Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence)


question_brainA Mujtahid is someone qualified to exercise ijtihad, which literally means striving and technically means juridical endeavor and competence to infer expert legal rulings from foundational proofs within or without a particular school of law.

Requirements of a Mujtahid:

Firstly the Mujtahid must be a Muslim and a person of sound mind and intellectual competence.

*Knowledge of Arabic such than he can understand the Qur'an and Hadith correctly.

*Knowledge of the Qur'an which includes Makki/Madani; Occasions of Revelation; Incidences of Abrogation; LEGAL TEXTS (aayaatul ahkaam). (In short all the requisites of Tafsir)

*Knowledge of the Sunnah specifically the legal texts (ahaadeethal ahkaam). He most know where to find the Hadiths and be able to distinguish the reliable narrations from the weak.

*Knowledge of the substance of the Furu` works and the points on which there is Ijma`.

*Knowledge of Qiyas (Analogical Deduction)

*Knowledge of the Maqasid (objectives) of the Shari`ah

*Knowledge of the General Maxims of Fiqh. eg. Certainty prevails over Doubt.

Another description can be found in Shaykh `Ali Hasabullah's 'Usul al-Tashri' al-Islami' (5th ed. 1976) p. 94-95:

The Mujtahid is he who possesses, together with complete soundness of mind and of Religion, three necessary traits:

1. Knowledge of the Arabic language and the ways in which its signifies meanings. This knowledge does not come except to one who has frequented its various disciplines and read much of the works of its masters of eloquence until he knows how to differentiate between the specific and the general, the literal and the figurative, the explicit and the ambiguous, and other aspects upon knowing which depends his ability to infer rulings.

**He does not have to reach the mastery of language of a Khalil or a Sibawayh or al-Asma`i and others of the Imams of Arabic. It suffices that he attains the rank necessary to understand texts in the right way.

2. Knowledge of Qur'an and Sunna and whatever is in them of rulings, those that were abrogated and those that were not, together with the linking up of the universal with its particulars, the absolute with its restricted sense, and the general with the specific. He does not, in this, have to have memorized all that is related.

It suffices that he has to be able to gather up all that is connected with the topic he is investigating and to know what the experts of hadith have said concerning sound or weak gradings as well as what they said concerning the narrators with regard to discreditation and commendation.

3. Knowledge of the objectives of the Law and of the living contexts of people as well as the customs they share and whatever harms or benefits them, and the ability to know the minute defects of legal rulings and to compare and contrast their similarities so as to better understand facts and infer the rulings that most precisely correspond to the objectives of the Lawgiver and implement the welfare of those under consideration.

Taken from: "PRINCIPLES OF ISLAMIC JURISPRUDENCE" by M Kamali p. 374-377,

booksreadSince Fiqh has been defined as,

"Knowledge of the rulings of the Shariah by its specific evidences from the Qur'an and Sunnah."

Then it would be clear that a Faqeeh (scholar of fiqh) is thus : One who has knowledge of a great amount of rulings of the Shar'iah by its specific evidences from the Qur'an and the Sunnah.

bookssomanyFiqh, according to the Arabic language, means 'understanding'. We find this meaning used in the Qur'aan: "Take away the knot from the tongue, so that they would understand what I say". {Surah Taha, verses 27-28}

And according to Islamic law, the definition of 'Fiqh' is:

'Ma'rifah (knowing) the rulings of the Shariah (which are acted upon) from specific evidences.'

The meaning of our saying:

"...Ma'rifah..." is: certain knowledge as well as Dhann (meaning that when one things that what he has is correct but it doesn't reach the level of certainty). This is because knowledge of the rulings of fiqh can be with certainty or with Dhann as occurs in many of the issues in fiqh.

And the meaning of our saying:

"...Rulings of the Shariah..." means: The rulings that are taken from the Shariah, in terms of matters being compulsory or forbidden. What is outside of this is the rulings of the intellect like knowing that a whole is more than a fraction...

And the meaning of our statement:

"...Which are acted upon..." means that it has nothing to do with belief; rather, it refers to matters like Salaat, and Zakaat. Therefore what is outside of this is what is ascribed to beliefs: like belief in the oneness of Allah and knowledge of his names and attributes. According to the Islamic law terminology this is not called 'Fiqh'.

And the meaning of our saying:

"...from specific evidences." means that the evidences of fiqh, with the issues of fiqh, are specific. What leaves this definition is Usuul Ul Fiqh, because Usuul Ul Fiqh looks into the general evidences of fiqh (principles).

N.B: Some scholars have added to the end:

"...By the book and the Sunnah." Because of the fact that the sources of Fiqh should not come except from the Qur'an and the Authentic Sunnah. Or from the principles derived from the Qur'an and the Sunnah.

alpenglowIslaam has laid down lofty standards for how the Muslim, who traverses the methodology of the Prophetic Sunnah, should deal with his brother who has differed with him in an issue of Ijtihaad. Indeed, how outstanding is the statement of the merciful gift [i.e. the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam]:

"Indeed I have been sent to perfect noble manners." [Reported by al-Bukhaaree in al-Adabul-Mufrad (no.273). It was declared to be saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaanee in as-Saheehah (no.45).]

From these etiquettes (Aadaab) are:

1 - To have an open heart in accepting what comes to you by way of clarification of the mistakes that you have made, and to know that this is from the sincere advice which your brother for Allaah's sake is giving to you as a gift. So know that your refusal of the truth and your becoming angry for your own self is actually from pride; may Allaah protect us. Indeed, the most eminently truthful, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said:

"Pride is to reject the truth and to scorn other people." [Reported by Muslim (no.91)]

There are many examples of this noble mannerism that our Pious Predecessors have demonstrated to us; from them is what al-Haafidh Ibn Abdul-Barr said:

"A number of people informed me that Aboo Muhammad Qaasim ibn Asbagh said: 'When I travelled to the east, I stopped of at al-Qayrawaan and I took the hadeeth of Musaddad from Bakr ibn Hammaad. I then proceeded to Baghdad and met the people. When I left, I returned to him [i.e. Bakr] to complete the hadeeth of Musaddad, so one day I read to him the hadeeth of the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam: "That a people from Mudar came in stripped woolen shirts (mujtaabee an-nimaar)" He said to me: It is: 'mujtaabee ath-thimaar'. So I said: 'Mujtaabee an-nimaar' is how I read it out to all those I read it to in Andalus and Iraq. So he said to me: 'You have, by entering Iraq, contradicted us and become arrogant against us.' Then he said: 'Stand with us and let us go to that Shaykh - a Shaykh who was in the Masjid - for he has the likes of this knowledge.' So I went with him and we asked him about this, so he replied: 'It is: 'mujtaabee an-nimaar,' just as you said. They used to wear stripped clothing, with pockets at their fronts. And nimaar is the plural of nimrah.' Bakr ibn Hammaad then said whilst holding his nose:

"My nose debases itself to the truth, my nose humbles itself to the truth, [and] he then departed." [Mukhtasar Jaami` Bayaanul-`Ilm wa Fadlihi (p.123); abridged by Shaykh Ahmad ibn `Umar al-Mumasaanee.]

O my brother for the sake of Allaah - may Allaah safeguard you - do you not see this amazing sense of justice. How much are we in need of it today?! However, this is not possible except for those who purify their intentions for Allaah's sake. Indeed here is Imaam Maalik, may Allaah have mercy upon him, saying:

"There is nothing in our time more scarce than justice." [Mukhtasar Jaami` Bayaanu1-`Ilm wa Fadlihi (p.120)]

So what is the case in our present time; a time in which false desires are plentiful? We seek refuge in Allaah from the misguiding trials.

2 - That you should use the finest and most appropriate words when discussing and debating with your brother, for Allaah the Exalted has said:

"And speak good to the people." [Soorah al-Baqarah 2:83]

Abud-Dardaa relates that the Prophet, 'alayhis-salaam, said:

"There is nothing that will be heavier in the Believer's scales, on the Day of judgement, than good character. Indeed Allaah hates the wicked and the ill-mouthed person." [Reported by Aboo Daawood (no. 4799), it was declared to be saheeh by al-haafidh Ibn Hair in Bulooghul-Maraam (no.1523).]

3 - That you should discuss with your brother with that which is better, for that which is even more appropriate. Your guiding principle in this should be the truth and its clarification; it should not be to seek victory for your ego or your soul that invites towards evil. Your character in that which you utter should be one of sincerity (ikhlaas). If however, the affair with your brother reaches the level of speculative argumentation, then give him the greeting of salaam and remind him of the saying of the Messenger, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam:

"I am a guarantor for a house on the outskirts of Paradise for the one who leaves of arguing, even if he is in the right." [Reported by Aboo Daawood (no.4800). It was declared to be hasan by Shaykh al-Albaanee in as-Saheehah (no.273).]

Al-Haafidh Ibn 'Abdul-Barr mentioned that Zakariyyah ibn Yahyaa said:

"I heard al-Asma'ee saying that `Abdullaah ibn Hasan said:

"Argumentation corrupts friendship and unties the strongest of bonds. The least harm it contains is strife, and strife leads to severing relations."

Ja'far ibn 'Awf said: I heard Mis'ar saying, whilst addressing his son Kidaam:

"I present to you my advice, O Kidaam;
So listen to a father, compassionate to you.
As for joking and argumentation, then leave them;
They are traits I do not approve of for a friend.
Having tried them, I did not found them praiseworthy,
Neither for a close neighbour, nor for a close friend.
[Mukhtasar Jaami` Bayanul-`Ilm wa Fadlihi (p.278)]

The Pious Predecessors have left us splendid examples about the etiquettes of differing; amongst them is:

What al-Bukhaaree (no.5704) and Muslim (no.220) report from Husain ibn 'Abdur-Rahmaan who said:

I was with Sa`eed ibn Jubayr when he said: "Who amongst you saw the shooting stars last night?" I replied: "I did." Then I said: "Not because I was praying at that time, but because I had been stung by a scorpion." He said: "So what did you do?" I replied: "I used an incantation (ruqyaa)." He said: "Why did you do that?" I said: "Because of a hadeeth related to me by ash-Sha`bee." He said: "What did he relate to you?" I replied: "He related from Buraydah ibn al-Husain who said:

"There is no incantation, except for the evil eye or a sting."

Sa'eed said: He has done well in halting at what he has heard [of knowledge]. However Ibn 'Abbaas related to us ... [and he went on to narrate the hadeeth]."

Look at this sublime mannerism from one of those who inherited knowledge from Ibn 'Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with him. He was not severe, rather he was kind to him because he was acting upon what he had of the evidence.

Then he explained to him what was better, but with a gentle rectification supported by proof.

earthrise2-796487Difference of opinion is one of mankind's natures, "And if your Lord had willed, He could have made mankind one community, but they will not cease to differ. Except whom your Lord has given mercy..." (Surah Hud:118-119) Doubtlessly, differences in opinion occur due to differences in intentions and purposes, differences in the strength of minds and perceptions, and differences in knowledge. Dealing with these differences requires a firm footing in the shariah.

Some du'aat invite to the unity of the rank and file in order to forget conflict, without defining as to whom to unify with and who to be separated from due to misguidance and deviations. On the other hand, there is one who exaggerates about the conditions, to the point that he wants people to agree with him in everything, even in his personal ijtihaad and his own opinions. And if anybody disagrees with him, he turns away from him, takes the attitude of resistance towards him, and becomes careless and disrespectful to him! Justice is accepting the difference in that in which difference is permissible. Like the means of da'wah, secondary matters, those rulings in which scholars of the past differed..., that which is based on the Shari'ah Ijtihaad in understanding of the texts, not simply on desires. As for leniency towards the people of innovation concerning 'Aqeedah, and fundamental deviations under the pretext of unifying the ranks, this is a false procedure that does not relate to reason nor to the shar'.

As for asking people to agree in everything, and not to differ in anything at all, this is impossible and unreal.


If someone comes to debate with you, beware of him. For debating involves argumentation, disputing, seeking to overcome, wrangling and anger. You have been forbidden from all of this. It diverts you both away from the truth. It has not reached us that any of our scholars or people of knowledge argued, debated or disputed. Al-Hasan (al-Basree) said,

"The wise man does not argue or seek to overcome with stratagem rather he propagates his wisdom. If it is accepted he praises Allaah and if it is rejected he praises Allaah." (Reported by Abu Nu`aim ibn Hammaad in his Zawaa'id `alaz-Zuhd libnil Mubaarak (no. 30) and Ibn Battah in Ibaanatul-Kubraa (no. 611). Its isnaad is weak, since it contains an unnamed narrator.)

A man came to al-Hasan (al-Basree) and said, "I wish to debate with you about the Religion." Al-Hasan replied,

"I know my Religion. If you have lost your Religion go out and look for it." (Reported by al-Aajurree in ash-Sharee`ah (p. 57), al-Laalikaa'ee in as-Sunnah (no. 215) and Ibn Battah (no. 586) and it is saheeh.)

The Messenger of Allaah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) heard some people arguing outside his apartment, one of them saying, 'Did not Allaah say so and so?' and the other saying, 'Did not Allaah say so and so?' So he came out angry and said,

"Is this what I have ordered you, or is this what I was sent with, that you should set one part of the Book of Allaah against some other parts?" (Reported by Ahmad (2/178, 181 and 196), Ibn Maajah (no. 85), `Abdullaah ibn Ahmad in as-Sunnah (no. 86) and al-Baghawee in Sharhus-Sunnah (1/260). Al-Boosayree declared it saheeh in Zawaa'id Ibn Maajah (1/4) as did al-Albaanee in Sharh `Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyyah (p. 218))

So he forbade them from argumentation.

Ibn `Umar used to hate disputation as did Maalik ibn Anas and those greater and lesser than him right up to this day.

The Sayings of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, is greater than the sayings of His creation. Allaah, the Most High says:

"None dispute in the Aayaat (signs, proofs) of Allaah except those who disbelieve." [Soorah Ghaafir (40):4]

A man asked `Umar ibn al-Khattaab:

What is: "Those (angels) who gently take out (the souls of the believers)?" [Soorah an-Naazi`aat (79):2]

He said,

"If your head were shaved, I would have beheaded you." [Shaving his head was the sign of the Khawaarij. The man who asked `Umar was called Sabeegh. His story is well-known and authentic. It is reported by ad-Daarimee (1/51), Ibn Waddah in al-Bida`h (p.56), al-Aajurree in ash-Sharee`ah (p. 73), al-Laalikaa'ee in as-Sunnah (pp. 634-636) and Ibn Battan (1/414-415)

The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said, "The Believer does not dispute and I will not intercede on the Day of Resurrection for those who dispute, so leave arguing for its lack of good." [This hadeeth is very weak, as declared by al-Haithumee in Majma` uz-Zawaa'id (1/156, 725). Reported by at-Tabaraanee in al-Kabeer (8/178-179) and al-Aajurree in ash-Sharee`ah (pp. 55-56)].

It was related that a man said to Haatim al Asam: “You are a non-Arab who cannot speak fluently, but no one has debated you except that you silenced him, so how do you defeat your opponents?”

He said:

“With three:

1.    I am pleased when my opponent is correct,
2.    I am sad when he is incorrect,
3.    And I preserve my tongue from saying anything that offends him."

Al Imaam Ahmad stated: “What a wise man he is.”

Al Khateeb al Baghdaadee stated:

“A person’s intention should be to clarify the truth when debating, not to defeat his opponent.”

Al Imaam ash Shaafi’ee said:

“I did not debate anyone while hoping that he would err.”

He also said:

“I never spoke to anyone except that I hoped that he would be granted success and supported. I never spoke to anyone except that I didn’t mind whether Allaah clarified the truth upon my tongue or his.”

Al Hafidh ibn Rajab comments:

“This indicates that he did not have any intention except the clarification of the truth, even if it were from the person who is debating and contradicting him. Whoever is of this state would not dislike it when his opinions are refuted and when his contradiction to the Sunnah is clarified, not while alive or after his death. This is also what we think of the other Imaams of Islaam, those who defended Islaam and supported it whether they were from the Salaf or those who came after them. They also never used to dislike those who contradicted them as long as they were following evidence, even though the evidence was not strong enough for them to follow or leave their own evidence for.”


The Difference between Advising and Degrading by Ibn Rajab al Hanbalee.

Al Faqee wal Mutafaqih by al Khateeb al Baghdaadee.

penThe Salaf-us-Saalih (the Pious Predecessors) hated that a person should put himself forward to give religious verdicts (fataawaa) and to crave them, and to hasten to it, and to do it in excess.

Ibn Lahee`ah reports from`Ubaydullaah ibn Abee Ja`far in mursal form from the Prophet (saw) that he said,

"He who is boldest from you in giving religious verdicts, will be the boldest in proceeding to the Fire"

[It is reported by ad-Daarimee 1/57 and its chain of narration is weak since it is mursal (i.e. there is a missing link or links between the last narrator and the Prophet (saw)].

`Alqamah said, "They used to say,

'The boldest of you in giving religious verdicts is the one having the least knowledge.'"

Al-Baraa' said,

"I met a hundred and twenty of the Ansaar from the Companions of Allaah's Messenger (saw) and when one of them was asked about a matter there was not a single man amongst them except that he wished that his brother would suffice him (by answering)."

[This saying is reported by ad-Daarimee (1/53) and Ibn `Abdul-Barr in Jaami` (2/163).However it is the saying of `Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Abee Laylaa and not the saying of al-Baraa`, and its chain of narration is saheeh.

As for the saying of al-Baraa`, then it is,

"I saw three hundred of the people of Badr, there was not a single one of them except that he loved that someone else should take his place in answering."

It is reported by Ibnul-Mubaarak in az-Zuhd (no. 58), ibn Sa`d (6/11) and others and its isnaad contains Aboo Ishaaq as-Sabee`ee who is acceptable (sadooq) except that he was mudallis and reports it without stating that he heard it directly.]

In a narration there occurs the addition,

" this one would refer it to another, and he would refer it to someone else until it would eventually return to the first one."

From Ibn Mas`ood, (ra), who said,

"The one who gives a religious verdict to the people about everything that he is asked is indeed insane."

[Reported by Ibn `Abdul-Barr (2/164-165), al-Khateeb in al-Faqeeh wal-Mutafaqqih (2/197-198) and Aboo Khaithamah in al-`Ilm (no. 10) and its chain of narration is saheeh.]

`Umar ibn `Abdul-`Azeez was asked about a question and replied,

"I am not one who is bold about giving religious verdicts."

He also wrote to one of his governors,

"By Allaah! I am not one who craves after giving religious verdicts, as long as I can find a way to avoid it."

Ibn Yameenah said,

"This affair is not for those who love that the people should have need of them, rather this affair is only for those who love that someone can be found to take their place."

It is also reported from him that he said,

"The most knowledgeable of people concerning religious verdicts is the one who is most often silent, and the most ignorant of people about them is the one who speaks the most with regard to them."

[Reported by al-Khateeb in al-Faqeeh wal-Mutafaqqih (2/166) and its isnaad is weak.]

Sufyaan ath-Thawree said,

"We reached the scholars and they used to hate answering questions and giving religious verdicts until they could find no way out except to give a verdict, but if they were relieved of having to do so then that was more beloved to them."

Imaam Ahmad said,

"He who puts himself forward to give religious verdicts has put himself forward to something very serious, unless he is forced through necessity."

It was said to him,

"Then which is better: for him to speak or to remain silent?"

He said,

"It is more beloved to us that he should withhold."

It was said,

"But if there is a necessity?" So he started saying,

"Necessity! Necessity!"

And he said,

"It is safer for him to withhold."

So those who give religious verdicts should realise that they are transmitting Allaah's orders and prohibitions and that he will be made to stand to account and be questioned about it.

Ar-Rabee` ibn Khaitham said,

"O giver of religious verdicts! Look and see how you are giving verdicts."

`Amr ibn Deenaar said to Qataadah when he sat to give religious verdicts,

"Do you realise the affair that you have fallen into? You have come between Allaah and His worshippers and say, 'This is correct and this is not correct.'" [Reported by al-Khateeb in al-Faqeeh wal-Mutafaqqih (2/168)]

From Ibnul-Munkadir who said,

"The scholar enters between Allaah and His creation, so let him look and see how he enters between them." [Reported with variations in wording by ad-Daarimee (1/53), and al-Khateeb in al-Faqeeh wal-Mutafaqqih (2/168) and its isnaad is saheeh.]

When Ibn Seereen was asked about anything pertaining to the permissible and forbidden his colour would change and he would alter so that he would not seem to be the same person. [Reported by ibn Sa`d (7/195), al-Khateeb in al-Faqeeh wal-Mutafaqqih (2/167) and its isnaad is saheeh].

When an-Nakhaa`ee was asked about something then hatred would be seen upon his face and he would say,

"Could you not find someone else to ask other than me?"

He also said,

"I spoke and if I had found any way out I would not have spoken, and indeed a time when I am the scholar of Koofah is an evil time." [Reported in meaning by Aboo Khaithamah in al-`Ilm (no. 131).]

It is related that Ibn `Umar, (ra), said,

"You ask us for religious verdicts in such a manner that it is as if we are people who are not going to be questioned about the verdicts that we give you." [Reported by al-Fasawee (1/490) and al-Khateeb in al-Faqeeh wal-Mutafaqqih (2/168) and its isnaad is weak.]

Also from Muhammad ibn Waasi` who said,

"The first of those who will be called to account are the scholars."

It is reported about Maalik, (ra), that when he was asked about a matter it was as if he were standing between the Paradise and the Hell-Fire. [Reported by al-Khateeb in al-Faqeeh wal-Mutafaqqih (2/167) and its isnaad is weak.]

One of the scholars also said to a person who used to give religious verdicts,

"When you are asked about a matter then do not let your concern be to release and find a way out for the questioner, but rather to release and save your own self."

[The one who said this was `Umar ibn Khaldah az-Zurqee and he was speaking to Rabee`ah ibn Abee `Abdir-Rahmaan. This narration is reported with very close wordings by al-Fasawee (1/556-557), Aboo Nu`aym in al-Hilyah (3/260-261) and al-Khateeb in al-Faqeeh wal-Mutafaqqih (2/169) and its isnaad is saheeh.]

Another said,

"If you are asked about a matter then consider - if you find a way out of it then speak, otherwise remain silent."

The sayings of the Salaf about this are too many to quote and gather.

If they were like this, then what about us???


In this 4-part series lecture, Under the Shade of Scrolls, Muhammad Alshareef gives us snap shots of the lives of the four imams and the recurring themes in their lives. The lecturer encourages us to model ourselves after them so that we may also come close to their legacy.





{mp3remote} ash-Shareef/Under the Shade of Scrolls/CD3 - Imam Ash-Shafi'ee (RH).mp3{/mp3remote}


Literature_IconThe Dhaahiri madhhab is well known. It is the madhhab followed by Dawood ibn ‘Ali al-Zaahiri and Abu Muhammad ibn Hazm and those who follow their line of thought.

What it means is following the apparent meaning of the texts and not looking at the basis of rulings, and they do not believe in making analogies. Rather they go by the apparent meaning of commands and prohibitions and they do not pay attention to the basis and reasons behind these rulings. They are called Dhaahiris (literalists) for this reason, because they go by the apparent meaning and do not pay attention to shar’i bases, wisdom and analogies which are indicated by the Qur’aan and Sunnah. But in general their way is better than the way of those who only refer to reasoning, analogy and arguments, and who do not pay much attention to the shar’i evidence of the Qur’aan and Sunnah.

Although they are falling short and are to be criticized for focusing only on the apparent meanings of the texts and not paying enough attention to the bases, wisdom and reasoning which the Lawgiver referred to and the objects which sharee’ah aimed to achieve, hence they made mistakes with regard to many issues which are referred to by the Qur’aan and Sunnah.

sisteranddaughterOne of the fatal consequences of leaving the guidance of the Prophet [sallallahu a’lyhi wa sallam] is that we find people facing many problems which are metaphysical and which many a time result in bringing about severe and tragic physical consequences. One such problem is the problem of jinn-possession and black magic. Although this is a matter encompassing various dimensions, in this article I wish to highlight one of the places inhabited by the jinn with the hope of bringing about awareness and precaution for which there is a dire need. Indeed Allah is the One from Whom help is sought.

For many, the Islaamic etiquettes pertaining to the lavatory may seem trivial and of little consequence if neglected. In fact, such heedlessness could result in fatal consequences as the lavatory is a place inhabited by the jinns and a Muslim should not go into this demonic habitation unarmed and unprotected. A sister has given me her kind permission to share with all of you how she was possessed by a jinn:

She says that it started with her seeing a woman who looked just like her [the difference being that her hair was untidy and puffed-up],  sitting on the kitchen surface  staring at her whilst she was in her kitchen. The strangest thing is that this sister didn’t tell anyone about what she saw, since she herself was possessed and therefore the abnormal for her became the norm. Strange occurrences began and she started losing herself as the days continued to pass. In her lavatory she would often see stains of blood, this was surprising to her since no one was in her home nor had anyone been injured or hurt etc, so where on earth was this blood coming from? Her worries increased and her condition continued to worsen. In fact, many people witness blood in their bathrooms, for example, another family saw recurring blood on their bathroom window…

Let’s turn to the words of Allah [azza wa jall] and al Mustafaa, Muhammad [sallallahu a’lyhi wa sallam] for an answer and to relieve such fearful hearts from their confusion.

Allah [azza wa jall] says:

{Verily, he [Shaytaan] and Qabeeluhu (his soldiers from the jinn or his tribe) see you from where you cannot see them.} [Qur’aan: 7:27]

This verse of the Qur’aan clearly elucidates a dimension of this temporal and transient abode which many are sadly ignorant and unaware of. Yes, there is a creation that sees us, yet in ordinary circumstance we do not see them.

This verse and the hadeeth quoted are an evident and sufficient proof that

  1. The jinn can see us, even if under normal circumstances we can’t see them.
  2. They inhabit places in which humans relieve themselves.


‘Certainly these toilets are visited by the jinn.’ [Abu Dawood [6] and Ibn Maajah [296]]

In this hadeeth the term ‘Hushoosh’ refers to toilets and the term ‘Muhtadharah’ means that they are haunted and therefore inhabited by the jinn. The Prophet [sallallahu a’lyhi wa sallam] very clearly and emphatically has described for us the reality of the lavatories we regularly visit. The scholars say that the reason why devils frequent such places where humans relieve themselves is to do them harm.  That is why it is not befitting for a person to stay in the place in which he relieves himself more than the time needed; since this is a place one should exercise caution as satan loves places which are filthy and dirty. The lavatory is not visited by the angels because the angels run away from places where the evil jinns are present, just like the evil jinns run away from pure places where the angels are present. As a matter of fact, staying in the lavatory without need brings about waswaas [satanic whispers] and suspicion [in the deen]. Therefore a person may be struck and inflicted with a type of matter, the end of which is not praised.

This does not mean that a person runs away from such places, or stops going to answer the call of nature! Without a doubt, it is a blessing from Allah, that we are able to find a hidden and decent place to relieve ourselves, and to be able to hide our awrah [private parts] from the eyes of others. Keeping that in mind it is of utmost importance that we do not forget about the on-lookers, who may be watching you as the minutes fly by. Sadly, the magazines and newspapers present next to the toilet seat, or on the toilet’s window ledge, tell a story of ignorance or even worse, purposeful negligence. In fact, they act as red lights flashing the signal of a possibility of imminent danger which can threaten the peace of mind and sanity of those who spend unneeded procrastinated periods of time in the toilet. If they knew what was watching them, I’m sure they would find a more suitable place to read their monthly magazines.

The following are some etiquettes pertaining to the usage of the lavatory:

  1. Enter the toilet with the left foot first. Ibn Hajar in Fathul Baaree says that "…it may be understood by some by the Prophet's love of beginning good and pure things with the right hand/side that this (entering the toilet) falls into the opposite category.”
  2. Say the Basmalah [i.e. Bismillah] before entering the toilet. The Prophet [sallallahu a’lyhi wa sallam] said: "To put a barrier that will prevent the jinn from seeing the 'awrah of the sons of Aadam, let any one of you say 'Bismillaah' when entering the toilet." [Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 551; Saheeh al-Jaami', 3611] and also: Al-Tirmidhi (no. 606) narrated from ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “A screen will be placed between the eyes of the jinn and the ‘awrah of the sons of Adam when one of them enters the toilet, if he says ‘Bismillaah (in the name of Allaah).” [Al-Tirmidhi (no. 606].
  3. Read the following du’a:


"In the Name of Allaah; my 'ilãh I seek refuge in You from the male and female devils (shayateen, which is the plural for shaytan)."

[Narrated by Anas bin Maalik and collected in Saheeh al-Bukharee (Volume 1, Book 4, Number 144) and Saheeh Muslim (Book 003, Number 729).]

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

“The benefit of saying Bismillaah is that it conceals a person. The benefit of seeking refuge with Allaah is that one is turning to Allaah from evil and from the male and female devils, for this place is filthy (khabeeth) and a filthy place is the abode of those who are evil (khubatha’).  So it is the abode of the devils. Thus it is appropriate if one wants to enter the toilet to say “A’oodhu Billaah min al-khubthi wa’l-khabaa’ith (I seek refuge with Allaah from evil and from the male and female devils)” so that he will not be harmed by evil or by the evil souls.” [Al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 1/83.]

So, maybe it’s time to listen to the ipod in another place...

waterWudhu is one of the greatest aspects of our Deen in that it is purification for the Muslim and because it has a relationship with our Imaan. Rasulullah (peace be upon him) said in the well-known Hadith, “Purification is half of Imaan.” (Muslim)

Allah (az) says: “Allah does not want to lay any hardship upon you; rather He wants to purify you and complete His favours upon you so that you may give thanks.” (Surah Ma’idah 5:6)

Benefits of Wudhu:

1) Expiation of sins:

“He who performs the Wudhu perfectly (i.e., according to Sunnah), his sins will depart from his body, even from under his nails.” (Muslim)

“He who performs Wudhu like this, his previous sins will be forgiven and his Salaat and walking to the masjid will be considered as supererogatory acts of worship.” (Muslim)

“When a Muslim, or a believer, washes his face (in the course of Wudhu), every sin which he committed with his eyes, will be washed away from his face with water, or with the last drop of water; when he washes his hands, every sin which is committed by his hands will be effaced from his hands with the water, or with the last drop of water; and when he washes his feet, every sin his feet committed will be washed away with the water, or with the last drop of water; until he finally emerges cleansed of all his sins.” (Muslim)

2) Rasulullah (peace be upon him) will recognize his Ummah from their traces of Wudhu:

Abu Hurairah (RA) reported: Rasulullah (peace be upon him) went to Baqi` and said, “May you be secured from punishment, O dwellers of abode of the believers! We, if Allah wills, will follow you. I wish we see my brothers.” The Companions said, “O Messenger of Allah! Are we not your brothers?” Rasulullah (peace be upon him) said, “You are my Companions, but my brothers are those who have not come into the world yet.” They said: “O Messenger of Allah! How will you recognize those of your Ummah who are not born yet?” Rasulullah (peace be upon him) said: “Say, if a man has white-footed horses with white foreheads among horses which are pure black, will he not recognize his own horses?” They said: “Certainly, O Messenger of Allah!” Rasulullah (peace be upon him) said: “They (my followers) will come with bright faces and white limbs because of Wudhu’; and I will arrive at the Al-Kauthar ahead of them.” (Muslim)

3) The Believers will be recognized by their traces of Wudhu on the Day of Judgment:

“On the Day of Resurrection, my followers (or Ummah) will be summoned ‘Al-Ghurr Al-Muhajjalun’ from the traces of Wudhu’.” (Al-Bukhari)

Imam Nawawi [r] explains this name:

“The word “Ghurr” is the plural of “Agharr” which means shining or white. It is used for animals (like a horse), i.e., a white mark on its face. Here, it refers to that radiance which will issue from the brows of the believers on the Day of Resurrection and which will make them prominent. Muhajjalun is from Tahjil which also means whiteness but it is used for that whiteness which is found on all the four or at least on three legs of a horse. Here, it refers to that light which will shine through the hands and feet of the believers because of their habit of performing Wudhu’. This means that the believers among the Muslims will be distinguished from other communities by virtue of the radiance issuing from their faces, hands and feet on the Day of Resurrection in the same way that a horse with a white forehead is easily distinguished from other horses.”


4) Wudhu is radiance and the Believers are encouraged to increase in it:

Abu Hurairah (RA) said:

“Whoever can increase the area of his radiance should do so.” (Al-Bukhari)

5) The adornment of a Believer in Jannah will reach up to where the water reached his body:

“The adornment of the believer (in Jannah) will reach the places where the water of Wudhu reaches (his body).” (Muslim)

6) Saying the supplication after Wudhu is a means of entering Jannah:

“Whoever of you performs Wudhu carefully and then affirms:

`Ash-hadu an la ilaha illallahu Wahdahu la sharika Lahu, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan `abduhu wa Rasuluhu
(I testify that there so no true god except Allah Alone, Who has no partners and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger),’

the eight gates of Jannah are opened for him. He may enter through whichever of these gates he desires (to enter).” (Muslim)

7) Preserving Wudhu is a sign of Imaan: “… and no one preservers their Wudhu except a Believer.” (Ibn Majah, Sahih)

8) Performing Wudhu in hardship effaces the sins and elevates the ranks:

Rasulullah (peace be upon him) said: “Shall I not tell you something by which Allah effaces the sins and elevates ranks (in Jannah)?” The Companions said: “Certainly, O Messenger of Allah.” Rasulullah (peace be upon him) said: “Performing the Wudhu thoroughly in spite of difficult circumstances, walking with more paces to the Masjid, and waiting for the next As-Salaat (the prayer) after observing Salaat; and that is Ar-Ribat, and that is Ar-Ribat.” (Muslim)

Imam Nawawi (rahimahullah) says:

“Hardship and unpleasantness here stand for the uneasiness that one feels while performing Wudhu’ in severe cold. To wait for the next Salaat after offering a Salaat is regarded as Ribat for the reason that by so doing, a person who is particular in offering Salaat keeps himself constantly engaged in the obedience and worship of Allah to keep Satan away from him.”

With these benefits in mind, let's make it our habit to constantly be in a state of Wudhu, Allah Willing. We should try and remember these ahaadeeth during even cold days to motivate us to keep up this Sunnah and with Allah is the greatest reward.

O Allah! Make us among those who constantly purify themselves, inwardly and outwardly. Aameen Thuma Aameen.

nailpolishOne of the conditions of tahaarah (purification) being valid is that the water must touch the skin. If there is any barrier such as grease, paint, wax or glue that prevents water reaching the skin, then the tahaarah is not valid and prayers offered in that case are not valid.

The evidence for that is the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to Abu Dharr (may Allaah be pleased with him): “If you find water, then let it touch your skin, for that is good.” [Narrated by Abu Dawood (332); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.]

Imam al-Shaafa’i (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

'If there is on him any mastic or anything thick that will prevent the water from reaching the skin, his washing of that part for wudoo’ is not valid, unless he removes it or removes enough so that he knows that there is no barrier to the water touching the skin.' [Al-Umm (1/44).]

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

'If there is wax, dough, henna and the like on one of his limbs, which prevents water from reaching any part of it, then his tahaarah is not valid, whether the amount is large or small. If there are traces of henna and its colour left on the hand, without there being any solid material left, or elsewhere, or traces of liquid grease whereby water flows over the limb but does not stay there, his tahaarah is valid.' [Al-Majmoo’ (1/529).]

It says in Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (5/218):

'If the colour is impermeable, then wudoo’ is not valid unless it is removed before doing wudoo’. If it is not impermeable, then wudoo’ is valid, as is the case with henna.'

And Allaah knows best.

miswaakThe Sister walks down the aisle and to her amazement, she sees the racks full of various items for oral hygiene, ranging from mouth- fresheners to teeth-whiteners…she smiles as she thinks back in time, when the Prophet [saws] said:, “Siwaak [1] is a way of purifying the mouth and satisfying the Lord”[2]. As women grapple to find a solution for their debilitating oral condition, she has learnt that the Siwaak [which is also referred to as Miswaak] not only contains an immediate antimicrobial effect on bacteria [3] but most importantly it is a means by which to satisfy her Lord, the Most High.

As she sits, vigorously using the Miswaak to clean her teeth [starting from the right side to the left [4]], many raise their eyebrows, conveying inaudible questions of both worry and dismay. She smiles towards them politely, and makes excuses for them; she wonders whether it’s because they don’t know what the Miswaak is or whether they think it’s only for brothers? If she gets a chance, she speaks to them with wisdom, although confidently continuing to use her Miswaak. By Allah it’s well worth it! Since her intention is to please the Lord of the heavens and the earth and tread the path of the Prophets.

Such was Allah’s Messenger’s love for the Miswaak that he said: “Had I not feared burdening my Ummah [followers], I would have commanded them to use Siwaak before every Salaat."[5] In this hadeeth we find the pertinent mention of Ummah [followers], which includes both brothers and sisters. Further, we see the love the Prophet [saws] had for the Miswaak, as well as his desire for his Ummah [followers] to use it with every wudhoo’ [ablution] before their prayers.

The Anbiyaa’ [Prophets] were people who Allah [az] chose from amongst mankind, endowing them with the best of manners and characteristics by which to propagate this deen [religion] and please their Lord - to whom they were sincere.  My dear Sister, let’s ask Allah to make us strong in following the way of the Prophets [may the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon all of them] and to permeate in our hearts the strong conviction of adopting the usage of the Miswaak, since the Prophet [saws] said: “Miswaak is from among the practices of the Anbiyaa' [Prophets].”[6]

Indeed this life is short; let’s seek our Lord’s pleasure, even in things which may seem minute to us, yet on the scales are heavy. Let’s join the ranks of Sisters who, in the past as well as in the present, adopted this Sunnah of the Prophets - especially during the various recommended timings, such as: before the prayer, after eating, when awaking from sleep and before reciting the Qur’aan. Let our days and nights not pass without using the Miswaak, since even during the darkness of the night the Prophet [saws] was seen using the Miswaak. Ibn Abbas said:

“I stayed overnight in the house of my aunt Maymoonah. Allah's Apostle spoke with his wife for a while and then went to bed. When it was the last third of the night, he got up and looked towards the sky and said: "Verily! In the creation of the Heavens and the Earth and in the alteration of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding."[7] Then he stood up, performed ablution, brushed his teeth with a Siwaak, and then prayed eleven Rakat [units of prayer].”[8]

In fact, when the last day of the Prophet [saws] came on this earth even during his last moments as he was preparing to meet his Lord, he used the Miswaak in a way that he had never used it as he did that day, Aishah [rah] said:

'Abdur-Rahman bin Abu Bakr entered upon the Prophet while I was supporting the Prophet on my chest. 'Abdur-Rahman had a fresh Siwaak then and he was cleaning his teeth with it. Allah's Apostle looked at it, so I took the Siwaak, cut it (chewed it with my teeth), shook it and made it soft (with water), and then gave it to the Prophet who cleaned his teeth with it. I had never seen Allah's Apostle cleaning his teeth in a better way. After finishing the brushing of his teeth, he lifted his hand or his finger and said thrice, "O Allah! Let me be with the highest companionship," and then died. 'Aisha used to say, "He died while his head was resting between my chest and chin."[9]

Let’s help our husbands also adopt the Miswaak, as did A’ishah [rah], the righteous and beloved wife of Rasoolullah [saws]. Let it be that when our last moments come in this world – as were the Prophet’s [saws] – we also prepare to meet our Lord with mouths that are fragrant due to the Miswaak. Ameen.


[1] Siwaak, or what is also referred to as Miswaak, is a soft twig-like tooth-stick used for brushing the teeth and gums.

[2] Related by Imam Ahmad and others.

[3] A Clinical Study on the Miswaak: ‘The Immediate Antimicrobial Effect of a Toothbrush and Miswak on Cariogenic Bacteria’, which can be accessed here.

[4] It is Sunnah to start noble and good actions with the right. Aishah [rah] reports: “The Prophet always used his right hand for purification and eating, but he used his left hand in the toilet and to remove anything dirty.” (Related by Abu Dawood, while Al-Bukhari and Muslim relate a Hadith with similar meaning but in different wording).  She also said: “The Prophet loved to start with his right side in all matters: Ablution, walking and wearing his shoes.” (Related by Al-Bukhari, Muslim and others.)

[5] Reported by Maalik, Ahmad and an-Nasaa’i.

[6] Related by Ahmad (23470) and at-Tirmidhi (1081)

[7] Surah Aal Imraan [3]: 190

[8] Related by Al Bukhari: Volume 6, Book 60, Number 93

[9] Related by Al Bukhari: Volume 6, Book 60, Number 93

salahjilbabDo you ever think about what you do when you pray Sunnah prayers? I mean, after you just prayed Maghrib for an example, what is it you do? Or specifically, why is it that everyone in the Masjid always take a few steps to the side and prayer their Sunnah prayers (some might even switch places with others)?

"It is so that you make more sujud on different places on the earth" some of you might reply, yes that’s all fine and good but do you not have some clear evidence to justify why you insist on changing the place of prayer? If a person asked you what evidence do you have to support your action? What do you respond?

Well, the answer is quite simple (and yes it is actually from the Sunnah!) lets read Saheeh Muslim and check, shall we?

Mu'aawiyyah bin Abee Sufyaan said:

The Messenger of Allaah commanded us not to pray a Salah straight after another Salah unless we would [separate it with] talk or leave [our place].

And Imaam an-Nawawee explains this saying:

In this hadeeth there is evidence for what the scholars say [i.e.] that it is preferred to pray the optional prayers in another place than where one prayed their obligatory prayer. And the best place for that is the house, but any other place inside the masjid is still valid. [Taken from Saheeh Muslim The book of Jumu'ah p. 409-410]

I recently met up with an old friend from college who was a school teacher by day and a super photographer by night. While we were walking down the streets of Manhattan, he would stop at random spots to take photos. He wouldn't of course take photos the way that normal people do, but he would get on his knees to get the right angle or bend over railings..whatever got the job done.

So he inspired this short piece...enjoy


I've seen photographers get on their knees to capture an angle,

And painters lay on their backs to cover their canvas

A lover gets on one knee with ring and heart in hand,

And farmers bow their backs as they tilth the land,

So why is it then considered so strange,

For a man to fall in prostration in view plain

Of all, in the middle of that street you know

Is he not an artist, or a lover, with seeds to sow?

waterThe things that make ghusl (the ritual bath) obligatory are six things. If one of them happens then the Muslim has to do ghusl.

1 – Emission of maniy (semen) from its exit in the male or female, which happens either when one is awake or when one is asleep. If it is emitted when one is awake, there is the condition that one feels pleasure when it is emitted. If it is emitted without pleasure, then ghusl is not required, such as if it is emitted as the result of sickness. If it is emitted when one is asleep, this is what is called ihtilaam (erotic dream) and ghusl is required in all cases because he was not aware (of whether there were feelings of pleasure or not) and he may not experience feelings of pleasure. If a sleeper wakes up and finds traces of maniy, then he must do ghusl. If he has an erotic dream but no maniy comes out of him, and he does not find any trace of it, then he does not have to do ghusl.

2 – Penetration of the penis into the vagina, even if no ejaculation takes place, because of the hadeeth narrated by Muslim and others from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “When a man sits between the four parts (arms and legs of his wife) and has intercourse with her, then ghusl is obligatory.” So ghusl is required of both parties involved by mere virtue of penetration having taken place, even if no ejaculation takes place, because of this hadeeth and because there is scholarly consensus on this point.

3 – According to some scholars, ghusl is required when a disbeliever becomes Muslim, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told some of those who became Muslim to do ghusl. Many scholars think that it is mustahabb, not obligatory, for a kaafir who becomes Muslim to do ghusl because it is not narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told everyone who became Muslim to do that. So it may be understood that it is mustahabb, so as to reconcile the evidence.

4 – Death – the deceased person must be washed, except for the shaheed (martyr) who falls in battle, who is not to be washed.

5 + 6 – Menses and nifaas (post partum bleeding), because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When your menses ends, then do ghusl and pray.” And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And when they have purified themselves” [al-Baqarah 2:222], referring to menses – they should purify themselves by doing ghusl after their menses ends.

And Allaah knows best.

The proper method of ghusl (ritual bath) involves the following steps:

1. Make the niyyah (intention) to perform ghusl for purification, and say In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful in your heart.

2. Wash your private parts thoroughly with water.

3. Perform wudhu’ (ablution) except for washing of your feet, which you can do later while bathing the body. See image below.


4. Wash the entire body, starting with your head and the right side, followed by the left.

5. It is preferred that the whole body be washed three times. The minimum is once.

PerfumeImaam, Aboo Daawood (d.275) collected in his Sunan (#4174) that Aboo Hurayrah encountered a woman who was wearing perfume, and the tail of her garment was dusty. He said,

“O servant of al-Jabbaar! Have you come from the Masjid?”

She said, “Yes.” He said,

“And you have perfumed yourself for that purpose (i.e. praying in the masjid)?”

She said, “Yes.” He then said,

“I heard my beloved Abul-Qaasim (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) saying:

“The prayer of a woman who wears perfume to go to the masjid is not accepted until she returns and takes a bath, like the bath of janaabah (after sexual intercourse, i.e. a full bath).”

Understanding the Hadeeth:

[1] The hadeeth was also collected by Ahmad, Ibn Maajah and others, with a weak chain because of ‘Aasim ibn ‘Ubaydillaah. However, it is strengthened by another chain found in Saheeh Ibn Khuzaymah (1682). The latter chain is also weak, however they strengthen each other and thus the hadeeth is considered authentic, classified as: hasan lighayrihi. Ibn Khuzaymah considered the hadeeth to be authentic. Al-Albaanee authenticated it in as-Saheehah (1031).

[2] The statement, “like the bath of janaabah” specifies that the intention is not to just remove the perfume from the place it was applied, but rather a full bath must be taken.

[3] Some people may misunderstand the hadeeth to be specific to women who go the masjid for prayer, however this is clearly not the case. The mention of the Masjid is not restrictive in this hadeeth, and the ruling applies to women going out anywhere. Since the Masjid is a place where the men have been encouraged to dress well for and wear perfume, then it is not disliked for the smell of the perfume to be in the masjid. So the problem with women wearing perfume to the masjid is the distraction they would create and the potential fitnah that would ensue. This is the ‘illah (reason) for the prohibition. Thus, if this is the ruling for being around the best people, the people who pray in the Masjids, the people whom Allaah has praised in His Book as being those who truly believe in Him and that they are men who are not distracted by trade, then how much more does the prohibition apply to the most evil places, the gathering sites of the wicked (fujjaar), the most despised places on earth to Allaah…!! So it is as if he was using the Masjid as an example of the best case scenario, where one would never imagine someone acting upon his desires and chasing after a woman… so then if it is not allowed to wear perfume in such a place, then what about the places where illicit behavior is very common!

This general application of the hadeeth seems to be what Aboo Daawood understood when he gathered the hadeeth in his Sunan and entitled the chapter: “The Chapter of What has Been Reported About Women Wearing Perfume Outside”

[4] A similar hadeeth in Saheeh Muslim (#444) forbids women from attending ‘Eshaa’ Prayer in the masjid if they have been affected by bakhoor (burned fragrances, like incense). It is also to be understood in light of point #3.

[5] The hadeeth shows that the Companions used to enjoin the good and forbid the evil with women who were not in their family.

[6] The hadeeth also shows the practical implementation of tathab-but (being certain before acting), since Aboo Hurayrah asked the woman, “And you have perfumed yourself…?” Notice that he did not assume that the scent was hers without asking.

And Allaah knows best.

kabahgraphicPraise be to Allaah Who has created Time and has made some times better than others, some months and days and nights better than others, when rewards are multiplied many times, as a mercy towards His slaves. This encourages them to do more righteous deeds and makes them more eager to worship Him, so that the Muslim renews his efforts to gain a greater share of reward, prepare himself for death and supply himself in readiness for the Day of Judgement.

This season of worship brings many benefits, such as the opportunity to correct one’s faults and make up for any shortcomings or anything that one might have missed. Every one of these special occasions involves some kind of worship through which the slaves may draw closer to Allaah, and some kind of blessing though which Allaah bestows His favour and mercy upon whomsoever He will. The happy person is the one who makes the most of these special months, days and hours and draws nearer to his Lord during these times through acts of worship; he will most likely be touched by the blessing of Allaah and will feel the joy of knowing that he is safe from the flames of Hell. (Ibn Rajab, al-Lataa’if, p.8)

The Muslim must understand the value of his life, increase his worship of Allaah and persist in doing good deeds until the moment of death. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty." [al-Hijr 15:99] The mufassireen (commentators) said:

"‘The certainty’ means death."

Among the special seasons of worship are the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, which Allaah has preferred over all the other days of the year. Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allaah than these ten days." The people asked, "Not even jihaad for the sake of Allaah?" He said, "Not even jihaad for the sake of Allaah, except in the case of a man who went out to fight giving himself and his wealth up for the cause, and came back with nothing." (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 2/457).

Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father) also reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "There is no deed more precious in the sight of Allaah, nor greater in reward, than a good deed done during the ten days of Sacrifice." He was asked, "Not even jihaad for the sake of Allaah?" He said, "Not even jihaad for the sake of Allaah, except in the case of a man who went out to fight giving himself and his wealth up for the cause, and came back with nothing." (Reported by al-Daarimi, 1/357; its isnaad is hasan as stated in al-Irwaa’, 3/398).

These texts and others indicate that these ten days are better than all the other days of the year, with no exceptions, not even the last ten days of Ramadaan. But the last ten nights of Ramadaan are better, because they include Laylat al-Qadr ("the Night of Power"), which is better than a thousand months. Thus the various reports may be reconciled. (See Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 5/412).

You should know, my brother in Islaam, that the virtue of these ten days is based on many things:

Allaah swears an oath by them, and swearing an oath by something is indicative of its importance and great benefit. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): "By the dawn; by the ten nights" [al-Fajr 89:1-2]. Ibn ‘Abbaas, Ibn al-Zubayr, Mujaahid and others of the earlier and later generations said that this refers to the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah. Ibn Katheer said:

"This is the correct opinion." (Tafseer Ibn Katheer, 8/413)

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) testified that these are the best days of this world, as we have already quoted above from saheeh ahaadeeth.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) encouraged people to do righteous deeds because of the virtue of this season for people throughout the world, and also because of the virtue of the place - for the Hujjaaj (pilgrims) to the Sacred House of Allaah.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded us to recite a lot of Tasbeeh ("Subhan-Allaah"), Tahmeed ("Al-hamdu Lillaah") and Takbeer ("Allaahu akbar") during this time. ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "There are no days greater in the sight of Allaah and in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Him than these ten days, so during this time recite a great deal of Tahleel ("La ilaaha ill-Allaah"), Takbeer and Tahmeed." (Reported by Ahmad, 7/224; Ahmad Shaakir stated that it is saheeh).

These ten days include Yawm ‘Arafaah (the Day of ‘Arafaah), on which Allaah perfected His Religion. Fasting on this day will expiate for the sins of two years. These days also include Yawm al-Nahar (the Day of Sacrifice), the greatest day of the entire year and the greatest day of Hajj, which combines acts of worship in a way unlike any other day. These ten days include the days of sacrifice and of Hajj.

What must the Muslim avoid during these ten days if he wants to offer a sacrifice?

The Sunnah indicates that the one who wants to offer a sacrifice must stop cutting his hair and nails and removing anything from his skin, from the beginning of the ten days until after he has offered his sacrifice, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "When you see the new moon of Dhu’l-Hijjah, if any one of you wants to offer a sacrifice, then he should stop cutting his hair and nails until he has offered his sacrifice." According to another report he said: "He should not remove (literally, touch) anything from his hair or skin." (reported by Muslim with four isnaads, 13/146)

The Prophet’s instruction here makes one thing obligatory and his prohibition makes another haraam, according to the soundest opinion, because these commands and prohibitions are unconditional and unavoidable. However, if a person does any of these things deliberately, he must seek Allaah’s forgiveness but is not required to offer (an extra) sacrifice in expiation; his sacrifice will be acceptable. Whoever needs to remove some hair, nails, etc. because it is harming him, such as having a broken nail or a wound in a site where there is hair, should do so, and there is nothing wrong with that. The state of ihraam is so important that it is permitted to cut one’s hair if leaving it will cause harm. There is nothing wrong with men or women washing their heads during the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) only forbade cutting the hair, not washing it.

The wisdom behind this prohibition of the one who wants to offer a sacrifice from cutting his hair etc., is so that he may resemble those in ihraam in some aspects of the rituals performed, and so that he may draw closer to Allaah by offering the sacrifice. So he leaves his hair and nails alone until the time when he has offered his sacrifice, in the hope that Allaah will save him in his entirety from the Fire. And Allaah knows best.

If a person has cut his hair or nails during the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah because he was not planning to offer a sacrifice, then he decides later, during the ten days, to offer a sacrifice, then he must refrain from cutting his hair and nails from the moment he makes this decision.

Some women may delegate their brothers or sons to make the sacrifice on their behalf, then cut their hair during these ten days. This is not correct, because the ruling applies to the one who is offering the sacrifice, whether or not he (or she) delegates someone else to carry out the actual deed. The prohibition does not apply to the person delegated, only to the person who is making the sacrifice, as is indicated in the hadeeth. The person who is sacrificing on behalf of someone else, for whatever reason, does not have to adhere to this prohibition.

This prohibition appears to apply only to the one who is offering the sacrifice, not to his wife and children, unless any of them is offering a sacrifice in his or her own right, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to sacrifice "on behalf of the family of Muhammad," but there are no reports that say he forbade them to cut their hair or nails at that time.

If a person was planning to offer a sacrifice, then he decides to go and perform Hajj, he should not cut his hair or nails if he wants to enter ihraam, because the Sunnah is only to cut hair and nails when necessary. But if he is performing Tamattu’ [whereby he performs ‘Umrah, comes out of ihraam and enters ihraam anew for Hajj], he should trim his hair at the end of his ‘Umrah because this is part of the ritual.

The things that are described above as being prohibited for the person who is planning to offer a sacrifice are reported in the hadeeth quoted above; the person is not forbidden to wear perfume, have marital relations, wear sewn garments, etc.

Concerning the types of worship to be performed during these ten days: one must understand that these days are a great blessing from Allaah to His slave, which is appreciated properly by the actively righteous. It is the Muslim’s duty to appreciate this blessing and make the most of the opportunity, by devoting these ten days to paying more attention to striving hard in worship. Among His blessings to His slaves, Allaah has given us many ways in which to do good and worship Him, so that the Muslim may be constantly active and consistent in his worship of his Lord.

Among the good deeds which the Muslim should strive to do during the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah are:

Fasting. It is Sunnah to fast on the ninth day of Dhu’l-Hijjah, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) urged us to do good deeds during this time, and fasting is one of the best of deeds. Allaah has chosen fasting for Himself, as is stated in the hadeeth qudsi: "Allaah says: ‘All the deeds of the son of Adam are for him, except for fasting, which is for Me and I am the One Who will reward him for it.’" (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 1805).

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to fast on the ninth of Dhu’l-Hijjah. Hunaydah ibn Khaalid reported from his wife that some of the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to fast on the ninth of Dhu’l-Hijjah, on the day of ‘Aashooraa’, on three days of each month, and on the first two Mondays and Thursdays of each month." (Reported by al-Nisaa’i, 4/205 and by Abu Dawud; classified by al-Albaani as saheeh in Saheeh Abi Dawud, 2/462).

Takbeer. It is Sunnah to say Takbeer ("Allaahu akbar"), Tahmeed ("Al-hamdu Lillaah"), Tahleel ("La ilaha ill-Allaah") and Tasbeeh ("Subhaan Allaah") during the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, and to say it loudly in the mosque, the home, the street and every place where it is permitted to remember Allaah and mention His name out loud, as an act of worship and as a proclamation of the greatness of Allaah, may He be exalted.

Men should recite these phrases out loud, and women should recite them quietly.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"That they might witness things that are of benefit to them (i.e., reward of Hajj in the Hereafter, and also some worldly gain from trade, etc.), and mention the name of Allaah on appointed days, over the beast of cattle that He has provided for them (for sacrifice)..." [al-Hajj 22:28]

The majority of scholars agree that the "appointed days" are the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, because of the words of Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father): "The ‘appointed days’ are the first ten days (of Dhu’l-Hijjah)."

The Takbeer may include the words "Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, la ilaaha ill-Allaah; wa Allaahu akbar wa Lillaahi’l-hamd (Allaah is Most Great, Allaah is Most Great, there is no god but Allaah; Allaah is Most Great and to Allaah be praise)," as well as other phrases.

Takbeer at this time is an aspect of the Sunnah that has been forgotten, especially during the early part of this period, so much so that one hardly ever hears Takbeer, except from a few people. This Takbeer should be pronounced loudly, in order to revive the Sunnah and as a reminder to the negligent. There is sound evidence that Ibn ‘Umar and Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with them) used to go out in the marketplace during the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, reciting Takbeer, and the people would recite Takbeer when they heard them. The idea behind reminding the people to recite Takbeer is that each one should recite it individually, not in unison, as there is no basis in Sharee’ah for doing this.

Reviving aspects of the Sunnah that have been virtually forgotten is a deed that will bring an immense reward, as is indicated by the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): "Whoever revives an aspect of my Sunnah that is forgotten after my death, he will have a reward equivalent to that of the people who follow him, without it detracting in the least from their reward." (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 7/443; this is a hasan hadeeth because of corroborating asaaneed).

Performing Hajj and ‘Umrah. One of the best deeds that one can do during these ten days is to perform Hajj to the Sacred House of Allaah. The one whom Allaah helps to go on Hajj to His House and to perform all the rituals properly is included in the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): "An accepted Hajj brings no less a reward than Paradise."
Doing more good deeds in general, because good deeds are beloved by Allaah and will bring a great reward from Him. Whoever is not able to go to Hajj should occupy himself at this blessed time by worshipping Allaah, praying (salaat), reading Qur’an, remembering Allaah, making supplication (du’aa’), giving charity, honouring his parents, upholding the ties of kinship, enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil, and other good deeds and acts of worship.

Sacrifice. One of the good deeds that will bring a person closer to Allaah during these ten days is offering a sacrifice, by choosing a high-quality animal and fattening it, spending money for the sake of Allaah. (more information to follow, in sha Allaah).

Sincere repentance. One of the most important things to do during these ten days is to repent sincerely to Allaah and to give up all kinds of disobedience and sin. Repentance means coming back to Allaah and foregoing all the deeds, open and secret, that He dislikes, out of regret for what has passed, giving it up immediately and being determined never to return to it, but to adhere firmly to the Truth by doing what Allaah loves.

If a Muslim commits a sin, he must hasten to repent at once, without delay, firstly because he does not know when he will die, and secondly because one evil deed leads to another.

Repentance at special times is very important because in most cases people’s thoughts turn towards worship at these times, and they are keen to do good, which leads to them recognizing their sins and feeling regret for the past. Repentance is obligatory at all times, but when the Muslim combines sincere repentance with good deeds during the days of most virtue, this is a sign of success, in sha Allaah. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): "But as for him who repented, believed and did righteous deeds, then he will be among those who are successful." [al-Qasas 28:67]

The Muslim should make sure that he does not miss any of these important occasion, because time is passing quickly. Let him prepare himself by doing good deeds which will bring him reward when he is most in need of it, for no matter how much reward he earns, he will find it is less than he needs; the time of departure is at hand, the journey is frightening, delusions are widespread, and the road is long, but Allaah is ever watchful, and to Him will we return and render account. As the Qur’aan says (interpretation of the meaning):

"So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom, shall see it,

And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom, shall see it." [al-Zalzalah 99:7-8]

There is much to be gained, so make the most of the opportunity afforded by these invaluable and irreplaceable ten days. Hasten to do good works, before death strikes, before one can regret one’s negligence and failure to act, before one is asked to return to a place where no prayers will be answered, before death intervenes between the hopeful one and the things he hopes for, before you are trapped with your deeds in the grave.

O you whose hard heart is as dark as the night, is it not time that your heart was filled with light and became soft? Expose yourself to the gentle breeze of your Lord’s mercy during these ten days, for Allaah will cause this breeze to touch whomever He wills, and whoever is touched by it will be happy on the Day of Judgement. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad and all his Family and Companions.

clouds3"There are no good deed as the deeds done on these 10 days (Dhul Hijjah)." - Hadith

1.  Make a personal checklist of the things you'd like to achieve in these 10 days - extra nafl, fasting, teaching kids about its importance in a fun way etc.
2.  Fast - fasting one of these 10 days is the equivalent to fasting for a year, but particularly on the day of Arafat (9th day) as this expiates your sins for the previous year and the following year, Allhumdulilah.
3.  Qur'an - read it abundantly, set yourself a goal.  If you can't read it try to listen to it, you can get your CDs ready for the car, home etc.
4.  Strive for forgiveness - gain the mercy of Allah (swt) at Tahujjud, when you recite Istghfaar try to picture the things that you are asking forgiveness for.
5.  Help people - especially your parents, family, friends and neighbours.  Look for people who need help.
6.  Extra prayer - as much as you can.  If you wake up for fajr and remain praying until 20 mins after sunrise and then read 2 nafl Doha/Ishraq you will be rewarded the equivalent of doing Hajj and 'Umrah - SubhanAllah!  Or try and read 2 rakat after every wudhoo'.
7.  Du'a - make as much as you can as this is one of the best forms of 'ibadah, and try and use as many of Allah (swt) names as possible.
8.  Sacrifice - make your sacrifice sooner rather then later as the poor need to enjoy the meat on 'Eid ideally not after it!  Whoever is making a sacrifice is not permitted to cut their hair or nails for the 10 days.
9.  Takbeer - mention Allah (swt) name as much as you can, La illaha illah, Allahu Akbar, Allhumdulilah.
May Allah (swt) accept our efforts any may we all fulfil the above and more inshaa'Allah.

This book is an introduction to Islamic Jurisprudence for readers without substantial background in this field. In two volumes, Shaykh Saalih Al Fawzaan has projected light on jurisprudential issues of utmost importance in a genuine and reader-friendly style, free from any jargon or sophisticated expressions.

Vol 1 (right click & "save target as")

Vol 2 (right click & "save target as")

mumlov1With regard to breastfeeding mothers – and also pregnant women – two scenarios may apply:

-1- If the woman does not fear for her child, then she is obliged to fast, and it is not permissible for her not to fast.

-2- If the woman fears for herself or her child because of fasting, then she is allowed not to fast, but she has to make up the days that she does not fast.

In this situation it is better for her not to fast, and it is makrooh (disliked) for her to fast. Some of the scholars stated that if she fears for her child, it is obligatory for her not to fast and it is haraam for her to fast.

Al-Mirdaawi (rahimahullaah) said in al-Insaaf (7/382):

It is makrooh for her to fast in this case…

Ibn ‘Aqeel (rahimahullaah) said:

If a pregnant woman or a breastfeeding mother fears for her pregnancy or her child, then it is not permissible for her to fast in this case, but if she does not fear for her child then it is not permissible for her not to fast.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked in Fataawa al-Siyaam (p. 161): "If a pregnant woman or breastfeeding mother does not fast with no excuse, and she is strong and in good health, and is not affected by fasting, what is the ruling on that?"

He replied:

It is not permissible for a pregnant woman or breastfeeding woman not to fast during the day in Ramadhaan unless they have a valid excuse. If they do not fast because they have a valid excuse, then they have to make up the missed fasts, because Allaah says concerning one who is sick (interpretation of the meaning): “and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Sawm (fasts) must be made up] from other days” [Al-Baqarah 2:185]

Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers come under the same heading as those who are sick. If their excuse is that they fear for the child, then as well as making up the missed fasts, according to some scholars they also have to feed one poor person for each day missed, giving wheat, rice, dates or any other staple food. Some of the scholars said that all they have to do is make up the missed fasts, no matter what the situation, because there is no evidence in the Qur’aan or Sunnah for giving food in this case, and the basic principle is that there is no obligation unless proof of that is established. This is the view of Abu Haneefah (may Allaah have mercy on him) and it is a strong view.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was also asked in Fataawa al-Siyaam (p. 162) about a pregnant women who fears for herself or her child, and does not fast – what is the ruling?

He replied by saying:

"Our answer to this is that one of two scenarios must apply in the case of a pregnant woman.

The first is if she is healthy and strong, and does not find fasting difficult, and it does not affect her foetus. In this case the woman is obliged to fast, because she has no excuse not to do so.

The second is where the pregnant woman is not able to fast, either because the pregnancy is advanced or because she is physically weak, or for some other reason. In this case she should not fast, especially if her foetus is likely to be harmed, in which case it may be obligatory for her not to fast. If she does not fast, then like others who do not fast for a valid reason, she has to make up the days when that excuse no longer applies. When she gives birth, she has to make up those fasts after she becomes pure from nifaas. But sometimes the valid excuse of pregnancy may be lifted but then immediately followed by another valid excuse, namely breastfeeding. The breastfeeding mother may need food and drink, especially during the long summer days when it is very hot. So she may need not to fast so that she can nourish her child with her milk. In this case we also say to her: Do not fast, and when this excuse no longer applies, then you should make up the fasts that you have missed."

It says in Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (10/226):

The pregnant woman is obliged to fast during her pregnancy, unless she fears that fasting may affect her or her foetus, in which case she is allowed not to fast, and she should make up the fasts after she gives birth and becomes pure from nifaas.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (rahimahullaah) said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (15/224):

"With regards to pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, it is proven in the hadeeth of Anas ibn Maalik al-Ka’bi, narrated by Ahmad and the authors of al-Sunan with a saheeh isnaad, that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) granted them a dispensation allowing them not to fast, and he regarded them as being like travelers. From this it is known that they may not fast but they have to make up the fasts later, just like travelers. The scholars stated that they are only allowed not to fast if fasting is too difficult for them, as in the case of one who is sick, or if they fear for their children. And Allaah knows best."

The hadeeth referred to in the above quote has been narrated by Aboo Dawood, 2408; al-Tirmidhi, 715; al-Nasaa’i, 2315; and Ibn Maajah, 1667. It says that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“Allaah has relieved the traveller of half of the prayer and of the duty to fast, and He has relieved pregnant and nursing mothers (of the duty to fast).”

It was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.

This is similar to the reference to the sick in the verse (interpretation of the meaning):

“and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Sawm (fasts) must be made up] from other days.” [Al-Baqarah 2:185]

Imaam Al-Bukhaari (rahimahullaah) said:

Chapter on the words, “Exempt days”

… al-Hasan and Ibraaheem said concerning breastfeeding or pregnant women: If they fear for themselves or their children, they should break the fast then make it up.

This restriction of the ruling was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas, Ibn ‘Umar, al-Hasan and al-Nakha’i among the salaf (rahimahumullaah).