The Day of Arafah


Every day in Islam is important. But Allah (swt) has favoured some years, days and months over others. One such day is the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah, the Day of Arafah, on which the central rite of Hajj is carried out. On this day, all the pilgrims gather in one place, regardless of their colour, status and nationality, submitting to the commandment of Allah (swt). The blessings of this day are not limited to those who go for Hajj – everyone can benefit from them.

Two major historical events took place on the Day of Arafah.

In 9 AH, the Prophet (sa) performed his first and only Hajj. When he reached the valley of Arafah, Allah (swt) revealed to him that He has completed his religion. It is reported from Umar (rtam) that a Jewish man said to him: “O Ameer al-Mumineen, there is a verse in your Book, which you recite; if it had come to us, the Jews, we would have taken that day as an Eid (festival).” Umar (rtam) asked: “Which verse?” He replied: “This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (Al-Maidah 5:3) Umar (rtam) said: “We know on which day and in which place that was revealed to the Prophet (sa). It was when he was standing in Arafah on a Friday.” (Bukhari and Muslim) All praise is for our Lord, Who has chosen for us a religion, which is perfect.

The second glorious event took place on the Day of Arafah way before we were even born. Allah (swt) with His immense capability brought the entire humanity to life and spoke to us. It is reported that Ibn Abbas (rtam) said: The Prophet (sa) said: “Allah (swt) took the covenant from the loins of Adam in Na’man, i.e., Arafah. He brought forth from his loins all his offspring and spread them before Him, and then He addressed them: ‘Am I not your Lord?’ They said: ‘Yes! We testify,’ lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection: ‘Verily, we have been unaware of this.’ Or lest you should say: ‘It was only our fathers afortime who took others as partners in worship along with Allah, and we were (merely their) descendants after them; will You then destroy us because of the deeds of men who practised Al-Batil (i.e. polytheism and committing crimes and sins, invoking and worshipping others besides Allah)?’ (Al-Araf 7:172-173).” (Ahmad)

We testified that Allah (swt) is our true Lord, before we came into this world. We have already been programmed to believe in Allah (swt). This is why in times of hardship we call on only one God. We call it Fitrah – pure nature. Everyone is born upon Fitrah, and it reminds us of the oath we took in front of Allah (swt). Allah (swt) has given us Fitrah, in order for us to distinguish truth from falsehood, so that we may be guided. Since our Fitrah can change according to our social environment, Allah (swt) has given us other tools, which can help us adhere to the Straight Path.

These tools given to us by Allah include the Shariah – the Quran and the Sunnah – for enlightening our life and guiding us to Paradise. Thus, the people on the Straight Path get the best of this world and the Hereafter  – they are Arafallah, i.e., they recognize Allah (swt) and the oath they took.

The Day of Arafah is the day to renew our oath and repent to Allah (swt). According to a Hadeeth, Satan feels more belittled, humiliated and angry on the Day of Arafah than he does on any other day. (Malik) The reason for this is that on this day, Allah (swt) forgives all those who repent and renew their oath. The best Dua to recite on this day is:

لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ، لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ، وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

“None has the right to be worshipped but Allah (swt) alone, He has no partner, His is the dominion and His is the praise and He is able to do all things.”

It is the day of forgiveness of sins and the day of freedom from Hellfire. Aisha (rtaf) has narrated that the Prophet (sa) said: “There is no day, on which Allah (swt) frees more people from the fire, than the Day of Arafah.” (Muslim)

In addition to this, fasting on the Day of Arafah is a Sunnah and expiates sins. When the Messenger of Allah (sa) was asked about fasting on the Day of Arafah, he said: “It expiates the sins of the previous year and that of the following year.” (Muslim) However, fasting on the Day of Arafah is recommended only for non-pilgrims, because it was not the practice of Allah’s Messenger (sa) to fast on the Day of Arafah during Hajj.

On the Day of Arafah, Allah (swt) is close to the believers. According to a Hadeeth, Allah (swt) draws close, and then He happily says to the angels: “What do these people seek?” (Muslim) And Allah (swt) forgives all of them.

It is also the day, which reminds us of the greatest gathering on the Day of Judgement, when the entire humanity shall stand in front of their Creator. In order to succeed on that day, follow your Fitrah and hasten to do good deeds by channelizing your intellect and desires towards the path illuminated by the Shariah.

What’s after Arafah?

On the Day of Arafah, people stand and prostrate before Allah (swt), invoking and supplicating only to Him, as there is no god, who deserves to be worshipped, except Him. They do not want the sun to set, because they want to make the most of these valuable hours. They feel close to Allah (swt), and their hearts fill with peace and contentment.

When the sun sets on this humbling day, the faces of these people glow with happiness and joy, due to the mercy and bounties of Allah (swt). It is stated in the Quran: “Say: In the bounty of Allah and in His mercy – in that let them rejoice; it is better than what they accumulate.” (Yunus 10:58)

They are happy because Allah (swt) responds to their call. They rejoice, because He forgives their sins and takes away sadness from their lives. They feel blessed, because Allah (swt) descends and comes close to the people of Arafah and talks of their magnificence in front of the angels.

After Arafah, the pilgrims head towards Muzdalifah. It is a place between Mina and Arafah.

The word Muzdalifah is derived from Zulfah, which means ‘being near and close’. The people feel very close to Allah (swt), as they are His guests. They are required to stay overnight at Muzdalifah, and even their sleeping is considered to be an act of Ibadah. Such is the reward of total submission to Allah (swt).

Then, the pilgrims pray fajr and set out for Mina before the sun rises.

These are basic rites of Hajj – each one has a meaning for both the pilgrims and the rest of the believers. Whoever magnifies and honours these rites by performing and perfecting them, in turn magnifies Allah (swt).

As mentioned earlier, the Day of Arafah is like the Day of Judgement – a stressful and critical time, when the doer of good will be waiting for the reward, and the doer of evil will be waiting for the punishment. Everyone will want to hear the good news from the angels that they have been purified and will blissfully dwell in Paradise forever, but the ones worthy of receiving this honour will be the Muttaqeen (possessors of Taqwa).

The day after Arafah, which is the day of eid, resembles the happiness and excitement of the people, who will enter paradise. It is the day of eating and drinking, and of joy and happiness. And this very celebration is an act of worship, because it a command from Allah (swt). He will tell the people entering Paradise: “Eat and drink at ease for that, which you have sent on before you in days past.” (Al-Haqqah 69:24)

It is the day, when we offer sacrifice for the sake of Allah (swt), which brings us closer to Him. Allah (swt) does not need our sacrifice, but He accepts it, appreciates it and gives us the best reward.

It is also the day of remembrance of our Lord – we should celebrate it by increasing the Dhikr of Allah (swt).

The purpose of Eid is to express our gratitude to Allah (swt), and to glorify and thank Him for all His blessings. It is a celebration for those, who strove to do the best, because Allah (swt) will reward them with the very best.

Following are some Sunnah practices to be performed on the day of Eid:

  • Say Takbeer whenever possible. The most common form of Takbeer is: “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La Ilaha Illalahu Wallahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar Walil-lahil Hamd.” (“Allah is the Greatest; Allah is the Greatest; there is no one worthy of worship except Allah; Allah is the Greatest and to Allah belongs all Praise.”)
  • Continue to recite the Takbeer three days after eid.
  • Adorn for the occasion (ladies in their homes only).
  • Pray Eid Salah; walk to the Masjid if nearby.
  • Take one route to the Masjid and take a different route back.
  • Offer sacrifice.

Following acts should not be done:

  • Fasting on the day of Eid.
  • Making up the missed prayer of Eid.
  • Offering Eid prayer at home.

All of the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah are very important. Try to engage in acts of worship to the best of your ability and continue to do so even after the ten days are over. This is what Allah (swt) requires from all of us.

Surah Al-Hujurat in our Lives – Part 9

hujurat 9“The Bedouins say: ‘We believe.’ Say: You believe not but you only say: ‘We have surrendered (in Islam)’, for faith has not yet entered Your hearts. But if you obey Allah and his Messenger (sa), He will not decrease anything in reward for your deeds. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

This Surah is a piece of legislation for a comprehensive system that will result in an ideal society. Verse 14 deals with the tribes that converted to Islam – those that had an arrogant attitude. They felt entitled to receive favours from the Prophet (sa) because they had not fought the Muslims but accepted Islam peacefully. They thought the Prophet (sa) ‘owed them’.

Scholars point to tribal groups, like Muzainah, Juhainah, Aslam, Ashja, Ghifar, and Bani Asad bin Khuzaimah in particular. We find in Sayyid Qutb’s “In the Shade of the Quran”: “The first of these verses is said to have been revealed in relation to the Bedouins of the Asad tribe who, as soon as they accepted Islam, boasted by saying: ‘We have attained faith.’ Allah (swt) wanted to show them the truth of what was in their hearts when they said this, stating that they only embraced Islam in submission, while true faith had not touched their hearts or souls.”

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People Most Beloved to Allah – the Muqsiteen (المقسطين)


Adapted for Hiba Magazine by Tasneem Vali

“Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.” (Al-Mumtahna 60:8)

Al-Muqsiteen are those who deal justly and equitably:

  • With themselves
  • With Allah (swt)
  • With others

Allah informs us:

“(They like to) listen to falsehood, to devour anything forbidden. So if they come to You (O Muhammad), either judge between them, or turn away from them. If you turn away from them, they cannot hurt You In the least. And if You judge, judge with justice between them. Verily, Allah loves those who act justly.” (Al-Maidah 5:42)

In the Ayah above, Allah (swt) describes what the disbelievers were doing when the Prophet (sa) was in the process of delivering Allah’s message. They listened (excessively) to falsehood even though the Quran was there; they did not listen to the Quran.

Allah (swt) loves those who deal justly and those who remove injustice (whether with enemies or between believers).

The Prophet (sa) is then informed: “If they come to you (Prophet Muhammad): Judge between them or turn away from them.” (Al-Maidah 5:42) The Prophet (sa) could exercise these two options when the disbelievers came to him in order to solve their problems.

If he turned away from them, they did not have the means or power to harm him. If he decided to judge between them, then he was obliged to judge between them with justice, even though they were liars. In short, Allah (swt) loves those who are just and He is praising those who deal with their enemies truthfully.

Another situation where Allah (swt) encourages believers toward justice is in the following verse: “And if two parties or groups among the believers fall to fighting, then make peace between them both, but if one of them rebels against the other, then fight you (all) against the one that which rebels till it complies with the command of Allah. Then if it complies, then make reconciliation between them justly, and be equitable. Verily! Allah loves those who are equitable.” (Al-Hujurat 49:9)

Even though your relatives or friends might be disbelievers, you need to be good to them and deal with them equitably. With those who are not fighting you or opposing Islam, you should maintain a cordial relationship and above all, be just with them. 

In a situation where both parties are believers, you need to be neutral to solve their problems. However, if one of the parties is clearly wrong, you must fight them until they return to the commands of Allah (swt). Just dispensing justice is not enough; you must remove the wrong and return the rights of the party harmed, if possible. Allah (swt) loves those who deal justly and those who remove injustice (whether with enemies or between believers).

There are three types of situations a believer might confront when dealing justly.

  1. With disbelievers
  2. With relatives or friends who are disbelievers
  3. With believers

Even though your relatives or friends might be disbelievers, you need to be good to them and deal with them equitably. With those who are not fighting you or opposing Islam, you should maintain a cordial relationship and above all, be just with them. Allah (swt) loves those who deal with the disbelievers (who are not your enemies) honorably and justly.

How do we recognize Al-Muqsiteen?

  • They work to establish the truth, and direct others to do the same.
  • They forbid evil and enjoin good, wherever they go.
  • They fear Allah (swt)! Even in times of distress, they guard themselves from evil and gravitate toward good.
  • They stay connected to their families, whether or not their families are Muslim.
  • If people come to them, they judge between them with justice. (They don’t take sides when friends or family members are involved).
  • They control their desires and judge using the Quran and the Sunnah as their guides.
  • When they are among people, they do not utter words that are hurtful; they do not harm or oppress others in any way.
  • They are generally nice to others. If someone is good to them, they are just. If someone talks to them amiably, they reply in the same manner; this is also justice. For example, if someone helps, they make Dua for him or her in return.

Is there a reward for being just?

Definitely! We know from the verses mentioned above that Allah loves those who are just.

It was narrated from Abdullah bin Amr bin Al-As (rta) that the Prophet (sa) said: “Those who are just and fair will be with Allah, Most High, on thrones of light, at the right hand of the Most Merciful, those who are just in their rulings and in their dealings with their families and those of whom they are in charge.” Muhammad (one of the narrators) said in his Hadeeth: “And both of His hands are right hands.” (an-Nasai)

Most Beloved People to Allah – Al-Mutabaeun


Adapted for Hiba Magazine by Tasneem Vali

“Say (O Muhammad to mankind): “If you (really) love Allâh Then follow me (i.e. Accept Islâmic Monotheism, follow the Qur’ân and the Sunnah), Allâh will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Al-Imran 31)

 Ibn Kathīr explains this verse: “This verse gives a verdict in the case of anyone who claims to love God but does not follow the way of life laid down by Prophet Muhammad (sa). His very claim is an absolute lie unless he follows the Sunnah in all his actions and statements. This is endorsed by the authentic tradition of the Prophet (sa) which states: ‘Anyone who does something which is not in conformity with this matter of ours will have it rejected.’ ”

The dilemma here is that no one has an issue with loving Allah; the real test is to follow the Prophet (sa). The ayah makes a clear statement; Allah has connected following the Prophet (sa) as a condition to gain His love– so it is essential (in a way obligatory) to follow Prophet Muhammad (sa). The point is not to let your ego prevent you from gaining Allah’s love.

أَشْهَدُ أن لا إلٰهَ إلَّا الله وَأشْهَدُ أنَّ مُحَمَّدً أعَبْدُه وَرَسُوْلُه

I testify that there is no god but Allah and I testify that Prophet Muhammad is His messenger

 The testimony of a Muslim’s faith has two aspects, one is that we bear witness to the Unity of Allah; the other part is that we also acknowledge that Muhammad (sa) is His messenger. Thus, following the Prophet (sa) is a very important matter because Allah has connected His love to it; it is a matter of completing one’s faith.

How do we follow Prophet (sa)?

  • Following the Sunnah of the Prophet (sa)
  • Following the Prophet’s (sa) commands without any questions, any debate, any excuse– but do not follow anyone else blindly
  • React/behave the way he used to behave in certain situations; in all matters of worship and life

The Prophet (sa) was only a man, so why can we not question his authority/way? Very simple, because he never did anything in his life unless it was revelation from Allah, our goal is to worship Allah. This is achieved by following the Sunnah of the Prophet (sa).

What are some situations we follow the Prophet (sa) in?

Worship is divided into two categories: obligatory and recommended.

Allah mentions obligatory forms of worship in the Quran – Salah, Hajj, Zakat etc. but the correct way to perform them is shown by the Prophet’s (sa) Sunnah. Regarding these acts we must follow his way.

For the recommended acts, for e.g., the fast on 9 Dhul Hijjah, how Prophet (sa) slept, how he prayed Tahajjud prayer, how he ate, what dua he recited when he left his house, etc. It is suggested that we follow what Prophet (sa) did. The more you try to follow the Prophet (sa) – the more your rank with Allah is raised, and Allah’s love for you increases.

Allah mentions in the Quran: “There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often.” (Al-Ahzab 21).

Following the Prophet’s (sa) Sunnah is the fail-safe. Since we are just a follower, we will not invent something new, alien to the deen of Islam. If there is something Prophet Muhammad (sa) did not do – we should not do it. Allah has reminded us that in following the Prophet’s (sa) example we are safe and no one can possibly do more for Islam than what he has done, so don’t do anything unless you are sure he did it or endorsed it. Small deeds that follow the Prophet‘s (sa) Sunnah are more beloved to Allah than doing multiple acts of worship that are recommended by some scholar (away from the Sunnah).

When you follow the Sunnah, Allah will make your life easy for you, love you and forgive your sins. However, when you follow Bidat (innovations in deen) your life will become complicated and you will not be among those who Allah loves. All your hours of devotion and acts of worship will be wasted as they will not be acceptable to Allah.

“Every innovation is a misguidance and every misguidance goes to hellfire.” (Muslim)

“Say (O Muhammad ): “Obey Allah and the Messenger (Muhammad).” but if they turn away, Then Allah does not like the disbelievers.” (Al Imran 3:32)

Allah says in this verse; those who don’t obey both [Allah and the Prophet (sa)] they are like the disbelievers and Allah does not love the disbelievers. Satan encourages people to innovate in religion and because it’s a matter of religion – extra prayer, extra dhikr –people are caught off guard that how can extra prayer be unacceptable to Allah?

Rewards for being among Al-Mutabaeun

  • Allah’s love
  • Guidance in this world and the Hereafter- to have a knowledge and act upon it (Hidayah)
  • Special mercy from Allah – makes your life smooth and easy; no difficulties
  • You will be among the successful (Al-Muflihoon): people who struggle in life and get the success in the Hereafter
  • You will accompany those people on whom Allah has bestowed His blessings, the Prophets, Messengers, the Martyrs, the Truthful ones, the righteous people etc.
  • Entry into Paradise

Sins cause us to feel guilty but Bidat  (innovations) do not leave a guilty feeling, so they are difficult to give up or recognize. May Allah protect us from all Bidat. Ameen.

Surah Hujurat in our Lives (Part 2)


Verse 2

“O you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet (sa), nor speak aloud to him in talk, as you speak aloud to one another, lest your deeds should be rendered fruitless, while you perceive not.

This verse specifies the special manners to be practiced with Prophet Muhammad (sa) and includes the following instruction: Don’t raise your voice above the Prophet’s (sa) voice.

This addresses two categories of people: those living during his lifetime and those who came after them (including us). To the Sahabah, the instruction is: don’t talk louder than the Prophet (sa) or don’t talk over him. For us today, the command is to refrain from making our speech more valuable than or over-riding the words of the Prophet (sa) (his Sunnah).

There are two reasons for the revelation of this verse, as recorded in Bukhari. One is the story of Thabit ibn Qais (rtam), and another is the story of Abu Bakr (rtam) and Umar (rtam).

Bukhari recorded that Ibn Abi Mulaykah said: “The two righteous ones, Abu Bakr (rtam) and Umar (rtam), almost earned destruction when they raised their voices before the Prophet (sa), who was receiving the delegation of Bani Tamim. One of them recommended Al-Aqra ibn Habis, the member of the Banu Mujashi, while the other recommended another man. Nafi (a sub-narrator) said: ‘I don’t remember his name.’ Abu Bakr (rtam) said to Umar (rtam): ‘You only wanted to contradict me,’ while Umar (rtam) said: ‘I did not intend to contradict you.’ Their voices then became loud; thereupon Allah, the Exalted, sent down this Ayah. Abdullah ibn Az-Zubayr (rtam) said: ‘After that, Umar’s (rtam) voice became so low that the Messenger of Allah (sa) had to ask him to repeat what he had said, so that he could understand what he was saying to him.’”

Bukhari also recorded that Anas ibn Malik (rtam) said: “The Prophet (sa) missed Thabit bin Qays and a man said: ‘O Allah’s Messenger! I will find out about his news.’ That man went to Thabit and found him sitting at home with his head lowered and asked him: ‘What is the matter?’ Thabit said: ‘An evil matter!’ And he said that he used to raise his voice above the voice of the Prophet (sa). He feared that his good deeds would be rendered useless, and he would be among the people of the fire. The man went back to the Prophet (sa), conveyed Thabit’s statement and returned to Thabit with wonderful news. The Prophet (sa) had said: ‘Go back to him and tell him this news: you are not among the people of the fire; rather, you are among the dwellers of paradise.’”

Note: the instruction to not speak loudly is different from raising one’s voice. It means: when you want to call him, don’t do so in a loud voice. Don’t talk to him directly in an outspoken manner. Don’t converse with the Prophet (sa) like you converse with each other. If he calls you, you need to respond. You can’t expect him to respond to you whenever you want. He is the Prophet (sa) and you have to show him respect. Remember, these instructions were directed at the Sahabah, the most pious individuals!

With instructions come the warnings. What if one does not obey these instructions? The answer: their deeds will be nullified and rendered void. Like a tornado, this action will blow away all prayers, Sadaqah and Jihad.

What was the reaction of the Sahabah? After this verse was revealed, they started whispering in front of the Prophet (sa), to the extent that sometimes he could not even hear them!

Now, let’s come to us! What is the impact of this verse for us? What is it instructing us to do today? There are four aspects of obeying this verse:

1) We should not talk loudly in Masjid An-Nabawi, where the Prophet (sa) is buried. Recall the story that once after the death of the Prophet (sa), Umar ibn Al-Khattab (rtam) heard two men chattering in raised voices in the Masjid and he admonished them: “Do you know where you are standing?

From where do you come from?” It turned out these two men were from Taif. Since they were unaware of the etiquette, Umar (rtam) commanded them to talk softly in the Masjid.

2) We have to respect the Ahadeeth and the Sunnah of the Prophet (sa) by obeying them.

3) Appreciating the Prophet (sa) is a way of showing gratitude to Allah (swt) that He sent a Messenger (sa) to us to guide us and lead us towards the straight path.

4) Our good manners should extend towards the scholars who are teaching us. After the Prophet (sa), they are our teachers who are delivering the message of Allah (swt) to us. This respect should be in moderation – one should be careful to not elevate the status of scholars or go to extremes in following them.

After the Prophet (sa), the Sahabah assumed the role of teachers. The Tabieen used to learn from them, and they in turn, became the educators of the generation after them. In this manner, future generations graduated from the university of the Prophet (sa).

Today, we see individuals backbiting scholars. One must remember that scholars are human. They can make mistakes. However, scholars follow the same Aqeedah and Sunnah, and have knowledge from which one can benefit! The minute differences are in terms of Fiqh. Sometimes, people get enraged over a Fatwa that is not in accordance with their convenience. They use this as an excuse to spread negativity about that particular scholar. This is a very serious matter and a cause of deviation! People who spread malice in the society about scholars are usually over-ridden with jealousy, envy, following of Nafs and a desire to imitate others.

Remember: scholars are teachers and they need to be shown respect. The same warning as given above applies to all of us. If we don’t show this respect to the Prophet (sa), the pious predecessors and the sincere scholars among us today, our deeds will not be accepted. Note also that this respect needs to come from the heart. It should not be mere lip service.

To be continued in the upcoming issue of “Hiba”. Adapted by Umme Ibrahim from a workshop conducted by sister Eman of “Al-Huda Sisters”, Dubai.

Most Beloved People to Allah – The Muhsinoon

Beloved People

“…indeed, Allah loves the doers of good (the Muhsinoon).” (Al-Baqarah 2:195)

Who are the Muhsinoon?

  1. They spend in the cause of Allah (swt).
  2. They refrain from harming themselves on purpose.
  3. They engage in Ihsan (excellence) at all levels.

The third point is the key here – they engage in Ihsan. Now what is Ihsan exactly?

  1. It is the purest of faith.
  2. It is the soul of the faith
  3. It indicates completion of faith.

Why is Ihsan so important that it actually indicates completion of faith?

The reason is when you inculcate Ihsan, you achieve excellence in all your good deeds. This is because you perform every action as though you are seeing Allah (swt) Himself. You end up doing your best ALL the time because you are Allah-conscious. At the same time, you are also aware that Allah (swt) is watching you. Once this feeling is firm in your heart, you will be able to conquer such negative habits as anger.

Such a person has the following characteristics:

  1. S/he is very cautious about oneself.
  2. S/he is never heedless.
  3. S/he analyzes one’s actions very closely – there is a commendable level of accountability.
  4. S/he engages in every good deed with excellence.

Characteristics of Muhsineen mentioned in the Quran:

The characteristics of the Muhsineen, as defined in the Quran, are as follows:

  1. They are Muslims.
  2. They believe in the five pillars of Islam and the articles of faith.
  3. They submit to Allah’s (swt) commands without questioning them. They only seek His love and His pleasure.
  4. They abstain from whatever Allah (swt) has forbidden. If they unintentionally do anything prohibited, they discard it as soon as they find out it is not allowed, Islamically.
  5. They perform acts of worship with excellence. Their hearts are free of riya (hidden shirk) or any intention of showing off.
  6. They are just. Whether in relationships, or when judging between people, they strive to be just.
  7. They measure their words carefully and speak only what is best. They don’t even come near to any of the tongue terrors.
  8. They give their wealth in charity for the sake of Allah (swt), regardless of their own circumstances (healthy, wealthy, poor, in distress or in good times). Money is not very important to them.
  9. They never complain to Allah (swt) and implore to Him: Why me? In all circumstances, they accept the Divine will and predestination. They think good of Allah (swt) at all times.
  10. They perform good deeds for Allah’s sake, not so people would call them perfectionists.
  11. They do get angry if someone or something irks them. However, they try to suppress it and do not react. Their anger is never apparent on the outside.
  12. They pardon and forgive people for their shortcomings.

Are you wondering if ANYONE can ever fit the above-mentioned qualities? Remember Prophet Yusuf (as). He forgave his brothers and did not punish them in kind for what they had done to him. Similarly, remember Prophet Muhammad (sa), the best of the Muhsineen.

Allah’s reward for the Muhsineen

Allah’s (swt) greatest reward for them is His Love for them. Imagine how the person will be if Allah (swt) loves him/her! S/he has obtained the Love of Allah (swt), who is the Master, the Owner, the King of all kings, the Bestower, the Most Merciful, the Forgiver, the Most Rich, the Forbearer, the Nurturer, and the Disposer of affairs!

“Indeed, Allah does not allow to be lost the reward of the doers of good.” (At-Taubah 9:120)

Surah Hujurat in Our Lives (Part 1)

Overview, Verses 1-8:

This Surah was revealed to the best generation of Muslims. Imagine the Sahabah – they were the best of the people with a high level of faith. Yet this Surah was revealed obligating a change in their behaviour. Their hearts were inclined towards Allah (swt) with a high level of faith and certainty. However, they still harboured negative feelings towards each other. Jealousy, malice, hatred, and backbiting were still present. These issues in the society needed to be reformed. A way of living was needed now – which was sent by Allah (swt).


The teachings of Prophet Muhammad (sa) were focused to reform the Sahabah’s hearts. But now Allah was reforming their جهنم = ways. You can figure out the جهنم of an organization, school, university or organization from their students/employees – The way they interact with each other, The way they behave, their discipline, interaction, empathy towards others.

Surah Hujurat talks more about Taqwa (guarding oneself from Allah’s (swt) anger) and building faith. It also offers lessons of leadership in this Surah. Each person is a leader (at home also). The Sahabah did not lead the world/people by their sword or money – they led by their manners. Islam spread to Indonesia, Malaysia and other Asian countries through Muslim traders. Amazingly, they did not know the local languages but were still able to spread Islam through their manners and behaviours.

Verse 1

“O you who believe! Do not put (yourselves) forward before Allah and His Messenger, and fear Allah. Verily! Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.” (Al-Hujurat 49:1)

This is a gentle address from Allah (swt) to the believers. If a person is a believer – انعطا و انعمس .Whatever Allah says (commands) and the person submits and obeys then he is a Muslim. Someone doing contrary (not submitting and obeying) indicates a low faith. Don’t – ةيهانلا لا forward or precede “Between the hand” = a phrase that means don’t put before or put forward – it doesn’t literally mean between two hands.

What did Allah (swt) forbid the believers? Don’t put anyone or anything before Allah (swt) and His Messenger (sa). Before Allah (swt) mentions how to reform our manners with the people, He mentions how our manners with Allah (swt) and His Messenger (sa) should be like. That’s the most important manner we need to have. The other conditions follow in a proper sequence.

We the verses of the Quran personally – each verse is for each person. Don’t follow the saying, “Please don’t take it personally.” Sometimes, we say this to people when stating something general. However, our behavior with the Quran has to be the opposite! We have to take each verse personally as if Allah is directly addressing each one of us, in order to reform us and to make us better in life and worthy of Paradise.


Nothing, nothing, nothing comes before Allah (swt) and his Messenger (saw)!

Sometimes people ask for opinions in Islam. That’s not acceptable. We cannot question or ask for opinions or comments on the rules and commands of Allah (swt) and His Messenger (sa).We cannot have conferences or discussions regarding doctrines of Islam. Some people debate on topics of Islam, like mix gathering, and then say: Ok, Allah (swt) said this and the Messenger (sa) said this: What’s your opinion? That is not acceptable! This means we need to go behind and follow Prophet Muhammad (sa) very closely. A believer’s sole goal is to attain the pleasure of Allah (swt) and tread المستقيم صراط


We need to be conscious of Allah (swt) (ىوقت) in the following circumstances in life: While doing obligations and while abstaining from sins. Worship without love of Allah (swt) is just an exercise or duty; the heart remains detached from it. Worship should be out of love for Allah (swt) hoping for reward from Allah (swt) and fearing Allah’s (swt) punishment.


We must remember that this Surah was revealed to people who had a very high level of faith still the Shaitan could affect them. He could incite them to believe that they had a lot of knowledge, thus making them arrogant and proud like Iblees himself. Firmness or staying steadfast upon guidance is more difficult than the guidance itself! After having guidance, if you elevate yourself, and make yourself high and proud – that’s a disaster! When you know Allah (swt) is the All-Hearer, you will not put anyone before Allah. You know Allah hears everything. All-Knower: Allah (swt) also knows everything in your heart, even when you are saying something and meaning something different. This means your inside and your outside both have to be the same!

We cannot pinpoint anyone. “I know she is saying something but in her heart is something else.” This is only for Allah (swt). Only He is the All-Knower – not any human! No one can deceive Allah (swt). Consider the impact of both these names together

“I will focus on what I say and what is in my heart at the same time.”

“And there is no sin on you if you make a hint of betrothal or conceal it in yourself, Allah knows that you will remember them…” (Al-Baqarah, 2:35)

“O you who believe! Answer Allah (by obeying Him) and (His) Messenger when he () calls you to that which will give you life, and know that Allah comes in between a person and his heart (i.e. He prevents an evil person to decide anything). And verily to Him you shall (all) be gathered.” (Al-Anfal, 8:24)

You need to respond to Allah (swt) and His Messenger (sa) whatever they invite you/command you to do. It will make you alive! If you put anyone else’s words in front of you – they will not give you life! Opposite of life is death or destruction. You need to know that Allah (swt) will stand between you and your heart. You need to be careful. Allah (swt) standing between you and your heart means that you don’t/won’t even have control over your heart!

This Surah, will help us do the makeover that comes from the inside, and also shows on the outside, through our actions

Adapted from a workshop conducted by sister Eman of Al-Huda Sisters, Dubai.