From the characteristics of the people of the Days of Ignorance is that they would view the majority as proof that something was true and the minority as proof hat something was false. So according to them, whatever the majority of the people was upon, that was the truth. And whatever the minority was upon, that was not the truth. In their eyes, this was the balance used to determine truth from falsehood.
However, this is wrong, for Allah says: And if you obey most of those on earth, they will mislead you far away from Allah’s path. They follow nothing but conjecture, and they do nothing but lie. [Surah Al-An’aam, ayah 116]
And He says: But most of mankind doesn’t know. [Surah Al-A’raaf, ayah 187]
And He says: And most of them We found to be not true to their covenant, but most of them We found indeed to be evil sinners. [Surah Al-A’raaf, ayah 102]
So the balance is not the majority and the minority. Rather, the balance is the truth. So whoever is upon the truth – even if he is by himself – he is the one who is correct and deserves to be emulated. And if the majority of the people are upon falsehood, then it is obligatory to reject them and not be deceived by them. So consideration is given to the truth. This is why the scholars say: “Truth is not known by way of men, but rather men are known by way of the truth.” So whoever is upon the truth, then he is the one we must follow and emulate.
In Allaah’s stories about the prior nations, He informs us that it is always the minority that is upon the truth, as Allah says: And no one believed with him except for a few. [Surah Hood, ayah 40]
And in a hadeeth in which the nations were presented to the Prophet, he (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said that he saw a prophet who had a small group of followers with him, and a Prophet who had a man or two men following him, and another Prophet who had no one with him. (Sahih Al-Bukhari).
So consideration is not given to which opinion or view has the most followers. Rather, consideration is given to its being either true or false. So whatever is true, even though a minority of the people or no one is upon it – so long as it is the truth – it must be adhered to, for indeed it is salvation. Falsehood is not aided by the fact that it has a majority of people following it – ever. This is a determining measure that the Muslim must always abide by.
The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“Islam began strange and it will return back to being strange as it began.” (Saheeh Muslim)
This will occur at the time when evil, calamities and misguidance increase. So no one will remain upon the truth except for the strange ones amongst the people and those who extract themselves from their tribes (for the sake of their religion). They will become strangers in their society.
The Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was sent while the whole world was submersed in disbelief and misguidance. And when he called the people, only one or two answered his call. It was only until later on that they grew to be many. The tribe of Quraish, not to mention the whole of the Arabian Peninsula and the whole world, was upon misguidance. And the Messenger of Allaah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was the only one calling the people. So those who followed him were few with respect to the entire world.
So consideration is not given to the majority. Consideration is only given to what is correct and to achieving the truth. Yes, if the majority of the people are upon correctness, then that is good. However, the way of Allaah is that the majority of the people is always upon falsehood.
And most of mankind will not believe even if you desire it eagerly. [Surah Yoosuf, ayah 103]
And if you obey most of those on earth, they will mislead you far away from Allah’s path. They follow nothing but conjecture, and they do nothing but lie. [Surah Al-An’aam, ayah 116]
* [In his sharh (explanation) of Imam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab’s (rahimahullaah) statement: From the greatest of their principles was that they would be deluded by the majority, using that to determine the correctness of a matter. They would also determine the falsehood of something if it was strange and that its adherents were few. So Allaah brought them the opposite of that, clarifying this in many places of the Qur`an.]
Source: Sharh Masaa’il-ul-Jaahiliyyah (pg. 60-62) of Shaikh Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab (rahimahullaah), via al-Ibaanah.
Post Courtesy: Maher ibn Ahmed
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Shaykh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allāh have mercy upon him, said:
“Whoever thinks that he can simply take from the Book (the Qur’ān) and the Sunnah without following the Sahābah (the companions of the Prophet ﷺ, may Allāh be pleased with them), and pursues a path other than theirs, is from the people of innovations.”
Source: Mukhtasar Al-Fatāwā Al-Misriyyah p556
Fed up with government guidelines of salt intake, doctors’ advice on calorie control and nutritionists’ warnings about additives, Rabia Barkatulla wanted to return to the simpler, more wholesome diet of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Equipped with ‘Shamaa’il Tirmidhi’ on the eating habits of the Prophet (SAW), she undertook a kitchen clearout and supermarket ban to get back in touch with real food.
Week 1: Fasting on Mondays and Thursdays
Abu Hurayrah (RA) said: “Rasulullah (SAW) said: ‘Deeds are presented (before Allah SWT) on Mondays and Thursdays. I desire that my deeds be presented whilst I am fasting”(Hadith 288).
The first Monday of fasting is going well, just as the first day of Ramadhan, you relish the change. It’s funny how we have ritualistic habits with food: certain foods at certain times, certain drinks and certain combinations of flavour. Perhaps it is easier to break up the routine with fasting non-consecutively. I’m getting used to eating lighter in general and I’m not inspired to cook a big meal because it’s not an ‘occasion’ the way iftar usually is. Mostly, we’re filling up on pasta, fish and soups which are quick to prepare in all of half an hour from the shopping bag to the plate.
I can feel that fasting has made me more energetic and not being sluggishly waylaid with tea and lunch, the day seems liberated for other activities like swimming. Because it’s only a Monday and Thursday, mentally I can cope and I’ve found keeping my mind off food gets easier. We have a tendency in our age of neurotic vanity to be self-consciously losing weight rather than looking after our health and wellbeing. I’m trying to ignore that part of my irrationality and concentrate on health. I want to engage in more ‘ibadah during the day as I feel lighter – so for the days I’m not fasting I’ve taken up praying before I eat, finding that it’s easier to pray the sunnah as well and make it more of a mental rest during the day. The only down side I’ve found is that if I don’t have enough fluids before the fast, I really feel it.
Week 2: Fruit
‘A’ishah (RA) reports that “Rasulullah (SAW) ate watermelon with fresh dates” (Hadith 189).
Now that fasting is established in my weekly routine, it’s time to introduce something I’m really not fond of: fruit. I can go without fruit for months; the texture of its raw fleshiness spurs me to bury it under crumble until it no longer resembles its former self, or worse, fry it in pancake batter for breakfast.
Fruit smoothies are my lifesaver, as well as bio-pot fruit yoghurt. After physical exercise the body needs replenishing with minerals and hydration: once you come back in the house from running errands there is nothing better than a smoothie. I’ve actually finished a litre in two days, putting away 8 portions of fruit.
Yoghurt is a lovely, summery alternative to ice-cream or chocolate. Even fig rolls are high in fibre and are great with a cup of tea. I’ve also taken to stuffing dates with nuts and putting them in my handbag, brilliant on busy weekends when you’re out and about shopping or visiting people and you need something on the go for breakfast.
Chopping up dates and cranberries and sprinkling them over cereal has led me into the world of the dried fruit; a versatile and easy way to absorb vitamins without trying. Now they’re everywhere, in my muffins, on top of toast and even in my cookies.
Week 3: Bread, Vinegar and Olive Oil
Someone asked Sahl bin Sa’d (RA): “Did Rasulullah (SAW) ever eat bread made of white flour?” He replied: “White flour may not have come before Rasulullah (SAW) till his last days” (Hadith 138).
It’s time to bring out the rolling pin. Any culture that still makes wholemeal bread is worth adopting, so I’m rolling out the rotis to go with our Bombay potatoes. I’ve tried using brown flour to make quiche pastry and that was a disaster. The fridge alternative is a multi-seeded loaf, the best of the brownest – exceptionally worth the extra money.
Jaabir bin ‘Abdullah (RA) relates that Rasulullah (SAW) said: “What a wonderful grave vinegar is”(Hadith 145). Vinegars are complex and varied. There is red wine vinegar, best for kidney beans and salads, there is cider vinegar, light and good for pasta, malt vinegar that we use on chips and white wine vinegar, the most versatile in the kitchen. I’ve realised that they can all be used for pickling vegetables or fish in jars so I’m storing more than I bargained for this week.
It is related from ‘Umar (RA) that Rasulullah (SAW) said: “Use olive oil in cooking and rubbing (on the body) because it is from a blessed tree” (Hadith 150).
I’m amazed at what a difference it makes having no other oils or butter at hand when cooking. It contains good fats, and so olive oil mayonnaise is also a happy alternative.
Lunch is now a single sandwich, but filled with enough nutrients to make me glow. Seeded bread spread with olive oil mayonnaise, goats’ cheese and tomatoes: this is gourmet food!
I’ve devised a cunning idea to make dinner not look as sparse as it seems; in one word: Tapas! The Spanish dinner you don’t have to cook: pots of marinated vegetables, olives, and cheeses with bread that you dip in and out of things. Pickled artichoke hearts in vinegar is not so bad with seeded bread. Throw in some sun-dried tomatoes and you have quick-fix pizza. Pickled fish is my new discovery; I never knew how much anchovies where used by the Italians until I tried pasta puttanesca, pasta with fat olives, anchovies, chopped tomatoes and olive oil, assembled in minutes and reminiscent of sitting in an Italian restaurant with steam rising from the plate.
Week 4: Gourds and Fowl
Jaabir bin Taariq (RA) said: “I attended the assembly of Rasulullah (SAW). I observed, they were busy cutting a gourd into pieces. I inquired: ‘What shall be made of this?’ He replied: ‘It will add to our food’“ (Hadith 152).
Gourds are the marrow-family vegetables including cucumber, pumpkin, courgette and squashes. In England, many of these are grown and available from October onwards and most we are quite familiar with; courgette is wonderful in ratatouille, cucumber in salad and pumpkin in pies and soups. The butternut squash is new to me, so I tried a vegetarian lasagne with red onions in the mix. Squash is exactly what you need in the autumn; roasted with some salt it can be added to risotto, used in place of potatoes in a curry or simply turned into mash.
Zahdam Al-Jarmi (RA) said, “we were present in the assembly of Abu Musa Ash’ari (RA). Fowl meat was served for food. A person from among those present, moved back. Abu Musa (RA) asked him the reason. He replied: ‘I had seen the fowl eat something (dirty) so I swore an oath that I will not eat it.’ Abu Musa (RA) said: ‘In that case, I had seen Rasulullah (SAW) eat the meat of a fowl’” (Hadith 146).
Fridays are special as my husband likes it if we don’t eat meat except for this day, it’s the only time in the week I have a family affair with roast chicken or cottage pie. I can now see that, left to my own devices, I was baffled with what to eat and how to be more healthy. I’ve lost half a stone in a month; without a rigid plan or even needing to try.
I can see from the ahadith that I’ve been looking at, that the Prophet’s (SAW) diet was not as meagre as I’d imagined. There is a great variety of colour, fibre and vitamins in different types of food that was the custom of the time. Meat was not everything, and nor was subsistence on dates and milk; the only pattern we can find is that the Prophet (SAW) didn’t eat the same for two days: he listened to his body.
I am buying vegetables according to the seasons, which is one step away from growing my own but a learning experience nevertheless. There are vegetables and fruits that grow in this country that the Prophet (SAW) enjoyed; herbs such as dill and parsley. I’m appreciative of each season as there are new ingredients to tinker with and dinner doesn’t have to come out of a jar or a tin anymore. Granted it is harder work preparing and testing foods, but it is the stuff of life; we have been entreated to eat what is halal and good for us; and this not only gives us fresher nutrients and simpler habits, but we assist and blend into the natural world around us.
Rabia’ Barkatulla is a freelance writer and Arabic language teacher who read Arabic and Arabic Cultural Studies at the School Of Oriental and African Studies and is currently studying English Literature at Oxford University. Rabia’ has taught for the Ibn Jabal Institute in London, and continues to teach at the Ribat Institute in Surrey.
The fact that it is the responsibility of the man to maintain his wife and family does not mean that a woman may not help her husband in his professional pursuits or add to the economic stability of the family if the need arises or if they both agree for her to do so. By the same token, a man is also encourarged by the Prophet’s example to assist his wife in her household chores:
“His wives reported that he would often sew his torn clothes, repair his worn out shoes and milk his goats.”
Collected by Ahmad and authenticated by Shaykh al-Albani in Sahih al-Jami’ as-Saghir
On numerous occasions the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wa salam) encouraged men to be kind, gentle and helpful to their wives because it is the nature of the strong to take advantage of the weak. For example, it is reported by the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wa salam) said,
“The most perfect of the Believers in faith is the best of them in character and the best of you in character is he who is best to his family.”
Reported by Abu Hurayrah and collected by Ahmad and Tirmidhi and authenticated by Shaykh al-Albani in Sahih Sunan at-Tirmidhi
Taken from pages 27 and 28, ‘Polygamy in Islam’ by Jameela Jones and Sheikh Bilal Philips