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The Month of Allah | Muharram





Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has chosen and given preference to certain days and times that are special and sacred in our religion. As many of you may know by now, the sacred month of Muharram (which begins the new Islamic year) has started today.

The Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “The division of time has turned to its original form which was current the day Allah created the heavens and earth. The year consists of twelve months of which four are sacred: three consecutive months, Dhu’l-Qa’dah, Dhu’l-Hijjah and Muharram, and Rajab which comes between Jumada and Sha’ban.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

Virtues of Muharram

  • It is one of the four sacred months. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) said, “Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year), so was it ordained by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are Sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein” (9:36)
  • It is the best month to fast in after Ramadan. The Messenger ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “The best fasting after Ramadan is the month of Allah Muharram, and the best prayer after the obligatory prayer is prayer at night.” [Muslim]
  • The Messenger ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “The best fasting after Ramadan is the month of Allah, Muharram.” [Muslim] The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) called this month “the Month of Allah.” When Allah azza wa jal connects His Name to something, it shows the great status and virtue of the subject.
  • This month contains the day of ‘Aashoora (the tenth of Muharram). Ibn Abbas raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) was asked about fasting on the day of ‘Aashoora and he said, “I do not know of any day on the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) fasted that was better than this day.” [Bukhari and Muslim] This day is known as the day Allah ta’ala saved Musa alayhi salaam and the Children of Isra’eel from Fir’awn.
  • Fasting the Day of ‘Aashoora is an expiation of a year of sins. The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said: “Fasting the day of Arafah I hope Allah will expiate thereby for the year before it and the year after it, and fasting the day of ‘Aashoora I hope Allah will expiate thereby for the year that came before it.” [Muslim]

Mourning the Death of Husayn ibn Ali?

Al-Hafidh ibn Katheer rahimahullah, known for his work of tafseer, states regarding this act of mourning the death of Husayn ibn Ali radi Allahu anhu,

Every Muslim should mourn the killing of al-Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him), for he is one of the leaders of the Muslims, one of the scholars of the Sahaabah, and the son of the daughter of the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), who was the best of his daughters. He was a devoted worshipper, and a courageous and generous man. But there is nothing good in what the Shi’ah do of expressing distress and grief, most of which may be done in order to show off. His father was better than him and he was killed, but they do not take his death as an anniversary as they do with the death of al-Husayn raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him). His father was killed on a Friday as he was leaving the mosque after Fajr prayer, on the seventeenth of Ramadan in 40 AH. ‘Uthmaan was better than ‘Ali according to Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah, and he was killed when he was besieged in his house during the days of al-Tashreeq in Dhu’l-Hijjah of 36 AH, with his throat cut from one jugular vein to the other, but the people did not take his death as an anniversary. ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab was better than ‘Ali and ‘Uthmaan, and he was killed as he was standing in the mihraab, praying Fajr and reciting Qur’an, but the people did not take his death as an anniversary. Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq was better than him but the people did not take his death as an anniversary. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is the leader of the sons of Adam in this world and the Hereafter, and Allah took him to Him as the Prophets died before him, but no one took the dates of their deaths as anniversaries on which they do what these ignorant Raafidis do on the day that al-Husayn was killed. … The best that can be said when remembering these and similar calamities is that which ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn narrated from his grandfather the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), who said: “There is no Muslim who is afflicted by a calamity and when he remembers it, even if it was in the dim and distant past, he says Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon (verily to Allah we belong and unto Him is our return), but Allah will give him a reward like that of the day when it befell him.”

Narrated by Imam Ahmad and Ibn Majaah, end quote from al-Bidaayah wa’l-Nihaayah (8/221).

Good Deeds for This Month

  • Fasting. Muharram lands in winter this year, making it even more easier to fast. The Companions and the righteous predecessors rejoiced in the coming of this season. It is reported that Abu Hurayrah radi Allahu anhu said, Shall I not point you to comfortable proceeds? The people responded, “And what is that O Abu Hurayrah?” He replied, “Fasting in winter.” The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) did not fast in succession for one month other than Ramadan, so it is not recommended to fast the whole month.
  • The best days to fast in Muharram is the day of ‘Aashoora and one day before it or one day after it. Imam Shafi’i and Imam Ahmad both stated, “It is mustahabb [recommended] to fast both the ninth and the tenth, because the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)fasted the tenth and intended to fast the ninth.” Shaykh Al Munajjid gives a tip on his website for us to be sure that we fasted on the correct day:

If a Muslim wants to be sure that he has fasted on the right day, he should fast two consecutive days at ‘Aashooraa’. So he should calculate when ‘Aa’shooraa’ will be if Dhu’l-Hijjah is twenty-nine days and if it is thirty days, and fast these two days. Thus he will be definite that he has fasted ‘Aashooraa’, and in this case he will have fasted either the ninth and tenth, or the tenth and eleventh, both of which are good. If he wants to be sure of fasting Taasoo’ah (the ninth of Muharram) as well, then he should fast the two days we have spoken of above and the day immediately before them as well. Then he will have fasted the ninth, tenth and eleventh, or the eighth, ninth and tenth. In either case he will have fasted the ninth and tenth for sure.

So in following this principle, you can fast [updated] October 25th, 26, 27th inshaAllah to be sure you fasted on ‘Aashoora with one day before it or after it.

  • Fasting the “White Days.”  The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “Fasting three days of each month is fasting for a lifetime, and ‘the white days’ are the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth.” [an-Nasa’i, Saheeh] Ibn ‘Abbas raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, did not fail to fast the white days either when at home or on a journey.” [an-Nasa’i] These days are the 13th, 14th and 15th of the hijri month which you can calculate according to whichever calendar for Muharram you follow insha’Allah.
  • Increasing in duaa when you are fasting. “The prayer (duaa) of the fasting person will not be refused.” [Al-Bayhaqi, Saheeh]
  • Qiyaamul Layl. The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said in the hadith, “and the best prayer after the obligatory prayer is prayer at night.” [Muslim] In this month we can complete two deeds that the Salaf encouraged in winter. Al Hasan Al Basri rahimahullah said, “The best season to a believer is the winter, its nights are long for those who wish to pray, and its days are short for those who wish to fast.”
  • Protecting yourself from sins. Allah azza wa jal said about the sacred months, “so wrong not yourselves therein” (9:36) Imam Sa’di rahimahullah said in his tafseer regarding this ayah,

Allah states that He has made them a measure of time for His slaves, which they may use for worshipping Him, and thank Allah for His blessings, and they serve the interests of His slaves, so beware of wronging yourselves therein. The pronoun may also be understood as referring to the four sacred months, and this forbids them to wrong themselves in those months in particular, as well as it being forbidden to do wrong at all times, because it is more forbidden at this time, but it is worse at this time than at others.

  • Increasing in good deeds in general. Read some chapters from Riyaad as-Saaliheen for ideas.

May Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) accept our deeds and allow us to reap the benefits of those days and times He has selected over others.

Amatullah is a student of the Qur'an and its language. She completed the 2007 Ta'leem program at Al-Huda Institute in Canada and studied Qur'an, Tajwid (science of recitation) and Arabic in Cairo. Through her writings, she hopes to share the practical guidance taught to us by Allah and His Messenger and how to make spirituality an active part of our lives. She has a Bachelors in Social Work and will be completing the Masters program in 2014 inshaAllah. Her experience includes working with immigrant seniors, refugee settlement and accessibility for people with disabilities.



  1. Avatar


    December 18, 2009 at 4:28 AM

    I benefited from some of these fatwas on islamqa regarding Muharram.

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      abu abdullah

      December 7, 2010 at 6:36 AM

      salamualaikum, jazak Allah khayr for the reminder. very beneficial mash Allah.
      how does it say fasting is next better in muharram, when we are in muharram, after ramadan. And when in Dhul Hijjah, first 10 days become most dear to Allah.
      How do we reconcile between it? ( best thing I suppose is to fast everytime that is possible :)
      I understood it was a re-post when they said this year to fast 25,26,27 of December.

      • Avatar


        December 12, 2010 at 1:52 PM

        How do we reconcile between it?

        My dear brother, there is no contradiction to be reconciled.

        “The best fasting after Ramadan is the month of Allah Muharram”

        “There are no days on which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days”

        So one mentions fasting specifically and the other mentions righteous deeds in general.

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    December 18, 2009 at 5:14 AM

    barakAllahufeeki…..jazakAllahukhairan for the reminder….sister what’s the reference for the 3rd point in “virtues of the month” which says it’s the month of Allah?

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      December 18, 2009 at 5:38 AM

      wa feeki barak Allah

      The reference is the hadeeth mentioned in point 2, The Messenger sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, “The best fasting after Ramadan is the month of Allah Muharram.” [Muslim] I added it to the third point now :) jazaki Allahu khayran.

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        December 18, 2009 at 6:52 AM

        waiyyaki….oh k…so it was mentioned in the second point didn’t notice…jazakAllah….and yea im gonna spread it inshAllah…

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      October 30, 2014 at 12:42 PM

      Reference of the month to Allah is a sign of its distinction and auspiciousness like Baitullah, Naqatullah etc. Muharram is one of the sacred months and it is this month with which the Islamic year starts. The other three sacred months are Rajab, Dhul-Qa`dah, and Dhul-Hijjah. The Hadith points out that fasting in the month of Muharram is better than any other month of the year after Ramadan.

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    December 18, 2009 at 5:16 AM

    Baraka-Llahu fik for this explanation !! it’s very useful !!

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    Yasir Qadhi

    December 18, 2009 at 8:15 AM

    Ma sha Allah great and succinct article!

    Keep up the good work.


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    Abd- Allah

    December 18, 2009 at 11:23 AM

    Jazakillah khayr for this informative article!

    Unfortunately, the importance of this month is forgotten by many, and abused by others…

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    December 18, 2009 at 2:34 PM

    Excellent Article. JazakAllahkhayr sis <3

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    abu abdAllah Tariq Ahmed

    December 18, 2009 at 5:53 PM

    Among the blessings of this first of Muharram — the 9th and 10th days of Muharram will be a weekend. “So give those excuses a black eye!” Fast and be rewarded, bi’idhnillah; may Allah accept it from you, and increase you in your love for performing ibadat.

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    December 18, 2009 at 11:04 PM

    JazakAllahu khair Sister…may Allah Ta’Ala forgive us our sins and make it easier for us to do good. Very informative article Mashaa’Allah.

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    December 19, 2009 at 4:41 AM

    jazakillahu khairaa sis.

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    Holly Garza

    December 19, 2009 at 4:49 AM

    JazakAllah Khayer for posting this article. It always helps to learn and with examples and explanations =)

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    December 19, 2009 at 11:59 AM

    Awesome post, barakAllahu feeki!

    Really liked the tip by Sh. Munajjad…

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    December 20, 2009 at 7:44 AM

    Jazakallahukhair for the great article.

    I especially liked the distinction of the ahadith regarding its virtue and the actual application

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    Kamran Rahman

    December 20, 2009 at 5:40 PM

    Interesting Article. Thank you for the information. It seems like a lot of youth these days associate Muharram with purely mourning, but it goes much farther beyond that.

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    December 20, 2009 at 7:44 PM

    SubhanAllah, it just hit me – “The Month of Allah”. Wow, that’s powerful…

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    December 23, 2009 at 10:42 PM

    the following research I found that shows the significance of 10th Muharram in Islam, other religion and in world history:
    Ashura is a day of great historical significance. On this day: Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) accepted the repentance of Sayyidina Adam (’Alaihis-Salaam) after his exile from Paradise; Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) saved Sayyidina Nuh (’Alaihis-Salaam) and his companions in the ark; Allah extinguished the fire in which Sayyidina Ibrahim (’Alaihis-Salaam) was thrown by Nimrod; And Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) spoke directly to Sayyidina Musa (’Alaihis-Salaam) and gave him the Commandments. On this same 10th of Muharram, Sayyidina Ayyub (’Alaihis-Salaam) was restored to health (from leprosy); Sayyidina Yusuf (’Alaihis-Salaam) was reunited with his father Ya’qub (’Alaihis-Salaam); Sayyidina Yunus (’Alaihis-Salaam) was taken out from the belly of the fish; and the sea was divided as the nation of israel was delivered from captivity and Pharoah’s army was destroyed. ‘Ashura is also the day when Sayyidina Dawud (’Alaihis-Salaam) was forgiven; the kingdom of Sulaiman (’Alaihis-Salaam) was restored; Sayyidina Isa (’Alaihis-Salaam) was raised to Jannah

    Now tell me if it is not the day of celebration instead of mourning as we always indulge ourselves into. Isn’t it also the first month of Islamic calendar, would it not be joyous occasion? Hussain (May God be pleased with him)’s death did not bring any benefits to anyone let alone Islam as his decision was solely based on getting the reign of Islamic government in his hands. Islam never believed in the nobility (please review ‘The last Holy Sermon of the Prophet (PBUH)) otherwise Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) would be the first caliph but rather it based on piety and knowledgeability as history proves it.

    I hope my message will open up people’s mind.


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      December 25, 2009 at 1:55 PM

      so brother you think that imam Hussain’s death was useless? he stood against yazeed just to get into the government and the khilafah? first of all, how positive and sure can you be while saying any of those good things happened on 10th of muharram? where it says in quran or any where that prophet addam a.s was forgiven on this day, or prophet Noh a.s was saved, or etc..these dates can be made up just so people wouldnt try to mourn on this day. and let alone imam hussain a.s, he didnt do what he did just to get the power, but he did it cuz it was the right thing to do. he knew yazeed was wrong and he had to do the right thing, he did it so the islam that we know of today remain standing. If he had stayed quite and mind his own business, today u wouldnt have a r eligion called islam, or if you had it wouldnt be same as the way it should have been. and who in the world says, everyone should celebrate begening of every month? only the christians and those who worship the sun. try to study islam as in whole then try to talk about what hussain should have done or not.

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        December 27, 2009 at 8:47 AM


        You got my point. His death was beyond reason. Only it served to divide Muslim ummah further and nothing else; it is not a hidden truth. Today we proclaimed ourselves as sunni or shia but muslims; it is very ironical and sad. With all the due respect, lust to power is very intoxicating. Hence he inherited from his father Ali R.A. Who himself contended to caliphate on every occasion and considered himself rightful owner of the Islamic dynasty (Ironically speaking: dynasty). Ali R.A. every attempt was failed thanks to the Sahabas of the times. As the Islamic government weakened due to the internal conflicts as Ali R.A. is considered party in those, he was elected by the rebels who have martyred Usman R.A. We see that also a clear initiation of division between muslims. As there are evidences that Ali R.A. was reluctant to punish the rebels (Because they brought him to power) were accountable for Usman R.A.’s martyrdom. It has cause the war between Ali R.A. and Aisha Siddiqua as we know it in the name of Jang-e-Jamel.

        The very same misunderstanding, Hussain R.A. has inherited. He considered succession was his right. What made him think that he was rightful in that manner? Because of nobility? Remember the last sermon of Holy Prophet where he said there superiority arab has over no arab and vice versa (please review the sermon as whole). His decision to go face Yazid was nothing but emotional plea; he was offered help and denied. He went with kids and women; armless; who would be in their right mind to do that. To put everyone’s life in danger; it is a bit selfish act, don’t you think, just for the sake of government. If he had to do that than why he didn’t accept the help of the tribes; it is beyond reason to me.

        Probably it would be better if you please do some research before making emotional assumptions. Prophet (PBUH) followed the sunnah of Musa-alaihsalam and fast on the 10th of Muharram. As it was considered the day of Independence from Pharoah. It is one of the example; you may do research for the rest.


        • Avatar

          Abd- Allah

          December 31, 2009 at 4:03 PM

          Assalam Alaikum

          Just for everyone’s information, all the following information about Ashura has NO authentic basis:

          “On this day: Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) accepted the repentance of Sayyidina Adam (’Alaihis-Salaam) after his exile from Paradise; Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) saved Sayyidina Nuh (’Alaihis-Salaam) and his companions in the ark; Allah extinguished the fire in which Sayyidina Ibrahim (’Alaihis-Salaam) was thrown by Nimrod; And Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) spoke directly to Sayyidina Musa (’Alaihis-Salaam) and gave him the Commandments. On this same 10th of Muharram, Sayyidina Ayyub (’Alaihis-Salaam) was restored to health (from leprosy); Sayyidina Yusuf (’Alaihis-Salaam) was reunited with his father Ya’qub (’Alaihis-Salaam); Sayyidina Yunus (’Alaihis-Salaam) was taken out from the belly of the fish. ‘Ashura is also the day when Sayyidina Dawud (’Alaihis-Salaam) was forgiven; the kingdom of Sulaiman (’Alaihis-Salaam) was restored; Sayyidina Isa (’Alaihis-Salaam) was raised to Jannah”

          and Allah knows best.

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      January 17, 2011 at 11:58 PM

      You refer to the last serom is this the one on Ghadeer e Khum on the 18th of Zilhajj?

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    December 25, 2009 at 1:10 AM


    Jazaki Allahu khairan for this ma’roof-spreading article. I put it on my blog. :)

  18. Avatar

    Slave of God

    December 25, 2009 at 1:11 AM


  19. Pingback: Why we fast on the day of Ashoora :: Average Muslim

  20. Avatar


    December 7, 2010 at 6:13 AM

    The thing is i am not going to mourn for the death . but i know this day is very important , if we start morning by remembering resul SAWali husayn hassan and fatima aish omer uthman abubeker bilal and it will not finsish every month we have to cry . all of them for us important so just fast make dua tewba so on not moring for hassan or hussain death we respect them and love all but just remember every shaba tabin shuuk so on and we make dua. not just rmember one person and mourn……

    thanks jezakillah kair any way.

    • Avatar


      January 17, 2011 at 11:42 PM

      I guess you are free to do as you please and we generally prefer to following the authentic teachings of the exalted prophet (PBUH)

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    December 7, 2010 at 6:51 PM

    “Satan rejoiced when Adam (peace be upon him) came out of Paradise, but he did not know that when a diver sinks into the sea, he collects pearls and then rises again.”

    EMANcipate yourself

  22. Avatar


    December 8, 2010 at 11:03 AM

    Great post! Perhaps you can put a note at the top to indicate the days of Ashoora for 2010, as the article states the dates from the year the article was first posted

    • Avatar


      December 8, 2010 at 12:10 PM

      yes, very important point as it says:

      you can fast December 25th, 26th and the 27th

      but this year the tenth will be wed 15th dec (i think)

  23. Avatar


    December 8, 2010 at 12:42 PM

    As salaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatuAllahi wa barakaatuh

    Here are the dates for this year inshaa Allah:

    09 muharram 1432 = Wednesday 15 December 2010
    10 muharram (day of ‘Aashooraa) 1432 = Thursday 16 December 2010
    11 muharram 1432 = Friday 17 December 2010

    Jazaakum Allah khayrun

    • Avatar


      December 10, 2010 at 5:36 PM

      wa alaykum salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

      jazaak Allahu khayran. Changed now.

  24. Avatar


    December 10, 2010 at 11:39 PM

    I’ve heard from Shia Muslims that Muharram is serious like Ramadan such as not listening to music or celebrating any joyous occasion such as weddings but I was wondering why these types of acts are prohibited especially during Muharram?

    • Avatar


      January 16, 2011 at 11:46 PM

      Dear Noma,

      Logically if someone in your family passes away generally one does not attend a wedding or joyous occassion… for the Shia the infallibles ie Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Bibi Fatimah (AS) and the 12 divinely ordained Imams hold a greater importance than our own family. I am not arguing the merits and demerits of what we believe in but am happy to debate if required – but this is the logic as to why for the prescribed two months and nine days we do not hold any celebrations.

      • Avatar


        January 21, 2011 at 9:58 PM

        What do you mean by the 2 months and 9 days? Muharram is only one month.

      • Avatar


        November 1, 2016 at 11:53 AM

        i have one question that can you listen to music after the first 15 days of Muharram ? But still no abusive music .

  25. Avatar

    Seyed Javad

    December 16, 2010 at 12:34 AM

    All those people named in this article are respected but only Allah knows who was better. Please stop crediting people based on your imaginations. If Sheih Muslims mourn for Husain, it is not because of that he was the best. They mourn for him because he and his family were brutally slaughtered by the Muslims who believed they are doing Jihad. It‘s embracing for Muslims at the moment because they killed one the best people.
    Allah saves us.

  26. Avatar


    January 16, 2011 at 10:19 PM

    I think Ibn Khateers commentary is fairly flawed and given that the prophet (pbuh) had stated the status of Imam Hussain (AS) and the Quran does state on on a number of occassions that the Last Prophet of Islam does not do or say anything which is not from Allah. I can add a few more arguments from the Quran too as to why the this commentary is fairly invalid – happy to discuss

  27. Avatar


    January 18, 2011 at 10:23 AM

    Interesting how you chose to remove commentary which logically and through islamic facts made the above article invalid ……hmmm clearly a well “moderated” site !

  28. Avatar


    January 20, 2011 at 12:27 AM

    “maybe”, this is regarding your comment on the authenticity of the hadith about fasting Ashura.

    ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: When the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) fasted on the day of ‘Ashoora and told the people to fast, they said, “O Messenger of Allah, this is a day that is venerated by the Jews and Christians.” The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Next year, if Allah wills, we will fast on the ninth day.” But by the time the following year came, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had passed away.

    Narrated by Muslim, 1916.

    If the Prophet peace be upon him had passed away before the next year came, that means these companions such as Ibn Abbas had heard it from him the year he passed away. This proves that all the things which you mentioned are incorrect and not true.

    • Avatar


      January 20, 2011 at 3:25 PM

      And how old was Ibn Abbas when the Prophet (PBUH) narrated this to him

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        January 21, 2011 at 4:08 PM

        And how old was Ibn Abbas when the Prophet (PBUH) narrated this to him

        “maybe”, I believe you can do the math by yourself, but why don’t we address a more important issue.

        now for the Shia the infallibles ie Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Bibi Fatimah (AS) and the 12 divinely ordained Imams hold a greater importance than our own family. I am not arguing the merits and demerits of what we believe in but am happy to debate if required

        So you believe that Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) is one of the “infallibles” and one of the “12 divinely ordained Imams” right?

        If this is so, can you please just answer for me one simple question. As everyone knows (even the shi’a agree) that Ali gave the pledge to Abu Bakr may Allah be pleased with them both. My question is that if Ali is “infallible” and divinely guided, then him giving the pledge to Abu Bakr was a divine inspiration from Allah and what he did was absolutely true and correct, which means that Abu Bakr was the rightful Khalifa after the Prophet peace be upon him. And if you say no, Ali was mistaken when he gave Abu Bakr the pledge and Abu Bakr did not deserve to be the Khalifa after the Prophet peace be upon him (as the shi’a claim), then you would have refuted the basic belief of the shi’as that the “12 divinely ordained Imams” are infallible.

        So which one is it? If you can answer this simple question of mine, that would be great! But don’t worry, I’m not really expecting an answer, so I won’t be disappointed if (when) you don’t reply with an answer. And if you answer (or attempt to do so), then whatever answer you provide will be an argument against you and your beliefs! That is if you do give a straightforward answer without trying to wiggle your way out without giving a clear answer to that question.

        Subhan Allah, a simple question such as this one is enough to show that the belief of the shi’as about infallible imams is incorrect and illogical, and if all their beliefs are based on this one, then that shows how much merit and truth their beliefs have. Now do you still want to come here and try cast doubt in our beliefs when your own beliefs are illogical and contradictory?!

        • Avatar


          January 22, 2011 at 3:52 AM

          You block me form posting and then expect to have a debate – mashallah your admin is about as treacherous as the munfiqeen of Islam who burnt the door of Imam Alis house to seek allegience for caliphate ……go read your own books and educate yourself cause cleary one cannot argue with Jahiliya who are not open to debate… probably will remove this post as well but atleast you have my response – you have my email address – give me facts and Iam willing to debate

          • Amad


            January 22, 2011 at 4:38 AM

            Good to see true colors coming out.
            We r not interested in seeing long, drawn out Shia Sunni debates.

            Lakum deenakum wali yadeen

          • Avatar


            January 22, 2011 at 7:47 AM

            Actually by posting such articles the members of this blog have shown their true colors and thank you for that !

          • Avatar


            January 22, 2011 at 1:08 PM

            maybe, no one burned Ali’s house may Allah be pleased with him, maybe (no pun intended) you should read our own books before you believe what you have been taught (brainwashed) since you were born. If you are truly sincere, then I challenge you to read the books of sunnis yourself.

            As I expected, you didn’t answer my simple question. No one wanted to debate you, I was merely interested in a simple answer to my very simple question, which if was answered then there would be no need to debate anything after that!

  29. Avatar


    January 22, 2011 at 5:07 AM


    Salaam alaikum,

    I’m sure the intentions of the author of this article are good. However, it’s quite disappointing to see that in this age where Muslims and Islam are already so maligned, that fellow Muslims still resort to takfir or derogatory terms while referring to each other. Along those lines, it’s quite disheartening to see a respected online magazine such as yours use a term such as “Rafidhi” to refer to Shi’a Muslims. Such a term is highly offensive, and moreover, holds little weight in an argument. Think of a bully who can resort to nothing other than name-calling to intimidate one who he has no argument against.

    Furthermore, the argument cited about not mourning on Ashura is filled with logical holes. Firstly, the Shi’a, unlike Ahlus Sunnah w’al Jamaah, do NOT hold Uthman, Umar, Abu Bakr, etc. to be in higher esteem than Imam Hussain and Imam Ali b. Abu Talib – hence, the fact that they do not mourn the deaths of the first 3 is only logical. What the Ahlus Sunnnah wa’l Jamaah believe is irrelevant in understanding what the Shi’a do.

    Secondly, the Shi’a DO mourn the death of Imam Ali (as) in Ramadhan. He was also a shaheed and he was also martyred because he stood for truth and righteousness during his time.

    The argument is correct that the mourning of Imam Hussain may be on a greater scale than the mourning of Imam Ali (as) and all the other Imams. This is because of the context of Imam Hussain’s death. Has anyone here, before casting of the Shi’a as “ignorant Rafidhis,” actually studied what happened in Karbala only 60 or so years after the Prophet died? Do they know what Yazeed, the khalifa of the time, was doing to the laws of Islam? Do they know that Yazeed had attacked the Holy Kaaba and was openly flouting the sacred laws of Islam brought by the Prophet (saw)? Do they know that in Karbala, Imam Hussain brought women and children along with him who were witness to the massacre of the Prophet’s family? Do they know that Yazeed’s army cut off water to the Prophet’s family for over 3 days (denying them access to the Euphrates), and that Yazeed’s army mercilessly killed Imam Hussain’s 6 month old grandson (the Prophet’s great-grandson)? Do they know that the women of the caravan of Imam Hussain, including Hazrat Zainab, the Prophet’s grand-daughter, Hazrat Ruqayya, the Prophet’s great grand-daughter, and many others, were taken captive by Yazeed’s forces, whipped and beaten mercilessly, and taken to Damascas?

    These are just some questions that the author of this article, as well as the publishers of the website and all those who read this article need to ask themselves.

    with salaams and du’as,
    Your Brother

    • Avatar


      January 22, 2011 at 2:03 PM

      actually studied what happened in Karbala only 60 or so years after the Prophet died? Do they know what Yazeed…

      Brother (no pun intended), do you care to actually provide any references to what you are mentioning? I don’t mean references from the books of the shi’a which mention these incidents as “facts” even though they don’t have an authentic chain of narration for them. Unless you can prove all what you mention by providing authentic chains of narrations, then everything you said is merely a claim that can not be proven. Even if you were able to prove with authentic narrations what did happen, that would make no difference regarding the Islamic ruling on what some shi’as do on Ashura, most of which has been clearly forbidden by the Prophet peace be upon him in his authentic ahadith.

      fellow Muslims still resort to takfir

      Where did you see takfir?! Or is this what the shi’as hold the sunnis to be?

      use a term such as “Rafidhi”

      This term is very appropriate to describe those who declare takfir on all the companions (except a few) may Allah be pleased with them all, and those who believe that the Quran that we have today has been changed and is not complete, etc..

      On a different note, “maybe” wasn’t able to answer my simple question, so maybe you can provide me with an answer to the question I asked.

  30. Avatar


    January 23, 2011 at 12:11 AM

    clearly your heart is so black stoned that you choose to deny the events of Kerbala

    You could have clearly proven me to be wrong by simply providing authentic chain of narrations for what you claim happened, but instead you decide to throw accusations and insults, something only a person who has no proof does.

    To answer your silly question – the pledge was never given !

    Well your own scholars admit that Ali did in fact give the pledge to Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with all the companions! I mean are you denying what your own scholars say? Perhaps you are not from the shi’a but rather you are starting your own knew sect with these beliefs!

    Perhaps you should read your own books and see what your own scholars say because you seem to not even know what your own beliefs should be!

    And stop accusing of the usual BS heard enough jahilia say things like –

    1) Quran is not complete

    Courtesy of youtube (you’re not going to accuse youtube of being in on it now are you?!):

    • Avatar


      February 25, 2011 at 7:25 AM

      I would think that you are educated enough not to show links to some Khariji or Nusairi giving a lecture. These groups are well funded by the countrys where you pay tax ……get me some proper sources or STOP your lies on the net under the guise of bloggers !

      • Avatar


        February 25, 2011 at 8:23 AM

        Second if do want to show me a video – show me an entire video and not one chopped by a nasibi – which has been edited to quote out of context…..this is an age old tactic adopted by the nasibis who have terrorised Islam !

      • Avatar


        February 25, 2011 at 8:24 AM

        better yet why dont u get me sources instead of doctored videos ?

    • Avatar


      February 25, 2011 at 9:36 AM

      let me give you a few factual sources instead of doctored nasibi videos…..not that we claim the Quran is incomplete in any way

      Hadhrath Umar’s saying that the current Qur’an is incomplete. In Sahih al Bukhari Volume 8, pages 209-210, we read this sermon delivered by Hadhrath Umar during his last Hajj as Khalifa:
      “Certainly Allah sent Muhammad with the truth, and revealed to him the Book. One of the revelations which came to him was the verse of stoning. We read it and understood it”.
      “The Messenger of God stoned and we stoned after him. I am concerned that if time goes on, someone may say, ‘By God, we do not find the verse of stoning in the Book of God;’ thus, the Muslims will deviate by neglecting a commandment the Almighty revealed.
      “Stoning is in the Book of God. It is the right punishment for a person who commits adultery if the required witnesses are available, or there waspregnancy without marriage or adultery is admitted.”

      Hadhrath Ayesha also testified to a ‘missing’ verse on stoning
      “When the verses “Rajm” [Stoning] and ayah “Rezah Kabir” descended, they were written on a piece of paper and kept under my pillow. Following the demise of Prophet Muhammad (S) a goat ate the piece of paper while we were mourning.
      Sunan Ibne Majah, Vol 2, P 39, Published Karachi…

      Has most of Surah Ahzab been lost?
      Al-Muttaqi ‘Ali bin Husam al-Din in his book “Mukhtasar Kanz al-‘Ummal” printed on the margin of Imam Ahmad’s Musnad, Volume 2, page 2, in his hadith about chapter 33, said that Ibn Mardawayh reported that Hudhayfah said:
      ‘Umar said to me ‘How many verses are contained in the chapter of al-Ahzab?’ I said, ’72 or 73 verses.’ He said it was almost as long as the chapter of the Cow, which contains 287 verses, and in it there was the verse of stoning.

      Has most of the Qur’an been lost?
      Allama Jalaluddin Suyuti records the following words of Abdullah ibne Umar: “No one can proclaim that I have found the Qur’an complete because most of the Qur’an has been lost”. ” Tafseer Durre Manthur” as-Suyuti Volume 1 page 104

  31. Avatar


    February 25, 2011 at 9:40 AM

    While we the followers of the Quran, the Prophet (PBUH) and his pure household (AS) do believe in the book as it was given to us …..i do thank you for pointing me to this topic because i am seeing some interesting evidence emerge from your books about persons in Islamic history who claimed otherwise

  32. Avatar


    March 25, 2012 at 6:52 AM

     “But there is nothing good in what the Shi’ah do of expressing distress and grief, most of which may be done in order to show off ”

    What is your proof to say that what Shia do is an act of ar riya ? 

  33. Pingback: Blessed are those… | The Muslimah Mommy

  34. Avatar

    Said Hajjatey

    October 6, 2016 at 11:13 AM

    Maa shaa Allah…

  35. Pingback: Celebrating The Islamic New Year – Don't Strap Them In

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    October 18, 2016 at 7:01 AM

    Nice to see an article about The miraculous birth of Hazrat Imam Hussain

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This Article Could be Zakat-Eligible

Who Accounts For This Pillar of Islam




Co-written by Shaykh Osman Umarji

As writers on MuslimMatters, it came as a surprise when the website we write on marked itself zakat-eligible on its fundraiser for operations in Ramadan. This website has previously highlighted the misuse and abuse of zakat for vague and dodgy reasons, including instances of outright fraud by nonprofit corporations.  We have lamented the seemingly inexorable march from zakat being for living human beings in need to financial play-doh for nonprofit corporate boards.

Estimated global zakat is somewhere between $200 billion to $1 trillion.  Eliminating global poverty is estimated at $187 billion– not just for Muslims, but everyone.  There continue to be strong interests in favor of more putty-like zakat to benefit the interests of the organizations that are not focused on reducing poverty. Thus, in many ways, a sizeable chunk of zakat benefits the affluent rather than the needy. Zakat, rather than being a credit to the Muslim community, starts to look more like an indictment of it.

No, it’s not ikhtilaf

The recent article on this website, Dr. Usama Al-Azmi seemed somewhat oblivious to the cavalier way the nonprofit corporate sector in the United States treats Zakat.  The article did not do justice to legitimate concerns about zakat distribution by dismissing the issue as one of “ikhtilaf,” or a reasonable difference of opinion, as it ignored the broader concern about forces working hard to make zakat a “wild west” act of worship where just about anything goes.  

It’s essential to identify the crux of the problem. Zakat has eight categories of permissible beneficiaries in the Quran. 1 Two are various levels of poor, distribution overhead; then there are those whose hearts are to be inclined,  free captives, relieve indebtedness, the wayfarer, and the cause of Allah (fisabilillah). The category of fisabilillah, historically,  the majority of scholars have interpreted as the cost of jihad (like actual fighting). However, in recent times, Muslim nonprofit corporations, with support of learned Muslim leaders, have adopted an increasingly aggressive and vague posture that allows nearly any beneficial cause to get zakat.   

The concerns about the abuse of zakat, and the self-serving desire by corporations to turn fisabilillah into a wastebasket Zakat category that could be “incredibly broad” has to do with far more than a difference of opinion (ikhtilaf ) about the eligibility of Dawah organizations. Let’s assume dawah and educational organizations are eligible to administer Zakat funds.  We need to know what that means in practice. What we have is a fundamental question the fisabilillah-can-mean-virtually-anything faction never manages to answer: are there any limits to zakat usage at all?

Show Your Work

We fully understand that in our religious practice, there is a set of rules.  In Islamic Inheritance for example, for example, we cannot cavalierly change the definition of what a “daughter” is to mean any girl you want to treat like a daughter. There is an established set of rules relating to acts of worship. For the third pillar of Islam, zakat, there seem to be no limits to the absurd-sounding questions we can ask that now seem plausible.  

Unfortunately, we have too many folks who invoke “ikhtilaf” to justify adopting almost any opinion and not enough people who are willing to explain their positions. We need a better understanding of zakat and draw the lines on when nonprofit corporations are going too far.

You can be conservative and stand for zakat as an act of worship that contributes to social justice. You can have a more expansive interpretation friendly to the nonprofit corporate sector’s needs to include the revenue source. Wherever you stand, if you don’t provide evidence and develop detailed uniform and accepted principles and rules that protect those people zakat was meant to help, you are inviting abuse and at the very least, opening the door towards inequitable results. 2

Can you feed the needy lentils and rice for $100 a meal, with margins of $99 a meal going to pay salaries to provide these meals and fundraise for them?  Why or why not?

Can a Dawah organization purchase an $80 million jet for its CEO, who can use it to travel the world to do “dawah,” including places like Davos or various ski resorts?  What rules exist that would prevent something like this? As far as we know, nothing at all.

Bubble Charity

In the United States, demographic sorting is a common issue that affects all charitable giving, not just giving by Muslims. The most affluent live in neighborhoods with other people who are generally as prosperous as they are. Certain places seem almost perversely designed to allow wealthy residents to be oblivious to the challenges of the poor.  There are undeniable reasons why what counts as “charity” for the wealthy means giving money to the Opera, the Met Gala, and Stanford University.

The only real way affluent Muslims know they supposed to care about poor people is that maybe they have a Shaikh giving khutbas talking about the need to do so and their obligation of zakat once a year or so. That is now becoming a thing of the past. Now it is just care about fisabilillah- it means whatever your tender heart wants it to mean.   

As zakat becomes less about the poor, appeals will be for other projects with a higher amount of visibility to the affluent.  Nonprofits now collect Zakat for galas with celebrities. Not fundraising at the gala dinner mind you, but merely serving dinner and entertaining rich people. Educational institutions and Masajid that have dawah activities (besides, everything a Masjid does is fisabilillah) can be quite expensive. Getting talent to run and teach in these institutions is also costly. Since many of the people running these institutions are public figures and charismatic speakers with easy access and credibility with the affluent. It is far easier for them to get Zakat funds for their projects.

People who benefit from these projects because they send their children to these institutions or attend lectures themselves will naturally feel an affinity for these institutions that they won’t have with the poor. Zakat will stay in their bubble.  Fisabilillah.

Dawa is the new Jihad

Jihad, as in war carried out by a Khalifah and paid for with zakat funds, is an expensive enterprise. But no society is in a permanent state of warfare, so they can work towards eliminating poverty during peacetime. Muslim communities have done this in the past.  Dawah is qualitatively different from jihad as it is permanent. There was never a period in Islamic history when there was no need to do dawah. Many times in history, nobody was fighting jihad. There was no period of Islamic history when there were there was never a need for money to educate people. Of course, earlier Muslims used zakat in education in limited, defined circumstances. It is not clear why limitations no longer apply.  

Indeed dawah is a broad category.  For example, many people regard the Turkish costume drama “Diriliş: Ertuğrul” as dawah.  Fans of the show can’t stop talking about the positive effects it has had on their lives and their iman. What prevents zakat from funding future expensive television costume dramas? Nothing, as far as we can see.   

No Standards or Accountability

Unfortunately, in the United States, there are no uniform, specific standards governing zakat. Anything goes now when previously in Islamic history, there were appropriate standards. Nonprofit corporations themselves decide if they are zakat-eligible or not. In some instances, they provide objectively comical explanations, which supporters within the corporation’s bubble pretty much always swallow whole. Corporations don’t have to segregate Zakat-eligible funds from general funds. When they do, they can make up their own rules for how and when they spend zakat. No rules make zakat indistinguishable from any other funding source since they can change their standards year after year depending on their funding needs (if they have rules at all) and nobody would be the wiser. It is exceedingly rare for these corporations to issue detailed reports on how they use zakat.  

The Shift to Meaninglessness

Organizations with platforms (like the one that runs this website) are going to be eager to get on the zakat gravy train. There is no cost to slapping a “zakat-eligible” label on yourself, either financial or social. It seems like everyone does it now. Some Zakat collectors are conscientious and care about helping the poor, though they are starting to look a little old-fashioned. For them, it may make sense to certify Zakat administrators like halal butchers.

Zakat used to be about helping discrete categories of human beings that can benefit from it.  It can now mean anything you want it to mean. In the end, though, without real standards, it may mean nothing at all.


  1. The sunnah also highlights the essence of zakah as tending to the needs of the poor. For example, the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) commanded Muadh bin Jabal, when sending him to Yemen, to teach the people that Allah has obligated charity upon them to be taken from their rich and given to their poor (Sahih Muslim).
  2. In Islamic legal theory (usool al-fiqh), sadd al-dhariya is a principle that refers to blocking the means to evil before it can materialize. It is invoked when a seemingly permissible action may lead to unethical behavior. This principle is often employed in financial matters.

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#Current Affairs

Do You Know These Heroes of Eid?

Ramadan is a time of sacrifice, and the Eid honors and celebrates the fulfillment of that sacrifice. But for many the hardships do not end.




Rohingya children

Ramadan is a time of sacrifice, and the Eid honors and celebrates the fulfillment of that sacrifice. But for many the hardships do not end.

Between one million and three million Muslims are being detained in concentration camps in China, while masjids are being demolished and imams executed.

The Rohingya Muslims of Burma continue to suffer from terrible persecution. In one Rohingya refugee camp on the Burma / Bangladesh border there are half a million children. These children are banned by the Burmese authorities from attending school and are at risk of early marriage, child labor or being trafficked.

In the Central African Republic, the Muslim minority lives in daily fear of being killed, especially in the south.

The Palestinians continue to suffer after seventy years of occupation, with no end in sight.

Russian and Assad regime attacks on civilians continue in Syria, with the real possibility of an upcoming genocide in Idlib province.

Heroes Abound

In the midst of this all suffering, heroes abound. There’s Serikzhan Bilash of Kazakhstan, who has labored feverishly to document China’s internment of Muslims across the border. He urges those in his organization to continue their work, even as he himself has been arrested.

Those Rohingya children I mentioned in the refugee camp, banned from attending school? One 14-year-old Rohingya girl mentioned in the article has managed to enroll in school in Bangladesh. Her mother sold her food rations and borrowed money to create a fake Bangladeshi birth certificate, then paid a smuggler to take her daughter out of the camp. The girl herself says, “People hate the Rohingya here. I don’t tell people I am one… I have to lie about my identity to survive. Even though it’s a big struggle… I am able to study. There are hundreds of thousands of kids like me inside of the camps who are forced to marry off early…They have no opportunities.”

Also in that camp is 13-year-old Halim, who runs his own tutoring service, where he teaches more than 20 children. He says, “I am teaching them so they can do something for our nation. If they don’t learn anything, they can’t prosper in their life, as well as they can’t fight for the nation.”

Razan al-Najjar

Razan al-Najjar

In Palestine, let us not forget Razan al-Najjar, a 21-year-old volunteer paramedic from Gaza who was shot by an Israeli sniper on June 1, 2018, while tending to a tear gas victim. In her last Facebook post, the day before she was killed, she wrote, “Your conscience will be comforted as much as possible since God always knows your intention. #sleep_well Be good.”

In Syria, we have Dr. Omar Ibrahim, an Egyptian neurosurgeon who could probably be earning a hefty salary anywhere in the world, but instead labors under constant bombardment in the war-torn and half crushed city of Idlib. He’s been in Syria for five years and says, “I have no regrets about doing this work. Because I have passion for my work, and this work inspires me.”

A Religion of Heroes

Dr. Omar Ibrahim

Dr. Omar Ibrahim

Such stories are amazing, but they are not unique. There are countless heroes, and should that surprise us? Islam is a religion of heroes, and has always been so, going all the way back to its inception in Makkah, when the Prophet Muhammad (sws) drew around himself the weak and powerless, the slaves and foreigners. They were tortured, but did not surrender their new faith. Heroes.

Or, several years later, when the disbelievers of Arabia came in great numbers to wipe the Muslims off the face of the earth. The Muslims dug a great trench around Madinah, and held off the attackers under conditions of hunger and terrible cold, until – with Allah’s help – the siege was broken. Heroes.

So if you thought such heroes were a thing of the past, remember Serikzhan Bilash, the Rohingya girl, Halim, Razan al-Najjar, Dr. Omar Ibrahim and the untold, uncounted heroes like them. You may even know a few heroes personally. I do.

There’s my friend Karim, who works for an organization that sponsors Muslim orphans. He’s overworked and underpaid, and struggles to support his family and two children. He’s highly experienced and could earn more somewhere else. But he sticks with it because he believes in Islamic work.

I think also of my daughter’s homeroom teacher, sister Sharmeen. She’s an enthusiastic teacher who pushes the children to read, write and understand the roots of language. She does more than is required and is not appreciated as she should be. But once again, her passion drives her.

Persistence of Dua’

Our local Imam recently gave a khutbah about the importance of dua’. He said that Allah loves the dua’ that is persistent. Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Daa’ wa’l-Dawa’: “One of the most beneficial of remedies is persisting in dua’.”

So be persistent. Pray for our suffering Ummah, and pray for our heroes. And donate whatever you can spare to the organizations that work on their behalf.

My Ordinary Life

As for me, my life is ordinary. On the morning of Eid, I, my mother and my daughter Salma – who is twelve years old now – wake up early and put on our best clothes, inshaAllah. We get in the car and stop at Krispy Kreme donuts.  I buy a box of a dozen to share with others after Salat al-Eid, and a few extras in a bag for our family, so we don’t have to wait in a long line and elbow people to snatch a cruller.

I pick up my cousin’s son, who does not have a car. We go downtown to the Fresno convention center and sit among a thousand other Muslims. We recite the Takbeerat al-Eid, praising Allah’s greatness. The Eid salat begins, then I strain to hear the khutbah as so many people begin chattering right away. Especially, the sisters. Sorry ladies, but it’s true :-)

I know, it all sounds a bit silly, but I’m excited. It’s a wonderful day. I see brothers that I haven’t seen since last year. Everyone is wearing their best outfits.

But it’s not about the donuts or the nice clothes. It is this feeling of sharing a connection with every Muslim around the world; a feeling of being part of something great.

When we return home, my mother makes cookies, and we put some decorations on the walls. Salma opens her presents, which this year are a new Switch game, a dartboard and a pearl necklace. It’s the first piece of real jewelry I’ve ever bought her. Buying it left me with $18 in my bank account, which means I predict a lot of Uber driving (my side job) in my near future. So I hope she likes it.

On such days, I thank Allah that I am alive to see another sunrise. Another day to strive to be a better Muslim and a better human being.

The Spirit of the Prophets

I also talk to Salma, as I do every year, about our Muslim brothers and sisters who are struggling all over the world, fighting for their freedom and their very survival. They don’t have pizza and donuts on Eid or pearl necklaces. Some are starving. Most have lost someone: a parent, a child, a sibling or a friend. Some have been utterly devastated.

Yet they are resolute. They have a deep strength that, like the well of Zamzam, never runs dry, SubhanAllah. They will not give up their hopes, their dreams or their faith, Allah willing.

These are the real heroes of Eid. I feel small next to them. They are the ones living the spirit of the Prophets and the Sahabah. They have made the greatest sacrifices, and are still striving, undaunted. They are living the words of Allah:

Say: ‘Verily, my ṣalāh, my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are all for Allāh, the Lord of the ‘Alameen’ (6:162).

May Allah ease the hearts of all who are suffering, replace pain with comfort and joy, sickness with health, oppression with liberation, and tyranny with freedom. May Allah give them security, safety, comfort, victory, and Jannah.

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Lesson 13 From Surah Al -Kahf

Last verses of Surah Kahf

Shaykh Furhan Zubairi



Surah Kahf

Alhamdulillah last session we were able to cover the meanings of verses 83-98. InshAllah tonight we’ll explore the meanings of verses 99-110, which will bring us to the end of this noble and beautiful Surah. Just as a quick reminder, the last set of verses related the story of Dhul Qarnain, who was an upright and God-conscious ruler who ruled over the entire known world of his time. He was a righteous servant of Allah to whom Allah granted might, power and sovereignty over the world along with knowledge and wisdom. He was a special servant of God. We’re told about his journeys to the east, west, and north as well as his building of a huge wall to prevent Ya’jūj and Ma’jūj from escaping. This story highlighted the fitna and trial of might, power, leadership, and authority and showed us that the way to deal with it is through faith and sincerity. Dhul Qarnain was tested with a lot of wealth and power but it was unable to corrupt him because of his faith and sincerity. The Surah follows the story of Dhul Qarnain with a scene from the Day of Judgment.

Verse 99: And We shall leave them, on that day, to surge over one another like waves. And the trumpet shall be blown, and We shall gather them together.

The first part of this verse is referring to Ya’jūj and Ma’jūj and the second part refers to resurrection, when the Angel Isrāfīl will blow into the horn bringing all creation back to life. On that day, is referring to the day near the end of times when Ya’jūj and Ma’jūj will break through the barrier and surge down the mountains like waves upon humanity destroying everything in their way. As Allah ﷻ tells us in Surah Al-Anbiya, “Until when [the dam of] Gog and Magog has been opened and they, from every elevation, descend…” They will wreak havoc for a period of time known to Allah until they will be destroyed.

As we’ve covered before there will be two instances when the trumpet will be sounded. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has appointed the Angel Isrāfīl to blow into the trumpet. This will happen twice. The first time every single thing will be destroyed. The second time every single thing will be brought back to life. This is how the day of Resurrection will start. The sūr, which is a trumpet or a horn, will be blown and all of mankind will rise from their graves and come towards the plain of judgment. That’s what Allah ﷻ is mentioning here in this verse, “And the trumpet shall be blown, and We shall gather them together.”

The Surah then describes a scene from the day of Judgment that’s specific to the non-believers. Those who received the message and consciously chose to reject it and rebel against God and His messengers.

Verse 100-101: And We shall present Hell, on that Day, as an array before the non-believers, those whose eyes were veiled from the remembrance of Me, and could not hear.

Meaning on the Day of Judgment Allah ﷻ will show the non-believers Hell Fire, exposing it to them so that they can see it with their own eyes. They will see it with their own eyes and hear its raging and frightening sounds even before entering it. Allah then describes the non-believers with 3 characteristics, which are essentially three reasons why they will be punished in the hereafter:

1) “Those whose eyes were veiled from the remembrance of Me, and could not hear.” They weren’t able to understand the truth when it was presented to them because they were spiritually blind and deaf. They were blind to the signs of Allah’s existence and power all around them spread throughout the universe, so they never thought or reflected over them. On top of that, they weren’t able to understand what was being recited to them. Meaning, they consciously chose to ignore the message and turn away from it. Here Allah is contrasting their condition in the hereafter to their condition in the life of this world. In this world, they chose to turn away from belief in the fire and in the hereafter, they won’t have the option to turn away. The veil over their eyes will be removed and they will see the consequences of their choice.

2) The second is that they worshipped others besides Allah.

Verse 102: Do those who disbelieve reckon that they may take My servants as protectors apart from Me? Truly We have prepared Hell as a welcome for the disbelievers!

Allah is scolding them and showing them their mistake. Did they really think or believe that they could take created beings or inanimate objects as protectors apart from Me? Did they really believe that worshipping idols, angels or people would benefit them or help them in any way? There’s no help or protection except with Allah, who deserves to be worshipped alone without any partners. As Allah ﷻ says in Surah Maryam, “No! Those “gods” will deny their worship of them and will be against them opponents [on the Day of Judgment].” Allah then tells us that their punishment is Jahannam, which has been prepared as a resting place for them. “Truly We have prepared Hell as a welcome for the disbelievers!”

3) The third quality that the non-believers are described with is that they are fools for thinking that their actions in this world will be of any benefit to them in the Hereafter.

Verse 103-104: Say, “Shall We inform you who are the greatest losers in respect to their deeds? Those whose efforts go astray in the life of this world, while they think that they are virtuous in their works.

In this verse, Allah ﷻ is addressing the Prophet ﷺ directly and he’s telling him to pose this question to the non-believers. “Shall We inform you who are the greatest losers in respect to their deeds?” Do you want to know who the greatest and biggest losers are with respect to their deeds? They are the ones who did good deeds and put in effort, but all of it went to waste. Those individuals who were misguided in the life of this world so their actions were guided by their wants, desires, and pleasures. Their actions were misplaced and not guided by faith in Allah. The reason why all of their efforts will go to waste is their disbelief or absence of faith. As Allah says,

Verse 105-106: They are those who disbelieve in the signs of their Lord, and in the meeting with Him. So their deeds have gone to waste, and on the Day of Resurrection, We shall assign them no weight. That is their recompense, the Jahannam, for having disbelieved and for having taken My signs and My messengers in mockery.

The greatest losers with respect to their deeds are those who reject the signs of Allah in this world. Those who refuse to accept the oneness, might, power and magnificence of Allah, those who refuse to believe in life after death and accountability. Their deeds will go to waste and on the Day of Judgment, they won’t have any weight. We know from multiple verses and narrations that our deeds are going to be weighed on the Day of Judgment. And on the Day of Judgment, it’s not about the number of deeds but the quality. That’s why on the Day of Judgment our deeds won’t be counted but they will be weighed. It could be that the weight of one action or deed is more than a thousand other deeds.

Those actions that are devoid of faith and sincerity will have no weight whatsoever. As Allah ﷻ says in Surah Al-Furqān, “And We will regard what they have done of deeds and make them as dust dispersed.” Their recompense is the fire of Jahannam, and that is the ultimate justice and fairness. They get punishment as recompense because of their rejection and disbelief and mockery of Allah’s signs and His messengers. Allah ﷻ then contrasts the punishment of the non-believers with the reward of the believers in Paradise.

Verse 107-108: Those who believe and perform righteous deeds, theirs shall be the Gardens of Paradise as a welcome. Abiding therein forever, they don’t seek any change from it.

Just as Hell is a “welcome” for the non-believers, Paradise is a true “welcome” for the believers. Meaning, those who believe in the existence and oneness of Allah, believe in the Prophet ﷺ and life after death and that faith expresses itself through their actions, their reward will be Gardens of Paradise. Again we see this formula being mentioned, faith + righteous deeds. This is the simple formula to achieve success in this world and the next. Our faith has to be real and practical; it has to translate into action. If we do so then our reward will be Jannah al-Firdaws, which is the highest and most virtuous level of Paradise. The Prophet ﷺ said, “When you ask Allah for Paradise ask Him for Al-Firdaws. It is the highest level of Paradise, the middle of Paradise and the rivers of Paradise flow from it.”

  • إذا سألتم الله الجنة، فاسألوه الفردوس، فإنه أعلى الجنة، و أوسط الجنة، و منها تفجر أنهار الدنة.

In another narration, the Prophet ﷺ said, “In Paradise, there are a hundred levels, what is between every two levels is like what is between the heavens and the earth. Al-Firdaws is its highest level, and from it the four rivers of Paradise are made to flow forth. So when you ask Allah, ask Him for Al-Firdaws.”

  • “‏ فِي الْجَنَّةِ مِائَةُ دَرَجَةٍ مَا بَيْنَ كُلِّ دَرَجَتَيْنِ كَمَا بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالأَرْضِ وَالْفِرْدَوْسُ أَعْلاَهَا دَرَجَةً وَمِنْهَا تُفَجَّرُ أَنْهَارُ الْجَنَّةِ الأَرْبَعَةُ وَمِنْ فَوْقِهَا يَكُونُ الْعَرْشُ فَإِذَا سَأَلْتُمُ اللَّهَ فَسَلُوهُ الْفِرْدَوْسَ ‏”‏ ‏.

They will be in Paradise for all of eternity, enjoying all of its pleasures and not wanting or desiring anything other than it. Allah (swt) then tells us about the extent and vastness of His knowledge. That his knowledge is infinite. This is also a description of the greatness and status of the Qur’ān.

Verse 109: Say, “If the ocean were ink for the words of my Lord, the ocean would be exhausted before the words of my Lord were exhausted, even if We brought the like thereof to replenish it.”

“The words of my Lord” may be a reference to Allah’s infinite knowledge or wisdom or the meanings of the Qur’ān. Meaning that if the oceans were turned into ink and the words of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) were to be written with this ink, then the ink would run out and the words of Allah (swt) would still be left, even if more ink were to be brought. This is an example to make us understand the vastness of Allah’s knowledge, wisdom, and secrets. This example is being given to make us as human beings recognize the infinite nature of Allah’s knowledge as compared to or finite and limited knowledge.

The ocean is the largest and richest creation known to us as human beings. It takes up more than 70% of the surface of the Earth. And we use ink to document and record our knowledge, which we think is vast and amazing. So Allah gives this example of the ocean as ink being used to write and record His words. The entire ocean is used up and then it’s replenished but the words of Allah are still being written. This example is trying to help us comprehend the difference between the infinite and the finite. “And if all the trees on earth were pens, and if the sea and seven more added to it were ink, the words of Allah would not be exhausted. Truly Allah is Mighty, Wise.” This example should allow us to recognize the greatness and magnificence of Allah ﷻ as well as humble us as human beings as well.

We as human beings should never be deceived or fooled by our own intellect and abilities. No matter how much we learn and how advanced we become scientifically and technologically, it’s nothing compared to the infinite knowledge and wisdom of Allah ﷻ. Our knowledge compared to the knowledge of Allah is like a drop of water compared to all the oceans. Allah ﷻ then ends the noble Surah by reminding the Prophet (saw) about humility and us about the path of true salvation.

Verse 110: Say, “I am only a human being like you. It has been revealed to me that your God is one God. So whosoever hopes for the meeting with his Lord, let him perform righteous deeds and make no one a partner with his Lord in worship.

Allah ﷻ is speaking directly to the Prophet ﷺ. He’s telling him to tell his nation, his community, that he is a human being just like them. He’s not an Angel nor is he divine in any way. He eats, drinks, walks, talks and sleeps just like them. The only difference is that he ﷺ receives revelation from above from the Most High. It has been revealed to him that there is only one God, alone without any partners. So whoever believes in the meeting with their Lord, meaning they believe in the last day, resurrection, accountability and judgment. They know that the life of this world is temporary and finite and that the life of the hereafter is eternal and infinite, should “perform righteous deeds and make no one a partner with his Lord in worship.”

Righteous deeds include fulfilling all of our obligations, obeying the commands of Allah and staying away from His prohibitions. It includes all voluntary acts of worship such as praying, fasting, reading Quran, making dua, dhikr and charity. It includes being kind to our parents, spouses, children, relatives, neighbors, and co-workers. It even includes smiling at someone. There are multiple paths of righteousness in Islam.

We’re then reminded to not associate partners with Allah in our worship; to not commit shirk. There are two types of shirk: al-shirk al-akbar and al-shirk al-asghar. Al-Shirk Al-Akbar is associating partners with Allah; it’s an act of disbelief. Al-Shirk Al-Asghar refers to ostentation and showing off or not having sincerity in acts of worship. The Prophet ﷺ referred to ostentation as “the lesser idolatry.” The Prophet ﷺ said, “I do not fear that you will worship the sun, the stars and the moon, but I fear your worshipping other than Allah through ostentation.” The Prophet ﷺ said, “What I fear most for my community is doing things for other than the sake of Allah.” Ibn al-‘Arabi quotes his shaykh, “Let not the hours of your dear life pass away confronting contemporaries and socializing with friends. Watch out! Allah concluded His statement on the following verse…”

Alhamdulillah that brings us to then end of this noble and beautiful Surah. A Surah that has a special and unique status because the Prophet ﷺ encouraged us to recite it specifically on Fridays. Through four stories the Surah focuses on four different types of trials we’re going to face in this world and how to respond to them.

1) The story of the people of the cave represents the trial of faith. And we’re taught that one of the best ways to deal with it is through good company; surrounding ourselves with people of faith and righteousness.

2) The story of the owner of the two gardens is representative of the trial of wealth. And we’re taught the most powerful way to deal with it is by recognizing the reality of the life of this world.

3) The story of Musa (as) with Khidr is representative of the trial of knowledge and the way to deal with it is through seeking knowledge and humility.

4) The last story, the story of Dhul Qarnain is representative of the trial of power. The solution is sincerity and righte

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