What is Islam?
Islam is not a new religion, but the same truth that God revealed through all His prophets to every people. For a fifth of the world’s population, Islam is both a religion and a complete way of life. Muslims follow a religion of peace, mercy, and forgiveness, and the majority have nothing to do with the extremely grave events which have come to be associated with their faith.
Who are the Muslims?
One billion people from a vast range of races, nationalities and cultures across the globe – from the southern Philippines to Nigeria – are united by their common Islamic faith. About 18% live in the Arab world; the world’s largest Muslim community is in Indonesia; substantial parts of Asia and most of Africa are Muslim, while significant minorities are to be found in the Soviet Union, China, North and South America, and Europe.
What do Muslims believe?
Muslims believe in One, Unique, Incomparable God; in the Angels created by Him; in the prophets through whom His revelations were brought to mankind; in the Day of Judgement and individual accountability for actions; in God’s complete authority over human destiny and in life after death. Muslims believe in a chain of prophets starting with Adam and including Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Moses, Aaron, David, Solomon, Elias, Jonah, John the Baptist, and Jesus, peace be upon them. But God’s final message to man, a reconfirmation of the eternal message and a summing-up of all that has gone before was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad through Gabriel.
How does someone become a Muslim?
Simply by saying ‘there is no god apart from God, and Muhammad is the Messenger of God.’ By this declaration the believer announces his or her faith in all God’s messengers, and the scriptures they brought
What does ‘Islam’ mean?
The Arabic word ‘Islam’ simply means ‘submission’, and derives from a word meaning ‘peace’. In a religious context it means complete submission to the will of God. ‘Mohammedanism’ is thus a misnomer because it suggests that Muslims worship Muhammad rather than God. ‘Allah’ is the Arabic name for God, which is used by Arab Muslims and Christians alike.
Why does Islam often seem strange?
Islam may seem exotic or even extreme in the modern world. Perhaps this is because religion does not dominate everyday life in the West today, whereas Muslims have religion always uppermost in their minds, and make no division between secular and sacred. They believe that the Divine Law, the Shari’a, should be taken very seriously, which is why issues related to religion are still so important.
Do Islam and Christianity have different origins?
No. Together with Judaism, they go back to the prophet and patriarch Abraham, and their three prophets are directly descended from his sons Muhammad from the eldest, Ishmael, and Moses and Jesus from Isaac. Abraham established the settlement which today is the city of Makkah, and built the Ka’ba towards which all Muslims turn when they pray.
What is the Ka’ba?
The Ka’ba is the place of worship which God commanded Abraham and Ishmael to build over four thousand years ago. The building was constructed of stone on what many believe was the original site of a sanctuary established by Adam. God commanded Abraham to summon all mankind to visit this place, and when pilgrims go there today they say ‘At Thy service, O Lord’, in response to Abraham’s summons.
Who is Muhammad?
Muhammad, was born in Makkah in the year 570, at a time when Christianity was not yet fully established in Europe. Since his father died before his birth, and his mother shortly afterwards, he was raised by his uncle from the respected tribe of Quraysh. As he grew up, he became known for his truthfulness, generosity and sincerity, so that he was sought after for his ability to arbitrate in disputes. The historians describe him as calm and meditative. Muhammad was of a deeply religious nature, and had long detested the decadence of his society. It became his habit to meditate from time to time in the Cave of Hira near the summit of Jabal al-Nur, the ‘Mountain of Light’ near Makkah.
How did Muhammad become a prophet and a messenger of God?
At the age of 40, while engaged in a meditative retreat, Muhammad received his first revelation from God through the Angel Gabriel. This revelation, which continued for twenty-three years, is known as the Quran. As soon as he began to recite the words he heard from Gabriel, and to preach the truth which God had revealed to him, he and his small group of followers suffered bitter persecution, which grew so fierce that in the year 622 God gave them the command to emigrate. This event, the Hijra, ‘migration’, in which they left Makkah for the city of Madinah some 260 miles to the north, marks the beginning of the Muslim calendar. After several years, the Prophet and his followers were able to return to Makkah, where they forgave their enemies and established Islam definitively. Before the Prophet died at the age of 63, the greater part of Arabia was Muslim, and within a century of his death Islam had spread to Spain in the West and as far East as China.
How did the spread of Islam affect the world?
Among the reasons for the rapid and peaceful spread of Islam was the simplicity of its doctrine – Islam calls for faith in only One God worthy of worship. It also repeatedly instructs man to use his powers of intelligence and observation. Within a few years, great civilizations and universities were flourishing, for according to the Prophet, ‘seeking knowledge is an obligation for every Muslim man and woman’. The synthesis of Eastern and Western ideas and of new thought with old, brought about great advances in medicine, mathematics, physics, astronomy, geography, architecture, art, literature, and history. Many crucial systems such as algebra, the Arabic numerals, and also the concept of the zero (vital to the advancement of mathematics), were transmitted to medieval Europe from Islam. Sophisticated instruments which were to make possible the European voyages of discovery were developed, including the astrolabe, the quadrant and good navigational maps.
What is the Quran?
The Quran is a record of the exact words revealed by God through the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad. It was memorized by Muhammad and then dictated to his Companions, and written down by scribes, who cross-checked it during his lifetime. Not one word of its 114 chapters, Suras, has been changed over the centuries, so that the Quran is in every detail the unique and miraculous text which was revealed to Muhammad fourteen centuries ago.
What is the Quran about?
The Quran, the last revealed Word of God, is the prime source of every Muslim’s faith and practice. It deals with all the subjects which concern us as human beings: wisdom, doctrine, worship, and law, but its basic theme is the relationship between God and His creatures. At the same time it provides guidelines for a just society, proper human conduct and an equitable economic system.
Are there any other sacred sources?
Yes, the sunna, the practice and example of the Prophet, is the second authority for Muslims. A hadith is a reliably transmitted report of what the Prophet said, did, or approved. Belief in the sunna is part of the Islamic faith. Examples of the Prophet’s sayings The Prophet said: ‘God has no mercy on one who has no mercy for others.’ ‘None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.’ ‘He who eats his fill while his neighbor goes without food is not a believer.’ ‘The truthful and trusty businessman is associated with the prophets the saints, and the martyrs.’ ‘Powerful is not he who knocks the other down, indeed powerful is he who controls himself in a fit of anger.’ ‘God does not judge according to your bodies and appearances but He scans your hearts and looks into your deeds.’ ‘A man walking along a path felt very thirsty. Reaching a well he descended into it, drank his fill and came up. Then he saw a dog with its tongue hanging out, trying to lick up mud to quench its thirst. The man saw that the dog was feeling the same thirst as he had felt so he went down into the well again and filled his shoe with water and gave the dog a drink. God forgave his sins for this action.’ The Prophet was asked: ‘Messenger of God, are we rewarded for kindness towards animals?’ He said, ‘There is a reward for kindness to every living thing.’ From the hadith collections of Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi and Bayhaqi.
What are the ‘Five Pillars’ of Islam?
“There is no god worthy of worship except God and Muhammad is His messenger.” This declaration of faith is called the Shahada, a simple formula which all the faithful pronounce. In Arabic, the first part is: La ilaha illa Llah – ‘there is no god except God’; ilaha (god) can refer to anything which we may be tempted to put in place of God – wealth, power, and the like. Then comes illa Llah: ‘except God’, the source of all Creation. The second part of the Shahada is Muhammadun rasulu’Llah: ‘Muhammad is the messenger of God.’ A message of guidance has come through a man like ourselves.
Salat is the name for the obligatory prayers which are performed five times a day, and are a direct link between the worshipper and God. There is no hierarchical authority in Islam, and no priests, so the prayers are led by a learned person who knows the Quran, chosen by the congregation. These five prayers contain verses from the Quran, and are said in Arabic, the language of the Revelation, but personal supplication can be offered in one’s own language. Prayers are said at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and nightfall, and thus determine the rhythm of the entire day. Although it is preferable to worship together in a mosque, a Muslim may pray almost anywhere, such as in fields, offices, factories and universities. Visitors to the Muslim world are struck by the centrality of prayers in daily life. A translation of the Call to Prayer is: God is most great. God is most great. God is most great. God is most great. I testify that there is no god except God. I testify that there is no god except God. I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of God. I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of God. Come to prayer! Come to prayer! Come to success (in this life and the Hereafter)! Come to success! God is most great. God is most great. There is no god except God.
One of the most important principles of Islam is that all things belong to God, and that wealth is therefore held by human beings in trust. The word zakat means both ‘purification’ and ‘growth’. Our possessions are purified by setting aside a proportion for those in need, and, like the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth. Each Muslim calculates his or her own zakat individually. For most purposes this involves the payment each year of two and a half percent of one’s capital. A pious person may also give as much as he or she pleases as sadaqa, and does so preferably in secret. Although this word can be translated as ‘voluntary charity’ it has a wider meaning. The Prophet said ‘even meeting your brother with a cheerful face is charity.’ The Prophet said: ‘Charity is a necessity for every Muslim.’ He was asked: ‘What if a person has nothing?’ The Prophet replied: ‘He should work with his own hands for his benefit and then give something out of such earnings in charity.’ The Companions asked: ‘What if he is not able to work?’ The Prophet said: ‘He should help poor and needy persons.’ The Companions further asked ‘What if he cannot do even that?’ The Prophet said ‘He should urge others to do good.’ The Companions said ‘What if he lacks that also?’ The Prophet said ‘He should check himself from doing evil. That is also charity.’
Every year in the month of Ramadan, all Muslims fast from first light until sundown, abstaining from food, drink, and sexual relations. Those who are sick, elderly, or on a journey, and women who are pregnant or nursing are permitted to break the fast and make up an equal number of days later in the year. If they are physically unable to do this, they must feed a needy person for every day missed. Children begin to fast (and to observe the prayer) from puberty, although many start earlier. Although the fast is most beneficial to the health, it is regarded principally as a method of self purification. By cutting oneself off from worldly comforts, even for a short time, a fasting person gains true sympathy with those who go hungry as well as growth in one’s spiritual life.
- PILGRIMAGE (Hajj):
The annual pilgrimage to Makkah – the Hajj – is an obligation only for those who are physically and financially able to perform it. Nevertheless, over two million people go to Makkah each year from every corner of the globe providing a unique opportunity for those of different nations to meet one another. Although Makkah is always filled with visitors, the annual Hajj begins in the twelfth month of the Islamic year (which is lunar, not solar, so that Hajj and Ramadan fall sometimes in summer, sometimes in winter). Pilgrims wear special clothes: simple garments which strip away distinctions of class and culture, so that all stand equal before God. The rites of the Hajj, which are of Abrahamic origin, include circling the Ka’ba seven times, and going seven times between the mountains of Safa and Marwa as did Hagar during her search for water. Then the pilgrims stand together on the wide plain of Arafa and join in prayers for God’s forgiveness, in what is often thought of as a preview of the Last Judgment. In previous centuries the Hajj was an arduous undertaking. Today, however, Saudi Arabia provides millions of people with water, modern transport, and the most up-to-date health facilities. The close of the Hajj is marked by a festival, the Eid al-Adha, which is celebrated with prayers and the exchange of gifts in Muslim communities everywhere. This, and the Eid al-Fitr, a feast-day commemorating the end of Ramadan, are the main festivals of the Muslim calendar.
Does Islam tolerate other beliefs?
The Quran says: God forbids you not, with regards to those who fight you not for [your] faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them; for God loveth those who are just. (Quran 60:8) It is one function of Islamic law to protect the privileged status of minorities, and this is why non-Muslim places of worship have flourished all over the Islamic world. History provides many examples of Muslim tolerance towards other faiths: when the caliph Omar entered Jerusalem in the year 634, Islam granted freedom of worship to all religious communities in the city. Islamic law also permits non-Muslim minorities to set up their own courts, which implement family laws drawn up by the minorities themselves.
What do Muslims think about Jesus?
Muslims respect and revere Jesus, and await his Second Coming. They consider him one of the greatest of God’s messengers to mankind. A Muslim never refers to him simply as ‘Jesus’, but always adds the phrase ‘upon him be peace’. The Quran confirms his virgin birth (a chapter of the Quran is entitled ‘Mary’), and Mary is considered the purest woman in all creation. The Quran describes the Annunciation as follows: ‘Behold!’ the Angel said, ‘God has chosen you, and purified you, and chosen you above the women of all nations. O Mary, God gives you good news of a word from Him, whose name shall be the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, honored in this world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near to God. He shall speak to the people from his cradle and in maturity, and shall be of the righteous.’ She said: ‘O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me?’ He said: ‘Even so; God creates what He will. When He decrees a thing, He says to it, “Be!” and it is.’ (Quran 3:42-47) Jesus was born miraculously through the same power which had brought Adam into being without a father: Truly, the likeness of Jesus with God is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, and then said to him, ‘Be!’ and he was. (Quran 3:59) During his prophetic mission Jesus performed many miracles. The Quran tells us that he said: I have come to you with a sign from your Lord: I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it and it becomes a bird by God’s leave. And I heal the blind, and the lepers and I raise the dead by God’s leave. (Quran 3:49) Neither Muhammad nor Jesus came to change the basic doctrine of the belief in One God, brought by earlier prophets, but to confirm and renew it. In the Quran Jesus is reported as saying that he came: To attest the law which was before me. And to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden to you; I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear God and obey Me. (Quran 3:5O) The Prophet Muhammad said: Whoever believes there is no god but God, alone without partner, that Muhammad is His messenger, that Jesus is the servant and messenger of God, His word breathed into Mary and a spirit emanating from Him, and that Paradise and Hell are true, shall be received by God into Heaven. (Hadith from Bukhari)
Why is the family so important to Muslims?
The family is the foundation of Islamic society. The peace and security offered by a stable family unit is greatly valued, and seen as essential for the spiritual growth of its members. A harmonious social order is created by the existence of extended families; children are treasured, and rarely leave home until the time they marry.
What about Muslim women?
Islam sees a woman, whether single or married, as an individual in her own right, with the right to own and dispose of her property and earnings. A marriage dowry is given by the groom to the bride for her own personal use, and she keeps her own family name rather than taking her husband’s. Both men and women are expected to dress in a way which is modest and dignified; the traditions of female dress found in some Muslim countries are often the expression of local customs. The Messenger of God said: ‘The most perfect in faith amongst believers is he who is best in manner and kindest to his wife.’
Can a Muslim have more than one wife?
The religion of Islam was revealed for all societies and all times and so accommodates widely differing social requirements. Circumstances may warrant the taking of another wife but the right is granted, according to the Quran, only on condition that the husband is scrupulously fair.
Is Islamic marriage like Christian marriage?
A Muslim marriage is not a ‘sacrament’, but a simple, legal agreement in which either partner is free to include conditions. Marriage customs thus vary widely from country to country. As a result, divorce is not common, although it is not forbidden as a last resort. According to Islam, no Muslim girl can be forced to marry against her will: her parents will simply suggest young men they think may be suitable.
How do Muslims treat the elderly?
In the Islamic world there are no old people’s homes. The strain of caring for one’s parents in this most difficult time of their lives is considered an honor and blessing, and an opportunity for great spiritual growth. God asks that we not only pray for our parents, but act with limitless compassion, remembering that when we were helpless children they preferred us to themselves. Mothers are particularly honored: the Prophet taught that ‘Paradise lies at the feet of mothers’. When they reach old age, Muslim parents are treated mercifully, with the same kindness and selflessness. In Islam, serving one’s parents is a duty second only to prayer, and it is their right to expect it. It is considered despicable to express any irritation when, through no fault of their own, the old become difficult. The Quran says: ‘Your Lord has commanded that you worship none but Him, and be kind to parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, do not say ‘uff to them or chide them, but speak to them in terms of honor and kindness. Treat them with humility, and say, ‘My Lord! Have mercy on them, for they did care for me when I was little’. (17:23-4)
How do Muslims view death?
Like Jews and Christians, Muslims believe that the present life is only a trial preparation for the next realm of existence. Basic articles of faith include: the Day of Judgment, resurrection, Heaven and Hell. When a Muslim dies, he or she is washed, usually by a family member, wrapped in a clean white cloth, and buried with a simple prayer preferably the same day. Muslims consider this one of the final services they can do for their relatives, and an opportunity to remember their own brief existence here on earth. The Prophet taught that three things can continue to help a person even after death; charity which he had given, knowledge which he had taught and prayers on their behalf by a righteous child.
What does Islam say about war?
Like Christianity, Islam permits fighting in self-defense, in defense of religion, or on the part of those who have been expelled forcibly from their homes. It lays down strict rules of combat which include prohibitions against harming civilians and against destroying crops, trees and livestock. As Muslims see it, injustice would be triumphant in the world if good men were not prepared to risk their lives in a righteous cause. The Quran says: Fight in the cause of God against those who fight you, but do not transgress limits. God does not love transgressors. (2:190) If they seek peace, then seek you peace. And trust in God for He is the One that heareth and knoweth all things. (8:61) War, therefore, is the last resort, and is subject to the rigorous conditions laid down by the sacred law. The term jihad literally means ‘struggle’, and Muslims believe that there are two kinds of jihad. The other ‘jihad’ is the inner struggle which everyone wages against egotistic desires, for the sake of attaining inner peace.
What about food?
Although much simpler than the dietary law followed by Jews and the early Christians, the code which Muslims observe forbids the consumption of pig meat or any kind of intoxicating drink. The Prophet taught that ‘your body has rights over you’, and the consumption of wholesome food and the leading of a healthy lifestyle are seen as religious obligations. The Prophet said: ‘Ask God for certainty [of faith] and well-being; for after certainty, no one is given any gift better than health!’
How does Islam guarantee human rights?
Freedom of conscience is laid down by the Quran itself: ‘There is no compulsion in religion’. (2:256) The life and property of all citizens in an Islamic state are considered sacred whether a person is Muslim or not. Racism is incomprehensible to Muslims, for the Quran speaks of human equality in the following terms: O mankind! We created you from a single soul, male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may come to know one another. Truly, the most honored of you in God’s sight is the greatest of you in piety. God is All-Knowing, All Aware (49:13)
Islam in the United States
It is almost impossible to generalize about American Muslims: converts, immigrants, factory workers, doctors; all are making their own contribution to America’s future. This complex community is unified by a common faith, underpinned by a countrywide network of a thousand mosques. Muslims were early arrivals in North America. By the eighteenth century there were many thousands of them, working as slaves on plantations. These early communities, cut off from their heritage and families, inevitably lost their Islamic identity as time went by. Today many Afro-American Muslims play an important role in the Islamic community. The nineteenth century, however, saw the beginnings of an influx of Arab Muslims, most of whom settled in the major industrial centers where they worshipped in hired rooms. The early twentieth century witnessed the arrival of several hundred thousand Muslims from Eastern Europe: the first Albanian mosque was opened in Maine in 1915; others soon followed, and a group of Polish Muslims opened a mosque in Brooklyn in 1928. In 1947 the Washington Islamic Center was founded during the term of President Truman, and several nationwide organizations were set up in the fifties. The same period saw the establishment of other communities whose lives were in many ways modeled after Islam. More recently, numerous members of these groups have entered the fold of Muslim orthodoxy. Today there are about five million Muslims in America.
The Muslim World
The Muslim population of the world is around one billion. 30% of Muslims live in the Indian subcontinent, 20% in Sub-Saharan Africa, 17% in Southeast Asia, 18% in the Arab World, 10% in the Soviet Union and China. Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan comprise 10% of the non-Arab Middle East. Although there are Muslim minorities in almost every area, including Latin America and Australia, they are most numerous in the Soviet Union, India, and central Africa. There are 5 million Muslims in the United States. O mankind! We created you from a single soul, male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may come to know one another. Truly, the most honored of you in God’s sight is the greatest of you in piety. God is All-Knowing, All-Aware. (Quran 49:13)
Shahadah – The 1st Pillar of Islam
لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الله
La ilaha il Allah, Muhammad-ur-Rasool-Allah
(None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah)
Shahada has three aspects A,B and C
[A] To be a muslim is to pledge the above covenant with Allah, the Creator of the heavens and earth, the Ruler of all that exists, the Lord of Majesty and Highness, stating La ilaha il Allah, Muhammad -ur-Rasool-Allah, but first one must understand what this means.
Believing “La ilaha il Allah” (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah)
Point 1: Tauhid-ar-Rububiyya
- A confession with your heart that the Creator (of everything) is Allah, subhana watala, it is that you have to say: “I testify that the Creator of all the universe, including the stars, the planets, the sun, the moon, the heavens, the earth with all its known and unknown forms of life, is Allah. He is the Organizer and Planner of all its affairs. It is He Who gives life and death, and He (i.e. Allah Alone) is the Sustainer, and the Giver of Security, etc.” And this is called your confession for the “Oneness of the Lordship of Allah,” Tauhid-ar-Rububiyya.
Point 2: Tauhid-al-Uluhiyya
- A confession with your heart that you have to say: “I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah Alone.” The word “Worship” (i.e. Ibadah) carries a great number of meanings in the Arabic language: It conveys that all kinds of worship are meant for Allah (and none else, whether it be an angel, Messenger, Prophet Jesus – son of Mary, Ezra, Muhammad, saint, idol, the sun, the moon and all other kinds of false deities). So pray to none but Allah, invoke none but Allah, ask for help from none (unseen) but Allah, swear by none but Allah, offer an animal as sacrifice to none but Allah, etc. and that means, — all that Allah and Allah’s Messenger, saaws, order you to do (in Qur’an and in As-Sunna [legal ways of Prophet Muhammad ]) you must do, and all that Allah, s.w.t, Allah’s Messenger forbid you, you must not do. And this is called (your confession for the) “Oneness of the worship of Allah”, Tauhid-al-Uluhiyya. And that you (mankind) worship none but Allah, subhana watala.
Those whom they invoke besides Allâh have not created anything, but are themselves created. [The Noble Qur’an 16:20]
Point 3: Tauhid-al-Asma was-Sifat
- A confession with your heart that you have to say: “O Allah! I testify that all the best of names and the most perfect qualities with which You have named or qualified Yourself in Your Book (i.e. the Qur’an) or as Your Prophet Muhammad (saaws) has named or qualified You, with his statement, I confirm that all those (names and qualifications) are for You without changing their meanings or neglecting them completely or giving resemblance to others.“
As Allah, swt, said: “There is nothing like unto Him and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.” (v.42:11)
- This holy Ayat (verse) confirms the quality of hearing and the quality of sight for Allah, subhana watala without resemblance to others, and likewise.
Allah, subhana watala, also said: “To one whom I have created with Both My Hands,” (v.38:75)
- And Allah also said: “The Hand of Allah is over their hands.” (v. 48:10)
- This confirms two Hands for Allah (SWT), but there is no similarity for them. Similarly Allah, swt, said: “The Most Beneficent (Allah) Istawa (rose over) the (Mighty) Throne.” (v.20:5)
Believing “Muhammad-ur-Rasool-Allah” (Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah)”
- A confession with your heart that you have to say: “O Allah! I testify that Muhammad is Your Messenger.” That means that none has the right to be followed after Allah, but Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, as he is the last of Allah’s Messengers. As Allah said:
“Muhammad (saaws) is not the father of any man among you but he is the Messenger of Allah and the last (end) of the Prophets and Allah is Ever All-Aware of everything.” (v. 33:40).
“And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad, saaws, gives you, take it and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain from it.” (v. 59:7)
- And Allah said: “Say (O Muhammad to mankind): ‘If you (really) love Allah, then follow me.’” (v. 3:31)
As for others than Muhammad, their statements are to be taken or rejected as to whether these are in accordance with Allah’s Book (i.e. the Qur’an) or with the Sunna (legal ways, orders, acts of worship, statements, etc.) of the Prophet, saaws, i.e. Sunna or not. As the Divine Inspiration has stopped after the death of Muhammad , and it will not resume except at the time of the Descent of Jesus, son of Mary and he (i.e. Jesus) will rule with justice according to the Islamic laws, during the last days of the world as it has been mentioned in the authentic Hadith (i.e. narration) of Prophet Muhammad in Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 3, Hadith No. 425.
[B] It is essential to utter, La ilaha ill Allah, Muhammad-ur-Rasul Allah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and Muhammad s.a.a.w.s. is the Messenger of Allah, s.w.t). As it has come in the statement of Prophet Muhammad to his uncle Abu Talib at the time of the latter’s death: “O uncle, if you utter it (La ilaha ill Allah, Muhammad-ur-Rasul Allah), then I shall be able to argue on your behalf before Allah, on the Day of Resurrection.” Similarly, when Abu Dhar Al-Ghiffari embraced Islam, he went to Al-Masjid-al-Haram and he proclaimed it loudly in front of the Quraish infidels until he was beaten severely.
[C] It is essential that the limbs and all other parts and organs of one’s body testify to it, and this is very important as regards its meaning (i.e. the meaning of La ilaha ill Allah, Muhammad-ur-Rasul Allah). So whoever has confessed this (with his or her Lord), he shall not commit sins like robbing, killing, stealing, illegal sexual intercourse, eating pig meat, drinking alcoholic beverages, taking undue advantage of orphan’s property, cheating in trade, bribery and earning money through illegal means, telling lies, back-biting etc., or otherwise the limbs, all other parts and organs of his body will testify against him that he was a liar in his words which he pledged to Allah, swt. In case he commits the above sins, he should know that it is a sin that obliges him to repent to Allah, swt, and ask Allah’s Forgiveness, as (his) body parts (i.e. skin, private parts, hands, tongue, ears, etc.) will testify to the above mentioned crimes (i.e. actions) against his self on the Day of Resurrection.
And with the confession of this great sentence (i.e. principle) a person enters in the fold of (i.e. embraces) the Islamic religion accordingly. It is essential for him to believe in all the Messengers of Allah (peace be upon them all) and not to differentiate between them. As it is mentioned in Allah’s Book (Qur’an):
“Do then those who disbelieve think that they can take My slaves (i.e. the angels; Allah’s Messengers; Jesus, son of Mary, etc.) as ‘Auliya (lords gods, protectors supporters etc.) besides Me? Verily We have prepared Hell as an entertainment for the disbelievers (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism). Say (O Muhammad ); ‘Shall We tell you the greatest losers in respect of (their) deeds?’ Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life, while they thought they were acquiring good by their deeds?“
“They are those who deny the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of their Lord and the meeting with Him (in the Hereafter). So their works are in vain, and on the Day of Resurrection, We shall not give them any weight.“
“That shall be their recompense, Hell; because they disbelieved and took my Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, revelations, etc.) and My Messengers by way of jest and mockery.“
“Verily! Those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds, they shall have the Gardens of Al-Firdaus (Paradise) for their entertainment.“
“Wherein they shall dwell (forever). No desire will they have to be removed therefrom.“
“Say (O Muhammad to mankind): If the sea were ink for (writing) the Words of my Lord, surely the sea would be exhausted, before the Words of my Lord would be finished even if We brought (another sea) like it for its said.“
“Say (O Muhammad ): I am only a man like you, it has been inspired to me that your Ilah (God) is One Ilah (God, –i.e. Allah). So whoever hopes for the meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.” (v. 18:102-110).
What are some of the other basics of becoming a Muslim?
The acceptance of the righteous deeds (such as your Shahada/confession to become a muslim) is stipulated with the following two basic conditions which must be fulfilled:
- The intentions while doing such deeds must be totally for Allah’s sake only without any show off or gaining praise or fame, etc.
- Such a deed must be performed in accordance with the As-Sunnah (legal ways, orders, acts of worship, statements, etc.) of Allah’s Messenger Muhammad bin ‘Abdullah, the last (end) of all the Prophets and the Messengers, saaws.
You are only held accountable for that which you know. And you are also held accountable to make the time to learn that which you don’t know, in areas you know you need to learn about.
So, if you are not a muslim, it is your responsibility to seek the knowledge of Al-Islam, to ask questions about things you do not understand or agree with regarding the basic fundamental beliefs of Islam (as explained above).
What should I do after becoming a muslim? Immediately upon becoming a muslim, you should take a bath or shower (i.e. Ghusl).
If able, you should then offer a two Rak’at prayer. Then you must study and act upon the five principles (pillars) of Islam, and study and believe in the six articles of Faith. The Five Pillars of Islam (or the five basic duties of a Muslim):
- To testify La ilaha ill Allah wa anna Muhammad-ur-Rasul-Allah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger).
- To offer the (compulsory congregational) prayers dutifully and perfectly (Iqamat-as-Salat, i.e. Salah).
Says al-Khattabi, “Basically, one’s prayer does not suffice if he does not recite al-Fatihah. If one can recite neither al-Fatihah nor other portions of the Qur’an, he should recite at least seven verses of a similar meaning from the Qur’an. If he can not learn any part of the Qur’an (due to some innate inability, poor memory, or because it’s a foreign language), he should say the tasbeeh (Subhaan Allah – Glory be to Allah), the tamheed (al-Hamdu lillah – All praise is due to Allah), and tahleel (La ilaha illal-lah – There is no God except Allah). It is related that he said, “The best remembrance after the speech of Allah is Subhaan Allah, al-Hamdu lillah, La ilaha illal-lah and Allahu akbar.” This is supported by Rafa’ah ibn Rafa’, who narrated that the Prophet said, “If you have something from the Qur’an, recite it. If not, then say the tamheed, takbir and the tahleel and then bow.” [This hadith is related by Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasa’i and al-Baihaqi. The former considers it as hassan]
- To pay Zakat (a specific charity paid yearly for the benefit of poor Muslims; 2.5% of wealth).
- To perform Hajj. (i.e. pilgrimage to Makka).
- To observe fast during the month of Ramadan.
The Six articles of Faith, (found in Sahih Muslim) are the belief in:
To believe in the ONENESS of Allah, swt. (i.e. Tauhid-ar-Rububiyya, Tauhid-al-Uluhiyya, Tauhid-al-Asma was-Sifat). Part of the belief in Allah is the belief in all that with which He has described Himself in His Book or with which His Prophet (peace be upon him) has described Him without any distortion, negation, speculation (as to the exact nature of these attributes), nor analogy (i.e. between Allah’s attributes and those of His creation bearing the same names)
§ The Jahmiy (follower of the deviations of Al-Jahm ibn Safwan) negates Allah’s statement about himself that he “sat on the throne” by adding an extra letter to the word in the Qur’an
[Istawaa ‘alaa al-‘arsh] innovated to [Istawlaa ‘alaa al-‘arsh]
§ The innovators who changed the case of a noun in the Qur’an in an effort to negate Allah’s attribute of speech:
§ [Wa kallama Allahu Musa takleeman] innovated to [Wa kallama Allaha Musa takleeman]
§ Others distorted meanings of Allah’s attributes without actually changing the words. Examples include those who said that Allah’s anger (Ghadhab) means His intention to punish, His mercy (Rahma) means his intention to have mercy, His hand (Yad) is His generosity or His power, etc.
- Negation/Denial (At Ta’teel)
§ Negation of the Exalted Perfection of Allah Most High via the negation of His Names and Glorious Attributes.
§ Negation through negation of appropriate interaction with Allah and neglect of worship of Him and obedience to Him, or the association of others with Him in acts of worship and/or obedience.
§ Negation of the relationship of the creation to its Creator, such as the negation of the philosophers who claimed that this physical universe has no beginning, and that it has always and will always work according to its own internal rules. They turn Allah into an essence with no attributes – which is an impossibility.
- Speculation and Analogy (At-Takyeef wa At-Tamtheel)
§ At-Takyeef means attempts to ascribe a detailed understanding of the exact nature of the various attributes with which Allah has described Himself. Just use the words and understanding given in the Qur’an and not your own philosophies as to what Allah is.
§ At-Tamtheel means to make a direct comparison or analogy between one of Allah’s attributes and a human attribute having the same name, such as the comparison of Isa (Jesus) by the Christians to Allah Most High, or that of Uzair by the Jews or that of the idols by the polytheists to Allah Most High. Likewise the Mushabbiha among the Muslims who compare Allah with His creation by saying that He has a face like our faces, hands like our hands, hearing and sight like ours, etc.
- Allah’s Angels
- Angels are real beings, not illusions, a metaphysical force, or figments of human imagination. They are created from light.
- A Muslim must believe specifically in all the angels named and/or described in the Qur’an and the Sunnah:
- Jibreel (“Gabriel”): in charge of delivering revelation.
- Mika’il: in charge of bringing the rain.
- Israfil: the blower of the horn on Qiyama (Judgement Day).
- Malik-ul-Maut: the Angel of Death who takes people’s souls at death.
- The Noble Recorders: those who record people’s actions.
- The Protectors (Al-Mu’aqqibat): who keep people from death until its decreed time.
- Ridhwan: in charge of Paradise.
- Malik: in charge of Hell.
- Munkar and Nakir: the questioners in the grave.
- The Carriers of the Throne.
- Those who record the future of the fetus.
- Those who enter the Haram: 70,000 every day.
- Those who move about, descending upon gatherings at which Allah and His Book are mentioned and studied.
- Belief in the angels is an integral part of iman (faith). [See 2/285 Al-Baqarah]
- Kufr (disbelief) with respect to the angels is kufr (a state of disbelief). [See 4/136 An-Nisaa]
- Allah’s Angels Belief in the prophets, prayers and salutations of Allah be upon them. Belief in the process of prophethood.
- Allah in His wisdom did not neglect His creation.
- Prophets sent to guide us in this life and the next.
- Specific belief in the 25 prophets named in the Qur’an: (1) Adam, (2) Nuh, (3) Idris, (4) Saleh, (5) Ibrahim, (6) Hud, (7) Lut, (8) Yunus, (9) Isma’il, (10) Is-haq, (11) Ya’qub, (12) Yusuf, (13) Ayub, (14) Shu’aib, (15) Musa, (16) Harun, (17) Alyas’, (18) Dhu Al-Kifl, (19) Daud, (20) Zakariya, (21) Sulaiman, (22) Ilyas, (23) Yahya, (24) Isa, and (25) Muhammad, prayers and salutations of Allah be upon him and upon all the messengers of Allah.
- General belief that there are many other prophets and messengers, but never assuming anything without knowledge from Allah (i.e. Qur’an and Sunnah).
The subject matter of the prophethood.
- Warnings and glad tidings.
- So the disobedient will have no excuse before Allah. (Prophets sent to every nation)
- Enjoining the worship of Allah and the avoidance of At-Taghoot (Shaitaan, etc.) [Study: 4/165, An-Nisaa; 16/36, An-Nahl]
Attributes of the Prophet Muhammad:
- Seal of the prophets; Imam of the pious; Foremost among the sons of Adam; Imam and Khatib of the prophets when they assembled; Possessor of the Praiseworthy Position which all of mankind will wish they had attained (and which is mentioned in the Du’a of hearing the adhan); Owner of the pool in paradise; Intercessor for all mankind on the day of Qiyama (Judgement Day).
- Allah sent him with the best of the books and the best of His law. Allah made his nation “the best nation brought forth for mankind.” Allah gave him (and us) all of the good that was given only partially to the previous nations. His nation is the last in creation, the first in resurrection.
- From the moment of his prophethood, Allah made him the criterion (Al-Farooq) for distinguishing Allah’s allies and their actions from His enemies and their actions: None can have any relationship to Allah except through belief in the Prophet (sas) and following what he brought in public and in secret. Whoever claims love or closeness to Allah while disobeying the message is actually drawing closer to Shaitaan, farther from Allah.
- Allah’s revealed Books Muslims should have general belief in the phenomenon of the sending of the revealed books. Keep in mind, all the revealed books were allowed by Allah to be corrupted, except the Qur’an.
- As-Suhuf of Ibrahim (Abraham) and Musa (Moses).
- Az-Zaboor given to Daud (David).
- At-Taurat (The Torah) revealed to Musa.
- Al-Injeel revealed to Isa (Jesus).
- Al-Qur’an – the final revelation.
- Flawless and untampered with: [See 41/42 Fusilat]
- The final authority over any remnants of the previous books. [See 5/48 Al-Maidah]
- A guidance and a mercy. [See 10/37 Yunus]
The Qur’an must be followed and applied. [See 6/155 Al-An’aam]
- The Day of Resurrection (Qiyama)
Belief in the resurrection (Al-Ba’th). Reconstruction of the body and return of the soul to it. People will come forth out of their graves like locusts. Faces bent down. Rushing to the Caller. [See 53/76 Al-Qamar; 70/43 Al-Ma’arij; 17/49 Al-Israa; 36/78 Yasin; 20/108 Taha]
The resurrection is of the body and the soul, not some metaphysical resurrection of the latter.
“The sun will come down toward the people on the day of Qiyama until it is only about a mile up. The people will be in their own perspiration according to their acts: some of them will be in it up to their ankles, some up to their groin and others up to their chins, and he pointed to his mouth.” [Hadith – Narrated by Muslim]
A disbeliever once came to the Prophet (saws) with an old bone, crumbled it with his hand and said: “O Muhammad, will Allah bring this back to life after it has rotted?! The Prophet said: “Yes, Allah will resurrect this and he will cause you to die, bring you back to life, and put you into the fire of Jahannam!“
A Muslim believes in Allah’s predestination of all things and events (Qadhaa), His decree (Qadar), His wisdom in His actions, and His will. Nothing in the universe can occur, even the voluntary actions of His slaves, except after Allah’s knowledge, and His decree of that event. A Muslim further believes that Allah is Just in His predestination and His decree, Wise in all of His actions. His wisdom follows His will: Whatever He wills is, and whatever He does not will is not. There is no power nor any movement except by Allah. This is substantiated by the textual and logical proofs which follow:
Allah (glory and praise to Allah) informed us of this in the Qur’an:
- Verily, We have created all things with Qadar (Divine Preordainments of all things before their creation, as written in the Book of Decrees Al-Lauh Al-Mahfûz). [Qur’an 54/49]
- And there is not a thing, but with Us are the stores thereof. And We send it not down except in a known measure. [Qur’an 15/21]
- No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but is inscribed in the Book of Decrees (Al-Lauh Al-Mahfûz), before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allâh. [Qur’an 57/22]
- No calamity befalls, but with the Leave [i.e. decision and Qadar (Divine Preordainments)] of Allâh, and whosoever believes in Allâh, He guides his heart [to the true Faith with certainty, i.e. what has befallen him was already written for him by Allâh from the Qadar (Divine Preordainments)], and Allâh is the All-Knower of everything.[Qur’an 64/11]
- And with Him are the keys of the Ghaib (all that is hidden), none knows them but He. And He knows whatever there is in (or on) the earth and in the sea; not a leaf falls, but he knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record.[Qur’an 6/59]
- Evidence also in: Quran 9/51, 7/43, 21/101, 18/39, 81/27-29
The Prophet (saws) has informed us about the reality of Allah’s predestination and decree in many hadith:
- “Verily, each one of you is formed in his mother’s womb forty days as a drop, then he is something suspended for a similar period, then he is a piece of flesh like a chewed piece of meat for another period of forty days, then the angel is sent to insert the soul. This angel is ordered to record four things: the sustenance which he will receive during his lifetime, the length of his life, all actions that he will do, and whether he will end up miserable (in hell) or joyous (in paradise). I swear by the One other than whom there is no deity, one of you may do the works of the people of paradise right up until there is only an arm’s length between him and paradise, but his destiny overtakes him, so he does the actions of the poeple of the fire and enters it. And, verily, one of you may do the works of the people of hell until there is nothing between them and hell except for one arm’s length, but his destiny overtakes him, and so he does the works of the people of paradise, and enters it.” [Muslim]
- “Young man, I will teach you some words: Preserve (your obligations toward) Allah and He will preserve you. Guard (your obligations toward) Allah, and you will find Him on your side. When you ask, ask Allah. When you seek aid and succour, seek it from Allah. And know, that if the entire nation got together to benefit you in some way, they could never benefit you at all except for that which Allah had already decreed for you. And, if they all got together to harm you in some way, they could do you no harm except for that which Allah had already decreed for you. The pens have been lifted, and the tablets have dried.” [At-Tirmidhi, and he rated it Sahih]
- “The first thing which Allah created was the pen. Then, He said to it: Write. It asked: My Lord, what should I write? He said: Write the proportions of all things up until the Hour.” [Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi, and it is hassan]
- “Adam disputed with Musa. Musa said to Adam: “O, Adam, you are the father of the human race, Allah created you with His hand, and blew into you of His spirit, and made His angels prostrate to you, why did you expel yourself and us from the garden?” Adam said to him: “You are Musa whom Allah favored with His speech, and wrote for you the Taurah with His hand, so (tell me) by how many years before my creation did you find it written about me: [… then Adam disobeyed his Lord and got lost.] (Qur’an 20:121)? Musa said: “By forty years.” Then, Adam said: “So how do you blame me for something which Allah had decreed for me before my creation by forty years?” The Prophet said: “And so, Adam defeated Musa in the dispute.”
- “Act, for each of you will find easy that for which he was created.” (Muslim)
- “O, Abdullah ibn Qais, should I not teach you a word which is one of the treasures of paradise? (It is to say): There is no movement nor any power except from Allah.“
- “Someone said: That which Allah wants and you want. To which the Prophet (saws) replied: That which Allah alone wants.”[An-Nasaa’i, and he rated it sahih]
EVIDENCE OF REASON
Reason does not reject the idea of predestination and decree and of Allah’s wisdom and His will. Just the opposite, reason demands that this is the case without doubt because of the clear evidences of it in the universe around us.
Belief in Allah and in his perfect might and power demands the belief in His predestination and His decree, His wisdom and His will.
If, after becoming a muslim, all you know how to do is wudu (the ablution before salah), you do wudu 5 times a day and take the time out to study the prayer briefly or to do what part of it you DO know how to do. If you don’t know how to do wudu, then you do what you remember of it (starting with saying “bis mih Allah” [in the name of Allah] and washing your hands 3 times). You should also study how to do the entire salah regularly at a time separate than the time for salah, until you learn it.
So, regarding the 2 rakat of salah prayer that is done right after saying shahada, just like all the salahs, you cannot do it if you do not know how, so you just do that which you know. Allah swt knows your intentions, and no-one expects you to know how to do a single rakat before you’re a muslim nor to suddenly realize how once you JUST became a muslim.
Learning these things and more, will come in time, insha’Allah; just make it a priority to learn how to do salah. If your intentions are sincere, the proof will be that you learn salah soon after becoming a muslim. A muslim who abandons his/her salah abandons his religion and is in a state of disbelief (kufr), i.e. is no longer a muslim. So do not abandon learning the salah. But do not go to the other extreme and expect to learn everything overnight; exercise patience while you are trying to learn and do not be timid in humbly asking Muslims questions to achieve knowledge.
Expect to be corrected often by other Muslims, whether you’ve just become a muslim or have been one for years. This is because of our love for one another and our obedience to Allah swt, that we correct one another. We should remain humble and accept correction such as by saying, “Alhamdulilah” (“All praise is due to Allah alone”) and/or “JazakAllah” (“May Allah reward you) to the muslim correcting us. We should not correct others except when we are certain that our correction is right, and we should do so with kindness and using the speech of the Quran and Sunnah and not reformatted personal opinions.
The Qur’an is complete for our lives, providing a lifetime of learning and growing as a person… growing in submission to our Lord.
Insha’Allah (Allah willing), you may be blessed to say your shahada in the presence of another muslim, who can lead you in your first salah. If not, do not worry… you’re only held accountable for that which you know and for seeking out that which you don’t know yet are able to seek. For instance, a “mentally challenged” person is not held accountable to Allah swt for that which they cannot comprehend! Likewise with a baby.
It is important not to delay to become a muslim once you understand the shahada and agree with it — because you ARE held accountable for that which you do know! Act upon what you understand and trust Allah swt to guide you, protect you, and aid you in embracing the most beautiful way of life, the way that leads to peace… Islam.
Salah (Prayer) – The 2nd Pillar of Islam
So what’s YOUR excuse for Salaah??
By Asma bint Shameem
Prayer (Salaah) is one of the most important pillars of Islam, second only to the Shahaadah. It is also an individual obligation on each and every one of us.The Ulama say that whoever does not do it because he denies that it is obligatory or he does not do it because he is lazy and heedless, is a kaafir. Yet, there are innumerable excuses we come up with, to not pray, either on time or not pray at all.
Some of the most common excuses are:
- Excuse #1: Allah is al-Ghafoor ar-Raheem. He will forgive me.
Reply: Yes, surely Allaah is al-Ghafoor ar-Raheem but, did you forget, O Muslim, that He also said that He is ash-Shadeed ul-Iqaab (severe in punishment). “And fear Allaah much and know that Allaah is Severe in punishment.” (Surah al-Baqarah:196) And the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: “The covenant that stands between us and them (non-Muslims) is prayer; whoever gives up prayer is a kaafir.” (Tirmidhi, al-Nasaa’i, Ibn Maajah–saheeh).
- Excuse #2: I know I have to pray, but I am too tired/lazy.
Reply: Praying Salaat at its proper appointed times is an obligation on every single person. Whoever deliberately misses a prayer exposes himself to the wrath of Allaah, and the wise believer does not do something which he knows could result in punishment. Just look at what the people of Hell will say when asked: “What has caused you to enter Hell?” They will say: “We were not among those who prayed (Salaat).” [Surah al-Muddaththir: 42-43]
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: “Between a man and kufr and shirk, there stands his giving up prayer.” (Muslim)
Ibn Mas’ood said: “No one keeps away from the prayer except a hypocrite who is known for his hypocrisy.” (Muslim)
- Excuse #3: I am SO busy at work, I don’t have time to pray.
Reply: So you mean to tell me that you can’t take out even a few minutes out of the whole 24 hours to worship the very One Who created you in the first place??
You mean you don’t have time to thank the Lord of the worlds for everything He’s given you…..ALL His blessings??
What kind of ungrateful soul are you??!!
And if He wanted to take all these blessings away from you, is there anything, anything you could do?!!
“Men whom neither trade nor business diverts from the remembrance of Allaah nor from performing As-Salaat nor from giving Zakaat; they fear a Day when hearts and eyes will be overturned (out of the horror of the torment of the Day of Resurrection). That Allaah may reward them according to the best of their deeds, and add even more for them out of His Grace. And Allaah provides without measure to whom He wills.” [Surah al-Noor:37-38]
- Excuse #4: I pray; I just delay it until it is convenient for me or I pray it Qadaa.
Reply: You should understand that delaying prayer beyond the time when it is due is a major sin, because Allaah says: “Verily, As-Salaah (the prayer) is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours.” [Surah al-Nisa’:103]
And Allaah says: “So woe unto those performers of Salaah (prayers). Those who delay their Salaah (prayer from their stated fixed times).” [Surah al-Maa’oon :4,5]
- Excuse #5: My position/boss/ studies/does not allow me.
Reply: Remember that the Prophet (pbuh) mentioned about prayer one day and said: “Whoever observes it regularly, it will be light and a proof and salvation on the Day of Resurrection, and whoever does not observe it regularly, it will not be a light or a proof or salvation for him, and on the Day of Resurrection he will be with Qaroon, Firaun, Hamaan and Ubayy ibn Khalaf.” (Ahmad).
Ibn al-Qayyim said: These four people are mentioned because they are the leaders of kufr. This makes an important point about the one who does not observe regular prayer, whether that is because he is distracted by his wealth, his power, his position of leadership or his business. The one who is distracted from it by his wealth will be with Qaroon; the one who is distracted by his power will be with Firaun; the one who is distracted by his position of leadership will be with Hamaan and the one who is distracted by his business will be with Ubayy ibn Khalaf.
- Excuse #6: If I pray, I will be fired from my job!
Reply: Remember that it is not your boss, but Allah that provides RIZQ for you and me. If this job is keeping you away from the most important duty as a Muslim, is this job really worth it?
And whoever gives up something for the sake of Allaah,
Allaah will compensate him with something better than that.
“And whosoever fears Allaah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allaah, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allaah will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allaah has set a measure for all things.” [Talaaq:2-3]
- Excuse #7: I want to pray but my children are so young I can’t leave them and pray
Reply: “O you who believe! Let not your properties or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allaah. And whosoever does that, then they are the LOSERS.” (Surah al-Munaafiqoon: 9)
- Excuse #8: I can’t pray at my job/school/public place.I am too embarrassed /they will think I am a TERRORIST!
Reply: How can a Muslim feel embarrassed about proclaiming the truth and worshiping his Lord openly, hastening to fulfill the command of Allah at the time when Allah has said it is to be done?
Also, if you uphold your duty to pray, Allah will never let you down. He is the one to protect you and save you from all harm, no matter what anyone tries to plot against you.
Remember that the one who is protected by Allah, NO ONE CAN HARM. “Whoever works righteousness, whether male or female, while he (or she) is a true believer- verily, to him We will give a good life, and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do.” [Surah al-Nahl:97]
- Excuse #9: If I pray, people will think that I show off. So I don’t pray.
Reply: Just as the Shaytaan comes to the Muslim to make him admire his actions and show off to people, sometimes he uses the opposite trick and makes a person think that he is showing off while fulfilling his relogious obligations, so that he will not do it. So just ignore these whisperings from the Shaytaan and don’t let him keep you away from this major Ibadah. DO NOT let him win.
Ibraaheem al-Nakhaa’i said: “If the Shaytaan comes to you when you are praying and says, ‘You are showing off’, then you should make it even longer…“
“And if an evil whisper comes to you from Shaytaan, then seek refuge with Allah. Verily, He is All-Hearer, All-Knower.” [Surah al-Aa’raaf:200]
- Excuse #10: I have made/am making so many mistakes in my life, it is no use for me to pray. Allaah will never forgive me.
Reply: Now, this is another one of the tricks of Shaytaan.He does not want you to do Tawbah, because he knows, if you sincerely repent to Allaah for ALL that you have done, Allaah WILL FORGIVE YOU.
Allaah encourages us to do tauba when He said: “Say: ‘O My slaves, who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allaah, verily, Allaah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Surah al-Zumar:53]
Subhaan Allaah! How Forgiving is our Rabb and how Merciful! Isn’t this Ayah enough, even for the worst of sinners among us? And remember, doing good deeds wipes out sins.
“And perform As-Salaah, at the two ends of the day and in some hours of the night [i.e. the five compulsory prayers]. Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds.” [Surah Hood:114]
- Excuse #11: I don’t pray, but I have a good heart.
I am a good person and I never hurt anyone. Reply: The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: “The first matter that the slave will be brought to account for on the Day of Judgment is the prayer. If it is sound, then the rest of his deeds will be sound. And if it is bad, then the rest of his deeds will be bad.” (Tabarani).
So no matter what good deeds you did in this dunya, if you didn’t pray, nothing will count or even be accepted…. .no zakaah, no fasting, no Hajj, no nothing.
“Whoever does not pray ‘Asr, his good deeds will be annulled.” (Bukhaari).
- Excuse #12: But, I pray every Jumuah. Isn’t that enough?
Reply: With regard to the ruling on one who prays Jumuah only, some of the scholars are of the view that one who prays Jumuah only is a kaafir, because he comes under the same ruling as one who does not pray at all, because he prays only one of the thirty-five prayers required each week, so he is like one who does not pray at all. (Fatawa Shaykh ibn Baaz and Ibn Uthaymeen)
Some scholars said that he is not a kaafir but he is committing a great sin that is worse than riba (usury), adultery, stealing, drinking alcohol etc.
- Excuse #13: My spouse/parents don’t pray. Why should I??
Reply: Just because your family does something sinful, does not mean that you do the same. Remember, they will NOT be there to save you when Allaah will ask YOU about YOUR Salaah. In fact, your duty is to call them to Allah by advising them and setting a good example for them to follow.
“And enjoin al-Salaah on your family, and be patient in offering them [the prayers].. We ask not of you a provision; We provide for you. And the good end ( Paradise ) is for the muttaqoon (pious).” [Ta-Ha:132]
- Excuse #14: I will pray when I am older/after Hajj/ Ramadhan.
Reply: Do you want to be from these people that Allaah is talking about??
“Then, there has succeeded them a generation who have given up As-Salaah and have followed lusts. So they will be thrown in Hell.” [Maryam:59]
And, how do you know you will live to be older?
Or live until Hajj or Ramadhaan??
What if you die tomorrow?? What if it was today???
There can be no excuses as far as Salaah is concerned. We have to pray all the five prayers and all of them on time. “O you who believe! Fear Allaah, and be with those who are true (in words and deeds).” [al-Tawbah:119]
“Guard strictly the (five obligatory) prayers, especially the middle Salaat (˜Asr). And stand before Allaah with obedience.” [Surah al-Baqarah 2:238]
Al-Siyam (Fasting)The imposition of fasting, which means complete abstention from food and drink and sexual intercourse from sunrise until sunset during the month of Ramadan, is the third basic tenet of the Islamic religion. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Arabian calendar, which consists of twelve lunar months. Therefore, the Arabian lunar month is either twenty-nine or thirty days but never thirty-one days. Fasting in Ramadan, besides being a religious duty, is no doubt of great benefit as it trains one to be patient, wise, well disciplined and to share the feelings of others. Ramadan, traditionally held to be the month in which the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, received his first revelation and the month in which the Holy Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet, is considered particularly holy by Muslims.
Ramadan Checklist – a must readBy Imam Faisal AhmedHere are some tips to help you take advantage of this golden opportunity “Blessed Month of Ramadan.”
- Intend to fast every day with Iman and pure intention seeking the reward from Allah alone. “The Prophet peace be upon him said, ‘Whoever fasts in Ramadan with Iman and seeking reward (from Allah) his past sins will be forgiven’. (Bukhari) “
- Read the whole Qur’an at least once as the Prophet peace be upon him did.
- Have Suhoor as the Prophet peace be upon him said, “Have Suhoor because it is blessed”.
- Make Du’a during the fast because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said that three people’s supplication is not rejected, one of them is the fasting person.
- Make Dua before opening the fast. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The fasting person has a supplication that is answered when he opens his fast”.
- Give Sadaqah and be good to people. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was the most generous of people and he was most generous in Ramadan.
- Avoid anything that diminishes the fast such as, lying, backbiting, cheating, getting angry. The Prophet peace be upon him said “Whoever does not give up false statements (i.e. telling lies), and evil deeds, and speaking bad words to others, Allah is not in need of his (fasting) leaving his food and drink.” [Bukhari]
- Ask for forgiveness since this is the month Allah frees people from the fire.
- Pray At-Tarawih until the Imam finishes the Witr prayer, for the Prophet peace be upon him said, “Whoever prays with his Imam until he goes(leaves) it’s written as if he prayed the whole night.
- Feed the poor and invite others for Iftar. The Prophet peace be upon him said, “Whoever gives Iftar to someone fasting he will have the same reward without decreasing the reward of the person fasting”.
- Try harder the last ten nights especially the odd nights. The prophet would strive in Ramadan more than he would in any other month and more so in the last ten days. The best is to apply the Sunnah of Itikaf (to stay in the Masjid) these days or at least partial Itikaf in the odd nights.
- Say this Dua in the nights that Laylatul-Qadr is likely to fall on: Allhumma innaka afuwun tuhibbul-afwa fa’fu anni (O Allah you are Forgiving and love forgiveness so forgive me).
Spiritual Thoughts and CommitmentsI have decided the Primary GOAL for this Ramadan to:
To improve my Salah (Prayers), I have decided to:
- Be Allah consciousness and Increase Taqwa
- Build my character
- Increase my spirituality
- Purify my soul
To improve my relationship with Quran, I have decided to:
- Be punctual for prayers
- Avoid talking before Salah
- Improve concentration
- Increase my prostrations
I have decided to shun the following Munkar:
- Read the whole Quran at least once (Tilawat)
- Memorize a few Surahs (Aayaat)
- Learn to recite the Quran correctly
- Understand & ponder on its meanings
- Telling lies
- Speaking ill of others
- Losing my temper
- Vain talk
Fasting and Your HealthIftar:This meal could include dates, following the Prophetic traditions. Dates will provide a refreshing burst of much-needed energy. Fruit juices will also have a similar, revitalizing effect. The meal should remain a meal and not become a feast! Try to minimize the rich, fatty dishes that traditionally celebrate the fast.Suhoor:The pre-dawn meal should be a wholesome, moderate meal that is filling and provides enough energy for many hours. It is therefore particularly important to include slowly-digesting foods in the suhoor.Healthy Food:Complex carbohydrates are foods that will help release energy slowly during the long hours of fasting. Complex carbohydrates are found in grains and seeds, like barley, wheat, oats, millets, semolina, beans, lentils, whole meal flour, basmati rice, etc. Fiber-rich foods are also digested slowly and include bran, cereals, whole wheat, grains and seeds, potatoes with the skin, vegetables such as green beans and almost all fruit, including apricots, prunes, figs, etc.O Allah help me…
- Control my eating and sleeping habits
- Quit smoking
- Not over eat
- Eat healthier (prefer fruits & vegetables over fatty foods)
- Exercise to keep fit
Common Mistakes Made During Ramadan
Most Muslims who fast Ramadan focus on the benefits and rewards of it. But in doing so, we often make mistakes that instead of adding to our experience actually detract from it. Mistakes that can make us commercialize Ramadan as so many other religions have commercialized their sacred days. Insha Allah the following serves as a reminder to myself first and to all Muslims. May Allah help us to spend our time wisely this Ramadan and help us to avoid these mistakes. Aameen!
- Taking Ramadaan as a ritual
For many of us Ramadaan has lost its spirituality and has become more of a ritual than a form of Ibaadah. We fast from morning to night like a zombie just because everyone around us is fasting too. We forget that its a time to purify our hearts and our souls from all evil….we forget to make dua, forget to beseech Allaah to forgive us and ask Him to save us from the Fire. Sure we stay away from food and drink but that’s about all.
Although the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: ‘Jibreel said to me, ‘May Allaah rub his nose in the dust, that person to who Ramadaan comes and his sins are not forgiven,’ and I said, ‘Aameen’. Then he said, ‘May Allaah rub his nose in the dust, that person who lives to see his parents grow old, one or both of them, but he does not enter Paradise (by not serving them) and I said, ‘Aameen’. Then he said, ‘May Allaah rub his nose in the dust, that person in whose presence you are mentioned and he does not send blessings upon you,’ and I said, ‘Aameen.” (Tirmidhi, Ahmad, others. Saheeh by al-Albaani)
- Too much stress on food and drink
For some people, the entire month of Ramadaan revolves around food. They spend the ENTIRE day planning, cooking, shopping and thinking about only food, instead of concentrating on Salaah, Quraan and other acts of worship. All they can think of is FOOD. So much so that they turn the month of ‘fasting’ into the month of ‘feasting’. Come Iftaar time, their table is a sight to see, with the multitudes and varieties of food, sweets and drinks.. They are missing the very purpose of fasting, and thus, increase in their greed and desires instead of learning to control them. It is also a kind of waste & extravagance.
‘…and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allaah) likes not Al-Musrifoon (those who waste by extravagance) ‘ [al-Araaf :31]
- Spending all day cooking
Some of the sisters (either by their own choice or forced by their husbands) are cooking ALL day and ALL night, so that by the end of the day, they are too tired to even pray Ishaa, let alone pray Taraweeh or Tahajjud or even read Quraan. This is the month of mercy and forgiveness. So turn off that stove and turn on your Imaan!
- Eating too much
Some people stuff themselves at Suhoor until they are ready to burst, because they think this is the way to not feel hungry during the day and some people eat at Iftaar, like there is no tomorrow, trying to ‘make up for the food missed.’ However, this is completely against the Sunnah. Moderation is the key to everything.
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: ‘The son of Adam does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach; for the son of Adam a few mouthfuls are sufficient to keep his back straight. If you must fill it, then one-third for food, one-third for drink and one-third for air..’ (Tirmidhi, Ibn Maajah. saheeh by al-Albaani).
Too much food distracts a person from many deeds of obedience and worship, makes him lazy and also makes the heart heedless.
It was said to Imam Ahmad: Does a man find any softness and humility in his heart when he is full? He said, I do not think so.
- Sleeping all day
Some people spend their entire day (or a major part of it) ‘sleeping away their fast’. Is this what is really required of us during this noble month? These people also are missing the purpose of fasting and are slaves to their desires of comfort and ease. They cannot ‘bear’ to be awake and face a little hunger or exert a little self-control. For a fasting person to spend most of the day asleep is nothing but, negligence on his part.
- Wasting time
The month of Ramadaan is a precious, precious time, so much so that Allaah calls this month ‘Ayyamum Ma’doodaat’ (A fixed number of days). Before we know it, this month of mercy and forgiveness will be over. We should try and spend every moment possible in the worship of Allaah so that we can make the most of this blessing. However, there are some of us who waste away their day playing video games, or worse still, watching TV, movies or even listening to music. Subha an Allaah! Trying to obey Allaah by DISOBEYING him!
- Fasting but not giving up evil
Some of us fast but do not give up lying, cursing, fighting, backbiting, etc. and some of us fast but do not give up cheating, stealing, dealing in haraam, buying lotto tickets, selling alcohol, fornication, etc. and all kinds of impermissible things without realizing that the purpose of fasting is to not stay away from food and drink; rather the aim behind it is to fear Allaah.
‘O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)’ [al-Baqarah 2:183]
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: ‘Whoever does not give up false speech and acting upon it, and ignorance, Allaah has no need of him giving up his food and drink.’ (Bukhaari)
- Skipping Suhoor (sehri)
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: ‘Eat suhoor for in suhoor there is blessing.'(Bukhaari, Muslim). And he (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: ‘The thing that differentiates between our fasting and the fasting of the People of the Book is eating suhoor.’ (Muslim)
- Stopping Suhoor at ‘Imsaak’
Some people stop eating Suhoor 10-15 minutes earlier than the time of Fajr to observe ‘Imsaak’. Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said: This is a kind of bid’ah (innovation) which has no basis in the Sunnah. Rather the Sunnah is to do the opposite. Allaah allows us to eat until dawn: ‘and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night)’ [al-Baqarah 2:187]
And the Prophet (pbuh) said: ‘….eat and drink until you hear the adhaan of Ibn Umm Maktoom, for he does not give the adhaan until dawn comes.’
This ‘imsaak’ which some of the people do is an addition to what Allaah has prescribed, so it is false. It is a kind of extremism in religion, and the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:
‘Those who go to extremes are doomed, those who go to extremes are doomed, those who go to extremes are doomed.’ (Muslim)
- Not fasting if they missed Suhoor
Some people are too scared to fast if they miss Suhoor. However, this is a kind of cowardice and love of ease. What is the big deal if you missed a few morsels of food? It’s not like you will die. Remember, obedience to Allaah overcomes everything.
Saying the intention to fast ‘out loud’ or saying a specific dua to start fasting:
The intention is an action of the heart. We should resolve in our heart that we are going to fast tomorrow. That is all we need. It is not prescribed by the Shari’ah for us to say out loud, ‘I intend to fast’, ‘I will fast tomorrow’ or other phrases that have been innovated by some people. Also, there is no specific dua to be recited at the time of starting the fast in the correct Sunnah. Whatever ‘dua’ you may see on some papers or Ramadaan calendars, etc. is a Bid’ah.
- Delaying opening fast
Some people wait until the adhaan finishes or even several minutes after that, just to be ‘on the safe side’. However, the Sunnah is to hasten to open the fast, which means opening the fast the moment the sun sets. Aa’ishah (RA) said: This is what the Messenger of Allaah (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) used to do. (Muslim)
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: ‘The people will continue to do well so long as they hasten to open the fast.’ (Bukhaari, Muslim)
Inspite of the above Hadith being so clear, the Azaan in many of the mosques is given 5 minutes after sunset. You can check the newspaper everyday and see the exact time of sunset that is mentioned there.. You can also check it on the net and then check for yourself when the Azaan is given).
Determine to the best of your ability, the accuracy of your clock, calendar, etc. and then have tawakkul (trust) on Allaah swt and break your fast exactly on time.
- Eating continuously until the time for Maghrib is up
Some people put so much food in their plates when breaking their fast and continue eating, enjoying dessert, drinking tea, etc., until they miss Maghrib. That is obviously not right. The Sunnah of the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) was that once he broke his fast with some dates, he would hasten to the prayer. Once you are done with the prayer, you can always go back and eat some more if you wish.
- Missing the golden chance of having your Dua accepted
The prayer of the fasting person is guaranteed to be accepted at the time of breaking fast.
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: ‘Three prayers are not rejected: the prayer of a father, the prayer of a fasting person, and the prayer of a traveler.’ (al-Bayhaqi, saheeh by al-Albaani).
Instead of sitting down and making Dua at this precious time, some people forego this beautiful chance, and are too busy frying samosas, talking, setting the food, filling their plates and glasses, etc. Think about it….Is food more important than the chance to have your sins forgiven or the fulfillment of your Duas.
- Fasting but not praying
The fasting of one who does not pray WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. This is because not praying constitutes kufr as the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: ‘Between a man and shirk and kufr there stands his giving up prayer.’ (Muslim)
In fact, NONE of his good deeds will be accepted; rather, they are all annulled.
‘Whoever does not pray ‘Asr, his good deeds will be annulled.’ (Bukhaari)
- Fasting and not wearing Hijaab
Not wearing the Hijaab is a major sin as it is obligatory for Muslim women. (See Surah Nur, Surah Ahzaab). So fasting and not wearing hijaab certainly takes away enormously from the rewards of fasting, even if does not invalidate it.
- Not fasting because of exams or work
Exams or work is NOT one of the excuses allowed by the Shariah to not fast. You can do your studying and revision at night if it is too hard to do that during the day. Also remember that pleasing and obeying Allaah is much more important than ‘good grades’. Besides, if you will fulfill your obligation to fast, even if you have to study, Allaah will make it easy for you and help you in everything you do.
‘Whosoever fears Allah, He will appoint for him a way out and provide for him from where he does not expect, Allaah is Sufficient for whosoever puts his trust in Him.’ (Surah at-Talaaq 2-3)
- Mixing fasting and dieting
DO NOT make the mistake of fasting with the intention to diet. That is one of the biggest mistakes some of us make (esp. sisters). Fasting is an act of worship and can only be for the sake of Allaah alone. Otherwise, mixing it with the intention of dieting may become a form of (minor) Shirk.
- Praying ONLY on the night of the 27th
Some people pray ONLY on the 27th to seek Lailat ul-Qadr, neglecting all other odd nights, although the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: ‘Seek Lailat ul-Qadr among the odd numbered nights of the last ten nights of Ramadaan.’ (Bukhaari, Muslim).
- Wasting the last part of Ramadaan preparing for Eid
Some people waste the entire last 10 days of Ramadaan preparing for Eid, shopping and frequenting malls, etc. neglecting Ibadah and Lailatul Qadr. although, the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) used to strive the hardest during the last ten days of Ramadaan in worship (Ahmad, Muslim) and not in shopping. Buy whatever you need for Eid, buy before Ramadaan so that you can utilize the time in Ramadaan to the max..
Aa’ishah (RA) said: ‘When the (last) ten nights began, the Messenger of Allaah (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam)) would tighten his waist-wrapper (i.e., strive hard in worship or refrain from intimacy with his wives), stay awake at night and wake his family.’ (Bukhaari and Muslim).
- Iftaar parties
Although inviting each other for breaking fast is something good and encouraged, some people go to extremes with lavish ‘Iftaar parties’ with all sorts of disobedience to Allaah, from flirting, mixing of the sexes and hijaab-less women, to show-off and extravagance, to heedlessness to Salaah and Taraweeh. Some even resort to music and dancing.
It’s not too late to rectify ones mistake and do good for the sake of Allaah. [15:49] Inform My servants that I am the Forgiver, Most Merciful.
In Ramadan Paradise opens its doors, Hell closes its and Satans are chained Arfajah said “We were with `Utbah ibn Farqad while he was discussing Ramadan. A companion of the Prophet entered upon the scene. When `Utbah saw him, he became shy and stopped talking. The man [the companion] spoke about Ramadan, saying “I heard the Messenger of Allah say during Ramadan: “The gates of Hell are closed, the gates of Paradise are opened, and the devils are in chains. An angel calls out : ‘O you who intend to do good deeds, have glad tidings. O you who intend to do evil, refrain, until Ramadan is completed. [Ahmad and an-Nasa’i] Fasting in Ramadan; a shield from Hell
The Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, said : “When Allah created Paradise and Hell-fire, He sent Jibreel [Gabriel] to Paradise, saying: Look at it and at what I have prepared therein for its inhabitants. The Prophet (S) said: So he came to it and looked at it and at what Allah had prepared therein for its inhabitants. The Prophet (S) said: So he returned to Him and said: By your glory, no one hears of it without entering it. So He ordered that it be encompassed by forms of hardship, and He said: Return to it and look at what I have prepared therein for its inhabitants. The Prophet (S) said: So he returned to it and found that it was encompassed by forms of hardship. Then he returned to Him and said: By Your glory, I fear that no one will enter it. He said: Go to Hell-fire and look at it and what I have prepared therein for its inhabitants, and he found that it was in layers, one above the other. Then he returned to Him and said: By Your glory, no one who hears of it will enter it. So He ordered that it be encompassed by lusts [or desires]. Then He said: Return to it. And he returned to it and said: By Your glory, I am frightened that no one will escape from entering it. [at-Tirmithi and al-Hakim among others].
Therefore, when you know, O Dear Sister, that fasting subdues the desires and reduces their severity, and that it is these desires and lusts that lead to Hell Fire, then you will see how fasting comes between a fasting person and Hell Fire and you will rush to fast in Ramadan and after Ramadan in the best possible way.
Al-Qur’an rather talks about the reward of fasting and there are verses which general meaning infers that those who obey Allah will be saved from Hell, and fasting is a form of obeying Allah. We will leave the verses that talk about the reward to the section related to Paradise. However, the Ahadith of our beloved Prophet Mohammad, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, are clear in this regard;
Abu Said al-Khudri reported that the Messenger of Allah, said: “No servant fasts on a day in the path of Allah except that Allah removes the Hell Fire seventy years further away from his face.” [Bukhari and Muslim] Abu Sa`eed al-Khudri relates that the Messenger of Allah salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said : “Fasting is a shield with which a servant protects himself from the Fire” [Ahmad, Sahih]
`Uthman Ibn Abil-`Aas relates that the Messenger of Allah salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said : “Whoever fasts a day in the way of Allah, Allah places between him and the Fire a trench like that between heavens and the earth”. [at-Tirmithi and at-Tabarani, sahih]
Abu Huraira narrated that Allah’s Messenger, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, said : “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained.” [Bukhari]
The Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said : “When it is the first night of Ramadan the evil devils are chained. The gates of Fire are locked- not a single gate is opnened, and the gates of Paradise are opened- not a single gate is locked, and a caller calls out :’O seeker of good come forward, and O seeker of evil withhold, and there are many whom Allah frees from the Fire – and that is every night. [at-Tirmithi, Ibn Majah, and Ibn Khuzaimah : Hasan]
Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, climbed upon the mimbar (pulpit) and said: “Aameen [O Allah grant it], aameen, aameen”. So it was said, “O Messenger of Allah, you climbed upon the mimbarand said : “aameen, aameen, aameen”? So he said :”Jibraa’eel, `alaihi assalam, came to me and said, ‘Whoever reaches the month of Ramadan and does not have [his sins] forgiven and so enters Fire, then may Allah distance him, say aameen”. So I said “aameen”. [Ibn Khuzaimah, Ahmad and al-Baihaqui : Sahih]
Jabir,radhiya Allahu `anhu relates that the Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said :”In every day and every night, during the month of Ramadan, there are people to whom Allah grants freedom from the Fire, and there is for every Muslim a supplication which he can make and will be granted”. [al-Bazzaar, Ahmad and Ibn Majah; Sahih]
In the famous hadith of Mu`ath … I said O Messenger of Allah, tell me of an act which will take me into Paradise and keep me away from Hell-Fire. He said: you have asked me about a major matter, yet it easy for him for whom Allah Almighty makes it easy. You should …, You should fast in Ramadan …. Then he (the Prophet) said : shall I not show you the gates of goodness ? Fasting is a shield …[at-Tirmithi]
We pray to Allah to make for us this Ramadan a shield from Hell Fire.
What is Zakât?
“Take from their wealth a portion for charity, in order to clean them thereby, and sanctify them.”
Literal Meaning: Zakat means grow (in goodness) or ‘increase’, ‘purifying’ or ‘making pure’. So the act of giving zakat means purifying one’s wealth to gain Allah’s blessing to make it grow in goodness.
One of the most important principles of Islam is that all things belong to God, and that wealth is therefore held by human beings in trust. The word zakat means both ‘purification’ and ‘growth’. Our possessions are purified by setting aside a proportion for those in need, and, like the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth.
Zakah not only purifies the property of the contributor but also purifies his heart from selfishness and greed. It also purifies the heart of the recipient from envy and jealousy, from hatred and uneasiness and it fosters instead good-will and warm wishes for the contributors.
ZAKAT: (Alms) The Zakat is a form of giving to those who are less fortunate. It is obligatory upon all Muslims to give 2.5 % of wealth and assets each year (in excess of what is required) to the poor. This is done before the beginning of the month of Muharram, the first of new year. Giving the Zakat is considered an act of worship because it is a form of offering thanks to God for the means of material well-being one has acquired.
Zakât: A certain fixed proportion of the wealth and of the each and every kind of the property liable to Zakât of a Muslim to be paid yearly for the benefit of the poor in the Muslim community. The payment of Zakât is obligatory as it is one of the five pillars of Islam. Zakât is the major economic means for establishing social justice and leading the Muslim society to prosperity and security. [See Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 2, Book of Zakât (24)].
Paying zakat is Fard (compulsory). The Qur’an says that only those who pay zakat are in the “brotherhood of faith”. The Holy Qur’an also says that Zakat purifies assets and creates virtue ( SU:9 103 ). Zakat is a 2.5% levy on most valuables and savings held for a full year if their total value is more than a basic minimum known as nisab. At present nisab is $1,050 or an equivalent amount of any other currency. Cash money in your bank and building society accounts, and the release value of bonds, securities and shares in any form are zakatable if they are purchased as an investment. There is no Zakat on family home or household furniture, carpets, car, etc.
The Holy Qur’an (Sura Al-Tauba: 60) classifies the due recipients of zakat under the following eight categories.
“Zakat is for the poor, and the needy and those who are employed to administer and collect it, and the new converts, and for those who are in bondage, and in debt and service of the cause of Allah, and for the wayfarers, a duty ordained by Allah, and Allah is the All-Knowing, the Wise“.
Zakat is distributed among 8 asnaf (categories) of people, namely:
- Fakir – One who has neither material possessions nor means of livelihood.
- Miskin – One with insufficient means of livelihood to meet basic needs.
- Amil – One who is appointed to collect zakat.
- Muallaf – One who converts to Islam.
- Riqab – One who wants to free himself from bondage or the shackles of slavery.
- Gharmin – One who is in debt (money borrowed to meet basic, halal expenditure).
- Fisabillillah – One who fights for the cause of Allah.
- Ibnus Sabil – One who is stranded in journey.
Last words … give your financial obligation (zakah) of your wealth … –Prophet Muhammad’s Last Sermon
Search Terms: Zakat and Zakah
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) /Common Misconceptions
The following list comprises both FAQs and Common Misconceptions about Zakat and Sadaqah. Questions received from visitors are often summarized and added to this list.
Q1. What is Zakat-al-mal?
Zakat-al-Mal is the obligatory charity paid by an individual to the needy. It is obligatory on an individual who possesses wealth equal to or above a minimum amount called Nisab for an entire lunar year. For the purpose of calculating Zakat, different categories of wealth are defined. Nisab for the category of “Personal wealth” is three ounces of gold (or its equivalent amount in money). However, this amount is defined for each type of wealth separately. See under Nisab.
Q2. What is the definition of Zakat-al-mal (or simply Zakat)?
Literal meaning of the word “Zakat” is cleansing and growth. In keeping with these qualities, Allah has prescribed Zakat as an obligatory charity, as a duty to Allah, upon every wealthy individual. Wealthy individual is defined as one who is in possession of a minimum amount of wealth called Nisab for an entire year. This charity is prescribed in order to cleanse the individual’s wealth, heart, and by extension the society in general, of the baser characteristics of miserliness, selfishness, greed, and materialism and replace them with higher qualities of generosity, love and care, and mutual help.
Various scholars have defined it more or less in this manner. They have also developed further definition of the amount that constitutes Nisab, categories of wealth, the rate of Zakat that applies to each category of wealth, and the rules of eligibility for receiving assistance from Zakat.
Q3. What is the position of Zakat in Islam?
Zakat is one of the pillars of Islamic life. It is a duty to Allah that obligates every wealthy individual to share with the needy a portion from his/her wealth. It is a very important institution for the individuals as well as the society in general. This institution aims at not only alleviating the financial hardships of the less privileged in the society through sharing a small part of one’s wealth, but also building a society on higher moral and spiritual values. It checks the baser instincts of greed, miserliness, and selfishness, which lead to materialism. It promotes mutual caring, love, and generosity leading to gratitude to Allah. For those who receive assistance from Zakat, it reduces their economic burden and they are enabled to pay attention to the family, social, and spiritual aspects of their lives.
Though Zakat is an act of sharing, it is discharged, as a duty to Allah, and in that respect is distinct from an act of normal charity.
If there is an Islamic government, Zakat will be collected by the Government and distributed to the needy. In the absence of such an arrangement, this function can be discharged through any voluntary collective effort, for example, through any private organization. Ultimately every individual is personally responsible for discharging this obligation and must take care of this every year.
Q4. What are the categories of wealth on which Zakat is due?
There are, in general, the following categories based upon commonality of either the Nisab or the rate at which Zakat is calculated for different types of wealth. They are:
- Personal wealth, which includes the following.
- Money beyond the normal level needed for everyday expenses,
- Gold and silver,
- Jewelry (only the gold and silver content),
- Business wealth (trade inventory, cash, income, profit)
- Money held in restricted funds such as retirement funds when they are freed for use.
- Agricultural produce, which is further classified into the following.
- Produce from cultivated land
- Produce from non-cultivated land
- Items that are mined or extracted from the Earth including any buried treasure that is discovered. If this is done as a business, like in mining, and oil, it may be classified along the lines of a business.
- Live stock, which is further sub-divided into following three categories.
- Sheep lamb, and goats
- Cows and buffaloes (domestic, not wild)
- All other animals
There is no Zakat on these animals that are raised as a hobby. If these animals are raised for business, the profit derived from this business will be handled as the profit gained from any other business, viz. As a part of the “Personal wealth” category. There will be no tax on its inventory since its exact count cannot be established with certainty. For example, animals in a fish farm.
Q5. Is personal jewelry to be included in calculating Zakat?
There are different opinions about this. However, the general opinion is that jewelry, whether it is normally in use, or stored for occasional use, must all be included in calculating Zakat. The value of the gold or silver content in the jewelry should be included in the category of “Personal wealth”. Precious stones (diamonds, ruby, pearls, etc.) are not to be included neither the labor cost of making the jewelry is to be included.
Q6. How do we treat money invested in shares of stock for the evaluation of Zakat?
Though owning a share of stock of any business is like having a share in the ownership of the business; we have categorized it as “Personal wealth”. Therefore, the lower of the value of stock at the beginning and the end of the year should be added in the category of “Personal wealth”. This is categorized as “Personal wealth” because of two reasons.
1. For the most people who own stock it is held as a saving with expectations that it will grow in value over time. In fact it is readily traded for money. Considering it as a readily redeemable asset, we have treated it as another form of saving. Therefore, we suggest using its fair market value in calculating Zakat.
2. Calculating Zakat on stock treating it as a share in ownership is normally not very convenient. There are literally millions of shares owned by general public. A stockholder will need to know his/her share of cash on hand, profit, and inventory, in order to use those values in the calculation of Zakat. This information is ordinarily very difficult to obtain, unless it is a partnership of a few people. Therefore, we did not treat stocks as a business partnership.
If one has acquired stock in a business with the intention of long term investment, he/she can calculate his/her share of Zakat as a partner in business owning a fraction of the business depending upon the number of shares owned. In this case the owner of stock needs to figure out the percentage of ownership his/her stock represents, and calculate Zakat on the zakatable assets of the business, as explained in the answer to Q7.
Q7. What is the ruling on business wealth (Net profit, investments)?
1. Conditions for Zakat on investments in business/trade goods:
Trade is defined broadly as exchange with the intention of making a profit. Therefore, whenever the two conditions (1. Goods acquired with the intention of selling, and 2. Goods acquired with the intention of making a profit) are present, Zakat is due. This will apply to all goods if they are acquired for trade and with the intention of making a profit (including live stock, precious stones, real estate, minerals and other materials from earth). If they are not acquired for trade, but they fall under the categories of live stock, agricultural produce, and Rikaz (treasure unearthed), Zakat may become due on them following their individual Nisab and Zakat calculations. However, generally speaking, assets acquired for personal use are not subject to Zakat. The above two conditions for trade goods are in addition to the general conditions that apply to Zakat for non-business personal wealth. See details under Q12 for general conditions for Zakat.
Definition of investments in trade goods:
When one is engaged in business, whatever its nature, one usually invests some money in the purchase of building, furniture, and equipment which take the form of fixed investments that are used and are not “goods for trade”. There is no Zakat on such investments that are intended for use and not for sale. Next, there is the investment in inventory (raw material, or work-in-progress, or finished goods in the case of any business that involves manufacturing or processing) and in some operating cash. These assets are subject to Zakat. During the Zakat year (one lunar year called the Hawl), these ‘trade goods” are sold and result in cash or “receivables” (which eventually gets converted to cash after payments are received from customers). Receivables that are expected to be converted to cash during the Zakat year are also to be included as zakatable assets in calculating Zakat. This also applies to any debts that are expected to be received during the Zakat year. For the general considerations regarding amount loaned to others see answer to Q13. However, any short term payables (for example, amount owed to creditors and suppliers) that are to be paid during the Zakat year, shall be subtracted from the assets before calculating Zakat. The profit generated on the sale is either put back (reinvested) into business and/or is distributed to the owners. The part that is distributed to the owners becomes a part of their individual personal wealth subject to its conditions of zakatability (see answer to Q12). But the part that is reinvested into business in the form of operating cash, and inventory becomes a part of those assets, and are automatically included in the Zakat calculation. Therefore, Zakat on trade goods is calculated as follows:
- Add the value of inventory (raw material, work-in-process, finished goods), receivables, and cash.
- Subtract from the above any short term payables (liabilities)
- If the net exceeds Nisab, calculate Zakat at the rate of 2.5%.
This business has to be operating for at least one year. If any share of the business is sold during the year, that share will not be included in the assets of the seller or the buyer because neither of them had it for at least one year.
Valuation of assets:
General opinion is that the valuation shall be based on the current market prices at the time of paying Zakat since the prices do fluctuate during the year. In addition, the valuation shall be done using wholesale prices and not the retail prices, because if any liquidation of assets is done it will be at the wholesale prices
Zakat Year for business:
The Zakat year for business is also one lunar year (called Hawl). The zakatable assets as defined above shall be at or above Nisab at the end of the Zakat year.
There is another opinion that the value of zakatable assets shall satisfy Nisab throughout the Zakat year. If the value gets below the value of Nisab, a new Zakat year needs to be started after the value meets the Nisab. However, the practice at the time of the Prophet was to calculate Zakat if at the end of the Zakat year the value of zakatable assets was equal to or higher than Nisab.
If there are more than one owner, the net value of assets of the business that are subject to Zakat as explained above, should be apportioned to each owner based on his/her individual share. Then each individual owner is responsible for calculating and paying Zakat on his/her share. This approach is preferred because it may exempt a partner with a small share from paying Zakat. The business may pay Zakat on behalf of all owners if they all are obliged to pay Zakat..
No duplicate payment of Zakat on the same assets:
As a general principle, an item is subject to Zakat (upon satisfying the conditions of zakatability) only once. For example, if a business is paying Zakat on behalf of all owners (assuming that everyone meets the Nisab), then no zakat is required on the proceeds of the business to the owners as a part of their personal wealth.
2. Income generating assets: (Rental income from assets that are rented):
If one is engaged in the business of renting assets for income, there are differences of opinion regarding whether the value of the assets themselves is zakatable or not since they provide growth by producing income or profit. Stronger view is that the value of these assets is not subject to Zakat, but any income derived from the exploitation of these assets is subject to Zakat provided the income received in the Zakat year meets Nisab. There are differences regarding the rate at which Zakat is to be calculated. A modern view is that the rate of Zakat shall be either 10% or 5% on the net income in a Zakat year. This opinion is based on an analogy to the Zakat paid on the agricultural produce. However, the conservative opinion will be to use 2.5% as the general rate of Zakat on the net income from rental property during the Zakat year. We have selected this view for the Zakat calculator.
This will also apply to rental income from any exploited assets, such as, cars, jewelry, animals, etc. If the rental income for a given Zakat year is the only source of sustenance for the owner, a reasonable cost for his/her living expenses including the living expenses of his/her dependents for the year, must be deducted. Then on the remainder amount Zakat shall be calculated, if that amount meets the value of Nisab.
Q8. What is the meaning and definition of Nisab?
Nisab is the minimum amount of wealth owned by an individual for one year that obligates the individual to pay Zakat. This minimum amount of wealth is separately defined for each category of wealth.
Q9. What are the specified Nisab, (minimum wealth) and the rate of Zakat for each category of wealth?
The Nisab and the rate of Zakat for each category are given below. For further details refer to the answer for Question 12.
|Category of wealth||Nisab||Rate of Zakat|
|A. Personal wealth||Three (3) ounces of gold or its current value||2.5%|
|B. Agricultural produce|
1. From cultivated land
2. From non-cultivated land
|653 Kg of wheat or its equivalent value.||1. 5% 2. 10%|
|C. Minerals and Rikaz||20%|
|D. Live stock|
1. Goat and sheep
|40 goats and/or sheep|
|See tables below|
Q10. Who should pay Zakat?
Zakat is obligatory on every man or a woman who is an adult, of a sane mind, and satisfies the specified Nisab. This responsibility is to be discharged by each individual based upon his/her situation and value of wealth the individual possesses.
Q11. Are minors, insane persons, and prisoners (who have Nisab) obligated to pay Zakat?
Under the condition that they satisfy the Nisab, their guardian should pay Zakat on their behalf. It is incumbent upon that guardian to make sure that the money is growing otherwise the entire amount will be eaten up over a number of years by paying Zakat itself. Various opinions in this regard are:
1. There is no Zakat on the wealth belonging to an orphan (or insane person)
2. The guardian shall keep track of the Zakat owed by the orphan under his care, and provide this information to the orphan’s reaching adulthood, and finally let the orphan decide.
3. If the wealth belonging to the orphan is invested in a business and only if it is growing then the guardian should pay Zakat on the profit. If the wealth is not invested or if there is no profit, no Zakat will be paid.
4. It is required of the guardian to pay Zakat on behalf of the orphan. (We have adopted this opinion with a strong recommendation for the guardian to invest orphan’s money so it can grow).
The above opinions will also apply to an insane person or a prisoner.
Q12. What conditions make Zakat obligatory on any individual?
The following conditions obligate payment of Zakat on an individual.
- Complete ownership
- If one has given his property in a public trust Zakat is not payable by that individual. But if it is a trust in the name of specific individuals, those individuals are required to include their share in the calculation of their Zakat. In the case of a “Living trust” (in the United State) where the person establishing the trust keeps complete ownership and control of the trust until his death, he will be responsible also for any Zakat that is due. Upon his death, the beneficiaries who will inherit will be responsible for any Zakat that becomes due if they own it for one full year.
- Also borrowed wealth is exempt because borrower is not the owner. See answer to the general question (Q13) relating to loans.
- For the same reason there is no Zakat on wealth acquired illegally (in a Haram – forbidden way). For example, stolen wealth does not belong to the thief.
- Wealth shall be of the potentially growing kind
- If it is naturally growing kind (Example – Live stock) Zakat is required.
- If it is not growing because of its nature, or due to reasons beyond one’s control, no Zakat is required.
- If it is not growing because of negligence or mismanagement, Zakat is required.
- Should satisfy Nisab. It should be above the minimum level specified under category of wealth.
- For the category of “Personal wealth”, and of Live stock the individual shall be in possession of Nisab for one whole lunar year.
- For the category of Agricultural produce, there is no holding period of one lunar year required. As soon as the crop is harvested the Zakat should be calculated and paid. If there are multiple crops in a year, Zakat shall be paid each time, provided, of course, that the quantity of Nisab is satisfied. It should be remembered that Zakat is paid on agricultural produce that can be stored over time. In other words, there is no Zakat on perishable agricultural produce. Imam Abu Hanifa has an opinion that there is no Nisab for agricultural produce. However, other scholars have defined it based upon the prescribed Nisab at the time of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). This Nisab was five (5) Wasaq. Wasaq was a volumetric measure. A Wasaq was equal to 60 measures of a Sa’. Since present day normal measure for grain has changed to a measure of weight (such as a Kilogram), scholars have tried to define it in terms of weight of wheat of an average size. Yusuf Al-Qarzawi has calculated it to be six hundred and fifty three (653) Kg of wheat. However, what is used in India and Pakistan amounts to double the quantity around (1000) Kg. We have taken the approach of (653) Kg of wheat or its value as the Nisab for agricultural produce. Therefore, one should estimate the value of the grain and compare it with the value of (653) Kg of wheat. If the value of produce exceeds the value of (653) Kg of wheat, the Nisab is satisfied and Zakat should be calculated on the total value of the produce less any loans and expenses that were incurred in the process of producing and are payable after a harvest. An important consideration is that if this is the only source of income for the farmer for his and his dependents needs, a deduction is allowed. Scholars have determined that, a third or a fourth of the produce as the amount that should be left for the farmer. The rate of Zakat for agricultural produce (after loans and expenses are subtracted) is 10% or 5% depending upon if the produce is from non-cultivated land or cultivated land respectively. The preferred way of paying Zakat on agricultural produce is to pay in terms of the produce itself; however, to pay in monetary terms is also acceptable. Nisab defined in terms of value of (653) Kg of wheat is very helpful in case of very expensive crop (for example Saffron) for which the value of 653 Kg (of Saffron) will be excessive and unfair as Nisab. Another point to remember is that the grain or fruit in its dried and storable condition is what is used for estimating Nisab and Zakat. Grapes will be measured, for example, through the value of raisins rather than the weight or volume of the raw produce.
- For the category of Rikaz (all items mined out of the Earth including oil or other valuable fluid items, and old buried treasures that are discovered), there are various opinions. One opinion suggests that there is no Nisab. According to this opinion, any time anything is extracted from the Earth, Zakat needs to be calculated on the amount extracted. The other opinion is that its value should equal the Nisab on gold or silver, namely three ounces of gold, before Zakat becomes obligatory. It must be noted that in the case of minerals there may be other regulations enacted by the State, which may have to be complied with. The question of Zakat applies only to the portion that is clearly under the ownership and possession of the individual calculating Zakat. The question of the hold period of one lunar year is also not applicable to this category. We have taken the position that there is no Nisab on the category of Rikaz, and that the Zakat on it is 20%, calculated on the amount that is clearly and personally owned by the individual. No expenses need be deducted from Rikaz.
- If this is an on-going business, we leave to the individual the choice of treating the minerals, including valuable fluids extracted from the Earth, as personal wealth or proceeds from business, and including it in the category of “Personal wealth”. In that case the Nisab of three ounces of gold and a rate of Zakat of 2.5% will apply. However, for one-time acquisitions, for example, the recovery of buried treasures there will be no Nisab and the rate of Zakat will be 20%.
- Wealth in question shall be that beyond the normal needs of the individual and his/her dependents. If the amount in savings is for the normal expenses, it should not be included in the calculation.
- The individual should not be in debt. If the individual is in debt that is not serviceable from his normal income and the only way that individual can repay his/her loans is by disposing of some or all of his assets the amount owed should be subtracted from the total value of his/her “Personal wealth” and the remaining amount evaluated to see if it meets the Nisab in that category. If it does, Zakat should be calculated upon the net value (total amount less loans). On the other hand, if loans are serviceable from the ongoing income (such as in case of regular mortgage payments or an installment loan), the unpaid loan should not be subtracted from the assets unless the individual plans to pay the loan off that year from his/her wealth.
- Similar treatment will apply to loans that were incurred for agriculture which are normally payable upon a successful harvest. They should be subtracted before the agricultural produce is evaluated for Nisab and Zakat. In addition, any other expenses incurred in generating agricultural produce, should be subtracted, before deciding whether the requirements of Nisab are satisfied or not. Like in the case of a business, investments made or instruments used in the case of agricultural produce are not included in calculating Zakat.
Q13. How do loans affect the obligation of Zakat?
In case of a loan, Zakat on the amount loaned to someone is primarily the obligation of the owner of the money, and the obligation is determined based upon the following conditions.
a. If the borrower is expected to return the loan in the year in question, the lender (the owner) should include the amount in his calculations. There are two opinions within this, one is that this Zakat shall be paid every year, and the other opinion is that it should be paid for all the years the loan was outstanding upon its return.
b. In case the repayment is not expected, there are three possible opinions. i. Once returned, pay Zakat for all years the loan was outstanding.
ii. Once returned, pay Zakat that year.
iii. Once returned, pay Zakat after one year has passed since the return.
c. We favor the opinion that Zakat should be paid by the owner, upon repayment, in the year of repayment. Therefore, if a loan whose return is not expected, should be included if and when the loan is returned.
d. The impact of loan on the borrower is already explained in answer concerning conditions that make Zakat obligatory.
Q14. How do we handle amount of money in a provident or retirement fund such as a 401K account?
If this amount is available to the individual at any time without any restrictions, then Zakat should be calculated for this amount through the category of “Personal wealth” because its nature will be that of savings.
If the plan is restrictive and involves penalty and/or taxes, opinions differ on the payment of Zakat.
a. One opinion is that an individual should calculate the amount that is available to an individual after paying an early withdrawal penalty and taxes, and include this remaining amount in the calculation of Zakat as a part of “Personal wealth” category.
b. Another opinion is that Zakat should be only paid when the amount is actually received or is fully available to the individual without any penalty. In that case only taxes due on this amount should be deducted. The net amount after taxes (for the year the amount is completely available to the individual) should be included as a part of the “Personal wealth” category.
If the amount is not fully available, we are of the opinion that the value of the pension plan should not be included in the calculation of Zakat. We have taken the opinion that when it is fully available as in case b above, it should be included in the calculation of Zakat.
Q15. Can Zakat be paid with an equivalent amount of money as opposed to paying in kind?
Yes it can be paid in kind or in equivalent amount of money.
Q16. Who is eligible to receive Zakat?
The holy Qur’an specifies eight (8) purposes for which the money from Zakat can be used. They are the following.
1) Poor (Faqir pl. Fuqara’): One who cannot support himself/herself, provided (or to the extent) that the recipient of Zakat does not reach the level of Nisab.
2) Needy (Miskin pl. Masakin): One who cannot adequately support himself/herself, and is reluctant to ask for help. Such an individual, therefore, is not easily recognized as someone who needs help. Such an individual is eligible for Zakat, provided (or to the extent) that the recipient of Zakat does not reach the level of Nisab.
3) Those employed to administer the collection, distribution, and administration of Zakat (Al-‘Amilin): They need not remain below Nisab at the time of receiving compensation through Zakat.
4) Those individuals who have been recently reconciled to the Truth (Mu’allafat-al-Qulub): This category includes new Muslims, or those who are willing to support the Muslim State but need to be compensated. They could be non-Muslims as well. Such individuals can be in possession of Nisab and will not be disqualified because of that.
5) Freeing of those in bondage (Fi-al-Riqab): Since the custom of bondage or slavery is now extinct, freeing of slaves may not be needed any longer. However, this can be interpreted to include individuals who due to excessive debt do not have any hope of ever standing on their own two feet.
6) Those in debt (Al-Gharimin): Zakat money could be received by on who is in debt in order to pay off the debt or a part thereof provided at the time of receiving Zakat, he/she is not in possession of Nisab.
7) In the cause of Allah (Fi-sabil-Allah): Those who are going out or working in the cause of Allah (including the task of conveying the message of Islam) or in a battle declared by an Islamic State for just cause. Being in possession of Nisab does not disqualify them.
8) The wayfarer (Ibn-al-Sabil): Traveler who is in need of help during his travel. One who belongs to the family of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) is not eligible for receiving Zakat.
Q17. Can relatives receive Zakat?
Yes, provided they are not the dependents, such as wife and children, and parents (including ascendants grand parents and descendents such as grand children). Beyond these relatives, in fact it would be preferred that one gives Zakat to one’s relatives first. A wealthy wife can give Zakat to her poor husband and not the other way around.
Q18. What is the proper etiquette of paying Zakat?
Zakat shall be paid with the intention of paying Zakat since it is an act of worship. If an individual declares his/her Zakat in order to encourage others, it is permissible, since this an obligatory act of worship. However, it is not necessary to mention, in fact preferable not to mention, to the recipient that the payment is from Zakat, if it is feared that it would embarrass him/her.
Q19. When should Zakat be paid?
Zakat can be paid any time during the year, in one lump sum or in installments. However, at the end of each year one must calculate one’s Zakat and the amount due but not paid must be paid. In actual practice, many Muslims prefer to pay Zakat in the month of Ramadan. This is also fine. Bear in mind that for agricultural produce, it is preferred to pay Zakat after the harvest.
Q20. Can Zakat be paid to institutions also?
Yes, Zakat can be paid to institutions, which meet the purposes described.
Q21. Is there any charity beyond Zakat?
Yes, one may give extra charity beyond Zakat for any good cause, and in fact, charity beyond Zakat is to be encouraged.
Q22. What are the inner dimensions of Zakat?
In addition to alleviating the hardships of the needy and the less privileged, this act of worship provides a check against and cleanses individuals, and indeed the society as a whole, of the baser instincts, such as miserliness, selfishness, enmity, exploitation etc. that ultimately lead to materialism. On the other hand, Zakat promotes love, kindness, generosity, and sharing/caring and mutual cooperation. This also promotes relying on Allah, and sincerity in seeking the pleasure of Allah alone, and finally building a society more empathetic and more caring. A lot has been written about the inner dimensions of Zakat. One may refer to many books available on Zakat for further details on this subject.
Q23. How do we know and follow various opinions of scholars or schools of jurisprudence (Madhahib) in calculating Zakat?
Indeed there are differences of opinion concerning the definitions of Nisab and the treatment of different categories of wealth. For the sake of providing a comprehensive tool, we have adopted those opinions, which are generally accepted by various scholars, or are easier to apply. However, other major differing opinions are also mentioned in the various answers given under frequently asked questions (FAQs) and the individual is free to follow other opinions if more appealing to him/her. For a greater in depth understanding, of course, one can access many books available on Zakat.
Q24. What is Zakat-ul-Fitr or Sadaqat-ul-Fitr?
Zakat-ul-Fitr is Zakah on the individual. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is reported to have said: “Remember Zakat-al-Fitr is essential (Wajib) for every Muslim, man or woman; free or in servitude; adult or child.” (At-Thirmidhi)
Zakat-ul-Fitr or Sadaqat-ul-Fitr is a special charity paid to the needy on or before the day of Eid -ul-Fitr, which is the first day of the month of Shawwal following the month of Ramadan. Zakat-ul-Fitr is paid as atonement for any shortcomings in the worship of Fasting during the month of Ramadan.
On the day of Eid -ul-Fitr, which marks the completion of the month of Ramadan, every Muslim possessing an amount of food in excess of his and his family’s need for a day (24 hours) is mandated to pay Zakat-ul- Fitr on behalf of himself and all his dependent(s).
Zakat-ul-Fitr or Fitrah is “the one full meal per person or cash equivalent to the cost of one full meal, given directly to the needy of the community before Eid-ul-Fitr prayer. Arrangements for paying Fitrah should be made ahead of time so that it reaches the eligible recipients in time for them to make use of it on Eid day. The quantity of Zakat-ul-Fitr traditionally amounts to one Sa`. One Sa` is equivalent to 2751–3800 grams of food such as wheat, barley, rice, or the like. In Albany area the cash equivalent of Fitrah has been set to $8.00 – $10.00 for each member of the family.The categories of people who are eligible to receive Zakat-ul-Fitr are the same as for those who are eligible to receive the regular Zakat.
Q25. What is Sadaqah or Zakat-ut-Tatawwu’?
Sadaqah is an Arabic term widely used to cover all kinds of charity. Although Sadaqah and Zakat are often used interchangeably, Sadaqah voluntary or optional charity.
All good deeds are considered Sadaqah. Every Muslim is exhorted to give Sadaqah. The Prophet Muhammad(S) said:
“Every Muslim has to give Sadaqah.” The people asked: “O Prophet of Allah, what about the one who has nothing?” He(S) replied: “He should work with his hand to give Sadaqah.” They asked: “If he cannot find (work)?” He(S) replied: “He should help the needy who asks for help.” They asked:” If he cannot do that?” He (S) replied: “He should then do good deeds and shun evil, for this will be taken as Sadaqah.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)
Muslims practice Sadaqah and earn rewards from Allah by doing good deeds all their lives. They can continue earning Allah’s rewards even after their death should they leave any of the following legacies behind them. This is called perpetual Sadaqah (Sadaqat-ul-Jariyah). Prophet Muhammad (S) is reported to have said:
“When a person dies (the benefit) of his deeds ends, except three: a continuous Sadaqah, knowledge from which benefit is derived, or a pious child invoking Allah for him.” (Sahih Muslim & Ahmad)
Q26. What is the ettiquette of giving Sadaqah?
Etiquette of Giving Sadaqah
1. Islam has recommended that its followers give Sadaqah. Sadaqah is to be given from one’s lawful (Halal) earnings because Allah does not accept Sadaqah if it is given from what is unlawful (Haram).
2. There is no limit on the amount to be donated as Sadaqah. It is up to the generosity of the individual to set a limit.
3. Sadaqah is to be given with utmost humility. In order to get the rewards of Sadaqah from Allah, the donor is required to avoid making a showoff his generosity.
4. Sadaqah can be given to any deserving person – Muslim or non- Muslim.
5. Precedence is given first to one’s needy dependents, relatives, and then to other needy people.
6. The beneficiary of the good deed (Sadaqah) is recommended to thank the person for his good deed.
1. I pay my taxes, isn’t it enough? Why do I have to pay Zakat?
The taxes are paid to the government – Federal, State, County, and City in accordance with its rule and regulations. Zakat is paid as an obligatory duty (Faridatun min Allah) to Allah. It has its own purpose, function, rules, and regulations of payment and distribution. In order to have the Zakat obligation to be fulfilled, it must meet the (Shariah) requirements. Paying taxes do not meet these requirements.
2. I have never paid Zakat before. What should I do?
Any unpaid Zakat will be counted as missed obligation (Qada). You should estimate the amount of Zakat due on you for the years you missed and pay it as soon as possible.
3. Does a husband have to pay Zakat on his wife’s jewelry and wealth?
It is a wife’s individual responsibility to pay Zakat on her jewelry, zakatable possession, and wealth. If her husband or someone else pays Zakat on her behalf with her permission, it is permissible and he will be rewarded for this voluntary action.
4. Can I pay Zakat to my poor relatives?
It is prefered to pay Zakat to your poor relatives – sisters, brothers, cousins, nephews, nieces, uncles, aunts, etc. Prophet Muhammad (S) said: “Charity given to the poor is charity, and charity given to a relative is charity and upholding of family ties.” (Ahmad, Al- Nisa’i).
Zakat should not be given to one’s parents, grand parents, children, grand children, or wives. The care of these relatives is a duty enjoined by Shariah on every Muslim.
5. Do you pay Zakat on a house you own? Is it a one-time payment or annual?
The items of one’s basic needs and necessities are exempted from Zakat. All items of value (movable and immovable), that are designated for personal and household use and/consumption are non-Zakatable.
Example: Food, clothing, residential home, petty cash, personal transportation (automobile, riding animal), Books for personal study, domestic animals and poultry for domestic needs, tools of one’s personal trade/profession, articles of adornment in day to day use,, arms and ammunition for personal use, agricultural land cultivated by the owner, etc.).
6. I paid my previous Zakat by rough estimate. Now I’m afraid I underpaid. What should I do?
We should calculate Zakat properly and meticulously. It is the obligatory duty to Allah (Fardh minAllah). If you happen to find out that you have underpaid the zakat, you make the intention of paying due zakat and make up for the underpayment. Allah will accept it as “Ada” of your obligation (Fardh).
7. Do I have to pay Zakat in Cash?
Zakat can be paid as cash/Check/Draft/Credit Card*, and the like. It can also be paid in kind with gold, silver, grain, livestock, etc.
*Credit Card – it is important that you pay your credit card company on time so as not to incur any interest payments.
8. So Zakat is due on your savings that have been in your bank for a minimum of 1 year?
Yes, Zakat will be due on the minimum balance in the bank over the period of one lunar year (Haul – it is approximately 355 days), provided the balance did not go under the amount of Nisab.
In the Name of Allah, the Loving, the Love-Giving
THE INTERNAL DIMENSIONS OF HAJJ
The ultimate destination
You’re the luckiest person in the world. Allah has invited you personally to His House. What is Hajj? Hajj in the Arabic language means aim, destination or purpose (qasd). The reason is clear: Hajj is the ultimate journey of loving submission (‘ubudiyah) and conscious surrender (riq) to Allah. Its ultimate destination is your encounter with the House of Allah (Bayt al-Allah) – the Ka‘bah – with both your physical body and, more importantly, your heart (qalb).
Ibn al-Jawzi (rahimah al-Allah) relates a story of an old, blind woman who was journeying to Hajj years ago with a caravan. Throughout the journey, she keeps asking: “Are we at the house of my Lord?” Time and again, she is told, “No, mother, we are not there yet.” As the caravan nears Makkah, she is informed that they are almost there. Finally, they enter Masjid al-Haram. She is led to the Ka’bah. Touching the Ka’bah, she cries, “Baytu rabbi? The House of my Lord?” Weeping, she clings to the cloth of the Ka’bah – and dies. The woman realized with her heart (qalb) the true significance of visiting the House of her Lord.
Allah has invited you to His House, which He has called the Bayt al-‘Atiq – the ancient, liberated and liberating house. Your journey is one of freedom and liberation. For as your body leaves its material house to journey to Allah’s House, your heart is meant to disengage from the lower self (nafs), the shaytan, and the world (dunya) and journey to Allah. The ultimate reward for a Hajj mabrur is to return home with the purity of a newborn child. What could be a greater incentive! But beware, for Hajj is a selective process. Only a few will attain a Hajj mabrur, which is a Hajj performed correctly, without any disobedience to Allah and without indulging in any argumentation. Be prepared. Be vigilant. Be focused. This will be one of the greatest – and sweetest – struggles of your life. And though you will long and dream for the rest of your life to come back, you may never return again.
May Allah allow our bodies to journey to His House; may He permit our hearts to find Him, the Lord of the House. Ameen.
The most sacred space
You will be journeying from your earthly house to Makkah, your spiritual home, the most beloved place to Allah in all of space and time. Allah himself has decreed it to be so since the beginning of creation. There is no place more blessed, more beautiful, more virtuous, more exalted than Makkah. Every inch and every corner of Makkah is a haram, a sanctuary made sacred by Allah. The more you revere Makkah, the more you will be ennobled by Allah. We must take the greatest of care to never think casually of our sojourn in Makkah or live within its precincts in disobedience or negligence.
Some reports teach that it was in Makkah that our father Adam (‘alayhi al-salam) longed to go back to paradise and be in the presence of Allah. To console his loneliness, Allah commanded him to do tawaf around the space of the current Ka‘bah. And Adam did, and felt whole again. Other texts teach that Nuh (’alayhi al-salam), Ibrahim (’alayhi al-salam), and many Prophets before them (’alayhim al-salam), all did tawaf around Allah’s sacred House. Their spiritual energy and legacy fills the air. You will be walking in the footsteps and the heart-steps of Rasulullah (sallalahu ’alayhi wasallam) and his noble companions.
Shelter, solace and sight
Hajj and its rites are described in various and powerful ways by Allah and his Rasul (sallalahu ’alayhi wasallam). Through these descriptions, we gain insight into the deeper meanings of Hajj. The rites of hajj are described, for example, as manasik, masha‘ir and mashahid. Mansak (plural manasik), usually translated as ritual, connotes shelter (maskan) and tranquility (sukun). The rites of Hajj are residences of shelter and tranquility for the heart. Mash‘ar (plural masha‘ir) connotes feeling and experience. The rites of Hajj cause the heart to feel and experience the sweetness of nearness to Allah.
Mashad (plural mashahid) is to witness with the heart the blessings of Allah at every station – to see, with one’s inner sight, Allah’s will as the Decreer of decrees and the Causer of causes.
Each word connotes a different inner dimension of Hajj, as the movement, not only of your body or limbs, but of your heart. For as your body journeys from one place to another, so too must your heart travel through various stations (maqamat), each of which will provide it with shelter, solace and inner sight.
Hajj is your chance to become an angel and to live with the delight of an angel. In tawaf, you will be mirroring the worship of the angels, the mala’ikah, those heavenly creatures created of pure light and enveloped in the worship of Allah. Texts teach that the Ka‘bah is connected in an imperceptible way to the Bayt al-Ma‘mur, the heavenly Ka‘bah of the angels, around which they are constantly in tawaf. Seventy thousand angels perform tawaf around this house and are replaced with others, never to return. Around the Ka‘bah, we are in a heavenly dimension. Near the Ka‘bah are the Hajr al-Aswad, or black stone, and the Maqam Ibrahim, both gems from jannah. We are taught that the hajr was darkened by the sins and transgressions of man. Its heavenly light is now folded from us. The hajr will be personified in the afterlife by Allah and will witness on behalf of those who approached it with truth and sincerity. The hajr can be said to take a picture recording of your heart as you stand before it. Kissing the hajr is the most profound renewal of your covenant with Allah and a pledge of love, dedicated obedience and soulful allegiance to Him.
THE JOURNEY BEGINS
Entering into Ihram
As you near the miqat, your heart will tremble and tremor. Is this really happening? Is my heart getting closer and closer to His House? Soon you will enter Allah’s haram. It is only fitting that you enter into a state, both externally and internally, that justly corresponds to this honour. Beyond the miqat, there is only talbiyah. The essence of Hajj is the journey of our hearts away from the house of our lower selves (nufus) with its passions (shahawat), inclinations (ahwa’) and attachment to the created world (khalq) to the haram and, ultimately, the House of Allah. We must leave our attachments to receive the greatest connection. We must leave to arrive. Ihram is from haram. Both meanings, to be sacred and to be forbidden, are carried in it. Through the ihram, the heart is meant to leave the temporary and the finite – to make it, in a sense, “forbidden” – and to prepare for the sacred audience of Allah’s presence. The muhrim has disengaged from everything and anything that distracts him or her from Allah and, consequently, from remembrance, peace and stillness. The muhrim has left his or her home taking taqwa or Allah-consciousness, the best sustenance, as a provision.
One enters into ihram with talbiyah. Talbiyah is the heart’s most profound surrender to the invitation and call of Allah: Here I come to You, my Lord, here I come – fully and forever.With the talbiyah, we proclaim that no associate (sharik) or attachment will distract us from seeking Allah. Our hearts will not see, hear, obey, or be lured to another, besides Him. The recitation of this talbiyah is to be said with constancy and conviction, and not intermittently and infrequently. Talbiyah is essential to focusing our hearts. It will remind us of the purpose of our journey; it will facilitate us in foregoing our rights, demands and expectations while yet rendering fully the major and minor rights of others; it will dispel distractions; and it will make all obstacles easy, even pleasurable.
There is no praise (hamd) and no dominion and power (mulk) except that Allah owns it. Everything, whether tangible or intangible, belongs to Him. In fact, we are in praise of Him by Him.
Mina, or Muna, means desire, hope, longing. Some texts teach that it was in Muna that Adam ( ‘alayhi al-salam) longed and desired to journey back home to paradise and to be, once again, in Allah’s presence. It is in Muna that the journey begins. The day spent in Muna, termed the day of tarwiyah (meaning, in part, to quench, to drink to one’s fill), is meant for our heart to focus on the aim of their journey, to gather in resolution and focus, and to begin our inner momentum towards the House of Allah.
‘Arafat means to know, to understand. Another verb scale conveys the meaning of perfuming, making fragrant, scenting. ‘Arafat is the essential pillar (rukn), of Hajj; without ‘Arafat there is no Hajj.
‘Arafat is the cleansing station outside the haram where we stand and seek forgiveness for all that we’ve committed in our lives. We beg and implore Allah to make us worthy of entering into His haram, visiting His House and being in His presence. Here, on ‘Arafat, we learn two things. As we acknowledge our disobedience, our sins, our rebelliousness and our forgetfulness, we know our unworthiness as true servants. We reveal everything to Allah, minor or major, Who knows already but simply wants us to admit with true transparency and sincerity what we is inside of our selves. Moreover, we begin to know the all-enveloping knowledge, the inestimable mercy, the boundless generosity and the limitless grace of Allah in forgiving and effacing our sins. Who is it, beside Him, that can forgive and that does forgive? There is no refuge or flight from Allah except to Him. Allah celebrates, in the presence of the angels, the hujjaj on ‘Arafat asking for forgiveness. And He affirms to the angels that, yes, He has forgiven them. Now, as the sun begins to set, you continue, perfumed and scented with the purity of Allah’s grace and forgiveness, ever closer to His haram.
Muzdalifa, from the Arabic root izdilaf, means to approach, to get closer.Muzdalifa is a second station of cleansing and purification. The pilgrim is now closer to the Ka‘bah. We remain in supplication (du‘a’) after fajr, imploring Allah again for pardon and guidance. Some scholars have said that in Muzdalifa, Allah also forgives our violations against the rights of others. Such violations are not usually forgiven unless, in addition to seeking forgiveness, we remedy what has been violated.
Muna and the casting of the pebbles
During the Hajj of Ibrahim (‘alayhi al-salam), he was commanded to sacrifice his son. Allah, of course, never intended that the slaughter take place. Allah wanted, instead, to purify and free Ibrahim (‘alayhi al-salam) from every love and every attachment besides Him. It was in Muna that the shaytan attempted to waylay Ibrahim (‘alayhi al-salam) from sacrificing his son. Ibrahim (’alayhi al-salam) casted pebbles at the shaytan to reject his designs and prompting. In casting the pebbles, the pilgrim affirms Allah’s greatness over everything and covenants with Allah that he or she will never regress to anything which displeases Him. Casting the pebbles is the casting away of shaytan, the lower self (nafs) with its desires, inclinations and evil, and, ultimately, casting away everything besides Allah. The pebble is meant, not to hit the pillar, but to fall inside the container, or majmar, where it will remain. The fire of the nafs, its impetus to evil, must be cast out, contained and confined.
Our nafs must be jailed for us to become free. After the nafs is jailed by the casting of the pebbles, it is slaughtered. The sacrifice of the animal signifies the slaughter of the nafs by Ibrahim (‘alayhi al-salam). Ibrahim’s (‘alayhi al-salam) sacrifice was momentous: he sacrificed his very will. Ibrahim was named the Khalil (cherished friend) of Allah because his love for Allah pierced and consumed his entire heart. The hair – signifying status, station and pride – is now shaved. Whatever remaining trace and residue of the disobedient nafs is now completely cleansed. Now, the pilgrim is welcomed by Allah to visit His Haram and His House. He or she is now freed from ihram, but not completely. Washing and the use of perfume are now permitted; intimate relations are not. Approaching one’s spouse is unbefitting considering that now the pilgrim is going to visit the Host.
Ifadah means to flood, to rush, to move.
The movement from ‘Arafat to the haram is called ifadah. The rite of tawaf that takes place after the casting of the pebbles, the sacrifice and the shaving of the head is likewise termed Tawaaf al-Ifadah.
The heart (qalb), cleansed and purified from its attachments, inundated with love, desire and longing, floods to the haram, to the House, and to its Lord. There, it circumambulates the House and renews its pledge of complete and loving submission.
Sa‘i between Safa and Marwa
Sa‘i means to work, to strive, to act. We remember in sa‘i the actions of Hajar (‘alayha al-salam) as she climbed, walked and ran up both Safa and Marwa looking for sustenance for her starving child. The miracle of Zam zam was gifted to Hajar for her efforts and sincere reliance. Rasulullah (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam) teaches that if we drink zam zam with firm faith and certainty, Allah will most definitely answer our supplication. As servants of Allah, we are embedded in time and space. We must act, all the while cognizant that it is Allah who creates both cause and effect. To see waves upon waves of pilgrims walking and running between Safa and Marwa is to recognize that the reality of our life is constant sa‘i between struggle and reward, struggle and reward. On the hills of Safa and Marwa, where the pilgrim alights in reflection and supplication, the heart exalts, seeing Allah’s power in all matters, yours and others, large or small.
The days and nights of Muna
During our stay in Muna, we re-affirm and re-declare our desire and hope for spiritual freedom by casting pebbles for three days. Each casting of the pebbles cements our resolution to contain and confine both the lower self (nafs) and shaytan. You remain in Muna as Allah’s guest. Here, we must eat and drink with the consciousness of a guest in front of a Most-Magnanimous Host. The greatest nourishment during these days, as Allah himself indicates, is His dhikr, or remembrance. We are destined to leave but Allah intends we leave gradually, in gratitude to Him, remembrance of Him and gathering a firm resolution for permanent change when we depart. Then the last pebble is cast. Our final farewell is imminent.
Most have waited their entire lives for the encounter with the House of Allah. Many will never return. In truth, there is no certainty that any of us will ever gaze on the Ka‘bah again. Whether we return or not, we will never forget. It is said – and it is true – that the Ka‘bah beckons you from afar, then haunts you forever. It is related that Ibn ‘Abbas prayed this as his final farewell, clinging with his entire being to the multazam, the wall of the Ka‘bah between the hajr and the door:
This House is Your House
And this servant is Your servant, and the son of Your servants
You have carried me here on what You have made accessible to me of Your creation
Until You have made me reach, by Your grace, Your House
And You have helped me fulfill my rites of Hajj
If You have been pleased with me, then be more pleased with me
And if You are not pleased with me, then I implore you to be generous to me now –
Before my house becomes distant from Your house
For now it is time for my departure, if You permit me –
Never to exchange You for anything else, nor Your House for any other house
Not being desirous of others instead of You, nor of any other house besides Your House
Grant me safety and good health in my body, protection in my religion and allow me a
And provide me with deeds and acts of Your obedience for as long as You grant me life
And gather for me the best of this world and the next
For truly You have power over all things.
A mother once told her son that the Ka‘bah says: The one who does not see me will never rest; and the one who sees me will never rest. May our hearts find their ultimate rest by journeying to Allah long after our bodies have returned from Hajj. May we always be in Hajj.
Hajj mabrur, my beloved brother and sister.
* This work is a general summary of a series of lectures by Shaykh Mokhtar Maghraoui on the internal dimensions of Hajj. The audio series (as well as the more recent 2006 seminar) may be ordered at www.zawiyah.net. I ask for your indulgence regarding any errors in this summary. I would request that readers please remember Shaykh Mokhtar Maghraoui in their supplications during Hajj – as well as the summarizer).
25 Dua’a From The Holy Quran
1) Rabbanaa Aatina fid’duniya hasanataon wafil aakhirati hasanataon waqhina azaaban’naar.
1. Our Lord! Grant us good in this world and good in the life to come and keep us safe from the torment of the Fire (2:201)
2) Rabbanaa afrigh alaina sabran wa sabbit aqhdaamana wansurna alal qaumil kaafireen.
2. Our Lord! Bestow on us endurance and make our foothold sure and give us help against those who reject faith. (2:250)
3) Rabbana La Tua-khiznaa inna seenaa Au Akhta’na.
3. Our Lord! Take us not to task if we forget or fall into error. (2:286)
4) Rabbana wala tahmil Alaina isran kama hamaltahu, alal’lazeena min qablina.
4. Our Lord! Lay not upon us such a burden as You did lay upon those before us. (2:286)
5) Rabbana Wala tuham’milna mala taqhata lana bih, wa’fu anna wagh firlana warhamnaa, Annta maulana fansurna alal qhaumil kaafireen.
5. Our Lord! Impose not on us that which we have not the strength to bear, grant us forgiveness and have mercy on us. You are our Protector. Help us against those who deny the truth. (2:286)
6) Rabbana La tuzigh quloobana ba’da iz hadaitana wahablana mil’ladunka rahmah, Innaka anntal wah’haab.
6. Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate from the truth after You have guided us, and bestow upon us mercy from Your grace. Verily You are the Giver of bounties without measure. (3:8)
7) Rabbanaghfir lana zunoobana wa israfanaa fee amrina, wa sabbit akhdaamana wan’surna alal qhaumil kafireen.
7. Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and the lack of moderation in our doings, and make firm our steps and succour us against those who deny the truth.(3:147)
8) Rabbanaa Inn’naka man tud khilin’naara faqhad akhzaitah, wama liz’zaaalimeena min ansaar.
8. Our Lord! Whomsoever You shall commit to the Fire, truly You have brought [him] to disgrace, and never will wrongdoers find any helpers (3:192)
9) Rabbanaa Inn’nana sami’na munadiya(n)’yunaadee lil imaani, An aminu birab’bikum fa-aman’na.
9. Our Lord! Behold we have heard a voice calling us unto faith: “Believe in your Lord” as we have believed. (3:193)
10) Rabbana faghfir lana zunoobana wa kaffir anna sayyi-aatina wata waf’fana ma-al abraar.
10. Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and efface our bad deeds and take our souls in the company of the righteous. (3:193)
11) Rabbana wa aatina ma wa-at’tana alaa rusulik, wala tukh-zina yaumal qhiyaamah, inn’naka La tukhliful mi’aad.
11. Our Lord! And grant us that which you have promised to us by Your messengers and save us from shame on the Day of Judgement. Verily You never fail to fulfill Your promise. (3:194)
12) Rabbana zalamnaa anfusana wa il’lam taghfirlana watar hamna lanakoonan’na minal khaasireen.
12. Our Lord! We have sinned against ourselves, and unless You grant us forgiveness and bestow Your mercy upon us, we shall most certainly be lost! (7:23)
13) Rabbana La taj alna ma’al qaumiz’zaalimeen.
13. Our Lord! Place us not among the people who have been guilty of evildoing. (7:47)
14) Rabbana Aftah bainana wabaina qaumina bil-haq’qi wa anta khairul faatiheen.
14. Our Lord! Lay open the truth between us and our people, for You are the best of all to lay open the truth. (7:89)
15) Rabbanaa afrigh alaina sabran wata waf’fana muslimeen.
15. Our Lord! Pour out on us patience and constancy, and make us die as those who have surrendered themselves unto You. (7:126)
16) Rabbana La taj-alna fitnatal-lil qaumiz’zaalimeen, Wa naj’jina birahmatika minal qaumil kaafireen.
16. Our Lord! Make us not a trial for the evildoing folk, and save as by Your mercy from people who deny the truth (10:85-86)
17) Rabbanaa Inn’naka ta’lamu ma nukhfee wama nu’lin, wama yakhfa alal’laahi min shai’in fil arzi wala fis’samaa.
17. Our Lord! You truly know all that we may hide [in our hearts] as well as all that we bring into the open, for nothing whatever, be it on earth or in heaven, remains hidden from Allah (14:38)
18) Rabbanaa Aatina mil’ladunka rahmah, wahai’yi lana min amrina rashada.
18. Our Lord! Bestow on us mercy from Your presence and dispose of our affairs for us in the right way. (18:10)
19) Rabbana hablana min azwaajina wazur’riy’yaatina qurr’rata A’yun, waj’alna lil mut’taqeena imaamaa.
19. Our Lord! Grant that our spouses and our offspring be a comfort to our eyes, and give us the grace to lead those who are conscious of You. (25:74)
20) Rabbana wa si’ta kulla shai’ir’rahmata, wa ilman fagh-fir lil’lazeena taaboo wat’taba’oo sabeelaka waqhihim azaabal jaheem.
20. Our Lord! You embrace all things within Your Grace and Knowledge, forgive those who repent and follow Your path, and ward off from them the punishment of Hell. (40:7)
21) Rabbana wa adkhil hum jan’naati adnil’latee wa at’tahum waman salaha min aabaa’ihim wa azwaajihim wa zur’riy’yaatihim, Inn’naka an’tal azeezul hakeem.
21. Our Lord! Make them enter the Garden of Eden which You have promised to them, and to the righteous from among their fathers, their wives and their offspring, for verily You are alone the Almighty and the truly Wise. (40:8)
22) Rabbanakshif an’nal azaaba inn’naa mu’minoon.
22. Our Lord! Relieve us of the torment, for we do really believe. (44:12)
23) Rabba’naghfir lana wali ikhwaani nal’lazeena sabaqoona bil eemaan, wala taj’al fee quloobina gil’lal’lil’lazeena aamanu Rabbanaa inn’naka ra’oofur raheem.
23. Our Lord! Forgive us our sins as well as those of our brethren who proceeded us in faith and let not our hearts entertain any unworthy thoughts or feelings against [any of] those who have believed. Our Lord! You are indeed full of kindness and Most Merciful (59:10)
24) Rabbana alaika tawak’kalna wa ilaika anabna wa ilaikal maseer.
24. Our Lord! In You we have placed our trust, and to You do we turn in repentance, for unto You is the end of all journeys. (60:4)
25) Rabbanaa Atmim lana noorana waghfirlanaa,inn’naka alaa kul’li shai’in qadeer.
25. Our Lord! Perfect our light for us and forgive us our sins, for verily You have power over all things. (66:8)