Mother – Our Door to Paradise

Vol 3-Issue 1 MotherBy Umm Isam and Muhammad Al Shareef

When my brother learnt about his bosses’ mother’s sad demise, he went to pay his condolences to him. His boss, a director of a multinational corporation established in the UAE, explained helplessly: “I can’t go back to my native country. It’s too dirty. Besides, my brother is arranging the funeral. I am so depressed that I am flying out to Hong Kong for a break.”

My brother just stared at this man in absolute silence and disbelief. This is not fiction. It actually happened.

Another mother that I am reminded of is my grandmother, whom I often caught holding on to my uncle’s crumbled graduation photograph that had seen better days. She held on to it for almost twenty years or so before dying, hoping that one day her son would come to visit her. Her son, who was not able to do so because he had a phobia of flying by planes. Can you believe that? This is not fiction either. It actually happened.

These were the sons, who gave up Paradise for trivial pursuits of the world.

Islam has a special place for parents, especially mothers. The following are some examples of it:

Allah (swt) has commanded us: “And your Lord decreed that you should worship none but Him and that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both attain old age in your life, then do not say to them Uff (a word of disrespect), nor shout at them; rather address them in terms of honour. And lower for them the wing of submission and humility through mercy. And say: ‘My Lord! Grant them Your Mercy, as they brought me up when I was small.'” (Al-Isra 17:23-24)

Ad-Daylami collected from Al-Husayn Ibn Ali (rta) that the Prophet (sa) had said: “If Allah (swt) knew any smaller word than uff (tsk) to be disrespectful to parents, He would have decreed it to be Haram!”

Ibn Hazm has said: “(Obeying ones parents) means placing their pleasure above the pleasure of anyone else, including ourselves, our wife, and kids, etc.; obeying them in everything they command or forbid, whether it agrees with our desires or not. Offering them with everything they desire, whether they ask for it or not that too with kindness and mercy.” But balance is essential. Obedience to parents does not also mean that one should be disobedient to Allah (swt) or denies rights of other relations such as spouse and children. Wisdom and justice should be the guiding factors for every offspring.

Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn Al-Aas (rta) reported that the Prophet (sa) said: “(Of the) major sins are: to ascribe partners to Allah (swt), disobey parents, murder someone, and to take a false oath (intentionally).” (Bukhari)

Abu Hurairah (rta) reported: a person came to Messenger of Allah (sa) and asked: “Who among people is most deserving of my fine treatment?” He said: “Your mother.” He again asked: “Who next?” “Your mother” the Prophet (sa) replied again. He asked “Who next?” The Prophet (sa) said:  “Your mother.” He again asked: “Then who?” Thereupon he said: “Then your father.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

The rights of a mother are three times more important than the father. Mainly because there are three troubles the mother suffers exclusively without the father sharing them.

Firstly she carries a baby in her womb for nine months in a state of weakness. Secondly she suffers labour pains to bring her child into this world. Thirdly for two years she suckles her baby, which disturbs her health, sleep and comfort. An ordinary individual cannot even dream of sacrificing selflessly to such an extent for another person.

Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn Al-Aas (rta) has said: “A man came to the Prophet (sa) to give him his pledge of allegiance. He said: ‘I have come to pledge allegiance to you for Hijrah! And I have left both my parents behind crying.’ The Prophet (sa) commanded him: ‘Go back and the same way that you made them cry, make them laugh.'” (Ahmad)

Narrated Mu’aawiyah Ibn Jaahimah As-Sulamee (rta): “My father Jaahimah (rta) went to the Prophet (sa) and asked: ‘O Messenger of Allah (swt), I would like to go out and fight for the sake of Allah (swt), and I have come to you for advice.’ The Prophet (sa) asked him: ‘Is your mother alive?’ He said: ‘Yes.’ ‘Then stay near her,’ advised the Prophet (sa), ‘for at her feet is Jannah!'” (Ahmad and An-Nisai)

During the funeral of his mother, Al-Haarith Al-Aklee (rta) wept. When asked for the reason of his tears he said: “Why should I not cry, when one of my doors to Paradise has now closed?”

Those, who consider that Islam has given scant rights to women, must know that Allah (swt) has thrown every believer’s Paradise at his or her mother’s feet. This is the value of women in Islam and worth of an able mother. Can anyone match that?

Abul-Aas Ibnur-Rabi (rta)

Vol 3-Issue 1 Abul-Aas Ibnur- RabiHis name was Abul-Aas Ibnur-Rabi (rta) from the clan of Abd Shams, a wealthy family. From his tribe Abul-Aas (rta) acquired the love of trade. People would entrust him with their money for investment. His aunt Khadijah (rta), the wife of the Prophet (sa), treated him as if he were one of her own children. When Zainab (rta), the daughter of the Prophet (sa), matured, she was given in marriage to Abul-Aas (rta).

Allah (swt) sent Muhammad (sa) as His messenger with the religion of Islam. His wife and daughters believed him, however, his son-in-law found it difficult to embrace Islam. The Quraish began plotting against the Prophet (sa) and went to Abul-Aas (rta), asking him to divorce his wife, so that the Prophet (sa) becomes preoccupied with the responsibility, but he refused to do so.

Other daughters of the Prophet (sa) married to the pagans were divorced and returned. The Prophet (sa) was not displeased. After the Prophet (sa) migrated to Madinah, the Quraish set out to confront Muslims at Badr. Abul-Aas (rta) was compelled to join them, although he did not hate Muslims. The battle resulted in terrible defeat for the Quraish, as their leadership was broken. Abul-Aas (rta) was among those, who were captured. The Prophet (sa) required each of the captives to pay a ransom for his release. Zainab (rta) sent a necklace as ransom money to rescue her husband. This necklace was given to her by her late mother Khadijah (rta). When the Prophet (sa) received the necklace of his beloved wife, Khadijah (rta), it greatly saddened him. Consequently, the Prophet (sa) made his son-in-law’s release contingent upon his commitment to send Zainab (rta) to Madinah as soon as possible.

Abul-Aas (rta) prepared to fulfill his promise as soon as he reached Makkah. He remained in Makkah for some time after the departure of his wife. He then went to Syria on business and on his way back to Makkah, a battalion of Muslim army surprised him. Abul-Aas (rta) fled. When night fell, he slipped into Madinah and asked his wife Zainab (rta) for her protection, and she gave it to him.

The next morning, during Fajr prayers, Zainab (rta) called out: “Hear me, everyone! I am Zainab, daughter of Muhammad. I have granted my protection to Abul-Aas, and I ask you to do the same.” The Prophet (sa) left the Masjid, went home, and told his daughter: “Treat him as an honoured guest, but you must know you are not his wife.” This was mainly because Allah (swt) had revealed verses instructing believers that they could not marry or stay married to pagans, unless they convert to Islam.

Abul-Aas’s (rta) captured property was returned to him. When he went to claim it, people asked him to embrace Islam, but he would not agree. Abul-Aas (rta) took the caravan from Madinah with all of its contents back to Makkah. When he arrived, he gave what he could to all those, who had entrusted him with their property for commerce, asking: “Listen all of you. Do I owe any of you any money, which I have not yet repaid?  They replied: “No, may Allah (swt) reward you, for you have always been loyal and generous to us.” He said: “Then I have given everyone his due, and now I wish you to know that I bear witness that there is no God save Allah (swt), and that Muhammad (sa) is the messenger of Allah (swt).” Thus, he declared his conversion to Islam in Makkah.

He left Makkah with a contented heart and headed for Madinah. The Prophet (rta) welcomed him with all due honour and presented Zainab (rta) to him again, saying: “He spoke to me truthfully, and he kept the promise he made to me.”

Interesting Analogies

AnalogiesAnalogies can sometimes make it easier to understand concepts. Once we relate a particular idea to an every day situation, it sinks in better. Here, I have tried to put together analogies I have read and heard from different scholars in English and Urdu. May Allah (swt) reward them all for trying to help us understand His commands better.

Analogy Concept
Club Membership You’re on the waiting list for membership to an exclusive club. Finally, you use connections, pay a hefty sum, and sign the dotted line. To keep your membership privileges, you need to adhere to all the rules, even if some are inconvenient. If swimming is allowed up to 6 pm, you cannot squeeze in an extra hour at night. You can’t pick and choose the rules you wish to follow or your membership could be revoked. Enter into Islam completely In Surah Al-Baqarah 2:208, Allah (swt) commands us to enter into Islam completely. We cannot pick and choose, which commandment we find easy and which we can ignore. If we want to remain members of this exclusive club, we need to remind ourselves that we cannot voluntarily choose prayer times or skip Hajj rituals. We can’t break rules and still flaunt our membership card at the entry check-post to Jannah.
InvestingImagine a stock that gives you a guaranteed ten, seventy or even seven hundred-fold return on your principal. Who wouldn’t want to invest every penny in such a lucrative deal? Imagine an account that keeps on increasing in value even after you’re dead? Who wouldn’t want to set up such an account? Sadqah Jaariyah (continued benefit)Spending in the way of Allah (swt) out of what you love (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:177) – not a bare minimum, where you don’t even feel the pinch – has great returns guaranteed without the fine print.

Building a school, paying for a water fountain or leaving behind righteous children are a few forms of Sadqah Jaariyah.

RentingDo we spend all our time, energy, and money maintaining a rent-a-car? Would we spend thousands re-decorating our hotel room? No. We know it’s a temporary possession that we have to part with soon and, hence, we use it, but don’t form an extreme attachment to it. Material possessionsIf we keep telling ourselves that our jewellery, designer clothes, and cars will not last forever, perhaps we’ll love them less and consider them as a means to an end, not an end in itself. Our life is like a train journey, in which we don’t know the station we would get off at.
ExamsIf you’re appearing for an exam at a reputed institution, the length of an answer is not as important as is how well you understood the question and how clear your concepts are. Nevertheless, you can still have doubts that the examiner might not mark the paper fairly. The Day of ResurrectionIn the most crucial exam of our lives, our deeds will not be counted – rather, they will be weighed. Two people, who have both performed their daily prayers, may be rewarded differently depending on their intention, concentration, new Surahs recited, and the manner of performing each action. Every one of us standing on the Last Day knows that our Examiner is al-Aadil (the Just), and we will not be treated unfairly.

Dear Haadia

Question: What is the place of music in Islam?

Answer: There is considerate confusion concerning music in Islam, which necessitates an explanation. In his Tafseer, Imam Al-Qurtabi mentions that there are three verses, which have been used by the Ullema as proofs of the contempt for and the prohibition of music.

The first of these verses appears in Surah Najam (53:59-62): “Do you then wonder at this recital (the Quran)? And you laugh at it and weep not, wasting your (precious) lifetime in pastime and amusements (singing, etc.). So fall you down in prostration to Allah (swt) and worship Him (Alone).” The important phrase here is “wasting your (precious) lifetime in pastime and amusements” (Wa Antum Saamidoon). ‘Saamid’ means ‘one who plays idly with musical instruments or other objects of play.’

According to Ibn Abbaas, the word ‘Saamidoon’ refers to the Mushrikeen’s habit of singing and playing noisily, whenever they heard the Quran recited, in order to drown out the reciter’s voice, so that others would not hear it.

The second verse is from Surah Bani Israel (17: 64): “And befool them gradually, those whom you can among them with your voice, make assaults on them with your cavalry and infantry, mutually share with them wealth and children and make promises to them. But Satan promises them nothing but deceit.” After refusing to bow before Adam (as), Satan requested Allah (swt) to grant him respite until the Day of Resurrection, so that he may misguide the descendants of Adam (as). Thus, Allah (swt) addressed Satan with the above verses.

Some commentators among the Taabieen, such as Mujaahid and Ad-Dahhaak, interpreted Satan’s exciting mankind with his voice to mean through music, songs, and amusement.

The third verse is from Surah Luqman (31: 6): “And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks to mislead (men) from the Path of Allah (swt) without knowledge, and takes it by way of mockery. For such there will be a humiliating punishment.”

Here Allah (swt) reveals the condition of the miserable ones, who refuse to benefit from hearing the word of Allah (swt) and devote themselves to idle talk and empty amusements. The term ‘Lahwal Hadeeth’ (idle talk) means:

(a) singing and listening to songs;

(b) purchasing of professional singers;

(c) purchasing of idle amusement instruments, in short, music and songs.

This view has been held by a number of companions, such as Ibn Masood, Jaabir, and Ibn Abbas. When questioned regarding the meaning of this verse, Ibn Abbas replied: “I swear by the One, other than Whom there is no God, it refers to singing (Ghinna),” and he repeated this thrice. Music and singing distracts people from Allah’s (swt) remembrance, thereby inviting them to His disobedience.

Prophet Muhammad (sa) stated: “From among my followers, there will be some people, who will consider illegal sexual intercourse, the wearing of silk (for men), the drinking of alcoholic drinks, and the use of musical instruments as lawful…” (Bukhari) Analysis of the Hadeeth’s wording clearly indicates the unlawfulness of music.

The Prophet (sa) said: “Indeed, Allah (swt) prohibited wine, gambling, and Al-Koobah; and every intoxicant is prohibited.” When the narrator Ali Bin Badheemah was asked: “What is Al-Koobah?” he answered: “It is the drum.” (Ahmad)

However, songs minus the music, whose lyrics heighten spiritual consciousness and encourage people to pious works, are praiseworthy, but these too must encompass proper decorum. Upon the Prophet’s (sa) arrival to Madinah and his return from the battle of Tabuk, joy was expressed by the Ansar in praise of the Prophet (sa). They sang: “The full moon has risen on us over the hills of Waada.”

Therefore, it is incumbent of every Muslim to strive his utmost to find lawful alternatives to the prohibited forms of music. He may recite and listen to the Quran as the Prophet (sa) said: “Adorn the Quran with your voices.” (Abu Dawood) Remembrance of Allah (swt), brings tranquility to the human soul, as opposed to music, which is fleeting and superficial.