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Which deeds are most beloved to Allah?

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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.

62 Comments

62 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Amatullah

    December 18, 2009 at 4:28 AM

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

    • Avatar

      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

        HadithCheck

        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.

  2. Avatar

    ayesha

    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?

    • Avatar

      Amatullah

      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.

      • Avatar

        ayesha

        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…

    • Avatar

      nur

      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.

  3. Avatar

    Yuxx

    December 18, 2009 at 5:16 AM

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

  4. Avatar

    Yasir Qadhi

    December 18, 2009 at 8:15 AM

    Ma sha Allah great and succinct article!

    Keep up the good work.

    Yasir

  5. Avatar

    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…

  6. Avatar

    Jasera

    December 18, 2009 at 2:34 PM

    Excellent Article. JazakAllahkhayr sis <3

  7. Avatar

    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.

  8. Avatar

    UmmeAmmaarah

    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.

  9. Avatar

    ummmaryam

    December 19, 2009 at 4:41 AM

    jazakillahu khairaa sis.

  10. Avatar

    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 =)

  11. Avatar

    FearAllah

    December 19, 2009 at 11:59 AM

    Awesome post, barakAllahu feeki!

    Really liked the tip by Sh. Munajjad…

  12. Avatar

    Nahyan

    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

  13. Avatar

    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.

  14. Avatar

    Arif

    December 20, 2009 at 7:44 PM

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

  15. Pingback: A New Moon, Author: Issa Abbasi « i-Slam

  16. Avatar

    Ali

    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.

    W/A

    • Avatar

      komail

      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.

      • Avatar

        Ali

        December 27, 2009 at 8:47 AM

        AOA,

        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.

        W/S

        • 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.

    • Avatar

      maybe

      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?

  17. Avatar

    AllahCreatedMe

    December 25, 2009 at 1:10 AM

    Bismillah

    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

    I LOVE ISLAM

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

  20. Avatar

    hayat

    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

      maybe

      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)

  21. Avatar

    Amatullah

    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.”

    Amatullah
    http://sisterswithpower.blogspot.com
    EMANcipate yourself

  22. Avatar

    UmmZayn

    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

      AB

      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

    lovethesunnah

    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

      Amatullah

      December 10, 2010 at 5:36 PM

      wa alaykum salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

      jazaak Allahu khayran. Changed now.

  24. Avatar

    Noma

    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

      maybe

      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…..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 – but this is the logic as to why for the prescribed two months and nine days we do not hold any celebrations.

      • Avatar

        Noma

        January 21, 2011 at 9:58 PM

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

      • Avatar

        TURAB

        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

    Maybe

    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

    maybe

    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

    HadithCheck

    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

      Maybe

      January 20, 2011 at 3:25 PM

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

      • Avatar

        HadithCheck

        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

          maybe

          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…..you 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

            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

            maybe

            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

            HadithCheck

            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

    Brother

    January 22, 2011 at 5:07 AM

    Bismillah

    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

      HadithCheck

      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

    HadithCheck

    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?!):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olIX3zc7dWU

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7GEru_StcU&feature=related

    • Avatar

      tringel

      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

        tringel

        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

        tringel

        February 25, 2011 at 8:24 AM

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

    • Avatar

      tringel

      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

    tringel

    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

    Bushra

    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

  36. Avatar

    Zia-e-Taiba

    October 18, 2016 at 7:01 AM

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

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Dawah and Interfaith

10 Lessons I Learned While Serving Those in Need

Abu Ryan Dardir

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charity
Which deeds are most beloved to Allah?

Alhamdulillah, by the blessings of Allah (swt) and readers like yourself, MuslimMatters has been an independent platform for our best thought leaders to educate us in our faith and catalyze change through powerful, necessary conversations. Since our humble beginnings as a basic wordpress blog in 2007, our content has remained free.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support us with a monthly donation of $10 per month, or even as little as $1. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

I have spent about a decade serving the impoverished domestically and recently, abroad. I don’t work for a major charity organization, I work for my community, through grassroots efforts. It was something embedded in me while learning Islam. Before starting a charity organization, I started studying Islam with Dr. Hatem Alhaj (my mentor) and various other scholars. The more I studied, the more I wanted to implement what I was learning. What my community needed at the time was intensive charity work, as it was neglected entirely by our community. From that, I collected 10 lessons from servicing those in need. 

My bubble burst

One of the first things I experienced was the bursting of my bubble, a sense of realization. I, like many others, was unaware of the hardship in my own community. Yes, we know the hadith and see the events unfold on the news and social media, but when a father of three cried before me because a bag of groceries was made available for him to take home, that moment changed me. We tend to forget how little it takes, to make a huge difference in someone’s life. This experience, made me understand the following hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him): “Every Muslim has to give in charity.” The people then asked: “(But what) if someone has nothing to give, what should he do?” The Prophet replied: “He should work with his hands and benefit himself and also give in charity (from what he earns).” The people further asked: “If he cannot find even that?” He replied: “He should help the needy, who appeal for help.” Then the people asked: “If he cannot do (even) that?” The Prophet said finally: “Then he should perform good deeds and keep away from evil deeds, and that will be regarded as charitable deeds.” – Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Hadith 524. I

t is simply an obligation, due to the amount of good it generates after you do this one action. I then realized even more how beautiful Islam is for commanding this deed. 

Friendships were developed on good deeds

Serving the poor is a great reward in itself. The Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “Save yourself from hellfire by giving even half a date-fruit in charity.” – Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Hadith 498. But it is better done with a team, I began building a team of people with similar objectives in serving the needy. These people later became some of my closest friends, who better to keep close to you than one that serves Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) by helping the neediest in the same community you reside in. Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “A person is likely to follow the faith of his friend, so look whom you befriend.” [reported by Abu Dawood & Tirmidhee] This is turn kept me on the right path of pleasing Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). Working with a team removes a lot of the burden as well and the depression that might occur seeing the saddest stories on a daily basis. Allah says in the Qur’ān, “Indeed the believers are brothers.” (49:10). Sometimes there is a misconception that you have to have a huge office or a large masjid in order to get work done. But honestly, all you need is a dedicated group of people with the right intention and things take off from there. 

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: 'If you love the poor and bring them near you. . .God will bring you near Him on the Day of Resurrection.' - Al-Tirmidhi,Click To Tweet

Made me thankful

This made me thankful for whatever I had, serving the less fortunate reminded me daily to turn to Allah and ask for forgiveness and so be thankful. This kind of service also puts things into perspective. What is truly important in life? I stepped further and further away from a materialistic lifestyle and allowed me to value things that can’t be valued by money. I learned this from the poorest of people in my community, who strived daily for their family regardless of their situation — parents who did what they can to shield their children from their harsh reality. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “If you love the poor and bring them near you. . .God will bring you near Him on the Day of Resurrection.” – Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1376. They had a quality about them, despite their poverty status. They were always some of the kindest people I have known. 

People want to do Good

I learned that people want to do good; they want to improve their community and society. I began to see the impact on a communal level, people were being more engaged. We were the only Muslim group helping indiscriminately in our county. Even the people we helped, gave back by volunteering at our food pantry. We have schools where small kids (under adult supervision) partake in preparing meals for the needy, local masajids, churches, and temples, high school kids from public schools, and college organizations (Muslim and nonMuslim) visit frequently from several cities in neighboring counties, cities, and states. The good spreads a lot easier and faster than evil. People want to do good, we just need more opportunities for them to join in. United we can rock this world.

“We need more light about each other. Light creates understanding, understanding creates love, love creates patience, and patience creates unity.” Malcolm X. Click To Tweet

Smiles

Smiles, I have seen the wealthiest smiles on the poorest people. Despite being on the brink of homelessness, when I saw them they had the best smile on their faces. This wasn’t all of them, but then I would smile back and that changed the environment we were in. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Charity is prescribed for each descendant of Adam every day the sun rises.” He was then asked: “From what do we give charity every day?” The Prophet answered: “The doors of goodness are many…enjoining good, forbidding evil, removing harm from the road, listening to the deaf, leading the blind, guiding one to the object of his need, hurrying with the strength of one’s legs to one in sorrow who is asking for help, and supporting the feeble with the strength of one’s arms–all of these are charity prescribed for you.” He also said: “Your smile for your brother is charity.” – Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 3, Number 98. Smiles are truly universal.

It’s ok to cry

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah said: “A man who weeps for fear of Allah will not enter Hell until the milk goes back into the udder, and dust produced (when fighting) for the sake of Allah and the smoke of Hell will never coexist.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi and al-Nasaa’i. There are situations you see that hit you hard; they fill your heart with emotions, but that never swayed my concrete belief in Allah’s wisdom. Crying before Allah, not just out of fear, but to be thankful for His Mercy upon you is a relief.

Learning to say no

It was one of the hardest things I had to do, a lot (if not all) of the requests I received for help were extremely reasonable. I do not think anyone asked for anything outrageous. Our organization started becoming the go-to organization in our area for help, but we are one organization, with limited resources, and a few times we were restricted on when or how we could help. This is where learning to say no became a learned skill. Wedid do our best to follow up with a plan or an alternative resource.

It is part of raising a family and finding yourself

How so? Being involved in your community doesn’t take away from raising your family, it is part of it. I can’t watch and do nothing and expect my children to be heroes. I have to lead by example. Helping others is good for my family’s health. Many people living in our country are consumed with their busy lives. Running out the door, getting to work, driving the kids to their after school activities, spending weekends taking care of their families, etc. So people have a fear of investing hours in doing this type of work. But in reality, this work puts more blessings in your time.

One may feel they are taking time away from their family, but in reality, when one comes back home, they find more peace in their home then they left it with. By helping others, I improve the health and culture of my community, this in turn positively impacts my family.

I enjoy being a softie with my family and friends. I am a tall bearded man, and that image suited me better. I am not sure what made me softer, having kids or serving the poor. Either way, it was rewarding and defined my role and purpose in my community.

I learned that you make your own situation. You can be a spectator, or you can get in there and do the best you can to help. It gave me an opportunity to be a role model for my own children, to show them the benefit of doing good and helping when you can.

It came with a lot of humility. Soon after starting I realized that all I am is a facilitator, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is giving an opportunity of a lifetime to do this work, a line of work very little people get to engage in regularly. My advice to my readers, if you can serve the poor do so immediately before you get occupied or busy with life.

Helping others is good for my family’s health.Click To Tweet

Dawah through action

As I mentioned before I did spend time studying, and at one point developed one of the top dawah initiatives in the country (according to IERA). But the reality is, helping the less fortunate is my type of dawah, people started to associate our food pantry and helping others with Islam. As an organization with one of the most diverse groups of volunteers, people from various religious backgrounds found the environment comfortable and hospitable. I began working with people I never would have worked before if I had stuck to traditional dawah, studying, or masjid involvement, all of which are critical. This became a symbol of Islam in our community, and while serving, we became those that embodied the Quran and Sunnah. For a lot of those we served, we were the first Muslims they encountered, and Alhamdulilah for the team we have. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) also says in the Quran: “So by mercy from Allah, [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you” (3:159). It is our actions that can turn people away or towards Islam.

Once you serve the needy, you do this for life

I wasn’t volunteering on occasion,— this was an unpaid job that was done regularly. I got requests and calls for emergencies daily at times. It took up hours upon hours every week. As a charity worker, I developed experience and insight in this field. I learned that this was one of the best ways I could serve Allah [swt. “They ask you (O Muhammad) what they should spend in charity. Say: ‘Whatever you spend with a good heart, give it to parents, relatives, orphans, the helpless, and travelers in need. Whatever good you do, God is aware of it.'” – The Holy Quran, 2:215

I believe the work I do with the countless people that do the same is the best work that can be done in our current political climate and globalization. My views and thoughts have evolved over the years seeing situations develop to what they are today. This gave me a comprehensive outlook on our needs as a society and allowed me to venture off and meet people top in their fields like in social activism, environmentalism, labor, etc.

I want to end with three sectors in society that Muslims prosper in and three that Muslims can improve on. We strive on individual education (noncommunal), distributing and organizing charity, and more recently being politically engaged. What we need to improve on is our environmental awareness, working with and understanding unions and labor rights, and organizing anti-war movements. 

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#Islam

He Catches Me When I Fall: A Journey To Tawakkul

Merium Khan, Guest Contributor

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Tawakkul- a leaf falling
Which deeds are most beloved to Allah?

Alhamdulillah, by the blessings of Allah (swt) and readers like yourself, MuslimMatters has been an independent platform for our best thought leaders to educate us in our faith and catalyze change through powerful, necessary conversations. Since our humble beginnings as a basic wordpress blog in 2007, our content has remained free.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support us with a monthly donation of $10 per month, or even as little as $1. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

While discussing an emotionally-heavy issue, my therapist brought up the point that in life we can reach a point of acceptance in regards to our difficult issues: “It sounds cliche, but there’s no other way to say it: it is what it is.”

Okay, I thought, as I listened. Acceptance. Yes, I can do this eventually. She went on to add: “It is what it is, and I know that everything will be okay.””

Tears had already been flowing, but by this point, full-blown sobs started. “I…can’t….seem…to ever…believe that.” There. I had said it. I had faked being confident and accepting, even to myself. I had faked the whole, “I have these health problems, but I am so together” type of vibe that I had been putting out for years.

Maybe it was the hormones of a third pregnancy, confronting the realities of life with multiple chronic diseases, family problems, or perhaps a midlife crisis: but at that moment, I did not feel deep in my heart with true conviction that everything would be okay.

That conversation led me to reflect on the concept of tawakkul in the following weeks and months. What did it mean to have true trust in Allah? And why was it that for years I smiled and said, “Alhamdulillah, I’m coping just fine!” when in reality, the harsh truth was that I felt like I had not an ounce of tawakkul?

I had led myself to believe that denying my grief and slapping a smile on was tawakkul. I was being outwardly cheerful — I even made jokes about my life with Multiple Sclerosis — and I liked to think I was functioning all right. Until I wasn’t.

You see, the body doesn’t lie. You can tell all the lies you want to with your tongue, but after some time, the body will let you know that it’s holding oceans of grief, unshed tears, and unhealed traumas. And that period of my life is a tale for another time.

The short story is that things came to a head and I suddenly felt utterly overwhelmed and terrified daily about my future with a potentially disabling disease, while being diagnosed with a second major chronic illness, all while caring for a newborn along with my other children. Panic attacks and severe anxiety ensued. When I realized that I didn’t have true tawakkul, I had to reflect and find my way again.

I thought about Yaqub (Jacob). I thought long and hard about his grief: “Yaa asafaa ‘alaa Yusuf!” “Oh, how great is my grief for Joseph!”

He wept until he was blind. And yet, he constantly asserted, “Wallahul-Musta’aan”: “Allah is the one whose help is sought.” And he believed.

Oh, how did he believe. His sons laughed and called him an old fool for grieving over a son lost for decades. He then lost another dear son, Binyamin. And yet he said, “Perhaps it will be that my Lord will bring them to me altogether.”

There is no sin in grief Click To Tweet

So my first realization was that there was no sin in the grief. I could indeed trust Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) while feeling a sorrow so profound that it ripped me apart at times. “The heart grieves and the eyes weep, but the tongue does not say that except which pleases its Lord. Oh, Ibrahim, we are gravely saddened by your passing.” These are the words of our Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) for a lost infant son, said with tears pouring down his blessed face, ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).

I thought of the Year of Grief, Aamul-Huzn, when he, Allah’s peace be upon him, lost the woman who was the love of his life and the mother of his children; as well as an uncle who was like a father. The year was named after his grief! And here I was denying myself this human emotion because it somehow felt like a betrayal of true sabr?

Tawakkul, tawakkul, where are you? I searched for how I could feel it, truly feel it.Click To Tweet

Through years of introspection and then therapy, I realized that I had a personality that centered around control. I expressed this in various ways from trying to manage my siblings (curse of the firstborn), to trying to manage my childbirth and health. If I only did the “right” things, then I could have the perfect, “natural” birth and the perfect picture of health.

When I was diagnosed with a chronic disease, these illusions started to crack. And yet even then, I thought that if I did the right things, took the right supplements and alternative remedies and medications, that I wouldn’t have trouble with my MS.

See, when you think you control things and you attempt to micromanage everything, you’ve already lost tawakkul. You’ve taken the role of controlling the outcome upon yourself when in reality, your Lord is in control. It took a difficult time when I felt I was spiraling out of control for me to truly realize that I was not the master of my outcomes. Certainly, I would “tie my camel” and take my precautions, but then it was a matter of letting go.

At some point, I envisioned my experience of tawakkul as a free-fall. You know those trust exercises that you do at summer camps or company retreats? You fall back into the arms of someone and relinquish any control over your muscles. You are supposed to be limp and fully trust your partner to catch you.

I did this once with a youth group. After they fell–some gracefully and trusting, some not — I told them: “This is the example of tawakkul. Some of you didn’t trust and you tried to break your fall but some of you completely let go and let your partner catch you. Life will throw you down, it will hit you over and over, and you will fall–but He, subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), will be there to break your fall.”

I am falling. There is a degree of terror and sadness in the fall. But that point when through the pain and tears I can say, “It is what it is, and no matter what, everything will be okay”, that right there is the tranquility that comes from tawakkul.

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#Life

So You Are The Wali, Now What?

Dr Shadee Elmasry

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Which deeds are most beloved to Allah?

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The way most Muslims (as well as conservative Christians and Jews) live, a man asks for a woman’s hand in marriage from the father.

The father is not just a turnstile who has to say yes. He is a “wali” or protector and guardian of his daughter’s rights. So he will be asking some serious questions that would be awkward if the woman had to ask them.

Furthermore, in the Muslim community today esp. in the West, there are many converts that seek out a wali because they have no male relative who is Muslim. In this post, I share some guidelines aimed at the wali in his new role and stories that are useful.

Being a wali is not an honorary role. You’re not just throwing out the first pitch. You’re actually trying to throw curveballs to see whether the proposal checks out or has issues.

Here are some questions and demands a wali should make:

Background check: Call and meet at least four people that were close to the man who has proposed and interview them. There’s no husn al-zann (good opinion) in marriage. As a potential suitor, you are rejected until you prove yourself, much like an application for employment. These days, most people’s background can be found on their social media, so the wali has to spend time scrolling down. Keep scrolling, read the comments, look at the pictures, click on who’s tagged in those pictures. Get a good idea. You are a private investigator *before* the problem happens, not after. 

Check financials:  You need to see the financials to make sure they are not in some ridiculous debt or have bad credit such that they can’t even rent an apartment or cover basic needs. You want some evidence that he can fulfill the obligation of maintenance.

Check the educational background or skill set: This is a given. If it’s solid, then it can outweigh lack of funds at this moment.

Check medical records: If this is a stranger, the wali needs medical records. There was once a wealthy, handsome young man that was suave and a seemingly amazing prospect who proposed for a girl who was comparatively of average looks and from a family of very modest means. The mother and daughter were head over heels, but the dad had enough common sense to know something was up.

“Why would he come knocking on our door?,” he asked.

So the father demanded medical records. The guy never produced them. When the dad pressed him, the man admitted, he had a sexually transmitted disease (STD) and that’s why he couldn’t find anyone else to marry him.

Now note, there are legitimate cases where people have a past when they have made mistakes. This happens to the best of us, and the door for tawbah (repentance) is open. In those cases, there are organizations that match-make for Muslims with STDs. People should act in a responsible manner and not damage the lives of other humans beings.

Lifestyle: It is your job to check if the two parties have agreed on life essentials such as religious beliefs, where to live, how to school kids, etc?

In-laws: Have you at least met the family of the suitor and spent some time with them to make sure there’s nothing alarming?

Engagement: Contrary to popular understanding, there is such a thing as engagement in Islam. It’s an announcement of a future commitment to marriage. Nothing changes between the fiancees, but nobody is allowed to propose anymore. The purpose of engagement is to give time for both parties to get ready. For example, the groom may want to save up some money, or the girl may be finishing up college. Also, it’s easy to put on a face during the get-to-know process, but it’s hard to fake it over an eight or nine-month period. I remember a story where a young woman was engaged, and four months into the engagement they discovered the young man was still getting to know other women. He basically reserved the girl and then went to check for better options. Needless to say, he was dumped on the spot. Engagements are commonly a few months. I think more than a year is too much.

Legal/Civil:  The marriage should be legal/civil in the country where you will settle. If you accept a Shariah marriage but not a civil one, know that you’re asking for legal complications, especially if a child enters the picture. (Ed. Note- we realize that some countries do not allow legal registration of more than one marriage- if that is a consideration please look at all options to protect your ward. There are ways to get insurance that can be set up.)

Mahr: Get 50% of the dowry upfront (or some decent amount) and whatever is scheduled to be paid later should be written and signed. I’ve seen too many cases where a really nice dowry is “promised” but never produced.

The dowry should be commensurate to current standards depending on the man’s job. For example in our area in America 5, 7, or 10k is a common range.

In sum, there are very few things in life that are as bad as misery in marriage. The wali’s job is to eliminate the bad things that could have been avoided. If that means he has to be demanding and hated for a few months, it’s worth the cost.

It’s preventative medicine.

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