Allah Almighty bestows favours and grants bounties upon His slaves, during all times, to help expiate their sins, elevate their ranks and make up for their shortcomings. Allah Almighty legislated for us a month during which we observe fasting, another which we perform pilgrimage in, and one or two extra days to fast during the remaining months. He also legislated prayer during the night and the Witr prayer, the Ud’hiyah (Eid sacrifice), and the ‘Aqeeqah, (birth sacrifice) and many other virtuous deeds. All of these are ways of opening different channels for righteous deeds and methods to energise us by shifting from one form of worship to another, and therefore, not become weary, but continue to worship Allah Almighty. This is indeed a great favour from Allah upon us.
Moreover, we find that any act of worship which causes the people to come closer to Allah Almighty is mentioned in His Book or in the Sunnah of His Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention). The problem is in those people who try to come close to Allah and gain His reward by looking outside these two sources, and thus, divert from the right path.
The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said during his farewell pilgrimage, “I have left with you that, which if you adhere to, you will never go astray, the Book of Allah”.
And Allah Says (what means): “… And whatever the Messenger has given you – take; and what he has forbidden you – refrain from. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty.” [Qur’an: 59:7]
Allah Almighty dispraised the Arabs during the pre-Islamic period because they interfered in that which they had no right in, and started changing what is lawful to unlawful, and what is unlawful to lawful, and recommending that which Allah Almighty did not. They used to shift around the times of the sacred months and change the names of the months because they did not want to wait for this long period to finish.
Ibn Katheer, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: “Dealing with the legislations of Allah with one’s corrupt mind and reasoning, and changing the rulings of Allah according to their desires, and deeming lawful what is unlawful, were some of the things for which Allah dispraised the disbelievers.”
The Arabs had also forbidden upon themselves slaughtering certain animals, by setting some laws which Allah Almighty did not legislate, so Allah Almighty dispraised them for that. Thus we know that worshipping Allah Almighty is something which is not permitted except through that which He The Most High has legislated Himself and through His Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. Anyone who wants to draw closer to Allah and gain His reward, love and pleasure through other channels, will get the contrary result, because Allah Almighty does not accept from people except that which He legislated for them.
During the month of Rajab, which is one of the sacred months, some Muslims make some wrong practices through which they intend to come closer to Allah Almighty and gain His forgiveness, love and pleasure. But they seek that through acts of worship which He did not permit nor legislate, and although they are seeking something good, they do not achieve it.
The point is not only in having a sincere and good intention, but the deed itself must be legitimate, or else it will be rejected. Who dare say that a deed is rejected by Allah Almighty? Who told him that the deed is rejected? The one who told us this is the truthful Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, who said: “He who introduces any deed into our matter (Islam) which is not from it then it is rejected.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “He who performs any deed which is not according to what we are upon (i.e., the Prophet and his Companions) then it is rejected.” [Muslim] Therefore, any deed which is not in accordance with what Islam has come with is rejected.
One of the practices during the month of Rajab which was done during the pre-Islamic period, is to offer sacrifices and call it ‘Far’a and ‘Ateerah. The Muslims scholars may Allah have mercy upon them said Islam voided this practice. Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “No Fara’. No ‘Ateerah.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Ar-Raghaa’ib prayer is another thing which people innovated which was never legislated by Allah nor His Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. The scholars may Allah have mercy upon them said: “There is no authentic Hadith regarding a special prayer during the month of Rajab, and all the narrations concerning Ar-Raghaa’ib prayer are fabricated lies.” They also said: “This prayer was innovated after the fourth century and was never known before that, and no one from the scholars during the first virtuous generations ever mentioned it.”
People fast all the month of Rajab although there is no authentic Hadith in this regard and so this practice should be abandoned. On the other hand, those who are in the habit of fasting regularly, even in during other months, may fast. Moreover, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, never fasted any month in full other than Ramadan, as narrated by ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, ‘The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, used to fast so much until we would think that he always fasts, and would stop fasting until we would think that he never fasts. I never saw the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, fast a full month except during Ramadan, and he never fasted more than fasting during the month of Sha’baan.’ [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
It was narrated that ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, used to hit men’s hands until they would start using them to eat during the month of Rajab, and he would say, ‘What is the virtue of Rajab? It is a month which the people during the pre-Islamic period used to honour, but when Islam came, people gave this up.’
Abu Bakrah, may Allah be pleased with him, saw his household preparing during the month of Rajab, and said to them, ‘Did you make Rajab like Ramadan?’. Then he threw the baskets and broke the cups.
Another innovation is what they call the Rajabiyyah, which is an ‘Umrah during Rajab which has no evidence proving it. As a matter of fact, the only month during which ‘Umrah would have a certain prescribed reward is the month of Ramadan. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “’Umrah during Ramadan equals performing Haj” , in another narration he said, “Equals Haj with me.”
Therefore, anyone who performs ‘Umrah during Rajab for the sake of Rajab has committed a mistake. Moreover, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, never performed ‘Umrah during Rajab even though he has performed ‘Umrah four times.
A Muslim should know that if he seeks the pleasure of Allah, and wants to adhere to obedience, he would find many acts to perform, so there is no need to add to what the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, instructed us to do; let us perform what he, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, taught us, and he who does that, is guaranteed to succeed and prosper in this life and the Hereafter.
Ibn Mas’oud, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “Imitate and do not innovate (in religion)’. Therefore, we should not add anything to the religion baselessly, and we should adhere to the Sunnah of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. Some of the scholars said, ‘Sunnah is like to Noah’s Ark, anyone who sticks to it would be rescued.”
Article source: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/
The second source of legislation
The Sunnah (the actions, sayings and confirmations of Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, is the second source of Islamic legislation and must be in complete agreement with the first source (i. e. the Qur’an).
The term Sunnah comes from the root word ‘sanna’, which means to pave the way.
Sunnah can be used to describe a path that people follow. In Islamic terminology, Sunnah applies to a prophetic way which includes references to the Prophet’s sayings, actions, approvals, physical features and character traits.
His actions pertain to anything he did, as authentically reported by the Companions. His silent approvals on different issues meant he didn’t oppose or mind what he saw, heard or knew of the actions or sayings of his Companions. Sunnah also includes everything authentically narrated concerning the Prophet’s physical features and his traits.
The Qur’an and the Sunnah complement each other. Without the Sunnah, Islam is not complete, likewise without the Qur’an, Islam is not complete.
Actually, Sunnah is so important that without it one cannot fully understand the Qur’an and Islam, or be able to apply it to his life. Both of these sources guide us to the right path.
The Qur’an is the Word of Allah, whereas the Sunnah is its practical interpretation. Sunnah also gives a full account of the life of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.
The Qur’an principally deals with basics. It is the Sunnah which gives the details and necessary explanations of Qur’anic injunctions. For instance, Allah Says in the Qur’an what means: “…Establish the prayer…” [2: 43] But it does not specify how the prayer has to be performed.
Even after knowing the details, it may not be possible to follow the divine injunctions contained in the Qur’an. For not everything can be properly understood by words alone. Therefore, the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, demonstrated before the believers how the prayer was to be performed.
Thus, not only did the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, inform the believers of the divine injunctions, but he also put these teachings into practice in all matters pertaining to religion and daily life. He, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, himself practiced these injunctions scrupulously. His practice was not a private matter; it had the status of a detailed interpretation and application of the Qur’an.
Importance of the Sunnah
The Qur’an repeatedly reminds us of the importance of the Sunnah, enjoining us to strictly follow the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.
Allah, Almighty, Says what means: “…And whatever the Messenger has given you – take; and what he has forbidden you – refrain from…” [Qur’an 59:7]
Allah also Says what means: “But no, by your Lord, they will not [truly] believe until they make you [O Muhammad] judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves and then find within themselves no discomfort from what you have judged and submit in [full, willing] submission..” [Qur’an 4:65)
Again, Allah Says what means: “It is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter, that they should [thereafter] have any choice about their affair. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly strayed into clear error.” [Qur’an 33:36]
According to many verses in the Qur’an, the Muslim is bound to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. No one remains Muslim if he does not accept the Prophet’s Sunnah.
The Sunnah is nothing but a reflection of the personality of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, who is to be obeyed at every cost.
The Sunnah was not, as is generally supposed, a thing of which the need may have been felt only after the Prophet’s death, for it was very much needed in his lifetime. The two most important religious institutions of Islam are Prayer and Zakaah (obligatory alms giving); yet when the injunction relating to Prayer and Zakaah were delivered, and they were repeatedly revealed in both Makkah and Madinah, no details were supplied. ‘Keep up prayers’ is the Qur’anic injunction, and it was the Prophet himself who by his own actions gave details of the prayer by saying: “Pray as you see me praying.” [Al-Bukhari]
Zakaah is again an obligation frequently repeated in the Qur’an, yet it was the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, who gave the rules and regulations for its payment and collection. These are two examples, but since Islam covers the entire sphere of human activities, hundreds of points had to be explained by the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, in word and deed.
The importance of the Sunnah, even as a second source of Islam, was an openly accepted issue by the Companions of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. Whenever they couldn’t find a solution to a problem in the Qur’an, they would refer to the Sunnah. And they were the most diligent in preserving it for those who came after them.
Article source: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/
What we must believe, follow and prepare for
One must believe, beyond any doubt, that only Allah Almighty is worthy of worship and The Creator of the universe and the Handler of all things in Heavens or on Earth. He has the best names and the highest characteristics. He Almighty is The Creator and The Sustainer, He is the Benefactor, The Giver and the Taker, The Most Able. This belief is given the term ‘the unification of divinity’ (tawheed ar-rooboobiyyah).
The unification of divinity alone would not admit one into the fold of Islam. Together with that, faith must be shown that Allah Almighty alone is deserving of worship and no one else, and that is the meaning of “Laa ilaaha illa Allah.” This is the unification of worship (tawheed al-’ibaadah) with the faith in the unification of the names and the characteristics (tawheed al-asmaa was-sifaat). One must have faith that Allah Almighty is The Most Perfect in Himself, in His Names, in His Characteristics and in His Deeds. He has the Absolute perfection who has no partner and none similar and there is none like unto Him.
The two worlds, that of men and that of jinns must believe in the names and the characteristics of Almighty Allah mentioned in the Holy Qur’an such as the Almighty, The Wise, Who hears all things, the Creator, The Sustainer, The Benevolent and The Most Gracious and all the other names and characteristics. Faith must also be in what is affirmed in the Sunnah about the names of Almighty Allah as they were revealed with no increase or decrease. One must also believe that Allah Almighty is not like any of His creatures, and there is no similarity in shape or in entity. All the prophets unanimously had faith in all that and all the messages were descended with those teachings, the most complete of them all is the Holy Qur’an. One must also believe in Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, and in all the other prophets too and in all that they had narrated about the angels, the books, the question of Heaven and Hell, the Day of Resurrection, the judgment and reward, the torment or bliss in the grave, and the belief in fate.
The Muslim must follow the straight path of the religion of Allah Almighty, by saying and by doing and as a creed. He must observe all the ordinances prescribed on him, and avoid all the prohibitions he is forbidden from. He must also believe all that is told by Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, about the states of the dead in their graves, and that the grave is either a heavenly garden or a devilish hell.
Once the dead is placed inside his grave, two angels would ask him who his God is, what his religion is and who his Prophet is. For the believers, Allah Almighty would send down tranquillity into their hearts and add faith to their faith. When asked in his grave, the believer would answer my God is Almighty Allah, Islam is my religion, and Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, is my prophet. As the Muslim was holding fast to his faith and to his religion during his lifetime, for this reason Allah would grant him peace of mind and tranquillity in his grave. But the disbeliever or the hypocrite, when asked in the grave they would find no answer to give and would say instead “I only followed what the astray people were saying.” On giving that answer, the disbeliever would be hit by a sledgehammer, and a scream would come from him to be heard by all creatures except man, who would have been frightened if could hear that.
As such people would be resurrected and judged on the Day of Resurrection. When the trumpet sounds for the Last Day, all people die and are resurrected and judged in accordance with their deeds. All this must be believed in and one must prepare for that Last Day, by the unification of Allah and following His ordinances and avoiding His disobedience. The happy ones are those who are judged and given their records in their right hands, and the unhappy are those people who are judged and given their records in their left hands.
Muslims must be prepared for that day. They must advise one another in righteousness and stay firm with truth. They must enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, as Allah Almighty said in His Holy Book:
The believers, men and women are protectors one of another, they enjoin what is just, and forbid what is evil, they observe regular prayers, practice regular charity, and obey God and His Apostle. On them will God pour His mercy, for God is Exalted in power, Wise. [Al-Ma’aarij Aayah 5]
The greatest of rewards
The believers would be enabled to actually see their Lord Almighty. He, Almighty would speak to them and would let them see His divine Face. The disbelievers would be veiled as Allah Almighty said:
“Verily, from (the Light) of their Lord, that Day will they be veiled.” [Al-Mutaffifeen Aayah 15]
The followers of the Sunnah and Al-Jamaa’ah have all confirmed and believed in this. In the Heavens, the believers would be able to see all that in reality, in their highest of bliss. Allah Almighty said,
To those who do right is a goodly (reward), more (than in measure). [Yunus Aayah 26]
The goodly reward is the Garden (Al-Jannah), and what is more than in measure is the opportunity to look at the Face of Allah Almighty, and enjoying that bliss and the ever lasting good which is beyond imagination. The followers of the Sunnah consider anyone to disbelieve that as an apostate. Allah Almighty will not let Himself to be seen in this word as this world is not a world of bliss but rather a world of trial and tribulation. So Allah Almighty saved the revelation of His Face for the Hereafter.
“Verily, Al-Abraar (the pious who fear Allah and avoid evil) will be in delight. On thrones looking. You will recognise in their faces the brightness of light.” [Al-Mutaffifeen Aayah 22-24]
“Some faces that Day shall be Naadirah (shining and radiant) looking at their Lord.” [Al-Qiyaamah 22-23]
The believers will indeed see Allah on Yaum Al-Qiyaamah and in Al-Jannah it will be a great sight. This seeing of Allah is not all encompassing however because Allah is too Majestic and Great to be encompassed by any vision of His creation as Allah has stated:
“No vision can grasp (yudrikhu) Him, but His Grasp is over all vision. He is the Most Subtle and Courteous, Well-Aquainted with all things.” [Al-An’aam Aayah 103]
The meaning of this is that their vision will not encompass Him because al-idraak (as mentioned in the previous aayah) is particular while ar-ru’yah is general. As Allah stated in the aayah:
And when the two hosts saw (taraa’aa) each other, the companions of Musa said: “We are sure to be overtaken.” [Ash-Shu’araa 61]
Allah makes clear that seeing (At-Taraa’ee) is not grasping (Al-Idraak). A group of the salaf (pious generations) explaining the previous aayaat, among them ‘Aaisha (radiallahu ‘anhaa), said that what is intended is that they (the believers) would not see Him in this world (ad-dunyaa). There is no argument for those among the innovators (ahlul-bid’ah) because of other Qur’anic ayaat which have been explained previously along with authentic ahadith that are mutawaatir (so widely reported that there is no chance of error) absolutely confirm that the believers will see their Lord on the Day of Resurrection and in Al-Jannah.
The companions were in consensus about that as were their followers among Ahlus Sunnah and that which was held by the Jahmiyyah and the Mu’tazilah (later deviant sects) is wrong and unaccepted. What they stated was the worst of wrongs and most astray. We ask Allah safety and security from their trial and we ask Allah for us and those who uphold tawheed (al-muwahhideen) understanding and guidance and always returning to the truth.
Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “Know that, no one of you would see His Lord until he is dead.” The Muslim has to believe all that and all that was narrated by Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. As for the disobedient Muslim, is in danger of torture, but he would eventually be admitted in, even though he would be entered in Hell because of his disobedience. He would not stay in it for ever; but he would be pardoned and entered in Heavens, as indicated in the Hadith about Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, the Muslim is subject to the redemption of Allah Who said:
“Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him, but He forgives anything else, to whom He pleases.” [An-Nisaa Aayah 48]
If Allah pleases, He would forgive him and admit him in Heavens with his brothers from the beginning, if not forgiven he would be tortured in Hell according to the sins he had committed and after sanctification he would be admitted in Al-Jannah. He might be tortured in his grave or might be saved until doomsday, for committing the cardinal sins such as drinking wine, committing adultery, being disobedient to one’s parents and the like. The one who declares penitence before his death, he would be placed by Almighty Allah with his brothers from the first instance, as a reward to him.