Delaying The Prayers Beyond Their Prescribed Times

Allah says in the Qur’an
“…there came after them generations who neglected prayer and were driven by their own desires. These will come face to face with their evil (Ghayya), but those who repent, who believe, who do righteous deeds, will enter Paradise. They will not be wronged in the least…” [Surah Maryam 19:59-60]
Ibn ‘Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said:
The meaning of ‘neglected’ here does not imply complete abandonment of the prayer but delaying it beyond it time.
Sa‘id ibn al-Musayyab, the Imam of the Tabi‘un, said:
It means not praying Zuhr until the time of ‘Asr; not praying ‘Asr until the time of Maghrib; not praying Maghrib until the time of ‘Isha; not praying ‘Isha until the time of Fajr, and not praying Fajr until the sun has risen. If someone dies persisting in this state without repenting, Allah has promised him Ghayy, which is a deep valley in Hell whose food is disgusting.
Sa‘d b. Abi Waqqas, may Allah be pleased with him, said:
I asked the Messenger of Allah ﷺ about ‘those who are forgetful of their prayer‘ (107:4-5), and he said, ‘It means delaying it’ – in other words, delaying it beyond its time.
[al-Bazzar]
Ibn Hazm [d. 465AH] said:
After Shirk, there are no wrong actions greater than delaying the prayer beyond its time and killing a believer without right.
Lastly, Imam adh-Dhahabi says, we find in a hadith:
Whoever presevers in the prescribed prayers, Allah Almighty will grant him five honours:
  1. He will release him from straitened circumstances,
  2. protect him from the punishment of the grave,
  3. give him his book (of deeds) in his right hand,
  4. let him pass over the Sirat (The Bridge over hellfire) like lightning, and
  5. admit him to Paradise without reckoning.

May Allah forgive us for our shortcomings and grant us the strength to worship Him in accordance with the Sunnah of our Master Muhammad ﷺ.


[Shams ad-Din adh-Dhahabi, al-Kaba’ir]

 

Is Islam a violent religion?

After every terrorist attack, a question is always on the mind of millions of people, Is Islam a violent religion?

If we look at the military expeditions (ghazawat) in which the Prophet Muhammad—peace and blessings be upon him—took part in during the last two decades of his blessed life (27 being the largest number that has been narrated and fighting occurred in only 9 of them) then we will see that only 1,018 people were killed: 759 of them were non-Muslims and 259 were Muslims.

Before dispatching the military forces, Caliph Abu Bakr had the following commands for his army:

  • Do not commit treachery or deviate from the right path.
  • You must not mutilate dead bodies.
  • Neither kill a child, nor a woman, nor an aged man.
  • Bring no harm to the trees, nor burn them with fire, especially those which are fruitful.
  • Slay not any of the enemy’s flock, save for your food.
  • You are likely to pass by people who have devoted their lives to monastic services; leave them alone.

So, is Islam a violent religion? Well, let’s drop the apologetic tone and be clear about what Islam does say: Islam does not prohibit war, but it has regulated war. It has set down clear guidelines as to when war is right:

  • To defend and protect.
  • Collective defence-to defend the Muslim lands when attacked by other nations.
  • To seek armed peace, where the two armies would meet before every battle and have peace talks.

How many people were killed in WWI? How many people were killed in WWII? How many people have been killed in Kashmir, Afghanistan, Iraq, Levant, north Africa and several other places? Did Islam cause all of that? If Islam caused all of that, then were the Islamic regulations followed? Hundreds of thousands of Muslims were killed during the WW fighting for the British Empire. And 4-million have been killed so far in the US-NATO wars, wars with no regulations and clearly no accountability.

In Islamic polity, it is upon the Muslims to protect Muslims, as well as non-Muslims, from all external threats. The ruler and those in authority are bound to look after the interests of all subjects using all the resources at their command. The famous Maliki scholar, Imam al-Qarafi, quotes the statement of Ibn Hazm from his book Maratib al-Ijma’:

If enemies at war come to our lands aiming at a certain dhimmi (non-Muslim who lives under Islamic governance and enjoys the rights enshrined in the contract he makes under the Shariah), it is essential for us that we—Muslims—come out to fight the enemies with all our might and weapons since the dhimmi is under the protection of Allah and His Messenger. If we did anything less than this, it means we have failed in our agreement for protection.

The main emphasis of Shariah is the sanctity of the concept of due process to guarantee the life, liberty, property and honour of every human being. Therefore, Shariah has justly regulated the conduct of the believers in this world. It has sanctioned the private as well as the society’s public conduct.

Allah says in the Qur’an

“There is no coercion into the religion. Right guidance has become clearly distinct form error.” [Surah al-Baqarah 2:255]

Ibn Juzayy al-Kalbi comments on the above verse:

“There is no coercion into the religion” means that the religion of Islam is at the furthest limit of clarity with the most obvious proofs of its authenticity, such that there is no need to coerce anyone to enter into it, but on the contrary every person possessing a sound intellect will enter into it voluntarily without coercion, and this is shown by His saying, “Right guidance has become clearly distinct from error,” i.e. it has become clear that Islam is right guidance and disbelief is error so that after this clarity there is no need for coercion.
[At-Tashil li’Ulum at-Tanzil, passage translated by Abdassamad Clarke]

The Significance of the Night of Emancipation—15th of Sha’ban

Hadith on the virtue of this night:

Muʿaẓ ibn Jabal narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said:

“Allah pays special attention to his entire creation on the fifteenth night of Shaʿban and forgives all of them except one who ascribes partners to Him and one who harbours enmity in his heart.” [Al-Muʿjam al-Kabīr vol.20 pg.108-109]
— Ibn Ḥibbān has classified this narration as Ṣaḥīḥ (authentic) [Ṣaḥīḥ ibn Ḥibbān Vol.12 pg.482; Ḥadīth: 5665]
— Ḥāfiẓ Al-Haythamī has mentioned that all the narrators of this ḥadīth are reliable. [Majmaʿ al-Zawā’id Vol. 8 pg. 65]

ʿAbdullah ibn ʿUmar related that the Prophet ﷺ said:

“There are five nights on which duʿa is not turned back: Friday eve, on the eve of Rajab, the 15th night of Sha‘ban, Laylat al-Qadr, and on the eve of the two Eids.” [Muṣannaf ʿAbd ar-Razzāq, Ḥadīth 7927; authenticity unverified]

Statements of the Scholars:

Imam ash-Shafiʿi states in al-Umm:

“It has reached us that it is said that there are five nights when the duʿas are accepted; the night of Friday, the night of Eid al-Aḍḥa, the night of Eid al- Fiṭr, the first night of Rajab and the 15th of Sha‘ban.”

Shaykh ʿAbd al-Qadir al-Jilani states in Ghunya al-Ṭālibīn:

“Malik ibn Anas reports from ʿUrwah, from ʿAisha (may Allah be pleased with her) who said she heard the Prophet ﷺ state that: ‘There are four nights in which the gates of righteousness are opened; the night of Eid al-Aḍḥa, the night of Eid al-Fiṭr, the night of ʿArafa (9th Dhu ʾl-Hajj) and 15th of Shaʿban.'” [pg. 448]

Al-Ajhuri al-Maliki records in Ḥusnul Bayān:

“‘Aṭā ibn Yasār—the great Tabiʿi of Madinah—said: ‘After Laylat al-Qadr, there is no other night in the year that is more virtuous than the middle (15th) night of Shaʿban.’” [pg.11]

Ibn al-Ḥajj states in al-Madkhal:

“This night has great virtue and abundant good.” He further says, “The salaf (pious predecessors) would sanctify this night and prepare themselves for it in advance.” [1/299]

Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi states in Mukhtaṣar Minhāj al-Qāṣidīn:

“The most virtuous nights, that the devout servant of Allah should observe Qiyam al-Layl therein, are:
—The odd nights from the last ten nights of Ramaḍan,
—1st and 10th of Muharram,
—1st and 15th of Rajab,
—15th of Sha’ban…”

Ibn Rajab al-Ḥanbalī states in Laṭāʾif al-Maʿārif:

“…There is nothing established from the Messenger of Allah ﷺ nor from his companions with regard to spending the 15th night of Shaʿban in worship. But it is established that a group of Tābiʿūn —who were senior jurists of Shām—used to spend this night in worship.” He further says, “…It is thus the duty of every believer to free himself on the night for the remembrance of Allah and supplicating to Him for the forgiveness of sins, concealment of faults, and removal of hardships. And he should precede all this with repentance because Allah Almighty turns to the one who repents to Him on this night.” [pg. 264-265]

All of the above sufficiently confirms the significance of the 15th night of Sha’ban. As for a list of optional acts that can be performed on this night, see:
Optional Acts for the Night of Emancipation—15th of Sha’ban

May Allah ﷻ guide us all, and may He ﷻ allow us to maximise our benefit from the auspiciousness of this night.

Maliki School: The Timbukti Syllabus

The Timbukti syllabus is an old method of teaching; it was the exact method of teaching adopted by scholars in Medina before and after Imam Malik: A student reads before the scholar, just like children read to the teacher, and if he makes a mistake, the teacher corrects him. The teacher interprets and explains the sacred texts to the student. The order that is followed in teaching the series of books of jurisprudence (fiqh)—according to the Maliki school—differs from place to place and from one school to another. However, the most common order is as follows:

  1. Qawāʿid aṣ-Ṣalāh (or Kawaʿidi) is a treatise of about thirty pages by an unknown author. It concerns the principles of prayer and articles of faith.
  2. Mukhtaṣar al-Akhḍarī by Abū Zaid ʿAbdur-Raḥmān al-Akhḍarī, which is an introduction to Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) with emphasis on purification of the heart (taṣawwuf), ritual purity (tahārah) and prayer (ṣalāh).
  3. Al-ʿAshmāwiyyah by ʿAbd al-Bārī al-ʿAshmāwī ar-Rifāʿī, which is an introductory text that covers ritual purity (tahārah), prayer (ṣalāh) and fasting (ṣawm). It is studied alongside:
  4. Manẓūmah al-Qurṭubī fiʾl-ʿIbādāt by Yaḥyā al-Qurṭubī, which is another introductory text covering the five pillars of Islam: creed (ʿaqīdah), prayer (ṣalāh), fasting (ṣawm), alms (zakāh) and pilgrimage (ḥajj) to the holy sanctuary.
  5. Al-Muqaddimah al-ʿIzziyyah by Abul Ḥassan ʿAlī ash-Shādhilī is an intermediate text that concerns the jurisprudence of worship (ʿibādāt), commercial transactions (muʿāmalāt), as well as social ethics. It is studied alongside:
  6. Naẓmu Muqaddimah Ibn Rushd by ʿAbd ar-Raḥmān ar-Rāfiʿī, which is an intermediate text that adds to Manẓūmah al-Qurṭubī. It explains the jurisprudence concerning the five pillars of Islam in detail.
  7. Al-Risālah by Abū Muḥammad ʿAbdullāh ibn Abī Zayd al-Qayrawānī is another intermediate text in the school. The first half is on worship (ʿibādāt), the second concerns aspects of jurisprudence such as marriage (nikāḥ), divorce (ṭalāq), commercial transactions (muʿāmalāt), inheritance (mīrāth), punishments (ḥudūd) and social ethics. This text has the distinction of being continuously taught for over a thousand years—the only fiqh text to have reached us with tawātur (mass-transmission). One unique feature is that the author often uses prophetic traditions (ahādīth) to construct the wording of the text.
  8. Al-Murshid al-Muʿīn by Ibn ‘Āshir, which is an extensive text, categorised into three sciences: Ashʿarī Theology (ʿaqīdah), Maliki Jurisprudence (fiqh) and Spirituality (taṣawwuf) based on the spiritual path of Imam Junaid al-Baghdādī.
  9. Miṣbāh al-Sālik by ʿAbd al-Waṣīf Muḥammad is one of the first advanced books of the Maliki school that is studied before studying later advanced works. This book covers theology, all chapters of jurisprudence (worship, marriage, transactions, commerce, judicial law etc.), and social ethics (akhlāq).
  10. Aqrab al-Masālik by Aḥmad bin Muḥammad bin Aḥmad ad-Dardīr is an advance text that is an abridgement of al-Khalil’s Mukhtaṣar. The author leaves out the differences of opinion, and clarifies some difficult passages from Mukhtaṣar.
  11. Mukhtaṣar Khalīl by Khalīl ibn Isḥāq al-Jundī is the last advance text that is covered by the students of the Maliki school.  It concerns the differences of opinion among major authorities within the school. It has an unrivalled position in the later Maliki school and is the relied upon and mufta bihi text today.

References:

Hausa Women in the Twentieth Century, edited by Catherine M. Coles, Beverly Mack
Maliki Law: The Predominant Muslim Law in Nigeria, by Barr. Abdullahi Ghazali

Why is my du‘a not being answered?

Ibn ‘Aṭāillāh al-Iskandari [d. 709AH/1309CE] says in his famous work, al-Ḥikam – or “Aphorisms”:

6. If, in spite of intense supplication, there is a delay in the timing of the Gift, let that not be the cause for your despair. For He ﷻ has guaranteed you a response in what He ﷻ chooses for you, not in what you choose for yourself; and at the time He ﷻ desires, not the time you desire.

‘Abd al-Majīd al-Shurnūbī [d. 1348H/1929CE] explains this aphorism in his work, Sharḥ al-Ḥikam:

That is, let not a delay in the timing of a gift [response] – despite persistence and firm continuance in making du‘a – be a cause to despair about a response to the du‘a. For Allah, transcendent is He, has guaranteed you a response, as per His ﷻ words: “Call upon Me, and I will respond to you” [60:40] in what He ﷻ chooses for you, not what you choose for yourself. For He ﷻ knows what is better for you than you do. Perhaps you may ask for a thing, the denial of which is better for you.

The author writes later: “Sometimes He ﷻ gives while depriving you, and sometimes He ﷻ deprives while giving to you.” This is witnessed by those who realise the station: It may be that you hate a thing though it is good for you, or love a thing though it is bad for you. Allah knows, but you know not.” [2:216] This is why one of the gnostics stated: “His ﷻ withholding from you is, in reality, a form of giving.”

Likewise, He ﷻ has guaranteed you a response in the time He ﷻ chooses, not in the time of your choosing. You ought to cultivate a Moses like patience, for patience and avoiding hastiness more befits the servant. Don’t you see that Moses would supplicate against Pharaoh and his people, and Aaron would say: “Amen” to it: “O Lord, destroy their riches and harden their hearts so that they persist in disbelief, until they face the painful torment.” [10:88] Yet only after forty years were their prayers answered, as He ﷻ said: “Your prayer is answered. Follow, both of you, the right path and do not walk in the footsteps of those who know not.” [10:89] In one ḥadīth [it says]: “Indeed, Allah loves those who are persistent in supplicating.” It has also been related that when a righteous slave supplicates to Allah, exalted is He, Gabriel says: O Lord, your slave wants a need of his fulfilled. So Allah ﷻ responds: “Leave my slave; for I love him and love to hear his voice.”

So, O aspirant, fulfil what Allah ﷻ has instructed you with in respect to supplication, and submit to His ﷻ will. Perhaps you will be responded to by Him ﷻ withholding from you and giving you other than what you were seeking, by which you are then granted the greatest good, and even more. [10:26]


Source: The Humble “I”
Picture by: Umar Khan ©

The World is like Water – Imam al-Qurtubi [d. 671 AH]

Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, says:

Tell them, too, what the life of this world is like: We send water down from the skies and the Earth’s vegetation absorbs it, but soon the plants turn to dry stubble scattered about by the wind: God has power over everything.” [Sūrah al-Kahf 18:45]

Commentary:


Imām Al-Qurṭubī says that Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, compares the world to water for five reasons:

  1. Water does not settle in any location, similarly this world does not remain with one person for life.
  2. Water does not remain in a single state, similarly this world is constantly changing.
  3. Water does not last, it disappears after some time, similarly this world disappears sooner or later.
  4. No one can enter water without getting wet; similarly anyone who enters this world will not be safe from its trials and tribulations.
  5. In certain limited amounts water is beneficial and causes plants to grow. But if it surpasses the beneficial amount it becomes harmful and destructive. Similarly, taking what is sufficient from this world is beneficial, while taking excess can be harmful.

Will I be punished even if I believe in the Divine?

hopeThe answer can be found in the following verse of the Qur’an, Surah an-Nisā 4:147, in which Allah says:

{ مَّا يَفْعَلُ ٱللَّهُ بِعَذَابِكُمْ إِن شَكَرْتُمْ وَآمَنْتُمْ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ شَاكِراً عَلِيماً }

Why would God punish you if you are thankful and believe? God is ever Thankful, Knowing.

Imam al-Qushayrī [d.376 AH] comments:

This verse is among the verses which engenders beautiful hopefulness and powerful optimism because He has made two things: “Thankfulness” (Shukr) and “Belief” (Īmān), among the signs of protection (amān) in what is to come; and these are easy and light qualities…

It is said that if you are thankful and believe, you confirm the truth that your salvation is through God, not because of your thankfulness or your belief.

It is said, Allah is thankful to his servant because He knows his weakness, and it is said He is thankful to him because He knows that his servant is not disobedient and that his aim is not to oppose His Lord. Rather, he sins because of the overwhelming cravings that are among the states of being human.

It is said [the servant] is thankful to Him because he knows in the state of his sins that he has a Lord who pardons him.

[Latā’if al-Ishārāt [Subtleties of the Allusions] by Imām Abu’l-Qāsim al-Qushayrī].

If you look for the words “most people” in the Qur’an, you will find that most of mankind:

 “do not know” [7:187],
“do not give thanks” [2:243]
“do not believe” [11:17].
“defiantly disobedient” [5:59],
“ignorant” [6:111],
“turning away” [21:24],
“do not reason” [29:23], and
“do not listen” [8:21].

So be of the “few”, whom Allah says about them:

“And few of My servants are grateful.” (34:13)
“But none had believed with him, except a few.” (11:40)

May Allah forgive us all and make us amongst those who believe and are thankful.