Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Saved by God !

This happened almost two weeks back. I usually iron my clothes in my room. That particular day I took the iron to another room in the house to iron my clothes. I put the iron plug in the electric socket and there was a fire spark, which turned to fire in few seconds. I screamt, but stood watching it to keep tab on the fire. I was fumbling for words watching it expand and move upwards with force. I didn't know how to stop it, and at the same time scared and wondering what to do. Nor could I remove the pin-plug from the socket. Then as if by magic, the fire went till a certain level and started to diminish as if sensing my inner wishes. All this happened within a minute. My Dad had rushed and stood facing me and then tapped on my shoulder to pull me out of my shocked state and pacify me! My mom was worried and wondering aloud what happend to me, she appeared behind my dad. They thought that I got an electric shock and were happy to see me safe. They could not see the electric board behind them where the little by little dimishing fire was still on!

I was almost stammering while pointing to the switchboard and telling my Dad to look there. There were shocked to see the almost blackened switchboard and the fire which was almost out now! The fire extinguished by itself and dad then switched off the button and pulled out the three pin plug and guess what...... !!! One metal pin had almost melted with the intensity of the electric fire. So what caused the fire to die down so meekly with the opposite intensity with which it had raged? Almost 10-12 inches above the switched board at a slight angle is a big frame of 'Dua-e-Qunoot'

Transliteration of Dua-e-Qunoot:

"Allah humma inna nasta-eenoka wa nastaghfiruka wa nu'minu bika wa natawakkalu alaika wa nusni alaikal khair, wa nashkuruka wala nakfuruka wa nakhla-oo wa natruku mai yafjuruka, Allah humma iyyaka na'budu wa laka nusalli wa nasjudu wa ilaika nas aaa wa nahfizu wa narju rahma taka wa nakhshaa azaabaka inna azaabaka bil kuffari mulhikun"

Translation of Dua-e-Qunoot:

"O' Allah! We implore You for help and beg forgiveness of You and believe in You and rely on You and extol You and we are thankful to You and are not ungrateful to You and we alienate and forsake those who disobey You. O' Allah! You alone do we worship and for You do we pray and prostrate and we betake to please You and present ourselves for the service in Your
cause and we hope for Your mercy and fear Your chastisement. Undoubtedly, Your torment is going to overtake infidels".

The fire had almost flamed and reached till the frame (known as 'toghra' in urdu) and then before it could touch it, it died down all of a sudden. Thanks to Allah for saving my life and of any harm coming to my parents, who were with me at that time.

The error was traced to the iron itself next day by the electrician as all parts seemed to be intact in the switchboard (another wonder!) though it was blackened from outside and fire came from within and the pin in the socket had also melted.

God is Great and greater are the duas / verses He has blessed us with!

Monday, September 05, 2011

BODYGUARD - An emotional review

Watching BODYGUARD is a learning or touching experience if you see it that way (forget the weak screenplay)... Watch it if you are an emotional person. What I learnt from the movie:

1) Many people play with people's emotions through internet, by hiding their own details/ identity, including fotos n face and talking of romance. Finally they may / may not reveal their identity in the end for genuine or fake reasons. But if one of them is sincere n genuine, he /she often keeps waiting n ends up hurt.

2) Salman's character shows so much sincerity and loyalty towards his duty and any and everything he does in life - even love. It touches your heart. Its rare to find such people in life. So if you find them, don't let them go... tomorrow you might repent.

His role in the movie reminded me of his character in Bandhan, where he is totally dedicated to his sister and accompanies her to her husband's house as part of her dowry since childhood.

3) No matter how rich and influential a person or how beautiful his daughter, if the girl does not find a groom at the right age and remains unmarried, her father's situation over the period of time changes from asking someone if he can marry his daughter TO asking any person if he can accept ('apnana') his daughter. N then too his tongue falters. It makes you cry. N this is so true in Asian society where at every step a girl is questioned for her remaining unmarried for no fault of hers.

4) The little boy's guilt on behalf of his mother is also quite touching. He wants to rectify his mother's fault and yet does not want others to know about it. It melts your heart.

5) And as Salman Khan proves- we love people because of what they are and their qualities and their love for us, and not because of their appearance or age or any other factor.

All of these things have left a deep mark on me and left me thinking and wondering and emotional too. In all, I found the movie sweet and helped me sort certain things/ doubts / people in life.

Kareena's clothes are excellent. It brings the long kurta back in fashion teamed with various combos - jeans, patiala salwar, harem pants and a simple salwar..

(The foto here is from a very touching scene from the movie where Salman does not even know who he is talking to!)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Be Moderate - Do not tax yourself with Religion

We see a lot of people straining themselves over issues, debates on Islam and what is right and wrong... and get too involved in things, often resulting in negativity rather than positivity. Just as excesses in anything is wrong so it is in religion also. Islam is a very simple religion, with Quran with the Rules laid down and Hadiths to help us implement the Quran and show us how day to day life is to be lived.

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way. So you should not be extremists, but try to be near to perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded; and gain strength by worshipping in the mornings, the nights." (Sahih Bukhari - No 38)

Narrated 'Aisha: Once the Prophet came while a woman was sitting with me. He said, "Who is she?" I replied, "She is so and so," and told him about her (excessive) praying. He said disapprovingly, "Do (good) deeds which is within your capacity (without being overtaxed) as Allah does not get tired (of giving rewards) but (surely) you will get tired and the best deed (act of Worship) in the sight of Allah is that which is done regularly." (Sahih Bukhari - No 41)

Narrated Anas bin Malik: The Prophet said, "Facilitate things to people (concerning religious matters), and do not make it hard for them and give them good tidings and do not make them run away (from Islam)." (Sahih Bukhari - No 69)

EditHow the Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammed SAS

Quran was revealed to our beloved Prophet Muhammed (Peace be upon him) in the month of Ramzan....

Below are two Hadiths which explain how :

Narrated Said bin Jubair: Ibn 'Abbas in the explanation of the Statement of Allah. 'Move not your tongue concerning (the Quran) to make haste therewith." (75.16) Said "Allah's Apostle used to bear the revelation with great trouble and used to move his lips (quickly) with the Inspiration." Ibn 'Abbas moved his lips saying, "I am moving my lips in front of you as Allah's Apostle used to move his." Said moved his lips saying: "I am moving my lips, as I saw Ibn 'Abbas moving his." Ibn 'Abbas added, "So Allah revealed 'Move not your tongue concerning (the Qur'an) to make haste therewith. It is for us to collect it and to give you (O Muhammad) the ability to recite it (the Qur'an) (75.16-17) which means that Allah will make him (the Prophet ) remember the portion of the Qur'an which was revealed at that time by heart and recite it. The Statement of Allah: And 'When we have recited it to you (O Muhammad through Gabriel) then you follow its (Qur'an) recital' (75.18) means 'listen to it and be silent.' Then it is for Us (Allah) to make It clear to you' (75.19) means 'Then it is (for Allah) to make you recite it (and its meaning will be clear by itself through your tongue). Afterwards, Allah's Apostle used to listen to Gabriel whenever he came and after his departure he used to recite it as Gabriel had recited it."

Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: Allah's Apostle was the most generous of all the people, and he used to reach the peak in generosity in the month of Ramadan when Gabriel met him. Gabriel used to meet him every night of Ramadan to teach him the Qur'an. Allah's Apostle was the most generous person, even more generous than the strong uncontrollable wind (in readiness and haste to do charitable deeds).

(Both above Hadiths are derived from Sahih Bukhari)

Sunday, August 07, 2011


With formation of new sects in Islam in recent times, check verses from Surah Al Anam :

Say, "He is the [one] Able to send upon you affliction from above you or from beneath your feet or to confuse you [so you become] sects and make you taste the violence of one another." Look how We diversify the signs that they might understand. (Surah Al Anam :Verse 65)

Indeed, those who have divided their religion and become sects - you, [O Muhammad], are not [associated] with them in anything. Their affair is only [left] to Allah ; then He will inform them about what they used to do (Surah Al Anam : Verse 159)

Very importance verses in today's times when we are getting divided amongst ourselves on basis of various schools of thought! Think about it.

Saturday, August 06, 2011


The topic on Tawassul is really vast, and hence dividing the same into two parts. Once again, as stated in Part 1, I am reiterating that I am not here for debates, but just an analysis in my capacity as a simple Muslim, yet to master the Basics of Islam first.

We have all read the Salafi views on Tawassul and those who haven't, it is available on almost every second forum now and most of Dr Naik's sites and links too. Since pro- Tawassul detailed articles are few, let us analyse it here. And of course, if it makes sense to you, the choice is yours.

Contemplate on the following verse of the Qur’an in Surah Al-Hujurat (49) Verse 10:
إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَ أَخَوَيْكُمْ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ
Innama almuminoona ikhwatun faaslihoo bayna akhawaykum waittaqoo Allaha laAAallakum turhamoona
(All believers are but brothers, therefore seek reconciliation between your two brothers, and fear Allah, so that you may be blessed with mercy).

But instead of uniting as a community, we are divided in views, declaring others as 'kufr' and practising 'shirk' without thinking twice. I have come across people even stating on assumptions alone that those paying respect to Walis, are actually praying to them. Nor does offering 'salaam' to our Beloved Prophet SAS mean that we are worshipping him. How can they look into another's heart (which only Allah can) and question another's Faith (Aqeeda). Such an act itself displeases Allah, as the right to decide who is right and who is wrong lies with HIM alone. Also, it is only in His powers to forgive whom He Wills.

Before proceeding to an article by By Mufti Muhammad Ibn Adam , I invite your attention to the following verse from Quran - Surah An-Nisa (4) Verse 64:
We did not send any Messenger but to be obeyed by the leave of Allah. Had they, after having wronged themselves, come to you and sought forgiveness from Allah, and had the Messenger prayed for their forgiveness, they would certainly have found Allah Most-Relenting, Very- Merciful.

This verse talks clearly about Prophet Muhammed SAS interceding (waseelah) for forgiveness for others. But some present day scholars try to confuse people by saying that the people believing in the concept of 'Tawassul' are actually praying to / worshiping the entity / medium itself. This of course, is incorrect. The people who do this or even bow down at dargahs, should be corrected. But assuming that everyone commits such an act is being judgemental. Our aim should be to wipe the incorrect practices within the religion, instead of branding everyone 'kufr' and declaring that a particular act itself is incorrect.

An Article by Mufti Muhammad Ibn Adam :

Tawassul (using intermediaries in supplication to Allah) through the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace), Awliya and righteous believers is permitted, rather recommended according to the four schools of Sunni Islam.

This has been the mainstream belief held by scholars of this Ummah throughout the eras. The Salaf (predecessors) from the earliest generations had this understanding and this has been the way of the four Sunni Madhhabs in Fiqh.

The meaning of Tawassul is: To ask Allah Almighty through the medium and intercession of another person. For example, one says: “O Allah! I ask forgiveness for my sins through the Wasila (intercession) of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)”.

Tawassul can be carried out through one's own righteous deeds, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), righteous people who have passed away and those who are still alive. All these types of Tawassul are permitted and acceptable.

The permissibility of ‘Tawassul’ is proven from the Qur'an, Sunnah, continued practice of the Ummah and reason.

Some of the proofs on the validity of Tawassul:

1) Allah Most High says:
“O you who believe! Fear Allah and seek a means (wasila) to him” (Surah al-Ma'ida, V: 35)

The word “Wasila” (a means of approach) in its general indication includes Tawassul (intercession) by persons, and through actions.

2) Allah Almighty says:
If they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come to you (Prophet, Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and asked Allah's forgiveness and the Messenger of Allah had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah indeed forgiving and Most Merciful”. (Surah al-Nisa, V: 64)

These two verses are clear on the permissibility and recommendation of Tawassul. The distinction made by some, between the living and the dead in this matter only comes from one who believes in the perishing of souls upon death, which would lead to denying resurrection.

Also, when one uses Tawassul in supplication, one does not ask and seek from other than Allah. Only the high position, status and rank of the person through whom Wasila is carried out is used as intercession. In other words, the servant is saying: “O Allah! This certain Prophet or servant of yours is very close to you. I do not possess any good deeds, but I have love for the pious. O Allah! Pardon me and forgive my sins due to this love and connection I have with this pious servant of yours”.

Now, every person with a sound mind will determine the fact that there is no reason to distinguish and differentiate between the living and the dead. This is the reason why scholars such as Imam Subki, Hafidh Ibn Kathir, Imam an-Nawawi and many others have declared the permissibility of Tawassul through the righteous, whether alive or passed away to the Mercy of Allah.

3) Imam al-Tirmidhi (Allah have Mercy on him) and others relate from Uthman ibn Hunaif (Allah be pleased with him):

“A blind man came to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) and said: “I've been afflicted in my eyesight, so pray to Allah for me". The Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “Go perform ablution (Wudu), perform two rak'at Salat and then say: “O Allah! I ask you and turn to you through my Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of Mercy. O Muhammad! I seek your intercession with my lord for the return of my eyesight, that it may be fulfilled. O Allah! Grant him intercession for me”. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) then said: “and if there is some other need, do the same”. (Recorded by Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Nasa'i, Tabrani and others, with a sound chain of narrators).

The express content of this Hadith proves the legal validity of Tawassul through a living person. It implicitly proves the validity of Tawassul through a deceased person, as Tawassul through a living or dead person is not through a physical body or through life or death, rather, through the positive meaning attached to the person in both life and death.

4) Moreover, Tabrani relates in his ' Mu'jam al-Kabir ' reporting from the same Uthman ibn Hunaif that a person repeatedly visited him concerning something he needed, but Uthman paid no attention to him. The man met his son and complained to him about the matter- this was after the death of the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) and after the caliphates of Abu Bakr and Umar (Allah be pleased with them)- so Uthman (who collected Hadith and was from the learned) said : “Go to the place of Wudu, then come to the Masjid, perform two Rak'ats and then say : “O Allah!, I ask you and turn to you through our Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of Mercy. O Muhammad! I turn through you to my lord, that He fulfil my need”....... until the end of the Hadith.

This is an explicit and clear text from a Companion proving the legal validity of Tawassul through the dead. The Hadith has been classed as authentic (Sahih) by al-Bayhaqi, Mundhiri, al-Haythami and many others.

5) In the Hadith recorded by Imam al-Bukhari and others, the Companion Umar (Allah be pleased with him) made Tawassul through the uncle of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), Abbas (Radhi Allahu Anhu), in asking Allah for rain at the time of drought.

These and many other Ahadith are clear on the permissibility and validity of Tawassul. This is the reason, why the great traditional Sunni scholars have held this belief throughout the ages. Even in the present era, most of the Muslims who belong to the Ahl Sunnah Wa al-Jama'ah in most parts of the world have this belief.

Many books in Arabic and other languages have been written in refutation of those who regard Tawassul as Shirk. Scholars from Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Kuwait, Emirates, India, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia itself have rejected the position held by the minority -so called- Salafi sect.

As far as some of the scholars of the Haramayn are concerned, there views in matters of Aqida are generally from the blind following of Imam Ibn Taymiyya... The Imam, despite having great knowledge, in many issues chose a path which was different from the path of the majority of the Ummah, and the Scholars by and large did not accept his views.

At the same time, one should be precautious in not having any wrong belief in Aqidah. There should be the conviction that Allah Almighty alone has influence over everything, outwardly and inwardly. Also, one should NOT have the belief that the supplication (Dua) is not accepted without Tawassul.
Tawassul is a way, not the entire means.
Reference :

I also request the readers of this article to read the beautiful analysis by Ebrahim Saifuddin through his blog -
http://ebrahimsaifuddin.wordpress.com/2009/05/24/tawassul/, which even a layman can easily understand. And his views are again purely analytical without biases and accusations.

And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best

Friday, August 05, 2011


Recently I've found myself surrounded by a lot of questions and debates on certain topics where different schools of thought hold different views. One such topic is 'Tawassul'. Though I stay away from such debates because I feel that I am yet to perfect basics of religion. For me, these are non-issues, though people and so-called scholars are putting a lot of time and effort into it, instead of applying the time more constructively in uniting people and helping the destitutes. But everyone wants to earn 'sawaab' through the most simplest channels - spreading religious information. And sadly, we have begin to differ on that too. So a message, which is sent or posted on a forum in good faith, actually becomes a means of ugly debates. Though, now it has become fashionable to forward religious messages / texts / link for the sake of 'Sadqa', sadly very few people take the trouble to follow it themselves. We are talking and giving speeches and debating on non-issues, and ignoring greater forms of worships and basics like offering five times 'Salaah' (prayer), 'Zakat' (charity) etc....

Islam, sadly, is being divided into so many divisions and sects of late, clearly showing sign of end times. From Shia-Sunnis, we now have various sects within these main divisions. We have some who say follow Sunnah and Quran, but confused on aspects of Sunnah (Hadiths), and slowly debating the Hadiths. Then surprisingly on my search, I came across a section which tells us to discard the Hadiths completely and only follow Quran. Then there are some who follow extremities in some areas, often branding the others as same, giving other schools of thought a point to discuss and debate on and confuse people with little knowledge even more. If everyone thinks himself / herself to be a scholar on important issues, then there are bound to be errors. Those who find it difficult to clear school / college exams or understand subjects well, are now talking on topics of the highest calibre, by just hearing or reading something somewhere, without reasoning.

Extremism has no place in Islam. You cannot be too engrossed in religious affairs that you give up wordly life. Nor can we be too detached that we do not follow basic tenets of Islam, but never miss opportunities to debate and show that all others are wrong except he/ she.

Quotes from Quran and Hadith on Extremism:

“We made you to be a community of the middle way, so that (with the example of your lives) you might bear witness to the truth before all mankind.” (Qur’an, 2:143)

“Do not be people without minds of your own, saying that if others treat you well you will treat them well, and that if they do wrong you will do wrong to them. Instead, accustom yourselves to do good if people do good and not to do wrong (even) if they do evil.” (Al- Tirmidhi)

My articles on Islam have mostly been on the basics and teachings, which affect day to day life. That, and clarifying misconceptions about Islam. But due to unnecessary and time consuming debates (one could have utilised the time in useful and social activity!) between one sect and the other, and hatred being spread within the religion on certain issues, I am posting an article, on one such topic of debate. This is the most convincing article I've come across to clear doubts on TAWASSUL, also known as 'Waseela' in Urdu and means 'Intercession'. I am not posting it on an open forum or facebook or elsewhere to attract too many comments, subsequently going into negativity, because my purpose is not to divide. May Allah forgive my errors. Pasting an article below, which will help many clear their doubts

An article by Ml. Muhammad ibn Moulana Haroon Abasoomar :
(CHECKED & APPROVED: Mufti Ebrahim Desai,Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In'aamiyyah )


Tawassul and Waseelah literally means to make a request or supplicate through a means. It is permissible for one to request Allah Ta'ala to accept his du'aa through the medium of some deeds or the rank of certain individuals as this may be closer to acceptance.


1. To make Tawassul to Almighty Allah that He accepts the Du'aa due to one having performed a certain good deed is permissible and unanimously accepted. It is supported by the Hadith of Sahih Bukhari in which three people were trapped in a cave. Each of them made Du'aa to Allah Ta'ala to move the obstructing rock and they requested Allah Ta'ala to accept their du'aas due to some good deed that each of them had done.

2. To make Tawassul with the names and attributes of Almighty Allah: This is also permissible and is supported by the following verse, 'And Allah has beautiful names, so call unto Him through them.' (Surah A'araaf v.180). Example: If someone says, 'Oh Allah, I ask you through your attributes and beautiful names to grant my specific wish.'

3. To make Tawassul to Allah Ta'ala through the rank and position of certain individuals, alive or deceased, in the sight of Almighty Allah This includes the Prophets [alayhimus salaam], the martyrs and any other pious servant of Allah. Example: If one says, 'Oh Allah, I beseech you to accept my du'aa due to the status of Rasulullah [Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam] in Your eyes.' This form of Tawassul is also permissible according to the vast majority of the Ulama (scholars) and it has in fact remained part of their practise.

4. Some scholars even mention a fourth type of Tawassul, where a person requests some living pious servant of Allah to make du'aa for him: This is also unanimously accepted.

The only type of Tawassul that is disputed is number3, where one makes Tawassul through individuals that are alive or deceased by saying, 'O Allah, I besech you to accept my Du'aa due to the status that Rasulullah [Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam] (or some other pious person) hold in Your eyes.' The first opposition against this form of Tawassul was in the 7th century of Islam. (shifaa-u-siqaam)

There are numerous proofs that support the permissibility of Tawassul through individuals. The following are some substantiations:

1. Sayyiduna Uthmaan ibn Hunayf [radhiallaahu anhu] narrates that once a blind person came to Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] and said, 'Oh Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam]! Ask Allah to cure me.' Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] replied, 'If you wish I will make Du'aa or else you may be patient and this is better for you.' The man said, 'Make Du'aa instead', Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] then commanded him to make Wudhu properly and that he recites the following Du'aa, 'Oh Allah, verily, I ask of you and I turn to you through your prophet, the prophet of mercy, O Muhammad [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam], verily, I have turned to my Lord through you so that my need be fulfilled. Oh Allah, accept his intercession on my behalf.' (Musnad Ahmad vol.4 pg.138; Sunan Tirmidhi; Sunan ibn Majah; Mustadrak Haakim and others). Imaams Tirmidhi, ibn Khuzaymah and Haakim have classified this Hadith as authentic. The words, 'I turn to you through your prophet' clearly proves Tawassul through the position of a person. Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] also told him that he should make the same supplication whenever he needed to. (al-Raddul Muhkamul Mateen pg.145)

2. Sayyiduna Uthmaan ibn Hunayf [radhiallaahu anhu] taught this du'aa to someone after the demise of Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam]. That person's need was also fulfilled.

Abu Umaamah ibn Sahl ibn Hunayf [radhiallaahu anhu] reports that a person requested Sayyiduna Uthmaan ibn Affaan [radhiallaahu anhu] to fulfil his need. Sayyiduna Uthmaan [radhiallaahu anhu] did not attend to him. The person complained to Sayyiduna Uthmaan ibn Hunayf [radhiallaahu anhu] about his plight. Sayyiduna Uthmaan ibn Hunayf [radhiallaahu anhu] told him to make Wudhu, go to the Musjid, offer 2 Rakaats of Salaat and recite the following Du'aa: 'O Allah, verily I ask you and I turn to you through our prophet, the prophet of mercy (Rasulullah - sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). O Muhammad! Verily, I have turned to our Lord through you so that He may fulfil my need.'

The person then went to Sayyiduna Uthmaan ibn Affaan [radhiallahu anhu] who then [radhiallaahu anhu] immediately fulfilled his need and told him to return whenever he had any need in the future. (al-Mu'jamus sagheer vol.1 pg.184; al-Mu'jamul Kabeer vol.9 pg.17; Dalaailun-nubuwwah of Imaam Bayhaqi vol.6 pg.167-168)

Imaam Tabrani has mentioned that this Hadith is authentic. (al-Mu'jamus sagheer vol.1 pg.184). Allamah Mahmood Zaahid Al- Kawthari has also classified the chains of Baihaqi to be Saheeh (authentic). (Maqaalatul-Kawthari pg.391). For a detailed analysis refer to al-Raddul Muhkamul Mateen of Shaykh Abdullah Siddique al-Ghumarie pgs.141-157; Raf'ul Manaarah of Shaykh Mahmood Sa'eed Mamdooh pgs.125-131

3. Sayyiduna Anas ibn Maalik [radhiallaahu anhu] reports that when the mother of Sayyiduna Ali [radhiallahu anhu] passed away (Faatima bint Asad - radhiallaahu anha], Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] made the following Du'aa before burying her: 'O Allah, The One who gives life and death, and Who is living and will never die, forgive my mother Faatima bint Asad [radhiallaahu anha], and make her arguments known to her, i.e. make the answering of Munkar and Nakeer easy, and make her grave spacious for her. (I ask you) through the right of your prophet and all the prophet's before me, for verily You are Most Merciful.' (al-Mu'jamul awsat vol.1 pg.152; Hilya vol.3 pg.121)

'Bi haqqi nabiyyika' (through the right of your prophet). This narration is classified as authentic according to the standards of Imaam ibn Hibbaan and Haakim. (Raf'ul Manaarah pg.147; Maqaalaatul Kawthari). Haafiz Ibn Hajar Al-Haytami(RA) that its chain of narrators is good.(Refer to his footnotes on Al-Manaasik of Imaam Nawawi(RA) pg.500…)

4. When a person leaves the Musjid, the following du'aa is recorded, 'Allaahumma inniy as-aluka bi haqqis-saa-ileena alayka, wa bi haqqi mamshaaya haaza…'. (Translation: Oh Allah, I ask you through the right of those who ask you and through the right of the act of my walking…)

In this narration, Tawassul through people is established, '…through the right of those who ask' and Tawassul through one's deeds is supported by the second part. This Hadith is recorded in Sunan ibn Maajah, Musnad Ahmad (vol.3 pg.21), Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah and others. The following Muhadditheen have regarded it as authentic: Imaam ibn Khuzaymah (Kitaab Tawheed pg.17), Hafiz Abdul-Ghani al-Maqdisi (al-Naseehah), Hafiz Abul-Hasan al-Maqdisi - teacher of Allaamah Munzhiri (refer al-Targheeb vol.3 pg.273), Allamah al-Iraqi - Ustaadh of Hafiz ibn Hajar (Takhrijul Ihyaa), Hafiz ibn Hajar al-Asqalaani (Nataa-ijul Afkaar vol.1 pg.272), Hafiz Dimyati (Al-Matjarur-raabih). These are six great Muhadditheen that have accepted this Hadith to be authentic, hence, there remains no doubt at all concerning its acceptability.

The following two proofs illustrate to us the practise of the Sahaaba [radhiallaahu anhum] as well.

5. Sayyiduna Maalik al-Daar, the treasurer of food during the time of Sayyiduna Umar ibn al-Khattaab [radhiallaahu anhu], reports that once the people had been experiencing a drought in the era of Sayyiduna Umar [radhiallaahu anhu], a man went to the grave of Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] and said, 'O Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam], ask for rain on behalf of your Ummah, for verily, they are being destroyed.' Thereafter this person was instructed in a dream to go to Sayyiduna Umar [radhiallaahu anhu] and tell him that, 'the rains will soon come and say to him, Be intelligent', When Umar [radhiallaahu anhu] was informed of this, he began to cry and he said, 'O My Lord, I will only leave out what I am unable to do.' (Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah vol.12 pg.31-32; Dalaailun-nubuwwah of Imaam Bayhaqi vol.7 pg.47). Hafiz ibn Katheer [ra] has stated that the chain of narrators is 'good and strong' (Musnadul Faarooq vol.1 pg.223). Hafiz ibn Hajar has also indicated to its authenticity in Fathul Bari.

6. Abul-Jawzaa - Aws ibn Abdullah [radhiallaahu anhu] reports that once, the people of Madinah were experiencing a severe drought. They complained to Sayyidatuna Aaisha [radhiallahu anha]. She advised them that they should make a hole in the tomb of the roof of Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] so that the grave is exposed to the skies. He says, 'When they made a hole, heavy rains came down and crops also began to grow.' (Sunan Darimi vol.1 pg.56)

7. Imaam Haakim and others have narrated on the authority of Sayyiduna Umar ibn al-Khattaab [radhiallaahu anhu] that Rasulullah [Sallallahu alayhi wasallam] said, 'When Adam [alayhis salaam] ate from the forbidden tree, he said, 'O My Lord, I ask you through the right of Muhammad [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] that you forgive me.' The words used were, 'Bi haqqi Muhammad' Allah Ta'ala accepted Aadam's [alayhis salaam] repentance. (al-Mustadrak vol.2 pg.615; Dalaailun-Nubuwwah of Imaam Bayhaqi vol.5 pg.489; al-Mu'jamus saghir of Imaam Tabrani vol.2 pg.82)

The status of this narration has been extensively disputed by the various Muhadditheen. Some have accepted it to be authentic and others rejected it. However, there is another narration that supports this narration recorded by Imaam Abul-Hasan ibn Bishraan [ra] on the authority of Sayyidatuna Maysarah [radhiallaahu anha]. The chain of narrators for this Hadith is totally different from the previous one. And in fact, Hafiz ibn Hajar [ra] has stated concerning a completely different narration which has the very same chain of narrators, that this chain of narrators is strong. (al-Raddul Muhkamul Mateen pgs.138-139; al-Ahaadeethul Muntaqaa pg.14, both of Shaykh Abdullah Siddique al-Ghumarie). These narrations have all proven beyond a shadow of doubt that this form of Tawassul is permissible and was widely practised as well.

Hereunder follows a list of some of the many illustrious Ulama of the past who had practised upon Tawassul through the rank of the pious, deceased or alive:

1. Imaam Hasan ibn Ibrahim al-Hallal [ra] has stated that whenever he had any urgent need, he would go to the grave of Imaam Moosa ibn Ja'far [ra] and make Tawassul through him. Allah Ta'ala would fulfil his need. (refer Taarikh Baghdaad)

2. Imaam Shaafi'ee [ra] would make Tawassul at the grave of Imaam Abu Hanifa [ra]. (Taarikh Baghdaad). Allaamah al-Kawthari has classified this incident as authentic. (Maqaalaatul Kawthari pg.381)

3. Allaamah Taajuddeen al-Subki [ra] has mentioned that the people would go to the grave of Imaam ibn Foorak(ra), the teacher of Imaam Bayhaqi [ra] and make Du'aa and their Du'aas would get accepted.

4. Hafiz Al-Zarkashi [ra] has made Tawassul in the introduction to his commentary to Sahih al-Bukhari entitled, 'al-Tanqeeh'.

5. Hafiz Taqi-u-ddin al-Subki [ra], the father of Taajuddin al-Subki [ra], has approved of this firm of Tawassul and he has written a detailed treatise on this topic. (See his book: Shifaa-u-Siqaam pgs.293-318)

6. Allamah Nawawi [ra] has mentioned that from among the etiquettes of visiting the grave of Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] one should make Tawassul through Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] to Allah Ta'ala to accept his Du'aas. Thereafter, Allamah Nawawi states, '…and one of the best things that one should do is what has been related by Allaamah al-Mawardi [ra], al-Qaadhi Abu Teeb [ra] and all our Ulama and they have all regarded it as commendable, and that is the incident of Imaam al-Utabi [ra] that he said, 'I was once seated by the grave of Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam], when a Bedouin came and said, 'Peace be upon you, oh, Messenger of Allah. O Messenger of Allah, I have heard Almighty Allah say in the Qur'aan "And if they, when they had been unjust to themselves, had come to you (Muhammad Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and begged Allah's forgiveness and the messenger had begged forgiveness for them, indeed they would have found Allah All-Forgiving. Most merciful.(Al-Nisaa:64) hence, I have come to you in a state that I seek forgiveness of my sins by seeking your intercession by my Lord', thereafter he recited a few couplets and departed. Imaam al-Utabi [ra] states, 'I then fell asleep and I saw Rasulullah [sallallahu alayhi wasallam] instructing me by the words, 'O Utabi, go to that Bedouin and give him the glad tidings that Almighty Allah has forgiven him.' (Refer al-Majmoo vol.8 pg.456 - Cairo and Manaasikul-Imaam-Al-Nawawi pg.498-499 Maktabah Salafia). This incident has been related by many Ulama in their respective compilations. Some of them are: Haafiz Ibn-Katheer in his Tafseer, Allamah Abu-Muhammad ibn Qudaamah in Al-Mughni vol.3 pg.556, Imaam Abul-Faraj in Al-Sharhul-Kabeervol.3 pg.495, etc.)

7. Imaam Ahmad bin Hambal(RA) has also encouraged making Tawassul through Rasulullah [sallallahu alayhi wasallam] in ones duas. (Fataawa ibn Taimiyyah vol.1 pg.140, Also see Mafaaheem pg.137)

8. Haafiz Shamsud-Deen Al-Sakhawi (RA), the grand student of Haafiz ibn Hajr Al-Asqalaani(RA) made Tawassul on many occasions through Rasulullah [Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam] in his books, see for example Al-Tuhfatul-Lateefah vol.1 pg.3, 17; al-Ibtihaaj bi azkaaril musaafiril haaj

9. Allamah Muhammad ibn-ul-Jazri(RA) the famous Muhaddith and Master of Qira'aat has mentioned that from amongst the Aadaab etiquettes of dua is that one makes Tawassul with the Ambiyaa and the pious ones.(Al-Hisnul Haseen)

10. Imaam Al-Shawkaani Al-Salafi(RA) has also permitted Tawassul. (Tuhfatu-Zaakireen pg.50)

These are ten Different types of Ulama (i.e. some are Fuqahaa, some Muhadditheen and some are Qurraa). All have either practised on Tawassul or at least permitted it. And the list could go on….(refer to Maqaalatul Kawthari pg.378-397). After contemplating on all that was mentioned above, any person with sound intelligence would believe without a shadow of doubt in the permissibility of this form of Tawassul.

More so when one realizes that this remained the practise of the Ummah for centuries. Allamah Taqee-ud-Deen Al-Subki(RA) and other Muhadditheen have stated that Haafiz Ibn-Taimiyyah(RA) - who passed away in the year 728 Hijri - was the first to refute the permissibility of this form of Tawassul (Shifaa-us-Siqaam pg.293) In fact, Abu-Abdillah Al-Tilmisani Al-Maaliki(RA) (a renown scholar of the 7th century) has written a book concerning how this remained the practise of the entire Ummah since its existence. (Refer Maqaalatul Kawthari pg.397)

Lastly, we would like to draw your attention to the fact that the above permissibility is in regard to one who asks Allah Ta'ala for a particular need and in doing so, he uses some honourable personality as his Waseela (means) without thinking or believing that the person is being supplicated to or that he will fulfil his need. Yes, if one asks directly from the deceased and he believes that the Anbiyaa [alayhimus salaam] and the pious [rahimahumullah] independently possess the power to provide, then this would be Shirk (polytheism) because he is now ascribing partners to Allah in the quality of 'Providing'.

Many contemporaries have mixed both these forms up; namely

a) (asking directly from the deceased and),

b) (asking Allah Alone, through the medium of some deceased) and have passed one ruling of Shirk for both forms. This is clearly a gross oversight on their path.
and Allah Ta'ala Knows Best

Reference : http://www.central-mosque.com/aqeedah/taw1.htm

Note : It is really surprising when people talking against Tawassul tell you or a pious person to make prayers (or intercede) on their behalf ('dua mein yaad rakhna'). But there is another Hadith regarding it, which I choose to discuss separately.

Thursday, July 07, 2011


Assalaam alaikum,

There are several difference of opinions in recent times regarding the importance of Shab-e-Baraat (Laylatul Bara'ah) causing confusion in some people on what is to be done on this night. Some are of the opinion that no importance should be given to this night. Though certain practices like glorification, illumination and giving sermons on the night can be avoided, praying to Allah in solutitude and seeking forgiveness and praying for a fulfulling life now and the hereafter cannot be wrong. We know the importance of Tahajjud prayers and also the traditions that Allah hears his creations in the later portions of the night. Also there are Hadeeths which point to the fact that the list of people who will die in the coming year is made by the Almighty and forgiveness is given to the people who seek it from him on the special night.

Check the reference from 'Ibne Majaa' highlighting the importance of the Shab-e-Baraat :

It is narrated by Ali (Radi allahu unho) that the Prophet [May Allah bless Him and grant Him peace] stated; “ when it is the 15th night of Shabaan, do Qiyaam in the night, and fast in the morning, and ask for forgiveness. Because on that night Allah calls: ‘Is there anyone who is asking for forgiveness so that I can forgive them, who is in distress that I may relieve his distress, is there anyone who needs (rizq) food that I may give it to him.’ And this continues till the morning.” [Ibn Majah chapter Salaah]

I came across a good article by Dr Mufti Taqi Usmani on
http://www.albalagh.net/general/shaban.shtml, which highlights the merits of the month of Shabaan and Shab-e-Baraat and also asks us to refrain from the wrong practices of the night.

Sharing the excerpts of the article with all. Inshallah, this article will be of help to many and help us to take advantage of the benefits of the month of Shabaan and also the special night which comes between 14th and 15th of Shabaan.

Importance of Fasting in Shabaan

The blessed companion Anas, Radi-Allahu anhu, reports that Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, was asked, "Which fast is the most meritorious after the fasts of Ramadan?" He replied, "Fasts of Shaban in honor of Ramadan."

Ummul Mu'mineen 'Aishah, Radi-Allahu anha, says, "Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, used to fast the whole of Sha'ban. I said to him, 'Messenger of Allah, is Sha'ban your most favorite month for fasting?' He said, 'In this month Allah prescribes the list of the persons dying this year. Therefore, I like that my death comes when I am in a state of fasting."

These reports indicate that fasting in the month of Sha'ban, though not obligatory, is so meritorious that Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, did not like to miss it.

But it should be kept in mind that the fasts of Sha'ban are for those persons only who are capable of keeping them without causing deficiency in the obligatory fasts of Ramadan. The fasts of Ramadan, being obligatory, are more important than the optional fasts of Sha'ban. That is why Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, himself has forbidden the Muslims from fasting one or two days immediately before the commencement of Ramadan. The blessed Companion Abu Hurairah, Radi-Allahu anhu, reports Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, to have said, "Do not fast after the first half of the month of Sha'ban is gone."

The Night of Bara'ah

Another significant feature of the month of Sha'ban is that it consists of a night which is termed in Shariah as "Laylatul-bara'ah" (The night of freedom from Fire). This is the night occurring between 14th and 15th day of Sha'ban. There are certain traditions of Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, to prove that it is a meritorious night in which the people of the earth are attended by special Divine mercy.

Some Hadeeths highlighting the importance of the Night of Bara’ah :

1. Ummul-Mu'mineen 'Aishah, Radi-Allahu anha, is reported to have said, "Once Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, performed the Salah of the night (Tahajjud) and made a very long Sajdah until I feared that he had passed away. When I saw this, I rose (from my bed) and moved his thumb (to ascertain whether he is alive). The thumb moved, and I returned (to my place). Then I heard him saying in Sajdah: 'I seek refuge of Your forgiveness from Your punishment, and I seek refuge of Your pleasure from Your annoyance, and I seek Your refuge from Yourself. I cannot praise You as fully as You deserve. You are exactly as You have defined Yourself.' Thereafter, when he raised his head from Sajdah and finished his salah, he said to me: 'Aishah, did you think that the Prophet has betrayed you?' I said, 'No, O Prophet of Allah, but I was afraid that your soul has been taken away because your Sajdah was very long.' He asked me, 'Do you know which night is this?' I said, 'Allah and His Messenger know best.' He said, 'This is the night of the half of Sha'ban. Allah Almighty looks upon His slaves in this night and forgives those who seek forgiveness and bestows His mercy upon those who pray for mercy but keeps those who have malice (against a Muslim) as they were before, (and does not forgive them unless they relieve themselves from malice).'"

2. In another Tradition Sayyidah' Aishah, Radi-Allahu anha, has reported that Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, has said, "Allah Almighty descends (in a manner He best knows it) in the night occurring in the middle of Sha'ban and forgives a large number of people more than the number of the fibers on the sheep of the tribe, Kalb."
(Kalb was a big tribe the members of which had a very large number of sheep. Therefore, the last sentence of the hadith indicates the big number of the people who are forgiven in this night by Allah Almighty. )

3. In yet another Tradition, she has reported Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, to have said, "This is the middle Night of Sha'ban. Allah frees in it a large number of the people from Fire, more than the number of the hair growing on the sheep of the tribe, Kalb. But He does not even look at a person who associates partners with Allah, or at a person who nourishes malice in his heart (against someone), or at a person who cuts off the ties of kinship, or at a man who leaves his clothes extending beyond his ankles (as a sign of pride), or at a person who disobeys his parents, or at a person who has a habit of drinking wine."

4. Sayyidna Mu'adh ibn Jabal, Radi-Allahu anhu, reports that Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, has said: "Allah Almighty looks upon all those created by Him in the middle Night of Sha'ban and forgives all those created by Him, except the one who associates partners with Him or the one who has malice in his heart (against a Muslim)".

Although the chain of narrators of some of these traditions suffers with some minor technical defects, yet when all these traditions are combined together, it becomes clear that this night has some well founded merits, and observing this night as a sacred night is not a baseless concoction as envisaged by some modern scholars who, on the basis of these minor defects, have totally rejected to give any special importance to this night. In fact, some of these traditions have been held by some scholars of hadith as authentic and the defects in the chain of some others have been treated by them as minor technical defects which, according to the science of hadith, are curable by the variety of their ways of narration. That is why the elders of the ummah have constantly been observing this night as a night of special merits and have been spending it in worship and prayers.

What Should be Done in this Night?

In order to observe the Night of Bara'ah, one should remain awakened in this night as much as he can. If someone has better opportunities, he should spend the whole night in worship and prayer. However, if one cannot do so for one reason or another, he can select a considerable portion of the night, preferably of the second half of it for this purpose, and should perform the following acts of worship:

a) Salaah – Most preferable act. Though no exact number of Rakaats defined, offer as many Nifl namaaz as possible in solitude (preferably more than 8).

b) Tilawat e Quran – One should recite the Quran as much as possible as it is also an act of worship.

c) Dhikr – Dhikr of Allah’s name (tasbeeh) and also supplications (durood) on Prophet Mohammed SAS.

d) Dua - The best benefit one can draw from the blessings of this night is prayers and supplications. It is hoped that all the prayers in this night will be accepted by our Lord, insha-Allah. Prayer itself is an 'Ibadah, and Allah Almighty gives reward on each prayer along with the fulfillment of the supplicator's need.

e) Those who are unable to perform long prayers or do Tilawat, for reasons like illness, sickness or being engaged in other activities. They should at least try to do the following :

(i) To perform the Salah of Maghrib, 'Isha' and Fajr with Jama'ah in the mosque, or in their homes in case of their being sick.
(ii) They should keep reciting the dhikr (and/or darood shareef), in whatever condition they are until they sleep.
(iii) They should pray to Allah for their forgiveness and for their other objectives. One can do so even when he is in his bed

f) Women in Periods- The women during their periods cannot perform salah, nor can they recite the Qur'an, but they can recite any dhikr, tasbeeh, durood sharif and can pray to Allah for whatever purpose they like in whatever language they wish. They can also recite the Arabic prayers mentioned in the Qur'an or in the hadith with the intention of supplication (and not with the intention of recitation).

What Should Not be Done in This Night

The Night of Bara'ah is a night in which special blessings are directed towards the Muslims. Therefore, this night should be spent in total submission to Allah Almighty, and one should refrain from all those activities, which may displease Allah.

1) In this night some people indulge in some activities which they regard as necessary for the celebration of the Night of Bara'ah, like cooking some special type of meal, or illuminating houses or mosques, or improvised structures. All such activities are not only baseless and innovated in the later days by ignorant people.

2) Some people spend this night in holding religious meetings and delivering long speeches. Such activities are also not advisable, because these acts can easily be performed in other nights. This night requires one to devote himself for the pure acts of worship only.

3) The acts of worship like Salah, recitation of the Qur'an and dhikr should be performed in this night individually, not collectively. The Nafl Salah should not be performed in Jama'ah, nor should the Muslims arrange gatherings in the mosques in order to celebrate the night in a collective manner.

On the contrary, this night is meant for worshipping Allah in solitude. It is the time to enjoy the direct contact with the Lord of the Universe, and to devote one's attention to Him and Him alone. These are the precious hours of the night in which nobody should intervene between one and his Lord, and one should turn to Allah with total concentration, not disturbed or intermitted by any one else.

That is why Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, observed the acts of worship in this night in total seclusion, not accompanied by anyone, not even by his favorite life companion Sayyidah 'Aishah, Radi-Allahu anha, and that is why all forms of the optional worship (Nafl Ibadah), are advised by him to be done in individual, not in collective manner.


May Allah guide us on the right path.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Saifee Hospital shimmers at night!

A few days ago, the religious leader of the Bohra community - Sayedna Mohammad Burhanuddin Saheb - turned 100 years old. In celebration, the Saifee Hospital has been illuminated with lights since the past 2 weeks. The hospital has a Victorian design and is a wonderful piece of architecture by itself. Situated near Opera House, right opposite Charni Road station, it is a viewer's delight. The current illumination at night makes it look like a beautifully dressed up bride all glowing in happiness!

Check out the pictures taken from Charni Road station by me. The pictures do not do justice to what it actually looks like at night these days, though most people are tempted to click pictures! Also attaching a non-illuminated pic, the topmost one (not clicked by me) for reference.

Lost n found - Part 2

My first lost and found experience was very 'filmi'. (check link : http://myjourney-shagufta.blogspot.com/2010/08/lost-and-found.html)

My second lost and found experience was in first week of Feb 2011 and a simpler than my previous experience.

I was on my way to office from Mumbai Central station. Took a cab in sharing with a few ladies going towards Worli. On reaching destination, we shelled out Rs.10/- each from our purses. I did the same from my blue shimmering pouch where I carried my money and a debit card, got off the cab and got to work at office....

Towards afternoon, when I wanted to go for a sandwich, I opened my handbag to look for my blue purse. I looked at all the corners, but it wasn't there. I remembered picking it up from home and also having it in the cab. There was a possibility of having left it in the cloakroom in the office. I went and had a look. No, it wasn't there. I left a word with the pantry in-charge of the branch to keep and eye and inform me if found. The second possibility was that I might have dropped the purse while thrusting it back into the back after getting down. So it was possible that the purse might have dropped in the compound outside. I went and had a look near the bushes and the compound. No luck again... The purse had a few hundred rupees (800, to be precise) and my debit card. The only saving grace was that my mobile phone was not in it. I'd removed it to take my call and thrown it in the handbag. Hence, I didn't even realise that my purse was missing.

All possible ways to locate it had failed. Next step was to hotlist my debitcard. This was done immediately. But I was left with no money nor means to withdraw it. Thankfully, my chequebook was with me. Since I am a banker and worked there and the debit card was of my bank, it was easier to withdraw money from our Retail counter. I had to remove enough money to last a week as I had to make application for a new card and the waiting time is approx a week's time. The main hitch was my Food card, which was refilled monthly by my employer and was like our lunch allowance. Blocking, cancelling and re-applying for the same through HR was a task. Also, it being a prepaid card, it was easier to use by the finder, not that I'd kept lot of balance in it. Also I had no time, between rush hours to do it. I'd already wasted some time over my lost purse now.

I had a sandwich and lassi from Aarey stall and got back to work. Towards evening our security guard came in our department asking for me. He asked me whether I'd lost my purse in the taxi. 'Yes', I said. He added 'Madam, woh taxiwalla aaya hai'. I was surprised, how this could've happened. I distinctly remembered pushing my purse in my handbag. Maybe while doing so, since I had a lot of things on mind that day, in the stress I might have put it back at the side of my bag and 'plop' it fell down on the floor on the backseat. I was happy to have my money and Food card back. Debit card was just hotlisted, so missed out on that front. But I was keen to see that cab walla. I had remembered the cab distinctly that day as the make of the taxi was a Maruti 800 (unlike the usual dirty old Padminis). The cab walla was dressed in neat white uniform, well groomed, had a 'Safar dua' hanging at the front.

I went out with my security guard to meet the cabbie. While I was going, almost all in the people in the bank had come to know that a cabbie-driver had brought my purse back. The security guard was new and didn't know my name, hence he had asked a few people in other sections my name before he came to me. The driver had gone my name from my Debit Card, I guess. He might have opened my purse to check my identity. I reached the bank entrance. There I saw the cabbie-driver. There was another boy alongwith him. On seeing me, he said that he was sorry that he came back so late to return my purse as he'd gone the other side of the city after dropping us here in the morning! He was truly humble to say that as he'd actually done me a favour and I was grateful to him. Then he explained that as he was passing by this way with a 'bhada' (passenger), he stopped by to give my purse. He wasn't sure which was my office, but he took a chance and asked if someone with my name was working there. And that's how I was reached. I thanked him profusely. His current passenger was also excited about the event and had come alongwith him. I offered the driver a few hundreds in gratitute, but he refused to take anything. And went back smiling....

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Islamic philosophy - Power of the Oppressed!

We get into depression on being oppressed or wronged. Some of us even commit suicide. But fear not. God is Just towards those who have been wronged. He will compensate for the pain we're subject to for no fault of ours! The oppressor could be a leader, husband, king of the occupied state or anyone who oppresses others in any circumstance. He/ she could be a person who has caused harm or hurt someone. We should endure with 'Patience' to get fruits of it. Of course, committing suicide is a sin and the one who commits it loses out on the benefits granted to the 'oppressed person'.

Allah's Apostle said, “Whoever has oppressed another person concerning his reputation or anything else, he should beg him to forgive him before the Day of Resurrection when there will be no money (to compensate for wrong deeds), but if he has good deeds, those good deeds will be taken from him according to his oppression which he has done, and if he has no good deeds, the sins of the oppressed person will be loaded on him.” {Volume 3, Book 43, Number 629: Sahih Bukhari} God is definately the Best Judge. Those who wrong us, hurt us or oppress us (in any way), are indirectly doing us a favour. When on the Day of Judgement, we are falling short of good deeds, the good deeds of our oppressor will come to our aid. If that person has no good deeds to give us, then some of our sins will be passed on to the oppressor!

What if we forgive these people ? Definately, our 'good deeds' scale will go up! And our oppressor's particular deed of oppression will come down. But this seems additional apart from what's in store for us and our oppressors on the Day of Judgement. They of course will compensate us through their good deeds or take load of our sins to the extent of oppression of wrong done.

Every Hadeeth has an in-depth philosophy in itself!

Allah’s Apostle (pbuh) said, “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one. People asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! It is all right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?” The Prophet said, “By preventing him from oppressing others.”

{Volume 3, Book 43, Number 624:Sahih Bukhari}.

The oppressor and the oppressed both need help. It is a good deed to help the oppressed get their right in this world. Same way, we will be doing a favour on many others (who could have been wrong in the future) , including the oppressor by showing him/ her the right path. This again is a good deed adding to our scale of goodness.

This is reiterated in Quran too.

And what is wrong with you that you fight not in the Cause of Allâh, and for those weak, illtreated and oppressed among men, women, and children, whose cry is: “Our Lord! Rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from You one who will protect, and raise for us from You one who will help.” [004:075: Al Quran]

We will reserve the houses of the hereafter exclusively for those who do not seek self-glory in this life and do not cause oppression and corruption to spread. The final outcome belongs to those who fear (Allah). [028:083: Al Quran]

Here is it clear that God calls upon us all to fight for the cause of the oppressed and the wronged people in the world. There are several of these people all around us. And they're waiting for us to be rescued. Abducted children, molested kids, kids forced into illegal acts, some neighbour being ill-treated by in-laws, a orphan being beaten by his own relatives; injustice, corruption and a lot more issues which affect us and others around us....

Apart from all, the 'oppressed' or 'wronged' person has another power, will can destroy the oppressor. The bad words he mutters against his oppressor in his pain and anger.

The Prophet (pbuh) sent Mu’adh to Yemen and said, “Be afraid, from the curse of the oppressed as there is no screen between his invocation and Allah.”

{Volume 3, Book 43, Number 628: Sahih Bukhari}

But in many places in Quran and Hadeeth, 'non-cursing' is highlighted. Maybe, Allah Himself knows how an oppressed's curse can cause harm. Hence HE has put more rewards for 'Patience' and 'Forgiveness'. So we gain doubly. One - compensation due to being oppressed (from our oppressor himself) plus additional score for 'forgiveness' and 'patience'. But though 'cursing others' or muttering bad words against our oppressor is not highlighted as something good, there is no harm upon us if we say something in total pain and agony. Allah is Understanding and definately the Best Judge!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Muslim Marriage - A contract and a religious obligation

Islam is generally construed as a backward religion with old and barbaric customs, with biases against women. Muslim marriage is generally seen as 'man with four wives', though one hardly finds such cases. Though, Islam allows it under certain conditions, people know that it's not feasible nor are the conditions prescribed easy to meet. But God forbid, in queer or unforseen circumstances if a man happens to marry again or does so to help someone, both the man and the woman are secure. And the man cannot take a woman for a ride. In fact, its sad to see few non-Muslim women who've become the target of men, who were already married without disclosing such a thing. These women who unknowingly become second wives or girlfriends with marriage in mind, have no legal claim on the man for maintenance. So, how is Islamic Marriage Laws different here ? What are the conditions of marriage ? And who can marry ?

Let us understand what is the importance of a marriage in Islam ?

What is Marriage ?
A marriage is a mutual contract/ agreement between a man and a woman (bride and groom). Both bride and groom have the liberty to define various terms and conditions of their liking and make them a part of this contract. The marriage contract in Islam is not a sacrament. It is revocable.
The consent of the girl is of great importance in Islam (whereas in some religions or cultures, a girl's consent is not often sought). The Qazi especially asks both the boy and the girl for their verbal consent, followed by their signatures on the 'Nikaah Naama' (marriage certificate). A copy of the 'Nikaah Naama' is retained at the local mosque, while one copy is handed over to the family / bride n groom, for further registration according to local laws if residing in non-Islamic country.

What is the Importance of Marriage ?
Allah has created men and women as company for one another, and so that they can procreate and live in peace and tranquility according to the commandments of Allah and the directions of His Messenger. The Quran says:
"And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your hearts. Undoubtedly in these are signs for those who reflect." [Noble Quran 30:21]

"And Allah has made for you your mates of your own nature, and made for you, out of them, sons and daughters and grandchildren, and provided for you sustenance of the best." [Noble Quran 16:72]

These verses of the Noble Quran clearly show that in contrast to other religions like Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism etc. which consider celibacy or monasticism as a great virtue and a means of salvation, Islam considers marriage as one of the most virtuous and approved institutions. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) declared, "There is no monasticism in Islam."

What do the Hadeeths state about marriage ?
Prophet Mohammed SAS ordained, "O you young men! Whoever is able to marry should marry, for that will help him to lower his gaze and guard his modesty." [Al-Bukhari]
Another Hadeeth specifies : "Marriage is my sunnah. Whosoever keeps away from it is not from me."

What are the Requisites of Marriage ?
Primary Requirements
1) Mutual agreement (Ijab-O-Qubul) by the bride and the groom
2) Two adult and sane witnesses
3) Mahr (marriage-gift) to be paid by the groom to the bride either immediately (muajjal) or deferred (muakhkhar), or a combination of both.

Secondary Requirements
1) Legal guardian (wakeel) representing the bride
2) Written marriage contract ("Aqd-Nikah) signed by the bride and the groom and witnesses by two adult and sane witnesses
3) Qazi (State appointed Muslim judge) or Ma'zoon (a responsible person officiating the marriage ceremony)
4) Khutba-tun-Nikah to solemnize the marriage

Who Can Marry ?
Every man who has the means can marry.
Amongst the women, the divorcees and widows can also re-marry.
With regard to divorced women, Quran says :
"And when you divorce women, and they have come to the end of their waiting period, hinder them not from marrying other men if they have agreed with each other in a fair manner." [Noble Quran 2:232]
With regard to widows, Quran says :
"And if any of you die and leave behind wives, they bequeath thereby to their widows (the right to) one year's maintenance without their being obliged to leave (their husband's home), but if they leave (the residence) of their own accord, there is no blame on you for what they do with themselves in a lawful manner." [Noble Quran 2:234]
Widows are at liberty to re-marry, even within the period mentioned above; and if they do so they must forgo their claim to traditional maintenance during the remainder of the year.

The wrong practices of taking dowry from brides and later hurting them for it, forced marriages (without consent), Sati or 'confinement of widows' or 'shunning of divorcees' are practices which have no room in Islam. In fact, women have rights like choosing their husbands, getting 'Mahr' on marriage as her right and even right to re-marry after a divorce or on the death of her husband. And these rules were laid down 1400 years back! Who says Islam is a backward religion?

References :

Monday, January 31, 2011

Maryam (Mary) and the Birth of Jesus

Quran has a full Chapter dedicated to Maryam, the mother of Jesus (Isa-alaisalaam)- Chapter 19 of Quran, namely, Surah Maryam. This Chapter deals with all the difficulties faced by various Prophets and also tells the problems faced by Bibi Maryam.

Before her story in Surah Maryam, we have a description of her own birth, life and of her giving birth to Jesus, in Chapter 3 of Quran - Surah Ale Imran (Family of Imran). I'd skipped portions of life of Mary while analysing the Surah earlier. That's because I wanted to have a separate article on what the Quran states about Mary. The Quran has specifically mentioned about Maryam and has even dedicated an entire Chapter to her. This is the greatest honour that can be given to any woman. No other woman shares this honour. Apart from a detailed mention in two Chapters, some of the other Surahs also keep referencing her alongwith with her son, Jesus (Isa PUBH).

Let us see what Surah Ale Imran says about dear Maryam (Mary) and her subsequent birth to Jesus:


[3:35] (Remember) When the wife of Imran said, “My Lord! I pledge to you what is in my womb - that it shall be dedicated purely in Your service, so accept it from me; indeed You only are the All Hearing, the All Knowing.”Background : Prophet Imran (pbuh) was a religious leader of the Israelites and his wife Hannah was barren and prayed for a child and promised to offer the child to the service of Allah (God). She was the sister of the wife of Prophet Zakaria(pbuh).

Sadly, before the birth of the child, her husband passed away. This I came across in places, though couldn't find the source of the reference.

[3:36] So when she gave birth to it, she said, “My Lord! I have indeed given birth to a girl!” And Allah well knows what she gave birth to; and the boy she had prayed for is not like this girl; “And I have named her Maryam and I give her and her offspring in Your protection, against Satan the outcast.”

Hannah had vowed to offer the child to the services of Allah, but when she gave birth to a girl, it posed a dilemma for her as in those times women were not allowed in the temple, especially to be devoted to the services of The Supreme One. But, Allah is the All-Knower and knew what was in her womb and had already chosen the path for Maryam (Mary).
[3:37] So her Lord accepted her with good acceptance and caused her to grow in a good manner and put her in the care of Zechariah. Every time Zechariah entered upon her in the prayer chamber, he found with her provision. He said, "O Mary, from where is this [coming] to you?" She said, "It is from Allah . Indeed, Allah provides for whom He wills without account.”

As Mary didn't have a father to be her guardian and also since she was devoted to the services of Allah, someone had to be appointed as a guardian for her. Prophet Zakaria (Zechariya, pbuh) himself was a pious man and held a important position as the priest and trustee of Hekal. He used to pray devotionally and preach zealously. His wife and he were the symbols of piety and righteousness. Prophet Imran (pbuh) was also a pious man. Being in closest in relation to Mary, Zakaria (pbuh) volunteered to be her guardian. He was chosen finally from among the others as they threw lots to decide the guardianship of Mary.

Mary stayed in a special room in temple, where no men were allowed. Zakaria (pbuh) used to visit her to inquire about her well-being. Whenever he went to the prayer chamber to see Maryam, he found food with her. He asked Maryam (Mary) about the source of food. She replied that they were sent by Allah. And Allah gives to whom He wills.

[3:38] It is here that Zakaria prayed to his Lord; he said, “My Lord! Give me from Yourself a righteous child; indeed You only are the Listener Of Prayer.”Zakaria (pbuh), who himself was very old then and didn't have children of his own, longed for a child of his own to carry the priesthood ahead. There itself, he prayed to Allah to grant him a righteous child.

[3:39] And the angels called out to him while he was standing, offering prayer at his place of worship, “Indeed Allah gives you glad tidings of Yahya (John), who will confirm a Word (or sign) from Allah, - a leader, always refraining from women, a Prophet from one of Our devoted ones.”

Then the angels called out to Zakaria (pbuh) and confirmed to him that a righteous son will be born to him. He was to be Yahya (pbuh), who is known by the name of John in the Bible.

[3:40] He said, “My Lord! How can I have a son when old age has reached me and my wife is barren?” He said, “This is how Allah brings about, whatever He wills.”
[3:41] He said, “My Lord! Determine a sign for me”; He said, “The sign is that you shall not be able to speak to mankind for three days except by signs; and remember your Lord profusely, and proclaim His Purity before sunset and at dawn.”Zakaria (pbuh) could not believe how he could have a child at his advanced age, while his wife was also barren. He asked for a sign from Allah, to prove that the news that was conveyed to him was true. Zakaria was conveyed through the Angel that he will not be able to speak to anyone for 3 days except by gesture. And was asked to keep praying to the Lord.

The account from St Luke's Bible is similar to the events stated here, with a difference that the Bible states that when Zakaria (pbuh) showed doubt about the news, the Lord was angry and he was told that his will not be able to speak till the child was born.

The account in Surah Ale-Imran then moves back to Maryam...

[3:42] And when the angels said, “O Maryam! Indeed Allah has chosen you and purified you, and has this day, chosen you among all the women of the world.”
[3:43] “O Maryam! Stand in reverence before your Lord, prostrate yourself and bow along with those who bow.”
[3:44] These are tidings of the hidden, which We secretly reveal to you (O dear Prophet Mohammed - peace and blessings be upon him); and you were not present with them when they threw their pens to draw lots, to know who should be the guardian of Maryam; nor were you present with them when they were quarrelling.

For those who do not know and wonder why Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) is being addressed here, let me clarify. The Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) in various stages of his life, part by part by Gabriel Angel (who is known as Jibreel Alaisalaam in Islam). The prophet himself was an uneducated man, who could not read or write. Allah send His revelations - of the people and prophets before him - through His Angel Jibreel as also the laws to be followed from thereon. Our prophet used to remember the words of the blessed Angel and share it with his companions (known as 'Sahabis'), and the learned among them used to write down everything verbatim. And then compare notes. That is how the Quran has been passed down through the ages. After that, nothing has been changed to date. Why was an illiterate man chosen to be the Messenger of Allah and pass on great knowledge to the world ? This itself is planned by Allah for a reason - so no one can say that Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) read or studied it from somewhere and wrote the Quran himself. Allah is indeed the best Planner.

Referring to the lines 'drawing of lots', it refers to the practice of those times to draw lots to come to a conclusion /decision. To decide the guardianship of Maryam, lots were drawn and Allah chose Zakaria (pbuh) from among the others. This verse is addressed to Mohammed PBUH, that though he was not there when all these things happened, the past events of prophets prior to him are being revealed to him.

[3:45] And remember when the angels said, “O Maryam! Allah gives you glad tidings of a Word from Him, whose name is the Messiah, Eisa (Jesus) the son of Maryam - he will be honourable in this world and in the Hereafter, and among the close ones (to Allah).
Here is the account where Maryam was told by the angels that she will bear the a son by the name of Isa (Jesus), who will be a honourable man and amongst the people close to Allah.

[3:46] “He will speak to people while he is in the cradle and in his adulthood, and will be of the devoted ones.”This verse states one of the miraculous attributes of Jesus PBUH. His being able to speak in infanthood.

[3:47] She said, “My Lord! How can I bear a child when no man has ever touched me?” He said, “This is how Allah creates whatever He wills; when He wills a thing, He only says to it, ‘Be’ - and it happens immediately.”Maryam asked the Angel/s how she would bear a child when she is untouched by any man. Here it is stated that Allah can create whatever He wants, in whichever way He wants. This is reiterated in Ayat (verse) 59 of this Chapter, where Allah states that the birth of Jesus is similar to the birth of Prophet Adam (pbuh). Both were born with the will of Allah in unique ways.

The qualities that will be bestowed to Jesus (PBUH) are told to Maryam through the following verses....
[3:48] “And Allah will teach him the Book and wisdom, and the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Bible).”
[3:49] “And he will be a Noble Messenger towards the Descendants of Israel saying, ‘I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, for I mould a birdlike sculpture from clay for you, and I blow into it and it instantly becomes a (living) bird, by Allah’s command; and I heal him who was born blind, and the leper, and I revive the dead, by Allah’s command; and I tell you what you eat and what you store in your houses; undoubtedly in these (miracles) is a great sign for you, if you are believers.’ (Several miracles bestowed to Prophet Eisa are mentioned here.)
Narration moves to the life and purpose of Jesus, in a brief narrative...
[3:50] ‘And I come confirming the Taurat (Torah) - the Book before me - and to make lawful for you some of the things which were forbidden to you, and I have come to you with a sign from your Lord - therefore fear Allah and obey me.’
[3:51] ‘Undoubtedly Allah is the Lord of all - mine and yours - so worship Him only; this is the Straight Path.’ ”
[3:52] So when Eisa sensed their disbelief he said, “Who will be my aides towards (in the cause of) Allah?” The disciples said, “We are the aides of Allah’s religion; we believe in Allah, and you bear witness that we are Muslims.”
[3:53] Our Lord, we have believed in what You revealed and have followed the messenger Jesus, so register us among the witnesses [to truth]."
[3:54] And the disbelievers conspired (to kill Eisa ), and Allah covertly planned to destroy them; and Allah is the best of secret planners.
[3:55] Remember when Allah said, "O Jesus, indeed I will take you and raise you to Myself and purify you from those who disbelieve and make those who follow you [in submission to Allah alone] superior to those who disbelieve until the Day of Resurrection. Then to Me is your return, and I will judge between you concerning that in which you used to differ".Here again, like elsewhere in Quran, it is reiterated that Jesus was raised to Allah and he was neither killed nor died. His followers includes all who believe in Jesus (pbuh), this of course is not restricted to Christians, as Muslims believe him to be a Prophet of Allah as well.
Here again, if you read carefully the verse begins with 'Raise to myself' and then ends with 'You will return to me'. This is an indication of the second coming of Jesus, the Messiah. Jesus (PBUH) was raised to Allah, when his enemies planned to kill him. Again his being returned to Allah for judgement, is an indication that he will come to live with us and then return to the Lord as we all return back after living our full term on the earth (that is - till our death).
[3:56] “So I shall mete a severe punishment to those who disbelieve, in this world and in the Hereafter; and they will not have any supporters.”
[3:57] “And for those who believed and did good deeds, Allah will give them their full reward; and Allah does not like the unjust.”
[3:58] These are some verses that We recite to you, and advice full of wisdom.

[3:59] The example of Eisa with Allah is like that of Adam; He created him (Adam) from clay and then said to him, “Be” - and it thereupon happens!Relate this Ayat back to Ayat 47 above.
[3:60] This is the Truth from your Lord, so never be of those who doubt.
[3:61] Therefore say to those who dispute with you (O dear Prophet Mohammed - peace and blessings be upon him) concerning Eisa (Jesus) after this knowledge has come to you, “Come! Let us summon our sons and your sons, and our women and your women, and ourselves and yourselves - then pray humbly, thereby casting the curse of Allah upon the liars!” (This is for those who differ in belief on the birth and life of Jesus.)

[3:62] This undoubtedly is the true narrative; there is none worthy of worship except Allah; and Allah is the Almighty, the Wise.
[3:63] So if they turn away, then indeed Allah knows those who cause turmoil.

[3:64] Say (O dear Prophet Mohammed - peace and blessings be upon him), “O People given the Book(s)! Come towards a word which is common between us and you, that we shall worship no one except Allah, and that we shall not ascribe any partner to Him, and that none of us shall take one another as lords besides Allah”; then if they do not accept say, “Be witness that (only) we are Muslims.”
Here is a commandment from the Lord to people who follow were revealed the 3 Scriptures (namely Torah, Gospel and the Quran) to understand the common things between the three religions and believe in one God- Allah. And not to ascribe any partners to Him. He is above having a son or any other relations.

The narrative about Maryam and Jesus (PBUH) ends with this verse in Surah Ale-Imran (though the Chapter continues).

The Story of Maryam and of her giving birth to Jesus (PBUH) is again mentioned in Surah Maryam. Excerpts about Mary in Surah Maryam :


[19:16] And remember Maryam in the Book; when she went away from her family to a place towards east.This verse reveals about the moving of Maryam to a place towards the east, away from her family.

[19:17] And she took, in seclusion from them, a screen. Then We sent to her Our Angel, and he represented himself to her as a well-proportioned man.
There she met a man on the way. This was actually Gabriel Angel disguised as a man.

[19:18] She said, "I seek the refuge of the Most Gracious from you - if you fear Allah."
[19:19] He said, "I am indeed one sent by your Lord; so that I may give you a chaste son."
[19:20] She said, "How can I bear a son? No man has ever touched me, nor am I of poor conduct!"
[19:21] He said, "So it is; your Lord has said, ‘This is easy for Me’; and in order that We make him a sign for mankind and a Mercy from Us; and this matter has been decreed."
[19:22] So she conceived him, and she went away with him to a far place.
[19:23] Then the pangs of childbirth brought her to the base of the palm-tree; she said, "Oh, if only had I died before this and had become forgotten, unremembered."
[19:24] (The angel) Therefore he called her from below her, “Do not grieve - your Lord has made a river flow below you.”
[19:25] "And shake the trunk of the palm-tree towards you - ripe fresh dates will fall upon you''

[19:26] "Therefore eat and drink and appease your eyes; so if you meet any person then say, ‘I have pledged a fast (of silence) to the Most Gracious - I will therefore not speak to any person today.’ "
[19:27] So carrying him in her arms, she brought him to her people; they said, "O Maryam, you have indeed committed a great evil!"This is after Maryam gave birth to Jesus (PBUH) and brought him to her people. The people started accusing her of sin.

[19:28] "O sister of Haroon, neither was your father an evil man nor was your mother of poor conduct!"

[19:29] Thereupon she pointed towards the child; they said, "How can we speak to an infant who is in the cradle?"When people started accusing Maryam of misconduct, she pointed to her baby to seek explanation. The people exclaimed how could a infant talk!

[19:30] The child proclaimed, "I am Allah’s bondman; He has given me the Book and made me a Herald of the Hidden (a Prophet)."
[19:31] "And He has made me blessed wherever I be; and ordained upon me prayer and charity, as long as I live."
[19:32] "And has made me good to my mother and not made me forceful, ill-fated."
[19:33] "And peace is upon me the day I was born, and on the day I shall taste death, and on the day I will be raised alive."
Here again 'death' and 'being raised alive' are separately mentioned as two separate events. An indication of Second Coming of Jesus and his subsequent death later.
[19:34] This is Eisa (Jesus), the son of Maryam; a true statement, in which they doubt.
[19:35] It does not befit Allah to appoint someone as His son - Purity is to Him! When He ordains a matter, He just commands it, "Be" - and it thereupon happens.

[19:36] And said Eisa (Jesus), "Indeed Allah is my Lord and your Lord - therefore worship Him; this is the Straight Path."
[19:37] Then the factions differed [concerning Jesus] from among them, so woe to those who disbelieved - from the scene of a tremendous Day.
[19:38] Much will they listen and much will they see, on the Day when they come to Us, but today the unjust are in open error.
[19:39] And warn them, [O Muhammad], of the Day of Regret, when the matter will be concluded; and [yet], they are in [a state of] heedlessness, and they do not believe.

[19:40] Indeed We shall inherit the earth and all that is on it, and only towards Us will they return.Though Surah Maryam (Chapter 19) continues about hardships of some other prophets, the story of Maryam and Jesus ends with Ayat 40

There is a brief mention of Maryam in CHAPTER 66 - SURAH TEHREEM (The Prohibition) also :
[66:12] And the example of Maryam the daughter of Imran, who guarded her chastity - We therefore breathed into her a Spirit from Ourselves – and she testified for the Words of her Lord and His Books, and was among the obedient.

The Importance of Maryam alongwith other important women in Islam (through the Hadeeths) :

Hazrat Ali bin Abi Talib (RA) narrated that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: "The best of the women in the world is Maryam (in her lifetime), and the best of the women in the world is Khadijah (in her lifetime)."
Abu Musa Ashari (RA) also narrated that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: "Many among men attained perfection, but among women none attained perfection except Maryam the daughter of Imran, and Asiya the wife of Pharaoh; and the superiority of Aisha to other women is like the superiority of Tharid (an Arabic dish) to other meals."

Translation credit :
http://www.alahazrat.net/alquran and in some parts from http://quran.com/