By: Khalid Muhammad Khalid
Among the seventy-man delegation of the Ansar who took the oath of allegiance to the Prophet in the Second Allegiance of `Aqabah sat a young man with a bright face, graceful eyes, and a radiant smile. When he was silent, he attracted attention with his profound peacefulness and devoutness. On the other hand, when he talked, he held his people spellbound. This young man was Mu`adh lbn Jabal (May Allah be pleased with him).
Mu`adh Ibn Jaba was a man of remarkably enlightened, resolute, and decisive mind.
He belonged to the Ansar, and he was among the foremost believers who gave the second oath of allegiance to the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Naturally, a man of such precedence, faith, and certainty would not miss for the world a battle or an expedition. His uppermost quality was his knowledge of fiqh (jurisprudence) the practical aspect of Muhammad’s message. He reached the apex in knowledge and fiqh, to the extent that made the Prophet (peace be upon him) say, “The most learned man of my nation in halal and haram is Mu`adh Ibn Jabal.”
He resembled `Umar Ibn Al-Khattab in his enlightenment, courage and intelligence. When the Prophet sent him to Yemen, he asked him, “How will you give a judgment or settle a dispute?” Mu`adh answered; “I will refer to the Qur’an.” The Prophet then asked, “What will you do if you do not find the decree you are looking for in the Qur’an?” Mu`adh answered, “I will refer to the Prophet’s Sunnah.” The Prophet asked, “But what will you do if you do not find a decree even in the Sunnah?” Mu`adh readily answered, “I will be judge between mankind by resorting to juristic reasoning (ijtihad) to the best of my power.”
Now, Mu`adh’s staunch commitment to Allah’s Book and the Prophet’s Sunnah does not mean that he closed his mind to the countless and endless hidden or equivocal facts that await someone to unravel and adjudicate.
Perhaps both Mu`adh’s ability in juristic reasoning and the courageous usage of his intelligence enabled him to master the fiqh, excelling all other scholars. The Prophet justifiably described Mu`aadh as “the most learned man of my nation in halal and haram.”
Decisive Mind, Well-mannered
History portrays him as a man of remarkably enlightened, resolute, and decisive mind. For instance, `Aaez Allah lbn `AbduAllah narrated that one day he entered the mosque with the Companions of the Prophet at the dawn of `Umar’s caliphate. Then he sat among more than thirty men. Let us hear him narrate the story: “I sat with a group of more than thirty men. They were recalling a hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him). In this ring sat a dark, swarthy young man who had a sweet voice and a radiant face.
Whenever they disputed about a hidden or ambiguous meaning in the Hadith, they at once sought his legal instruction or judgment. He seldom, if ever, spoke unless he was asked. When their meeting was over, I approached him and asked him, “Who are you, O Allah’s Slave?” He answered, “I am Mu`adh Ibn Jabal.” So I instantly felt dose to him.
Also, Shahr Ibn Hawshab said, “Whenever Mu`adh lbn Jabal was present when the Companions of the Prophet were holding a meeting, they looked at him with reverence”.
`Umar Ibn Al-khattab, the Commander of the Faithful, often consulted him. It seemed that Mu`adh had a highly disciplined mind and a captivating and convincing logic that moved peacefully and knowledgeably. When we look at his historical background, we will always see him at the center of attention.
He always sat there surrounded by people. He always maintained a discrete silence that was only broken whenever people were anxious to hear his judgment and whenever they were in dispute.
When he spoke he looked, as one of his contemporaries described, “as if light and pearls were emanating from his mouth rather than speech.”
He reached his high rank in knowledge and reverence when the Prophet was alive and maintained it after his death, notwithstanding his youth, for Mu`adh died during `Umar’s caliphate at the age of thirty-three years.
Mu`adh was generous, magnanimous, well-mannered, and good-natured. If anyone asked him for money, he would readily and gladly give it to him. His generosity made him spend all his money on charity and aid.
When the Prophet died, Mu`adh was still in Yemen, where the Prophet had sent him with the task of teaching Muslims their religion and fiqh.
After a while, Mu`adh emigrated to Syria, where he lived among its people and the expatriates as a teacher and a scholar of fiqh. When Abu `Ubaydah, the governor of Syria and a close friend of Mu`adh, died, the Commander of the Faithful `Umar Ibn Al khattab assigned Mu`adh to take his place as a ruler.
Only a few months had elapsed after his taking over when he died, humble and repentant to Allah. `Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) used to say, “If I were to grant Mu`adh Ibn Jabal succession and Allah asked me, `Why did you make him your successor?’ I would readily answer, `I heard Your Prophet say that when those who have knowledge stand before Allah, Mu`adh will be among them.”
The succession that `Umar meant here was not merely over a country or a governorship but over all the Muslim lands. When `Umar was asked before his death, “If you choose your successor now, we will give him our allegiance,” he answered, “If Mu’aadh lbn Jabal were alive and I made him my successor to the caliphate, then I died and met Allah Who asked me, `Whom did you assign to rule Muhammad’s nation?’ I would answer, `I assigned Mu`adh lbn Jabal to rule it after I heard the Prophet say ‘Mu`adh Ibn Jabal is the Imam of those who have knowledge of Judgment Day.”
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said one day, “O Mu`adh, by Allah I love you dearly, so do not forget to recite after every prayer, `Allah help me in remembering You, in offering thanks to You, and in worshiping You properly.’”
Indeed, the Prophet supplicated Allah to help him to remember Him. The Prophet persevered in stressing this great fact that tells people that authority belongs to Allah, He has the power over all, and there is no power or any might except with His permission, for He is Most High and Most Great.
Definitely, Mu`adh had learned and fully grasped this fact.
He did his utmost to cherish and apply this fundamental basis in his life from that moment onwards.
Knowledge & Practice
Mu`adh advocated knowledge and the remembrance of Allah. Moreover, he invited mankind to seek the useful and true knowledge saying, “I warn you against the deviation of wise men. You will know the truth when you see it, for it has a distinctive light!” He believed that worship was an end and a means to reach justice.
One day a Muslim asked him, “Teach me.” Mu`adh asked him, “Will you obey me if I teach you?” The man answered, “I will not disobey you in anything.” He said then, “Fast, then break your fast. Pray during the night but you must get some sleep. Earn what is halal and what is rightfully yours and do not earn sin. Die as a true Muslim. Finally, I warn you against the supplication of those who have been wronged or oppressed.”
He believed that education meant knowledge and practice; therefore, he said, “Learn whatever you like to learn, yet Allah will not make your learning worthwhile unless you practice what you have learned.”
He believed that belief and remembrance of Allah meant the perpetual calling to mind of His greatness and the perpetual calling of oneself to account for deeds before Allah does so.
At the end, death summoned Mu`adh. It was time to meet Allah. When the stupor of death creeps upon someone, his subconscious takes the reins and spurs the tongue – if it is able to – to disclose the reality of all mankind in concise words that summarize his life story.
In those blessed moments, Mu`adh faintly uttered great words that revealed a great believer, for he gazed up into the sky and humbly supplicated Allah, the Most Merciful, saying,
“Allah I used to fear You but now I implore You. Allah, You know that I did not devote my life to travel in the lands or to earn money or property but rather consecrated it to knowledge, faith and obedience, notwithstanding intense heat or hardships.”
He stretched his hand as if he were shaking death and went into a coma. His last words were, “O Death, welcome! You are a long-awaited beloved.”
At last Mu`adh ascended to Allah’s Paradise.
The article is excerpted from the book Men Around the Messenger, which is a translation based on Khalid Muhammad Khalid’s celebrated work in Arabic “Rijal Hawla Ar-Rasul” which represents the real inspirational stories of sixty-four Companions of the Prophet.
Khalid Muhammad Khalid (1920-1996) is a modern Egyptian Muslim thinker. He is most known for his book Rijal Hawla al-Rasul (Men Around the Messenger). He wrote many books about the life and the companions of the Prophet, peace be upon him.
By: Sayyid Saabiq
Prayer is one of the most important acts in Islam, and thus it requires a special guidance. Ibrahim asked his Lord to give him descendants who abided by their prayers:
Not praying and denying its obligation is seen as disbelief.
My Lord! Cause me and (some) of my offspring to remain constant in prayer. And O our Lord! Accept my supplication. (Ibrahim 14:40)
Those Who Tamper with Their Prayers
Allah also strongly warns those who tamper with their prayers or are heedless. Allah says in the Qur’an:
Now there has succeeded them a later generation who have ruined their prayers and have followed lusts. But they will meet deception. (Maryam 19:59)
Ah, woe unto worshipers who are heedless of their prayers. (Al-Ma`un 107:4-5)
One Who Ignores His Prayers
Not praying and denying its obligation is seen as disbelief and places the person outside the religion of Islam. All scholars agree on this point. They base their opinion on several hadiths, some of which are:
Jabir reports that the Prophet (peace be on him) said, “Between a person and disbelief is discarding prayer.” (Ahmad, Muslim, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah)
Buraidah reported that the Prophet (peace be on him) said, “The pact between us and them is prayer. Whoever abandons it is a disbeliever.” (Ahmad, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nas’i and Ibn Majah)
`Abdullah ibn `Amr ibn Al-`Aas reported that the Prophet one day mentioned the prayer and said, “Whoever guards and observes his prayer, they will be a light and a proof and a savior for him on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever does not guard and obvserve them, they will not be a light or a proof or a savior for him. On the Day of Resurrection, he will be with Qarun (Korah), Fir`awn, Haman and Ubay ibn Khalaf.” (Ahmad, At-Tabarani and Ibn Hibban)
That one who does not pray will be with the leaders of the unbelievers in the Hereafter makes it evident that such a person is an unbeliever. Says Ibn Al-Qayyim,
“The one who does not pray may be preoccupied with his wealth, kingdom, position or business. If one is kept away from his prayers by his wealth, he will be with Qarun. One whose kingdom keeps him away from the prayers will be with Haman, and one whose business keeps him away from the prayers will be with Ubay ibn Khalaf.”
Says `Abdullah ibn Shaqiq Al-`Aqeely, “The Companions of Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not consider the abandonment of any act, with the exception of prayer, as being disbelief.” (At-Tirmidhi and Al-Hakim, who said it met Al-Bukahri’s and Muslim’s conditions)
Says Muhammad ibn Nasr Al-Mirwazi, “I heard Ishaq say, ‘It is authentic (that) the Prophet (said or ruled): One who does not pray is an unbeliever.” It is from the Prophet himself that one who intentionally does not pray until the time for the prayer is over is an unbeliever.
The article is an excerpt from the author’s translated book “Fiqh Us Sunnah”.
By Editorial Staff
We, as Muslims, have to purify ourselves before offering prayer. Therefore, a Muslim is required to follow certain purification procedure known as wudu’ (ablution). The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Allah does not accept prayer of anyone of you if he does hadath (passes wind) till he performs the ablution (anew). (Al-Bukhari)
Point the index finger straight in the direction of the qiblah and move it through the recitation of the Tashahhud.
But before ablution, you have to perform Istinja’ whenever one passes impurity from any of passages (front & back). One can use either stone (tissue in modern times) or water. To perform it with water is preferred. The best is to combine both water and tissue, first by wiping with the tissue and then washing.
How to Perform Istinja’
First it is preferred to use toilet paper three times. If Istinja’ is being done on a hot day, then the person should start from the front to the back and then from the back to the front and the third time from the front to the back. If Istinja’ is being done on a cold day, then he should begin from the back to the front.
The female would always wipe first from the front (part closest to the vagina) wiping towards the back, and with the second stone (tissue) wiping from the back to the front and so on.
Then, one should wash both his/her hands in case of any impurity that could be on the skin.
After that, one should pour water over the anus area and rub the area using the inner part of one’s fingers. One should continue until all the impurity and smell is removed. (Nur Al-Idhah, pp. 27-30)
This completes the first step of purification that precedes the prayer. Now, you are ready to perform ablution
Wudu’ or ablution means using clean and cleansing water on certain parts of the body.
How to Perform Ablution
1- Make intention (niyyah) to perform ablution for prayer.
2- Say, “Bismillah” (In the name of Allah).
3- Wash both hands up to the wrist three times and make sure that water has reached between fingers.
4- Take a handful of water; rinse your mouth three times and spit it out every time.
5- Inhale water into your nostrils and then exhale it, three times.
6- Wash your face three times from one ear to the other, and from the forehead to the chin.
7- Wash both your arms up to the elbows, starting with the right and then the left three times.
8- Wipe over head with your wet palms from the top of the forehead to the back of the head.
9- Wash the front and back of your ears by using your index and thumb fingers.
10- Finally, wash both feet to the ankles starting from the right, making sure that water has reached between the toes and all other parts of the feet.
Note: You do not have to repeat ablution unless it is nullified.
Note: Hadath refers to what emanates from the body of wind, urine, stool, seminal fluids, menstrual blood or post-natal bleeding.
How to Offer Prayer in Islam
There are five obligatory prayers that are offered at certain times during the day and the night. They are called Fajr (Dawn) prayer, Zhuhr (Noon) Prayer, `Asr (Afternoon) Prayer, Maghrib (Sunset) Prayer, and `Ishaa’ (Night) Prayer. These five daily prayers become obligatory once a person converts to Islam.
After performing ablution, make sure that you are covering your `Awrah (what is between navel and knees for male, and the whole body including the head except the face and hands for female). You have to make sure that your clothes and the place of prayer are free from impurities.
Now You Are Ready to Pray;
- Make the intention in your heart for the prayer you want to pray.
- Stand up right and face the Qibla (direction of the Ka`bah).
- Raise your hands to your shoulder or ears level and say in a moderate voice “Allahu Akbar” which means Allah is the greatest.
- Place your right hand over the left on your chest. Look downward at the place of prostration.
- Recite the opening supplication in the first rak`ah only, “Subhanaka allahumma wa bi hamdika wa tabara kasmuka wa ta’ala jadduka wa la ilaha ghairuka.” It means, “O Allah, how perfect You are and praise be to You. Blessed is Your name, and exalted is Your majesty. There is none worthy of worship except You.”
Then recite, “A`udhu billahi mina Ash-shaitan Ar-rajim.”
Then, recite, “Bismillah Ar-rahman Ar-rahim.”
- Recite Surat Al-Fatihah (the Opening Chapter of the Qur’an).
“Al-hamdu lillahi rabbil-`alamin, ar-rahma nir-rahiem, maliki yawmiddin, iyyaaka na’budu wa iyyaaka nastain, ihdinas-siraatal mustaqim, siraatallazina anamta alaihim, ghairil maghdoobi alahim wa ladalin.”
- Bend down and place your palms on your knees (ruku`) while your head and back are straight. Look downward at the place of prostration. Then recite silently, “Subhana Rabbiyal `Azhim” (How Perfect is my Lord, the Supreme) three times.
- Stand up from bowing (ruku`) and say, “Sami` Allahu liman hamidah” (Allah hears the one who praises Him). Then say, “Rabana Walak Al-hamd (Our Lord, Praise be to You), just one time.
- Prostrate and place your forehead, nose, palms, knees, and toes on the floor (sujud) while saying, “Allahu Akbar”. Then say, “Subhana Rabbiyal Al-`Ala” (How Perfect is my Lord, the Highest) three times.
- Rise from prostration while saying, “Allahu Akbar”. Sit on your left foot and place your right foot upright, and place your palms flat on your knees. Then say, “Rabb ighfir li” (O my Lord! Forgive me.)
- After that, make another prostration in the same manner
Now, you complete one rak`ah (unit of prayer). Stand up while saying “Allahu Akbar” and perform another rak`ah. Do it in the same manner as you did the first one, but without reciting the opening supplication.
- After the second prostration of the second rak`ah, sit on your left foot and place your right foot upright. Place your palms on your thighs with all fingers together in a fist except the index finger. Point the index finger straight in the direction of the qiblah and move it through the recitation of the Tashahhud:
“At-Tahiyatu lillahi Was-Salawatu Wat-Tayyibatu. As-Salamu `alaika ayiuh-annabiyu wa-rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu. Assalamu `alaina wa`ala ibadil-Lahi As –Salihin. Ash-hadu an la ilaha illallah wa-ash-hadu anna Muhammadan `abduhu wa rasuluh.”
“All respect, worship and all glory is due to Allah alone. Peace be upon you, O Prophet, and the Mercy and Blessings of Allah be upon you. Peace be on us and on those who are the righteous servants of Allah. I testify that there is no one worthy of worship except Allah, and I testify that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger”.
- In the three-rak`ah prayer (as in Maghrib) or the four-rak`ah prayer (Zhuhr, `Asr and `Ishaa’), after performing the second rak`ah and the first tashahhud, stand up while raising your hands and say, “Allahu Akbar” and perform another rak`ah. In case you are performing a four-rak`ah prayer, you perform two rak`ahs after the first
- In case of Fajr (Dawn) Prayer, after offering two rak`ahs and reciting tashahhud, you recite “Allahumma salli `ala Muhammad wa-`ala aali Muhammad kama sallaita `ala Ibrahim wa-`ala aali Ibrahim innaka Hamidun Majeed, wabaarik `ala Muhammad wa `ala aali Muhamad kama barakta `ala Ibrahim wa `ala aali Ibrahim innaka Hamidun Majeed.”
“O Allah! Praise Muhammad, and on the family of Muhammad, as You Praised Ibrahim, and the family of Ibrahim; You are indeed Worthy of Praise, Full of Glory. And send blessings on Muhammad, and on the family of Muhammad, as you sent blessings on Ibrahim, and the family of Ibrahim; You are indeed Worthy of Praise, Full of Glory.”
- After that, you turn your face the right side saying, “As-salamu `alikum wa Rahmatullh” (peace and mercy of Allah be upon you) and then to the left repeating the same words.
- In case of the three-rak`ah prayer (as Maghrib), you recite the full tashahhud and make tasleem after the third rak`ah.
- In case of the four-rak`ah prayer (Zhuhr, `Asr and `Ishaa’) you recite the full tashahhud and make tasleem after the fourth rak`ah.
Times and Number of Rak`ahs of Each Prayer
|Fajr (Dawn) Prayer
||From dawn to sunrise.
|Zhuhr (Noon) Prayer
||From noon until mid-afternoon.
|`Asr (Afternoon) Prayer
||When the shadow of a vertical stick equals its length to sunset.
|Maghrib (Sunset) Prayer
||From sunset to the disappearance of red twilight (glow) in the sky.
|`Ishaa’ (Night) Prayer
||From the disappearance of red twilight (glow) in the sky to dawn.
By Editorial Staff
Susan Carland is a lecturer at Monash University’s National Centre for Australian Studies, where she specializes in gender studies, youth and sociology of religion. Susan, who has been raised as a Baptist, decided to become Muslim. Here’s her journey to Islam …
I started to have lots of questions that I didn’t feel I was getting answers for.
How Did She Find Islam?
When I was 17 years old I began to question why I believed what I did; do I believe what I do because I think it is true or is it simply because this what I have been raised to believe?
I was raised in a very open-minded Christian household. My mom was very radical . I had positive connection to God. But at that time, seeing teens becoming quite existential, I started to have lots of questions that I didn’t feel I was getting answers for. And so I decided to start looking into different religions, except for Islam because I thought it looked like a violent, sexist and barbaric religion. Islam was not on my priority list.
Despite that, I kept coming across information about Islam; on TV, articles on newspapers, articles, etc. So, information about Islam had been presented to me without looking for it.
And it was when I started to look into what the religion said about itself as opposed to what I saw Muslims doing in the name of Islam and what I saw journalists say about Islam. To my surprise, it made a lot of sense to me, and I started to look at the matter more seriously.
It was until I was 19 that I actually became Muslim. I was very worried about how my family was going to react, especially my mom. But it was then when I realized that I need actually to truly live my life, not to make other people happy. I have to make this choice for myself. It then decided to become Muslim. Islam engaged my intellectually and spiritually. The word “God” then made sense to me.
I didn’t have that intellectual divide between mind, body and soul that I had found in Christianity.
Susan became a Muslim without the influence of anyone.
Married to a Muslim; Melbourne lawyer Waleed `Aly, but she admits she “didn’t become Muslim for him.” She wanted and decided to be Muslim.
In the video below Susan tells more interesting details about her conversion story and her life as a Muslim woman; a Muslim wife, and mother living in a West …