Friday, 31 December 2010

The Purpose of Life

A Brief Explanation

In the Name of Allah, The All Merciful, The Most Merciful

The questions of why we are here, where we have come from, and where we are going are relevant to all of humanity. Indeed the question of where we are going is addressed by Allah, in the Noble Qurʾān, in the following verses:

“And he [Muḥammad, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him] is not stingy with the revelation, and it [the Qurʾān] is not the speech of the accursed Satan. So where, then, are you going? Indeed it [the Qurʾān] is only a reminder for all of creation. For whoever wants to, from amongst you, let him be upright, and you do not will except that Allah wills, the Lord of all creation.” [Sūrah at-Takwīr 81:24-29]

These verses are primarily addressed to the disbelievers of Makkah. Where are they going? Are they going to accept salvation and the Message or are they going to reject it and become lost for all eternity?

This leads us to the next verse where Allah states very clearly why He created us:

"And I have not created the jinn and the humans except that they should worship Me." [Sūrah adh-Dhāriyāt 51:56]

This is the purpose of our existence, but what does worshipping Allah mean? The great Companion of the Messenger of Allah may Allah's prayers and peace be upon him, Ibn ʿAbbās, may Allah be pleased with him, states in his commentary on the Qurʾān that Allah has not created us except that we should worship Him as the only god in existence. This is called Tawḥīd in Arabic. Allah has said:

"Know that there is no god but Allah, and seek forgiveness for your sins." [Surah Muḥammad 47:19]

Worshipping Allah also means having a direct relationship with Him. Allah is constantly calling humanity to Him, offering them guidance and forgiveness of their sins:

"O humanity! Worship your Lord Who created you and those who came before you so that you may achieve Taqwa." [Sūrah al-Baqarah 2:21]

‘Their messengers said: “Is there doubt in Allah, the Originator of the Heavens and the Earth?” He calls on you in order to forgive you your sins, and he gives you respite until an appointed time.’ [Sūrah Ibrāhīm 14:10]

"And if My slaves ask you [Muhammad, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him] about Me, indeed I am Near. I respond to the call of the caller when he calls on Me, so let them respond to Me, and let them believe in Me so that they may be rightly-guided." [Sūrah al-Baqarah 2:186]

Allah does not reject humanity. It is humanity that accepts or rejects Him. This brings us to the issue of free will. Every individual has the choice to believe or disbelieve:

"And whoever from amongst you wants to, let him believe, and whoever from amongst you wants to, let him disbelieve." [Sūrah al-Kahf 18:29]

"He is the One Who created you, and from you is the disbeliever and from you is the believer." [Sūrah at-Taghābun 64:2]

"There is no compulsion in religion. Truth has been clearly distinguished from falsehood." [Sūrah al-Baqarah 2:256]

Does Allah need humanity to believe in Him and worship Him? Allah gives us the answer:

"If you disbelieve Allah has no need of you, and Allah is not pleased with disbelief for His slaves." [Sūrah az-Zumar 39:7]

Allah does not need us to have a relationship with Him, but He wants us to. This should make us realise that Allah’s mercy towards us is absolutely sincere.

What about salvation and perdition? As shown above, there are two kinds of people: the believer and the disbeliever, and Allah has made promises to both of them:

"Allah has promised the believing men and women that they shall have the Paradise, under which rivers flow." [Sūrah at-Tawbah 9:72]

"Allah has promised the hypocrites, men and women, and the disbelievers, the Fire of Hell, and they shall be in there forever." [Sūrah at-Tawbah 9:68]

"Indeed Allah does not break His promise." [Sūrah Āl-Imrān 3:9 and Sūrah ar-Raʿd 13:31]

Does Allah want to punish humanity for their disbelief? The following verse is very telling:

'Indeed those who disbelieved will be called [on the Day of Judgement]: “Your hatred of yourselves on this day is not as great as Allah’s hatred of the fact that you were called to faith [in this life] and you rejected it.”' [Sūrah al-Ghāfir 40:10]

Allah does not want anybody to go into the Hellfire, but He keeps His Word. This should make us realise that Paradise and Hell are not merely about reward and punishment, but they exist as a further impetus for humanity to have a relationship with Allah, their Lord and Creator.

The motivations behind worshipping Allah can be narrowed down to three:

1. Worshipping Allah out of fear of the Hellfire. This is the lowest.
2. Worshipping Allah out of desire for the Paradise.
3. Worshipping Allah for Who He is. This is the perfection of worship.

Worshipping Allah simply for Who He is could explain why the greatest reward for the believers is not necessarily to be in Paradise itself, but to see Him. The culmination of having a direct relationship with Allah in this life is simply to gaze at Him for all eternity in the next:

"Faces on that Day radiant, looking at their Lord." [Sūrah al-Qiyāmah 75:22-23]

"For those who did excellence is the best reward and something extra." [Sūrah Yūnus 10:26]

That something extra, according to all orthodox commentaries, is the seeing of Allah. How exactly this will be only Allah knows, but what a reward!

This is the purpose of life. It is left to humanity to make their own decision and they will be held responsible for that decision. Allah is At-Tawwāb [the Oft-Returning]; He is always ready to accept anybody who comes to Him, sincerely seeking a relationship with Him. Once that relationship is established Allah will never let go, but humanity is still free to do as they wish.

"There is no compulsion in religion: guidance has been clearly distinguished from error, so whoever rejects false gods and believes in Allah has grasped the firmest handhold, one that will never break."[Al-Baqarah 2:256]

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Women in the Masjid

The Evidence from Sahih Muslim, with commentary by Sheikh al-Islam Yahya an-Nawawi

(#440) Zuheir bin Harb related [1] to us, Jarir bin Suheil related to us, from his father, from Abu Huraira, who said: ‘The Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, said: “The best row for the men is the first, and the worst of them is the last. The best row for the women is the last, and the worst of them is the first.”

Imam an-Nawawi: Regarding the rows of the men, generally speaking, the best is always the first and the worst is always the last. As for the rows of the women, this hadith is referring to the rows of the women that pray with the men. If [the women] pray by themselves, without the men, then they become like men in the sense that their best row would be the first and the worst one would be the last. What is meant by ‘the worst row’ for men and women is the row that has the least reward and virtue, and is the furthest from what is sought by legislation. The best row is the opposite. The only virtue of the last row of the women, who pray with the men, is their distance from mixing with the men, seeing them and their hearts being attached to them upon seeing their movement and hearing their speech and so forth. The dispraise of the first row is the opposite of that, and Allah knows best.

(#441) Abu Bakr bin Abi Shaibah related to us, Waki’ related to us from Sufyan from Abu Hazim, from Sahl bin Sa’d, who said: ‘ I saw the men tying their lower garments around their necks, like children, because of the shortage of cloth, behind the Prophet may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, so someone said: “ O women! Don’t raise your heads until the men have gotten up.”

Imam an-Nawawi: (‘I saw the men tying their lower garments’). This means that they tied them because of their inadequacy, so that none of their nakedness would be revealed. This is a caution to cover nakedness and to be firm in maintaining that cover.

(‘O women! Don’t raise your heads until the men have gotten up’). This is so that no woman would see the nakedness of any of the men being revealed, and so forth.

(#442) ‘Amr an-Naqid and Zuheir bin Harb related to me, and both of them from Ibn ‘Uyainah. Zuheir said: ‘Sufyan bin ‘Uyainah related to us, from az-Zuhri, that he heard Salim narrate from his father. The Prophet, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, came to him and said: “If any of your women should seek permission to go to the masjid then don’t prevent them.”

Harmala bin Yahya has told me, Ibn Wahb has informed [2] us. Yunus has informed me from Ibn Shihab, who said: ‘Salim bin ‘Abdullah has informed me that ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar said: “ I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, saying: “ Don’t prevent your women from going to the masjids if they seek your permission.”

He [Salim bin ‘Abdullah] also said that Bilal bin ‘Abdullah said: ‘I swear by Allah! I will prevent them!’ ‘Abdullah [his father] turned to him and chastised him severely. I had never heard such a severe chastisement. He said: ‘I’m narrating from the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's prayers and peace be upon him, and you’re saying: “I swear by Allah! I will prevent them!”’

Imam an-Nawawi: In another narration: ‘He scolded him.’ And in another narration: ‘He struck him on his chest.”

Muhammad bin ‘Abdullah bin Numair related to us, my father has related to us and Ibn Idris, saying: ‘‘Ubaid Allah has told us, from Nafi’, from Ibn ‘Umar, that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, said: “Do not hinder the handmaidens of Allah from the masjids of Allah.”

Imam an-Nawawi
: (Do not hinder the handmaidens of Allah from the masjids of Allah). This and what resembles it from the hadiths in this chapter clearly indicate that a woman should not be hindered from the masjid, but the scholars have mentioned conditions that are taken from the hadiths. They are that she should not be scented, nor beautified and she should not be wearing anklets that make noise. She should not be one who mixes with men, or a youth [3], or anyone who may cause temptation, and finally that there is nothing in the street that one fears could cause harm. This prohibition of preventing women from going out is predicated on kirahatu at-tanzih [reprehensible but closer to permissibility (mubah)] if the woman has a husband or master, and the aforementioned conditions are fulfilled. If the woman has no husband or master then it is impermissible to prevent her if the conditions are met.

Abu Kuraib related to us. Abu Mu’awiyah related to us, from al-‘Amash, from Mujahid, from Ibn ‘Umar who said: ‘The Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, said: “Do not prevent the women from going to the masjids at night.”’ One of Ibn ‘Umar’s sons said: ‘We will not let them go out so as to prevent them from being corrupted.’ [4] Ibn ‘Umar then scolded him and said: ‘I say: “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, said …” and you say: “We will not let them!”’

Muhammad bin Hatim and Ibn Rafi’ related to us, saying: ‘Shababah has told us: “ Warqa has told me from ‘Amr, from Mujahid, from Ibn ‘Umar who said: “ The Messenger of Allah, may Allah's prayers and peace be upon him, said: “ Let the women go to the masjids at night.” One of [Ibn ‘Umar’s] sons, called Waqid, said: “They may be corrupted.” [Ibn ‘Umar] then struck him on the chest and said: “I narrate something to you from the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's prayers and peace be upon him, and you say: “No!””

Haarun bin ‘Abdullah related to us. ‘Abdullah bin Yazid al-Muqari related to us. S’aeed (Ibn Abi Ayyub) related to us. Ka’b bin ‘Alqama related to us from Bilal bin ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar, from his father who said: ‘The Messenger of Allah, may Allah's prayers and peace be upon him, said: “Don’t deny women the fortune of going to the masjids, if they seek your permission.” Bilal said: ‘I swear by Allah! We will prevent them!’ Abdullah [Ibn ‘Umar] said to him: ‘I say: “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah's prayers and peace be upon him, said…” and you say: “We will prevent them!”’

Imam an-Nawawi: His saying, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him: (Don’t deny women the fortune of going to the masjids, if they seek your permission) Likewise this occurs … [5] They [the women] are treated like men because of their demand to go out to the gatherings of dhikr, and Allah knows best.

Haarun bin Sa’eed al-Aiylee related to us. Ibn Wahb related to us. Makhrama has told me from his father, from Busr bin Sa’eed, that Zainab ath-Thaqafiyyah was narrating to us from the Messenger of Allah may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, that he said: "If any of you [women] attend the ‘Isha prayer then do not perfume yourselves that night."

Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shaiybah related to us, Yahya bin Sa’eed al-Qatan related to us, from Muhammad bin ‘Ajlan: ‘Bukair bin ‘Abdullah bin al-Ashaj has told me, from Busr bin Sa’eed, from Zainab the wife of ‘Abdullah, who said: “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah's prayers and peace be upon him, said to us: “If any of you attend the masjid then don’t touch any perfume.””’

Imam an-Nawawi
: His saying, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him (If any of you [women] attend the ‘Isha prayer, then do not perfume yourselves that night). This means that if a woman wants to attend. If she has already attended [‘Isha prayer] and returned to her house then do not stop her from perfuming herself. This also applies to his saying, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him: (If any of you attend the masjid then don’t touch any perfume), meaning ‘if you want to attend.’

Yahya bin Yahya related to us, and Ishaq bin Ibrahim. Yahya said: ‘ ‘Abdullah bin Muhammad bin ‘Abdullah bin Abi Farwata informed us, from Yazid bin Khusaifah, from Busr bin Sa’eed, from Abu Huraira, who said: “ The Messenger of Allah, may Allah's prayers and peace be upon him, said: “If any woman applies scent [to herself], then she should not pray the last night [al-‘isha al-aakhirah] prayer with us.””’

Imam an-Nawawi: In this is evidence of the permissibility for one to say ‘al-‘isha al-aakhirah’. As for what is transmitted from al-’Asm’ai that he said: ‘There is no reason for saying ‘al-isha al-aakhirah’, because we only have one isha, so don’t describe it as al-aakhirah [the last].’ That opinion is mistaken because of this hadith, and it has been established in Sahih Muslim from groups of Companions who described it as ‘al-isha al-akhir’.

‘Abdullah bin Maslama bin Qa’nab related to us. Sulaiman (ibn Bilal) has related to us, from Yahya (and he is ibn Sa’eed), from ‘Amra bint AbdurRahman, that she heard ‘Aisha, the wife of the Prophet, may Allah's prayers and peace be upon him, saying: ‘If the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's prayers and peace be upon him, had seen what the women have innovated he would have prevented them from the masjid, as the women of the Children of Israel were prevented.’ He [Yahya] said: ‘I said to ‘Amra: “Were the women of the Children of Israel prevented from the masjid?” She replied: “Yes.”’’[6]

Imam an-Nawawi: As for her saying (If the Messenger of Allah, may Allah's prayers and peace be upon him, had seen what the women have innovated he would have prevented them from the masjid), this is referring to beautification, perfuming and attractive clothing, and Allah knows best.

[Translated from Sahih Muslim bi Sharh an-Nawawi v.4 p.133-37]


[1] Haddathana in Arabic. This can refer to relation by both book and speech.
[2] Akhbarana in Arabic. This usually refers to relation by book.
[3] Shaabbah in Arabic. This refers to a youth who may wear attractive clothing and draw attention.
[4] Is this not the same argument that many Muslims use today?
[5] The Imam discusses a grammar point here that is of little benefit to the non-Arabic speaker.
[6] The women of Children of Israel have been forbidden from the temple compound for the past 3000 years. One can see a startling similarity between Orthodox Judaism and what some Muslims are doing in the UK and USA today. There are three poignant similarities:
1) Women are either behind a curtain, on another floor or on the other side of the building where they’re neither seen nor heard and not consulted for advice or allowed to ask questions. 2) There is a startling lack of religious resources in the so-called ‘sisters’ sections’, such as a copy of the Qur’an (for Muslim women) or the Chumash (for Jewish women). 3) There is an open or implicit disapproval for their being there, based on protecting them from corruption. One can see disturbing trends with regards to the treatment of Muslim women in this age when comparing it to that of Jewish women when one looks at the almost identical layout of synagogues, such as Chabad House, Temple Dehirsh Sinai and Monachim Schneerson’s congregation, whose status in the synagogue is hauntingly familiar to that of many imams in today’s masjids, i.e. they are never questioned about what they say or do.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Friedrich Nietzsche on Islam and Christianity

Assalaam alaykum,

The German philosopher Friedrich Nietszche wrote The Anti-Christ in 1888; a scathing polemic against Christianity, and he mentioned some interesting things about Islam in the process. The online version can be accessed here.

In Chapter 59, Nietzsche says:

"One needs but read any of the Christian agitators, for example, St. Augustine, in order to realize, in order to smell, what filthy fellows came to the top. It would be an error, however, to assume that there was any lack of understanding in the leaders of the Christian movement:--ah, but they were clever, clever to the point of holiness, these fathers of the church! What they lacked was something quite different. Nature neglected--perhaps forgot--to give them even the most modest endowment of respectable, of upright, of cleanly instincts. . . Between ourselves, they are not even men. . . . If Islam despises Christianity, it has a thousandfold right to do so: Islam at least assumes that it is dealing with men. . . ."

And then there's Chapter 60:

"Christianity destroyed for us the whole harvest of ancient civilization, and later it also destroyed for us the whole harvest of Mohammedan civilization. The wonderful culture of the Moors in Spain, which was fundamentally nearer to us and appealed more to our senses and tastes than that of Rome and Greece, was trampled down (--I do not say by what sort of feet--) Why? Because it had to thank noble and manly instincts for its origin--because it said yes to life, even to the rare and refined luxuriousness of Moorish life! . . . The crusaders later made war on something before which it would have been more fitting for them to have grovelled in the dust--a civilization beside which even that of our nineteenth century seems very poor and very "senile."--What they wanted, of course, was booty: the orient was rich. . . . Let us put aside our prejudices! The crusades were a higher form of piracy, nothing more! The German nobility, which is fundamentally a Viking nobility, was in its element there: the church knew only too well how the German nobility was to be won . . . The German noble, always the "Swiss guard" of the church, always in the service of every bad instinct of the church--but well paid. . . Consider the fact that it is precisely the aid of German swords and German blood and valour that has enabled the church to carry through its war to the death upon everything noble on earth! At this point a host of painful questions suggest themselves. The German nobility stands outside the history of the higher civilization: the reason is obvious. . . Christianity, alcohol--the two great means of corruption. . . . Intrinsically there should be no more choice between Islam and Christianity than there is between an Arab and a Jew. The decision is already reached; nobody remains at liberty to choose here. Either a man is a Chandala or he is not. . . . "War to the knife with Rome! Peace and friendship with Islam!": this was the feeling, this was the act, of that great free spirit, that genius among German emperors, Frederick II. What! must a German first be a genius, a free spirit, before he can feel decently? I can't make out how a German could ever feel Christian. . . ."

For more information on the history of the crusades, please watch this video and those that follow, which are from week 5 of the series 13 Centuries of Islamic History.

Assalaam alaykum,


A note on the 'occidentalism' label:

Insha'Allah, this will be a label for blog posts (including book reviews) that examine and scrutinise western (i.e. European and American) civilisation and culture and compare it to Islamic civilisation, and with Allah alone is every success!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

The religioisty and idolatry of the AGW movement

Assalaam alaykum,

Global Warming summit begins with prayer to Mayan goddess Ixchel

If you think there is no religious aspect to the environmental movement, think again.

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change and a native of Costa Rica, opened the summit with an invocation to the ancient Mayan jaguar goddess Ixchel, saying that Ixchel was:

"the goddess of reason, creativity and weaving. May she inspire you -- because today, you are gathered in Cancun to weave together the elements of a solid response to climate change, using both reason and creativity as your tools."

According to Figueres, Ixchel is also a Mayan moon goddess.

Read the full article here.

Alhamdulilah, the plethora of nonsense that makes up the Anthropogenic Global Warming/Climate Change/Ocean Acidification/Whatever Scare We Can Come Up With movement continues to be exposed. Alhamdulilah, over the past year we've learned how the science and the politics (it's never ideal when those two mix) of the movement are thoroughly corrupt, and now we learn that the movement is also dipping into theology.

The religious, or even cultic, nature of the movement has been noted by many. Have a look at this video in which Christopher Monckton, a member of the House of Lords in the UK, interviews a Greenpeace activist in Copenhagen during the 2009 UN Conference.

You will notice the following trends (which can also be found amongst Muslim cults such as HT and Salafiyyah):

1)A stunning ignorance concering what they claim to know. This Greenpeace activist knows nothing about climate science, just as Muslim cultists know next to nothing about the Qur'an, the Sunnah, or authentic creed and fiqh.

2) Two minutes into the video, the Greenpeace activist admits to only reading literature from Greenpeace and never accessing scienfitic literature directly. This is very typical of the cultic mind-set. Jehovah's Witnesses, for example, are not allowed to read anything that has not been authorised by the organisation. HT is very similar in this regard, as are other Muslim cults. The reason is that the leaders of the cult, whether they be Mr. Al-Albani, Mr. Bin Baz, Mr. Taqi u-Deen An-Nabahani, or whoever, have to held in higher regard and authority, by the members, than the real 'ulama and fuqaha, such as Imams An-Nawawi, Muwaffaq u-Din ibn Qudamma, Yusuf ibn Abdul Barr, Ibn 'Abideen and so forth. Otherwise, the movement falls apart.

3) Refusal to accept the truth (or at least great difficulty in doing so) when it is presented. Despite being presented with the facts (i.e. no statistically significant warming for 10 years, no change in the amount of sea ice for 30 years etc.) the Greenpeace activist continues to hold her position. Of course, she doesn't have to readily accept what Monckton is telling her, but she should at least agree to check what he is saying, i.e. step aside the Greenpeace literature and read the scientific literature and data directly. Instead, she claims to 'have faith' that ice has been melting at the poles.

4) Seven and a half minutes in, the activist claims that Monckton is talking about one planet while she is talking about another planet. A similar thing can be said of Muslim cults. Orthodox Muslims talk about Islam, while cultists talk about their 'islam'. Any lengthy disucssion with a cultist leads to this conclusion; there is absolutely no common ground. Have a look at this discussion between Sheikh Ramadan Al-Bouti and a leading Salafi teacher. In the end, Sheikh Al-Bouti says: “Then let us end the investigation and discussion on this last remark of yours, since it closes the way to any common ground between you and me on which we can base a discussion. It is sufficient that with this bizarre answer of yours, you have departed from the consensus of the entire Islamic religion. By Allah, there is no meaning on the face of the earth for disgusting bigotry if it is not what you people have”.

5) Faith in the organisation. When confronted and asked why she doesn't check the scientific data herself, the Greenpeace activist claims to 'have faith' in the organisation.

6) Claiming to be too busy to check the facts and data. This is also very common amongst Muslim cultists. Salafis, for example, become particularly irate when something is said about their organisation, but when told to look up the facts for themselves they claim not to have time, to be too busy, etc. What is this an indication of? Laziness, pure and simple. Orthodox Muslims, on the other hand, are people who constanly read, study, review and check, and also cross reference. That is what we're supposed to do.

7) Refusing to acknowledge any potential wrongdoing on behalf of the organisation. At the end, the activist says that if she were to check and find that what Monckton is saying is true, she would not think Greenpeace had mislead her.

Eric Hoffer, in his book The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, says that people join movements (like Salafiyyah and Greenpeace) because they fear an autonomous existence. They're much happier being followers and not having to deal with the burden of thinking for themselves. This is why they don't check facts and why they are so ignorant (like the activist in the video); because the doctrines of the organisation are not important to them. Rather, what is important to them is being part of an organisation, any organisation. This is also why some people jump from organisation to organisation, from HT, to Salafiyyah, to Ahmadiyyah, and then some questionable 'Sufi' tareeqa. The bottom line for these people is that they belong to something, and Allah knows best. As Orthodox Muslims, alhamdulilah, we know that we belong to Allah, and to Him we shall return.

Insha'Allah, a review of Eric Hoffer's book will appear on this blog at some point in the future.

And with Allah alone is every success!

Assalaam alaykum,


p.s. For an interesting lecture on HT click here. For an intersting lecture on Muslim cults in general click here and for an discussion on the methodology of cults and what to do if a loved one is ensnared by one, click here.

UPDATE: For an example of the stupidity and ignorance of mass movement followers, have a look at this video in which delegates at the current UN conference in Cancun willingly sign petitions to ban Dihydrogen Monoxide, aka water. Another example of these poor people falling for the same trick can be found here.

Related Posts:
Madness is Rare in Individuals (review of The True Believer)

Monday, 6 December 2010

Britain's Trillion Pound Horror Story

Assalaam alaykum,

Please click on this link to watch Martin Durkin's latest documentary entitled Britain's Trillion Pound Horror Story. Scary points include the fact that Britain's current debt is £4.8 trillion and the public sector in the UK is twice as large as that of China (yes, communist China) and it is larger than the country's private sector. Remember, governments and politicians don't have any money. ALL of it comes from the private sector. The film not only shows why Britain is a dreary, depressing and oppressive place to live, but one can also understand fully why England lost the 2018 FIFA World Cup bid. The country is bankrupt. You can also read this article from the Daily Telegraph.

What is of interest is that the points made in this film more or less dovetail with the Islamic understanding of taxation and economic growth. More taxation leads to economic stagnation. The Laffer curve demonstrates that for a while increasing taxation leads to increased government revenue, but at a certain point working people lose the motivation to work because taxation is so high. The result is that governments lose revenue. Obviously, 100% taxation would result in absolutlely no government income. Why work if the government takes everything? Arthur Laffer, the American ecnonomist credited with this idea, says that the idea is not original and can be found in the 1377 book Al-Muqadimmah, by Imam Ibn Khaldun. The Imam said:

In the early stages of the state, taxes are light in their incidence, but fetch in a large revenue...As time passes and kings succeed each other, they lose their tribal habits in favor of more civilized ones. Their needs and exigencies grow...owing to the luxury in which they have been brought up. Hence they impose fresh taxes on their subjects...and sharply raise the rate of old taxes to increase their yield...But the effects on business of this rise in taxation make themselves felt. For business men are soon discouraged by the comparison of their profits with the burden of their taxes...Consequently production falls off, and with it the yield of taxation.

From my experience of living in the UK, and my regular visits to this day, I have noticed that Muslims are heavily involved in the public sector; either working for it or claiming money from it. I'm sorry to say, but this has contributed, and is still contributing, to Britain's decline. Whether this is pre-mediated revenge for the colonizing of India is anyone's guess, but living off of the state has never been considered noble in our Deen.

And Allah knows best!

Assalaam alaykum,


Saturday, 27 November 2010

The Ash'aris in Relation to the Murji'ah and the Orientalists - Refuting Dr. Safar Al-Ḥawālī: Part 2

Assalaam alaykum,

A new article is now available from, translated from: ʿAqāʾid Al-Ashāʿira fī Ḥiwār Hadiʾ maʿ Shubhāt Al-Munāwiʾīn (The Beliefs of the Ashʿarīs: In a Calm Dialogue with the Specious Arguments of their Opponents) by Sheikh Ṣalāh Al-Dīn ibn Aḥmad Al-Idlibī, which is a refutation of the book Minhāj Al-Ashāʿira fi Al-ʿAqīda (The Creedal Methodology of the Ashʿarīs) by Dr. Safar Al-Ḥawālī, a leader and teacher of the Salafī cult.

This article only covers the first two chapters. Insha'Allah, an introduction will be published next month and more chapters will follow until the entire book is translated and ready to be printed.

And with Allah alone is every success!

Assalaam alaykum,


Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Sheikh Wahba Az-Zuhayli on Bid'a

Assalaam alaykum,

A new article is now available on The Imam discusses the different kinds of bid'a and explains what rulings they carry. Please have a read.

Assalaam alaykum,


Update: Further to the second footnote in the article, I would like to add that the line كل ضلالة في النار is also not found in hadith #28 of any edition of Al-Arba'een An-Nawawiyyah, with the exception of maybe two. As for the notable translation into English by Sidi Abdassamad Clarke, known as The Complete Forty Hadith and published by Taha, which includes the abovementioned line, I have discussed the matter with my brother Abdassamad and he has stated the following on his blog. Please have a read.

UPDATE (18/03/2017): The website is down. The translation is now available here.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

A beautiful interview with Sh. Ramadan Al-Bouti, part 2: Modern Tareeqas and Innovation

[Assalaam alaykum,

I have not been able to add subtitles to the video but I have managed to provide the translation below. Please use the comment function if you have any questions. [Part 1, along with a biography of the Sheikh, can be found below (May 13, 2010)]]

Sh. Bouti: This is what prevents me from letting people kiss my hand.

Interviewer: Sheikh, your father, may Allah have mercy on him, Shaikh Mulla Ramadan Al-Bouti said to you in, I read it in in your book Hadha Waalidi [This is my father]: 'Know, my dear son, that all the Tareeqas, none of them are free of bida’, except for the Naqshabandiyya, as they are the least of them in terms of bida’.' What does he mean by that?

Sh. Bouti: (You know) What he’s really saying is that the Naqshabandi Tareeqa , which is the one that Sheikh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani saw, and Sheikh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani was a Hanbali in madhab, stern in clinging and adhering to the Book and the Sunnah. This sternness was inherited from him. Is that clear? And this is why you find that the Naqshabandi Tareeqa , in its adhkar, constantly relies on the way (tareeqa) that distances itself from bida’. You know…

Interviewer: Indeed…

Sh. Bouti: For example, there is the Shadhili Tareeqa nowadays, which affirms group dhikr, and standing up…

Interviewer: Indeed…

Sh. Bouti: and so forth, while at the same time the Naqshabandi Tareeqa says: ‘No. We should be sitting in dhikr just as it was in the time of Al-Mustapha, salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam.'

Interviewer: With a lowered voice…

Sh. Bouti: I.e. adh-dhikr al-khafi [concealed dhikr], it relies on adh-dhikr

Interviewer: al-khafi

Sh. Bouti: al-khafi. Indeed, it is not connected to bida’, and they inherited this from their Sheikh, Sheikh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani, yes, and Sheikh Muhammad Awaisi Al-Qarani, who is known as Shah Naqshaband, and they were contemporary to one another. Both of them were , you know, sternly opposed to bida’. For this reason, the Naqshabandi Tareeqa was the least of Tareeqas in terms of bida’, even though there is bida’ in it today. Today, there is bida' in it, but if you were to compare between the bida’ that is in the Naqshabandi Tareeqa and that which is in other Tareeqas, you will find, as you said absolutely, quoting my father, that it is the least of them. An example of the bida’ that is present in the Naqshabandi Tareeqa and which has appeared recently is Ar-Rabita

Interviewer: Ar-Rabita Ash-Shareefa…

Sh. Bouti: Ar-Rabita, originally, is a bond between two beloveds, the murid and the sheikh. When the murshid is a true murshid, adhering to the Book of Allah and The Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger, preserving his soul (nafs) from the dunyā and its delusions completely, as we have said, of course, this person is a murshid. It is not possible for the murshid to rectify the murid unless love for the murshid has firmly established itself in the heart of the murid. This is the Rabita that was mentioned by Imam Ar-Rabbani, the author of Al-Maktubaat and other books. However, afterwards came along those who said: 'No. Ar-Rabita should be embodied in something else. If the murid is sitting and remembering Allah he should start his dhikr by imagining the sheikh, meaning that he says ‘Allah’ and ‘La ilaha illa Allah’' and so forth and an image of the sheikh is in his mind…

Interviewer: In his mind… to strengthen the bond between him and his sheikh

Sh. Bouti: Aha, this is bida’

Interviewer: But Doctor, but, maybe one of the reasons for Ar-Rabita, as they say themselves, is that someone, when they do dhikr of Allah, must rid themselves of all material things besides Allah, and the one material thing that is possible for him to use to distance himself is the sheikh, and the sheikh is a means of getting to Allah, in one way or another, and it’s only for a few seconds, not more…

Sh. Bouti: Yes, you are describing reality, let me ask you: is this matter affirmed and accepted by the Shari’ah or is it bida’?

Interviwer: “And don’t associate anyone with your worship of Allah.” [paraphrasing Al-Kahf 18:110]

Sh. Bouti: Fine, I am telling you what was said by one of the great men of this Tareeqa, Imam Ar-Rabbani, the author of Al-Maktubaat, he says, in the chapter on dhikr, the etiquettes of dhikr: ‘When you sit to do dhikr of Allah, Mighty and Majestic, you should not be thinking of anyone, not even the Messenger of Allah.'

Interviewer: Not even the Messenger of Allah?

Sh. Bouti: Not even the Messenger of Allah, rather Allah’s attributes (sifaat), His attributes, not His Essence, should be all that occupies your mind, yes, the attributes of Mercy, the attributes of Forgiveness, the attributes of Patience, the attributes of Vengeance, yes, and Power and so forth. This is the speech of whom? The speech of Imam ar-Rabbani in his book Al-Maktubaat, and Al-Maktubaat is known, isn’t it? The Imams of this Tareeqa laid down this speech , and those who came after went against them and added things, so, who said, o brother, that the murid can’t enter Allah’s vastness without going via the murshid? If there is someone…

Interviewer: No one has said that. Ya Sheikh, they don’t say that blatantly. They say that the Ar-Rabita Ash-Sharifa is maybe, they want to, you know, makes the murid purer, he imagines the sheikh, then he clears his mind of the sheikh’s image. Then he does dhikr of Allah, Mighty and Majestic.

Sh. Bouti: If he wants, for example, to be purer, outside of remembering Allah, and he imagines the sheikh then there’s no objection. As we said, the murid should love his sheikh, and of course one of the consequences of love is to imagine the beloved. This is something natural. However, I sit in order to do dhikr of Allah, and I start saying 'la ilaha illa Allah', or 'Allah Allah', the ism mufrad. In this state, when doing dhikr, it is not appropriate to connect the dhikr of Allah to his sheikh. So, this is the point that I am raising regarding the matter.

Interviewer: Thank you very much for this, Ustadh, Doctor, our Ustadh and our Murabbi, Dr. Muhammad Sa’id Ramadan Al-Bouti, thank you very much.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Sheikh Wahba Az-Zuhayli on the Hadra

Question: Is the dhikr called hadra permissible with the words ‘ah’ or ‘aah’?

Answer: Indeed dividing up the Lafdh al-Jalaala [i.e. ‘Allah’] and distorting it or changing it is forbidden in the Shari’ah (muharram shar’an), because it consists of altering, changing and distortion (ilhad) with regards to Allah’s Most Beautiful Names. It is not considered an expression of correct worship, or legislated dhikr, because of His, the Exalted, statement: “To Allah belong the Most Beautiful Names, so call on Him by them and abandon those who distort (yulhidun) His names. They will be repaid for what they were doing.” [Al-A’raaf 7:180] True dhikr is rather done by mentioning Allah’s Most Beautiful Names and His Exalted Attributes, Mighty and Majestic is He, having humility (khushu’) when articulating them and adhering to etiquette and perseverance when mentioning them. This is because He, The Exalted, has said: “The believers are those who hearts tremble when Allah is mentioned, whose faith is increased when His ayaat are recited to them, and who put their trust in their Lord.” [Al-Anfaal 8:2] He, The Glorified, has also said: “…those who believe and whose hearts find peace in the remembrance of Allah. Only in the remembrance of Allah can the heart find peace.” [Ar-Ra’d 13:28]

[Translated from Fataawa Mu’asira by Sheikh Wahba Az-Zuhayli p.307, Dar Al-Fikr, Damascus, 2003]

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Al-Albani on women wearing gold: The difference between a real faqih and mufti and someone who is self-taught.

Question: Right now I am in the process of getting married, all praise be to Allah, Lord of all the Worlds. However, a few days ago one of my friends came to me and told me that there was this good book by Sheikh Nasir u-Din Al-Albani called Adaab Az-Zifaaf (Wedding Etiquettes). Obviously, I went to the market and I bought it from one of the Islamic bookshops and then I went home and read all of it from start to finish. However, I was surprised by the subject of gold being declared haraam (forbidden) for women and the ahadith given to indicate this. My question is: what is your opinion of this Sheikh (Muhammad Nasir u-Din Al-Albani), what is your opinion of this book of his (Adaab Az-Zifaaf) and what is the correct ruling regarding gold being haraam for women. Please benefit me, may Allah have mercy on you, before I get married, and if you have any pieces of advice for me before I get married or afterwards regarding that which pleases Allah and His Messenger, then may Allah reward you with goodness. All Praise be to Allah, Lord of all the Worlds.

Answer: Indeed the deviation of some who occupy themselves with knowledge or those who learn by themselves without a teacher is of no value in terms of knowledge or the Shari’ah and their opinions are dismissed and rejected.

Declaring gold to be haraam for women is both an intellectual and Islamic deviation, as The Noble Qur’an has made it clear in the aya: “that which is raised with jewellery and unclear in dispute.” [43:18] that a woman adorning herself with jewellery is part of her nature and disposition.

It has also been established in the Prophetic Sunnah that the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam said: ‘Gold and silk are halaal (permissible) for women and haraam for men.’ [Musnad of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, vol.14, pp. 499-500, hadith #19407, Dar ul-Hadith, Cairo edition] Saying that it is haraam is to go against the ijma’ (consensus of the scholars).

I have not read the book Adaab Az-Zifaaf and if it has opinions like this in it, it shouldn’t be bothered with.

[Translated from Fataawa Mu’aasira by Sheikh Wahba Zuhayli, pages 203-204, Dar Al-Fikr, Damascus, 2003]

Friday, 1 October 2010

Seeking Forgiveness

Assalaam alaykum,

As we are all sinners we are in constant need of repentance, and Allah is At-Tawab, the Oft-Returning Who constantly turns to us to accept our repentance. Insha'Allah these duas will help you and all of us to purify ourselves and draw closer to our Lord, amin! And with Allah alone is every success!

أستغفر الله العظيم من كل ذنب أذنبته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل فرض تركته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل إنسان ظلمته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل صالح جفوته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل ظالم صاحبته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل بر أجلته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل ناصح أهنته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل محمود سئمته!

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل زور نطقت به

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل حق اضعته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل باطل إتبعته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل وقت أهدرته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل ضمير قتلته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل سر أفشيته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل أمين خدعته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل وعد أخلفته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل عهد خنته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل امرئ خذلته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل صواب كتمته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل خطأ تفوهت به

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل عرض هتكته

· أستغفر الله من كل ستر فضحته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل لغو سمعته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل حرام نظرت إليه

· أستغفر الله من كل كلام لهوت به

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل إثم فعلته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل نصح خالفته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل علم نسيته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل شك أطعته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل ظن لازمته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل ضلال عرفته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل دين أهملته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل ذنب

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل ما وعدتك به ثم عدت فيه من نفسي ولم أوفي به

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل عمل أردت به وجهك فخالطني به غيرك

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل نعمة أنعمت علي بها فاستعنت بها على معصيتك

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل ذنب أذنبته في ضياء النهار أو سواد الليل في ملأ أو خلا أو سر أو علانية

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل مال إكتسبته بغير الحق

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل علم سئلت عنه فكتمته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل قول لم أعمل به وخالفته

· أستغفر الله العظيم من كل فرض خالفته ومن كل بدعة إتبعتها

· أستغفر الله الذي لا إله إلا هو الحي القيوم وأتوب إليه

Monday, 27 September 2010

Man and His Reality

Assalaam alaykum,

A new article is now avalaible from

The section has been translated from Sh. Ramadan Al-Bouti's book Kubra Al-Yaqiniyyaat Al-Kawniyyah. Insha'Allah, the following section, which deals with the theory of evolution in more depth, will be translated and available soon, and with Allah alone is every success.

Assalaam alaykum,


Thursday, 13 May 2010

A beautiful interview with Sh. Ramadan Al-Bouti

[A biography of Sheikh Al-Bouti can be found here]

[Edited Transcript of Interview:]

Interviewer: …Are they are an accurate, pure, and untainted representation of Sufis and tassawuf?
Shaykh Bouti: As far as previous generations are concerned, it’s not possible for me to pass judgment on them because I did not live in those times.  However, I have read biographies of people such as Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani, Shaykh Raslan al-Dimashqi, and Shaykh Ahmad al-Rifa`i.  I swear by Allah, these people embodied prophethood, except that they did not receive divine revelation.
Interviewer: They embodied prophethood?
Sh. Bouti: Prophethood, minus divine revelation.  In other words, if they had revelation, they would have been prophets.  What I mean by that is that they represented, in their character, in their self-discipline, in their inner development, the life of God’s Messenger (peace be upon him).  However, since divine revelation was not present in their case, [obviously] they were not prophets or messengers.
And for such people – the foundation of their journey to Allah was the two wings of the Divine Book and the Sunnah [Prophetic tradition], and nothing more.  Abdul Qadir al-Jilani – may Allah sanctify his soul – when death drew close to him, his son, whose name was also Musa like your name, was sitting next to him.  He gave him his parting advice.  Among what he said to him was, “My son, fly to the Truth with the two wings of the Book and the Sunnah.”  And he warned him from bid`ah [innovation].
So I don’t want to speak about such people [who came before us].  If I want to look for strict adherence to the proper methodology, it is in their lives that I will find such an adherence.  If I want to look for opposition to bid`ah, it is in their lives that I will find opposition to bid’ah.
However, if you’re asking me about the tariqas of this age, I request that you show me a single tariqa from among them whose murshid [spiritual leader and advisor] possesses knowledge of Islamic law that is proficient and sufficient, who is aloof from this world and everything that it contains and is attached to it, and who possesses uprightness in his character.  [If such a person were found] I will go tomorrow to become his murid [student].  But I have looked everywhere, and have not found such a murshid.
Interviewer: What is the reason for this, respected shaykh?
Sh. Bouti: Well, I don’t know.  The nafs [lower self] is as it always has been – and I don’t absolve my own nafs from this  – “Verily the nafs is ever commanding of evil.”  The whole business of being a murshid is a dangerous business.  It’s a slippery road.  The murshid, when he tastes the pleasure of leading others, the pleasure of having a following… it’s something that is almost intoxicating.  When he sees people kissing his hand day and night, and some almost willing to kiss his knees and his feet [out of awe and respect]….  when he sees things like this, he begins to believe and imagine that he has become someone great.  And the nafs is a constant presence.  If such a person has not spent long periods of time in self-reproach, reminding himself that he is nothing, and that he has done so many bad deeds etc, he will not be able to withstand these pressures.
Furthermore, when [this murshid] finds his murids bringing gifts for him, giving him money… Even if I didn’t have an appetite for wealth when it was first given to me, I begin to develop one.  I begin to desire wealth.  I begin to desire position.  I begin to desire humility and deference from people because I am such an important and great human being.  All of this is fitnah [trial and tribulation] for me… a fitnah… a fitnah.
And the person who does not fulfill the essential requirements for being a murshid, yet somehow becomes a murshid – this responsibility is dangerous for him, and dangerous for his murids.
Just to make what I’m saying clearer for you, my brother, let me present to you the opposite picture.  Let us turn to the age of Shaykh Ahmad al-Rifa`i, may Allah sanctify his soul.  Now that is an amazing man.  He always used to say in his gatherings, in front of his murids, something that he would repeat again and again – that he was not a shaykh, and not a murshid, and warned against people looking at him in that light.  He said in one of his gatherings – and this can be found in his book al-Burhan al-Muayyid – “May I be resurrected with Fir’aun and Hamman if I consider myself better than any one from among you.”
“I am not a shaykh.  I am not a shaykh.  My name is Little Ahmad, The Nothing. Or better yet, Nothing, The Nothing [a play on his name which literally means ‘the praised one, the high’]” – this is what (Sh. Ahmad ar-Rifa’i) used to say.
And he used to say, “The murshids whom Allah favors with karamaat [special abilities or occurrences] conceal them, just as a woman [naturally] conceals her menstruation from others.”
Compare between this and what we see from murshids of our times.  Some of them extend their hands for people to kiss, to teach them [the practice of] kissing hands, and if one of them doesn’t kiss their hands they consider him negligent in his duties.
Interviewer: But is there something wrong with kissing the hand out of respect?  There are many people who would even wish to kiss your hand, but you absolutely refuse?
Sh. Bouti: Yes… yes.  Why do I refuse my dear brother?
Sh. Bouti [close to tears]: I swear by Allah, the One besides whom there is no other god, I feel embarrassed before Allah when someone from among the people kisses my hand.  Because I know myself, and my Lord is One who conceals and veils the mistakes of His servants.  He conceals so much… He conceals.  I know my shortcomings.  I know how much I’ve fallen short in my relationship with my Lord.  Yet, He makes it so that the people only see the positive side of me, and He hides the rest from the eyes of people and keeps it something hidden between us.
So if some innocent person comes to me, who only sees my outer state and doesn’t know my inner state… it’s true that he doesn’t know, but doesn’t Allah know?  How can I say to him, “Go ahead, kiss my hand, it’s ok, so that you may learn proper etiquette,” while Allah azza wajal [Mighty and Majestic] is watching me and saying, ‘Haven’t you done this?  Haven’t you done that?  Aren’t you the one who sees such and such [bad qualities] in your self?”  This is what prevents me from allowing people to kiss my hand.

Part 2: Modern Tareeqas and Innovation

[This part of the interview was found here.]