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Muslim seeking the pleasure and mercy of Allah, Most High... Sunnah style!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pathology of Bid'ah

Au'du billahi min'ashshaitanir rajeem
Bismillahi ar-Rahman ar-Raheem
Inna walhamdulillah wa-Salaatu wa-Salaam 'ala Rasulillah wa 'ala alihi wa sahbihi ajmaeen

Indeed Allah is praised whether we praise Him or not. Yet humbly we praise Him. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil within our selves (our arrogance, lowly desires, weaknesses, in general, our nafs) and from the evil consequences of our actions. Whomever Allah guides, none can misguide. And whomever stubbornly rejects faith, thinks they've figured it out on their own, refusing guidance, Allah leaves to their own path and none can guide.

I bare witness that there is NO DIETY WORTHY OF WORSHIP, of our veneration, our supplication, our sacrifice, our repentence except Allah. And I bare witness that Muhammad 'alayhi salaatu wa salaam is His final Messenger and servant.

As-salaamu 'alaikum wa Rahmatullah,

Brothers and sisters in Islam, in the coming days, especially for those considerably young in iman, I believe it is of vital importance we raise the awareness of bid'ah, that is, newly invented matters or traditions incorporated into the Deen long after it has been established, perfected and completed by Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala as underway appears to be a pathological spread of this evil. As Allah stated among the last ayat He revealed to Muhammad salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam.

"...This day have I perfected for you your religion, completed my favor upon you and have chosen for you Islam as your religion." -Surah al-Madi'ah ayah 3

Our beloved Rasul salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam has warned us in the du'a he taught to be recited before every khutbah that the worst of affairs are bid'ah (innovations in the Deen), for every bid'ah is a misguidance and every misguidance is in the Fire! We have now many practices ascribed to Islam radically differing from one another. Every alliance to these different practices claim adherence to al-Qur'an wa as-Sunnah, so how is it we determine which of these groups are truthful in this claim? Is the ibadah performed entirely for the sake of Allah and is it made exclusively and directly to Allah azza wa jall without any intercessor (aside from our own deeds) as according to the Qur'an and Sunnah? Does it acknowledge that all of mankind is flawed, forgetful and heavily mistake-prone as Muhammad salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam told us: "EVERY descendant of Adam makes mistakes" or do they propose exceptions?

So it is without specifying any labels (which in and of themselves are innovations being that no Muslim during the time of Muhammad 'alayhi salaatu wa salaam or any among the preceding three generations ever used them to describe themselves or the deen of al-Islam) I will, in'sha'Allah, keep the formula by which to distinguish pure, unadulterated Islam from an invented, cursed religion masquerading as Islam quite simple.

It certainly does not take one of any high knowledge or a student of knowledge or a student of a student of knowledge, etc. to administer the 'acid test.' Don't allow yourself to be moved or worse, deceived, by the scholarship of an individual who calls to evil and misguidance in the name of our beautiful Deen. Ya Muslimeen, it is key we bare in mind that ANY tradition, ritual, practice, theology or act that is ascribed to Islam yet is NOT found in the Qur'an or Sunnah is indubitably an innovation, a form of misguidance and as Rasul salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam warned... is in the Fire.

Further proof of innovation in one's way are exhibited in its side-effects such as having to either deny, muddle or reject certain ayat or authentic hadith to justify their practice or theology. Despite Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala Promised to guard it from corruption. They may also insist certain ayat contain hidden meanings apparent only to those endowed with great wisdom, though Allah explicitly states what means:

"He is The One Who has revealed to you the Book. Some of its verses are decisive -they are the foundation of the Book -while others are allegorical. Those whose hearts are infected with disbelief follow the allegorical part to mislead others and to give it their own interpretation, seeking for its hidden meanings, but none knows its hidden meanings except Allah. Those who are well grounded in knowledge say: 'We believe in it; it is all from our Rabb.' None will take heed except the people of understanding." -Surah al-i 'Imran ayah 3

Avoid then newly invented matters and distance and disassociate with those who obscure, mystify and ultimately taint this already perfect, most beautiful, complete and in every human aspect-fulfilling way of life; Islam. Daw'ah, naseeah, a simple and kind invitation to tawheed offered to those we personally know involved or allured to that direction is certainly in order, but do so and leave the rest between them and Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala ("no compulsion in religion...") . What should be realized is when we invent or incorporate any act of worship foreign to the Qur'an or Sunnah that indirectly we are superciliously claiming that Allah and His Messenger left out something, hid something and/or that we know better than Allah and His Messenger. Au'du billah!

Bid'ah, no matter how good or sweet Shaitan will have you feel it is, it does not bring you closer to Allah, on the contrary, it takes you further away from your Rabb and nearer Jahanam, away from His Grace and closer to His Anger, except that you redeem yourself. There is no love for Allah in disobedience to Allah. I close with the noteworthy advice of Ubayy ibn K'ab radiallahu anhu and two sayings from our beloved Rasul salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam:

"A minimal course in the path of Allah and the Sunnah is better than striving hard in a path contrary to the path of Allah and the Sunnah and consenting to innovation. See that your actions - whether they are striving or minimal - are on the path of the anbiya (Prophets) and their Sunnah." -Ubayy ibn K'ab radiallahu anhu

"There is not anything that will bring your closer to Jannah except that I ordered you to do it, and there is nothing that will bring you into Hellfire except that I prohibited that action." -Muhammad salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam (Muslim and Bukhari)

"My Sunnah is the best Sunnah. Whoever leaves my Sunnah has nothing to do with me." -Muhammad salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam (Muslim and Bukhari)

May Allah ta'ala protect us from all misguidance that we might turn and submit to Him wholeheartedly and purely as He has decreed and firmly upon the Sunnah as taught in word and action by His final Messenger and mercy to all creation, Muhammad salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam. Any good and truth is solely from Allah and all mistakes are my own. May Allah forgive me for them and protect you and I from them. Ameen.

"Guide us to the straight path. The path of those whom Thou hast favored; not the path of those who earn Thine anger nor of those who went astray." -Surah al-Fatiha ayat 6-7

Related Topics:
Tawheed 101
You Alone Do We Worship

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Chasing Marriage (The Yearn)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Alhamdulillahi rabbil 'alameen ja'alana minal Muslimeen. All praise rightfully and naturally belongs to Allah; Lord, Creator, Sustainer and Evolver of all worlds and existing things, Who has blessed us with the greatest blessing of all by making us Muslim. Indeed the best of speech is the speech of Allah: al-Qur'an. And most certainly the best of guidance is the guidance of Rasulullah, the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad ibn Abdullah salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam: as-Sunnah.

As-salaamu 'alaikum wa Rahmatullah,

To begin... I'll comment on the image above. The reasons I used it are two-fold: one, it's relevant to the topic and secondly to see if it's only me who notices these same guys pop up in nearly every Muslim site or Islam-related google search I run. Not limited to this particular image either, but the same "couple" in several different poses, profiles and angles. Am I the only one annoyed by this? Allahumma ighfirli warhamni (O Allah forgive me and have Mercy).

To proceed... what prompted me to touch on such a severe topic was a discussion I had with one of our brothers only moments ago. I give the adjective "severe" because for the many whom are seemingly overanxious to get married, this sort of yearning is done at the expense of what they should ultimately be yearning above all else (i.e. Jannah). Our aspirations and goals, big and small, whether Jannah, higher knowledge, marriage, family, new house, new car, new career, etc., are not successfully and lawfully met without one critical prerequisite... SABR (PATIENCE).

We pray that Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala grant us and increase us continually in sabr that we not fall into error. Many of our brothers and sisters befall impatient, and once this impatience and anxiety is exploited by our "friend" Shaytan... "hello, haraam!" It must be ingrained in our minds, O Muslims, that every predicament and circumstance we find ourselves in is by the grace of Allah. Allah told us what means:

"On no soul doth Allah place a burden greater than it can bare." -Al Baqara v.286

So no matter the fitnah we have to be thankful and praise Allah, because it is for the best whether we perceive it or not. Allah said what means:

"...it is possible that yet dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth while ye know not." -Al Baqara v.216

And how great our Rabb, ar-Rahman, blesses and rewards His servants for their acts of steadfastness and patience. Alhamdulillah, He is al-Mujeeb (The Responsive, The Answerer of supplication).

Imperative as well we bare in mind that Allah only places us through trials to either absolve or prepare us for something. The very reason new trials always trivialize the previous ones. So in the case of chasing marriage, consider if you're not married yet, and desperately yearn so, that you may not be prepared for the immense responsibility and obligation binding on you as a Muslim man or woman for marriage. Be grateful to Allah for the time He is allowing you to ready yourself for this noble endeavor. Think of the MANY Muslim men and women who get married prematurely; categorically unprepared and they wind up miserable. May Allah help them, grant them ease and eventual success and health in their affairs. This isn't intended to scare you out of marriage, only to encourage you to better ponder and prepare yourself for it. Allah, al-Hakim (The Most Wise), will bless you with your spouse at His Will. Until then, plea to Allah to increase you in sabr and strengthen your control over your nafs. Seek refuge in Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala from the evil persuasions of your nafs often.

*NOTE: By being prepared, I don't mean, you haven't got your Master's or Ph.D, yet. That to me is complete and utter nonsense. If the opportunity presents itself, wherever you are in life, hasten the commitment. Don't waste time. Get it done. In fact, this is Sunnah. The more you stall, the more risk you run to opening your arms joyously screaming: "HELL-LOW HARAAM!"*

There is an entire gambit of benefits in marriage discoursed in the framework of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Far more than I'm prepared to list, so I'll instead summarize the basics which outline the broader, minute details:

  1. To beget children
  2. To control sexual urges
  3. To obtain peace of mind
  4. To increase in ibad'at or divine servitude
  5. To gain rewards from fulfilling duties to family
All of the above and everything encompassing each of them are beautiful and no doubt, desirable. But emotionally and psychologically, you must be prepared. Not in the sense that you'll be ready to take on all tasks and respond to every unforeseen circumstance naturally and correctly. How foolish and very unrealistic. Rather, be prepared in the sense you're fully aware of the qualities and duties expected upon yourself to maintain the best relationship possible, in'sha'Allah.

Allah tells us that as spouses we are to be as garments to one another (Al Baqara v.187). Allah azza wa jall also tells us, men, that we are to be the protectors, providers and maintainers of women. This does not imply that so long as your family has a roof, the bills are covered and you purchase all or most the groceries and other necessities that she should be content. A woman requires far more. And I'm not saying this to be all, for lack of a better phrase, "punk smooth" about it. It is all according to the Sunnah of our beloved Rasul salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam. As husbands we have to engage conversation, stop what we're doing almost at once to provide undivided attention to our wife when she walks in, compliment her often- if she doesn't feel like she's the most loved and most beautiful woman in all the world, then you're falling short as a husband. Be dependable. Be affectionate. Spontaneously offer her favors and things (without being asked). Again, I'm not pulling these ideas out thin air or some kufr "10 steps towards improving your marriage" jumpoff. All this advice and more were all discussed and obligated upon us by the hikma of Allah ta'ala 1400 years ago. Allah and His Messenger have established the rights of the woman OVER the men at a time when the now "civilized" democratic West were denying women legal and basic human rights, at a time when spousal abuse was an accepted and common practice. If people knew and Muslims by and large really observed the rights Allah gave women over their husbands, these Islamophobes would've got their propaganda right, that in Islam it's the men who are oppressed, NOT the women!

Muhammad salallahu 'alayhi wa salaam went as far as to advise the men to not just roll over like some log after being intimate with their wife in bed. Not only are you to see to it she "achieves satisfaction" as well, but you must stroke and caress her until she sleeps. As the saying goes, if the wife is not happy, nobodies happy. A famous hadith we all should know: "the best among you are those best to their wives."

And true enough, I'm happily married so all this is very easy for me to say. Alhamdulillah. But brothers (and sisters) in Islam, take whatever good may have come out of this article and implement it to the fullest. It should help, bi'idnillah. In the meantime, prepare yourself so when Allah fulfills your aspirations for married life, you'll establish the best one possible, in'sha'Allah. Whatever good I stated is from Allah and any mistakes are strictly my own. Allah forgive me for them and may He protect us all from their misguidance.