Friday, September 28, 2012

Surah Fatah with English transliteration




Surah Fatah with English transliteration.... needs no comments or write-up. Read the transliteration to understand the meaning. It is read for success. So hear and read the meaning.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Basics of Zakat - How to Calculate and whom to give


Zakat is one of the 5 main Tenets of Islam, the others being :

1) Kalma / Shahada (testifying that there is only one God and Prophet Muhammed is His Final Messenger
2) Namaz (five daily prayers)
3) Zakat (Alms)
4) Roza (Fasting in the month of Ramzan)
5) Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah by those who can afford)

It is Compulsory on every Muslim to pay Yearly Charity (Zakat). This can be spread out throughout the year (Islamic Calender begins with Muharram). Most people give it in the month of Ramzan as it is said the benefit (sawaab) of every act of kindness, goodness and charity is doubled in this Holy Month. Zakat is to be calculated @2.5% of all your income minus payables plus investments. Those who are in doubt on how to calculate, the simplest way to calculate is to add up all your savings lying in bank account/s, Fixed Deposits, Gold, Silver, Shares and other investments like extra unused house (minus loan payable, if any), land etc at current market rate and arrive at 2.5% of the value and Give away!

For those earning out of agricultural produce and owning livestock, the percentage is slightly higher and different.

Who is entitled to Receive Zakat ?

"The alms are only for the Fuqara' (the poor), and Al-Masakin (the needy) and those employed to collect (the funds); and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islam); and to free the captives; and for those in debt; and for Allah's Cause, and for the wayfarer (a traveler who is cut off from everything); a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise." [Al-Quran 9:60]

These people are classified as follows :

1) Fuqaraa : Very poor people (destitutes)

2) Masakeen : People having basic property and other things of survival but leading a hand to mouth existence (needy).

3)AamileenRepresentatives of charity organisations or NGOs or representatives appointed by State in an Islamic nation (authorised Zakat collectors).

4)Muallafatul Quloob: Those poor and needy persons who are given Zakat with the intentions of solidifying their hearts because they maybe recently converted to Islam (as some of them might have been boycotted by family society and have no wealth / property)

5)Ar-Riqaab: Master of Slaves to buy their freedom (buying freedom of a slave). This was more prevalent in olden days

6)Ibnus-Sabeel: A traveler, who, whilst wealthy at his residence, is stranded and in need of financial assistance (Wayfarer)

7) Al Ghaarimeen: To pay someone's debt - A person whose debts exceeds his assets and his net assets (after deducting his liabilities) is below the Nisab limit. To determine whether a person qualifies, his basic necessities of life (house, furniture, clothes, vehicle, etc.) will not be taken into account

8)Fi Sabeelillah: Those who are away from home in the path of Allah. Those in some social cause, on a valid purpose, or travelling in search of knowledge or a stranded Haji may be assisted with Zakat if they are in need. 

Who cannot be given Zakat?

1) Zakat cannot be given to kith and kin like parents, grandfather, etc., or to one's children and grandchildren. A husband and wife cannot give Zakat to each other. It is farz (compulsory) for us to look after their needs. And fulfillment of their needs, though considered as 'Sadaqa' (charity) by Allah cannot be included in compulsory Zakat

2) Cannot be given to organisations which invest Zakat funds in property, shares and or to pay off salaries of their staff.

3) If one cannot determine whether the recipient is needy or not, then it is better to make enquiries before giving him / them Zakat. 

4) Zakat cannot be used for the Kafan (or burial expenses) of a deceased person who has no heirs, because at that time he/she cannot become the owner.

5) A dead person's debt cannot be paid from Zakat as he cannot directly benefit from it.

Remember that the first right on Zakat is of our poor relatives, then poor neighbours, then poor in our surroundings (this can include NGOs/ Orphanages or people doing social work in area) and then you may include bigger Charity groups. You need not give all to one person. First make a list of all needy people, groups, organisations known to you and wish to donate. Then decide whom to give how much and start donating... Keep a little contingency for near and far acquaintances or people who come to your place in Ramzan asking for Zakat.


Please click on link to find Zakat Calculator, which will give in detail how Zakat amount is arrived : masjid.ch/data/documents/Zakat=20Calculator.xls


May Allah bless our earnings!

Also Referredhttp://www.hidaya.org

Friday, July 27, 2012

Surah Al Anam (The Cattle)

 
                       
The gist of the entire Surah is One-ness and Greatness of Allah. It tells us about the various attributes of Allah, his Mightiness and control of things. There are several signs through which He Gives us reason to believe in Him. It tells us about the grave consequences of not believing in Him and his Messengers and Verses (Quran). The Verse also reminds us several times that we all will be judged by Allah on the Day of Judgement. And also tells us of the Punishment that awaits the wrong doers after the Day of Judgement (Qayamat).

The Surah, which means 'The Cattle' begins with the verse that all praise is to Allah and goes on to prove that He is the Almighty and further goes on to list the Attributes of Allah SWT (Ayat 1 to 6)

1) He has created the heavens and the earth.
2) He has created us from mud and given us a specific life term known to Him.
3) He knows what we reveal and what we hide.
4) He has sent us many signs of his Greatness which we see all around us.
5) He has destroyed whole communities and generations and regions before us who have wronged and chose a path other than favoured by Allah.

But inspite of all the signs and proofs and the Messengers sent to us over various periods of time, there are still many who deny the truth and refuse to believe.

The Surah states that even if a written scripture was sent and they would touch it by the hands of those who do not believe, they would pass it off as Magic and refuse to believe.

Even if an Angel was sent, then also the Unbelievers would not believe. Many messengers and Prophets were sent before Prophet Muhammed SAS to prove the One-ness and Greatness of Allah (God), but they too were mocked and ridiculed. And all these people have earlier had a terrible end.

Then the Surah goes on to give the following message to Prophet Mohammed SAS and the believers (Ayat 12 to 15):

1) To Allah belongs the Earth and the Heavens
2) He is Merciful
3) He will assemble us all on the Day of Judgement and make us accountable for our actions.
4) To Allah belongs all that happens by night and by day.
5) He is the Hearer and the All Knower.
6) Why then should we take someone other than Allah as a protector and Creator of the Heavens while He feeds us. And He does not need to be fed.

And if you disobey the Lord, a tremendous punishment awaits us.

Ayat 17 to 19 go on to describe more attritubes of Allah :

1) If Allah touches us with adversity, only He can remove it.
2) And it is He who can bring us Good.
3) He is The Wise and Aquainted with All.

Ayat 20 gives us this final message which is the gist of all of the above:

Say, "What thing is greatest in testimony?" Say, " Allah is witness between me and you. And this Qur'an was revealed to me that I may warn you thereby and whomever it reaches. Do you [truly] testify that with Allah there are other deities?" Say, "I will not testify [with you]." Say, "Indeed, He is but one God, and indeed, I am free of what you associate [with Him]."

Ayat 22 to 25 tells of the consequence of not believing in Oneness of Allah and associating partners / dieties

And [mention, O Muhammad], the Day We will gather them all together; then We will say to those who associated others with Allah , "Where are your 'partners' that you used to claim [with Him]?"

Then there will be no [excuse upon] examination except they will say, "By Allah , our Lord, we were not those who associated."

See how they will lie about themselves. And lost from them will be what they used to invent

And among them are those who listen to you, but We have placed over their hearts coverings, lest they understand it, and in their ears deafness. And if they should see every sign, they will not believe in it. Even when they come to you arguing with you, those who disbelieve say, "This is not but legends of the former peoples."

Surah Al Anam mostly deals with the One-ness of Allah, the Importance of Believing in Allah and the Last Day (Qayamat). It states in Ayat 33 that those who call Mohammed SAS Untruthful are actually rejecting the Verses of Allah (God).

Here, Allah through the following verse also boosts the Morale of our Beloved Prophet not to be sad and be patient and tells him of the various messengers who were sent before him who were denied.

And certainly were messengers denied before you, but they were patient over [the effects of] denial, and they were harmed until Our victory came to them. And none can alter the words of Allah . And there has certainly come to you some information about the [previous] messengers (Ayat 34)

And We have already sent [messengers] to nations before you, [O Muhammad]; then We seized them with poverty and hardship that perhaps they might humble themselves. (Ayat 42)

Then why, when Our punishment came to them, did they not humble themselves? But their hearts became hardened, and Satan made attractive to them that which they were doing (Ayat 43)

Allah warns us through the following verses for taking partners besides Allah and refusing his Supremacy:

Say, "Have you considered: if Allah should take away your hearing and your sight and set a seal upon your hearts, which deity other than Allah could bring them [back] to you?" Look how we diversify the verses; then they [still] turn away (Ayat 46)

Say, "Have you considered: if the punishment of Allah should come to you unexpectedly or manifestly, will any be destroyed but the wrongdoing people?" (Ayat 47)

Futher verses in Surah Al Anam which prove the Greatness of Allah :

Allah is Aware of Everything. And Everything is under His Control.

And with Him are the keys of the unseen; none knows them except Him. And He knows what is on the land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but that He knows it. And no grain is there within the darknesses of the earth and no moist or dry [thing] but that it is [written] in a clear record.

And it is He who takes your souls by night and knows what you have committed by day. Then He revives you therein that a specified term may be fulfilled.

He sends over you guardian-angels until, when death comes to one of you, Our messengers take him, and they do not fail [in their duties].
(Ayat 60-62)

Allah also sends us Tests to check our faith levels and how we score through it. This is proved through the following verses :

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.

(Afflictions from above and below are the various natural disastors which keep afflicting us all).

Then the Surah gives us the about how Signs were sent to Prophet Abraham so that He believes (Ayat 74 to Ayat 80)

And [mention, O Muhammad], when Abraham said to his father Azar, "Do you take idols as deities? Indeed, I see you and your people to be in manifest error."

And thus did We show Abraham the realm of the heavens and the earth that he would be among the certain [in faith]

So when the night covered him [with darkness], he saw a star. He said, "This is my lord." But when it set, he said, "I like not those that disappear."

And when he saw the moon rising, he said, "This is my lord." But when it set, he said, "Unless my Lord guides me, I will surely be among the people gone astray."

And when he saw the sun rising, he said, "This is my lord; this is greater." But when it set, he said, "O my people, indeed I am free from what you associate with Allah .

Indeed, I have turned my face toward He who created the heavens and the earth, inclining toward truth, and I am not of those who associate others with Allah ."

And his people argued with him. He said, "Do you argue with me concerning Allah while He has guided me? And I fear not what you associate with Him [and will not be harmed] unless my Lord should will something. My Lord encompasses all things in knowledge; then will you not remember?

Ayat 84 to Ayat 86 tells us of the Righteous People Chosen and Preferred and Guided by Allah, the Almighty.

And We gave to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - all [of them] We guided. And Noah, We guided before; and among his descendants, David and Solomon and Job and Joseph and Moses and Aaron. Thus do We reward the doers of good.

And Zechariah and John and Jesus and Elias - and all were of the righteous.

And Ishmael and Elisha and Jonah and Lot - and all [of them] We preferred over the worlds.


The Bounties of Allah to Mankind are mentioned from Ayat 95 to 99:

Indeed, Allah is the cleaver of grain and date seeds. He brings the living out of the dead and brings the dead out of the living. That is Allah ; so how are you deluded?

[He is] the cleaver of daybreak and has made the night for rest and the sun and moon for calculation.

And it is He who placed for you the stars that you may be guided by them through the darknesses of the land and sea. We have detailed the signs for a people who know.

And it is He who produced you from one soul and [gave you] a place of dwelling and of storage.

And it is He who sends down rain from the sky, and We produce thereby the growth of all things. We produce from it greenery from which We produce grains arranged in layers. And from the palm trees - of its emerging fruit are clusters hanging low. And [We produce] gardens of grapevines and olives and pomegranates, similar yet varied. Look at [each of] its fruit when it yields and [at] its ripening. Indeed in that are signs for a people who believe.

More attributes of Allah thru futher verses :

1) He is a Creator of all things.
2) He does not have companions, so he cannot have a Son (or daughter or any other relative)
3) Vision perceives Him not, He perceives all Vision.

We are advised not to insult those who do not believe in Allah or deny His Verses as their hearts and sealed:

And do not insult those they invoke other than Allah , lest they insult Allah in enmity without knowledge. Thus We have made pleasing to every community their deeds. Then to their Lord is their return, and He will inform them about what they used to do. (Ayat 108)

And thus We have made for every prophet an enemy - devils from mankind and jinn, inspiring to one another decorative speech in delusion. But if your Lord had willed, they would not have done it, so leave them and that which they invent. (Ayat 112)

A few wrong-doers are mentioned in some of the further verses who spread wrong practices in Religion and made others follow :

And they say, "What is in the bellies of these animals is exclusively for our males and forbidden to our females. But if it is [born] dead, then all of them have shares therein." He will punish them for their description. Indeed, He is Wise and Knowing. (Ayat 139)

Those will have lost who killed their children in foolishness without knowledge and prohibited what Allah had provided for them, inventing untruth about Allah . They have gone astray and were not [rightly] guided. (ayat 140)

What is it that Allah expects of Us? And what should we convey to others?

Say, "Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you. [He commands] that you not associate anything with Him, and to parents, good treatment, and do not kill your children out of poverty; We will provide for you and them. And do not approach immoralities - what is apparent of them and what is concealed. And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right. This has He instructed you that you may use reason." (Ayat 151)

And do not approach the orphan's property except in a way that is best until he reaches maturity. And give full measure and weight in justice. We do not charge any soul except [with that within] its capacity. And when you testify, be just, even if [it concerns] a near relative. And the covenant of Allah fulfill. This has He instructed you that you may remember. (Ayat 152)

Through the above verses it is clear what a True Muslim is expected to do :

1) Do not Associate anyone with Allah
2) Do good to parents
3) Do not kill children out of Poverty (either when born or in womb) as Allah provides for all.
4) Give true and correct testification in matters of dispute or trial even if a close relative is involved in it.
5) Do not kill anyone except by legal right (here legal right means that if a person has killed someone, the relative of the deceased can command his killing as per Islamic law, or they can choose to forgive him/her and remand compensation money)
6) Do not cheat or squander an orphan's property till he reaches maturity (if u are his/ her guardian)
7) Do not do immoral things.
8) Be just and honest in Trade and do not overcharge someone beyond his/ her capacity

A warning to those who have made sects within Religion (this especially applies to Muslims):

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. (Ayat 159)

To conclude here is a guidance to us all, well said through Ayat 162 :

Say, "Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah , Lord of the worlds.

The Surah has 165 Ayats, all clearly stating on following the Right Path, believing in the One-ness of Allah, the Day of Judgement and the consequences of going astray.

Reference :
Translated verses taken from : http://quran.com/


Sunday, July 22, 2012

DESTRUCTIONS MENTIONED IN QURAN

I had set up studying Surah Al Anam (Chapter 6 of Quran) and writing about it today. It had been a long while since I had covered 5 chapters in Quran and tried to bring out what it taught us all.

When I came to Verse 6 of the Surah, it went as follows :

Have they not seen how many generations We destroyed before them which We had established upon the earth as We have not established you? And We sent [rain from] the sky upon them in showers and made rivers flow beneath them; then We destroyed them for their sins and brought forth after them a generation of others.

Having read that, I wanted to know how many generations of people were actually destroyed by Allah when they disobeyed the commands of the Lord and the teachings sent upon the people through various Prophets spread over several periods of time.

I knew about the Story of Noah and his Ark, which is mentioned in the Bible and Quran. In fact, most of us know about how an entire land was destroyed by floods for making mockery of the Allah’s commandments. I had a faint idea of the Land of Sodom, though not the detailed account of it. And I wanted to know about it and other accounts of destruction mentioned in Quran.

I searched up and found the Story of Lut and his people, the Story of Ad and Ubair, the Story of the people of Pompeii. Most of the accounts taken from the respective references have been kept verbatim and important verses have been chosen to keep it short and concise. For in-depth study, the links mentioned alongside can be referred to.

I am taking up the well-known story of Prophet Noah at the end, and we will study that too in detail for our knowledge and for those who know nothing about it.

DESTRUCTIONS MENTIONED IN SURAH ANAM AND VARIOUS VERSES OF QURAN

People of Lut and the city which was turned upside down

Prophet Lut was sent as a messenger to one of Prophet Ibrahim's neighbouring communities. These people, as the Qur’an tells us, practiced a perversion unknown to the world up to then, namely sodomy. When Lut told them to give up this perversion and brought them Allah's warning, they denied him, refused his prophethood, and carried on with their perversion. In the end, these people were destroyed by a dreadful disaster.

The city where Lut resided is referred to as Sodom in the Old Testament. This is where the word ‘sodomy’ comes from. Being situated at the north of the Red Sea, this community is understood to have been destroyed just as it is written in the Qur’an. Archaeological studies reveal that the city is located in the area of the Dead Sea (referred in ancient history also as ‘Lake of Lut’) which stretches along the Israel-Jordan border.

We also (sent) Lut: He said to his people: “Do ye commit lewdness such as no people in creation (ever) committed before you?

For ye practise your lusts on men in preference to women : ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds.”

And his people gave no answer but this: they said, “Drive them out of your city: these are indeed men who want to be clean and pure!”

But we saved him and his family, except his wife: she was of those who legged behind.

And we rained down on them a shower (of brimstone): Then see what was the end of those who indulged in sin and crime!
(Surat al-Araf: Verses 80-84)

(This incident also has mention in the Old Testament of Bible)


The destructions and warning and incidents of the destructions brought upon on the people of Sodom, is clearly mentioned in various verses of Surah Al Qamar , Surah Ash Shuara , Surah Al Araf , Surah Al Ankaboot, Surah Al Hijr, Surah Adh Dhariyat, Surah Hud,

Scientific evidence of Destruction of the Destruction of the people of Sodom and Gomarrah (where Prophet Lut lived) :

National Geographic makes the following comment on December 1957;

The mount of Sodom, a barren wasteland, rises sharply above the dead sea. No one has ever found the destroyed cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, but scholars believe that they stood in the Vale of Siddim across from these cliffs. Possibly flood waters of the Dead Sea engulfed them following an earthquake. (6)

People of Pompeii

Yes, “no change will be found in Allah’s way (rules)”. Everybody, who stands against His laws and rebels against Him, is subject to the same divine law. Pompeii, the symbol of the degeneration of the Roman Empire, was also involved in sexual perversity. Its end was similar to that of the people of Lut.

The destruction of Pompeii came by means of the eruption of the volcano Vesuvius.

The removal of Pompeii from the face of the earth by such a disaster was not purposeless. The historical record shows that the city was exactly a center of dissipation and perversity


It was no more than a single mighty Blast, and behold! they were (like ashes) quenched and silent. (Surah Yaseen)


Reference:
http://www.islamicity.com/science/QuranAndScience/destruction/GeneratedFilesnoframe/ThePeopleofLutandTheCitywhichwasTurnedUpsideDown.htm

People of ‘Ad and Ubair and the Atlantis of Sand

Another people who were destroyed and who are mentioned in various Surah of the Qur’an is ‘Ad, who are mentioned after the people of Nuh (Prophet Noah). Being sent to ‘Ad, Prophet Hud summoned his people, just like all the other prophets had done, to believe in Allah without ascribing partners to Him and to obey Him, the prophet of that time. The people reacted to Hud with animosity. They accused him of imprudence, untruthfulness, and attempting to change the system their ancestors had established.

In Surah Hud, all that passed between Hud and his people is told in detail;

To the Ad People (We sent) Hud, one of their own brethren. He said: “O my people! worship Allah! ye have no other god but Him. (Your other gods) ye do nothing but invent!

O my people! I ask of you no reward for this (Message). My reward is from none but Him who created me: Will ye not then understand?

And O my people! Ask forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him (in repentance): He will send you the skies pouring abundant rain, and add strength to your strength: so turn ye not back in sin!”

They said: “O Hud! No Clear (Sign) that hast thou brought us, and we are not the ones to desert our gods on thy word! Nor shall we believe in thee!

We say nothing but that (perhaps) some of our gods may have seized thee with imbecility.”

He said: “I call Allah to witness, and do ye bear witness, that I am free from the sin of ascribing, to Him, Other gods as partners! so scheme (your worst) against me, all of you, and give me no respite. I put my trust in Allah, My Lord and your Lord! There is not a moving creature, but He hath grasp of its fore-lock. Verily, it is my Lord that is on a straight Path.

If ye turn away,- I (at least) have conveyed the Message with which I was sent to you. My Lord will make another people to succeed you, and you will not harm Him in the least. For my Lord hath care and watch over all things.”


So when Our decree issued, We saved Hud and those who believed with him, by (special) Grace from Ourselves: We saved them from a severe penalty.

Such were the Ad People: they rejected the Signs of their Lord and Cherisher; disobeyed His messengers; And followed the command of every powerful, obstinate transgressor.

And they were pursued by a Curse in this life - and on the Day of Judgment. Ah! Behold! for the 'Ad rejected their Lord and Cherisher! Ah! Behold! removed (from sight) were 'Ad the people of Hud!

(Surah Hud: Verses 50-60)

The people who showed animosity to Hud and rebelled against Allah, were indeed destroyed. A horrible sandstorm annihilated ‘Ad as if they had “never existed”.

And the 'Ad, they were destroyed by a furious Wind, exceedingly violent. He made it rage against them seven nights and eight days in succession: so that thou couldst see the (whole) people lying prostrate in its (path), as they had been roots of hollow palm-trees tumbled down! (Surat al-Haaqqa: 6-7)

The details of disaster are also mentioned in some verses of Surah Al Qamar, Surah Al Ahqaf.

Scientific Proof :


At the beginning of 1990, there appeared press-releases in the well-known newspapers of the world declaring “Fabled Lost Arabian city found”, “Arabian city of Legend found”, “The Atlantis of the Sands, Ubar”. What rendered this archaeological find more intriguing was the fact that this city was also referred to in the Qur’an. Many people who, since then, thought that ‘Ad recounted in the Qur’an were a legend or that their location could never be found, could not conceal their astonishment at this discovery

Reference:

http://www.islamicity.com/science/QuranAndScience/destruction/GeneratedFilesnoframe/ThePeopleof145AdandUbartheAtlantisoftheSands.htm


Noah and his Ark

For many generations Noah's people had been worshipping statues that they called gods. They believed that these gods would bring them good, protect them from evil and provide all their needs. They gave their idols names such as Wadd, Suwa', Yaghuth, Ya'auq, and Nasr. They thought that these gods were possessed.

{They (idolaters) have said: "You shall not leave your gods nor shall you leave Wadd, nor Suwa, nor Yaghuth, nor Ya uq nor Nasr (names of the idols)."} [Surah Nuh : Verse 23]

Originally these were the names of good people who had lived among them. After their deaths, statues of them were erected to keep their memories alive. After sometime, however, people began to worship these statues. Later generations did not even know why they had been erected; they only knew their parents had prayed to them. That is how idol worshipping developed. Since they had no understanding of Allah the Almighty Who would punish them for their evil deeds, they became cruel and immoral

When Noah approached the people of his land to accept and follow in the Oneness of Allah, he was rejected and mocked at.

{Indeed We sent Noah to his people (he said): "I have come to you as a plain Warner that you worship none but Allah, surely, I fear for you the torment of a painful Day." the chiefs of the disbelievers among his people said: "We see you but a man like ourselves, nor do we see any follow you but the meanest among us and they too followed you without thinking. And we do not see in you any merit above us in fact we think you are liars.}[Surah Hud:25-27]

Noah appealed to them: {O my people! I ask of you no wealth for it, my reward is from none but Allah. I am not going to drive away those who have believed. Surely, they are going to meet their Lord, but I see that you are a people that are ignorant. O my people! Who will help me against Allah, if I drove them away? Will you not then give a thought? And I do not say to you that with me are the Treasures of Allah nor that I know the unseen, nor do I say I am an angel, and I do not say of those whom your eyes look down upon that Allah will not bestow any good on them. Allah knows what is in their inner selves (regards to Belief). In that case, I should, indeed be one of the Zalimeen (wrongdoers, oppressors).}

[Surah Hud: Verses 29-31]

Noah continued to call his people to believe in Allah for nine hundred fifty years. Allah the Almighty said: {Indeed We sent Noah to his people and he stayed among them a thousand years less fifty years (inviting them to believe in the Oneness of Allah (Monotheism) and discard the false gods and other deities)} [Surah Al Ankabut: Verse 14]

Noah saw that the number of believers was not increasing, while that of the disbelievers was. He was sad for his people, but he never reached the point of despair.

There came a day when Allah revealed to Noah that no others would believe. Allah inspired him not to grieve for them at which point Noah prayed that the disbelievers be destroyed. He said:

"My Lord! Leave not one of the disbelievers on the earth. If you leave them, they will mislead Your slaves and they will beget none but wicked disbeliveers." [Surah Nuh:Verse 27]

Allah the Exalted ordered His worshipper Noah to build an ark with His knowledge and instructions and with the help of angels. Almighty Allah commanded:

We revealed to him: "Build the Ship under Our supervision and as We reveal. When Our command comes and water bubbles up from the earth, load into it a pair of every species, and your family-except for those among them against whom the word has already gone ahead. And do not address Me concerning those who do wrong. They shall be drowned." [Surah Hud:Verse 37]


{As he was constructing the ship, whenever the chiefs of his people passed by him, they made a mockery of him. He said : "If you mock at us, so do we mock at you likewise for your mocking. And you will know who it is on whom will come a torment that will cover him with disgrace and on whom will fall a lasting torment.} [Surah Hud :38-39 ]

{So it was till then there came Our Command and the oven gushed forth (water like fountains from the earth). We said: "Embark therein, of each kind two (male and female), and your family, except him against whom the Word has already gone forth, and those who believe." And none believed him except a few.} [Surah Hud : 40]



O Earth! Swallow up your water, and O sky! Withhold (your rain). The water was diminished (made to subside) and the Decree (of Allah) was fulfilled (the destruction of the people of Noah). And it (the ship) rested on Mount Judi, and it was said: "Away with the people who are Zalimeen (polytheists, and wrongdoing)!}


{O Noah! Come down (from the ship) with peace from Us and blessings on you and on the people o\who are with you(and on some of their offspring), but (there will be other) people to whom We shall grant their pleasures (for a time), but in the end a painful torment will reach them from Us.}
[Surah Hud:verses 41-48 ]

This is how another community of people who had gone astray from the part of Allah were destroyed.

Scientific evidence :

In recent times, the discovery of a large amount of evidence concerning Nuh's Flood has come to the attention of the world's most prominent archaeologists and historians. The Flood, believed to have occurred around 3000 B.C., destroyed an entire civilisation and allowed an entirely new one to be founded in its place. That evidence of the Flood was preserved for thousands of years provides a deterrent to those people who have come after this punishment of the wicked.

Many excavations have been carried out to study the flood, which was localised on and around the Mesopotamian Plains. Digs in the region have encountered traces of a flood in four main cities on the Mesopotamian Plain: Ur, Erech, Kish and Shuruppak. Excavations in these cities have shown that these cities were hit by flooding around 3000 B.C.

Reference :

http://en.islamstory.com/prophet-nuh.html
http://www.miraclesofthequran.com/historical_06.html

All those regions who wronged, mocked the prophets and refused in the oneness of GOD and committed acts of immorality in large numbers, were destroyed by God through various disasters, which wiped them off the land. So let us all save ourselves from the wrath of Allah and follow the Right Path, the path of Siratul –Mustaqeem. Ameen.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

MUSIC IN ISLAM



Music is prohibited in Islam. The only permissible instrument is the 'Daf' (flat and round- similar to a drum, but with only one side).  'Daf' is akin to the 'Dafli' in India. The version used here has the twin metallic circular dics at the sides, adding a tingling sound to the heavy sound of the instrument. The version used in Gulf is flatter and bigger and mostly without the metallic dics. Though music is prohibited, beautiful recitation of Quran is part of Islamic culture. It is called the 'Qiraat'. When you hear a 'Qiraat' of some Hafiz (one who knows the entire Quran by heart)- the octaves, balancing of low and high pitch and controlling of breath, the best of best singers appear nothing. It is that amazing ! And when a Qiraat or Nasheed (religious song) is accompanied by a beautiful voice, then the entire effect is breath-taking ! And no music (not even a Daf) is required as the words flow with such musical perfection.... Subhanallah!

If on one hand, 'Qiraat' (beautiful and rhythmic recitation of Quran) is highlighted, then why is Music banned by itself? Now there is a philosophy to it...

The main purpose of prohibiting music is the effect it has. You go into another make-believe world, oblivious to the surroundings around you. You might forget your duties and are likely to even forget to remember God. Similar to the effect an intoxicating thing has on a person! Haven't we seen people with plugs into their ears all the time? Such people play their music so loud and get so lost, they cannot hear or see anything sometimes. Some meet with accidents, especially in a crowded city like Mumbai where you hang and travel, cross railway lines to save time etc. We even see some extra smart dudes driving with blaring music and going 'high' on it, singing along alongwith bullying others or knocking someone down, just like the effect 'drinking and driving' has!

Another answer lies in the point -Music is more attached to earthly ups and down! The purpose in Islam is not to get too attached to worldly life as this is just a transitory place. We should strive towards betterment of our afterlife. And Islam doesn't believe in rebirth. You are born, you die and will be brought back to life on the Day of Judgement, when you will atone for your actions. And based on that, your afterlife will be decided. Actually our afterlives start immediately after we die wherein we start paying for our actions from our graves itself.

Yes, a simple song of life and good values and religion can do no harm and is acceptable. But without excessive music. What I want to highlight is that with a good sound and 'sur' and tone and right octaves, music is not even essential. I've heard such kind of 'nasheeds'. But then Music should be basic and not too loud to take you into too much materialism. There are several schools of thought within Islam on this subject. You will find a lot of Islamic music on one hand, while some others totally prohibit.


In my opinion (and what a Muslim scholar would agree with) -A well educated person or an intelligent person knows the difference between moderation and excess. But for the common man, who does not know, for him/her if an excess or loud or large doses of something can destroy, then better to prohibit the smaller dose. Because he/she would not know the defining line between moderation and excess. That is a deeper philosophy.Hence the key to everything is ' seeking knowledge' and learning, which is highlighted in many places in Quran, irrespective of Gender. Hence, in the first Chapter of Quran itself ((Surah Al-Baqarah (The Cow) )) , lot of stress is laid on education and it prohibits people from wishfully thinking or propagating religion in their own way! -''And there are among them unlettered people, who know not the Book, but they trust upon false desires and they but guess.'' (Al-Baqarah 2:78)

So may Allah guide us to the Right Path and help us differentiate between good, bad, moderation and excess!


Monday, May 14, 2012

IMPORTANCE AND ETIQUETTES OF A MARRIAGE (NIKAH)



Marriage is an Important act in Islam. It is ‘Sunnah’ for all, including Islamic priests. Every act of marriage, from sending a proposal to accepting it to the requirements during a Nikah ceremony to Rights of husband and wife over each other and their children and property are clearly defined in Islam. But through this article I just wish to highlight the Importance of Marriage, Rules of Sending and Accepting Proposals and actual Nikah.

The Importance of Marriage is highlighted through the below Surahs of Quran :

"It is He who created you from a single person, and made his mate of like nature, in order that he might dwell with her (in love)"  (Surah 7, Al Araf, The Heights: 189)

"It is He who created man from water: then has He established relationships of lineage through marriage:
for Thy Lord has power (over all things)." 
(Surah 25, Al Furqan, The Criterion: 54)

"And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are signs for those who reflect." (Surah 30, Al Rum, The Romans: 21)

  
SELECTING A SPOUSE :

What are the points one should consider in selecting a spouse ?

The first thing we should look for when marrying is how committed the person is to Islam. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wassallam) said, "A woman is normally sought as a wife for her wealth, beauty, nobility, or religiousness (adherence to Islam), so choose a religious woman and you will prosper." (Muslim) "A woman is married for four things, i.e., her wealth, her family status, her beauty and her religion. So you should marry the religious woman (otherwise) you will be a loser."(Bukhari) "The whole world is a provision, and the best object of benefit of the world is the pious woman. (Muslim)

The same holds true when looking for a husband, as our beloved Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wassallam) said, "When someone with whose religion and character you are satisfied, asks to marry your daughter, comply with his request. If you do not do so, there will be corruption and great evil on earth." (Tirmidhi)

Of course, both parties have to agree to marry one another and they cannot be forced to marry one another. Our Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wassallam) said, "A woman whom has been previously married has more right concerning herself than her guardian, and a virgin’s consent must be asked about herself" (Bukhari and Muslim)

 THE WEDDING CEREMONY (NIKAH)

Components of a Nikah are :

1. “ Consent”:

Narrated Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him): The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "A matron should not be given in marriage except after consulting her; and a virgin should not be given in marriage except after her permission." The people asked, "O Allah's Messenger! How can we know her permission?" He said, "Her silence indicates her permission." (Bukhari and Muslim)

This is further clarified as below :
Narrated Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) I said, "O Allah's Messenger! A virgin feels shy." He said, "Her consent is expressed by her silence." (Bukhari).

Here the word virgin refers to a previously unmarried girl. Her permission must be sought before selecting a groom for her. A matron refers to a previously married (but divorced /a widow). Such a lady should be consulted before marrying her as she is capable of deciding what’s best for her. There is a provision for widows and divorcees to be re-married, but it should be completely her choice as there are legal concerns (rights on her children and inheritance of a deceased husband).

2. “ The Walee (Woman’s  Guardian)”:

The Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wassallam) said, "There is no nikah except with a wallee."(Ahmad, Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi)

A walee / guardian / legal representative is required for a girl. The reason for this is to ensure that all rights due to a woman in marriage (especially ‘Mahr’ and others) are duly given to her. It also enables her to take a sound decision by cross reference through her guardian, who wills good for her.

But a walee is not required  nor compulsory  for a male, who is considered sensible enough to take his own decisions. He may take guidance, but not a a guardian.

3.“ Two Witnesses”:

The Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wassallam) said, "There is no marriage except with a wallee and trustworthy witnesses." (Sahih - Bayhaqee) Also, "There is no marriage except with a wallee and two witnesses." (Sahih Al-JaamiĆ¢)

Just like any law, even today, a witness is very crucial so that tomorrow nobody denies having married.

4. “ The Mahr (Dowry)": 

Allah says (what means): "And give to the women their dowry with a good heart, but if they out of their own good pleasure remit any part of it to you, take it and enjoy it without fear of any harm." (Al-Nisa 4:4) 

The mahr can be of any amount, The Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wassallam) said, "Look for one even if it was an iron ring." (Bukhari and Muslim)

The woman is not obliged to give the man anything at the time of the wedding, as is done in some cultures. So those who take ‘Dowry’ are disobeying Islam. This is what a ‘biddah’ is all about. But we keep harping on non-issues!

OTHER RULES REGARDING MARRIAGE :

Etiquettes of sending and accepting a marriage proposal :

1) Trying for a proposal for a girl where already some groom has been finalized (engaged) or marriage proposal is under consideration :
The Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wassallam) decreed that one should not try to cancel a bargain already agreed upon between some other persons (by offering a bigger price). And a man should not ask for the hand of a girl who is already engaged to his Muslim brother, unless the first suitor gives her up, or allows him to ask for her hand. (Volume 7, Book 62, Number 73: Narrated Ibn 'Umar)  

This will ensure unnecessary enmity and confusion are not created between people.

2)   Seeing the would-be bride :
The man has permission to see her face before agreeing to marry as the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wassallam) said, "Go and look at her (the woman you are considering marrying) because this will help your time together to be strengthened." (Ahmad)

The Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wassallam) said, "Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him not have a private audience with a woman without her mahram." (Ahmad)

He should marry as soon as he is of suitable age :

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Salallahu Alyhi Wassalam) has said, "O youthful people, if any of you have the means to, he should get married, as it lowers the eyesight and protects the private parts. Those who have not the ability to do so should fast, as it will be a shield for him." (Bukhari and Muslim). 

All those who are sufficiently earning or have a decent means of income from some lawful business should get married. The above hadith is directed at men, as they are the ones who intiate a proposal based on their ability. Hence it is important for a man to be married soon so that he does not go astray. This fact is highlighted by adding that if you are not able to marry for some reasons, it is better to fast. This is said as a fasting person’s desires are weakened.

The same directions are given to a girl’s parents to having her married at the soonest, as soon as a suitable groom approaches with a proposal. The means of deciding on a decent groom is as below:

The prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wassallam) has also said, "When someone with whose religion and character you are satisfied, asks to marry your daughter, comply with his request. If you do not do so, there will be corruption and great evil on earth." (Tirmidhi)

Here again it is emphasized that if a religious and person with good character approaches with a marriage proposal, then the parents should consent, else there will be lots of wrong things happening as a consequence. What this means is not too difficult to comprehend.
It is often observed that if a boy likes a girl and approaches her parents, parents let a lot of factors like ego come in between and often end up rejecting the proposal, even if there is consent from the girl’s side also. The reasons could be many, a few being as below:
1) The boy and girl like each other, which has hurt the parent’s ego and just to keep their ego, they will not accept a boy from a different region, society etc even though he might be a kind and religious man.
2) The boy is from another caste. Islam does not differentiate between people on the basis of caste. It is prohibited in Islam and is a 'Biddah' (innovation).
3) The boy is from another order. There is only one right way in Islam, but now everyone seems to follow Islam in different variations, all thinking they are right. Better way to follow Islam is not to listen to views of various so-called maulvis, but reading and following Quran and Hadiths. This has sadly become a means of rejection of proposals, which is sad.
There could be other silly reasons, but as Allah states that this might lead to evil in the land. How’s that possible?
a) The boy and girl might decide to wait, and in the interim     
anything can happen
b) They might decide to run away.
c) The boy may lose hope and become depressed and fall ill
d) Or some person might lose sanity and take some weird step.
These are a few examples to quote.

If we follow all that Islam tells us instead of listening to people's / so-called learned people's views (which also vary as per the situation they are in), then we will be happy humans on the Right Path.

It is advisable to teach our children the real teachings of Islam, instead of camouflaging details to suit our egos. A few Islamic leaders have not revealed everything to all due to which there is a lot of ignorance today. In earlier days of illiteracy and non-awareness, people relied on such so-called religious leaders, only a few of who were genuine. But sadly today also, they have engrossed us in confusion over who's right and wrong, instead of just passing down the teachings without adding their opinions. And we, as learned individuals, have to refer the actual guides - Quran and Hadith. And if our understanding of certain issues is not too good, then we should refer to a genuine scholar of Islam.

Reference :