Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Halaqah #8 - 2/7/07

If someone came to you and asked if the Qur’an is the only guidance sent, what would you say?

Cover more into this subject in next week’s class.

“taqwa” = to fear, God-fearing, to guid, to bard, to shield, to avoid, to be conscious of Allah

Ali (radi allahu anha) defined “taqwa” as the fearing of the magnificent, the application of the revelation, and the preparation of departure.

Allah (swt) loves those who have taqwa. Taqwa is the fruit of many actions that Allah (swt) ordered us to do. Any good we do and any bad we avoid is getting greater taqwa.

How much you are committed determines your taqwa.

In Surah An-Nisaa’, the first ayat discusses about taqwa:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُواْ رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالاً كَثِيراً وَنِسَاء وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءلُونَ بِهِ وَالأَرْحَامَ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا

O mankind! reverence your Guardian-Lord, who created you from a single person, created, of like nature, His mate, and from them twain scattered (like seeds) countless men and women;- reverence Allah, through whom ye demand your mutual (rights), and (reverence) the wombs (That bore you): for Allah ever watches over you. (4:1)

In order for us to have any order in life, we must have taqwa.

illzam = forcement à weak

intizam = commitment à hard to do (more emphasis on this)

Enforcement can not happen unless you have commitment.

You must have commitment in order to have strong taqwa.

The first ayat in Surah Al-Hujurat starts with a commandment and ends with Allah is all hearing and all seeing for it is only the ocnsciousness of Allah that can create a real and lasting improvements of human habits.

In Surah Al-Fath, surah 48, it ends with how to have proper etiquettes (don’t ruin the time with having bad etiquettes) and then it starts again in Surah Al-Hujurat with having proper etiquettes:

مُّحَمَّدٌ رَّسُولُ اللَّهِ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ أَشِدَّاء عَلَى الْكُفَّارِ رُحَمَاء بَيْنَهُمْ تَرَاهُمْ رُكَّعًا سُجَّدًا يَبْتَغُونَ فَضْلًا مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانًا سِيمَاهُمْ فِي وُجُوهِهِم مِّنْ أَثَرِ السُّجُودِ ذَلِكَ مَثَلُهُمْ فِي التَّوْرَاةِ وَمَثَلُهُمْ فِي الْإِنجِيلِ كَزَرْعٍ أَخْرَجَ شَطْأَهُ فَآزَرَهُ فَاسْتَغْلَظَ فَاسْتَوَى عَلَى سُوقِهِ يُعْجِبُ الزُّرَّاعَ لِيَغِيظَ بِهِمُ الْكُفَّارَ وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ مِنْهُم مَّغْفِرَةً وَأَجْرًا عَظِيمًا

Muhammad is the messenger of Allah; and those who are with him are strong against Unbelievers, (but) compassionate amongst each other. Thou wilt see them bow and prostrate themselves (in prayer), seeking Grace from Allah and (His) Good Pleasure. On their faces are their marks, (being) the traces of their prostration. This is their similitude in the Taurat; and their similitude in the Gospel is: like a seed which sends forth its blade, then makes it strong; it then becomes thick, and it stands on its own stem, (filling) the sowers with wonder and delight. As a result, it fills the Unbelievers with rage at them. Allah has promised those among them who believe and do righteous deeds forgiveness, and a great Reward. (48:29)

Someone that is bankrupt is someone that lacks their prayer.

Hasan al-Basri was informed that someone was backbiting him. Hasan sent a plate full of sweets to his backbiter with the following message: "I have heard that you were giving me your rewards. That is why I am sending you these sweets to thank you!" They told Imam Azam Abu Hanifa, that someone was backbiting him. Imam Azam sent a bag of gold coins to the backbiter and said, "If he increases the rewards that he is giving to us, we will likewise increase our gift of gold!" If ill talk is a lie and slander, it will harm the person who originates it. One who is slandered should think and comfort himself by saying to himself, "His rewards will be given to me and my sins will be given to him." Slandering and carrying words between Muslims is worse than backbiting.

Allah (swt) and Prophet Muhammad (sallahu alaihyi wa salaam) have described how to deal with others.

The event that triggered the first ayat of Surah Al-Hujurat: This verse was revealed when Prophet Muhammad (sallahu alaihyi was salaam) received the delegation of Banu Tameem. During the delegation, the he explained to them the meaning and the obligations of Islam and accepted their allegiance. Prophet Muhammad (sallahu aliahyi wa salaam) deciding who should be the leader. Abu Bakr gave his suggestions to Prophet Muhammad (sallahu alaihyi wa salaam), but Umar stood up and protested since he thought he was a better candidate. Abu Bakr assumed Umar spoke up to contradict him. Abu Bakr became upset and the two argused to the point that their voices became louder than that of the Prophet Muhammad (sallahu alaihyi wa salaam). Allah responded on behalf of him, ordering them to neither be hasty or to interrupt Prophet Muhammad (sallahu alaihyi wa salaam).

According to Ibn Aldurabi, the first ayat is in reference to five things. According to the Qurtada, some people used to say that we wish Prophet (sallahu alaihyi wa salaam) would reveal such and such ayat…etc. Qurtada said don’t worry and hence the first ayat of Surah Al-Hujuraat was revealed.

According to Hasan al-Basri, this ayat was revealed in reference regarding some people that slaughtered the Eid meat before the eid salah.

According to Ibn Juraid, this ayat was revealed in reference to when the believers are not to worship the times until Allah (swt) and Prophet (sallahu alaihyi wa salaam). Example: Don’t pray zuhr before zuhr time.

According to Ibn Abbas, this ayat came to prohibit speaking before Prophet (sallahu alaihyi wa salaam) does.

According to Ibn Aldurabi and Mujaideh, this verse came in reference to when there is a judgment to make, don’t up your own opinions.

The Qur’an is the judgement of Allah (swt) and the Sunnah is the rulings of Prophet (sallahu alaihyi wa salaam), hence why you can not come up with your own opinion.

The message in this verse is that Allah (swt) knows best in all of our affairs. Allah (swt) mentions numerous times “Allahy ya’lamu wa antum la ta’lamoon.” (Allah knows and you do not know). And when you are not sure, always say ‘waallahu alim’ (Only Allah knows best). Allah (swt) knows the mankind better than we know because he is the Creator of this world. When the Qur’an is being recited, we as Muslims are commanded to listen to it very carefully:

وَإِذَا قُرِئَ الْقُرْآنُ فَاسْتَمِعُواْ لَهُ وَأَنصِتُواْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ

When the Qur'an is read, listen to it with attention, and hold your peace: that ye may receive Mercy. (7:204)

The Prophet (sallahu alaihyi wa salaam) is represented by his sunnah, therefore it is incumbent upon us to listen to his traditions by following the sunnah, commands, and prohibition.

Verse 2:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَرْفَعُوا أَصْوَاتَكُمْ فَوْقَ صَوْتِ النَّبِيِّ وَلَا تَجْهَرُوا لَهُ بِالْقَوْلِ كَجَهْرِ بَعْضِكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ أَن تَحْبَطَ أَعْمَالُكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَشْعُرُونَ

O believes! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet, nor speak aloud to him in talk, as ye may speak aloud to one another, lest your deeds become vain and ye perceive not.

      O you يَا أَيُّهَا
      who الَّذِينَ
      believe آمَنُوا
      Do not raise لَا تَرْفَعُوا
      your voices َ أَصْوَاتَكُمْ
      above فَوْقَ
      the voice (of) صَوْتِ
      The Prophet النَّبِيِّ
      and do not وَلَا
      speak loud/to declare publicly/announce/to raise تَجْهَرُوا
      to him لَهُ
      in talk بِالْقَوْلِ
      as you speak loud كَجَهْرِ
      some of you/portion بَعْضِكُمْ
      to others لِبَعْضٍ
      lest أَن
      May be rendered fruitless تَحْبَطَ
      your deeds أَعْمَالُكُمْ
      and (while) you وَأَنتُمْ
      not لَا
      perceive تَشْعُرُونَ

Ya Ayuladina à O Who you believe…

Latarr fa’auu à it’s a prohibition

-root word = rafa’ = to lift or elevate

-fa’uu = above or over

Rasul = Messenger

Nabi = Prophet

By default, every Rasul is a Nabi, but every Nabi is not a Rasul

According to the hadith there are 124,000 Prophets and 318 Messengers.

This verse was revealed to teach a lesson to the sahabah. It was narrated by the Sahaabee, Ibn az-Zubayr: “When a delegation from Banu Tameem, (the Tameem Tribe) came to the Prophet (sallahu alaihyi was salaam), Abu Bakr suggested to the Prophet (sallahu alaihyi wa salaam) that al-Qa’qaa ib Ma’bad be sent to meet them and Umar ibn Al-Khattaab suggested that al-‘Aqra ibn Qays be sent instead. Abu Bakr was irritated by Umar’s counter proposal so he turned to Umar and said, “You only said that to contradict me.” Umar in turn replied that he did not do it to be contrary. A quarrel ensued in which both of these great companions raised their voices to such a level that the Prophet’s voice was drowned out. Allah then revealed the verse, “O Believers do not raise your voices over that of the Prophet’s.”

When the two companions were arguing with each other, they missed a very important golden rule, which is to leave all matters to Allah and His Messenger. If they had referred to their disagreement back to the Qur’an and the sunnah, their dispute would have been solved.

To raise one’s voice over that of the Prophet (sallahu alaihyi wa salaam) is haram and could nullify a person’s good deeds.

While in a disagreement, it tends to lead someone angry. And anger can lead to all kinds of disliked acts. Anger can fall under the category of haram, halal, makrook, and mubah because it all depends on the situation. But we should all try to control our anger. Lack of control implies weakness and basically you are in a weak state. Prophet (sallahu aliahyi wa salaam) advised the Muslims to avoid getting angry and using bad language during discussion. He mentioned that the signs of a hypocrite are four and anyone who possesses one of them possesses a characteristic of Nifaaq (hypocrisy) until he abandons it: When he is entrusted he be betrays his trust, when he talks he lies, when he makes a promise he breaks it, and when he quarrels he uses foul words.

Be careful what you say. One has to be careful what you say, deal, etc. There are four things to think before you say something:

  1. Is it true?
  2. Is it important or necessary?
  3. Is there any benefit from it?
  4. Is it kind?

So say good things or just keep silent.

What happened after this verse?

When this verse was revealed to the Prophet (sallahu alaihyi wa salaam), he recited it to the Saahaba who were around him, and among the crowd was Thaabit ibn Qays. Thaabit assumed that it might have been aimed to towards him because he was noted for his loud voice. Thaabit left from the group and went home in grief believeing that he was destined for the hell fire. When he went home, he told his wife to shut the bedroom door. Prophet (sallahu alaihyi wa salaam) noticed his absences and asked one of the companions to find out what had happened. When the companion returned with his report on Thaabit, the Prophet (sallahu alaihyi wa salaam) assured Thaabit that he would be among the people of Paradise. This shows a great example that we tend to forget these days. The point is that the Saahaba used to reflect the meaning of the Qur’anic verses and apply the verses to themselves wherever they appeared appropriate. To them, these verses were instructions and messages which were to be acted upon and not merely memorized, hence why it is really important to understand what we recite while we are reading the Qur’an.

This rule, regarding to raise one’s voice over that of the Prophet (sallahu alaihyi wa salaam) is also applied when visiting the grave of the Prophet (sallahu alaihyi wa salaam). This ayat is even written over the Prophet’s (sallahu alaihyi wa salaam) grave.

During the time of the Umar (radiallahu anha), he once heard two men raising their voices in the Prophet’s (sallahu alaihyi wa salaam) mosque. He asked them, “Do you realize where you are?” But before they could answer he asked them, “Where are you both form?” They answered from Ta’f. He replied by saying, “If you had said you were from Madinah, I would have given you both a severe lashing for raising your voices in the masjid of Allah’s messenger.”

This rule applies to the sunnah of the Prophet (sallahu alaihyi wa salaam) where one should not speak about something when the Prophet’s opinion and verdict is being recited. When the hadith is being read, one should be quiet and listen with a full concentration.

Once example with the companions, Abdulah ibn Umar, depicts how strict and passionate he was with the sayings of the Prophet (sallahu alaiyhi wa salaam). When Abdullah bin Umar heard his son’s statement when the Prophet did not prohibit it.” Salim started to explain why he state his opinion, when his father aid, “Do not ever talk to me again.” In some narrations, it is stated that he died without talking to his son.

Imam Shafi said “There is no one among us (scholars) who has not had a sunnah of Allah’s messenger elude him or slip his mind; so no matter what ruling I have made or fundamentals I have established, there will be in them things contrary to some of the rulings of Allah’s messenger, But the correct ruling is according to what Allah’s messenger said and that is my ruling.

Imam Malik said, “Surely I am only a man. I make errors and am at times correct; so thoroughly investigate my opinions, then take whatever agrees with the book (Qur’an) and the Sunnah, and reject whatever contradicts them.”

In Surah Al-Ahzaab, is mentions that the only statement that is taken is that of the Prophet’s (sallahu alaihyi wa salaam). Anyone else’s opinion must be verified and researched before even being considered:

وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْرًا أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ وَمَن يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالًا مُّبِينًا

It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path. (33:36)

We should also note that the raising of voices in general is looked as a sign of bad character and ill mannered in Islam. Luqman compared the loud voice to a donkey by saying that “Lower your voice, (my son) for verily, the most detestable voice is the braying of a donkey.”

According to the scholars, another lesson we should learn from this is that people should not raise our voices over the voice of the leaders of the community, since that was the standing of the Prophet (sallahu alaihyi wa salaam) among his community.

Allah then warns at the end of the verse that the result of being disrespectful to His Messenger (sallahu alaihyi wa salaam) and his Sunnah is a drastic devaluation of good deeds without the person being aware of it. The Prophet (sallahu alaihyi wa salaam) reiterated this point by saying, “A man may inadvertently speak a word pleasing to Allah because of which Paradise is destined for him, and another may recklessly speak a word displeasing to Allah because of which he will be cast in the hellfire further than the distance between heaven and earth.”