Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Taqlid and Mazhab for Simple Folks

Simple Man’s Guide - Why Take Lessons from Shaykhs

I found this on, funny and simple yet goes deep. I liberally translate and summarize it from a Malay transcript. Original is here.

This is part of lesson on Munyatul Musolli (by a reliable shaykh inshaAllah).

The prophet (saw) once said:

Sollu kama ro aitumuni usolli

Perform solah just like how you see me performing it.

Can we actually see the Prophet perform solah these days? No! So we take instructions as relayed to us by the contemporary ulama. We go to lessons.

Simply copying, reading does not count as “going to lessons”. The ulama themselves went to lessons instructed by their shaykhs, who in turn had taken lessons from their shaykhs, who took from the earlier generation up to the tabi’in, the sahabah, then the Prophet (saw), who himself took from Jibril, who took from Allah The Most High. Allah could have revealed directly to Prophet Muhammad (saw), yet He sent Jibril to teach solah to Rasulullah (saw) eye-to-eye during the night of Isra’ and Mi’raj.

Once somebody phoned me and asked: “Ustaz, I found this wirid in a book. I recited it a few times, and I felt heated”.
So I asked if he took it from a shaykh, he said “no, just from a book”.
This is a regular wirid, thousands other people practice this same wirid hundreds thousands times a day without feeling any heat. This person who had stumbled into it and practice without instructions for sure would get some negative effect.

It is not right to copy or practice something without getting proper instructions. If you want to study religion, go to a reliable ‘alim. Make sure he has proper authority and proper chain. We preserve the chain so we get the correct knowledge.

Deriving Rules from al-Quran and Ahadith

Why bother with the fiqh kitabs? Why follow mazhabs? Is not Islamic jurisprudence based on al-Quran and ahadith?
The answer is “Yes”, but those are Allah’s and Rasulullah (saw) words. Sometimes only if we posses the right tools can we derive rulings from them. Things we do not understand we should take from the fiqh kitabs instead. Imams Shafi’i, Malik, Ibn Hanbal, Abu Hanifah had already digested Quran and hadith, and they came out with conclusions and suggestions that they recorded in the fiqh books. I afraid if we read and translate Quran and hadith ourselves, we make grave mistakes due to lack of knowledge.

It is like durian fruit, you want to eat the inside, but you’re not equipped to break the thorny shell. What do you do? Let somebody else break it for you!

In any case, if you have the tools and skills, go ahead, break the durian yourself.

Allah has said:

Fas aluu ahlaz zikr in kuntum la ta’lamuun.
Ask people of knowledge if you do not know.

If you do not know, then who else to ask if not the imams of mazhabs (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, Hanbali). Go learn from the ulama of respective mazhabs, inshaAllah you will be safe. You should follow (taqlid) a mazhab, and when you do, follow only a single mazhab from beginning to end. Take wudhu’ according to Shafi’i, then perform solah according to Shafi’i. Do not worry, all those rulings came from al-Quran and hadith.

Imam Shafi’i, when he was seven years old, he had all of Quran in his head. Us? We were still running around naked at seven. Imam Malik, he took lessons from 900 shaykhs. Us? We learned from one shaykh in whole of our lives, and already we think our head is big.
Consider a hadith that says Nabi (saw) went to bed after 'Isha, woke up at midnight and performed tahajjud without taking wudhu? How is it that our mazhab Shafi'i says wudhu is broken with sleep? Is not that ruling contradict a hadith? The answer is that there are a few conflicting ahadith on this specific matter. Some mention that Nabi (saw) did take wudhu and some other said he did not. Our ulama have considered all of the ahadith and concluded that wudhu is broken with prolonged sleeping on our back. Some other mazhab concluded otherwise.

Doing Taqlid on Creed

On the other hand, if you want to be a faithful muslims, never do taqlid on matters of creed (tauhid). Example of doing taqlid on tauhid:
Q: Is there God?
A: Yes
Q: How do you know?
A: My father said so!
We probe further:
Q: Allah, is He all-powerful?
A: No question about that.
Q: How do you know?
A: My grandfather said so, my mother, my brother all said so.

This is not acceptable. You have to be totally convinced in matters of Tauhid.

Switching Mazhabs

No doubt we allowed to switch mazhab. The only problem is we still unclear about our own mazhab. How to switch if we still in the dark about our own position, let alone the position of other mazhabs?

On zakah – if you plant rice, then give back rice grain as zakah according to Shafi’i. But we find this troublesome, so without knowing it, we already made the switch to Maliki in giving out equivalent sum of money as zakah.

On asking forgiveness - if we offend others and want to make up, we ask forgiveness by detailing out our offense to the offended party. Tell the other guy you stole his rice harvest, or his shoes. A blanket apology would not do. In Shafi’I you have to admit everything.
In Maliki, suffice to ask forgiveness to the offended party and tell only yourself why you are apologizing. No problem if we Shafi’i, but follow Maliki in this case.

The important issue is that you go to lessons and take instructions from qualified shaykhs. Never imitate other people’s doings. Go to masjids and suraus where the shaykhs teach based on kitabs.
Wallahu a'lam

Islaminus’ p/s: I’d appreciate it if admin let me know in case he doesn’t agree with my translation – thanks.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Leaders’ Burden

Munyatul Musolli ( Tatmimul Faa’idah) 11th January 2009

Some of the past rulers used to write 3 pieces of note, which were to be handed back to him one by one anytime he becomes angry.

The first note said:
"You are no god but mere mortal. When you die the earth will consume you."

The second note:
"Have mercy upon those on earth, those in the heavens will have mercy upon you."

The third:
"Rule the people by laws of Allah, nothing else is more appropriate."

A ruler has no option but to encourage good behavior; else, his kingdom will be punished with crime and wrongdoing.
Once a jew came into audience of Caliph ‘Abdul Malik bin Marwan complaining being wronged by a state official. He demanded apology and that the jews be treated fairly. The caliph turned away with hatred; the jew repeated his plea second time and got the similar response. Finally the jew said:
“O Commander of the Faithful, the Torah as revealed to Moses says that a leader should never collaborate in acts of tyranny. If it has been made known to him, yet he fails to prevent tyranny, then he is a collaborator!”
‘Abdul Malik was so shaken he spared no time to sack the official. He later returned what was rightful to the jew.

Iskandar Zulkarnain once said:
“O servants of Allah, indeed your god is Allah and there is no god besides Him. Know that He is the one who helped Noah, and He showers you with rain when you are in need of drink, and unto Him you return when you die. By Allah, if He is fond of something, then I would be fond of it too and I will keep doing it until I die. If He despise something then I would find it despicable too, and I will stay clear of it until the day I die.
I have been told that Allah loves to do justice to His servants, and detests those who oppress others. Woe upon the oppressors! Beware that those I have appointed into position and rules justly, he can sit at ease in my gathering. He can ask for anything and I shall realize it.”

It is said that when a leader is corrupt, then his people will be corrupt. Likewise when the leader is good, so are the people.

Wahab bin Manbah (ra) said when a leader does something inappropriate, Allah will show disapproval by taking something away from his people or from his harvests. On the other hand if he does something righteous, then Allah will shower his land with bounty and abundance.

Historians said a king once concealed his royalty and made rounds to see well being of his people. He came across a farmer, whose prize cow produced huge quantity of milk – so huge the milk was 3o times as much as a normal cow would produce. In amazement he fancied how nice if the cow had been his own. The next morning he saw the farmer squeezed milk out only half of normal quantity, and he asked why so. The farmer was surprised himself and replied he had fed the cow as usual, but it just might be possible that his king had behaved unjustly, thus his nation had become less prosper. The king realized his mistake and repented silently. The next morning the cow produced a lot of milk again.

Ustaz Zakaria said:
  • Allah will never give guidance to the tyrants.
  • Each muslim is responsible to help establish a just government. There are many ways to fulfill this responsibility, do not become narrow-minded. Currently the right way is by democracy, not by armed revolution.
  • The original Torah advocated peace and justice. The jewish people who are bombing the Palestinian muslims these days are clearly not following their book.
  • The Arabs might wear white robes, but they do not necessarily do so due to Islamic tendency. Most of them practise secular system in daily life.
  • The kings of old times were sensitive to the laws of Allah.
  • Be fair to captive animals, give them food, drinks, mate.
  • There are many categories of disbelievers (kaafir): harbi, muawwaman, muahhad etc. Pass judgment on them based on their own religion.

Wallahu a'lam

<<Previous [ All In This Category ] Next>>

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Merits of a Just Ruler

Munyatul Musolli ( Tatmimul Faa’idah) 4th January 2009

‘Abdul Rahman bin Samurrah said that The Prophet (saw) had said:

Do not ask for position to rule over people. Nevertheless if it is given to you without asking, then Allah may help you. If it is given because you asked for it, then you are left to fend for yourself alone with it.

We are obliged to take side with a just ruler, on the other hand, we are obliged to break away when he is unjust. And know that best of times comes when the land is ruled with justice.

Prophet Muhammad (saw) also said:

A day’s worth of deeds – when performed by a just leader - merit more than 100 year’s worth of deeds performed by a man who is only fair to his family.

A moment spent by a just leader is more precious than sixty year’s worth of worship.

A supplication made to Allah, by a just leader, is never rejected.

Saidina Umar (ra) once said to Ka’ab (ra): Tell me about the Gardens of Eden (Jannatu ‘Adn).
Said Ka’ab: O Amirul Mu’minin, no one sits in there except the Prophets, the Siddiqin, the Martyrs, and the leaders who are just.
Said Umar: I am no prophet, but I am a believer (siddiq) in Rasulullah (saw). I am not a just leader, but I hope I am no tyrant either. And regarding a martyr, am I worthy to be mentioned with it?

Said Hasan: Then Allah made Saidina Umar a siddiq and a martyr, who had ruled with justice and fairness.

Iskandar (Zulkarnain) asked the wise among people of Babylon: "Which is more honorable to you, being brave or just?"
Said the wise people: "When we are adorned with justice, there is no need for bravery."

At the times of Umar bin ‘Abdul ‘Aziz, some of his governors sent letters asking for funds to make repairs to infrastructures. He replied:

"I have read and understood your letter. Make repairs to your state, but start by repairing yourself with justice and rid yourself of tyranny. These are the solution to the damage done to your state."

Declared Kisra (of Persia): "There will be no government without an army, there will be no army without wealth, there will be no wealth if there is no kingdom, there will be no kingdom except with people, and there will be no people except when ruled with justice."

Shuraij Ibnu ‘Ubaid said that among the past generations of Bani Israel, when a king went furious there was always an advisor who would hand out notes – piece by piece until his anger recede. The notes would say:

إرحم المسلمين، وخف الموت، واذكر الآ خرة

"Have mercy on your subjects (muslimin), and fear death, and remember the Day of Judgment."

Ustaz Zakaria added:

  • When people appoint you as a leader without you asked for it, you can accept it. There is a chance Allah will help you.
  • Never take side with unjust ruler. But do cooperate if what he wants to do if for the good of all.
  • As stated by people of Babylon, when you are just, people will love you, and you do not need armed escorts around you.
    As Shaykh Ibrahim al-Laqqani had written in Jauharitut Tauhid: It is obligatory to establish a just government. A just government rules by the law of Allah. Unjust government rules from his own ideas.
  • In the early days of Malaysia, pilgrims smuggled home the kitab “Mutiara” by Shaykh ‘Abdul Qadir Mandili from Makkah. They wrapped the kitab in plastic bags and left it in cooked rice inside pots. The kitab had been banned because it prescribes the proper way to govern a country as per Islam teachings. If police found it on board the pilgrim ships, it would be thrown overboard to the sharks.
  • When we see the old shaykhs not being active with political speeches, do not write them off as politically apathetic. They contribute (albeit silently) with their own style, because not everybody is gifted with eloquence.
  • Ustaz Zakaria told us how his madrasah started off in early 1990’s with the help of locals in Sungai Sekamat:
    - Haji Rushdan of Bukit Dukung and friends helped.
    - From donations, were able to buy ¼ acres of land from Cik Sudin; then added another ½ acres.
    - Had to sell back the land due to the Cheras-Kajang highway construction. Cik Sudin bought back at market value.
    - Used the money to buy current place. The construction company contributed RM25k to build current madrasah.

Wallahu a'lam

<<Previous [ All In This Category ] Next>>

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Ruler and Responsibilites

Munyatul Musolli ( Tatmimul Faa’idah) 21st December 2008

Shaykh Daud Fatoni had added this section to the kitab Munyatul Musolli – which discuss issues on responsibilities as a ruler. According to narrations, a sultan of Petani (currently part of Southern Thailand) asked the world-famous Mecca-based Shaykh Daud to write up a reference manual on solah. He obliged, hence this kitab Munyatul Musolli; but as a subtle reminder to the sultan, he added a piece of advise on how to rule a country. This article he called "Tatmimul Faa’idah".

Ruler and Responsibilites.

From Ibn ‘Abbas (ra), Rasulullah (saw) once said:

وقروا السلطان وأجلوه فإنه عز الله وظله في الأرض إذا كان عدلا

Revere and respect your sultan because when he is just, he represents greatness of Allah and he is His shadow on the face of earth.

From Umar (ra): O Rasulullah, tell me about a sultan who is so respected that people bend low before him. What is he like?
Rasulullah (saw) said: He is a shadow of Allah on earth. When he rules justly, then a reward due for him and gratefulness due from his subjects. When he rules tyrannically, a sin due for him and patience due from his subjects.

Rasulullah (saw) also had said:
A ruler who is good to his subjects - but neglects them with what Allah has trusted him and careless to guide them- has made Allah’s otherwise abundant mercy, narrow.

Malik bin Dinar (rh) said Allah has transpired to me saying:
I am the king of all kings, whose hearts I hold in my Hand. Whoever shows loyalty will get My mercy, and whoever shows defiance will get My punishment. Do not burden your tongue by reviling your king, but plea forgiveness from Allah and ask Him to soften their hearts towards you.

It is proper if all kings and rulers remind himself with the following ayah from the Quran:

يا داود إنا جعلناك خليفة في الأرض فاحكم بين الناس بالحق ولا تتبع الهوى فيضلك عن سبيل الله

O Daud, we made you our Representative (Khalifah) on the earth, so rule the people with the true justice, and never give in to your whims and desires lest they make you go astray.

Ruling by personal inclination was what made made Nabi Sulaiman bin Daud (as) fell from his throne. Once a group of people had come to him having a quarreled with another group. Nabi Sulaiman judged in favor of the former, who were from the same region (named Juradah) as his wife.

Ma’qal bin Yasar (ra) said I heard from Rasulullah (saw) that a ruler who cares for the welfare of his subjects, but ignore to guide and give advice to them, will not even get a whiff of Paradise. (While good Muslims would have caught the scent 500 years away).

Further our Nabi (saw) said whoever governs over a group of muslims, but fails to give them advice - just like he should to his own family (on Islamic matters) - he has prepared a place for himself in the Hellfire.

Ustaz Zakaria said:
  • Allah does not hesitate to accept supplication made by a just ruler.
  • If a ruler oppresses you, then be patient. If you have the means, then replace him.
  • If a ruler does good things for his subjects, then you should cooperate with him.
  • If a ruler does not rule by principles laid down in Islam, then he could become either tyrant or a fasiq, or a kafir. And Allah would befall disaster to such a ruler:
    - He loses his position.
    - His country suffer natural disasters.
    -His people suffer from violent crimes.

  • Past ulama became very afraid if people tried to appoint them into positions of authority.
  • It is irrelevant which political party governs our country, as long as it does so by laws of Allah.
  • Sultan Zainal Abidin (rh) of Terengganu had set good example. He made regular rounds into the villages. If the day was Friday, he would step up in the local mosque and give khutbah in Jumu’ah.
  • Tok Guru Umar of Rantau Panjang once got thrown into prison for citing the Quran verse "O Daud…rule the people with justice…" in a public speech. These days, candidates from either party seem to have forgotten this verse.
  • Weird thinking of our elected leaders: If we suggest them to legally take another wife, they refuse for fear being unjust. If there is opportunity to run for leadership, they rush for it (without fear of being unjust evenmore for thousands or millions of subjects).
  • Tok Kenali - a wali of Allah - once said: "money on you mind, and you trip yourself walking" (Malay: "fulus-fulus akibatnya jerlus").
  • With all these warnings, we still clawing at each other to make it to the top?
Wallahu a'lam

<<Previous [ All In This Category ] Next>>

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Sunnah Solah, End of Kitab

Munyatul Musolli 30th November 2008

Solah Tarawih – performed every night during month of Ramadan anytime after Isya’ until break of dawn, and to be performed in congregation.

“I perform solah sunnah Tarawih 2 raka’ahs due to Allah Ta'ala.”

It is preferred to recite the Fatihah and surah loudly. Do the tashahhud every two raka’ahs and give the salam. Although every 4 raka’ahs counts as 1 unit of tarawih, it is not valid to do 4 raka’ahs with one salam. Repeat until completed 20 raka’ahs in total. Follow up the tarawih with solah witir. Important to note that during second half of Ramadan, the du’a qunut should be recited in the last raka’ah of the witir.

Solah Kusufi-Shams – performed during eclipse of the sun.

“I perform solah sunnah sun-eclipse 2 raka’ahs due to Allah Ta'ala.”

You can choose to perform in either method:

Method #1
Just like any sunnah solah – 2 raka’ahs with 1 salam.

Method #2
Lengthier (and preferred) 2 raka’ahs. Each raka’ah has 2 qiyam, 2 ruku’, 2 i’tidal, 2 sujud.

After Fatihah of the first qiyam, recite surah al-Baqarah; after Fatihah of the second qiyam surah ‘Aali-Imran; the third qiyam Surah An-Nisaa’; the fourth qiyam surah al-Maidah.

The surahs mentioned above can be replaced with multiple surahs adding up to similar length.

Each ruku’ and sujud should be longer than done in a regular solah:
The first ruku’ and first sujud should be about the length to recite silently 100 ayaat of surah al-Baqarah.
The 2nd ruku’ and 2nd sujud should be about the length to recite silently 80 ayaat of surah al-Baqarah.
The 3rd ruku’ and 3rd sujud should be about the length to recite 70 ayaat.
The 4th ruku’ and 4th sujud should be about the length to recite 50 ayaat.

Solah Khusufi-Qamar – performed during eclipse of the moon.

“I perform solah sunnah moon-eclipse 2 raka’ahs due to Allah Ta'ala.”

Choose to perform in one of 2 methods similar to the sun-eclipse solah.

After both eclipse solah, it is encouraged to give khutbah if performed in congregation - similar to solah of Eid, but without takbir. This is when Muslims should be called to repent, to return what they had taken away unrightfully, to set free captured animals, to give sadaqah, and to perform other good deeds.

Solah Istisqa’ – to ask for rain.

This solah is similar to the Eid; 2 raka’ahs; and preferably performed at the same time of the day as Eid. However it is OK to perform it at any time of day or night. This solah to be repeated until the rain falls.

The niat is: “I perform solah sunnah istisqa’ 2 raka’ahs due to Allah Ta'ala.”

Raise hands for takbir 7 times in the first raka’ah during qiyam, and 5 times in the second. Say the tasbih between takbir just like in the Eid solah.

The person giving sermon should say the istighfar 9 times continuously at the beginning of first khutbah, and 7 times beginning of second khutbah.:

أَستَغفِرُاللّهَ العَظِيمَ الَّذِي لاَإِلٰهَ إِلاَّهُوَ الحَيُّ القَيُّومُ وَأَتُوبُ إِلَيْهِ

As a side note:
When thunder or lightning strikes, it is recommended to say the du’a:

سُبحَانَ مَن يُسَبِّحُ الرَّعدُبِحَمدِهِ وَالمَلاَءِكَةُ مِن خِيفَتِهِ

Do not follow (look at) the lightning when it strikes nor when it withdraws.

Also it is recommended to say this du’a when it rains:

اَللّٰهُمَّ صَيِّبًا نَافِعًا

But when the rain is too heavy and could cause damage, say:

اَللّٰهُمَّ حَوَالَيْنَا وَلاَ عَلَيْنَا اَللّٰهُمَّ عَلَى الآكَامِ وَالظِّرَابِ وَبُطُونِ الأَوْدِيَةِ وَمَنَابِتِ الشَّجَرِ

Solah Tahajjud

Among the non-fard solah recommended to be performed in jama’ah are tarawih and witir in Ramadan, the two Eids, the two eclipse, and istisqa’.

And among the non-fard solah not recommended in jama’ah are tahajjud, which is performed at night after sleep. Two rak’ahs is ideal, but if you like otherwise, perform 4, 6, or 8 rak’ahs.

“I perform solah sunnah tahajjud 2 raka’ahs due to Allah Ta'ala.”

Solah Sunnah Mutlaq

This is a solah performed without relevance to any time frame or any cause. You could perform it day or night, even though night-time mutlaq is more preferred.

“I perform solah sunnah 2 raka’ahs due to Allah Ta'ala.”

Final Advise From Shaykh Daud al-Fatoni On Solah

It should be impressed that we should safeguard all our solah. Priority should be given to the nightly solah, because they are hard to keep. Remember that with some persistence and patience, our nafs (evil-side) shall give way, so that the door to Allah opens and we start to taste the sweetness of communicating with Him.

Rest assured that once you get the hang of it, you will take no issue of waking up at night for solah, and quite possibly you would be hungry for it. We have been narrated with stories of how the pious did solah throughout the night – so engrossed that they perform Subuh with the wudhu’ they took before Isha’! These are the people guided by Allah, and we want to emulate them.

If too many a solah become too heavy on us, then perform only some of them. Keep in mind though, there is a hadith that says those who sleep a lot, will rise in the Day of Resurrection poor and destitute. People who sleep a lot also set to lose blessings of their life and waste away their youth.

Make it known that deeds that are little, but performed consistently scores very high by Allah compared to deeds that are many, but done intermittently. Nabi (saw) said:

أحب الأعمال إلى اللّٰه أدومها وإن قل

Allah has more love for deeds that are consistent, even if they are little.

Finally, it is recommended that we make up sunnah solah that we miss.

اَللّٰهُمَّ اجعَلنَا مِنَ المُحَافِظِينَ وَالمُقِيمِينَ الصَّلاَةَ المُخلِصِينَ لِوَجهِكَ الكَرِيمِ يَا رَبَّ العالَمِينَ


Ustaz Zakaria said:
  • 20 raka’ahs for Tarawih is as per ijma’ sahabah. Ulama of old performed 4 raka’ahs, stopped for rest, then resumed with another 4 raka’ahs.
  • When the sun/moon eclipses why behave like unbelievers and busy looking for telescope? There is nothing to see. We Muslims better do solah so we get reward from Allah.
  • It is allowed to keep animals in cage if we can take benefit from its meat, beauty, or voice. This is fiqh ruling. Of course it is better to set them free.
  • Ustaz Zakaria just got back from Rantau Panjang to deliver waqaf kitabs. The Baba (shaykhs) from Southern Thailand were very appreciative and shed tears accepting the precious kitab and al-Quran from us. They had to unload from back of truck in heavy rain.
  • Never look at lightning for fear of diminishing your sight.
  • Follow the path and become a salik. When the heart is clean, then solah becomes easy. Among conditions to be a salik:
    * You have a strong will
    * You join a group
    * You practice special wirid.
  • “Waridat” is a state of ecstasy, a gift from Allah. It is spontaneous and you cannot pretend that you’ve attained it. Imagine an elated athlete who jump and pump his fist after winning first place.
  • Study your religion diligently, the more shaykhs and more kitabs, the better.
  • Ustaz Zakaria has ijazah for 3 ahzab: Bahri; Nawawi; Nasri.
  • Only pangolins sleep a lot. Men do not.
  • All debt to Allah has to be repaid. Missed solah has to be made up.
  • Yesterday a generous person from Gombak donated a piece of land in Pekan, Pahang, as a site for another madrasah. Praise to Allah who has given us another opportunity to perform good deeds. Such good fortune is a form of rizq, not everybody get it.
  • Recently somebody criticized our madrasah system - blindly. Shame on him for belittling us while his own children get no proper Islamic education. We follow a proven system here, we have schedules, and we take care of the live-in students.

Wallahu a'lam

<<Previous [ All In This Category ] Next>&gt;