Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Hijaab Series: The Muslimah and the Niqaab


This post is not to discuss the ruling on the Niqaab because this has been discussed in detail in many books and works of the scholars of the sunnah-past and present. What is fair to know is that the Niqaab is indeed part of the hijaab and a great virtue(fadheela). It is not from culture as some fools claim nowadays.  It is the hijaab of the mothers of the believers and the early believing women as the Quran and Sunnah prove. And that is enough reason for a Muslimah to wear Niqaab thus completing her jilbaab. 

No other piece of cloth has gotten so much attention in the media in the recent years like the Niqaab. No clothing on the face of the Earth has been attacked by the east and west like the Niqaab. Why is that so? What is so great and powerful about this piece of cloth? What makes a muslim woman make the decision to cover her face with this cloth knowing that she is in an environment wherein the majority of the people are non-muslims and might find this strange? Why the extra hardship? 
 This is what many people ask themselves when they hear of the Niqaab in the news or when they see a woman in Niqaab walking down the street. 

Alhamdulilah I have to thank Allah azza wa jall over and over again for giving me the guidance to wearing the Hijaab/Niqaab. If it weren't for Allah's guidance, wallahi we would be in the darkest and lowliest of conditions. All praise is due to Allah for the great blessing of Islaam He has bestowed upon us,

الحمد لله الذي هدانا لهذا وما كنا لنهتدي لولا أن هدانا الله 

"Praise to Allah , who has guided us to this; and we would never have been guided if Allah had not guided us." [Surah al A'raaf ayah 43]

We live in really corrupt times where Islaam is being attacked from all sides. The Muslims are being attacked from the outside by the enemies of Allah in all corners of the world and the ummah is also being attacked from the inside by the hypocrites and deviants thus it is clear that there is an ideological war being waged against Islaam- the true Islaam. Those who choose to go back to Allah and start practicing their Deen have made themselves target whether they like or not. There are many incidents where Muslim men and women are attacked. Why do we hear of Muslim women sometimes murdered for wearing hijaab or looking "Islaamic"??  They say it is a "hate crime." Is it really just a hate crime or is it a war against Islaam? Wallahi, it is a war against Islaam and nothing less.

The events we see taking place at the moment clearly indicate that this war against Islaam is getting worse day by day and the really unfortunate part is that many Muslims are ignorant of this and are still in slumber. 

Do we not know that it is a sunnah of Allah that the truth and its people always be attacked?  There will be haters of the truth, in every day and age. The prophets and messengers all had enemies. Their messages of tawheed were not welcomed with roses and smiles. Nooh (AS) called his people to Allah for 950 years, enduring all sorts of harassment and hate. Saalih (AS) was to be crowned king of his people when Allah chose him as the prophet for Thamood. So he was among the most beloved to his people and well respected. Yet, right when he started calling his people to Allah, everything changed. There was an immediate division-two camps. A camp of faith and a camp of disbelief. They began treating him as if he was the worst of them when a few moments ago they were praising him and had chosen him as their leader. Ibraahim (AS)'s own father threatened to kill him for calling him to Allah. 

What is it that changes people like this and makes them enemies towards us?
It is none other than the truth-Islaam. If we are practicing the right Islaam and following the sunnah of our beloved (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) then rest assured the number of enemies will increase.

The sisters who wear Niqaab often times go through certain struggles that other sisters don't go through. Unfortunately, in both muslim and non muslim countries, the correct Hijaab has been transformed into something it is truly not and there is a small number of sisters wearing the proper shari' hijaab nowadays. It has reached the level that if a woman is in Niqaab, she is considered extreme. Subhan Allah, the level of ignorance!

A woman of faith defies all of society and its backwardness and chooses to please Her Lord and cover properly and she is extreme??? 

SINCERITY AND STEADFASTNESS O SISTER! (الإخلاص والثبات يا أختاه)

Dear sister, the Niqaab is a beautiful deed. It is in no way backwardness or culture. Remember you are reviving a great sunnah and so by Allah's permission the rewards are multiplied! This Niqaab my sister is ibaadah since it is part of the prescribed Hijaab.  [See tafseers of Surah Al Ahzaab ayah 59, Surah al Nuur ayah 31]

Never feel strange or out of place with your Niqaab. You are on the truth.  Remember that with every good deed, we need ikhlaas (sincerity to Allah, doing it solely for His sake). Do not wear Niqaab because your friends are wearing it. Do not wear Niqaab because your husband wants you to.Do not wear Niqaab because you don't want people to know something of you. Do not wear the Niqaab for show off. Rather, make a firm niyyah(intention) that you want to wear this firstly for the sake of your Creator. 

Some sisters, may Allah forgive them, wear the Niqaab and then remove it.  There are many reasons for this. Some may be legitimate reasons and some unfortunately are not. Some sisters remove the Niqaab  due to weak emaan, problems in finding a job, feeling unsafe in public, harassment and discrimination, feeling uncomfortable in public and more. Whatever it is, we need to make sure that we are sincere and firm on anything we do for the sake of Allah because this will help us be patient in tough times.

 Sincerity and steadfastness are two qualities the believer needs especially in these hard times. You may see sisters who don't wear Niqaab or proper Hijaab and they seem to be having more "fun" or having less problems in society than you so you ask yourself "why should I give myself a hard time?" All these thoughts are from the Shaytaan dear sister. Do not let him deceive you. It is a great blessing from Allah that He guided you to this Niqaab when you could have been one of those sisters in a headscarf and skinny jeans or tight skirts. So thank Allah over and over again.

By Allah, you can reach any of your goals with Allah's permission without having to be ashamed of your faith. This Hijaab/Niqaab will only bring you more honor and good in this life and the next and nothing less. If it is work that you are worrying about, remember Allah is ar-Razzaq, He is the best of providers and sustainers. If it is name calling and discrimination you are worried about,be patient and remember the people of truth before you all went through tests like these and remember that you are enduring all this for the sake of Allah so how can He forsake you?! Your sins are being wiped out and you are gaining many good deeds!


In some of our muslim communities, unfortunately many of our sisters in Niqaab lack support and often face criticism and judgment from their own fellow Muslims. These Muslims  make the sisters in Niqaab feel guilty or bad sometimes by saying such things as, "you weren't wearing Niqaab or even Hijaab a few months ago and now you are fully covered! Its just a religious phase..."

or when talking about a certain Niqaabi sister to others, they say, "She thinks she's better than us."

Sometimes there are older Muslim women who discourage the young sister from Niqaab by telling her "my dear, it's just sunnah!.. Don't make things hard for yourself and your family." They bring up how they use to wear Niqaab and how it gave them a "hard" time.

My sister, do not listen to any of these words of deception and negativity. If your path is clear for you then you have nothing to worry about. Do not let the talk of ignorants and the whisperings of the Shaytaan get to you. Yes, at the end of the day, we are insaan (human) and we have our weaknesses but remember the words of your Messenger (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam), "The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer." 

This world is made as a fitna (trials and tribulations) for the believers. Allah will test us until we leave this Dunya sinless and pure (by his permission!) Remember the more name calling and strange looks you get, the higher and greater your reward is with Allah. Those who glare at you are souls who are lost. They have not understood tawheed well nor do they have the love of Allah in their heart. Remember what our prophet (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) and his companions endured at the hands of the Mushrikeen. They mocked them, abused them, and fought them. What is this world but a temporary abode for the believer? It is Jannah that we strive for and nothing else. 

There will be those who will hate and abhor you for sticking to the truth sister. You may wonder and ask, "how can a piece of cloth cause all this hatred and negativity?

It is not the Niqaab that brings about hatred and negativity from people, but when they actually saw you with the Niqaab, that boiled their blood and shocked them to see how a woman in a "free and liberated society" chose to cover this way. They expected you to follow their ways and abandon your Hijaab and Niqaab but you didn't. They expected you to westernize your Hijaab and get rid of this Niqaab but you didn't. May Allah reward you!

Always smile beneath your Niqaab my sister and remember you are a walking da'wah and that is enough as a reward in spreading Islaam on your part. As for the haters of your Niqaab and Deen, then reply nothing to them but the words of Allah, "Die in your rage. Indeed, Allah knows that which is in the hearts."

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Seekers of Ilm

Assalamu alaykum,

A new forum for Islamic knowledge has been set up by trustworthy people. For those who are interested in learning more about the Deen, this is a good place to go. There is a section for sisters as well which sisters can join.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

World Hijab Day (WHD)


Indeed, the best guidance is the guidance of our beloved prophet (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) for in this guidance lies our success in both this world and the next. Leaving and neglecting the guidance of Muhamamd ibn Abdillah will only lead to lost causes and utter failure. So, O you who seeks success, follow the Messenger of Allah!

Nowadays, it seems as though the Muslims are only drowning in further ignorance and corruption as never before. In these tough times, the prophet (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) advised us to stick to our Deen very strongly, "A time will come upon the people where the one who is holding strong to his Deen will be like the one holding on to hot coals!" [Sunan at-Tirmidhi]

This hadeeth tells us that things will only get stranger as the masses further away from practicing the Deen properly. Those who follow the sunnah and call to it will be seen as either backward or extreme, the deviants will increase in number and many will follow them not knowing who they really are and what they are calling to.

We wish to meet the prophet (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) at al Hawd on the Day of Judgment and to drink from it. Do we not? We ask Allah to not make us of those who will be turned away from the prophet (saws) when he calls out to Allah, "O Lord! My companions!"  and it will be said to him, "You do not know what they innovated after you."[Sahih al Bukhari]

This post is meant as an advice for my sisters in Islaam concerning World Hijaab Day or WHD. WHD has become a worldwide phenomenon since it first started in 2013 by sister Nazma Khan of New York and takes place February 1st of each year.

So what exactly is World Hijab Day and why even discuss it?  Well, firstly I am choosing to address WHD because Hijaab is a part of our Deen. In fact, it is Ibadah. Allah swt has ordained for the Muslim women to cover her body with the proper islamic jilbaab (outer garments). So our Hijaab is not just a piece of cloth or garment we wear for the sake of modesty. NO. Firstly, we don this hijaab out of obedience to the order of Allah swt and fulfilling this obligation. Secondly, we know that the hijaab represents the modesty of the muslim woman. Another main reason I wish to address World Hijab Day is because nowadays the proper islamic hijaab has been neglected.

The hijaab has been reduced to a "headscarf". The conditions of hijaab are not explained or discussed as they should be and this is a big issue. There are some who give da'wah and give the perception that anything can be hijaab as long as you are "modest." Which Deen are they referring to when they say such things? The Quran and Sunnah have made the conditions of the hijaab very clear and the scholars have explained these in every era.

So WHD as explained on the website was established:

"in recognition of millions of Muslim women who choose to wear the hijab and live a life of modesty."
[source: http://worldhijabday.com/about-us/]

After reading these words, I ask myself what basis does a Muslim have in Islam to establish such an annual event? What is the difference between this and lets say Father's Day, Mother's Day, International Women's Day, World Cancer Day, and so on? Do we really need an annual event to recognize women who wear the hijaab? Isn't this a form of imitating nonbelievers in their events? Is this helpful and good for the Da'wah? Will more good than bad come out of it?

As Muslims, we abide by the Quran and Sunnah and not by our own thoughts and reasoning for such matters. Now sister Nazma Im sure had the best of intentions in starting WHD but when delving into such matters, it is absolutely necessary that the Muslim refers back to the sources and principles of the Shari'ah. We can't just "do" based on our intentions and as they say "run on barakah." We must know the ruling of what we are doing, meaning if it is permissible or not.

The main issues with WHD are as follows:

1. WHD: A form of imitating the kuffar.

World Hijab Day is a good da'wah effort and I won't deny this. In a time where many western countries are banning the hijaab and niqaab ( now more so the niqaab), WHD helps educate non-muslims on hijaab and Islam. Some non-Muslim women have looked into Islam after attending a WHD event. May Allah guide these women to Islaam and keep them firm on it. May Allah guide them to wear the proper shari' hijaab as well and may Allah reward sister Nazma for her good intentions.

I have no problem with WHD if it is done according to the correct islamic guidelines for da'wah and if it is something permissible(i.e. not having it on a specific day of the year). This is the main issue, the correct guidelines are not followed. You have issues such as unnecessary gender interaction, promotion of an incorrect hijaab and lack of true education on Islaam and its fundamentals.

Imitating the disbelievers in their holidays is something the Shariah does not allow and WHD is just that. There are numerous ahadeeth and sayings from the companions and scholars of Islaam on this issue.

The prophet (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” [Narrated by Abu Dawood (4031) and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawood. ]

WHD is a form of Eid as is very clear. It carries the characteristics of a Eid:

1.Eid is something that comes  on a specific day, whether weekly, monthly, or annually.
2. The people gather together in such an event/it has now become an international phenomenon
3. Acts are done in order to celebrate this event whether the acts are acts of worship or not.

The Muslims should realize that establishing such an event should not be done if it contradicts the Shariah of Allah. The scholars and callers to good in the West should have given advice regarding this issue but instead you have some of the figureheads of the Da'wah in Western countries and the Muslim world promoting this! How sad and unfortunate. These callers are absolutely wrong and only Allah knows if they are truly ignorant themselves of the rulings on this issue because there are scholars who have rejected WHD and have given their proofs or if they are too cowardly and ashamed to speak the truth. May Allah guide them and forgive them.

2. The kind of hijaab that is being promoted is NOT the correct hijaab

Dear sisters, the hijaab is a fareeda (obligation) from The Most High for the believing women. It has conditions and it is not just anything thrown over the head and body. WHD fails to spread the true message of the hijaab and inviting sisters to it. 

The hijaab is addressed as "the headscarf" by WHD founder herself (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fgohZYqbmE) and others from the website (hijaab stories). Is the hijaab really just a headscarf? The WHD is meant to educate Muslims and Non-Muslims alike on Islam and Hijaab yet those who conduct WHD do not seem to look into the true meaning, ruling, and conditions of hijaab.  The scholars and callers to truth need to call to the correct hijaab in such a time when it is being misinterpreted like this but what can we do if those who are referring to the hijaab as "headscarf" are in fact "scholars" and knowledgable people? And there is no power and might except with Allah. May Allah swt rectify this ummah's affairs. 

What is necessary upon the Muslim women is to refer back to the Quran and Sunnah according to the correct understanding. It is not right for us to set up a day for hijaab and yet not call to the correct hijaab or educate others on it! This is in fact a contradiction.







3. Do we really need WHD?

Do we really need hijaab day? Many of those who support WHD say it is a good effort because in a time where the hijaab is being banned in many countries and the media is portraying the hijaab as oppression and subjugation of the Muslim women, we need something like WHD to clarify matters and educate non-Muslims on the true meaning and spirit of hijaab.

Well, this is a good idea but the hijaab is not just a cultural thing, it is ibadah. It is a form of worship. Therefore, in something like this, one needs to follow the Islamic guidelines. Our intentions may be good and I am sure the intention of sister Nazma Khan (founder of WHD) was a good one but we are not a people who act on our emotions and thoughts alone. We have 2 guiding sources that we need to stick to in all that we do. Al Quran and the Sunnah of our Beloved (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam).

Finally, I advice WHD founder and supporters to look into the matter well. We are not being extreme by being against WHD. In fact, we love this Deen and care about it just as you do. We are concerned about the Da'wah and the war being waged on the hijaab just as you may be concerned. But we choose to refer back to the Shariah in this issue. We do not support WHD because it does not care to really explain the correct hijaab or call to it. We advice the sisters to learn what is the ruling on hijaab and its conditions and to follow it. The hijaab is the true mark of beauty for the Muslim woman. When you go out in public whether to school, work, market, or anywhere public in this correct hijaab, remember you are representing Islaam so you should represent it well. Allah swt is rewarding you for any trial you may go through with this hijaab. It is your jihaad so be sincere to Allah and remain strong and firm. Do not let the barking of the enemies of the hijaab get to you. You are bringing to life the ayah,

O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them (when they go abroad). That will be better, so that they may be recognised and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful. [Surah al Ahzaab ayah 59]

and the ayah,

And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands' fathers, or their sons or their husbands' sons, or their brothers or their brothers' sons or sisters' sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigour, or children who know naught of women's nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed. [Surah al Noor ayah 31]

May Allah guide the Muslim women to stick to the correct hijaab and may He keep them firm on it and we ask Allah to protect all our sisters from harassment and fitnah. May they be rewarded for there struggles and may Allah shower them with patience!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Advice/Tips on Memorizing the Quran for Sisters

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

All praise is due to Allah the Most High who says in the Noble Revelation,

  ولقد يسرنا القران للذكر فهل من مدكر

 "And we have indeed made the Quran easy to understand and remember, then is there any that will remember?" [Surah Qamar ayah 17]

And peace and blessings be upon the Final Messenger, Muhammad ibn Abdullah, Abul Qaasim, who said,

خيركم من تعلم القران وعلمه

"The best among you are those who learn the Quran and teach it." [Sahih al Bukhari from the hadeeth of Uthman ibn Affan]

Learning the Quran is a great virtue and very important for the Muslim. The salaf used to teach their children to read and memorize the Quran from an early age. However, the most important and hardest task for us as Muslims is to act on this glorious Quran and to live by, not to memorize it. In this day and age, you find many Muslims memorize the Quran and parents seem to make this an obligation upon their children, but what is most important and more necessary is to ACT on this Quran. This is what has been neglected.The sahabah were a typical people who understand "la ilaha illa Allah" not just as mere words but to mean "you dedicate your life to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala!" The sahabah understood the Quran as knowledge and action.

They shook the thrones of Rome and Persia by sticking to their contract with Allah the Most High,  by adhering to this Quran. Allah the Most High raised their status with this Quran because they recited it, prayed with it and implemented it. And there are others whom Allah has brought low because of their abandoning this Quran. Umar ibn al Khattab narrated that the Prophet (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) said,

إن الله يرفع بهذا الكتاب أقواماً ويضع به آخرين

 "Indeed, Allah raises some people (in status) because of this Book and brings others low because of it." [Sahih, Sunan Ibn Majah]

Today the ummah is in need of the Quran. The Quran is the guiding source for the Muslim/ah.The Quran is filled with ahkaam (rulings), qisas (stories, of prophets and of bad individuals, like the nations of old, 'aad, thamuud,  and tyrants like firawn and haaman) and it also contains mawa'id (reminders).

The people of knowledge have said, "memorizing the Quran is a fadheela (virtue, a good deed) but acting upon it is waajib(mandatory)( whether you memorize the Quran or not)."

Memorizing the Quran is a beautiful and magnificent task, it is not like anything else. This is in fact the first step in seeking knowledge. The scholars would not learn anything else whether it was fiqh or aqeedah until they had learnt and memorized the Quran. If a person came to seek knowledge and study under a certain shaykh, that shaykh would ask him if he memorized the Quran, if he replied in the negative, the scholar would tell him to first memorize the Quran!

The most important and basic tips needed from the student of the Quran:

1. Sincerity. Make your intention solely for the sake of Allah first and foremost. Why are you doing this? What is your motive and goal? It must be to please your creator because this will allow you to gain much rewards and Allah will also help you in this journey.

Allah swt says: وما أمروا إلا ليعبدوا الله مخلصين له الدين حنفاء

"And they were not commanded but to serve Allah, being sincere to Him in obedience..." [Surah al Bayyinah ayah 5]

The Messenger of Allah (sws) said, انما الأعمال بالنيات وانما لكل امْرِئٍ ما نوى

Meaning, "Verily actions are (judged) by intentions, so each man will have what he intended."[ agreed upon]

Therefore, my sister whether you are a mother, wife, daughter, or grandmother, make sure you have ikhlaas (sincerity) in this endeavor and know that true guidance and tawfeeq are from Allah alone. Anyone can memorize the Quran if they have this key element of ikhlaas (doing it for the sake of Allah).

2. Duaa. Make lots of duaa to Allah as you learn the Quran. Do not think it is hard or difficult to do so when you have other duties such as being a wife and mother or working or attending school. Duaa makes a huge difference in everything. Allah wants us to ask of Him, the servant should not shy away from this.

Didn't Allah says,

 وإذا سألك عبادي عني فاني قريب

 "And when My servants ask you concerning Me - Indeed, I am near." [Surah al Baqarah ayah 186]

And didn't The Most Merciful also say,

وقال ربكم ادعوني استجب لكم

"And your lord says, "Call upon Me; I will respond to you!" [Surah al Ghaafir ayah 60]

So, do not fear or lose hope sister! Even if memorizing the Quran takes you many years, remember it will be worth it if you were sincere and constantly made duaa to Allah to make it easy for you. Imagine the rewards!

3. Make the Quran your best friend. Dear sister, make the Quran your number one companion. Let it always accompany you and do not let a day go by without sitting down with it and reciting its noble verses. It is important to understand what you are carrying with you sister. This Quran is not just a book. It is the words of Allah azza wa Jall. DO not abandon this Quran. Love it, understand it, recite it, and follow it. If you can't recite it as you like, listen to it being recited thus getting your ears used to it. Learn its meaning and ponder upon its ayaat. The Quran is not difficult to understand! It is only difficult for those whom Allah has placed a seal over their hearts!

أفلا يتدبرون القران أم على قلوب اقفالها

"Then do they not reflect upon the Quran, or are there locks upon their hearts." [Surah Muhammad ayah 24]

Remember the one who abandons reading the Quran and living by it is a big loser. Allah will make such a person's life miserable. Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala says

ومن أعرض عن ذكري فإن له معيشةً ضنكا

"And whoever turns away from My remembrance -, indeed, he will have a depressed life.." [Surah Taha ayah 124]

The Quran is the greatest form of dhikr (remembrance of Allah). Allah has called it such as well. This Quran, Allah told His Messenger (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) to rule and judge the people with.  This Quran separates between those on the truth and those on falsehood. With it, the believers are guided. Allah ta'ala says,

إن هذا القرآن يهدي للتي هي أقوام ويبشر المؤمنين الذين يعملون الصالحات أن لهم أجرا كبيرا

"Indeed, this Quran guides to that which is most suitable and gives good tidings to the believers who do righteous deeds that they will have a great reward. " [Surah al Isra ayah 10]

When Muslims abandoned the Quran that is when Allah inflicted humiliation upon  them and allowed their enemies to gain power over them.  The key to true success and victory both in this world and the next can ONLY be through following this Quran.

So sister, make sure you follow the Quran and do not contradict it, make sure you recite the Quran in your home for the devils do not enter a house in which the Quran is recited; in fact, they flee from this house. Play the Quran from your radio, cd player, computer, or phone. Let the blessings flow about the house. This is good for you and your family. The house in which there is no Quran recited is like a graveyard! We need to recite the Quran in order to keep our homes alive!

4. Read Everyday! Make yourself a schedule! Don't let a day go by without reading your hizb (portion) of the Quran! This is really helpful, not in just attaining the rewards (In sha Allah!) but in getting your tongue used to the Quran as well. The more you read correctly, the more easy it becomes to memorize the Quran.

Another very important and necessary thing for memorizing the Quran is to MAKE YOURSELF A SCHEDULE. This is very much needed. Without a Quran schedule to review and memorize, you will find a hard time actually memorizing the Quran. Look at yourself and make yourself a suitable Quran schedule that you can stick to and keep up with. This will always keep you on track!

How we memorize the Quran varies from person to person. One person may be working full time, another may be attending school full time, and one person may be a mother of 4. Therefore, our schedules and how we memorize may vary. But what is important is that you do have a schedule to memorize the Quran.

5. Listen to the Quran! Sometimes you may not have the time to read the Quran as long as you want especially if you are cooking, cleaning,  or driving here and there (running errands) so in these situations, make it a good effort to play the Quran whether from your phone , computer, or cd player. Bring the blessings into your home and also get your ears used to the Quran.  Sometimes you can memorize an entire surah just from hearing it again and again. Umm Hishaam bint al Harith (ra) said she memorized Surah al Qaaf from the mouth of the Messenger of Allah because he would recite it in the khutbah every Jumah. [reported by Imam Muslim, Abu Dawud, and An-Nasai)

6. Learn Tajweed! This is extremely important! Allah ta'ala says,

ورتل القران ترتيلا

 "And recite the Quran in a slow( pleasant tone) style." [Surah al Muzzamil ayah 4]

Tajweed is important. We should make it an effort to recite the Quran in the way it was revealed to the Messenger of Allah (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam)! We should try our best to pronounce the huroof correctly and to learn the different ahkaam of tajweed. One of the greatest blessings of Allah is when you find yourself reciting the book of Allah in a correct manner. Compare this to when you first started learning and you will appreciate alot. Before, you did not know what idghaam or ikhfaa was and now you know what is madd and the types of madd and the ahkaam of the noon alsaakinah so praise Allah the Most High for your accomplishments and continue to learn and practice dear sister!

 Listen to good Quran reciters whose recitation is clear like Shaykhs; Mahmood al Husary, Al Minshawi, Abdullah Basfar, Ali al Hudhayfi, etc.

7. IMPORTANT: Make sure you have a Quran teacher!! It is absolutely necessary and important that you have a Quran teacher when learning to read and memorizing the Quran. You can not do this on your own. You need guidance in this great task. Each one of our great scholars started seeking knowledge by first memorizing the Quran, and when they were memorizing, they did so with a teacher. A teacher may notice what you would not; therefore, its important to have your mistakes corrected.

Sisters! Please try your best to find a female Quran teacher if possible. This is better and much easier. It is complicated to have a male teacher unless you are in a situation where you absolutely must have a male teacher(there are no female teachers around). You will feel more comfortable learning with a shaykha when it comes to the Quran and you will not have to worry about beautifying your voice( in fact feel free to do so!)

8. Review Review Review! Make sure you do not let a day go by without reviewing what you have memorized. If you do not review, you slowly lose what you learned! When you pray whether its a fardh or sunnah, recite what you have memorized whether it is a page, half a page, or 5 ayaat! This helps you to keep the Quran in memory.

The best time to review is before fajr, after fajr, and at night before you sleep. Anytime is good to review the Quran but the main thing is to make sure you review your Quran in a suitable time for you. When your kids are asleep, when you are done with house chores, and so on. If you are memorizing 3 pages of a surah, repeat the ayaat 10 times at least and always recite from the beginning of the surah and not the new page, this is so that you do not forget the previous ayaat.

9. Have a Quran companion! One of the best things about memorizing the Quran is knowing that you are not alone! If you are studying with a group, make sure that you and a sister from the group memorize and review together. This is a great form of encouragement. She will push you to not be lazy and to review what you must and you will remind her likewise.

**These are just some basic tips and advices and I am sure there are more but these are the main ones that should keep you going in sha Allah! May Allah make memorizing the Quran and acting upon it easy and a blessing for us!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Hijaab Series: Hijaab and Peer Pressure/Work


We are still continuing the series on Hijaab and this time the topic we wish to tackle is of great importance. Many of us growing up in western countries like America and Canada all recognize the term "peer pressure" especially throughout high school when taking certain subjects.

Peer pressure is basically the influence of your surroundings, your peers. Peers can be friends, classmates, and those who you are around most of the time. What does peer pressure have to do with the hijaab?

Alooooot. Right now in almost every high school in America, where you do find Muslim students, there are always some sisters who do not wear hijaab at all. How is this so? We have all heard the stories through high school. "Oh so and so takes off her hijaab at school. I wonder if her parents know...shes too scared to wear the hijaab..." These are some similar words we would hear about those sisters who removed the hijaab at school. And then there is the other group of sisters who wear an improper form of hijaab. And these sisters you can tell they want to wear the hijaab and not completely remove it but at the same time they are affected by who they mostly hang out with so they do not pay good attention to their hijaab. And then alhamdulilah there are the sisters who do wear the proper hijaab (with or without niqaab but the conditions of the hijaab are met). May Allah reward these sisters for the struggles they go through and for not caring what others think of their way of dress. May Allah purify their intentions and keep them firm on the hijaab and may He also bless them with noble manners and strong Deen.

As for my sisters who remove their hijaab at schools and those who do not wear the proper hijaab then I also make duaa for you. I ask Allah to bless you and to have mercy on you and I ask Allah to make the hijaab easier for you and understanding this Deen in general.  I ask Allah to make your struggles and troubles with hijaab and other issues easy for you. Know my sister that you are not alone. Know that the shaytaan is our sworn enemy. Whether you are a practicing muslimah or not, the shaytaan will never leave in misguiding you until your last breath. Therefore, my sister look at your surroundings first and foremost. What is it that is preventing you from being firm on your Deen? Is it bad friends/companions? If so, please pick and choose your friends wisely my sister because the prophet (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "A person is upon the religion (way) of his close friend, so beware whom you befriend!"[ Recorded in Sunans Abi Dawud and Tirmidhi]

 and he also gave us the example of a good and bad friend. As for the good friend, the prophet (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) said, "The case of the good companion and the bad companion is like that of the seller of musk and the blower of the bellows (iron-smith). As for the seller of musk, he will either give you some of the musk, or you will purchase some from him, or at least you will come away having experienced its good smell."

So when you surround yourself with good friends, they will always benefit you one way or another but only good influence will come out of being with them. You will always gain something from a good friend and the good friend will gain from you as well.  And even if you two have to part paths for some reason, you will at least take a lot of good with you from this friend. In other words, both sides benefited from each other. 

As for the bad friend, the prophet (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) said, Whereas the blower of the bellows will either burn your clothing, or at least you will come away having experienced its repugnant smell." [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

Being around non-practicing individuals will definitely have its take on you whether you realize right away or not. Just like the good friend benefits you in a good way, the bad friend will have nothing but bad influence on you. Even if this person is good and you seem happy to always be around her but lets say she does not pray or she is always using curse words, this will definitely leave some traces on you sister. That is why the prophet used this example for the bad friend. When you happen to be around someone who is using fire for his work, if you are near him, your clothes may accidentally catch fire and if this does not happen then you will definitely leave him smelling of burnt material. 

So be careful my sister. Even if you are someone who guards her prayers and does not curse but you are always with an individual who does not pray and is involved in a lot of munkar (bad deeds) you must do one of two things. Either you benefit this sister and remind her of Allah and call her to the right way without letting her influence you. You have to be the one always reminding her of Allah and either she will listen to you or will leave you. Both are of good for you. If she listens to you then alhamdulilah you get the reward of guiding her and you have also earned a good friend; on the other hand, if she does not listen to you and chooses to leave you then alhamdulilah you do not have to worry about bad company any more.The other thing is, if you know she will not listen to you no matter how much you advice her then you must leave this person for the sake of Allah.

Public Schools:

Public schools are the worst places to send our Muslim kids too. There is so many bad influences surrounding our Muslim teens and it really becomes hard for their to practice their Deen properly in such a filthy environment. There is not only kufr(disbelief) taught in these schools, but  the muslim teen is exposed to many negativities such as boyfriends/girlfriends nonsense, bad language, music, drugs, zina, students and teachers who are homosexuals and thus promote their perversions among the students to make them accept gays, lesbians, bisexuals and other backward things. 

The parents have a huge responsibility when leaving their sons and daughters in such environments. Parents can't  leave them in these schools and not except them to get influenced somehow. Its like the example of one who tied the hands of a person and threw him overboard in the ocean and then says to him "make sure you don't get your clothes wet ok?" Does this make any sense? Of course not.

My sister, apart from choosing good friends, make sure to also renew your emaan (faith) and connection with Allah. The Deen doesn't just become hard on you for no reason, there must be a sin that you are committing thats making the hijaab hard on you as well. The prophet (sala allahu alayhi wasallam) said, "Be mindful of Allah and He will be mindful of you." [Sunan Tirmidhi]  So it can be drawn from this hadeeth the opposite of its meaning. If you do not remember Allah and do not guard yourself, then He will not be there for you. You have to remember in Allah in times of ease so and He will remember you in times of difficulty when you truly need Him. Many people often turn toAllah and start practicing when a calamity strikes them and right after Allah ta'ala helps them , they go back to their old ways. This is not correct. We should remember Allah all the time, in moments of ease and in moments of difficulty. 

Analyze yourself my sister. When was the last time you prayed Fajr? When was the last time you prayed 5 times a day and ON time? When was the last time you said a good word to your parents and listened to them? When was the last time you read the Quran? When was the last time you attended a halaqa or lecture?

Know and realize sister that Allah is always watching you. He is the Ever-Watchful.  Allah (swt) says, "Verily, your Lord is Ever-Watchful." [Surah al Fajr:14] and He (azza wa jall) also says, "And Allah is the All-See-er of what you do." [Surah al Hujurat:  18] 

Whether you are at home, school, club, hookah lounge, at your friends place, the mall, the movies, the masjid, and everywhere! Remember to FEAR ALLAH WHEREVER YOU ARE.

If you follow this rule throughout your life, wallahi you will see the bliss in obeying Allah and you will rarely fall from the straight path. Yes, guidance is from Allah alone and He alone turns the hearts as He pleases. But the more good you do and the more you do it for the sake of Allah, the more Allah will keep you strong on the right path. Never lose hope in Allah my sister.

It is the same thing for the sister who works. Make sure to not be influenced by your co-workers whether they are non-Muslims or not so practicing Muslims. Make sure to maintain your Islaamic identity no matter what, do not change yourself to be accepted by others and to conform to the western ideals and so on. Your Islaam is your greatest blessing and your role as a Muslim woman who maintains the hijaab is your identity. A true friend will choose to be your friend and respect you for who you are. 

Tips for sisters dealing with bad influence at home, school, work:

- Surround yourself with good sisters

- Fix your obligations such as praying five times a day, and etc.

- Listen to lectures and attend halaqas at the masajid

- Read the Quran and its meaning

-Make lots of duaa and read the daily adhkaar (duaas, morning and evening duaas)

- Lessen your contact with people who are a negative influence in your life

-If they are family, advice them with wisdom and patience and do not let them influence you in a bad way but rather make sure you influence them :)

- Seek advice from good/religious family members and people you know of.

Allah knows best. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hijaab Series: Why Hijaab?

This will be a series of hijaab related topics for sisters. The topics will range from hijaab (its purpose, ruling, virtues, hijaab related issues, niqaab, its ruling, virtues, and niqaab related issues)

First and foremost my dear muslim sister, you should thank Allah (swt) for blessing you with the greatest blessing of all, Islaam. You are part of the ummah of the final and greatest of prophets, Muhammad ibn Abdillaah (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam). This is the greatest honor, for one to be a Muslim and a member of the best of nations as Allah azza wa jall has stated in the Noble Revelation. You, my sister are a descendent of the greatest of women, Maryam, the mother of our noble messenger, Eesa (Jesus,alayhi salaam). You are a descendent of hers with this hijaab you carry with you. 
Know my sister that this hijaab is not just a piece of cloth. It is a mark of emaan (faith and belief), it is a mark of tawheed (because you are wearing it for the One and Only), it is a mark of hayaa (modesty, because you choose to cover yourself with it from those forbidden to look at you). Therefore, this hijaab should mean a lot to you. 

Hijaab is more than just a garment or covering your hair. Many sisters have a wrong perception of the hijaab. Hijaab is belief,manners and more than just mere clothing. When you wear this in public you are representing the believing women. Therefore, purifying your intentions is very important and necessary my dear sister.

So why should you wear hijaab my dear sister?

1. Because Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, your Creator and Maker, ordered you to.

This hijaab should not be worn carelessly by you my dear sister. As we know, this hijaab is a divine order from above seven heavens. This is the main thing you should understand about the hijaab.
This is where tawheed and sincerity (purity of intentions, ikhlaas) come in. As we know, the order of hijaab is in the Quran. Refer to Surah 33 ayah 53 and 59 and also Surah 24 ayah 31.

In both surahs, Allah swt addresses the divine order of the hijaab to whom? Al Mu'minaat. This means, "The Believing Women" or "The women of true faith" why did Allah not say, Al Muslimaat ?  Yes, you may say, "well believing women here means muslim women." but we can also see that there is a deeper meaning. When the Muslim women wears the hijaab in its correct form she is a woman of  faith because her belief in Allah is what is encouraging her to wear it.There is a connection between hijaab and emaan (faith). Hijaab increases the woman in Emaan because it is a divine order and realizing that you are obeying your Lord with it increases you in faith among other factors.

2. Because it is what the greatest of women wore.

Dear sister, know that you are a descendent of the best of women. Just like the companions were the best of men, the female companions were the best of women. They had the purest of hearts and never hesitated to obey Allah and His Messenger. A perfect example of this is when the ayah of hijaab came down, the mother of the believers, Aisha (radiya allahu anha) said:

“May Allaah have mercy on the first Muhaajir women. When Allaah revealed the words ‘and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms)’ they tore their aprons and covered their faces with them.”  [Saheeh al Bukhari]

And the mother of the believers, Umm Salamah (radiya allahu anha) narrated: “When the words ‘to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies’ [al-Ahzaab 33:59] were revealed, the women of the Ansaar went out looking as if there were crows on their heads because of the covering.” [Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.] 

Look at the response of the women of faith. Both the Muhajiraat women (those who migrated to Al Madinah) and the Ansar (the women of al Madinah) had a similar response.  May Allah allow us to be like these women and to follow in their footsteps. They did not argue and ask questions. This is because their understanding of Islaam was pure and their fitrah was clean. The kaafir society did not pressure them nor did they compromise their religion for this world.  In times like ours, the sister who takes on wearing the proper hijaab in a non-Islamic society is looked at as a stranger and "extremist" but remembering these noble women and how they immediately answered the call of Allah should encourage us even more. Hijaab is for all times, not just then. 

3. Because you are a believing woman.

Why do you wear the hijaab my sister? Is it because you are forced to, your mom and dad force you to, your family and relatives wear it so you wear it to conform, your friends wear it and you like to be part of their group and not be an outcast, your school requires you to wear it??? What are your intentions in wearing this hijaab? This is the first question you should ask yourself.

Actions are based on intentions as the prophet (pbuh) informed us in the authentic narration. Are you wearing this hijaab out of sincerity and faith or you are wearing it to please others? Yes, our intentions count and we will be judged by our intentions. When you do something, always make sure you are doing it for the sake of Allah swt first and foremost. Of course this act has to be allowed (halal) to start with. Before you leave the house caked with eyeliner, lipstick, blush, and smelling of perfume, realize what is your intention for wearing the hijaab with all this? Does it not contradict the purpose of hijaab? Did not Allah say in verse 31 of Surat Noor to not display your beauty and adornments?? So how can you wear hijaab while displaying part of your adornments dear sister?? Fear Allah and review your intention.

You are responding to the call of hijaab because you are a mu'minah, a woman of faith.  You love Allah and His Messenger and thus respond to their call! Our main aim should always be to please Our creator above anything else. People will never be pleased with you no matter what you do, here Allah rewards you even for thinking to do a good deed! Look at how merciful your Lord is!

4. To help reduce the Fitnah.

We are in no doubt living in the ends of times. The Messenger of Allah has mentioned to us many signs of the Last Day, the Day of Judgment... the Hour. Some of these signs include; the increase of killing, zina, drinking of alcohol, increase in ribaa, increase in worldly competition, and some of the major signs which have been mentioned to us in the hadeeth include; the appearance of the Dajjal, Ya'juj and Ma'juj, the 3 Earth swallowings, and more.

One of these signs as is in the authentic hadeeth in Saheeh Muslim is, "And women who are dressed but naked..."  In this hadeeth the prophet (alayhi salatu wa salaam) talks about two types of people who will be in Hellfire he has not seen so far. The Messenger of Allah was show on different occasions the types of people of Hellfire. One of them as our Rasul said are the women who did not wear the proper hijaab and said "they are dressed but appear as though naked." Subhan Allah my dear sister, any person whom Allah has given a good sense of understanding will instantly understand these words. If you are in such a state of the women described in this hadeeth, then you should be afraid my sister. How can you not be when in the same hadeeth, the prophet (pbuh) says, these women will not get to smell the scent of paradise let alone enter it! Allahu akbar!  Do you not fear for yourself my sister? What if you are counted among these women. Turn to Allah and change for His sake before it is too late my sister. You are here on this Earth and in this dunyaa to worship Allah alone. Wallahi this Deen is easy and simple and it only becomes difficult when you make it so for yourself.  

Hijaab has been reduced to something more of a fashion nowadays. This is a great fitnah and we can see that this hadeeth taking place before our very eyes. We see women who are covered but their clothes are skintight and see-through. Ok. For the kaafir women this is understandable but for the Muslim woman??? How can a woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day wear something skintight or see-through and then wear a scarf over her head and call that hijaab?? This makes no sense at all.

 Our societies have truly become corrupt especially when the people of knowledge and responsibility are not even addressing these issues. The parents let their daughters dress as they please and even some husbands let their wives dress in this manner. Where has our Islaam gone?The men do not lower their gaze and the women do not cover. What do you thus get? A corrupt society. The scholars of the past would say when the times become worse that is when the woman should even cover up more even if she is already covered up in the obligatory hijaab! We are in very bad times. Do not let the western society fool you my sister. The level of emaan has decreased in us and that is why the men are corrupt and the women too. Both have failed in disobeying Allah. You do your part my sister and wear the correct hijaab and wallahi it will make you feel so honorable and happy. Happy that you are reviving the sunnah and that your hijaab is a slap in the face to those lustful, diseased eyes!

5. Hijaab is WORSHIP.

Yes. Hijaab is a form of ibaadah (worship). Ibaadah as defined by the scholars is any word or action that Allah the Most High loves and is pleased with wether it is takbeer (saying "allaahu akbar"), tahmeed (saying "alhamdulillaah") and so on.

The deeds in Islaam we are ordered to do (the Waajibaat) are all forms of ibaadah. For example: Salah, Fasting, Zakat, Hajj, growing the beard for men, learning the required things of the Deen, wearing hijaab, Jumuah prayer, Eid prayer, Jihaad, etc.

The same is with the optional and supererogatory deeds such as: sunnah fasting, reciting the Quran,praying sunnah prayers, seeking knowledge (to a certain extent).

Hijaab my dear sister is not a sunnah act but rather a mandatory(waajib) good deed. Allah did not ask you to cover your body with the proper hijaab, rather Allah said to His Messenger "QUL" meaning, "And say to the believing women..." This imperative verb implies obligation.

You are not wearing the hijaab for no reason my sister. You are rewarded for every time you leave your home in hijaab. Imagine that! Imagine the rewards especially for the sister who wears the proper hijaab in a place it is not really worn. You are getting the reward for; obeying Allah, giving indirect da'wah, and reviving a sunnah! Imagine the sisters who may see you and start practicing because of your influence. You are rewarded for their wearing hijaab too. Allah is indeed the Most Merciful. Therefore my sister, renew your intentions and have ikhlaas with this hijaab. Make your intention clear.

6. It is a mark of chastity and purity.

My dear sister, know that the hijaab is also a mark and a sign of a woman's chastity and righteousness. Nowadays, we see women who wear tight jeans and khimaar and call that hijaab. How is this clothing promoting chastity and purity when it: A. Does not fulfill the conditions of hijaaab and 2. gives the opposite idea of chastity and that is immorality. Trust me my sister, a woman who wears hijaab for the sake of Allah, wallahi in a millions years you will not see her wearing jeans or a tight shirt and a scarf and that being considered for the sake of Allah.  Never.

My sister, the type of clothes you wear, the way in which you wear the hijaab, and your manners all indicate your chastity and seriousness of the hijaab. Yes, there may be women who wear the correct hijaab and are in fact unchaste and hypocrites but in Islaam the rule is, we judge by the apparent (dhaahir) and not by what is inside because only Allah knows us better than our own selves.  So for those sisters who are always attacking the sisters in correct hijaab and accusing them of being hypocrites while they themselves are not wearing the correct hijaab, please FEAR ALLAH and look at your own self. Allah will ask you about your ibaadah on the Day of Judgment, not the ibaadah of so and so. Therefore, fix yourself my sister before attacking the one who is at least obeying Her lord one way. Don't complain about how others judge you and then go on judging another sister who covers better than you. If she has some faults and you have personal issues with her then that is you. Advice her in person and deal with her with regards to these issues but don't attack her hijaab and call her a hypocrite.

I address this because I have seen and heard of many sisters who do not wear proper hijaab always attacking sisters who do and it seems as though they justify not wearing hijaab because of the actions of these sisters. This is absolutely wrong and realize sister that you are still in sinning every time you go out in improper hijaab and that this sister you are attacking (even if she is horrible towards you and bad-mannered) is being rewarded as well for her hijaab. She has her deeds and you have yours. Like we said, Allah will ask you about you not her.

7. Hijaab is guidance. 

Realize my sister that when you wear the hijaab not only is it a sign of righteousness but it is also a sign of guidance. If the woman has the right belief in Allah and her aqeedah is sound then no doubt she gets many rewards for wearing  the correct hijaab. So make sure your belief in Allah is sound my sister. Otherwise your actions will be of no avail on the Final Day.

The woman of Sunnah are not the only ones who wear hijaab. For example, Shia women wear the full hijaab as well but of what use is the hijaab if you spend your life worshipping Allah a certain way, not on the way of Ahlulsunnah, not on the way of the prophets and companions? Imagine the state of such a person?! There are even non Muslim women  who wear the proper hijaab like some orthodox Jewish women but what good is their hijaab if they do not believe in Allah and His Messenger? 

This is what we call true bankruptcy.  So my sister, make it an effort to learn the correct aqeedah (belief) and that is the belief of the Quran and Sunnah through the understanding of the Pious Salaf.  There is no other way to success in this world and in the next except through this path. Do not be fooled by the callers to false ideologies and un-islamic ways my sister. Remember to always refer back to the Quran and Sunnah when you are in doubt of something. There are many false groups nowadays so it is important that we go back to the basics of our Deen and know our aqeedah. 

Im sure there are more reasons as to why the muslim woman should wear the hijaab but I will end here. My dear sister realize at the end of the day that you will be called to account for your actions. We all will. Do not let go of this hijaab just like you would never abandon Salah. Advice those near you who do not wear the hijaab to fear Allah and wear it. Hijaab is emaan. And we ask Allah to give us true faith and taqwa.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

**Islamic View on Veterans/Remembrance Day**


Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala says in His Noble Revelation, (what means),

You will not find a people who believe in Allah and the Last Day having affection for those who oppose Allah and His Messenger, even if they were their fathers or their sons or their brothers or their kindred. Those - He has decreed within their hearts faith and supported them with spirit from Him. And We will admit them to gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide eternally. Allah is pleased with them, and they are pleased with Him - those are the party of Allah . Unquestionably, the party of Allah - they are the successful. [Surat al Mujaadilah ayah 22]

 The Islâmic View Regarding Remembrance/Veterans/Armistice Day

Haytham Sayfaddîn 

Seeing as it is November, and the sale and wearing of poppies has begun, we know Remembrance Day is near. Let us look at some issues related to this day.

What is Remembrance Day?

The Department of Veterans Affairs [1] explains Remembrance Day as follows:

“Remembrance Day commemorates Canadians who died in service to Canada from the South African War to current missions. It is held every November 11.”
“In 1931, MP Allan Neill introduced a bill to hold Armistice Day on a fixed day – November 11. During the bill’s introduction, it was decided the word “Remembrance” would be used instead of “Armistice.” The bill passed and Remembrance Day was first conducted on November 11, 1931.”

Furthermore, Veterans Affairs Canada explains: “Every year on November 11, Canadians pause in a silent moment of remembrance for the men and women who have served, and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict and peace. We honour those who fought for Canada in the First World War (1914-1918), the Second World War (1939-1945), and the Korean War (1950-1953), as well as those who have served since then. More than 1,500,000 Canadians have served our country in this way, and more than 100,000 have died. They gave their lives and their futures so that we may live in peace.” [2]

The Matter of Condolences for Disbelievers

As mentioned above, Remembrance Day “…commemorates Canadians who died in service to Canada…”
Some scholars have stated that it is permitted to give condolences to disbelievers, so some uninformed people may use this as an argument for the permissibility of participating in Remembrance Day activities. About this we say:
Firstly, the matter of permissibility is greatly differed upon. Yes; some permitted it, however others permitted it only with the intention and likelihood that the giving of condolences would bring the person (closer) to Islâm. And furthermore, others forbid it outright.
Ibn Muflih al-Hanbalî stated: “And it is forbidden to visit them due to sickness, to congratulate them and to express condolences to them…And it has come from him (i.e. Imâm Ahmad) that it is allowed. And it has come from him that (it is allowed) for a overriding benefit, like having hope that he will enter Islâm. This was chosen by our Shaykh (i.e. Ibn Taymiyyah), and this is the meaning of what was chosen by Al-Âjurrî, and that it was the opinion of the scholars; that he is visited and Islâm is offered to him. And Abû Dâwûd narrated (from Imâm Ahmad): If he wants to call him to Islâm, then yes.” [3]

And he placed this discussion in the in the chapter of “The Contract of Thimmah”, sub-chapter “The Rulings of the People of Thimmah” and the section of “The Issue of Visiting the People of Thimmah for Sickness, Congratulating and Condolences.”
Imâm Ibn al-Qayyim stated: “‘Section concerning congratulating them for marriage, a child, the return of someone absent, return of health, safety from misfortune and the like.’ And the narrations from Ahmad have differed concerning this. He permitted it at times and prohibited it at times. And the discussion about this is the same as the discussion concerning condolences, and visits for sickness, as there is no difference between them. And he must beware of falling into what many of the ignorant ones fall into from phrases that indicate acceptance of their religion. Like if one of them says: ‘May Allâh give you pleasure through your religion,’ or ‘give you strength through it.’ Or he says: ‘May Allâh honour you,’ or ‘…ennoble you,’ unless he was to say: ‘May Allâh ennoble you through Islâm and honour you with it,’ and the likes of that.” [4]
He also said: “So whoever congratulates a slave (human) due to a sin, an innovation or kufr, then he has made himself susceptible to the Anger of Allâh and His Wrath. And the people of piety from amongst the People of Knowledge would avoid congratulating an oppressor for being given a posting or an ignorant one for being given a position of judgeship, teaching or Iftâ’ (issuing religious verdicts). (They would do this) as a way to avoid the Anger of Allâh and falling out of status in His Eye. But if a person is tested with that, so he performs it due to an evil that he expects from them, so he goes to them and does not say anything but good, and he supplicates for them for accord and direction, then there is no problem with that.” [5]
It is important to note that these scholars and others have included the permissibility of giving condolences within chapters related to the People of Thimmah. These are people who have chosen to live under Islâmic law and adhere to strict stipulations; they are not people who are openly hostile toward Islâm and Muslims, nor are they people indifferent to Islâm.

Commemoration of Acts Performed For Other Than Allâh’s Sake

One may argue that the people being remembered died in defence of their lives, their countries and so on. About this we say:
By default, the fighting performed by disbelievers is not in the Way of Allâh; therefore, it is not rewarded and not accepted.
Allâh, تعالى, stated:
الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ الطَّاغُوتِ  
﴾ Those who believe, fight in the Cause of Allâh, and those who disbelieve, fight in the cause of Tâghût﴿ [6] 

And we know that something that isn’t done for the Sake of Allâh is at the very least not rewarded, and will even go as far as being an act of shirk which necessitates disbelief.

On the authority of Abû Mûsâ al-Ash’arî, رضي الله عنه, who said: “A man came to the Prophet,صلى الله عليه وسلم, and said: ‘O Messenger of Allâh! What is fighting in the path of Allâh? As some of us fight out of anger, and some of us fight out of fanaticism.’ So he raised his head to him.” He (the sub-narrator) said: “And he did not raise his head to him except due to the fact that he was standing, then said: ‘Whoever fights so that the Word of Allâh is the Highest, then that is in the Path of Allâh, عز وجل .” [7]
Other causes for fighting mentioned in the Ahâdîth are desire to be mentioned/remembered, to be famous, to gain spoils of war, to show off or doing so out of courage. [8]
As the Messenger of Allâh, صلى الله عليه وسلم, said, “Verily, the first person who will be judged upon on the Day of Resurrection is a man who was martyred. So he is brought, then He verifies to him His virtues, so he recognizes them. He says, ‘Then what did you do with them?’ He says, ‘I fought in You (i.e. Your Sake) until I was martyred.’ He said, ‘You lied. Rather you fought so that it would be said, ‘(He is) Brave’, then it was said.’ Then He ordered for him, so he was dragged upon his face until he was thrown into the Fire.” [9]
On the authority of Abû Hurayrah, رضي الله عنه, that the Messenger of Allâh, صلى الله عليه وسلم, stated: “And whoever fights beneath a blind banner; becoming angry for the group, calling to the group or supporting the group, then he is killed, then his killing is one of Jâhiliyyah.” [10]
Furthermore, Imâm An-Nawawî stated: “It (i.e. ‘Imiyyah) is the blind matter, the reality of which cannot be distinguished. This was stated by Ahmad and the majority (of the scholars). And Is’hâq Ibn Râhwayh stated: ‘This is like a people fighting out of zeal (for their own group.).” And he said: “And its meaning is that he fights out of his own desires and his anger for it.” And he said: “And it means that he only fights out of zeal for his own group and his desires.” [11]
Imâm Nûr ad-Dîn Ibn ‘Abdil-Hâdî stated: “It is said that his statement, ‘…beneath a blind banner…’ is a metaphor for a group who gathered together upon an unknown matter, the likes of which is not known whether it is truth or falsehood. And in it (i.e. this Hadîth) there is (the conclusion) that whoever fights out of zeal (for a group, and) not to make the religion dominant nor to raise the Word of Allâh, then he is upon falsehood, even if what is being given zeal is correct.” [12]
So from this we see that fighting that is done without the correct intention and people who are killed under these banners are subject to punishment, even if they are Muslim. So what would the case be for people who are not even Muslim?

A False Justification for Participation

Some have argued that by participating in the activities of this day, they are merely adhering to the following Hadîth:
On the authority of ‘Abdur-Rahmân Ibn Abî Laylâ that Sahl Ibn Hunayf and Qays Ibn Sa’d were sitting in (the city of) Al-Qâdisiyyah. A funeral procession passed in front of them and they stood up. They were told that funeral procession was of one of the inhabitants of the land, in other words, from the People of Thimmah. They said, “A funeral procession passed in front of the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, and he stood up. He was told that it was the funeral of a Jew, so he said: ‘Is it not a living being (soul)?’” [13]
However, this is not evidence for participating in these ceremonies in the least. This is evident from the following nine points:
1-      The ceremonies performed on Remembrance Day are not for funeral processions passing by. These are rituals related to past deaths, so they do not fall under this Hadîth.
2-      These ceremonies are not done for all souls that have died; they are done specifically in remembrance of soldiers who have died. So they have nothing to do with respect for a soul; instead they are for reverence of people who have died fighting in other than the Path of Allâh.
3-      The Hadîth merely mentions standing while these ceremonies include standing, moments of silence, wearing of poppies, gun salutes, wearing of specific uniforms, and so on.
4-      The Hadîth is evidence for something performed year round, not merely one day a year.
5-      The Hadîth is not related to an ‘Îd of disbelievers while Remembrance Day is.
6-      When the Sahâbah performed this action, they were following a specific action of the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, while people taking part in these ceremonies today, are following legislation other than the Sharî’âh of Islâm.
7-      If we look at the initial reaction of the Sahâbah in the presence of the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, as well as the initial reaction of the Tâbi’în in the presence of the Sahâbah, we see that their default reaction was to abstain from any actions they perceived to be reverence of disbelievers, while today people rush to show reverence to them.
8-      Even when they reacted this way, the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, merely explained why they were standing, and did not rebuke them for the feelings and beliefs they had.
9-      When the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, stood up, he was not standing out of reverence for a dead disbeliever. Instead, we have other narrations that explain why he stood and told others to stand:
-          On the authority of Jâbir Ibn ‘Abdillâh, رضي الله عنه, who said: “A funeral procession passed by us, so the Messenger of Allâh, صلى الله عليه وسلم, stood up and we stood up with him. So I said: ‘O Messenger of Allâh, it is but the funeral procession of a Jew.” So he said: ‘Verily, death brings about panic.’” [14]
-          And on the authority of Anas Ibn Mâlik, رضي الله عنه, that a funeral procession passed by the Messenger of Allâh, صلى الله عليه وسلم, so he stood. So it was said: ‘It is the funeral procession of a Jew.’ So he said: ‘We only stood for the Angels.’” [15]
-          On the authority of ‘Abdullâh Ibn ‘Amr Ibn al-‘Âs, رضي الله عنهما, who said: “A man said: ‘O Messenger of Allâh! The funeral procession of a disbeliever (sometimes) passes by us; should we stand for it?’ He said: ‘Yes, stand for it, as you are not standing for it (in and of itself), rather you are only standing out of exaltation for the One Who seizes the souls.’” [16]

Following a Legislation Which Contradicts the Legislation of Allâh

As mentioned earlier, Remembrance Day is an actual day celebrated through legislation, not merely a customary act performed by some in their personal life. So by taking part in these celebrations, we are following legislation that outwardly contradicts the Sharî’ah.
Allâh, تعالى, stated:

إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلاَّ لِلّهِ أَمَرَ أَلاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إِلاَّ إِيَّاهُ ذَلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ 
﴾ The command (or the judgement) is for none but Allâh. He has commanded that you worship none but Him (i.e. His Monotheism), that is the (true) straight religion, but most men know not. ﴿[17] 
And He stated:

وَلَا يُشْرِكُ فِي حُكْمِهِ أَحَدًا  

﴾ And He makes none to share in His Decision and His Rule. ﴿ [18] 

And according to the recitation of Imâm ‘Abdullâh Ibn ‘Âmir al-Yuhsabî ash-Shâmî [19] (from amongst the seven types of recitation):

وَلَا تُشْرِكْ فِي حُكْمِهِ أَحَدًا  

﴾ And do not associate anyone as a partner in His Decision and His Rule. ﴿ [20] 

So Allâh, تعالى, forbid the associating of anyone else with Him in His Rule just as He forbid the association of anyone with Him in His worship, as He said:

﴿ وَلَا يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ أَحَدًا  

﴾ And let him associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord. ﴿ [21]

So we see that in reality, when someone celebrates Remembrance Day, they are actually commemorating a day which is legislated as a holiday outside of the Sharî’ah.

Following Rituals That Are Not Islâmic Rituals

Celebrations are matters which are legislated as an act of worship, not a matter of worldly customs. This is evident in the Hadîth of ‘Â’ishah, رضي الله عنها, in which the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, said about the Day of Fitr or al-Adhhâ“Verily, every people has its celebration and verily this is our celebration.” [22]
Ibn Taymiyyah stated in his explanation of this Hadîth: “This is evidence in a number of ways: One of them is that his, صلى الله عليه وسلم,’s statement: “Verily, every people has its celebration and verily this is our celebration.” Indeed this necessitates each people being unique in their specific ‘Îd. As He, سبحانه, said:
وَلِكُلٍّ وِجْهَةٌ هُوَ مُوَلِّيهَا  
﴾ And for every nation there is a direction to which they face (in their prayers)﴿ [23] 

And He, تعالى, said:
لِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مِنكُمْ شِرْعَةً وَمِنْهَاجًا  
﴾ To each among you, We have prescribed a law and a clear way. ﴿ [24] 
This necessitates each people being unique in their specific direction to face as well as their prescribed law. So if the Jews have an ‘Îd and the Christians have an ‘Îd, which is specific to them, we do not share it with them just as we do not share their direction of facing in prayer nor their prescribed law. And based upon this as well we would not allow them to share our ‘Îd with us.” [25]
Also, it has come on the authority of Anas Ibn Mâlik, رضي الله عنه, who said: “When the Messenger of Allâh, صلى الله عليه وسلم, came to Al-Madînah, they had two days when they would play. So he said: “What are these two days?” They said: “We used to play on them during the Jâhiliyyah.” So the Messenger of Allâh, صلى الله عليه وسلم, said: “Allâh has given you instead of them two days that are better than them: the Day of Al-Adhhâ and the Day of Al-Fitr.” [26]
Ibn Taymiyyah, رحمه الله, stated in his explanation of this Hadîth: “The way this is used as evidence is that the two days in Jâhilyyah were not upheld by the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, nor did he leave them to play during them as they customarily did. Instead he said: ‘He has given you two different days in their place.’ And something replacing something else necessitates abandoning what has been replaced. This is because it is not possible for the replacement and the replaced to be joined together at once.” [27]
Shaykh al-Islâm Ibn Taymiyyah, رحمه الله, also said: “Celebrations are part of the Sharî’ah, the clear way and the ritual acts of worship about which Allâh, سبحانه, said:
لِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مِنكُمْ شِرْعَةً وَمِنْهَاجًا 
﴾ To each among you, We have prescribed a law and a clear way. ﴿ [28]
And He said:
لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ جَعَلْنَا مَنسَكًا هُمْ نَاسِكُوهُ  
﴾ For every nation We have ordained religious ceremonies which they must follow. ﴿ [29]
…like the QiblahSalât and fasting. So there is no difference between their participation in the celebrations and their participation in all other rituals. So conforming in full with a celebration is conforming to kufr, and conforming to some of its branches is conforming in with some of the branches of kufr.’
“Indeed, celebrations are one of the most unique features that distinguish various legislations and among their most prominent symbols, so conforming to them is conforming to the most characteristic legislations of kufr and most prominent of its symbols. And there is no doubt that conforming to this may lead to complete kufr.’
“As for its most basic ruling, then at the very least, it is a (form of) disobedience. This was indicated by the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, when he said: “Verily, every people has its celebration and verily this is our celebration.” [30] And this is worse than participating with them in wearing the Zinâr [31] and its likes from their symbols, as those are manmade symbols which are not from the religion, rather the purpose behind them is simply to distinguish between the Muslim and the Kâfir. As for the celebrations and (religious) rituals, this is part of the religion which is cursed along with its followers, so joining in with it is joining in with something that is a cause of incurring the wrath and punishment of Allâh.” [32]

So we see that the same address was used for ‘Îds as was used for the Qiblah of the Muslims.
So we see that ‘Îds are at the same level of the Qiblah, in that we cannot add, subtract or change anything regarding them within our religion.

Imitation of Disbelievers

It is a clear form of imitating non-Muslims in their actions that they themselves are known for. ‘Abdullâh Ibn ‘Umar Ibn al-Khâttâb, رضي الله عنهما, narrated that the Messenger of Allâh, صلى الله عليه وسلم, said: “Whoever imitates a people, then he is from them.” [33]
And ‘Abdullâh Ibn ‘Amr Ibn al-’Âs, رضي الله عنهما, said: “Whoever lives in the land of the non-Arabs, participates in their Nayrûz (Persian New Year) and their Mahrajân (Vernal equinox), and imitates them until he dies while in that state, he will be resurrected with them on the Day of Resurrection.” [34]

So here it is clear that imitating the disbelievers in aspects that are specific to them makes one deserving of being with them; in the worldly life, the Hereafter, or both, depending on what they have imitated.

Witnessing Falsehood

Allâh, تعالى, stated:
وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَشْهَدُونَ الزُّورَ وَإِذَا مَرُّوا بِاللَّغْوِ مَرُّوا كِرَامًا 
And those who do not witness falsehood, and if they pass by some evil play or evil talk, they pass it by with dignity. ﴿ [35] 
It has been narrated from ‘Abdullâh Ibn ‘Abbâs, [36] Mujâhid, [37] Abul-’Âliyah, Tâwûs, Muhammad Ibn Sîrîn, Adh-Dhahhâk, Ar-Rabî’ Ibn Anas and others that what is meant by the falsehood in this Verse is the ‘Îds of the Mushrikîn[38]

This was also used as evidence by Imâm Ahmad Ibn Hanbal for the prohibition of participating in the ‘Îds of the Christians and the Jews, as was narrated by Ibn Taymiyyah. [39]

And this understanding is clearly seen in the narration from Sa’îd Ibn Salamah who heard his father who heard from ‘Umar Ibn al-Khattâb, رضي الله عنه, that he said: “Avoid the enemies of Allâh during their ‘Îd.” [40]

And Allâh, تعالى, knows best, and may the Blessings and Peace of Allâh be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, his companions and all of those who follow them on the correct path until the Day of Resurrection.

Haytham Sayfaddîn,
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

[2] “A Day of Remembrance”, 2005, pg. 3,
[3] Al-Furû’”, Vol. 6/271-272
[4] Ahkâm Ahl ath-Thimmah”, Vol. 1/441
[5] Ahkâm Ahl ath-Thimmah”, Vol. 1/441-442
[6] Sûrat an-Nisâ’, 76
[7] Narrated by Al-Bukhârî (#123) and Muslim (#1,904)
[8] Look to “Sahîh al-Bukhârî” (#2810, #3,126 and #7458) and “Sahîh Muslim” (#1,904)
[9] Narrated by Muslim (#1,905)
[10] Narrated by Muslim in his “Sahîh”, (#1,848)
[11] Al-Minhâj Sharh Sahîh Muslim Ibn al-Hajjâj”, Vol. 12/238-239
[12] “Hâshiyat as-Sindî ‘Alâ an-Nasâ’î”, Vol. 7/123
[13] Narrated by Al-Bukhârî (#1,312) and Muslim (#961).
[14] Narrated by An-Nasâ’î (#1,921) and others. It was declared “Sahîh” by Al-Albânî in “Sahîh Sunan an-Nasâ’î”, (#1,921) and elsewhere. Imâm Ahmad narrated it on the authority of Abû Hurayrah and it was declared “Hasan” by Al-Haythamî in “Majma’ az-Zawâ’id Wa Manba’ al-Fawâ’id”, Vol. 3/30, and Al-Wâdi’î in “As-Sahîh al-Musnad Mimmâ Laysa Fis-Sahîhayn”, (#1,462).
[15] Narrated by An-Nasâ’î (#1,928), and it was declared “Sahîh according to the conditions of Muslim” by An-Nawawî in “Khulâsat al-Ahkâm Fî Muhimmât as-Sunani Wa Qawâ’id al-Islâm”, Vol. 2/1007, and it was declared “Sahîh” by Al-Albânî in “Sahîh Sunan an-Nasâ’î”, (#1,928).
[16] Narrated by Ahmad in his “Musnad”, Vol. 10/79, and it was declared “Hasan” by Ahmad Shâkir in his Tahqîq at this reference.
[17] Sûrat Yusuf, 40
[18] Sûrat al-Kahf, 26
[19] Refer to “Adh’wâ’ al-Bayân Fî Îdhâh al-Qur’âni Bil-Qur’ân”, Vol. 4/107, by Imâm Muhammad al-Amîn ash-Shinqîtî
[20] Sûrat al-Kahf, 26
[21] Sûrat al-Kahf, 110
[22] Narrated by al-Bukhârî (#952 and #3,931) and Muslim (#892).
[23] Sûrat al-Baqarah, 148
[24] Sûrat al-Mâ’idah, 48
[25] “Iqtidhâ’ as-Sirât al-Mustaqîm Mukhâlafati Ahl al-Jahîm”, pg. 227.
[26] Narrated by Abû Dâwûd (#1,134). It was declared “Sahîh” by an-Nawawî in “Khulâsat al-Ahkâm Fî Muhimmât as-Sunani Wa Qawâ’id al-Islâm”, 2/819, Ibn Hajar al-’Asqalânî in “Bulûgh al-Marâm Min Adillat al-Ahkâm”, #138 and elsewhere, and As-San’ânî in “Al-’Uddah”, 2/540. Ibn Taymiyyah also declared it authentic according to the conditions of Muslim in “Iqtidhâ’ as-Sirât al-Mustaqîm Mukhâlafati Ahl al-Jahîm”, pg. 219.
[27] “Iqtidhâ’ as-Sirât al-Mustaqîm Mukhâlafati Ahl al-Jahîm”, pg. 219.
[28] Sûrat al-Mâ’idah, 48
[29] Sûrat al-Hajj, 67
[30] Narrated by al-Bukhârî (#952 and #3,931) and Muslim (#892).
[31] This was a type of clothing that was specified as specific to Ahl ath-Thimmah
[32] Iqtidhâ’ as-Sirât al-Mustaqîm Mukhâlafati Ahl al-Jahîm”, pg. 241.
[33] Narrated by Ahmad in his “Musnad” Vol. 2/50 and Abû Dâwûd in his “Sunan”, (#4,031). This was declared “Sahîh” by Ibn Hibbân as mentioned in “Bulûgh al-Marâm”, (#437), Al-‘Irâqî in his Takhrîj of “Ihyâ’ ‘Ulûm ad-Dîn”, Vol. 1/359, Al-Bahûtî in “Kashâf al-Qinâ’”, Vol. 1/286 and others. It was also declared “Jayyid” by Ibn Taymiyyah in “Majmû’ al-Fatâwâ”, Vol. 25/331 and “Hasan” by Al-’Asqalânî in “Fat’h al-Bârî”, Vol. 10/282 and As-Suyûtî in “Al-Jâmi’ as-Saghîr”, (#8,593).
[34] Narrtaed by Al-Bayhaqî in his “Sunan”, (#18,642). It was declared “Sahîh” by Ibn Taymiyyah in “Iqtidhâ’ as-Sirât al-Mustaqîm Mukhâlafati Ahl al-Jahîm”, pg. 233 as well as Ibn al-Qayyim in “Ahkâm Ahl ath-Thimmah”, Vol. 3/1248.
[35] Sûrat al-Furqân, 72
[36] Look to “Al-Jâmi’ Li’Ahkâm al-Qur’ân”, Vol. 13/78, by Imâm al-Qurtubî
[37] Look to “Ma’âlim at-Tanzîl”, Vol. 1/98, by Imâm al-Baghawî
[38] Tafsîr al-Qur’ân al-’Athîm”, Vol. 10/331, by Imâm Ibn Kathîr
[39] “Iqtidhâ’ as-Sirât al-Mustaqîm Mukhâlafati Ahl al-Jahîm”, pg. 234-235.
[40] Narrated by Al-Bayhqî in “As-Sunan al-Kubrâ”, (#18,641). I asked the MuhaddithShaykh ‘Adul-’Azîz Ibn Marzûq at-Tarîfî, حفظه الله, about the authenticity of this narration and he stated that it is “Sahîh.”