Itekaaf Part III- Bidaat

Bidaat (Innovations):

I had a feeling that Bidaat are increasing day by day and no one seems to be doing anything about it. Does it mean that the silent majority (say 98%) will be ruled by the 2% innovators. Is it not a duty of the majority to speak up and show the errors in introducing Bidaat? Specially, is it not a matter of concern that Bidaat in Ibadaat borders on Shirk (an unforgivable sin in the eyes of Allah)? I feel innovations in adopting technology or science for the health and comfort of human beings is fine. Examples are surgery, medicines, transport facilities and rockets, education, A/Cs, Refrigerators etc., are all Allah’s blessings on humanity. However, introducing special prayers, Zikr, Salaams in a particular way (not as described by the Prophet SAWS himself) are things which should be strictly avoided. I found the following practices in the masjid which were disturbing. The elderly among this group bring in a few from the younger generation who think the new practices are getting them closer and closer to Jannah.

  1. Offering Salaam after Jumuah prayers and standing while doing so. This group seems to be getting increasingly aggressive by starting the Salaam before other Musallis finish their Sunnah prayers. They obstruct Musallis who wish to meet the Imam,
  2. Turning towards Madinah while doing Salam and offering Duas and using words such as “Mushkil Kusha”
  3. Reciting Ayat-e-Kareema on Thursdays and Fridays in a small group on pebbles or tamarind seeds.
  4. Reciting Fateha (Rabbana Taqabbal min al Fateha) after all congregational prayers.
  5. Kissing thumbnails when hearing Prophet SAW’s name
  6. Touching Janimaz after prayers with hands and touching eyes / lips.
  7. Standing for Qiyam only after hearing Hayya Al Salat and performing No:5 causing gaps in the saf. This happens even when they see the Imam standing from the commencement of Qamat.

It is a very difficult task to have a reasoned debate on these issues as people who innovate are adamant and believe in Mureeds and Murshads. They take offence when asked questions about their practices. Even educated people fall prey to these practices. People who raise an issue are treated like destabilizing influences or the guilty. They are called Salafis, Wahabis, Ahle Hadith etc., They pose as if they are the victims of discrimination. Is it the recurrence of the times of Jahiliyya and installing ideological idols and images and splitting the Ummah into thousands of sects and groups. I find there are many balanced people who are also disturbed but prefer to remain silent. I think getting together an effective group of mature and learned men and make them speak up and correct the people who are into Bidaat is the recommended way.

Shab-e- Qadr programme  & Bidaat

Some mention has to be made of the Shab-e-Qadr program, as it ended in a pretty bizarre fashion. Shab-e-Qadr programme was highlighted by a guest speaker. The program started after a rescheduled Isha and the masjid was packed with devotees. With a short Qiraat by Hafez Munawwar saheb, the guest speaker started of. He spoke for an hour and in a very loud and harsh tone.  When he upped his pitch, I was reminded of this Ayat.

And be moderate in your pace and lower your voice; indeed, the most disagreeable of sounds is the voice of donkeys.” Surah Luqman 31:19 SAHIH INTERNATIONAL

His theme was for all Muslims to fast without fail and also accord same status as Ramadan to months like Rajab and Shaban. He said Ramadan was the month of Ummah whereas Allah says in Quran that it is His month. He exhorted people to equate these months with Ramadan and continue fasting for four months. He narrated two more questionable stories which need to be mentioned here. ( Please note these are quotes from the speaker which are unverified and most likely fabricated)

He says once when Hazrat Umar (r.a.) was passing by Jannatul Baqi in Medina, he heard wailing from one of the graves as if he is being beaten by a group of people. He looked around and found a grave which was the source of these screams. The grave belonged to a Sahabi. Hazrat Umar (r.a.) prayed to Allah to show him what is happening in the grave and Allah opened the grave. He was being punished by a number of angels. Hazrat Umar (r.a.) asked the Sahabi what sin he committed to deserve such punishment in the grave itself. He said he cannot speak till the punishment stops temporarily and asked Hazrat Umar (r.a.) to pray to Allah for relief. He did so and Allah stopped the punishment. The Sahabi then said he was devoted to prayers in Jamaat without fail, did zikr, fasted and did all other important ibadaat. He missed a day’s fast and that is why he was being punished. ( Please note these are quotes from the speaker which are unverified and most likely fabricated)

He then narrated an episode of Moosa A.S. who was asked by Allah if he wanted to see a miracle of Allah. Allah asked him to strike his staff against a rocky hillock which split showing another small hillock of increasing brightness and beauty. Allah asked him to strike again and more beautiful rocks as of Gold appeared underneath. This happened ten times and then Moosa AS saw a beautiful silkworm happily living under all these rocks reportedly for 450 years. Moosa AS asked Allah how this worm could be fed its sustenance under ten layers of rocks. Allah said He is Khaliq and can feed anything anywhere. ( Please note these are quotes from the speaker which are unverified and most likely fabricated. Perhaps there is real version which may be different)

Immediately after an hour long lecture, he started Salam and everybody stood up. He did it so well that nobody had any option to withdraw and had to join in. We had to stand still till the Salaam was over. The Salam included a long duwa with all the people standing. He turned towards Madinah and a few people followed him. It looked like Shirk. He also used words like Mushkil Kusha referring to Prophet Mohamed SAW. Later I accosted a gentleman who turned towards Madinah and asked him why he did so. He replied that the guest speaker also did it and I can go and ask him for an explanation.

The next 15 minutes were tense as Imam saheb was very upset and he was joined by an angry Professor Mateen. They went to the speaker and objected to his depicting  a Sahabi as being tortured whereas we believe that all Sahabis (people who saw Prophet SAW after accepting Islam) are of the highest caliber among Muslims and will enter Jannah. They also objected to the Moosa AS episode as well as equating three more months with Ramadan. They asked the speaker for references from Quran and Hadith. The speaker said they can go to Jamia Nizamia Hyderabad and get the stories verified. Imam saheb said he was the one who was narrating these stories and he should give proper references. The matter is under inquiry by Imam saheb and Mateen.

The whole episode left a bad taste and it seems the same guest speaker was invited earlier too.  He looked like a Bidati and commercial type of speaker who would aim to arouse people with concocted stories. I am waiting for feedback on the veracity of these stories and the background of this gentlemen. It is now one year and I am waiting)

May Allah guide us all to the right path and give us knowledge that benefits and saves us from knowledge that doesn’t benefit. Ameen.

Advertisements

Itekaaf Part II – Diary

Itekaaf Diary

I maintained a diary for the duration and here it is!!!

Day 1

Settled down to the routine. I was comfortable being alone for a while without any disturbance and perform the major devotions recommended for Itekaaf. My only concerns were the toilet and the bathroom, a mundane thing, but was triggered off by calling them challenges by previous Itekaaf people. I was quite happy as Riaz gave me the key to the special toilet which was quite clean and well maintained. One of the bathrooms had a shower and as the days were warm, I enjoyed baths everyday. I misplaced the key and a frantic search ensued with calls being placed home to find the lost key. I found it in my clothes I changed earlier.

Tahajjud started  last night with twelve Rakaat and four paras. First 8 Rakaat had almost half a para in each rakah lasting 15 minutes each and the last 4 Rakaat were short.

After post-Zuhr Daras when Imam saheb read some hadith and explained them, I suggested that our group’s salaat be checked for improvement. There were two other young men and we were eight people. Imam saheb was hesitating and said he will show himself. I said that it will not serve the purpose as his salaat will be fine and that it is the others who need corrections. So we all lined up and showed all positions in unison and Imam saheb suggested corrections. Most common were touching the ears when saying Takbeer (one needs to put their palms towards Qiblah and lift them up to shoulder level and not touch the ears). The position of the feet was a problem for some where they were at an angle to each other instead of toes pointing straight towards Qiblah.

Abdul Kareem is a jovial person and very sportive. Many of us were taking a dig at him for fun but he never minded. During the Iftaar dinner, everybody gave up looking for meat in the Biryani but Abdul Kareem came up with pieces by digging deep into the bowl like a bulldozer. Someone called him a magnet for meat. He was involved in a major road accident in Rajasthan when two buses collided head on. He had a big gash on his forearm but more worrisome was his head injury. He feels giddy at times and is under the care of a Neurosurgeon. He used to take care of surplus food and allocate for Taraweeh and Tahajjud. I gave him a title “Minister of Food supplies”.

Daras after Taraweeh lasted more than an hour.  A Hadith was narrated where Prophet SAW emphasized four cardinal rules for a good Muslim to follow.

  1. Always be on the side of truth (Haq)
  2. Never go anywhere near Shirk (Assigning partners to Allah)
  3. Moderation in eating and
  4. Ensuring Amanah (Trusteeship) is always safe and secure.

Siraj went to pick up Riaz and Hina arriving from Dallas, USA.

Day 2

Got into the habit of reading Quran after Fajr prayers and then offering Ishraq prayers at 6.10 am. From 6.30 am till 10 am was rest time and I could sleep for this period. The only other nap was for an hour after Daras post-Zuhr till 5 pm. Average sleep time was 4-4.30 hours. After bath at 10.30 am, I started offering Chaast prayers after 11.00 am.

Imam saheb spoke on Shab-e-Qadr and Battle of Badr in Friday Khutbah. During the Daras, he explained some precautions to be taken for Taharat (cleanliness) with references from Hadith.

In the Daras after Taraweeh, Imam saheb read a lengthy Hadith which says Prophet SAW told Sahaba ten things to be strictly observed.

  1. Never to miss Fard prayers.
  2. Maintaining balance in happiness and sadness
  3. Absolute avoidance of Shirk.
  4. No drinking Alcohol.
  5. Disciplining children when necessary
  6. Avoid Riyakari (showing off)
  7. Not leaving the country/ place if plague or serious disease breaks out.
  8. Not turning one’s back during a battle
  9. Always speaking the truth.
  10. Fulfilling duty to parents

Siraj brought a message that Sardar is not well due to a reaction to some medicine and another relative was hospitalized. I prayed for them specially during Taraweeh and Tahajjud. Requested Imam saheb also to pray for them. He advised that we should give some Sadaqa as soon as possible. I prayed for Abid’s health and Khalajan’s health too.

Day 3

Lost the bathroom key again and searched all over. Looks like some junior Jinn is after the key!! Had to buy a new lock after breaking the old one, (thanks Eswarayya, for your physical prowess!)

Felt backache during Tahajjud when I had to stand for 15 minute Rakaats. Used some Gel which helped a bit.

There was a battle of Iftaars today. One Iftaar came form Shakeel and another from Ahmed Ali saheb.

  • Mutton Biryani vs Bagara chawal
  • Mirchi ka salan vs Dalcha
  • Mango custard vs Nothing!

You know who won the battle!!

Day 4

Imam saheb fighting throat infection. Spoke to Krishna Reddy and got some medicines. His medicinal gargling liquid helped a lot.

Today’s Daras after Zuhr was about Banu Israel and their disobedience. Also covered Anger and how damaging it can be. Hazrat Ali RA stopped fighting an enemy when he was angry because the enemy spit on him. Prophet SAW showed by example many a time that controlling one’s anger is the best behavior.

Sheikh Rasool joined Itekaaf for a day. He seems to be greatly influenced by a TV channel URC and he was quoting things which may not be right. He says the world’s population will be 100% Muslim by 2050. Imam saheb calmed him down and asked him not to believe everything from TV and to study Quran and Hadith and discuss with Alims to achieve better understanding.

Day 5

Introduced Maariful Quran to the youngsters by reading Surah Qadr. They liked it and I see them referring to further Surahs later on.

A Hadith read after Asr says Prophet SAW told a Sahabi that four Zikrs (meditation) are every valuable. They are La Ilaha Illallah, Subhanallah, Al Hamdulillah and Allahu Akbar.

Trouble before Iftaar. Someone told us a few days back that the last five days, Iftaar is arranged by various people. I passed on this info to Khamar at home and she was only sending rotis for Sehri and rice and curry were available from the masjid for Sehri. Suddenly we were told just an hour before Iftaar that there was no such thing for today and for the rest of the days, it is up for grabs!! Siraj carried this emergency news to Khamar and I had the best of Iftaar dinners at short notice consisting of Roti+Rice+Shami Kababs+Egg curry. This was topped up by hot jilebis sent by Suhail. Mind you, we were not gorging  on all this stuff but sharing not only with six Itekaaf guys but also another six or seven guests. So everybody was getting small bites. I shared it among the others and we had a good meal, Al Hamdulillah. Thumbs up for Khamar for a delicious quick dinner.

After Taraweeh Daras was on Haya (modesty) part of Imaan (Faith)  and it goes beyond modesty in dress and manner but in whole character and conduct.

We had a new brother joining us for four day Itekaaf. Naushad Baig of Army Medical Corps, hailing from Markapur and related to Rahman Baig. He also knows Nazir Ahmed Saheb. He was an active participant in discussions and was very regular in his prayers. He had some issues which will be discussed in Masayil.

Day 6

After Zuhr Daras was on Farayiz and Mustahab aspects of Wudhu.

Last few days had been sultry and hot. Today between 3.30 pm till 7 pm, it rained quite heavily with strong winds and it cooled down.

Imam saheb finished Quran in Taraweeh, Mashallah in spite of his throat problem. At one stage, he was thinking of calling his brother who is a Hafez to conduct the Taraweeh and Tahajjud prayers but Al Hamdulillah, it was not necessary.

Day 7

Sad day today. Sameer son of Yusuf Khan saheb, a Police Inspector and  local resident was involved in an accident. Sameer was in his final year B.Tech (Computers) and was already placed in a Chennai firm during campus recruitment. He was also being advised by parents to join his sister in USA in a few months. Sameer was driving his bike to Uppal and a Tipper was driving fast in the wrong direction and hit him head-on. He passed away on the spot with total blood loss. Inna lillahi wa Inna ilaihi rajiwoon. Everybody had good things to say about this boy. I saw him the previous day sitting against one of the masjid pillars with a bunch of papers and I asked him what he was doing. He replied saying he was preparing a list of poor people for distribution of clothes donated by Telangana Government.

Funeral prayers are scheduled for Zuhr tomorrow.  Both Muezzins were sad as Sameer was always helping them in cleaning and arranging carpets and chandnis. Imam saheb was quite close to him as he was learning Quran from him after Fajr. Sameer used to stay in the masjid till Ishraaq prayers and then only go home. When I gave the news to Aleem in Chicago, he felt saddened as he knew him as one of the very few who stayed back for Ishraaq with him.

Day 8

The funeral payers for Sameer were held after Zuhr. There was a large gathering of 500+ people. Imam saheb spoke for ten minutes before the Namaz-e-Janaza. He said he felt sad because he was tired after Fajr for the last three days and he could not take up Quran lessons for Sameer and he used to wait for a while hoping Imam saheb will come out of his Itekaaf screen. Imam saheb was in tears and many in the jamaat were also weeping. When I met his father Yusuf Khan saheb, I said we heard lot of good things about his son, I became emotional and cried a bit. Farkhunda Ali Khan was all praise for Sameer and his good qualities.

The Dua at the burial ground was held by Hafez Munawar saheb amid a large gathering. We were told the Dua was very emotional. May Allah give Sameer a place in Jannah. Ameen.

Taraweeh Daras was on Akhlaque (Good conduct). Good Muslims should be fearful if their prayers and Duwas are accepted and strive more and more in the way of Allah. At the same time, one must be always hopeful of Allah’s unlimited mercy. Akhlaque is an important part of Iman. Akhlaque is also the conduct towards others in daily life.

Day 9

Saudi declared today as Eid and it is expected that tomorrow will be Eid in India.

After Friday prayers, a short Quran recitation was held for Isaal-e-Sawab for Sameer.

Later in the evening after Asar, chacha of Sameer brought three packets of clothes purchased by Sameer as Eid gift for Imam saheb and Moazzans. He was intending to give them a day before the Eid. Sameer was so thoughtful, Mashallah. All these things happened in a flash.

Daras after Zuhr was on Seerah, struggles of Prophet SAW in the early days in Makkah, sacrifices of Sahaba-e-Ikraam and Shaheeds of the early years.

Imam Abrar saheb came to meet us. Iftaar fruits and items were sent by a New-Muslim lady to Iman saheb. Good Dua by Imam saheb to conclude Itekaaf. I distributed laddoo packets s to all the Itekaaf brothers.

At 7.30 pm, Eid was announced for tomorrow. Packed up my B&B and left for home after Isha. Had dinner at home.

Thus, my first Itekaaf came to an end. I pray Allah for acceptance of all my Ibadaat and make me repeat Itekaaf for the rest of my life. Ameen.

Islam Finance, Masayil and Haj Guide

I have a huge library of articles, PDFs, eBooks, posters on Islam and Islamic Banking. These were collected and enjoyed by me and my family and friends. We compiled some of them into a CD which was distributed to all guests at Badar’s (my younger son) wedding in 2012.

I wish to share the material on the CD here. Updates at periodic intervals. Please do give me your valuable feedback via the comments box.

Some interesting files are

  • Our dialogue_ A four volume compendium of Masayil (Q&A) published in Arab News of Saudi Arabia
  • Basic guide to Islamic banking- Mahmoud Ameen El Gamal
  • Scientific miracles in Quran.  one-page poster
  • Hadith collections
  • Taj Quran

View in browser link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/vzklewvmo2qq7x4/AABV_nKuZ6dt6R3RRPkM4n43a?dl=0

 

Thankfulness

BismillahirRahman nirRahim,

Assalamo alaikum

Allah has bestowed on us so many blessings that we can never count them all. Many a time, we do not even remember them all. We take them for granted.

To fellow human beings that do us the smallest favor, we offer our gratitude and say Thanks every time. When we see a child forget to say thanks when offered a chocolate, we remind them to say Thanks.

Besides the obvious favors like life and health, essentials like water, food and shelter, Allah has given us many comforts which are way above our needs. Do we thank Allah for the well being of our parents, grandparents and all relatives including cousins, aunts and uncles. Do we thank Him for all the friends and mates.

We need to inhale and exhale for each cycle of breath. If you miss any part of this cycle, we will not be among the living. We should be thanking Allah twice for making this two-part breathing so natural and automatic for our entire life.

On the other side of the equation, we have a huge number of complaints towards our friends, relatives and everyone for anything that pains us, that irritates us and causes discomfort. Ultimately for each and every serious issue like accidents, sickness and failure, we blame Allah and and complain saying “Why me”, moan and groan that Allah is not listening to our prayers.

Allah tells us to remember him in happiness and distress and He will always help us. When we thank Him for the smallest favor, He promises to bestow us with more and more of his favors.

“Therefore remember Me, I will remember you, And be thankful to Me, and do not be ungrateful to Me.” [Al-Baqara 2:152] (Shakir)

We are constantly focused on the things we don’t have, instead of being grateful to Allah for the things we do have.

And We have given you (mankind) power in the earth, and appointed for you therein livelihoods. Little give ye thanks! [Al Araaf 7:10] (Pickthal)

And when your Lord proclaimed: If ye give thanks, I will give you more; but if ye are thankless, lo! My punishment is dire.[Ibraheem 14:7] (Pickthal)

And He giveth you of all that ye ask for. But if ye count the favors of God, never will ye be able to number them. Verily, man is given up to injustice and ingratitude. [Ibraheem 14:34] (Yusuf Ali)

Gratitude’s importance was emphasized by the Prophet when he took the hand of Mu’aadh ibn Jabal and said: “O Mu’aadh, by Allah I love you, by Allah I love you.” Then he said, “I advise you, O Mu’aadh, do not fail to say this after every prayer: O Allah help me to remember You, to thank You and to worship You properly.” Narrated by Abu Dawood and al-Nasaa’i .

The Arabic version of this Hadith is the following. Let’s ensure that we memorize it and recite it after every prayer.

shukr-dua

Allahumma A’inni Ala dhikrika wa shukrika wa husni ibadatika

I attended a programme in Qatar in 2012 where an Australian Motivational speaker was conducting a programme in the Qatar University. It was a thrilling experience. He was cheerful throughout which itself was amazing given his condition. The more amazing thing was that he made the audience laugh and join his team within minutes. The ultimate theme which motivated everyone present was that ” We should thank the creator for what we have been given and we should avoid complaining on things which we do not have”.

The speaker was Nick Vujicic and he has hundreds of videos on YouTube. I am giving links for only two of them and two further clips of little champions who also motivated me.

Nick’s motivational speech

Nick and his wife

Incredible champions and his ball control

Another little champ

Itekaaf 2015 Part I

Itekaaf is separating/ secluding oneself from life’s routine and stay in the Masjid for the last ten days of Ramadan. This was the practice of Prophet Mohammed (SAW). The last year of his life, he performed Itekaaf for the last 20 days.

In each neighborhood, at least one person should perform Itekaaf and pray for the safety and welfare of all the people in the vicinity. He has to cut himself from home and family and make adequate arrangements for supporting them for shopping and daily chores. I was lucky to have the full support of Siraj and Sameera who shifted for the duration of the entire month of Ramadan from their Chandanagar home.

I chose Vanasthalipuram masjid which is next door. Khamar and Sameera did a whole lot of cooking for Sehri and Iftaar and Siraj did a number of runs to and from the masjid and climbing of stairs. May Allah bless them for their good deeds and give them Sawab from my Itekaaf. It was Aleem who was regular for Itekaaf in this Masjid and last year, Siraj had joined him. This year, Siraj suggested that I take up the task and I felt confident of doing it.

It was supposed to be me alone but by the day it started, we had six people. Imam Nooruddin saheb and Abdul Karim, Event Manager joined us. Three young people also joined us. The young people were Khaleel, MBA and aspiring to Central Services, Abdullah in second year Engineering at Mukaffam Jah and Amer, final year BE.

We gathered on 8th July 2015 after Asr in the Masjid. Imam saheb told us the basic rules of Itekaaf as follows:

  1. We will treat the front portion of the masjid as our area for itekaaf
  2. We will avoid going beyond the first row of pillars except for ablution or nature’s needs where we will spend the minimum time and return to our place.
  3. We will join the Jamaat for all the Fard prayers and offer Sunnah and Nafil prayers within the masjid. We will try to find a place in the first row of the Jamaat.
  4. As far as possible confine ourselves to the space allocated to us with screens in place.
  5. We will avoid idle chat with friends and relatives except for the exchange of welfare of the family.
  6. We may make one call to our close relatives to enquire about their welfare.
  7. We can not go out for any purpose including burial ground. We will insha Allah get the blessing even if you don’t go.
  8. We will spend maximum time in Tilawat (reading of Quran), Zikr (meditation), Dua and attend Daras by Imam saheb twice a day. The earlier Daras on Hadith after Zuhr prayers and the later on the Seerah or Masayil after taraweeh.

My Itekaaf space

My Itekaaf space

There was a bit of drama on fixing my space. I was allocated a space towards the wudhu khana but by the Maghrib time, there was lot of noise and a floodlight was being fixed right on the window of my space. Imam saheb and Abdul Kareem who were more experienced about these arrangements came to me and said I should shift to the other side near the student rooms which will be quieter. Initially I refused saying I will manage and be patient. But eventually I agreed and my B&B (Bori and Bistar) was moved. I got a thin bed spread, a change of clothes, towel and brush etc., I had a few books (Contemporary Fatwas by Mufti Taqi Usmani, Everyday Fiqh, Taj Quran)

Itekkaf daras

The enhanced Itekaaf group at Daras towards the end of Ramadan

The group grew to a round dozen for the last three days. Naushad Baig of Army Medical Corps and Suhail, a committee member hailing from Kurnool and also a few young students. The picture above shows the group gathering for post-Zuhr daras.

Kids arrange Iftaar

Preparations for Iftaar (breaking of fast) handled by boys

Iftar preparations were well organized. Under the guidance of some seniors like Mohammed, Abid, Munawwar, Ahmed Ali, a bunch of young guys aged between 6-15 ran around and cut fruits, arranged plates and distributed to the guests. It was touching to see some people standing with a half a dozen plates and calling people to pick up their plate. Masjid gets lot of fruits from musalliyaan and sometimes Haleem. Our group in Itekaaf used to spread a sheet inside the masjid and we were given our stuff. We also got special treatment as some musalliyaan like Ali Bhai, Suhail, Nayeem, etc., used to send pakodas, Haleem and Harees etc.,

Iftaar dinner

Special Iftaar dinner

Sponsors offer dinner for Iftaar and the arrangements are expertly handled by Masjid committee members headed by Nayeem. Dinner is served hot and in time. You can observe a second line of guests waiting with plates in hand for the first batch to finish. Mohammed leads the cleaning team and he does lot of hard work and hardly gets to rest. This dinner was by Noor Mohamed of Kurnool who is a Granite dealer.

There were two memorable dinners, one by Telangana Government for 1600 people. This was held right on the road where school buses are parked. The Biryani was delicious with very tender meat specially ordered from Barkas where I am told, they butcher young goats. The original Biryani was exhausted and they had to arrange 160 biryanis from Green Bawarchi. The local TRS member came with a group of 100 people and enjoyed the biryani.

The second one was by Shakeel of VIP Suitcases. (Shakeel is now a tenant of mine). This Biryani was very tasty and the dessert was Mango custard. Our group finished both these items and some guys almost licked the plates clean (of course with their fingers doing the licking).

My Allah give them ajar for all the good things. Ameen.

New carpet joins old

New carpet for the first row

The first three rows of the masjid are carpeted last year. A donor offered a new piece which was laid on the first row and the old ones shifted down. Now we have four rows of carpets. It looks nice and closely matches the old design. Some rugs also were gifted which were laid down in the outer masjid.

Danial, the young lad regular at Tahajjud

I found this young boy standing in the last row by himself for both Taraweeh and Tahajjud prayers on regular basis. He was concentrating well and was not moving around like other children. His name is Danial and he comes to the masjid for learning Quran. I met his father and grandfather but they only accompany him for regular prayers. He sleeps for only two hours during Ramadan and attends school and he is not pushed by his parents. Mashallah, he was special. I got a bag of chocolates and asked Imam saheb to present it to him. On Shab-e-Qadr, the masjid committee presented him a wrapped up gift.

There was another such young boy, aged 9, named Khalid bin Yusuf Khan of Barkas who was accompanied by his mama. His dad works in Saudi Arabia. He was also a special kid with lot of concentration but he did not come back.

Beards in Islam

I felt I should share some valuable insights into Beard in Islam. At the end, you will find a quote from a different page of my blog (Itekaaf series). I do not intend any disrespect to my brothers.

The complete material may take about 30-40 minutes and it will be,
insha Allah, worth it.

 
Excerpts from my previous blog post:

Beards: I found too many senior citizens of 60-80 years with clean-shaven faces. I remember seeing the dead body of an elderly person in the funeral prayers held in the masjid last year. I lined up along with others to see him.When I saw his face which was clean-shaven , I thought I should not leave this world without a beard. How will we face Allah and His angels. Allah’s Messengers wore beards. Shariah says one should not imitate the other gender in dress and physical make up. Men should not imitate women and vice-versa. A scholar from Safa Baitul Maal addressed the gathering in the first week of Ramadan and said one commits minor and major sins in a second e.g.: lying, getting angry, hurting someone etc., and can seek Allah’s forgiveness. But shaving off beard is a 24/7 sin which is to be avoided.

I met this elderly gentleman by the name Jamal saheb of Guntur district who is 92 years old. Jamal saheb is of the same age of my dad, if he were to be alive. He is a regular at prayers and Mashallah, he prays standing up. He speaks only Telugu. He cannot fast these days. He wears a beard. One day, I asked him how he started a beard and at what age. He said he wore a beard for the first time at the age of 30 when he was accosted by an elderly person in the masjid. He told him something to the effect “You are regular in your prayers but you don’t wear a beard. It is good for you and Shaytan will keep away from you. It will help you control yourself from committing sins. People will treat you with respect.” This elderly gent held on to Jamal saheb’s hands for almost one hour till Jamal saheb agreed to start a beard. Jamal saheb said in Telugu as under. “Gaddam penchina tarwata, manakey chedda panulu cheyataniki siggu wastundi. Bhaya padatamu. Emayina tappudu panulu chestey, janalu antaru “Budhi leda neeku, gaddam penchukuni kuda elati panulu chestawa?” (After growing a beard, we will feel ashamed to commit sins. If you do any wrong things, people will say “Have you got no sense, you are doing such things even after growing a beard.”) Jamal saheb says one has better self-control after growing a beard. I liked his point of view. I laughed a lot when he said budhi leda neeku. I repeat this sometimes to Jamal saheb as a joke and he also laughs.

Jamal saheb.jpg

Jamal saheb near Foodworld

I accosted a dozen elderly people who are retired or on the verge of retirement and advised them to grow a beard. All of them listened. Some promised to do it. I found four people have successfully grown beards during Ramadan and are continuing. I found strange responses from some people. A guy said he was warned by his daughter (a teenager attending a girl’s madarsa) that he need not come to the madarsa to pick her up for the weekend without a beard!!

Prayer videos

Prayers for young Muslims ( 7 minutes)

As per Hanafi school. Differences exist in other schools.

Prayers for young ladies ( 8 minutes)

As per Hanafi school. Differences exist in other schools.

 

 

 

Niyat for prayers

I would like you to see the following link. It is a very clear opinion. Mufti Taqi Usmani is very well known personality, son of Mufti Mohammad Shafi, author of Maariful Quran and a world authority on Islamic Banking and I had met him once when he was Chairman of Shariah Board of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank where I worked.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OA1YWunCgA

Intention is from the heart and need not be any specific words or in Arabic or by verbalizing words aloud. Takbir-e-Tahrima ( Allahu Akbar) is important.

Also this link http://islamhelpline.net/answer/2477

Islamic Banking material will be shared via another post.

Pray like Prophet Muhammad SAW prayed

 

Mistakes in prayers

Women’s prayers:

I must mention that Hanafis follow what is described below whereas other schools have differences.
Relevant part from the link given below.

Many of our Brothers and Sisters object to the method of prostration (for women) in which it is preferred for her to make herself compact and cling herself to the ground including with her arms and elbows. The primary evidence quoted in opposition to this method (of making oneself) compact is as follows:

Anas (RA) narrated that the Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) said, “Do the prostration properly and do not put your forearms flat with elbows touching the ground like a dog. And if you want to spit, do not spit in front, nor to the right for the person in prayer is speaking in private to his Lord.” [Bukhari]

According to a number of Jurists, this narration isn’t applicable to women but exclusive to men:

  1. There are numerous (authentic) narrations where Sahabah (RA) narrate the prayer of Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) and in the description of prostration that clearly narrate that his elbows were off the ground and separate from the rest of the body. Therefore it is interpreted that this method is exclusive to men, a sample narration is produced below.

Narrated Uqbah ibn Amr al-Ansari: Salim al-Barrad said: We came to AbuMas’ud Uqbah ibn Amr al-Ansari and said to him: Tell us about the prayer of the Messenger of Allah (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam). He stood up before us in the mosque and said the takbir. When he bowed, he placed his hands upon his knees and put his fingers below, and kept his elbows (arms) away from his sides, so everything returned properly to its place. Then he said: “Allah listens to him who praises Him”; then he stood up so that everything returned properly to its place; then he said the takbir and prostrated and put the palms of his hands on the ground; he kept his elbow (arms) away from his sides, so that everything returned to its proper place. Then he raised his head and sat so that everything returned to its place; he then repeated it in a similar way. Then he offered four rak’ahs of prayer like this rak’ah and completed his prayer. Then he said: Thus we witnessed the Messenger of Allah (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) offering his prayer. [Abu Dawood]

2 The Sahabah (RA) understood that women are to make themselves compact during prostration and a few of these narrations are given below:

Sayyidina Abdullah Ibn Umar (RA) narrates Rasul-ullah (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) said that when a woman sits during prayer then she should place her thighs (on one another) and when she prostrates she should join her stomach with her thigh as it is more concealing and verily Allah (SWT) looks at her in this condition and says to the Angels, “Bear witness that I have forgiven her”. [Baihaqi]

Abu Saeed Khudri (RA) narrates that Rasul-ullah (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) stated that the best rows for men are the front ones and the best ones for women are the last ones during Salah. He (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) used to instruct men to be loose and for women to be (compact) during prostration. Men were ordered to keep the left foot flat and the right foot standing during Tashahuud and for the women to sit (squarely compact) during Tashahuud and for them not to lift their eyes to look at the Sat’r of men. [Baihaqi]

3 The understanding of some of the Taba’een also concurs with some of the Sahaba (RA) and a few of these Athaar are given below:

Sayyidina Ata (RA) states that a woman should be compact and when she prostrates she should join her (arms) [towards the floor] and her stomach and chest should join the thighs thus she should become as (compact) as possible Musannaf Abd al-Razzaq.

Sayyidina Ibraheem An-Nakhai (RA) states that women are instructed that when they prostrate to join the stomach with the thighs so her backside is not jutting upwards and parts of her body are not separate like men (but compact and together) [Baihaqi].

 

 


 

Darul Tahqiq

Postures for men

namaz-men

 

Postures for women

 

namaz-women

 

Zakat

My experience with Zakat

Till 1998, I used to pay Zakat on approximate calculations of my wealth and savings and a rough weight quoted by my wife. In 1998, a senior lady colleague who was Britisher and new revert married to a Omani came to me to consult on Zakat. She asked whether she needs to pay Zakat on diamonds, whether weight has to be adjusted as per carats and other questions. She mentioned that she took the whole lot of jewelry to a goldsmith to weigh. I gave her whatever clarifications I could. But what really impressed me was her desire to be accurate in her calculations.

Soon after, I started using proper calculation sheets and purchased a balance to weigh the gold. Masha Allah, over the ensuing years,  I could see accelerated growth in my investments in the real estate and shares. Believe it or not, my portfolio grew by 100% each year without any serious intervention from my side.

For those who give in Charity, men and women, and loan to Allah a Beautiful Loan, it shall be increased manifold (to their credit) and they shall have (besides) a liberal reward. Al Mujaadilah: Ayat 13

Since then, I pass on my experience to all my relatives and friends to share in the benefits of protection of our wealth by Allah which is his promise for paying Zakat regularly.

One of the points of view I very much appreciate is that the measure of Zakat at 1/40th (2.5%) of your wealth is the minimum laid down in Shariah. Though this detailed calculation is not mentioned in Quran, Zakat and Salat together have been mentioned many times. But should we not look at the other side of it. Why don’t we exceed this 2.5% and think that there is no maximum of Zakat as long as there are needy and helpless in the world. Zakat, by the way, is besides our Sadaqa, Hadiya, and all other kinds of charity. A Sahih Hadith is quoted below on calculation of Zakat.

Hadith on Zakat: The command to give 2.5% of surplus wealth as alms and charity

Ali ibn Abu Talib reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “If you have two hundred coins and a year has passed, then five coins is due for alms; and you will owe nothing until you own twenty coins, but when you own twenty coins and a year has passed, then half of a coin is due for alms and whatever exceeds that should be calculated likewise.”Source: Sunan Abu Dawud 1572

There are many books and much material on the net and everywhere else. An eBook compiled and written by my good friend Arif Jameel is linked below. He has done extensive research and explained things very clearly. As he is still open for suggestions to improve, he has left it as a draft. I find it very reliable and user-friendly. It has a section of FAQ. Jazakallah Arif Jameel.

Zakatonomics-eBook

You can also visit the website www.zakatonomics.com to download the book and a Zakat calculator.

Here are two Zakat calculation sheets. The first one is quite elaborate for an individual with personal as well as business interests. The second one is more applicable to Muslim women who have gold.

Zakat calculator

Zakat_Gold (women)