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Allah Ta’ala declares in His Glorious Qur’an: “It is He (Allah) who reveals upon His slave (Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam) clear verses so that He may remove you from darkness to light” (Surah 57, Aayah 9). The clear message from this aayah is that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was sent with “Light.” Every aspect that he delivered to mankind pertaining to any aspect of life is “Light.” EVERYTHING ELSE IS “DARKNESS.” There is no “middle path.” It is either “Light” — otherwise “Darkness.”

The distinction of either “Darkness” or “Light” is not only restricted to acts of worship. Rather the manner of conducting our various day to day activities and all aspects of life fall in one of the two categories. “Light” is the way of Rasulullah(sallallahu alaihi wasallam). The ways of the Jews, Christians, the West and everybody else falls in the category of “Darkness.” More than anybody else, the ways of the West are most opposed to the “Light” that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) brought. It is, and especially in the present world scenario, the greatest darkness. It is godless culture, utterly immoral, callous and ruthless and in short — decayed to the core. If one sheds away the indoctrination of the media and considers the realities, one would regard the above judgement as mild. Let us take a few basic examples:

ECONOMIC SYSTEM

Islam provided an economic system that is neither capitalistic nor socialistic. (The details are beyond the scope of this pamphlet.) While the Islamic system allows the wealthy to prosper in a lawful way, it caters for the need of the less privileged. The bedrock of the Islamic economic system is that interest and usury in all it’s forms is taboo. In direct opposition to this system is the capitalistic system of the West. The bedrock of the Western system is interest. By means of this system, some get richer at the expense of millions of others. It is a ruthless and callous system, the evil of which has been expounded by even many Western writers.

VALUE SYSTEM

One of the most distinguishing aspects of Islam is the level of Hayaa (modesty/morality) that it teaches. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: “Hayaa is a branch of faith.” Thus Islam forbids the intermingling of the sexes. A man may not look at any woman besides his wife or mahram (one with whom marriage is impermissible). The Qur’an has commanded both males and females to lower the gaze and not to look at the opposite sex. These and other such directives ensure a morally upright society. In a society where the Islamic moral code is upheld, illicit activities are virtually non-existent. Marriages by and large last a lifetime.

In the West these noble values are despised and mocked. What else can be expected from those who have no values at all. In Western culture intermingling and shaking hands with all and sundry is a trivial matter. In fact a woman in the presence of her smiling husband may hug another man who is a “family friend” without any hesitation. Not only is it “culturally acceptable,” it would be “rude” not to do so.What an utterly value-less and filthy system! It is compounded darkness. It is as Allah Ta’ala describes in the Qur’an: “Darkness upon darkness. If he brings out his hand (in front of him) he will not be able to see it. And the one for whom Allah Ta’ala does not provide any light, he (certainly) has no light at all” (Surah 24, Aayah 40). As a result of being without any light from Allah Ta’ala, absolutely filthy practices seem cultured and one completely fails to see the utter immorality in it.

In Western culture, pornography is “art,” marrying someone of the same gender is acceptable, living together without marriage is fine while drinking, gambling and fornicating is amusement. Western culture has sunken to a level way below animals.

CLOTHING

The primary purpose of clothing is to cover the body. Thus Islam advocates that clothing must truly cover the body. The clothing must be thick enough to ensure that thesatr (part of the body which is necessary to cover) is not visible through it. It must be loose enough to ensure that the shape of the satr is not distinguished. Islam advocates simplicity in attire. The garments of the West are made tighter and more revealing by the day. Due to the type of clothing worn, a father can easily distinguish most parts of the anatomy of his daughter and a son of his mother and sister — and no one even bats an eyelid!What an immoral and sickening culture!!!

The pivotal focus of Western garments is pride and show. The great obsession with designer labels is proof of this. Even a fake designer label will do — one can show off with it! This entire culture is fake, hollow and decayed. It directly contradicts the teachings of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) who declared: “He who will dress in garments of show (i.e. he wears garments in order to show-off among people), Allah Ta’ala will clothe him in garments of disgrace on the day of Qiyamah”(Mishkaat).

OPPOSITION

Western culture is in direct opposition to the Sunnah. Islam teaches us to wash our hands before eating and to sit and eat. The West teaches that standing around and eating is cultured. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has emphasised upon men to LENGHTEN their beards (to at least a fist length). The West teaches shaving it off (or at the most sporting a short “fashionable” beard). Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has warned men from wearing any garment in such a way that it hangs below the ankles. The West and its slaves insist on opposing this command. Islam teaches the husband and wife to be conscious of their duties to one another and to fulfil the same, thus creating harmony and peace. The West emphasises upon each one to demand their rights, thus creating strife and animosity.

Most of all Islam focuses towards the Hereafter and reminds us to prepare for the everlasting life to come. The West focuses solely on this world — make the most money, have the best mansion and car, buy the best luxuries, enjoy the best holidays and just keep chasing fun. If you have not been able to achieve that yet, just keep toiling to get there — until you suddenly drop dead! This is the sum total of this alien culture.

PRACTICE

Every Muslim claims to love the Sunnah and to hate the opposing Western culture — the way of life of the Yahood and Nasaara (Jews and Christians). However, in practice we have aped their rotten culture to a great extent — and paid the price. How many dozens of major Muslim businesses have shut down mainly due to becoming entangled in the accursed interest system? While the reasons for the rocketing divorce rate in the Muslim community may be many, most of it can be traced back to the abandoning of the Sunnah way of life and adopting the ways of the Jews and Christians. Likewise, how much of illicit activity has crept in among Muslims due to the adoption of the immorality of the West? The entire family is constantly bombarded with immorality by means of the television, magazines, newspapers (especially weekend newspapers) and other media. Are we even conscious of this? Are we prepared to sacrifice our “entertainment” in order to protect the hayaa of our families? The clothing worn by Muslim sisters and daughters is becoming tighter, shorter and more shameless — as if all shame and modesty has bid farewell to them … and to their parents also. Who do they resemble in their body-hugging garments and Western styles? Do they resemble Hazrath Fathima (R.A.), or the loose, immoral women of the West? Western culture wishes to drag us to the gutters. The quicker we abandon it the better.

SINCERE IN HATRED

We have cursed the Christians and Jews enough. If we are sincere in our hatred for them, let us shun their “Darkness.” Let us shun the Western culture that they are promoting. Let us come back to the “Light” of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) in every aspect of life, be it in business, attire, eating and drinking, marriage or funeral. Let every action display our love and admiration for the way of life of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Do not become an advertiser for Western culture by your attire or anything else. Take the time daily to learn the Sunnats of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and implement the same in one’s life. Only by adopting the Sunnah in our lives will we be able to appreciate it’s excellence, simplicity, ease and practicality. When the Sunnah will brighten up our lives, only then will we be able to discern and recognise the evil and darkness of the Western culture. Only then will we want to wash off the ways of the Yahood and Nasaara like washing away impurities from our bodies. Otherwise we will continue wallowing in the “Darkness,” believing ourselves to be “enlightened and liberated,” until we trip into our graves. May Allah Ta’ala save us.

Alhaadi.org.za

All praise is due to Allah and may His choicest salutations descend upon our Master and Leader Muhammad Sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam

"We sent aforetime our messengers with clear Signs and sent down with them the Book and the Balance so that men may stand forth in Justice." (57:25).

The concept of Justice serves as the edifice of Islam. Justice is the underlying rationale of every law of the Quran, and permeates all Islamic values, since there can be no sense of peace in the absence of justice. In the verse mentioned above the phrase 'Our Messengers' shows that justice has been the goal of all revelation and scriptures sent to humanity. The verse also shows that justice must be measured and implemented by the standards and guidelines set by revelation.

Timeless commitment to Justice:

The timeless commitment of the Quran to the basic standards of justice is found in its declaration:

“And the Word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice. None can change His Words.” (6:115)

The Quranic concept of justice also extends justice to being a personal virtue, and one of the standards of moral excellence that a believer is encouraged to attain as part of his proximity to the Creator.

“…Be just, for it is closest to Allah consciousness…” (5:8)

To render justice is a trust that Allah has conferred on the human being and, like all other trusts, its fulfilment must be guided by a sense of responsibility Thus, the Quran states: “Allah commands you to render trusts to whom they are due, and when you judge between people, judge with justice…” (4:58)

Justice even at the cost of your own Interest:

The Qur'anic standards of justice transcend considerations of race, religion, colour, and creed, as Muslims are commanded to be just to their friends and foes alike:

“O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even if it be against yourselves, your parents, and your relatives, or whether it is against the rich or the poor...” (4:135)

With specific regard to relations with non-Muslims, the Quran further states:

“Allah does not forbid you from doing good and being just to those who have neither fought you over your faith nor evicted you from your homes...” (60:8)

Deal justly with your Enemy!

Even hatred for a people should not lead one to do injustice. "O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to Piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do." (5:8) In other words you cannot do injustice even when you are dealing with the enemy. The natural, uneducated, and uncivilized tendency is to treat the enemy as less than a human being; one who has no rights and deserves no justice or fairness. It was as true in the pre-Islamic tribal jahilya (based on ignorance) society as it is today. See how Islam directly curbs it. It is a command to the believers, with a reminder that Allah is watching you, that enmity of others cannot be used as an excuse for committing injustices against them.

Justice even during the Time of Warfare:

Nabi Sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam generally advised the commanders while sending them for war saying: “Fight in the name of Allah and in the path of Allah. Combat those who disbelieve in Allah. Fight, yet do not cheat, do not break trust, do not mutilate, and do not kill minors…”

Unparalleled Justice!

Ali bin Abi Talib Radhi-Allahu anhu lost a shield that was dear to him and later found it in the hands of a non-Muslim citizen who was selling it in one of Koofah's markets. When he saw it, 'Ali Radhi-Allahu anhu said: “This is my shield that fell off my camel on so and so night at such and such time.” The man answered: “No, this is my shield in my hand.” 'Ali replied: “No, it is mine since I never sold or gave it to any one.” The man agreed to let a judge decide, which 'Ali Radhi-Allahu anhu accepted. They went to Shurayh who asked 'Ali Radhi-Allahu anhu for his side of the story. 'Ali Radhi-Allahu anhu said that the shield was his and that he had found it with that man, it had fallen off his camel and he had never sold it or given it to anyone. The judge turned to the other man asking his story. The man said that he did not accuse 'Ali Radhi-Allahu anhu of lying, but the shield was his, as it was in his hands. Shurayh turned to 'Ali saying: “I believe you, but we need the statement of two witnesses to back your story.” 'Ali Radhi-Allahu anhu said that there was his aide Qanbar and his son Al-Hassan Radhi-Allahu anhu to which the man replied that a son could not testify for the benefit of his father. Ali said: “By Allah (how) can a man who is promised paradise not act as a witness! Have you not heard that the Prophet Sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam said that Al-Hassan and Al-Hussayn Radhi-Allahu anhu were the masters of the youths of paradise? Shurayh said: “Yes I have, but a son cannot bear witness for his father.” Then 'Ali turned to the man and said: “Take the shield, as I have no other witnesses.”

The man, who was a non-Muslim, then said: “O 'Ali, the shield is yours. What a great religion! I can sue 'Ali and get a judge to pass a decision for my benefit! I declare myself a Muslim.” He told the judge that he was following the army and had seen the shield fall down and picked it up. 'Ali Radhi-Allahu anhu then told him to keep the shield and even gave him a horse.

How do we compare? Where is our sense of justice? Have we distorted the purity of our Deen by dealing unjustly? May Allah protect us from oppressive tendencies especially in the name of our Deen!

Jamiatul Ulama South Africa

It is not permissible to assume the post of mutawalli for the sake of honour and self-esteem. If one takes up this responsibility with this intention, then he would have indulged himself in such a calamity, from which it would be impossible to attain salvation in the hereafter. To assume the responsibility of mutawali it is imperative for one to possess the required qualities and capabilities. If one lacks these, it is advised that he relinquish this sacred duty and entrust it to those more able and deserving.

A mutawalli must comply with the following conditions:

1. He must have the right of trusteeship. This right, in sequence of priority, goes first to the person who made the endowment (waqf). Second is the person appointed by the endower himself. Next is the Muslim ruler or the appointed Muslim governor of the district. Thereafter this right rests with the Muslim Judge (Qaadhi), then finally with the person whom the inhabitants of the locality choose. (Shaami, Book of Waqf - Page 384 / Vol. 5)

2. He must be a sane Muslim.

3. He must be well acquainted with the regulations pertaining to endowment and trust (waqf).

4. He must have a practical and theoretical knowledge concerning the affairs of managing the endowment (waqf). (Durrul Mukhtaar & Shaami) This means that he should not be so ignorant as to be unable to differentiate between a capable and non-capable candidate for appointment as lmaam or Muazzin. It should not be that he fails to consult learned people and disassociate himself from senior Ulama in related matters. He must also not be so busy that he is unavailable to attend to the affairs of the trust.

5. He must be a trustworthy person, taking care not to misappropriate a single cent.

6. He must not involve himself in such futile engagements wherein people destroy their wealth, like gambling and bribery.

7. He must be an "Allah-fearing" and pious person - not a faasiq, i.e. an open sinner who indulges in major sins such as drinking, adultery, dealing in interest, shaving the beard, neglecting salaah, discarding the fardh salaah with jamaat (congregation), acquiring livelihood by unlawfw means, etc. Thus, if any trustee is found to be involved in such actions it will be incumbent (waajib) to dismiss him from office, even though he may the endower himself. (Durrul Mukhtaar with Shaami , Vol 5 - Pg. 385)

8. He should not be one who requested for the position as a trustee.

If any close relative of the endower complies with the above conditions he should be appointed as a trustee. However, if all these qualities are not found in any individual then such a person cannot be a mutawalli nor can he be appointed as one, since this will constitute an act of sin.

THE MUTAWALLI'S OBLIGATION TOWARDS THE MASJID

1. He should safeguard the income and property of the Masjid, meeting the necessary expenses and avoiding unnecessary expenditure. These days funds are generally squandered on expenses which have no importance in the shariah, but are merely spent because unenlightened trustees deem them to be imperative. These people should fear Allah, for on the day of Qiyaamah they will be accountable for every cent. The mutawallis of the masjid must take the onus upon themselves to consult the Ulama, at the first opportunity, regarding the detailed rulings pertaining to these expenses and the running of the masiid in general.

2. He must keep a proper record of all the income and expenditure of the masjid.

3. According to the best of means, a proper Imaam must be appointed. If however, instead of a competent person, an unfit and inefficient person is appointed to serve the community and deen at large then the warning sounded in the following Hadith should be heeded to : It is narrated that whosoever appoints someone to a post whereas within his sphere of influence there are more deserving persons, he has betrayed Allah, His Nabi (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) and the Muslims in general. (Fathul Qadeer)

4. He must appoint such a Muazzin who is well acquainted with the times of Salaah (and the correct pronunciation of the azaan).

5. He should give due priority to the maintenance of the masjid building as well as it's other associated facilities. Security should also be given due consideration.

6. Cleanliness, lighting and water facilities must also be adequately arranged.

7. It is of paramount importance for the Mutawalli to ensure the performance of the five daily salaah in congregation and always strive towards increasing the number of musallis (in the masjid). Each mutawalli must look sincerely into these duties and exert his utmost efforts towards achieving these ends.

It is noticed that the mutawallis of the various masaajid usually do not fully discharge their responsibilities, hence becoming sinners. Special care must be exercised in the appointment of an Imaam, because due to any. shortcomings in this regard, thousands more will mushroom which can lead the Muslims to deviation.

If someone is an Imaam it does not entitle his son to the same. Since Imaamat is not a legacy, the most competent and deserving person should be appointed.

(The following are the cardinal requirements for an Imaam)

1. He should be well versed in relevant masaa'il Pertaining to Imaamat and salaah).

2. He must have mastered tajweed rules (to facilitate correct recitation of qiraat in salaah).

3. He should adhere to the faraaidh, waajibaat, sunnah and mustahabaat.

4. He must refrain from haraam and makroohaat.

If the correct choice of an Imaam cannot be made, a reliable Aalim should be asked to interview a potential candidate. To use only a beautiful voice as a yard-stick in choosing an Imaam is pure ignorance. However, if together with the above cardinal requirements, the Imaam also possesses a beautiful voice then this will be an added asset.

Once the right Imaam has been appointed, due respect must be shown to him. He must not be considered as a personal subordinate of the mutawalli. He is the leader and should be followed. This should always be kept in mind. Such a salary should be stipulated for him that will enable him to lead a decent and peaceful life. Stinginess should never be shown with regard to this issue. If there is a need, other expenses should be curtailed but a low and unreasonable salary should never be given to the Imaam or Muazzin. If negligence prevails, it should be borne in mind that man is often forced to fulfil his basic needs by other means. The Muslim jurists (rahimahumullah) have stated that if somebody commits himself to the service of a community, it is waajib upon them that they meet his expenses.

When the Imaam stands up to reform the masses, it is incumbent upon the mutawallis to jointly shoulder the cart and assist him to achieve his religious goal. In the event of the ignorant public raising objections and undue criticism against the Imaam. It is the duty of the mutawallis to stop them. If people disapprove of his propagation of the truth and the musallis decrease, they should first be made to understand. If they persist (in their disapproval) then they should be ignored, because it is better to have a few abiding to the sunnah and shariah rather than a deviated crowd.

If any Imaam does anything contrary to the shariah or introduces innovations, then he should be dismissed. The Imaam  'must have freedom of expression, he should never be hindered by the mutawallis. Some mutawallis dislike and are offended by the Imaam's mentioning of any vices or faults in which they are involved, thus they prevent the Imaam from such lectures. Such an attitude leads to severe sins. They will also be considered amongst those subjected to the severe warnings given in the following aayaat: "They prevent others_from the path of Allah.'

'Who can be more unjust than he who prevents the name of Allah been taken in the house of Allah.'

The mutawalli should never interfere in the Imaam's ibaadat, lectures and religious services. According to the shariah the mutawalli has no right of intervention. His responsibility is to see to the proper maintenance and functioning of the masjid, as mentioned above.

If the mutawalli adopts and adheres to the above mentioned advices, with a true spirit, then it is highly believed that he will be amongst the good-named mutawallis in the hereafter and be absolved of the great responsibilities which he shouldered. He will be justly rewarded, Inshaa-Allah.

( The above has been extracted from the book - Khutbaat-e-Mouizat)

Prepared under the auspices of: Sheikhul Hadeeth Hadbrat Moulaana Fazlur Rahman Saheb

 


TRUSTEES OF MUSJIDS

Perhaps it is due to this sad state of affairs that we observe that such people are appointed as trustees who possess wealth and power, even though they do not perform a single Salaat in the Musjid. The result of this is, that daily we find disputes and quarrels in the Musjid which leads to court-cases and non-Muslim judges passing judgement in matters of religion. In reality as the Imaamat of the Musjid is handed to the Ulama, in the same way the trusteeship of the Musjid should also be in the control of learned and pious people, who are divinely discharged to lead the Ummah. The Qur’aan bears testimony to this issue in these words:

"He only shall tend Allah's sanctuaries who believe in Allah and the last day, and observes proper worship and pays the poor due, and fear none but Allah.” (Surah Tawbah 18.)

It is incumbent upon the residents of locality to remove a dishonest Mutawalli (Trustee) from office otherwise they will be guilty of sin. It is incumbent upon the residents of a locality to remove a dishonest Mutawalli (Trustee) from office, otherwise they will be guilty of sin. (Fatawa Khairiyyah)

Hadhrat Ibn Abbas Radhiallahu anhu narrated that Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam said: "He who appoints a man in charge of the affairs of Muslims whilst in that Community there is a Person more versed in the Quraan and Hadith has betrayed Allah, His Messenger and the Muslim community." (Izalatul Khifa)

"It is not permissible to appoint a Faasiq as a Mutawalli.” (Fatawa Ibn Taimiyyah)

"To appoint an ignorant and a Faasiq person to a position of Trust (e.g. Mutawalli) is to show honour to him whereas the Shariah has prohibited the honouring of Fussaq (rebellious and shameless sinners)." (Shami)

Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam said: "When positions of Trust are handed unqualified (Islamically) persons then await the to Final Hour." (Bukhari Shareef)

DECLARING MUSJIDS NATIONAL MONUMENTS

One of the tragedies of the present times prevalent in many countries especially in communist countries, and parts of India is the law declaring Musjids national monuments and locking them up, due to which either those Muslims are completely neglected and deserted, or they are visited by tourists, and the performance of prayers and recital of the Quraan is prohibited therein, whereas Musjids are dedicated for the worship of Allah and they cannot be used for any of the above purposes. Stopping the devotees from praying and reciting the Quraan is tantamount to the crime of demolishing the Musjid.

It is mentioned in the Quraan: "And who doeth greater wrong then he who forbiddeth the entry to the sanctuaries of Allah, lest his name should be mentioned therein, and striveth for their ruin? As for such it was never meant that they should enter them except in fear. Theirs in the world of Ignomirny and theirs in the hereafter is an awful doom.” (Surah Baqarah: 114)

The commentators have interpreted "striveth for their ruin" to mean all forms of obstruction, desertion and neglect.

Allama Raashid Rada Misri Rahmatullaahi alaih writes that the meaning of the above verse is to stop or obstruct the worship, remembrance of Allah in any form.

From the above it is concluded that declaring Musjids national monuments is tantamount to stopping the worship of Allah therein, and cannot be tolerated under any circumstances.It should also be remembered that a Musjid built on proper endowed (waqf) ground with the spirit of sincerity and piety will always remain a Musjid, and it will always be used only for the worship, remembrance and glorification of Allah and it will not be used for the worship of anything besides of Allah, as the Qur'aan says:

"These Musjids are for Allah so do not call upon anyone besides Allah therein" (Surah Jinn)

It is not permissible for Muslims to withdraw and relinquish their rights over a Musjid and allow it to be declared a national monument and used for the purpose of tourist attractions, or to exchange a musjid for another place because the house of Allah cannot be sold, exchanged, locked, demolished, or changed into any other type of building.

[ The Musjid – It’s Role and Etiquette ]
Courtesy: www.everymuslim.net

The end of the financial year is a time for stocktaking. It is a time when profits or losses are calculated. Allah forbid, if the stocktaking exercise reveals a loss, it results in great concern and anxiety. Meetings are held, consultants are approached for advice, “belt tightening” measures are implemented and a host of other strategies are adopted to cover the loss and make a profit. If it appears that the loss is due to pilferage, extra security measures are implemented. In short, the stocktaking spurs one to action.

While much effort is put into ascertaining the profits and losses of this world, how often do we take stock of our profits and losses of the Hereafter? Are we certain we are not in a loss situation? We would only be able to truly ascertain this after taking stock of our lives – of our beliefs, actions, character, monetary dealings and social life.

 

TAKE STOCK NOW

Hazrat Umar (R.A.) is reported to have said: “Take an account of yourself before you are taken to account (on the Day of Judgement) and adorn yourself for your appearance in the court of Allah, for verily the giving of an account on the Day of Judgement is lighter for the one who took stock of himself in the world.” (Tirmizi)

Many of the pious predecessors used to daily take an account of the day’s deeds before going to bed. During the day they noted down all the actions they had performed in that day, the words they had spoken and even what they thought about. At night they would bring out their notebook and study the actions of the day. Everything recorded therein was thereafter responded to accordingly — if something deserved shukr (gratitude), such as having been able to perform any righteous action, or having received any good, they expressed shukr. If something demanded repentance and seeking forgiveness, they immediately did so (Risaalatul Mustarshideen, Pg 80).

While the ideal is to take stock daily, the least is that occasionally one takes stock of all aspects of one’s life.

The stocktaking should commence with the level of one’s Imaan. How strong is it? Does it make one jump out of bed and proceed for Fajr Salaah to the Musjid? Is one’s Imaan saving one from all haraam, such as gossip, lying, casting lustful glances, engaging in haraam business transactions, etc? If the stocktaking reveals that one’s Imaan is not strong enough to save oneself from sin and disobedience, urgent steps must be taken to strengthen it. Imaan is strengthened by associating with the pious, being in the gatherings of Deen and striving in the Path of Allah Ta’ala. This must be done before the “business” shuts down – that is before death.

 

URGENT MEETING

Then take stock of one’s ibaadah. Ask oneself, “Am I performing my Salaah? Am I performing it with Jama`ah in the Musjid (for males)? Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: “The one who misses a single Salaah, it is as if he has lost his entire family and wealth!” Am I incurring such losses? Am I performing my Salaah correctly, in the sunnah manner, with complete humility and devotion, or is it a haphazard Salaah? If it needs improvement, set up an urgent “meeting” with an experienced and learned person to rectify one’s salaah and plug the losses being incurred by performing salaah which does not conform to the sunnah. Likewise, take an account of all the other acts of worship.

With great scrutiny, take stock of the attributes of Imaan. What is the level of Hayaa (modesty and shame) in my life? Is it increasing or decreasing? Is my dressing gradually becoming more immodest (shorter and tighter than it used to be)? Stake stock of one’s taqwa (consciousness of Allah Ta’ala), sincerity, humility, trust in Allah Ta’ala, love for Allah Ta’ala and Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) over every thing else, sabr (patience), shukr (gratitude), simplicity, the heart being free from love for the world and love for the ego, etc. Consider: Do I posses these qualities to the standard required? If not, I must immediately consult an expert to help me acquire them.

ANGER

A crucial aspect to take stock of is one’s akhlaaq (character). Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said: “There is nothing weightier on the scales on the Day of Judgement (apart from obligatory actions) than good character.” Some of the aspects to consider in this regard are: Anger. Do I vent my anger over trivial things? A Sahaabi (R.A.)requested Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) for advice. “Do not get angry” was his reply. He repeated his request two more times. Each time he got the same reply. Take stock of one’s akhlaaq in the light of the words of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam): “Join ties of relationship with those who cut-off ties from you, forgive the one who has oppressed you and return ill-treatment with kindness.”

Take stock of one’s time. How much of my time is dedicated to earning the world? What percentage of my time is spent in striving for Deen? Also, take stock of one’s heart! Check: Is my heart filled with the love of Allah Ta`ala and His beloved Rasul (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) more than the love of others? Are my aspirations more for the Hereafter or for this world? Do I desire to become a true slave of Allah Ta`ala more than the desire to become wealthy or gain worldly positions and status? To what extent is the sunnah in my life? Allah forbid, is there a greater inclination towards the western lifestyle than the sunnah?

The abovementioned points are merely some of the aspects we should be taking stock of. One should consult an experienced, pious personality for guidance in these and all other aspects of one’s life.

The main objective of the stocktaking exercise is to propel one to action. Is one’s “balance sheet” indicating a loss? If yes, there is no time to procrastinate. It is necessary to take immediate steps to recover the loss. One should sincerely repent, fulfil outstanding Ibaadah, balance one’s time and dedicate a significant amount to Deen and towards becoming a true slave of Allah Ta`ala.

May Allah Ta`ala enable us to take stock of ourselves before our stock is taken. Aameen.

Alhaadi.org.za

Isaac Newton is, as most will agree, the greatest physicist of all time.

At the very least, he is the undisputed father of modern optics, or so we are told at school where our textbooks abound with his famous experiments with lenses and prisms, his study of the nature of light and its reflection, and the refraction and decomposition of light into the colours of the rainbow.

 

Yet, the truth is rather greyer; and I feel it important to point out that, certainly in the field of optics, Newton himself stood on the shoulders of a giant who lived 700 years earlier.

For, without doubt, another great physicist, who is worthy of ranking up alongside Newton, is a scientist born in AD 965 in what is now Iraq who went by the name of al-Hassan Ibn al-Haytham.

Most people in the West will never have even heard of him.

 

As a physicist myself, I am quite in awe of this man's contribution to my field, but I was fortunate enough to have recently been given the opportunity to dig a little into his life and work through my recent filming of a three-part BBC Four series on medieval Islamic scientists.

Modern methods

Popular accounts of the history of science typically suggest that no major scientific advances took place in between the ancient Greeks and the European Renaissance.

 

But just because Western Europe languished in the Dark Ages, does not mean there was stagnation elsewhere. Indeed, the period between the 9th and 13th Centuries marked the Golden Age of Arabic science.

Great advances were made in mathematics, astronomy, medicine, physics, chemistry and philosophy. Among the many geniuses of that period Ibn al-Haytham stands taller than all the others.

Ibn al-Haytham is regarded as the father of the modern scientific method.

As commonly defined, this is the approach to investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge, based on the gathering of data through observation and measurement, followed by the formulation and testing of hypotheses to explain the data.

This is how we do science today and is why I put my trust in the advances that have been made in science.

 

But it is often still claimed that the modern scientific method was not established until the early 17th Century by Francis Bacon and Rene Descartes.

There is no doubt in my mind, however, that Ibn al-Haytham arrived there first.

In fact, with his emphasis on experimental data and reproducibility of results, he is often referred to as the "world's first true scientist".

Understanding light

He was the first scientist to give a correct account of how we see objects.

He proved experimentally, for instance, that the so-called emission theory (which stated that light from our eyes shines upon the objects we see), which was believed by great thinkers such as Plato, Euclid and Ptolemy, was wrong and established the modern idea that we see because light enters our eyes.

What he also did that no other scientist had tried before was to use mathematics to describe and prove this process.

So he can be regarded as the very first theoretical physicist, too.

He is perhaps best known for his invention of the pinhole camera and should be credited with the discovery of the laws of refraction.

He also carried out the first experiments on the dispersion of light into its constituent colours and studied shadows, rainbows and eclipses; and by observing the way sunlight diffracted through the atmosphere, he was able to work out a rather good estimate for the height of the atmosphere, which he found to be around 100km.

Enforced study

In common with many modern scholars, Ibn-al Haytham badly needed the time and isolation to focus on writing his many treatises, including his great work on optics.

He was given an unwelcome opportunity, however, when he was imprisoned in Egypt between 1011 and 1021, having failed a task set him by a caliph in Cairo to help solve the problem of regulating the flooding of the Nile.

While still in Basra, Ibn al-Haytham had claimed that the Nile's autumn flood waters could be held by a system of dykes and canals, thereby preserved as reservoirs until the summer's droughts.

But on arrival in Cairo, he soon realised that his scheme was utterly impractical from an engineering perspective.

Yet rather than admit his mistake to the dangerous and murderous caliph, Ibn-al Haytham instead decided to feign madness as a way to escape punishment.

This promptly led to him being placed under house arrest, thereby granting him 10 years of seclusion in which to work.

Planetary motion

He was only released after the caliph's death. He returned to Iraq where he composed a further 100 works on a range of subjects in physics and mathematics.

While travelling through the Middle East during, I interviewed an expert in Alexandria who showed me recently discovered work by Ibn al-Haytham on astronomy.

It seems he had developed what is called celestial mechanics, explaining the orbits of the planets, which was to lead to the eventual work of Europeans like Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler and Newton.

It is incredible that we are only now uncovering the debt that today's physicists owe to an Arab who lived 1,000 years ago.

By Professor Jim Al-Khalili

University of Surrey

news.bbc.co.uk

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