Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Interview with a 3 days old Muslimah !

Before reading this Interview :
This Interview took place in 29/10/2000 , 3 days after accepting Islam.
Sister Tammy contacted IslamWay few days ago .. She was having some questions about her situation .. We forwarded her questions to Shaikh Muhammad Saleh Al-Munajjed , who runs : www.Islam-Qa.com, and he answered them.

A brother from IslamWay contacted Tammy offering any kind of help she wants .. and He had answered some of her questions .. and was encouraging her to accept Islam ..
He was surprised when sister Tammy contacted him saying that She became Muslim and that she went to the Islamic Center in her town to take the Shahadah.
IslamWay Editor : First of all .. I would like to congratulate you my sister for reverting to Islam .. May Allah accept your good deeds and surely Allah will forgive all your past sins .. Can you introduce your self so that readers can know more about yourself ?

Tammy : My name is Tammy Renee , I am 27 years old, I am a homemaker, born in Canada in North West, I have a son who is 3 years old.

IslamWay Editor : Can you tell us briefly .. How did you revert to Islam ?

Tammy : I became interested when I worked for some Syrian people whom I found talking about Islam and I wanted to learn more as I had been very fascinated by Islam and what they told me about Allah[swt]and prophet Muhammed(pbuh).
I was also intrigued of the way that Muslims are happy and content with thier lives and happy with thier religion. They are very faithful and dedicated and all they needed was one God Allah [swt] .

IslamWay Editor : How did you take the Shahadah ?

Tammy : I was at the mosque for the first time and I knew I wanted to be a part of Islam and I wanted to make it official and everyone was really nice to me and very welcoming and I just wanted to be like that and I knew that it was the right thing to do at the time and it couldnt have been more ready and I knew that I wanted to be muslim.
First the sister read me Koran then took me to see shiekh who asked me if I was ready and I knew it was the moment I had been waiting for.

IslamWay Editor : Most of the Western Media promotes that Islam is oppressing women .. Do you think that Hijab is kind of an oppression for the Muslim Woman ?

Tammy : Not at all because they just don't have a full understanding of what it means for me to wear a hijab, how I feel about it : It reminds me of who I am and what I have to do everyday and it also makes people aware of me being a muslimah and I am proud to put that on display for anyone and maybe that way they might be interested in Islam more & i do not feel oppressed at all. It is my protection for me aginst my society.

IslamWay Editor : After becoming a Muslim .. What is your goals .. what about your dreams ?

Tammy : First take things slow step by step and follow Islam as best to my knowledge, read Qura'an, do salat and InshaAllah I will be blessed and will deal with whatever Allah[swt] will hand to me and be happy.

IslamWay Editor : What are the best things that you liked about the Muslims in your community who are practising Islam ? What are the worst things that you noticed?

Tammy : The best thing is the way they are so supportive of each other hand help each other in every aspect. Thay are very kind and generous and will help thier neighbors and make sure no one is left out.
The worst thing is that I have met muslim people that are not practicing and they will do certain things right but then they are not that faithful to the religion of Islam and I get sad because I think that they should recognize the beauty in it but yet they don't see it & I dont understand how a person who grew up with Islam does not practice. I was always jealous of people that were muslim, but now I dont have to be.

IslamWay Editor : Do you think that Muslims are doing their best in coveying Allah's message in the world ?

Tammy : Well I have found some good resources but if someone is not conveying Allah's message then it can be from lack of Knowledge or they are afraid to share the Truth because of negative critism usually associated with Islam. But better to Fear Allah[swt]. I dont know a whole lot about this myself yet. I will try to do the best I can to my ability and lead them to better sources

IslamWay Editor : If you were able to send 3 messages to these 3 kinds of people in the whole world what would you say ?
- A Muslim who is conveying Allah's word
- A Muslim who is not Practicing Islam
- A Non Muslim who is learning about Islam

Tammy :
- For a Muslim who is conveying Allah's word : May allah [swt]reward all youir efforts -ameen-.
- For a non Muslim : May Allah[swt] guide you if he wills- Ameen-.

IslamWay Editor : My Dear Sister .. May Allah reward you .. and may Allah keep you in the straight path .. Ameen !

Former pastor, missionary, professor in Divinity choosed Islam !

Khadijah 'Sue' Watson - Former pastor, missionary, professor. Master's degree in Divinity "What happened to you !" ..... This was usually the first reaction I encountered when my former classmates, friends and co-pastors saw me after having embraced Islam.
I suppose I couldn't blame them, I was a highly unlikely the person to change religions.

Formerly, I was a professor, pastor, church planter and missionary.

If anyone was a radical fundamentalist it was I. I had just graduated with my Master's Degree of Divinity from an elite seminary five months before. It was after that time I met a lady who had worked in Saudi Arabia and had embraced Islam.

Of course I asked her about the treatment of women in Islam. I was shocked at her answer, it wasn't what I expected so I proceeded to ask other questions relating to Allah and Muhammad (pbuh).

She informed me that she would take me to the Islamic Center where they would be better able to answer my questions. Being prayed up, meaning-asking Jesus for protection against demon spirits seeing that what we had been taught about Islam is that it is Demonic and Satanic religion.

Having taught Evangelism I was quite shocked at their approach, it was direct and straightforward. No intimidation, no harassment, no psychological manipulation, no subliminal influence! None of this, "let's have a Qur'aanic study in your house", like a counter part of the Bible study.

I couldn't believe it! They gave me some books and told me if I had some questions they were available to answer them in the office. That night I read all of the books they gave. It was the first time I had ever read a book about Islam written by a Muslim, we had studied and read books about Islam only written by Christians. The next day I spent three hours at the office asking questions.

This went on everyday for a week, by which time I had read twelve books and knew why Muslims are the hardest people in the world to convert to Christianity.


Because there is nothing to offer them!! (In Islam) There is a relationship with Allah, forgiveness of sins, salvation and promise of Eternal Life. Naturally, my first question centered on the deity of Allah. Who is this Allah that the Muslims worship? We had been taught as Christians that this is another god, a false god.

When in fact He is the Omniscient-All Knowing, Omnipotent-All Powerful, and Omnipresent-All Present God. The One and Only without co-partners or co-equal.

It is interesting to note that there were bishops during the first three hundred years of the Church that were teaching as the Muslim beli eves that Jesus (pbuh) was a prophet and teacher!! It was only after the conversion of Emperor Constantine that he was the one to call and introduce the doctrine of the Trinity.

He a convert to Christianity who knew nothing of this religion introduced a paganistic concept that goes back to Babylonian times. Because the space does not permit me to go into detail about the subject insha'Allah, another time.

Only I must point out that the word TRINITY is not found in the Bible in any of its many translation nor is it found in the original Greek or Hebrew languages! My other important question centered on Muhammad (pbuh).

Who is this Muhammad? I found out that Muslims do not pray to him like the Christians pray to Jesus. He is not an intermediary and in fact it is forbidden to pray to him. We ask blessing upon him at the end of our prayer but likewise we ask blessings on Abraham. He is a Prophet and a Messenger, the final and last Prophet. In fact, until now, one thousand four hundred and eighteen years (1,418) later there has been no prophet after him.

His message is for All Mankind as opposed to the message of Jesus or Moses (peace be upon them both) which was sent to the Jews. "Hear O Israel" But the message is the same message of Allah. "The Lord Your God is One God and you shall have no other gods before Me."(Mark 12:29).

Because prayer was a very important part of my Christian life I was both interested and curious to know what the Muslims were praying. As Christians we were as ignorant on this aspect of Muslim belief as on the other aspects.

We thought and were taught, that the Muslims were bowing down to the Ka'bah (in Mecca), that that was there god and center point of this false deity. Again, I was shocked to learn that the manner of prayer is prescribed by God, Himself.

The words of the prayer are one of praise and exaltation. The approach to prayer (ablution or washing) in cleanliness is under the direction of Allah. He is a Holy God and it is not for us to approach Him in an arbitrary manner but only reasonable that He should tell us how we should approach Him. At the end of that week after having spent eight (8) years of formal theological studies I knew cognitively (head knowledge) that Islam was true. But I did not embrace Islam at that time because I did not believe it in my heart. I continued to pray, to read the Bible, to attend lectures at the Islamic Center.

I was in earnest asking and seeking God's direction. It is not easy to change your religion. I did not want to loose my salvation if there was salvation to loose. I continued to be shocked and amazed at what I was learning because it was not what I was taught that Islam believed.

In my Master's level, the professor I had was respected as an authority on Islam yet his teaching and that of Christianity in general is full of Misunderstanding. He and many Christians like him are sincere but they are sincerely wrong.

Two months later after having once again prayed seeking God's direction, I felt something drop into my being! I sat up, and it was the first time I was to use the name of Allah, and I said, "Allah, I believe you are the One and Only True God." There was peace that descended upon me and from that day four years ago until now I have never regretted embracing Islam. This decision did not come without trial.

I was fired from my job as I was teaching in two Bible Colleges at that time , ostracized by my former classmates, professors and co-pastors, disowned by my husband's family, misunderstood by my adult children and made a suspicion by my own government. Without the faith that enables man to stand up to Satanic forces I would not ha ve been able to withstand all of this. I am ever so grateful to Allah that I am a Muslim and may I live and die a Muslim. "Truly, my prayer, my service of sacrifice, my life and my death are all for God the Cherisher of the Worlds. No partner has He, this I am commanded. And I am the first of those who bow to Allah in Islam." (Holy Qur'aan 6:162-163)

Shadiyah Bey telling us how did she convert to Islam

As Salaamu Alaikum,

I wanted to share my story of when I became muslim again.....
When I was about 10 years old I would go to church every Sunday so that I could sing. I just loved to sing, this was the year of 1971.

When the time came for the preacher to give his sermon I was not very interested in it, I could never understand how come those adults believe what he was saying. I never could believe Jesus being God's son and Jesus and God being one. I didn't know why I didn't believe, but I just didn't. I guess that was part of my inner self remembering the conveant that Allah (swt) took from all of Adam's descendants at the time of his creation.

As I grew older I remember telling my stepfather that I wanted to be a Nun and I wanted to be Jew, searching for what I was lonely for and that was a relationship with my Lord. By the time I was 14 years old I started seeing on the news about the war that was going on with Iran and Iraq, then I wanted to dress like those sisters there on the TV. I had no idea what I was talking about but it just filled my heart with a longing and a searching.

The only thing that was around me at the time was the Nation of Islam because I had cousins that were in that group, I knew for some reason that was not the answer for me. I did not know where a Masjid was in the area nor did I know any Muslims.

I told my mother of my feelings and she told me "when you get grown you can do what you want to do". I was still singing and stepfather was my manager, for some reason in my heart I knew that I really did not want that life.

I turned down opportunities with groups because I did not want to be stuck with that life style. Mind you I didn't know why I was feeling that way, I just know that I did not want my children if I had any to be apart of that life to grow up in that life, but I loved to sing and always did all the time every where. I went to live with my father that year and the feeling never went away. It wasn't until I was 17 years old that I met through a friend this brother who at the time I did not know was Muslim.

When I found out I started asking questions, because this is what I have been waiting for for 4 years. He took me to a Masjid and from there I started going on my own. I met friends who did not live too far from where I was staying and I took my Shahada in the year 1979. As all new muslims do there was alot to learn and alot of mistakes to make.

As we all know there are many people out there who have there own understanding and they want to teach it and we listen until we learn better and learning never ever stops, insha'Allah. Alhamdulillah for Allah's guidance and protection, Allah has blessed me with a lot common sense and this has allowed me to dig deeper and search harder for more and more knowledge. I can say in the 21 years and 5 children this deen is never ending Masha'Allah.

Each year brings more and more joy and more and more understanding. As you get older your closeness to Allah feels deeper. I can remember when I was in my 20's and at the time the Masjid
was International Brother Hood, I was there for Jumah and there was no one there but old men, I thought. During and after the Kutbah they were crying and I was thinking to myself why are they crying so much, and I can not understand what they are talking about, I was like I have to go where there are people my age I just can't get with this.

HA HA I am now one of those people who are crying and crying and I pray that I do more crying, Masha'Allah. I beg of you sisters and brothers please hang in there, your reward is coming, insha'Allah. I know when we first take our Shahada we are so into this Deen and we want to know everything there is to know, we do lots of reading and studying, but as time goes on and we get married and have the children and have to work or what ever, that time we use to have is gone and you can't get all the things in that you use to do. You sit and wonder how you use to learn all this and that and read all this and that. You must try not to loose it, you must try to keep focus with Islam and pray everyday to Allah to give you more.

Anne : From devoted Christian to devoted Muslim

Anne Collins is sharing her Reversion Story with IslamWay Readers.

I was raised in a religious Christian family. At that time, Americans were more religious than they are now-most families went to church every Sunday, for example ....
My parents were involved in the church community. We often had ministers (Protestant "priests") in the house. My mother taught in Sunday school, and I helped her.

I must have been more religious than other children, although I don't remember being so. For one birthday, my aunt gave me a Bible, and my sister a doll. Another time, I asked my parents for a prayer book, and I read it daily for many years.

When I was in junior high school (middle school), I attended a Bible study program for two years. Up to this point, I had read some parts of the Bible, but had not understood them very well. This was my chance to learn.

We studied many passages in the Old and New Testament that I found inexplicable, even bizarre.
For example, the Bible teaches an idea called Original Sin, which means that humans are all born sinful. I had a baby brother, and I knew that babies were not sinful.
The Bible has very strange and disturbing stories about Prophet Abraham and Prophet David, for example. I couldn't understand how prophets could behave the way the Bible says they did.
There were many, many other things that puzzled me about the Bible, but I didn't ask questions. I was afraid to ask-I wanted to me known as a "good girl."
Al-hamdulillah, there was a boy who asked, and kept asking.

The most critical matter was the notion of Trinity. I couldn't get it. How could God have three parts, one of which was human? Having studied Greek and Roman mythology at school, I thought the idea of the Trinity and powerful human saints very similar to the Greek and Roman ideas of having different so-called "gods" that were in charge of different aspects of life. (Astaghfir-Ullah!)
The boy who asked, asked many questions about Trinity, received many answers, and was never satisfied. Neither was I. Finally, our teacher, a University of Michigan Professor of Theology, told him to pray for faith.

I prayed.

When I was in high school, I secretly wanted to be a nun. I was drawn to the pattern of offering devotions at set times of day, of a life devoted entirely to God, and of dressing in a way that declared my religious lifestyle.
An obstacle to this ambition, though, was that I wasn't Catholic. I lived in a midwestern town where Catholics were a distinct, and unpopular minority! Furthermore, my protestant upbringing had instilled in me a distaste for religious statuary, and a healthy disbelief that dead saints had the ability to help me.

In college, I continued to think and pray. Students often talk and argue about religion, and I heard many different ideas. Like Yusuf Islam, I studied the Eastern so-called religions: Buddhism, Confucianism, and Hinduism. No help there.

I met a Muslim from Libya, who told me a little about Islam and the Holy Qur'an. He told me that Islam is the modern, most up-to-date form of revealed religion. Because I thought of Africa and the Middle East as backwards places, I couldn't see Islam as modern.
My family took this Libyan brother to a Christmas church service. The service was breathtakingly beautiful, but at the end, he asked, "Who made up this procedure? Who taught you when to stand and bow and kneel? Who taught you how to pray?"
I told him about early Church history, but his question made me angry at first, and later made me think.
Had the people who designed the worship service really been qualified to do so? How had they known the form that worship should take? Had they had divine instruction?

I knew that I did not believe in many of the teachings of Christianity, but continued to attend church. When the congregation recited pieces I believed to be blasphemous, such as the Nicene Creed, I was silent-I didn't recite them. I felt almost alien in church, almost a stranger.

A shocker! Someone very close to me, having dire marital problems, went to a curate of our church for advice. Taking advantage of her pain and self-loathing, he took her to a motel and seduced her.

Up to this point, I had not considered carefully the role of the clergy in Christian life. Now I had to. Most Christians believe that forgiveness comes through the "Holy Communion" service, and that the service must be conducted by an ordained priest or minister. No minister, no absolution.
I went to church again, and sat and looked at the ministers in front. They were no better than the congregation-some of them were worse. How could it be true that the agency of a man, of any human being, was necessary for communion with God? Why couldn't I deal with God directly, and receive His absolution directly?

Soon after this, I found a translation of the meaning of the Qur'an in a bookstore, bought it, and started to read it. I read it, off and on, for eight years. During this time, I continued to investigate other religions.

I grew increasingly aware of and afraid of my sins. How could I know whether God would forgive me? I no longer believed that the Christian model, the Christian way of being forgiven, would work.
My sins weighed heavily on me, and I didn't know how to escape the burden of them.
I longed for forgiveness.

I read in the Qur'an,

"...nearest among them in love to the Believers you will find those who say, 'We are Christian": Because amongst them are Men devoted to learning, and men who have renounced the world and are not arrogant.
And when they listen to the revelation received by the Messenger, you will see their eyes overflowing with tears, for they recognize the truth. They pray, 'Our Lord! We believe. Write us down among the witnesses.
"'What cause can we have not to believe in Allah and the truth which has come to us, seeing that we long for our Lord to admit us to the company of the righteous?
" [The Chapter of the Table, verses 82-84 ]

I began to hope that Islam held the answer. How could I find out for sure?

I saw Muslims praying on the TV news, and knew that they had a special way of praying. I found a book (by a non-Muslim) that described it, and I tried to do it myself. . (I knew nothing of Taharah, and did not pray correctly.) I prayed that way, secretly and alone, for several years.

Finally, about eight years after first buying my Qur'an, I read:

"This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favor for you, and chosen Islam as your religion." [ The Chapter of the Table, verse 3]

I wept for joy, because I knew that, way back in time, before the creation of the Earth, Allah had written this Qur'an for me. Allah had known that Anne Collins, in Cheektowaga, NY, USA, would read this verse of the Qur'an in May 1986, and be saved.

Now, I knew that there were many things I had to learn, for example, how to pray properly, which the Qur'an does not describe in detail. The problem was that I didn't know any Muslims.

Muslims are much more visible in the US now than they were then. I didn't know where to find them.
I found the phone number of the Islamic Society in the phone book, and dialed it, but when a man answered, I panicked and hung up. What was I going to say? How would they answer me? Would they be suspicious? Why would they want me, when they had each other and their Islam?

In the next couple of months, I called the mosque a number of times, and each time panicked and hung up.
Finally, I did the cowardly thing: I wrote a letter asking for information.
The kindly, patient brother at the mosque phoned me, and then started sending me pamphlets about Islam.
I told him I wanted to be Muslim, but he told me, "Wait until your are sure."
It upset me that he told me to wait, but I knew he was right, that I had to be sure because, once I had accepted Islam, nothing would ever be the same again.

I became obsessed with Islam. I thought about it, day and night. On several occasions, I drove to the mosque (at that time, it was in an old converted house) and circled it many times, hoping to see a Muslim, wondering what it was like inside.

Finally, one day in early November 1986, as I was working in the kitchen, I suddenly knew, knew that I was Muslim. Still a coward, I sent the mosque a letter. It said, "I believe in Allah, the One True God, I believe that Muhammad was his Messenger, and I want to be counted among the witnesses."

The brother called me on the phone the next day, and I said my shahadah* on the phone to him. He told me then that Allah had forgiven all my sins at that moment, and that I was as pure as a newborn baby.

I felt the burden of sin slip off my shoulders, and wept for joy. I slept little that night, weeping, and repeating Allah's name.
Forgiveness had been granted. Alhamdulillah.

*The statement a person makes when accepting Islam (and many times a day thereafter: I testify that there is no deity other than Allah, and I testify that Muhammad (s.a.w.) was a messenger of Allah.

What Islam has done for me ?

I grew up in a home that really didn't have a set religon ....
My mother a mormon and my father a Babtist. And then there is me. I never felt right in any of the place of religon that I visited.
That was until I found Islam. When I found it it was overwhelming. I just new.
It was like I finally found what was missing in my life. And everyday just gets better. The more I learn the more peacefull I am.
I feel so privelaged to be touched by Islam.

Amazing Interview with a 14 years old new Muslimah !

The way she speaks is really impressive .. after my conversation with her .. I thought that I must tell her the fact that she is very mature .. please read her words .. and distribute it .. read the story now ! IslamWay.com:
Dear Sister .. As-salamu alaykum wa rahmatu Allah sister , first of all .. Congratulations for accepting Islam

wa alaikum assalam, thank-you

Can you give us brief information about yourself ?

My name is Sara, I am 14 years old and in high school. I live in the U.S.

Welcome sister Sara .. I'm really amazed to see someone in your age searching for the truth .. let me admit that .. Can you tell us .. how did you know about Islam for the first time in your life ?

Yes, the first time I heard about Islam was about 3 years ago, I was curious about God and religion and wanted to know what others believed. I started reading different materials and read about Islam. I was amazed by how much sense it made.

Isn't it kind of strange to start reading about religions when you were 11 years old .. is there is any special thing that you have other than other kids around you ?

Sara -smiling-:
I suppose it is strange to read about religion at 11, most my friends didn't understand how I could be so interested in finding God. My family is Christian, and I have been raised in religion, so it seemed only natural for me to study religion thoroughly and decide on my own what the truth was.

Did you read the Quran ?

Not at that time, no.

"A Muslim woman is oppressed and needs to be librated like the western women" .. do you have a comment about this ?

It saddens me that so many people in the world today believe that Muslim women are oppressed. I believe that we are the most liberated women on earth! To follow the guidelines Allah has given us is the most liberating thing any woman can do.

Well .. from what you see in the west .. are the women there librated ?

No, most women in the west are oppressed. We are used as sex symbols. Most women wear outfits that barely cover them, they use their bodies to get attention. We are expected to have 'perfect' bodies by the media's standards, we are supposed to look and act a certain way, and we are expected to do whatever the media tells us to do, and that is to disrespect ourselves and Allah.

So did you wear the hijab ?

No I do not. I would like to very much, but my family is unaware that I converted to Islam, and I will wear the hijab after I tell them.

You think that you will have problems with them after telling them ?

I'm not sure. I supose I am allowing my fear to keep me from telling them.

I see .. Just ask Allah to give your the power and the patience to take this step .. and I guess all Muslims who are reading this interview now will make du'a for you to ease things in sha Allah ..

What is the thing you liked most in the Muslims community ?

I admire the dedication Muslims have to Islam, there is an amazing peace and grace that Allah gives to those who serve him as completely as they can. To many it may seem hard to follow Allah's guidelines, but Allah gives every Muslim an amazing strength to help them. What I liked most about the Muslims I met was how friendly and caring they were.

"Most of Muslims nowadays are not practicing Muslims .. " first of all .. what do you feel about that ? And is that why Islam is not spreading too fast ? And what would you say to a none pracitcing Muslim ?

1) I firmly believe that the statement "Most Muslims nowadays are not practicing Muslims .. " is false. I do not believe you can truly be Muslim without being a 'practicing Muslim'. Islam isn't just a religion, it's a way of life. That's one of the many things I love about it.
2) Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in the world, I believe the reason for this is that people see the truth in it, and when they decide to live to serve Allah, they are given an amazing happiness and grace that others see and admire, that is what draws people to Islam.
3) Trust Allah, serve him completely, and he will give you the grace, peace, and happiness you need to be a 'practicing Muslim'.

What is your future plans ? Your dreams ?

I've always had a dream: To become a leader in our world and once again help establish peace and good relations between different people.

Do you have any plans for learning arabic ?

Yes. i LOVE languages. It's something that i enjoy very much, and my parents support my Arabic education, I will hopefully begin taking a language course this Fall. My dad lived in an Arabic speaking country for years, and so he would help me study.

oh i see .. which country ?

Sudan (in Africa)

Can you tell us in details how did you revert to Islam ?

I had originally heard about Islam about 3 years ago, my parents found out that I was reading about it and discouraged me from doing so, studying it much further. Then last Fall I started highschool at a new school that has a lot of Muslim students.
When I first started going there I remembered my studying and was curious about how they would act. My parents had told me Muslims were horrible mean, militant, abusive people. So I kind of expected them to be that way, I was wrong! The first couple of friends I made there were Muslims.
They were nice, friendly, caring people. I remember them talking about their God, and I was amazed by how much they loved Islam. I began very quickly began respect them, and quickly became very curious about their beliefs. A friend of mine asked them about Islam one day, and it turned into a several hour long conversation about Allah, and Islam, and daily life. I was suprised by how much sense it all made, and how happy they were. I began reading the Qur'an and looking for more information on the internet, and soon after I said the shahadah and converted to Islam. I'm still amazed by how happy and peacefull my life is. Allah has given me much strength in every day life. Inshallah my parents will see this.

19 years old Candadian girl looking for the truth !

Successfully found it ….repeating IN TEARS …THERE IS NO GOD BUT ALLAH
Her name is jennifer and she is a canadian citizen...unlike most of the girls her age she has been deeply contemplating the essence of life, it's target and the role humans are to play.

I can safely say that we, in our Arab communities, may feel like strangers as far as women are concerned. A lot of them are fascinated by the false glamour that has been imbedded in their minds through the western media and magazines since their early childhood.

Here is the start:

In her quest to find the truth, someone suggested our site as a reliable source to Islam, we started to explain the basics of Islam and about the miraculous Quran that has been kept unchaged for 1400 years ... we then advanced to the Quran international authenticity : Versions in China is typical to that in America or in Egypt or in any other part of the world. Then we concluded that Islam is the true religion to follow and Quran is the unchangeable word of Allah.

Coming to science and Quran’s Revelation of recently discovered scientific facts : we came to let her touch that in Quran… that in spite of the hardness and time consumed in researches together with a highly sophisticated tools and equipment used.. a man called Mohammad (PBUH) lonely amid desert of the Arabian Peninsula (Makka) stated in details a great portion of these discoveries One more Lingual challenge ..

Those the originator of the Arabic language .. regarded as its cavalier.. with unsurpassed eloquence .. amazingly stood stuttering before the simple clear wording of Quran retracting from the field .. What a kind of a challenge it is !! Flashing back : it the same kind of challenge that Christ (PBUH) has experienced with his people who were superior in medicine and he surprised them with the capability of reviving the Soul of a Dead Body.

Days are passing by:

She earnestly was contacting from time to time for more answers to a heap of queries spraining to her head until one day she put a question about the Muslim festivals and feasts .. I replied and explained how Moslims are celebrating their occasions like : Greater Bairam and Lesser Bairam …. She came to a hold … immediately I resumed …

Is it the time now?? She said : YES

I was overjoyed by her response .. but wanted to make sure .. so I asked: I mean the time to embrace Isalm !

She affirmed: “ Yes, I know what you mean”

Overwhelmed by joy as if in the seventh heavens with my heart carried away with joy : Al Hamdulilah ( Thanks is to Allah) .. We start now !!

She said : YES .

I said : “ do you mind giving your contact phone ?”.

She gave me the number.

Same moment I dialed and she was listening while I revised what I have introduced before of how to become a Moslim and told her :
Now it is time for the practical section. I proceeded and explained the meaning of the Two Shahadah ( Monotheism) and the other part that Mohammad is the messenger of Allah.

Then asked her to repeat the following :
Ash Hadu … Alla… Ilaha…. Illa Allah

Whimpering she repeated and she sound like sobbing !!

I proceeded ..

Wa Ash Hadu Anna Mohamadan Rasool Allah

With a more submitting tone she repeated and then burst loudly into tears

I inquired : “ Why do you weep? Are you feeling sad or discomfort??

She explained that these are not tears of sadness !!

I commented : “ then why do you weep? I believe that you are now in your best state and you have gained a blessing boon by embracing Islam. You have been- among billions – chosen by Allah .. not only billions of non- Muslims but of real Muslims who are no more observing Islam as their way of life .. you have to rejoice more than to weep!!

Still weeping she said : “ I don’t Know !!”

I repeated once more that she has been bestowed the divine honor… and she has been totally washed away of all her past at this particular moment and asked her to consider me for forgiveness the time she is making call to Allah.

I ended the call with a promise she will be starting to learn how to pray using the Internet facility for the time being until guided to the nearest local Islamic community that would be handling Prayer tuition.

After a while , we were engaged in a discussion .. I asked her :” why you felt like weeping last time ? “

She answered :” Really I don’t know !! I can’t find a substantial reason for this! It was the first time I feel something pushing happiness into my heart!! I felt secure and peaceful .. reality seems to be Islam .. it is settled inside me now that Isalm is the absolute truth!!“ Contrary to my happiness it comes to my mind : a lot of us has been deprived of such an elevated perceptions and affections .. Sometimes we come across the same while reading but no traces are likely to be manifest to our behavior.

We Arabs who has been honored to posses the Quran in our mother tongue and hardly we can find a real inflection or reflection of such sensations as Jennifer.

Allah has made Quran an ultimate remedy for sicknesses of both the heart and body .. besides, Islam is the salvation to mankind from all shapes of problems …

How astonishing !! you witness the Quranic Impact in a new Moslim truly and honestly signified !!

We aspire that Allah forgive and support her while going deeper into Islam.

Please don’t forget her while appealing to Allah.

I Had Not Gone Shopping for a New Religion

Written by : Michael Wolfe

After twenty-five years a writer in America, I wanted something to soften my cynicism. I was searching for new terms by which to see. The way one is raised establishes certain needs in this department. From a pluralist background, I naturally placed great stress on the matters of racism and freedom.
Then, in my early twenties, I had gone to live in Africa for three years. During this time, which was formative for me, I did rubbed shoulders with blacks of many different tribes, with Arabs, Berbers, and even Europeans, who were Muslims. By and large these people did not share the Western obsession with race as a social category. In our encounters being oddly coloured rarely mattered. I was welcomed first and judged on merit later. By contrast, Europeans and Americans, including many who are free of racist notions, automatically class people racially. Muslims classified people by their faith and their actions. I found this transcendent and refreshing. Malcolm X saw his nation's salvation in it. "America needs to understand Islam," he wrote, "because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem".
I was looking for an escape route, too, from the isolating terms of a materialistic culture. I wanted access to a spiritual dimension, but the conventional paths I had known as a boy were closed. My father had been a Jew; my mother Christian. Because of my mongrel background, I had a foot in two religious camps. Both faiths were undoubtedly profound. Yet the one that emphasizes a chosen people I found insupportable; while the other, based in a mystery, repelled me. A century before, my maternal great-great-grandmother's name had been set in stained glass at the high street Church of Christ in Hamilton, Ohio. By the time I was twenty, this meant nothing to me.
These were the terms my early life provided. The more I thought about it now, the more I returned to my experiences in Muslim Africa. After two return trips to Morocco, in 1981 and 1985, I came to feel that Africa, the continent, had little to do with the balanced life I found there. It was not, that is, a continent I was after, nor an institution, either. I was looking for a framework I could live with, a vocabulary of spiritual concepts applicable to the life I was living now. I did not want to "trade in" my culture. I wanted access to new meanings.
After a mid-Atlantic dinner I went to wash up in the bathroom. During my absence a quorum of Hasidim lined up to pray outside the door. By the time I had finished, they were too immersed to notice me. Emerging from the bathroom, I could barely work the handle. Stepping into the aisle was out of the question.
I could only stand with my head thrust into the hallway, staring at the congregation's backs. Holding palm-size prayer books, they cut an impressive figure, tapping the texts on their breastbones as they divined. Little by little the movements grew erratic, like a mild, bobbing form of rock and roll. I watched from the bathroom door until they were finished, then slipped back down the aisle to my seat.
We landed together later that night in Brussels. Reboarding, I found a discarded Yiddish newspaper on a food tray. When the plane took off for Morocco, they were gone.
I do not mean to imply here that my life during this period conformed to any grand design. In the beginning, around 1981, I was driven by curiosity and an appetite for travel. My favourite place to go, when I had the money, was Morocco. When I could not travel, there were books. This fascination brought me into contact with a handful of writers driven to the exotic, authors capable of sentences like this, by Freya Stark:
The perpetual charm of Arabia is that the traveller finds his level there simply as a human being; the people's directness, deadly to the sentimental or the pedantic, like the less complicated virtues; and the pleasantness of being liked for oneself might, I think, be added to the five reasons for travel given me by Sayyid Abdulla, the watchmaker; "to leave one's troubles behind one; to earn a living; to acquire learning; to practise good manners; and to meet honourable men".
I could not have drawn up a list of demands, but I had a fair idea of what I was after. The religion I wanted should be to metaphysics as metaphysics is to science. It would not be confined by a narrow rationalism or traffic in mystery to please its priests. There would be no priests, no separation between nature and things sacred. There would be no war with the flesh, if I could help it. Sex would be natural, not the seat of a curse upon the species. Finally, I did want a ritual component, daily routine to sharpen the senses and discipline my mind. Above all, I wanted clarity and freedom. I did not want to trade away reason simply to be saddled with a dogma.
The more I learned about Islam, the more it appeared to conform to what I was after.
Most of the educated Westerners I knew around this time regarded any strong religious climate with suspicion. They classified religion as political manipulation, or they dismissed it as a medieval concept, projecting upon it notions from their European past.
It was not hard to find a source for their opinions. A thousand years of Western history had left us plenty of fine reasons to regret a path that led through so much ignorance and slaughter. From the Children's Crusade and the Inquisition to the transmogrified faiths of nazism and communism during our century, whole countries have been exhausted by belief. Nietzsche's fear, that the modern nation-state would become a substitute religion, have proved tragically accurate. Our century, it seemed to me, was ending in an age beyond belief, which believers inhabited as much as agnostics.
Regardless of church affiliation, secular humanism is the air westerners breathe, the lens we gaze through. Like any world view, this outlook is pervasive and transparent. It forms the basis of our broad identification with democracy and with the pursuit of freedom in all its countless and beguiling forms. Immersed in our shared preoccupations, one may easily forget that other ways of life exist on the same planet.
At the time of my trip, for instance, 650 million Muslims with a majority representation in forty-four countries adhered to the formal teachings of Islam. In addition, about 400 million more were living as minorities in Europe, Asia and the Americas. Assisted by postcolonial economics, Islam has become in a matter of thirty years a major faith in Western Europe. Of the world's great religions, Islam alone was adding to its fold.
My politicized friends were dismayed by my new interest. They all but universally confused Islam with the machinations of half a dozen middle eastern tyrants. The books they read, the new broadcasts they viewed depicted the faith as a set of political functions. Almost nothing was said of its spiritual practice. I liked to quote Mae West to them: "Anytime you take religion for a joke, the laugh's on you".
Historically a Muslim sees Islam as the final, matured expression of an original religion reaching back to Adam. It is as resolutely monotheistic as Judaism, whose major Prophets Islam reveres as links in a progressive chain, culminating in Jesus and Muhammad. Essentially a message of renewal, Islam has done its part on the world stage to return the forgotten taste of life's lost sweetness to millions of people. Its book, the Qur'an, caused Goethe to remark, "You see, this teaching never fails; with all our systems, we cannot go, and generally speaking no man can go, further".
Traditional Islam is expressed through the practice of five pillars. Declaring one's faith, prayer, charity, and fasting are activities pursued repeatedly throughout one's life. Conditions permitting, each Muslim is additionally charged with undertaking a pilgrimage to Mecca once in a lifetime. The Arabic term for this fifth rite is Hadj. Scholars relate the word to the concept of kasd, "aspiration," and to the notion of men and women as travellers on earth. In Western religions pilgrimage is a vestigial tradition, a quaint, folkloric concept commonly reduced to metaphor. Among Muslims, on the other hand, the hadj embodies a vital experience for millions of new pilgrims every year. In spite of the modern content of their lives, it remains an act of obedience, a profession of belief, and the visible expression of a spiritual community. For a majority of Muslims the hadj is an ultimate goal, the trip of a lifetime.
As a convert I felt obliged to go to Makkah. As an addict to travel I could not imagine a more compelling goal.
The annual, month-long fast of Ramadan precedes the hadj by about one hundred days. These two rites form a period of intensified awareness in Muslim society. I wanted to put this period to use. I had read about Islam; I had joined a Mosque near my home in California; I had started a practice. Now I hoped to deepen what I was learning by submerging myself in a religion where Islam infuses every aspect of existence.
I planned to begin in Morocco, because I knew that country well and because it followed traditional Islam and was fairly stable. The last place I wanted to start was in a backwater full of uproarious sectarians. I wanted to paddle the mainstream, the broad, calm water.

Leading Muslim Women To The light of 20th Century Freedom !

      The story of how I reverted to al Islam is a story of plans. I made plans, the group I was with made plans, and Allah made plans. And Allah is the Best of Planners. When I was a teenager, I came to the attention of a group of people with a very sinister agenda. They were and probably still are a loose association of individuals who work in government positions but have a special agenda - to destroy Islam. It is not a governmental group that I am aware of, they simply use their positions in the US government to advance their cause.
One member of this group approached me because he saw that I was articulate, motivated and very much the women's rights advocate. He told me that if I studied International Relations with an emphasis in the Middle East, he would guarantee me a job at the American Embassy in Egypt. He wanted me to eventually go there to use my position in the country to talk to Muslim women and encourage the fledgling women's rights movement. I thought this was a great idea. I had seen the Muslim women on TV; I knew they were a poor oppressed group, and I wanted to lead them to the light of 20th century freedom.
With this intention, I went to college and began my education. I studied Quraan, hadith and Islamic history. I also studied the ways I could use this information. I learned how to twist the words to say what I wanted them to say. It was a valuable tool. Once I started learning, however, I began to be intrigued by this message. It made sense. That was very scary. Therefore, in order to counteract this effect, I began to take classes in Christianity. I chose to take classes with this one professor on campus because he had a good reputation and he had a Ph.D. in Theology from Harvard University. I felt I was in good hands. I was, but not for the reasons I thought. It turns out that this professor was a Unitarian Christian. He did not believe in the trinity or the divinity of Jesus. In actuality, he believed that Jesus was a prophet.
He proceeded to prove this by taking the Bible from its sources in Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic and show where they were changed. As he did this, he showed the historical events which shaped and followed these changes. By the time I finished this class, my deen had been destroyed, but I was still not ready to accept Islam. As time went on, I continued to study, for myself and for my future career. This took about three years. In this time, I would question Muslims about their beliefs. One of the individuals I questioned was a Muslim brother with the MSA. Alhamdulillah, he saw my interest in the deen, and made it a personal effort to educate me about Islam. May Allah increase his reward. He would give me dawaa at every opportunity which presented itself.
One day, this man contacts me, and he tells me about a group of Muslims who were visiting in town. He wanted me to meet them. I agreed. I went to meet with them after ishaa prayer. I was led to a room with at least 20 men in it. They all made space for me to sit, and I was placed face to face with an elderly Pakistani gentleman. Mashallah, this brother was a very knowledgeable man in matters of Christianity. He and I discussed and argued the varying parts of the bible and the Quraan until the fajr. At this point, after having listened to this wise man tell me what I already knew, based on the class I had taken in Christianity, he did what no other individual had ever done. He invited me to become a Muslim. In the three years I had been searching and researching, no one had ever invited me. I had been taught, argued with and even insulted, but never invited. May Allah guide us all. So when he invited me, it clicked. I realized this was the time. I knew it was the truth, and I had to make a decision. Alhamdulillah, Allah opened my heart, and I said, "Yes. I want to be a Muslim." With that, the man led me in the shahadah - in English and in Arabic. I swear by Allah that when I took the shahadah, I felt the strangest sensation. I felt as if a huge, physical weight had just been lifted off my chest; I gasped for breath as if I were breathing for the first time in my life. Alhamdulillah, Allah had given me a new life - a clean slate - a chance for Jennah, and I pray that I live the rest of my days and die as a Muslim. Ameen.

Cat Stevens : How I came to Islam

All I have to say is all what you know already, to confirm what you already know, the message of the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) as given by God - the Religion of Truth. As human beings we are given a consciousness and a duty that has placed us at the top of creation. Man is created to be God's deputy on earth, and it is important to realize the obligation to rid ourselves of all illusions and to make our lives a preparation for the next life. Anybody who misses this chance is not likely to be given another, to be brought back again and again, because it says in Qur'an Majeed that when man is brought to account, he will say, {O Lord, send us back and give us another chance} The Lord will say, {If I send you back you will do the same}
I was brought up in the modern world of all the luxury and the high life of show business. I was born in a Christian home, but we know that every child is born in his original nature - it is only his parents that turn him to this or that religion. I was given this religion (Christianity) and thought this way. I was taught that God exists, but there was no direct contact with God, so we had to make contact with Him through Jesus - he was in fact the door to God. This was more or less accepted by me, but I did not swallow it all.
I looked at some of the statues of Jesus; they were just stones with no life. And when they said that God is three, I was puzzled even more but could not argue. I more or less believed it, because I had to have respect for the faith of my parents.
Gradually I became alienated from this religious upbringing. I started making music. I wanted to be a big star. All those things I saw in the films and on the media took hold of me, and perhaps I thought this was my God, the goal of making money. I had an uncle who had a beautiful car. "Well," I said, "he has it made. He has a lot of money." The people around me influenced me to think that this was it; this world was their God.
I decided then that this was the life for me; to make a lot of money, have a 'great life.' Now my examples were the pop stars. I started making songs, but deep down I had a feeling for humanity, a feeling that if I became rich I would help the needy. (It says in the Qur'an, we make a promise, but when we make something, we want to hold onto it and become greedy.)
So what happened was that I became very famous. I was still a teenager, my name and photo were splashed in all the media. They made me larger than life, so I wanted to live larger than life and the only way to do that was to be intoxicated (with liquor and drugs).
After a year of financial success and 'high' living, I became very ill, contracted TB and had to be hospitalized. It was then that I started to think: What was to happen to me? Was I just a body, and my goal in life was merely to satisfy this body? I realized now that this calamity was a blessing given to me by Allah, a chance to open my eyes - "Why am I here? Why am I in bed?" - and I started looking for some of the answers. At that time there was great interest in the Eastern mysticism. I began reading, and the first thing I began to become aware of was death, and that the soul moves on; it does not stop. I felt I was taking the road to bliss and high accomplishment. I started meditating and even became a vegetarian. I now believed in 'peace and flower power,' and this was the general trend. But what I did believe in particular was that I was not just a body. This awareness came to me at the hospital.
One day when I was walking and I was caught in the rain, I began running to the shelter and then I realized, 'Wait a minute, my body is getting wet, my body is telling me I am getting wet.' This made me think of a saying that the body is like a donkey, and it has to be trained where it has to go. Otherwise, the donkey will lead you where it wants to go.
Then I realized I had a will, a God-given gift: follow the will of God. I was fascinated by the new termino- logy I was learning in the Eastern religion. By now I was fed up with Christianity. I started making music again and this time I started reflecting my own thoughts. I remember the lyric of one of my songs. It goes like this: "I wish I knew, I wish I knew what makes the Heaven, what makes the Hell. Do I get to know You in my bed or some dusty cell while others reach the big hotel?" and I knew I was on the Path.
I also wrote another song, "The Way to Find God Out." I became even more famous in the world of music. I really had a difficult time because I was getting rich and famous, and at the same time, I was sincerely searching for the Truth. Then I came to a stage where I decided that Buddhism is all right and noble, but I was not ready to leave the world. I was too attached to the world and was not prepared to become a monk and to isolate myself from society.
I tried Zen and Ching, numerology, tarot cards and astrology. I tried to look back into the Bible and could not find anything. At this time I did not know anything about Islam, and then, what I regarded as a miracle occurred. My brother had visited the mosque in Jerusalem and was greatly impressed that while on the one hand it throbbed with life (unlike the churches and synagogues which were empty), on the other hand, an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity prevailed.
When he came to London he brought back a translation of the Qur'an, which he gave to me. He did not become a Muslim, but he felt something in this religion, and thought I might find something in it also.
And when I received the book, a guidance that would explain everything to me - who I was; what was the purpose of life; what was the reality and what would be the reality; and where I came from - I realized that this was the true religion; religion not in the sense the West understands it, not the type for only your old age. In the West, whoever wishes to embrace a religion and make it his only way of life is deemed a fanatic. I was not a fanatic, I was at first confused between the body and the soul. Then I realized that the body and soul are not apart and you don't have to go to the mountain to be religious. We must follow the will of God. Then we can rise higher than the angels. The first thing I wanted to do now was to be a Muslim.
I realized that everything belongs to God, that slumber does not overtake Him. He created everything. At this point I began to lose the pride in me, because hereto I had thought the reason I was here was because of my own greatness. But I realized that I did not create myself, and the whole purpose of my being here was to submit to the teaching that has been perfected by the religion we know as Al-Islam. At this point I started discovering my faith. I felt I was a Muslim. On reading the Qur'an, I now realized that all the Prophets sent by God brought the same message. Why then were the Jews and Christians different? I know now how the Jews did not accept Jesus as the Messiah and that they had changed His Word. Even the Christians misunderstand God's Word and called Jesus the son of God. Everything made so much sense. This is the beauty of the Qur'an; it asks you to reflect and reason, and not to worship the sun or moon but the One Who has created everything. The Qur'an asks man to reflect upon the sun and moon and God's creation in general. Do you realize how different the sun is from the moon? They are at varying distances from the earth, yet appear the same size to us; at times one seems to overlap the other.
Even when many of the astronauts go to space, they see the insignificant size of the earth and vastness of space. They become very religious, because they have seen the Signs of Allah.
When I read the Qur'an further, it talked about prayer, kindness and charity. I was not a Muslim yet, but I felt that the only answer for me was the Qur'an, and God had sent it to me, and I kept it a secret. But the Qur'an also speaks on different l I began to understand it on anothlevel, where the Qur'an says, {Those who believe do not take disbelievers for friends and the believers are brothers} Thus at this point I wished to meet my Muslim brothers.
Then I decided to journey to Jerusalem (as my brother had done). At Jerusalem, I went to the mosque and sat down. A man asked me what I wanted. I told him I was a Muslim. He asked what was my name. I told him, "Stevens." He was confused. I then joined the prayer, though not so successfully. Back in London, I met a sister called Nafisa. I told her I wanted to embrace Islam and she directed me to the New Regent Mosque. This was in 1977, about one and a half years after I received the Qur'an.
Now I realized that I must get rid of my pride, get rid of Iblis, and face one direction. So on a Friday, after Jumma' I went to the Imam and declared my faith (the Kalima) at this hands. You have before you someone who had achieved fame and fortune. But guidance was something that eluded me, no matter how hard I tried, until I was shown the Qur'an. Now I realize I can get in direct contact with God, unlike Christianity or any other religion. As one Hindu lady told me, "You don't understand the Hindus. We believe in one God; we use these objects (idols) to merely concentrate." What she was saying was that in order to reach God, one has to create associates, that are idols for the purpose. But Islam removes all these barriers. The only thing that moves the believers from the disbelievers is the salat. This is the process of purification.
Finally I wish to say that everything I do is for the pleasure of Allah and pray that you gain some inspirations from my experiences. Furthermore, I would like to stress that I did not come into contact with any
Muslim before I embraced Islam. I read the Qur'an first and realized that no person is perfect. Islam is perfect, and if we imitate the conduct of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) we will be successful. May Allah give us guidance to follow the path of the ummah of Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam). Ameen!

Monday, 21 November 2011

The Meaning of Ramadan

The Meaning of Ramadan

Fasting during Ramadan, the Muslims holy month, was ordained during the second year of Hijrah. Why not earlier? In Makkah the economic conditions of the Muslims were bad. They were being persecuted. Often days would go by before they had anything to eat. It is easy to skip meals if you don’t have any. Obviously fasting would have been easier under the circumstances. So why not then?
The answer may be that Ramadan is not only about skipping meals. While fasting is an integral and paramount part of it, Ramadan offers a comprehensive program for our spiritual overhaul. The entire program required the peace and security that was offered by Madinah.

Yes, Ramadan is the most important month of the year. It is the month that the believers await with eagerness. At the beginning of Rajab --- two full months before Ramadan --- the Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, used to supplicate thus: "O Allah! Bless us during Rajab and Sha’ban, and let us reach Ramadan (in good health)."

During Ramadan the believers get busy seeking Allah’s mercy, forgiveness, and protection from Hellfire. This is the month for renewing our commitment and re-establishing our relationship with our Creator. It is the spring season for goodness and virtues when righteousness blossoms throughout the Muslim communities. "If we combine all the blessings of the other eleven months, they would not add up to the blessings of Ramadan," said the great scholar and reformer Shaikh Ahmed Farooqi (Mujaddad Alif Thani). It offers every Muslim an opportunity to strengthen his Iman, purify his heart and soul, and to remove the evil effects of the sins committed by him.

"Anyone who fasts during this month with purity of belief and with expectation of a good reward (from his Creator), will have his previous sins forgiven," said Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. "Anyone who stands in prayers during its nights with purity of belief and expectation of a reward, will have his previous sins forgiven." As other ahadith tell us, the rewards for good deeds are multiplied manifold during Ramadan.

Along with the possibility of a great reward, there is the risk of a terrible loss. If we let any other month pass by carelessly, we just lost a month. If we do the same during Ramadan, we have lost everything. The person who misses just one day’s fast without a legitimate reason, cannot really make up for it even if he were to fast everyday for the rest of his life. And of the three persons that Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam cursed, one is the unfortunate Muslim who finds Ramadan in good health but does not use the opportunity to seek Allah’s mercy.

One who does not fast is obviously in this category, but so also is the person who fasts and prays but makes no effort to stay away from sins or attain purity of the heart through the numerous opportunities offered by Ramadan. The Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, warned us: "There are those who get nothing from their fast but hunger and thirst. There are those who get nothing from their nightly prayers but loss of sleep."

Those who understood this, for them Ramadan was indeed a very special month. In addition to fasting, mandatory Salat, and extra Travih Salat, they spent the whole month in acts of worship like voluntary Salat, Tilawa (recitation of Qur’an), Dhikr etc. After mentioning that this has been the tradition of the pious people of this Ummah throughout the centuries, Abul Hasan Ali Nadvi notes: " I have seen with my own eyes such ulema and mashaikh who used to finish recitation of the entire Qur’an everyday during Ramadan. They spent almost the entire night in prayers. They used to eat so little that one wondered how they could endure all this. These greats valued every moment of Ramadan and would not waste any of it in any other pursuit…Watching them made one believe the astounding stories of Ibada and devotion of our elders recorded by history."

This emphasis on these acts of worship may sound strange --- even misplaced --- to some. It requires some explanation. We know that the term Ibada (worship and obedience) in Islam applies not only to the formal acts of worship and devotion like Salat , Tilawa, and Dhikr, but it also applies to worldly acts when performed in obedience to Shariah and with the intention of pleasing Allah. Thus a believer going to work is performing Ibada when he seeks Halal income to discharge his responsibility as a bread-winner for the family. However a distinction must be made between the two. The first category consists of direct Ibada, acts that are required for their own sake. The second category consists of indirect Ibada --- worldly acts that become Ibada through proper intention and observation of Shariah. While the second category is important for it extends the idea of Ibada to our entire life, there is also a danger because by their very nature these acts can camouflage other motives. (Is my going to work really Ibada or am I actually in the rat race?). Here the direct Ibada comes to the rescue. Through them we can purify our motives, and re-establish our relationship with Allah.

Islam does not approve of monasticism. It does not ask us to permanently isolate ourselves from this world, since our test is in living here according to the Commands of our Creator. But it does ask us to take periodic breaks from it. The mandatory Salat (five daily prayers) is one example. For a few minutes every so many hours throughout the day, we leave the affairs of this world and appear before Allah to remind ourselves that none but He is worthy of worship and of our unfaltering obedience. Ramadan takes this to the next higher plane, providing intense training for a whole month.

This spirit is captured in I’tikaf, a unique Ibada associated with Ramadan, in which a person gives up all his normal activities and enters a mosque for a specific period. There is great merit in it and every Muslim community is encouraged to provide at least one person who will perform I’tikaf for the last ten days of Ramadan. But even those who cannot spare ten days are encouraged to spend as much time in the mosque as possible.

Through direct Ibada we "charge our batteries"; the indirect ones allow us to use the power so accumulated in driving the vehicle of our life. Ramadan is the month for rebuilding our spiritual strength. How much we benefit from it is up to us.

Contributed by: Khalid Baig

The Virtues of Allah’s sacred month of Muharram and Fasting on ‘Aashooraa’

What are the virtues of the month of Muharram and fasting 'Aashooraa'?
Praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets and Chief of the Messengers, and upon all his family and companions. Allah’s sacred month of Muharram is a blessed and important month. It is the first month of the Hijri calendar and is one of the four sacred months concerning which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
«Verily, the number of months with Allaah is twelve months (in a year), so it was ordained by Allaah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them, four are sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein…» [al-Tawbah 9:36]
Abu Bakrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
The year is twelve months of which four are sacred, the three consecutive months of Dhu’l-Qa’dah, Dhu’l-Hijjah and Muharram, and Rajab Mudar which comes between Jumaada and Sha’baan.› (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 2958).
Muharram is so called because it is a sacred (muharram) month and to confirm its sanctity.
Allaah’s words (interpretation of the meaning): “so wrong not yourselves therein…” mean do not wrong yourselves in these sacred months, because sin in these months is worse than in other months.
It was reported that Ibn ‘Abbaas said that this phrase (so wrong not yourselves therein…) referred to all the months, then these four were singled out and made sacred, so that sin in these months is more serious and good deeds bring a greater reward.
Qutaadah said concerning this phrase (so wrong not yourselves therein…) that wrongdoing during the sacred months is more serious and more sinful that wrongdoing at any other time. Wrongdoing at any time is a serious matter, but Allaah gives more weight to whichever of His commands He will. Allaah has chosen certain ones of His creation. He has chosen from among the angels Messengers and from among mankind Messengers. He chose from among speech the remembrance of Him (dhikr). He chose from among the earth the mosques, from among the months Ramadaan and the sacred months, from among the days Friday and from among the nights Laylat al-Qadr, so venerate that which Allaah has told us to venerate. People of understanding and wisdom venerate the things that Allaah has told us to venerate. (Summarized from the Tafseer of Ibn Katheer, may Allaah have mercy on him. Tafseer of Surat al-Tawbah, aayah 36).
The Virtue of observing more naafil fasts during Muharram.
Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘The best of fasting after Ramadaan is fasting Allaah’s month of Muharram.’” (reported by Muslim, 1982).
The phrase “Allaah’s month”, connecting the name of the month to the name of Allaah in a genitive grammatical structure, signifies the importance of the month. Al-Qaari said: “The apparent meaning is all of the month of Muharram.” But it was proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) never fasted any whole month apart from Ramadan, so this hadeeth is probably meant to encourage increasing one’s fasting during Muharram, without meaning that one should fast for the entire month.
It was reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to fast more in Sha’baan. It is likely that the virtue of Muharram was not revealed to him until the end of his life, before he was able to fast during this month. (Sharh al-Nawawi ‘ala Saheeh Muslim).
Allaah chooses whatever times and places He wills Al-‘Izz ibn ‘Abd al-Salaam (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “Times and places may be given preferred status in two ways, either temporal or religious/spiritual. With regard to the latter, this is because Allaah bestows His generosity on His slaves at those times or in those places, by giving a greater reward for deeds done, such as giving a greater reward for fasting in Ramadaan than for fasting at all other times, and also on the day of ‘Aashooraa’, the virtue of which is due to Allaah’s generosity and kindness towards His slaves on that day…” (Qawaa’id al-Ahkaam, 1/38).
‘Aashooraa’ in History
Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came to Madeenah and saw the Jews fasting on the day of ‘Aashooraa’. He said, ‘What is this?’ They said, ‘This is a righteous day, it is the day when Allaah saved the Children of Israel from their enemies, so Moosa fasted on this day.’ He said, ‘We have more right to Moosa than you,’ so he fasted on that day and commanded [the Muslims] to fast on that day.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 1865).
“This is a righteous day” – in a report narrated by Muslim, [the Jews said:] “This is a great day, on which Allaah saved Moosa and his people, and drowned Pharaoh and his people.”
“Moosa fasted on this day” – a report narrated by Muslim adds:
“… in thanksgiving to Allaah, so we fast on this day.”
According to a report narrated by al-Bukhaari: “… so we fast on this day to venerate it.”
A version narrated by Imaam Ahmad adds: “This is the day on which the Ark settled on Mount Joodi, so Nooh fasted this day in thanksgiving.”
“and commanded [the Muslims] to fast on that day” – according to another report also narrated by al-Bukhaari: “He said to his Companions: ‘You have more right to Moosa than they do, so fast on that day.”
The practice of fasting on ‘Aashooraa’ was known even in the days of Jaahiliyyah, before the Prophet’s mission. It was reported that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said:
“The people of Jaahiliyyah used to fast on that day…”
Al-Qurtubi said: “Perhaps Quraysh used to fast on that day on the basis of some past law, such as that of Ibraaheem, upon whom be peace.”
It was also reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to fast on ‘Aashooraa’ in Makkah, before he migrated to Madeenah. When he migrated to Madeenah, he found the Jews celebrating this day, so he asked them why, and they replied as described in the hadeeth quoted above. He commanded the Muslims to be different from the Jews, who took it as a festival, as was reported in the hadeeth of Abu Moosa (may Allaah be pleased with him), who said: “The Jews used to take the day of ‘Aashooraa’ as a festival [according to a report narrated by Muslim: the day of ‘Aashooraa’ was venerated by the Jews, who took it as a festival. According to another report also narrated by Muslim: the people of Khaybar (the Jews) used to take it as a festival and their women would wear their jewellery and symbols on that day]. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘So you [Muslims] should fast on that day.’”
(Reported by al-Bukhaari). Apparently the motive for commanding the Muslims to fast on this day was the desire to be different from the Jews, so that the Muslims would fast when the Jews did not, because people do not fast on a day of celebration. (Summarized from the words of al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar – may Allaah have mercy on him – in Fath al-Baari Sharh ‘ala Saheeh al-Bukhaari).
Fasting on ‘Aashooraa’ was a gradual step in the process of introducing fasting as a prescribed obligation in Islam. Fasting appeared in three forms. When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came to Madeenah, he told the Muslims to fast on three days of every month and on the day of ‘Aashooraa’, then Allaah made fasting obligatory when He said (interpretation of the meaning): “… observing the fasting is prescribed for you…” [al-Baqarah 2:183] (Ahkaam al-Qur’aan by al-Jassas, part 1).
The obligation was transferred from the fast of ‘Aashooraa’ to the fast of Ramadaan, and this one of the proofs in the field of Usool al-Fiqh that it is possible to abrogate a lighter duty in favour of a heavier duty. Before the obligation of fasting ‘Aashooraa’ was abrogated, fasting on this day was obligatory, as can be seen from the clear command to observe this fast. Then it was further confirmed later on, then reaffirmed by making it a general command addressed to everybody, and once again by instructing mothers not to breastfeed their infants during this fast. It was reported from Ibn Mas’ood that when fasting Ramadaan was made obligatory, the obligation to fast ‘Aashooraa’ was lifted, i.e., it was no longer obligatory to fast on this day, but it is still desirable (mustahabb).
The virtues of fasting ‘Aashooraa’
Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with them both) said: “I never saw the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) so keen to fast any day and give it priority over any other than this day, the day of ‘Aashooraa’, and this month, meaning Ramadaan.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 1867).
The meaning of his being keen was that he intended to fast on that day in the hope of earning the reward for doing so. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “For fasting the day of ‘Aashooraa’, I hope that Allaah will accept it as expiation for the year that went before.” (Reported by Muslim, 1976). This is from the bounty of Allaah towards us: for fasting one day He gives us expiation for the sins of a whole year. And Allaah is the Owner of Great Bounty.
Which day is ‘Aashooraa’?
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “‘Aashooraa’ and Taasoo’aa’ are two elongated names [the vowels are elongated] as is stated in books on the Arabic language. Our companions said: ‘Aashooraa’ is the tenth day of Muharram and Taasoo’aa’ is the ninth day. This is our opinion, and that of the majority of scholars. This is the apparent meaning of the ahaadeeth and is what we understand from the general wording. It is also what is usually understood by scholars of the language.” (al-Majmoo’)
‘Aashooraa’ is an Islamic name that was not known at the time of Jaahiliyyah. (Kashshaaf al-Qinaa’, part 2, Sawm Muharram).
Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “ ‘Aashooraa’ is the tenth day of Muharram. This is the opinion of Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyib and al-Hasan. It was what was reported by Ibn ‘Abbaas, who said: ‘The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded us to fast ‘Aashooraa’, the tenth day of Muharram.’ (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, who said, a saheeh hasan hadeeth). It was reported that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: ‘The ninth,’ and reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to fast the ninth. (Reported by Muslim). ‘Ataa’ reported that he said, ‘Fast the ninth and the tenth, and do not be like the Jews.’ If this is understood, we can say on this basis that it is mustahabb (encouraged) to fast on the ninth and the tenth, for that reason. This is what Ahmad said, and it is the opinion of Ishaaq.”
It is mustahabb (encouraged) to fast Taasoo’aa’ with ‘Aashooraa’
‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with them both) said: “When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) fasted on ‘Aashooraa’ and commanded the Muslims to fast as well, they said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, it is a day that is venerated by the Jews and Christians.’ The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, ‘If I live to see the next year, in shaa Allaah, we will fast on the ninth day too.’ But it so happened that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) passed away before the next year came.” (Reported by Muslim, 1916).
Al-Shaafa'i and his companions, Ahmad, Ishaaq and others said: “It is mustahabb to fast on both the ninth and tenth days, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) fasted on the tenth, and intended to fast on the ninth.”
On this basis it may be said that there are varying degrees of fasting ‘Aashooraa’, the least of which is to fast only on the tenth and the best of which is to fast the ninth as well. The more one fasts in Muharram, the better it is.
The reason why it is mustahabb to fast on Taasoo’aa’
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “The scholars – our companions and others – mentioned several reasons why it is mustahabb to fast on Taasoo’aa’:
  • 1. The intention behind it is to be different from the Jews, who only venerate the tenth day. This opinion was reported from Ibn ‘Abbaas…
  • 2. The intention is to add another day’s fast to ‘Aashooraa’. This is akin to the prohibition on fasting a Friday by itself, as was mentioned by al-Khattaabi and others.
  • 3. To be on the safe side and make sure that one fasts on the tenth, in case there is some error in sighting the crescent moon at the beginning of Muharram and the ninth is in fact the tenth.” The strongest of these reasons is being different from the People of the Book. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade imitating the People of the Book in many ahaadeeth, for example, his words concerning ‘Aashooraa’: ‘If I live until the next year, I will certainly fast on the ninth day.’” (al-Fataawa al-Kubra, part 6, Sadd al-Dharaa’i’al-Mufdiyah ila’l-Mahaarim ). Ibn Hajar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said in his commentary on the hadeeth “If I live until the next year, I will certainly fast on the ninth day”: “What he meant by fasting on the ninth day was probably not that he would limit himself to that day, but would add it to the tenth, either to be on the safe side or to be different from the Jews and Christians, which is more likely. This is also what we can understand from some of the reports narrated by Muslim.” (Fath, 4/245).
Ruling on fasting only on the day of ‘Aashooraa’
Shaykh al-Islam said: “Fasting on the day of ‘Aashoraa’ is an expiation for a year, and it is not makrooh to fast only that day…” (al-Fataawa al-Kubra, part 5). In Tuhfat al-Muhtaaj by Ibn Hajar al-Haytami, it says: “There is nothing wrong with fasting only on ‘Aashooraa’.” (part 3, Baab Sawm al-Tatawwu’).
Fasting on ‘Aashooraa’ even if it is a Saturday or a Friday
Al-Tahhaawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) allowed us to fast on ‘Aashooraa’ and urged us to do so. He did not say that if it falls on a Saturday we should not fast. This is evidence that all days of the week are included in this. In our view – and Allaah knows best – it could be the case that even if this is true (that it is not allowed to fast on Saturdays), it is so that we do not venerate this day and refrain from food, drink and intercourse, as the Jews do. As for the one who fasts on a Saturday without intending to venerate it, and does not do so because the Jews regard it as blessed, then this is not makrooh…” (Mushkil al-Aathaar, part 2, Baab Sawm Yawm al-Sabt).
The author of al-Minhaaj said: “ ‘It is disliked (makrooh) to fast on a Friday alone…’ But it is no longer makrooh if you add another day to it, as mentioned in the saheeh report to that effect. A person may fast on a Friday if it coincides with his habitual fast, or he is fasting in fulfilment of a vow, or he is making up an obligatory fast that he has missed, as was stated in a saheeh report.”
Al-Shaarih said in Tuhfat al-Muhtaaj: “ ‘If it coincides with his habitual fast’ – i.e., such as if he fasts alternate days, and a day that he fasts happens to be a Friday.‘ if he is fasting in fulfilment of a vow, etc.” – this also applies to fasting on days prescribed in sharee’ah, such as ‘Aashooraa’or ‘Arafaah. (Tuhfat al-Muhtaaj, part 3, Baab Sawm al-Tatawwu’)
Al-Bahooti (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “It is makrooh to deliberately single out a Saturday for fasting, because of the hadeeth of ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Bishr, who reported from his sister: ‘Do not fast on Saturdays except in the case of obligatory fasts’ (reported by Ahmad with a jayyid isnaad and by al-Haakim, who said: according to the conditions of al-Bukhaari), and because it is a day that is venerated by the Jews, so singling it out for fasting means being like them…except when a Friday or Saturday coincides with a day when Muslims habitually fast, such as when it coincides with the day of ‘Arafaah or the day of ‘Aashooraa’, and a person has the habit of fasting on these days, in which case it is not makrooh, because a person’s habit carries some weight.” (Kashshaaf al-Qinaa’, part 2, Baab Sawm al-Tatawwu’).
What should be done if there is confusion about the beginning of the month?
Ahmad said: “If there is confusion about the beginning of the month, one should fast for three days, to be sure of fasting on the ninth and tenth days.” (al-Mughni by Ibn Qudaamah, part 3 – al-Siyaam – Siyaam ‘Aashooraa’).
If a person does not know when Muharram began, and he wants to be sure of fasting on the tenth, he should assume that Dhoo’l-Hijjah was thirty days – as is the usual rule – and should fast on the ninth and tenth. Whoever wants to be sure of fasting the ninth as well should fast the eight, ninth and tenth (then if Dhoo’l-Hijjah was twenty-nine days, he can be sure of having fasted Taasoo’aa’ and ‘Aashooraa’).
But given that fasting on ‘Aashooraa’ is mustahabb rather than waajib, people are not commanded to look for the crescent of the new moon of Muharram as they are to do in the case of Ramadaan and Shawwaal.
Fasting ‘Aashooraa’ – for what does it offer expiation?
Imaam al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “It expiates for all minor sins, i.e., it brings forgiveness of all sins except major sins.”
Then he said (may Allaah have mercy on him): “Fasting the day of ‘Arafaah expiates for two years, and the day of ‘Aashooraa’ expiates for one year. If when a person says ‘Aameen’ it coincides with the ‘Aameen’ of the angels, he will be forgiven all his previous sins… Each one of the things that we have mentioned will bring expiation. If there are minor sins for which expiation is needed, expiation for them will be accepted; if there are no minor sins or major sins, good deeds will be added to his account and he will be raised in status… If he had committed major sins but no minor sins, we hope that his major sins will be reduced.” (al-Majmoo’ Sharh al-Muhadhdhab, part 6, Sawm Yawm ‘Arafaah).
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “Tahaarah, salaah, and fasting in Ramadaan, on the day of ‘Arafaah and on ‘Aashooraa’ expiate for minor sins only.” (al-Fataawa al-Kubra, part 5).
Not relying too much on the reward for fasting. Some people who are deceived rely too much on things like fasting on ‘Aashooraa’ or the day of ‘Arafaah, to the extent that some of them say, “Fasting on ‘Aashooraa’ will expiate for the sins of the whole year, and fasting on the day of ‘Arafaah will bring extra rewards.” Ibn al-Qayyim said: ‘This misguided person does not know that fasting in Ramadaan and praying five times a day are much more important than fasting on the day of ‘Arafaah and ‘Aashooraa’, and that they expiate for the sins between one Ramadaan and the next, or between one Friday and the next, so long as one avoids major sins. But they cannot expiate for minor sins unless one also avoids major sins; when the two things are put together, they have the strength to expiate for minor sins. Among those deceived people may be one who thinks that his good deeds are more than his sins, because he does not pay attention to his bad deeds or check on his sins, but if he does a good deed he remembers it and relies on it. This is like the one who seeks Allaah’s forgiveness with his tongue (i.e.,by words only), and glorifies Allaah by saying “Subhaan Allaah” one hundred times a day, then he backbites about the Muslims and slanders their honour, and speaks all day long about things that are not pleasing to Allaah. This person is always thinking about the virtues of his tasbeehaat (saying “Subhaan Allaah”) and tahleelaat (saying “Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah”) but he pays no attention to what has been reported concerning those who backbite, tell lies and slander others, or commit other sins of the tongue. They are completely deceived.” (al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah, part 31, Ghuroor).
Fasting ‘Aashooraa’ when one still has days to make up from Ramadaan
The fuqahaa’ differed concerning the ruling on observing voluntary fasts before a person has made up days that he or she did not fast in Ramadaan. The Hanafis said that it is permissible to observe voluntary fasts before making up days from Ramadaan, and it is not makrooh to do so, because the missed days do not have to be made up straight away. The Maalikis and Shaafa’is said that it is permissible but is makrooh, because it means that one is delaying something obligatory. Al-Dusooqi said: “It is makrooh to observe a voluntary fast when one still has to make up an obligatory fast, such as a fast in fulfilment of a vow, or a missed obligatory fast, or a fast done as an act of expiation (kafaarah), whether the voluntary fast which is being given priority over an obligatory fast is something confirmed in sharee’ah or not, such as ‘Aashooraa’ and the ninth of Dhoo’l-Hijjah, according to the most correct opinion.” The Hanbalis said that it is haraam to observe a voluntary fast before making up any fasts missed in Ramadaan, and that a voluntary fast in such cases does not count, even if there is plenty of time to make up the obligatory fast. So a person must give priority to the obligatory fasts until he has made them up.. (al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah, part 28, Sawm al-tatawwu’).
Muslims must hasten to make up any missed fasts after Ramadaan, so that they will be able to fast ‘Arafaah and ‘Aashooraa’ without any problem. If a person fasts ‘Arafaah and ‘Aashooraa’ with the intention from the night before of making up for a missed fast, this will be good enough to make up what he has missed, for the bounty of Allaah is great.
Bid’ahs (innovations) common on ‘Aashooraa’
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about the things that people do on ‘Aashooraa’, such as wearing kohl, taking a bath (ghusl), wearing henna, shaking hands with one another, cooking grains (huboob), showing happiness and so on. Was any of this reported from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in a saheeh hadeeth, or not? If nothing to that effect was reported in a saheeh hadeeth, is doing these things bid’ah, or not? Is there any basis for what the other group do, such as grieving and mourning, going without anything to drink, eulogizing and wailing, reciting in a crazy manner, and rending their garments?
His reply was: ‘Praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the Worlds. Nothing to that effect has been reported in any saheeh hadeeth from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or from his Companions. None of the imaams of the Muslims encouraged or recommended such things, neither the four imaams, nor any others. No reliable scholars have narrated anything like this, neither from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), nor from the Sahaabah, nor from the Taabi’een; neither in any saheeh report or in a da’eef (weak) report; neither in the books of Saheeh, nor in al-Sunan, nor in the Musnads. No hadeeth of this nature was known during the best centuries, but some of the later narrators reported ahaadeeth like the one which says, “Whoever puts kohl in his eyes on the day of ‘Aashooraa’ will not suffer from eye disease in that year, and whoever takes a bath (does ghusl) on the day of ‘Aashooraa’ will not get sick in that year,” and so on. They also reported a fabricated hadeeth that is falsely attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), which says, “Whoever is generous to his family on the day of ‘Aashooraa’, Allaah will be generous to him for the rest of the year.” Reporting all of this from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is tantamount to lying.’ Then he [Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him)] discussed in brief the tribulations that had occurred in the early days of this ummah and the killing of al-Husayn (may Allaah be pleased with him), and what the various sects had done because of this. Then he said: ‘An ignorant, wrongful group – who were either heretics and hypocrites, or misguided and misled – made a show of allegiance to him [i.e. al-Husayn] and the members of his household, so they took the day of ‘Aashooraa’ as a day of mourning and wailing, in which they openly displayed the rituals of jaahiliyyah such as slapping their cheeks and rending their garments, grieving in the manner of the jaahiliyyah… The Shaytaan made this attractive to those who are misled, so they took the day of ‘Aashooraa’ as an occasion of mourning, when they grieve and wail, recite poems of grief and tell stories filled with lies. Whatever truth there may be in these stories serves no purpose other than the renewal of their grief and sectarian feeling, and the stirring up of hatred and hostility among the Muslims, which they do bycursing those who came before them… The evil and harm that they do to the Muslims cannot be enumerated by any man, no matter how eloquent he is. Some others – either Naasibis who oppose and have enmity towards al-Husayn and his family or ignorant people who try to fight evil with evil, corruption with corruption, lies with lies and bid’ah with bid’ah – opposed them by fabricating reports in favour of making the day of ‘Aashooraa’ a day of celebration, by wearing kohl and henna, spending money on one's children, cooking special dishes and other things that are done on Eids and special occasions. These people took the day of ‘Aashooraa’ as a festival like Eid, whereas the others took it as a day of mourning. Both are wrong, and both go against the Sunnah, even though the other group (those who take it as a day of mourning) are worse in intention and more ignorant and more plainly wrong… Neither the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) nor his successors (the khulafa’ al-raashidoon) did any of these things on the day of ‘Aashooraa’, they neither made it a day of mourning nor a day of celebration…As for the other things, such as cooking special dishes with or without grains, or wearing new clothes, or spending money on one’s family, or buying the year’s supplies on that day, or doing special acts of worship [in particular for this day] such as special prayers or deliberately slaughtering an animal on that day, or saving some of the meat of the sacrifice to cook with grains, or wearing kohl and henna, or taking a bath (ghusl), or shaking hands with one another, or visiting one another, or visiting the mosques and mashhads (shrines) and so on… all of this is reprehensible bid’ah and is wrong. None of it has anything to do with the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or the way of the Khulafa’ al-Raashidoon. It was not approved of by any of the imaams of the Muslims, not Maalik, not al-Thawri, not al-Layth ibn Sa’d, not Abu Haneefah, not al-Oozaa’i, not al-Shaafa'i, not Ahmad ibn Hanbal, not Ishaaq ibn Raahwayh, not any of the imaams and scholars of the Muslims.’(al-Fataawa al-Kubra by Ibn Taymiyah)
Ibn al-Haaj (may Allaah have mercy on him) mentioned that one of the bid’ahs on ‘Aashooraa’ was deliberately paying zakaat on this day, late or early, or slaughtering a chicken just for this occasion, or – in the case of women – using henna. (al-Madkhal, part 1, Yawm ‘Aashooraa’)
We ask Allaah to make us followers of the Sunnah of His Noble Prophet, to make us live in Islam and die in a state of faith. May He help us to do that which He loves and which pleases Him. We ask Him to help us to remember Him and be thankful to Him, to worship Him properly and to accept our good deeds.
May He make us of those who are pious and fear Him. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad and all his family and companions.