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Entering the New Year

December 24, 2010 By: Mohammad Rafique Etsame Category: Current Islamic Articles

By Imâm al-Madîna al-Munawarrah ‘Abdul Muhsin Ibn Muhammad al-Qâsim

All praise is due to Allâh, Lord of all the worlds. Peace and blessings of Allâh be upon the Prophet, his family and companions. Fellow Muslims! There are indeed blessings in the movement of days and nights. Allâh says,

“And He has made the sun and the moon, both constantly pursuing their courses, to be of service to you; and He has made the night and the day, to be of service to you. And He gave you of all that you asked for, and if you count the Blessings of Allâh, never will you be able to count them. Verily! Man is indeed an extreme wrong-doer, a disbeliever (an extreme ingrate).” (Ibrâhîm 14:33-34)

The Messenger of Allâh said,

“There are two blessings about which many people are deceived: good health and free time.”

Fellow Muslims! We have bidden farewell to another year of our lives in which we have done many deeds that will be shown to us on the Day or Resurrection. Many days have passed and many loved ones have died. Many sins we have committed day and night.

The Prophet said,

“People wake up in the morning and they bargain with their souls. There are among them those who buy freedom for their souls and there are others who sell theirs unto destruction.”

Brethren in faith! In life, pains turn to happiness and prosperity turns to misery. Days and nights move but it is only the wise who derives lessons from that. Allâh says,

“Allâh causes the night and the day to succeed each other (i.e. if the day is gone, the night comes, and if the night is gone, the day comes, and so on). Truly, in these things is indeed a lesson for those who have insight.” (An-Nûr 24:44)

The old year has now gone with the deeds of men and these deeds will be shown to them on the Day of Resurrection. Allâh says,

“On that Day man will be informed of what he sent forward (of his evil or good deeds), and what he left behind (of his good or evil traditions).” (Al-Qiyâmah 75:13)

Dear brother! Take an investigating look at your past days: what have you provided for your Hereafter in them? Examine yourself stringently for this. Maymûn bin Mihrân said, “The man cannot become pious until he holds himself accountable as he would his business partner.” The rightly guided person is therefore the one who examines and blames himself for his shortcomings and then mends his ways. Lack of self-examination is not a good thing for a Muslim. For the disbelievers caused perdition to themselves because they never thought that there was someone watching them. Allâh says,

“For truly, they used not to expect any reckoning.” (An-Naba’ 78:27)

Seeing one’s faults prevents one from going astray. And knowing that one’s end is the grave makes one become humble to Allâh and prevents ostentation. Abû Dardâ said:

“The Muslim cannot have proper understanding of Islâm until he criticizes people for the sake of Allâh and criticizes himself more.”

Dear brother! When you sit with people, admonish yourself. People watch your outward deeds but Allâh watches your inner deeds. Whoever reforms his inward traits through self-examination and sincerity, Allâh will adorn his outward deeds with success.

Constant remembrance of Allâh’s right upon man and His great blessings makes man bows his head for Allâh as it makes him recognise his weaknesses. It also let him know that there is no salvation except by obeying Allâh and that He should be obeyed and thanked. A scholar said,

“The first step in self-examination is to compare Allâh’s blessings to your sins. Then it will be clear to you that you can never escape from His punishment except by His mercy only.”

Mâlik bin Dînâr said,

“May Allâh bless a man who tells his soul: ‘Are you not the perpetrator of so and so sins?’ And he then reproaches his soul and forces it to abide by the Book of Allâh.”

The most harmful thing that a legally responsible Muslim can do to himself is to abandon self-examination and to indulge in lusts until he perishes. This is actually the situation with those who are deceived by the beauties of this world and depend on Allâh’s forgiveness without making any repentance or abandoning the sins. Allâh says,

“O man! What has made you careless about your Lord, the Most Generous?” (Al-Infitâr 82:6)

Al-Hasan Al-Basrî said,

“A believer should admonish himself and say: ‘What do I intend by the word I utter? What do I intend by the food I eat?’ As for a disbeliever, he does never admonish himself. But the Muslim should always be a watcher over himself.”

Allâh says,

“Verily, those who are the pious, when an evil thought comes to them from Satan, they remember (Allâh), and (indeed) they then see (aright).” (Al-A‘râf 7:201)

Whoever calls himself to account in this world will have easier reckoning on the Day of Resurrection and whoever does not call himself to account in this world will have a difficult reckoning in the Hereafter. Beware of falling into sins, for keeping away from sins is easier than seeking for forgiveness. Days of this world are few and you do not know when you will die. Ask yourself about what you have done in the previous year and ask yourself about what you have provided for the coming year. ‘Umar said: “Call yourselves to reckoning before you are called to reckoning.”

Make a resolution right from the beginning of this year that you will observe your five obligatory prayers in the mosques in congregation. Make a pledge to yourself that you will seek for useful knowledge and spread it. Endeavor to guard your tongue against lie, gossip and immoral talk. Fear Allâh in all that you eat and drink. Abstain from all forbidden things. Be kind to your parents and to your kith and kin. Do well to all people and free your heart from jealousy and hatred. Beware of bad thing about others. Promote good and forbid evil. Carry out your obligations towards your spouses and children in the best possible way and guard your eyes from looking at forbidden things. How beautiful it will be if this New Year is made a positive turning point in the lives of world communities where women properly cover themselves according to the injunctions of Allâh and in following the Sunnah of His Messenger.

Dear brother! Each day in which the sun sets reminds you that your lifespan is diminishing. The wise is the one who learns from his yesterday, struggles for his present day and provides for his morrow. Provide for your tomorrow. The best provision is piety. Allâh says,

“O you who believe! Fear Allâh and keep your duty to Him. And let every person look to what he has sent forth for the morrow, and fear Allâh. Verily, Allâh is All-Aware of what you do.” (Al-Hashr 59:18)

Fellow Muslims! The first month in Islâmic year is Muharram. It is one of the greatest months. It has been a sacred month since time immemorial and it is one of the months that Allâh sanctified. It was in this month that Allâh gave Prophet Mûsâ victory over Pharaoh. Among its merits is that fasting is recommended in many of its days. The Messenger of Allâh said,

“The best month in which one can fast after Ramadân is the month of Muharram. And the best prayer after obligatory prayers is the night prayer.” (Muslim)

The best day in this month is the day of آshûrâ (the tenth day). Ibn ‘Abbâs said,

“The Prophet came to Al-Madînah and he found the Jews fasting on the day of آshûrâ. He asked them: ‘What is this day in which you fast?’ They said: ‘This is a great day in which Allâh saved Prophet Mûsâ and his people and drowned Pharaoh and his people. Mûsâ used to fast that day to show gratitude to Allâh and we emulate him in doing so.’ The Prophet then said: ‘We have right to Mûsâ more than you.’ So he fast the day and he used to ask people to fast on it.” (Al-Bukhârî and Muslim)

The Messenger of Allâh was also asked of fasting on آshûrâ day and he replied:

“I have hope that Allâh will make it erase all the sins committed in the previous year.”

The Prophet also determined to fast a day before that day in disagreement with the people of the Scripture. He said in this regard:

“If I am remain alive till next year, I will certainly fast the ninth day.”

It is therefore recommended for the Muslims to fast the tenth day of Muharram to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet and in order to get the reward. It is also recommended that they should fast the ninth day so as to disagree with the Jews and in order to uphold the Sunnah. Doing this is an act of showing gratitude to Allâh, and by doing it we are commencing our new year with good deeds.

(From:” IslamWay Radio” with thanks )

Shahide Karbla Hazrat Imam Husain (A.S)

December 16, 2010 By: Mohammad Rafique Etsame Category: Current Islamic Articles

The Evil of Smoking

December 11, 2010 By: Mohammad Rafique Etsame Category: Current Islamic Articles

Smoking was discovered by the Spanish conquistadors in America, about 500 years ago; from Spain, it spread to the rest of Europe, and thence to the Muslim world about 100 years later.Unfortunately, while the West has long realized the dangers of smoking and attempted to reduce it, in the Muslim lands, it has spread with little or no interference.Early Muslim scholars, confronted with this obnoxious habit, declared it to be makrooh (detested), comparing it with such things as garlic and onions. This was due to the fact that, at that time, noone was aware of the harmful effects produced by smoking, which include, cancer, heart disease, strokes, miscarriages and premature birth in women and several other diseases.Since it has become clear that smoking is harmful, it is obligatory upon all Muslims to abstain from it, for Allaah has said: { And do not kill yourselves, Allaah is indeed Merciful to you } (Soorah 4:29), and the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam said: “Let there be no harming and no reciprocating harm.” (Narrated by Ahmad).Unfortunately, some Muslims, either deliberately, or through ignorance, have been guilty of misleading Muslims, by repeating the earlier judgements of scholars, that smoking is only disliked, and therefore, not forbidden.The Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam also said: “The feet of man will not depart, on the Day of Judgement, from his standing before his Lord, until he is asked about five things: His lifetime and how he spent it; his youth and how he used it; his wealth – where he earned it and how he spent it; and how he followed what he knew.” (Narrated by At-Tirmizi)He sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam also said: “Whoever imbibes poison, killing himself with it, will be consuming his poison in the Hell-fire and will dwell therein eternally.” (Narrated by Al-Bukhaari)Smoking is also harmful to the human mind and reason. One only has to observe a smoker who has been deprived of his cigarettes for a while: He is rude, nervous, quick to anger and incapable of concentration. He cannot relax until he has had his “fix”. He is affected by insomnia, indigestion, episodes of acute anxiety and so on…Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam said: “Anyone who believes in Allaah and the Last Day should not hurt his neighbour.” (Narrated by Al-Bukhaari)He sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam also said: “Verily, the example of a good companion and a bad one is like that of a perfume seller and a blacksmith: As for the perfume seller, he would either give you (some perfume), or you would buy (some) from him, or at least, you would get a good smell from him. And as for the blower of the bellows, you would either get a foul odour from him, or he would burn your clothes.” (Narrated by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim)Smoking is also a waste of one’s wealth on things which offer only harm and no benefit, for Allaah, Most High says: { And do not waste [your wealth] extravagantly. Indeed the squanderers are brethren to the devils are brethren to the devils } (Soorah 17:26-27)and the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam said: “Allaah hates for you three things: Gossipping, begging and wasting money.” (Narrated by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim).Smoking involves consuming an evil substance. It has a noxious smell, a horrible taste and is harmful to the body. Allaah says: { He [the Prophet e] who will enjoin upon them the doing of what is right, forbid them from wrongdoing, make lawful to them the good things of life, forbid for them the evil things and lift from them their burdens and the shackles that were [formerly] upon them } (Soorah 7:157)A smoker is not only a faasid (corrupt person), but also a mufsid (one who spreads corruption): Because of his bad example, his family members, friends and colleagues may also smoke. It is useless to say: “Do as I say, and not as I do.” The problem is exacerbated when the smoker affects an air of religious piety or knowledge, because many people will take him as a role model. This multiplies his sins and increases his burden.Genuinely pious people avoid smoking and smokers, thus the smoker is excluded from the company of the righteous.Smokers find fasting during the month of Ramadhaan more difficult thatn non-smokers, because they are suffering a form of drug addiction. They rarely fast voluntary fasts since even the obligatory fast is a trial for them.The prohibition of smoking applies equally to the user, the seller, the manufacturer, the advertiser and all those involved in its production, sale or consumption, for Allaah says: { Coop-erate with one another in righteousness and piety, and do not cooperate with one another in sinning and transgression. And fear Allaah; verily, Allaah is severe in punishment } (Soorah 5:2)and the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam said: “Indeed, when Allaah prohibits something, he prohibits eating its price.” (Narrated by Ahmad)So dear brothers and sisters, if you are addicted to this foul habit, you must make your intention firmly to Allaah to stop and seek aid with Him Who hears and sees all, and always answers the supplication of the sincere Believer. He, Most High says: { And when My slaves ask you about Me, [oh, Muhammad, say that] verily, I am near [in hearing, seeing and know-ledge]: I answer the supplication of the one who asks when he asks Me } (Soorah 2:186)Source: