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Reflections on Terrorism | Dr Hatem al-Haj

BisMillah

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

I am sure most of you have reflected on the terrorist attacks that took place in Paris recently. I am also confident that you have very variant thoughts, not necessarily because of your varying convictions, but mainly because of the different angles from which you approached the events. In addition to what you have thought of and read, I am hoping that you may find something worthy of your time in my own reflections. However, I must first be honest with you and admit that, aside from the Islamic legal (fiqhi) contribution in this article, I am approaching the discussion from a layperson’s perspective. I am not involved in politics, and I am not privy to any special information about those attacks or the immediate circumstances that resulted in them. This article is merely my own attempt at analyzing their root causes and suggesting some measures to help curb their spread and flare-up.

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Having read many op-eds, posts, and comments from people around the globe, including the Middle East, it is obvious that the vast majority of Muslims are shocked and disgusted by the despicable injustice committed against the innocent victims of those attacks. Those who approve of them are (in my estimation) much less than 1%. However, those who condemn them in the strongest language differ over their root causes and the best way to avoid them in the future.

Many commentators claim if Western countries stopped their military interventions in Muslim countries, their meddling in those countries’ affairs, and their support of tyrannical regimes that serve Western interests, terrorism will stop. Some add that the West also needs to stop their discriminatory domestic policies and Islamophobic rhetoric and work to end the inequality their own Muslim citizens suffer. Did I forget something? Of course, any conversation on the relationship between the West and Muslims always has an elephant in the room – the plight of the Palestinian people. World-wide, Muslims consider the West to be the major backer of Israeli injustices against Palestine.

Now, if you are a Muslim who aims to be fair and objective, you should not exercise these good qualities with non-Muslims only. If you deny your Muslim brethren any basis for their frustrations and fail to validate their feelings, you will be dismissed before the discussion even begins. This is because, obviously, there is much truth to these statements. To admit this does not mean, in any way, that you are justifying terrorism.

However, we Muslims easily point out what the Western regimes need to do yet we often say nothing about what we, Muslims, need to do. Are we not indirectly responsible for any part of this madness? Are we, the 99% of the ummah, just victims who got caught in the middle between the hegemony of the West and the madness of the fanatics? Are the Muslims in the Muslim-majority countries not responsible in any way for the unbearable environment they have collectively created, which has pushed many otherwise benign youth into extremism? Are we, the Muslims of the West, doing our best to have functional, inclusive and supportive communities? I think not.

If we want to contribute positively to suffocating the phenomenon of terrorism, we must begin by trying to understand its roots. As Muslims living in the West, here is a common stereotype of someone who may partake in mass-scale terrorism in the name of our religion: a disenfranchised Muslim youth, who may or may not be religious, but certainly is misinformed, and who embarks on “defending the religion and avenging the ummah.” Now, to help stop him, we need to end his disenfranchisement, his misinformation, and either end the plights of the ummah or show him how to defend it in a more productive and, yes, sharia-compliant way. You think it is a lost cause! It will only be if we continue to think it is. We must start somewhere.

Countering the Misinformation

A complete rebuttal of the ideologies of those groups is beyond the scope of this article. Here, I will only attempt to share points that could assist you in helping someone out of their confusion. In one recent virtual discussion, I expressed my extreme disapproval of the attacks in Paris. Sure enough, I got this question from someone: “But didn’t Allah say: ‘and fight against the polytheists collectively as they fight against you collectively‘ [at-Tawbah: 36] and ‘…when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them‘ [at-Tawbah: 5]”

While the vast majority of Muslims do not think that we should be fighting perpetually against the rest of humanity, it appears that some of us have a different opinion. They cite the text of revelation and the opinions of scholars, making a simple Islam-is-all-about-peace answer unsatisfying to them. Here is what we should be sharing with them:

It is true that the verses cited are the words of Allah, Most High. He also said,

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“Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth [i.e., Islam] from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the jizyah (poll tax) willingly while they are humbled.” [at-Tawbah: 29]

And He said:

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“Fight them until there is no [more] fitnah and [until] religion [i.e., worship] is [acknowledged to be] for Allah.” [al-Baqarah: 193]

and the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:

“I was commanded to fight the people until they testify that none is worthy of worship except Allah, and [until] they believe in me and what I came with. If they do that, then they have protected their blood and wealth from me, except according to it (Islam), and their judgment is upon Allah.” [Agreed upon, on the authority of Abu Hurayrah]

Additionally, in the previous scriptures, namely the Bible, much more than this is attributed to God, including the killing of  infants and children, as in the books of Deuteronomy and Joshua. Certainly, we do not believe that the statements about killing children and infants are from God, because it will be too hard to provide an explanatory context for those. However, in Islam, there is an explanatory context for all of the above verses.

First, it is important to note that Allah also said,

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“And if they incline to peace, then incline to it [also] and rely upon Allah. Indeed, it is He who is the Hearing, the Knowing.” [al-Anfâl: 61]

and:

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“So if they remove themselves from you and do not fight you and offer you peace, then Allah has not made for you a cause [for fighting] against them.” [an-Nisâ’: 90]

and His Messenger ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:

“O people, do not wish to meet the enemy, and ask Allah for pardon. But if you meet them, then be patient and know that Paradise is under the shade of the swords.” [Agreed Upon, on the authority of ‘Abdullâh ibn Abi Awfâ].

Who should be connecting the dots and reconciling these seemingly conflicting reports? The scholars well-grounded in the tradition. One of them, Imam Ibn Taymiyyah, wrote a treatise on Qitâl al-Kuffâr wa Muhâdanatuhum [War and Peace (treaties) with the Disbelievers] in which he conclusively emphasized that the effective cause (‘illah) for fighting the disbelievers is their aggression, not their disbelief. He pointed out that texts implying an open fight against them can never be used as proof for fighting the people at large. This is because they appear to contradict the other evidences (some of which are mentioned above), and even the consensus. Likewise, they contradict the life of the Messenger ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).

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Dr. Hatem Al-Haj has a PhD in Comparative Fiqh from al-Jinan University. He is a pediatrician, former Dean of the College of Islamic Studies at Mishkah University, and a member of the permanent Fatwa Committee of the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA).

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Avatar

    John Howard

    November 30, 2015 at 8:47 PM

    No where in this commentary is there stated if the author is loyal to his country which I am assuming is the United States of America. He talks in the third person when referring to western powers including the USA. The fact it is a given that for muslims an attack on any muslim where ever he resides is an attack on all of them even those of no ethnic relation as was seen in the UK when those two Nigerian murderers killed the British soldier Lee Rigby. The claim that he and the rest of the British Army along with all the western armies were murdering and raping “their sisters” in Afghanistan was given as the excuse to commit their gutless act. Simarly in the US when the 4 marines and the sailor were murdered at the recruiting stations by another member of the ummah. Just where is the loyalty of muslims is it as we suspect/realise/know that it is first and last to the religion over the country they have come to live in and take the benefits that those countries offer namely as we see every day here in the west.
    Finally let us look at Palestine shall we? The Islamic nations are all hypocrites all 50+ muslim countries. Where has there been the financial support for the Palestinians in the muslim world. It has been very little and what has been promise more often than not undelivered. I would put it to you that the plight of the Palestinians is of little or no consequence to the muslim world because it represent the ideal stick to use against Israel and the rest of the west. No uslim country takes in Palestinians and gives them citizenship but funnily enough the west does.
    Stop crying victim and look at your own standards

    • Avatar

      M.Mahmud

      December 1, 2015 at 10:39 AM

      We are sinking in the number of munafiqeen we have and that is why we suffer. Most Muslims are unable to help their brethren. The hypocrites sabotage us and are capable of doing so due to our sins.

      Muslims are for Muslims as Jews are for Jews-it has been clear to most people that whatever loyalty to their home nation Jews are foremost loyal to their tribe/religion. This is to be expected from a group with thousands of years of history as a tribe and having lived in various parts of the world split off from one another, tied in tribe and religion and shared history and split off by place.

      Likewise, whatever personal feelings and attachment I have to California, and my desire for it to grow and prosper, my loyalty first and foremost is to my nation since it is the only nation that can enter Paradise.

      Yes people have done very wrong things out of loyalty to the Ummah. However British nationalists have committed uncountable slaughter around the world in the name of loyalty to their nation. The difference between us and you is we have a command from God to reject ALL injustice while you are not even a member of the right religion to begin with.

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        Hatem al-Haj

        December 5, 2015 at 12:47 PM

        I have a different take on this issue than the two comments in this thread. It is hard for a person who belongs to the religious majority in his country to understand the intricacies of the relationship between religious loyalty and national affiliation. However, I invite Mr. Howard, who is likely from the UK to examine the issue of Northern Ireland because it is one of the manifestations of these intricacies. This is happening after centuries of attempts in Europe to trivialize religious differences in the interest of the civic good.
        As long as one’s ultimate allegiance is to the truth and cause of justice for all, Muslim minorities in the West should not have a conflict between their religious and national loyalties. Loving one’s co-religionists and having allegiance for the nation of believers (in one’s own religion) does not negate what kinship, social relationships, national affiliation and other forms of human interaction cause to arise of love and natural affection – so long as this does not include supporting them in falsehood or taking part in injustice.

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          john Howard

          December 14, 2015 at 7:27 PM

          To follow up finally (2 attempts have failed to go on) I would like to answer your comments
          Firstly the comment regarding the
          “These verses mean that those of us who are citizens of the West should not betray the trust of the covenant of citizenship.”
          We have a certain gentleman in the UK who uses that line frequently namely Anjem Choudhary. For me it stinks of what we crudely call in the UK Arse covering – In other words we agree not to attack the local citizenry because we have to live among them and if we want to keep all the benefits that gives us (especially here in the UK and the rest of Europe) but lets not rile the locals too much or we might lose them and get deported. It does not mean that we can’t support the killing off shore of those citizens either in the armed forces or as tourists. It does not in any way give loyalty to the nation they are in .
          Your third person style of narrative I can accept as your style and am happy to accept your argument. and that is not meant in a patronising manner on my behalf.
          Palestine a very perplexing argument! Your reasoning for not giving citizenship to the Palestinians by other Muslim countries is one I don’t accept because they also deny them the right to benefits or jobs and forces them to live in ghastly camps. In other words it gives the Muslim nations a good excuse to keep the Palestinians under control. The sectarian violence among Muslims is legendary witness Lebanon, Iraq, Syria etc, The fact that many Palestinians have taken citizenship asks the question why again is i only the west who has to carry the burden when so many if not the great majority do not?
          As for the military support for Israel well considering that the majority of Muslim countries are very happy to destroy the only truly democratic nation in the region I will support them too over the rubbish that the Muslim nations have thrown up as governments. The fact that Israeli Arabs have a far higher standard of living and freedom than any other Arab in the region speaks volumes for Israel. It is also notable that to date over 2000 so called freedom fighters have been treated by the Israelis with care they could never have gotten from their own kind. Yes Europe helped the Jews migrate to Palestine after World War 2 and for a number of reasons primarily because of guilt over the genocide. The British tried to protect the Palestinians from this influx I know this because one of my family was killed there by the Irgun while he was serving in the British Army in Palestine. My fatjer was alos there and he saw many atrocities committed by both sides and to the day he died he had little sympathy for either party. But let us not forget that Palestine was a Jewish nation long before Islam came on the scene The Temple Mount was Jewish long before it became a symbol for Islam
          Israel for all its faults is a far more tolerant society to live especially if you are a minority such as a Muslim, gay or Christian.

          Ireland. Look into the history of Ireland and what happened after the Republic was formed. Rightly or wrongly the 6 northern counties chose to stay with the UK because of the sectarian fears that they would be destroyed by the Catholics in the south. Looking back at the social standards of the north versus the republic one can understand why. The power that religion had in controlling the lives of the Irish was almost absolute (I wonder where you can see that today ????) and it is only in the last few years as the Irish have seen what their religious masters were doing in the name of God that they have woken up to them and now fortunately faith in any religion has dropped there probably at a greater rate than any other country. Amazing what education can do to people’s minds.
          Finally Sir i would ask this question of you as a Muslim. One of the many things that your fellow followers of your religion like to throw at us in the west is how you give stewardship and altruism for all the unfortunate and less well off. Why is it that so many of the educated such as yourself have immigrated to the west in your tens of if not hundreds of thousands and as such have benefitted greatly from our living standards instead of staying to help your fellow citizens whose need is far greater than ours in the services especially in medicine of having you there? How does that sit with your faith when you are just as greedy for western societies life style as we decadent westerners/non Muslims?

    • Avatar

      Hatem al-Haj

      December 1, 2015 at 1:43 PM

      Thank you, Mr. Howard, for the comment. Here are some explanations:
      As for the question of loyalty, I hope that a second reading of the article may ease your valid concerns about this issue. You do need, however, to do that while keeping in mind the intent of the article and the intended audience, as well as the capacity in which I am writing as a Muslim theologian. In case you do not have time to go through the article once again, let me share with you some statements from it.
      1- “These verses mean that those of us who are citizens of the West should not betray the trust of the covenant of citizenship.”
      This statement should ease your Trojan Horse concerns. The use of covenant (Mithâq) means a lot to the audience, because it is a Quranic term.
      2- “It can involve our youth and give them the sense (and hope) that they can gradually make a positive difference, and yes, change their unfair world, along with fair-minded individuals from other religious affiliations, to make it more just and peaceful.”
      This shows that the author is not about isolation and sequestration of the Muslim minorities in their respective countries.
      As for the third person, this is a style of speech that may be warranted, at times, if you are making an impartial assessment of the behavior of two groups, such as your own family and your aunt’s. You are right; I am from the USA. Many of my fellow Americans, from the far right to the far left, refer to the regime, government, or the “establishment” in the third person. This may also be a style of speech that certain individuals use more frequently than others. I find myself, in certain discussions, referring to myself in the third person. I invite you to reflect on this question. Had my name been a little more familiar than ‘Hatem al-Haj’, would you have felt the same way? In conclusion of this point, I thank you for alerting me to how it comes across to some people, regardless of how I feel or what I intended.
      As for the Palestinians, I will not defend the regimes in the Muslim countries, because I do not think of them more favorably than you do. Many of them only give lip service to the Palestinian cause. However, I would like to point out to you that most of the displaced Palestinians live in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, and the Gulf, not the West. As for giving them citizenships, that is exactly what Israel wishes. This is like suggesting to the Germans to accommodate the French people displaced by a Chinese invasion of their country so that they may leave France to them. Additionally, I am sure you do not mean that the Western regimes are not even partially responsible for the plight of the Palestinians. Not even because they were responsible for the relocation of the Jews of Europe to Palestine during the colonial era and forcing them on the local population, or because of the Balfour Declaration? What about the ongoing immense financial backing of Israel, the declared commitment to keep it militarily superior, by far, to all of its neighbors, the multitudes of vetoes used at the UN by my own government to block resolutions condemning Israeli aggression or requesting Israel to abide by any of the UN resolutions or international laws? It seems that you do acknowledge the plight of the Palestinians, but I would believe that learning more about it from independent sources will make you even more sympathetic. May I suggest Jimmy Carter’s book Palestine Peace not Apartheid. You may also visit the UN’s page about Palestine (https://unispal.un.org/pdfs/DPI2499.pdf) or http://www.ampalestine.org. Finally, the article was not about crying victim; after all, crying does not help. Therefore, I would second your advice, but only if does not entail a denial of our justifiable grievances.
      Sorry for the long reply. Thanks again for writing and have a good day/ night!

    • Avatar

      Hatem al-Haj

      December 1, 2015 at 3:26 PM

      Thank you, Mr. Howard, for the comment. Here are some explanations:
      As for the question of loyalty, I hope that a second reading of the article may ease your valid concerns about this issue. You do need, however, to do that while keeping in mind the intent of the article and the intended audience, as well as the capacity in which I am writing as a Muslim theologian. In case you do not have time to go through the article once again, let me share with you some statements from it and their implications.
      “These verses mean that those of us who are citizens of the West should not betray the trust of the covenant of citizenship.”
      The use of covenant (Mithâq) means a lot to the audience, because it is a Quranic term.
      “It can involve our youth and give them the sense (and hope) that they can gradually make a positive difference, and yes, change their unfair world, along with fair-minded individuals from other religious affiliations, to make it more just and peaceful.”
      This shows that the author is not about isolation and sequestration of the Muslim minorities in their respective countries.
      As for the third person, this is a style of speech that may be warranted, at times, if you are making an impartial assessment of the behavior of two groups, such as your own family and your aunt’s. I am talking about the West as an entity, and more specifically the Western regimens. You are right; I am from the USA. Many of my fellow Americans, from the far right to the far left, refer to the regime, government, or the “establishment” in the third person. This may also be a style of speech that certain individuals use more frequently than others. I find myself, in certain discussions, referring to myself in the third person. I invite you to reflect on this question. Had my name been a little more familiar than ‘Hatem al-Haj’, would you have felt the same way? In conclusion of this point, I thank you for alerting me to how it comes across to some people, regardless of how I feel or what I intended.
      As for the Palestinians, I will not defend the regimes in the Muslim countries, because I do not think of them more favorably than you do. Manu of them only give lip service to the Palestinian cause. However, I would like to point out to you that most of the displaced Palestinians live in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, and the Gulf, not the West. As for giving them citizenships, that is exactly what Israel wishes. This is like suggesting to the Germans to accommodate the French people displaced by a Chinese invasion of their country so that they may leave France to them. Additionally, I am sure you do not mean that the Western regimes are not even partially responsible for the plight of the Palestinians. Not even because they were responsible for the relocation of the Jews of Europe to Palestine during the colonial era and forcing them on the local population, or because of the Balfour Declaration? What about the ongoing financial backing of Israel, the declared commitment to keep it militarily superior to all of its neighbors, the multitudes of vetoes used at the UN by my own government to block resolutions to condemn Israeli aggression or force Israel to abide by any of the UN resolutions or international laws? It seems that you do acknowledge the plight of the Palestinians, but I would believe that learning more about it from independent sources will make you even more sympathetic. May I suggest Jimmy Carter’s book Palestine Peace no Apartheid. You may also visit the UN’s page about Palestine or http://www.ampalestine.org. Finally, the article was not about crying victim; after all, crying does not help. Therefore, I would second your advice, but only if does not entail a denial of our justifiable grievances.
      Sorry for the long reply. Have a good day/ night!

    • Avatar

      Hatem al-Haj

      December 18, 2015 at 4:27 PM

      Here are my answers to your answers, Mr. Howard.
      First, thank you for accepting my explanation regarding the use of the third person in my speech.
      As for the issue of Northern Ireland, I was not taking sides, but only pointing out the internal conflict that may arise at a time when a certain group of people have to reconcile between their religious and national affiliations. I hope that, regardless of the details of that example, it was still capable to illustrate my point. If it wasn’t, then may be a hypothetical one could. Imagine if the USA had, for some reason or another, to go to war with Israel. Will the American Jews have some discomfort dealing with this scenario?
      As for my talk about the covenant of citizenship, I am disappointed in the way you understood my treatment of this issue. I was pointing out the high moral standard Islam holds us to concerning the honoring of all covenants. The framework of my discussion was moral, not pragmatic. I was citing verses from the Quran (revealed a long time before we came to enjoy Western prosperity). I was telling my fellow Muslims that even if your countrymen were to commit atrocities against your coreligionists, you should still not betray the covenant. This means that you are not only prohibited from attacking your fellow civilians who may never be targeted in any scenario, but you are also not allowed to attack the combatants on their way to drop bombs on your coreligionists. This high moral standard was stated in the verses I mentioned in the article and others and practiced by the Prophet who ordered one of his companions by the name of Hudhayfah ibn al-Yamân to not partake in the battle of Badr because he promised the Meccans that he was not going to fight them. The covenant applies, without a shred of doubt, to the tourists. As for members of the armed forces from our fellow countrymen, as I stated before, the covenant of citizenship bars us from attacking them regardless of where their mission belongs on the scale of good and evil. As for sympathizing with them, I hope that you agree with me that it must depend on the mission of the expedition they will embark on. If they were on the wrong side, one may still humanitarianly sympathize with the ordeal their families go through or that many of them may be deceived (and brainwashed) by those who sent them. Having said that, if you want me to sympathize with the soldiers who tortured the Iraqi prisoners in Abu Gharib and other concentration camps, after they invaded their lands on the basis of the lie of WMD, and wiped out hundreds of thousands of civilians (remaining from Gulf War I and the merciless embargo, which was called barbaric by the previous pope) I will proudly and determinedly refuse to do so. Many decent humans, Muslim and non-Muslim and American and non-American, share my feelings.
      As for greed being the motive of our immigration to the West, I would like to remind you first that more than half of the Muslims in the USA are not immigrants. They are mainly African Americans, with some from all other ethnic groups, including Americans of European descent and natives. There are also the children of the immigrants, who did not make the choice to emigrate and know of no other homeland, so your last comment doesn’t pertain to all of those. It does, however, pertain to me because I am an immigrant. I agree with you that most of us, immigrants, came to the West for economic opportunities. This was to a great extent for the mutual benefit of the Western countries, which needed laborers to contribute to their economic growth, and the immigrants, who certainly enjoy a much higher living standard in their host/adopted countries than their original ones. I don’t see a problem in that, and the “decadent Westerners” stereotypical language is not part of my dictionary. Some of us, however, came to the West to run away from tyrannical regimes, believed by many Muslims to be installed by the West in the post-colonial era to serve its interests. I usually don’t subscribe to the extremes of the conspiracy theory, but I would second George W Bush’s assertion that those regimes have been at least supported and propped up by the West for too long. There are others who may see themselves more productive and capable of serving the cause of justice-for-all by being in the West and engaging the Western audience since they have the leverage to change the conditions of the World and make it fairer and more conducive to peace. There are those who may have to come to the West to call Westerners to Islam, just as many Christian missionaries go to all corners of the World to call mankind to their religion. This may be done by some people out of zeal and religious nationalism, but for many, it is a manifestation of devotion to God and compassion for humanity.
      As for the Palestinian issue, my answer will follow shortly!

  2. Avatar

    Hamid

    November 30, 2015 at 11:52 PM

    beautifully written piece that explores the core issue through the legislative lens and supports the points with opinions of scholars.

  3. Avatar

    Adeeb

    December 2, 2015 at 1:11 AM

    Superb article clearing all misconceptions. I have one question, I had read a fatwa islamqa.Com that stated that verse of no compulsion has been abrogated by verse of sword. Hence people can be forced.
    Please explain

    • Avatar

      Hatem al-Haj

      December 3, 2015 at 8:54 PM

      I invite you to go back and take another look at that fatwa. It is impossible that anyone would say that Islams approves of forceful conversions, because you would be basically producing hypocrites. I do not recall the name of any scholar in the past or present who said that.

      • Avatar

        Abu Muhammad

        December 6, 2015 at 3:07 AM

        Sheikh Hatem, the fatwa the brother is quoting can be found here >>> http://islamqa.info/en/34770 . According to the article Sheikh bin Baz (rA) is quoted as saying,

        وقال آخرون من أهل العلم : إنها كانت في أول الأمر ثم نسخت بأمر الله سبحانه بالقتال والجهاد ، فمن أبى الدخول في الإسلام وجب جهاده مع القدرة حتى يدخل في الإسلام أو يؤدي الجزية إن كان من أهلها ، فالواجب إلزام الكفار بالإسلام إذا كانوا لا تؤخذ منهم الجزية ؛ لأن إسلامهم فيه سعادتهم ونجاتهم في الدنيا والآخرة ، فإلزام الإنسان بالحق الذي فيه الهدى والسعادة خير له من الباطل ، كما يلزم الإنسان بالحق الذي عليه لبني آدم ولو بالسجن أو بالضرب ، فإلزام الكفار بتوحيد الله والدخول في دين الإسلام أولى وأوجب ؛ لأن فيه سعادتهم في العاجل والآجـل إلا إذا كانوا من أهل الكتاب كاليهود والنصارى أو المجوس ، فهذه الطوائف الثلاث جاء الشرع بأنهم يخيرون . فإما أن يدخلوا في الإسلام وإما أن يبذلوا الجزية عن يد وهم صاغرون .

        “Other scholars said that this applied in the beginning, but was subsequently abrogated by Allaah’s command to fight and wage jihad. So whoever refuses to enter Islam should be fought when the Muslims are able to fight, until they either enter Islam or pay the jizyah if they are among the people who may pay jizyah. The kuffaar should be compelled to enter Islam if they are not people from whom the jizyah may be taken, because that will lead to their happiness and salvation in this world and in the Hereafter. Obliging a person to adhere to the truth in which is guidance and happiness is better for him than falsehood. Just as a person may be forced to do the duty that he owes to other people even if that is by means of imprisonment or beating, so forcing the kaafirs to believe in Allaah alone and enter into the religion of Islam is more important and more essential, because this will lead to their happiness in this world and in the Hereafter. This applies unless they are People of the Book, i.e., Jews and Christians, or Magians, because Islam says that these three groups may be given the choice: they may enter Islam or they may pay the jizyah and feel themselves subdued.” [Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat li’l-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 6/219]

      • Avatar

        adeeb taqui

        June 13, 2016 at 7:37 AM

        >>> islamqa.info/en/34770 . According to the article Sheikh bin Baz (rA) is quoted as saying,

        وقال آخرون من أهل العلم : إنها كانت في أول الأمر ثم نسخت بأمر الله سبحانه بالقتال والجهاد ، فمن أبى الدخول في الإسلام وجب جهاده مع القدرة حتى يدخل في الإسلام أو يؤدي الجزية إن كان من أهلها ، فالواجب إلزام الكفار بالإسلام إذا كانوا لا تؤخذ منهم الجزية ؛ لأن إسلامهم فيه سعادتهم ونجاتهم في الدنيا والآخرة ، فإلزام الإنسان بالحق الذي فيه الهدى والسعادة خير له من الباطل ، كما يلزم الإنسان بالحق الذي عليه لبني آدم ولو بالسجن أو بالضرب ، فإلزام الكفار بتوحيد الله والدخول في دين الإسلام أولى وأوجب ؛ لأن فيه سعادتهم في العاجل والآجـل إلا إذا كانوا من أهل الكتاب كاليهود والنصارى أو المجوس ، فهذه الطوائف الثلاث جاء الشرع بأنهم يخيرون . فإما أن يدخلوا في الإسلام وإما أن يبذلوا الجزية عن يد وهم صاغرون .

        “Other scholars said that this applied in the beginning, but was subsequently abrogated by Allaah’s command to fight and wage jihad. So whoever refuses to enter Islam should be fought when the Muslims are able to fight, until they either enter Islam or pay the jizyah if they are among the people who may pay jizyah. The kuffaar should be compelled to enter Islam if they are not people from whom the jizyah may be taken, because that will lead to their happiness and salvation in this world and in the Hereafter. Obliging a person to adhere to the truth in which is guidance and happiness is better for him than falsehood. Just as a person may be forced to do the duty that he owes to other people even if that is by means of imprisonment or beating, so forcing the kaafirs to believe in Allaah alone and enter into the religion of Islam is more important and more essential, because this will lead to their happiness in this world and in the Hereafter. This applies unless they are People of the Book, i.e., Jews and Christians, or Magians, because Islam says that these three groups may be given the choice: they may enter Islam or they may pay the jizyah and feel themselves subdued.” [Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat li’l-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 6/219]

  4. Avatar

    Elisabeth Jefferson

    December 14, 2015 at 12:49 PM

    That is so sad why would someone do that to thousands of people that is the worst thing i would never think about doing that to someone the terrorists are the worst am i write or not

    P.S-u can write your answer on fuzzy.org to get on my face book a count ;) or nolllllllllllllllll!

  5. Avatar

    sparky

    December 30, 2015 at 1:50 PM

    Ok if there are so many good muslims why are they not turning in the ones the know are up to no good. Supposedly your faith has
    been hijacked but you do not do anything about it. I hear muslims are afraid to turn in radical muslims. If no one stands up for
    good evil will reign. Your so called religion calls for killing the infidels (your own terms). If you try to kill us we will retaliate sucker.

    • Avatar

      Shakir M.

      March 23, 2016 at 6:29 PM

      Entire Muslim Nations and their military and police forces are arrested and fighting those that are up to not good, for the people in those countries and internationally. Do not wait on the corporate media to talk about Muslims who are doing good, operating charities, feeding the needy, or working with law enforcement. In my area there Muslims who walked off the job due to work standards and rules they felt were not welcoming to them as Muslims. The national media contacted a local rep asking to talk to a Muslim person who was angry. Your comments were based on hearsay or simply you feel that you are not informed about something happening that it is not happening at all. Below is a compilation of crimes and evil doers that were turned in by Muslims/Mosques to the authorities. Call your nearest metropolitan FBI office and ask them if Muslims in the region have been helpful and cooperative to their efforts. Hear it from the horses mouth.

      October 2008: Neo-Nazis Daniel Cowart and Paul Schesselman are arrested by local police, who received a tip from a concerned friend of the two suspects, before seeking to go on a shooting spree against African-Americans.

      July 2009: Mosque leaders in Raleigh, North Carolina contact law enforcement to notify them of “violent, threatening action… considered to be dangerous” leading to the arrest of Daniel Boyd and 6 other individuals.

      September 2009: Queens Imam Ahmad Afazali, a community liaison to the NYPD, helps local police and the FBI in the investigation and arrest of suspect Najibullah Zazi. Though Zazi is initially accused of tipping off Zazi to police surveillance, information in the court complaint and corroborating reporting from mainstream media sources found this notion to be false. (Afzali was, however, deported on charges of lying to FBI agents, but subsequent media reporting also strengthens Afzali’s claims that he was scapegoat for getting caught up in a turf battle between NYPD and FBI officials.)

      November 2009: Five Virginia Muslim youth are arrested in Pakistan, allegedly seeking to join a terrorist group, after family members told American federal authorities they went missing.

      March 2010: Michigan Militia member and Muslim convert Matt Savino refuses aid to a fugitive member of the Hutaree Militia and instead helps law enforcement authorities track him down.

      April 2010: Senegalese Muslim Alioune Niass first spots the suspicious vehicle used as a bomb to attack Times Square in New York City. Clues from the vehicle and defused explosive immediately led to the suspect, Faisal Shahzad’s, arrest.

      June 2010: Suspects Mohammed Mahmoud Alessa and Carlos Eduardo Almonte are arrested, after the FBI first receives an anonymous report in 2006 from one of the suspects’ family members. News reports indicate one of Alessa’s family members provided the tip.

      October 2010: Former Hawaii resident Abdel Hamid Shehadeh is arrested for attempting to join the Taliban. Local media noted that the Muslim Association of Hawaii “assisted law enforcement agencies in the case” and that it has “in the past reported suspicious activities.”

      October 2010: Farooque Ahmed is arrested on charges of allegedly attempting to bomb the Washington, DC metro railway system. The FBI first learns of Ahmed’s intentions from a community tip-off.

      October 2010: An attempt by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to bomb Western targets using air cargo transportation is prevented by US and European authorities. Intelligence that prevented the plot came from ex-militant Jabr al-Faifi, who voluntarily handed himself into Saudi authorities.

      November 2010: Mohamed Osman Mohamud is arrested for attempting to bomb a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon. The New York Times notes, “In the Oregon [Mohamud] case, the FBI received a tip from a Portland Muslim.”

      December 2010: Antonio Martinez is arrested for attempting to bomb a military recruiting center in Maryland. Statements from Justice Department officials indicate a Muslim community member reported Martinez to the FBI during its ongoing investigation.

      June 2011: Two Al-Qaeda inspired violent criminals planning to attack a military installation in Seattle are arrested by law enforcement. FBI officials first become aware of the planned attack after a fellow Muslim who was trying to be recruited into the conspiracy went to Seattle Police and informed them of the plot.

      January 2012: Violent Al-Qaeda sympathizer Sami Osmakac is arrested for planning to attack several sites in Tampa, Florida using guns and explosives. The U.S. Attorney for Central Florida noted, “This investigation was also predicated, in part, by assistance from the Muslim community.”

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#Current Affairs

This Eid And Beyond Boycott Goods Made With Enslaved Labor Of Uyghurs Even If It Is Your Favorite Brand

Bidding farewell to Ramadan, celebrating Eid?

Well, the Muslims of East Turkestan under Chinese occupation had neither Ramadan nor will they have Eid…

Not only that, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) run government has transferred Uyghurs and other ethnic minority citizens from East Turkestan to factories across the country. Under conditions that strongly suggest forced labour, Uyghurs are working in factories that are in the supply chains of at least 83 well-known global brands in the technology, clothing and automotive sectors, including Nike, Gap, Adidas, Ralph Lauren, Carters and others. Read Uyghurs for Sale for more information

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CCP is also pressuring governments across the world to extradite Uyghurs back to occupied East Turkestan.

Here is what you can do to help them:

Action Items

  1. Keep making dua for the oppressed of East Turkistan and the world.
  2. Boycott Chinese products! Do not be complicit in slave labour. Start with focusing on the companies in the graphic. Share it with #SewnWithtTears, #StopChina, #BoycottChina. Write to them and demand that they do better.
  3. Raise awareness on the plight of Uyghurs and the East Turkistani cause. Learn more at SaveUighur.org
  4. Work towards reducing your country’s economic dependence on China.
  5. Build alliances with all people of conscience to demand a cessation of China’s oppression of all faith groups, be it Muslim Uyghur, Hui; Chinese Christian; or Tibetan Buddhist.
  6. Encourage and promote fairer trade and commerce with Muslims and others rather than China.
  7. Inquire about Uyghur diaspora members in your area. Organize to help out orphans, widows, and students.
  8. Pressure governments to provide legal protection to Uyghur refugees-exiles by granting either citizenship or refugee/asylee status. Stop the “extradition/repatriation” of Uyghurs to China!
  9. Get your universities/endowments to divest from China. Raise awareness about Chinese espionage and hired guns in academia. Demand academic and financial support for Uyghur scholars and students. Request more academic attention and funds for Central Asian, Uyghur, Turkistani studies. 

Read a greater discussion of action items in A Response to Habib Ali Al-Jifri’s Comments on the Uyghurs, which also contains a greater discussion on East Turkistan’s history and its current situation. A condensed Arabic version of the article can be found here

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Coronavirus

Alternative Eid Celebrations In The Midst Of A Pandemic

“Eid-al-Quarantine” is what my sister has so fondly dubbed our upcoming Eid al Fitr this year. I find myself asking, “How are we going to make Eid a fun and special celebration this year in the midst of a dangerous pandemic?” With a little bit of creativity and resourcefulness, this Eid can be fun–no matter the current circumstances. This post will provide you with some inspiration to get your alternative Eid preparations underway! 

Special note: Shelter-in-place restrictions are lessening in many places in the United States, but this does not give us the green light to go back to life as normal and celebrate Eid in the ways we usually would have in the past. I am no health expert, but my sincerest wish for all Muslims throughout the world is that we all err on the side of caution and maintain rigorous precautions.

In-person gatherings are going to be much riskier in light of public health safety concerns. I do not recommend that people get together this Eid. Keep in mind, as well, that this is a big weekend for all Americans, as it is Memorial Day Weekend and crowds may be expected in places like parks and beaches. 

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Eid Day Must’s

Just because you are staying in, doesn’t mean that all of the Eid traditions have to go. Some may be exactly the same, some may be slightly adjusted this year. 

  • Get dressed up, even if it’s just for an hour or two. This might be a good chance to do hair and make up for sisters who normally don’t on Eid because of hijab or other modesty concerns. 
  • Take your family pictures, as usual. 
  • Decorate your house, even if it’s just with some fresh flowers in a vase or hanging up some string lights. (This time, I think sharing pictures of your setup may  have some more wiggle room.)
  • Find a way to pray Eid salah at home, if your local imam mentions a way to adapt for the current situation or check out this MM article
  • Eat some good food, and make sure to feast. 
  • Take that infamous Eid nap. 
  • Greet loved ones (phone calls, video calls, text messages, voice/video messages, make and send Eid cards).
  • Give and receive gifts. (Electronic ways to transfer money/checks in the mail, dropping off gifts to homes/sending gifts in the mail/having an online order pick-up in-store. You may also choose to do a gift exchange, if not this weekend, next). 

Virtual Parties

Virtual celebrations are a great, safe, option. The best thing about virtual hangouts is that people from all over the world can “come together” to celebrate Eid. This can be as simple as talking and catching up, or can be as orchestrated as a full-out party including games. Keep in mind, the games and virtual parties aren’t only for the kids–everyone should have fun this Eid! We recently threw a virtual birthday party for our one-year-old and it was quite the experience. 

  • Split guests into different calls (kids’ call, adults’ call; men’s call, women’s call)
  • Party agenda for a rigorously planned party so everyone knows what to expect
  • Party games, either with certain items that everyone has (or can easily and quickly purchase) or games that do not require much else besides an internet connection 
    • Games requiring physical items (think of items that everyone is likely to have and think of carnival-type games):
      • Soccer ball juggling or basketball shooting competition
      • Water balloon toss
      • Timed races (three-legged, holding an egg in a spoon, etc.)
    • Games with little to no special equipment
      • Online Pictionary https://skribbl.io/
      • Online Scrabble
      • Video games
      • Charades
      • Taboo (we do this for our cousin game nights with pictures of cards that one person sends to people from the opposite team)
      • Scattergories
      • Bingo
      • Mad libs
      • Speaking games that take turns going around a circle (going through the alphabet saying names of animals or colors or foods, rhyming words [we played the last two lines of “Down by the Bay” for our son’s birthday party])
      • Movement game (Simon says, dancing if you’re into that [“Cha Cha Slide,” dance-off, passing along dance moves as was a TikTok trend I heard of, simply dancing…])
      • Games like in Whose Line is it Anyway? or like the “Olympics” (specifically the “middle games”) that I wrote about way back
  • Performances
    • Skits prepared by one family or even across households
    • Reciting a poem or surah or singing
    • Other showcases of talent, by individuals or not
  • Gift Exchanges (I’ve been doing this virtually since 2013 with friends/distant family members.)

Alternative Virtual/Group Celebrations

Being “together” isn’t always gathering for a party, and that’s what I think most people miss during the forced isolation caused by the pandemic. There are many things you can do to get ready for or celebrate Eid with loved ones even if you’re not together. 

  • Share special recipes with each other or plan to serve the same meals.
  • Coordinate Eid outfits or attempt to do matching henna designs.
  • Send Eid pictures to family and friends.
  • Prepare and cook meals or clean or decorate while on a video call (you don’t have to be talking the entire time).
  • Watch the same movie or show (whether that’s something everyone does as separate households or you do concurrently/even with a video or phone call running. This might be a good time to watch Hasan Minhaj’s “Homecoming King” and do the 10 things it invites us to do.)
  • Go through family pictures or old videos together. Maybe even create a short slideshow/video of your favorites. 
  • Story time full of family legends and epic moments (the best Eid, a difficult time of sickness, immigration or moving story, new baby in the family, etc.). Someone build the fire and get the s’mores going.

Alternative “Outings”

In the same breath, it’s so refreshing to go out and do something fun, not just stay cooped up in your house, right? Seriously. 

  • Check out a virtual museum tour
  • Go on a nice drive to some place you love or miss going to, like drive by the masjid or school or a beautiful area (but stay in your car if there are other people around)
  • Watch an Eid Khutbah (or a regular one) on Eid day (make it special by listening outside in your yard or as a family where you pray).
  • Create a movie theater experience inside the home (that might just mean some popcorn and homemade slushies).
  • Get carry out from a favorite restaurant (if it’s open), and finally have the motivation to take a longer drive if needed
  • Make fruit or gift baskets for friends and family and drop them off at their homes
  • A “paint night,” or some other craft, that everyone in the family participates in
  • Decorate your car and drive around to show it off to friends (I’ve heard there’s an actual Eid car parade at various masaajid in Chicago

Interesting Alternative Community Celebrations I’ve Heard About

Some communities are getting super creative. As I mentioned above, a handful of masaajid in Chicago (Orland Park Prayer Center, Mosque Foundation, and Islamic Center of Wheaton as well as Dar Al Taqwa in Maryland) are putting together Eid drive-thru car parades. I’ve heard of different communities, whether officially sponsored by the masjid or just put together by groups of individuals, having a drive-in Eid salah, in which families pray in their cars in a rented drive-in theater or parking lot (Champaign, Illinois and a community in Maryland). I’m  definitely impressed with that last option, and I’m waiting to hear about more creative ways to get together and worship and celebrate.

So, what am I doing for Eid (weekend) this year? All the must’s, inshaAllah, including getting extra dolled up and making donuts from biscuit dough. A “game night” (virtual party) with alumni from my MSA. A gift exchange party with my cousins as well as another gift exchange party with classmates from my Arabic program (we’ll send unboxing videos out instead of meeting at the same time.) Check out a local college campus we’ve been dying to drive around. Binge a few episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender newly released on Netflix and do some online Memorial Day sale shopping. Le’s put a tentative on all of those, haha.

At the end of the day, Eid al Fitr is about acknowledging the month of worship we engaged in during Ramadan and spending quality time with loved ones. It doesn’t really matter what that quality time looks like–as long as it is intentional, this Eid will be special no matter what, inshaAllah. Who knows, this might be one of the best, most memorable holidays ever!

Eid Mubarak!

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#Islam

Eid Prayer During the Pandemic

Introduction

We have observed a Ramadan that was unlike anything we have experienced before. The community and individuals everywhere have shown dedication, commitment, and creativity. We learned to pray tarāwīḥ on our own in our homes. We read the Qur’an everyday consistently. We attended daily lectures and reminders delivered by our imams, teachers, and scholars online. We gathered virtually to hold iftars and check in on each other. We donated to our organizations to gain the blessings of charity in Ramadan. All of this and more is only possible through the guidance of Allah and resilience of our faith.

We now find ourselves approaching Eid al-Fitr. Eid is an occasion of celebration, joy, gathering, and gratitude to Allah for his countless blessings. We all have cherished memories of past days of Eid. However, we face the prospect of an Eid that is difficult and challenging. Similar to our mindset in Ramadan, we can and should find a way to have a joyous and meaningful Eid. Shāh Walīullah al-Dihlawi writes in his Hujjatullah al-Bālighah, “Allah provided us with two days of celebration that commemorate the markers of the Islamic tradition. He associated celebration with the remembrance of Allah and acts of devotion on the day of Eid, ensuring that the congregation of believers would not be for mere vanity. Rather, the gathering of Muslims would revolve around exalting the Word of Allah.”

The Obligation of Eid

The scholars of the four major schools of thought have differed regarding the obligation of the Eid prayer. Their differences stem from their methodologies in interpreting the verses of the Qur’an and the Prophetic tradition ﷺ. The Shāfiʿī and Mālikī schools agree that the Eid prayer is an established Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ, and the prayer is highly recommended for every individual to attend.[1] However, the Ḥanafī school has deemed the prayer as wājib, necessary, for every believing man of age.[2] The Ḥanbalī school has ruled the Eid prayer as farḍ al-kifāyah[3].[4] 

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The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ prayed the Eid prayer in congregation with the Companions from the time it was prescribed until he passed. The Ḥanafī school has considered this consistency demonstrated by the Prophet ﷺ as an indication that the Eid prayer cannot be merely a recommendation. Additionally, the Prophet ﷺ did not go out of his way to inform his Companions of the lack of obligation as he did with ṣalāh al-tarāwīḥ.[5] The scholars of the Ḥanbalī school referenced the command in the Qur’an, “Pray to your Lord and sacrifice,”[6] and concluded the Eid prayer is farḍ al-kifāyah.

The Shāfiʿī and Mālikī schools quote a well-known Hadith of the Prophet ﷺ in which he informs an inquisitive Bedouin regarding the Islamic mandates. The Prophet ﷺ tells the man about the five obligatory daily prayers. The man asks the Messenger ﷺ if there are any additional prayers that are required and he responds, “All other prayers are optional.”[7] Therefore, they regard the Eid prayer as voluntary.[8] 

The Khutbah of Eid

On the day of Eid, it is recommended, according to the majority of scholars, to have a khutbah given by the Imam. The Imam advises the people in the congregation and reminds them of Allah and His Messenger ﷺ. Unlike the Friday khutbah, the Eid khutbah is given immediately after the congregational prayer is completed. The Friday khutbah is considered an essential pillar of the Jumu’ah obligation. However, the scholars of the four major schools have all come to the conclusion that the khutbah on the day of Eid is not required for the validity of the Eid prayer.[9]

Congregations

The following question has emerged in light of our current situation: Are we excused from the obligation to gather together and worship Allah for Friday, Eid, and congregational prayers? Is the concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 a legitimate reason for individuals to not attend religious services in person?

The scholars of the Ḥanafī school list reasons that excuse individuals from attending congregational prayers. The list includes inclement weather, sickness, paralysis, old age, and notably, fear of harm. It is reported in an authentic Hadith that the Prophet ﷺ once excused the Companions from attending congregational prayers by instructing the Mu’adhdhin to call the adhān and announce, “Pray in your homes.”[10] The Ḥanafī scholar al-Ṭahṭāwī uses this Hadith as proof that those exposed to immediate danger should be excused from congregational prayer, including Friday and Eid prayers.[11]

Al-Shurunbulālī[12] reminds us that the reward is still obtained by individuals who are not able to attend due to challenging circumstances. If an individual is prevented from fulfilling an obligation due to an acceptable and valid excuse, that person will still be rewarded (if Allah wills) according to his or her intention.[13] The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ taught us, “Actions are rewarded based on their intentions. Every person will be rewarded according to his or her intention.”[14]

Recommended Eid Rituals

While our ability to congregate for Eid may be limited, this should not prevent us from observing the rituals recommended in our tradition.[15] 

  1. Supplicate to Allah ﷻ the night before Eid and ask Him for forgiveness for any shortcomings.
  2. On the morning of Eid, recite the Takbīrāt of Eid[16], glorifying Allah and rejoicing in the occasion.[17]
  3. Take a shower and celebrate by donning your best garments. It is also customary to apply perfume.
  4. Demonstrate the end of the month of fasting by eating something after Fajr on the morning of Eid. The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ would not leave his house on the day of Eid without eating some dates.[18]
  5. Be kind and generous.
  6. Congratulate others.
  7. Fulfill your obligation of contributing zakat al-fir before the morning of Eid. The majority of scholars are in agreement that zakat al-fir is mandatory for every believer male or female, young or old.[19] This serves the purpose of uniting Muslims on the day of Eid so they may celebrate regardless of financial circumstances.

Requirements to Conduct Eid Prayer

When performing the Eid prayer, one should, first and foremost, observe the requirements of ritual prayer (ṣalāh) such as being in a state of purification and facing the qiblah. The scholars have agreed that the prescribed time of the Eid prayer begins shortly after sunrise and ends before Ẓuhr time starts.[20] 

For the validity of the Eid prayer, the scholars among the Shāfiʿī, Mālikī, Ḥanbalī,  and Ḥanafī schools have stipulated: the prayer should be conducted during the prescribed time of Eid prayer.[21] The Ḥanafīs and some Ḥanbalīs[22] have additionally stated that the Eid prayer must be conducted in a group.[23] The Ḥanafīs specified that this requirement is fulfilled with 2 or 3 adult males other than the imam.[24] Moreover, the Ḥanafī scholars have stated that an Eid prayer should be accessible by the general public and not be in a restricted or an exclusive space.

Conducting the Eid Prayer

The Eid prayer itself is conducted very similarly to any other congregational prayer. The four major schools agree that the Eid prayer should be performed out loud with 2 rak’āt, units of prayer, just like the Fajr congregation. However, there is a difference of opinion in regards to the number of extra takbīrāt that are said in the Eid prayer. The format of the prayer has been detailed below based on the different opinions.

Mālikīs[25]

  • Make wuḍū’, face the qiblah and begin the prayer with Allāhu akbar
  • Perform 6 additional takbīrāt[26], say Allāhu akbar for each takbīrah
  • Recite Surah al-Fatihah and an additional surah out loud
  • Finish the first rak’ah
  • After standing for the second rak’ah, perform 5 additional takbīrāt, say Allāhu akbar for each takbīrah
  • Recite Surah al-Fatihah and an additional surah out loud
  • Complete the prayer as usual

Ḥanbalīs[27]

  • Make wuḍū’, face the qiblah and begin the prayer with Allāhu akbar
  • Perform 6 additional takbīrāt, raise your hands and say Allāhu akbar for each takbīrah
  • Recite Surah al-Fatihah and an additional surah out loud
  • Finish the first rak’ah
  • After standing for the second rak’ah, perform 5 additional takbīrāt, raise your hands and say Allāhu akbar for each takbīrah
  • Recite Surah al-Fatihah and an additional surah out loud
  • Complete the prayer as usual

Shāfiʿīs[28]

  • Make wuḍū’, face the qiblah and begin the prayer with Allāhu akbar
  • Perform 7 additional takbīrāt, raise your hands and say Allāhu akbar for each takbīrah
  • Recite Surah al-Fatihah and an additional surah out loud
  • Finish the first rak’ah
  • After standing for the second rak’ah, perform 5 additional takbīrāt, raise your hands and say Allāhu akbar for each takbīrah
  • Recite Surah al-Fatihah and an additional surah out loud
  • Complete the prayer as usual

Ḥanafīs[29]

  • Make wuḍū’, face the qiblah and begin the prayer with Allāhu akbar
  • Perform 3 additional takbīrāt, raise your hands and say Allāhu akbar for each takbīrah
  • Recite Surah al-Fatihah and an additional surah out loud
  • Finish the first rak’ah
  • After standing for the second rak’ah, recite Surah al-Fatihah and an additional surah out loud
  • Perform 3 additional Takbīrāt, raise your hands and say Allāhu akbar for each takbīrah
  • Say Allāhu akbar and bow into rukū’
  • Complete the prayer as usual

Conclusion

Eid is an occasion of glorifying Allah, praying for the acceptance of our deeds, and enjoying the blessings of Allah. It is a day to spend time with family and loved ones. The regulations of social distancing have limited our ability to congregate and spend time together as a community. However, these restrictions do not prevent us from fulfilling the rituals and traditions of Eid.

We recommend that every Muslim observes the Eid rituals as mentioned above. It has been authentically reported that the Companion of the Prophet ﷺ Anas ibn Mālik did not make it to the Eid prayer, so he gathered his family and offered the Eid prayer at home in the same manner the imam would with the congregation.[30] Furthermore, the Mālikī, Shāfiʿī, and Ḥanbalī schools allow people to perform the Eid prayer individually or with family at home. While the Ḥanafī school traditionally does not allow this, many senior Ḥanafī scholars have eased the condition of performing the Jumu’ah prayer in a public place during the current pandemic. Therefore, we recommend that individuals and families who are not able to attend an Eid congregation pray the Eid ṣalāh as detailed above at home.

May Allah accept our deeds. May Allah provide us with a joyous Eid. May Allah alleviate the current crisis. May Allah protect us all.

Allah knows best.

AbdulNasir Jangda

Sohaib Sheikh

26 Ramadan 1441 AH/19 May 2020 CE

Qalam Institute’s  mission is to educate humanity about Allah, His message, and His Messenger ﷺ. This article is written by the instructors at Qalam. Please consider supporting them as they create beneficial content for people to study their religion. 


[1] al-Majmu’ 5:2, al-Jumal ala sharh al-Manhaj 2:92

[2] Bada’I al-Sana’I 1:274

[3] farḍ al-kifāyah: An obligation that is mandated at a communal level. If a community fulfills the obligation, any other people that did not participate are excused from the obligation.

[4] al-Mughni 2:304

[5] Bada’I al-Sana’I 1:274, al-Hidayah 1:60, Tuhfah al-Fuqaha 1:283

[6] Qur’an 108:2

[7] Sahih al-Bukhari 2678

[8] Jawahir al-Iklil 1:101, al-Majmoo’ 5:3

[9] al-Lubab 1:118-119, Maraqi al-Falah 91, Tabyin al-Haqaiq 1:226, Fatawa al-Hindiyyah 1:141, Fath al-Qadir 1:428, al-Durr al-Mukhtar 1:782-784, al-Sharh al-Saghir 1:530, al-Sharh al-Kabir 1:400, al-Qawanin al-Fiqhiyyah 86, Mughni al-Muhtaj 1:311, al-Muhadhab 1:120, al-Majmoo’ 5:36, al-Mughni 2:384-387, Kashaf al-Qina’ 2:61-62

[10] Sahih al-Bukhari 10:29, Sahih Muslim 6:32-33, Sunan Abi Dawud 2:672-673, Sunan Ibn Majah 5:989-991, Sunan al-Nasa’I 7:660, Sunan al-Nasa’I 10:78

[11] Hashiyah al-Tahtawi ala Maraqi al-Falah 297

[12] Hanafi scholar who authored the famous work Nur al-Idah

[13] Nur al-Idah 65, Hashiyah al-Tahtawi ala Maraqi al-Falah 299

[14] Sahih al-Bukhari 1:1, Sahih Muslim 33:222

[15] al-Fiqh al-Islami Wa Adillatuhu 1412-1416

[16] Takbirat of Eid: Saying Allahu Akbar and La Ilaha Illa Allah

[17] al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah 13:213-214

[18] Sahih al-Bukhari 13:5

[19] al-Zayla’I 1:307, Ibn Abidin 2:110, Fath al-Qadir 2:30, Bulghat al-Salik 1:200, Sharh al-Minhaj 1:628, Kashaf al-Qina’ 1:471

[20] Fath al-Qadir 1:424, al-Lubab 1:117, Maraqi al-Falah 90, al-Dur al-Mukhtar 1:779, al-Bada’I 1:276, al-Sharh al-Saghir 1:524, al-Qawanin al-Fiqhiyyah 85, Mughni al-Muhtaj 1:310, al-Muhadhab 1:118, Kashaf al-Qina’ 2:56

[21] al-Dasuqi 1:396, Asna al-Matalib 1:279

[22] Imam Ibn al-Qudama stated both opinions in the Hanbali school regarding the requirement of a congregation to conduct Eid prayer. Some Hanbali scholars require a group of people for the validity of the Eid prayer while others said that an individual can pray Eid by him or herself. al-Mughni 2:291

[23] Kashaf al-Qina’ 1:455, 2:50, Bada’I al-Sana’I 1:275

[24] Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Muhammad stated that 2 congregants other than the Imam are the minimum required to be considered a congregation. Imam Abu Yusuf was of the opinion that 3 congregants other than the Imam are required.

[25] al-Sharh al-Saghir 1:525, al-Sharh al-Kabir 1:397, al-Qawanin al-Fiqhiyyah 86, Bidayah al-Mujtahid 1:209

[26] Takbirat of Eid: These are extra Takbirs unique to the Eid ṣalāh. According to the majority of scholars, these Takbirs are conducted by the Imam raising his hands as he does when he starts the prayer and saying Allahu Akbar. The stronger opinion according to the Malikis is that when performing the extra Takbirs, the Imam does not raise his hands but says Allahu Akbar.

al-Sharh al-Saghir 1:525, al-Sharh al-Kabir 1:398

[27] Bidayah al-Mujtahid 1:209, al-Mughni 2:376-384, Kashaf al-Qina’ 2:59-65

[28] Mughni al-Muhtaj 1:310, al-Muhadhab 1:120, al-Majmoo’ 5:18

[29] The famous Companion, Ibn Masood, said in regard to the ritual of Eid prayer, “The Imam of the prayer should say Takbir to initiate the prayer. Afterwards, he should perform 3 additional Takbirat followed by the recitation of Surah al-Fatihah and another Surah following it. Then the Imam should continue his prayer, go into Ruku’, Sujood until he stands up (for his second Rak’ah). He should read Surah al-Fatihah and another Surah and proceed to perform 3 Takbirat followed by the Takbir to go into Ruku’” – Sharh Ma’ani al-Athar 4:347

al-Lubab 1:117, Maraqi al-Falah 90, Fath al-Qadir 1:425-427, Tabyin al-Haqaiq 1:225, al-Dur al-Mukhtar 1:779-782, al-Bada’I 1:277, al-Fatawa al-Hindiyyah 1:141

[30] al-Sunan al-Kabir 3:503, al-Musannaf of Ibn Abi Shaybah 2:183, Sahih al-Bukhari includes this Hadith in his Tarjamtul Baab 2:23

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