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Jabal ar-Rahmah - Mount of Mercy

جبل الرحمة - Mount of Mercy - Arafah

 

 

قَالَ النَّبِيُّ ‏صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ

 

صِيَام يَوْم عَرَفَة أَحْتُسِبَ عَلَى اللَّه أَنْ يُكَفِّر السَّنَة الَّتِي قَبْلَهُ وَالسَّنَة الَّتِي بَعْده

 

 

The Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said:

 

“I seek from Allaah that fasting on the day of ‘Arafah may be an expiation for [the sins of] the year before it and the year after it.” (1)

 

 

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(1) Part of a longer hadeeth, reported in Saheeh Muslim (online English translation in Book of Fasting, #2602).

The day of ‘Arafah is the 9th of Thul-Hijjah (12th month in the Hijri Calendar).  This year, it will fall on Sunday, Dec. 7th, 2008, in shaa’ Allaah.  We are all in need of Allaah’s mercy and forgiveness, and what an excellent opportunity this is for us to take advantage of.  May Allaah ta’aalaa allow us to reach and fast that day, grant us sincerity, and accept from us our deeds.  Aameen.


 

 

 

وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لا نُكَلِّفُ نَفْسًا إِلا وُسْعَهَا


أُولَئِكَ أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ *


وَنَزَعْنَا مَا فِي صُدُورِهِمْ مِنْ غِلٍّ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهِمُ الأَنْهَارُ


وَقَالُوا الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي هَدَانَا لِهَذَا وَمَا كُنَّا لِنَهْتَدِيَ لَوْلا أَنْ هَدَانَا اللَّهُ


لَقَدْ جَاءَتْ رُسُلُ رَبِّنَا بِالْحَقِّ


وَنُودُوا أَنْ تِلْكُمُ الْجَنَّةُ أُورِثْتُمُوهَا بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ *  

 

 

 

But those who believed (in the Oneness of Allâh – Islâmic Monotheism), and worked righteousness – We tax not any person beyond his scope, such are the dwellers of Paradise. They will abide therein. And We shall remove from their breasts any (mutual) hatred or sense of injury (which they had, if at all, in the life of this world); rivers flowing under them, and they will say: “All the praises and thanks be to Allâh, Who has guided us to this, never could we have found guidance, were it not that Allâh had guided us! Indeed, the Messengers of our Lord did come with the truth.” And it will be cried out to them: “This is the Paradise which you have inherited for what you used to do.”

 

(Al-A’raf 7:42-43)

 

 

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How great Allaah’s Generosity is! He blesses them with guidance, allows them to remain steadfast upon it, then rewards them with Jannah! May Allaah make us among them. Aameen. 

 

An appropriate reminder at this point would be of the hadeeth reported in Saheeh Muslim (Arabic Online) or Translation in Vol.4, p.1397, #6418:

 

Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin al-‘Aas – radiyallaahu anhu – said, that he heard Allah’s Messenger – sallallaahu alaihi wa sallaam – saying, “All the hearts of the offspring of Aadam are between two fingers of Ar-Rehman’s Fingers, as one heart. He turns it (in any direction) as He wills. Then Allah’s Messenger said, “O Allah! The Turner of the hearts, turn our heart towards Your obedience.

 

 

 

 

 

Black Sunset

shirk.jpg

 

“O Allaah, I seek refuge in You lest I knowingly associated others with You, and I seek Your forgiveness for what I do unknowingly.” (1)

 

 

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(1) References as they appear in Hisnul-Muslim: Related by Ahmad 4/403 and others. Also, see Shaikh al-Albaani’s (rahimahullaah) Saheeh al-Jaami’ 3/233 and Saheeh at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb 1/19.

 

(2) Arabic text image taken from http://www.makedua.com

 

* Image used: Crepuscule by Fabien Egot

 

 

Updated – Please see comments

 

Lunar Eclipse, Australia

 

 

قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ ‏صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ

 

‏إِنَّ الشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ آيَتَانِ مِنْ آيَاتِ اللَّهِ يُخَوِّفُ اللَّهُ بِهِمَا عِبَادَهُ

وَإِنَّهُمَا لاَ يَنْكَسِفَانِ لِمَوْتِ أَحَدٍ مِنْ النَّاسِ

فَإِذَا رَأَيْتُمْ مِنْهَا شَيْئًا فَصَلُّوا وَادْعُوا اللَّهَ حَتَّى يُكْشَفَ مَا بِكُمْ

 

 

The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said:

 

“Verily the sun and the moon are two signs among the signs of Allaah by which He frightens His servants, and they do not eclipse on account of the death of any one of the people. So when you see anything regarding them (eclipse of sun or moon), then observe prayer and supplicate to Allaah until what has befallen you is cleared.” (1)

 

 

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(1) Narrated by Abu Mas’ood al-Ansaaree, as reported by Muslim in his saheeh.

 

(*) A “Total Lunar Eclipse” is expected to be visible in the Americas today, Wednesday Feb. 20, 2008 – and Allaah knows best. The view promoted by scientists, news articles/reports, and people in general, is that an eclipse is a “spectacle” to behold. You see announcements of “parties” where people can gather and “view” the phenomenon together, preparing telescopes, cameras and the like. Unfortunately, many of us forget what our stance as Muslims should be in such times and events. 

 

This should be a reminder to us about the Day of Judgement. Allaah ta’aalaa says in Soorat al-Qiyaamah:

 

“Nay! (Man denies Resurrection and Reckoning.  So) he desires to continue committing sins.  He asks: “When will be this Day of Resurrection?”  So, when the sight shall be dazed, and the moon will be eclipsed, and the sun and moon will be joined together (by going one into the other or folded up or deprived of their light, etc.)  On that Day man will say: “Where (is the refuge) to flee?”  No! There is no refuge!  Unto your Lord (Alone) will be the place of rest that Day.  On that Day man will be informed of what he sent forward (of his evil or good deeds), and what he left behind (of his good or evil traditions).  Nay! Man will be a witness against himself [as his body parts (skin, hands, legs, etc.) will speak about his deeds].  Though he may put forth his excuses (to cover his evil deeds).”

(Al-Qiyaamah 75: 5-15)

 

 

Below are a few points of benefit taken from the fataawaa of Sh. Ibn Uthaymeen – rahimahullaah.  The translation is not an exact one, and additions have been made in square brackets for clarity.  The reference for each point can be accessed by clicking on the point number.

 

Points of Benefit

 

(1) The eclipse takes place by the will of Allaah…it’s a warning from Allaah ‘azza wa jall to His servants of an expected punishment.

 

(2) Just because this is a “natural phenomenon” [i.e. there are scientific reasons why this happens: alignment of sun, earth and moon] it doesn’t contradict what has been reported to us through the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam that such events are signs from Allaah with which He frightens His servants. This can be compared to thunder, which can be explained through science, yet Allaah says about it:

 

“It is He who shows you the lightning, as a fear and as a hope. And it is He Who brings up (or originates) the clouds, heavy (with water). And Ar-Ra’d (thunder) glorifies and praises Him, and so do the angels because of His Awe, He sends the thunderbolts, and therewith He strikes whom He wills, yet they (disbelievers) dispute about Allah. And He is Mighty in strength and Severe in punishment.” 

(Soorat ar-Ra’d: 12,13)

 

(3) Some of the actions which the Prophet – sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam – has commanded us to perform at the time of the eclipse are prayer, giving charity, seeking forgiveness of Allaah [istighfaar], takbeer [saying Allaahu Akbar], du’aa, and freeing slaves. [All these, as well as seeking refuge from the punishment of the grave, are mentioned in saheeh ahaadeeth.]

 

(4) Allaah has made this a warning NOT a punishment. Some people doubt the matter and say that lunar/solar eclipses happen all the time and we do not find anything wrong [nothing bad happens]. To that it is said that the Prophet – sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam – didn’t say that it’s a punishment and an anger from Allaah that will strike the people [at the time of the eclipse]! What he said is that Allaah frightens His servants so that they repent to Him. So if they get up and pray and do what they were commanded by the Prophet salallaahu alaihi wa sallam, then Allaah ta’aalaa might relieve them of His punishment.

 

***

 

ash-Shaykh al-Albaanee – rahimahullaah – has written a description of the eclipse prayer as performed by the Prophet – sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, the translation of which can be found here.  Please note:  Scholars agree that the eclipse prayer is to be performed only DURING the time of the eclipse for those who see it.  If it hasn’t taken place, you missed it, or if you reside outside the place where the eclipse will be visible, then you are not to perform this prayer – wallaahu a’lam. 

 

We ask Allaah ta’aalaa to forgive us, save us from His punishment, and not make us heedless of His signs. Aameen.

 

 

 

 

Ramadaan Special – 1428 – #2

Ramadaan…
A month in which we strive to please Allaah and increase in doing good…
We try to remain consistent throughout the month, and we ask Allaah’s help…
What happens after Ramadaan?
The Rabb of Ramadaan is the Rabb of all other months of the year…
What attitude can we carry with us from this month into our daily life and worship?

Below are excerpts fromPractical Lessons from the Month of Fasting(1)

 

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“As the days of Ramadaan elapse, the Muslim finds one of life’s opportunities presented before him. It is an opportunity which he may reach once again, or perhaps his decreed fate will overtake him before he reaches it. Nonetheless, what is most important is that this opportunity is utilized by filling it with acts of obedience and remaining far away from sins. Even more important is remaining consistent in doing those things as well, since one of the rewards for a good deed is being guided to perform other good deeds afterwards. In a similar way, one of the punishments for an evil deed is being left to perform other evil deeds after it…”

 

***

 

“During those blessed days of Ramadaan, the soul should have accustomed itself to obedience while hoping for what Allaah has in store, and restraining itself out of fear from His punishment. Undoubtedly, once this has been done, the benefit which the Muslim gleans and the lesson he acquires is that he must subsequently continue to perform good deeds and avoid sins. This is so since Allaah has commanded His servants to worship Him for the entire duration of their lives…”

 

***

 

“Once the Muslim has tasted the sweetness of obedience during the month of fasting, it is not proper for him to replace it with the bitterness of disobedience. Additionally, once he has overpowered his enemy in the month of fasting, it is not fitting to bring joy to him during Shawwaal and the months that follow. If a Muslim truly wants good for himself, he must not stop performing good deeds with the departure of the month of fasting. Doing so would be like substituting a time that is better for that which is lower in rank…”

 

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(1) Taken from a translation based on a lecture delivered Shawwaal 16, 1390 A.H. by Ash-Shaykh Abdul-Muhsin ibn Hamad al-Abbaad. The original lecture was published in the Journal of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, Issue #10. The complete translation is posted here.

 

 

 

 

Ramadaan Special – 1428 – #1

This world is a place of trials and tests…
Why does Allaah mention this fact to us, then follow it by the names “al-Azeez” and “al-Ghafoor”…?

Below is an excerpt fromPractical Lessons from the Month of Fasting(1)

 

.•°•.•°•.•°•.•°•.•°•.•°•.•°•.•°•. 

 

al-Mulk

 

Allaah made life in this world as a place of trial and testing as to which of His servants are best in deeds. He said

 

الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَاةَ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلاً

 

which means, Who has created death and life, that He may test which of you is best in action. [Soorah al-Mulk (67):2]

 

and then said

 

وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفُورُ

 

which means, And He is the Almighty, the Oft-Forgiving. [Soorah al-Mulk (67):2]

 

This clarifies that these tested individuals include ones who excel in their deeds and will be rewarded due to what is entailed by Allaah’s name al-Ghafoor (the Oft-Forgiving). Similarly included are those who act wrongly and will deserve punishment due to what is entailed by His name al-Azeez (the Almighty). That is like His saying

 

نَبِّئْ عِبَادِي أَنِّي أَنَا الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ وَأَنَّ عَذَابِي هُوَ الْعَذَابُ الأَلِيمُ

 

which means, Declare to My servants, that I am truly the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful. And that My Torment is indeed the most painful torment. [Soorah al-Hijr (15):49,50]

 

 

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(1) Taken from a translation based on a lecture delivered Shawwaal 16, 1390 A.H. by Ash-Shaykh Abdul-Muhsin ibn Hamad al-Abbaad. The original lecture was published in the Journal of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, Issue #10. The complete translation will be posted on Thikraa soon, in shaa’ Allaah.

 

 

286b.jpg

 

لاَ يُكَلِّفُ اللّهُ نَفْسًا إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا اكْتَسَبَتْ رَبَّنَا لاَ تُؤَاخِذْنَا إِن نَّسِينَا أَوْ أَخْطَأْنَا رَبَّنَا وَلاَ تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْنَا إِصْرًا كَمَا حَمَلْتَهُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِنَا رَبَّنَا وَلاَ تُحَمِّلْنَا مَا لاَ طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِ وَاعْفُ عَنَّا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَارْحَمْنَا أَنتَ مَوْلاَنَا فَانصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ

 

Allâh burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned. “Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error, our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us (Jews and Christians); our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us Forgiveness. Have mercy on us. (1) You are our Maulâ (Patron, Supporter and Protector, etc.) and give us victory over the disbelieving people.”

(Al-Baqarah 2:286)

 

.•°•.•°•.•°•.•°•.•°•.•°•.•°•.•°•. 

 

Shaikh Ibn Uthaymeen – rahimahullaah – says in his tafseer of Soorat al-Baqarah: (2)

 

ومنها: أنه ينبغي للإنسان سؤال الله العفو؛ لأن الإنسان لا يخلو من تقصير في المأمورات؛ فيسأل الله العفو عن تقصيره؛ لقوله تعالى: { واعف عنا }؛ وسؤالُ الله المغفرة من ذنوبه التي فعلها؛ لقوله تعالى: { واغفر لنا }؛ لأن الإنسان إن لم يُغفر له تراكمت عليه الذنوب، ورانت على قلبه، وربما توبقه، وتهلكه.

 

And from them (the points of benefit derived from this aayah): (Is) That one must ask Allaah for ‘Afw, for he is not free from shortcomings in those things which have been commanded; so he asks Allaah for ‘Afw from his shortcomings in accordance with His saying “واعف عنّا”. And asking Allaah for Maghfirah from his (the person’s) sins which he has committed is in accordance with His saying “واغفر لنا”, because a person – if he is not forgiven – (his) sins will pile up upon him, be a Raan (3) upon his heart, and perhaps destroy him.

 

ومن فوائد الآية: أنه ينبغي للإنسان أن يسأل الله أن يرحمه في مستقبل أمره؛ فيعفو عما مضى، ويغفر؛ ويرحم في المستقبل؛ لقوله تعالى: { وارحمنا }؛ وبه نعرف اختلاف هذه الكلمات الثلاث: طلب العفو عن التفريط في الطاعات؛ والاستغفار عن فعل المحرمات؛ والرحمة فيما يستقبله الإنسان من زمنه – أن الله يرحمه، ويوفقه لما فيه مصلحته.

 

And from the benefits of the aayah: (Is) That one must ask Allaah to have Rahmah on him in his future affairs; so He will ‘ya’foo’ and ‘yaghfir’ what has passed, and have Rahmah on him in what’s to come, in accordance with His saying “وارحمنا”. Through this, we learn the difference between the three words:

 

Asking for ‘Afw for shortcomings in acts of obedience, ‘Istighfaar (i.e. seeking Maghrifah) from committing acts of disobedience (4), and (asking for) Rahmah in that which lies ahead for one in his future – that Allaah has Rahmah on him and grants him success to (following) that which will be beneficial/have good in it for him.

 

.•°•.•°•.•°•.•°•.•°•.•°•.•°•.•°•.

 

Ibn Katheer – rahimahullaah – says in his tafseer of Soorat al-Baqarah: (5)

 

وقوله: ( وَاعْفُ عَنَّا ) أي: فيما بيننا وبينك مما تعلمه من تقصيرنا وزللنا، ( وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا ) أي: فيما بيننا وبين عبادك، فلا تظهرهم على مساوينا وأعمالنا القبيحة، ( وَارْحَمْنَا ) أي: فيما يُسْتَقبل، فلا توقعنا بتوفيقك في ذنب آخر، ولهذا قالوا: إن المذنب محتاج إلى ثلاثة أشياء: أن يعفو الله عنه فيما بينه وبينه، وأن يستره عن عباده فلا يفضحه به بينهم، وأن يعصمه فلا يوقعه في نظيره.

 

And His saying “واعف عنا” meaning: in that which is between us and You, which You know (about) from our shortcomings and faults/slips; “واغفر لنا” meaning: in that which is between us and Your servants, such that You do not make apparent to them our faults/vices and abominable deeds; “وارحمنا” meaning: in that which will come in the future, so do not let us fall – with Your tawfeeq (i.e. You granting us success) – in another sin. This is why it has been said: “Surely the sinner is in need of three things: that Allaah forgives him for that (the sin he committed) which is between him and Him (i.e. the sinner and Allaah), that He conceals the sin from His servants and not expose him through it (the sin) among them, and that He protects him so he doesn’t fall in its equivalent (i.e. further sin/error).”

 

 

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(1) The words ‘Afw, Maghfirah, and Rahmah have been translated in the aayah (The Noble Qur’aan translation) to mean Pardon, Forgiveness, and Mercy – respectively. In Arabic, the meaning of the words is as follows:

Afw: pardon/forgiveness, but also erasing/wiping out
Maghfirah: pardon/forgiveness but also concealing/hiding
Rahmah: mercy

 

(2) Sh. Ibn Uthaymeen (rahimahullaah). Tafseer Soorat al-Baqarah, Part #3 – Aayah 286 – Points of Benefit #16 and 17.

 

(3) Raan:  a covering of sins and evil deeds, as mentioned in Soorat Al-Mutaffifin, verse 14.

 

(4) Note: it’s not always the case that ‘Afw relates to shortcomings in acts of obedience while Maghfirah relates to acts of disobedience. There’s a rule in Arabic that says that some words “if they unite, they separate (in meaning); and if they separate, they unite (in meaning).” [An example often given by scholars consists of the words Islaam and Eemaan: they include eachother when mentioned separately and they exclude eachother and become more specific when mentioned together, wallaahu ‘Alam.] Therefore, if the words ‘Afw and Maghfirah occur together, though they mean the same thing (i.e. pardon/forgiveness), they will be “distinguished” and separated from each other in meaning (by one being more specific to one thing than the other word etc.); however, if they separate and occur in different aayaat/locations, they could be used to mean the same thing (i.e. forgiveness) be it for shortcomings in good deeds or for doing bad deeds.  Shaikh Ibn Uthaymeen – rahimahullah – says in the tafseer of aayah 218 of Soorat al-Baqarah:

قوله تعالى: { والله غفور رحيم }؛ قد يقول قائل: ما محل ذكر اسم الله «الغفور» هنا مع أن هؤلاء قاموا بأعمال صالحة؟ الجواب أن القائم بالأعمال الصالحة قد يحصل منه شيء من التفريط، والتقصير؛ ولذلك شرع للمصلي أن يستغفر الله ثلاثاً بعد السلام؛

(Concerning) His (ta’aalaa’s) saying: (والله غفور رحيم); one might say: what is the reason behind mentioning the name of Allaah (الغفور) here even though those [meaning people mentioned in the verse] have done good deeds? The answer is that one who does good deeds might have some carelessness/negligence or shortcomings; this is why one it has been legislated for one who performs his salaah to say ‘Istighfaar 3 times after salaam. [End of Shaikh’s words]

Here, Maghfirah is used to refer to shortcomings in doing good deeds.  And Allaah knows best.

 

(4) Tafseer Ibn Katheer. One will notice how the “erasing” meaning of ‘Afw and “concealing” meaning of Maghrifah play a role in this tafseer.