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The Glorious Virtues of Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa

Ammar Al Shukry

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When speaking about Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa the third holiest sight in Islam, many Muslims are familiar with the hadith of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) as reported by Bukhari and Muslim

وَعَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ اَلْخُدْرِيِّ ‏- رضى الله عنه ‏- قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اَللَّهِ ‏- صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏-: { لَا تُشَدُّ اَلرِّحَالُ إِلَّا إِلَى ثَلَاثَةِ مَسَاجِدَ: اَلْمَسْجِدِ اَلْحَرَامِ, وَمَسْجِدِي هَذَا, وَالْمَسْجِدِ اَلْأَقْصَى } مُتَّفَقٌ عَلَيْهِ 1‏

“One should not undertake journeys except to three mosques: al-Masque al-Haram (in Makkah), this Masjid of mine (in Medinah) and Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa (in Jerusalem)

And so this hadith restricts the undertaking of religious pilgrimages or religious journeys to any masjid other than these three. In the past two weeks you’ve heard about Al-Masjid Al-Haram in Mecca, and Al-Masjid Al-Nabawi, what then about Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa makes it special?

A few qualities about Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa:

Firstly, it is in Al-Shaam.

And this is unique and something that is not shared by Al-Masjid Al-Haram and Al-Masjid Al-Nabawi in that although those places in and of themselves are incredibly blessed, Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa is not just blessed in and of itself, but it is in a region that is blessed, that region being al-Shaam.

Al-Sham (Greater Syria) is bordered by the Euphrates River on the northeast and by Egypt on the southwest. Al-Shaam is the region that includes the modern day countries of Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria, and there are many verses and hadith that mention that it is a blessed land. Its major cities are Damascus, Jerusalem, Nabulus, Homs, Hemah, Halab, Amman, Beirut, Askalan, Gaza, Saida; Sur, Tripoli, Ba’labek, Manbij and Al-Ma’rah. Al-Sham is a vast land with an abundance of blessings. It is full of gardens, farms and fields. Fruits are abundant and cheap, and there is generous rain and snow. Al-Sham is a blessed and sacred land that Allah destined to be the place of revelations, the birthplace of prophets and a refuge for godly men.

Allah says,

سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ

Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al- Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing. (Al-Isra v. 1)

And so here Allah mentions that not only is the Masjid Al-Aqsa blessed but it’s surroundings have been blessed and this is unique to this land of Al-Shaam.

It being blessed is mentioned in a number of other verses, of them are;

وَنَجَّيْنَاهُ وَلُوطًا إِلَى الأَرْضِ الَّتِي بَارَكْنَا فِيهَا لِلْعَالَمِينَ [الأنبياء:71]

And We delivered him and Lot to the land which We had blessed for the worlds.

Ibn Taymiyyah said “it is known that Allah delivered Ibrahim and Lot to Al-Shaam from the lands of the peninsula and Iraq.”

And as for Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) Allah says,

وَأَوْرَثْنَا الْقَوْمَ الَّذِينَ كَانُوا يُسْتَضْعَفُونَ مَشَارِقَ الأَرْضِ وَمَغَارِبَهَا الَّتِي بَارَكْنَا فِيهَا

And We caused the people who had been oppressed to inherit the eastern regions of the land and the western ones, which We had blessed. (Al-A’raaf v. 137)

Al-Hassan and Qatadah both said, “It is Al-Shaam”

يَا قَوْمِ ادْخُلُوا الأَرْضَ الْمُقَدَّسَةَ الَّتِي كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَلا تَرْتَدُّوا عَلَى أَدْبَارِكُمْ فَتَنْقَلِبُوا خَاسِرِينَ [المائدة:21]

O my people, enter the Holy Land which Allah has assigned to you and do not turn back [from fighting in Allah ‘s cause] and [thus] become losers.

And the Kingdom of Sulayman was in Al-Shaam

وَلِسُلَيْمَانَ الرِّيحَ عَاصِفَةً تَجْرِي بِأَمْرِهِ إِلَى الأَرْضِ الَّتِي بَارَكْنَا فِيهَا وَكُنَّا بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَالِمِينَ [الأنبياء:81]

And to Solomon [We subjected] the wind, blowing forcefully, proceeding by his command toward the land which We had blessed. And We are ever, of all things, Knowing.

وَجَعَلْنَا بَيْنَهُمْ وَبَيْنَ الْقُرَى الَّتِي بَارَكْنَا فِيهَا قُرًى ظَاهِرَةً وَقَدَّرْنَا فِيهَا السَّيْرَ سِيرُوا فِيهَا لَيَالِيَ وَأَيَّامًا آمِنِينَ [سبأ:18]

And We placed between them and the cities which We had blessed [many] visible cities. And We determined between them the [distances of] journey, [saying], “Travel between them by night or day in safety

Ibn Abbas, Qatadah and Mujahid all mentioned that the land mentioned in this verse is Al-Shaam.

Some manifestations of the blessings of Al-Shaam

As we read the hadith that speak about the virtues of Al-Shaam it is important to note that this all falls under the realm of prophecy. The prophet (ﷺ) was not speaking about a land that had fallen under his authority during his lifetime, in fact the Muslim armies did not begin to conquer Al-Shaam until the time of ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab, yet the amount of praise and blessings accorded to this land indicates that Al-Shaam would not only become Muslim but a pillar of Islam until the day of Judgment.

Firstly, the angels extending their wings over Al-Shaam

عَنْ زَيْدِ بْنِ ثَابِتٍ، قَالَ كُنَّا عِنْدَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم نُؤَلِّفُ الْقُرْآنَ مِنَ الرِّقَاعِ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ طُوبَى لِلشَّأْمِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَقُلْنَا لأَىٍّ ذَلِكَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ قَالَ ‏”‏ لأَنَّ مَلاَئِكَةَ الرَّحْمَنِ بَاسِطَةٌ أَجْنِحَتَهَا عَلَيْهَا ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ غَرِيبٌ إِنَّمَا نَعْرِفُهُ مِنْ حَدِيثِ يَحْيَى بْنِ أَيُّوبَ

Zaid ibn Thabit Narrates, “We were with the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) collecting the Qur’an on pieces of cloth, then the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘Tuba is for Ash-Sham.’ So we said: ‘Why is that O Messenger of Allah?’ He said: ‘Because the angels of Ar-Rahman spread their wings over it.'” (Tirmithi)

And Toobaa is a prayer for glad tidings. Al-’Izz ibn Abdisalaam said, “The prophet (ﷺ) indicated that Allah had designated angels to protect and preserve Al-Shaam.”

Secondly, It is the chosen land of God

 

عَنِ ابْنِ حَوَالَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ سَيَصِيرُ الأَمْرُ إِلَى أَنْ تَكُونُوا جُنُودًا مُجَنَّدَةً جُنْدٌ بِالشَّامِ وَجُنْدٌ بِالْيَمَنِ وَجُنْدٌ بِالْعِرَاقِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ ابْنُ حَوَالَةَ خِرْ لِي يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنْ أَدْرَكْتُ ذَلِكَ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ عَلَيْكَ بِالشَّامِ فَإِنَّهَا خِيَرَةُ اللَّهِ مِنْ أَرْضِهِ يَجْتَبِي إِلَيْهَا خِيَرَتَهُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ فَأَمَّا إِنْ أَبَيْتُمْ فَعَلَيْكُمْ بِيَمَنِكُمْ وَاسْقُوا مِنْ غُدُرِكُمْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ تَوَكَّلَ لِي بِالشَّامِ وَأَهْلِهِ

 

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: It will turn out that you will be armed troops, one in Al-Shaam, one in the Yemen and one in Iraq. Ibn Hawalah said: Choose for me, Messenger of Allah, if I reach that time. He replied: Go to Al-Shaam, for it is Allah’s chosen land, to which his best servants will be gathered, but if you are unwilling, go to your Yemen, and draw water from your tanks, for Allah has on my account taken special charge of Al-Shaam and its people. (Abu Dawood, Authenticated by Al-Abaani)

Thirdly, The Pillar of the Book (ie Faith) was placed in Al-Shaam

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ حَوَالَةَ ، قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : ” رَأَيْتُ لَيْلَةَ أُسْرِيَ بِي عَمُودًا أَبْيَضَ كَأَنَّهُ لُؤْلُؤَةٌ تَحْمِلُهُ الْمَلائِكَةُ ، فَقُلْتُ : مَا تَحْمِلُونَ ؟ فَقَالُوا : عَمُودُ الإِسْلامِ ، أُمِرْنَا أَنْ نَضَعَهُ بِالشَّامِ ، وَبَيْنَا أَنَا نَائِمٌ رَأَيْتُ عَمُودَ الْكِتَابِ اخْتُلِسَ مِنْ تَحْتِ رَأْسِي ، فَظَنَنْتُ أَنَّ اللَّهَ تَعَالَى قَدْ تَخَلَّى مِنْ أَهْلِ الأَرْضِ ، فَأَتْبَعْتُهُ بَصَرِي وَإِذَا هُوَ نُورٌ سَاطِعٌ بَيْنَ يَدِي حَتَّى وُضِعَ بِالشَّامِ ” ، فَقَالَ ابْنُ حَوَالَةَ : يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ، خِرْ لِي . فَقَالَ : ” عَلَيْكَ بِالشَّامِ

I saw the night of my Isra a white pillar as if it were of pearl being carried by the angels, I said, “What are you carrying?” They said, “The pillar of Islam, and we were commanded to place it in Al-Shaam. And while I was sleep I saw the pillar of the book taken from underneath my head, and so I thought that Allah had takhala from the people of the world, and so I followed it with my sight and it was a bright light in front of me until it was placed in Al-Shaam. Ibn Hawala then said, “Oh Messenger of Allah, choose for me! He said, “Upon you is Al-Shaam.” Reported by Ibn Asakir in Tarikh Dimashq and authenticated by Ibn Hajr in Fath Al-Bari.

In another version reported by Al-Tabari in his tafsir the prophet (ﷺ) said,

رَأَيْتُ فِي الْمَنَامِ أَنَّهُمْ أَخَذُوا عَمُودَ الْكِتَابِ فَعَمَدُوا بِهِ إِلَى الشَّامِ، فَإِذَا وَقَعَتِ الْفِتْنَةُ فَالْأَمْنُ بِالشَّامِ

While I was alseep I saw that they had taken the pillar of the book and carried it to Al-Shaam, so when fitan (trials) touch down, faith will be in Al-Shaam.

Al-Haakim said, “This is a authentic hadith upon the conditions of the two shaykhs (Bukhari and Muslim) and Al-Dhahabi agreed. Al-Izz ibn Abdissalaam defined “The Pillar of the Book” to be “Iman” or faith. 

Fourthly, the Prophet (ﷺ) prayed for it to be blessed

عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ، قَالَ ذَكَرَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا فِي شَأْمِنَا، اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا فِي يَمَنِنَا ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالُوا وَفِي نَجْدِنَا‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا فِي شَأْمِنَا، اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا فِي يَمَنِنَا ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالُوا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَفِي نَجْدِنَا فَأَظُنُّهُ قَالَ فِي الثَّالِثَةَ ‏”‏ هُنَاكَ الزَّلاَزِلُ وَالْفِتَنُ، وَبِهَا يَطْلُعُ قَرْنُ الشَّيْطَانِ

Ibn ‘Umar reports that

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “O Allah! Bestow Your blessings on our Sham! O Allah! Bestow Your blessings on our Yemen.” The People said, “And also on our Najd.” He said, “O Allah! Bestow Your blessings on our Sham (north)! O Allah! Bestow Your blessings on our Yemen.” The people said, “O Allah’s Apostle! And also on our Najd.” I think the third time the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “There (in Najd) is the place of earthquakes and afflictions and from there comes out the side of the head of Satan.” (Bukhari)

Fifthly, Al-Shaam is a yardstick for the righteousness of the ummah

عَنْ مُعَاوِيَةَ بْنِ قُرَّةَ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ إِذَا فَسَدَ أَهْلُ الشَّامِ فَلاَ خَيْرَ فِيكُمْ

Ma’awiyyah ibn Qurrah reports from His father that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said,

“When the inhabitants of Ash-Sham become corrupt, then there is no good in you.”

(Recorded by Al-Tirmithi who graded it a Hassan Sahih hadith).

Sixthly, Al-Shaam will host a group of people unwavering upon the truth

قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي عُمَيْرُ بْنُ هَانِئٍ، أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ مُعَاوِيَةَ، يَقُولُ سَمِعْتُ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ “‏ لاَ يَزَالُ مِنْ أُمَّتِي أُمَّةٌ قَائِمَةٌ بِأَمْرِ اللَّهِ، لاَ يَضُرُّهُمْ مَنْ خَذَلَهُمْ وَلاَ مَنْ خَالَفَهُمْ حَتَّى يَأْتِيَهُمْ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ وَهُمْ عَلَى ذَلِكَ ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالَ عُمَيْرٌ فَقَالَ مَالِكُ بْنُ يُخَامِرَ قَالَ مُعَاذٌ وَهُمْ بِالشَّأْمِ‏.‏ فَقَالَ مُعَاوِيَةُ هَذَا مَالِكٌ يَزْعُمُ أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ مُعَاذًا يَقُولُ وَهُمْ بِالشَّامِ

‘Umayr ibn Hani stated that he heard Mu’awiyyah says,

“I heard the Prophet (ﷺ) saying, “A group of people amongst my followers will remain obedient to Allah’s orders and they will not be harmed by anyone who will not help them or who will oppose them, till Allah’s Order (the Last Day) comes upon them while they are still on the right path.”

‘Umayr said, Malik ibn Yukhamir said, “Mu’adh said, ‘they are in Al-Shaam”

Seventhly: It is a land of many martyrs

أتاني جبريل بالحمى والطاعون فأمسكت الحمى بالمدينة وأرسلت الطاعون إلى الشام، فالطاعون شهادة لأمتي ورحمة لهم ورجس على الكافرين‏

“Jibreel came to me with (carrying) fever and plague. Fever was kept in Medina and Plague was sent to Al-Shaam. Plague is martyrdom for my ummah and mercy and wrath upon the disbelievers. (Ahmad, authenticated by Al-Albani in Sahih Al-Targhib wal Tarhib)

And so plague has touched the region of Al-Shaam many times over from the dawn of Islam as early as the army of Abu ‘Ubaydah ibn Al-Jarrah in 638-639 AD in two waves and it is accounted that 25,000 soldiers died of that plague, of them Mu’adh ibn Jabal, his son Abdulrahman and Abu Ubaydah ibn Al-Jarrah himself. The Middle East Black Death epidemic in which it is reported that around 10,000 people died in Gaza between April 10 and May 10 1348. Plagues that affected the crusaders and cholera outbreaks over the past two centuries among others.

 The Virtues of Al- Masjid Al-Aqsa

It is the second masjid ever built

عَنْ أَبِي ذَرٍّ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ‏.‏ أَىُّ مَسْجِدٍ وُضِعَ أَوَّلُ قَالَ ‏”‏ الْمَسْجِدُ الْحَرَامُ ‏”‏‏.‏ قُلْتُ ثُمَّ أَىٌّ قَالَ ‏”‏ ثُمَّ الْمَسْجِدُ الأَقْصَى ‏”‏‏.‏ قُلْتُ كَمْ كَانَ بَيْنَهُمَا قَالَ ‏”‏ أَرْبَعُونَ ‏”‏‏.‏ ثُمَّ قَالَ ‏”‏ حَيْثُمَا أَدْرَكَتْكَ الصَّلاَةُ فَصَلِّ، وَالأَرْضُ لَكَ مَسْجِدٌ

Narrated Abu Dhaar:

I said, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! Which mosque was built first?” He replied, “Al-Masjid-ul-Haram.” I asked, “Which (was built) next?” He replied, “Al-Masjid-ul-Aqs-a (i.e. Jerusalem).” I asked, “What was the period in between them?” He replied, “Forty (years).” He then added, “Wherever the time for the prayer comes upon you, perform the prayer, for all the earth is a place of worshipping for you.”

Although it’s commonly considered that Ibrahim and Sulayman are the ones who built those masjids respectively, this hadith becomes difficult to resolve when there was more than a thousand years between them! Ibn Hajar mentions a number of positions on who built Al-Ka’abah and Bayt Al-Maqdis he says,

Adam built Al-Ka’abah and then his children built Al-Aqsa

Ibrahim built Al-Ka’abah and then he built Al-Aqsa so he built both

Ibrahim built the Ka’abah and Ya’qoob his grandson built Al-Aqsa and Sulayman rebuilt the Aqsa

It is where the prophets intended and migrated to:

It is where Abraham and Lot migrated to, it is where Moses intended to take Bani Israel

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ أُرْسِلَ مَلَكُ الْمَوْتِ إِلَى مُوسَى ـ عَلَيْهِمَا السَّلاَمُ ـ فَلَمَّا جَاءَهُ صَكَّهُ، فَرَجَعَ إِلَى رَبِّهِ، فَقَالَ أَرْسَلْتَنِي إِلَى عَبْدٍ لاَ يُرِيدُ الْمَوْتَ‏.‏ قَالَ ارْجِعْ إِلَيْهِ، فَقُلْ لَهُ يَضَعُ يَدَهُ عَلَى مَتْنِ ثَوْرٍ، فَلَهُ بِمَا غَطَّتْ يَدُهُ بِكُلِّ شَعَرَةٍ سَنَةٌ‏.‏ قَالَ أَىْ رَبِّ، ثُمَّ مَاذَا قَالَ ثُمَّ الْمَوْتُ‏.‏ قَالَ فَالآنَ‏.‏ قَالَ فَسَأَلَ اللَّهَ أَنْ يُدْنِيَهُ مِنَ الأَرْضِ الْمُقَدَّسَةِ رَمْيَةً بِحَجَرٍ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو هُرَيْرَةَ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ لَوْ كُنْتُ ثَمَّ لأَرَيْتُكُمْ قَبْرَهُ إِلَى جَانِبِ الطَّرِيقِ تَحْتَ الْكَثِيبِ الأَحْمَرِ ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالَ وَأَخْبَرَنَا مَعْمَرٌ عَنْ هَمَّامٍ حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو هُرَيْرَةَ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم نَحْوَهُ‏

The Angel of Death was sent to Moses when he came to Moses, Moses slapped him on the eye. The angel returned to his Lord and said, “You have sent me to a Slave who does not want to die.” Allah said, “Return to him and tell him to put his hand on the back of an ox and for every hair that will come under it, he will be granted one year of life.” Moses said, “O Lord! What will happen after that?” Allah replied, “Then death.” Moses said, “Let it come now.” Moses then requested Allah to let him die close to the Sacred Land so much so that he would be at a distance of a stone’s throw from it.” Abu Huraira added, “Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, ‘If I were there, I would show you his grave below the red sand hill on the side of the road.” (Bukhari)

The Sun stood still for the Conquest of Jerusalem

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ غَزَا نَبِيٌّ مِنَ الأَنْبِيَاءِ فَقَالَ لِقَوْمِهِ لاَ يَتْبَعْنِي رَجُلٌ مَلَكَ بُضْعَ امْرَأَةٍ وَهْوَ يُرِيدُ أَنْ يَبْنِيَ بِهَا وَلَمَّا يَبْنِ بِهَا، وَلاَ أَحَدٌ بَنَى بُيُوتًا وَلَمْ يَرْفَعْ سُقُوفَهَا، وَلاَ أَحَدٌ اشْتَرَى غَنَمًا أَوْ خَلِفَاتٍ وَهْوَ يَنْتَظِرُ وِلاَدَهَا‏.‏ فَغَزَا فَدَنَا مِنَ الْقَرْيَةِ صَلاَةَ الْعَصْرِ أَوْ قَرِيبًا مِنْ ذَلِكَ فَقَالَ لِلشَّمْسِ إِنَّكِ مَأْمُورَةٌ وَأَنَا مَأْمُورٌ، اللَّهُمَّ احْبِسْهَا عَلَيْنَا‏.‏ فَحُبِسَتْ، حَتَّى فَتَحَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “A prophet amongst the prophets carried out a holy military expedition, so he said to his followers, ‘Anyone who has married a woman and wants to consummate the marriage, and has not done so yet, should not accompany me; nor should a man who has built a house but has not completed its roof; nor a man who has sheep or shecamels and is waiting for the birth of their young ones.’ So, the prophet carried out the expedition and when he reached that town at the time or nearly at the time of the `Asr prayer, he said to the sun, ‘O sun! You are under Allah’s Order and I am under Allah’s Order O Allah! Stop it (i.e. the sun) from setting.’ (Bukhari)

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ، قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : ” مَا حُبِسَتِ الشَّمْسُ عَلَى بَشَرٍ قَطُّ إِلا عَلَى يُوشَعَ بْنِ نُونَ لَيَالِي سَارَ إِلَى بَيْتِ الْمَقْدِسِ

The sun has never stopped for any man besides Yusha bin Noon when he when he was campaigning to conquer Bayt al-Maqdis.” (Ahmed)

Bayt Al-Maqdis is the abode of the prophets.

It is the abode of Ya’qoob and the prayer place of Dawood, and the prayer place of Mary, and the abode of Sulayman and Zakariyyah, John the Baptist and Jesus.

The Prayer of Sulayman

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَمْرٍو، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ قَالَ ‏”‏ لَمَّا فَرَغَ سُلَيْمَانُ بْنُ دَاوُدَ مِنْ بِنَاءِ بَيْتِ الْمَقْدِسِ سَأَلَ اللَّهَ ثَلاَثًا حُكْمًا يُصَادِفُ حُكْمَهُ وَمُلْكًا لاَ يَنْبَغِي لأَحَدٍ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ وَأَلاَّ يَأْتِيَ هَذَا الْمَسْجِدَ أَحَدٌ لاَ يُرِيدُ إِلاَّ الصَّلاَةَ فِيهِ إِلاَّ خَرَجَ مِنْ ذُنُوبِهِ كَيَوْمَ وَلَدَتْهُ أُمُّهُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ النَّبِيُّ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ ‏”‏ أَمَّا اثْنَتَانِ فَقَدْ أُعْطِيَهُمَا وَأَرْجُو أَنْ يَكُونَ قَدْ أُعْطِيَ الثَّالِثَةَ

 

Abdullah Ibn Amr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) reports that the prophet (ﷺ) said,

“When Sulaiman bin Dawud finished building Baitil-Maqdis, he asked Allah for three things: judgment that was in harmony with His judgment, a dominion that no one after him would have, and that no one should come to this mosque, intending only to pray there, but he would emerge free of sin as the day his mother bore him.” The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Two prayers were granted, and I hope that the third was also granted.” (Ibn Majah, Authentic)

It is the first Qiblah

The prophet (ﷺ) for the entire time that he was in Mecca and the first 16 months that he was in Medinah would pray towards Jerusalem. And so while he was in Medinah he would pray with his back towards Mecca. This was until Allah revealed the verses in Surat Al- Baqarah.

Originally that Qiblah was the dome of the rock itself, and when Jerusalem surrendered in the year 15 H to the forces of Umar ibn Al-Khattab and Umar himself arrived he saw the Masjid and at that time it was ruin. He said, “Allahu Akbar, by the One in whose Hand is my soul, this is the masjid of David that the prophet (S) told us he was taken on a nights journey to.” He then told Ka’b Al-Ahbar do you know where the place of the rock is? He informed him and said dig there and you will find it, at the time it was a dump. When it was excavated or found Ka’b suggested to Umar that the masjid be placed behind the wall so that the two Qiblahs would merge and ‘Umar rebuked him for that and built the masjid in front of the rock.

The Prophet (ﷺ) was taken on a Night’s journey there.

The scholars mentioned that of the wisdoms on why the prophet (S) was taken to Bayt Al-Maqdis was to establish proof against the polytheists and those who doubted him. Meaning that if the prophet (ﷺ) had simply ascended to the heavens from Mecca there would have been no way for them to test his truthfulness. However when he claimed that he had traveled to Jerusalem, they asked him to describe to them Bayt Al-Maqdis, a place that they were familiar with due to their trade and travels. They also knew that the Messenger (ﷺ) had never been there and so when he was able to describe in detail Bayt Al-Maqdis it established the truthfulness of his claim, and if they were to believe him in that they would also believe in him traveling to the heavens.

Also, Bayt Al-Maqdis is the migratory point of the prophets and the first of the two Qiblahs and the second of the two masjids built and Allah took the prophet (ﷺ) there to honor him by having him pray in both places.

Prayers are Multiplied

عَنْ أَبِي ذَرٍّ ، قَالَ : تَذَاكَرْنَا وَنَحْنُ عِنْدَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ، أَيُّهُمَا أَفْضَلُ : أَمَسْجِدُ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَمْ بَيْتُ الْمَقْدِسِ ؟ ، فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : ” صَلاةٌ فِي مَسْجِدِي أَفْضَلُ مِنْ أَرْبَعِ صَلَوَاتٍ فِيهِ وَلَنِعْمَ الْمُصَلَّى هُوَ , وَلَيُوشِكَنَّ لأَنْ يَكُونَ لِلرَّجُلِ مِثْلُ شَطَنِ فَرَسِهِ مِنَ الأَرْضِ حَيْثُ يَرَى مِنْهُ بَيْتَ الْمَقْدِسِ خَيْرًا لَهُ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا جَمِيعًا ” ، قَالَ : أَوْ قَالَ : ” خَيْرٌ لَهُ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا وَمَا فِيهَا

Abu Dhar mentions we were discussing in the presence of the prophet (S) which Masjid was better, the Masjid of the prophet (S) or Bayt Al-Maqdis. He, (S), said, “A prayer in my masjid is better than four prayers there, and what an excellent prayer place it is, and there may come a time when a person having the size of a rope of land from which they can see Bayt Al-Maqdis is more beloved to them then the entire world.” Or he said, “the world and everything in it.” Reported by Al-Hakim which an authentic chain.

But this also alludes to something which we will close with and that is there will come a time when if a person had just a little bit of space in Al-Quds with a view of Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa. It would be so beloved to them. These are some of the virtues of Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa, there is more to be said about the Masjid and Al-Shaam in general especially when it comes to the End of Days as much of what was described of battles near the end of days, the return of Jesus Christ and the killing of the AntiChrist, as well as Gog and Magog who meet their demise in Al-Shaam.

What we ask for is to be allowed to pray in this Masjid, and be able to visit it and be a part of those who work towards freeing it and it’s people.

FAQ’s

What is Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa; it is not just the dome of the rock and it’s not just just the masjid itself it’s the entire prayer complex. That is all Al-masjid Al-Aqsa as mentioned by the scholars in the past and present.

Is it a Haram? No it is not a Haram, and it is not correct to call it the third Haram. A Haram is a place in which hunting and plucking of fruits is haram, and there is nothing to that effect in Al-Aqsa.

Is there anything special that is done there? It is like Masjid Al-Nabawi in that sense, there is nothing that is done there other than what is normally done in a Masjid.

Is there anything virtuous to be done at the Dome of the Rock? Ibn Taymiyyah writes about the ‘Dome’ that it was not prayed at by Umar or the companions, nor did any of the rightly guided khulafa build a dome over it. It was uncovered before, during the time of Umar, Uthman, Ali, Ma’awiyyah, Yazeed and Murwan, but when Abd Al-Malik took over Al-Shaam and he had his fitnah between him and Ibn Al-Zubayr people would go to perform the hajj and would meet with Ibn Al-Zubayr. AbdulMalik wanted to divert people away from Ibn Al-Zubayr, so he built the dome over the rock. As for the people of knowledge from the sahaah and tabi’een they did not exhalt the dome of the rock, it is a abrogated qiblah, just like Saturday was a holiday in the law of Mose and now Friday is the holiday in the law of Muhammad and so it is not persmissible for Muslims to specifiy Saturday or Sunday with any acts of worship as the Jews or Christians do.

A call to action:

A hadith that is controversial in its authenticity

 

عَنْ مَيْمُونَةَ، مَوْلاَةِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنَّهَا قَالَتْ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَفْتِنَا فِي بَيْتِ الْمَقْدِسِ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ ائْتُوهُ فَصَلُّوا فِيهِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ – وَكَانَتِ الْبِلاَدُ إِذْ ذَاكَ حَرْبًا – فَإِنْ لَمْ تَأْتُوهُ وَتُصَلُّوا فِيهِ فَابْعَثُوا بِزَيْتٍ يُسْرَجُ فِي قَنَادِيلِهِ

Narrated Maymunah ibn Sa’d:

I said: Messenger of Allah, tell us the legal injunction about (visiting) Bayt al-Muqaddas (the dome of the Rock at Jerusalem). The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: go and pray there. All the cities at that time were effected by war. If you cannot visit it and pray there, then send some oil to be used in the lamps.

Weak, Abu Dawood

(This hadith was authenticated by Al-Hafidh Al-Iraqi, Al-Tahawi and Al-Nawawi and declared weak by Al-Albani).

Though this hadith may not be authentic the meaning that it carries is one that we should internalize and that is that if a person is never able to make it to Bayt-Al-Maqdis that they act to serve it still in whatever capacity they can. And there are many ways that a person can serve Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa; communicating what is happening there to others, visiting the Masjid, supporting the people of Al-Aqsa especially those who are protecting the Masjid and praying there, as well as praying for them regularly in your own supplications,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ammar Al Shukry is the author of the Poetry Collection: "What the Pen Wrote." He is also the Imam and Resident Scholar of River Oaks Islamic Center in Houston, Texas.

1 Comment

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    Amatullah

    September 19, 2017 at 3:26 AM

    Amazing. SubhanAllah. I dint know there were so many ahadith regarding Ash-Shaam. May Allah have mercy on the people of Ash-Shaam.
    jazakhAllah khayr brother.

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Qur’an Contemplations: Openings of Timeless Truths | Sh Abu Aaliyah Surkheel

Shaykh Abu Aaliyah Surkheel

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From the outset, the Qur’an establishes a link between worshipping Allah and knowing Him. The first half of the ‘Opening Chapter’ of the Qur’an, Surat al-Fatihah, states:

.‎الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ. الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ. مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ. إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ

All praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds. The All-Merciful, the Compassionate. Master of the Day of Judgement. You alone we worship, and Your help alone do we seek. [Q.1:1-4]

The first three verses teach us who Allah is, so that hearts may love, hope, fear and be in awe of Him. Only then does Allah ask us to declare our singular devotion and worship of Him. It is as if the Qur’an is saying: ‘You can’t worship or adore whom you don’t know.’

Thus in the first verse, Allah describes Himself as rabb – ‘Lord’. In the Quranic language, rabb is Master, Protector, Caretaker, Provider. And just as water descends from above as blessings and rises again to the skies as steam or vapour, so to the sending down of divine blessings and gifts; they are transformed into declarations of loving thanks and praise that ascend to the Lord of the Worlds. Reflecting on Allah’s care and kindness to us, as rabb; as Lord, then, nurtures an abiding sense of love for Allah in our hearts.

Allah then reveals that He, by His very nature, is al-rahman – the All-Merciful, and by dint of His divine act is al-rahim – the Compassionate. It has been said that al-rahman is like the blue sky: serene, vast and full of light; a canopy of protective care over us and over all things. The divine name, al-rahim is like warm rays, so to speak, touching, bathing and invigorating lives, places and events with this life-giving mercy. Those who flee from this joyous warmth, and opt to cover themselves from the light, choose to live in conditions of icy darkness. Knowing Allah is al-rahman, al-rahim, invites optimism; it instils hope (raja’) in Allah’s impulse to forgive, pardon, pity, overlook and, ultimately, to accept what little we offer Him as needy, fragile and imperfect creatures.

The Prophet ﷺ and his Companions once saw a woman frantically searching for a person among the warn-out and wounded. She then found a babe, her baby. She picked it up, huddled it to her chest and gave it to feed. On seeing this, the Prophet asked if such a woman could ever throw her baby into a fire or harms way? They all resoundingly replied, no; she could never do that; her maternal instincts of mercy would never permit it! The Prophet ﷺ went on to tell them:

 لَلَّهُ أَرْحَمُ بِعِبَادِهِ مِنْ هَذِهِ بِوَلَدِهَا – ‘Allah is more merciful to His creation than that mother is to her child.’ [Al-Bukhari, no.5653]

The final name of Allah that we encounter in this surah is: Malik – Master, King, Owner of all. It is Allah as Master, as King of Judgement Day, who stands at the end of every path. All things come finally to Him to be judged, recompensed and given their final place for the beliefs that defined who they are, the deeds that defined what they stood for and the sins that stand in their way. To know Allah as Malik, therefore, is to be wary, as well as apprehensive. It is a reason for hearts to be filled with a certain sense of fear (khawf) as well as trepidation concerning the final reckoning and one’s ultimate fate.

The Prophet ﷺ once visited a young boy on his death bed and asked him how he was. The boy replied: ‘O Messenger of Allah, I am between hoping in Allah and fearing for my sins.’ To which the Prophet ﷺ said:

‎لاَ يَجْتَمِعَانِ فِي قَلْبِ عَبْدٍ فِي مِثْلِ هَذَا الْمَوْطِنِ إِلاَّ أَعْطَاهُ اللَّهُ مَا يَرْجُو وَآمَنَهُ مِمَّا يَخَافُ

‘The like of these two qualities never unite in the heart of a servant except that Allah grants him what he hopes for and protects him from what he fears.” [Al-Tirmidhi, no.983]

Only after being made aware of these four names of Allah which, in turn, instil in hearts a sense of love, fear and hope in Allah, are we led to stating: You alone do we worship, and Your help alone do we seek. In other words, the order to worship comes after the hearts having come to know Allah – the object of their loving worship, reverence and adoration.

The surah concludes by teaching us to give voice to the universal hope, by asking to be guided to the path of Allah’s people and to help steer clear of the paths of misguidance and perdition:

‎اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ. صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ. غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّالِّينَ

Guide us to the Straight Path; the path of those whom You have favoured; not of those who incur wrath, nor of those who are astray. [Q.1:5-7]

Ameen!

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More Baby, Less Shark: Planning For Kids In The Masjid

Zeba Khan

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Of all the challenges that your focus can face in prayer, there are few as insidious as Baby Shark.

Doo-doo-doo doo. Baby Shark, doo doo doo doo. Baby Shark.

If you are not a parent, or have the type of amnesia that parents sometimes develop once their kids grow up, then you might assume that not having kids in the masjid is actually a solution to Baby-Shark induced distraction.

The inconvenient (and often sticky) truth is that not having kids in the masjid is a serious problem, not a solution. No kids in the masjid means an entire generation of the Muslim community growing up outside of the Muslim community.

Restricting the presence of children and assigning masjid priority to fully-formed, quietly attentive, and spiritually disciplined attendees – like adults – is a bit like restricting health club membership to triathletes. You’re already fit. So can we please let someone else use the treadmill, even if they’re not using it as well as you could?

The masjid is the center of the community for all Muslims, not a sanctuary for the preservation of reverent silence.  For a more detailed discussion on this, please see this great Soundvision article, Children in the Masjid, Making Space for Our Future.

For suggestions on how to help your children enjoy the masjid without Baby-Sharking the rest of the congregation to tears, I present the following recommendations.

Come Prepared

Rather than assume your child will be entertained by nothing but the carpet and how many weird faces they can spot in the bilaterally symmetrical patterns, bring them something to play with. One way to do this is to prepare your child a special bag for the masjid.

Stock it with as many things applicable:

  • A reusable water bottle: Select a bottle that your child can drink from on their own, preferably not likely to tip or spill onto the masjid carpet. No one appreciates a soggy sujood
  • A nut-free snack: If you think it’s too much trouble to be considerate of people with life-threatening allergies, consider how much trouble it is to bury a child who dies of anaphylaxis. Children share snacks in the masjid, and that’s ok as long as no one dies.
  • A small, quiet toy: The dollar store can be tremendously helpful in keeping your inventory fresh and financially feasible. Please be aware of swallowing hazards, since your child is likely to share the toy with others. One hopes.
  • A sweater or blanket: Sitting for long periods of time in an air-conditioned building can make anyone cold.
  • Art Supplies: Pack crayons, pencils, or markers IF you feel your child can refrain from drawing on the walls, or allowing other, smaller children from doing so. Magic Erasers don’t work on the prayer rug.

Reverie in Blue – Artist Unknown

Critically- and I do mean critically- don’t let your children access the special masjid bag unless they are in the masjid. The last thing you want is for your child to be bored with its contents before they even make it to prayers. Storing this bag somewhere inaccessible to your child can help keep its contents fresh and interesting longer.

Non-parent tip: Keep allergen-free lollipops in your pocket. Reward the kids sitting nicely (with parents’ permission) and you have killed two birds with one stone.

  1. You’ve  helped a child establish a happy memory and relationship to the masjid.
  2. Kids with lollipops in their mouths make less noise.

Do not pack:

Balls: Not even small ones, not even for small children. Your child may not have the gross-motor skills to kick or throw a ball at people who are praying, but there will always be children in the masjid who do. They will take your child’s ball, and they will play ball with it, because that’s what balls are for. Consider also the potential damage to light fixtures, ceiling fans, audio/video equipment, and the goodwill of people who get hit, run down, or kicked in the shins. The masjid is just not the place to play ball, even if the floor is green and has lines on it.

Not every green thing with lines is a soccer field.

Scooters: Do not bring scooters, skateboards, heelies, or other mobility toys that would turn your child a faster-moving object than they already are. Your child’s long-term relationship with the community can be fostered by not crashing into it.

Slime: Slime and carpets do, in fact, go together. They go together so well as to be inextricable of one-another. Please, do not bring slime to the masjid.

Gum: Please, for the love of everyone’s socks, no gum.

Toy Guns, Play-weapons: It should go without saying. And yet, I have seen nerf guns, foam swords, and toy guns in masjid. Apart from the basic indoor etiquette of not sword-fighting, nor launching projectiles in a house of worship, please be sensitive. No one wants to see guns in their masjid.

Non-parent tip: If children playing near you are making “too much noise” smile and find another place to sit if possible. It is not always possible to ignore or move away from disruptions, but glaring, eye-rolling, and making tsk-tsk sounds is not likely to effect long-term change in either the child’s behavior or the parents’ strategic abilities. At best, you will embarrass the parents. At worst, you will push families away from the faith and the community while confirming the opinion that masjids are full of cranky, impatient people who wish kids didn’t exist in the masjid while criticizing Muslim youth for not being there. 

Avoid Electronics. But if you can’t…

I am prefacing this suggestion with a disclaimer. Habitually putting your child on a smartphone or tablet so that you can “enjoy” the masjid without the “hassle” of you making sure they behave properly is not good parenting. A child being physically present but mentally absent in the masjid is not a long-term strategy that any parent should get behind.

Having said that, if you do give your kids a tablet or phone in the masjid, please disable Youtube and bring over-ear headphones.

Do not rely on YouTube Kids to take responsibility for your child’s content choices either. Long after Baby Shark has sunk to the depths of the internet, there will always be loud, inappropriate, or just plainly distracting and disturbing things that your child can access on it.

Instead of relying on Youtube at all, install child-friendly apps that you know won’t have external links embedded in their ads, and won’t lead to inadvertent, inappropriate viewing in case your child – or my child sitting next to them – click out of their app and into the great wide world. I highly recommend anything from the Toca Boca suite of apps.

Parents at Taraweeh – Making it Work

Non-parent tip: If you see a child on a tablet, do not lecture their parent. As a special needs parent, there are times when I too allow my autistic son onto a tablet to prevent a meltdown or try to get just 15 more minutes out of him so I can finish attending a class. Do not automatically assume laziness or incompetence on behalf of parents whose children you see on an electronic device. 

Reward for Success, in this life and the next

You show up in the masjid because you hope for a reward from Allah. As an adult, you have the ability to delay the gratification of this reward until well after you die. Your kids, however, don’t.

Motivate your kids with small rewards for small accomplishments as you remind them of the reward that Allah has for them too. You can choose to reward a child after every two rakah, or after every two days. How often you reward them, and what you choose to reward them for depends on their age and their capabilities.

Make dua for your kids when you reward them. If they get a small handful of gummy bears after a good evening at the masjid, pair it with a reminder of the bigger reward too.

“Here’s the ice cream I promised you for doing awesome in the masjid today. May Allah grant you mountains of ice cream in Jannah so big you can ski down them. Ameen.”

Non-parent tip: It’s not your job to discipline the children of others, but you can help praise them. Randomly compliment kids who are sitting nicely, sharing toys, playing quietly, or wearing cute headgear. Their parents will likely not mind.

Reinforce the rules – but define them first.

“Be Good In the Masjid” is a vastly different instruction depending on who you’re instructing. For a teenager, praying with the congregation is reasonable. For a two-year-old, not climbing the congregation is reasonable.

Define your rules and frame them in a positive context that your children can remember. Remind them of what they’re supposed to be doing rather than calling them out for what they are not. For example, no running in the masjid vs. please walk in the masjid.

Avoid saying this:

Try saying this instead:

Stay out of my purse Please use the toys in your bag
Don’t draw on the walls Crayons only on the paper
No yelling Please use your “inside” voice
No food on the carpet Please have your snack in the hallway
Don’t run off Stay where I can see you, which is from [here] to [here.]
No peeing the carpet We’re taking a potty break now, and we’ll go again after the 4th rakah’.
No hitting Hands nicely to yourself.

While it might look like semantics, putting your energy into “To-Do’s” versus the “To-Don’ts” has long-term benefits. If your child is going to hear the same thing from you a hundred times before they get it right, you can help them by telling them what the right thing is. Think of the difference between the To-Do statement “Please use a tissue,” versus the To-Don’t statement of “Don’t pick your nose.” You can tell you kid a hundred times not to pick his or her nose, but if you never tell them to use a tissue, you’re missing the opportunity to replace bad behavior with its functional alternative.

Plan for Failure

Kids don’t walk the first time they try. They won’t sit nicely the first time you ask them to either. Decide what your exact plan is in case you have to retreat & regroup for another day.

  • How much noise is too much? Do your kids know what you expect of them?
  • Where are the physical boundaries you want your kids to remain in? Do they know what those boundaries are?
  • For kids too small to recognize boundaries, how far are you ok with a little one toddling before you decide that the potential danger may not be worth it?
  • Talk to your spouse or other children and get everyone on board. Being on the same page can look like different things according to different age groups. A plan of action can be “If we lose Junior Ibn Abu, we’re taking turns in prayer,” or “If you kick the Imam again, we’re all going home.”
  • If your child is too small, too rowdy, or too grumpy to sit quietly at the masjid, please take turns with your spouse. The masjid is a sweet spiritual experience that both parents should be able to enjoy, even if that means taking turns.

Don’t Give up

If you find yourself frustrated with being unable to enjoy the masjid the way you did before your child starting sucking on prayer rugs, remember this:

Raising your children with love and patience is an act of worship, even if it’s not the act of worship you thought you were coming to the masjid for. No matter what your expectations are of them – or how far they are from meeting them – the ultimate goal is for your child to love Allah and love the House of Allah.

When they get things right, praise them and reward them, and remind them that Allah’s reward is coming too. When they get it wrong, remind them and forgive them, and don’t give up. The only way children learn to walk is by falling down over, and over, and over again.

Avoiding the masjid because your kids don’t behave correctly is like not allowing them to walk because they keep falling down. The key is to hold their hand until they get it right, and maintain close supervision until you can trust them to manage on their own, InshaAllah.

May Allah make it easy for you and bless your children with love for the masjid in this life and love for Allah that will guide them through the next. Aaaaaaaameeeeeeeeen

Children @ Taraweeh: Storm in a Teacup

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Etiquettes of Praying For Your Brother And Sister | Imam Omar Suleiman

Level up your duas by including those who least expect to be in your most private moments and get angels to say Ameen

Imam Omar Suleiman

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It’s very common to find in the stories of the pious predecessors those who kept lists of people they prayed for on a nightly basis. This was a testimony to their sincerity, selflessness, and sacrifice. The basis of the act comes from a famous hadith:

وعنه أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يقول‏:‏ ‏ “‏دعوة المرء المسلم لأخيه بظهر الغيب مستجابة، عند رأسه ملك موكل كلما دعا لأخيه بخير قال الملك الموكل به‏:‏ آمين، ولك بمثل‏”‏ ‏(‏‏(‏رواه مسلم‏)‏‏)‏‏.‏

“The supplication of a believer for his brother in his absence will certainly be answered. Every time he makes a supplication for good for his brother, the angel appointed for this particular task says Ameen! May it be for you too’.” [Sahih Muslim].

Since the supplication of the fasting person is accepted, this is the best time to do it. But it’s also important to be intentional about how you pray for someone. Any prayer for your brother or sister is accepted if sincere, but it becomes even more blessed when made personal and customized. Under normal circumstances, It’s also best to keep your personal prayers to yourself and without the knowledge of the person you’re praying for. Sometimes it’s ok to tell someone you’re praying for them for the sake of solidarity. But the general rule is that it’s best to conceal it even from them for the sake of sincerity. Also, make sure to include in your prayers people who would never expect you to pray for them.

Then as you start to make dua for someone, think about how you can diversify the supplications and people you make dua for so that you are 1. Touching numerous lives 2. Covering different issues and ailments 3. Guaranteeing that the return on your prayers is also comprehensive.

So, in particular, think of a person in each of the following categories and make dua for them daily:

  1. A person who has good qualities but hasn’t been guided to good faith. Make dua for guidance for that person so that perhaps Allah grants you further guidance.
  2. A person who is involved in good work, that Allah accepts from them and keeps them sincere so that perhaps Allah uses you for His cause and keeps you sincere.
  3. A person who is committing a public sin. Make dua that Allah forgives that person. Imagine if the dua is accepted for a major public sin, then the angels will say Ameen for you also and perhaps Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) will forgive you for both your public and private sins.
  4. A person who is ill, that Allah grants him or her full health so that perhaps Allah will either heal you if you are sick or preserve your health for you if you are healthy.
  5. A person who is struggling financially or suffering a worldly hardship, ask Allah to help that person so that perhaps Allah will help you in that same situation.
  6. A person who has a particular blessing that you wish for, that Allah maintains that blessing upon that person without making it a means of taking him or her away from goodness in the hereafter so that perhaps Allah will grant it for you or maintain your blessings upon you without making them a means of harm for you.

This is how you bring together the Prophetic tradition of praying for your brother/sister, and the other tradition about not truly believing until you love for your sister or brother what you love for yourself.

May Allah accept your Ramadan and Laylatul Qadr, as well as all of your good deeds. And may He forgive you for your sins, and distance you from all that distances you from Him. Ameen

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