlier, or it means that the Meelad Shareef is a virtuous and praiseworthy act, and the innovation is the Niyyah (intention) of the Meelad, as he has suggested in his statement of his, then it will be an innovation merely on his account of his Niyyah (intention).

There remains the statement of Ibn al-Haj (radi Allahu anhu) that it has not been transmitted that any of the predecessors made the Niyyah (intention) of celebrating the Meelad. From this it is clear that he considered the Niyyah of celebrating the Meelad to be Makruh and that he did not deem the preparation of food and inviting Muslim brethren to partake thereof as Makruh (i.e. he also views the preparation of food and inviting Muslim brethren as not being Makruh). If this is examined closely, then it seems that this statement of his is not consistent with his earlier statements.This is due to the fact that he first taught the showing of gratitude to Allah Ta'ala in Rabi-ul-Awwal Shareef, and the engaging in the maximum acts of Ibadah and of charity and other virtuous acts therein since he caused His Beloved (Servant), (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) to be born in this holy month. The Niyyah (intention) of celebrating the Meelad Shareef means only this. Then how can something be criticised after doing it has been stressed? Abstract virtue, acts of Ibadah, of charity, etc. and other acts of goodness cannot be conceived of without a Niyyah (intention). And even it could be considered, then it couldn't be deemed Ibadah, nor can it earn any reward. This is because no action without an intention is (worthy of acceptance). And the Niyyah (intention) to celebrate the Meelad Shareef means only to demonstrate gratitude to Allah Ta'ala on the auspicious birth of the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) in Rabi-ul-Awwal.The intention of celebrating the Meelad Shareef means only this, and there is no doubt that this intention is commendable (i.e. it is a virtuous intention). Ponder on this well (and impress it on the mind well).

After this Ibn al-Haj wrote: "There are some people who do not celebrate the Meelad solely for the purpose of demonstrating honour and respect. On the contrary, someone has some money in the possession of various people which he had given them on different occasions and ceremonies and now he wants to re-possess this money and is shy to ask for it. Therefore, he makes arrangement for the Meelad which becomes the cause for the recovery of his wealth which was in the hands of people.

"In this many types of corruption are found. One is that hypocrisy is found there – in his heart the opposite of what he outwardly shows is present. Outwardly he shows that he is celebrating the Meelad because he wants to gain benefits in the Hereafter, however in his heart that he should recover his money dispersed in the hands of people.

"Some are such that they celebrate the Meelad in order to collect money or so that people may praise them (saying for example, 'Well done, brother!' or 'What good work you have done!') and join them to work (so that it may be evident from this how many people are with them). In these forms as well as the acts of corruption and destruction are not hidden".

The criticism by Ibn al-Haj (radi Allahu anhu) is also of that kind which has already been examined above. The blameworthy or evil aspect in it is based on the absence of pure Niyyah (intention), and not that in the Meelad Shareef itself there is to be found any evil or blameworthy aspect.

Shaikh al-Islam Abdul Fadl Ahmad Ibn Hajar (the Hafiz of the Age) (radi Allahu anhu) was asked about the Meelad Shareef. His reply was that the Meelad Shareef is, in fact, an innovation, which was not transmitted from any pious predecessor in the first three centuries. Nevertheless, both acts of virtue as well as acts of abomination are to be found in it (i.e. sometimes acts of virtue are found therein and sometimes acts of abomination). If in the Meelad Shareef only acts of virtue are done and acts of abomination are abstained from, then the Meelad Shareef is a Bid'ah Hasanah (a good innovation), otherwise not.

He has said that he found a strong basis for the Meelad Shareef in "Sahih al-Bukhari" and "Sahih Muslim". It is that when the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) migrated to Madinah, he saw the Jews fasting on Ashura (i.e. the 10th of Muharram). He enquired from them as to reason for this. They told him that Ashura is that day on which Allah Ta'ala has caused Pharaoh to drown, and granted Musa (alaihis-salaam) deliverance from him, and that they (the Jews) therefore fast (on that day) out of gratitude to Allah Ta'ala.

From this the proof is obtained of showing gratitude to Allah, and in that connection to do any virtuous act and to observe it annually as a means of recollection for any special day on which Allah Ta'ala has bestowed any favour or removed any calamity.Gratitude to Allah Ta'ala is expressed through different kinds of Ibadah – prostration and standing in prayer, charity and the recitation of the Holy Quran. And what greater favour of Allah Ta'ala can there be than the appearance of the Prophet of Mercy (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) on this day (i.e. 12th Rabi-ul-Awwal)? Therefore, this day should be specially observed so that consistency with the event concerning Hazrat Musa (alaihis-salaam) on the day of Ashura, be attained.

Some people do not limit it and celebrate the Meelad Shareef on any day of Rabi-ul-Awwal. Nay, some have extended it even more and increased the period to the whole year. According to the latter, the Meelad Shareef can be celebrated on any day of the year. The objective here is the same (i.e. to rejoice at and celebrate the Holy birth of the Noble Prophet - sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).

This discussion has been in connection with the basis of the Meelad Shareef.

As far as those actions are concerned which are done in the Meelad Shareef it needs that one content oneself with only such actions through which gratitude through Allah Ta'ala is demonstrated in a proper manner. For example, the above-mentioned matters – recitation of the Holy Quran, invitation to partake of food, acts of charity, reciting verses in praise of the Leader of the two worlds (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and such verses through which hearts are moved towards acts of Ibadah and piety and through which there is motivation for bringing about acts of virtue and for working for the Hereafter.

Concerning those things belonging to the category of Sama and amusement and song ... and which happen to be within the sphere of permissibility and through which joy is expressed on that day – if such things are done there is no evil therein. And those things belonging to the categories of Haraam and Makruh they should be guarded against. Similarly, those things which are inconsistent with what is Awla (most preferable) and which are not appropriatesuch things should be abandoned.

I submit that I have also found another basis for the Meelad Shareef in the Hadith Shareef (literature). It is that al-Baihaqi transmits from Hazrat Anas (radi Allahu anhuma) that the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) performed his own Aqiqa in the period after the proclamation of Prophethood. This was in spite of the fact the his grandfather, Hazrat Abdul Muttalib (radi Allahu anhu), had already performed the Aqiqa on the seventh day after the birth, and Aqiqa is done only once and is not done a second time.

From this it is understood that the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) did this to show his gratitude to Allah Ta'ala for causing him to be born, having made him "the mercy unto all the worlds". The objective was also to create a precedent in the Shari'ah for the Ummah – just as the Noble Prophet himself (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) used to recite Darud Shareef on his own self in order to create a principal in the Shari'ah for that act of showing honour and esteem to him. Therefore, it is commendable (Mustahab) that we arrange for the Meelad Shareef to show our gratitude (to Allah Ta'ala) for the birth of the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), in which the invitation to food and drink is there and other similar acts of virtue are done and which occasion is celebrated with happiness.

I came across the book of the Imam of Qurra Shams al-Din Ibn al-Jazari (radi Allahu anhu) entitled "Urf al-Ta'arif bil Mawlid al-Sharif" in which he writes that after the death of Abu Lahab someone saw him in a dream and enquired from him as to his condition. He said that punishment is being meted out. However, on the night of Monday, there is some relaxation in his punishment and he manages to suck some water from his finger (so saying, he indicated the finger) because it was through a gesture of that finger that he set his female slave Thuwaibah free when she conveyed to him the good news of the birth of the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and that she had the privilege of suckling him. Consider! If this Abu Lahab, a Kafir whose censure has come in the Holy Quran also – if he has been rewarded for his expression of the joy at the birth of the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), what will be the condition of that Muslim, the sincere upholder of Tawhid from his Ummah who express joy at the birth of the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and spends whatsoever is possible for him, out of love for the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)? By my life! His reward will be that Allah the most Noble, out of his comprehensive Grace will place him in the gardens of Bliss.

Hafiz Shams al-Din Ibn Nasir al-Din al-Dimashqi (radi Allahu anhu) has written in his book "Mawrid al-Sadi fi Mawlid al-Hadi": "It is established in Sahih Ahadith that punishment is lessened for Abu Lahab every Monday because he said Thuwaibah free out of joy and happiness at the birth of the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). After this he wrote the following lines of poetry:
When this is a Kafir and his censure has come (in theQuran)
Perish his hands in the fire of Hell forever
It has been narrated that always on a Monday
(His punishment) is lessened because of his happiness at (the birth of) Ahmad
What is the view then about the servant (of Allah) whospent his whole life
Being happy at (the birth of ) Ahmad and died an upholderof Tawhid?"

Kamal Adfiri states in "al-Tali al-Sa'id" that his reliable and trustworthy friend Nasir al-Din Mahmud Ibn al-'Imad related that Abu al-Tayyib Muhammad Ibn Ibrahim al-Sibti al-Maliki, a resident of Tus and one of the pious Ulama, used to pass by the Madrassah on the birthday of the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and say, "O Jurist! Today is the day of Eid. Give the students a holiday and send them home". Thus they used to give them a holiday and send them home.

This is evidence of his confirmation and absence of rejection. This gentlemen was a famous Jurist of the Maliki School of Law, who had a command over many branches of knowledge and was a God-conscious and pious elder. Abu Hayyan and others have transmitted narrations from him. He passed away in the year 695 A.H.

Ibn al-Haj has written that if it is questioned as to wisdom in the birth of the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) being in the month of Rabi-ul-Awwal and on Monday not in the month of Ramadaan al-Sharif, which is the month of the sending down of the Quran and in which Lailatul-Qadr is found, nor in any of the sacred months nor on the fifteenth of Shabaan al-Mu'azzam, nor on Friday, nor on the night of Friday – then the reply can be given from four angles:
(1) It has been transmitted in Hadith literature that Allah Ta'ala created the trees on a Monday. In this there is great admonition and that is that on a Monday Allah Ta'ala created food, sustenance, fruits and the things given in charity. Mankind's growth development and livelihood are closely connected with these and men's selves get joy from them.

(2) In the word Rabi' from the point of view of its etymology, a good indication and a virtuous omen is found. Abu al-Rahman al-Saqli states that for every man his name is a part for him (i.e. his name has effects on his body).

(3) The reason of Rabi' (i.e. spring) is the most moderate and beautiful of all the seasons. And the Shari'ah of the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) is the most moderate and the easiest among all the Shara'i.

(4) Allah, the All-Knowing and All-Wise, wanted to bestow eminence on that time in which the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) entered this world. Had he been born in any of the above-mentioned sanctified times, then the illusion may have arisen that the nobility and eminence of the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) are on account of those sanctified times.

(Article provided by brother Sohail Abdul Habib)