Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The Great Global Warming Fizzle

The Religiosity and Idolatry of the AGW Movement: Part 2



From the SPPI Blog:

The climate religion fades in spasms of anger and twitches of boredom.

How do religions die? Generally they don’t, which probably explains why there’s so little literature on the subject. Zoroastrianism, for instance, lost many of its sacred texts when Alexander sacked Persepolis in 330 B.C., and most Zoroastrians converted to Islam over 1,000 years ago. Yet today old Zoroaster still counts as many as 210,000 followers, including 11,000 in the U.S. Christopher Hitchens might say you can’t kill what wasn’t there to begin with.

Still, Zeus and Apollo are no longer with us, and neither are Odin and Thor. Among the secular gods, Marx is mostly dead and Freud is totally so. Something did away with them, and it’s worth asking what.

Consider the case of global warming, another system of doomsaying prophecy and faith in things unseen.

As with religion, it is presided over by a caste of spectacularly unattractive people pretending to an obscure form of knowledge that promises to make the seas retreat and the winds abate. As with religion, it comes with an elaborate list of virtues, vices and indulgences. As with religion, its claims are often non-falsifiable, hence the convenience of the term “climate change” when thermometers don’t oblige the expected trend lines. As with religion, it is harsh toward skeptics, heretics and other “deniers.” And as with religion, it is susceptible to the earthly temptations of money, power, politics, arrogance and deceit.

This week, the conclave of global warming’s cardinals are meeting in Durban, South Africa, for their 17th conference in as many years. The idea is to come up with a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, which is set to expire next year, and to require rich countries to pony up $100 billion a year to help poor countries cope with the alleged effects of climate change. This is said to be essential because in 2017 global warming becomes “catastrophic and irreversible,” according to a recent report by the International Energy Agency.

Yet a funny thing happened on the way to the climate apocalypse. Namely, the financial apocalypse.

The U.S., Russia, Japan, Canada and the EU have all but confirmed they won’t be signing on to a new Kyoto. The Chinese and Indians won’t make a move unless the West does. The notion that rich (or formerly rich) countries are going to ship $100 billion every year to the Micronesias of the world is risible, especially after they’ve spent it all on Greece.

Cap and trade is a dead letter in the U.S. Even Europe is having second thoughts about carbon-reduction targets that are decimating the continent’s heavy industries and cost an estimated $67 billion a year. “Green” technologies have all proved expensive, environmentally hazardous and wildly unpopular duds.

All this has been enough to put the Durban political agenda on hold for the time being. But religions don’t die, and often thrive, when put to the political sidelines. A religion, when not physically extinguished, only dies when it loses faith in itself.

That’s where the Climategate emails come in. First released on the eve of the Copenhagen climate summit two years ago and recently updated by a fresh batch, the “hide the decline” emails were an endless source of fun and lurid fascination for those of us who had never been convinced by the global-warming thesis in the first place.

But the real reason they mattered is that they introduced a note of caution into an enterprise whose motivating appeal resided in its increasingly frantic forecasts of catastrophe. Papers were withdrawn; source material re-examined. The Himalayan glaciers, it turned out, weren’t going to melt in 30 years. Nobody can say for sure how high the seas are likely to rise—if much at all. Greenland isn’t turning green. Florida isn’t going anywhere.

The reply global warming alarmists have made to these dislosures is that they did nothing to change the underlying science, and only improved it in particulars. So what to make of the U.N.’s latest supposedly authoritative report on extreme weather events, which is tinged with admissions of doubt and uncertainty? Oddly, the report has left climate activists stuttering with rage at what they call its “watered down” predictions. If nothing else, they understand that any belief system, particularly ones as young as global warming, cannot easily survive more than a few ounces of self-doubt.

Meanwhile, the world marches on. On Sunday, 2,232 days will have elapsed since a category 3 hurricane made landfall in the U.S., the longest period in more than a century that the U.S. has been spared a devastating storm. Great religions are wise enough to avoid marking down the exact date when the world comes to an end. Not so for the foolish religions. Expect Mayan cosmology to take a hit to its reputation when the world doesn’t end on Dec. 21, 2012. Expect likewise when global warming turns out to be neither catastrophic nor irreversible come 2017.

And there is this: Religions are sustained in the long run by the consolations of their teachings and the charisma of their leaders. With global warming, we have a religion whose leaders are prone to spasms of anger and whose followers are beginning to twitch with boredom. Perhaps that’s another way religions die.


Related articles:
Climategate 2.0
Climategate 2.0: Mann suggests Harvard take action against Soon, Baliunas
Uh oh, global warming loons: here comes Climategate II!
Climategate 2.0: the not nice and clueless Phil Jones
Climategate 2.0: junk science 101 with Michael Mann

Further reading:
SPPI Collection of Papers as of October 2011
Environmentalism as Religion

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Economics 101: The Broken Window Fallacy


Alhamdulilah, this short video explains why government bailouts, stimulus plans and "job creation" schemes never help an economy but in fact make things worse.

The baker in the video makes reference to Frederic Bastiat and Henry Hazlitt. Bastiat's work is called That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen, while Hazlitt's book is called Economics in One Lesson. The latter was first published in the 1940s and explains very clearly and brilliantly how a healthy economy can be brought to ruin, albeit unwittingly,  and thus it explains why the global economy, especially in the United States and Europe, is in such a terrible state. 

And with Allah alone is every success.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Imam An-Nawawī on the Ten Days of Dhul Ḥijja


The chapter on the Adhkār of the first ten days of Dhul Ḥijja[1]

Allah the Exalted has said: “so that they can invoke[2] Allah’s name on specific days.” [Al-Ḥajj 22:28] Ibn ʿAbbās, Ash-Shāfiʿī and the majority say that these are the ten days of Dhul Ḥijja.

Know that it is recommended to increase one’s dhikr in these ten days more than any other time, and it is recommended to do it more on the Day of ʿArafa[3] than any of the remaining ten days.

504_We have related in Ṣaḥīḥ Al-Bukhārī on the authority of Ibn ʿAbbās, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, said: “There are no better days than these in which to do good deeds.” They said: ‘And not even to strive in God’s way?’ He said: “Not even to strive in God’s way, except for a man who goes out and risks his life and his wealth and does not come back with either.” This is the wording of Al-Bukhārī, and it is authentic.[4] The wording in the collection of At-Tirmidhī is: “There are no days in which to do righteous action that are more beloved to Allah than these ten days.” The wording in Abū Dāwūd’s narration is almost identical, except that his says: “than these days” i.e. the ten days.

We have related in the Musnad of Imam Abū ʿAbdillah Bin ʿAbdur Raḥmān Ad-Dāramī, with the chain of transmission of the two Ṣaḥīḥ collections, that he said regarding it: “There are no better days in which to do good deeds than the ten days of Dhū Al-Ḥijja.” It was said: ‘Not even striving?’ The rest of the ḥadīth was then quoted in full. In another narration it says: “the ten days of Al-Aḍḥā.”[5]

505_We have related in the book of At-Tirmidhī, on the authority of ʿAmr Bin Shuʿayb, on the authority of his father, on the authority of his grandfather, that the Prophet, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, said: “The best supplication[6] is the supplication on the Day of ʿArafa, and the best thing that I and the Prophets before me have said is: ‘There is no god but Allah alone, He has no partner. He has the Dominion and He deserves all Praise, and He has power over everything.’[7]At-Tirmidhī declared its chain of transmission to be weak.

506_We have related in the Muwaṭṭāʾ of Imam Malik, with a chain of transmission that is mursal[8] and the wording of which is shorter, which is: “The best supplication is the supplication on the Day of ʿArafa, and the best thing that I and the Prophets before me have said is: ‘There is no god but Allah alone, He has no partner.’”

507_It has reached us on the authority of Sālim Bin ʿAbdillah Bin ʿUmar, may Allah be pleased with him, that he saw someone asking people on the Day of ʿArafa, so he said: ‘O feeble one! Is other than Allah, Mighty and Majestic, asked on this day?’

508_Al-Bukhārī has said in his Ṣaḥīḥ: ‘ʿUmar would make takbīr[9] in his dome in Minā, and the people in the masjid would hear him and do likewise. Then the people in the market would follow likewise until all of Minā was shaking with takbīr.

509_Al-Bukhārī said: ‘In these ten days, ʿUmar and Abū Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with both of them, would go out to the markets and make takbīr and the people would make takbīr with them.

Related Posts:
Dhūl Ḥijjah, the Day of ʿArafah and Fasting



[1] (Translator’s note: translated from Al-Adhkār lil Imām Abi Zakariyyā Yaḥyā Bin Sharaf An-Nawawī Ad-Dimashqi (Beirut: Muʾassasa Al-Maʿārif, 2005) p.154-155
[2] (tn): i.e. dhikr
[3] (tn): i.e. the 9th of Dhul Ḥijja
[4] (tn): Ar. ṣaḥīḥ
[5] (tn): i.e. the Sacrifice
[6] (tn): Ar. duʿāʾ
[7] (tn): Ar. La ilaha illa Allah, waḥdahu, la sharīka lah, lahu al-mulk, wa lahu al-ḥamd wa huwa ʿalā kulli shayʾin qadīr. It should be noted that even though this ḥadīth is weak per se, it is backed up by numerous other ṣaḥīḥ ḥadīths that mention the praiseworthiness of this invocation. For example, there is the ḥadīth in the collections of Al-Bukhārī and Muslim in which the Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, said: Whoever says: ‘There is no god but Allah alone, He has no partner. He has the Dominion and He deserves all Praise, and He has power over everything’ one hundred times in a day, will have the reward of freeing ten slaves. Also, one hundred good deeds will be written down for him, one hundred evil deeds will be erased from his account and he will be protected from Shayṭān on that day until he turns in. No one can bring anything better than what this person has brought apart from the person who does more than that.”
[8] (tn): i.e. a ‘discontinued’ or ‘disconnected’ ḥadīth, especially at the level of a Companion.
[9] (tn): i.e. saying Allah Akbar

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

The Difference Between Tawassul and Shirk



Assalaam alaykum,

Alhamdulilah, a new article is now available from www.marifah.net entitled "Wasila, Circumambulating Graves and Accusing Others of Shirk and Kufr". Please have a read, as the article discusses the fundamental difference between Ahl us-Sunnah and the Khawarij, which, in summary, is that the latter always assume the worst of fellow Muslims.

And with Allah alone is every success.

Assalaam alaykum,

Mahdi

UPDATE (01/02/2017): The marifah website is down. The article is now available here.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Good Intentions

Assalaam alaykum,





 From the You Tube Channel:

"Walter Williams' PBS documentary Good Intentions, based on his book The State Against Blacks (1982). The documentary was very controversial at the time it was released and led to many animosities and even threats of murder.

In Good Intentions, Dr. Williams examines the failure of the war on poverty and the devastating effect of well-meaning government policies on blacks, asserting that the state harms people in the U.S. more than it helps them. He shows how government anti-poverty programs have often locked people into poverty, making the points that:

- being forced to attend 3rd rate public schools leave students unprepared for working life
- minimum wages prevent young people from obtaining jobs at an early age
- licensing and labor laws have had the effect of restricting the entrance of blacks into the skilled trades and unions
- the welfare system creates perverse incentives for the poor to make bad choices they otherwise would not."

Insha'Allah, you'll find that a lot of what Dr. Williams has to say applies to the economy in general, and not just in the United States.

Assalaam alaykum,

Mahdi

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Imam An-Nawawī on Benefitting the Deceased

Al-Ḥashr 59:10

Assalaam alaykum,


Alhamdulilah, a new article is now available from www.marifah.net entitled 'Imam An-Nawawī on Benefitting the Deceased', which is a translation from the Imam's book Al-Adkhār min Kalām Sayyid Al-Abrār .


Please have a read, and with Allah alone is every success.


Assalaam alaykum,


Mahdi

UPDATE (07/02/2017): The marifah.net website is down. This article is now available here and the PDF is available here.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

The Aphorisms of Ibn Ataillah: Hikma 177

With Sheikh Muhammad Saeed Ramadan Al-Bouti:

ان اردتَ ورود المواهب عليك صحّح الفقر و الفاقة لديك
انَّمَا الصَّدَقَاتُ الفُقَرَاءِ



Assalaam alaykum,

Mahdi




Sunday, 10 July 2011

Showing Birr to Parents and The Rights of Children

Sūrat Luqmān 31:14 

Assalaam alaykum,

Alhamdulilah, a new article is now available from www.marifah.net, entitled 'Showing Birr to Parents and the Rights of Children', which is a khutba given by Sheikh ʿAbdul Ḥamīd Kishk. Insha'Allah, you will find it very beneficial, and with Allah alone is every success.

Assalaam alaykum,

Mahdi

UPDATE (31/3/2017): The marifah.net website is down. This khutbah is now available here.

Friday, 8 July 2011

When is Ramadan?

Assalaam alaykum,

Please listen to this lecture (with slides) by Al-Hajj Abu Ja'far Al-Hanbali, in which he discusses how the beginning and end of Ramadan, and every other month of our lunar calendar, are determined according to the Qur'an, the Sunnah, the First Three Generations and the fuqaha that have followed since. The various fallacies that come up every year regarding moon sighting, such as the assertion that it can't be seen in the UK, that we don't have to bother looking for it because of modern science, that we should follow Saudi Arabia because that's where Islam began, and so on and so forth, are clearly dealt with, and with Allah alone is every success.







Courtesy of the Reasons for Faith Channel.

Wassalaam,

Mahdi

Related Posts:


Monday, 27 June 2011

Moon Sighting: The Evidence from Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim with commentary by Sheikh al-Islam Yaḥyā An-Nawawī

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

2. The Chapter on the obligation of fasting Ramaḍān upon seeing the crescent and breaking it upon seeing the crescent and if it is obscured at the beginning or the end the month is completed as thirty days.

(#1080) Yaḥyā ibn Yaḥyā has related to us. He said: ‘I read under Mālik, from Nāfiʿ, from Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with both of them, from the Prophet, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, that he mentioned Ramaḍān and said: “Don’t fast until you see the crescent, and don’t break [your fast] until you see it. And if it is obscured from you then count it (faqdurū lahu).”

Abū Bakr ibn Abī Shayba related to us. Abū Usāma related to us. ʿUbayd Allah related to us from Nāfiʿ, from Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with both of them, that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, mentioned Ramaḍān and brought his hands together, saying: ‘The month is such and such and such (and he tied his thumbs when saying the third) so fast upon seeing it and break [your fast] upon seeing it, and if it is obscured from you then count (faqdurū lahu) thirty.’

Imam An-Nawawī: (faqdurū lahu) In a narration we have ‘count 30 days’, and in another narration we have ‘If you see the crescent, fast, and if you see it, break [your fast], and if it is obscured from you, then count it.’ In another narration: ‘If it is obscured from you then fast thirty days.’ In another narration: ‘If it is obscured from you then complete the number.’ In another narration: ‘If the month is obscured from you then count thirty.’ In another narration: ‘If it is obscured from you then count thirty.[1]

All these narrations are in the book in this order. In the narration of Al-Bukhārī: ‘If it is not known to you then complete the number of Shaʿbān[2] as thirty.’ The scholars differ as to the meaning of ‘faqdurū lahu’. A group of scholars have said: ‘The meaning is “confine it and count it under the clouds.” Amongst those who said this is Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal, and others who hold it permissible to fast on the day following a cloudy night of Ramaḍān, as we will mention if Allah the Exalted so Wills.[3] Ibn Surayj said, along with a group that includes Maṭraf ibn ʿAbdullah, Ibn Qutaybah and others: ‘The meaning is to count it by calculating lunar phases.’ Mālik, ash-Shāfiʿī, Abū Ḥanīfa and the majority of the Salaf and the Khalaf[4] hold that the meaning of qadurū lahu is to complete the thirty days. The people of language say…[5]

The majority use as their evidence the mentioned narrations and complete the number as thirty, and this is the explanation of qadurū lahu and for this reason the two are not gathered in one narration. Rather, sometimes this one is mentioned and sometimes that one is mentioned, and the previous narration of ‘then count (faqdurū lahu) thirty,’ strengthens this. Al-Māzarī[6] said: ‘The majority of jurists hold that the meaning of his saying, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, ‘faqdurū lahuis to complete the number as thirty as has been explained in the other ḥadīth. They say: “It is not permissible to hold that it means the calculations of the astronomers because the people, if they are made responsible for this, will be put in a difficult situation because only a few people know [the science of astronomy] and the legislation is that the people know what the masses of them know[7], and Allah knows best.

As for his saying, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him: (if it is obscured from you) means that there are clouds between you and it. It is said…[8]. In these aḥādīth are evidences for the madhabs of Mālik and Ash-Shāfiʿī and the majority that it is not permissible to fast the day of doubt[9] nor the day of the 30th of Sha’ban as Ramadan if the thirtieth night is cloudy.

His saying, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him: (fast upon seeing it and break [your fast] upon seeing it). The meaning here is the sighting by some Muslims. It is not a condition for every individual to see it; rather the sighting of two upright witnesses is sufficient for everybody, and likewise one [upright witness], according to the strongest position, for fasting. As for breaking the fast, the witness of one upright person of the crescent of Shawwāl[10] is not permissible according to all the scholars, except for Abū Thawr, who holds one as permissible.

His saying, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him: (The month is such and such). In a narration: ‘The month is twenty-nine days.[11] The meaning is that the month could be twenty-nine days. The gist is that, with consideration of the crescent, the month could be complete as thirty or incomplete as twenty-nine. The crescent may not be seen and therefore it would be obligatory to complete the number of thirty. They say: ‘The incompleteness [i.e. 29 days] could be continuous for two months, or three, or four but not more than four. In this ḥadīth is the permissibility of relying upon the understood indication in something like this.

[Translated from Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim bi Sharḥ An-Nawawī v.7 p.165-7]

5. The Chapter clarifying that every locality has their own sighting and if they see the crescent in a locality its ruling is not established for those who are far from them.

(#1087) Yaḥyā bin Yaḥyā has related to us, and Yaḥyā ibn Ayyūb, and Qutaybah, and Ibn Hujr (he said Yaḥyā bin Yahyā: informed us, while others said: Ismāʿīl related to us, and he is Ibn Jaʿfar) from Muammad (and he is Ibn Abi Ḥarmalah) from Kurayb, that Umm al-Faḍl, the daughter of al-Ḥārith, sent him to Muʿāwiya in Shām.[12] He said: ‘I arrived in Shām. I carried out her [Umm al-Faḍl] task and the month of Ramadan came in, and I was in Shām. I saw the crescent on Friday night.[13] Then I arrived in Madīna towards the end of the month. ʿAbdullah ibn ʿAbbās, may Allah be pleased with him, asked me questions. Then he mentioned the crescent and said: “When did you see the crescent?” I said: “We saw it on Friday night.” He said: “You saw it?” I said: “Yes. The people saw it. They fasted and Muʿāwiya fasted.” He said: “But we saw it on Saturday night, and we will not stop fasting until we complete thirty days, or we see it.” I said: “Isn’t the sighting of Muʿāwiya and his fasting sufficient for us?” He said: “No, and this is what the Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, commanded us.”’

Yaḥyā bin Yaḥyā was not sure whether he said ‘sufficient for us’ or sufficient for you’.

Imam An-Nawawī: In this [chapter] is the ḥadīth of Kurayb from Ibn  ʿAbbās and it is clear evidence of the Tarjima[14] and the strongest position amongst our companions[15] is that the sighting is not general for all people, but rather it is specific to whoever is close by a distance in which one does not shorten the prayer.[16] It is also said that if there is agreement of the region[17] they are necessitated. It is also said that if the locale (iqlīm) agrees [they must fast] and if not then no. Some of our companions hold that the sighting is general for all the people of the earth[18], and regarding this we say that Ibn ʿAbbās did not act on the information of Kurayb because it was one testimony and it cannot be established by one person. However, the outward purport of the ḥadīth is that he [Ibn ‘Abbas] did not reject it for this reason but he only rejected it because the ruling of the sighting cannot be established for those far away.

[Translated from Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim bi Sharḥ an-Nawawī v.7 p.172]

Conclusion: The objective of this article is to provide the evidences for reviving the Sunnah of sighting the moon in western lands, as it still remains in the Muslim heartlands. In order for there to be unity amongst Muslims in the United Kingdom, United States, and other western countries, what better way than to return to the Sunnah of sighting the moon and establishing your own lunar calendar?



[1] All of these narrations can be found in the same chapter of Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim.
[2] This is the month that precedes Ramaḍān.
[3] For further details on this position, which is unique to the Ḥanbalī school, please listen to this lecture by Al-Hajj Abu Jaʿfar Al-Hanbali, which is available from the Reasons for Faith Channel.
[4] The Salaf are the first three generations of Islam, and the Khalaf are those who come after.
[5] The part is left untranslated because the Imam goes into lexicography, which is of little benefit to the non-Arabic speaker.
[6] Imam al-Māzarī is Abū ʿAbdullah Muḥammad ibn ʿAlī, d. 536/1141, a Mālikī scholar of Sicilian origin who settled in Al-Mahdiyya and wrote a commentary on Al-Burhān by Imam al-Juwaynī.
[7] In other words, this religion is accessible to the layman in its foundational form. Moon sighting is not the exclusive property of so-called experts, intellectuals, academics and self-appointed spokesmen for Islam in the west.
[8] The part is left untranslated because the Imam goes into lexicography which is of little benefit to the non-Arabic speaker
[9] This is the day that could be either the 30th of Shaʿbān or the 1st of Ramaḍān.
[10] This is the month that follows Ramaḍān.
[11] This and other narrations on the month being twenty-nine days can be found in chapter 4 of the Book of Fasting.
[12] Shām includes modern-day Syria, Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan. Muʿāwiya was the Khalīfa at the time and based in Damascus.
[13] This means the night before the day of Friday.
[14] Ibn Abbas is called ‘Tarjima al-Qurʾān’, which means the Interpreter of the Qurʿān. The Prophet, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, made a supplication for him in which he asked Allah to bless him with this ability.
[15] i.e. the Shāfiʿīs
[16] That distance is approximately 50 miles. (Reliance of the Traveller p.190) N.B This is not the limit of the sighting zone in the Shāfiʿī school. Please see following note.
[17]An example of a region, or sighting zone, would be the Ḥijāz, or Iraq, or Egypt. (Reliance of the Traveller p.281)
[18] The idea of a global lunar calendar is inherently flawed. Lunar calendars are based on moon sightings, which differ from region to region.  Furthermore, there is no precedent for this from the first three generations, as this ḥadīth demonstrates. Some ʿulamāʾ, particularly ʿAlā u-Dīn Al-Mardāwī Al-Ḥanbalī (d. 885 AH) and others, explain that when the Khalīfa, the chief Qāḍī, or his representative, see the crescent moon, they declare it for all seven domains, those being the seven jurisdictions of the Khilāfa, stretching from areas in South America to China. They then start their own Ramaḍān from that day and the nearby cities and areas do the same, an example being Baṣra and Baghdād. However, faraway lands, which have not seen it, follow suit but according to their peculiar calendar, i.e. they hear that the chief Qāḍī has announced it but it may only be the 28th where they are, so they wait a day and then start fasting.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

A Guide for New Believers

A[1]




Assalām ‘alaykum [Peace be upon you],

Welcome to the bliss of Islam, the religion[2] of Truth. We ask Allah to bless you in this life and the next, and to make your journey to Him easy.

Allah says in the Qurʾān:

He is the one Who sent His Messenger with Guidance and the religion of Truth to make it manifest over all other religions.” [At-Tawbah 9:33]

Whoever Allah wants to guide, He opens his heart to Islam.” [Al-Anʿām 6:125]

Whoever desires other than Islam as a religion, it will not be accepted from him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers. [Āl-ʿImrān 3:85]

INTRODUCTION

Now that you have embraced the faith and accepted salvation, all praise be to Allah, you must have many questions, and maybe even concerns. The purpose of this guide is to make things easy and clear for you, and to put you in the right direction so that you can stand up in this world as a confident Muslim, proud of your Islam and prepared to deal with challenges that will come your way while constantly turning to your Lord for assistance, seeking His forgiveness, and asking Him to shower His mercy upon you in this life and the next.


Let us now look at the benefits of embracing Islam and accepting salvation:

* All previous sins have been wiped out and all previous good deeds have been validated and recorded.

This means that whatever good deeds you have done in your life have been recorded, and you will be rewarded for them, insha’Allah (God willing). As for all your sins, they have been wiped away. Allah has now given you the opportunity to start afresh.

* You now have a direct relationship with your Lord. Allah says:

And when my slaves ask you [Muammad a[3]] 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. [Al-Baqara 2:186]

Call on Allah at any time. Ask Him to make things easy for you, to guide you, to fill your heart with love for Islam, love for Allah, and love for the final Prophet, Muḥammad a. If you have just recently said the Shahādah, it is highly recommended at this time that you make lots of supplication (duʿā) to Allah. This will help you build your relationship with Him, and you will start to feel Allah working in your life. Allah also says:

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. [Ibrahim 14:10]

* You will see Allah in the Hereafter, and be admitted into Paradise.

Allah says: Faces radiant on that day, looking at their Lord. [Al-Qiyāma 75:22-23]

This is the most awesome reward, and cannot be comprehended or understood by our limited human minds. Seeing Allah in the Paradise is the exclusive reward of the believers, and cannot be compared to any pleasure that we know of or don’t know of.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

The Aphorisms of Ibn Ataillah: Hikma 176

With Sheikh Muhammad Saeed Ramadan Al-Bouti

الفَقَات بُسُط المَوَاهِب









From the Naseem Al-Shaam Channel. Please click on the link for more videos.

Assalaam alaykum,

Mahdi

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Advising Today's People to Honour Those in Charge of Their Affairs


Assalaam alaykum,

Alhamdulilah, a new article is now available from www.marifah.net, entitled "Advising Today's People to Honour Those in Charge of Their Affairs", which is a translation of a poem by the great, contemporary Mauritanian scholar Sheikh Muḥammad Al- Ḥasan ibn Aḥmad Al -Khadīm. Insha'Allah you will find it very beneficial and informative, and with Allah alone is every success.

Assalaam alaykum,

Mahdi

Saturday, 2 April 2011

The Abodes of the Earth

What is the Middle Way? 
Introduction
This article has been compiled in order to clarify the current confusion that exists regarding the terms Dar Al-Islam, Dar Al-arb, Dar Al-Kufr and Hijra. If Allah so wills, it will be made clear that no single term can be applied in blanket fashion to the entire world. Rather, those same classifications that the great scholars of Islam have used throughout history still apply today, and with Allah alone is every success.

Dar Al-Islam and Hijra
In Al-Arbaʿīn An-Nawawiyyah, Imam an-Nawawī, the muʿtamad source for the Shāfiʿī school, quotes the great Mālikī scholar, Qāḍī Abū Bakr Ibn Al-ʿArabī[1], who said:
‘The ʿulamāʾ, may Allah be pleased with them, have divided travel in the earth into flight and search, and the former sub-divides into six sub-divisions:
‘First, going out from the abode of war to the abode of Islam, and this remains until the Day of Resurrection. That which ceased with the Conquest [of Makkah] according to his words, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, “There is no emigration after the Conquest [of Makka]”[2], was the emigration to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, where he was.
‘Second, leaving the people of innovation. Ibn Al-Qāsim said, ‘I heard Mālik say, “It is not permitted for anyone to remain in a land in which the Salaf[3] are being cursed.”
‘Third, leaving a land where the ḥarām is predominant, since it is an obligation upon every Muslim to seek the ḥalāl.
‘Fourth, fleeing from harm to one’s body. It is one of the bounties of Allah that He makes an allowance for that. If one fears for oneself in a place then Allah permits one to leave it, and fleeing with oneself will save one from that peril. The first person to do this was Ibrāhīm, peace be upon him, when he feared his people and said, “I am leaving this place to follow the pleasure of my Lord.” [Al-ʿAnkabūt 29:26] Allah the Exalted has also told us about Mūsā, peace be upon him, saying: “So he left there fearful and on his guard.” [Al-Qaṣaṣ 28:21]
‘Fifth, leaving unhealthy cities from fear of illness to go to a healthy land. He, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, permitted the ʿAraniyyīn[4], who found Madīna bad for their health, to leave and go to pasture-land.
‘Sixth, leaving from fear of financial harm, since the sanctity of a Muslim’s wealth is the same as the sanctity of his blood.’[5]

What is Dar Al-Islam?
The contemporary Shāfiʿī scholar, Sheikh Muḥammad Saʿīd Ramaḍān Al-Būtī[6], states:
‘According to what the Imams of the Four Madhabs have agreed upon, it is the country or land in which the power of the Muslims and their leadership has entered, such that they are able to manifest their Islam and keep away from their enemies, whether this is accomplished by conquest and fighting or peace and conciliation, or something of that nature.
‘In terms of defining Dar Al-Islam, the expressions of the fuqahāʾ have differed, but these differences are only in wording. All of these definitions agree that [Dar al-Islam] is when the Muslims are able to have their own rule over that land, such that each one of them is able to make the rulings of Islam and its outward rites superior therein.[7]
‘This Islamic rule over some land is what makes it Dar al-Islam, and this is regardless of whether the population are Muslims or not, such as a country that the Muslims have conquered and its people are settled therein by paying the jizya[8] or something of that nature.[9][10]
After discussing the rulings of Dar Al-Islam, Sheikh al-Būṭī goes on to say:
‘Through knowing these rulings one will notice that the implementation of the rulings of the Islamic Revealed Law is not a condition for considering the abode Dar Al-Islam. Rather, it is from the rights of Dar Al-Islam and it is the responsibility of the Muslims. If the Muslims fall short in carrying out the various rulings of Islam in the Islamic abode that Allah has caused them to inherit, then this does not stop that abode from being Dar Al-Islam, but those who are falling short are sinful and bear the burden for their sin.’[11]

What is Dar Al-Ḥarb?
In his book Fiqh As-Sīrah, Sheikh Al-Būṭī[12] says:
‘The “abode of war” is, by extension, any place in which it is not possible for a Muslim to perform his religiously prescribed duties, such as prayer, fasting, meeting for communal worship, issuing the public call to prayer, and any other outward rites associated with Islam.’[13]

Where does Dar Al-Islam come from?
Another contemporary Shāfiʿī scholar, Sheikh Wahba Az-Zuḥaylī[14], states:
‘The Prophetic emigration to Al-Madīna Al-Munawwara (Yathrib), and the two treaties of ‘Aqaba that preceded it, are the foundation for establishing or forming the Islamic state, or Dar Al-Islam in the terminology of our fuqahāʾ. With it the identity of the Muslims was distinguished from that of the idol-worshippers and in Al-Madina the first pillars of security and stability were firmly established and the Prophet’s political authority was manifested. This authority is now considered the essential element in forming a state.’[15]

What does this mean now?
Sheikh Wahba Az-Zuḥaylī was asked:
‘Is it permissible in the Revealed Law to acquire the citizenship of a foreign, non-Muslim country or to reside in that foreign country, or is it impermissible?’
His answer:
‘Our ʿulamāʾ, such as Ibn Al-‘Arabī in Aḥkām Al-Qurʿān and An-Nawawī in Al-Arbaʿīn An-Nawawiyyah (p.9-10),[16] have affirmed that Hijra, or leaving Dar Al-Ḥarb for Dar Al-Islam, is a ruling that remains in place until the Day of Resurrection. It is not permissible for a Muslim to reside in Dar Al-Kufr, especially if he fears tribulation for his religion, because in residing amongst them their multitude is increased, except in the case of, as Al-Māwardī has stated: ‘If it comes to be that he, and his family and people, are able to manifest their religion therein, it is not permissible for them to emigrate because the place in which he is in may become Dar Al-Islam.’ This is the short answer.
As for the detailed answer: residing in non-Islamic lands in order to seek knowledge or spread the Islamic call, or to strengthen the Muslims, or to earn and work, or due to an excuse such as treatment for an illness, or because of captivity, or being prevented from residing in an Islamic country, is permissible in the Revealed Law. In this there is an Islamic benefit for the Muslims, which is that it is preferred for such a person to stay and remain rather than leave [the Muslims living there]. In other than these situations, residence is not allowed.[17]
‘As for citizenship, the foundation is that it is impermissible, because it is allegiance to a flag or a set of philosophical commitments that have not originated in Islam, and because it leads to strengthening the enemy, as is what happens with the emigration of professional people.[18] This is also the case because citizenship results in one being bound to certain requirements that may contradict the principles of Islam and its rulings, such as taking part in fighting Muslims or non-Muslims, and adhering to certain legal responsibilities that Islam has not affirmed. It is also because residing amongst non-Muslims leads to loving their customs or being influenced by their customs and approving them, especially in the minds of children. This is why the Prophet, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon, said: ‘I am free of every Muslim who resides amongst the idol-worshippers.’ They said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, why?’ He said: ‘You should not be able to see each other’s fireplaces.’’[19]


Imam al-Būī adds, in his book Fiqh as-Sīrah:
‘Second, as we have mentioned above, it is not permissible for a Muslim to reside in Dar al-Kufr or Dar al-arb if it is not possible for him to manifest his religion, and even if it is possible for him to manifest his religion it is still disliked (makrūh).’[20]



What about ‘Fiqh of Minorities’?
Sheikh Ramaān Al-Būtī has already dealt with this issue. Please see the following articles:
[This article is now available from the English Naseem ash-Sham site, where it can also be downloaded as a PDF]
Related Articles
For the anbalī discussion on these matters, please click here.
For the Mālikī discussion on these matters, please click here.




[1] Translator’s note (tn): (468-543 AH/1076-1148 AD). Referred to loosely as the Qāḍī of the Mālikīs, he was a famous student of Imam Abū āmid al-Ghazālī, may Allah have mercy on him. He was born in today’s Spain and is considered one of their greatest scholars. His commentary on the Qurʾān as well as different hadith collections are held to be amongst the many pearls and jewels of Islam. He is buried in Fes, Morocco.
[2] (tn): Al-Bukhārī and Muslim. The wording in Muslim is: ‘On the authority of Ibn ʿAbbās, who said, ‘The Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, said on the Day of the Fatḥ [conquest] of Makka: “There is no more Hijra, but rather jihād and intention, and if you are summoned to fight go out and fight.”’’ In Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim bi Sharḥ An-Nawawī, the Imam states: ‘The ʿulamāʾ have stated that Hijra from Dar Al-Ḥarb to Dar Al-Islam remains in place until the Day of Resurrection. As for the interpretation of the ḥadīth [quoted above], there are two opinions regarding it. The first is that there is no Hijra after the Fatḥ [of Makka] from Makka because it has become Dar Al-Islam, and Hijra can only be made from Dar Al-Ḥarb. This comprises the miracle of The Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, that it would remain Dar Al-Islam and emigrating from it is inconceivable. The second opinion, regarding the meaning of ‘there is no more Hijra’, is that the virtue of emigrating after the Fatḥ of Makka is not like the virtue of having emigrated before it, as Allah the Exalted has said: “Those of you who gave and fought before the Fatḥ are not the same…” [Translated from Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim bi Sharḥ An-Nawawī (Beirut: Dar Al-Kutub Al-ʿIlmiyyah, 2003) v.9 p.104-105, in The Book of Ḥajj]  The full quotation from the āya is: “Those of you who gave and fought before the Fatḥ are not the same as those who fought and gave afterwards. They are higher in rank.” [Al-Ḥadīd 57:10] In Al-Majmūʿ Sharḥ Al-Muhadhdhib (v.19 p.264), which is the ultimate reference work for the Shāfiʿī school, Imam an-Nawawī states the same thing, i.e. he quotes Imam Ibn Al-ʿArabī again and states that Hijra from Dar al-Ḥarb to Dar Al-Islam was obligatory in the time of the Prophet, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, and that this obligation remains in place after the Prophet, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, for whoever fears for themselves. What came to an end after the Fatḥ of Makka was emigrating to wherever the Prophet was, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him.
[3] (tn): I.e. the first three generations of Islam, based on the ḥadīth in Al-Bukhārī and Muslim: “The best generation is my generation, then those who come next, then those who come next.” The wording in the former is "The best of my Ummah is my generation..."
[4] (tn):  i.e. a tribe bearing this name
[5] (tn): Based on Al-Hajj Abdassamad Clarke’s translation entitled The Complete Forty Hadith (London: Taha Publishers, 1998) p.10-11. Please see pages 9 and 10, i.e. the commentary on the first ḥadīth, of any Arabic edition.
[6] (tn): For a list of his written works, please click here or visit his other website: www.bouti.net.
[7] See Tuḥfa Al-Muḥtāj 9/269, Al-Mughnī by Ibn Qudāma 9/247 and 248, the Ḥāshiya of Ibn ʿĀbidīn 3/260, and Mughnī Al-Muḥtāj 4/339. (tn): The first book, Tuḥfa Al-Muḥtāj, is Imam Ibn Ḥajar Al-Haytamī’s, another muʿtamad source in the Shāfiʿī school, commentary on Imam An-Nawawī’s Minhāj At-Ṭālibīn, a muʿtamad curriculum text in that school. The second book, Al-Mughnī, is written by Imam Muwaffaq u-Dīn Ibn Qudāma, the muʿtamad source for the Ḥanbalī school. The third book is written by Ibn ʿAbidīn, the muʿtamad source for the Ḥanafī school.
[8] (tn): ‘The minimum non-Muslim poll tax is one dinar (n: 4.235 grams of gold) per person (A: per year). The maximum is whatever both sides agree upon. It is collected with leniency and politeness, as are all debts, and is not levied on women, children or the insane.’ (Reliance of The Traveller (Beltsville: Amana Publications,1994), section o11.4, p.608.) As of 23/03/2011, 18:53 GMT, one gram of gold is worth £28.47, so the tax would be £120.57, or £10.05 per month. This is the only tax that non-believers have to pay.
[9] Tuḥfa Al-Muḥtāj 9/269
[10] (tn):This section is translated from the Sheikh’s book Al-Jihād fī Al-Islām (Damascus: Dar Al-Fikr, 1992)  p.80. Dar Al-Kufr, therefore, is the opposite of Dar Al-Islam.
[11] (tn): Ibid, p.81. It is worth noting that on the same page and the one that follows, Sheikh al-Būṭī refutes those Islamists who claim that implementation of the Revealed Law in its entirety is a condition for a land being Dar Al-Islam, which goes against what the ʿulamāʾ of Islam have agreed upon. These people claim that if the Revealed Law is not being implemented in its entirety it therefore becomes Dar al-Ḥarb, which would mean that Muslims living in most of, if not all, the Muslim-majority countries would have to leave, but where to? Oddly enough, many of them choose to emigrate to Europe or America. As the Sheikh rightly says, these people are only following their inclinations and desires and they have veiled their intellects from understanding the religion with thick veils of straying, emotional disturbance.
[12] (tn): Fiqh As-Sīrah (The Jurisprudence of the Prophetic Biography) as translated by Nancy Roberts and revised by Anas Ar-Rifāʿī (Damascus: Dar Al-Fikr, 2008), p.230. Please see p.130 of the Arabic edition (Damascus: Dar Al-Fikr, 2003)
[13] (tn): One can also have a look at Reliance of The Traveller, section w43.5, p.946-947 (Beltsville: Amana Publications, 1994)
[14] (tn): Born in Syria in 1932, author of over fifty books, including an eleven-volume comparative fiqh book, quoted below, and a sixteen-volume tafsīr of the Qurʾān. For further information, please visit his website.
[15] (tn): Translated from Al-Fiqh Al-Islāmī wa Adilatuhu (Damascus: Dar Al-Fikr, 1997) v.8 p.6303
[16] (tn): This is what has been quoted above.
[17] Al-Fatāwa Al-Ḥadīthiyyah by Imam ibn Ḥajar Al-Haytamī: p.209
[18](tn):  i.e. the so-called ‘brain drain’.
[19] (tn): Translated from Fatāwā Muʿāṣira (Damascus: Dar Al-Fikr, 2003) p.288-289. The ḥadīth is narrated by Abū Dawūd in his Sunan.
[20] (tn) p.276 of the 2009 Arabic edition