For those who see the cultural practices Saudi Arabia of the criterion of right and wrong in our deen…
For those who see the cultural practices Saudi Arabia of the criterion of right and wrong in our deen…
And when they are called to [the words of] Allah and His Messenger to judge between them, at once a party of them turns aside [in refusal].
But if the right is theirs, they come to him in prompt obedience.
Quran translation, Surah an-Nur, 24:48-49
How many of us are the type of people described in the two verses above?
That when are in the wrong, we have every excuse for ourselves, no no no it’s this and that reason, you don’t understand, it’s all the other persons fault, etc etc.
So when someone comes to us with trying to show us the correct path from the Quran and Sunnah whether the wronged party or someone giving us sincere advice we turn away.
But when the evidence from the Quran and sunnah is on our side, oh now things are different.
Now, it’s “ad deen an naseeha” now we ask how can the other person turn away from the Quran and sunnah, what is wrong with them, what sort of sinful person are they to reject our ‘daleel’ do they even have any emaan?
These verses actually describe a trait of the munafiq, how lightly we take this danger in our lives that we could fall into nifaq and be raised in that state on the day of judgement.
This is a reminder very much to myself as well as others, we are all sinful and weak at times. Better to admit it and try to fix up, we shouldn’t try to wriggle our way out of things because even if that works for a time with the people around us, it will not work with the Rabbil ‘alamin.
“There is no such thing as modern Islam, liberal Islam, Islam is Islam.”
A brilliant talk by Dr Bilal Philips on how in reality, the problems faced by the Muslims today are the same as those faced by the Muslims in the past, that the answers to our problems are in the Quran and the Sunnah, just as they have always been.
One of the best speeches from one of the best speakers out there, who has not compromised on the message in all his years calling to Allah, unlike so many other du’at in the English language.
“Strive in ALL of the last ten nights, not just a few. This is the sunnah of the messenger salAllahu alayhi wa sallam.”
Abu Ibraheem Hussnayn
Well in a nutshell in case we forgot:
Hamza Yusuf is a Sufi, Ashari, promoter of Shirk (Qaseedah Burdah) and Bid’ah in the West who said that the most sacred place on earth is the grave of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم). He is also an extreme Muqallid of the Maliki madhab and associates with the likes of Habeeb Jifri; who calls to the worship of graves and shrines and the likes of them. That should be enough for us to be outraged, to distance ourselves from him and to warn others from his misguidance.
His comments regarding the struggles of African Americans also shows his extreme ignorance regarding the political, social and economic history of the United States as it relates to African descendants. Making foolhardy and rash statements that satisfy the white political oligarchy as well as many Muslim American immigrants who wish not to associate with the lower echelons of American society is not from the Sunnah. Rather the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) addressed it head on without any room for interpretation.
For the record the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “Upon you is to hear and obey even if it is an Ethiopian slave as if his head is (dark) like a raisin.”
Some foolish orientalists have interpreted this statement as one of racism. However, this is how he chose to address the Arabs as they disliked those of African descent. So he demonstrated that one’s skin colour was not a deficiency.
He also said to Abu Dharr when he called Bilaal the son of a black woman: “Did you find deficiency in him because of his mother. Verily you are a man who has Jaahileeyah (pre-islamic ignorance).”
He also said as narrated in Adab Al Mufrad by Imam Al Bukhari: “Whoever takes pride in his ancestry then let him bite unto the private part of his father.”
He also said: “There is no preference of an Arab over a non Arab or a white over a black…”
Hence, unlike the soft and tamed responses of many Muslims toward Hamza’s remarks (and racism in general) the Prophetic methodology was to take this matter head on in the face of those who have racism within their hearts. He also said as narrated in Saheeh Muslim:
“Three things from Jaahileeyah (pre-islamic ignorance) would remain in my Ummah. Taking pride in one’s lineage, cursing those of others and Niyahah (screaming and ripping off clothes at the death of someone).”
Hence, the one who is racist is not only ignorant but has an aspect of pre-islamic ignorance. The phrase Jahileeyah affected the companions so much that the great Sahabee, Abu Dharr, upon hearing the statement of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) went to Bilaal, put his head to Bilaal’s feet, apologized and asked Bilaal to stamp on his head.
But to Hamza racism is just another sign of ignorance which in itself proves the extent of his ignorance regarding Islam’s stance on racism.
And for the information of those out there who don’t know there were many Africans (yes black people) who played a very important role in early Islam. Just to name a few:
Bilaal Al Habashi, the first Mu’addhin.
Summayah the first matyr of Islaam
Najashi, the king of Ethiopia and his priests.
Mahajja the first matyr of Badr.
Bareerah who was freed by ‘Aisha.
Umm Barakah the first one who nursed the Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) after his mother died.
Aslam the servant of ‘Umar Ibn Khattab.
Zaid Ibn Aslam who was one of the narrators of Muwatta’
Sa’eed Ibn Jubair who was seen as the most knowledgeable of the Tabi’een.
‘Ataa Ibn Rabaah who was a scholar of Tafseer.
Usama Ibn Zaid who led Muslim armies at 17 years old after the death of the Prophet.
Wahshi who killed Musailamah Al Kaddhab.
Naafi’ the servant of Ibn ‘Umar who brought to us the two recitations of Qaaloon and Warsh.
And there are many more who I didn’t mention and are found in a book called the raising of the status of Africans (Arabs used to refer to all Africans as Ethiopians) by Imam As Suyooti.
The Sahabah didn’t see race as an issue. Africans, as is observed by the list I wrote here, were prominent in the intellectual, political and social development of the early Islam. The likes of this took place with Malcolm X in the 1960s who by Allah’s will made Islam a household name and even presented it as a solution to America’s racial problems!
It is disturbing to see that in 2016, almost 50 years after the assassination of brother Malcolm that immigrant Muslim Americans have compressed themselves into a bubble wherein they boisterously applaud their ambivalence and nonchalance regarding the struggles of those who were pivotal in the development and existence of Islam in the U.S.
Sadly enough, amidst this ambivalence and nonchalance all and sundry cry foul when Trump is selected!
Stuff like this just leaves us reverts scratching our heads in bemusement… I mean seriously?
I think from the look on his face even this ‘Sheikh’ knows how ridiculous he looks, how far from the Sunnah is his behavior and that of his mureeds (followers).
There is nothing wrong with shaking hands by holding the other person’s hand with both your hands. Al-Bukhaari authored a chapter on shaking hands and gave it the title “Holding both hands.”
Ibn Battaal said: “Holding both hands when shaking hands is a praiseworthy form of exaggerating handshakes which the scholars recommended.”
~ Muhammad Saalih Al-Munajjid
O children of Adam, take your adornment at every masjid, and eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He likes not those who commit excess.
Quran translation, Surah al-A’raf, 7:31
Assalaamu Alaykum brothers and sisters,
We’re all used to hearing about an unrealistic body image being promoted for women in the modern world and yes this is a terrible problem, leading to depression, anxiety, eating disorders (over as well as under eating) and suicides among many, including our young (and sometimes not so young) sisters. We cannot deny how huge an issue this has become but are we not guilty as a society of the same when it comes to men?
THE UNACHIEVABLE MALE BODY IMAGE
Given these same eating disorders are now affecting males, as well as physiological problems relating to health and fitness I think it’s fair to state now that modern media, social media, artwork and overall society is promoting just as an unhealthy body image of men as they’ve done in the past with women. Body images which are just as unreachable as those female equivalents that are now so widely recognized as so damaging on the minds and bodies of women that we see some city authorities wanting to ban from the public space so should we not recognize the dangers to men also?
STRUGGLING WITH DEMOTIVATION
This unachievable male body image was something which disheartened me recently as I’ve looked into getting back to a more healthy state. I just knew I am never going to be thin nor will I ever be the right shaped human to get that V upper-body figure most men crave.
I’m a human being, and as I read article after article on health and fitness it affects me on some level seeing the accompanying images (most likely photo-shopped), a body image I’ll never achieve no matter how long or how often I worked out or did sports.
This was something which can be a huge downer and as I read others blogs and online material I know it is something which can make many, men and women, want to give up almost before they start. I think if it was not for the fact I know I’m failing in my Islamic obligations by being so out of shape I’d have been far more tempted to give up myself by now after just a few weeks or eating more sensibly and a wee bit of regular exercise.
Narrated by A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) who said: “The first calamity for this nation after the Prophet’s death is fullness of their stomachs; when their stomachs became full, they became obese and their hearts weakened and their desires became wild.”
Sahih al Bukhari
Thinking about all of this brought my wandering and desperate thoughts back to my favourite part of the Quran, a couple of verses I come back to again and again when faced with difficulty in life.
Do think the people that they will be left because they say, “We believe” and they will not be tested?
And indeed, We tested those who (were) before them. And Allah will surely make evident those who (are) truthful and He will surely make evident the liars.
Quran translation, Surah al-‘Ankabut, 29:2-3
So I knew I just had to keep going, even with the occasional slips, and disheartening as it is get to the best I can be and in every instance of being tested we have difficulties, and I find if you keep looking at a problem from different angles you’ll find a way through the problem.
AN EPIPHANY THROUGH FACEBOOK
So I kept walking as I do when I want to think, or just to relax and still this problem would trouble me, I couldn’t think of a way through until one day on opening facebook in the morning the following image came up.
I looked, and looked again and it hit me that the 1st image on the left, that is something I can never achieve, but the 2nd image, the one of the right, yes I could see myself looking like that after plenty of work.
Guidance from Allaah comes sometimes in the strangest places, one conversation, one quote, one meme or picture can change our perception for us, Allah opens up our minds and allows us to view things from a different perspective.
As I continued to think about the problem I realized there is no one ideal body shape, or even just a few different body images, each difficult or almost impossible to achieve for myself and most others. Instead each of us has our own ideal size and strengths we can work towards.
As I read more about this topic I realized more and more the ‘healthy’ body image given to us is actually unhealthy, and almost impossible to achieve hence why men are now increasingly resorting to plastic surgery to get that ‘perfect’ muscle structure implanted into their bodies.
You may be small, wiry, you’ll also never achieve that V upper body, but maybe you’ll run marathons one day which I’ll likely never do. You may be large like myself and aim to be strong and healthy in a different way. Each is good, none is wrong, none are ideal for everyone, each of us needs to tailor our health and fitness to best suit the hand we’ve been dealt.
Though the Sahabah all sought to be healthy, as taught in the Quran and by our beloved Nabi Muhammad ibn Abdullah (Sallallahu alayhi wa salam), they were a differing bunch of people as we all are today.
Some thin like Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with him), some large like Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him), some tall and some short, differing looks, differing physiques, they strove and struggled just as we do today and by living a moderate life according to the guidance given to them and us they achieved a balance in such matters of health and fitness as they sought balance and a moderate path in all areas of life.
So for myself I know I need to keep working hard, striving for the sake of Allah and know Allah doesn’t measure me against others but against myself, knowing what I am personally capable of doing.
My health didn’t get so bad in just a matter of weeks, it took years of neglect and it will take many more months and years to get back to something approaching acceptable and I have to accept that and keep going.
For those of you in the same boat as me, all need to remember it’s not just a physical battle we’ve got going on here, but a mental, emotional, even spiritual battle as well to get ourselves and keep ourselves in the best possible health and I think we need to put to one side and maybe ignore many of the things we see around us, instead aiming for a body image which is personal to us, the best each of us can be.
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
Share this, Baarakallaah Feekum: [“One who guides to something good has a reward similar to that of its doer” – Saheeh Muslim vol.3, no.4665] [This website protects the copyrights of the authors/publishers. The Content is posted on this website with implicit/explicit permission from content owners. If you find any copyright violations please inform the same.I ask you to fear Allah before you spread the rumours and false information]
Polygamy is often seen as the end of a happy marriage, but it need not be that at all. Take it from me, I’m a happily married first wife and I’m friend with my co-wife, Masha’ Allah; in fact she’s sitting in the same room while I’m typing this. Polygamy can work if the husband and both or all wives go about it in the right way.
I have heard many horror stories about polygamy gone very wrong, and in all those cases, at least one person in the marriage was not following the Qur’an and Sunnah, usually the husband. Polygamy requires us to adhere to everything that Allah has taught us about marriage, and to follow the example of Muhammad and his wives.
This is the foundation upon which any marriage, monogamous or polygamous, is built, but with polygamy, it’s even more critical. Without this foundation, it isn’t going to succeed. While polygamy is frequently seen as benefiting the husband to the detriment of the wives, the reality is that it’s far more difficult for the husband.
He has to not only fulfill the rights of both wives and support both families financially and emotionally, he has to juggle his time between them, settle any disputes and difficulties that arise, and all the while ensure that he’s being just and fair.
The penalty for him failing to treat his wives equally is being raised up on the day of Judgment with half his body paralyzed.
The Qur’an strongly warns men that if they can’t be just between their wives, they are truly better off with only one. For men that take Islam seriously, polygamy is a huge and weighty responsibility and it’s an arduous task to get it right.
Meanwhile, each wife has no more responsibility than a monogamously married wife, and in some cases (e.g. where the wives choose to share accommodation) they can end up with a lot less responsibility than monogamous wives, as they share the running of the household and help each other out with the children.
One of the biggest fears women have of polygamy comes from a misunderstanding about the nature of love. Love is seen as something finite which has to be shared between people, so if a man takes a second wife, it’s assumed that he must love his first wife less because of it. The truth is that love is infinite and does not need to be shared between people.
Just as when a mother has a second child she still loves her first child as much as ever, when a man takes a second wife he still loves his first wife just as much.
Good Muslim men who choose polygamy do so because they truly want to love and protect two or more women. If he really didn’t love the first, divorcing her then remarrying is a much easier option for him both financially and emotionally than having two wives.
What you share in polygamy is your husband’s time. Whether spending less time with your husband is a good thing or a bad thing depends on your outlook. Of course, it’s natural to want to spend plenty of time with people you love, but we also need time for ourselves.
On the days when he’s with his other wife, there is no benefit in sitting around missing him. Instead, treat it as a time for you, and a chance to enjoy things that married women find it hard to make time for.
On your nights with him, you have a husband to share your bed with; on the other nights you get the whole bed to yourself and can snuggle up with a good book and have some “me time”.
Plan your evenings when you’re not with him to do things that you enjoy, so you look forward to your evenings without him as much as your evenings with him.
Try not to see your co-wife as a rival. Instead, try to focus on strengthening your relationship with your husband. If you don’t feel secure in your relationship, then it’s only natural that you’d see the other wife as a threat. If you are sure of your relationship with your husband, then ask yourself why you feel threatened, and remind yourself of what you have.
If your husband is going to love you and stand by you no matter what, then what can she take from you?
A useful piece of advice I heard from a brother is “the insecurity of the first wife is that the second wife is her replacement and he doesn’t love her any more. The insecurity of the second wife is that the first wife is his first love and he’ll never love her as much as he loves his first.”
This reminds us that the other wife has her own doubts, and to see clearly what we have instead. Look at why your husband loves you and try not to dwell on what he may or may not feel about her.
No love triangles in Islam
Focus on your relationship with your husband as a single entity, disconnected from his other marriage. Islamic polygamy is not a triangular relationship; his marriage with you and his marriage with your co-wife are two separate relationships.
You are not obliged to have anything to do with your co-wife, but if the two of you choose to be friends, then that’s a third and discrete relationship.
This means when you’re with him, the two of you need to act like the other wife doesn’t exist.
Enjoy your time with your husband and do all the same things a monogamous couple would do together.
If you are friends with your co-wife, don’t discuss your husband when you’re together, and spend time with her when he’s not around.
Jealousy is best tackled by focusing on what you have. “Jealousy is when you count someone else’s blessings instead of your own,” (anon). If you feel jealous about anything, ask yourself if it’s over something that you really want, or whether you desire it simply because your co-wife has it.
If it’s the latter, then try to forget about it and remind yourself that you don’t actually want it.
If it’s something you really want, then focus on how you can get it for yourself because you would like it, not because she has it. If it’s the relationship you’re jealous of, concentrate on building your own relationship with your husband as though she’s not in the picture.
If you feel that he loves her more than you, then maybe he isn’t giving you enough attention or affection, and frame this as a problem in your own relationship that you need to talk to him about and resolve, rather than as a problem with your co-wife. These things won’t eliminate jealousy altogether, but they should minimize it.
Remember that even ‘A’isha had times when she was jealous of Muhammad’s other wives, and even broke a plate because of it.
When things go wrong
If your husband is not dividing up his time fairly, or not fulfilling your rights in Islam then he is the guilty party so don’t blame your co-wife for this.
This applies whether it’s something minor or very serious. Speak to him about the problem and tell him how you feel.
If he’s a good husband, he’ll do something to rectify the situation.
If he doesn’t and you’re having significant problems in your marriage because of it, then you need to go about dealing with it in the same way you would if you were monogamously married.
Marriages fail either because one partner is not fulfilling the rights of the other (or worse, abusing the other), or because the two partners are not compatible.
This is the same in monogamy and polygamy. Relationships fail sometimes in spite of one or both partners putting in their best efforts, and that’s why divorce is halal.
Sometimes men try to fix a failing monogamous marriage by taking a second wife – in my opinion this is like trying to put out a fire in the living room by starting another fire in the kitchen.
Other men want all the benefits of polygamy but refuse to accept any of the responsibility and end up treating their wives very badly. There are some situations where staying in a marriage is not in anyone’s best interests. If you find yourself in such a situation, then you do need to know when to call it a day.
An important thing to remember is not to blame polygamy itself for the marriage failure. The failure is due to incompatibility, or one partner systematically failing to fulfill their responsibilities to the other.
Polygamy, when done according to the Qur’an and Sunnah can work and indeed be beneficial to the wives, and it’s my opinion that it doesn’t need to be feared.
We should fear Allah, and be good spouses to each other.
We should remember to show our husbands our appreciation of them and all that they do for us, and they need to do the same for us. This is the key to a happy marriage, whether polygamous or monogamous. Insha Allah, by following the advice above, this happiness can be maintained in a polygamous marriage, despite the specific challenges this type of relationship may bring.