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Saturday, June 06, 2009

THERE IS MUCH OSTENTATION IN SUPEREROGATORY WORSHIP

Hadrat [1] Imam-i Rabbani says in the 82nd letter of the second volume of his Maktubat:

First of all, it is necessary to learn the belief which the Ahl-i-sunnat [2] savants - may Allahu ta'ala give them many blessings for their ceaseless efforts - communicate and write in books, and to correct the iman [3] in accordance with it. Then we should learn the rules of fiqh (the commandments and prohibitions of the Shari'at [4]). We should adhere to doing the fard [5] ,being cautious about the halal (permitted), and avoiding haram (forbidden) .

Supererogatory worships are worth nothing when compared to the fard. The Muslims of our time ignore the fard and give their utmost to supererogatory worships; they value doing supererogatory worships [e. g. rites of mawlid,-which are most often than not performed in mixed company-, mosque-building, almsgiving, and other acts of non-essential charity,], while they deem it unnecessary and unimportant to do the fard [e. g. performing the five times of namaz [6] daily; fasting in the month of Ramadan; giving zakat [7]; giving 'ushr [8]; paying one's debts, learning acts that are halal and those which are haram; girls' and womens' covering their heads, hair, arms, and legs; not listening to the words of those men on the radio or television who are megect enemies of our religion and who try to corrupt our belie fs and good morals.

Nevertheless, they do not understand that to give one cent as zakat to the proper people (declared in the Qur'an) is more blessed than giving thousands of dollars as alms. To pay zakat is to do Allah's command. But alms and favours are mostly intended to earn fame, reverence and the sensual desires of the nafs [9]. When one does the fard, hypocrisy or ostentation do not get mixed with the action. But there is a lot of ostentation in supererogatory worships. It is for this reason that zakat should be given publicly. In this way one will be safe from being slandered. The supererogatory alms should be given secretly, which will increase the probability that it will be accepted [by Allah].

In short, to be safe from the harm of the world, there is no other way than doing the rules of the Shari'at. Those who cannot cease from worldly pleasures completely should relinquish them at least supposedly, that is, they should think of themselves as having forsaken the world. And for doing this, one should adapt one's every action and each word to the Shari'at.

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GLOSSARY
[1] Hadrat: title of respect used before the names of great people like and Islamic scholars.
[2] Ahl as-Sunna: the true pious Muslims who follow as-Sahabat al-kiram. These are called Sunni Muslims. A Sunni Muslim adapts himself to one of the four Madhhabs. These madhhabs are Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i and Hanbali.
[3] iman: faith, belief, beliefs of Islam; kalam, i'tiqad.
[4] Shari'at: (pl. of Shari'a) i) rules and commandments as a whole of the religion. ii) religion.
[5] fard: an act or thing that is commanded by Allahu ta'ala in the Qur'an al-kerim.
[6] namaz: prayer that is performed five times per day in Islam.
[7] zakat: (fard duty of giving annually) certain amount of certain kinds of property to certain kinds of people, by which the remaining property becomes purified and blessed and the Muslim who gives it protects himself against being (called) a miser.
[8] 'Ushr: a kind of zakat.
[9] nafs: a force in man which wants him to harm himself religiously.

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