Saturday, July 31, 2010

Freeing the Heart from Spitefulness

Freeing the Heart from Spitefulness

Ibn AbdAllāh

In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and thanks is due to Allāh, the Lord of al-‘ālamīn. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam is His Messenger.

Spreads mutual love; keeping the Heart Free from the Spite

Islam commands men spreads mutual love making reconciliation between each other e in order to maintain good relations amongst the mankind, to spread love and to keep the hearts of mankind free from spite.

Allāh Subhānahu wa ta‘ala Says:

“So fear Allāh and amend that which is between you”

[Al-Anfal, 8: 1].

Additionally, Islam ordains all that which spreads mutual love and frees the hearts from spite, as in the narration of Abu Hurairah  (radiyallāhu‘anhu) who reported that the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:

“You will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Shall I guide to that which would make you love one another? Spread greetings (Salam) abundantly amongst yourselves”

[This is recorded by Muslim]

The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) was asked:

“Who are the best type of people?” He (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) replied: “A person who is truthful in his speech and Makhmum in his heart” People asked: “We know what truthful speech is, but what is a Makhmum heart?” The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) responded saying: “It is a pure pious heart that does not have envy, evil or spite.”

[This is recorded by Ibn Majah]

Spite has greatly increased amongst people today, resulting in the severing of relations and in people holding grudges against each other. This is in spite of the fact that Allāh has made legislations, which would prevent this from happening. For example, a Muslim is allowed to request a fellow Muslim who wants to visit him to return at a later time. In normal situations, people would not appreciate someone not allowing them entry when they visit them, but since Allāh The All-Knowing, knows that people might have certain circumstances that would not allow them to receive visitors, He legislated this to protect people’s hearts from holding grudges due to this.

Allāh Says:

“And if it is said to you, “Go back (Or a similar expression showing that the occupants are not prepared to receive visitors)” then go back; it is purer for you”

[An-Nur, 24: 28]

This is a way to condole the person who was not granted permission to enter, lest he feels insulted or saddened, and a means to protect the hearts from spite. This is why some of the Salaf used to be happy when they went visiting someone and were not permitted in, because they sought the consequence of returning mentioned in the above verse --which is the promise of becoming purer (i.e. in their hearts).

Having pure hearts that are free from spite is a bounty and a blessing from Allāh which He grants to the dwellers of Paradise upon their entry into it.

Allāh Says:

 “And We will remove whatever is in their chests of resentment (i.e. ill will or ill feelings towards one another), [so they will be] brothers, on thrones facing each other.”

[Al-Hijr, 15: 47]

In addition to a pure heart being a blessing and a bounty from Allāh, it is also a source of comfort. This is why Islam puts great emphasis on purification of the heart from spite, so that people can live together in peace and harmony.

The great importance attached to this issue is because it is a difficult state to achieve all the time. A person may have a strong will which enables him to wake up in the middle of the night to offer optional night prayers, but he may not be strong enough to overcome some of his bad feelings towards his fellow Muslims.

Undoubtedly, this quality is a praiseworthy one indeed; Allāh praised the Ansar (i.e. the residents of Madinah) for possessing such a quality. Allāh Says:

“They [i.e. the Ansar] find not any [ill] feelings in their chests [i.e. hearts] of what they were given [i.e. the Muhajirin-emigrants from Makkah] but give [them] preference over themselves, even though they are in privation.”

[Al-Hasyar, 59: 9].

When Allāh favoured the Muhajirin with certain things, the Ansar did not feel any objection to this, nor did they harbor any ill feelings or envy towards their brothers in faith for being distinguished with these favours. Instead, they favoured them over their own selves with whatever they had, even if they themselves were in need of what they offered.

The following great story reflects the rank of possessing a pure heart that is free from spite, and that it is a blessing from Allāh.

Anas Ibn Malik  (radiyallāhu‘anhu) narrated: “We were sitting with the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam)  once when he said: “A man from the dwellers of Paradise will walk in now” so a man from the Ansar (i.e. residents of Madinah) walked in whose beard was dripping from the effect of ablution and who held his slippers with his left hand. The next day the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said the same thing, and the same man walked in. On the third day, the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said the same thing, and the same man once again walked in. When the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) left the gathering, ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr (radhiyallāhu‘anhu) followed that man and said to him: `I had a misunderstanding with my father and swore not to stay in his house three nights, so if you permit me I would like to spend these three nights with you` The man said: `Yes, I will permit you.`”

Anas Ibn Malik (radhiyallāhu‘anhu) added: “‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr (radhiyallāhu‘anhu) told us that he spent three nights and did not notice that the man prayed the optional night prayers during any of these nights, but if he woke up during the night, he would simply mention Allāh. Nonetheless, I never heard him utter except good things, so when the three nights finished, I almost belittled his deeds (as they were insignificant) and I said to him: `O slave of Allāh! There was not dispute between me and my father or anger, but I heard the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) saying thrice: “A man from the dwellers of Paradise will walk in now” and you walked in all three times, so I wanted to sleep in your place to see what you do in order to imitate you, but I did not see that you exert extra effort in performing any extra deeds. How did you reach such status to deserve what the Prophet  (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said about you?` He replied: `My deeds are nothing more than what you saw` Then when I left, he called me back in and said: `My deeds are nothing more than what you saw, but the only thing I do is that I do not hold any grudge against any Muslim or envy anyone for what bounties Allāh has granted them`; thereupon ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr  (radhiyallāhu‘anhu) said to him: “This difficult quality to obtain is what granted you this rank”.

[This is recorded by Ahmad]

The Keenness of the Salaf to Have Pure Hearts

It is not an easy task for someone to maintain a heart free from spite and hold no grudges against anyone. On the other hand, it is not an impossible mission either, but it could be achieved with training, practice and constant striving.

The companions (radhiyallāhu‘anhu) were very keen to remove any bad feelings from the hearts of their brothers towards them. ` Ibn `Amr Al-Muzani (radiyallāhu‘anhu) reported:

“Abu Sufyan passed by Salman, Suhayb and Bilal and some other Companions (radhiyallāhu‘anhum) (after the conquest of Makkah, when he was still a disbeliever). They said to him: “Did the swords of Allāh not demand their due from the foes of Allāh?'' Abu Bakar (radhiyallāhu‘anhu) said to them: "Do you speak like that to the chief of the Quraish and their master?'' Then he went to the Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) and related this to him. The Prophet (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: "O Abu Bakar! Perhaps you have angered them. If it was so, you have angered your Lord”. Abu Bakar (radhiyallāhu‘anhu) rushed back to them and said: "O my brothers! Did I offend you?'' They replied: "No. May Allāh forgive you, brother”?

[This is recorded by Muslim]

This proves that a person must rush to amends and apologize for their actions, if he fears that a fellow Muslim or others was offended or his feelings were hurt, and to make sure his brother’s heart remains pure towards him. The one who is being apologized to must then accept without delay and comfort his brother, and assure him that he is not holding any grudge against him and supplicate for him as the companions did with Abu Bakar  (radhiyallāhu‘anhu) all.

On another situation people went to visit Abu Dujanah (radiyallāhu‘anhu) when he was critically sick on the verge of his death, but they saw him happy with radiant face; they asked him about the reason, to which he (radiyallāhu‘anhu) replied:

“I have two things I subscribed in my life; one is that I never interfered in that which did not concern me, and the second is that I always had a pure heart, free from spite towards my fellow Muslims”.

Imam Ibn Taimiyyah, (rahimahullāh), was another great example. Some people of knowledge of his time who envied him, spoke ill of him to the Caliph who commanded him to be imprisoned; yet while he was in prison he, may Allāh mercy upon him, sent a letter to his students saying: “You know very well that I do not like to see anyone from the common Muslims getting hurt because of me, let alone the people of knowledge. People are three types: one who strives to do what is correct but fails, and such will be rewarded for striving to do what is right and will be pardoned for failing as he tried; another is one who strives to do what is correct and succeeds, and such will be rewarded twice, once for striving to do what is right and another for achieving such a goal; the third type is a person who is a sinner, and we ask Allāh to forgive him. I will not forgive any of you if you start talking about anyone who was the cause of my imprisonment”. Not only that, but Allāh Willed that Sultan An-Nasir became the Caliph and wanted to take revenge from the people who were the cause of his imprisonment, but Imam Ibn Taimiyyah, (rahimahullāh), refused and continued to talk to the Caliph and admonish him about the quality of forgiveness and tolerance, until he changed his mind and let them go unharmed.

Jabir (radiyallāhu‘anhu) said: “I heard the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) saying: “The devil has despaired of being worshipped by those who engage in prayer in the Arabian Peninsula but (has not lost hope) in creating dissension among them.” [This is recorded by Muslim] This was a statement made by the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) while addressing the companions (radhiyallāhu‘anhum). Satan strives very hard to instill spite in the hearts of the believers towards one another; hence, we must avoid anything that could be the means or cause of enmity or spite. We must know that Satan is the source of spite and envy.

Moreover, spite, dispute and envy are the reasons for one’s good deeds being rejected.

Abu Hurairah (radiyallāhu‘anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:

“People's deeds are presented before Allāh on Mondays and Thursdays, and then every slave (of Allāh) is granted forgiveness (of minor sins) if he does not associate anything with Allāh in worship. But the person in whose heart there is rancour against his brother, will not be pardoned. With regard to them, it is said twice: `Hold these two until they are reconciled`. `Hold these two until they are reconciled`”

[This is recorded by Muslim]

In fact, this was the reason why the exact night on which the night of Al-Qadar falls was not disclosed to the people.

The matter is even graver than this, as indicated in the following narration. Abu Hurairah (radiyallāhu‘anhu) said that the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:

“It is not lawful for a Muslim to forsake his (Muslim) brother beyond three days; and whosoever does so for more than three days, and then dies, will certainly enter the Hell.”

[This is recorded by Abu Dawud]

We ask Allāh to purify our hearts from spite and grudges.

Spiteful Hearts

One of the main things that lead to having a spiteful heart is backbiting and tale bearing. These two evil qualities often result in hatred and severing of ties amongst people. Therefore, a Muslim must control his tongue and not allow him to talk about others, backbite or slander them.

Some people refrain from eating certain types of meat before ascertaining their permissibility, yet they have no problems eating the flesh of their fellow Muslim. Allāh Says:

And do not backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would detest it”

[Al-Hujurat, 49: 12]

Another matter that results in spite is disputes and arguments, thus people must beware of this bad quality. People can hold different opinions but do not have to become enemies due to this. Yusuf As-Sadafi (rahimahullāh) said: “I never saw anyone wiser than Imam Ash-Shafi’e (rahimahullāh), I argued with him once about a matter but we could not come to an agreement, so when he saw me later, he took hold of my hand and said: `O Abu Musa! Can’t we disagree and remain brothers? `” Prejudice and partiality -- whether to one’s opinion, a group or a person -- also lead to spite creeping into the heart.

Competing over worldly matters results in spite in most cases; this is why Islam forbade a person from attempting to buy something that his Muslim brother has already started negotiating about, or proposing to a woman who a fellow Muslim has approached earlier. The reason for this is that Islam tries to prevent all the possible reasons that could engender spite and hatred.

The zeal of attaining high posts and positions makes a person envious; Al-Fudhayl Ibn ‘Iyadh said: “Striving to reach high posts and positions and leadership makes people envious and leads them to transgressing other people’s rights.”

There is another matter that people neglect, which has a direct connection to this issue: straightening the rows during prayer. Nu`man Ibn Basher (radiyallāhu‘anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:

“Straighten your rows (during prayer) or Allāh would create dissension amongst you”.

[This is recorded by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Joking too much with people and two people talking in seclusion in the presence of a third are more reasons for spite amongst Muslims, which we must be careful to avoid.

There are certain things a person can do to prevent spite and spread love instead, like supplicating for others and giving them gifts.

Finally, we must differentiate between being kind hearted and simple minded and naive. Not knowing what is plotted against you is not being kind, as this could make a person fall in the trap of others, like those who propagate drugs and immorality. Many people have been dragged into drugs, immorality and other harmful habits due to their naïveté.

Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullāh) stated: "Recognizing the evil and not indulging in it is not the same as being naïve".

And Allāh Almighty Knows best.

[Via Islam Web published November 5, 2007]

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Shi’ah and Islam

Shi’ah and Islam

Description: A glimpse of how Shi’ah differs from Islam, with a few demonstrative examples in matters of creed.

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;

All the Praise is to Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala. Peace and Blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad His Messenger.

1. Belief in God.

One of the most perplexing scenarios to non-Muslims and new Muslims alike is the division they may see between Shiites and Sunni Muslims. Some tend to become confused when they see that each group claims to be following the true Islam. To truly understand this subject to the fullest, one must delve into the early history of Islam and see under what circumstances this division actually began, a study far from possible for most people. Another way, much more in the scope of the average person, is to analyze which group is true to the teachings of Islam, a simple comparison may be done between Sunni and Shiite beliefs and practices in relation to textual evidence, the Quran – the revealed word of Allah, and the Sunnah – or teachings of Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him.

Many times, people see this division to be a major one, while the fact remains that Shiites only make up a mere 8 percent of the Muslim population, reaching even this figure after taking hold of certain important political regions in history. Not a division, one can confidently say that the Shiites are but one of the various splinters groups which left the pure teachings of traditional Islam. Sunnis, on the other hand, are not a splinter group, but merely name themselves as such to differentiate themselves from the Shiites and other deviant sects.

The word “Sunni” itself comes from the term “Sunnah”, explained earlier to be the teachings of Prophet Muhammad, for they are strict in abiding by these teachings without any introductions, interpolations, or omissions. The word Shiite (Shi’ah in Arabic) means a “party”, “sect”, “supporters” or a “group of like minded individuals”. Allah says in the Quran addressing His Prophet, Muhammad:

“Verily, those who divide their religion and break up into sects (Shi’ah), you have no concern in them in the least. Their affair is only with Allah, Who then will tell them what they used to do.”

(Quran 6:159)

Although the specific groups called the Shiites is not what is directly intended in this verse, it is inclusive of them.

When one studies a bit of history, they will see that the term Shiite was first used amongst the Muslims in regards to a political issue over which the Muslims varied, 37 years after the death of the Prophet. Although the Shiites claim that their origin lies in that scenario, the actual term Shiite being used to denote this specific sect actually occurred much later in history. In either case, it is clear that the term was unheard of during the time of the Prophet, and thus we can say that the Shiites were a group which appeared after the death of the Prophet.

Over the long evolution of Shiite thought, they incorporated many foreign concepts into their faith. Starting as a political opinion which favoured some views of Ali, the cousin of the Prophet, over some other companions, it became a sect purporting strange ideas foreign to Islam. This was due mainly to the fact that this ideology was mainly espoused by people in areas far from the centres of Islamic learning, namely Persia, those who were either new to Islam, had either converted to Islam nominally, and were living in areas where a large percentage of people remained upon their previous religions. Thus the Shiites became fertile soil to the introduction of foreign ideas, which they struggled to incorporate into some aspects and beliefs maintained by Islam, resulting in a sect composed of ideas stemming from Judaism, Zoroastrianism and Islam. Not strange is it then that we see that one of the most important shrines in Shiism visited by many Shiites is that of Abu Lu’lu’ah, a Zoroastrian who died after the Caliphate of Umar, located in the city of Kashan in present day Iran. Muhammad Ali Mu’zi, an Iranian Shiite researcher in France, stated:

“The basic fundamentals of the Zoroastrian religion have entered into Shiaism even in some minute issues. …And this relationship marked the brotherhood between Shiaism and the ancient Magian Iran.”[1]

We will now take a brief look at Shiism from just one aspect, that of beliefs. From these few examples, one will clearly see how different it truly is from the religion of Islam brought by Prophet Muhammad.

There are various articles of faith in Islam, and from them branch other beliefs which must be held by all who attribute themselves to Islam. They are as mentioned in the verse:

“…but piety is that one has firm belief in God, the Last Day, the angels, the scriptures and the Prophets…” (Quran 2:177)

This is also mentioned in a statement of the Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him:

“Faith is that you believe in Allah, the angels, the scriptures, the Prophets, the Last Day...”

(Sahih Muslim)

This short discourse will merely touch on some of these various aspects of faith, and mention just some of the beliefs of the Shiites and how they differ from Islam.

Belief in God

The proper belief about God or creed is the most important aspect of the religion of Islam. During the first 13 years of Muhammad’s Prophethood, he corrected people’s beliefs about Allah, warning them against calling to others besides Allah, whether angels, prophets, saints, martyrs, trees, stones, stars, or idols. He clarified that only Allah alone, the One who created them was to be worshipped. Very few legislations and acts of worship were revealed for this period. The majority of the Quran itself calls to this belief. Allah says in the Quran that calling to others besides Him is a sin worthy of eternal damnation in Hellfire:

“Verily, whosoever sets up partners in worship with Allah, then Allah has forbidden Paradise for him, and the Fire will be his abode.” (Quran 5:72)

This is an uncompromising belief in Islam, and is the basis from which one enters the fold of Islam. We find, however, that Shiites believe in the veneration of others besides Allah. Homage is to be paid to great saints and martyrs, such as Ali, Hussein, Fatimah, their Imams, and they are directly called out to in times of need. They believe that they can answer their calls as well as intervene for them with Allah, a belief that according to Islam is clear disbelief [2]. Allah says:

“Is not He (Allah) Who responds to the distressed one, when he calls Him, and Who removes the evil.” (Quran 27:62)

Another important tenet which Shiism clearly violates is the concept that Allah Alone administers the affairs of the universe, and it is He alone who knows the Unseen. Shiism attributes these powers to their leaders, called Imams, and places them in a position higher than the Prophets and angels. Allah says:

“Say: ‘None in the heavens and the earth knows the unseen except Allah, nor can they perceive when they shall be resurrected.” (Quran 27:65)

“And among His Signs is that He shows you the lightning, by way of fear and hope, and He sends down water (rain) from the sky, and therewith revives the earth after its death. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who understand.” (Quran 30:24)

The Shiites give many of these attributes to their Imams. Some of them even attribute lightning to be caused by them [3].

In authoritative Shiite texts, its states:

“The Imams have knowledge of whatever occurred in the past and whatever will happen in the future, and nothing is concealed from them.” (Al-Kulaini, Al-Kaafi, p.260)

“The Imams have knowledge of all the revealed books, regardless of the languages in which they were revealed” (Ibid, p.227)

“The Imams know when they will die, and they do not die except by their own choice” (Ibid, p.258)

“All of the earth belongs to the Imams.” (Ibid, p.407)

There are many aspects of faith in Shiism that oppose Islam and which render a person out of its fold. Due to this reason, Muslims do not consider Shiism to represent Islam, but rather believe it to contradict the very basics of Islamic teachings.

2. The Testimony or Declaration of Faith, the previous Scriptures, the Quran, and the Prophets

The Shahadah

The Shiism even differ with Islam in the first and most important pillar of Islam and faith, called the Shahadah, the testimony one gives upon affirming their faith in Islam, that none deserves worship but Allah, and that Muhammad is His slave and messenger (laa ilaaha ill-Allah). This testimony is the most important aspect of Islam, and the whole religion is built upon it, and embodies this unique and total monotheism and belief in Allah. So important is it that the Prophet pleaded to his uncle who was on his deathbed to testify:

“O uncle! Say ‘laa ilaaha ill-Allah,’ a phrase for which I will plead on your behalf in front of Allah.”

(Sahih Al-Bukhari)

His uncle did not say this testimony due to his fear of what people would say about changing the religion of his forefathers upon death. He died, and the Prophet was informed by revelation that he was among the people of Hell.

Point being, this phrase and what it entails are so important that the Prophet made it a means of everlasting life in Paradise. He said:

“No one says ‘La ilaaha ill-Allah’ and dies firmly upon it, but he/she will enter Heaven (Paradise).”

(Sahih Al-Bukhari)

Thus is this phrase considered the first pillar of Islam, the very statement that rendered one a believer, gives him an opportunity to enter Paradise!

The Shiites, however, have a different ‘testimony of faith’. They not only negate it meanings, as shown in the previous articles by associating others with Allah, but they have also added certain principles nowhere to be found in authentic texts. Their shahadah comprises of the statement: “none deserves worship but Allah, and that Muhammad is His slave and messenger, and Ali is His beloved and chosen one, and successor to the Prophet.”[4]

This is due to the extremism they have in regards to the cousin of Prophet Muhammad, Ali, to whom they claim their origin. The Shiites even claim that the succession of Ali was mentioned in all of the scriptures revealed to the previous prophets [5]. They claim that all will be asked about the succession of Ali on the Day of Judgment [6], and that if anyone believes differently, they are considered polytheists [7]. Although Ali was known to be one of the most pious of the companions of the Prophet, in no narration can we find that Prophet Muhammad ever mentioned his succession in rule. Actually when we look at early Shiite works; they themselves attribute this belief to Abdullah ibn Saba’, a renegade who claimed Islam and plotted against the Caliph Uthman, and also claimed that Ali was God Himself [8]. Thus it is clear that these beliefs are all innovations never preached by Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him.

Belief in the Scriptures

Allah mentions in the Quran that He revealed Scriptures to the Prophets which they taught and recited to their people. Some of these Prophets and Scriptures are mentioned in the Quran:

Say, “We believe in Allah and that which has been sent down to us and that which has been sent down to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and to the tribes, and that which has been given to Moses and Jesus, and that which has been given to the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have submitted (in Islam).” (Quran 2:136)

“It is He (Allah) Who has sent down the Book to you with truth, confirming what came before it. And He sent down the Torah and the Gospel.” (Quran 3:3)

It was the Prophets who received revelation, and due to the fact that Muhammad may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, was the last prophet, there will be no other Scriptures revealed after the revelation of the Quran. The Shiites however, believe that there was a scripture revealed after the Quran before the death of the Prophet, which they call the ‘Tablet of Fatimah’. They claim, that in it were the names of all those who were to be their Imams in the future [9].

They invented these ideas due to the fact that they could not find any verses in the Quran which they could use to defend their views. They did not cease at this, but also went on to directly challenge the authenticity of the Quran by stating that its has not been preserved[10], and that the Quran today is incomplete, and that the complete version is with their 12th Imam who has been in hiding for the past 900 years in ‘the cave’. They believe that when he emerges he will bring forth the complete version [11]. This, as should be clear to all, is in direct opposition to the teachings of Islam, as Allah clearly states that the Quran is under the direct protection of Allah:

“Verily it is We Who has sent down the Reminder and surely, We will guard it (from corruption)” (Quran 15:9)

The Shiites assert that the existing Quran must have been altered, since there is no reference to any of their strayed beliefs in it. One of the first to explicitly state this view was Mirza Hussein Muhammad Taqiy al-Noori al-Tabrasi (d. 1320 AH) in his book The Final Verdict on the Distortion of the Book of the Lord of Lords [12].

The Shiites became so extreme in their beliefs, that they even attempted to insert chapters about Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, in the Quran, since they could not find any clear texts. One of them is what they called “The Chapter of Succession”.

Belief in the Prophets

As mentioned earlier, Islam teaches that the Prophets were the best of humanity, specifically chosen by Allah due to their excellent qualities specifically to preach the message of Allah to humanity. Allah says in the Quran:

“Allah specially chooses Messengers from angels and from humans. Verily, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Seer.” (Quran 22:75)

The Prophets were the best of humans, living examples to be emulated:

“We sent no messenger except to be obeyed, by Allah’s leave…”(Quran 4:64)

The Shiites however believe that their Imams are better than the prophets [13], and that some prophets were highly praised only due to their love of the Imams [14].

If one was to mention all the beliefs of the Shiites in which they have opposed the teachings of Islam, it would definitely need many volumes to do so. It should be clear, however, from this short discourse that the beliefs purported by Shiism has no basis in any of the teachings of Islam, but rather that it is a conglomeration of foreign beliefs evolved over a period of time, all of which revolve around extremist views concerning the leadership of certain favored candidates, known as their Imams. A religion which teaches the worship of Allah alone and living a life taught by Allah’s prophets, a message preached by all prophets, has for them become a life and existence solely based upon love of Ali and affirming his and their Imam’s claim to leadership, struggling to find ways to fit into Islamic texts by addition, interpolation, or misrepresentation. Creation comes into being, Prophets are sent and Scriptures are revealed, all for the purpose of succession of Ali and the latter Imams [15], and even on the Day of Judgment, it will be their Imams, not Allah, who will judge people [16]. It is no matter to wonder, then, what the basis of entering Heaven or Hell will be according to Shiism.

A religion based upon a claimed love of the family of Prophet Muhammad has lead them to beliefs contradicting the very essence of the message brought by him, the message of Islam.


[1] The Role of Zoroastrianism in the Development of Shiaism.
[2] Biha’r Al-Anwa’r, Al-Majlisi. An example of such preposterous beliefs can be found in the following statements of one of their Imams, or leaders:
“When prophet Noah (Peace be upon him) was about to drown in the flooding waters, he invoked Allah Almighty by our (i.e. the names of the Imams) names. Hence Allah Almighty came to his rescue. When Prophet Abraham (Peace be upon him) was thrown into the scorching fire, he prayed to God through our names, and Allah Almighty ordered the fire to be cool and a means of safety for him [Abraham]. When prophet Moses (Peace be upon him) struck the Sea with his rod in quest of a path, he invoked Allah with respect to our names and Allah made the sea dry out. Finally when the Jews plotted to kill Jesus (Peace be upon him), he supplicated to Allah by mentioning our names and was rescued from death. God eventually raised him up.” (Wasa’il As-Sheea, 4/1143)
[3] Bihar al-Anwar, Al-Burhan, and others.
[4] Abdul Kareem Mushtaq.
[5] Al-Kulaini, Al-Kaafi, 1/437.
[6] The Wilayat of ‘Ali ibne Abi Talib (as), Answering Ansar.
[7] “Whoever sets up another Imam besides ‘Ali and delays ‘Ali’s caliphate is a polytheist.” (Al-Kafi fil-Usul, vol.10 p.55)
[8] Rijaal al-Kishhi.
[9] Al-Kulaini, Al-Kaafi, 1/527-8, and many others.
[10] Usul Kafi 1:228
[11] Al-Anwar al-Nu’maniah, 2: 360-2.
[12] Faslul Khitab Fi Tahrifi-Kitabi Rabbil Arbaab.
[13] Wasa’il As-Sheea.
[14] Bihar al-Anwar (26:267).
[15] I’tiqadat (106-7)
[16] Rijaal al-Kishhi (337)

[Excerpted from, Published on 05 Feb 2007]

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Jama’ and Qasar Solāh

The Jama’ and Qasar Solāh

What is the difference between combining and shortening of Solāh?

In the Name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and Thanks is due to Allāh, the Lord of al-`ālamīn. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam is His Messenger.

The Solāh Qasar

The Solāh Qasar is the shortening the four-raka`at Solāh of Dzuhur, `Asar, and `Isha', turning it to a two raka‘at granted to a musafir when travelling on Allah’s cause. It is not applicable to Solāt of Maghrib and Fajar. Solāh Qasar is granted to the musafir (travellers) regardless of whether or not one encounters any difficulty during the journey. Rasulullāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “A gift that Allāh has bestowed on you, so accept His gift”.”

Allāh says: “And when you travel in the land, there is no sin on you if you shorten As-Solāh  you fear that the disbelievers may put you in trial (attack you), verily, the disbelievers are ever unto you open enemies” [Al-Nisā’, 4:101]

Imām Ahmad (rahimahullāh) recorded that Ya’la bin Umayyah said:  “I asked `Umar bin Al-Khattab (radiyallāhu`anhu) about the verse:There is no sin on you if you shorten the prayer. If you fear that the disbelievers may put you in trial,” `Umar said to meAllah granted Muslims safety now, and ‘Umar added: “I wondered about the same thing and asked the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) about it and he said: “A gift that Allāh has bestowed on you, so accept His gift”.” [It is also recorded by Muslim and the collectors of Sunan; At-Tirmidzi said, “Hasan Sahih”. `Ali bin Al-Madini said, ‘his Hadith is Hasan Sahih from the narration of ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab (radiyallāhu‘anhu), and it is not preserved by any other route besides this one, and its narrators are all known.’] 

Anas bin Mālik (radiyallāhu`anhu) narrated, who said: “We went out with the Rasulullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) from Al-Madinah to Makkah; he used to observe solāh two raka‘at [i.e Qasar] until we went back to Al-Madinah.” When he [Anas] was asked how long they remained in Makkah, he said, “We remained in Makkah for ten days.” [Recorded by al-Bukhari, 1081; Muslim, 693] This was also recorded by the Group.

Imām Ahmad (rahimahullāh) recorded that Harithah bin Wahb Al-Khuza`ie (radiyallāhu`anhu) said, “I observed solāh behind the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) for the Solāh Dzuhur and ‘Asar in Mina, when the people were numerous and very safe, and he observed solāh of two raka‘ahs [i.e Qasar Solāh].”' This was also recorded by the Group, with the exception of Ibn Mājah. 

Al-Bukhari's narration: “The Prophet (sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) led us in the solāh at Mina during the peace period by doing two raka`at.”And the Prophet (sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said: “The Solāh when travelling is a two raka‘at [i.e Qasar Solāh].” [Narrated by al-Nasā`ie, 1420; classified as sahih by al-Albāni in Sahih al-Nasā`ie] The Prophet (sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) said: “Allāh has waived half the solāh for the traveller.” [Narrated by al-Nasā`ie, 2275; classified as hasan by al-Albāni in Sahih al-Nasā`ie]
A Hadith narrated by `Aishah (radiyallāhu`anha), who said: "The solāh was made fardhu in Makkah in sets of two raka`at. When the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) came to Medinah, two raka‘at were added to each solāh except the Solāh Maghrib because it is the witir of the daytime, and the Solāh Fajar due to its lengthy Qur`anic recital. But if he travels, he (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) performs the original solāh [i.e., only two raka`at]."
[Recorded by Ahmad, al-Baihaqi, Ibn Hibban, and Ibn Khuzaimah; the narrators are trustworthy]

Ruling of Sharī`ie

The scholars unanimously held that Qasar solāh is a mustahabb for the musafir than observing it in full form, because Rasulullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) observed Qasar solāh during all his journeys, and there is sahih hadith that he approved Aishah (radiyallahu`anha) observed the solāt in full whilst doing ‘umrah. Both are permissible, but it is more worthy to qasar it.

`Aishah (radiyallahu`anha) reported that she travelled with Allāh’s Messenger (sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) in Ramadhān to perform `Umrah. He (sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) did not fast but she did. Rasulullāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) qasar the solāh and she performed the whole solāt. Then `Aishah (radiyallahu`anha) asked, “O Messenger of Allāh, you did not fast but I did, and you shortened your Solāh and I completed it.” He (sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) replied, “You did well, `Aishah.”

In fact, to qasar the solāh is rukhsah (a legal concession) that one may either do it or not doing it, exactly as is the ruling of with wiping over leather socks in ablution. But it is most worthy of observing it.


`Abdullah Ibn `Umar (radiyallahu`anhu) said: “I accompanied the Messenger of Allāh (sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) and he did not do more than two raka`at [the four raka`at solāh] whilst travelling, and the same applies to Abu Bakar, `Umar and `Uthman (radiyallahu`anhum)”.[Al-Bukhari (1102)]

The Hanafis are of the view that it is obligatory for the traveller to qasar his solāh. But the correct view is that of the majority: the Hanbalis, Malikis and Shāfi`ie, that Solāh Qasar is a Sunnah Mu‘akkadah (Emphasized Sunnah), and that it is better (mustahabb) than offering the solāt in full form.

[See: al-Ijma’ by Ibn al-Mundhir (27); al-Mughni (1/382); al-Mawsu’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (27/274)]

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (rahimahullah) said:

The reason for qasar of solāh is travelling only, and it is not permissible in situations other than travelling. As for Jama’ the solāh, the basis for it is the necessity and valid situations. So if a person find it necessary and needs it he may jama’, or do both qasar and full-length Solāh whilst travelling, and he may jama’ the Solāh when it is raining and so on, or because of sickness and the like, and for other reasons or necessity, because the purpose behind it is to spare the ummah hardship.

[Majmu’ al-Fatawa (22/293)]

Thus while Solāh Qasar is only granted to a musafir (traveller) travelling on good cause regardless of whether or not one encounters any difficulty,

The Solāh Jama’

It is permissible in shari`ie to  jama’ (combine)  the  Solāh Dzuhur with the Solāh 'Asar and also the Solāh Maghrib with the Solāh 'Isya' during the time of either one of them while on a journey; this is regardless of whether the person is physically traveling or has made a temporary break in his journey.

The combining Solāh Dzuhur and `Asar at Dzuhur, is known as Jama’ Taqdim or at `Asar, known as Jama’ Ta’khir; and Maghrib and Isyā’ at Maghrib or at Isyā’. Solāh Fajar is not applicable.  

Mu`adz bin Jabal (radiyallāhu‘anhu) narrated, who said: “While the Prophet (sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) was in Tabuk, the sun had passed its meridian and the Prophet (sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) would jama’ the Solāh of Dzuhur and 'Asar before starting his journey. If he (sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) started his journey before the sun passed its meridian, he would delay the Solāh Dzuhur until the time when he stopped for the Solāh `Asar. He (sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) would do likewise for the Solāh Maghrib: If the sun set before he began his journey, he (sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) would jama’ the Solāh Maghrib and 'Isya' at that time, and if he (sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) began it before the sun had set, he would jama’ them at the time of 'Isya'.” [Recorded by Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidzi]

Kurayb reported that Ibn `Abbas (radiyallāhu`anhu) said: "Shall I not inform you of the Solāh of the Prophet (sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) during a journey?" We replied: 'Indeed!' He said: 'If the sun passed its meridian while he had stopped, he would jama’ (combine) the Solāh Dzuhur and 'Asar before remounting (i.e., moving on). If the sun had not passed its meridian while he had stopped (i.e., before breaking camp), he would travel until the time of the Solāh 'Asar and would jama’ the Solāh of Dzuhur and `Asar at that time. If the sun set while he had stopped, he would jama’ the Solāh Maghrib and 'Isyā'. If that did not occur while he had stopped, he would ride on until time of `Isyā' and then jama’ them." [Recorded by Ahmad]

Abdullah Ibn `Abbas (radiyallahu`anhu) said: “The Messenger of Allāh (sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) joined Dzuhur and ‘Asar, and Maghrib and ‘Isyā’, in Madinah when there was no fear and no rain”.  [Muslim (705)]

The scope for Solāt Jama’ is broader than Solāh Qasar. The reasons for Jama’ are more numerous. Solāh Jama’ is also granted to the travellers and for the non-travellers if it is too difficult for him to offer every Solāh on time, such as one who is sick, or if there is rain, or he is busy with some work that he cannot delay in order to pray, such as a student taking an exam or a doctor who is doing surgery and other reasons, necessity and circumstances to spare the hardship of the ummah.

Some scholar’s view that it is not permissible to jama’ the solāh anywhere except in the case of the pilgrim in these two places, `Arafah and Muzdalifah. The correct view is that of the majority of scholars, which is that it is permissible to jama’ the solāh if there is a valid circumstances and the necessity for doing so, because it is proven that the Prophet (sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) did it in places other than ‘Arafah and Muzdalifah.

Permissible distance to entitle the Concession

Shari’ah provides a concession of Qasar the solāh is the kind of travels which is customarily regarded as travel. According to the majority of scholars, the distance which avails for a traveler is defined as being two marhalah approximately fifty-six miles or ninety-one kilometers or more on his outward journey
  • It may avail him of the concessions that are granted to travellers, such as wiping over the khuffayn (leather slippers or socks) for three days and nights, jama’ and qasar the solāh, and not fasting in Ramadhān.
  • If the traveller reaches the city he has travelled to and intends to stay there for more than four days, then he cannot avail himself of the concession of travelling, but if he intends to stay for four days or less, then he may avail himself of the concession of travelling.
  • If a musafir is staying in a place and he is uncertain when he will cease his business and he has not set a specific length of time for his stay, he may avail himself of the concessions of travelling even if that goes on for a lengthy period.
Imam Ibn Taymiyah (rahimahullāh) says:

Some scholars deem completing the Solāh in full while travel is better than to Qasar it. Others prefer Qasar but they see no harm in completing the Solāh. Rather, they consider it the apparent ruling and they say that one should not Qasar his Solāh unless he intends to do so. Still others argue that completion form is not permissible, and the Sunnah is to Qasar the Solāh while travelling. According to them, it is reprehensible for a traveller to observe solāh in complete form. These scholars hold that Qasar the Solāh is a permanent Sunnah for the traveller, while jama’ the solāt is a temporary legal concession. In fact, this opinion seems to be the closest one to Sunnah.

[Majmu’ al-Fatawa]

If the traveller has arrived at his destination and is no longer on the road

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (rahimahullāh) said: 

“The one for whom Allāh has prescribed Qasar Solāh, namely the traveller, is permitted to jama’ the solāh but the two concessions do not necessarily go together. He may qasar the solāh without jama’ them, and it is a better observation not to jama' thesolat  if the traveller has arrived at his destination and is no longer on the road, as the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam)  did in Mina during the Farewell Pilgrimage; he qasar the solāh but did not jama’ them. But he both jama’ and qasar the solāh during the campaign to Tabūk, which indicates that this (concession) is prescribed to make things easy when there is a need for it. And he (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) used to qasar and jama’ the solāh if he was on the road and was not staying in the place” 

[Majma’ Fatāwa Ibn Bāz, 12/289]

Usually when the traveller is on the road he needs to jama’ the solāh, because that is easier for him, so that he will not have to make a further stop in order to observe the solāh, which may be difficult for him and delay his journey. 

And Allah Almighty knows best.

[Excerpted with modifications from Islam Q&A Fatwa Nos: 48979; 105109; 105844]

See: Solāh al-Jumu`ah is waived for a Traveller.

All About The Solah

4. Al-Wudhu’ ; 5. Tayammum;
22.   Solāh of a Traveler; 23. Solāh Qasar ; 24.  Solāh Jama’
28.   Solāh al-Jumu`ah; 29. The Sanctified Hour of Jumu’ah.