Kindness to Animals


The Prophet (pbuh) not only preached to the people to show kindness to each other but also to all living souls. He forbade the practice of cutting tails and manes of horses, of branding animals at any soft spot, and of keeping horses saddled unnecessarily. [Sahih Muslim] If he saw any animal over-loaded or Milad he would pull up the owner and say,
"Fear Allah in your treatment of animals." [Abu Dawood]
A companion came to him with the young ones of a bird in his sheet and said that the mother bird had hovered over them all along. He was directed to replace her offspring in the same bush (Mishkat, Abu Dawood)

During a journey, somebody picked up some birds eggs. The bird's painful note and fluttering attracted the attention of the Prophet (pbuh), who asked the man to replace the eggs. [Sahih Bukhari]

As his army marched towards Makkah to conquer it, they passed a female dog with puppies. The Prophet (pbuh) not only gave orders that they should not be disturbed, but posted a man to see that this was done.

He stated, "Verily, there is heavenly reward for every act of kindness done to a living animal."

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The Ship and the Lifeboats by Khalid Baig

  

The Ship and the Lifeboats

Although the pen and the sword are arrayed against it, Islam is spreading. But there are also problems within the Muslim reawakening.

By Khalid Baig

We are living at a time when the daily news about the world, especially about the Muslim world is quite depressing. In Palestine, Kashmir, Afghanistan, Iraq, and many other places Muslim life, property, and honor have been declared fair game by those who wield worldly power. It is not just armies waging this war. A whole gamut of institutions, from sophisticated research centers to slick media, is dedicated to the campaign to sow doubts, to spreads confusion, and to denigrate Islam. In hot spot after hot spot around the world, the sword is busy prosecuting a war on Islam. The pen is busy in both conducting a war on Islam and in trying to foment a war within Islam. While the unprecedented and unexpected momentum gained by the anti-war movement in the middle of February has given some hope that the mad rush to slaughter may be deflected, overall picture remains grim.

And yet these are also the times when people all over the world are coming to Islam in unprecedented numbers. At a time when Muslims have lost control of the sword and the pen, Islam is finding new followers everywhere everyday. (It is quite revealing that even as Islam continues to spread despite the sword, some people should continue to insist that it spread by the sword. As Qur'an repeatedly reminds us, the opponents of Islam are a very closed-minded lot).

Within the Muslim world also there are signs of awakening. Muslims are coming back to Islam after having toyed with one false ideology after another. Colonialism had hit them hard. It subjugated them physically, politically, economically, culturally, and mentally. An education system that they embraced as a ticket out of their miseries during that period of oppression compounded their problems by producing self-doubt and self-hate. It produced generations of perfect strangers within the house of Islam, who were then --- for this 'achievement' --- given leadership roles in all areas of Muslim societies. They hated their languages, their culture, and their religion. It is such people who rule the Muslim world today.

Yet, the scene is changing. More women are choosing hijab and are becoming more assertive about it as a symbol of their Islamic identity. There is a greater interest in Islamic knowledge. Qur'an lectures are attracting crowds that were not seen in the past. The nature of the questions people ask about Islam is also changing. There are more 'how to' and 'what to' questions than 'why' questions coming from the secular educated groups. The last Biswa Ijtima (annual gathering of Tablighi Jamaat in Bangladesh) attracted some two million attendees. What is more, they came from widely varying segments of society. A parallel growth can be seen in Islamic activism. Politics, media, relief and charity, education, and community service are all attracting new workers and new organizations. There is a new enthusiasm, new energy, and new awareness.

Our renewed interest in our religion is great but it is good to remember that Islamic revival will not take place through the blind leading the blind.

But there are also problems within this awakening. The period of colonialism was a big crash in which our ship was destroyed. In the immediate aftermath, survival was the main goal, and people came with whatever lifeboats they could. Now is the time to pick up the pieces and build the ship again. The problem is we have been living in the lifeboats for so long, we are confusing them with the ship. The schools for secular education were one such lifeboat. They imparted some skills necessary for survival in a changed world, although they impoverished Muslim education and society tremendously in so many ways. But today so many well-meaning people who get excited about spreading education in the Muslim world think of nothing more than establishing more of these same schools. Campaigns for 'democracy', whatever it means, were another such lifeboat, aimed at returning control of Muslim affairs to them thereby seeking liberation. Today, democracy or no democracy, nowhere do Muslims have any control over their affairs, but this lifeboat has become a ship and Khilafah, the Islamic system of governance, remains a strange entity. Islamic organizations were such a lifeboat, aimed at gathering like minded people so they could focus their resources and energies on some of the important things. Yet each of them is considered to be the ship by its occupants and captains, thereby creating new lines of cleavage within the Ummah.

There is another issue. Most of our new activism thrives on sincerity, concern and drive but not on knowledge or guidance. There are Islamic relief organizations providing much needed support for the destitute millions. But many do not show a sensitivity to check whether their fund raising methods are Islamic; whether they are distributing the zakat according to Shariah; whether their operation meets the Islamic guidelines. There are organizations focused on media and political activism --- certainly very important fields --- that sometime say things that the media or political establishment they are talking to would like to hear, even if they are totally wrong and un-Islamic. They seem to be doing as much damage as good through ignorance and carelessness.

The same observation can be made about our efforts at spreading Islamic knowledge. It is embarrassing how many of those giving lectures, issuing 'fatwas' (not necessarily calling them so but issuing legal opinions nonetheless), and conducting Qur'an lessons have no qualifications for the job. Yet they find a ready audience among those who confuse eloquence with scholarship.

Our renewed interest in our religion is great but it is good to remember that Islamic revival will not take place through the blind leading the blind. All Islamic work --- whether Dawah, or Jihad, or relief work or political or media activism --- requires guidance from the Shariah, which in turn requires knowledge and understanding. Recognizing the need for such guidance from true scholars is the first step in getting it. The questions we need to ask may not have ready-made answers but that does not justify not asking them or accepting answers from unqualified sources. There is a very good example in the work done in the field of Islamic finance during the last decades. It was the collaboration of religious scholars with experts in economics and finance that produced the body of knowledge today that did not exist before. A similar effort is needed in other fields. Muslim journalists working with scholars can help evolve an Islamic protocol for Journalism. Muslim activists working with scholars can help evolve Islamic protocol for media and political activism. Relief organizations can establish Shariah advisory boards to ensure their operations are within the bounds of Shariah.

Bringing our own house in order is the only response we can and must have to the threats, challenges, and fears we face today.

ref url: http://www.albalagh.net/current_affairs/ship_lifeboats.shtml 

Mercy to all Mankind


Allah Subhanoho wa-T'ala Says to Prophet Muhammad (s.a.a.w.) in The Holy Quran:

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِّلْعَالَمِين

"And We have not sent you except as a mercy to mankind." (The Prophets 21:107)

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With His Family and Children

Aisha, the wife of Muhammad (s.a.a.w.) said:
"Allah's Messenger (s.a.a.w.) used to patch his sandals, sew his garment and conduct himself at home as anyone of you does in his house. He was a human being, searching his garment for lice, milking his sheep, and doing his own chores." (Narrated by al-Tirmathi).

She also said:
"He would patch his garments and sole his sandals. " She was once asked: "How was he with his family?", she responded: "He was in the service of his family until it was time for prayer, at which time he would go and pray."

Ibne Malik narrated:
"I never saw anyone more merciful with children than the Messenger of Allah (s.a.a.w.)" (Narrated by Muslim)

Abu Hurairah narrated that:
"The Messenger of Allah never denigrated any type of food; if he liked it he ate it, and if he disliked it he left it alone" (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim)

Reference url: http://wings.buffalo.edu/sa/muslim/library/jesus-say/ch9.html

Al-Fatihah Tafseer by Dr. Israr Ahmad

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Al-Fatihah

Tafseer by Dr Israr Ahmad

Introduction

Surah Al-Fatihah is one of the very earliest revelations. Infact, we learn from

authentic traditions that it was the first complete surah revealed to the Prophet

(Peace be upon him). Before this, only a few miscellaneous verses were revealed

which form parts of surah Al-Alaq, Al-Muzzammil and Al-Muddathir.

This surah is called Al-Fatihah; the Opener of the Book, and the surah with

which prayers are begun. It is the greatest surah in the Qur’an, and it is also

called Umm Al-Kitab (Mother of the Book), because it contains the meanings of

the entire Qur’an. Other names for this surah are; Salah, Al-hamd, Umm al-

Qur'an, Al-Sab al-Mathani, As-Shifa, Ar-Ruqya, and so on. Infact more than fifty

names have been enumerated by Jalal Al-Din Al-Suyuti [12], in his famous book

"Al Itqan fi Ulum al Qur'an”.

Number of Ayat

There is consensus of majority of the scholars; from early generations that

surah Al-Fatihah contains seven ayat. However, they disagree over whether

Bismillah is a part of Al-Fatihah, and likewise every surah, or it is a separate

ayah. The first opinion, that Bismillah is a part of every surah except surah Al-

Tauba, is attributed to some Companions (May Allah be pleased with them all),

Imam Az-Zuhri, Imam As-Shafi, and Abdullah bin Al-Mubarak. They state that

Bismillah is a part of Al-Fatihah and the last ayat; “The Way of those whom You

have favored” and “not of those who have earned Your wrath, or of those who

have lost The Way.” are not separate ayat but a single ayah. On the other

hand, Imam Malik, Imam Abu Hanifa and their followers say that Bismillah is

not an ayah in Al-Fatihah or any other surah, and it is a separate ayah in the

beginning of every ayah. But there is no disagreement over the matter that Al-

Fatihah has seven ayat. Those who consider last two ayat as one ayah, include

Bismillah in it, and those who consider the last two as separate say Bismillah is

not a part of it.

Virtues of Al-Fatihah

This is the most important surah in the Qur’an, and there are a lot of Ahadith

which narrate the virtues of this surah. In Musnad of Imam Ahmed, he

recorded that Abu Hurayrah (May Allah be pleased with him), said, “The

Messenger of Allah went out while Ubayy bin Ka‘b was praying and said, “O’

Ubayy!”, Ubayy did not answer him. The Prophet said, “O’ Ubayy!”, Ubayy

prayed faster then went to the Messenger of Allah saying, “Peace be unto you,

O’ Messenger of Allah!” He said, “Peace be unto you. O’ Ubayy, what prevented

you from answering me when I called you”, Ubayy said, “O’ Messenger of Allah! I

was praying”. He said, “Did you not read among what Allah has sent down to

me”,

‘Answer Allah and Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life’.

He said, “Yes, O’ Messenger of Allah! I will not do it again.” the Prophet (Peace

be upon him) said; “Would you like me to teach you a surah the likes of which

nothing has been revealed in the Torah, the Injeel, the Zabur (Psalms) or the

Furqan (the Qur’an)”, He said, “Yes, O’ Messenger of Allah!”, the Messenger of

Allah said, “I hope that I will not leave through this door until you have learned

it.” He (Ubayy) said, “The Messenger of Allah held my hand while speaking to

me, meanwhile I was slowing down fearing that he might reach the door before

he finished his conversation. When we came close to the door, I said: “O’

Messenger of Allah! what is the surah that you have promised to teach me”. He

said, “What do you read in the prayer”. Ubayy said, “So I recited Umm Al-Qur’an

to him”. He said, “By Him in Whose Hand is my soul! Allah has never revealed in

the Torah, Injeel, Zabur or the Furqan a surah like it. It is the seven repeated

verses that I was given”.

Al-Fatihah and Salah

Al-Fatihah is also called Salah, because it is itself a prayer and reciting it is a

condition for the correctness of Salah-The Prayer, as recorded by Muslim that

Abu Hurayrah (May Allah be pleased with him) said, that the Prophet(Peace be

upon him) said;

“Whoever performs any prayer in which he did not read Umm Al-Qur’an (Al-

Fatihah), then his prayer is incomplete.” He said it thrice. [13]

There is another hadith, narrated by Abu Hurayrah (May Allah be pleased with

him) that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said; “Allah the exalted said, ‘I have

divided the prayer (Al-Fatihah) into two halves between Me and My servant. A

half of it is for Me and a half for My servant, and My servant shall acquire what

he asked for.

If he says, ‘All praise and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of existence’, Allah says,

‘My servant has praised Me.’

When the servant says, ‘The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.’

Allah says, ‘My servant has glorified Me.’

When he says, ‘Master of the Day of Judgment.’

Allah says, ‘My servant has glorified Me.’

When he says, ‘You (alone) we worship, and You (alone) we ask for help.’,

Allah says, ‘This is between Me and My servant, and My servant shall acquire

what he sought.’

When he says, ‘Guide us to the straight path. The way of those on whom You

have granted Your grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your anger, nor of

those who went astray’,

Allah says, ‘This is for My servant, and My servant shall acquire what he asked

for.’ ” [14]

In the above hadith, the word Salah is used in reference to the Qur’an (Al-

Fatihah), which also testifies the importance of this surah and reciting it during

every prayer, in every rak’ah.

Al-Fatihah is not merely an introduction to Qur’an, rather it is a prayer from

man and the Qur’an is the answer from his Lord. Thus it has a relationship of a

prayer and a response. If a person is an earnest seeker after truth, and

recognizes that the Lord of the Universe is the source of all knowledge, then he

prays to Allah to show him guidance and Allah places the whole of the Qur’an

before him in answer to his prayer.

All praise is for Allah, the Sustainer and Cherisher of the Worlds. Al-Fatihah

starts with the praise of Allah, who is the Lord and Creator of this world and

the Hereafter. It states that all thanks and praise are due purely to Allah alone,

and nothing is to be worshipped except Him. He is the Sustainer and Owner of

all that He has created in both Alams (Worlds).

The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Ar-Rahman (Most Gracious) and Ar-

Raheem (Most Merciful) are two words of the same root Ar-Rahmah (the mercy).

One of them is softer than the other, meaning, it carries more implications of

mercy. Allah is Ar-Rahman for all humankind irrespective of their belief in

Allah, whether they are good-doers or evil-doers; they all obtain their

sustenance from Allah, this is because Allah is Ar-Rahman. Allah is also Ar-

Raheem for the believers in Him. They receive special blessings from Allah, that

is, happiness and contentment in this life and reward in the Hereafter.

Master of the Day of Judgment. After Allah describes that He is Ar-Rahman and

Ar-Raheem, He immediately gives a warning, that along with His mercy, He is

also the Master of the Day of Judgment. So that a person should not forget that

along with His mercy He is also Just.

You Alone we worship and You Alone we call on for help. After the person has

praised Allah and thanked Him, now he stands before Him, addressing Him

directly; O’ Allah our worship, obedience, submission and devotion is only for

You alone, and we only serve You. O’ Allah we know that You are the Lord of

the Universe and You have the power over everything, therefore, we only turn

to You for help, for our needs and requirements.

Guide us to The Right Way. i.e. Make us firm on the straight path and don’t let

us deviate. The straight path mentioned here and elsewhere in the Qur’an

refers to Islam. We already mentioned the hadith in which the servant

proclaims, ‘Guide us to The Right Way’ , and Allah says, “This is for My servant

and My servant shall acquire what he has asked for.

The Way of those whom You have favored. i.e. The servant prays to Allah to

guide him towards the straight path in every walk of life, and the path of those

upon whom You have bestowed Your mercy i.e. people who are obedient to

Allah and His Messengers.

Not of those who have earned Your wrath, or of those who have lost The Way.

A servant also prays to Allah, to help him avoid the path of those whom Allah is

angry with, whose intentions are corrupt and who know the truth, yet they

deviate. And also help us to avoid the path of those who were led astray. These

two paths are of Jews and Christians. ‘Not of those who have earned Your

wrath’, refers the Jews and “ or of those who have lost The Way” is for the

Christians.

After finishing Al-Fatihah, it is recommended to say Amin, which means, ‘O’

Allah accept our invocation’, for those who are not praying and strongly

recommended for those who are praying. As the Messenger of Allah (Peace be

upon him) said:

“ When any of you says in the prayer Amin, and the angels in the heaven say,

Amin, in unison, his previous sins will be forgiven.”[15]

Foot Notes

[1] The Arabic word 'qur'an' is derived from the root qara'a, which has various meanings, such as to read, [Sura 17: 93.]

to recite, [Sura 75:18:17: 46.] etc. Qur'an is a verbal noun and hence means the 'reading' or 'recitation'. As used in the

Qur'an itself, the word refers to the revelation from Allah in the broad sense [Sura 17: 82.] and is not always restricted to

the written form in the shape of a book, as we have it before us today.

[2] Surah Al-Hijr(15) : 9.

[3]Surah Burooj(85) : 21, 22. Al-Lawh: every wide, flat surface or sheet of wood.

Al-Azhari said: al-Lawh is a flat surface of wood, and a shoulder-blade [of an animal], if it is written on, may be called a

lawh. Al-Lawh is something that is written on. Al-Lawh: al-Lawh al-Mahfooz, as in the ayah means, the place where the

decrees of Allah are kept. Every wide bone is a lawh. The plural form is alwaah.

(Lisaan al-‘Arab, 2/584).

[4] Surah Al-Waqi’ah(56) : 77, 78.

[5] (al-Tabyaan fi Aqsaam al-Qur’an, p. 62).

[6] Surah Bani Israel (17) and Surah Al-Furqan (25).

[7] The last section of the Qur'an beginning with surah Qaf, (50-114).

[8] Musnad Ahmed, Sunan Abi Dawood, Ibn Majah in his sunan.

[9] The Qur’an in a single volume.

[10] Kitab al-masahif by Ibn Abi Dawud.

[11] The Life of Muhammad, Ibn Hisham.

[12] Abd al-Rahman ibn Kamal al-Din Abi Bakr ibn Muhammad ibn Sabiq al-Din, Jalal al-Din al-Misri al-Suyuti, also

known as Ibn al-Asyuti (849-911), the mujtahid imam and renewer of the tenth Islamic century, foremost hadith master,

jurist, and historian, he authored works in virtually every Islamic science.

[13] Sahih Muslim.

[14] Sahih Muslim and Sunan An-Nisai.

[15] Sahih Muslim 1:307.

Short Quotes

Mercy

"And We have not sent you (O Muhammad) except as a mercy to mankind" (The Holy Quran, Al-Anbiyah, The Prophets 21:107)