Violent Attack: Justified in Islam?

The recent incident in England now tagged the Woolwich attack is an abhorrent, barbaric, and odd crime that goes against well-established values and ethics of Islam and all world conventions. Islam never justifies attacking innocents.

One of the important objectives of Islam is to safeguard people’s lives, property and honor. It is in this light that Islam prohibits aggression against innocent people, Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The Qur’an and the Sunnah are abundant with provisions that crystallize and emphasize this principle. In the Sunnah we read that a woman entered Hell-fire because she tied a cat until it starved. Then, what will be the fate of those who shed innocent people’s blood and violate their rights?

In this regard, the eminent Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi states:

“No doubt, aggression against innocent people is a grave sin and a heinous crime, irrespective of the victim’s religion, country, or race. No one is permitted to commit such crime, for Allah, Most High, abhors aggression. Islam does not hold a double-standard policy in safeguarding human rights.

Following, I would like to highlight some relevant Islamic principles based on the Glorious Qur’an and Sunnah:

1. Islam Forbids Aggression Against Innocent People

Islam does not permit aggression against innocent people, whether the aggression is against life, property, or honor, and this ruling applies to everyone, regardless of post, status and prestige. In Islam, as the state’s subject is addressed with Islamic teachings, so is the ruler or caliph; he is not allowed to violate people’s rights, lives, honor, property, etc.

In the Farewell Pilgrimage, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) declared the principle that people’s lives, property, and honor are inviolable until the Day of Judgment. This ruling is not restricted to Muslims; rather, it includes non-Muslims who are not fighting Muslims. Even in case of war, Islam does not permit killing those who are not involved in fighting, such as women, children, the aged, and the monks who confine themselves to worship only.

This shouldn’t raise any wonder, for Islam is a religion that prohibits aggression even against animals. Ibn `Umar, may Allah be pleased with them both, quote the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, as saying: “A woman (was made to) enter (Hell) Fire because of a cat which she tied, neither giving it food nor setting it free to eat from the vermin of the earth.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari)

If such is Islamic ruling concerning aggressive acts against animals, then, with greater reason, the punishment is bond to be severe when human being happens to be the victim of aggression, torture and terrorism.

2. Individual Responsibility

In Islam, every one is held accountable for his own acts, not others’. No one bears the consequences of others’ faults, even his close relatives. This is the ultimate form of justice, clarified in the Glorious Qur’an, as Allah, Most High, says, (Or hath he not had news of what is in the books of Moses and Abraham who fulfilled (the commandments): That no laden one shall bear another’s load.) (An-Najm 53: 36-38)

Therefore, it’s very disgusting to see some people – who are Muslims by name– launching aggression against innocent people and taking them as scapegoats for any disagreement they have with the state’s authority!! What is the crime of the common people then?! Murder is one of heinous crimes completely abhorred in Islam, to the extent that some Muslim scholars hold the opinion that the repentance of the murderer will not be accepted by Allah, Most High. In this context, we recall the Glorious Qur’anic verse that reads, (…if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole peoplee.) (Al-Ma’idah 5: 32)

3. Ends Do not Justify Means

In Islam, the notion “End justifies the means” has no place at all. It is not allowed to attain good aims through evil means, and, therefore, alms collected from unlawful avenues are not halal (lawful). In this context, the Messenger of Allah, (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Surely, Allah is Good and never accepts but what is good.”

Thus, in Shari`ah, with all its sources– the Glorious Qur’an, the Sunnah, consensus of Muslim jurists– aggression and violation of human rights are completely forbidden.

Besides, it is the duty of the Muslim scholars to do their utmost to guide the perplexed people to the straight and upright path.”

May Allah guide us all and show us the straight path! Ameen!

Post by AttadescendantForum.



Preparing for Ramadan


O you who believe! Observing al-sawm (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become al-muttaqoon (the pious).

(Qur’an al-Baqarah 2:183)

As the beautiful month of Ramadan approaches this year, there are several things Muslim women can do to prepare themselves spiritually and physically for the month-long period of fasting which is obligatory upon all able – bodied Muslims who have reached the age of maturity.

Giving some thought to the unique concerns that Muslim women face during this month can help us prepare for them and make the month a more successful one. This is especially true for new converts to Islam (because Ramadan is such a new experience) and for married women in general because of the extra responsibility they typically have to make sure that the iftar (the fast-breaking meal served at sunset each day) is ready on time for their families and any guests in addition to continuing to take care of the home, children and other obligations as usual. It is crucial, then, that women take the time to plan for their sleep, health and other concerns before the month even starts.

It is recommended for Muslims to eat a pre-dawn meal (called sahoor in Arabic) each day before the fast begins. The Prophet, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, is reported by Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) to have said,

Eat a pre-dawn meal for there are blessings in it.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Other traditions report the Prophet (peace be upon him) as saying,

You should eat [the] pre-dawn meal for it is a blessed nourishment” (an-Nasa’i),


The pre-dawn meal is blessed so do not neglect it even if you only take a sip of water. Verily, Allah and His angels pray for those who have pre-dawn meals.” (Ahmad)

The pre-dawn meal provides energy and other benefits to the fasting Muslim during the day so it makes good sense to plan on getting up early to have sahoor. Of course this is better accomplished if you also sleep early so try to think about how you will arrange your schedule once Ramadan begins. If you typically have trouble waking up for the fajr (dawn) prayer, a new schedule in Ramadan may be the motivation you need to change your habits for the better even after Ramadan has ended. Ramadan is a great opportunity that comes once a year to renew your relationship and commitment to Allah

If you are accustomed to drinking tea or coffee in the morning or during the day, be aware that caffeine withdrawal can cause severe headaches while you are fasting. Take some time before Ramadan to wean yourself from caffeine (perhaps gradually) and decide whether it will be necessary to have any caffeine during the non-fasting hours in Ramadan. It may seem like a funny thing to worry about compared to the greatness of this Holy Month but many Muslims have experienced the phenomena of caffeine withdrawal and know to prepare themselves ahead of time to ensure they do not get sick from it.

Women should also know the times that they are prohibited from fasting, such as when they are menstruating or bleeding after childbirth.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women have special permission not to fast during Ramadan if they feel that they or their babies will be harmed by it, but they are not prohibited from fasting if they feel they can handle it. This is something best discussed with a doctor and depends on each woman’s unique circumstances. However, it is very important that pregnant and breast feeding women take care to eat properly during non-fasting hours if they choose to fast. It is also important that women do not feel any shame or guilt in breaking the fast if they feel they must; no one has the right to put pressure on the pregnant or breast feeding woman to exceed her body’s limits. In fact this allowance not to fast should be considered a mercy from Allah and not a punishment.

Likewise, women should not fast just because they do not want to have to make their fasts up later: health should be the prime consideration in deciding whether or not to fast. Take the fast one day at a time: it is not a competition with others but an act of worship for the sake of Allah Most High.

Of course women who are ill or must take medications during the day need to consult their doctors in order to see if it will be possible for them to fast and to change the schedule of their medications. Discuss the issue with a sheikh if you are not sure about your situation.

Whether a woman misses days of fasting due to menstruation, childbirth, pregnancy, breastfeeding or illness, these missed days should be made up before the next Ramadan comes. Insha’ Allah. Depending on her circumstances and on different schools of thought, making up the fast may be as simple as fasting one day for each day missed during Ramadan, or it may require that she feeds one poor person each day either in addition to, or in place of, fasting herself. Women should consult reliable books or scholars to understand their obligations in this regard. Fiqh us-Sunnah by As-Sayyid Sabiq is an excellent source of reliable information on how to make up missed days of fasting.

Understanding and respecting your body’s physical needs and limits during Ramadan will help you to have more energy for taking care of your home, family and other responsibilities

Spiritual preparation is also something that needs to be done before Ramadan comes around – it might seem silly really when you consider we should be spiritually “in tune” 12 months a year. We all seem to get caught up with our hectic schedules and all of a sudden you hear Muslims say: “oh no” Ramadan is in 2 weeks and its “panic time”! Some women busy themselves with spring-cleaning their homes but often we forget to warm up and fine-tune our selves in readiness for this mighty month

Cleanliness – Whenever a guest comes, we prepare in advance for his arrival by vacuuming the carpet, dusting the shelves, and scrubbing the sinks. We should do this for our guest called Ramadan. But the scrubbing should not just be of our physical surroundings; it should include the scrubbing of our sins.

Listen to the words of our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), speaking about those people that don’t want to clean up for Ramadan,

Whoever doesn’t desist from speaking falsehood and acting upon it, Allah has no need that he desist from his food and drink.” (Bukhari)

Fasting in Sha’baan (this Month that we are now in) – The biggest downfall of many Muslims is that they are not properly warmed up for Fasting, some people only do it once a year making their bodies very foreign to going without food and drink.

From here we see the following Sunnah: Umm Al-Mu’mineen Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her)- observes, “Allah’s Messenger never fasted an entire month other than Ramadan and I haven’t seen him fast more than he did in Sha’baan.

This is a good way to prepare for Ramadan by fasting in the moth before. The Prophet (saws) also fasted Monday and Thursdays every week. We should make fasting something we do all year round not just in Ramadan so it becomes second nature to us.

As for the Prophet (peace be upon him), he used to give glad tidings to his Companions of the coming of Ramadan like what is narrated from Imam Ahmad and An-Nisaai from the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with them), who said: “Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said to his Companions,

‘The month of Ramadan is coming, the blessed month wherein Allah has made fasting binding on you. In it, the gates of Paradise are opened, and in it, the gates of Hell are locked, and the devils are enchained. In it is the beneficent night of a thousand months (i.e. Laylat ul-Qadr). Whoever denies goodness in it has indeed been deprived.’

Ma’la Ibn al-Fadhl said about the Salaf (the pious predecessors): “They used to call upon Allah for six months until Ramadan reached them, then they would call on Him the other six months that Allah may accept it from them.”
And Yahya Ibn Abee Katheer said, “Their supplication used to be, ‘O Allah, keep me safe until Ramadan, and make Ramadan faultless for me, and secure it for me as an accepted (month of virtue).’”

The early generations of the Ummah used to make Du’a 6 months after Ramadan that Allah accept their deeds in Ramadan. And for the next 6 months, they would make du’a to Allah to grant them the blessing of being alive in the coming Ramadan.

Some of the many important lessons we learn from Ramadan are:

Developing Taqwa

Fasting has been legislated in order that we may gain taqwa, as Allah – the Most High – said:

O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed upon those before you in order that you may attain taqwa.” [Qur’an al-Baqarah 2:183]

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Fasting is a shield with which the servant protects himself from the Fire.” (Hasan: Ahmad, authenticated by al-Albani in Saheeh ut-Targheeb)

So we should ask ourselves, after each day of fasting: Has this fasting made us more fearful and obedient to Allah? Has it aided us in distancing ourselves from sins and disobedience?

Seeking Nearness to Allah

Whosoever reaches the month of Ramadan and does not have his sins forgiven, and so enters the fire, then may Allah distance him.” (Ahmad and al-Bayhaqee)

Acquiring Patience

What is meant by the month of Patience is the month of Ramadan …so fasting is called patience because it restrains the soul from eating drinking, conjugal relations and sexual desires.” (At-Tamheed of Al Haafidh ibn Abdul Barr)

The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

O youths! Whoever amongst you is able to marry, then let him do so; for it restrains the eyes and protects the private parts. But whoever is unable, then let him fast, because it will be a shield for him.” (At-Tamheed of Al Haafidh ibn Abdul Barr)

So fasting is a means of learning self-restraint and patience. With patience we are able to strengthen our resolve to worship Allah alone, with sincerity, and also cope with life’s ups and downs. So – for example – with patience we are able to perform our Prayers calmly and correctly, without being hasty, and without merely pecking the ground several times!

With patience we are able to restrain our souls from greed and stinginess and thus give part of our surplus wealth in Zakaah (obligatory charity). With patience we are able to subdue the soul’s ill temperament, and thus endure the ordeal and hardships of Hajj, without losing tempers and behaving badly. Likewise, with patience we are able to stand firm and fight Jihad against the disbelievers, hypocrites and heretics – withstanding their constant onslaught, without wavering and buckling, without despairing or being complacent, and without becoming hasty and impatient at the first sings of hardship. Allah – the Most High – said:

O Prophet, urge the Believers to fight … So if there are one hundred who are patient, they shall overcome two hundred; and if there be one thousand, they shall overcome two thousand, by the permission of Allah. And Allah is with the patient ones.” [Qur’an al-Anfaal 8:65-66].

Thus, without knowledge and patience, nothing remains, except zeal and uncontrolled emotions, shouts and hollow slogans, speech that does not strengthen, but rather weakness, and actions that do not build, but rather destroy! So in this month, we should strive to develop a firm resolve for doing acts of obedience, and to adorn ourselves with patience – having certainty in the saying of our Messenger sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam “And know that victory comes with patience, relief with affliction, and ease with hardship.” ( Saheeh: Ahmad, at-Tabaraanee in al-Kabeer, authenticated by al-Hilaalee in as-Sabrul Jameel)

Cultivating Good Manners

Fasting is not merely abstaining from eating and drinking. Rather, it is also abstaining from ignorant and indecent speech. So if anyone abuses or behaves ignorantly with you, then say: I am fasting, I am fasting.” (Saheeh: Ibn Khuzaymah and al-Haakim, who authenticated it.

Sensing Muslim Unity

As Muslims from all around the world commence Ramadan we realise that we are part of a community our hearts and actions united in pursuing Allah’s pleasure. There are many ahadith mentioning the blessings of breaking the fast together and there is also much reward in feeding a fasting person. So let us unite in this month of Mercy.

So Ramadan – it is that light in the souls of the righteous and the truthful, and in the hearts of the devout and sincere it gives happiness; for it is the month of obedience, and in it there are beautiful reflections for us all. Indeed, it grants victory to the soul over the body and flesh and gives us a wonderful opportunity to straighten ourselves up with our Lord.

During this month of Sha’baan we should find out more about the traditions of the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) related to Ramadan and make a sincere effort to implement them this year. We should also try to purify our hearts and intentions before the commencement of Ramadan to make this fast successful for our families and ourselves. Insha Allah

Ramadan is also an opportunity to renew relationships that may have been broken during the year and we should try and clear up any disputes or bad feelings with other Muslims so we may start this month a fresh.

So we ask Allah to grant us the ability to change ourselves for the better, during this blessed month, and not to be of those who are prevented from His Mercy and Forgiveness. Indeed He is the One who Hears and He is the One to Respond.

Meet A Coz- Habeeba Raji

Screen_20130516_014355Simple. Brainy. Cool. Calm. Very Organized. Introverted, yet fun.

Our guest at Mid-month May’2013 on Meet-A-Coz is an brilliant academic, as a staff of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, for almost a decade.

Please meet *Habeeba Raji*

Her choice of career fits perfectly with her natural disposition – studious, diligent, painstaking. Habeeba exudes the cool confident of a true Atta; and the logical reasoning of a distinguished scholar.

A delight to interact with, we take you into Habeeba’s world – of a fulfilling family routine, and an inner peace that comes from knowing who you are.

Enjoy habeeba!

Q. Your Background – parents’ names, your birth date, place of birth, siblings, education, work experiences, etc.

Habeeba: Parents’ names: Alh. Iliyasu Ibrahim Atta and Hajia Hajara Iliyasu Atta

Birth date: April 19, 1980

Place of birth: Kaduna

Siblings: Major Abdulwahab Iliyasu Atta, Ibrahim (Baba)Iliyasu Atta, Mustapha Iliyasu Atta, Suleiman Iliyasu Atta, Aisha Arafat Hassan, Amina Iliyasu Atta, Shehu Ahmed Atta (deceased), Nana Hauwa Omeiza and Salamatu Iliyasu Atta.

Education: St. Anne’s Nursery and Primary school, Kakuri, Kaduna; Wilson College, Kaduna, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria

Work experience: Peugeot Nig. Ltd., Kaduna (2004-2005); Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (2006 – till date)

Q. How was your growing up years? Recall fond memories.

Habeeba: Growing up was fun! I was still in nursery school when daddy (Allah rest his soul, Amin)passed so mummy brought us up strictly but with a lot of love. Sure, we get into trouble every now and then as kids and trust momsy to whip us back into shape! (laughter) I recall mommy taking us on many trips to Kingsway stores, nanet meatpie and Leventis department stores. And since we had many uncles living in Kaduna we get to meet with our cousins during birthday parties and wedding ceremonies. What can I say but, Alhamdillah!

Q. Current status: married or unmarried? Your experiences & thoughts on family & relationships.

Habeeba: I am happily married to Muhammad Mustafa Raji and blessed with three beautiful kids. Marriage has been a pleasant experience with challenges every now and then which serve to strengthen and build one emotionally. My husband is my friend and that has made our union fulfilling and it has also ensured that we maintain very good communication. My little angels rock my world! Being a mother is a rich experience, like no other!

Hmmmmm….. thoughts on family and relationships? Well I have just four magic words to say to that: Prayers, Mutual respect, Honesty and Understanding. I believe that if you have these key elements in any relationship, the rest will take care of themselves “wink”!

Q. Describe your typical day.

Habeeba: Get the kids and myself ready for school, make breakfast, drop off the kids at school, get to the office, pick up the kids later in the day, go home, make and have a late lunch, do one or two chores in the house, make dinner, get them ready for bed, tackle paperwork that I always take home from the office (believe me, lecturing is not as stress-free as people want to believe! “smh”), watch a little tv, then bedtime.

And that is my “typical” day with emphasis on typical! Lol!

Q. What it means to come from Atta Ibrahim family.

Habeeba: I feel honoured and humbled to be a descendant of such a great and superlatively incredible man! I am proud to come from such a noble and blessed family. Alhamdillah! May Allah lift us all strength to strength and may our dearest grandfather rest in total peace. Ameen! He is a pace-setter and we owe it to him to carry on his legacy and do him proud!

Q. Happiest moment so far?

Habeeba: The day I had my first child, Fareedah

Q. Saddest moment so far?

Habeeba: The day we lost my dear brother, Shehu

Q. Your thoughts on Atta ibrahim family. Tell us one thing you would change about the family if you could.

Habeeba: I would love for us to be in touch more frequently and strengthen the bond between us.

Q. What does fashion mean to you?

Habeeba: Wow! A whole lot! “wink”! but u know, like I always say……fashion should be an expression of ur innerself and not what you feel you are expected to wear! Simply put: just be urself!

Q. Habeeba’s favorites:

Favourite Meal: Anything peppery and tasty!

Fav. Drink: Kunun zaki

Fav. Colours: green, purple and brown

Fav. Football club: Man. United (thanks to ma hubby!)

Fav. Personality: Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W)

Fav. Travel destination: hmmmmmm……! Can’t say!

Fav. Perfume:. Cerruti 1881.