Wisdom of Jesus & Muhammad (peace be upon them)

Many mistakenly believe that Muslims were taught not to tolerate the existence of other religions present in this world.

In fact this belief contradicts the very essence and teachings of being a good Muslim where we can witness the dealings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) with other religions described in the Quran where the verse reads:

{To you be your religion, to me be mine.} (109:6)

Here, we see the Prophet Muhammad’s tolerance of other faiths where Islam recognizes that there is a plurality of religions on this earth, and gives the right to individuals to choose the path which they believe to be true.

The Prophet highlights that religion is not to be, and was never, forced upon an individual against their own will. In all reality and contrary to allegations, the Quran promotes religious tolerance and sets the guideline for the Muslims’ interaction with people of other faiths. God says:

{There is no compulsion in religion.} (2:256)

The best example of the tolerance by Prophet Muhammad to other religions may be illustrated during the time where he migrated to Madinah, where he worked to ensure harmony and stability in a society which once had been distraught by decades of war, calling for the peaceful coexistence of Muslims, Jews, Christians and polytheists.

It is on this note that he laid down a ‘charter’ which detailed the responsibilities of all parties which resided in Madinah, including their obligations towards each other, and certain restrictions which were placed on each. All involved were to obey what was mentioned therein, and any breach of its articles was regarded as an act of treachery indicating that mutual respect of each other’s religions was during this time significant. Similarly much respect and focus was expected to the sayings of the Prophet Jesus.

WORD OF JESUS IN THE QURAN

The Quran is replete with many stories about the life and teachings of Jesus. There are in fact recalling of his miraculous birth, his teachings, the miracles he performed by God’s permission, and his life as a respected Prophet of God. The Quran continues to repeatedly remind us that Jesus was a human Prophet sent by God, not part of God Himself.

Raised in a non-Muslim country, many were surprised to see me referring to the sayings of the Prophet Jesus. We as Muslims are taught that Islam’s view of Jesus lies between two extremes. That of the Jews, who rejected Jesus and sadly labeled him as an imposter while the Christians, on the other hand, considered him to be the son of God and worship him as such.

Islam considers Jesus in addition to Noah, Abraham, Moses and Muhammad (peace be upon them) to be one of the greatest and most forbearing of Prophets. The great reverence to which Jesus is held lies in conformity with the Islamic view of the Oneness of God, the Oneness of Divine guidance, and the complementary role of the subsequent mission of God’s messengers.

Jesus has in fact described himself in the Quran:

{I am indeed a servant of God. He has given me revelation and made me a prophet;
He has made me blessed wheresoever I be; and He has enjoined on me prayer and charity as long as I live. He has made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable.
So peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)!’
Such was Jesus the son of Mary. It is a statement of truth, about which they (vainly) dispute.
It is not befitting to (the majesty of) God that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! When He determines a matter, He only says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is.} (19:30-35)

JESUS WISE SAYINGS

It is on this note that referring to Jesus’ wise sayings I was able to have a common foothold with friends when relating to anything religious as we could, to an extent, see eye to eye. One wise saying by Jesus was:

“Do not speak much without remembering God, for by doing so, you harden your hearts. Surely a hard heart is distant from God though you are unaware.

Do not, like lords, look at the faults of others. Rather, like servants, look at your own faults.

In truth, humanity is comprised of only two types, the afflicted and the sound. So show mercy to the afflicted, and praise God for well-being.” (Muwatta’ Malik, 8)

There is a similar verse in the Quran where Jesus announces he comes with clear signs:

{Now I have come to you with Wisdom, and in order to make clear to you some of the (points) on which you dispute. Therefore, fear God and obey me. God, He is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him – this is a Straight Way. But sects from among themselves fell into disagreement. So woe to the wrongdoers, from the penalty of a Grievous Day.} (43:63-5)

Jesus was also known to have said:

“Virtuous action does not consist in doing good to someone who has done good to you – that is merely returning a favor. Virtuous action consists in doing good to those who have wronged you.” (Ahmad)

A beautiful example of forgiveness, sacrifice and altruism by our beloved Jesus and an important ingredient in becoming a decent practicing Muslim in doing as what you would be done by.

Reading through excerpts from Walk on Water: The Wisdom of Jesus, translated by Hamza Yusuf, we are awakened by the real reason of why we are in this world and how we should act with others. Through the current challenges I face, I was personally reminded of how we should respond, and how to continue in our daily lives despite the confrontations. Even in times of bliss and contentment we are guided on how to act showing mercy to others. It is on this note that I was prompted to try to improve myself and my children for I am responsible for raising them.

One of Jesus’ wise saying which hit home read:

“It is of no use to know something if one does not act upon it. In truth, an abundance of knowledge only increases one in pride if one does not act accordingly.” (Ahmad)

Like the Prophet Muhammad, Jesus simply provided his followers a guide on how to become decent God fearing people warning us about greed, teaching us about altruism, and reminding us about ‘zuhd’ which entails abandoning whatever of this world that does not bring about benefit in the Hereafter.

Discussing greed he indicated:

“Love of this world is the source of every wrong action, and there is much harm in wealth.”

They asked: “What is its harm?”

Jesus replied: “Its possessor is never safe from pride and arrogance.”

They said: “What if he is free of those two? Is there still harm?”

Jesus responded: “Yes, for by nurturing his wealth, he is diverted from the remembrance of God.” (Ahmad)

Here, he highlights the importance of remembering God first and foremost warning that greed may weaken the heart filling it with pride and arrogance.

This is shown again here where Jesus states:

“O Spirit of God, inform us about the nature of wealth.”

He answered: “The possessor of wealth always has one of three qualities: he either gains it by unlawful means, obstructs it from reaching the one who deserves it or by accumulating it is destructed from worship of his Lord.”

In turn, on the subject of greed, the Prophet Muhammad has been reported saying:

“If a son of Adam were to own a valley full of gold, he would desire to have two. Nothing can fill his mouth except the earth (of the grave). Allah turns with mercy to him who turns to Him in repentance.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim, 23)

Jesus also warned about the love of this life stating:

“Love of this world and love of the next world can never reside in the heart of a believer simultaneously, just as fire and water cannot be contained in a single vessel at the same time.”

And again in the quote:

“Woe to the possessor of this world, since he must die and leave the world behind. He places his hope in it and is deceived. He trusts it and is forsaken.”

In Islam we have been taught by Prophet Muhammad that none of us truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself. This altruism, this selfless act done for another’s benefit in spite of oneself, is a humanitarian endeavor praised by all societies. Equally so, we can read in wise sayings quoted by Jesus who advised to “love thy neighbor and to care for one and all”.

While ‘zuhd’ or what we can describe as abandonment does not imply a disregard for this world it can be defined as residing in the heart, and is practiced by ridding the heart of enslavement from the unnecessary desire and the over-attentiveness to things that are temporary.

Both the Prophets Muhammad and Jesus highlighted its significance and both practiced it since it was God’s will to pay less attention to this life and to pave for the Hereafter. Prophet Muhammad cited:

“When Allah desires goodness for his servant, He grants the capacity of abstention from materialism, a desire for the Hereafter and an insight into his own faults.”

Similarly, Jesus has quoted:

“Abstention from materialism revolves around three days; yesterday, which has passed and from it you should seek admonition/ learn a lesson; today, in which you should increase your preparation; Tomorrow of which you know not what it holds.”

In fact Jesus (peace be upon him) was the epitome of altruism where he would walk bare-footed, claiming nothing in the way of shelter, finery, wares, garments, or money of which he would procure only enough to subsist for the day.

As a child I understood that Jesus’ wise sayings were many and he was a true example for both Muslims and non-Muslims alike to follow. Despite the differing perspectives on Jesus’ life and teachings, I was taught that his spiritual legacy, as a righteous and principled guide, and his renowned mission for peace on Earth offered me an alternative opportunity to recognize the shared religious heritage between Christians and Muslims alike.

This is reflected in the Quranic verse which reads

{Say: ‘We believe in God and the revelation given to us and to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and message given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and it is unto Him that we surrender ourselves.} (2:136)

This reaffirms God’s eternal message of spiritual unity reminding us all and myself foremost of the Prophet Muhammad’s saying:

“People from the time of Adam onwards are as equal as the teeth of a comb. Arabs are not superior to non Arabs, nor are red skinned people better than blacks. No superiority or virtue exists except in terms of piety.” (Al-Bayhaqi)

A beautiful reminder which I have printed and posted for all in my home to see, a reminder that we have to be our best, and continue to do our best since our actions will be the defining point on the day of Judgment as taught by our beloved prophets Muhammad and Jesus (peace be upon them).

Source:http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/understanding-islam/belief/messengers/467013-wisdom-of-jesus-and-muhammad.html

Imam Al-Nawawi’s Riyad-us-Saliheen Chapter 195 The Excellence of Optional Prayers (Sunnah Mu’akkadah) along with the Obligatory Prayers

1097. Umm Habibah (May Allah be pleased with her) the Mother of the Believers reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) saying, “A house will be built in Jannah for every Muslim who offers twelve Rak`ah of optional Salat other than the obligatory Salat in a day and a night (to seek the Pleasure of Allah).”
[Muslim].

Commentary: Tatawwu` means to offer more Nawafil (optional prayers) on one’s own after performing the Faraid (obligatory prayers). Thus, this Hadith tells us the merits of optional prayers and holds promise of (Jannah) for those who make it a practice.

1098. Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: I performed along with the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) two Rak`ah of optional prayers before Zuhr and two after the Zuhr (noon prayer), and two after the Friday prayer, and two after the Maghrib (evening) prayer, and two after the `Isha’ (night) prayer.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: There are two kinds of Nawafil which are performed before or after the obligatory prayer. Firstly, the one which were performed by the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) more frequently. According to the present Hadith, their total comes to ten Rak`ah while in other Ahadith their total is twelve or fourteen Rak`ah. They are called Sunnah Mu’akkadah or As-Sunnan Ar-Rawatib That is, the Rak`ah which are proved from the saying and practice of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and which were performed by him usually. These are said to be Compulsory prayers. Secondly, such Nawafil which were not performed by the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) regularly. These are called Sunnah Ghair Mu’akkadah and are said to be Optional prayers. In any case, Nawafil have great importance in creating a special link between the worshipper and Allah, and for this reason the believers do not neglect them. But their status in Shari`ah is of Nawafil the performing of which is rewarding and omission of which is not sinful. One thing that should be borne in mind in respect of As-Sunnan Ar-Rawatib or Mu’akkadah is that it is better to perform them at home. This was the usual practice of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), and this is what he ordained the Muslims.

1099.`Abdullah bin Mughaffal (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “There is a Salat (prayer) between every Adhan and Iqamah; there is a Salat between every Adhan and Iqamah.” (While saying the same for the) third time (he (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) added), “It is for him who desires (to perform it).”

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Commentary: The two Adhan here means Adhan and Iqamah, as has been elucidated by Imam An-Nawawi. That is, offering of two Rak`ah between Adhan and Iqamah is Mustahabb (desirable). It comes in the category of Ghair Ratiba or Ghair Mu’akkadah Nawafil. These Nawafil can be performed after the Adhan of every Salat before the congregation stands for the obligatory Salat.

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Change Your Life With 7 Spiritual Habits Tips and Advice

In these blessed days of Rajab, we are supposed to focus on the spiritual build up for Ramadan.

You should aim to develop the following 7 spiritually productive activities into habits so that you can hopefully continue benefiting from them throughout your life. I consider these activities as the spiritual ‘bread and butter’ of any productive Muslim.

To develop them as habits is the essence of embarking on your journey towards the love of Allah and constantly increasing in your faith, inshaAllah:

1) Do Sunnah prayers before and/or after prayer:

I know it’s easier to just pray the obligatory prayers and rush out of the mosque! However, when we realize the rewards we’re missing from not praying these Sunnah prayers we won’t leave them.

Over the years I have learnt there’s only one way of getting yourself to pray these Sunnah prayers constantly: Get into the habit of praying them! They’ll soon become part and parcel of your prayer, which in turn will feel incomplete without performing these acts.

2) Remembrance of Allah after prayer:

Again, it’s easy to rush out after prayer due to our busy lives, though if we are honest, how long does it take to recite the supplications after prayer? The Answer: 5-7 minutes!

If you’re not sure what I’m referring to, you may find the supplications at MakeDua.com. Nowadays you’ll find pocket notebooks/or phone applications with these supplications. Get into the habit of reciting them daily after each prayer to enrich your worship experience.

3) Morning/Evening Remembrance of Allah:
Step 2 is also included in this habit. There exists a beautiful set of du`aa/remembrances from the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) which he used to say before sunrise and after sunset. They are true stress relievers and energy boosters which never fail to make my days and evenings feel blessed. [You can find the du`aas at MakeDua.com]

4) Night Prayer:

Hamdulillah, during Ramadan we have the wonderful Taraweeh prayers to attend. However, outside of Ramadan there are many opportunities to still obtain the reward of the night prayer. If you’re new to night prayer or you don’t pray it constantly during the year, make sure you try to attend prayers each and every night in congregation at the mosque (particularly brothers), and give yourself a ‘no-excuse’ policy.

Develop a habit of praying Tahajjud and continuing to pray them for an entire 30 days; this will set you on better footing to continue with the Night Prayer for the rest of the year inshaAllah.

5) Duha Prayer:

Here’s a productive Muslim’s top secret to a productive day: 2 rak’ahs known as the Duha prayer which you may pray at anytime after sunrise till before the sun reaches its zenith (around 30 minutes before Dhuhr).

The reward of this prayer is similar to giving charity on behalf of every bone in your body, and the energy and buzz you feel during the day is amazing.

6) Supplications before you sleep:

You’ve just had a long day and you’re super tired. You climb into bed and you want to hit the sack… but wait! Before you do, can you give yourself just 10 more minutes to recite the supplications before sleeping? That’s all.

Try them and find yourself experiencing the most beautiful sleep ever and waking up for Fajr easily.

For more information on waking up for Fajr, constantly, everyday, without fail Read How to Wake up for Fajr.

7) Reciting one hour of the holy Qur’an each day:

Notice: I said here recite one hour of Qur’an each day and not one juz’ or one surah. The amount of Qur’an you read is not as important as the quality of your understanding.

If you spend one hour reciting one verse but understand it fully, that’s more important and beneficial then reciting lots of Quran at break-neck speed yet not understanding a word.

So there you go, 7 spiritually productive habits you can develop throughout the year starting from TODAY!

This article is re-published from PorductiveMuslim.com.

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He Missed ‘Ishaa in the Masjid and Finds the People Praying Taraaweeh: What does He Do? – Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih Al-‘Uthaymeen

Question:

What is the ruling of establishing a second congregation while the people are praying the Taraaweeh prayer in Ramadan? This is because I have heard some of the people say that it is an innovation, while some of them say in the (last) ten nights then there is no problem, as for other that, then it is an innovation; such as if one were to do it in the beginning of Ramadan or the middle part.

Answer:

That which is correct is that if a person enters the Masjid, whether he is alone or there is a group along with him, and the people are praying the Taraaweeh prayer they are to enter (the prayer) along with the Imaam intending ‘Ishaa. Then when the Imaam makes the Tasleem they are to perform that which remains from the ‘Ishaa prayer; each doing so individually and not as a congregation. This is that which is correct.

As for establishing a second congregation in one Masjid, this is not legislated, without doubt. However, we say: enter along with the Imaam, intending ‘Ishaa.

If one were to say: Is it correct for one praying an obligation prayer to do so along with one praying a superogatory prayer? We say: Yes. This occurred during the time of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam). Mu’aadh ibn Jabal, may Allaah be pleased with him, used to pray the ‘Ishaa prayer along with the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) then go to his people and lead them in the same prayer. So it was superogatory for him and for them it was obligatory. This was during the time of the Messenger, upon him be prayers and peace. Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, approved of this. Rather, what is apparent is that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) knew about that and approved of it. Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, may Allaah have mercy upon him, textually mentioned that if a man were to enter while the Imaam is praying Taraaweeh then he is to enter (the prayer) along with him intending ‘Ishaa.

Translated by Raha ibn Donald Batts
Source: Silsilah Al-Liqaa’ Ash-Shahree No. 32

Posted from http://mtws.posthaven.com/

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Women Praying in the Basement or Upper Levels of Masjid – Shaykh al Albaani

Question: There are some masjids in which the women pray below the actual masjid, such as in the basement or in an upper level (above the masjid). We are women who pray in these masjids, at times following the Imaam from a point where we are not able to see him nor the male followers. And sometimes there is a large empty space left over in the area of prayer for the men. Is our prayer valid if we cannot see the Imaam or any of the (male) followers, and while knowing that sometimes we enter the masjid and don’t know what rak’ah he is in. Is it allowed in this situation to follow (the Imaam) by (hearing) the raised voice only? And is it correct for us to follow the Imaam while we are on an upper or lower level knowing that at times there is ample room in the masjid (floor)?

Answer: The answer is in two parts.

The first is that the prayer and the mentioned scenario is valid so long as the women pray in the masjid, regardless of whether it is in the upper or lower level. And it is so long as they are able to hear the takbeers from the Imaam indicating the change in position, such as from standing to bowing to prostrating.

The second part is that it is not proper for the women to pray like this unless the area for the men is filled with people and they (the women) cannot find a place behind the rows for them to pray in. In these circumstances, it is permissible for the women to pray in the upper or lower level of the masjid. But if this masjid, where the Imaam and the men behind him pray, has ample room left over, then it is not allowed for the women to go up to the upper level or down to the lower level where they won’t be able to see the movements of the Imaam or the movements of the men praying behind him.

The reason for this goes back to two matters:

1. When the Prophet, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “The best rows for the men are their first ones and their worst (rows) are their last ones. And the best rows for women are their last ones and the worst (rows) are their first ones“, he meant by it the same ground that the Prophet, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and his Companions behind him used to pray on. The women were not in upper or lower levels.

2. The underlying reason for this is that the speakers at times can be low and at other times they are not working. So the prayer of the women who are following him from an upper or lower level, from which they cannot see the prayer of the Imaam or those behind him, is subject to becoming invalid.

To summarize this answer:

The prayer that is performed while on an upper or lower level is valid. However, it is not permissible to designate those places for prayer when there is enough room in the prayer place (musalla), such that the women are able to pray in the back of it.

[Al-Asaalah, Issue #19]

Source : Fataawaa of Shaikh Al-Albaanee (rahimahullaah) – From Al-Asaalah Magazine Issues 1-21 – Translated and Arranged by: Isma’eel Alarcon

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Al-Sunan al-Rawatib (Sunnah Mu’akkadah)

Every Muslim, whether be male or female, is recommended to pray 12 Rakaat of supererogatory prayers every day: four of these Rakaat (units of prayers) are before noon prayer, two after it, two after Maghrib prayer, two after Isha (night) prayer and two before the morning prayer.

These supererogatory prayers are called (Rawatib) which means: “Certain supererogatory exercises of optional prayers.” The Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be on him, preserved the performance of these optional prayers wherever he settled. During his travels, he used to practice the two optional Rakaat before the morning prayer and also the Witr prayer (after the Isha prayer).

There is no objection to perform these optional prayers in the mosque, but it is better to perform it at home, because the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said “The best of the prayers are those which are fulfilled at one’s own home, with exception to obligatory prayers which should be performed in congregation a t the mosque.”

Observance of fulfilling these optional prayers is a means for gaining admission to paradise. The Prophet, may peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said (which means): “Whoever prays optionally twelve Rakaat every one day and night, Allah will reward him by an established dwelling in the paradise. ”

It is also advisable to the Muslim to pray four optional Rakaat before Asr prayer (afternoon prayer), two before Maghrib prayer (evening prayer), and two before Isha prayer (night prayer), because this manner was reported to be one of the traditions of the Prophet. Allah, the Almighty says: “Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah an excellent exemplar” (33:21).

Source for the above: Prophet Muhammad’s Manners of Performing Prayers – Shaik ibn Baaz

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