Sunday, September 7, 2014

Coffee Substitute - Qahwa an-Nakheel

I love coffee. If I had no self control I would easily drink six cups a day, but I manage to cut down to just one cup. Now I can cut it down to just one really good coffee on Friday - because Friday is eid.

Having kidney problems made me make a lot of changes to my diet and one of them was cutting the coffee. My friend suggested to me "qahwat an-Nakheel" which is a coffee made from powdered dates. It is not a caffeine hit but it is an enjoyable drink with health benefits.

It is good for kidney health, as well as for women who have just given birth (it helps the uterus return to normal size), the date coffee has anti-oxidants which have many benefits as well as the well known health benefits of dates.

You can make your qahwat an-nakheel with a "briki" or an expresso pot as shown in the photo. Just add a heaped table spoon to boiling water, stir and then let settle. Once the sediment has settled, pour into a drinking cup with sugar that you would normally have in coffee. Qahwat an-Nakheel tastes better with milk.

As for expresso - just use the qahwat an-nakheel in the place of the coffee - enjoy!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Anwar al-Awlaki Hijrah Lecture Part 3 - Final Part

Part three

Reasons that People Choose to Make Hijrah

1.      For the protection of your Deen. Allah swt says, “O my servants who have believed, my land is vast so worship me.” Meaning that you will find a place worship Allah. If you can’t worship Allah were you are, move out and you will be able to worship Allah. Mujahid said that the meaning of this ayah is that the earth is vast so make hijrah and fight jihad in Allah’s cause - that there will always be a place to fight jihad for Allah’s cause but you will probably need to make hijrah to find that place. Saeed ibn Jibr interpreted the ayah to mean that if you are in a place that is full of sinners and there are a lot of sinful acts around, then move out and worship Allah (swt) somewhere else, like the man who killed ninety-nine then one hundred, he was told by the scholar to move out and make hijrah.

Mutaraf ibn Abdullah said that the meaning is that Allah’s earth is vast so you will find rizq somewhere else.


2.      For your safety - and this was the hijrah of the Muslimeen from Mecca to al-Habasha (Abyssinia). They did not make hijrah from dar al-kufr to dar al-Islam, they made hijrah from dar al-kufr to dar al-kufr. But they made hijrah from a place where they could not worship Allah to a place they could worship Allah. So, France tells you that your daughters and sisters and wives cannot wear hijrab – move somewhere else. You will find a place where you can worship Allah the Most High. You don’t have to stay behind and disobey Allah when the earth is vast and wide – why stay behind when you are banned from fulfilling obligations? There are things that are mustahab when you leave them but this is something wajib so the issue of hijab is wajib and it is compulsory and it is one of the important compulsory things for the Muslim sister so why stay behind in a land where you cannot fulfill this obligation? Like Friday prayer – why live somewhere where Friday prayer is not allowed?


3.      Hijrah for Jihad in Allah’s Cause. This link between hijrah and jihad is apparent in many ayat and hadith. Allah says in surat al-Anfal:72 “the ones who believed and made hijrah and made jihad with their self and their wealth and the ones who welcomed them and supported them these are the ones who are awliya of each other”


In surat al-Baqara in verse 218, “the ones who believed and made hijrah and the ones who made jihad for sabilillah, those are the ones who expect the mercy of Allah, and Allah is Merciful and forgiving. Surat al-Baqara 310, Al-Anfal 74, Al-Tawba 20, again and again these three acts are linked together. Rasool Allah said that hijrah does not stop as long as there is Jihad.


Is hijrah restricted to hijrah from the land of disbelief to the land of Islam?

This is a relevant question for our situation today. Ash-Shawkani says that hijrah is not only restricted to the issue of dar al-kufr but it is an established shariah and a strong Sunnah. You need to make hijrah if you cannot order goodness and prevent vice. The believer is supposed to find a place where he can worship Allah best. If we apply these words of ash-Shawkani to our situation today since we don’t have a clear cut Makka and Madina situation, doesn’t mean that we neglect hijrah. Hijrah can be from one country to another, a city to another in the same country or even one neighbourhood to another neighbourhood in the same city. You find in the Muslim lands within city neighbourhoods - those where the people follow corruption or those where the people are more conservative and religious, shouldn’t a Muslim try to live with his family in the best environment? The issue of hijrah applies whenever you find that you and your family are in fitnah and cannot worship Allah the way you should.

There is another important issue that there are some places where even though it is not dar al-Eman, because the classification is based upon the rule that is applied – the rule of Allah or something else, we know that there are places where it is easier to worship Allah than others even though it is still classified dar al-kufr.

And then another issue – why live with your family in a place where every indication shows that it is dar al-Kufr and will remain so and not only that but it will be the enemy of the Muslims from now until eternity as hadith of Rasool Allah state while there are other places even if the rule of Allah is not applied yet but there is every indication that the future for that place is Islam and the people are heading toward Islam and Allah is preparing the people to become Muslims and carry the message of Islam. So when we talk about ash-Sham for example, even though the rule of Allah is not applied on Ash-Sham today but every indication shows that Ash-Sham is heading towards Islam and Ash-Sham will be a land of Islam and it will be a land that we want to be close to because that is where the important events of Islam will be occurring. The same things can apply to Mecca and Medina, Yemen, Khurusan, Iraq…

So yes, there is no Dar al-Islam today but I am responsible for where I bring up my children and if I am the one who chose for them to live in dar al-Kufr then I am responsible for them and for their grandchildren and so on because I did not make the decision to take them out and put them in a better environment. Even better than that is to make hijrah to the land of rabat and to the land of Jihad fi Sabilillah.

Rasool Allah says, “the rabat of one day and night is better than the fasting of the entire month and standing in the battle field for an hour (part of the day) is better than lailatul qadr right next to the black stone. And Rasool says that rabat of one day is better than one thousand nights in other places.

A woman came to Rasool Allah and said that her husband went out for battle fi Sabilillah and she used to pray behind him and she used to follow his worship, so she asked Rasool Allah to tell her about something she can to do that will make her deeds equal to her husband’s. Rasool Allah asked her, “can you pray the entire night until he comes back and fast every day until he comes back and make dhikr of Allah continuously until he comes back.” She said no she could not. Rasool Allah said, even if you were able to it would not equal to even one tenth of what he is doing now. This woman was living in Madina the place where your salat is multiplied by one thousand.


So hijrah fi sabilillah is an important act of worship. A Muslim does not want to be in the situation where he is paying taxes to the enemies of Allah and they are using his money to fight the Muslims. He doesn’t want to be in a situation where he is increasing the numbers of the Kufar and he doesn’t want to be in a situation where the Kufar are using him to give rulings against his own people or to fight against the Ummah. A Muslim doesn’t want to be in the situation where he will be the cause of the fitnah of his children and grandchildren. A Muslim doesn’t want to be in the situation where he might be able to worship Allah but it will be difficult for his wife and children to continue upon the path of Allah.

It is necessary for the Muslim to find a place that is best for his worship. We shouldn’t be looking for the place that is best for our finances but we should look for the place that is best for our worship and then Allah will take care of the rizq. That should be our objective when it comes to hijrah in the Path of Allah.

There is another issue that needs to be brought in when we talk about hijrah. That is the ruling of jihad in Allah’s path today. We know that the ruling of jihad today is mandatory because it is defensive jihad which is mandatory. So in addition to the need of Muslims to move out of dar al-Kufr, there is another obligation and that is Jihad in Allah’s cause. This leaves the Muslims who are living in the west with the choice of staying behind and fulfilling their obligations of religion which also include jihad, or moving out because if you stay without fulfilling this act of worship which is already an obligation that means you are not able to worship Allah and if you are not able to worship Allah then you need to move out. This issue even though it is not part of the hijrah itself but it directly relates to the hijrah because it is an obligation today on every Muslim. So as a conclusion someone who is living in the west if they want to stay behind then they have to have a participation in jihad either nafs (intention to go) or maal (wealth).  
Part 1 and 2 in previous posts

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Anwar al-Awlaki Hijrah Transcript Part 2 - Why Make Hijrah?

Part 2  why make hijrah

Allah says, “Those who made hijrah for the cause of Allah after they had been wronged we will surely give them good residence in this world, but indeed the reward of the Hereafter is greater if they only knew.”

Ibn Kathir says that Ibn Abbas, ash-Sha’abi and Qatada said that the meaning of hasan in this ayah is Madina, but others like Mujahid it means rizq tayib. Allah will give pure rizq. So Allah does not promise a large quantity of rizq but he promises it will be pure – tayib whether it is a little or a lot it will be tayib. Your wealth may be limited but it will have Baraka (blessings) in it, while the wealth of someone else may be vast and huge but with no Baraka in it. So the issue here is not numbers but Baraka. And Ibn Kathir talks about this and he says, “These muhajireen about whom the ayah is talking, they left their dwellings and wealth behind so Allah gave them better than what they left.” If you leave something for Allah, He will definitely give you something better. Allah gave them establishment in the earth and allowed them to rule over the land and they became leaders and judges and every one of them was an imam for the mutaqeen (pious ones). These people who had limited wealth in Mecca and they would have lived and died in Mecca and no one ever hearing about them became the guides for the entire earth. They are the ones who were carrying the beacons of light who would guide the path for humanity towards Jannah. And now one is emir over Iraq and one emir over Egypt and one emir, they went all over the earth spreading the dawa of Islam so Allah gave them in duniya better than what they left behind and what they will get in Akhira is even better.

Amr ibn al-Khattab, when he would give the muhajireen a part of the booty he would say, “take this, this is what Allah has promised you in duniya and what Allah has promised you in Akhira is even better.” This is all because of the baraka of hijrah.

Why Make Hijrah?

1.      Because it is an order from Rasool Allah (sas). Rasool Allah says that he has ordered with five things. Listen and obey, be with the group, hijrah and jihad for Allah’s sake. These are the five commands of Rasool Allah and notice that these are the five essential elements for a successful jama’ah (group) that would establish the religion of Allah. You need to have listen and obey, this means there is an emir and there is a group and a collective effort, because when you have splattered efforts here and there, it is different when everyone is serving in a group and you have the synergy of everyone and this is when Allah puts baraka in the work.


Then we have hijrah in Allah’s Cause and we have jihad and you will notice that these are frequently mentioned together. This is because many times jihad needs hijrah before it. So they are associated together, and sometimes three things are mentioned together, eman, hijrah and jihad, these three things are linked.


This order of hijrah is not temporary but it stands until the Day of Judgment. Rasool Allah (sas) says that hijrah does not stop as long as jihad does not stop. He says that there will always be hijrah as long as there is an enemy of Allah to fight – as long as there is an enemy of Allah to fight have to go make hijrah to be able to join the fight.


The hijrah to Medina was a hijrah for the sake of jihad in Allah’s cause because Madina was the base for the mujahideen.


2.      Bara’a from the mushrikeen – disassociating one’s self from the mushrikeen. Rasool Allah says in the hadith – I disavow myself from whomever lives amongst the mushrikeen in their dwellings – I disassociate myself from those who live amongst the mushrikeen - they should not see the lights of each other. Rasool Allah says in hadith that you should live far enough from the mushrikeen so that you don’t even see their lights. The one who lives amongst the mushrikeen is like the mushrikeen.


Jarish came to Rasool Allah to give allegiance and he said, ‘O Rasool Allah, give me your hand so I can pledge to you and state your conditions.’ Rasool Allah sas said that you worship in Allah and establish the prayer and pay zakat, and give advice to Muslimeen and you leave the mushrikeen.’ That is part of the bayah (pledge) Rasool Allah gave to Jarish – that you leave the mushrikeen.


3.      The ajr of hijrah – Rasool Allah says in the hadith, ‘Shaytan will wait for you (ibn Adam) in your path’. Shaitan waited for the son of Adam on his way to Islam and said ‘you want to leave the religion of your fathers and father’s fathers?’ but the son of Adam disobeyed him and became a Muslim. Then the shaytan sat on the path on the son of Adams way towards hijrah and he said ‘you are going to leave your land?’ And he disobeyed him and made hijrah. And then he sat for him on his path to jihad and said, ‘you want to fight jihad and it will cost you your wealth and your self and you will be killed and then your wife will be married by someone else and your wealth inherited and split amongst others’ but the son of Adam disobeyed him and went to jihad. Rasool Allah (sas) says that whoever does that then Allah promises to enter him into Jannah.


Whoever is killed in the path of Allah then Allah will give him Jannah, and if he drowns or falls of his mount and dies, then Allah will enter him into Jannah. So whatever happens to him then Allah will enter him into Jannah if he disobeys Shaitan in these three paths: Islam hijrah jihad fi sabilillah.


This is an interesting hadith - Rasool Allah says, ‘if you die while you make hijrah the distance between the place of your birth and the place of your death, you will be given that much land in Jannah. So those who are coming from America or Australia are going to get a lot of ajr!


Rasool Allah (sas) was asked, ‘tell me about something to do (for the religion),’ and he said to that person to make hijrah because there is nothing else like it.


Reasons that People Choose to Make Hijrah


1.      For the protection of your Deen. Allah swt says, “O my servants who have believed, my land is vast so worship me.” Meaning that you will find a place worship Allah. If you can’t worship Allah were you are, move out and you will be able to worship Allah. Mujahid said that the meaning of this ayah is that the earth is vast so make hijrah and fight jihad in Allah’s cause - that there will always be a place to fight jihad for Allah’s cause but you will probably need to make hijrah to find that place. Saeed ibn Jibr interpreted the ayah to mean that if you are in a place that is full of sinners and there are a lot of sinful acts around, then move out and worship Allah (swt) somewhere else, like the man who killed ninety-nine then one hundred, he was told by the scholar to move out and make hijrah.

Mutaraf ibn Abdullah said, the meaning is that Allah’s earth is vast so you will find rizq somewhere else.


2.      For your safety - and this was the hijrah of the Muslimeen from Mecca to al-Habasha (Abyssinia). They did not make hijrah from dar al-kufr to dar al-Islam, they made hijrah from dar al-kufr to dar al-kufr. But they made hijrah from a place where they could not worship Allah to a place they could worship Allah. So, France tells you that your daughters and sisters and wives cannot wear hijrab – move somewhere else. You will find a place where you can worship Allah the Most High. You don’t have to stay behind and disobey Allah when the earth is vast and wide – why stay behind when you are banned from fulfilling obligations? There are things that are mustahab when you leave them but this is something wajib so the issue of hijab is wajib and it is compulsory and it is one of the important compulsory things for the Muslim sister so why stay behind in a land where you cannot fulfill this obligation? Like Friday prayer – why life somewhere where Friday prayer is not allowed?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Transcript of Anwar Al-Awaki's Hijrah Lecture

The transcription was done by me with only changes to improve flow of reading.
This is the first third of the lecture. The next two thirds will be in subsequent posts in order to keep the posts from being very long to read.

This first installment makes us consider the ayaat of Qur'an from Surat an-Nisa 97-100.

The topic of hijrah is a very important topic and it is an issue that is mentioned in Quran and Hadith and an issue that was for a while one of the central issues of being a Muslim. When Mecca was dar al-kufr and Madina was dar al-iman, hijrah was a distinguishing factor between iman and kufr. That is how central hijrah was in those days. Those who went to Madina were part of the aulia of Allah and those who stayed in Mecca then it was not the responsibility of Rasool Allah to protect or defend them and their hisab (account) was upon Allah the Most High on the Day of Judgement.

So hijrah for some time was a very important issue and then after that it was not really stressed a lot by the scholars because everybody was living in dar al Islam and no one in dar al kufr so they didn’t talk much about it because it wasn’t a problem -this was in the time of the khilafa. This issue that we have today of someone going to the land of the disbelievers for trading or even for dawa or some other reason, it wasn’t like someone would go out for sabilillah and live among the disbelievers to do dawa, you would go out under the banners of the muhajideen fi sabilillah, that is how it was before, so we don’t find that the fuqaha talked a lot about hijrah because they were tackling with the problems of the day and this was not a problem.

Yes, there were periods where the issue came up like when Andalus fell and some Muslims stayed behind, there came a fatwa from the scholars of Maghrib that you Muslims who are still living in Spain need to get out, but this was an occasional problem that would come now and then but it wasn’t something that came up for abu Hanifa or imam Malik or Ahmad or ash-Shafa’e, the problem was not there.

There are two types of hijrah and one hijrah is mandatory all the time and this is the hijrah which Rasool Allah talked about in sahih hadith in al-Bukhari, “The Muslim is the one from whom the Muslims are safe from his tongue and his hand, and the muhajir is the one who leaves the things that Allah (swt) has prohibited.” So this is a hijrah that we need to do in every age and time - Hijrah from sin to obedience to Allah. This is the hijrah we have to do all the time.

Rasool Allah said, “The believer is the one whom the people are safe from him in regards to their wealth and their self and the muhajir is the one who leaves sins.”

And he said, “The best Hijrah is the one when you leave the things Allah dislikes.” Because the word hijrah means leaving something behind.

Ibn hajar says, “there are two types of hijrah, the inside hijrah when you leave what the evil soul and shaytan tell you and the outside hijrah which is fleeing for the sake of your religion.” We want to talk about the outside hijrah.

With this hijrah that is moving from one place to another, I am going to base it on ayaat of Quran. If Quran is the book of guidance and you want to talk about something that Quran has told us why go looking anywhere else when the answer is in the book of Allah? When you listen to these ayaat you want these ayaat to speak to your heart. We are not going to talk in terms of fiqh hukm of it, haram, halal, mubah, mustahab, we are going to talk about hijrah based on ayaat of Quran and hadith of Rasool Allah sas. Subhanallah, when it comes to the issue of hijrah if you don’t allow the ayah to talk to your heart you are not going to understand the meaning or what was intended. And this is how we should deal with all ayaat of Quran because Allah (swt) said, “there is a reminder in this book for the one who has a heart.” If you want to take Quran dry without it speaking to your heart you will not benefit from it, because Allah says that the reminder is not for everyone, but for those who have a heart or listens attentively and gives heed, but Allah says about the oppressors that the Quran only adds to their loss. That is why Quran is al-Furqan, it comes and splits the people in half, some go to ar-Rahman and some go to Ash-Shaytan - that is what Quran does, it is Furqan.
Allah says about Salih when he came to their people they were united and when he came to them there were two parties fighting each other. 

The issue of hijrah is a difficult one always not only today that is how it was in the time of Rasool Allah. Many Muslims today want to make hijrah but they want to go to a place where they will make more money, they say,yeah I want hijrah but I want an increase in my salary and a better house and better living.’ All of the sahaba who made hijrah made hijrah by sacrificing - some of them some of their wealth and some of them all their wealth. Hijrah was not easy for Rasool Allah and the Sahaba and it was a risk for them then and it is a risk for us now.

We are going to look at four ayaat from Surat al-Nisa which talk about hijrah but first some background to the condition in which these ayaat were sent down.

There were some Muslims who stayed behind in Mecca and then hijrah became compulsory and they did not make hijrah and stayed in Mecca and when the people of Quraish marched out in the battle of Badr they marched out with their people - just like the Muslims living in America joined the US army when it was fighting against Muslims, these felt compelled to join Quraish when it marched out against Rasool Allah sas. They went out probably with the intention of not firing against the Muslims, just as those who joined the US army had the intention of not firing against the Muslims. So the narration (the hadith talking about the nuzul of these ayat is in al-Bukhari) says they went out silently and the arrows of the Muslims would strike this person and that, and they were not participating in the fighting but some of them were killed by Muslims in the fighting and these ayaat were sent down about these people.

Allah says, “When angels take the souls of those who die in sin against their souls.” So Allah calls them the ones who have wronged themselves and committed oppression against their own selves. The angels don’t take their souls quietly but they take them and ask them, fima kuntum “What was your plight?” What were you doing, you were among the people of Quraish, you were living in Mecca and you didn’t make hijrah to Medina, why? So the angels won’t wait until the Day of Judgment to ask this question and they won’t wait even before that to ask them in the grave, they ask right then and there when they are taking their souls. This is a question that cannot be delayed. Fima kuntum – where were you?

And the people will reply, “We were weak in the land.” We were weak. There is no problem with being weak if there is no alternative. The Sahaba and RA lived thirteen years in this situation and they were mustadhafeen, they were the weaker party in Mecca but the moment they found the alternative it became compulsory to move out and stop living as the weak, if you have the choice to live in honour why would you choose to live in a state humiliation and weakness? When there is no other alternative it is good to be patience but if you have the alternative and you don’t make hijrah for two reasons – fear for your wealth and fear for your safety then you are committing oppression against yourself.

Qalu kuna mustadhafeen fi al-ardh (they said we were weak in the land) you sense humiliation in their answer and subhan Allah this is the situation of the one who accepts to live among the kufar when an alternative exists. This weakness is even reflected in the fiqh (jurisprudence) that come out when you live among the kufar so you start hearing fatawa (Islamic rulings) that sisters don’t need to wear hijab and Muslims can join the army of kufar and it is ok to buy a house with riba mortgage. SO the whole fiqh becomes a weak fiqh, it reflects the situation, so you have the fiqh of people who are weak, and they have conferences that justify being weak. When the kufar have their foot over your neck you need to be talking about how to remove the foot of the kafir from over your neck. Yes Islam is a religion of tolerance but it is also a religion of justice. There is a time of tolerance and a time for justice so the whole culture becomes a culture of weakness.
What did the angels say? They responded by saying. “Wasn’t the earth of Allah spacious enough for you to emigrate within?”

This excuse (of weakness) is not accepted. We are not talking about rulings here, because it is unfair to make a certain ruling about hijrah when the circumstances are different. The circumstance that we had before was that Mecca was clearly the land of disbelief and Medina was clearly the land of belief. So that hijrah was compulsory.

Now we have the lands of disbelief but there is a problem with the flip side of the coin with the land of belief. So we have half of the equation but not the whole equation so making rulings on this situation is not as straight forward as the case before, we are talking about the concept of hijrah in general and the ruling of hijrah now may be different from one person to another and from one time to another for example I think there is a difference between pre-September 11 and post-September 11 in America. There is a difference. Before, the field was open for dawa now things are becoming different. The issue is not straight forward when talking about the rulings but we want to emphasise on the concept of hijrah itself and turn attention to the Muslims that the issue of hijrah is an important issue and we need to absorb these ayaat and see if these conditions apply to you and if they do you need to find a way out.

“Wasn’t the earth of Allah spacious enough for you to make hijrah?” Allah has created this whole earth of five continents, wasn’t there space for you to make hijrah? Why did you have to stay in Mecca and end up coming out with the army of Quraish to fight against the Muslims in Badr when Madina is only a few hundred kilometers away? The one who has taqwa (piety) will find a way out. Allah will find a way out for you if you have taqwa and rizq (provision) will come to you from places you didn’t expect. It is a test to see if you put your trust in Allah the Most Merciful or not. 

So what is their fate? Allah says their abode is Hellfire. These people who refused to make hijrah, their abode is Hellfire. They accepted humiliation in duniya so Allah will humiliate them in Akhira. But there is an exception and those who are really weak and oppressed. “Except those who are really oppressed from men women and children who have neither means nor a guide to direct their way.” 

We need to put this in the right perspective because someone might say I can’t make hijrah when they can, because the reason they cannot make hijrah is because they have a slight fear for their safety or for their rizq. No, the exception doesn’t apply to these because we know that every muhajir made hijrah in the time of Rasool Allah (sas) was taking a risk and we know they left their wealth behind, so the risk was great. This exception is for those whom it is impossible to move out, they have no way to do it. These are the exception, and Allah says, “For these there is home that Allah will forgive as Allah blots out sins and forgives again and again.”

So what are the two things that keep people behind from making hijrah? Number one: safety and number two: rizq (provision). When you get accustomed to a certain place, you know the people, your network of friends is there, you have a job, you have established yourself, you have a house, your kids are doing well in school, your wife has friends, everything is established and now you want to move out, you want to uproot yourself from that place and go somewhere else?

There are some difficulties in that, you are going to a place you may feel foreign. Your wife, will she have any friends or will she spend the whole time alone and no one speaking to her? Your kids; will they feel accepted at school or will they be treated as foreigners and not be treated very well and get into trouble and not like it. How are you going to make a living, you have a good job that pays me well, I am going to go somewhere else, how are you going to live? These are the concerns that the muhajir has. 

The following ayah talks to you and says,
“Whoever forsakes his home as a muhajir for Allah’s cause, he will find in the earth ‘muraghaman’” (4:100)
He, who forsakes his home in the cause of Allah, so it is hijrah, not for the sake of wealth or for someone you want to marry or for duniya, no this is for the sake of Allah (swt), finds in the earth ‘muraghaman’. What does muraghaman mean? It means protection. It also means a place to maneuver. If the enemy is behind you go and maneuver somewhere else, the earth is wide enough for you to take another shot at the enemies of Allah and find a place to maneuver from the enemies of Allah. That is what Rasool Allah (sas) did when he moved out from Mecca. They cornered him in Mecca so he went to Madina. Muraghaman means don’t corner yourself in one place you will find some protections somewhere else; you can find it somewhere else if you just search. For Rasool Allah (sas) it was not easy. He spent a few years looking for a place to move out to, and then Allah gave it to him, but there was some effort that was put into that. Sometimes we want the solution without doing anything. No, you have to make the first step. It says in Hadith al-Qudsi if you walk towards Allah (Az wa Jal) he will run towards you, if you take a step towards Allah He will take many steps towards you but you are the one who starts, you need to take the first step and then Allah will do the rest.
“Muraghaman kathiran wa sa’ah” Sa’ah means rizq. So the two concerns you have; safety and rizq, Allah has promised you that you will find a way out. So you can imagine hijrah as asking someone to jump from a cliff but put your trust in Allah (swt) and you are not allowed to look what is at the bottom, you don’t know if it is water or rocks, but you have to take that jump, you have to put your trust in Allah and jump the cliff. That is hijrah. You don’t know what is on the other side; you have to put your trust in Allah. Allah says you will find muragham and you will find sa’ah. That is a promise even though it doesn’t look easy but Allah has promised you that. Then Allah says, “Should he (the muhajir) die as a refugee from his home for Allah and his Messenger, his reward becomes due.” 

Allah doesn’t promise protection from death because death could come to you whether you make hijrah or not. But Allah promises if you make hijrah you will get the ajr – reward, even if you didn’t complete the journey. So you are promised two things but not protection from death – you are promised rizq and promised muragham – a place to maneuver.

The prophets made hijrah.  Musa made hijrah and when he reached Palestine, what did the man in Madian tell him? Here you are safe from the oppressing people. And when Rasool Allah made hijrah to Madina, the people in Madina told him, here you are safe from the enemy of Allah, and we will fight for you like we fight for our families.

You can see the stories for the muhajireen today and the muhajireen of yesterday. The ones who make hijrah, Allah (swt) blesses their effort and offers them protection from the enemies of Allah (swt).

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Hijrah Destinations - Turkey

I have yet to mention Turkey anywhere on my blog to date but now, but now it seems it has become a popular destination for muhajireen.

A friend of mine moved to Turkey a few years ago for work due to everything closing down during the political uprisings and she hated it, but the Syria happened and muhajireen flocked to Turkey and she found herself amongst "family". Now I have corroborated reports of Turkey being the place to go.

Getting in is not so difficult, but check your visa requirements. Even people on the "no-fly" enter Turkey without hassle.

At the moment the call is out for teachers of Arabic and Islam, Quran teachers, they are so short of these teachers they will accept someone to teach Quran even if they only have a few juz memorised. Generally people wanting professional work in Turkey will need to be qualified.

Of course one of the pull features is the possibility of and Islamic state or enclave formed in Turkey's neighbour. Many have flocked to Turkey for Syria and the hadith of akhir zaman when Rasool Allah says to us to "join the armies in Ash-Sham (Syria/Lebanon/Jordan/Palestine) or go to Yemen..."

Turkey might be a good option for new muhajireen who may not be up to living in a mud hut or in abject poverty. Turkey is mixed but slowly coming toward Islam, much more than ten years ago at any rate. YOu will still find there alcohol and night clubs and the like of shaytan venues, but you will find these in the khaleej too. Turkey could also make a good first point to get settled and meet people to help you to better things if Turkey isn't your idea of a suitable hijrah.

Definitely worth looking into. More to come about Turkey as the info comes to me from people living there.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Hadith - Be in this world like a stranger or a traveler.

Hadith – Be in the world like a stranger…

Summary of the explanation of the hadith from 40 Hadith Nawawi commentary by Shaikh Jamal ad-Din Zarabozo. I will only cover the first half of the hadith in this article. I will focus on ‘this world’, ‘stranger’ and ‘traveler along a path’.

On the authority of ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with them both), said:

“The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) took hold of my shoulder and said, ‘be in this world as if you were a stranger or a traveler along a path.’ And ibn Umar would say, “If you survive till the afternoon, do not expect (to be alive in) the morning, and if you survive until the morning to not expect (to be alive) in the afternoon. Take from your health for your sickness and from your life for your death.” Recorded by al-Bukhari and others.

General Comments About the Hadith

This hadith is truly profound in meaning with far-reaching implications. If one ponders over the meaning of this hadith and applies it correctly, it could lead him to a great deal of good as this worldly life can be a create threat to a life of piety. This hadith is a vivid reminder of the real nature of this world – the believer who understands and implements the hadith with find himself high above this worldly life rather than a slave to it.

The Hadith

“Took hold of my shoulder”
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) took hold of ibn Umar’s shoulder. It seems clear that the purpose of that act demonstrates how important it was to Rasool Allah to have ibn Umar’s complete attention. Ibn Umar would then understand that he is about to be told something very important and remember this action of the Messenger of Allah and what he told him at that time.

This demonstrates that the Messenger of Allah not only conveyed the message, but he conveyed it in the best way possible. He conveyed in such a way that the people would understand and remember it. It is  clear from ibn Umar’s own advice after relating this hadith of the Prophet that he did understand and retain what the Prophet had taught him. Ibn Umar was about 20 years of age when the Prophet died so it is important to see how the Prophet took special care in teaching the younger companions. He brought them up with the clear teachings of Islam such that they would learn its message at an early age and develop and grow in the shade of that message. Perhaps, also, the Prophet knew the inspiration and influence these companions would hold in the future as propagators and teachers of the faith.

“be in the world”

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) explained to ibn Umar (and thus all the believers) how he should be in respect to this world – referred to in Arabic as ad-duniya. Dunya comes from the root meaning both closeness and something despicable or lowly. This world is called dunya for two reasons: First, as the present time, it is closer to the humans than the Hereafter, and second, it is despicable or abased in comparison to the Hereafter[1].

This hadith is a clear sign that a true believer does not put his aspirations and heart into this world as this world is not his real home. Instead, on his mind is that he is moving towards his real destination, real home and real resting place and so he will not plant his heart and mind too firmly in this earth.

Among the implications here is that if the believers loses anything of this world or is not able to attain something of this world, it will not have a great effect on his heart and emotions. Someone attached to this duniya may even be willing to kill himself due to difficulties and depression and lack of having anything else to look forward to.

It is only those who are deceived by the glitter they see around them who become engrossed in this world and desires until their deaths. When a person realizes the true nature of this world, as taught in the Quran and Sunnah, it becomes very easy for him to become detached from this world and to deal with it in the proper way. In order to help the reader achieve that realization, verses of Quran and Hadith that demonstrate the reality of this world will be presented here but with a minimum of commentary.

“Know that the life of this world is but amusement and diversion and adornment and boasting to one another and competition in increase of wealth and children. In reality it is like the example or rain resulting in plant growth which pleases the disbelievers, When it dries and you see it turn yellow and then it becomes scattered debris. And in the Hereafter is severe punishment and forgiveness from Allah and approval. And what is the worldly life except the enjoyment of delusion.” (al-Hadeed:20)

“And the worldly life is not but amusement and diversion. But the home of the Hereafter is best for those who fear Allah. So will you not then reason?” (al-Anaam:32)

“And this worldly life is not but diversion and amusement. And indeed, the home of the Hereafter, that is the true life if only they knew.” (al-Ankaboot:64)

“This worldly life is only amusement and diversion. And if you believe and fear Allah, He will give you your reward and not ask you for your wealth.” (Muhammad:36)

Ibn al-Qayyim points out that play, amusement and diversion have no real purpose or benefit. They are simply things that occupy the soul and causes it to waste its time and not involve itself in important matters. The ignorant people spend their whole lives in pursuit of such vain activities without any benefit for themselves in the Hereafter.

Allah has also described this world as zeenah – something alluring, beautiful or attractive. This world can get the person so engrossed that he forgets the Hereafter. He gets deceived into believing that the goals of this life are worth living for even if it means neglecting duties towards Allah. These are some of the ways by which Satan seduces us and makes us forget about our real purpose.

“O mankind, indeed, the promise of Allah is true, so let not the worldly life delude you and be not deceived about Allah by the deceiver (Satan)” (Fatir:5)

In the Quran, Allah has made it clear that He will give this world to whoever He wills, believer or disbeliever; such worldly possessions are not of great importance. However, the Hereafter, which is the true bounty and the matter of great importance, He reserves only for His believers and those whom He is pleased with.
The Messenger of Allah also said,

“By Allah, it is not poverty that I fear for you but I fear that this world will be spread out for you as it was spread out for the peoples before you, and then you will compete in it as they competed in it and it will destroy you as it destroyed them.” (al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Ibn Uthaimeen comments on this hadith saying that poverty or being poor allows one to be closer to following the truth than being rich. Indeed most of the people who followed the Prophet, especially in the early years, were from among the poor. Throughout history, most of the people who rejected the Messengers were the rich and arrogant. (This phenomenon is mentioned many times in Quran).

“This world is a prison for the believer and a paradise for the disbeliever.” (Muslim)

This world can be very alluring and for that reason, Allah the Most Wise warned the Prophet Muhammad about being with those people who are seeking only this world. The Prophet (and an instruction for all believers) was told to seek the company of those people who are working for the Hereafter. He should be with them and face trials, sacrifices and difficulties of this world with patience. And Allah said,

“And keep yourself (O Muhammad) patiently with those who call on their Lord morning and afternoon, seeking His countenance, and let not your eyes overlook them, desiring the pomp and glitter of life of the world; and obey not him whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance, on who follows his own lusts and whose affair has been lost. And say: the truth is from your Lord. Then whosoever wills, let him believe. And whoso ever wills, let him disbelieve.” (al-Kahf 28-29)

“Like a Stranger”

The first feeling a believer should have towards this world is that of a stranger in a stranger land. He feels that he is in a place where he does not belong. This is not his home and he cannot feel entirely happy here. His heart can never be tied to this land. Instead, his heart and mind are preoccupied with getting back to his home and his efforts are filled with that purpose. He is spending his time, money and capabilities to gather what he needs to return to his home.

Therefore, the believer’s live, long-term aspirations, goal in life, time, efforts, work and wealth should never be spent for the purposes of this worldly life alone. Instead, they should all be guided by his want to please Allah and to be entered among Allah’s pious servants in the everlasting home of Jannah.

The stranger is not happy with his day unless he feels that during it he has done something that will eventually lead him back to his home – his final goal. Furthermore, the stranger does not try to compete with the inhabitants of the strange land because his interests and their interests are completely at odds. In addition, he is not trying to win their respect or praise, as in his heart he is merely seeking to return to his home. Al-Hasan al-Basri once said, “the believer is in the world like a stranger. He does not become unhappy from its humiliation, nor does he compete for its honour. He has one purpose and the people have another purpose.”

“a traveler along a path”

The second possibility is that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) mentioned for the believer is to be like a traveler along a path. This implies that the person is actually not residing anywhere but is always moving toward his final destination or goal. The end of his travels of course, will be his death. Therefore, his only preoccupation is to gather the provisions that he needs to continue his journey and make his life journey a successful one.
In a hadith, it is narrated that the Messenger of Allah was lying on a hard mat. Ibn Masood began to wipe the effects of the mat from the Prophet’s body and suggested that he have something better to sleep on. The Prophet said, “What do I have to do with this worldly life? I and this worldly life are but like a traveler who stopped for a little while under a tree to get some shade and then he moved on.” (recorded by Ahmad, al-Tirmidhi, ibn Majah and other according to al-Albani it is sahih).

Al-Nawawi stated that a person in this world is like a slave who was sent by his master to another land to fulfill some objective. His goal will be to fulfill that objective as quickly as possible and then return to his land and owner. As long as he is there, he will not bother with anything else along the way or with gathering as much as he can from that other land.

Ibn Hajar stated, “In the same way that a traveler is not in need of more than what will get him to his destination, a believer does not need any more of this world than what will help him reach his destination.”
Hence, the believer is not interested in gathering too much of this world because such things make it more difficult for him to continue on his travels and to travel easily. Because this world is so alluring and attractive, it is easy for a Muslim to forget this when he becomes attracted and attached to the things of this world, he forgets he is on a journey. Instead of being ready to move closer to his destination, his store of worldly possessions and strong attachment to them render him unable to move on to the next leg of his trip. He  is now no longer gathering provisions for his journey and his final destination but he is now accumulating things to help him stay where he is and become a full-fledged resident of this world. In other words he has lost sight of the face that he is supposed to be working and traveling toward a destination by his preoccupation of this worldly life.

There is another important aspect that any traveler must be aware of; not getting lost or sidetracked along the way. The travels of a believer may be very long before he meets is Lord. Along the way there are many things that may distract him and there are even enemies along the path. Shaytan, for example, is ever ready to take the believer away from the path. Therefore, the believer who is on this journey must always be seeking Allah’s guidance and His help to keep him moving in the right direction. Any straying from that path could be disastrous – his end may come suddenly and he may never have had the chance to return to the straight path. Allah has awakened the believers to that sobering reality and He has guided them to say in every rakah of prayer, “Guide us to the Straight Path.” Similarly, the Messenger of Allah by his example of constantly making the following supplication, taught the believers to say,

“O the One who turns the hearts, confirm my heart upon your religion,” (al-Tirmidhi and others, al-Albani says it is sahih).

[1][1] Ibn Uthaimeen, Sharh Riyadh vol.6 pp6-7