Assignment 23 – “Power of Astaghfirullah”

Istighfar is what removes our sins from us and helps us attain the goal of Paradise. But what other benefits does istighfar bring? Allah always gives more than we ask. We ask for forgiveness, and these are the eight things that Allah gives us!

1) Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed, He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver. [Quran 71:10] We sin by the day and by the night, and Allah forgives by the day and the night. Allah’s forgiveness is vast. The Prophet(saw) said, Allah extends His hand by the day so the sinner of the night can repent and He extends His hand by the night so the sinner of the day can repent. [Narrated by Muslim].

He(saw) also said, The companion (Angel) on the left lifts his pen for six hours for the Muslim slave that errs or sins. If this slave repents and seeks Allah’s forgiveness for that error or sin, the Angel doesn’t record it. And if the slave doesn’t ask Allah for forgiveness, the Angel records it once. [Muslim] So whenever we sin, let’s rush to His forgiveness.

 

2) He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in [continuing] showers. [Quran, 71:11]

Rain is a sign of Allah’s mercy as has been mentioned in the Quran and in the Sunnah. It is a time when Allah answers dua. Forgiveness is one of the causes for Allah to send rain down. It is symbolic as well for Allah to increase us in our provision and mercy. 

 

3) And give you increase in wealth and children. [Quran, 71:12]

Isn’t wealth one of the big things that we are running after today?  Allah is promising us that wealth comes with istighfar, as does children. Wealth and children come from Allah and it is in turning to Him that we will get them, not in turning away from Him.

 

4) . . . and provide for you gardens and provide for you rivers. [Quran, 71:12]

Allah will not only give us what we want, He will give us more. Gardens and rivers are luxuries that very few of us can afford in life. And yet for istighfar, Allah promises us that. He promises us that we will be given gardens and rivers. It could be in this world and in the hereafter or only in the hereafter (as gardens and rivers are the most common description of paradise.) Isn’t this a cause worth struggling for? The paradise of Allah awaits those who make constant istighfar.

 

5) . . . ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him. He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in showers and increase you in strength [added] to your strength. [Quran 11:52]

Again this verse mentions the sending of rain from the sky. But also adds that Allah will add strength. For those of us who want strength added to our lives- whether mental, psychological, physical or otherwise, this is the deed we need to do! We are struggling with doing a good deed- make istighfar, Allah will provide strength. We are struggling with a sin, make istighfar, Allah will give strength. We are struggling with heartbreak, let us make istighfar, He will provide strength to get over it.

 

6) Seek forgiveness of your Lord and repent to Him, [and] He will let you enjoy a good provision for a specified term and give every doer of favour his favour [Quran, 11:3]

 What else in life do we want other than to know that we have earned His favour? Every blessing is a curse if His favour is not upon us, and everything can be endured if His favour is the answer. And yet, He asks for so little. All He asks is that we seek His forgiveness.

 

7) And Allah would not punish them while they seek forgiveness [Quran, 8:33]

One of the scariest things in human life is disaster— when something horrible happens out of the blue and without us expecting it. There are very few things that terrify people more than something like that. Islamically, they can be both tests and punishments. As Muslims, we don’t want to be punished by Allah. We don’t want to experience any of it. And istighfar is the promise from Allah that it’s not going to happen. He has our back as long as we seek His forgiveness.

 

8) My Lord, forgive me and grant me a kingdom such as will not belong to anyone after me. Indeed, You are the Bestower. [Quran 38:35]

This was the dua of Sulaiman, alayhi salam. The beauty of the dua is that he starts it by seeking forgiveness from Allah. And He makes a request. That request was granted and will stand until the day of judgement. The Prophet Sulaiman was given a kingdom that no one will ever be given after him. And he started his dua while making istighfar to Allah. Scholars say that one of the ways of having our duas answered is by making istighfar first and then seeking from Allah.

One of the narrators of a Hadith was asked about the manner in which forgiveness is to be sought, to which he answered: “The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) used to say: ‘Astaghfirullah! Astaghfirullah! (I beseech Allah for forgiveness, I beseech Allah for forgiveness)’.” [Sahih Muslim].

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ASSIGNMENT 18-KINDNESS TOWARDS ANIMALS

One of the most important rights that belong to animals is that they are entitled to our good treatment. Allah rewards our acts of charity that we do for any living creature, all human and animals included. In fact, Allah appreciates mercy, kindness, and empathy for the animals so much that it can result in the forgiveness of our sins.

بَيْنَمَا رَجُلٌ يَمْشِي بِطَرِيقٍ اشْتَدَّ عَلَيْهِ الْعَطَشُ فَوَجَدَ بِئْرًا فَنَزَلَ فِيهَا فَشَرِبَ ثُمَّ خَرَجَ فَإِذَا كَلْبٌ يَلْهَثُ يَأْكُلُ الثَّرَى مِنْ الْعَطَشِ فَقَالَ الرَّجُلُ لَقَدْ بَلَغَ هَذَا الْكَلْبَ مِنْ الْعَطَشِ مِثْلُ الَّذِي كَانَ بَلَغَ مِنِّي فَنَزَلَ الْبِئْرَ فَمَلَأَ خُفَّهُ مَاءً ثُمَّ أَمْسَكَهُ بِفِيهِ حَتَّى رَقِيَ فَسَقَى الْكَلْبَ فَشَكَرَ اللَّهُ لَهُ فَغَفَرَ لَهُ

Once a man suffered from thirst while he was walking on a journey. When he found a well, he climbed down into it and drank from it. Then he came out and saw a dog lolling its tongue from thirst and licking the ground. The man said: This dog has suffered thirst just as I have suffered from it. He climbed down into the well, filled his shoe with water, and caught it in his mouth as he climbed up. Then he gave the dog a drink. Allah appreciated this deed, so he forgave him.

It was said, “O Messenger of Allah, is there a reward for charity even for the animals?”

The Prophet(saw) said: فِي كُلِّ كَبِدٍ رَطْبَةٍ أَجْرٌ

In every living being there is a reward for charity.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 5663, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi

This great reward for charity to animals will apply to any animal regardless of whether they are officially under our care or not.

Suraqa ibn Ju’shum reported: I asked the Prophet about a lost camel that comes to drink from my cisterns I have prepared for my own camels, “Will I be rewarded if I give it some water to drink?” The Prophet(saw) said:

نَعَمْ فِي كُلِّ ذَاتِ كَبِدٍ حَرَّى أَجْرٌ

Yes, in every living being there is a reward for charity.

Source: Sunan Ibn Mājah 3686, Grade: Sahih

We have to be gentle with the animals even when we have to discipline them. Sometimes it is necessary to strike the animal lightly in order to train it in some task, but we should only do so to the minimum extent needed and never harm the animal in the process.

Aisha reported: I was upon a camel that was misbehaving, so I started to beat it. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said to me:

عَلَيْكِ بِالرِّفْقِ فَإِنَّ الرِّفْقَ لَا يَكُونُ فِي شَيْءٍ إِلَّا زَانَهُ وَلَا يُنْزَعُ مِنْ شَيْءٍ إِلَّا شَانَهُ

You must be gentle. Verily, gentleness is not in anything except that it beautifies it, and it is not removed from anything except that it disgraces it.

Source: Musnad Aḥmad 24417, Grade: Sahih

Killing an animal for no beneficial reason or behaving in a cruel manner is a major sin and a violation of the rights conferred upon them by Allah. Even the small birds that are killed unjustly will come pleading for justice on the Day of Judgement.

Abdullah ibn Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَنْ قَتَلَ عُصْفُورًا فَمَا فَوْقَهَا بِغَيْرِ حَقِّهَا سَأَلَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ عَنْهَا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ

If someone kills so much as a sparrow or anything larger without a just cause, then Allah the Exalted will ask him about it on the Day of Resurrection.

Source: Sunan al-Nasā’ī 4445, Grade: Sahih

Source: http://abuaminaelias.com/the-rights-on-animals-in-islam/

Assignment 17- Virtues of Surah Ikhlas

  1. Ahmad reported from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri that a man said, “O Messenger of Allaah, I have a neighbour who prays at night and he only ever recites ‘Qul huwa Allaahu ahad’” – as if he did not think much of this. The Prophet (saw) said: “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, it is equivalent to one-third of the Qur’aan.” (al-Musnad, 10965)

  2. ‘Aa’ishah reported that when the Prophet (saw) went to bed, he would cup his hands together, blow into them and recite into them Soorat al-Ikhlaas, Soorat al-Falaq and Soorat al-Naas (these are the last 3 soorahs of the Qur’aan – Translator). Then he would wipe as much of his body as he could with his hands, starting with his head and face, and the front of his body. He would do this three times. (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 4630)

  3. ‘Aa’ishah also reported that the Prophet (saw) sent a man in charge of a small military campaign, and when he recited Qur’aan whilst leading his companions in prayer, he would always end with Qul huwa Allaahu ahad. When they came back, (his companions) mentioned that to the Prophet (saw), who told them to ask him why he did that. So they asked him, and he said, “Because it is a description of the Most Merciful, and I love to recite it.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Tell him that Allaah loves him.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 6827)

  4. ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Abzaa reported that the Messenger of Allaah (saw) used to recite Soorat al-A’laa, #87, Soorat al-Kaafiroon, #109 and Soorat al-Ikhlaas, #112 in his witr prayer, and when he had finished, he would repeat Subhaan al-Malik al-Quddoos (Glory be to the King, the Holy) three times, making the last vowel long on the third recitation. (Reported by al-Nisaa’i, 1721)

  5. ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir said: “I met the Messenger of Allaah (saw)… and he said to me, ‘O ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir, shall I not teach you some Soorahs the like of which have not been revealed in the Tawraat (Torah) or the Zaaboor (Psalms) or the Injeel (Gospel) or in the Qur’aan? There is no night comes but you should not recite (i.e., every night you should recite) Soorat al-Ikhlaas, Soorat al-Falaq and Soorat al-Naas” ‘Uqbah said: “So every night I would recite them. It became my duty to recite them, because the Messenger of Allaah (saw) had commanded me to do so…” (Musnad Ahmad, 16810)

  6. Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet (saw) heard a man reciting Qul huwa Allaahu ahad, and said, “It is his right.’ They asked, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, what is his right?’ He said, ‘Paradise is his right.’ (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 7669)

  7. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever recites Qul huwa Allaahu ahad ten times, Allaah will build for him a house in Paradise.” (Saheeh al-Jaami’ al-Sagheer, 6472).

    So recite it as many times as you wish, without sticking to a certain number or time or way that is not prescribed by sharee’ah.

Assignment 16-Angels

Al-Qawiyy gave one angel the strength to overturn a whole city or uproot a mountain, & this angel & all others, despite their enormous strength, tremble out of awe & fear of His greatness.

Belief in angels is one of the six pillars of belief or faith without which there is no faith. Whoever does not believe in any of these pillars is not a believer (mumin). These pillars are belief in: Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day, and that predestination, both good and bad, comes from Allah.

Increase your knowledge of the angels, which hopefully will make you realize the greatness of the Creator and the greatness of this religion which has told us so much about them.

Of what are they created?

They are created from light, as ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘The angels are created from light, just as the jinn are created from smokeless fire and mankind is created from what you have been told about.’” [Muslim].

Their great size:

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, describing Jibreel: “I saw Jibreel descending from heaven, and his great size filled the space between heaven and earth.” [Muslim].

“From Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), who said: ‘I have been given permission to speak about one of the angels of Allah who carry the Throne. The distance between his ear-lobes and his shoulders is equivalent to a seven-hundred-year journey.’” [Abu Dawood].

They have wings:

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Praise be to Allah, Who created (out of nothing) the heavens and the earth, Who made the angels messengers with wings – two, or three, or four (pairs) adds to Creation as He pleases: for Allah has power over all things.” [35:1]

They do not eat or drink:

“But when he [Ibrahim] saw their hands went not towards the (meal), he felt some mistrust of them, and conceived a fear of them. They said: ‘Fear not: we have been sent against the people of Lut.’” [11:70]

Their number:

The angels are many, and their number is known only to Allah. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, describing the Much-Frequented House (al-Bayt al-M’amoor) in the seventh heaven:
“Then I was taken up to the Much-Frequented House: every day seventy thousand angels visit it and leave, never returning to it again, another [group] coming after them.” [al-Bukhaari].

Their powers:

The angels have great powers given to them by Allah, including the following:

The ability to take on different forms. Allah has given the angels the ability to take on forms other than their own. Allah sent Jibreel to Maryam in the form of a man, as Allah says:
“. . . Then We sent to her Our angel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects.” [19:17]

 

Source: https://islamqa.info/en/843

Assignment 15-SLANDER

The Muslim has to guard his tongue and avoid things that have been forbidden. Among these forbidden things which people often take lightly are gheebah (backbiting), buhtan (slander) and nameemah (malicious gossip).

Buhtan or slander means saying things about a Muslim that are not true, or in other words telling lies about him.

For example: Describing as a kaafir one who has been described as such by Allaah or by His Messenger (saw) is obligatory but it is not permissible to follow one’s own whims and desires & accuse someone without bringing proof.  

The slander for which the hadd punishment must be carried out on the slanderer is accusation of zina (fornication or adultery) or homosexuality. In that case the slanderer must be given eighty lashes, if he does not produce four witnesses to testify to the truth of what he is saying, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

Words which may be used in slanderous ways are of two types: explicit or implicit. 

Explicit words are those which cannot be understood in any other way than as an accusation of zina or homosexuality, and the slanderer’s claims that he meant something other than slander cannot be accepted. Examples include saying “O adulterer”, “You committed zina” or “O homosexual”. 

As for implicit phrases, these are words that may be taken as slander or they may be understood otherwise. In this case the slanderer is to asked what he meant, and he has to tell the truth, because carrying out the hadd punishment on him in this world is easier to bear than punishment in the Hereafter.

Sources:

https://islamqa.info/en/44594

https://islamqa.info/en/121059

https://islamqa.info/en/23328

ASSIGNMENT 14-SHIRK & ITS TYPES

In terms of sharee’ah or Islamic terminology, shirk means ascribing a partner or rival to Allaah in Lordship (ruboobiyyah), worship or in His names and attributes.

The scholars divided shirk into two types:

1 – Major shirk

This means ascribing to someone other than Allaah something that belongs only to Allaah, such as Lordship (ruboobiyyah), divinity (uloohiyyah) and the divine names and attributes (al-asma’ wa’l-sifaat).

This kind of shirk may sometimes be outward, such as the shirk of those who worship idols and graves, or the dead or absent. Or it may sometimes be hidden, such as those who put their trust in other gods besides Allaah, or the shirk and kufr of the hypocrites because they make an outward display of Islam and conceal their kufr and shirk.

Shirk may sometimes take the form of beliefs or words or actions:

The belief that there is someone else who must be obeyed absolutely besides Allaah. Or by loving a created being as they love Allaah.

Shirk may sometimes take the form of words:

The words such as those who make du’aa’ or pray to someone other than Allaah.

Shirk may sometimes take the form of actions:

Such as one who sacrifices, prays or prostrates to something other than Allaah.

2 – Minor shirk

This includes everything that may lead to major shirk, or which is described in the texts as being shirk, but does not reach the extent of being major shirk.

This is usually of two types:

1 – Being emotionally attached to some means which have no basis and  for which Allaah has not given permission, such as believing in some objects that they offer protection or that they ward off the evil eye.

2 – Venerating some people or things in a way that does not go so far as ascribing lordship to them, such as swearing by something other than Allaah, or saying, “Were it not for Allaah and So and so,” etc.

 

What the Muslim must do is to avoid shirk in both its minor and major forms. The greatest sin is shirk and transgression against the unique rights of Allaah, which are to be worshipped and obeyed alone, with no partner or associate. Hence Allaah has decreed that the mushrikeen will abide forever in Hell and has told us that He will not forgive them, and He has forbidden Paradise to them.

 

Source: https://islamqa.info/en/34817

 

ASSIGNMENT 14-AYATS ABOUT SHIRK

“Verily, Allaah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship), but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He wills; and whoever sets up partners with Allaah in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin”. [al-Nisa’ 4:48] 

“Verily, whosoever sets up partners (in worship) with Allaah, then Allaah has forbidden Paradise to him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers) there are no helpers”. [al-Maa’idah 5:72]

Every wise and religiously-committed person should fear shirk for himself and should turn to his Lord, asking Him to help him avoid shirk, as al-Khaleel [Ibraaheem – peace be upon him] said:  “and keep me and my sons away from worshipping idols”. [Ibraaheem 14:35 – interpretation of the meaning]

And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allaah as rivals (to Allaah). They love them as they love Allaah”. [al-Baqarah 2:165]

“Then do not set up rivals unto Allaah (in worship) while you know (that He Alone has the right to be worshipped)”. [al-Baqarah 2:22] 

“And they set up rivals to Allaah, to mislead (men) from His path! Say: ‘Enjoy (your brief life)! But certainly, your destination is the (Hell) Fire!’” . [Ibraaheem 14:30]