Archive for the ‘Saints’ Category

Importance of lineage to the Prophet (PBUH)

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

I watch YouTube a lot for talks and sermons by Sheiks (Muslim elders). I am learning that there is a group of scholars who trace their lineage back to the Prophet (swas). It seems to me that the link is the hand shake from sheik to his predecessor in knowledge up to the Prophet (swas). Am I correct that the link is almost an “apostolic succession” and not a blood link?

Be cautious with YouTube. It is free and anybody can put on clergy clothing and express his opinion and make it sound like it is the absolute truth. The merit of any talk is the evidence it cites and the logic it follows, not the man, his appearance, his credentials or his lineage.

I think when they say they trace their lineage back to the Prophet (PBUH), they are talking about being direct descendents of him, through one of his daughters. In Arabic, they are called Al-Ashraaf (the honored ones). In the Indopak I understand they are called Syeds (masters).

Being a descendant from the Prophet (PBUH) is indeed an honor, but it doesn’t make one particularly knowledgeable, pious or credible. Some Ashraaf are sinners or non-practicing and some are saint-like. Those who are saint-like are not that way because of their lineage, but because of their faith, piety, commitment, good deeds and constant learning.

I’m not sure you meant this, but if your observation of a handshake is a secret handshake :-), then they have a secret order not unlike the secret orders that have been created in other religions. Islam does not have a secret order. There are no special people in Islam entrusted with exclusive insights into the religion. There is no pope or guru whose uttering is infallible. There are scholars with various degrees of knowledge and insight. There may be ordinary folks whom you would not pay any attention to, who have more insight and faith than a Mufti, Imam or another dignitary. God grants knowledge and wisdom to people on the basis of their faith and good deeds, not on the basis of their rank in society or their lineage or connections.

Answers to quizzes 11-18

Friday, April 5th, 2013

You had enough time to figure out the answers to quizzes 11-18, haven’t you? 🙂 Here they are:

11. Friday and Saturday. Friday is mentioned in verse 62:9 and it has the honor of also being the name of Chapter 62. Saturday is mentioned five times! In verses 2:65, 4:47, 4:154, 7:163 and 16:124.

12. Ramadan, the fasting month, the 9th month of the Hijri (lunar) year. It has the special honor that the revelation of the Quran was started in it.

13. Mary. She is mentioned ten times in the Quran: in verses 3:36, 3:37, 3:42-45, 4:156, 19:16, 19:27, and 66:12 and 21 other times in the identification of Jesus. She has the special honor of being the only woman mentioned in the Quran by name and that Chapter 19 is named after her.

14. Luqmaan, Goliath, King Saul, Haman and Zayd. Luqman is mentioned in verses 31:12-13 and Chapter 31 is named after him. Goliath is mentioned in verse 2:251. King Saul, called in Arabic Taaloot, is mentioned in verses 2:247 and 2:249. Haman, Pharaoh’s minister is mentioned in verses 28:6, 28:8, 28:38, 29:39, 40:24 and 40:36. Zayd ibn Haaritha is mentioned by his first name in verse 33:37.

15. Gabriel, Michael, Haaroot and Maaroot. Gabriel, who transmitted the Quran to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was mentioned in verses 2:98 and 66:4. He is mentioned by title many other times. Michael is mentioned in verse 2:98. Haaroot and Maaroot, who taught people some secrets of magic at the time of Solomon, were mentioned in verse 2:102.

16. Egypt, Babylon and Rome. Egypt was mentioned four times: in verses 10:87, 12:21, 12:99 and 43:51. Babylon was mentioned in verse 2:102. Rome is mentioned in verse 30:2 and is the name of Chapter 30.

17. Mecca, Medina and Midyan. Mecca is mentioned by that name in verse 48:25 and by its old name Baca in verse 3:96. Medina is mentioned by that name in four verses: 9:101, 9:120, 33:60 and 63:8 and by its old name Yathrib in verse 33:13. Midyan is mentioned in nine verses: 7:85, 9:70, 11:84, 20:40, 22:44, 28:22-23, 28:45 and 29:36.

18. The Children of Israel, Quraysh, `Aad and Thamood. The Children of Israel were mentioned in the Quran 40 times! Quraysh, the Prophet’s tribe is named in verse 106:1 and is the name of Chapter 106. `Aad is mentioned 19 times and Thamood 25 times.

Don’t be so sure

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

Ever felt content with your worship of God and thought that you have done well for yourself and deserve to go to heaven? Let me tell you three stories.

A man observed Al-Hasan ibn Ali, may God have been pleased with both, supplicating hard and weeping. He approached him and said, “You cry out of fear of God when you have all the means to salvation?” He replied, “Like what?” The man said, “How about your lineage to the Prophet (PBUH)? [Al-Hasan was the Prophet’s grandson]. What about his mediation for Muslims? What about God’s vast mercy?”

Good points, right? Well, Al-Hasan answered him: As for my lineage, God says, “Then when the Horn is blown (on the Day of Judgment), there is no kinship between them!” (23:101) As for the Prophet’s mediation, God says, “Who is that who will mediate with Him except by His permission?” (2:255) As for God’s vast mercy, God says about it, “I will grant it to those who watch out [for Me].” (7:156) So, where is security, brother?

Good counter-points, don’t you think? If a saint whom the Prophet (PBUH) said was going to be a prominent youth among the people of Paradise isn’t sure, how can ordinary folks be sure?

Umar ibn Al-Khattaab, may God have been pleased with him, once said, “If an angel on the Day of Resurrection, announced that all people will go to Paradise but one, I’d worry I’m the one!” This, coming from the second Caliph, a man renowned for his piety, whom the Prophet (PBUH) gave him the good news that he was one of ten who will go to Paradise, if he is not sure, how can the rest of us be?

One time the Prophet (PBUH) surprised his fellows sitting with him listening to his teachings when he said to them, “The work of any of you will not enter him into Paradise!” They asked, “Even you, O Messenger of God?” He replied, “Even me, unless God covers me with mercy from Him and favor.” Narrated by `Aa’isha and Abu-Hurayra and reported by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim in their authentic collections.

The Prophet (PBUH) was teaching that while faith and good deeds are necessary for admission to Paradise, they are not sufficient. It is God’s mercy and favor that gets us there. Faith and good deeds only make it likely.

This is not to dash the hopes of Muslims, but rather to balance their attitude. Imam Al-Ghazaali, may God bless his soul, brilliantly defined faith in Islam as “The balance between fear and hope.”

All those honorary titles

Monday, December 26th, 2011

Assalamu Alaikum WR WB.

I need the clarifications on passing different types of Islamic titles on different individuals / group.

We say Alaihissalam to All the prophets, and angels.. and Mahdi too………

We say Radiyallahu Anhu, to Sahabas…

Some say Raheemahullah to living scholars, and the expired as well…

I wanna know, the root of these titles, why we say this?

More over, I met some one and she said, Prophet (PBUH) commanded us to say Salawat upon his family, and we must say Alaihissalaam to Ali(Ral). And when I said its from shia analogies, she replied back saying that Imam Bukhari has approved this !!!!

Please do throw light on this issue Insha Allah..
Fee Amanillah

That is a good convention created by as-Salaf as-Saalih (the righteous predecessors) after the death of the Prophet (PBUH).

In the Quran, God tells us that He “prays” for the Prophet (PBUH) and so do the angels and asks us to do likewise and send our greetings to him (33:56). Therefore, it is highly recommended that we say Salla Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam (May God bless and greet him), which is commonly abbreviated PBUH (peace be upon him), whenever Muhammad’s name is mentioned.

As for other prophets, for the angels and for some distinguished people, such as Mary, we are encouraged to say “Alaihi As-Salaam” (peace be upon him), or in the case of Mary “Alayha as-Salaam” (peace be upon her), because the Prophet (PBUH) did so.

BTW, God “praying” for somebody means He graces them.

In the Quran, God tells us that He “is pleased with” the Sahaaba (companions of the Prophet, PBUH), who pledged allegiance to the Prophet (PBUH) (48:18). That is the origin of the phrase Radhiya Allaahu `Anhu (May God have been pleased with him), commonly abbreviated RA, in reference to the Sahaaba.

For all subsequent Muslims, the convention has been to say Rahimahu Allaah (May God have mercy on him), in reference to a deceased Muslim.

You were correct when you told your friend that special treatment of Ali (RA) tends to occur with our Shee`i colleagues. I’m not aware of anything that Al-Bukhaari has said that is different.

All those honorary phrases are literally prayers for those wonderful people. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “Whoever prays for his brother in absentia, the angels reply, ‘Amen, and the same to you!'”, narrated by Abud-Dardaa’ and reported by Muslim who rated it authentic.

It is not appropriate to say Rahimahullah about living people, even though literally it is valid. The reason is the convention that it refers to deceased people.

The complex soul

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

Assalamu Alaikum WR WB Akhi.

Just need a clarification on this issue.

I had to attend a lecture today in my school and the shaikh was saying that we have 03 types of Nafs
01 Nafsul Ammara
02 Nafsul Lawwama
03 Nafsul Mudhdhima

The third one is the worst one ever, and each level of Nafs has 07 different “Sub- Nafs” , all together 27 sub stuffs, and that why people throw 21 stones at the Hajj per head…

Is this analogy true??

Plus, Is there any doubtful issues regarding the Hajar Al Aaswad stone… I mean, people say that thee is no valid proof for it to be sent down from the heaven, Plz do throw light on this issue as well. Insha Allah

Fee Amanillah

Wa Alaykum Assalaam WR WB (and upon you may be peace, the Mercy of God and His Blessings).

There are no sub-nafses 🙂 There is only one Nafs (self/soul). But it has two sides, as mentioned in the Quran:
(1) An-Nafs Al-Lawwaama (the chastising self/soul) and
(2) An-Nafs Al-Ammaaratu bis-Soo’ (the sin-inducing self/soul).

The third mention of Nafs, An-Nafs Al-Mutma’inna (the tranquil self/soul) is the one where the chastising side of it has won over the sin-inducing side.

Whenever one lets the sin-inducing side of one’s soul win over, one is doing wrong to one’s soul (Zhaalimun li-Nafsih), because the soul wants to submit to God and do good and man fails it.

As for the black stone, there are narrations that say that it was sent down from Paradise and was originally white as snow. These hadeeths range between Sound (Hasan) and weak in authenticity. Neither Al-Bukhaari nor Muslim have reported it. In matters of Aqeeda (theology), don’t crowd your head with less than authentic texts.

What about the Sufis..The three levels of the soul..could the lecturer have been alluding to those constructs?

Possibly. I’m not acquainted with this Sufi teaching, but if they are referring to Islam, Eeman (faith) and Ihsaan (Benevolence), then these are three promotions of the same soul, hence the attribute “levels.”

What these promotions are based on is a hadeeth of the Prophet (PBUH) in which it is narrated that a man wearing all white, whom nobody recognized, and who did not look like he’s been traveling, dropped in on the Prophet (PBUH) while he was sitting down with several people. The man greeted the Prophet (PBUH) and sat very close to him. He asked the Prophet (PBUH), “What is Islam?” The Prophet (PBUH) answered him by telling him of the five pillars of Islam. The man replied, “Right!” People were puzzled by this man asking the Prophet (PBUH) and then confirming his answer! Then the man asked the Prophet (PBUH), “What is Eemaan (faith)?” The Prophet (PBUH) answered him with the six pillars of faith. The man again replied, “Right!” Finally the man asked him, “What is Ihsaan (benevolence)?” The Prophet (PBUH) answered, “Ihsaan is to worship God as if you see Him. Though you don’t see Him, He sees you!” The man smiled and said again, “Right!” Then he bid farewell to the group and left. The Prophet (PBUH) then said, “Do you know who that was? It was Jibreel (Gabriel); he came to teach you your religion!” Narrated by Umar ibn Al-Khattaab and reported by Muslim who rated it authentic.

Souls…well the Sufi’s have this one down…They spend more time on the inner journey…the rest break the world into the duyna and deen..the Sufi goes internal…they examine the soul from all aspects and dwell on polishing the heart to reach the soul and keep it clear. My question has always been..we become so hard on ourselves as the struggle against ourselves is really our test. You used the word promotion of souls. Yet, if there is promotion of soul there is the counterpart..the demotion of souls. And the hard part…to put this to test in the duyna..

Let me know what you think about my thoughts and InshaAllah, have a blessed day

You said the keyword that the Quran uses a lot: the heart. It is not that ticking muscle; it’s a metaphor for all that is not physical in us. It can be “sound”, as Abraham’s was,

“And among his (Noah’s) affiliates surely is Abraham. As he came to his Lord with a sound heart” (37:83-84)

A sound heart is our only savior,

“On a Day when neither wealth nor children will benefit [anyone], except him who came to his Lord with a sound heart.” (26:88-89)

The flip side is that a heart may rust from sins,

“No! Rather the rust has built up on their hearts because of what they have earned. No! They verily are from their Lord that Day are kept away.” (83:14-15)

The Prophet (PBUH) explained 83:14 like this, “When a worshiper sins, a dark stain is imprinted on his heart. When he quits and repents, it is polished away. If he comes back to it, it builds up. That is the Raan (build-up) that God mentions (in 83:14)”, narrated by Abu-Hurayra and reported by At-Tirmizhi who rated it soundly authentic.

Thus, demotion of the soul is done by sinning, and its promotion by good deeds and keeping rapport with God. Our hearts are capable of both…to the extreme:

“We have certainly created man in the best stature. Then We turned him back to the lowest of the low!” (95:4-5)

We can be saints and we can be devils. And the choice is entirely ours.

Which group is at fault?

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

There has been tension recently in Egypt, between Salafis (strict followers of ancestors) and Sufis (transcendentals) Muslim groups regarding shrines of Awliyaa’ (saints). Some Salafis have demolished some of those shrines and that got the Sufis, who are naturally quite meek, animated and furious.

Peace makers have tried to mediate between the two groups, and I just read that the negotiations have failed. See this article:

What is the Islamic view on this issue? Whom do you think are at fault here?

According to the article, the sticking point was the insistence of the Sufi negotiator that the reconciliation document rule that destruction of shrines was forbidden in Islam. The Mufti (scholar authorized to give fatwas) of Egypt has given a fatwa (religious conclusion) that such act is contrary to Islam. So, the Sufis had a legitimate cause to ask for such a statement. I imagine they wanted a guarantee of sorts that this won’t happen again.

But Salafis are hung up on the established Sunna (teaching of the Prophet PBUH) that visiting the graves must not turn into excessive practices that are often seen at those shrines. Practices like people praying to the shrine, rubbing hands against the shrines for blessing, etc. Those are blasphemous acts. So, Salafis are right in their precaution, but certainly not right in demolishing shrines.

It seems to me that an agreement could have been reached, if both concerns were addressed! Sufis vow to monitor shrines in order to educate visitors about deviant practices, and Salafis vow to not cause harm to shrines or their visitors and prosecute those who do.

I know someone who describes herself as a Sufi Salafi! She would’ve been ideal as a go-between. The Mufti was right also when he said that this is but a Fitna (sedition) between the two groups that should be averted.