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The Meaning of Shahada in Four Minutes

The Meaning of Shahada in Four Minutes

My name is Amina Blake, I became Muslim 24 yeas ago. I’m going to be recording a series of short videos aimed especially at brand new-Muslims or at Muslims who have been brought up in a very cultural background and are coming into the faith and they want to learn about faith as opposed to culture.

Once a person says the Shahada out of sincere faith, they receive the first good tiding which is the forgiveness of all their past sins.

The Meaning of Shahadah

This first session is about the shahadah. The shahadah is the declaration of faith, when one feels in one’s heart. So we believe in Allah, we believe in the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and all the Prophets; we believe in the six pillars of faith, then we are ready to put what we feel in our hearts and declare it with our tongues.

That’s what the shahadah basically is.

Now, we’ve all been on different journeys to get to that stage of taking the shahadah. Every journey is amazing and every journey is completely individual.

Some people become Muslim because of the proof of the Quran. The Quran is the truth, it’s not debatable. Now when we look at the sciences in the Quran, we look at the miracle of the language and linguistics in the Quran, we look at the perfect system, we look how Allah has revealed the Quran to us.

Reflection

We can see that it is the only true word of God and it’s very clear; it’s there for those to reflect. The Quran challenges us and tells us to reflect on it, to question it, and to delve into it.

So reflecting the creation, for example look at the crocodile, look at the mercy of the breeds of crocodiles that the mother will carry the young crocodiles in its mouth, yet they have the brain so small and it’s just amazing that the mother shows such mercy and care.

Look at the migration of the birds from one place to another using the magnetic fields of the earth; but a bird that can hatch out of an egg and learn how to fly and then will suddenly know its way from here to Africa.

I struggle getting from my house to Tesco’s sometimes and we have much bigger brains than birds.

We have a will of our own and we have the right to reflect and to choose; we have the intelligence to think and to choose between what is the truth and what is the falsehood. If we choose to follow the truth or falsehood, then it’s up to us.

So I’m pleased that you have chosen Islam, whether you’re from a born Muslim background or you’re from a non-Muslim background like myself.

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How to Perform Prayer When You have a Legal Excuse?

How to Perform Prayer When You have a Legal Excuse?

By Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan

Legal excuses include sickness, travel, and the fear that one cannot establish prayer as completely as those without excuses. The Lawgiver[i] has lightened the hardship for the excused Muslims and ordered them to perform prayer as much as they can. This ruling shows the ease and relief intended for Muslims in the Shari’ah (Islamic Law), as it always eliminates hardships. Allah says:

“…it is He (alone) who has chosen you (for this faith) – nor has He placed on you any (undue) strain in (your) religion.” (Quran 22:78)

“…God intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship…” (Quran 2:185)

“God does not task a soul beyond its capacity.” (Quran 2:286)

“So fear God as much as you can, (O believers).” (Quran 64:16)

Moreover, the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said,

“If I order you to do something, then do of it as much as you can” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

These are just a few examples of the many legal texts that indicate the favor of Allah upon His servants. Moreover,  they Allah has granted us ease in whatever He ordained for us. Among the things made easy for Muslims is the prayer of the persons with excuses of sickness, travel, or fear.

Sickness as a Legal Excuse

Prayer enjoys a great importance in Islam and a Muslim must establish prayer whether he is healthy or sick.

Performing prayer while sitting

Prayer is not to be abandoned under any circumstances. The Muslim patient must perform prayer standing if he can. Also, he or she may lean on a stick, or the like, if he needs this. For the related legal maxim states, “The means to fulfill an obligation are to be considered obligatory.” A Muslim patient may sit in prayer if he or she cannot stand due to one of the following reasons (or the like):

If he or she

  • is unable to stand
  • find it really hard to stand
  • fears that standing will make his or her condition even worse or delay recovery

So, the inability of a Muslim patient to stand in prayer is not a condition of the permissibility to sit in prayer. On the contrary, little difficulty is not a legal excuse to sit in prayer. Only real difficulty is considered in this respect.

Scholars unanimously agree that if a Muslim person is unable to stand in obligatory prayer, it is permissible for him to sit. Moreover, there is no need for him to perform that prayer again when he or she gets well. The reward for such prayer does not decrease.

The way a person sits is to be according to the way he desires, for the Lawgiver does not ordain a specific way of sitting (for the patient). So in whatever manner he or she sits, it is permissible.

Performing Prayer while lying

If a Muslim patient cannot sit in prayer and it causes him a real difficulty to sit, then it is permissible for him to lie on his side facing the qiblah[ii]. It is desirable for him in this case to lie on his right side.

In case there is no one to help him face the qiblah and he cannot face it himself, then it is permissible for him to perform prayer facing whatever direction he can face. In addition, if a Muslim patient cannot lie on his side in prayer, he or she may lie on his back, making his legs face the qiblah if possible.

If you cannot prostrate, then it is sufficient for you to beckon bowing and prostration with your head. You should make your head a bit lower to beckon prostration than in bowing. However, if you can prostrate, it is obligatory for you to prostrate and it is not sufficient then to beckon prostration with your head.

The proof of the legal permission detailed previously is the hadith related by Al-Bukhari and the Compilers of Sunan on the authority of Imran Ibn Husayn (Allah be pleased with him) who narrated:

I had hemorrhoids, so I asked the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) how I could perform prayer. He replied, ‘Perform prayer while standing and if you cannot, perform it while sitting and if you cannot do (even) that, then perform it lying on your side.’  (Al-Bukhari)

An-Nasafi added in his narration that the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said:

” ..And if you cannot, perform prayer lying on your back.”

In addition, Allah says:

“God does not task a soul beyond its capacity.” (Quran 2:286)

Prayer Must not be Postponed

Here, we should draw the attention to those Muslims who give up prayer when they are sick or when they have had surgical operations. They may claim that they cannot perform the acts of prayer properly or perform ablution, or their clothes are impure or any other excuses. Such people commit a big mistake since a Muslim is not permitted to give up prayer. It does not matter if you cannot perform some of its conditions, integral parts, or obligations. In such case, you must perform prayer as much as you can. Allah says:

“So fear God as much as you can, (O believers). (Quran 64:16)

Having a Legal Excuse during the Prayer

The aforementioned legal rulings concern whoever has a legal excuse from the beginning of prayer until its end. However, there are some cases in which a Muslim may have a legal excuse for only a part of his prayer such as:

One may start prayer when one is

  • standing and then feels that one cannot stand anymore while performing it.
  • not able to stand and then feels that one can stand while performing it.
  • sitting and then feels that one cannot sit anymore while performing it.
  • lying on one’s side and then one feels that one can sit.

In such cases, one must shift to the position that legally suits one’s ability and it is obligatory then to complete one’s prayer in this state. This is because Allah, Exalted be He, says:

“So fear God as much as you can, (O believers).” (Quran 64:16)

Thus, one is to shift to the standing posture when one is able, and one is to shift to the sitting posture when one is unable to stand, and so on. If one is able to stand and sit but cannot bow or prostrate, one is to beckon bowing with one’s head while standing, and beckon prostration with one’s head while sitting to make a difference (between bowing and prostration) as much as one can.

Following the Doctor’s advice regardless of Ability

A Muslim patient is permitted to perform prayer lying on his back though he is able to stand if a trustworthy Muslim doctor tells him to do so. The doctor knows about the patient’s condition and what may affect it badly. The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) performed prayer while sitting when the right side of his body was injured. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Also, Umm Salamah (Allah be pleased with her) did not prostrate in her prayer when she suffered from ophthalmia. (Ibn Abu Shaibah and Al-Bahaqi)

Conclusion

Prayer enjoys a great importance in Islam and a Muslim must establish prayer whether he is healthy or sick, as a patient is not legally excused to give up prayer, but rather, it is obligatory upon him to perform it in whatever condition. So, a Muslim must establish prayer as Allah, Exalted be He, has ordained. We invoke Allah to guide us to what satisfies Him.


[i] The lawgiver of Shari’ah (Islamic Law) is Allah, Exalted be he; the term can also refer to the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) as he only ordained what Allah revealed to him.

[ii] The qiblah: the direction of Prayer, namely, towards the Ka’bah.

The article is an excerpt from the author’s book “A Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence” with some modifications.

Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan is a Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence, Member of the Board of Senior Ulema & Member of the Permanent Committee for Fatwa and Research.

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Five Times when Prayer (Salah) Is Reprehensible!

Five Times when Prayer (Salah) Is Reprehensible!

By Editorial Staff

One of the frequently asked questions concerning prayer is about whether a person may or may not perform prayer at those times when performing prayer is reprehensible.

To better understand this issue, we need to give a brief overview of a very well-known legal issue.  How can scholars reconcile it when there are two Shari’ah commands: one bids you to do an act of worship while the second bids abandonment?

If I forbid you to do something, then keep away from it. And if I order you to do something, then do of it as much as you can.

To answer this, let us consider the following two hadiths as an example:

1. Abu Huraira is reported to have said that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) prohibited to observe prayer after the ‘Asr (Afternoon)prayer till the sun is set, and after the dawn till the sun rises. (Muslim)

2. Abu Qatadah (Allah be pleased with him) reported:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “When anyone of you enters a mosque, he should perform two rak’ahs (of voluntary prayer) before sitting.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

If it happens that a Muslim enters a mosque after performing either the ‘Asr (Afternoon Prayer) or Fajr (Dawn Prayer), which hadiths of the two mentioned above may he or she follow?

Some scholars prefer giving priority to the command which bids abandonment. To support their opinion, they quote a hadith related by Abu Hurairah (Allah be pleased with him). The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) says as part of this hadith:

“…If I forbid you to do something, then keep away from it. And if I order you to do something, then do of it as much as you can.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

To clarify this, they say that the command which bids a person “not to do” in this hadith is more certain than the command “to do” which depends on ability.

Moreover, Ibn ‘Umar and Ibn ‘Abbas (Allah be pleased with both of them) are reported to have prevented people when they saw them perform prayer after ‘Asr (Afternoon Prayer)

The second opinion is that a person may perform prayer at such times so long as there is a reason for performing them. This is the opinion of the Shafi’i school of Fiqh. For them, the reasons which allow a person to perform prayers at those times when prayer is reprehensible include the following:

1. Performing Wudu’ (ablution)

Whenever a person performs wudu’ (ablution), he or she is recommended to perform two rak’ahs of voluntary prayer. This legal ruling only applies in case there is no other (fard) obligatory or (sunnah) recommended prayers to be performed. If the time is due to perform either fard or sunnah prayer, then it is correct to only perform the fard or sunnah prayers. The idea behind that is to always perform prayer after ablution whether it is obligatory, recommended or voluntary. However, we perform these two rak’ahs of voluntary prayer in case there is no other obligatory or recommended prayer to perform. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said to Bilal (Allah be pleased with him) “Tell me about the most hopeful act (i.e., one which you deem the most rewarding with Allah) you have done since your acceptance of Islam because I heard the sound of the steps of your shoes in front of me in Paradise.” Bilal said: “I do not consider any act more hopeful than that whenever I make Wudu’ (or took a bath) in an hour of night or day, I would immediately perform Salat (prayer) for as long as was destined for me to perform.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The hadith denotes that a person may perform more than two rak’ahs. However, the scholars who adopt the second opinion mentioned above allows you to perform only two rak’ahs at the times when prayer is reprehensible.

2. Entering a mosque

When you enter a mosque to sit in it or read the Quran for example, you should start with performing two-rak’ah prayer. As mentioned above, this legal ruling, also, only applies in case there is no other (fard) obligatory or (sunnah) recommended prayers to be performed. If you enter at the times when prayer is reprehensible, then you may perform two-rak’ah prayer according to Imam Al-Shafi’i or the second opinion mentioned above. Abu Qatadah (Allah be pleased with him) reported:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “When anyone of you enters a mosque, he should perform two rak’ahs (of voluntary prayer) before sitting.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

3. Al-Tawaf (circumambulation around the Ka’bah)

A number of scholars also allow a pilgrim to perform two-rak’ah prayer at any time after circumambulation around the Ka’bah at Makkah. It was narrated that Jubair bin Mut’im said:

“The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘O Banu ‘Abd Manaf! Do not prevent anyone from circumambulating this House and praying at any time he wants of the day or night.” (Abu Dawud, Al-Tirmidhi, Al-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah)

4. Istikharah Prayer

Istikharah is a two-rak’ah voluntary prayer in which you make du’a’ (supplication) asking Allah to guide you to the better of two things. You are recommended to perform it whenever you cannot make up your mind whether to do or not to do a certain deed.

However, these four reasons are but a few examples. There are other reasons such as funeral prayer, Istisqa’ (prayer for rain), etc. Other scholars see that we can wait till such time is up. Look at the conclusion below.

The Times When Prayer is Reprehensible:

1. After Performing the Fajr (Dawn) Prayer until Sunrise

Once you perform the Dawn prayer, you are not allowed to perform any voluntary prayers. So, is it allowed to make up for any missed prayer whether obligatory or recommended?

You may make up for missed prayers either after performing the Fajr prayer or after 15 minutes after sunrise when the time when prayer is reprehensible is up.

2. From Sunrise to about 15 minutes after it

Scholars used to express this as from the very beginning of sunrise until the sun rises up in the sky to the height of a spear. Normally they would estimate this with the naked eye. Narrated Hisham’s father:

Ibn `Umar said, “Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, ‘Do not pray at the time of sunrise and at the time of sunset.’ ” Ibn `Umar said, “Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, ‘If the edge of the sun appears (above the horizon) delay the prayer till it becomes high, and if the edge of the sun disappears, delay the prayer till it sets (disappears completely).’ “(Al-Bukhari)

3. When the sun is at its highest point in the sky till it leaves the middle of the sky

Uqba b. ‘Amir said:

There were three times at which Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) forbade us to pray, or bury our dead: When the sun begins to rise till it is fully up, when the sun is at its height at midday till it passes over the meridian, and when the sun draws near to setting till it sets. (Muslim)

However, some scholars hold the opinion that this ruling applies to all days of the week except for Fridays. This means on Fridays, you may perform voluntary prayer when it’s high noon. Abu-Huraira reported Allah’s Apostle (ﷺ) as saying:

He who took a bath and then came for Jumu’a (Friday) prayer and then prayed what was fixed for him, then kept silence till the Imam finished the sermon, and then prayed along with him, his sins between that time and the next Friday would be forgiven, and even of three days more. (Muslim)

4. After performing the ‘Asr Prayer until the sun starts to set

The legal ruling of performing prayer after the fajr prayer also applies here. Thus, it becomes reprehensible to perform voluntary prayers after both the ‘Asr and Fajr prayers. Likewise, you can make up for any missed obligatory or recommended prayer.

5. At sunset till the sun fully disappears below the horizon

However, there is no time when performing prayer is reprehensible during the night.

To conclude, there is a third opinion which, I think, may be more preferred. This opinion divides the five times mentioned above into two categories: reprehensible and very reprehensible. You can perform voluntary prayer such as after ablution when it is only reprehensible, namely, after both fajr and ‘Asr prayers. On the other hand, you may not do this when it is very reprehensible to do so as in 2, 3 and 5 mentioned above.

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All About Hajj (1441/2020)

All About Hajj (1441/2020)

By Editorial Staff

Islam organizes the spiritual and moral life of man as well as the practical in order to live a normal balanced life. Every act of worship in Islam has a meaning, a purpose and a significance, and of great spiritual, moral, and physical benefits.

Hajj, one of the five main pillars of Islam, gives a specific and practical example of acts of worship in Islam. A rich spiritual experience, Hajj has a great message and lessons for the benefit and wellbeing of man and all humanity, resulting in spiritual and behavioral development in the life of a Muslim.

Hajj is a life-time journey; if conducted properly, it will erase all sins of the pilgrim. So, every Muslim intending to undertake this journey should first learn well its rituals and how to perform them correctly.

This special folder presents a complete picture of Hajj, its wisdom, its rituals and the benefits that are reaped from undertaking the blessed journey.

The Obligation of Hajj-The Fifth Pillar of Islam

The Obligation of Hajj: The Fifth Pillar of Islam

Allah has made an obligation on Muslims to perform Hajj to Makkah. Why? What is the condition on whom performing Hajj is obligatory? Why do we perform Hajj?

Read also:

First 10 Days

Hajj: Its Meaning and Position from the Qur’an

All about the First Ten Days of Dul-Hijjah and Udhiyah – a Special Folder

Like no other days in the Islamic calendar, the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah have a very special status. What should we do in these cherished great days? How could we get the utmost benefits of these days?

Rituals of Hajj and `Umrah

The Rituals of Hajj

The Rituals of Hajj

What are the rituals of hajj? What is the difference between hajj and `Umrah? What are the conditions of ihram? What nullifies one’s hajj? What makes one’s hajj accepted?

Read also:

E-Books on Hajj & `Umrah

New Muslims Guide Hajj and Umrah

New Muslims’ Guide for Hajj and Umrah

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “And Allah’s guests are three: A pilgrim performing Hajj, one performing `Umrah, and a person who fights in the cause of Allah”.

Read also:
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Rites of Tarwiyah and ‘Arafah Days, the First Two Days of Hajj

Rites of Tarwiyah and ‘Arafah Days, the First Two Days of Hajj

By Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan

Upon reaching the site for ihram (a state of ritual consecration during Hajj or ‘Umrah a pilgrim declares his intention to perform one of three types of Hajj (Pilgrimage):

Ifrad

‘There is no deity but Allah Alone, Who has no partner. To Him belongs dominion, and to Him belongs (all) praise, and He is over all things Omnipotent.

It means that a pilgrim enters the state of Ihram with the intention of performing Hajj only, keeping in the state of Ihram until he stones Jamratul-‘Aqabah on the Day of the Feast of Sacrifice (‘Eid al-Ad-ha; on the tenth of Dhul-Hijjah). Then, a pilgrim shaves his head, and performs the Ifadah (Going forth) Tawaf along with sa’y (going between Al-Safa and Al-Marwah) in case he has not performed it (i.e. sa’y) following the Arrival Tawaf.

Qiran

It means that a pilgrim assumes Ihram for performing both ‘Umrah (Lesser Pilgrimage) and Hajj (Pilgrimage) together. The rites of performing qiran are the same as those of performing ifrad except that a pilgrim is obliged to slaughter a sacrificial animal in the former case.

Tamattu’

It means that a pilgrim assumes ihram for performing ‘Umrah only, keeping in such state of ihram until he finishes the rites of ‘Umrah, such as tawaf, sa’y, and shortening or shaving the hair. After that, a pilgrim may get out of the state of ihram until he assumes another ihram for performing Hajj.

The best of the three forms is tamattu’. It is desirable for a pilgrim performing ifrad or qiran and has not got a sacrificial animal to change his intention and perform tamattu’ instead, carrying out all its rites.

It is also desirable for the one performing tamattu’ (even if it has been ifrad or qiran that converted to tamattu’ as well as the residents of Mecca and the surrounding places, to assume ihram for Hajj on the Day of Tarwiyah (the eighth day of Dhul-Hijjah). This is because Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated, in his description of the Prophet’s performance of Hajj:

“…All the pilgrims dissolved the state of Ihram except the Prophet (PBUH) and whoever had a sacrificial animal with him. When it was the Day of Tarwiyah, they proceeded to Mina and assumed ihram for Hajj.” (Muslim)

The place where you can assume Ihram for Hajj

A pilgrim performing tamattu’ may assume ihram from the place where he stays, whether in Mecca, Mina, or any place outside Mecca, but he should not perform tawaf after assuming ihram for Hajj (as it has been already performed during ‘Umrah).

The Prophet (PBUH) said, ‘And whoever is living within these boundaries can assume ihram from his home, and the people of Mecca can assume Ihram from Mecca. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Heading for Mina on the eighth of Dhul-Hijjah

Once a pilgrim assumes ihram tor Hajj, he should then preoccupy himself with chanting talbiyah and continually repeat it every now and then, raising his voice with it until he stones Jamratul-‘Aqabah on the Day of the Feast of Sacrifice (on the tenth of Dhul-Hijjah). Those pilgrims who have assumed their ihram from Mecca on the Day of Tarwiyah should head for Mina; the optimum time for moving is after the sun has reached its meridian. Then, they perform the Zuhr (Noon) Prayer there, at Mina, camping there until they perform the rest of the Five Daily Prayers including the Fajr (Dawn) Prayer of the following day (the ninth of Dhul Hjjjah). Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated:

“…The Prophet (PBUH) rode his mount (heading for Mina) and performed there the Zuhr, the ‘Asr (Afternoon), the Maghrib (Sunset), the ‘ Isha’ (Night), and the Fajr (Dawn) Prayers. Then, he(PBUH) stayed there for a while until the sun rose.” (Muslim)

It is worth mentioning that spending that time in Mina (from the noon of the Day of Tarwiyah until the dawn of the following day) and performing those five prayers there is an act of the Sunnah, not an obligatory one. Likewise, assuming ihram on the Day of Tarwiyah is considered an act of the Sunnah. So, it is permissible for a pilgrim to assume ihram before or after that day.

The Day of ‘Arafah

On the ninth of Dhul-Hijjah and after sunrise, a pilgrim proceeds to ‘Arafah; the whole area of ‘Arafah is a standing place except for the valley called Batn ‘Uranah, Thus, it is sufficient for a pilgrim to stand anywhere on that day within the boundaries of ‘Arafah, excluding the place pointed out by the Prophet (PBUH), namely Batn ‘Uranah. The boundaries of ‘Arafah are clearly distinguished by means of signs, so standing anywhere within these boundaries will be regarded as standing at Arafah. Still, a pilgrim has to pay attention to these signs in order not to stand outside ‘Arafah.

When the sun passes its meridian, a pilgrim performs the Zuhr (Noon) and the “Asr (Afternoon) Prayers, shortening and combining them at the due time of the Zuhr Prayer (i.e. performing each as two rak’ahs instead of four) with one prayer call (adhan) and two immediate prayer calls (iqamahs). We should know that a pilgrim shortens every four-rak’ah prayer (i.e. performs it as two rak’ahs) at Arafah, Muzdalifah, and Mina, However, at ‘Arafah and Muzdalifah the prayers are to be shortened and combined whereas they are only shortened at Mina, i.e. performing each prayer at its due time for there is no need for combining them at Mina.

After a pilgrim performs the Zuhr and the ‘Asr Prayers, shortening and combining them (for he is at ‘Arafah), he should spend the rest of the day remembering, invoking, glorifying, and praising Allah, seeking His forgiveness, and so on and so forth. This is to be done while a pilgrim is sticking to his place at ‘Arafah. In other words, a pilgrim does not have to go to the Mount of Ar-Rahman, or to watch it, or even to face it, while performing such supplications; standing anywhere at ‘Arafah while facing the direction of the Ka’bah is sufficient.

The best du’a during Hajj

A pilgrim should spare no effort supplicating Allah and turning to Him in repentance on such a glorious day, whether he is walking, sitting, riding, standing, or even lying down. He should also choose the most comprehensive supplications that were reported to have been observed by the Prophet (PBUH), for he(PBUH)said:

“The best supplication is the one on the Day of ‘Arafah, and the best thing which I and the prophets before me have said is: ‘There is no deity but Allah Alone, Who has no partner. To Him belongs dominion, and to Him belongs (all) praise, and He is over all things Omnipotent.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

A pilgrim keeps supplicating Allah at ‘Arafah until sunset. It is impermissible to leave before sunset, and if a pilgrim does, he must go back soon before sunset, to witness it there. However, if a pilgrim leaves ‘Arafah before sunset and does not go back, he is then obliged to slaughter a sheep of Hajj (or to get one seventh of a camel or a cow) and divide it among the poor residents of the Sanctuary of Mecca in expiation for missing an obligatory ritual of Hajj.

The Day of Arafah starts from the noon of the ninth of Dhul-Hijjah until the dawn of the tenth of Dhul-Hijjah (the Day of the Feast of Sacrifice) according to the sound opinion in this regard. As for a pilgrim who is present at Arafah at daytime, he is obliged to stay there until sunset as we previously said. But if someone arrives at ‘Arafah at night, it is sufficient for him to stay there for any length of time, even if for only one moment, as the Prophet (PBUH) said:

“If anyone gets (i.e. stays at) “Arafah before the dawn (of the tenth of Dhul-Hijjah) breaks, then he has performed Hajj.” (Abu Dawud, Al-Tirmidhi and Al-Nasa’i)

The legal ruling concerning staying at ‘Arafah

Staying at ‘Arafah is one of the obligatory fundamental rituals of Hajj, and it is the most important and the greatest one as well for the Prophet (PBUH) said:

“Hajj is ‘Arafah (i. e. staying at ‘Arafah is the most important ritual of Hajj). (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

As for the place of staying at ‘Arafah, a pilgrim may stand anywhere within the boundaries of ‘Arafah, and this ritual is deemed invalid if one stands outside them.


The article is an excerpt from the author’s book “A Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence” with some modifications.

Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan is a Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence, Member of the Board of Senior Ulema & Member of the Permanent Committee for Fatwa and Research.

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Life After Life?

Life After Life?

Your life is really like an hour of a day. A moment. In this moment that is your life you have a simple task. Acknowledge that there is only one God.

Imagine you find yourself imprisoned in a strange land. You have been imprisoned for several weeks.

 

One day, two guards come to your cell. With them is a man dressed in a suit carrying a brown briefcase. They stand in front of your cell door. The man in the suit pulls out a piece of paper from the briefcase. He mentions your name, then hands you the paper. It reads:

 

In about one hour from reading this, you will die. It might be a bit more or a bit less than an hour, but when your time is up you will not be able to escape the punishment, Death! No one has ever escaped from this punishment except through one way. Those who have completed a single simple task. If you complete this task you will live. Indeed, not only will you live but your life will be unimaginably better than it is right now.

This task will take no more than five minutes of the one hour you have left. The task is to call your mother and tell her that she’s the only mother you have, that you appreciate and are grateful for all that she has done for you and that you should ask her to forgive you for anything that you’ve done to upset her. That’s it. You will be given a smartphone. Your mother’s number is stored on it and all you need to do is turn it on, find the number and call her. You have one hour.

Having finished reading you look up. The man in the suit hands you a smartphone and leaves with the guards. What will you do?

It may seem obvious, but what you are not told is that this phone is also connected to your text messages and social media accounts, and when you turn it on, the email, text and social media notifications start appearing on the screen, including your lawyer who has been messaging you that he can get you out.

Barely thinking you begin to flick through the messages, reading and then responding to them! The distraction is instant, yet prolonged. At the back of your mind you remember that you only have an hour, but you keep telling yourself you have plenty of time. Half an hour later a guard comes. “Did you complete the task?” he asks.

You look up confused, barely remembering why you were given the phone in the first place. The guard leaves and calls start coming from your lawyer. You answer. He’s promising he can get you out, and at the same time he’s telling you that your modest investment that you made with him is making massive amounts of money.

Everyone is talking about how rich you are, and that surely no one would dare do anything to you, you’re worth more alive…then you hear the sound of marching feet…you look up and there are the guards again. Six of them this time, dressed in black. They are holding heavy chains…

The hour is up!

This is an example of the life of this world. Your life, however long, is really like an hour of a day. A moment. In this moment that is your life you have a simple task. Acknowledge that there is only one God.

To do so is natural and rational and obvious. Deep down you already know that there is great, wise and mighty being that has created you and this universe and that He provides for and controls all things. Acknowledge His blessings and ask for His forgiveness.

Thank Him and Him alone. Worship Him alone and do not make anything equal with Him. It won’t take much time in your life to do that. Not much time at all. Like five minutes of the hour that is your life. If you do this you will get an eternal life of bliss, Paradise. A place of complete peace, happiness and joy where everything you could dream of and hope for will be there and more. Things that your heart cannot even imagine, and your mind cannot even conceive.

You will never get old, or tired, or bored or hungry or thirsty or too hot or too cold. Every moment in that place will be better than the moment before it.

…but the life of the world distracts you!

It distracts you until that moment when your time is up, but by then its too late! Certainly, when you are in the grave you will come to know with absolute certainty the reality that this life distracted you from, that this life was just a test. Passing this test involved something incredibly simple, easy and natural.

To testify that there is one true source of success and happiness; the Creator, who has no equal and no rival. To ask your Creator for forgiveness for your mistakes and be thankful by trying to live your life according to the guidance that He has sent.

…but the life of the world distracts you!

Death is the reality that will confront us all. It is absolutely certain. You will not escape it.

The rich and poor, healthy and sick, young and old, men and women, black and white from the East or West, death will reach them all. So, what have you prepared for the life to come? What have you done to save yourself from its perils and trials?

Do you really imagine that you will be left and not held to account for all that you have done and for all that you have failed to do? No, certainly you will be asked. Every atom’s weight of good and ever atom’s weight of evil will be made known on a day about which there is no doubt.

This is a Day of Accounting. The Day of Reckoning. The Day of Judgment.

Every injustice and every wrong will be made right, and then you will be presented with your scroll of deeds. Whoever’s scale is heavy with good will go to the gardens of delights.

Whoever’s scale of deeds is heavy with evil, for them is the burning fire of endless pain and suffering where its inhabitants will neither live nor will they die, a suffering that will only increase eternally. Death will approach them from every side, but they will not die.

“Bear in mind that the present life is just a game, a diversion, an attraction, a cause of boasting among you, of rivalry in wealth and children. It is like plants that spring up after the rain: their growth at first delights the sowers, but then you see them wither away, turn yellow, and become stubble. There is terrible punishment in the next life as well as forgiveness and approval from God; the life of this world is only an illusory pleasure. (The Qur’an Chapter 57 , Verse 20)

Think about it.

Where would you want to spend your eternity?

The Day of Judgement is true

Hellfire is true

Paradise is true

This is the certain truth

…but the life of the world distracts you!


Source: onereason.org

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