Islamic Widget

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Women Going Out In Tableegh (Mastoorat Jamaat)


My husband and I are involved in the work of Tabligh.  Although I have firm belief on this work, but sometimes people around you have so many questions that even one being such a staunch believer even cannot answer due to not having any scholarly approach and being ordinary layman.  I wanted to ask you that is it objectionable when women go out in the path of Allah with their Mahrams and they perform everything in a secluded area from making meals to their Ibadah and Ta’leem etc.? 


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

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

It is pleasing to note that you as a woman are involved in the noble effort of Tabligh and firmly believe in the noble work.  You should continue your participation in Tabligh and do not entertain any doubts about women (Mastooraat) going out in Tabligh. 

Tabligh refers to conveying the message of Islam to the non-Muslims as well as reminding Muslims of their religious duties and obligations to Allah.  Tabligh was one of the missions of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam. [1] It is now the responsibility of every Muslim, male and female to carry on with the mission of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam.

The different forms and ways of Da’wah and Tabligh are subordinate to Maslihah(well-being/expediency) on condition there is no violation of the laws of Shariah.  It is sufficient that the present form of Tabligh where males and females (Mastooraat) go to different places locally and abroad is not prohibited.  It is thus permissible (Mubah) for females to accompany their Mahrams in their travels of Tabligh on condition they adhere to the laws of Hijab.

It is incorrect to state that women are not tasked with the responsibility of Da’wah and Tabligh. The core of this noble work is الأمر باالمعروف والنهي عن المنكر which is translated as enjoining the good and forbidding evil.  Allah Ta’ala enumerates some noble qualities of believing males and females.  He says:

وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَالْمُؤْمِناتُ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِياءُ بَعْضٍ يَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ  (سورة التوبة، رقم الاية 71)

The believing men and believing women are close friends to one another. They enjoin the good and forbid the evil. (Quran 9:71)

It is clear from this verse that women making Tabligh to women is actually praiseworthy. 

Enjoining the good and prohibiting evil brings along with it self-reformation and spiritual upliftment.  It is a well-known fact that women who go out in Mastooraat Jamaat have reformed themselves and their families.  They became more Allah conscious and adherent to the Sunnah.  Their focus of life has changed and they are more conscious of preparing for death with Imaan and life after death.

Apart from personal benefits of women going out in Tabligh, such women have positively impacted and influenced other women to the path of righteousness and educating them on basic aspects of Islam, making Wudhu, performing Salah and donning the Hijab.  Nowadays, there is lots of literature and talks on Islam.  That is not sufficient to reform.  The noble work of Tabligh offers an environment of spirituality and a practical way to learn about Islam.  Women see how women perform Wudhu, Salah, and how they conduct themselves.  That practical demonstration is the most effective way to learn and reform. Men cannot practically demonstrate such issues to women.

It is incorrect to object on women going out in Tabligh under the premise of the following verse of the Quran:

وَقَرْنَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ (سورة الأحزاب، رقم الاية 33)
And remain in your homes. (Quran 33: 33)

The following part of the verse explains the reason for women leaving their homes:

وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ الْأُولَى (سورة الأحزاب، رقم الاية 33)
And do not display (your) beauty as it used to be displayed in the days of earlier Jaailiyyah (ignorance). (Quran 33: 33)

The exiting like the time of Jaahiliyyah refers to women exhibiting their beauty.

Shariah permits women to exit her home on condition she adheres to the laws of Hijab.  This is also clearly understood from the following verse of Surah al-Ahzaab:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُلْ لِأَزْواجِكَ وَبَناتِكَ وَنِساءِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِنْ جَلابِيبِهِنَّ ذلِكَ أَدْنى أَنْ يُعْرَفْنَ فَلا يُؤْذَيْنَ (سورة الأحزاب، رقم الاية 59)
O Nabi, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers that they should draw down their shawls over them.  That will make it more likely that they are recognized, hence not teased. (Quran 33:59)

This verse further explains the intent of verse 33:33 referred to above that a woman may exit her home due to need and necessity and the restriction for exiting her home is not absolute.  The emphasis is on adhering to the laws of Hijab when a woman exits her home.

Many of the Azwaaj al-Mutahharaat (blessed and honorable wives of Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) performed Nafl (voluntary) Hajj and Umrah even after the demise of Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam.  It was not necessary to do Nafl Hajj and Umrah, yet they exited their homes for this reason. [2] 

Furthermore, it is incorrect to align women going out in Mastooraat Jamaat to women who leave their homes without need and necessity and just to move around. The Fitnah attached to such women is understood and prohibited.  In the core of Tabligh, a woman is protected from such Fitnah due to the Deeni environment she is engaged in. 

It is also incorrect to state that at the time of Khair al-Quroon women did not come out in the path of Allah.  The books of history are replete with incidents of the illustrious Sahabah, Tabi’een, etc. making Hijrah with their families to propagate Deen.  It is inconceivable that the noble women folk of the Sahabah would not actively take part in Tabligh among women wherever they were.

To substantiate the prohibition of Mastooraat Jamaat with women going to the Masaajid and Eid Gaah is non-analogous.  The prohibition is based on Fitnah which is clear in the case of the latter.  That is not so in the Mastooraat Jamaat.

It should be noted that all aspects of the noble work of Tabligh are supervised by great and illustrious Ulama.  They are highly educated and also understood the Mizaaj (temperament) of Deen.  Their concern is the upliftment of Deen.  Their guidance is based on Shariah. If anyone observes anything un-Islamic in any particular Jamaat, that should be brought to the attention of the elders of Tabligh for correction.

According to the principles of Iftaa(issuing Fatwa), we are guided to seek counsel from that Mufti who understood the issue at hand best. [3]  For example, if one is faced with a complex issue in Inheritance, we should seek the counsel and guidance of a Mufti who is an expert in the field of Inheritance.

The different angles of this work have been thoroughly analyzed by Faqih al-Ummah Hadhrat Mufti Mahmood Hasan Gangohi Rahimahullah.  Hadhrat was an expert in every field of Shariah: Quran, Hadith, Fiqh, and Sulook.  He even took part in the noble work of Tabligh and witnessed the benefits from within.  Hadhrat has endorsed the Mastooraat Jamaat.  Hereunder are the translations of two of Hadhrat’s Fatwas:

“There is tremendous need for Tabligh amongst women.  It is of course best to arrange for family women to be taught at home.  Otherwise a gathering may be arranged once a week in the locality, where all the women should arrive in Hijab.  If the women need to travel, they should do so with the husbands or other Mahram men so that they come to no harm and no evil arises.  In this manner, they can also achieve personal reformation. And Allah knows best.”[4]

“The purpose of the Tabligh Jamaat is to learn Deen.  In order to strengthen one’s Deen and to encourage others to learn and strengthen their Deen, long long journeys are undertaken.  Just like how men are in need of learning and strengthening their Deen, likewise women are also in need of learning and strengthening their Deen.  Normally, Deen is not learned in the homes.  Hence, if you undertake the Tablighi journey towards London or any other remote area with your Mahram, keeping in mind the Shari’ Laws of Hijab, and without depriving others of their rights, then it is permissible.  In fact, from the religious point of view it is important and beneficial.”[5]

It is also important to note that when Hadhrat Moulana Ilyas Saheb Rahimahullah commenced this noble work of Tabligh, there were reservations from some Muftis who did not understand and see the work of Tabligh from within.  As the effort of Tabligh became widespread and Ulama and Muftis observed the work closely and from within, they supported the work including the Mastooraat Jamaat. In fact, some Muftis who actively participated in Tabligh with their Mastooraat felt it essential for women to go out in Mastooraat Jamaat. [6]   It is incorrect to adopt the view of an Alim who objects to the Mastooraat Jamaat without him going out with his Mastooraat and observing the work closely.

This Fatwa is purely aimed at the Shari’ position of women (Mastooraat) going out in Jamaat.  The points raised in this Fatwa should not be taken to mean that the Mastooraat Jamaat is the only way of propagating and reforming women.

End of Fatwa

شيخ الحديث شيخ المشايخ Hadhrat Moulana Fazlurrahman A’zami (أطال الله بركاته)’s Ta’yeed (support) of this Fatwa:

In the recent past, the Darul Iftaa received many queries regarding the Shari’ position of the Mastooraat Jamaat.  We drafted a response and presented it to شيخ الحديث شيخ المشايخ, my Ustaadh, Hadhrat Moulana Fazlurrahman A’zami
 أطال الله بركاته for advice. 

Hadhrat’s personality in the field of Ilm is well known and highly respected all around the world.  His commitment and dedication in the field of Tabligh is exemplary. 

Hadhrat studied our Fatwa and concurred with the Fatwa with the following words:

میں متّفق ہوں، میں اس فتوی کا مؤیّد ہوں
Translation: I am in agreement and I support this Fatwa.

You may refer to the website of Shaikhul Hadith at for a more detailed explanation on Mastooraat Jamaat.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai.


[1]  هُوَ الَّذِي بَعَثَ فِي الْأُمِّيِّينَ رَسُولًا مِنْهُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِنْ كَانُوا مِنْ قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُبِينٍ (سورة الجمعة، رقم الاية 2)

[2] Ma’ariful Qur’an, Vol. 7, Pg. 142
أحكام الأحكام للتهانوي، ج 3، ص 319، إدارة القران والعلوم الإسلاميّة

[3]  فلا بد للمفتي والقاضي بل والمختهد من معرفة أحوال الناس، وقد قالوا: "ومن جهل باهل زمانه فهو جاهل" وقدّمنا أنهم قالوا: يفتى بقول أبى يوسف فيما يتعلق باالقضاء لكونه جرّب الوقايع وعرف أحوال النّاس. (شرح عقود رسم المفتي، ص 92-93، قديمي كتب خانه)
[4]  فتاوي محمودية، ج 4، ص 265، فاروقية
Hadhrat Mufti Mahmud Hasan Sahib Gangohi Rahimahullah and the Tabligh Jama’at, Pg. 152-153, Madrassah Da’watul Haqq

[5]  فتاوي محمودية، ج 4، ص 266، فاروقية

[6]  (آپ کے مسائل اور ان کا حل، ج 7، ص 241-242، مکتبه لدهيانوى)

Friday, December 16, 2011


Alhamdulillah, tahun ini masih lagi kita dipanjangkan umur oleh ALLAH, tuhan yang MAHA KUASA lagi BIJAKSANA. Kita sekarang telah berada di tahun baru islam, tahun 1433hijri bulan muharam. Bulan yang penuh dengan peristiwa yang dapat kita pelajari dan menjadi pedoman dalam kehidupan kita. Bulan Muharam yang pertama dalam kelendar umat islam. Sebagai seorang yang sejati, kita patut mengetahui sejarah yang berlaku pada bulan ini. Tapi sayangnya sekarang, umat islam telah lupa. Mereka tahu tentang sejarah dunia tapi jahil tentang sejarah agama mereka. Bahkan ada yang tidak tahu mengenai bulan-bulan islam. Ini adalah satu perkara yang patut kita tangisi sebagai seorang islam yang sejati. Para-para Sahabah R.ahum, mereka terlampau kasih pada agama, apa-apa sahaja yang berkaitan dengan agama semua mereka hargai. Sehingga Bahasa Arab telah menjadi bahasa kebangsaan kepada negara yang mereka takluki.

Berbalik pada Bulan Muharam ini, saya ini menyentuh sedikit sebanyak sejarah islam supaya kita mendapat faedah dan boleh dijadikan pedoman dan garis panduan hidup kita. Salah satu faktor yang membuatkan kaum muslimin dapat menakluki 2/3 dunia ialah kerana mereka hidup bersatu. Kekuatan ukhuwah mereka sangat utuh. Ini kerana Rasulullah telah mengajar mereka dengan menyatukan kaum Muhajirin dan kaum Ansar. Sifat berkasih sayang inilah yang menyebabkan jatuhnya kerajaan Rome dan Farsi pada zaman itu. Pentingnya kita bersatu dan bersefahaman ini kerana ianya ditekankan oleh ALLAH sendiri. Firman ALLAH dalam surah al Anfal :

Maksudnya "Dan taatlah kamu kepada ALLAH dan Rasulnya, dan janganlah kamu berbantah-bantah, kalau tidak kamu menjadi lemah semangat dan hilang kekuatan kamu dan sabarlah kamu, sesungguhnya ALLAH bersama dengan orang yang bersabar"

Sabda Rasulullah "(Bersatu) Berada dalam jemaah itu rahmat dan perpecahan itu kesengsaraan"

Dari ayat al Quran dan hadis nabi s.a.w ini, kekuatan kaum itu terletak pada kesatuan mereka. Apabila mereka bersatu dan bersefahaman maka ia akan menjadi tembok yang kuat dan tinggi untuk musuh. Susah untuk mereka memeranggi kaum tersebut.

Antara langkah-langkah yang perlu kita amalkan untuk memperkasakan ummah ialah dengan kita memperkuatkan ukhuwwah kita sepertimana para sahaba nabi. Mereka sanggup bersusah payah untuk diri mereka supaya sahabat-sahabat mereka boleh hidup senang. Sebagai contoh, dalam perang Yarmuk, tiga orang sahabat iaitu Ikrimah bin Abu Jahal, Harith bin Hisyam dan Ayyas bin Abu Rabiah R.hum. Mereka telah tercedera dalam peperangan tersebut dan dahaga telah menguasai mereka. Maka apabila saudara sepupu kepada Ikrimah datang membawa air, di saat hazrat Ikrimah mahu minum air tersebut, dia terdengar suara hazrat Ayyas meminta air. Dia mengarahkan saudaranya itu memberi air kepada Ayyas. Dan di saat Ayyas ingin minum, dia terdengar suara hazrat Harith meminta air. Dia mengarahkan supaya diberi kepada hazrat Harith. Apabila sampai pada Harith maka ia didapati telah syahid dan begitulah seterusnya. Semua telah sebelum mereka meminum air tersebut. Begitu kuatnya Ukhuwwah sahabat sehinggakan ALLAH telah beritahu dalam al-Quran tentang sifat sahaba.
Firman ALLAH dalam surah al Fath :

Maksudnya " Muhammad ialah Rasulullah dan orang yang bersama dengannya bersikap kasar terhadap orang kafir dan sebaliknya bersikap kasih sayang dan belah kasihan sesama sendiri. Engkau melihat mereka tetap beribadah ruku' dan sujud, dengan mengharap limpah kurniaan dari ALLAH serta mengharap keredaannya. Tanda yang menunjukkan (mereka orang yang salih) ada pada muka mereka iaitu kesan sujud. Demikianlah sifat mereka yang disebutkan dalam kitab tawrat dan injil..........................................................................................................."

Jadi dengan sifat kasih sayang inilah yang menyebabkan kekuatan umat islam ditakuti oleh musuh-musuh islam. Dan ingatlah saudara sekelian, kekuatan ini terletak pada diri kita sendiri, Kalau kita sayangkan agama yang kita anuti dan kita mahu kejayaan di dunia dan akhirat maka perlulah kita ambil berat tentang apa yang telah nabi kita lakukan dahulu Belajar dan fahamilah sirah nabawiah. Pada akhir kalam ini, saya berharap kita semua dapat membuat satu azam tahunan yang baru. Dan kita muhasabah diri kita balik. Fikirlah bagaimana untuk kita mengapat keredaan dari ALLAH. Wassalam

Muhammad Nur Alimy bin Mohammad Zaidi
(Khadimul Baitul Quran Centre)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Shabaan and the Night of Emancipation

Allah Ta' ala has, afforded His bondsmen certain selected opportunities whereby they may reap his infinite mercy and forgiveness. Some explicit examples of these occasions are the month of Ramadan and Laylatul Qadr.The night of the fifteenth of Shábaan is one such opportunity. Several Ahadith expound the tremendous merit of this occasion. Amongst them is the fact that countless people are forgiven by Allah Ta' ala during this blessed night. It is due to this reason that it is called "The Night of Bara'at" (i.e. the night wherein judgment of salvation from Jahannam (hell) is passed).

Certain Ahadith prove that it is a meritorious night in which the people of the earth are attended by special divine mercy. However, it should be borne in mind that a vast majority of narrations declaring the benefit and virtue of this night are weak but reliable for purposes of virtue.

Some of these Ahadith are :

1. Ummul-Mu'mineen Aishah (radiyallahu anha) is reported to have said, "Once Rasulullah, (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) performed the Salaah of the night (Tahajjud) and made a very long Sajdah until I feared that he had passed away. When I saw this, I rose (from my bed) and moved his thumb (to ascertain whether he is alive). The thumb moved, and I returned (to my place). Then I heard him saying in Sajdah: 'I seek refuge in Your forgiveness from Your punishment, and I seek refuge in Your pleasure from Your annoyance, and I seek Your refuge from Yourself. I cannot praise You in the manner that You deserve. You are exactly as You have defined Yourself.' Thereafter, when he raised his head from Sajdah and finished his salaah, he said to me: 'Aishah, did you think that the Prophet has betrayed you?' I said, 'No, O Prophet of Allah, but I was afraid that your soul has been taken away because your Sajdah was very long.' He asked me, 'Do you know what night it is ?' I said, 'Allah and His Messenger know best.' He said, 'This is the night of the half of Shábaan. Allah Ta’ala looks upon His slaves in this night and forgives those who seek forgiveness and bestows His mercy upon those who pray for mercy but leaves those who have malice (against a Muslim) as they were before, (and does not forgive them unless they free themselves from malice).'"
Targheeb wat tarheeb(vol 2 pg.119) on the authority of Imam Bayhaqi (rah)

2. In another Tradition, she has reported Rasulullah, Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, to have said, "This is the middle Night of Sha'ban. Allah emancipates in it a large number of the people from the Fire, more than the number of the hair growing on the sheep of the tribe, Kalb. But He does not cast a glance at a person who associates partners with Him, or at a person who harbours malice in his heart (against someone), or at a person who severs family ties, or at a man who leaves his clothes extending below his ankles, or at a person who disobeys his parents, or at a person who has a habit of drinking wine."
Targeeb wat Tarheeb, vol. 2, pg. 118 authority of Imam Bayhaqi (rah)

Kalb was a big tribe the members of which had a very large number of sheep. Therefore, the last sentence of the Hadith indicates the large number of people forgiven on this night by Allah Ta’ala.

3. Sayyiduna Muaz ibn Jabal, Radiyallahu anhu, reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said: "Allah Ta’ala looks upon all those he created in the middle Night of Shábaan and forgives them all, except the one who associates partners with Him or the one who has malice in his heart (against a Muslim)".
Targeeb wat Tarheeb, vol. 2, pg. 118 from Imam Tabrani and Saheeh ibn Hibban

4. Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Amr radiyallahu anhu reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, Allah Ta’ala looks upon his creation on the middle night of Shábaan and forgives them, except one who harbours malice in his heart and a murderer.
Targeeb wat Tarheeb, vol 2 pg. 119 from Imam Ahmad (rah)

Although the chain of narrators of some of these traditions have minor technical defects, when all these traditions are combined and brought together, it becomes clear that this night has some well founded merits, and observing this night as a sacred night is not a baseless as envisaged by some modern scholars who, on the basis of these minor defects, have declined to give any special importance to this night. Certain scholars of Hadith have granted these Ahadith authenticity and consider their defects very minor, which are amended by the variety and manner of narration. It is for this reason that Ulama and pious personalities of the past always observed this night as one of special merits and tremendous benefits.

Below are a few comments and criticism about the ahadith regarding the virtue of this night:

Hazrat Moulana Yusuf Binnori (rah) says:
“ I have not come across any Sahih, Marfoo or, Musnad Hadith regarding the excellence of the night."
Ma'aarifus Sunan, vol. 5, pg. 419.

The Muhaddith, Ibnu-Dihya (rah) has also agreed that neither has anything authentic been narrated regarding the fifteenth night of Shábaan nor has any specific Salaah been prescribed for this night via reliable narrator
Faydhul-Qadeer -Sharhul Jaamis Sagheer, vol. 2, pg. 317

Whilst even Allamah Ibn Taymiyyah (rah), a scholar notorious for refuting such observances, also accepts the virtue of the night of Bara'at. He says:
" So many Ahadith and reports exist regarding the excellence of the Fifteenth night of Shábaan that one is compelled to accept that this possesses some virtue.”

Some of the pious predecessors used to specially devote this night for Salaah.
Faydhul Qadeer, vol. 2, pg.317

Moulana Abdur Rahman Mubarakpuri writes in his commentary of Tirmizi:
" The sheer number of Ahadith regarding this night serves as proof against those people who refute the excellence of this night."
Tuhfatul-Ahwazi, vol. 2, pg. 53

Allama Anwar Shah Kashmiri (rah) has written that the significance of the night of Bara'at is proven. There is however, no proof for those weak and unacceptable narrations mentioned in certain books.
Al-Arfus-Shazi, pg. 156

The virtue of this night established from these Ahadith is that from the very beginning of the night Allah Ta' ala turns with special mercy and attention towards the creation and forgives those who repent and seeks forgiveness. Every Muslim should therefore value this night. Turn towards Allah Ta' ala with sincere regret and shame over sins committed and make a promise never to re- turn to sin again and seek forgiveness from Allah Ta'ala. Seek forgiveness for oneself and all Muslims, living and deceased. Have firm hope and resolution in the heart that Allah Ta' ala will surely show mercy and forgiveness.

Unfortunate people

It is understood from Ahadith that even on this great night, some unfortunate individuals are deprived of Allah's forgiveness. They are:

1. Idolaters
2. Those who harbour enmity against others
3. Those who consume alcohol
4. Those who disobey their parents
5. Those who wear their trousers, kurtas, lungis, etc. below their ankles
6. Those who commit murder
7. Those who sever family ties.

We can thus gauge the severity of these sins and need to abstain from them at all times.

Special virtues of this night

The special virtues of the night of Bara'at are:

1. Contrary to other nights where the last third of the night has special blessings and Allah descends to the lowest Heaven during this section of the night, on the night of Bara'at the special rain of mercy and forgiveness of Allah Ta' ala begins to shower down right from the beginning of the night and continues until dawn.

2. The sins of countless people are pardoned. As already mentioned, Allah Ta'ala's descension during this night to the lowest Heaven occurs from the very beginning, unlike other nights. Furthermore, the number of pronouncements seeking forgiveness far supercede those, which occur on other nights.
Hafiz Zaynud-deen Iraqi, Faydhul Qadeer, vol. 2, pg. 317

It should be remembered that while the narrations regarding the night of Bara'at maybe weak, the narrations regarding Allah Ta' ala ' s descending to the nearest Heaven during the last third of every night are sound and without defect.

Fasting during the month of Sha’baan is Sunnah and a clearly established practice of the Shariah

Fasting in the month of Shábaan, without the stipulation of any day, is proven from Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam. In fact, he used to fast excessively during this month. A Hadith of Hazrat Aisha (radiyallahu anha) wherein she describes the fast of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) substantiates this. She says that aside from the month of Ramadaan, he never used to fast for an entire month. However, of the remaining months, he would fast in Shábaan the most. Bukhari, vol. 1, pg. 264

Fast of the 15th Shabaan

On the day immediately following the Night of Bara'at, i.e. the 15th of Shábaan, it is advisable to fast.

Though majority of the scholars of Hadith have certain doubts regarding the authenticity of a narration in Ibn Majah, advising one to fast on this day, stating it is extremely weak, it has been mentioned earlier that the fasts of the first half of Shábaan have special merits and Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) used to fast most of the days in Shábaan. Moreover, a large number of the elders (salaf) of the Ummah have been observing the fast of the 15th Shábaan. This constant practice of our learned and pious predecessors establishes its Istihbaab (preference).

Therefore, it is advisable to fast the 15th of Shábaan as an optional (Nafl) fast. One can also keep a fast of Qada' on this day and it is hoped that he can also benefit himself from the merits of this fast.

What should be done on this night?

In order to obtain maximum benefit from this auspicious night, one should allocate a specific portion of the night for solitude and close communion with Allah Ta’ala. Fervent dua and repentance should be priority and make the sole intention for Allah Ta’ala’s pleasure and reformation of the inner self.

Other observances that may be practiced are:

(a) Salaah - Salaah is one the most preferable acts to be performed during this night. There is no particular number of Rak'ats but preferably it should not be less than eight. It is also advisable that each part of the Salaah like qiyam, rukoo' and sajdah should be longer than normal. Also try and recite as much qiraat in salaah as possible.

(b) Tilawah - The recitation of the Holy Quran is another form of worship that is very beneficial on this night. After performing Salaah, or at any other time, one should recite as much of the Holy Quran as possible.

(c) Zikr - Engage ones heart in Zikr (remembrance of Allah Ta’ala).

One should also recite abundant durood on Rasulullah, (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam). Zikr can also be recited while walking, lying on bed and during other hours of work or leisure.

(d) Dua - The best benefit one can draw from the blessings of this night is prayers and supplications. Dua (supplication) itself is an 'Ibadah, and Allah Ta’ala gives reward on each prayer along with the fulfillment of the supplicator's need. Even if the purpose prayed for is not achieved, one cannot be deprived of the reward of the prayer, which is, sometimes more precious than the mundane benefits one strives for. The prayers and supplications also strengthen one's relation with Allah Ta’ala, which is the main purpose of all kinds and forms of worship.

(e) There are some people due to circumstances will not be able to carry out any vigorous or lengthy Ibadah. Such people should not deprive themselves completely of the blessings of this night. They should attempt to fulfill the following:
(i) Perform Maghrib, Esha and Fajr with congregation in the Masjid, or at home in case of illness.
(ii) Keep ones tongue wet with Zikr, in whatever condition they are until they sleep.
iii) Plead to Allah Ta’ala for forgiveness and for their other objectives. One can do so even whilst one is lying in bed.

(f) Women during menstruation cannot perform salaah, nor can they recite the Quran, but they can recite any Zikr, tasbeeh, durood sharif and can pray to Allah for whatever purpose they like in whatever language they wish. They can also recite the Arabic prayers mentioned in the Quran or in the Hadith with the intention of supplication (and not with the intention of recitation).

(g) According to a Hadith, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) visited the graveyard of Baqi' during this night where he prayed for the Muslims buried there. Hence, some of the fuqaha (jurists) are of the view that it is mustahab (advisable) to visit the graveyard during this night and pray for the dead. However, this act is neither obligatory nor should it be observed regularly as an obligatory act.

What should not be done on this night

1. As mentioned earlier, the Night of Bara’at is a night in which special blessings are directed towards the Muslims. Therefore, this night should be spent in total submission to Allah Ta’ala, and one should refrain from all those activities, which may displease Allah Ta’ala. Although it is always incumbent upon every Muslim to abstain from sins, yet this abstinence becomes all the more necessary in such nights, because committing sins on such an occasion is tantamount to responding to divine blessings with disobedience and felony. Such an arrogant attitude only invites the wrath of Allah Ta’ala. Therefore, one should strictly abstain from these sins, particularly those mentioned earlier in the article, as these deprive one of the blessings of this night.

2. On this night some people indulge in some activities, which they regard as necessary for the celebration of the Night of Bara’at, like cooking some special type of meal, or illuminating houses or mosques, or improvised structures. All such activities are not only baseless and innovated in the later days by ignorant people, but in some cases they are pure imitation of some rituals performed by non-Muslim communities. Such imitation in itself is a sin; performing it in a blessed night like the Night of Bara’at makes it worse. Muslims should strictly abstain from all such innovations.

3. Some people spend this night holding religious meetings and delivering long sermons. Such activities are also not advisable, because these acts can easily be performed on other nights. This night requires devotion for the pure acts of worship only.

4. The acts of worship like Salaah; recitation of the Quran and Zikr should preferably be performed on this night individually, not collectively. The Nafl Salaah should not be performed in congregation, nor should Muslims arrange gatherings in the mosques in order to celebrate the night in a collective manner.

On the contrary, this night is meant for worshipping Allah in solitude. It is the time to enjoy the direct contact with the Lord of the Universe, and to devote one's attention to Him and Him alone. These are the precious hours of the night in which nobody should intervene between one and his Creator, and one should turn to Allah with total concentration, not disturbed or intermitted any one else.

That is why Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) observed the acts of worship on this night in total seclusion, not accompanied by anyone, not even by Sayyidah Aishah, (radiyallahu anha), and that is why all forms of optional worship (Nafl Ibadah), should be observed individually.

Some strange and innovative practices associated with Shabe Bar’aat

The occasion of Shabe Bara'at has become synonymous with some baseless beliefs and practices to mention just a few:

a) Burning Bright Lights and Candles: There is no substantiation for these acts, which are pure innovation. The Muslims of India being in close contact with the Hindus probably began imitating them in their practices, thus resulting in imitation of their celebration practices.
Maa thabata bis sunnah p. 215

b) Preparing of Sweetmeets: Some consider this compulsory. Without it there can be no Shabe Bara'at. This is absolutely baseless. Some say that this act gains significance from the fact that on the occasion of Uhud when the blessed tooth of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi Wasallam) became Shaheed, he had some Halwa. Others say that Hazrat Hamza (Radiyallahu Anhu) was martyred on this day and the sweetmeats are in commemoration of him. These are fabricated and concocted theories. How can it ever be possible when it is a known fact that the battle of Uhud in which Hazrat Hamza was martyred took place in Shawwaal and not Sha’baan.

c) Souls visit families: Some people firmly believe that the souls of the deceased visit their families' homes and see whether any food has been prepared in their honour or not. Some people feel that if a person dies before Shabe Bara’at, he is not counted amongst the dead. These are baseless ideologies that clearly contradict Ahadith.

d) Distribution of Food: Some feel that it is compulsory to distribute food on this night with the intention of Isale Sawaab. There is no link between this practice and the significance of the night. No special acts of charity, etc. have been prescribed for this night.
Fataawa Imdadiyya vol, 4 pg 27

e) Hadith on Rajab, Shábaan and Ramadaan: Some people quote the following narration in their lectures: 'Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi Wasallam) said, 'Rajab is Allah's month, Shábaan is my month and Ramadaan is the month of my Ummah.'

It should be noted that this 'Hadith' is a fabrication. (Akhbaare Mowdhoo p. 329)

'O Allah! Show us Haqq (the truth) and grant us ability to follow it and show us Baatil (falsehood) and grant us courage to refrain from it. May Allah Ta’ala shower His choicest blessings upon the best of His creation, Hazrat Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and upon his descendants and his entire Ummah. Aameen.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

3 Days 40 Days 4 Month In Tabligh

NOTE : There was a recent question on proving the concept of 3 days/40 days and 4 months spending in Tabligh. Below is an answer from Mufti Ebrahim Desai Saheb. There are innumerable articles on our site in defence of the noble work of Da’wat and Tabligh. This is on an ongoing basis from The Darul Iftaa. We are also busy with a compilation of answers in defence to the ahadeeth of Fadha’il e A’maal. This is indeed a very mammoth task that requires a lot of research. Make du’a this compilation reaches its fruition. Ameen.

In the Name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful

The principle and simple response to this objection is,

· One is a general order of Sharīāh. For example Dawahand Tablīgh, seeking Knowledge etc.

· The other is the procedure in carrying out these orders.

The procedure to do dawahand Tablīgh, seeking knowledge etc. are subservient to Maslihah (prudence). Maslihah is a very important juristic principle and governs many orders of Sharīāhbased on circumstances.

It is the wisdom of a wise person/s to understand circumstances and guide and act accordingly.

Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasallamwanted to rebuild the Ka’bah Sharīf and include the Hatīm area in it as it was excluded by the Arabs at the time of Jahiliyyah due to shortage of funds.

· Consider, the Ka’ba Shareef is the house of Allah.

· It was built by His beloved prophet Ebrahim alayhis salam with the order of Allah.

· The Ka’ba Shareef is a symbol of Allah on earth.

· The final and most beloved Rasul of Allah salallahu alayhi wasallam expressed his desire to rebuild the Ka’ba and include the Hateem in the enclosed part of the Ka’ba.

Inspite of such overwhelming positive points, Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasallam decided against rebuilding the Kabaas that was against Maslihah.

The people would accuse Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasallam of starting a new religion and changing the symbols that are near and dear to them. That in turn would turn the people away from Islam.

It is also important to consider that this consideration of Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasallam was during his final Hajj. Makkah was conquered. Islam has spread and thousands entered into the fold of Islam already. Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasallam could have all had the support to change the Ka’ba. Yet he exercised restraint. All this was due to Maslihat.

There are innumerable examples in Seerah of invoking the rule of Maslihah for purpose of Dawah. A wise person looks beyond the surface of the issue.

Dawahh (propagation) is an integral part of Deen. It is actually one of the missions of Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasallam. In fact the mission of every prophet of Allah.

Any person having insight on the history and life of the prophets will understand that the procedure of dawahh during the different prophets was circumstantial. Every prophet faced a different challenge which required a different approach of dawah.

It is common knowledge,

“The laws of one nation cannot govern the other”

Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasallam is the last prophet. His mission of Dawahh will remain till the day of judgement.

The Ummat will face changing conditions all the time.

What was the best method of dawahh 1000 years ago, may not be the best now. New methods had to be introduced to achieve the common objective of Sharīāhand Dawahh. Surely, any new method must not violate any injunction of Sharīāh. At the same time, Sharīāhdoes not oppose introducing methods to uphold the common objectives of Sharīāh. In fact to some extent Sharīāhencourages it.

اذا ثبت الشئى ثبت بلوازمه

When something is established, it will be with all its imperatives

Take for example, Sharīāhhas emphasised on building Masājid. There are great rewards promised for a person that builds a Masjid.

مَنْ بَنَى لِلَّهِ مَسْجِدًا بَنَى اللَّهُ لَهُ مِثْلَهُ فِي الجَنَّة

Whosoever builds a Masjid for Allah’s pleasure, Allah will build for him a similar in Jannah

(Sunan Tirmidhi Shareef #318, Vol. 2 Pg 134)

Building a Masjid is an expression of a person’s Imān.

However, what takes place before building a Masjid and what happens after a Masjid is built are all administrative issues left to the discretion of the person, for example:

· Consulting appropriate people in the choice of the land.

· Choosing a builder

· Obtaining funds

· Drawing a constitution

· Appointing an Imam

· The daily activities in the Masjid

There are no specific rules governing all the issues surrounding the building of a Masjid. However,, Sharīāhdoes not oppose these issues as it is a means to achieve the objectives encourages in Sharīāh.

Will anyone object to these issues in establishing Masjid?

Can anyone claim, where is it in the Qur’ān and Hadīth to have a constitution for a Masjid?

Where is it in the Qur’an that there should be specific talks and programmes in the Masjid? All this is left to the discretion of the trustees of the masjid.

Similarly, Sharīāhemphasizes on seeking knowledge of Sharīāh? There is no specific order of Sharīāhto learn Arabic.

However, it is understood that he Arabic language is a medium to understand the Qur’an and Hadīth. Hence, the learning of Sarf, Nahw, Fasahat and Balaghah etc.

Similarly, there is no mention of establishing madrasahs and Dārul Ulūms with a five year or seven year curriculum. All these are based on careful thought, experiences and administering an agenda to achieve the objective of being educated in Sharīāh.

Nowhere in the Qur’an it is stated to study specific subject or for a specific time period?

If these lawāzimāt (imperatives) of a masjid or becoming an Alim are not implemented, a masjid would not be built or not properly administered. There would not be well educated Ulama.

This is also understood in the circular field. There is a need for doctors, lawyers, and other apprentices.

It is only after a person spends a few years studying and doing apprenticeship in a particular field, is one qualified enough to practice in that field. To practice as a doctor without fulfilling these administrative requirements is termed as fraud. Will it be wise to question where is this in the Qur’an and the Hadith?

How can such a huge responsibility of Dawahh be fulfilled without undertaking training in the field of Dawahh. Dawahh is not merely representing ones client in law. Dawahh is not merely administering medicine or fixing someone’s lights like an electrician does!

It is to guide mankind from the darkness of kufr to the lights of Iman and faith in Allah.

It is to guide one from the attachment of their temporary materialistic world to the everlasting hereafter.

This is a huge and mammoth task. It requires the pain in the heart to witness kufr and shirk, to witness people treading the path to jahannam (hellfire).

Once that pain is there, the rest follows – sacrifice with wealth and life.

This pain is inculcated by going out and witnessing the condition of people immersed in their worldly life. Knowing something can never be like personal experience.

ليس الخبر كالمعاينة

Information (of something) is not the same as witnessing (through eyes)

Our Ulama have thus encouraged people to go out for a few days, 3 days, 40 days, 4 months to witness the condition of the people and feel the pain of Ghaflah (obliviousness) , kufr and shirk and then exert oneself to guide oneself and other on to Sirat al Mustaqeem.

The best answer to your objections is join the work with experienced elders and witness the noor of the work yourself.

No amount of explanation will fulfil you equivalent to your personal experience.

There is a saying,

The taste of the pudding lies in tasting it.

Looking at the pudding will not make you understand the taste.

And Allah knows best

The consequences of an absent father

Jazakallah for writing to us regarding your concerns about a brother who is an “absent husband and father”. I would like to deal with this matter at length as Muslims are challenged with many dilemmas and fitna from all directions. It is noble and commendable to serve Allah Ta’ala’s deen where and whenever possible. However, to serve one’s family and to be consciously involved in the upbringing of one’s children is a responsibility and duty every parent has (to fulfill).

Parents have to recognise that they live in a world where “western” influences are strong, no matter how much they may try to shield their children or themselves. They cannot go on burying their heads in the sand in this day and age and believe that they will not be affected or targeted in one way or another. They have to accept that their children are growing up in a world where peer group pressure, the education system and the media, be it “mXit”, drugs, movies, pornographic material exist and can have an influence on them. These traps can have a huge impact on their children’s lives and in fact on the lives of the parents themselves.

Children become confused when they have a “temporary father” or a father who takes little interest in being present for his children. This sort of father is considered as an absent father and the children often experience conflict about whether they are loved or wanted by him or not. Yes, a mother is the child’s first school but it is the father who is most important in teaching his children what the world is all about. He is the one who helps to establish moral and social values in the lives of his daughters and sons for he is their link with the outside world. He goes out daily into the outside world and he thus has full knowledge of what his children will be faced with. It is his duty to make them aware of the possible pitfalls they may encounter out there and help them by preparing them to deal with these pitfalls and other challenges.

He is also the parent who has a great deal of influence over his children in terms of their interests, be they academic, religious, social or otherwise. When a father takes an interest in the children’s education, they are more motivated to do well and to be “like father”. Not only sons but daughters also love to impress their fathers and they often want to do well because, “my father will be so happy with me”. They identify more with the father’s qualities and code of life. This in turn helps to improve their self-esteem, confidence and identity of who they are as Muslims. They are better able to stand up to negative peer pressure and are more receptive towards avoiding evil.

When a father shows a lack of interest in his children’s education, they often lack the motivation and interest in performing well. They feel rejected or have the attitude, “What’s the point because my father does not care as he is too busy making money or doing his own thing”. They also become ambivalent about whether they can love, trust and respect him or even obey him. They often find it difficult to obey him or follow his advice or guidance because he is not ‘there for me when I need him’. By the otherwise, I mean that if a father does not convey his interest in his children’s daily lives, his children will seek the “otherwise” which could be drugs, crime or worse. They will seek acceptance and recognition from their friends who instead become more important than the ‘absent father’. In order to be accepted and to have a feeling of belonging (with their friends), these children may engage in activities that are haraam and that get them into trouble with the law.

The father should not just take the stand that he does not have to spend much time with his children or that, “My children will be safe because I am fully engaged in the work of deen” The life of a Muslim has to be one of balance. If there is no balance in how a father conducts his time between work, family and deen, his family will be rocked from pillar to post. The father is the captain of his family and as such, he has been given the responsibility to protect and guide his family safely. He is the shepherd of his flock and he has to look after them.

It is totally unacceptable that a husband goes for 4 months jamaat and leaves his wife to work and support his family. In fact, he should have seen to it that he made adequate provision for his family so that his wife did not have to work during this time. She should have been in a position to give her full attention to her children and feel safe in her home by not having to be working. By away from home too often and by not spending quality time with them, he is abdicating his duties and responsibilities as a father and husband. If he is so caught up in his own world of television, car washes, business and other activities; he is neglecting his wife’s and his children’s rights over him. He should question himself and ask why he serves other people but fails to serve his own family. He has to examine himself and ponder over where his first duty lies. It is considered a great sadqa to assist one’s wife in the home. His duty is to take his family to the doctors when needed and timeously too so that they don’t miss their appointments. Since he goes in jamaat so often, he has learnt the value of time and punctuality. Time to put it into practice, brother. The brother concerned here should seriously consider what role he is playing in his family.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Thoughts of Sinning

There are many people that are very anxious and troubled when the thought of sinning comes to their minds. Whilst Shaytaan whispers such thoughts, inviting and tempting towards sins, we should not entertain them.

I often present the analogy that our minds can be likened to a national highway. Whilst traveling on the highway, we find different kinds of vehicles and conveyances – luxury cars, old cars, trucks, bicycles, motorbikes, etc. Many a time, animals are seen being transported – horses, cows and even pigs. If we find ourselves driving behind a truck transporting pigs, then even though it is something that disgusts us, we don’t have to leave off traveling the highway. All we have to do is, indicate, accelerate, overtake and continue driving.

Similarly, our mind is like that national highway and all kinds of thoughts begin traveling the mind – good and bad. When evil thoughts visit our minds, then we should just pass them by. We should not intentionally bring them into the mind or entertain them when they come to mind. Simply ignore them. Despite the thought being bad, no sin is recorded against. In fact Hazrat Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) mentioned that Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had said that if a servant has an inclination towards some evil but does not act upon it, one good is written of good deeds.

The following is another analogy which I have also presented in explanation : If during the blessed month of Ramadaan, whilst sitting at the dastarkhaan, waiting for iftaar, many delicious foods are placed before a person, and the thought comes to his mind, to eat this or partake of that, then there is no sin in regard to those thoughts. As long as the person does not eat anything, his fast will not break and there will be no sin on the mere thought of eating the different delicacies coming to his mind.