Choose Your Friend
The people around you make an impact on your everyday life. The people who surround you have probably the greatest influence on you and your thinking.
Friendship is a means to unite and bond society. Like all other things there are limits within the confines of family and Shariah, otherwise the same friendship can cause untold disaster and waves of fitnah. Good friends take you towards good and bad ones can make life a misery.
Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) guided us, saying that a person is on the religion of his friend, so therefore everyone should think about who his friend should be. In the light of this Hadith, a person’s ideology largely rests on the belief and thinking of his friend. His ways would also largely be determined by his friend’s deeds and actions.
The best friend is one who is pious and righteous.
Backbiting is like a disease. It is extremely cancerous and in a very short time it could develop into a chronic ailment. For many people, backbiting is a way of life.
This is due to the fact that we become unmindful of and complacent to a particular life style of gossip, vain talk, vulgarity, tale carrying and backbiting. The normal day-to-day discussions and friendly talks without any concern result in backbiting as if it is routine. Many people argue that speaking of another person is acceptable since a habit or trait is truly found in the person. In that case the Hadith explicitly
defines backbiting and removes any doubt in the meaning and understanding of ghibat.
Nabi [Sallallahu Alaiyhi Wa Sallam] once asked the Sahaba [RA], "Do you know what backbiting is?" The Sahaba [RA] replied, "Allah and His Rasool know best," Rasulullah [Sallallahu Alaiyhi Wa Sallam] explained that to speak ill about your brother, that is backbiting. One Sahabi asked, "What if that particular thing is found in that person [will that be backbiting]?" Nabi [Sallallahu Alaiyhi Wa Sallam] replied, "Even if that bad quality is found in the person it would be regarded as backbiting and if it is not found [in the person] then it amounts to an accusation." [Muslim]
In other words, should this bad quality not be found in the person then it would be a bigger sin, as [in actual fact] one is accusing the person. Literally, it's a sin [ghibat] to speak of someone even if
the bad quality is found in that person. There is no difference as to whether the bad quality is of a worldly or deeni nature, or for that matter something to do with the body or the character of the person.
The fact of the matter is that which is seen as disrespectful to the other however small it may be, will be considered as backbiting.
According to some scholars it is reprehensible to also talk ill of the person in front of him. Allama Alousi [RA] (author of Roohul Ma'ani) writes that backbiting is equally immaterial if the person is present or
not; it would be no difference. At times people confirm having spoken in front of a person as if to say that the person "did not mind". However to speak that which the person will find offensive is
detestable according to the explanation of many commentators of the Noble Quraan.
Allah Ta’ãla has presented His bondsmen with some special occasions with the golden opportunity of earning the mercy and forgiveness of Allah. Explicit examples of these occasions are the month of Ramadhãn and Laylatul Qadr. So is the fifteenth of Shabãn. Several Ahãdith extol the merits of this occasion. Amongst them is the fact that countless people are forgiven by Allah Ta’ãla during this blessed night. It is due to this reason that it is called ‘The Night of Barãt’.
However, it should be borne in mind that a vast majority of narration's describing the benefits and virtues of this night are in fact quite weak.
The foundations of the Shar’iah are the Qur’ãn, the Sunnah and the lives of the Sahãbah (R.A.). Non of the narration’s regarding the excellences of this night are free from criticism and comment by the scholars of Hadith.
Shaikh Yusuf Binouri (R) says: “I have not come across any Sahih, Marfoo or Musnad Hadith regarding the excellence of this night.” [Ma’ãrifus Sunnan, Vol. 5 Pg. 419].
The Muhaddith, Ibn Dihya, has also agreed that neither has anything authentic been narrated regarding the fifteenth night of Shabãn nor has any specific Salãh been narrated for this night via reliable narrators. [Faydhul-Qadeer-Sharhul Jãmius Sagheer Vol. 2 Pg. 317].
SOME VIRTUES OF THIS NIGHT:
One on the other hand can not completely reject the virtues of this night. Whilst even Allama Ibn Taymiyyah, a scholar notorious for refuting such things, also accepts the virtue of the night of Barãt, he says: “So many Ahãdith and reports exists regarding the excellence of the fifteenth night of Shabãn that one is compelled to accept that this night possesses some virtue.”
Shaikh Abdur Rahman Mubarakpuri writes in the commentary of Tirmizi: “The sheer number of Ahãdith regarding this night serve as a proof against those who refute the excellence of this night.” [Tuhfatul-Ahwazi Vol. 2 Pg. 53].
The special virtues of the night of Barãt are:
1. Contrary to other nights wherein Allah descends to the lowest Heaven to bestow His special blessings during the last third of the night, on the night of Barãt the special rain of mercy and forgiveness from Allah Ta’ãla begins to shower down right up till dawn.
2. The sins of countless people are pardoned.
[Hãfiz Zayud-deen Iraqi, Faydhul Qadeer, Vol. 2 Pg. 317].
It should be remembered that while the narrations regarding the night of Barãt are weak, the narrations regarding Allah Ta’ãla’s descending to the nearest Heaven during the last third of every night are totally correct.
VISITING THE GRAVESIDE ON THE NIGHT OF BARÃT:
Rasulullah’s (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) awakening during any night and visiting the graveyards is recorded in some Ahãdith. However, visiting of the graveyard is not a special characteristic of this night in particular. It is proven from another authentic narration that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) used to visit the graveyard during the last portion of every night. There is no specific reference in the Ahãdith to the night of Barãt or any other night.
NO SPECIFIC PRESCRIBED SALÃH RESERVED FOR THE NIGHT OF BARÃT:
Allama Anwar Shah Kashmiri (R) has written regarding the matter that the significance of the night of Barãt is proven. There is however, no proof for those weak and unacceptable narrations mentioned in certain books. [Al’arfus-Shazi Pg. 156].
Allama Yusuf Binouri (R) writes in Ma’ãrifus Sunan that Abu Talib Makki recorded these narrations in his book Qut-ul-Quloob. Imãm Ghazali, following Abu Talib Makki, did the same and Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani has followed them in his book Ghunyat-ut-Talibeen. They mention a narration of Ali (R.A.) that discusses a Salãt of a hundred Rak’ãts. However, Ibn Jawzi (R) and others declared this narration to be a fabrication (Mawdhu). [Ma’ãrifus Sunan Vol. 5 Pg. 419].
Allama Dhahabi, Ibnu-Arraq, Suyuti, Mulla Ali Qari and other scholars of Hadith have vehemently refuted such Salãh’s.
FASTING ON THE FIFTEENTH OF SHABÃN IS NOT ESTABLISHED FROM HADITH:
Some people believe in the misconception that fasting on the fifteenth of Shabãn is Sunnat. They have been deceived by the Hadith of Ali (R.A.) that appears in Ibn Mãjah which has been fabricated. The Hadith states Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said; “When the 15th of Shabãn comes, then spend this night in Qiyãm (Salãh) and the day in fasting. For verily, Allah descends during this night to the nearest heavens.” [Ibn Mãjah Pg. 99].
This Hadith is however very weak. Some scholars have decided it as Mowdhu (fabricated). One of the narrators of this Hadith in Abnu-Jabrah, who has been accused of fabricating Ahãdith. [Taqrib of Ibn Hajar Pg. 396]. Imãm Bukhãri and others have also proved him to be weak. [Mizanul I’tidal Vol. 5 Pg. 503]. Thus this Hadith cannot be relied upon. Hence the fasting of this day should not be regarded to prove this fast as been Sunnat. Another interesting fact is that fasting on this day is only discussed in this weak Hadith. If it were a Sunnat act, a stronger
Hadith would have been available to prove it.
Fasting in the month of Shabãn, without the stipulation of any day, is proven from Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).
THE NIGHT OF BARÃT AND QUR’ÃN:
Has the night of Barãt been mentioned in the Qur’ãn? The most correct opinion is that the night of Barãt has not been mentioned in the Qur’ãn. Hafiz Ibn Katheer writes that those like Ikramah who have explained the blessed night in the Qur’ãn as the night of Barãt are very distant from the correct interpretation. [Ma’ãrifus Sunan Vol. 5 Pg. 420].
IS SUSTENANCE, LIFE AND DEATH DECIDED ON THIS NIGHT?
Qãzi Abubakr bin Arabi writes that there is no reliable Hadith regarding the fifteenth of Shabãn from which it may be understood that sustenance, life and death are decided on that night. He has gone so far as to say that there is no reliable narration concerning this night being the blessed one. [Ma’ãriful Qur’ãn Vol. 7 Pg. 757].
Since the significance of the night of Barãt has been mentioned in a number of narrations, and the narrations are not in conflict with any verse in the Qur’ãn or any authentic narration, we do accept its significance. However, the opinion that sustenance, death, etc. are determined on this night is in conflict with the Qur’ãn and is therefore unacceptable.
It has been established from the Qur’ãn that these decisions are passed to the Angels on Laylatul Qadr and not on the night of Barãt.
It is on this account that the scholars of research have always rejected this opinion. The opinion of the lectures would not be considered in this discussion, instead the opinion of the scholars of Tafseer and Hadith will be relied upon. There is a Hadith of Ayesha (R.A.) mentioned in Mishkãt Pg. 115. This Hadith discusses that the decisions are passed on this night regarding those who will be born, those who will die, the actions of men are placed in front of Allah and sustenance is revealed. The condition of this Hadith is unknown and the scholars of Tafseer and Hadith do not consider it reliable.
SOME STRANGE AND INNOVATION PRACTICES ASSOCIATED WITH THIS NIGHT:
1.Burning lights and candles: Nothing has or can be found in any Hadith. The Muslims of India, being in close contact with the Hindus, probably began imitating them in their practices, thus resulting in the introduction of this and various other bid’ats.
2.Preparing of sweetmeats: Some consider this being compulsory. Without it there can be no Shab Barãt. This is absolutely baseless.
3.Souls visit families: Some people firmly believe that the souls of the deceased visit their families homes and see whether any food has been prepared in their honour or not. Some people feel that if a person dies before this night than until his ‘Fãtiha’ is not made on this night, he is not counted amongst the dead. These are baseless ideologies that clearly contradict the Ahãdith.
4.Distribution of food: Some feel that it is compulsory to distribute food on this night with the intention of Isãl-Sawãb. There is no association between this practise and the significance of the night. No special acts of charity etc. have been prescribed for this night. [Fatãwa Imdãdiyyah Vol. 4 Pg. 27].
According to the Ahaadeeth, certain people are deprived of Allah's mercy even on this auspicious night. These unfortunate souls are:
1) Those who ascribe partners unto Allah.
2) Those who harbour enmity against others.
3) Those who habitually consume alcohol.
4) Those who disobey their parents.
5) Those men who wear their trousers etc.below their ankles.
6) Those who commit adultery and murder.
7) Those who sever family ties.
Every Muslim should take stock of oneself and if one is involved in any of the above vices, one should turn to Allah and sincerely implore for forgiveness, lest one be deprived on this night.
Choose the Right One
There are good friends and bad friends. Friends can play a great role in the good times and bad times in a person’s life. Although teenagers and young people are more vulnerable and may be influenced more easily, age is no safeguard criteria from being led onto the wrong path.
By way of a simple and humble example, Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) explained the difference between a good and bad friend: like that of a perfume seller and a blacksmith. When you are at the perfume seller’s shop then, either he will allow you to apply some perfume without charge, or you will buy from him, or the least that could happen is that you will smell the beautiful fragrance. On the contrary, if you are at the blacksmith then, either your clothes will get burnt, or you will emerge with a bad smell. (Muslim)
This Hadith expounds the benefits and disadvantages of good and bad friends. When a person associates with good people, then it will improve his dignity and honour in this world and the hereafter. Similarly, if the association is with bad and evil-minded people, then the person is heading towards disgrace in both the worlds.
It is indeed unfortunate that our younger generation has greater desire and inclination to some bad elements in society. These days it is more difficult to find good friends than bad ones. There is no shortage of bad friends lurking at every corner and segment of society. Conversely, good friends and good company are difficult to find. Yes! You need to hunt to find them, just as gold is not easily found.
The character displayed by some bad people is beyond one’s imagination. These people cause havoc among our youth. For example, drug addiction has reached alarming proportions where schools have become drug havens – school friends are targeted as peddlers.
Therefore it is important to choose your friends and the right company. Choose good friends or remain alone!
Musjid-Garden of Paradise
The Masaajid are the houses (places of worship) of Allah Ta’ala. The sanctity of the Masjid must be respected at all times. They are places where the name of Allah Ta’ala is glorified perpetually.
The greatest form of ibadah – remembering Allah (zikr) – is the foundation of the Masjid. This zikr, when applied to salaah, elevates and ranks salaah as the foremost worship, wherefrom the Masjid acts as a power station, generating a connection with our Creator.
The Masaajid are the gardens of Jannah and, ‘Subhanallah, Alhamdulillah’ are its fruits. Nabi (SAW) mentioned that when you walk in the gardens of Jannah, then eat of its fruit. The Sahabah (RA) enquired as to what the gardens of Jannah are. Nabi (SAW) replied, “The Masaajid”. They further enquired regarding the eating of the fruits. Nabi (SAW) said that they must read: ‘Subhanallah, Alhamdulillah, wa laa ilaaha illallahu wallahu akbar’. (Tirmidhi)
Therefore, when you come to the Masaajid, remember this to earn great rewards for the Pleasure of Allah Ta’ala.
Clothing is one great ni’mat of Allah Ta’ala – a means of covering the body. Covering the body also adds great comfort to the body as in Winter, warm clothing naturally insulates the body.The object of wearing clothes is to cover the body and therefore the purpose should not be for beautification. Yes, the clothing should be neat and clean but by no means it translates into donning for beautification.
The best clothing is the clothes of Taqwa as defined in the Noble Quraan. This would refer to modest dressing without the shape of the body being exposed. In the case of women, the entire body, including the hair on the head, must be covered.
With regard to fashionable clothing, in one particular Hadith reported by Ibn Umar [R A], Nabi [Sallallahu Alaiyhi Wa Sallam] said, ‘Whomsoever wears clothing of fashion in this world then Allah Ta’ala will make this person wear clothing of disgrace on the Day of Qiyamah.’ [Ahmed, Abu Dawood and Ibn Majah]
What exactly does ‘clothing of fashion’ mean? Shuhrat is the word used in the Hadith. The Muhaditheen have given several meanings to this word:
Clothing that is not permissible to wear for both men and women. Clothing that is revealing and exposes the body. Clothing that is transparent and see-through.
Clothing worn to show off. For example, donning several sets of clothing on one day so that people admire the standards of such a person as well as the selection of clothing.
Clothing that has a strange and attractive look about it that it catches the eye most stunningly. For example, nowadays creative designs of pictures drawn on T-shirts that unconsciously catch the eye because of its colourful designs and photos.
Sometimes we are unmindful of such clothing. Let us not regret the severe consequences of wearing the clothing of disgrace in the hereafter for having neglected wearing clothing of Taqwa in this temporary world.
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