We live in difficult times, in a stricken world, wherein human beings continually lose their sense of being.
Today, life is about instant gratification, with patience thrown to the winds. Few are willing to go through the wise and time-tested routine of observation, reflection, planning and action to achieve noble ends. In such a world, absolute values erode into oblivion while relative values come and go. Nothing matters as long as ends are achieved, with few being bothered about the means.
To be sure, patience, as a prime virtue, appears in the Qur’an, no less than 90 times. In Islam, therefore, faith without patience is a contradiction of sorts. Says the Qur’an: “And seek assistance with patience and prayer, and assuredly it is a hard thing except for the humble,” [Al Baqarah 2: 45].
Abu Yahya Suhaib bin Sinan RA reported that: The Messenger of Allah PBUH said, “How wonderful is the case of a believer; there is good for him in everything and this applies only to a believer. If prosperity attends him, he expresses gratitude to Allah and that is good for him; and if adversity befalls him, he endures it patiently and that is better for him,” [Muslim].
Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri RA reports that Certain people of the Ansar asked the Messenger of Allah PBUH and he gave them; then they again asked him and he gave them until he exhausted whatever he had. Then the Prophet PBUH said, “Whatever wealth I have, I will not withhold from you. Whosoever would be chaste and modest; Allah will keep him chaste and modest and whosoever would seek self-sufficiency, Allah will make him self-sufficient; and whosoever would be patient, Allah will give him patience, and no one is granted a gift better and more comprehensive than patience,” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Patience can be of several types: one that is exercised when avoiding sins and another when committing oneself to acts of worship and obedience. There is also a third type often required in the face of affliction which, like repentance, forms a regular part of the believer’s religious experience in Islam.
According to Marshall Mcluhan, the modern world has rendered into a global village via cable TV, internet, social networking sites etc. The benefits aside, the connectivity these offer comes not without serious pitfalls. The value systems of the people, for instance, stand negatively transformed.
The absolute standard of values provided by pure religion – which, until recently, guided people in locating moral benchmarks in life – are in sharp contrast to the trends generated by New Media. The guidance of the Qur’an, quite in harmony with human nature, is a case in point.
It aids the believer in building his willpower, his perseverance. Instead of struggling merely for self-gratification, it re-routes the believer’s energies into a quest for perfection in the cause of Allah SWT, but that too a quest in which assistance is sought from on high. The believer is thus shown his way to patience, forbearance and gratitude.
Few can escape the need to exercise patience: some do it willingly, others unwillingly. The true believer does so willingly, out of his faith in Allah SWT and the knowledge that he will be rewarded for such forbearance.
Doubtless, real hope thrives only in invoking Allah SWT in the alleviation of our pain, our suffering. Impatience and panic helps little in overcoming hurdles. Thus, the truly wise, as soon as an adversity appears, does what the unenlightened attempts after a month or more: resort to Patience.
This article was published in Deccan Herald, a daily of Karnataka and the author of the script is Tariq Jameel.
Uthman bin Affan RA belonged to a noble family of Quraish in Makkah. His ancestral pedigree joins with that of the Holy Prophet PBUH in the fifth generation. He was from the “Umayyah” family of Quraish, which was a well reputed and honourable family of Makkah during the pre-Islamic days. The descendants of this family are known as “Banu Umayyah” or “Umawwin”.
Usman RA was born in 573 A.C. He was one of the few persons of Makkah who knew reading and writing. He was one of the scribes of the “Wahy” (Revelation) and also used to write other documents (letters and messages etc.) of the Prophet PBUH.
He was a rich cloth merchant. He used his money in good causes and always helped the poor. Usman was a soft natured and kind hearted man. He did not hesitate to spend any amount of money on seeing a man in trouble in order to ameliorate his misery. He was deeply regarded for his righteousness among the Makkans.
Acceptance of Islam
Abu Bakr As-Siddique RA introduced Islam to Usman RA which he readily accepted. He was one of those Muslims who accepted Islam in its very early days. The moment Usman RA stepped in the folds of Islam, calamities befell him. The Quraish, who loved Usman, became his enemies.
Emigration to Abyssinia
When life in Mecca became hard for the Muslims, Usman RA went to the Prophet PBUH to seek permission to migrate to Abyssinia by virtue of protecting his faith along with other Muslims. The permission was granted. Usman RA and his wife, Ruqaiyyah bint Rasoolillah, crossed the Red Sea with other Muslims and migrated to Abyssinia. At the time of his migration, Prophet PBUH said: “Usman is the first man of my Ummah to migrate (for sake of Allah) with his family.” He stayed there for a couple of months and came back to Makkah when he was misinformed by somebody that the Quraish had accepted Islam.
Uthman RA gets the title of “Dhun-nurain”
Usman RA re-migrated to Madinah with other Muslims. Due to his wife’s illness he could not participate in the first battle of Islam against non-believers at Badr. Eventually, she died before the victorious Muslims returned from Badr. The Prophet PBUH gave him glad tidings that he would get the same reward as though he had participated in the battle. After the death of Ruqayyah RA, the Prophet PBUH married his next daughter, “Umm Kulthum” with him and he was given the title of “Dhun-nurain” i.e., the possessor of two lights. Later on when Umm Kulthum RA also passed, the Prophet said that if he had more daughters, he would have wed them to Usman RA.
Treaty of Hudaibiyah
The Prophet PBUH chose Usman RA as a representative from the Muslim camp to negotiate with the pagans of Makkah at the time of the “Treaty of Hudaibiyah”. The rumour had spread that the pagans had executed him. Prophet PBUH immediately gathered his men and sought their pledge to fight Usman’s murderers. This historic event is remembered as “Bai’at al-Ridwan” (the Pledge of Ridwan). Prophet represented his left hand as Usman’s hand for the pledge. But this rumour proved unfounded.
When the Muhajirun (Emigrants) migrated to Medina, they encountered great deal of difficulty in fetching drinking water. Usman RA bought a well named “bi’r-i-Rumah” from a Jew for twenty thousand dirham for free use of Muslims. That was the first big charity made in the history of Islam. Prophet PBUH gave him the glad tidings of Paradise for this act.
Usman was always ready to help the cause of Islam in whatever way possible. Islam began to spread and Masjid an Nabawi was too small to accommodate the increasing population of Muslims. Therefore, Prophet expressed the desire to extend the Masjid. Usman was the one who responded to Prophet’s call by buying and donating the land for expansion.
Who can forget the generosity of Usman at the time of Tabuk expedition? He singlehandedly bore the expense of one third of the army. The Prophet PBUH remarked on this saying, “Nothing will do any harm to Usman from this day, whatever he does.”
Usman RA elected as the third Khalifa (Caliph)
Usman RA was one among the six members appointed by Umar RA for the post of next Khalifa of Muslims. The other five were Ali, Saa’d bin Abi Waqqas, Talha, Zubair and ‘Abdur Rahman bin ‘Auf (Ridwanullah-i-‘Alaihim).
The panel could not arrive at any decision even after long meetings and discussion. Then, Abdur Rahman bin ‘Auf proposed somebody to withdraw his name in order to decide the matter. When he got no response, he withdrew his own name. The remaining members agreed that he could take a decision. He consulted each member individually except Talha RA who was not present at Madina. It so happened that Uthman proposed Ali’s name and Ali proposed Uthman’s name for the post of Khalifa. But Zubair and Sa’d were more in favour of Uthman than Ali. After more consultations with other companions and thinking over the problem during the third night, ‘Abdur Rahman bin ‘Auf RA gave his decision in the morning of the fourth day in favour of Uthman RA to be the third Caliph of Muslims.
Internal Disorder: Introductory Note
Usman’s RA caliphate could be understood in two phases. The first phase which lasted for 8-9 years was very peaceful. During this time the Muslims gained many victories, and the caliphate extended to a vast area of the then known world. But the later part i.e. 2-3 years was marred by a terrible internal strife eventually leading to the murder of the caliph himself. Usman RA was a very gentle and soft-hearted person. The people who wanted to create chaos among the Muslims took advantage of his soft nature and did what they did. Due to his tender nature Usman RA sometimes overlooked the faults of the governors and other officers in various provinces, though he himself devoted a total submission to the ways of the Prophet PBUH and his two successors. His compassionate nature made the provincial governors bold as a result of which unrest in the provincial capitals grew and ultimately it engulfed the whole Islamic State.
It would not be out of place here to mention that a large number of people were coming to the fold of Islam during that time. Their belief was not as strong as the belief of the earlier Muslims. They could be easily swayed by people who wanted to create mischief. The enemies of Islam were in search of a suitable occasion to work against Islam and the Muslims. They got the desired opportunity and succeeded in hatching a plot for this and sent out their men to disturb the peace and to spread false news. Due to the constraint of space and our blog’s policy of keeping to a strict word limit, it would be extremely difficult to write down the whole conspiracy. However, the whole conspiracy was the wickedness of Abdullah Bin Saba, a clever Yemenite Jew who had accepted Islam to destabilize and sow the seeds of discord among the vast Muslim empire.
Insurgents (Sabaites) enter Madinah
It was the season of Hajj in the year 35 A.H. (656 A.C.), the people of Abdullah bin Saba started to put their plan into action. In the month of Shawwal 35 A.H. they started coming in small groups from various places. In all about three thousand Sabaites came, one thousand from each place viz. Basrah, Kufa and Egypt. These people stayed at three different places at the fringes of Madina. All of them wanted Hadrat Uthman to step down but there was some difference of opinion regarding the next “Khalifa”. These different groups approached Ali, Zubayr and Talha to become the Khalifa, but all of them strongly refused their offers.
When Uthman RA heard about the insurgents, he sent some of the leading Companions including Hadrat ‘Ali to them. Hadrat ‘Ali assured the insurgents that their grievances would be addressed. They put certain demands including the dismissal of the governor of Egypt and appointment of Muhammad bin Abi Bakr as the new governor. Uthman RA acceded to their demand without any question. Then he gave a short address in which he said, “By Allah, for the cause of truth, I am ready to obey even a slave. I promise to fulfil your demands.” Saying these tears rolled down the eyes of Uthman RA, and the audience also wept.
Hadrat ‘Ali RA then again assured the insurgents and they seemed to be satisfied and started to go back. All the Muslims at Medina thought that the trouble had ended.
The siege of Khalifa’s house
A few days later the Medinites were surprised to hear shouts of “Revenge”, “Revenge” in the streets of Medina. Hearing the shouts Ali RA came out to enquire about the matter. The insurgents who were shouting showed a letter to him under the seal of “Khalifa” and purportedly signed by Marwan bin Hakm, the chief secretary of Uthman RA. The letter allegedly carried instructions to kill Muhammad bin Abu Bakr. Historians believe that this was a forged letter to create confusion, chaos and ‘fitna’ in the Islamic State. Having known the life history of Uthman and the high esteem in which the Prophet PBUH held him, it is not even possible for a right thinking Muslim to attach such malafide intentions to him.
Ali RA tried to pacify them but they did not listen to him and went straight to Ali, saying: “We do not want Uthman RA to be the Khalifa. Allah has made his blood lawful for us. You should also help us.” ‘Ali’s responded, “By Allah, I have nothing to do with you. It seems that you have hatched a plot and are trying to carry it out.”
The insurgents were hell bent on killing Usman RA even after he took a solemn oath that he knew nothing about the letter. But they did not believe him and said, “Whether you wrote it or not, you are unfit to be the Khalifa and you must abdicate.” They threatened to kill him on which Usman RA replied, “I do not fear death, but I do not want to shed Muslim blood.”
When Ali saw that the insurgents were not in control and Uthman did not want to use force against them, he left for Ahjar, a place few miles away from Medina, because his position was becoming difficult as the insurgents wanted to drag him in the dispute.
Afterwards the insurgents demanded Usman RA to give up the “Khilafat”. He rejected their demand and said, “I can’t take off the robe of honour with my own hands that Allah has bestowed upon me.” Consequently the insurgents laid a siege to his house and did not allow him to come out except for offering Salah in the Masjid. But later on they did not allow him to come out even for the Salah. The siege went on for forty days. During the last few days they also stopped supply of water. Some brave Muslim youths like Hadrat Hasan, Husain, Muhammad bin Talha and ‘Abdullah bin Zubayr RA were guarding the house so that nobody among the insurgents could enter the house. Beside Hadrat Uthman and his wife, Nailah, Marwan bin Hakam was also in the house. Uthman did not allow any person to fight with the insurgents although a fight took place between Hadrat Hasan, Husain and Marwan and the insurgents when they did not allow Umm-ul-mu’minin Hadrat Habibah RA to supply meals to Uthman RA. Hadrat Hasan received minor injuries but Marwan was seriously hurt. However, the insurgents did not fight with Hadrat Hasan and Husain because of the fear of Hashmites. During the siege Hadrat Uthman sent Abdullah bin ’Abbas to Mecca to lead the Hajj and also to inform people about the insurgents. He also sent messengers to provincial governors.
When hardship grew, some eminent Companions like Mughirah bin Shu’bah requested the “Khalifa” to take action against the insurgents and said that all the people of Medina were ready to fight for him but he did not agree to bloodshed of Muslims and that too in Madina. Then they proposed that he should leave the house through the back door and either go to Makkah or to Damascus where he would be safer but he accepted neither of the proposals. The things got worse day by day, and at last the crisis aggravated.
The only weapon with Uthman RA was his kindness and soft nature. He addressed the insurgents several times from the roof of his house and reminded them about his family relations with the Prophet PBUH, and the services he had rendered to Islam but they never listened to him. The insurgents were afraid that the Hajj was coming to an end and after the Hajj a number of supporters of the “Khalifa” would come to Medina. They decided therefore to assassinate him without delay. So the insurgents climbed the back walls of the house and entered the room where Usman RA was reciting the Holy Qur’an.
On seeing Hadrat Uthman, one of the insurgents hit his head with an axe while the next struck him with a sword. His wife, Nailah tried to shield her husband but she also got several wounds and her fingers were chopped off. He got hold of Hadrat Uthman’s beard and pulled it. On this Hadrat Uthman remarked, “O my dear nephew if your father (Abu Bakr) were alive you would not have done this.” The remarks of Uthman cut him to the quick and he turned back and did not take part in the assassination.
After giving severe injuries to Hadrat Uthman, one of insurgents, an Egyptian named ‘Amr bin Hamq cut off Khalifa’s head.
Uthman RA was assassinated on Friday, the 17th Dhul-Hijjah, 35 A.H. (the 17th July, 656 C.E).
In our previous blog we dealt with the definition of travel for the purpose of praying Salat-ul-Qasr. In this blog we intent to shed some light on what a day’s journey mean in modern units of measurement. The Prophetic traditions use the term ‘day’s travel’ in the books of ahadith. The standard units of measurement for travel during early Islam were the farsakh and the barīd.
Barīd was a distance that a messenger could travel before he needed to stop to allow his animal to rest.
Farsakh appears to be a Persian unit of measurement that the Arabs adopted. A barid is made up of four Farasakh.
The question arises as to how much distance could be travelled in one day so that the number of days could be changed into distance. Without going into the minute details of this issue, the Hanbalis, Shafies and the Malikis believe this distance (to be eligible for shortening the prayer) to be 16 Farasakh and the Hanafis believe it to be 15 Farasakh. There are differences of opinion about the conversion into modern units. Hanafis take this distance approximately equal to 78 kms or 48 miles while as Imam Nawawi converts this into about 139 kms. There is no precise and agreed upon conversion factor for translating a day’s journey into a tangible and precise measure of distance. The modes of transport back in those days (i.e. 1400 years) and now are completely different. Given the different modes of transport that we use in contemproray times, it is extremely difficult to actually measure and fix an exact numerical figure to this.
However, the opinion of Imam Ibn Taymiyyah is different from all the four schools of thought. He says, The Prophet PBUH did not specify any distance and it does not make sense that the Shariah would place a numerical value when such unit-definitions were not known or followed by the majority of that generation. The purpose of this ruling regarding shortening the prayer is to ease the burden upon the traveller by allowing him to shorten the prayer. So Ibn Taymiyya’s opinion that a traveller’ is one who is customarily considered one.
The second issue is for how long does one remain a traveller?
The Hanafi School considers a traveller to be someone who intends to reside at a place for fifteen days or less (inclusive of the day that he intends to travel). The Malikis, Shāfiʿīs, and Hanbalis claimed that the time that makes a traveller into a resident is four days. They base their argument on the command of the Prophet PBUHthat the Emigrants (Muhajirun) who were performing Hajj with him should not stay in Makkah for more than three days [Reported by Muslim].
Ibn Taymiyyah holds the opinion, like his opinion about the distance of the travel, that there exists no explicit and specific time frame which converts a traveller (musafir) into a resident (muqeem). Therefore, he felt that a traveller would remain a traveller even if he stayed at a specific location for a longer period of time, as long as his lifestyle was that of a ‘traveller’.Ibn Taymiyya also pointed out that there are authentic narrations that indicate the Prophet PBUHwould pray qaṣr for more than fifteen days. There is the Hadith of Jabir that the Prophet PBUH camped at Tabuk praying qaṣr for twenty days (Reported by Abu Dawud). Another is the hadith of Ibn ʿAbbās in which he reported that the Prophet PBUHstayed in Makkah nineteen days, praying qaṣr (Reported by al-Bukhārī).
All the four schools interpret these evidences by claiming, that the Prophet PBUH did not know how long he would camp at Tabuk during that expedition, However Ibn Taymiyyah holds the view that the Prophet PBUH suggested no specific number of days. At times He PBUH prayed Qasr for more than four or fifteen days.
But perhaps understanding that this open ended permission had potential problems and probably was more prone to misuse, Ibn Taymiyya did feel that the opinion of four days was safer to follow. Ibn Taymiyya himself did not unequivocally allow such a person to pray qaṣrfor a limitless number of days. Even though he said that it is permitted and that one should not rebuke those who do this, he also said that it was better to pray full. (Ibn Taymiyya, Majmūʾ al-Fatāwā 24/17, 18).
In such matters, one could follow any of the four schools or the opinion of Ibn Taymiyyah and one should not look down upon other for following a particular practice.
Regarding the legal status of Qasr, the Hanafis deem it to be obligatory for the traveler and state that if the traveler prays the regular prayer, he will in fact be sinful. The other schools say that shortening the prayer is preferred, but not obligatory.
The Hanafi School does not allow combining the prayers (jama bain asalat) except during Hajj. A vast majority of other scholars allowed Zuhr and Aṣr to be joined, and Maghrib and Ishā to be joined. They say that this should preferably be done only during the actual travel.
Salat-ul-Qasr means the shortening of prayers usually offered when on a journey. The Quran says, “And if you travel in the land, there is no sin on you that you shorten your prayers (taqṣurū min al-ṣalāt) if you fear that the unbelievers may harm you.” [An-Nisa’ 4:101].
Even though the verse mentions ‘fear’ as a condition, it is no longer a requirement. ʿUmar bin al-Khattab was asked how it was still permissible to shorten prayers even though there was no ‘fear’ remaining. He replied, “I asked the Prophet PBUH the exact same question, and he said, ‘this is a charity that Allah has given to you, so accept His charity,” [Muslim]. In other words, Allah has graciously lifted the condition mentioned and allowed Muslims to shorten the prayer while travelling even if there is no fear of any attack by enemy forces.
The Prophet PBUH used to shorten his prayer during travel and never prayed any four-unit prayer while in a state of travel. (Ibn Taymiyya, Majmūʾ al-Fatāwā, 24/8).
There is a unanimous consensus amongst all the scholars of Islam that a traveller who is undertaking a legitimate journey may shorten the four-unit prayers to two. But the difference of opinion remains between scholars and various schools of thought (Maslak) as to what constitutes ‘Travel’ for offering Qasr prayers. The issues concerning this stem from
The distance travelled and
The number of days of stay for which Qasr is valid.
In this blog we delve into the first issue and Insha Allah, the second issue will be discussed in our next blog.
Narrated Anas RA, “when the Prophet PBUH went out on a journey of three miles or three Farasikh, he used to pray two Raka’at,” [Muslim]
Two doubts arise in this hadith
1) Whether it is three miles or three Farasikh. The original Hadith does not state it, but it is the doubt of a reporter in the chain of narrators, as to whether Anas RA used the words three miles or three Farasikh.
2) Farasikh is the plural of Farasakh. It is a measure of distance in Persian. One Farasakh is approximately equal to three miles.
According to the Hanafi School, ‘Travel’ is a three day journey. In other words, it is the distance that a traveller on a camel of average speed would traverse in three complete days. This is the position of the Companion Ibn Masʿūd RA. This position has been inferred from the following Hadith of Prophet PBUH where he said, ‘’It is not allowed for a woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day that she travel for a distance of three days without her father, son, husband, brother or any mahram.” [Muslim]
Whereas Hanbali, Shafee and the Maliki School consider Travel as a journey of two days based on the following Hadith, “It is not allowed for a woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day that she travels for a distance of two days without a mahram.” [Muslim]
Imam Bukhari in his Saheeh considers Travel as a journey of one day. Prophet PBUH said, “It is not allowed for a woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day that she travels for a distance of one day without a mahram.” [Bukhārī]
The last opinion on this is that a journey is not defined by how much one has travelled but by what one does and how one prepares for it. This is the opinion of Ibn Qudama, Ibn Taymiyya, Ibn al-Qayyim, al-Shawkanī and others. They opine that there is no scriptural evidence that defines ‘travel’, and hence they resort to what is culturally understood to be as ‘travel’.
Ibn Taymiyya disagreed with any specific distance that other scholars sought to derive. According to him, there is no explicit evidence from the Quran, Sunnah, language or custom of that generation that would be binding on later Muslims.
In fact, all three of the previous opinions use the same basic Hadith that prevents women from travelling without a male companion – yet, as is obvious, each Hadith uses a different limit. This in itself shows that the intention of the Hadith is not to define the distance of what constitutes ‘travel’.
In his Majmūʾ al-Fatāwā, (24/15), Ibn Taymiyya writes:
‘’a person might leave his village to go to the desert in order to collect wood, and he leaves for two or three days, and he will be a traveller, even though the distance might be less than a mile! In contrast to this, another person might go [a longer distance] and come back the same day, and he will not be a traveller. This is because the first person will take provision for the journey, and bags [with his necessities], whereas the second person will not. Therefore, even a near distance can be considered a ‘travel’ if someone stays for a period of time, and a longer distance will not be considered a travel if a person stays for a short period. A ‘travel’ is therefore defined by the actions that are required in order for that journey to be called ‘travelling’… and this is a matter that people recognize by their own customs.’’
Therefore, according to Ibn Taymiyya, a ‘travel’ is not merely a distance but also a state of mind. We must know that in order to be eligible to offer a two Raka’at prayer, no distance has been specified in any Hadith. In fact, this concession has been kept open to the effect that it is permissible to offer a two Raka’at prayer during any trip which is considered travelling.
Islam is the religion of peace and love. The word Islam has originated from the word ‘Salm’ which means peace. No other religion promotes peace as Islam does and a simple straight forward justification is Salaam; the Islamic way of greeting. Indeed greetings bring hearts together. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “You cannot enter paradise until you believe, and you cannot believe until you love each other. Shall I not inform you of the thing which if you do, will love each other? Spread Salam (the greeting) among you” [Muslim]. The wordings of Muslim greeting are “Assalamu alaikum” (may peace be upon you) and to it should be replied “Wa alaikumus salaam” (and upon you be peace too). This is the shortest form of greeting.
Abu Hurairah RA narrated that a man passed by the Prophet PBUH greeting “Assalamu alaikum”, while the Prophet PBUH was in a gathering. The Prophet PBUH said “Ten rewards”. Then another man passed by saying “Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah”. The Prophet responded “Twenty rewards”. Later when another man wished, “Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh”. The Prophet mentioned, “Thirty rewards”.
It is Sunnah to greet everyone we meet. Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr RA: A person asked ALLAH’s Apostle PBUH, “What sort of deeds or what qualities of Islam are good?” He replied, “To feed (the poor) and greet those whom you know and those whom you don’t know.” [Bukhari] It is a sign of Qiyamah to greet only those whom we know. Ibn Mas’ud RA narrated that the Prophet PBUH said, “Among the signs of Qiyamah is (when you see) that the greetings are (being paid) only to the known ones,” [Musnad Ahmad; Saheeh].
Islam promotes brotherhood and discourages enmity and hatred. Islamic greetings vanish animosity from one’s heart and help reconcile. Narrated by Abu Aiyub RA that ALLAH’s Apostle PBUH said: “It is prohibited for a man to desert his brother Muslim for more than three nights. It is prohibited when they meet, one of them turns his face away from the other, and the other turns his face from the former, and the better of the two will be the one who greets the other first,” [Bukhari].
Enlisted are major etiquettes of Islamic greeting:
1. It is Sunnah to greet whereas it is Fardh (obligatory) to reply the greeting.
2. It is disliked to convey or retort the greeting if someone is in the toilet. Ibn Umar RA narrates that a person passed by and paid greetings to the Prophet while he (the Prophet) was in the toilet, so he did not reply. [Muslim]
3. Salaam should be said while entering house even if there are none around. ALLAH says, “But when you enter houses, give greetings of peace upon each other – a greeting from ALLAH, blessed and good.” [Al Noor 24:61]
4. It is from the Sunnah that a Raakib should greet the Maashi (the on board should greet the one on-foot); a person passing by should greet the one sitting; the small group of people should greet the larger group; and the younger should greet the elder.
5. It is not permitted to wish Islamic greeting to non-muslim. The Prophet PBUH said: “If an Ahle Kitaab (The people of the book: Jews and Christians) greets you (with salaam), then you say: Wa alaikum,” [Bukhari and Muslim].
6. If a person conveys salaam, then he should reply to the conveyor, “Wa alaika wa alaihis salaam” (peace be upon you and on him). A person came to the Prophet PBUH and said, “My father pays you greeting.” So the Prophet PBUH said, “On you and on your father be peace too,” [Abu Dawood]. It is also allowed to say only “peace be upon him” as narrated by A’ishah RA that the Prophet PBUH said her that the Angel Gabriel is saying you salaam. She said, “And on him be peace and ALLAH’s blessings,” [Bukhari].
7. It is allowed to say Salaam when you enter a mosque except when the imam is on the pulpit delivering the Friday speech. The Friday speech has got an exceptional rule as the Prophet PBUH said, “If you (even) say to your fellow: Be quiet – while the imam is delivering speech – then you have made your Friday void,” [Bukhari].
8. It is Sunnah to shake hands while greeting. The Prophet PBUH and the companions used to shake hands. Qatadah said that I asked Anas RA: Was (the concept of) shaking hands present among the companions of the Prophet PBUH?. He said Yes. [Bukhari].
During the times of Hazrat Ali’s caliphate, two Arabs were travelling together through the Hijaz desert. At meals, they sat together on a convenient spot and opened their food packages. One of them had five loaves of bread and the other three. As they were about to begin their meal, a stranger queried whether he might share their meal. “You are welcome, brother,” they said in unison, and all three had a pleasant time together.
At the time of farewell, the stranger presented them eight dirhams and asked them to divide it amongst themselves. Although, to accept money in lieu for hospitality is considered inappropriate by the Muslims, but the gift was presented in a spirit and manner such that to refuse it would have deemed rude. Therefore they accepted it.
There arouse a disagreement on the matter of distribution of dirhams. The man who had possessed greater share of bread sought five of the eight dirhams. On the other hand, the one with lesser portion demanded an equal half of the amount. It was a question of principle and none would forego his right. Since there was no amicable solution, both agreed to approach the Caliph for a just and reasonable settlement.
Hazrat Ali attentively listened to their account, pondered over it for a while and then addressed the man who had three breads: “Brother! Accept the three dirhams which your companion offers you, for, in reality, you don’t have a right to even those three dirhams.”
“O Caliph!” said the Arab. “It is not the money I’m arguing for; it is my right that I seek. If it is proven reasonably that I deserve not a single dirham, by ALLAH, I shall have no complaint!”
“Then listen,” said Hazrat Ali. “You had three breads and your companion had five, which makes a total of eight loaves and there were three of you to share them. Do you agree?”
“I do,” replied the Arab.
“Now, eight breads could not be divided equally in three shares without dividing them.”
“There you are,” said Hazrat Ali, appreciating the remark by the Arab. “But the breads had to be divided in three equal shares and you did it in practice though not apprehensively. The simplest practical solution to this riddle is, let us suppose, each bread was cut into three equal pieces; therefore your three breads made nine pieces and your companion’s five breads made fifteen. Thus making a total of 24 pieces and all of you ate 8 pieces each.
“Excellent!” exclaimed the Arab with joy.
“Patience, brother,” said the Caliph, while an amusing smile appeared on his lips. “Now, let us understand that you ate 8 pieces out of your nine and spared only one for the stranger. Your companion also ate 8 pieces out of his 15 and spared 7 pieces for the traveller. It is therefore just that he takes seven dirhams for his seven pieces that the stranger ate and that you take one dirham for your single piece.”
“By ALLAH! Wa-ALLAH! You are the wisest of the men on earth,” proclaimed the Arab and accepted his share of single dirham from the gift and left the court being content with the verdict.
There are many such wisdom crammed events of this virtuous Caliph who happened to be a first cousin of our beloved Prophet PBUH. InshALLAH in future we seek to enlight our audience on Hazrath Ali’s wit.
On the lines of the wonderful advice Luqman AS gave to his son, Hazrat Ali likewise extended wisdom to his son, Hazrat Hassan that we all can pass down our generation:
“My son, remember four things from me, and four more; you will come to no harm as long as you act in accordance with them:
The richest of riches is intelligence, and the greatest poverty is stupidity.
The loneliest isolation is conceit, and the noblest value is goodness of character.
Do not befriend a fool, for he hurts you when he wants to help you
Do not befriend a stingy man, for he will distance himself from you when he is most needed
Do not befriend a profligate, as he will sell you for a trifle
And do not befriend a liar, for he is like a mirage, making the distant seem near to you and the near seem distant.”
Students and parents expectantly anticipate vacations. They provide much needed break from hectic day-to-day schedule and form vital part of our lives. Vacations might be a boon if time is efficiently managed or could be bane if left slackly. Many a time vacations fall prey to unorganised and poor planning which reaps little or no benefit at all.
The religion of ALLAH SWT paves way for individuals’ rest and relaxes. A companion of the Prophet PBUH by the name of Handhalah Ibn ‘Aamir, RA complained ALLAH’s messenger that the intensity of his imaan diminishes when he in the company of wife and children (as opposed to the time when he was in the companionship of Prophet PBUH). ALLAH’s apostle responded by saying: “A time for this and a time for that” (Bukhari & Muslim) which means an hour of worship to enhance one’s imaan, and an hour of dedicating life for family being within the tenets of Islam to enrich imaan. ‘Ali Ibn Abu Taalib, RA used to say: “Relax your hearts and find some means of entertainment for them, because they become apathetic just as bodies get fatigued.”
One of the most exasperating habits cultivated during vacation is that of staying up for night and sleeping during the day thereby skipping dawn prayers. The widespread ill practices of vacations are gluing eyes to the television sets, surfing online, frequenting social networks, gaming addiction, so on and so forth. The content available on said media is most of times contemptible and leads to immense destruction.
On contrary, vacations provide golden chance to unwind and analyse our lives. We should contemplate whether we are being better Muslims or the other way round. Plan your holidays such that it can provide you prospect of spiritual recharge. It presents us an ideal opportunity to boost one’s deen (religion). Parents must ensure that their children offer all the obligatory prayers in congregation which may not be possible during school. Improve and enhance recitation of holy Quran. Initiate efforts to memorize parts of glorious Quran and learn ahadith of our beloved Prophet PBUH. Employ time in studying Seerah of prophets and sahaba. Foster the habit of implementing Sunnah in every walk of our lives. Endeavour to enlight our future generation with the awareness and beauty of Islam. It is an utter disgrace for us that our children are capable of solving complex problems pertaining to math and physics but possess little or no knowledge of our Prophet and his companions. More importantly, warrant vacations to be sin free.
In most cities there are arrangements for Islamic summer camps which provide an ideal atmosphere to learn deen (religion). Parents must try and get in touch with the organisers and enrol their wards in these camps. Most of these camps provide coaching as well as edutainment to children in order to make the course lively.
Vacations can be spiritually enriching for both parents and kids provided if engaged islamically. It is an excellent occasion for us to develop our kids’ character and uplift their Imaan! Let us pray and hope that inshALLAH these holidays are source for our salvation. Aameen
The Messenger of ALLAH PBUH said:“The best amongst you are those who have the best manners and character.” (Sahih Bukhari)