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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Poison Your Mother-in-Law ...

A long time ago in China, a girl named Li-Li got married and went to live with her husband and mother-in-law. In a very short time, Li-Li found that she couldn't get along with her mother-in-law at all.

Their personalities were very different, and Li-Li was angered by many of her mother-in-law's habits. In addition, she criticised Li-Li constantly.

Days passed days, and weeks passed weeks. Li-Li and her mother-in-law never stopped arguing and fighting. But what made the situation even worse was that, according to ancient Chinese tradition, Li-Li had to bow to her mother-in-law and obey her every wish.

All the anger and unhappiness in the house was causing Li-Li's poor husband great distress.

Finally, Li-Li could not stand her mother-in-law's bad temper and dictatorship any longer, and she decided to do something about it.

Li-Li went to see her father's good friend, Mr. Huang, who sold herbs. She told him the situation and asked if he would give her some poison so that she could solve the problem once and for all. Mr. Huang thought for a while, and finally said, Li-Li, I will help you solve your problem, but you must listen to me and obey what I tell you. Li-Li said, "Yes, Mr. Huang, I will do whatever you tell me to do."

Mr.Huang went into the back room, and returned in a few minutes with a package of herbs.

He told Li-Li, "You can't use a quick-acting poison to get rid of your mother-in-law, because that would cause people to become suspicious. Therefore, I have given you a number of herbs that will slowly build up poison in her body.

Every other day prepare some delicious meal and put a little of these herbs in her serving. Now, in order to make sure that nobody suspects you when she dies, you must be very careful to act very friendly towards her. Don't argue with her, obey her every wish, and treat her like a queen."

Li-Li was so happy. She thanked Mr. Huang and hurried home to start her plot of murdering her mother-in-law.

Weeks went by, and months went by, and every other day, Li-Li served the specially treated food to her mother-in-law. She remembered what Mr.Huang had said about avoiding suspicion, so she controlled her temper, obeyed her mother-in-law, and treated her like her own mother. After six months had passed, the whole household had changed.

Li-Li had practiced controlling her temper so much that she found that she almost never got mad or upset. She hadn't had an argument with her mother-in-law in six months because she now seemed much kinder and easier to get along with.

The mother-in-law's attitude toward Li-Li changed, and she began to love Li-Li like her own daughter. She kept telling friends and relatives that Li-Li was the best daughter-in-law one could ever find. Li-Li and her mother-in-law were now treating each other like a real mother and daughter.

Li-Li's husband was very happy to see what was happening.

One day, Li-Li came to see Mr. Huang and asked for his help again. She said, "Dear Mr. Huang, please help me to keep the poison from killing my mother-in-law! She's changed into such a nice woman, and I love her like my own mother. I do not want her to die because of the poison I gave her."

Mr. Huang smiled and nodded his head. "Li-Li, there's nothing to worry about. I never gave you any poison. The herbs I gave you were vitimans to improve her health. The only poison was in your mind and your attitude toward her, but that has been all washed away by the love which you gave to her."


Treatment of Mothers-in-LawsBy Dr. Muhammad Ali Al-Hashimi
Excerpt from: The Muslim Woman and her Husband.


Note: Although the article below is written in reference to the wife treating her mother-in-law.
The advices are also applicable to the husband in his treatment to his mother-in-law as well.
One of the ways in which a wife expresses her respect towards her husband is by honouring and respecting his mother.

The Muslim woman who truly understands the teachings of her religion knows that the person who has the greatest right over a man is his mother, as one notes in many Ahaadeeth. So she helps him to honour and respect his mother, by also honouring and respecting her. In this way she will do herself and her husband a favour, as she will be helping him to do good deeds and fear Allah Ta'ala, as commanded by the Qur'an. At the same time, she will endear herself to her husband, who will appreciate her honour and respect towards his family in general, and towards his mother in particular. Nothing could please a decent, righteous and respectful man more than seeing strong ties of love and respect between his wife and his family, and nothing could be more hateful to a decent man than to see those ties destroyed by the forces of evil, hatred and conspiracy. The Muslim family which is guided by faith in Allah Ta'ala and follows the pure teachings of Islam is unlikely to fall into the trap of such jahili (ignorant) behaviour, which usually flourishes in communities today.

A Muslim wife may find herself being tested by her mother-in-law and other in-laws, if they are not of good character. If such is the case, she is obliged and would be meritorious to treat them in the best way possible, which requires a great deal of cleverness, courtesy, diplomacy and repelling evil with that which is better. Thus she will maintain a balance between her relationship with her in-laws and her relationship with her husband, and she will protect herself and her marriage from any adverse effects that may result from the lack of such a balance.

The Muslim woman should never think that she is the only one who is required to be a good and caring companion to her spouse, and that nothing similar is required of her husband or that there is nothing wrong with him mistreating her or failing to fulfill some of the responsibilities of marriage. Islam has regulated the marital relationship by giving each partner both rights and duties. The wife's duties of honouring and taking care of her husband are balanced by the rights that she has over him, which are that he should protect her honour and dignity from all kinds of mockery, humiliation, trials or oppression. These rights of the wife comprise the husband's duties towards her: he is obliged to honour them and fulfil them as completely as possible.

One of the Muslim husband's duties is to fulfill his role of qawwam (maintainer and protector) properly. This is a role that can only be properly fulfilled by a man who is a successful leader in his home and family, one who possesses likeable character and qualities. Such a man has a noble and worthy attitude, is tolerant, overlooks minor errors, is in control of his married life, and is generous without being extravagant. He respect s his wife's feelings and makes her feel that she shares the responsibility of running the household affairs, bringing up the children,and working with him to build a sound Muslim family, as Islam wants it to be.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

100 Questions ask before marriage

When choosing a life partner, there are numerous questions that should be asked and scenarios that should be explored. Following the principle that prevention is better than cure, it seems wise to air these questions and scenarios before a match is finalized. Some of the issues may appear trivial or mundane, but the stuff of everyday life is also the stuff of laughter, companionship, compromise and let's not forget the 'constructive criticisms'!

Other issues are more serious, and may be indicative of the potential for a dysfunctional marriage. Each marriage will have its ups and downs, but settling some of these matters may avoid the emergence of problems and consequent heartbreak and ultimately lead towards a genuine relationship.

The object of the quest for marriage is to explore all avenues that would clear up any confusion for both parties and lead towards bliss and contentment.

Questions may be asked directly or "researched" by observation, asking his relatives, members of the community, etc. The prospective bride may ask some of these questions when the couple meet, but many women may feel too shy to ask outright. Family or friends can also help with the research. In many Muslim countries, relatives of prospective partners often visit to check the person out!

Asking and answering such questions about him is not a bad thing and people should not hesitate to tell the truth when it concerns a possible marriage; the intent is to establish whether these two people are compatible. Avoiding a poor match will save all concerned from much heartache. At the same time, whether the marriage proceeds or not, any information thus gathered should be kept confidential. Any "faults" uncovered should not be generally broadcast in the community! We hope that inshAllah these questions below help you to find the best suitable match and may Allah bless your choice and make it a happy one for you and the world. Zawajun Mubarakoon!

These suggested questions are derived from two sources: an article entitled "Spousal Abuse and its Prevention" by Br. Abdul Rehman in Islamic Sisters International, and the feedback I received during a workshop I led on "Choosing a Marriage Partner" at the ISSRA Conference on Health and Social Issues, Toronto, May 25, 1996.

The questions below may not be relevant for everyone, but they are listed here as a guide and catalyst to help in identifying issues that may be important.

In the section below most of the questions are for women who may want to ask their prospective husband. On the following page the 100 questions to ask before marriage are for either prospective husband or wife.


The Big Issues:


(1) What makes him angry and how does he deal with his anger?
Does he blame everybody but himself?
Does he stop talking to the person involved?
Does he bear grudges ("I'll get him back one day!")
Has he ever physically or mentally abused anyone with whom he was angry?
Does he get angry when those who may be wiser disagree or suggest an alternative point of view?
Does he ever forgive those with whom he was angry?


(2) How does he behave during a crisis?
Does he become hostile towards an uninvolved member of an ethnic group which is known to abuse followers of Islam?
What steps does he take to face and deal with pressure?
Does he remain optimistic that things will get better, and that after every difficulty comes ease?


(3) How does he feel about women's rights in a Muslim home?
Did he ever observe abuse from his father towards his mother?
Did he ever act to prevent abuse at home? How?
Did he believe that his father was always right?
How does he make decisions? Does he rely on his own wisdom? Does he consult with close friends?
Will he be willing to consult with his spouse on any decision?
Does he stick firmly to his decisions?


(4) How does he deal with money matters?
Does he save his money for the future?
Does he give money to charities?
When he decides to buy something, will he consult his spouse in making the decision?
How does he describe his own spending and attitude towards money?


(5) What does he expect from his wife and children?
How would he react if his expectations are not met?
What is his vision of family life?
Would he pitch in and co-operate in family chores and the upbringing of children?
Would he be willing to change to accommodate your views?


(6) What is his family like?
What level of religiousosity is in his family?
Does their approach to Islam differ from yours?
If this is a mixed match, are his folks open to outsiders, or will you face exclusion?


(7) What is his medical background?
(Many Imams in the US are now refusing to conduct Nikah until they see proof that the couple have undergone blood tests and have been given a clean bill of health)
Is there any history of major illness in his family?
Does he suffer from any illnesses?


(8) What are his views on education of women and children?
Will he allow you to continue and/or return to education?
What are his views on education and schooling of children? If you have strong views on Islamic schools, home schooling, etc., find out if his views coincide with yours.
Will he take part in the children's upbringing and education? Will he teach them Qur'an?


(9) Where does he want to live?
Does he want to settle in the country where you now live?
Does he want to return to his homeland? Does he want to move to a new country altogether?
Will the family have to move frequently because of his profession?
Will he take your feelings into account when deciding where to live?
Does he aspire to a large and luxurious home, or will he settle for less? Does he want to live in the heart of the city, in the suburbs, or in an isolated rural setting?


Day-to-day matters


Some of these are individual preferences- what may deeply concern some may not even be an issue to others, but if you have some strong feelings on a matter, it is better to get it out into the open before you make a commitment:


(1) Food:


Do you agree on the "Zabiha or non-Zabiha meat" issue?
Does he insist on only eating the food of his own ethnic group, or are his tastes more eclectic?
Will he insist on having every meal cooked from scratch, or will you be able to have convenience food or take-away on busy days?
Does he have some strong preferences for meat, or will you "go vegetarian" some days?


(2) Smoking:


Does he smoke? Do any of his family or friends smoke? Will he let people smoke in your non-smoking home?


(3) Going Out:


How does he feel about women going outside the home? studying outside? working outside?
Will he want to "check out" your friends and only let you visit those of whom he approves?
How does he feel about women driving?


(4) Pets:


Are either of you very keen to keep pets at home?
Do either of you have any allergies, dislikes, or phobias when it comes to animals?

When choosing a life partner, there are numerous questions that should be asked and scenarios that should be explored. Following the principle that prevention is better than cure, it seems wise to air these questions ...

Bent Rib: A Journey through women's issues in Islam by Huda al-Khattab 100 Premarital Questions


What is your concept of marriage?
Have you been married before?
Are you married now?
What are your expectations of marriage?
What are your goals in life? (long and short term)
Identify three things that you want to accomplish in the near future.
Identify three things that you want to accomplish, long term.
Why have you chosen me/other person as a potential spouse?
What is the role of religion in your life now?
Are you a spiritual person?
What is your understanding of an Islamic marriage?
What are you expecting of your spouse, religiously?
What is your relationship between yourself and the Muslims community in your area?
Are you volunteering in any Islamic activities?
What can you offer your zawj (spouse), spiritually?
What is the role of the husband?
What is the role of the wife?
Do you want to practice polygamy?
What is your relationship with your family?
What do you expect your relationship with the family of your spouse to be?
What do you expect your spouses relationship with your family to be?
Is there anyone in your family living with you now?
Are you planning to have anyone in your family live with you in the future?
If, for any reason, my relationship with your family turns sour, what should be done?
Who are your friends? (Identify at least three.)
How did you get to know them?
Why are they your friends?
What do you like most about them?
What will your relationship with them after marriage be?
Do you have friends of the opposite sex?
What is the level of your relationship with them now?
What will be the level of your relationship with them after marriage?
What type of relationship do you want your spouse to have with your friends?
What are the things that you do in your free time?
Do you love to have guests in your home for entertainment?
What are you expecting from your spouse when your friends come to the house?
What is your opinion of speaking other languages in home that I do not understand? (with friends or family)
Do you travel?
How do you spend your vacations?
How do you think your spouse should spend vacations?
Do you read?
What do you read?
After marriage, do you think that you are one to express romantic feelings verbally?
After marriage, do you think that you want to express affection in public?
How do you express your admiration for someone that you know now?
How do you express your feelings to someone who has done a favor for you?
Do you like to write your feelings?
If you wrong someone, how do you apologize?
If someone has wronged you, how do you want (s) he to apologize to you?
How much time passes before you can forgive someone?
How do you make important and less important decisions in your life?
Do you use foul language at home? In public? With family?
Do your friends use foul language?
Does your family use foul language?
How do you express anger?
How do you expect your spouse to express anger?
What do you do when you are angry?
When do you think it is appropriate to initiate mediation in marriage?
5When there is a dispute in your marriage, religious or otherwise, how should the conflict get resolved?
Define mental, verbal, emotional and physical abuse.
What would you do if you felt that you had been abused?
Who would you call for assistance if you were being abused?
Do you suffer from any chronic disease or condition?
Are you willing to take a physical exam by a physician before marriage?
What is your understanding of proper health and nutrition?
How do you support your own health and nutrition?
What is you definition of wealth?
How do you spend money?
How do you save money?
How do you think that your use of money will change after marriage?
Do you have any debts now? If so, how are you making progress to eliminate them?
Do you use credit cards?
Do you support the idea of taking loans to buy a new home?
What are you expecting from your spouse financially?
What is your financial responsibility in the marriage?
Do you support the idea of a working wife?
If so, how do you think a dual-income family should manage funds?
Do you currently use a budget to manage your finances?
Who are the people to whom you are financially responsible?
Do you support the idea of utilizing baby sitters and/or maids?
Do you want to have children? If not, how come?
To the best of your understanding, are you able to have children?
Do you want to have children in the first two years of marriage? If not, when?
Do you believe in abortion?
Do you have children now?
What is your relationship with your children now?
What is your relationship with their other parent?
What relationship do you expect your spouse to have with your children and their parent?
What is the best method (s) of raising children?
What is the best method (s) of disciplining children?
How were you raised?
How were you disciplined?
Do you believe in spanking children? Under what circumstances?
Do you believe in public school for your children?
Do you believe in Islamic school for your children?
Do you believe in home schooling for your children?
What type of relationship should your children have with non-Muslim classmates/friends?
Would you send your children to visit their extended family if they lived in another state or country?
What type of relationship do you want your children to have with all their grandparents?
If there are members of my family that are not Muslim, that are of a different race or culture, what type of relationship do you want to have with them?

This article was provided by Jannah.org

Monday, February 25, 2008

I Hate My One Eyed Mother

rabbi irhamhuma kama rabbayanee sagheeran

"My Lord! bestow on them (Parents) thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood." 17:24

My mom only had one eye. I hated her... she was such an embarrassment. My mom ran a small shop at a flea market. She collected little weeds and such to sell...anything for the money that we needed, she was such an embarrassment.

There was this one day during elementary school. I remember that it was field day, and my mom came. I was so embarrassed. How could she do this to me? I threw her a hateful look and ran out. The next day at school..."Your mom only has one eye?!" and they taunted me. I wished that my mom would just disappear from this world, so I said to my mom, "Mom, why don't you have the other eye?! You're only going to make me a laughingstock. Why don't you just die?" My mom did not respond.

I guess I felt a little bad, but at the same time, it felt good to think that I had said what I'd wanted to say all this time. Maybe it was because my mom hadn't punished me, but I didn't think that I had hurt her feelings very badly. That night...I woke up, and went to the kitchen to get a glass of water. My mom was crying there, so quietly, as if she was afraid that she might wake me. I took a look at her, and then turned away.

Because of the thing I had said to her earlier, there was something pinching at me in the corner of my heart. Even so, I hated my mother who was crying out of her one eye. So I told myself that I would grow up and become successful, because I hated my one-eyed mom and our desperate poverty. Then I studied really hard. I left my mother and came to Seoul and studied, and got accepted in the Seoul University with all the confidence I had. Then, I got married. I bought a house of my own. Then I had kids, too. Now I'm living happily as a successful man.

I like it here because it's a place that doesn't remind me of my mom. This happiness was getting bigger and bigger, when someone unexpected came to see me "What?! Who's this?!" ...It was my mother...Still with her one eye. It felt as if the whole sky was falling apart on me. My little girl ran away, scared of my mom's eye. And I asked her, "Who are you? I don't know you!!!" as if he trying to make that real. I screamed at her "How dare you come to my house and scare my daughter! GET OUT OF HERE! NOW!!!" And to this, my mother quietly answered, "oh, I'm so sorry. I may have gotten the wrong address," and she disappeared. Thank good ness... she doesn't recognize me. I was quite relieved. I told myself that I wasn't going to care, or think about this for the rest of my life.

Then a wave of relief came upon me...one day, a letter regarding a school reunion came to my house. I lied to my wife saying that I was going on a business trip. After the reunion, I went down to the old shack, that I used to call a house...just out of curiosity there, I found my mother fallen on the cold ground. But I did not shed a single tear. She had a piece of paper in her hand.... it was a letter to me.
She wrote:
My son...
I think my life has been long enough now. And... I won't visit Seoul anymore... but would it be too much to ask if I wanted you to come visit me once in a while? I miss you so much. And I was so glad when I heard you were coming for the reunion. But I decided not to go to the school.... For you... I'm sorry that I only have one eye, and I was an embarrassment for you. You see, when you were very little, you got into an accident, and lost your eye. As a mother, I couldn't stand watching you having to grow up with only one eye... so I gave you mine...I was so proud of my son that was seeing a whole new world for me, in my place, with that eye. I was never upset at you for anything you did. The couple times that you were angry with me. I thought to myself, 'it's because he loves me.' I miss the times when you were still young around me.
I miss you so much. I love you. You mean the world to me
My world shattered!!!
Then I cried for the person who lived for me... My MOTHER


A WONDERFUL MOTHER.

GOD made a wonderful mother,
A mother who never grows old;
He made her smile of the sunshine,
And He molded her heart of pure gold;
In her eyes He placed bright shining stars,
In her cheeks, fair roses you see;
God made a wonderful mother,
And He gave that dear mother to me.

Proofs of its Preservation (Hadith)

Proofs that Allah preserved the sunnah are both textual and logical. The textual argument is based on the following verse “Of a surety, We certainly reveal the reminder, and We certainly are its definite guardians” (15:9). It can’t be stated that the word “reminder” in this verse is only referring to the Quran. It is either referring to the Quran and hadith or only the hadith. It is not possible that it is referring to only the Quran. This is true because it is inconceivable that only the wording of the Quran would be preserved. Preserving the Quran must imply both preserving both its wording and meaning. The meaning of the Quran is captured in the hadith of the Prophet peace be upon him, that is, its meaning cannot be had without the hadith of the Prophet peace be upon him.

The logical argument runs as follows: According to Islamic belief, the Quran is Allah’s final revelation and the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him is Allah’s final messenger. Allah orders Muslims to follow the sunnah of the Prophet peace be upon him. If Allah did not preserve the sunnah, the true sunnah would have been lost and Allah would be ordering Muslims to follow something that they could not possibly follow. This would not be consistent with what is known of the mercy, wisdom, and justice of Allah. Therefore, logically speaking, Allah must have preserved the hadith. These arguments do not mean that Allah did not use some earthly means to preserve the Quran and the hadith. Allah, through humans, used many means by which He preserved the sunnah. Some of these aspects are unique to the Muslim nation. This is a great blessing and bounty from Allah for which every Muslim should be sincerely grateful to Allah and to those individuals who sacrificed their time and wealth in order to preserve the teachings of the Prophet peace be upon him.

The Prophet peace be upon him and His Position According to the Quran

a) Expounder of the Quran: The Prophet peace be upon him is the expounder of the Quran appointed by Allah. Allah mentions this in the Quran “We have revealed unto you the Remembrance that you may explain to mankind that which has been revealed for them” ( 16: 44 ). For example the Quran tells us to pray, but the details for the method of praying are not prescribed in the Quran. It was the Prophet’s task to demonstrate the forms of prayer.
b) Legislator: Allah says about the Prophet peace be upon him in Chapter 7 verse 157 “He will make lawful for them all good things and prohibit for them only the foul…”
c) Model behavior for the Muslim Society: Allah says in chapter 33 verse 21 “Indeed a noble model you have in Allah’s Messenger...” If we consider the Prophet peace be upon him as the model for the community, then Muslims have to follow his example in every way. Allah did not leave this open to debate and ordered complete obedience to the Prophet peace be upon him. For this reason the Muslim community accepted the authority of the Prophet peace be upon him from the very day his mission began.

Teaching of Ahadith by the Prophet peace be upon him

The methods used by the prophet peace be upon him to teach his sunnah or ahadith can be put in three categories:
1) Teaching of the sunnah in verbal form: the Prophet peace be upon him was the teacher of his sunnah, he would often times repeat important statements three times to make it easier for his companions to understand and memorize. New comers were often times to be accommodated by Medinites (people of Medina ), not only for accommodations, but also for education in the Quran and Hadith.
2) Teaching the sunnah in writing; All letters sent by the Prophet peace be upon him to kings, chieftains, and Muslim governors can be included in his sunnah. Some of those letters were very lengthy and contained legal matters concerning zakah, taxation, forms of worship etc. The Prophet peace be upon him had at least 45 scribes who wrote for him at one time or another.
3) Teaching of the sunnah by practical demonstration: The Prophet peace be upon him taught the method of ablution, prayer, hajj etc all by practical demonstration. He gave practical lessons in excellence with clear instructions to follow his practice. He further said “Learn from the rituals of hajj” Many times he would tell questioners to stay with him and learn by observing his practice.

Measures taken by the Prophet peace be upon him for the Diffusion of Sunnah

1) Establishment of schools: The Prophet peace be upon him established a school in Mecca soon after he became a Prophet. Schools were also established by the Prophet peace be upon him in Medina soon after his arrival. His general policy was to send teachers to areas outside of Medina .
2) His Directions about Diffusion of Knowledge: The Prophet peace be upon him said “Pass on knowledge from me even if it is only one verse” He also said something similar during his farewell pilgrimage “Those who are present should convey the message to those who are absent” It was a common practice of the companions to tell absentees about the Prophets deeds and sayings.
3) Creation of incentive for teachers and students: The Prophet peace be upon him mentioned great rewards for teachers and students.
a) Reward for students: The Prophet peace be upon him said: “If anyone pursues a path in search of knowledge Allah will thereby make easy for him a path to paradise, and the angels spread their wings from good pleasure with one who seeks knowledge, and all the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth, even the fish in the depths of the water ask forgiveness for him”
b) Rewards for teachers: In this regard the Prophet peace be upon him mentioned that after death all deeds come to and end except three, one of them being knowledge that people still reap benefit from.

How the Sunnah was Received by the Companions

People always try to watch and remember the sayings and deeds of their loved ones. In regards to Mohammad peace be upon him, we can say for sure that he was the most beloved person on earth in his community. Some companions like Zayd said they would rather die, than have the Prophet peace be upon him even pricked with a thorn. Abu Sufyan a one time enemy of Islam said “I have never seen a man who was so loved by his companions as Mohammad was”. Thus the Prophet peace be upon him was the most beloved in his community. The community’s involvement in worldly pursuits was minimal and this made the opportunity for learning greater. The Arabs were known to have had excellent memories and used remember many verses of their tribal poets by heart.

Companions Learning of Ahadith

The Companions used three methods of learning

a) Learning by memorizing: They used to listen to every word of the prophet peace be upon him with utmost care. If he went away for any reason they would recollect what they had learned. Anas ibn Malik, the servant of the Prophet peace be upon him said “We sat with the Prophet peace be upon him, maybe sixty persons in number and the Prophet peace be upon him taught them ahadith. Later on when he went out for any necessity, we used to memorize it among us, when we departed it was as if cultivated in our hearts” Those who were absent also used learn from those who were present. Some of them even came to agreement among themselves to attend the gatherings of the Prophet peace be upon him in shifts, as we find in the case of Umar.
b) Learning ahadith through writing: The companions learned the ahadith by recording it in writing as well. There were a good number of companions who recorded the ahadith of the Prophet peace be upon him.
c) Learning ahadith by practice: The companions put into practice everything they learned by writing or memory. Knowledge in Islam is for practice and not just for the sake of knowledge. This is why it took Umar eight years to memorize the second chapter of the Quran
This is a sketch of how the ahadith of the Prophet peace be upon him was learned by the companions. After his death the method was almost the same except that he was no longer among them.

Recollection of ahadith in the Period of the Companions

Recollection of ahadith was carried in the time of the companions as it was during the life of the Prophet peace be upon him. Abu Huraira used to divide his night into three portions; one third for sleep, one third for prayer, and one third for the recollection of ahadith. Umar and Abu Musa al Ashari used to memorize ahadith through the night until the morning. They companions used to memorize in groups and individually.
Recording of Hadith in the life of the Prophet peace be upon him and the Companions

Certain companions wrote down ahadith in the life of the Prophet peace be upon him and in some cases he dictated it to them. There numbers are smaller than that of the later scholars. Not all companions narrated the same number of ahadith. Some had transmitted more than a thousand while others transmitted only one or two. Abu Hurairah transmitted the most ahadith and it was reported that he had books in his possession and at least nine of his students wrote ahadith from him. Others who transmitted large number of ahadith and had others collect them in written form are: Anas ibn Mailk, Aisha bint Abu Bakr, Ibn Abbas, Abdullah ibn Amr, Umar ibn al Khattab, Ali ibn Abi Talib, Abu Musa al Ashari and others.

Some Misunderstanding about Recording of Ahadith

The Hadith Against Writing Down the Ahadith: There is only one authentic hadith about this matter which says “Do not write down from me anything except the Quran and whoever has written anything from me other than the Quran should erase it.” According to Bukhari and others it is the statement of the narrator Abu Said himself and it is erroneously attributed to the Prophet peace be upon him. Others say it means that nothing should be written on the same sheet as the Quran so the two don’t get mixed up. It should be remembered that this command was given in the early days of Islam and the Prophet peace be upon him wanted all attention to be paid to the Quran and its preservation, and later on there was no danger of neglecting the Quran, thus the previous order was abrogated and writing ahadith was permitted. The Prophet peace be upon him himself sent hundreds of letters containing formulae for forms and rituals of worship.

Chain System

Every Hadith consists of two parts; the first portion is the chain of narrators while the second protion is the actual statement of the Prophet peace be upon him. The chain system was used to some extent in transmitting pre-Islamic poetry, but it was in the hadith literature that its importance culminated. It was also in hadith literature when the system was used to its full and in some cases to extravagant limits. Since hadith was the store where we get the sunnah it was natural to deal with the isnad with utmost care. Thus with the introduction of the chains, a unique science came into existence for the evaluation of chain and text of ahadith. At the end of the first century the science of the chain system was fully developed.

The Proliferation of Chains

It is a common phenomenon of the chain system that as we go further in time the number of transmitters increases. Sometimes a hadith transmitted by one companion acquires ten students in the next generation, in the class of successors, and these ten students have in some cases twenty or thirty students from different countries. For example Abu Huraira reported that the Prophet peace be upon him said when anyone amongst you wakes up from sleep, he must not put his hand in a utensil until he washed it three times, for he doesn’t know where his hand was during sleep. At least thirteen students of Abu Huraira transmitted this hadith from him. 8 out of 13 were from Medina , 1 from Kufah, 2 from Basrah, 1 from Yemen , 1 from Syria . There are sixteen scholars who transmitted this hadith from the students of Abu Huraira. 6 out of the 16 were from Medina, 4 from Basrah, 2 from Kufah, 1 from Makkah, 1 from Yemen , 1 from Khurasan, 1 from Syria .
Further down the chain the number of narrators increase and localities spread even further into different provinces. The flourishing of chains and diffusion of ahadith in this way made it easy to check the faults of scholars or any forgery that was committed. This proves the early existence of the chain system and shows how impossible it would have been to fabricate chains of transmission on this large a scale. The scholars used rigorous methods to examine chains of transmission, eliminating all ahadith passed by unreliable sources. Given centuries of this kind of activity we are logically justified in accepting the whole chain system and methodology of hadith scholars as accurate and valid.

Forgery and Errors in Transmitting Ahadith

The Prophet peace be upon him said “If anyone tells a lie about me intentionally, let him be sure of his place in hell fire.” This hadith and others had a tremendous effect on the companions and most of them refrained from imparting hadith in case of doubtful memory. Early scholars played their roles with due caution in transmitting or copying ahadith. As is known to all scholars, even the most sincere person may commit a mistake. Since the sunnah is an everlasting example for the Muslim community, the community couldn’t afford to let ahadith be polluted or diluted in any way. Therefore it was necessary to use criticism with full force.

Beginning of Criticism

Criticism of hadith began during the life of the Prophet peace be upon him. At that time it meant nothing more than going to the prophet peace be upon him and verifying something he was reported to have said. With the death of the Prophet peace be upon him it was the duty of the Muslim individuals, community, and state to be very careful in ascribing statements to the Prophet peace be upon him, and they had to scrutinize them carefully. The first Caliph Abu Bakr was a pioneer in the field, next came Umar and Ali. To err is human and with the spread of hadith in different regions of the Islamic world, the possibility of mistakes arose. Consequently the necessity for criticism became apparent.

During the time of trials of the assassination of Uthman the first fabrication of hadith began. During this stage the general trend of learning ahadith became stricter and schools of criticism began to appear. There were two prominent schools of that time, the school of Medina and the school of Iraq . The scholars of both schools belonged to the first century of Hijra and after this period of criticism of hadith entered a new phase. From the second century to a few centuries later it was a general requirement for the student of hadith to make extensive journeys in search of knowledge of hadith. Since the early scholars mostly learned from scholars in their area their criticism was confined to the same locality. When people began learning ahadith from hundreds of scholars their criticisms were not confined to one locality.

Methodology of Criticism

As far as it concerns the criticism of the text there were several methods that can all be brought under the broad heading of comparison. This method was by gathering all the related material and comparing them carefully with each other. Ayyub al Sakhtiyani said “If you wish to know the mistakes of your teacher, then you ought to sit down with others as well.” This method was practiced in many ways; the following are some of them:

1) Comparison between the hadith of different students of one scholar: By this method one discovered the mistakes of almost every student and was able to differentiate between the mistakes made by the teacher and the mistakes made by the students. This also gave one the ability to grade the different students and determine their accuracy.
2) Comparison between the statements of a single scholar at different times: Once Aisha told her nephew Urwah to go to Abdullah ibn Amr and ask him about the hadith of the Prophet peace be upon him. Abdullah mentioned a hadith that states that knowledge will be taken away from the earth. Aisha was discontented and sent Urwah a year later and when he returned to Aisha he told her Abdullah narrated the same hadith and didn’t add or subtract anything to it upon which she said he must be correct.
3) Comparison between oral recitation and written documents: In case two scholars have a difference about a hadith the one written in the texts will be accepted because books are more accurate in the eyes of scholars.
4) Comparison between hadith with related verses of the Quran: we find this method was used by Umar in rejecting the hadith of Fatima bint Qais concerning maintenance money for divorced women. This method was also applied by Aisha in several cases.

Grading of Scholars and its impact on Grading of Ahadith

Scholars of hadith didn’t consider it sufficient for the transmitter to have high literary achievements, no matter how accurate the scholar might be, besides this he must be righteous in conduct. Ibn Mubarak a second century scholar put personal character in this way: a person must pray in congregation, must be known for not telling lies, doesn’t commit major sins, and doesn’t suffer from mental disqualification. A man may be a great scholar, but if his morals are doubtful a hadith narrated by him is not acceptable. In the opinion of hadith scholars, all scholars with the exception of the companions, whose character is testified by Allah and His Prophet, need this testimony of character if their word is to be accepted.

It’s obvious that in most cases one must depend on contemporary authorities to find out the persons personal character which can sometimes be influenced by enmity or favor. Therefore the scholars of hadith laid down certain rules. When both moral character and high literary accuracy are combined in a person he was called trustworthy. If a scholar was charged with indecency in his character, material transmitted by him was not accepted no matter how big a scholar he might have been.

For example a man who committed many mistakes in transmitting the hadith was called weak. If he narrated a hadith alone and no other scholar could verify his narration, then the hadith can’t be accepted, for it is suspected of having a mistake in its transmission. However if another scholar though himself a weak narrator in his literary achievement, transmitted a hadith which agrees in the meaning and the sense of the early hadith then it would be accepted, though it would be placed in a very low grade, just like a student passing with a ‘D’ grade.

Authenticity of Hadith

To be a source or authority of Islamic law, a hadith must be from the categories of sahih (authentic) or hasan (good). In order for a hadith to be authentic or good it must meet the following criteria:
1) The chain of narration must be unbroken. In other words, each source must have received the hadith directly from the one whose authority he is relating it all the way back to the Prophet peace be upon him. If there is any missing authority, the chain would be considered broken and unacceptable.
2) Every narrator in the chain must be of acceptable righteousness and character; in other words, each narrator must be morally fit. Impious people are not accepted, for their impiety is a sign that they don’t fear Allah and, hence, they can’t be trusted to take extreme care in narrating the statements of the Prophet peace be upon him. If just one narrator in the chain does not meet these criteria the hadith will have to be rejected.
3) Moral characteristics are not sufficient. Each narrator must be proficient and exact when it comes to narrating hadith. If a person is known to make lots of mistakes when narrating hadith either from his memory or from his writing, his hadith will not be acceptable.
4) Both the chain and the text of the hadith must be such that they don’t contradict what has been narrated through stronger means.
5) Upon inspection of the different ways a hadith is narrated, it must be the case that no mistake or defect is spotted in either the chain or the text of the hadith
If any of these conditions are not met, the hadith will be rejected as weak or very weak depending on the magnitude of the weakness. Hadith which are graded weak or very weak are not considered authorities in Islamic law.

Review of the Different Definitions of the Word “Sunnah”

Jurists (Faqeeh)
Main concern of the discipline—the value of deeds or actions, whether they be obligatory, recommended and so forth.

Definition of Sunnah—an act which is between obligatory and permissible; a recommended act; an act for which one is rewarded for performing and not punished for not performing, or anything which is juxtaposed to a innovation in the religion (innovation).

Comments—this definition is irrelevant to the discussion of the authority of the sunnah.

Example(s)—two rakahs (units of prayer) before fajr prayer.

Scholars of hadith (muhadithun)
Main concern of the discipline—any report concerning any aspect of the Prophets life; goal is to judge which of those reports are authentic and which are not.

Definition of Sunnah—what has been passed down from the Prophet peace be upon him of his statements, actions, tactical approvals, manners, physical characteristics or biography, regardless whether it was before he was sent as a Prophet or after wards.

Comments—this definition is too broad and includes some matters that do not fit into the concept of the authority of the sunnah.
Example(s)— a) statements- “Indeed all actions are driven by their intentions.
b) Actions- When he prayed two rakah fajr he would lie down on his right side.
c) Tactical approval- He used to see the companions praying two rakahs before Maghrib (sunset prayer) and he would neither order them to do it or forbid them.
d) Manners- He was very bashful, if he saw something he didn’t like the companions can tell from the expression on his face.
e) Physical appearance- He had approximately twenty gray hairs and also had a full beard.
f) Biography- he married Khadija when he was twenty five years old.

Legal theorists (Usooli)
Main concern of the discipline—determination of what is an authority in Islamic law and how that authority is used to derive laws.

Definition of Sunnah—what comes from the Prophet peace be upon him in the form of speech, action or tactic approval, other than the Quran itself.
Comments—This is the exact meaning of the word sunnah in the expression “the authority of the sunnah”
Examples--The Prophet peace be upon him established many laws that are compulsory to follow and at the same time it told us to do things that aren't. The same applies to the Quran. I will give you two examples:
1) The Quran says surah al Jumah verse 10 "And when the prayer is ended, then disperse in the land and seek of Allah's bounty, and remember Allah much, that ye may be successful.” This verse is telling us that after you pray the Jumah go out and work, is it compulsory to do that? No, of course not, but Allah is encouraging us to do so. According to the definition of legal theorists this command in the Quran is a “sunnah” and many commands found in the hadith of the Prophet peace be upon him are compulsory to follow.
The verse before it tells us "O ye who believe! When the call is proclaimed to prayer on Friday (the Day of Assembly), hasten earnestly to the Remembrance of Allah, and leave off business (and traffic): That is best for you if ye but knew!” Now this is compulsory for every Muslims male to attend the Jumah prayer.
2) The Prophet peace be upon him told us not to wear gold, silk, or eat the meat of a donkey. None of this is mentioned in the Quran. Yet all Muslims agree that they are strictly forbidden.
The Prophet peace be upon him encouraged us to wear musk, wear white etc, however this is not obligatory.

Specialist in Aqeeda (Creed)
Main concern of the discipline—What a Muslim is supposed to believe and related matters.
Definition of Sunnah—the foundations of the faith, the obligatory deeds, the matters of creed and the definitive rulings of Islam.
Comments—too restricted a definition, leaves out many facets that are necessary to be part of the definition.
Examples—the Prophet peace be upon him said “Whoever turns away from my Sunnah is not from me” meaning that one must follow the way of the Prophet peace be upon him with respect to his actions and beliefs.

Should he forsake his family who reject the Sunnah?

Question:If a person's family rejects the necessity of following anything that's in hadeeth at all, and says you can follow only the Qur'an, can you give them salaams and say "Eid Mubarak" to them to reduce fitnah and not make them upset?.

Answer:Praise be to Allaah.
Firstly:
Every Muslim has to believe in all the ahaadeeth of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) – if they are saheeh – and not reject any of them, because his ahaadeeth and his Sunnah are revelation (wahy) from Allaah. Whoever rejects the hadeeth of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) has rejected revelation from Allaah.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“By the star when it goes down (or vanishes).
Your companion (Muhammad) has neither gone astray nor has erred.
Nor does he speak of (his own) desire.
It is only a Revelation revealed.
He has been taught (this Qur’aan) by one mighty in power [Jibreel (Gabriel)].
One free from any defect in body and mind then he (Jibreel — Gabriel in his real shape as created by Allaah) rose and became stable”
[al-Najm 53:1-6]
Allaah has commanded the people to obey His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). He has enjoined this in many verses of the Qur’aan, of which we will quote some. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Say (O Muhammad): “Obey Allaah and the Messenger (Muhammad).” But if they turn away, then Allaah does not like the disbelievers”
[Aal ‘Imraan 3:32]
“He who obeys the Messenger (Muhammad), has indeed obeyed Allaah, but he who turns away, then we have not sent you (O Muhammad) as a watcher over them”
[al-Nisa’ 4:80]
“O you who believe! Obey Allaah and obey the Messenger (Muhammad), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allaah and His Messenger, if you believe in Allaah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination”
[al-Nisa’ 4:59]
“And perform As-Salaah (Iqaamat-as-Salaah), and give Zakaah and obey the Messenger (Muhammad) that you may receive mercy (from Allaah)”[al-Noor 24:56]
And there are many similar verses.
The one who rejects the Sunnah is a kaafir and an apostate.
Al-Suyooti (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his essay Miftaah al-Jannah fi Ihtijaaj bi’l-Sunnah:
Note that whoever denies that the hadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), whether it describes his words or deeds, so long as it meets the conditions outlined by the scholars, may be quoted as evidence, is a kaafir and has gone beyond the pale of Islam; he will be gathered with the Jews and the Christians or whomever Allaah wills among the kaafir sects [i.e., on the Day of Resurrection].
Those who want to restrict themselves to the Qur’aan only are called al-Qur’aaniyyoon. This view of theirs is an old view which the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) warned against in more than one hadeeth, as we shall see below. Among the soundest evidence that this view is false is the fact that those who say this do not really follow what they say.
How do these people pray? How many times do they pray each day and night? What are the conditions and details of zakaah? What is the nisaab (threshold of wealth) for paying zakaah? What is the amount that must be paid? How do they do Hajj and ‘Umrah? How many times do they circumambulate the Ka’bah? How many times do they go back and forth between al-Safa and al-Marwah?
There are many other issues the details of which are not narrated in the Qur’aan, rather they are mentioned in the Qur’aan in general terms, and the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) explained them in detail in his Sunnah.
Would these people refrain from acting upon these rulings because they are not narrated in the Qur’aan?
If their answer is yes, then they have passed judgement against themselves that they are kaafirs, because they have denied a basic principle of Islam that no Muslim has any excuse for not knowing and on which there is unanimous consensus among the Muslims.
If they reply that they do not refrain from following these rulings, then they have demonstrated that their view is false.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said – after quoting the verses that enjoin following the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) –
These texts enjoin following the Messenger even if we do not find what he said specifically referred to in the texts of the Qur’aan. These verses also enjoin following the Qur’aan even if we do not find what is said in the Qur’aan specifically mentioned in the hadeeth of the Messenger.
So we must follow the Qur’aan and we must follow the Messenger. Following the one implies following the other, for the Messenger conveyed the Book, and the Book commands us to follow the Messenger. The Book and the Messenger do not contradict one another at all, just as the Book does not contradict itself. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Had it been from other than Allaah, they would surely, have found therein many a contradiction”
[al-Nisa’ 4:82]
And there are many ahaadeeth from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) which state that it is obligatory to follow the Qur’aan and that it is obligatory to follow his Sunnah, for example, the hadeeth in which he said: “I do not want to find any one of you reclining on his pillow, and when he hears of something that I have commanded or forbidden, he says, ‘Between us and you there stands this Qur’aan, whatever we find is permissible in it we will take as permissible, and whatever we find is forbidden in it we will take as forbidden.’ For I have been given the Book and something like it with it; it is like the Qur’aan or more.” This hadeeth is narrated in the books of Sunan and Musnad from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) with a number of isnads from Abu Tha’labah, Abu Raafi’, Abu Hurayrah and others.
In Saheeh Muslim is it narrated from Jaabir that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said in his Farewell Sermon: “I am leaving behind among you something which, if you adhere to it, you will not go astray after that. It is the Book of Allaah.” The version narrated by al-Haakim says “The Book of Allaah and my Sunnah.” (Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 2937).
In al-Saheeh it is narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Abi Awfa that it was said to him: Did the Messenger of Allaah leave a will? He said, No. It was said, How then is it prescribed for people to make wills when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not make a will? He said, He made a will in which he enjoined (adherence to) the Book of Allaah.
(Narrated by Muslim, 1634)
The Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah explains the Qur’aan, as it explains the number of prayers, how much should be recited in them, which should be recited out loud and which quietly. It also explains the amounts of zakaah to be paid and the threshold at which zakaah becomes due; the rituals of Hajj and ‘Umrah; how many times one should circumambulate the Ka’bah, go between al-Safa and al-Marwah and stone the Jamaraat, etc.
When any Sunnah is proven to be saheeh, the Muslims are agreed that it is obligatory to follow it. There may be something in the Sunnah which a person thinks appears to go against the apparent meaning of the Qur’aan and add to it, such as the Sunnah which explains the threshold of stealing at which the hadd punishment becomes due, and the Sunnah which stipulates that the married adulterer is to be stoned. This Sunnah must also be followed, according to the view of the Sahaabah and those who followed them in truth, and all the groups of Muslims.
Adapted from Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 19/84-86
That which was brought by the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is true just as the Qur’aan is true.
Secondly:
You should not forsake your family; rather you should treat them kindly and strive to call them to follow and accept the Sunnah.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Invite (mankind, O Muhammad) to the way of your Lord (i.e. Islam) with wisdom (i.e. with the Divine Revelation and the Qur’aan) and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are guided”
[al-Nahl 16:125]
“And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination.
But if they (both) strive with you to make you join in worship with Me others that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not; but behave with them in the world kindly, and follow the path of him who turns to Me in repentance and in obedience. Then to Me will be your return, and I shall tell you what you used to do”
[Luqmaan 31:14-15]
And Allaah knows best.Islam Q&A

THE AMAZING CONFESSION OF A FAMOUS PASTOR

THE AMAZING CONFESSION OF A FAMOUS PASTOR

Some 23 years ago, approximately 2yrs after I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ, I developed a voracious appetite for the reading of God’s word, and also had keen interest in the reading of countless Christian magazines and Christian bulletins, from different parts of the world. In one of those magazines, I came across an amazing confession of a famous Pastor (I do not know if he still alive now), who lived in the most powerful nation in the world .This Pastor did something one Sunday morning that, I think, shook his congregation (name of Church denomination, withheld). What he did was this:

In tears that faithful morning, he went on his knees before his congregation, and made a confession. As a new believer in Christ in those days, his confession shook my life, plunging me deeper into Christ, in repentance in sackcloth and ashes. His confession is summarized simply as follows, for your perusal and perhaps for your benefit and benefit of others.

Summary of the Pastor’s confession

“I wish to confess that all along I have been just a religious person, and although I have been a pastor for 21yrs, I had never really had any encounter with Christ. All along, I was not a Christian, TRULY, born again, until this morning. This morning, is the first time I have ever personally invited Jesus Christ into my heart, and with all my heart, now, totally surrounded to the Holy Spirit. If I had died before this morning I would have ended up in Hell”

Dear reader, as I read this story over and over again, I noticed some other interesting things, namely;

® This Pastor had extremely powerful credentials, at least, as perceived in the world of men.

® He had presided over several high level ceremonies across his nation, and for several years.

® He was highly regarded and revered by his congregation and society.

® He had rubbed shoulders with some of the most powerful political clouts in his era.

Dear reader, I do not know why I have to wake up from sleep (mid night, time checked, 2:35 a.m. of 11th Sept. 2007,) and strongly prompted to pen down this confession of a Pastor, whom I do not even know, only to transmit to others to read, especially, after so many years of reading this story. Coincidentally, too, it is 9-11, an anniversary of one of the saddest tragedies on earth. Perhaps there is someone, somewhere who needs to read this confession and, perhaps, get onto the right track, since men on earth cannot really tell where and when the next tragedy occurs.

KEY LESSONS:

As I pondered over this Pastor’s confession and credentials, wondering; “How can this be”, with many thoughts going through my mind at the same time, the Spirit of God re-assured me that;

© Men on earth do not approach the great and terrible God, who alone must be feared, with their ‘earth-quaking’ credentials.

© Men, only approach only as little children, devoid of all the frightening credentials!

Dear reader, I am sure that after you have watched the revised 4 minutes movie CLIP, now entitled; THE ‘END TIME SCENARIO’, you will also see the urgent need to surrender to Christ, in SPIRIT and in TRUTH, and also ensure that you are not just ‘men pleasers’, but also a ‘God pleaser’.To view this revised movie CLIP, just click here http://www.pasgom.org/hometoend.html, OR type WWW dot PASGOM dot ORG in your web browser, and enter the home page of www.pasgom.org, after the introductory page.Although I cannot readily locate the monthly bulletin from which I read this story, I can still remember that the name of the Pastor starts with ‘Sh’ and ends with ‘n’, and I have great respect for him, not necessarily for his credentials, but for the courage he had that beautiful morning to glorify God’s Son, Jesus Christ.

You may transmit this email to others if you are also led to do so.

God bless you.
Yours In Christ.
KN. Arku-Lawson

The forgotten Mother of the Prophet (saw)

We do not know precisely how the young Abyssinian girl ended up for sale in Makkah. We do not know her 'roots', who her mother was, or her father or her ancestors. There were many like her, boys and girls, Arabs and non-Arabs, who were captured and brought to the slave market of the city to be sold.
A terrible fate awaited some who ended up in the hands of cruel masters or mistresses who exploited their labor to the full and treated them with the utmost harsh ness.
A few in that inhuman environment were rather more fortunate. They were taken into the homes of more gentle and caring people.
Barakah, the young Abyssinian girl, was one of the more fortunate ones. She was saved by the generous and kind Abdullah, the son of Abd al-Muttalib. 'She became the only servant in his household and when he was married, to the lady Aminah, she looked after her affairs as well.
Two weeks after the couple were married, according to Barakah, Abdullah's father came to their house and instructed his son to go with a trading caravan that was leaving for Syria. Aminah was deeply distressed and cried:
"How strange! How strange! How can my husband go on a trading journey to Syria while I am yet a bride and the traces of henna are still on my hands."
Abdullah's departure was heartbreaking. In her anguish, Aminah fainted. Soon after he left, Barakah said: "When I saw Aminah unconscious, I shouted in distress and pain: 'O my lady!' Aminah opened her eyes and looked at me with tears streaming down her face. Suppressing a groan she said: "Take me to bed, Barakah."
"Aminah stayed bedridden for a long time. She spoke to no one. Neither did she look at anyone who visited her except Abd al-Muttalib, that noble and gentle old man. "Two months after the departure of Abdullah, Aminah called me at dawn one morning and, her face beaming with joy, she said to me:
"O Barakah! I have seen a strange dream." "Something good, my lady," I said. "I saw lights coming from my abdomen lighting up the
mountains, the hills and the valleys around Makkah." "Do you feel pregnant, my lady?"
"Yes, Barakah," she replied. "But I do not feel any discomfort as other women feel." "You shall give birth to a blessed child who will bring goodness," I said.
So long as Abdullah was away, Aminah remained sad and melancholic. Barakah stayed at her side trying to comfort her and make her cheerful by talking to her and relating stories. Aminah however became even more distressed when Abd al-Muttalib came and told her she had to leave her home and go to the mountains as other Makkans had done because of an impending attack on the city by the ruler of Yemen, someone called Abrahah. Aminah told him that she was too grief-striken and weak to leave for the mountains but insisted that Abrahah could never enter Makkah and destroy the Kabah because it was protected by the Lord. Abd al-Muttalib became very agitated but there was no sign of fear on Aminah's face. Her confidence that the Kabah would not be harmed was well-founded. Abrahah's army with an elephant in the vanguard was destroyed before it could enter Makkah.
Day and night, Barakah stayed beside Aminah. She said: "I slept at the foot of her bed and heard her groans at night as she called for her absent husband. Her moans would awaken me and I would try to comfort her and give her courage."
The first part of the caravan from Syria returned and was joyously welcomed by the trading families of Makkah. Barakah went secretly to the house of Abd al-Muttalib to find out about Abdullah but had no news of him. She went back to Aminah but did not tell her what she had seen or heard in order not to distress her. The entire caravan eventually returned but not with Abdullah.
Later, Barakah was at Abd al-Muttalib's house when news came from Yathrib that Abdullah had died. She said: "I screamed when I heard the news. I don't know what I did after that except that I ran to Aminah's house shouting, lamenting for the absent one who would never return, lamenting for the beloved one for whom we waited so long, lamenting for the most beautiful youth of Makkah, for Abdullah, the pride of the Quraysh.
"When Aminah heard the painful news, she fainted and I stayed by her bedside while she was in a state between life and death. There was no one else but me in Aminah's house. I nursed her and looked after her during the day and through the long nights until she gave birth to her child, "Muhammad", on a night in which the heavens were resplendent with the light of God."
When Muhammad was born, Barakah was the first to hold him in her arms. His grandfather came and took him to the Kabah and with all Makkah, celebrated his birth. Barakah stayed with Aminah while Muhammad was sent to the badiyah with the lady Halimah who looked after him in the bracing atmosphere of the open desert. At the end of five years, he was brought back to Makkah and Aminah received him with tenderness and love and Barakah welcomed him "with joy, longing and admiration".
When Muhammad was six years old, his mother decided to visit the grave of her husband, Abdullah, in Yathrib. Both Barakah and Abd al-Muttalib tried to dissuade her. Aminah however was determined. So one morning they set off- Aminah, Muhammad and Barakah huddled together in a small hawdaj mounted on a large camel, part of a huge caravan that was going to Syria. In order to shield the tender child from any pain and worry, Aminah did not tell Muhammad that she was going to visit the grave of his father.
The caravan went at a brisk pace. Barakah tried to console Aminah for her son's sake and much of the time the boy Muhammad slept with his arms around Barakah's neck.
The caravan took ten days to reach Yathrib. The boy Muhammad was left with his maternal uncles of the Banu Najjar while Aminah went to visit the grave of Abdullah. Each day for a few weeks she stayed at the grave. She was consumed by grief.
On the way back to Makkah, Aminah became seriously ill with fever. Halfway between Yathrib and Makkah, at a place called al-Abwa, they stopped. Aminah's health deteriorated rapidly. One pitch dark night, she was running a high temperature. The fever had got to her head and she called out to Barakah in a choking voice.
Barakah related: "She whispered in my ear: 'O Barakah, I shall depart from this world shortly. I commend my son Muhammad to your care. He lost his father while he was in my abdomen. Here he is now, losing his mother under his very eyes. Be a mother to him, Barakah. And don't ever leave him.'
"My heart was shattered and I began to sob and wail. The child was distressed by my wailing and began to weep. He threw himself into his mother's arms and held tightly onto her neck. She gave one last moan and then was forever silent."
Barakah wept. She wept bitterly. With her own hands she dug a grave in the sand and buried Aminah, moistening the grave with whatever tears were left in her heart. Barakah returned with the orphan child to Makkah and placed him in the care of his grandfather. She stayed at his house to look after him. When Abd al-Muttalib died two years later, she went with the child to the house of his uncle Abu Talib and continued to look after his needs until he was grown up and married the lady Khadijah.
Barakah then stayed with Muhammad and Khadijah in a house belonging to Khadijah. "I never left him and he never left me," she said. One day Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, called out to her and said: "Ya Ummah!" (He always called her "Mother".) "Now I am a married man, and you are still unmarried. What do you think if someone should come now and ask to marry you?" Barakah looked at Muhammad and said: "I shall never leave you. Does a mother abandon her son?" Muhammad smiled and kissed her head. He looked at his wife Khadijah and said to her: "This is Barakah. This is my mother after my own mother. She is the rest of my family."
Barakah looked at the lady Khadijah who said to her: "Barakah, you have sacrificed your youth for the sake of Muhammad. Now he wants to pay back some of his obligations to you. For my sake and his, agree to be married before old age overtakes you."
"Whom shall I marry, my lady?" asked Barakah. "There is here now Ubayd ibn Zayd from the Khazraj tribe of Yathrib. He has come to us seeking your hand in marriage. For my sake, don't refuse."
Barakah agreed. She married Ubayd ibn Zayd and went with him to Yathrib. There she gave birth to a son whom she called Ayman and from that time onwards people called her "Umm Ayman" the mother of Ayman.
Her marriage however did not last very long. Her husband died and she returned once more to Makkah to live with her "son" Muhammad in the house of the lady Khadijah. Living in the same household at the time were Ali ibn Abi Talib, Hind (Khadijah's daughter by her first husband), and Zayd ibn Harithah.
Zayd was an Arab from the tribe of Kalb who was captured as a boy and brought to Makkah to be sold in the slave market. He was bought by Khadijah's nephew and put in her service. In Khadijah's household, Zayd became attached to Muhammad and devoted himself to his service. Their relationship was like that of a son to a father. Indeed when Zayd's father came to Makkah in search of him, Zayd was given the choice by Muhammad of either going with his father or staying with him. Zayd's reply to his father was:
"I shall never leave this man. He has treated me nobly, as a father would treat his son. Not a single day have I felt that I am a slave. He has looked after me well. He is kind and loving towards me and strives for my enjoyment and happiness. He is the most noble of men and the greatest person in creation. How can I leave him and go with you?...I shall never leave him."
Later, in public Muhammad proclaimed the freedom of Zayd. However, Zayd continued to live with him as part of his household and devoted himself to his service.
When Muhammad was blessed with prophethood, Barakah and Zayd were among the first to believe in the message he proclaimed. They bore with the early Muslims the persecution which the Quraysh meted out to them.
Barakah and Zayd performed invaluable services to the mission of the Prophet. They acted as part of an intelligence service exposing themselves to the persecution and punishment of the Quraysh and risking their lives to gain information on the plans and conspiracies of the mushrikin.
One night the mushrikun blocked off the roads leading to the House of al-Arqam where the Prophet gathered his companions regularly to instruct them in the teachings of Islam. Barakah had some urgent information from Khadijah which had to be conveyed to the Prophet. She risked her life trying to reach the House of al-Arqam. When she arrived and conveyed the message to the Prophet, he smiled and said to her:
"You are blessed, Umm Ayman. Surely you have a place in Paradise." When Umm Ayman left, the Prophet looked at his companions and asked: "Should one of you desire to marry a woman from the people of Paradise, let him marry Umm Ayman."
All the companions remained silent and did not utter a word. Umm Ayman was neither beautiful nor attractive. She was by now about fifty years old and looked rather frail. Zayd ibn al-Harithah however came forward and said:
"Messenger of Allah, I shall marry Umm Ayman. By Allah, she is better than women who have grace and beauty."
Zayd and Umm Ayman were married and were blessed with a son whom they named Usamah. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, loved Usamah as his own son. Often he played with him, kissed him and fed him with his own hands. The Muslims would say: "He is the beloved son of the beloved." From an early age Usamah distinguished himself in the service of lslam, and was later given weighty responsibilities by the Prophet.
When the Prophet migrated to Yathrib, henceforth to be known as al-Madinah, he left Umm Ayman behind in Makkah to look after certain special affairs in his household. Eventually she migrated to Madinah on her own. She made the long and difficult journey through the desert and mountainous terrain on foot. The heat was killing and sandstorms obscured the way but she persisted, borne along by her deep love and attachment for Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him peace. When she reached Madinah, her feet were sore and swollen and her face was covered with sand and dust.
"Ya Umm Ayman! Ya Ummi! (O Umm Ayman! O my mother!) Indeed for you is a place in Paradise!" exclaimed the Prophet when he saw her. He wiped her face and eyes, massaged her feet and rubbed her shoulders with his kind and gentle hands.
At Madinah, Umm Ayman played her full part in the affairs of the Muslims. At Uhud she distributed water to the thirsty and tended the wounded. She accompanied the Prophet on some expeditions, to Khaybar and Hunayn for example.
Her son Ayman, a devoted companion of the Prophet was martyred at Hunayn in the eighth year after the Hijrah. Barakah's husband, Zayd, was killed at the Battle of Mutah in Syria after a lifetime of distinguished service to the Prophet and Islam. Barakah at this time was about seventy years old and spent much of her time at home. The Prophet, accompanied by Abu Bakr and Umar often visited her and asked: "Ya Ummi! Are you well?" and she would reply: "I am well, O Messenger of Allah so long as Islam is."
After the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, had died, Barakah would often be found with tears in her eyes. She was once asked, "Why are you crying?" and she replied: "By Allah, I knew that the Messenger of Allah would die but I cry now because the revelation from on high has come to an end for us."
Barakah was unique in that she was the only one who was so close to the Prophet throughout his life from birth till death. Her life was one of selfless service in the Prophet's household. She remained deeply devoted to the person of the noble, gentle and caring Prophet. Above all, her devotion to the religion of Islam was strong and unshakable. She died during the caliphate of Uthman. Her roots were unknown but her place in Paradise was assured.

Press Release

Date 14th February 2008

Press Release

British Muslims Stand up to be Counted as Equal Citizens

We, the British Muslim community, are a rich mosaic bound by the universality of our faith. We have diverse origins, cultures and schools of thought which all strengthen our communities.
We are united in the belief that our faith, along with other faiths, can be a force for good for Britain. As British Muslims we reaffirm our conviction in the British values of fair play and the rule of law and we see no incompatibility in these principles with Islam whose fundamental tenets include the pursuit of social justice. The values of fair play should apply when actions of a tiny minority amongst us are used to judge and condemn us as communities and as a faith.
We do not seek parallel legal systems, nor do we aim to enforce on anyone any particular code or way of life. But we do expect a fair discourse free from the current shrill hysteria screaming of impending doom from invading hordes.
Notwithstanding the barrage of hysteria and demonisation; despite the innuendo of disloyalty that bedevils our leaders and our institutions, and even though our media and public officials happily marginalise our faith and community, we are determined to redouble our efforts and seek the common good and reaffirm that we are equal citizens.
As many of our opinion-formers have now have proven to be incapable of creating a positive discourse, it is down to us, at grassroots level, to dispel the misconceptions, the hatred and the divisive extremism both against as well as amongst Muslims.
We urge all fellow British Muslims to reach out and create positive connections with neighbours and friends. We remind ourselves that with rights comes responsibilities and that we remain at all times accountable to God for our thoughts as well as deeds.

Issued by the Muslim Council of Britain, the British Muslim Forum and a coalition of Muslim and concerned organisations.

[ENDS]

Notes to Editors:
The Muslim Council of Britain is the UK's largest Muslim umbrella body with over 500 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools.
Media enquiries should be addressed to the MCB Media Office on 0845 26 26 786 or 07956 353 738. Email: media@mcb.org.uk.

Non-media enquiries should be addressed to the MCB Office at The Muslim Council of Britain, PO Box 57330, London E1 2WJ. Tel: 0845 26 26 786 Fax: 0207 247 7079

This press release and other MCB publications and information are available on the MCB website at www.mcb.org.uk.

Another First - 1996 Ramadan Celebrated in the White House - by Khalid Ahmed

Ahmed is president of the American Muslim Youth Congress. In 2007, he established the first United Arab Emirates Imam's Traing Program and Hajj Pilgrimage that included 13 American participants and one citizen of France.Peace, Curtis Sharif

AswadStone@aol.com wrote:

In 1996, I noticed that Jewish children were invited to the White House to commemorate Hanukkah. Similarly, I noticed that Christian children were invited for Easter Egg hunts and to light the national Christmas tree.

I noticed no program for Muslim children. I wrote several times to the White House and was invited to have the first commemoration/observation of Ramadan at the White House. It was indeed historic. Former First Lady hosted a delegation of Muslim youth and the program continued throughout the Clinton Administration.

The Bush Administration politicized it but inviting only ambassadors from Muslim nations in Washington, DC.

Khalid

40 Ahadith Concerning Masjid Al-Aqsa

40 Ahadith Concerning Masjid Al-Aqsa

Glorified (and Exalted) be He (Allah) Who took His slave (Muhammad SAW) for a journey by night from Al-Masjid-al-Haram (at Makkah) to the farthest mosque (in Jerusalem), the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed, in order that We might show him (Muhammad SAW) of Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, etc.). Verily, He (Allah) is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. (17:1)

Introduction
Of all the symbols of Islam, the most neglected in our time is Masjid Al-Aqsa, in Jerusalem. The Ummah for various reasons, from political compromise to appeasement, has ignored not only the virtues but also the plight of this Holy site.
It is with the intention to rekindle the love, affection and devotion of Muslims to Masjid Al-Aqsa that we present these Ahadith. Since the Prophet (saw) showed such great concern and inculcated into the Companions (ra - may Allah be pleased with them all), the need to liberate Masjid Al-Aqsa and Jerusalem. I hope that we can adorn the teachings of our noble Prophet (saw) and take the urgent practical steps required to safeguard Masjid Al-Aqsa.Masjid Al-Aqsa is no ordinary Masjid; it forms the basis of our history and it is the cornerstone of mankind's foundation. The noble Prophet (saw) dedicated a great deal of his life in nurturing the Companions to appreciate the excellent qualities of Masjid Al-Aqsa and prepared them to embark on an expedition to liberate Jerusalem which at the time was in the hands of the mighty Roman empire.
Some of the reasons why Masjid Al-Aqsa should form an important aspect of a believer's dedication, where many pious individuals have given their wealth and lives, include the fact that Masjid Al-Aqsa is:

the first Qiblah of the Muslims
the station of Al-Isra and Al-Miraj (the miraculous journey of Mohammed saw)
the second house of Allah built on earth
the place where hundreds of Messengers of Allah are buried
the place where many companions are buried
a place where miracles were shown by Allah's will
a place which Allah Himself calls a 'blessed place'
referred to directly and indirectly, 70 times in the Holy Quran
the place where Angels have descended with Allah's message
the only place on earth where all the Messengers of Allah prayed at the same time led by the Mohammed (saw)
the only Masjid mentioned by name in the Holy Quran a part from the Ka'bah

It is for the above mentioned reasons and many more that we need to understand our responsibilities regarding safeguarding Masjid Al-Aqsa which is in great danger of being demolished by extremist jews.

Masjid Al-Aqsa - The Second House of Allah on Earth
1, Abu Dharr (ra) reported that he asked the Prophet (saw), "O Messenger of Allah, which Masjid was built first on earth"? The Prophet (saw) replied, "The Sacred Masjid of Makkah". Abu Dharr (ra) again asked, "Which was next"? The Prophet (saw) said, "Masjid Al-Aqsa". Abu Dharr (ra) further asked, "How long was the period between the building of the two Masjids"? The Prophet (saw) said, "Forty years". Apart from these, offer your prayer anywhere when it is time to pray, although excellence is in praying in these Masjids". (Bukhari)

The Importance of Visiting Masjid Al-Aqsa
2, Abu Hurayrah (ra) relates that the Prophet (saw) said, "You should not undertake a special journey to visit any place other than the following three Masjids with the expectations of getting greater reward: the Sacred Masjid of Makkah (Ka'bah), this Masjid of mine (the Prophet's Masjid in Madinah), and Masjid Al-Aqsa (of Jerusalem)". In another narration the words are, "For three Masjids a special journey may be undertaken: The Sacred Masjid (Ka'bah), my Masjid and Masjid of Jerusalem (Al-Aqsa). (Muslim, Bukhari, Abu Dawud)

Greater Virtue of praying in Masjid Al-Aqsa
3, Abu Darda (ra) relates that the Prophet (saw) said, "A prayed in Makkah (Ka'bah) is worth 1000,000 times (reward), a prayer in my Masjid (Madinah) is worth 1,000 times and a prayer in Al-Aqsa Sanctuary is worth 500 times more reward than anywhere else". (Tabarani, Bayhaqi, Suyuti)
4, Anas Ibn Malik (ra) relates that the Prophet (saw) said, " The prayer of a person in his house is a single prayer; his prayer in the Masjid of his people has the reward of 27 prayers; his prayer in the Masjid in which the Friday prayer is observed has the reward of 500; his prayer in Masjid Al-Aqsa (i.e. Al-Aqsa Sanctuary) has a reward of 5,000 prayers; his prayer in my Masjid (the Prophet's Masjid in Madinah) has a reward of 50,000 prayers, and the prayer in the Sacred Masjid (Ka'bah) has the reward of 100,000 prayers". (Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah)

The Importance of Donating to Masjid Al-Aqsa
5, Abdullah Ibn Umar (ra) relates, I asked the Prophet (saw), "Apostle of Allah, tell us the legal injunction about (visiting) Bayt Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem)." The Apostle of Allah (saw) said, " Go and pray there. If you cannot visit it and pray there, then send some oil to be used in the lamps". (Bukhari)
6, Maymunah Bint Sa'd (ra) relates that she asked the Prophet (saw), "O Messenger of Allah, inform us about Bayt Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem)". He said, "Visit it for prayer ". She further asked, "If one of us cannot visit it, what should we do"? He said, "If you cannot go for prayer then send some oil to be used for its lamps, will be as if he has prayed in it". (Ahmad, Ibn Majah, Abu Dawud, Tabarani) The Virtues of Wearing Ihram From Masjid Al-Aqsa
7, Umm Salamah (ra) relates that the Prophet (saw) said, "If anyone puts on Ihram for Hajj or Umrah from Masjid Al-Aqsa and then proceeds to the Sacred Masjid (Ka'bah), their past and future sins will be forgiven, or they will be entered into Paradise". (Abu Dawud)

The Blessed Land of Masjid Al-Aqsa
8, Zaid Ibn Thabit (ra) reports that the Prophet (saw) said, "How blessed is Al-Sham"! The Companions (ra) asked, "Why is that"? The Messenger (saw) replied, "I see the Angels of Allah spreading their wings over Al-Sham". Ibn Abbas (ra) added, "And the Prophets lived therein. There is not a single inch in Al-Quds (Jerusalem) where a Prophet has not prayed or an Angel not stood". (Tirmidhi, Ahmad)
9, The Prophet Mohammed (saw) said, "Allah has blessed what lies between Al-'Arish (in Egypt) and the Euphrates and has made Palestine particularly Holy". (Kanz Al-Umal)

Masjid Al-Aqsa - The First Qiblah (direction of prayer)
10, Abdullah Ibn Umar (ra) narrates, "We prayed along with the Prophet (saw) facing Al-Quds (Jerusalem) for 16 or 17 months. Then Allah ordered him saw) to turn his face towards the Ka'bah (in Makkah). (Bukhari)
11, Al-Bara (ra) added, "Before we changed our direction towards the Ka'bah in prayer, some Muslims had died or had been killed and we did not know what to say about them (regarding their prayers). Allah then revealed: And Allah would never make your faith (prayers) to be lost (i.e. the prayers of those Muslims facing Bayt Al-Maqdis were valid) {2:143} (Bukhari)

Masjid Al-Aqsa - The Station of Al-Isra and Al-Miraj
12, Abu Hurayrah (ra) narrates that the Prophet (saw) said, "On the night journey Allah's Apostle (saw) was taken on a night journey (Al-Isra and Al-Miraj), two cups, one containing wine and the other containing milk were presented to him (saw) at Al-Quds (Jerusalem). He looked at them and took the cup of milk. Angel Gabriel said, "Praise be to Allah, who guided you to Al-Fitrah (the right path); if you had taken (the cup of) wine, your Ummah would have gone astray". (Bukhari)
13, Regarding the statement of Allah in the Holy Quran, "And We granted the vision (ascension to the Heavens) which we made you see (as an actual eye witness) was only made as a trial for the people". (17:60) Ibn Abbas (ra) said, "The sights which Allah's Apostle was shown on the Night journey where he was taken to Bayt Al-Maqdis (i.e. Jerusalem) were actual sights, (not dreams). And the Cursed tree (mentioned) in the Quran is the tree of Zaqqum. (Bukhari)
14, Jabir Ibn Abdullah (ra) relates that the Prophet (saw) said, "When the people of Quraysh did not believe me (i.e. the story of his Miraculous Night Journey), I stood up in Al-Hijr and Allah displayed Bayt Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem in front of me, and I began describing it to them while I was looking at it". (Bukhari)
15, Abdullah Ibn Hawwala (ra) reports that the Prophet (saw) said, "I saw on the night of Al-Isra and Al-Miraj (the Night Journey) a white column resembling a pearl which the Angels were carrying . I asked them, "What are you carrying"? They said, "The Column of the Book, we have been ordered to place it in Al-Sham. Later in my sleep, I saw the Column of the Book being taken away from under my headrest. I began to fear lest Allah the Almighty had abandoned the people of the earth. My eyes followed the Column of the Book. It was a brilliant light in front of me. Then I saw it was placed in A;-Sham. (Tabarani)
16, Anas (ra) relates that the Prophet (saw) said, "I was brought the Buraq, a tall white beast, bigger than a donkey, smaller than a mule. It could place his hooves at the farthest boundary of his gaze. I mounted it until I arrived at Bayt Al-Maqdis. I tied it at the ring where the Prophets tied it before (i.e. Buraq Wall or the Western Wall). I entered Masjid Al-Aqsa Sanctuary and prayed 2 rak'ah there..." (Muslim)

Masjid Al-Aqsa - The Place for Major Events
17, Mujamma Ibn Al-Harith (ra) narrates that the Prophet (saw) said, "Ibn Maryam (Jesus) will kill Al-Dajjal (the Anti-Christ) at the door of Ludd (a town in Palestine)". (Ahmad, Tirmidhi)
18, The Messenger of Allah (saw) said regarding Al-Dajjal: "He will stay in the land forty days; he will enter every place on earth except the Ka'bah, the Prophet's Masjid, Al-Aqsa Sanctuary and Mount Sinai". (Ahmad)
19, Nahik Ibn Suraym Al-Sakuni (ra) relates that the Prophet (saw) said, "You will fight the pagans until the remnant of you fights on the river of Jordan, you to the east of it (present day Jordan) and they to the west of it (occupied Palestine)". (Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani)
20, Maymunah Bint Sa'd (ra) reports that she asked the Prophet (saw), "O Messenger of Allah, give us a pronouncement about Al-Quds (Jerusalem)". The Prophet (saw) replied, "It is the land where they will be raised (Al-Hashr) and gathered (Al-Mahshar)". (Ahmad, Tabarani)
21, Muadh Ibn Jabal (ra) relates that the Prophet (saw) said, "The Flourishing state of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) (under the non-Muslims) will be taken when Yathrib is in ruins, the ruined state of Yathrib will be when the Great War comes, the outbreak of the Great War will be at the conquest of Constantinople and the conquest of Constantinople when Al-Dajjal (Anti-Christ) comes forth". He (the Prophet) struck his thigh with his hand and said, "This is as true as you are here or as you are sitting (meaning Muadh Ibn Jabal). (Abu Dawud)
22, Awf Ibn Malik (ra) reports that the Prophet (saw) said, "The rest of the world will be destroyed forty years before Al-Sham is". (Ibn Asakir)
23, The Messenger of Allah (saw) said regarding the inhabitants of the blessed land, "They and their wives, children and slaves (male and female) are in ribat (guardians, literally a fort) in the cause of Allah". (Tabarani)
24, Al-Nawwas Ibn Saman Alkalbi (ra) narrates that the Prophet (saw) said, "If Al-Dajjal comes forth while I am amongst you then I shall dispute with him on your behalf, but if he comes after I am not with you, a man must dispute on his own behalf, and Allah will take to protecting every Muslim. Those of you who live up to his time should recite over him the opening verses of Surah Kahf, for they are your protection from his trial". We asked, "How long will he remain on earth"? He (saw) replied, "Forty days, one like a year (1 day will be equivalent to 1 year), one like a month, one like a week and the rest of his days like yours"? We asked, "Will one day's prayer suffice us in the day which will be like a year"? He replied, "No, you must estimate of its extent. Then Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Virgin Mary) will descend at the white minaret to the east of Damascus. He will then catch Al-Dajjal up at the gates of Ludd and kill him". (Abu Dawud)

Masjid Al-Aqsa - The place of Mujahideen
25, Umamah Al-Bahili (ra) reports that the Prophet (saw) said, "A group of my Ummah will remain on truth, they will vanquish their enemy and those who disagree with them will not be able to harm them until Allah commands". "Where are these people"? The Companions (ra) asked. The Prophet (saw) said, "In and around Al-Quds (Jerusalem). (Ahmad)
26, Muawiyah Ibn Sufyan (ra) relates that the Prophet (saw) said, "There is a group among my followers who will continue to be openly on the truth. No one who opposes them can harm them until the coming of the Hour". The Companions (ra) asked, "Where will they be"? The Messenger of Allah said, "They will be in and around Bayt Al-Maqdis (i.e. Jerusalem)". (Ahmad)
27, Abu Hurayrah (ra) relates that the Prophet (saw) said, "A group of my Ummah will not cease to fight at the gates of Damascus and at the gates of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and its surroundings. The betrayal or desertion of whoever deserts them will not harm them in the least. They will remain victorious, standing for the truth, until the Final Hour rises". (Tabarani) Masjid Al-Aqsa - The Best Place of Residence
28, Abdullah Ibn Umar (ra) reports that the Prophet (saw) said, There will be migration upon migration. The best of the inhabitants of earth will reside where Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) migrated (Jerusalem)". (Abu Dawud)

Masjid Al-Aqsa - The Desired Site of Musa (Moses)
29, Abu Hurayrah (ra) reports that the Prophet (saw) said, "The Angel of death was sent to Musa. When he came to Musa, Musa punched him on the eye. The Angel returned to Allah and said, "You sent me to a servant who does not want to die". Allah ordered the Angel, 'Return to him and tell him to put his hand on the back of an ox and for every hair that will come under it, he will be granted one year of life'. Musa asked, "O Lord! What will happen after that"? Allah replied, 'Then death'. Musa decided, let it be now'. Musa then requested Allah to let him die close to the Sacred Land (near Masjid Al-Aqsa) so much so that he would be at a distance of a stone's throw form it". Abu Hurayrah (ra) added, the Prophet (saw) then said, "If I were there, I would show you his grave below the red sand hill on the side of the road". (Bukhari)

Liberation of Masjid Al-Aqsa Prophesied
30, Awf Ibn Malik relates, "I went to the Prophet (saw) during the battle of Tabuk while he was sitting in a leather tent. He said, 'Awf, Count six signs, between now and the approach of the Hour (Qiyamah/Doomsday): my death, the conquest of Al-Quds (Jerusalem); a plague that will afflict you (and kill you in great numbers) as the plague that afflicts sheep; the increase of wealth to such an extent that even if one is given 100 hundred Dinars (Arabian currency), he will not be satisfied; then an affliction which no Arab house will escape; and then a truce between you and Banu Asfar (i.e. Byzantines) who will betray you and attack you under eighty flags. Under each flag will be twelve thousand soldiers". (Bukhari)
31, Shadad Ibn Aws (ra) reports that the Prophet (saw) said, "l-Sham will be conquered and Al-Quds (Jerusalem) will be conquered and you or your sons will be Imams there, if Allah will". (Tabarani)

The Preference of Masjid Al-Aqsa
32, Once the Prophet (saw) advised Abdullah Ibn Hawwala (ra) to join the army in al-Sham, over any other. However, the Prophet (saw), noticing Ibn Hawwala's indifference said, "Do you know what Allah says about Al-Sham? Allah said, 'Al-Sham you are the quintessence of My lands (safwati min biladi) and I shall inhabit you with the chosen ones among My servants'". (Tabarani)
33, Abdullah Ibn Amr (ra) reports that the Prophet (saw) repeated the following statement three times: "When the dissension takes place belief shall be in Al-Sham". One version of hadith states, "safety will be in Al-Sham". (Tabarani)
34, Abdullah Ibn Hawwala reports that the Prophet (saw) said, "At some point you will be (split into) standing armies: one army in Al-Sham, on in Yemen and one in Iraq". Abdullah Ibn Hawala asked he Prophet (saw), "Choose for me, Messenger of Allah in case I live to see that day". The Prophet (Saw) replied, "You must go to Al-Sham, for it is the chosen land of Allah in all His earth. He protects, by sending them there, the chosen ones among His servants. If you do not wish to go there, then go to Yemen. Allah has given me guarantee concerning Al-Sham and its people. (Abu Dawud, Ahmad)

Masjid Al-Aqsa - The Site of the Future Caliphate
35, Abdullah Ibn Hawwala Al-Azdi (ra) reported, the Prophet (saw) put his hand on my head and said, "Ibn Hawwala if you see that the Caliphate has taken abode in the Holy Land then the earthquakes and tribulations and great events are at hand. The last Hour on that day will be closer to people than my hand is to your head". (Ahmad, Abu Dawud)
36, Yunus Ibn Maysarah (r) relates that the Prophet (saw) said, "This matter (the Caliphate) will be after me in Madinah, then Al-Sham, then Al-Jazira, then Iraq, then in Madinah, then in AL-quds (Jerusalem). If it is in Al-Quds, its home country is there, and if any people expel it, it will not return there forever". (Ibn Asakir)
37, Al-Numan Ibn Bashir (ra) relates that the Prophet (saw) said, "Prophethood will last with you for as long as Allah wants it. Then Allah will end it if He wishes to end it. Then there will be the Rightly Guided Caliphs according to the method of Prophethood and things will be as Allah wishes them. Then Allah will end it if He wishes it. Then there will be a voracious kingdom and things will be as Allah wishes them. Then Allah will end it if He wishes. Then there will be Khilafah (Caliphate) according to the method of Prophethood. Thereafter the Prophet (saw) fell silent". (Ahmad)
38, Abd Al-Rahman Ibn Abi Umayrah (ra) relates that the Prophet (saw) said, "There will be an oath of allegiance according to guidance in Al-Quds (Jerusalem)". (Bukhari, Muslim)

Masjid Al-Aqsa - The Place Where Allah's Revelation Descended
39, Abu Umama (ra) reports that the Prophet (saw) said, "Prophethood descended upon me in three places: Makkah, Madinah and Al-Sham. Once it is brought out from any of them, it shall never return to it". (Abu Dawud) In another narration it states, "The Quran was revealed in three places - Makkah, Madinah and Al-Sham". (Tabarani) Ibn Kathir, the great scholar of Islam, said, "Al-Sham here means Bayt Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem). (Abu Dawud, Tabarani)

Masjid Al-Aqsa - Mentioned By Name In The Holy Quran
40, Aishah (ra) reports that the Prophet (saw) used to recite Surah Al-Isra every night in his prayer:
Glorified (and Exalted) be He (Allah) Who took His slave (Muhammad SAW) for a journey by night from Al-Masjid-al-Haram (at Makkah) to the farthest mosque (in Jerusalem), the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed, in order that We might show him (Muhammad SAW) of Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, etc.). Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. (17:1)

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