“ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE ME!”
…Said no scholar ever.
These are actually the words of Tupac, who the youth seem to quote in matters of sin and transgression more than the book of Allaah or the Sunnah of His Rasool (salallahu alayhi wa salam)
“ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE ME!”
…Said no scholar ever.
These are actually the words of Tupac, who the youth seem to quote in matters of sin and transgression more than the book of Allaah or the Sunnah of His Rasool (salallahu alayhi wa salam)
The purpose of this article is not to offer any clear-cut instruction; rather, the aim is merely to provoke the reader into contemplating the various issues being discussed.
In the western world we often lament our lack of time. We often observe people who exist within our stratosphere that appear incredibly busy and we look at ourselves in self-depreciating disgust.
I have a few questions related to this image;
I will start by offering an example from my own experience of the corporate world. There are colleagues who will put me to shame in their work ethic. Some take on an incredible amount of responsibility and are thus pulled from every sector of the working environment to offer their insights and guidance. Others are limited, or limit themselves to a small working area that they invest a heavy amount of time in.
Often we gravitate towards the former. The celebrity employee – always included in every email message, always in demand to attend any significant meeting and affecting everything and nothing at the same time. The demands on this person’s time, from every angle, can very easily lead to someone who can influence many factions infinitesimally but generally will struggle to achieve anything of significance.
Compare this to the worker who mines a solid hole through a stack of projects. His influence is limited to that particular area but that person’s achievement has the potential to echo throughout the business. An argument can be made that the former is required to tie the work of the latter and this is true. But only one can exist without the other and it is not the celebrity.
Similarly I look towards those brothers and sisters who appear fantastically productive in Islamic activity. They involve themselves in anything that seems productive for their ākhira and sacrifice attaining any form of a professional life in so-called ‘secular sciences’. Dedicating themselves to acquiring knowledge and supporting the dawah. These pantheons of society are examples to the rest of us as we aim to emulate them. For me, when I interact with such a person I find myself hating my pathetic limitations and weak drive. I vaguely ponder over the circumstances that will lead me to be as active.
I am reminded in this scenario of the “Professional Muslim.” This is a person who has the opportunity to be employed in a role that is directly related to the Hereafter. Is it indeed better to work to worship? For example, the employment in an Islamic organisation and the consequent ability to worship Allāh through your work creates the “perfect” scenario. I can see that for those with a thought to their Hereafter, this presents a potentially ideal situation and for those in that situation they are potentially at an advantage.
But, before we lament our loss at the lack of job opportunities in the Islamic Sector (does this even exist?) perhaps we should take a moment to think about that first question again. Does effort and toil lead directly to productivity? Productivity, in this case, being results in the Hereafter. I invite you to think about whether our īmān is capable of maintaining the correct sincerity or Ikhlās balance that we need for such employment. Are you able to demand the comfort of that higher pay rise for example? This is not to say that Islamic organisations should not pay you enough but do you, for example, already earn enough? Are you now carrying out your work because it is your job or because you want to please Allāh? These and other similar complications are perhaps more straight-forward in a job that is not directly associated with an Islamic Organisation. When you volunteer your time it is maybe easier to resolve your sincerity within your own mind when financial compensation is not involved. This is not to say that one is easier than the other. Rather, different people will thrive or struggle in different situations.
This vague example that involves “maybes” and “potentials” directly links to our pursuit of the correct work, life and death balance. There have been many articles written warning readers to strike the correct existential balance where we do not put work above our personal life and unintentionally sacrifice both in pursuit of one. As Muslims we should perhaps temper these studies with our knowledge of what is required of us to hit our over-arching target in this life: the pleasure of Allāh in pursuit of admittance to Jannah.
Is effectiveness perhaps what we should strive for? By effectiveness, I refer to continuity as opposed to achievement. I give you the example of ʿAbdullāh b. ʿUmar (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu). It is reported that he spent 14 years memorising Sūrah al-Baqarah. With that in mind, and with our knowledge that the person to lead the Salah is the person who has the most knowledge of the Qur’ān, if we were to hypothetically exist during his memorisation period, would our ḥufāth of today be comfortable leading the Salah ahead of Ibn ʿUmar? I would hazard a guess that they would not. So, is it the appearance of achievement that is our aim? Or is it the continuity of pursuit that we aim for? Allāh will not judge us on results. If so, then we, as a Muslim Ummah, will perish miserably on the last day. Allāh is Al-Ḥakīm. Thus, we will be judged on our efforts and sincerity not on our achievements. Perhaps to judge ourselves, private continuity of effort is the most telling sign. How consistently do we pray those two prostrations of night prayer without a soul being aware? How do we set up our learning and knowledge-seeking processes so that they will continue well into the future.
I give you the example of the Muslim youth scene. We are blessed with a variety of options for the knowledge seeker in the UK. Structured weekend learning programmes are available every week, online courses are also widely available, many of which are free. Alḥamdulillāh many of our youth whole-heartedly engage in these activities. But, what happens when our youth grow older? Time constraints are an inevitable aspect of growing older and, as such, we find we suddenly cannot fulfil our desire to engage in these activities. No longer can we travel around the country; no longer can we perhaps neglect our university studies for a short period of time to commit to organising an event. What then? Do we simply reduce our activities to accommodate our increased time constraints? Some may say that this is where the benefits and fruits of working in the Islamic sector can be seen. But my counter-argument is that the Islamic sector is nit weak. Knowledge and access to knowledge is a thriving “industry,” and I mean industry in a pure form. There are now countless institutes for learning and countless aid organisations. Our Ummah is most definitely in its ascendency, albeit it seems slowly. However, can a successful Ummah be built upon a population of scholars? The Prophet’s (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) Saḥāba were nothing less than scholars and they were the most successful of nations. The Saḥāba are more than 100,000, the ones recorded are numbered at around 5000, of those we only have detailed life stories of a handful. Guess which ones we have detailed life stories of? The best ones: the scholars. No doubt that these are the catalysts. But also no doubt that Allāh facilitated that the likes of ʿAbdul Raḥmān b. Awf would donate 2000 awqiyah of gold towards the war effort in Tabūk. As such, we have catalysts and we have facilitators, each as important as the other and neither of them mutually exclusive.
What is wrong in being successful in your professional ‘secular’ field? What is wrong with being able to open doors and give advice to your Muslim brothers? How amazing it is, when you see someone of responsibility and power in the corporate world, someone who is in demand all over the industry and professionally impeccable, practicing his religion to the best of his ability. What doors can this person open for the Ummah? Is it not significant for someone to open a business that turns into a conglomerate that provides a livelihood for Muslim brothers and sisters and pays a multi-billion pound zakāh every year? Imagine the ramifications, politically and economically, if there were several of these conglomerates that we could be proud of as Muslims? Imagine the impact on Dawah when many industries are questioned about ethics but this company has employees who will refuse to work for the company if they are not ethically compliant? Imagine the reward for the owner of such a business to create prayer facilities for all his employees where Salāh becomes the means by which profitability is sought.
This article opens a discussion more than any conclusive argument but, as was mentioned at the beginning of this article, the aim is to provoke thought. Where we expend our efforts and how we seek our wealth are questions that we all ponder from time to time on an individual basis but, perhaps, we should adopt a society-focused mentality wherein we look for what the Ummah needs and try to match our skill-set within that.
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In which BIB meets Abdul Jaleel, a man from the East who works with the youth in West! They discuss identity, ibada, image and an encounter on the tube after a West Ham match!
Muslim women in the West today are in a seemingly unique position, often straddling two worlds – that of their family’s ethnic culture and that of their Western country of residence. They are struggling to both revive their faith and their intellect, managing a balancing act of family and career.
Often, we feel alone, stranded in circumstances for which there is no textbook manual on how to do it all right. Surely we can’t be the only generation of Muslim women to face such trials! In fact, we aren’t. Islamic history books are filled with stories of exemplary Muslim women, young and old, who navigated cultures spanning from Asia and Arabia to Europe.
These inspiring women came of age in environments eerily similar to our own: Fatimah bint Muhammad (SAW), whose early teen years were spent struggling through the difficult first days of Islam in Makkah; and Ama bint Khalid, who grew up in the Christian country of Abyssinia during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). They dealt with feelings of isolation, cultural differences and the struggles faced by the pioneers of a new way. They fell in love, fought in wars and achieved heights of scholarship envied by men.
From the Sahabiyat (female Companions) to female scholars in our own times, Muslim women have always had powerful female figures to look up to and emulate. Unfortunately, however, these inspiring women have been forgotten and marginalised by their own people, to the detriment of all Muslims, both men and women.
Now, we hope to revive and relive our neglected history by bringing to light not only the exploits of these heroines, but their humanity as well. We aim to build a direct connection and sense of relevance between the current generations of Muslim women and those who created legacies before us.
Coming of Age in a New World
Modern society marks the transition from childhood into adolescence with contemporary constructs such as issues of identity and angst. For young Muslimahs in the West, these struggles are compounded with further questions about religion, spirituality and their place as citizens in societies whose values are often at great odds with those of Islam’s.
Ama bint Khalid was one of the first young Muslimahs to grow up in a non-Muslim environment and whose love for the Messenger of Allah (SAW) blossomed in her heart before she ever met him. Her parents were amongst the earliest believers in RasulAllah (SAW) and were of those who made the first hijrah (emigration) to Abyssinia.
As a result, Ama was one of a handful of young Muslims who grew up in a distinctly Christian society. Though she undoubtedly faced difficulties and challenges, her identity as a Muslim was strengthened by her circumstances, rather than weakened or driven to compromise. Her parents would regularly share with her and remind her of the reason for which they emigrated: their belief in Allah (SWT) and His Messenger. They would tell her stories about RasulAllah (SAW) – his kindness, his generosity, his concern for others even if they were not his family or friends and how he worked so hard to save everyone from the terrifying punishment of the Hereafter. Long before she ever met him, Ama loved this amazing man of whom her parents spoke so fondly.
Ama was a young girl faced with a massive challenge: living and growing up in a country foreign to her family, struggling to learn a new language and a new culture and, more importantly, retaining the faith for which they had emigrated in the first place. In the midst of this utter strangeness, she fiercely held onto her belief in God and His Messenger (SAW), her saviour.
Though the challenges are many, young Muslims in the 21st century are not the first to experience isolation, alienation and negative propaganda directly concentrated on their faith. Youth such as Ama bint Khalid and ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (RA), both of whom were raised upon Islam from a very young age, grew up in a society where they were labelled as either crazy people, terrorists or both. Most Muslim teenagers often think that they have little in common with famous and awe-inspiring Sahabah of the Prophet’s time, but the truth is that their struggles were very similar to those we are going through today.
Today, young Muslims in the West have far more available and at their disposal than Ama bint Khalid had over 1400 years ago. Masjid youth groups, Islamic schools, youth conferences, CDs and DVDs; these resources provide not only knowledge, but a strength of solidarity for young Muslims growing up in non-Muslim societies.
Teenage Muslim girls who are trying to juggle their non-Muslim school environment, culturally-different home environment and plain old teen hormones need look no further than Ama bint Khalid to feel both comforted and inspired. If Ama could do it – in a time when there was no internet, no halal takeout and no varieties of cute hijabs – why can’t you?
Narrated Sa’id: Um Khalid [Ama] bint Khalid bin Said said, “I came to Allah’s Messenger along with my father and I was wearing a yellow shirt. Allah’s Messenger said, “Sanah Sanah!” (‘Abdullah, the sub-narrator said, “It means, ‘Nice, nice!’ in the Ethiopian language.”) Um Khalid added, “Then I started playing with the seal of Prophethood. My father admonished me. But Allah’s Apostle said (to my father), “Leave her,” Allah’s Apostle (then addressing me) said, “May you live so long that your dress gets worn out, and you will mend it many times, and then wear another till it gets worn out (i.e. May Allah prolong your life).” (The sub-narrator, ‘Abdullah aid, “That garment (which she was wearing) remained usable for a long time.”) Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 22
Umm Khadijah (Zainab bint Younus) is a young woman who finds constant inspiration in the lives of the Sahabiyat and other great women in Islamic history. She hopes that every Muslimah is able to identify with the struggles of these inspirational women and follow in their footsteps to become part of a new generation of powerful Muslimahs.
Golden advise taken from the Quran and Sunnah and the opinions of the scholars by Ustadh Muhammad Tim Humble, may Allaah reward him for his balanced approach to the deen, ameen.
Every person looking for marriage now or in the future or has an offspring facing the same needs to watch this video.
He also covers many of the serious problems that new Muslims face when looking for marriage.
In UK there are several students who are with out jobs so to avoid haram they need to get married. I have come across two hadiths which seem to be contradicting. The 1st hadith states “O young men, whoever among you can afford to get married, let him do so”. In the 2nd hadith The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) marries a woman to who seems to be a poor man so could you please elaborate on these 2 hadiths because it seems to be contradicting.
Just to clarify my question, to my understanding the 1st hadith is telling us that the man should be financially able to support a wife in order to get married but in the 2nd hadith the man is poor and he gets married. These 2 hadiths seem to contradict each other or have I misunderstood it.
Both hadiths are listed below
“O young men, whoever among you can afford to get married, let him do so, and whoever cannot afford it, let him fast, for that will be a shield for him.” (Agreed upon, from the hadeeth of Ibn Mas’ood, may Allaah be pleased with him. Al-Bukhaari, 4778; Muslim, 1400).
No 4695 Narrated Sahl bin Sad:
A lady came to the Prophet and declared that she had decided to offer herself to Allah and His Apostle. The Prophet said, “I am not in need of women.” A man said (to the Prophet) “Please marry her to me.” The Prophet said (to him), “Give her a garment.” The man said, “I cannot afford it.” The Prophet said, “Give her anything, even if it were an iron ring.” The man apologized again. The Prophet then asked him, “What do you know by heart of the Quran?” He replied, “I know such-and-such portion of the Qur’an (by heart).” The Prophet said, “Then I marry her to you for that much of the Qur’an which you know by heart.”
Praise be to Allah.The first hadeeth was narrated by al-Bukhaari (5066) and Muslim (1400) from Ibn Mas‘ood, who said: We were with the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), young men who had nothing of wealth. The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said to us: “O young men, whoever among you can afford it, let him get married, for it is more effective in lowering the gaze and guarding one’s chastity. And whoever cannot afford it should fast, for it will be a shield for him.”
The second hadeeth was narrated by al-Bukhaari (5030) and Muslim (1425) from Sahl ibn Sa‘d: A woman came to the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and said: O Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), I have come to give myself to you (in marriage). The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) looked her up and down, then the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) lowered his head. When the woman saw that he had not made any decision about her, she sat down. A man among his companions stood up and said: O Messenger of Allah, if you have no need of her then marry her to me. He said: “Do you have anything?” He said: No, by Allah, O Messenger of Allah. He said: “Go to your family and see if you can find something.” So he went, then he came back and said: No, by Allah, O Messenger of Allah, not even a ring of iron, only this izaar (lower garment) of mine – Sahl said: he did not have a rida’ (upper garment) – and she may have half of it. The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “What will she do with your izaar? If you wear it she will not have anything of it and if she wears it you will not have anything of it. The man sat down, and after he had sat for a long time, he got up (to leave). The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) saw him turning away, and he ordered that he be called to him. When he came, he said: “What do you know of the Qur’aan?” He said: I know Soorah such and such and Soorah such and such – and he listed them. He said: “Do you recite them by heart?” He said: Yes. He said: “Go. You have been given her (in marriage) for what you know of the Qur’an.”
These two hadeeths do not contradict one another, praise be to Allah; rather each of them speaks of a specific situation. The hadeeth of Ibn Mas‘ood addresses young men and those who want to get married in general terms, to highlight the fact that marriage requires one to have sufficient resources so that the husband will be able to do what has been enjoined upon him of spending on his wife’s maintenance and providing her with clothing and accommodation.
The phrase translated here as “afford it” refers to the costs of marriage; the Lawgiver wanted to highlight this principle, which is that marriage is not merely a contract or fulfilling one’s desire in a permissible manner; rather it is responsibilities and duties, and it is the man who is responsible for his wife’s maintenance.
This also indicates that in the case of one who is unable to get married, it is prescribed for him to focus on fasting, because it weakens desire and reduces the influence of the Shaytaan, so it is one of the means of attaining chastity and lowering the gaze.
Majmoo‘ Fataawa Ibn Baaz (3/329)
The words of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), “whoever among you can afford it, let him get married” also indicate that what is prescribed for the one who is able to afford the costs and responsibilities of marriage is to hasten to get married.
The scholars of the Standing Committee said: Hastening to get married, for a younger man, is the Sunnah for whoever can afford the expenses of marriage and fulfil the duties of marriage.”
End quote from Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah (18/6)
See also the answer to question no. 9262.
With regard to the second hadeeth, it refers to a specific case, and the issue is that of a poor person who wanted to get married and keep himself chaste, so the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) married him to that woman who came to offer herself in marriage to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). This indicates that poverty in and of itself is not an impediment to marriage if the husband is religiously committed and believes sincerely in his Lord, and the woman is likewise. Moreover, Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “And marry those among you who are single (i.e. a man who has no wife and the woman who has no husband) and (also marry) the Salihoon (pious, fit and capable ones) of your (male) slaves and maid-servants (female slaves). If they be poor, Allah will enrich them out of His Bounty. And Allah is All-Sufficent for His creatures needs, All-Knowing (about the state of the people)” [an-Noor 24:32]. If a person sincerely puts his trust in Allah, wants to keep himself chaste, and seeks that which is with Allah of bounty, there is the hope that Allah will help such a person and grant him provision from His bounty, as at-Tirmidhi (1655) narrated, in a report which he classed as hasan, from Abu Hurayrah, who said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “There are three whom Allah is bound to help: the mujaahid who strives (in jihad) for the sake of Allah, the mukaatib (a slave who has made a contract of manumission with his master) who wants to pay off his manumission, and a man who gets married, seeking to remain chaste.”. It was classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh at-Tirmidhi.
Imam al-Bukhaari (may Allah have mercy on him) included this hadeeth in a chapter entitled: “Chapter on marriage of one who is in financial difficulty, because Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “If they be poor, Allah will enrich them out of His Bounty” [an-Noor 24:32]. Al-Haafiz (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “The words ‘because Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): ‘If they be poor, Allah will enrich them out of His Bounty’ [an-Noor 24:32]” explain the reason why al-Bukhaari put this as the title of this chapter; what is meant is that current poverty is not an impediment to marriage, because of the possibility of acquiring wealth in the future.
‘Ali ibn Abi Talhah said, quoting Ibn ‘Abbaas: Allah encouraged them to get married and enjoined that upon free men and slaves, and promised to make them independent of means, as He said: “If they be poor, Allah will enrich them out of His Bounty” [an-Noor 24:32].
And it was narrated that Ibn Mas‘ood said: “Seek independence of means through marriage.”
Tafseer Ibn Katheer (6/51)
Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
In this verse, Allah – may He be glorified – enjoined marriage of single and righteous people among slave men and women, and He said – and He speaks the truth – that this is one of the means of attaining bounty for those who are poor, so that husbands and women’s guardians may be reassured that poverty should not be an impediment to marriage; rather marriage is one of the means of attaining provision and independence of means.
End quote from Fataawa Islamiyyah (3/213)
The fact that the one who is able to afford it is encouraged to get married does not mean that one who cannot afford it is not allowed to get married, especially if he fears hardship for himself.
The one who cannot afford it is instructed to fast so as to suppress his desire, but that does not mean that he is not allowed to seek to get married. Perhaps he will find someone who will help him to get married, or perhaps he will find someone who will accept him in his current situation because of his religious commitment and righteousness. These are individual cases that vary according to people’s situations and customs. As for the meaning of the hadeeth of Ibn Mas‘ood, it is a general teaching and advice to those who are not able to get married, instructing them to protect themselves by fasting. If anyone among them finds a means to get married, there is nothing wrong with that; in fact he is encouraged and urged to do so. Hence when he said “and whoever cannot afford it”, he did not say “let him not get married”; rather he said “[he] should fast”, lest he fall into sin. But if he is able to get married with some difficulty, there is undoubtedly nothing wrong with that. Rather fasting is given as an alternative when one is not able to get married; if one is able to get married, even with some difficulty, then that is preferable.
And Allah knows best.