Plan Your Wealth and Strengthens The Ties of Kinship.

Some people actually think that estate management can only be resolved through the distribution of faraa’id (inheritance) alone. Such an attitude can be deemed as among the cause of the delayed distribution of estate for the deceased.

The delays in the affairs of inheritance distribution will occur if all heirs do not know the status of the estate and who are actually deemed as heirs to the deceased. Such predicament will cause the estate of the deceased especially real estates (immovable properties) such as house, land, shop lot premise, as well as movable properties such as savings, stocks, company shares, jewelry, and others, will be frozen and cannot be properly managed.

The failure in properly managing the estate will contribute to a crisis within the family institution that can lead to strife between the heirs. This is because there are heirs that would occupy the deceased’s property without the consent of other heirs, or usurping the wealth of the deceased in a wrongful manner. Even more unfortunate, there are heirs that are willing to give a false statement in front of the judge, solely to seize those properties. Allah SWT mentions in verse 188 of Soorah al-Baqarah:

“And do not consume one another’s wealth unjustly or send it [in bribery] to the rulers in order that [they might aid] you [to] consume a portion of the wealth of the people in sin, while you know [it is unlawful].”

Truthfully, to avoid the estate from being frozen and the heirs from fighting one another, it can be effectively managed if our society would make early planning, organized and systematic, before one passes away. The planning made for inheritance distribution is to attain four (4) objectives, namely:

First: That we perform ‘amal jaariyah (continuous deeds) for ourselves;
Second: That we provide wealth for our loved loves;
Third: To ensure our heirs will not have to beg for sympathy from others; and
Fourth: That we distribute our estate to those deserving.

As slaves of Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta‘aala who have been blessed with the opportunity to live on this earth, whether we can or not, we are highly encouraged to stock up on the provision of sadaqah jaariyah (continuous charity) before we meet Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta‘aala. In this regard, one can divide up his wealth while still living, through sadaqah (charity) and waqf (endowment), whether in the form of movable or immovable property. As mentioned in the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah RA, where Rasulullah SAW said:

“When a person dies, his acts come to an end, but three, recurring charity, or knowledge (by which people) benefit, or a pious son, who prays for him (for the deceased).” (Muslim)

We are also encouraged to give away our wealth to our loved ones such as our offspring by way of hibah (gift), so that it will further strengthen the ties of kinship. As in the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah RA, where Rasulullah SAW said:

“Give gifts and you will love one another.”

The distribution as hibah is highly commendable and it can be done while one is still alive. It has no limitation and anyone can receive it including the heirs. If the division of the estate is to be done after one’s demise, one can plan to leave a wasiyyah (will) especially to an adopted child or heir who is prevented from receiving the estate. This means that one can prepare for such a plan while living, and it is to be executed right after passing away, at a total of not more than 1/3 of the estate. The society must fully realize upon the importance of writing a wasiyyah for it is a way that allows one who is prevented from receiving estate to actually enjoy a portion from the fruits of the toil and arduous effort exerted in earning wealth. The encouragement to write a wasiyyah was explained in the hadeeth of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar RA, where Rasulullah SAW:

“It is not befitting for a Muslim who has anything concerning which a will should be made, to abide for two nights without having a written will with him.” (al-Bukhaari)

However, the awareness regarding the need to write a will is very low, especially amongst the Muslims, while it should be made as part of their living necessities as Muslims.

Why did it become like that? The answer is because some Muslims do not even ponder upon death that will surely come at any time, or possibly that our knowledge and information pertaining to estate management is deficient and superficial. It is weird and perplexing that some Muslims are willing to spend hundreds of Ringgit (or Dollar) just to be able to use WhatsApp and send out ‘short messages’ daily, and yet they would fail to spend for the sake of ‘writing the last will” that is only done once in a lifetime.

The advantage of writing a will is that, among others, it facilitates in the estate division process, avoids misunderstanding and disputes between heirs, as well as being able to appoint a waasi (executor/trustee) or administrator who is deemed as responsible, trustworthy, and effective in administering our estates later.

As wealth proprietors, we should also ensure that the heirs would receive an inheritance from us. We definitely do not want to see, that one day, our heirs will beg from others or hoping for sympathy from any quarters. In the hadeeth of Sa‘ad bin Abi Waqqaas RA, Rasulullah SAW said:

“For you to leave your heirs independent of means is better than if you were to leave them poor, holding out their hands to people.” (al-Bukhaari)

Remember, verily wealth is an amaanah (trust) bestowed from Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta‘aala. All of our wealth will be questioned and held accountable with regard to how they were acquired and how they were spent. Hence, let us ensure that our wealth will be managed properly and channeled to those that are beloved and deserving, in the most equitable manner.


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Scholars and Islamic Legislation System: Towards Peace and Justice.

The Definition of Justice and Legislation in Islam

According to Ibn Manzur, justice literally means being fair or determining the truth. Conceptually, he said:

What is meant by justice is something that has been acknowledged in our minds as something that is correct and straight. (See Lisan al-‘Arab, 11/430)

Sayyid Sabiq said: Justice is giving the rights to the rightful person and protecting the rights of others. (See ‘Anasir al-Quwwah fi al-Islam by Sayyid Sabiq)

Islamic legislation in Arabic is also known as al-Syariah or Syariat. In the literal aspect, syariat means everything that has been set by Allah for His servants in the form of al-Din (religion). The scope of the syariat is broad, extensive and comprehensive in terms of ibadah (worship), family, crime, muamalat (dealings), social, siyasah (governance) and others. (See Guideline of Understanding the Syariat of Islam (translation) by Yusuf al-Qaradhawi, pg. 6-9)

The word syariat originates from the word syarak, which means road towards water or water spring where water flows continuously. (See Mu’jam Alfaz al-Qur’an, 2/12)

Syeikh Mahmud Syaltut in al-Islam Aqidah wa Syari’ah said, the word syari’ah is defined as a wide straight path. This is relevant for syari’ah functions as a straight path in human’s life, whether it is the relationship with his God or with others, whether it is a Muslim, non-Muslim or the environment. (See al-Islam Aqidah wa Syari’ah, pg. 12)

Muhammad Mustafa Syalabi said, syari’ah refers to the rulings in Islam that were revealed to the Prophet and recorded in the Quran and Sunnah of the Prophet. (See al-Madkhal fi al-Ta’rif bi al-Fiqh al-Islami, pg. 28)

The Fairness and Justice of Islamic Legislation in History

It is recorded in history how Islamic legislation system guarantees peace and justice for all regardless of race and religion. Here we include several examples of the great Islamic empires that adopt Islamic legislation system:

The rule of Caliph Umar al-Khattab
During his time as the caliph, Islam spreads across regions and Islamic territories expand and are divided into districts. Each district is governed by a governor. They are responsible for the management of these districts and have the authority of collecting taxes in their respective districts. However, the only one who has absolute authority to decide on certain cases and issues related to taxes is the Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab.

The land is measured and valued before any tax is fixed on the owner of the land. The type of land is also classified and taken into consideration before the amount of tax is decided. This clearly shows the fairness of Caliph Umar administration. (See Milkiyyat al-‘Aradi fi al-Islam: Tahdid al-Milkiyyah wa al-Ta’mim by Muhammad ‘Abd al-Jawwad)

Regarding the rate of agricultural tax, Caliph Umar established the following rates; 10 dirhams for dates and 5 dirhams for grapes. The tax for each land which does not irrigate, whether it is used for agricultural purposes or not is one dirham or one sa’. Whereas, 1/10 tax is put on dates which are watered by rain, while 1/20 is the tax for crops that needs a water irrigation system, which must be established by the owner himself. (See Kitab al-Kharaj by Abu Yusuf, pg. 46-47)

However, if the land does not yield any crops, or the crop is infected or destroyed by a natural disaster, then there will be no tax imposed on the land. The reason 10 dirhams are imposed as the tax for dates is that growing dates would need labor, care, and fertile soil.

The manifestation of the fairness of the governance of Caliph Umar in determining the taxes is showcased when he set 1 dirham and one sa’ for lands which does not any irrigate, whether it is used for agriculture or not. This will encourage landowners to take the opportunity to exploit their land for agriculture. He is also just when setting 1/10 and 1/20 of taxes as explained previously as his way of appreciating the energy and money invested by the landowner. (See Milkiyyat al-‘Aradi fi al-Islam: Tahdid al-Milkiyyah wa al-Ta’mim by Muhammad ‘Abd al-Jawwad)

We close the discussion on the reign of Caliph Umar with the following phrase made by Saidina Umar himself:

“If a goat died on the riverbank of Furat while it is lost and separated from its herd, I am certain that Allah SWT will ask me about it in the Hereafter.” (See Hilyah al-Auliya’ by Abi Nu’aim, 1/53)

Caliph Umar bin Abd al-Aziz
During the time of his rule, it is known as the time where justice was upheld numerous times. It is recorded, that once, the people of Samarkand complained to Caliph Umar bin Abdul Aziz regarding Qutaibah (a commander for the Islam army), where he entered and attacking their country without any warning as is obligated by Islam.

Amirul Mukminin then directed al-Qadhi to judge the case and the Qadhi then decided to order the Muslim army to withdraw from Samarkand. This ruling gives victory for the people of Samarkand.

After witnessing the manifestation of justice in Islam, the people of Samarkand praise Islamic legislation system and its army. They express their acceptance of Islamic legislation system. (See Tarikh al-Rusul wa al-Muluk, 4/69)

Caliph Umar bin Abd Aziz is a dominant figure as a leader practicing true good governance. This is stated by Ibn Khaldun and he praises Caliph Umar’s administration in his book al-Muqaddimah.

When coming into office, Caliph Umar refuses to have any personal bodyguards like his predecessor. He is careful with regards to his personal finances that most of it are returned back to Baitulmal. His panel of advisors is sincere and firm Islam scholars which assist him and gave him great advice. This is stated by Ibn Kathir in al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah (9/221).

Caliph al-Hadi and Qadhi Abu Yusuf
During the time, the position of Qadhi (Judge) is held by Abu Yusuf. One day, Sultan al-Hadi came to consult with him regarding a dispute about a farm. After analysing the case, Qadhi Abu Yusuf found that the truth lies with the opposition, and not on Sultan al-Hadi’s side. However, the Sultan brings forth several witnesses. Thus al-Qadhi said: “The opposition asks you to swear that your witnesses are honest and truthful.” Caliph al-Hadi was offended and refuses to swear for it was a disgrace to him. Finally, Abu Yusuf returned the farm to its rightful owner.

Sultan Salahuddin al-Ayyubi
During the Palestine conquest, it was recorded that 100,000 Christians which includes men, women and children are captured by the army of Islam. (See Kitab al-Fath al-Qussi fi al-Fath al-Qudsi by Imad al-Din al-Isfahani, pg. 43). Compared to the army of the Crusaders who killed Muslims, Salahuddin took an opposite approach and forgive the Christians. Furthermore, they are all released after paying the ransom money of 10 dinars for man, 5 dinars for woman and 2 dinars for a child. (See al-Islam wa al-Qadiyyah al-Filistiniyyah by Abdullah Nasih ‘Ulwan).

For the poor, a total of 7000 people is released for a sum of 30,000 altogether. However, if they are unable to pay their ransom money, then they will remain as prisoners.

This is a clear image of goodness, security and peace of Islam through the approach taken by Salahuddin, where he chose to avoid battle and conflict, to prevent the loss of lives and spilling of blood.

It was recorded that Salahuddin also prepares provisions in terms of money and animal mounts when he saw that some of the prisoners are together with their elderly parents and family members. He did so for the prisoners who have freed themselves after paying the ransom money. (See al-Islam wa al-Qadiyyah al-Filistiniyyah by Abdullah Nasih ‘Ulwan)

Moreover, he even commanded his army to escort the prisoners to their destinations, ensuring their safe return. (See Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem by Geoffrey Regan pg. 150-151)

This clearly shows that Islam is a religion of hospitality, peace, harmony, tolerance and fairness, where it ultimately forms a system of peace for multicultural and multireligious communities.

Raja’ bin Haiwah: The Wise Sultan’s Advisor
The Umayyad empire was established on 41H/661M after Caliph al-Hasan bin ‘Ali hand over his reign to Mu’awiyah bin Abi Sufyan. This empire was ruled under the lineage of Bani Umayyah for 91 years. The advisors for this great empire are knowledgeable and astute Islamic scholars

Among the advisors, the one who stands out the most is Raja’ bin Haiwah. He gave invaluable and wise advice in line with syarak in political matters as well as for the affairs of the life of the Sultan. He is the advisor during the rule of Sultan Sulaiman bin Abd al-Malik.

Before the Sultan passed away, he asked Raja’ bin Haiwah for his opinion regarding the right candidate as his successor to be a caliph. Raja’ bin Haiwah said: “Among the matters that will protect someone in his grave in the future is when he appoints a pious man as the leader for the Muslim ummah.”

Sultan Sulaiman then suggested someone who is not his brother, nor is he the Sultan’s son, but it was Umar bin Abd al-Aziz, his cousin. The Sultan then asked for Raja’ bin Haiwah’s opinion, which he then answered: “In my opinion, he is a great guy, an honourable Muslim, he loves doing good and love virtuous people. However, I worry that your family would disagree.”

Sultan Sulaiman then took swift political action with the purpose of gaining the agreement from his family. He suggested Umar bin Abd Aziz as the caliph, while his brother Yazid bin Abdul Malik as the Caliph’s deputy (wali al-‘ahd). He wrote an official letter stating: “Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim. This is a letter of Sulaiman bin ‘Abd Malik for ‘Umar bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz. I have appointed him as the caliph after me and after him is Yazid bin ‘Abd al-Malik. Listen to him and obey him (‘Umar bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz). Do not disagree on this, if you do, your enemies will take over you.” (See al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, 9/207)

This action taken by Sultan Sulaiman is a great service and a blessing for Islam on this earth. He took a brave action of disregarding the norm and custom of the tradition by appointing a distant family member as the caliph.

As we know, history recorded the great achievement of Caliph ‘Umar bin ‘Abd ‘Aziz as a pious and just caliph. All through his rule, the justice and fairness that he practised created a glorious Islamic empire.

Though he ruled for only two years and several months, he managed to reform and improve Islamic state management and administration. (See Siyar A’lam al-Nubala’, 5/142)

Scholars and Islamic Legislation System: Towards Peace and Justice
Regarding this matter, we would like to state that there are uncountable books related to siyasah syar’iyyah and qanun Islami whether they are written by early or contemporary scholars. As an example, Imam Mawardi in his book al-Ahkam al-Sultaniyyah discussed this issue extensively. As for a book in our time, Syeikh Abdul Qadir Audah wrote al-Tasyri’ al-Jina’i fi al-Islam.

Another example is what has happened in our beloved country, Malaysia or previously known as Tanah Melayu, where there was a very close relationship between the leader which is the Sultan or Raja with Islamic scholars. This happened in most states such as in the state of Terengganu with Tok Ku Paloh [6], Abdul Rahman Limbong [7] and others with the state of Kelantan which has numerous scholars such as Tok Kenali [8], Tok Khurasan and others. The same for other states such as Pahang, Selangor, Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Perak and others. They are very concerned related to the problems in society and advise the leader and the administration.

Numerous examples are presented by renown scholars regarding peace and justice which are important and upheld in Muslim countries. We would like to share some of our experience before the 14th general election, we advised the ummah and Malaysians to always maintain and protect the harmony that has existed in our society, no matter whatever happens after the election presented through a Bayan Linnas article we published. Alhamdulillah, citizens’ reaction is under control and even praised by scholars of the east and the west, regarding the peaceful transition of power.

Several Recommendations and Suggestions
Allah SWT states:

“O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you.” [Surah al-Nisa’ (59)]

Syeikh Mutawalli al-Sya’rawi stated the commandment of obedience towards the administration of a government is together with the obedience towards Allah SWT and the prophet PBUH. Thus, obeying the government must be based on the absolute obedience to Allah SWT and the Prophet PBUH, in order for the community and faith to be protected from oppression.

Every leader is commanded to carry out their responsibility and fulfil the trust given to them and always obey Allah SWT and His messenger. If they fail to do so, they are considered as a tyrant leader. (See Tafsir al-Sya’rawi, 4/2360)

The following are our suggestions in helping to cultivate the relationship between scholars and leaders around the world:

  • Organize muzakarah with both parties to discuss the issues on matters pertaining to the state and the importance of ummah according to Islamic perspective.
  • Take the opinions of scholars seriously and give them a proper medium so that their views are shared and correctly understood.
  • Muzakarah committee is responsible to produce astute, rational and discerning opinions in regards to issues raised in society.
  • Issues related to justice, peace, stability and factors that contribute to them is the main issue discussed.
  • Seek wisdom from the history of Islam which has an abundance of wealth in terms of wisdom and lessons that could be of benefit for today’s generation and contemporary leadership.
  • Knowledge is prioritized and the culture of reading and seeking knowledge is applied in society so that every action is guided with knowledge and makrifah.
  • Any form of khilaf and differing of opinions should be handled with wisdom and the scholars and leaders are together, not opposing each other.
  • Cultivating taaruf and tafahum from among the scholars and society is an important agenda.

Closing
Scholars from previous generations have played an important role in stabilizing fierce and formidable situations in governance and leadership. Just see the incident that happened in Egypt a few years back, how the Syeikh al-Azhar and its scholars reacted and handle the situation, where they chose to follow the opinion of Imam al-Haramain during the country’s instability. With wisdom, debates and the right attitude, eventually, peace and harmony returned to their country. This is what we hoped and dreamed for.

Imam al-Ghazali once said: “Indeed, harm towards society is due to its leader, and harm of a leader is due to the wrong of the scholars as a result from the scholars’ love towards the riches and position of this world. Whoever is overwhelmed by worldly ambitions, he can never take charge of the citizen, let alone the leaders. Allah SWT is to whom we ask for anything.” (See Ihya’ Ulum al-Din, 2/381).

The Sight of Kaabah

One never tires of gazing at the sight of the House of Allah, the Kaa’ba. The site upon which the mercy and blessings of Allah are constantly descending. There is truly nothing comparable to the House of Allah on this Earth. People wish time would stand still so they could keep gazing at the Kaa’ba; their thirst is never quenched, rather it increases.

Once, while on a visit to Washington, people told me that a woman had accepted Islam and had some questions for me. They told me that many non-practicing Muslim women had started practicing again due to her. At prayer time she would dress in her best clothes as if readying herself for someone special and would become oblivious to everything around her as soon she started praying.

After a brief question and answer session, I asked her what prompted her to accept Islam. She sighed and started explaining; “I was a Jew and my husband was a Christian who was posted in Saudi Arabia for some technical work. Every day I used to see Muslim men and women dressed in white on their way somewhere. I asked my husband where they were going and he told me that they go to perform the pilgrimage at the Muslim shrine of Kaa’ba. I expressed a desire to go but he told me that non-Muslims were not allowed. However, I was determined and so we both bought white clothes and set out. Fortunately, no one stopped us and we reached Makkah, from where we found directions to the Kaa’ba. Upon seeing the Kaa’ba our eyes froze and time seemed to stand still. When we turned to look at each other after some time, we were both crying. With our eyes, we told each other that this was the Truth and we should accept Islam. No one ever told me about Islam, but there were so many blessings descending on that House that they changed my life forever.”

The blessings of Tawhid descend in Makkah, and the blessings of Prophethood descend in Madinah. One has seen nothing in life if he has not seen these two holy sites. May Allah give all Muslims the opportunity to visit His House.


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Asking for Death?

What is the ruling of someone asking Allah SWT for him to die, for he could not bear his illness?

Answer:
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgment.

In a hadith narrated by Suhaib RA, the Prophet PBUH said:

“Strange are the ways of a believer for there is good in every affair of his and this is not the case with anyone else except in the case of a believer for if he has an occasion to feel delighted, he thanks (God), thus there is a good for him in it, and if he gets into trouble and shows resignation (and endures it patiently), there is a good for him in it.” Sahih Muslim (7692)

Imam al-Tibi issued an explanation of which is cited by Imam al-Munawi saying: “Every situation for a mukmin is good. This behaviour can only be found in a mukmin. It is impossible to be found in the lives of a disbeliever and hypocrites. Miraculously for a mukmin, when he is blessed with health, safety, property and position, then he would be grateful to Allah SWT and he is recorded as those who are thankful. While when he is tested with a calamity, then he is patient and he will be among those who are patient.” (See Faidh al-Qadir, 4/302)

Answering the above question, it is makruh (undesirable) for someone to supplicate to Allah SWT to die because of the unbearable pain he is suffering. The Prophet PBUH said:

“None of you should wish for death because of some harm that befalls him.” Sahih Muslim (6990)

In another hadith from the Prophet PBUH:

“None amongst you should make a request for death, and do not call for it before it comes, for when anyone of you dies, he ceases (to do good) deeds and the life of a believer is not prolonged but for goodness.” Sahih Muslim (6995)

In a hadith narrated by al-Bukhari, the Prophet PBUH said:

“None of you should long for death, for if he is a good man, he may increase his good deeds, and if he is an evil-doer, he may stop the evil deeds and repent.” Sahih al-Bukhari (7235)

Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar commented on the above hadith, stating that from Imam al-Nawawi, he said: “It is clear in the hadith that it is makruh to hope for death when some harm befalls him or suffering due to the actions of his enemy or others which is of the suffering of this world.” (See Fath al-Bari, 20/279)

However, there are some exceptions for asking for death. If someone fears a loss or fitnah towards his religion, then it is not makruh to hope for death. This is what can be understood from the above hadith. This has also been done by some salaf. (See Fath al-Bari, 20/279)

This is in accordance with a supplication made by Saidina Umar al-Khattab RA:

“O, Allah! I have become old and my strength has weakened. My flock is scattered. Take me to You with nothing missed out and without having neglected anything.” Imam Malik narrated in al-Muwatta’ (2405)

The same is done by Saidatina Maryam when she knew she is going to be tested with the birth of a child without a father. This is recorded by Allah SWT through His statement:

“And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm tree. She said, “Oh, I wish I had died before this and was in oblivion, forgotten.” Surah Maryam (23)

Ibnu Kathir said: The verse is the evidence that it is permissible to hope for death when one is faced with fitnah. The reason is, Maryam knew that she will be tested with the birth of her child without a father, where she will lose all her credibility and support of the people and the attitude of the people who will not believe her story. Where preceding this incident, she was an obedient worshipper, now, according to them, she is a liar and an adulterer. Then she said: (يَا لَيْتَنِي مِتُّ قَبْلَ هَـٰذَا) “Oh, I wish I had died before this” before the incident. (وَكُنتُ نَسْيًا مَّنسِيًّا) “and was in oblivion, forgotten”, which means I was never created in the first place. This is the opinion of Ibnu Abbas. (See Tafsir al-Quran al-‘Azim, 5/323)

Conclusion
As a conclusion, it is makruh for someone to hope for death because he is unable to bear the pain he is suffering. There are just some exceptions for this, where one fears fitnah on his religion. This is as stated above.

A person should be patient and always ask for help and strength from Allah SWT. However, if it is so hard and painful for you, then say as the following as has been taught to us by the Prophet PBUH:

“O, Allah! Keep me alive as long as life is better for me, and let me die if death is better for me.” Sahih Muslim (6990)


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Let Us Enliven The Month of Dhul Hijjah

The month of Dhul Hijjah (Zulhijjah) is among the greatest and special months in the Sight of Allah. It is from among the four sacred (haraam) months in Islam, as mentioned by Allah in verse 36 of surah at-Tawbah (which means):

“Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred…” [Al-Quran, surah at-Tawbah, verse 36]

The four sacred months referred to in the verse are as explained by the Prophet in the hadith of Abu Bakrah (which means):

“The division of time has turned to its original form which was current when Allah created the Heavens and the Earths. The year is of twelve months, out of which four months are sacred: Three are in succession Dhul Qa’idah, Dhul Hijjah and Muharram, and (the fourth is) Rajab of (the tribe of) Mudar which comes between Jumada ath-Thaaniyah and Sha’baan.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari)

The glory and honor of the month of Dhul Hijjah can be seen with the legislation of the ibadah of Hajj and ibadah of qurbaani; with the increasing of dhikr, takbeer, and tahmeed, as well as other righteous deeds. Ibn ‘Abbaas narrated (which means): “The Prophet said: ‘There are no days during which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these days [meaning the first ten days of Dhul- Hijjah].'” (Narrated by al-Bukhari)

Ibn ‘Umar also narrated that the Prophet said (which means):

“There are no days that are greater before Allah in which good deeds are more beloved to Him than these ten days, so recite a great deal of tahleel, takbeer, and tahmeed during them.” (Ahmad)

Hence, among the righteous deeds recommended to be practiced in this month is to increase our fasting especially on the Day of ‘ArafahVerily, the virtue of fasting specifically on the Day of ‘Arafah is based on the narration of Abu Qatadah, where Rasulullah said(which means):

“Fast the Day of ‘Arafah, I hope from Allah, expiates for the sins of the year before and the year after.” (Narrated by Muslim)

Dhul Hijjah invites us to continue in taqarrub (attaining nearness) to Allah by increasing our sadaqah (charity), dhikr, tahleel, istighfar, and tawbah to Allah, in addition to leaving out all disobedience and sinful acts. Aside from that supererogatory ‘ibadah, the Muslim ummah is highly recommended to engage in takbeer beginning after the Subh prayer on the 9th of Dhul Hijjah until the sun sets on the 13th of Dhul Hijjah. In the hadith of ‘Ali and ‘Amar: They said (which means):

“The Messenger of Allah used to make the takbeer from the Fajr prayer of the Day of ‘Arafah and would stop them after the ‘Asr prayer of the final day of the Days of Tashreeq [13th of Dhul Hijjah].” (Narrated by al-Haakim)

This takbeer must be done as jahr (audible) in extolling the shi’aar (symbols) of the Muslims. The time for Takbeer Muqayyad (specific) on the day of ‘Eid al-Adha begins from the time of Subh on the Day of ‘Arafah until the sun sets on the third day of the Days of Tashreeq. Meaning, when the time of Subh of 9th Dhul Hijjah enters, the sunnah is for those not performing hajj to make takbeer after completing every fard and sunnah prayer, up until the time of ‘Asr on the 13th of Dhul Hijjah, totaling the period for takbeer to five days and four nights

To end this, let us give undivided attention to the following matters:

  1. The Muslim Ummah must have certainty that glorifying the great days of Islam including the month of Dhul Hijjah is from among the signs of imaan and taqwa of Allah.
  2. The Muslim ummah is highly encouraged to embrace the arrival of Dhul Hijjah with various righteous deeds such as praying in jama’ah at the masjid, increasing the recitation of al-Qur’an, strengthen the silaaturrahm, avoiding fitnah and tattletale.
  3. The Muslim Ummah must always remain dedicated to performing righteous deeds with full sincerity towards Allah.

And Allah knows best.


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The Ruling of Children Performing Hajj?

What is the ruling for a child who is brought along by his parents to perform hajj and is the hajj performed by the child valid?

Obligatory Conditions of Hajj

Before we discuss this issue further, we would like to state the obligatory conditions of hajj as the following:

First: It must be performed by a Muslim

The reason is, hajj is a type of worship and also one of the pillars of the five pillars of Islam. And worship from disbelievers is rejected. This is in accordance with the statement of Allah SWT (which means):

“And what prevents their expenditures from being accepted from them but that they have disbelieved in Allah and in His Messenger,” Surah al-Taubah (54)

Al-Hafiz Ibn Kathir commented on the above verse (which means): Allah SWT explains the reason as to why their good deeds are rejected and the reason is for their disbelief in Allah and His Messenger. And indeed, every deed is only valid when one is a believer. [See Tafsir al-Quran al-‘Azhim, Ibn Kathir (4/162)].

Second: The worship of hajj is only for those who are sound-minded

The worship of hajj is rejected and not obligated for those who are insane. The reason is, hajj is worship just like any other worship which has the prerequisite of intention. Hence, it is impossible for an insane person to set his intention for worship. This is in accordance with the words of the Prophet PBUH (which means):

“There are three (persons) whose actions are not recorded: a sleeper till he awakes, a boy till he reaches puberty, and a lunatic till he comes to reason.” [Sunan Abu Daud (4403)]

The above hadith clearly states that the three types of people whose actions are not recorded, whether it is in the form of sin or worship. Thus, an insane person can neither commit sin nor perform worship until he comes back to reason.

Third: Reached puberty

Puberty is one of the conditions of hajj. This is in accordance with the above hadith narrated by Abu Daud mentioned earlier. While the signs that someone has reached puberty for a boy or a girl is as the following:

  • Ejaculation
  • Pubic hair growth
  • Reached 15 years for both boy or girl
  • Experience menstruation

Fourth: Free

The meaning of freedom in this situation is when someone is not a slave (a free man). The reason is, a slave has to fulfill the rights of his owner upon him.

Fifth: Capability

Capability is also one of the obligatory conditions of hajj. This is in accordance with the statement of Allah SWT (which means):

“And [due] to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House – for whoever is able to find thereto a way.” Surah ‘Ali Imran (97)

Fiqh scholars divided the meaning of istitha’ah (capability) into two:

  • Physical ability: Physically able to perform hajj.
  • Financial ability: There is sufficient money for expenses throughout the travel and hajj.

The Ruling of Children Performing Hajj

Comprehensive discussions by the jurists on this issue are recorded in their books. According to the obligatory condition stated above, it is clear that hajj is not an obligation for children. However, another question arises. Even though they are not obligated to perform hajj, is it permissible for children to perform hajj and what is the ruling for it?

Hence, the jurists stated that it is permissible for children to perform hajj according to the following evidence:

First: Hadith from Abdullah Ibn Abbas RA (which means):

The Prophet (ﷺ) came across a caravan at Ar-Rauha’ and asked who the people in the caravan were. They replied that they were Muslims. They asked: “Who are you?” He (ﷺ) said, “I am the Messenger of Allah.” Then a woman lifted up a boy to him and asked: “Would this child be credited with having performed the Hajj (pilgrimage)?” Whereupon he (ﷺ) said, “Yes, and you will have a reward.” [Sahih Muslim (1336)]

Second: according to a hadith from al-Sa’ib bin Yazid RA, he said (which means):

“(While in the company of my parents) I was made to perform Hajj with Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) and I was a seven-year-old boy then.” [Sahih al-Bukhari (1858)]

Third: A hadith narrated by Jabir bin Abdillah RA, he said (which means):

“We performed Hajj with the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), and there were women and children with us. We recited Talbiyah on behalf of the children and stoned the Pillars on their behalf.” [Sunan Ibn Majah (3038)]

According to the above three hadiths, it is clear that it is permissible for children to perform hajj and the hajj is valid. However, hajj performed when one is just a child is not considered as Islamic hajj, which means it is not the obligatory hajj on them. This means, when the child reaches puberty, then it is obligated for him to perform hajj.

The following are the opinions of fiqh scholars regarding this issue:

First: Imam al-Mawardi Rahimahullah said: If a child performs hajj before he reaches puberty or if a slave performs hajj before he is freed, then they are not considered as Islamic hajj (obligatory hajj) and both have to perform the hajj again after puberty and being freed. See Al-Iqna’, al-Mawardi (1/83)

Second: Imam al-Nawawi Rahimahullah said: and in our madhab (al-Syafi’e) the hajj performed by a child is valid but it is not an obligation for him. “Hajj is not an obligation for children” is the consensus of scholars. [Refer Al-Majmu’ Syarah al-Muhazzab, al-Nawawi (7/39)].

Third: Imam Ibn al-Munzir said: The majority of scholars have agreed (with the exception of peculiar opinion), there are no differing opinions that for a child who has not reached puberty and a slave who has not been freed, then when the child reaches puberty and the slave is freed, then both of them are obligated to perform Islamic hajj (obligatory hajj) when they are capable to do so. [Refer Al-Mughni, Ibn Qudamah (5/44)].

Fourth: Imam Ibn Abd al-Barr al-Andalusi Rahimahullah: The jurists said that hajj performed by children is valid according to Imam Malik, Imam al-Syafie, and all jurists from Hijaz and Kufah. [See Al-Majmu’ Syarah al-Muhazzab, al-Nawawi (7/41)].

Conclusion

After analyzing the above opinions stated previously, in our opinion it is permissible for children to perform hajj. Parents who bring their children will get the rewards of the hajj and the hajj is valid. However, the hajj is not considered as obligatory hajj for the child. Hence, once the child reaches puberty, he has to perform it again. This is in accordance with the words of the Prophet PBUH (which means):

“Any minor (child) who performs Hajj must perform it again after coming of age.” [Narrated by al-Baihaqi (4/325)]

Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani stated the above hadith as Sahih in his book Al-Talkhis Al-Habir (2/220).


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Wonders of Salaat with Jama’at

Jama’at means congregation. When Muslims gather to offer prayers (Arabic – Salaat) in a congregation, it is called Jama’at. It is led by the Imam and the rest follow him (called muqtadees); there is a great reward for offering prayer with the congregation.

  1. Anas (Allah be well pleased with him) narrates that the beloved Prophet (Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) said, “Whoever offers Prayer with Jama’at for forty days with the first takbeer (start of Salaat by announcement of Allah’s name), two salvations will be written for him: one from hell and one from hypocrisy.”
  2. Abdullah ibn Umar (Allah be well pleased with them) narrates that the beloved Prophet (Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) said, “Salaat offered with Jama’at is twenty-seven times greater than Salaat offered alone.”
  3. Muhammad Ghazali (Allah’s mercy be upon him) says, “Salaat was so important to our salaf saliheen [pious predecessors] that if they missed the first takbeer they would mourn for three days and if anyone missed Jama’at then they would mourn for seven days.” (Mukashifat ul-Quloob)
  4. Maymoon bin Mahraan (Allah’s mercy be upon him) came to the mosque. He was told that the Jama’at has finished. Upon hearing this, he sadly said, “The fazilat (excellence) of this [Jama’at] is better than ruling over Iraq.” (Mukashifat ul-Quloob)
  5. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be well pleased with him) narrates that the beloved Prophet (Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) said, “If people knew what was [the reward] in the [calling of] Azaan and [being a part of] the first saf [row of Jama’at] then they would not get it without drawing names. So they would draw names [i.e., they would compete for the honor of these two acts].” (Narrated by Bukhari)

Thoughts and Points

  1. Jama’at is compulsory for every sane and mature man who has the ability to offer Salaat. It is very important for the people living in the vicinity of the mosque to attend the Jama’at.
  2. To move closer to a mosque or madrasah (religious school) with the intention of attaining Jama’at is a very commendable action. May Allah give us the guidance to keep our mosques and Madrasahs alive. In fact, keep this in mind when moving or buying a house.
  3. If you live so far that you cannot drive or walk to the mosque or madrasah comfortably then make sure to come for Jama’at at least once or twice a day or week or more [based on distance and means of travel] to at least earn the reward of coming for and praying with Jama’at.
  4. One should not think ‘I can’t join the Jama’at, I am too busy with school or work and family’. Such thoughts are from the devil or our own ill- self. If you make the intention and effort, Allah-willing, the hardships will go away.
  5. Stand in the saf (rows) shoulder to shoulder so that there is no space left in between.

And Allah knows best!


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The Best Time For Sacrifice (Qurban)

When is the best time for someone to perform the worship of sacrifice?

Allah states:

“So, pray to your Lord and sacrifice [to Him alone].” [Al-Quran, Surah al-Kauthar, no. 2]

Al-Imam al-Qurtubi in al-Jami’ li Ahkam al-Quran said: “It is started with prayer (‘Eid prayer) then followed by the worship of sacrifice.”

The author of al-Fiqh al-Manhaji said: “The time starts after sunrise on the day of Eidul Adha which is the duration for which it is enough to perform 2 rakaat of prayer and 2 khutbahs. Then, it continues until the sun sets on the final days of Tasyrik which are the 11,12 and 13 of Zulhijjah. The prioritized time for sacrifice is after the sunnah ‘Eid prayer.”

In another hadith, the Prophet said:

“The first (act) with which we started our day (the day of ‘Id-ul Adha) was that we offered prayer. We then returned and sacrificed the animals and he who did that in fact adhered to our Sunnah (practice). And he who slaughtered the (animal on that day before the ‘Id prayer), for him (the slaughtering of the animal was directed to the acquiring of) meat for his family, and there is nothing of the sort of sacrifice in it.” [Narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari no. 965 and Sahih Muslim no. 1961].

The meaning of the phrase: “And he who slaughtered the (animal on that day before the ‘Id prayer),” means the time before the beginning of the sunnah Eid prayer and before a duration in which it is enough for one to perform the prayer.

Jubair bin Mut’im narrated:

“Each Tasyrik day is the day of sacrifice (the duration sacrifice is made).” [Narrated in Musnad al-Imam al-Ahmad (16751). Syeikh Syu’aib al-Arnouth states that the sanad is weak.]

Conclusion

According to the above discussion, the question regarding the best time for sacrifice could be concluded as the following:

  • Time for sacrifice starts after the sun rises on the day of sacrifice, which is on the 10th day of Zulhijjah. After sunrise is meant as the time after the completion of two rakaat (sunnah Eid prayer) and two khutbahs (not an excessively long khutbah).
  • Whoever performs the sacrifice before the said time, then the slaughter is not considered as a sacrifice. It is considered a charity (slaughtering animal to get its meat).
  • The time then continues until the end of tasyriq days which means that it ends after 4 days, which is the 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th of Zulhijjah.
  • If the tasyriq days have ended without one performing sacrifice. Then, the sacrifice is performed afterward, subsequently, it is just considered as normal animal slaughter to get its meat and not sacrifice.
  • If someone made a nazar to perform the sacrifice, however, tasyriq days have ended, then it is still obligated for him to perform the sacrifice and it is considered as qadha’, and qadha’ is not abrogated with time.

The above conclusions are taken from al-Mu’tamad fi al-Fiqh al-Syafi’e written by Prof. Dr Muhammad al-Zuhayli Hafizahullah, volume 2, pg. 483-484. Wallahua’lam.

Taken with slight changes from https://muftiwp.gov.my/en/artikel/irsyad-fatwa/irsyad-fatwa-haji-korban-cat/1065-irsyad-al-fatwa-hajj-and-qorban-series-15-the-best-time-for-sacrifice?fbclid=IwAR3jwJ5W1cfNnTQWjDSZRx5lJ6ETA9yAfzNZTS8SqCSKe66TiJbqkt4q9OA


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Understanding Reward and Sin

As Muslims, we are required to have certainty and Imaan (faith) in the Last Day, in which there will be absolute justice and recompense. We are certain and truly believe that all of our deeds in this worldly life will be accounted for, whether as good or bad, and it will all be recompensed with full justice. This is to test and gauge as to who is best indeed.

This is the actual purpose of life for mankind in this world, who will taste death, and then resurrected to a life that is everlasting in the Hereafter. This reality was mentioned by Allah in the 2nd verse of surah al-Mulk (which means):

“[He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed – and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving.” [Al-Quran, surah Al-Mulk, verse 2].

Verily, a person’s deed is a depiction that manifests one’s true level of servitude to Allah, whether one performs a good deed and earns its reward, or committing disobedience and earns its sin. To comprehend the matter regarding reward and sin, let us scrutinize the hadith of Abu Hurayrah where Rasulullah said (which means):

“He who intended to do good, but did not do it, one good was recorded for him, and he who intended to do good and also did it, ten to seven hundred good deeds were recorded for him. And he who intended evil, but did not commit it, no entry was made against his name, but if he committed that, it was recorded.” (Narrated by Muslim)

Look at the vastness of the mercy of Allah upon the ummah of Nabi Muhammad. By just having the niyyah (intention) to do good, one is rewarded with full reward. If one actually performs the good deed, he will be rewarded ten times, which can go up to 700 times the reward. On the other hand, an evil deed intended will not be deemed as a sin. It is only when it has been performed that it is counted as one sin. Verily, Allah is the Most Gracious to His slaves for the rewarding of good deeds begins with the intention, as opposed to sins that begins with the action.

The question is, why are there still individuals that have failed to appreciate all of the blessings and favors from Allah? Surely it is due to the deficiency of Imaan and the failure to comprehend the actual reality regarding reward and sin in their worldly life. It must be remembered and given attention that perfect Imaan must be accompanied by righteous deeds, not just niyyah and false imaginations. However, it does necessitate niyyah and righteous deeds.

Al-Qur’an has clearly stated that the Muslim ummah must perform as many good deeds possible for it can expiate the minor sins committed. This means that righteous deeds will rescue a person from the punishment and torment of Allah. Allah mentions in verse 114 of surah Hud (which means):

“…Indeed, good deeds do away with misdeeds. That is a reminder for those who remember.” [Al-Quran, surah Hud, verse 114].

Indulging in sinful acts will actually incur calamity and the Wrath of Allah, as Allah mentions in verse 40 of surah al-‘Ankaboot, reminding us regarding this threat (which means):

“So each We seized for his sin, and among them were those upon whom We sent a storm of stones, and among them were those who were seized by the blast [from the sky], and among them were those whom We caused the earth to swallow, and among them were those whom We drowned. And Allah would not have wronged them, but it was they who were wronging themselves.” [Al-Quran, surah al-‘Ankaboot, verse 40].

Hence, the calamity that befell mankind from the past serves as reminder from Allah that it was all due to the sins and mankind’s disobedience to Allah. Sins will also interrupt the tranquility within our souls for the soul will become restless and agitated with the burden of sinning. An-Nawwaas bin Sam’aan reported that Rasulullah said (which means):

“Piety (al-birr) is a good manner, and sin (al-ithm) is that which creates doubt and you do not like people to know of it.” (Narrated by Muslim)

To conclude this, let us take several essential points as a useful guide in ensuring the wellbeing of our lives, among them:

  1. The Muslim Ummah must have a firm belief that all of its deeds, whether good or bad, will be accounted for in the Hereafter.
  2. The Muslim Ummah must have certainty that good deeds yield tremendous reward and will be rewarded with Paradise, while bad deeds will yield sins and rewarded with the Hellfire.
  3. The Muslim Ummah must always remain passionate in performing righteous deeds and always remain determined to increase its deeds, so as to ensure blissfulness in this world and the Hereafter.

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