Muharram: The Sacred Month of Allah

Allāh ﷻ says in the Qur’ān:

“Verily, the number of months with Allāh is twelve months (in a year), so was it ordained by Allāh on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are Sacred (i.e. The 1st, Muḥarram; the 7th, Rajab; the 11th, Dhū al-Qa’dāh; and the 12th, Dhū al-Ḥijjah). That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein, and fight against the Mushrikūn collectively as they fight against you collectively. But know that Allāh is with those who are Al-Muttaqūn (the pious).”

[Sūrah at-Tawbah 9, verse 36]

In explanation of the above verse, Imām al-Qurṭubī al-Mālikī said:

“Allāh ﷻ mentioned the sacred four months in specific and forbade injustice in them as a kind of honor to them, although injustice is forbidden in all times. As for His ﷻ saying {so wrong not yourselves therein}, that means not to wrong yourselves therein by committing sins, because when Allāh ﷻ honors something from one aspect, it gains one sanctity; however, when He ﷻ honors it from two, or more, aspects, its sanctity becomes multiplex. Therefore, Allāh ﷻ multiplies punishment in it for doing evil deed as He ﷻ multiplies the reward in it for doing good deed. The person who obeys Allāh ﷻ in the sacred month in sacred city is not like the one who obeyed Him ﷻ in the lawful month in the sacred city. And the person who obeys Him ﷻ in the lawful month in the sacred city is not like the one who obeyed Him ﷻ in lawful month in lawful city.”

[Al-Jāmi’ Li-Ahkām Al-Qurān: 8/134]

‘Alī bin Abī Tālib – May Allāh be pleased with him – states that:

“A man came to the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ and said: “O Messenger of Allāh! Inform me of a month in which I could fast after the month of Ramadhān.” The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ said: “If you want to fast in any month after Ramaḍhān, fast in Muḥarram because it is the month of Allāh. It is a month in which Allāh ﷻ accepted the repentance of a nation and will accept the repentance of other nations [as well].”

[Aḥmad 1/154 and Tirmidhī 741]

Ibn Rajab al-Ḥanbalī says in Laṭāif al-Ma‘ārif:

“The Prophet ﷺ called Muharram ‘the month of Allāh’. Actually, attributing it to Allāh demonstrates its honour and merit, because Allāh ﷻ only attributes His special creations to His self. For example, He ﷻ attributed Muhammad, Ibrahim, Ishaq, Ya’qub and others among the prophets (upon them all be peace) to His worship, and as He ﷻ attributed His House (the Ka’bah) and She-camel to Himself.

Since this month is specifically attributed to Allāh ﷻ and fasting is one of the deeds which is attributed to Allāh ﷻ, it was considered appropriate to specify an action for this month – which is attributed to Him ﷻ – with an action – that is attributed to Him ﷻ and – done solely for Him ﷻ, viz. Fasting.

Fasting is a secret between a servant and His Lord. It is for this reason that Allāh ﷻ says: ‘Every deed of man is for him, except for fasting. It is for Me and I shall personally give the reward for it because he gave up his desires, food and drink for My sake.'” [Sahīh Bukhārī 1904]

Ibn Rajab further says:

Qatādah states that the dawn on which Allāh ﷻ took an oath in the first verse of Sūrah al-Fajr is the dawn of the 1st of Muḥarram from which the year commences. Since the [four] sanctified months are the most superior after the month of Ramadhān, or they are the most superior of all, it is desirable to fast in all of them – as instructed by the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ. One of them marks the end of the lunar year [Dhū al-Ḥijjah] while another marks the beginning of the lunar year [Muḥarram]. If a person fasts for the entire month of Dhū al-Ḥijjah – apart from the days on which fasting is prohibited – and then fasts for the entire month of Muḥarram, he would have concluded the year with obedience and commenced the next year with obedience. It would thus be hoped that his entire year will be recorded as an act of obedience. This is because when a person’s initial deed is an act of obedience, he is considered to be completely engrossed in obedience in the period between the two.

A Ḥadīth states: “When the angels, who are deputed to record deeds, take a book of deeds to Allāh ﷻ and He set sees good in its beginning and end, He ﷻ says to His angels: ‘I make you witnesses to the fact that I have forgiven My servant for the intervening period.'”

Argumentation without Knowledge

“Realise brothers that argumentation without knowledge causes the loss of much good and leads the ones arguing to invalidate a path from one of the paths of the sharī`ah. . . We have taken an oath that we would not open the door of argumentation without knowledge with anyone. Acting in that by the words of the Prophet, ‘No one argues about the religion except an infidel or an apostate in the religion.’

We qualified the blameworthiness of argumentation by our words, ‘without knowledge’ in order to exclude those who argue with knowledge about the religion of Allāh `azza wa jalla. For that type of argumentation is obligatory.

However, no servant attains the rank of knowledge and is called someone who can argue with knowledge except if he knows all of the paths of the sharī`ah. It says in the prophetic tradition, ‘Verily the sharī`ah came in three-hundred and thirteen paths. There is not a single path from among them which a servants takes except that by means of it his Lord will enter him into Paradise.’ this has been related by at-Tabrānī and others. For if a person knows all of these paths and he sees a path which contradicts these paths, then he has the right to argue concerning it. However, if he is ignorant of even a single path, then it is not possible for him to enter into dispute or perhaps he will invalidate by his arguments one of the paths of the sharī`ah; or perhaps he refuses to act by it and loses much good. As a result he becomes counted among those who reject the sharī`ah.”

[Excerpt taken from Shaykh ‘Uthmān ibn Fodio’s, Najm al-Ikhwān]

The Secrets of Surah al-Kahf

Suratul kahfEver wondered why Prophet Muhammad ﷺ asked us to recite Sūrah Al-Kahf (Chapter 18) every Friday?

Let’s find out today inshāAllāh…

Virtues of Sūrah al-Kahf:

Abdullāh Ibn ‘Umar said: “The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ said:

‘Whoever reads Sūrah al-Kahf on the day of Jumu’ah (Friday), a light will shine for him from beneath his feet to the clouds of the sky, which will shine for him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will be forgiven (his sins) between the two Fridays.”
[al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb, 1/298]

Imam ash-Shāfi’ī said in al-Umm 1.239:

“It has reached us that whoever recites Sūrah al-Kahf on Fridays will be protected from the Dajjāl (Anti-Christ).”

al-Hāfidh ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalānī said in Amāli:

“In some reports it says ‘the day of Jumu’ah (Friday)’ and in some reports it says ‘the night of Jumu’ah (Friday)’. They may be reconciled by saying that what is meant is the day which includes the night and vice versa.” (Fayd al-Qadeer, 6/199)

The stories in Sūrah al-Kahf:

  1. The People of The Cave
    This is the story of young believing men who lived in a disbelieving town, so they decided to migrate for the sake of Allāh. Allāh rewards them with mercy in the cave and protection from the sun. They go to sleep and wake up hundreds of years later and found the entire village as believers.
    Moral: Trial of Faith

  2. The Owner of Two Gardens
    This is a story of a man whom Allāh blessed with two beautiful gardens, but the man forgot to thank the One who blessed him with everything and he even dared to doubt Allāh regarding the afterlife. So his garden was destroyed – He regretted, but was too late and his regret did not benefit him.
    Moral: Trial of Wealth

  3. Prophet Mūsā (Moses) and Khidr, the righteous servant of Allāh
    This is a story of Prophet Mūsā (Moses) and Khidr, the righteous servant of Allāh (May peace be upon them both); when Prophet Mūsā (Moses) was asked, “Who’s the most knowledgeable of the people of earth?” He replied, “Me”. Allāh then revealed to him that there’s someone who knows more than him. Mūsā (Moses) then traveled to Khidr and learnt how the Divine Wisdom can sometimes be hidden in matters which we perceive as bad.
    Moral: Trial of Knowledge

  4. Dhul-Qarnayn
    The story of the Great King, Dhul Qarnayn, that was given knowledge and power; who explores the ends of the Earth, helping people and spreading all that’s good. He was able to overcome the problem of Ya’jūj-Ma’jūj (Gog and Magog) with the help of people (whom he could not understand) and builds a massive barrier by filling up the space between the two steep mountains-sides with iron and molten lead.
    Moral: Trial of Power

The relationship between Sūrah Al-Kahf and the Dajjāl (Anti-Christ):

The Dajjāl (Anti-Christ) will appear before the Day of Judgement with four trials:

  1. Trial of Faith: He will ask people to worship him and not Allāh.
  2. Trial of Wealth: He will be given powers to start/stop rain and tempt people with his wealth
  3. Trial of Knowledge: He will trial people with the “knowledge” and news he gives them.
  4. Trial of Power: He will explore and control the ends of the Earth.

How to survive these trials? The answer lies in Sūrah al-Kahf

  1. Good companionship
    “And keep thy soul content with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, seeking His Face; and let not thine eyes pass beyond them, seeking the pomp and glitter of this Life; no obey any whose heart We have permitted to neglect the remembrance of Us, one who follows his own desires, whose case has gone beyond all bounds.” 
    (Sūrah Al-Kahf, verse 28)
  2. Know the reality about the life of this world
    “Set forth to them the similitude of the life of this world: It is like the rain which we send down from the skies: the earth’s vegetation absorbs it, but soon it becomes dry stubble, which the winds do scatter: it is (only) Allah who prevails over all things” (Sūrah Al-Kahf, verse 45)
  3. Humility
    “Moses said: “Thou wilt find me, if Allah so will, (truly) patient: nor shall I disobey thee in aught.”” (Sūrah Al-Kahf, verse 69)
  4. Sincerity
    “Say: “I am but a man like yourselves, (but) the inspiration has come to me, that your god is one God. Whoever expects to meet his Lord, let him work righteousness, and, in the worship of his Lord, admit no one as partner.” (Sūrah Al- Kahf, verse 110)
  5. Calling to Allāh
    “And recite (and teach) what has been revealed to thee of the Book of thy Lord: none can change His Words, and none wilt thou find as a refuge other than Him.” (Sūrah Al-Kahf, verse 27)
  6. Remembering the Hereafter
    “One Day We shall remove the mountains, and thou wilt see the earth as a level stretch, and We shall gather them, all together, nor shall We leave out any one of them. And they will be marshalled before thy Lord in ranks, (with the announcement), “Now have ye come to Us (bare) as We created you first: aye, ye thought We shall not fulfil the appointment made to you to meet (Us)!”: And the Book (of Deeds) will be placed (before you); and thou wilt see the sinful in great terror because of what is (recorded) therein; they will say, “Ah! woe to us! what a Book is this! It leaves out nothing small or great,but takes account thereof !” They will find all that they did, placed before them: And not one will thy Lord treat with injustice.” (Sūrah Al-Kahf, verses 47-49)

Make it a habit to recite and reflect upon this Sūrah every Friday.


Next Post: The parallel between the four stories of Sūrah al-Kahf and the path of the Ummah

A debate with a Quranist

Quranists reject the religious authority of Hadīth (Prophetic traditions), as they consider it inconsistent with the Quran. This in contrast to the ‘Aqīdah (Creed) of Ahl as-Sunnah wal-Jamā’ah (People of the Prophetic Way and the Majority of Scholars) who consider hadīth essential for the Islamic faith.

Quranist: Why do you follow Sunnah/Hadeeth? Quran is enough for us and we don’t need Sunnah/Hadeeth.

Me: Before we continue, have you read the Qur’ān? Do you know Arabic?

Quranist: Yes, I have read the Quran twice in English translation; it was translated by someone who also doesn’t believe in Hadeeth/Sunnah.

Me: Your contention is that, “Quran is enough for us and we don’t need Sunnah or Hadeeth.” Although, it’s quite amusing to see you using the two terms – Sunnah and Hadīth – interchangeably, when technically they’re not the same.

You have only read the Qur’ān twice, in English interpretation (and not “translation” as you like to call it) when the Qur’ān was revealed in Arabic, yet you trust someone else’s interpretation for it; and that someone doesn’t believe in Hadīth or Sunnah like you.

Firstly, there is no such thing as Quranic interpretation, without the use of Sunnah or Hadīth. Qur’ān wasn’t compiled in a mushaf during the time of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, but the compilation took place after He ﷺ had passed away. Qur’ān was memorised by thousands of companions (May Allah be pleased with them all), just like they also memorised the words and actions of the Prophet ﷺ. But you see no problem in taking the Qur’ān from them but you don’t accept when they narrate about what they heard and saw from Him ﷺ.

Secondly, even the Qur’ān tells us to follow the Prophet ﷺ, but you Quranists are too arrogant to follow “just another man”.

“And We revealed to you (O Muhammad ﷺ) the Dhikr that you may explain to the people what was sent down to them and that they might give thought.”
[Sūrah Nahl 16, verse 44]

This explanation is nothing other than the Sunnah, which teaches us how to pray, give Zakāh, fast the month of Ramadhān, perform Hajj, etc. The rules of the Qur’ān are general: It asks repeatedly to perform Salāh, give Zakāh, perform Hajj, but it never specified the number of Rak’ahs for prayers, or the amount for Zakah or how to perform Hajj, etc. If this is unknown, it’d imply that the religion is incomplete, which actually goes against the Qur’ān itself and therefore a heresy; Quranists shouldn’t align themselves with orthodox Islām.

Thirdly, you claim that Qur’ān is clear without one having to resort to Hadīth or the Sunnah, but the Qur’ān itself says, interpretation of which states:

“It is He who sent down to you, [O Muhammad ﷺ], the Book, in it are verses [that are] precise – they are the foundation of the Book – and others unspecific. As for those in whose hearts is deviation [from truth], they will follow that of it which is unspecific, seeking discord and seeking an interpretation [suitable to them]. And no one knows its [true] interpretation except Allāh. But those firm in knowledge say, “We believe in it. All [of it] is from our Lord.” And no one will be reminded except those of understanding.”
[Sūrah Āli-‘Imrān 3, verse 7]

So the Qur’ān itself is refuting your false notion. Some verses in the Qur’ān are not clear except for the people of knowledge. And who are those people of knowledge? Well, they have to be those to whom it was explained (The Sahābah, may Allāh be pleased with them all). Who explained it to them?! It had to be the Prophet ﷺ. Proof for that can be found in the Qur’ān itself:

“And We revealed to you (O Muhammad) the message that you may make clear to the people what was sent down to them and that they might give thought.”
[Sūrah Nahl 16, verse 44]

The Prophet ﷺ explained it to His companions, who explained it to those who followed them, and those followers explained it to those who followed them…with a sound chain which exists till now and will continue InshāAllāh.

“And even if We had sent down to you, [O Muhammad], a written scripture on a page and they touched it with their hands, the disbelievers would say, “This is not but obvious magic.””
[Sūrah al-An’ām 6, verse 7]

Fourthly, you asked me to name you ten Sunnahs that we must follow. Well, you don’t believe in Sunnah or Hadīth, so you please tell me from the Qur’ān;

– How to pray and what exactly to recite therein?
– Is the Ādhān mentioned in the Qur’ān?
– How people should get married and what exactly are the conditions for it and the – rights for men and women?
– How do we perform Hajj?
– How much of our wealth is to be given in Zakāh and what exactly is included in the wealth?

Just answer these for now, I’ll be grateful J

Quranist: AND I will say that I’m MUSLIM, submitter to GOD all day long, go live in Mecca, I don’t know why you people live here to be honest.

Me: How do you submit to Allāh? He commands us to “Obey Allāh and Obey His Messenger”, but you Quranists do the exact opposite; you follow your desires and logical fallacies and put the Sunnah of Muhammad ﷺ aside. He commands us to pray, but you don’t know how to because it is not even mentioned in the Qur’ān. This can go on and on  but I think I have made my point here.

To conclude, I see nothing but incoherence, ignorance, arrogance and inconsistencies in the version of Islam you propagate, or I simply don’t understand you; more likely to be the first.

By the way, as for me not living here and living in Mecca, do you have proof from the Qur’ān for that? 🙂

May Allāh guide us all to the Haqq.

Are We Seeking Life of This World or The Hereafter?

Allah says in the Qur’an, Surah Hood 11, Verse 15-16; interpretation of which states:

“Whosoever desires the life of the world and its glitter, to them We shall pay in full (the wages of) their deeds therein, and they will have no diminution therein. They are those for whom there is nothing in the Hereafter but Fire, and vain are the deeds they did therein. And of no effect is that which they used to do.”

`Abdullah Ibn `Abbaas (died 68 AH) رضي الله عنه said concerning this verse:

“Verily those who show-off will be given their reward for their good deeds in this life. This will be so that they are not wronged, even the amount equivalent to the size of the speck on a date-stone. Therefore, whoever does a good deed seeking to acquire worldly gain – like fasting, prayer, or standing for prayer at night – and he does so in order to acquire worldly benefit, then Allaah says: `Give him the reward of that which he sought in the worldly life,’ and his deed that he did is wasted because he was only seeking the life of this world. In the Hereafter he will be of the losers.”

Mujaahid (died 104 AH) رضي الله عنه said concerning this verse:

“This verse was revealed concerning the people who perform deeds to be seen.”

Qataadah (died 118 AH) رضي الله عنه said concerning this verse:

“Whoever’s concern, intention and goal is this worldly life, then Allaah will reward him for his good deeds in this life. Then, when reaches the next life, he will not have any good deeds for which will be rewarded. However, concerning the believer, he will be rewarded for his good deeds in this life and in the Hereafter as well.”

Jesus the “Son of Mary”, NOT “the Son of God”

By Abdul Samad Ali

The term “Son of God” or “God’s son” occurs in the synoptic gospels 27 times and the term “the son” occurs 9 times. It is not sufficient, however, to consider the texts in which the title actually occurs. Passages throwing light upon Jesus’ conception of the divine fatherhood in general and man’s sons must also be examined. Whenever a reputed saying of Jesus is drawn into discussion, it must be tested in a retranslation into the Aramaic dialect spoken by Jesus; and the same applies to utterances concerning him by persons to whom this Galilean speech was the vernacular. It is necessary to bear in mind the fundamental distinction between the the Greek words ascribed to Jesus which we posess, and the Aramaic sentences he spoke which we can only surmise.

The synoptic tradition records no utterance of Jesus in which he distinctly refers to himself as a”son of God.” In Mathew 27:43, it is indeed said that mocking high priests, scribes and elders quoted him as saying: “I am a son of God.’ but the only ground for such an assertion would be Jesus’ answer to the high priests question in Mathew 26-67. The taunt seems to have been made up of phrases from Wisdom 2:16-18 of more importance would be the distinction between ‘my father’ and ‘your father’, only if this could be traced back to Jesus himself.

At the time when these accounts were elaborated ‘Son of Man’, ‘Christ’ and ‘Son of God’ had become synonymous and ‘Son of God’ was understood as ‘God,’ so that the blasphemy of making oneself equal with God could be conceived of as a charge brought against Jesus, which was the intention of the High priests. The ‘Son of God’ in Matthew 27:40 is lacking in the parallel passage Mark 15: 29 and the utterance is based on Matthew 26:61 or Mark 14:58, having no more historic value than these improbable testimonies.

On the other hand, “Son of Man” – In the New Testament – is a designation applied to Jesus. It is found only in the Gospels and always on His own lips, where He is referring to himself as “the Son of Man”. I wonder as to why he never referred to himself as the “son of god” instead of “son of man”

The term “Son of man” occurs aprox 109 times in the Bible, and carries with it no implication of divinity. Rather the phrase is translated in the Hebrew as “Ben Adam” or in the Aramaic as “Bar Enash”. In the Semitic languages the individual is often designated as a son of species to which he belongs, the species being indicated by a collective or plural noun. The fact that Jesus refers to himself as “Ben Adam” to mean Son of Adam as opposed to “Ben Elohim” to mean Son of God, is a border line between monotheism and polytheism. But even then, the term “bnē elōhim” in Genesis 6-24 were understood in some circles to be angels, according to the exegetes as early as 2nd Century BC.

A critical study of the synoptic material leads inevitably to the conclusion that Jesus never called himself ‘the Son of God’, and never was he addressed by that title. A careful examination of the gospels tends to produce the conviction that Jesus never assumed the title ‘Son of God’ either to designate himself as the expected king of Israel or to intimate that his nature was unlike that of other men, but that he spoke of men in general as ‘the sons of God’, figuratively meaning ‘The creation of God’ and of God as their ‘Father’, figuratively meaning ‘Their Creator’.

“Then she (Mary) brought him (Jesus) to her people, carrying him. They said, “O Mary, you have certainly done a thing unprecedented. O sister of Aaron, your father was not a man of evil, nor was your mother unchaste.” So she (Mary) pointed to him (Jesus). They said, “How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?”

[Jesus] said, “Indeed, I am the servant of God. He has given me the Scripture and made me a prophet. And He has made me blessed wheresoever I be, and has enjoined on me Salah (prayer), and Zakah (almsgiving), as long as I live.And (made me) dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me a wretched tyrant. And peace be upon me, the day I was born and the day I will die and the day I am raised alive.”

{Qur’an, Sura Maryam (Mary) 19, Verse 27-33}

Son of Man and Son of God in modern Theology
Encyclopedia Biblica – Cheyne and Black from page 4690 to 4740
The Oxford Dictionary of The Christian Church – 3rd Edition