We start with the Name of Allah, we praise Him, and we ask Allah to raise the rank of our dear and beloved master MuHammad, sallallaahu ^alayhi wa sallam, and protect his nation from that which he feared for it. Aameen.
Imam Ja^far As-Sadiq stated as related by Abul Qasim Al-Qushayriyy in his letter Ar-Risalah Al-Qushayriyyah,
“Whoever claims that Allah is in something, on something, or from something commits shirk (a type of blasphemy), because if He was in something, He would be contained, and if He was on something, He would be carried, and if He was from something, He would be a creature”.
The scholar Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, may Allah raise his rank said, “Whatever you imagine in your mind, Allah does not resemble it.”
The Personal Obligatory Knowledge of Islam
The Personal Obligatory Knowledge of Islam is a necessary portion of Islamic knowledge which is obligatory upon every accountable person to acquire; otherwise one is sinful. Such knowledge entails matters of belief in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Day of Judgment, Destiny, and the like. It also includes matters of purification, prayer, fasting, zakah (type of financial obligation) upon the liable, pilgrimage upon the able, and the sins of the heart, hands, eyes, and the like.
Suratuz-Zumar, Ayah 9 means, “Those who know are not equal to those who do not know.”Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said, “Seeking the knowledge of the Religion is obligatory upon every Muslim,” (i.e., male and female). (Related by al-Bayhaqiyy)
1. What is the purpose of creating the humans and the jinn?
Allah created the humans and jinn to order them to worship Him.
Suratul-Dhariyat, Ayah 56 means, “Allah has created jinn and mankind, only to order them to worship Him.” The Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said, “The greatest right due to Allah from his slaves is for them to worship Him without associating partners to Him.” (Related by al-Bukhariyy andMuslim)
2. How is worship (^Ibadah) accepted?
Worshipping Allah is accepted only from the believers. The believers believe in the existence of Allah, and do not liken Him to any of His creations.
Suratush-Shura, Ayah 11 means, “Nothing is like Allah in any way.” The Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said, “Do not attempt to imagine the Self of Allah” (Related by Abul-Qasim Al-Ansariyy). The scholar Al-Ghazaliyy said, “Worship is valid only after one has correct knowledge and belief in the One Who deserves to be worshipped [Allah].”
3. Why did Allah send Messengers?
Allah sent Messengers to educate people about their well being in this life and in the Hereafter, as well as to call them to worship Allah alone without associating partners with Him.
Suratul-Baqarah, Ayah 213 means, “Allah sent Messengers with good tidings and warnings.” In thehadith related by al-Bukhariyy the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said, “The best word uttered by me and the Prophets before me is, ‘No one is God except Allah.’ ”
4. What does Tawhid (Oneness of God) mean?
Imam Al-Junayd said, “Tawhid is differentiating the Eternal [i.e. Allah] from the created.” Allah is eternal, meaning His existence is without a beginning; whereas, the created exists with a beginning.
Suratush-Shura Ayah 11 means, “Nothing is like Allah in any way.” Al-Bukhariyy related that, “The Prophet was asked about the best of the deeds, to which he replied, ‘The belief in Allah and His Messenger’”.
5. Discuss the Existence of Allah.
Allah exists. There is no doubt about His existence. He exists without being attributed with a manner of being (how) or a place. No creation resembles Him, and He is not comparable to any of them.
Suratu–Ibrahim, Ayah 10 means, “There is no doubt about the existence of Allah.” The Prophet,sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam said, “Allah existed eternally, and nothing else existed.” (Related by al-Bukhariyy and others.)
6. In Ayah 4 of Suratul-Hadid Allah said: وَهُوَ مَعَكُمْ أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُمْ
(Wa huwa ma^akum aynama kuntum). What does this mean?
This part of the Ayah refers to the fact that Allah has knowledge of us wherever we may be. This meaning was stated by Sufyan ath-Thawriyy, ash-Shafi^iyy, Ahmad, Malik, and others.
Suratut-Talaq Ayah 12 means, “The knowledge of Allah includes everything.” The Prophet said, “You are not calling upon the One Who does not hear or know. In fact you are calling upon the Lord Who hears and knows all.” (Related by al-Bukhariyy.)
7. What is the most enormous sin?
The most enormous sin is blasphemy. Shirk is a type of blasphemy; it is to worship other than Allah.
Surat Luqman, Ayah 13 contains the meaning of what Luqman said is, “O my son! Do not worship other than Allah, for shirk is extreme injustice.” It was narrated that “The Prophet, peace be upon him, was asked, ‘What is the most enormous sin?’ He said, ‘To attribute partners to Allah, the One Who created you.’” (Related by al-Bukhariyy and others)
8. What does worship (^Ibadah) mean?
Worship is the ultimate submission and humility, as described by Hafidh al-Subkiyy.
Suratul-Anbiya’ Ayah 25 means, “No one is God except Allah, so worship Him alone.” The Prophet,sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said, “The greatest right due to Allah from His slaves is for them to worship Him without associating partners with Him.” (Related by al-Bukhariyy and Muslim)
9. Can the term du^a’ be defined as worship?
Yes. Du^a’ has many meanings in the Arabic language, among them are; to worship, to supplicate and to call to. Worship means extreme humility and submission. This is due only to Allah. Suratul-Jinn, Ayah 20 means, “Say, ‘I only make du^a’ to my Lord, and do not associate anyone with Him.’”Here, Du^a’ means worship.
Also Suratul-Jinn, Ayah 18 means, “So do not make du^a’ (fala tad^u) to anyone along with Allah.”Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said, “Du^a’ is worship.” (Related by al-Bukhariyy.)
10. Can du^a’ be defined as anything other than worship?
Yes. It can mean to call to. Suratun-Nur Ayah 63 means, “Do not make du^a’ (call) to the Prophet as one of you makes du^a’ (call) to another.”
11. What is the judgment concerning calling the Prophet or righteous Muslims even in their absence, or asking them for something which may be out of the ordinary?
This matter is permissible because to merely call or ask someone for something, does not count as worshipping other than Allah. Similarly, to merely say “O Messenger of Allah” is not associating partners with Allah. It is confirmed that Bilal ibn al-Harith approached the grave of the Prophet in the year of the Ramadah (drought), during the caliphate of ^Umar and said, “O Messenger of Allah ask Allah for rain for your nation as they are in ruins.” (Related by al-Bayhaqiyy and others.) Neither^Umar nor anyone else denounced his words. In fact they praised his act.
Surat An-Nisa’, Ayah 64 means, “If only, when they are unjust to themselves, they come to you and ask Allah for forgiveness, and the Messenger asks forgiveness for them, Allah will forgive them and have mercy upon them.” An additional proof is in the hadith related by al-Bukhariyy in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad, which reveals that when ^Umar’s leg became paralyzed, he said, “O Muhammad” in his call for help-to which his call was answered with a cure.
12. Clarify the meanings of the two types of calls for help known as Istighathah andIsti^anah.
Istighathah is calling for help particularly when in hardship. Isti^anah is more inclusive and broader in its definition of calling for help.
Suratul-Baqarah, Ayah 45 means, “Seek assistance (wasta^inu) through patience and prayer.” The Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said, “The sun shall near the heads of people on Judgment Day and whilst in that state they will call upon Adam for help (istaghathu bi Adam)”. Thishadith indicates clearly that it is acceptable to ask for the help of other than Allah, with the firm belief that Allah is the Creator of benefit and harm.
13. Discuss asking Allah by the Prophet (Tawassul).
Asking Allah by the Prophet is deemed permissible by the consensus of the top scholars (mujtahids).Tawassul is seeking to gain benefit or to alleviate harm by mentioning a Prophet or a righteous Muslim, in honor of the mentioned, with the firm belief that Allah is the Creator of benefit and harm.
In Suratul-Ma`idah, Ayah 35 means, “Seek the means of obedience to Allah.” In the hadith related and authenticated by At-Tabaraniyy, The Prophet taught the blind man to ask Allah by him. The blind man did so, and Allah returned his sight to him.
14. Discuss asking Allah by the righteous Muslims (Tawassul).
Asking Allah by the righteous Muslims is permissible. No one on the right path, from the (Salaf) or the (Khalaf) objected to this. The Salaf are those who lived in the first three centuries dating from the migration of the Prophet. The Khalaf are those who came after them.
It is narrated in the hadith that during his caliphate in the year of the drought, ^Umar asked Allah for rain by al-^Abbas saying, ‘O Allah, we ask You by the Uncle of our Prophet’. They were granted rain.” (Related by al-Bukhariyy).
15. Explain the meaning of the Hadith of the Slave-Woman (Hadithul-Jariyah).
The hadith is classified as inconsistent (mudtarib). This means that it was reported in a number of ways with variations in the text. The scholars of hadith judge the hadith whose narrations, in their apparent meaning cannot be reconciled, as a weak hadith. Nevertheless, even the scholars who deemed it acceptable did not take it to mean that Allah occupies the sky. In explaining the hadith, an-Nawawiyy said that the question “aynallah?” which cannot be taken literally, is a question about the rank not the location. Allah is not bound by locations. (NB, ayna in its literal meaning is a query aboutlocation. According to the Arabic language it can also mean a query about status). The question means, “How much do you glorify Allah?” The slave woman’s response “fis-sama’” affirmed her belief in Allah having a high status. It did not imply restricting Allah to a location. It is neither permissible to believe that the Prophet asked her about the location, nor that she meant Allah occupies the sky. In the book Ar-Risalah Al-Qushayriyyah by Abul–Qasim Al-Qushayriyy, Imam ^Aliyy said, “The question of ‘where’ (i.e. location) does not apply to the One Who created the whereabouts.” Abu Hanifahstated in his book “Al-Fiqh Al-Absat”, “Allah existed eternally before creating the places. He existed and no place or creation existed. He is the Creator of all things”.
Moreover, Suratush-Shura, Ayah 11 means, “Nothing is like Allah in any way.” The hadith also means,“Allah existed eternally, and eternally nothing else existed.” (Related by al-Bukhariyy and others.)
16. Clarify the proof concerning the blasphemy of the one who curses Allah.
Qadi ^Iyad relayed the scholarly consensus that the one who curses Allah apostatizes even if he or she was angry, joking or did not feel delighted by the utterance.
Suratut-Tawbah, Ayat 65, 66 mean, “If you question those who have blasphemed, they will say,’ we were only babbling and kidding. Say to them, ‘Do you jest about Allah, His Verses and His Messenger? Make no excuses, for you have blasphemed after having been Muslim.
The Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said, “A slave may utter a word which he thinks harmless, that results in his falling the depth of seventy years into Hellfire.” (Related by at-Tirmidhiyy). This depth is the bottom of hellfire and a place occupied by blasphemers only.
17. What is the proof for the permissibility of men and women visiting the graves?
The Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said, “Visit the graves, as they remind you of the Hereafter.” (Related by al-Bayhaqiyy.)
18. How does one enter Islam?
One enters Islam by uttering the two Testifications of Faith with the intention to enter into Islam. The Testifications of Faith are “I declare that no one is God except Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” One does not enter into Islam by just asking Allah for forgiveness. Ayah 10 inSurat Nuh means, “I [Noah] ordered you to seek a valid forgiveness from your Lord.” This means that Prophet Noah ordered his people to seek forgiveness by embracing Islam, i.e., by believing inAllah as their God and in Nuh as His Prophet.
19. Clarify the judgment related to praising the Prophet.
Praising the Prophet is permissible by the scholarly consensus. In addressing the Prophet, Ayah 4 inSuratul-Qalam means, “Indeed you have great manners.”
Suratul-A^raf, Ayah 157 means, “It is those who praise the Prophet, honor him and help him, following the light that was brought with him; they will surely be the successful.” The hadith related by at-Tabaraniyy means, “Some women praised the Prophet, peace be upon him, in his presence by saying, ‘How wonderful it is to be the neighbor of Muhammad.’” In addition, it has been confirmed that many companions have praised the Prophet including Hassan bin Thabit and others. The Prophet did not denounce their action; in fact he approved it.
20. Discuss the torture of the grave.
It is obligatory to believe in the torture of the grave. This matter has been confirmed by scholarly consensus, and he who denies it blasphemes.
Surat Ghafir, Ayah 46 means, “Pharaoh and his followers will be exposed to Hellfire in the early morning and in the late afternoon [whilst in the grave], and on the Day of Judgment they will be admitted to the severest torture in Hellfire.” The hadith related by al-Bukhariyy means, “Ask Allah for refuge from the torture of the grave.”
21. What is the first of the creations?
Water is the first of the creations.
Suratul-Anbiya’, Ayah 30 means, “Allah created from water every living [and non-living] thing.” Thehadith related by Ibn Hibban means, “Every thing was created from water.”
22. Discuss the types of innovations (bida^). What is the proof for the validity of the innovation of guidance?
Linguistically, the innovation is something newly introduced, for which there is no previous example. Religiously, an innovation is of two types; an innovation of guidance and an innovation of misguidance. Suratul-Hadid, Ayah 27 reports about the true followers of ^Isa [Jesus], “The state of abstinence from worldly pleasure and dedication to worship (rahbaniyah) which they innovated for themselves, Allah did not ordain upon them. They embraced it only to seek reward from their Lord.” Allah praised the actions of these Muslim followers of Jesus for detaching themselves from the pleasures they were not forbidden; only in quest of reward from Allah. The hadith related by Muslim indicates, “He who innovates a good innovation in Islam has its reward and the reward of those who practice it until the Day of Judgment”. The companions and those who followed them introduced many innovations into Islam. The Muslim nation received these innovations with acceptance. Such innovations include having a niche in each mosque in the direction of prayer (mihrab), another call for the Friday prayer, and the commemoration of the birth of Prophet Muhammad.
23. Discuss the practice of sorcery.
Practicing sorcery and witchcraft is Islamically prohibited.
Suratul-Baqarah, Ayah 102 means, “Sulayman (Solomon) did not blaspheme. However, the devils blasphemed. They deemed the act of sorcery permissible and taught it to people.” As related byMuslim, the Prophet said, “’Avoid the seven destructive sins’. They said, ‘What are they, O Messenger of Allah?’ He said, ‘Associating partners with Allah (shirk), sorcery, …’”.
24. What is the proof that, the person who throws a paper containing the name of Allahin the trash in belittlement, blasphemes?
It is not permissible to throw a paper that contains the name of Allah in the trash. He who commits this with belittlement, blasphemes.
Suratut-Tawbah, Ayas 65,66 means, “Say to them, ‘Do you jest about Allah, His Ayahs and His Messenger? Make no excuse, for you have blasphemed after having been Muslim”. Ibn ^Abidin said,“He who throws the Qur’an in the trash blasphemes, even if he did not intend to belittle it, because his mere action indicates belittlement.”
25. What is the Islamic judgment in relation to making a vow (Nadhr)?
It is permissible to make a vow in matters that are acts of obedience to Allah. Moreover, it is obligatory to fulfill the vow. On the other hand, vows in matters that are Islamically prohibited are not permitted and fulfillment of such a vow is not an obligation.
Suratul-Insan, Ayah 7 means, “They honour and fulfill their vows” The Prophet said, “Whoever vows to obey Allah must obey Him, and whoever vows to disobey Allah must not disobey Him.” (Narrated by al-Bukhariy).
26. What is the proof for the general rule that the woman’s voice is not ^awra (i.e. a matter to be concealed)?
In addressing the wives of the Prophet, Suratul-Ahzab, Ayah 32 means, “And say good words.” Thehadith related by Al-Hakim in his book Al-Mustadrak mentions that “Al-Ahnaf Ibn Qays said, ‘I heard the hadith from the mouths of Abu Bakr, ^Umar, ^Uthman and ^Aliyy, and I did not hear it as beautiful as I heard it from the mouth of ^A’ishah.’”
27. Discuss Allah’s attribute of Speech (Kalam).
The Speech of Allah, like all His Attributes, is an Eternal and Everlasting Attribute. His Speech is not letters, sounds, or a language.
Suratun-Nisa’, Ayah 164 means, “Allah spoke to Musa (Moses) with His Eternal Kalam.” Imam AbuHanifah mentioned in his book Al-Fiqhul-Absat, “Allah’s Speech (Kalam) is not like our speech. We speak through organs of speech and by letters, whereas Allah’s Eternal Kalam is without an organ or a sound”.
Q28. What is the meaning of Ayah 4 of Suratu Taha [Ar-Rahmanu ^Alal ^Arshistawa]الرحمن على العرش استوى?
Imam Malik said, “Allah attributed Himself with the Istawa’ that befits Him. It is invalid to say how; and how does not apply to Him.” The how-characteristics are descriptions of the created. Only the created can be described with sitting, settling and occupying a place. The word istawa has 15 meanings, among them are to subjugate, to preserve, and to maintain. It also implies physically-oriented meanings such as to sit, to settle and to stabilize. It is blasphemy to apply to Allah to physical meanings of the creations such as to sit. The words preserve and subjugate are meanings that comply with the religion and the Arabic language.
Al-Qushayriyy explained the meaning of istawa’ in this Ayah as, to preserve, subdue and maintain. It cannot be believed that Allah sits on the Throne as this belies Ayah 74 of Suratul-Nahl which means,“Do not liken Allah to any of His creation.”
Surat Ibrahim, Ayah 48 means, “And the slaves will be resurrected to face the judgment of Allah, the One, the Subduer.” Imam Aliyy said, “Allah created the Throne as an indication of His Power and not to take it as a place for himself.” (Related by Abu Mansur Al-Baghdadiyy.)
29. Discuss the term ‘Qadar’.
The Arabic term ‘Qadar’ can mean the eternal Attribute of Allah – Destining, and it can mean what has been destined by Allah. The destined includes everything that happens in this world, be it good or evil, obedience or sin, and belief or blasphemy. All of this happens in accordance with the Will, Knowledge, Decree, and Creating of Allah. Although evil, sin, and blasphemy happen by the Will ofAllah, they do not happen by the order or acceptance of Allah.
Suratul-Qamar, Ayah 49 means, “Allah created everything according to His Destining.” The Prophetsaid, “Everything is predestined.” Related by Muslim.
Q30. What is the proof for the judgment that a man’s handshake with a marriageable female (ajnabiyyah) from her age of desirability, is Islamically unlawful?
The Prophet, salallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said, “If Allah willed to punish the man who sinfully touches a marriageable woman, his punishment would be more severe than to be stricken on his head with an iron bar. ” (Related by Al-Daraqutniyy. The Prophet also said in another hadith related by al-Bukhariyy, “The adultery of the hands is the forbidden touch (zinal-yadan).”
Q31. Discuss reciting the Qur’an upon the dead.
Reciting the Qur’an for the dead is a permissible act.
Suratul-Hajj, Ayah 77 means, “And do good deeds.” The hadith of the Prophet means, “Recite Surat Ya Sin upon your dead.” (Related and certified by Ibn Hibban.) The scholars of the right path agreed unanimously on the validity and benefit of reciting the Qur’an upon the dead. Imam Ash-Shafi^iyysaid, “It is good to recite part of the Qur’an at the grave of a Muslim. It is even better to recite the whole Qur’an.” (Reported by An-Nawawiyy in Riyadus-Salihin.)
Q32. What is the proof that the dead may benefit from a charity?
The saying of the Prophet, salallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, “When the [Muslim] son of Adam dies, his deeds stop except for three, a continuing charity, a benefiting knowledge, and a pious offspring making supplication to Allah for him.” (Related by Muslim.) This hadith means that the Muslim will continue to benefit from some of his deeds after his death.
In Suratun-Najm, Ayah 39 means, “Mankind will be rewarded for the good deeds they acquired.” ThisAyah and the previous hadith both indicate that one benefits from his own good deeds, and by the Grace of Allah one can also benefit from the good deeds others do for him. Such is when the dead Muslim benefits from the funeral prayer, even though it is not his own doing. Similarly, one will also benefit from the supplication of the Prophet, salallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, for him, even though it is not an act that he did. An example is the supplication the Prophet made for Ibn Abbas, “O Allah teach him the knowledge of Hadith and the explanation of the Qur’an.” (Related by Al-Bukhariyy andIbn Majah.)
Q33. What is the proof that one is allowed to pray more than eleven cycles (rak^ah) during the Ramadan Night-Prayer?
In Suratul-Hajj, Ayah 77 means, “And do good deeds so that you succeed.” The Prophet, salallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said, “The night prayer is a series of two cycles consecutively.” (Related by Al-Bukhariyy.) The Prophet also said, “The optional prayer is a great recommendation. He who wishes can pray a few cycles, and he who wishes can pray many cycles,” (Related by Muslim.)
Q34. What is the proof that playing the tambourine (duf) is permissible?
Abu Dawud related that, “A woman said to the Prophet, ‘I have made a vow to play the tambourine in your presence upon your safe return.’ He said, ‘If you have made a vow, then fulfill your vow.’”
Q35. Who is the first Prophet?
The first Prophet is Adam, peace be upon him.
In Surat Al ^Imran, Ayah 33 means, “Allah chose Adam for Prophethood.” The Prophet, salallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said in a hadith related by at-Tirmidhiyy, “On Judgement Day all prophets, Adamand others, will be under my banner.”
Q36. What is necessary to be among the attributes of prophets and what are impossible to be their attributes?
It is obligatory to believe that every Prophet of Allah must be attributed with truthfulness, trustworthiness, intelligence, virtuous character, courage, and articulation. Consequently, lying, dishonesty, vileness, fornication, other enormous sins, and blasphemy are impossible to be amongst their attributes, both before and after the Revelation of Prophethood.
In Suratul-An^am, Ayah 86 means, “Allah has given the prophets ranks higher than the rest of the world.” The Prophet, salallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said in a hadith related by at-Tirmidhiyy, “Every Prophet Allah sent, had a pleasing face and an appealing voice”.
37. How is Ayah 3 of Suratul-Ikhlas in the Qur’an, لم يلد ولم يولد [Lam yalid walam yulad]explained?
This Ayah means, “Allah does not have offspring, and He is not an offspring of another.” This Ayahstates that Allah is clear of being an origin for others or derived from others. Allah does not dwell in things, nor do things dwell in Him.
Imam Ja^far As-Sadiq stated as related by Abul-Qasim Al-Qushayriyy in his book Ar-Risalah Al-Qushayriyyah, “Whoever claims that Allah is in something, on something or from something commits shirk (a type of blasphemy)”.
38. What is the proof to the lawfulness of making Salah on the Prophet following the call for prayer (adhan)?
The Salah on the Prophet is to say a variant of the expression ‘Allahumma salli ^ala Muhammad’, which means ‘O Allah, raise the rank of Prophet Muhammad’. It is lawful to make Salah upon the Prophet following the call for prayer. No attention should be given to those who claim it to be unlawful.
In Suratul-Ahzab, Ayah 56 means, “Allah raises the rank of Prophet Muhammad and the angels makeSalah on him by asking Allah to raise his rank. O you who believe, make Salah and Salam on him.” The Salam on the Prophet is to ask Allah to protect his nation from that which he fears for it. The Prophet, salallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said, “If you hear the caller for prayer, say what he says then make Salah on me.” (Related by Muslim.) In another hadith related by as-Sakhawiyy the Prophet,salallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said, “He who mentions me, let him make Salah on me.”
39. What is apostasy (riddah), and into how many categories is it classified?
Apostasy is what takes one out of Islam. It is classified into three categories:
- The verbal apostasy: such as to swear at Allah, even in a state of anger or joking.
- The action-based apostasy: such as to knowingly toss the Qur’an in the trash, or to knowingly tread on the Qur’an.
- The belief-based apostasy: such as to believe that Allah is a body, or a spirit, or that He sits on the Throne, or that He dwells in Heaven, or that His Self occupies a particular place or all places.
In Suratut-Tawbah, Ayah 74 means, “But indeed they uttered the word of blasphemy, and committed blasphemy after having been Muslim.” Also, Ayah 37 in Surat Fussilat means, “Do not prostrate to the sun or to the moon.” The Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said in a hadithrelated by Muslim and al-Bukhariyy, “The slave may utter a word which he thinks harmless, that results in his falling into Hellfire a distance further than what is between east and west.” This is the depth that only non-believers will fall to.
Q40. What is the proof to the lawfulness of celebrating the honorable birth of the Prophet (Mawlidun-Nabiyy)?
In Suratul-Hajj, Ayah 77 means, “And do good deeds so that you succeed.” The hadith of the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, means, “He who innovates a good innovation in Islam has its reward.” (Related by Muslim.)
The honorable, knowledgeable, and righteous ruler al-Mudhaffar, the king of Irbil, initiated this practice about 900 years ago. Muslim scholars praised him including the two Egyptian hafiths: Ibn Hajar al-^Aqalaniyy and Jalal ud-Din as-Suyutiyy. The famous scholar of hadith, Abul-Khattab Ibn Dihyah, wrote a book for the king, to be read especially during this celebration. All renowned Muslim scholars praised this innovated celebration.
41. What is the implication of the hadith, “If you were to ask for something of someone, then ask it of Allah, and if you were to call upon someone for help, then call upon Allah”?
This hadith does not suggest a prohibition to request something from the creations; nor a prohibition to ask them for help’. It actually means that, by priority, Allah is the One to ask of and the One to call upon for help. This hadith resembles the meaning of the hadith related by Ibn Hibban, “Do not befriend other than a believer, and do not feed your food to other than a pious one.” This means that one’s company is best given to a believer and one’s food is best fed to the pious. It does not mean that it is unlawful to feed or to befriend a non-believer.
Rather, Allah the Almighty has praised such Muslims in the Qur’an in Suratul-Insan, Ayah 8. This Ayah means, “And they feed their food for the sake of reward from Allah, to the needy, the orphaned, and the captive.” Here, “captive” refers to the blasphemous prisoner of war. In addition, Muslim and al-Bukhariyy narrated that three Muslim individuals asked Allah to save them from their hardship by virtue of their righteous deeds. Their supplication was then fulfilled.
Q42. What is the proof for the lawfulness of visiting the grave of the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam?
Visiting the grave of the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, is a Sunnah, which is a preferred and rewardable deed. Qadi ^Iyad and an-Nawawiyy both reported the scholarly consensus (Ijma^) on this issue.
In Suratun-Nisa’, Ayah 64 means, “If only, when they are unjust to themselves, they come to you and ask Allah for forgiveness, and the Messenger asks forgiveness for them, Allah will forgive them and have mercy upon them.” The Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam said, “He who visits my grave, will be granted my greatest intercession.” This hadith is reported by ad-Daraqutniyy and strengthened by Hafidh as-Subkiyy. The Prophet also said, “Eagerness to travel for prayer should be directed to these three mosques the Mosques of Al-Haram [in Makkah], the mosque of Al-Aqsa [in Jerusalem] and my mosque [in Madinah]”. This hadith means that if a person wants to travel to pray in a mosque, then those three mosques should be his first choice in travel because the reward for prayer in them is multiplied. This is strictly a recommendation not an obligation. Moreover, the hadithrefers to traveling strictly for the matter of prayer and does not suggest that one cannot travel to visit the grave of the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam.
Q43. What is the proof for the permissibility of seeking the blessings (tabarruk) by certain creations?
Seeking the blessings from the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, and his traces is permissible.
In narration about Yusuf, Ayah 93 in Surat Yusuf, means, “Take my shirt and cast it over the face of my father; His sight will return to him.” al-Bukhariyy and Muslim narrated a hadith in which the Prophet divided his hair and distributed it amongst the people. Obviously, he did not give his hair to be eaten, but for people to seek blessings by them.
44. What is the proof for the permissibility of wearing the hirz (i.e. certain inscriptions ofayahs and/or specific religious phrases), which is unlike the artifacts that contain certain forbidden talismanic characters?
Suratul-Isra’, Ayah 82 means, “Allah sends down ayat from the Qur’an in which there is healing and mercy.” It is also narrated that the great companion, ^Abdullah Ibn ^Amr said, “We taught our kids to recite specific words that help gain protection by the will of Allah and for those who had not reached puberty we inscribed these words on paper and hung them (around their necks) on their chests.” (Related by at-Tirmidhiyy.)
45. Discuss mentioning the Name of Allah during funerals.
Mentioning Allah during funerals is a rewarded act of worship, agreed upon by scholarly consensus.
In Suratul-Ahzab, Ayah 41 means, “O you who believe mention Allah frequently.” Another Ayahwhich praises the act of mentioning Allah in every situation is in Surat Al ^Imran, Ayah 191 means,“They are the ones who mention Allah while standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides and ponder in the creating of the heavens and the earth.” The hadith related by Muslim also means, “The Prophet used to mention Allah in all situations”.
Q46. Discuss ta’wil?
Ta’wil is to dismiss the apparent and literal meaning of the phrase and to assign to it a specific meaning in accordance with the religion and the language. This is permissible in every Ayah or hadithwhose apparent meanings may imply that Allah has physical hands, or a physical face, that He sits on the Throne, that He occupies a certain direction, or that He is attributed with attributes of the creation.
Surat Al ^Imran, Ayah 7 means, “No one knows the
true meaning of these verses except Allah and the people who are firmly rooted in the knowledge of the Religion.” Ibn ^Abbas, for whom the Prophet, made a supplication, said, “I am among those who are firmly rooted in the knowledge of the religion.” The hadith related by al-Bukhariyy, Ibn Majah, andal-Hafidh Ibn al-Jawziyy relays that the Prophet supplicated to Allah for Ibn ^Abbas by saying, “O Allah, teach him the knowledge of the hadith and the ta’wil of the Book” (i.e. the true meanings of the Qur’anic verses).
47. What is the proof that the proper belief is a condition for the acceptance of good deeds?
In Suratun-Nisa’, Ayah 124 means, “Those who do deeds of righteousness, be they male or female and are believers, shall enter Paradise and will never be presented with a spec of injustice.” The Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said, “The best of the deeds is the belief in Allah and His Messenger.” (Related by al-Bukhariyy.)
48. What is the explanation of Ayah 88 of Suratul-Qasas [kullu shay’in halikun illaWajhah] كل شىء هالك إلا وجهه ]?
Imam al-Bukhariyy said the term [illa Wajhah] means “except His Dominance”. Imam Sufyan Ath-Thawriyy said that the term [illa Wajhah] means “except the righteous deeds done in sincerity to gain reward from Allah. So the meaning of the Ayah becomes either, ‘Everything will come to an end except the Dominance of Allah’ or ‘Only the righteous deeds done in sincerity to Allah will deliver reward. It is blasphemy to explain the term ‘Wajhah’ as a physical ‘face’ attributed to Allah.
49. What is the explanation of Ayah 16 of Suratul-Mulk [A’amintum man fis-sama’i ayyakhsifa bikumul-ard]? أأمنتم من في السماء أن يخسف بكم الأرض
This Ayah means, “Do you feel secure that the angels in the sky will not shake the earth from under you and get you swallowed in a landslide, upon the order of Allah?” The interpreter of the Qur’an, Al-Fakhr Ar-Raziyy, in his explanation, and Abu Hayan Al-Andalusiyy, in his book Al-Bahr Al-Muhit, both stated that the term ‘man fis-sama’i’ refers to ‘the angels in the sky’ and it does not mean that Allahdwells in the sky.
50. What is the explanation of the term aydin in ‘Ayah 47 of Suratudh-Dhariyat [was-sama’a banaynaha bi aydin wa inna la musi^un] وَالسَّمَاء بَنَيْنَاهَا بِأَيْدٍ وَإِنَّا لَمُوسِعُونَ?
This Ayah means, ‘Allah created the heavens by His Power’. Ibn ^Abbas said that ‘aydin’ in this Ayahmeans “Power”. Aydin here does not denote physical hands because Allah is clear of having such body parts. ‘Aydin’ is the Arabic plural of the term ‘yad’ which has many meanings in the Arabic language, including those that do not befit Allah like the physical hand and those that do befit Allahlike Power and Endowment.
Allah knows best.