Shariah 101

August 4, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Enver Masud

Shariah-Council-Logo-green-star-with-logo-copy2-1-300x300The definition of justice, according to Dr. Robert D. Crane, founder of the Center for Civilizational Renewal, is respect for human rights, which were formulated six centuries ago by Islamic scholars. These rights, says Dr. Crane, are: “the right to life and personal integrity (haqq al haya), to family and community existence and cohesion at all levels of human society (haqq al nasi), to equal opportunities in accessing ownership of the means of economic production (haqq al mal), to political freedom for self-determination both within and among nations (haqq al hurriyah), to human dignity (haqq al karama, including freedom of religion and gender equity), and to education, knowledge, and freedom of expression (haqq al ilm).”

Regarding separation of Church and State, according to Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, author of Islam, a Sacred Law, Islamic jurists recognized this concept centuries before the Europeans, and divided the body of Shariah rules into two categories: religious observances and worldly matters. The first they observed to be beyond the scope of modification. The second, subject to interpretation, cover the following:

1. Criminal Law: This includes crimes such as murder, larceny, fornication, drinking alcohol, libel. 2. Family Law: This . . . covers marriage, divorce, alimony, child custody, inheritance. 3. Transactions: This covers property rights, contracts, rules of sale, hire, gift, loans and debts, deposits, partnerships, and damages.

“One of the most sensible definitions of the purposes of the Shariah,” according to Imam Feisal, was given by Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah who said:

“The foundation of the Shariah is wisdom and the safeguarding of people’s interests in this world and the next. In its entirety it is justice, mercy and wisdom. Every rule which transcends justice to tyranny, mercy to its opposite, the good to the evil, and wisdom to triviality does not belong to the Shariah . . .”

According to Imam Feisal the sources of Shariah are, in order:   1. The Quran – God’s Word revealed to Prophet Muhammad (s); 2. The Sunnah – practice and teachings of the Prophet; 3. Ijma – consensus of those in authority; 4. Qiyas – reason, logic, and opinion based upon analogy.

Imam Feisal describes seven other methods for deriving Islamic laws. These seven, plus ijma and qiyas, are collectively known as ijtihad or interpretation, and/or opinion based upon reason and logic.
Several schools of Shariah have evolved: Shafii, Hanbali, Hanafi, Maliki – the orthodox schools, and Jafari – the Shiite school. The Zaydis and Ibadis also have their own schools.

“Classical international law, reputedly invented by the Spaniards Vittorio and Suarez, borrowed the concept of inalienable human rights from Islamic law,” according to Dr. Crane.

Wisely implemented, Shariah can better nurture and protect society than does Western law which is subject to the whims of lawmakers.

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Virtue of Fasting in Rajab and Sha`ban

June 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

OnIslam

Question: Is it recommended to fast frequently during the months of Rajab and Sha`ban or not?Jazakum Allahu khayran.

Answer (Muhammad Ahmad Al-Musayyar)

crescent_moon_800Prophet Muhammad (s) is reported to have recommended fasting during the four sacred months (i.e. Dhul-Qi`dah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram, and Rajab). Therefore, a Muslim is generally recommended to observe fasting in these sacred months, and Rajab is one of them. It is also reported that the Prophet (s) used to observe fasting in Sha`ban more than he did in other months.

In response to your question, prominent Muslim scholar Dr. Muhammad AhmadAl-Musayyar, professor of Islamic creed and philosophy at Al-Azhar University, stated,

Fasting is a spiritual act of worship, which elevates one to the rank of angels, as one abstains from eating, drinking, and sexual relations from dawn until sunset.

In general, a Muslim should fast some days every now and then; in these days, one abstains from worldly matters, strengthens his or her resolution, and purifies his or her soul.

… It is recorded in Sunan Abu Dawud that Allah’s Messenger (s) recommended fasting during the Four Sacred Months, among which is the month of Rajab.

As for the month of Sha`ban, there are authentic hadiths about the virtue of fasting during it, among which the hadith recorded in Sahih Muslim on the authority of `A’ishah (ra) who said, “Allah’s Messenger (s) used to observe fasting (continuously) that we would say he would not break fasting, and he used not to fast (continuously) until we would say he would not fast. And I did not see Allah’s Messenger (s) completing the fast of a month, except Ramadan, and I did not see him fasting more in any other month than in Sha`ban.”

The hadith indicates that the Messenger (s) used to fast many days in Sha`ban that `A’ishah (ra) said in another narration, “He [the Prophet (s)] used to fast (almost) all of Sha`ban; he used to fast Sha`ban except for few (days).”

Except for these two months, Allah’s Messenger (s) used to observe fasting continuously to the extent that people would say that he would not break fasting.

He also used to keep breaking the fast for many consecutive days to the extent that people would say that he would not fast.

So the matter depends on feeling comfortable and devoted to worship without feeling bored or weary. That is why the Prophet (s) said, “Do (good) deeds that are within your capacity, as Allah never gets tired of giving rewards until you get tired of doing good deeds.”

He (s) also said,”The most beloved deed to Allah is the one its doer performs regularly even if it were little.”

Allah Almighty Knows best.

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Harun Yahya – Secrets of the Hypocrites

November 5, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

3. Allah Inflicts Various Spiritual Troubles on Them

Allah inflicts various spiritual woes on people who are arrogant before Allah thinking himself self-sufficient, and He makes a dark and narrow life for them in this world. Hypocrites cannot comprehend the source of the spiritual troubles visited upon them and live in confusion, since they are quite incapable of fathoming their origins.

They first harbor uneasiness, whose origins they are unable to identify. Yet the reason for it is actually quite clear.

There is evil in every human being’s lower self. However, just as he knows this, he also knows to avoid it. That is because—as stated in the verse below—while Allah imparts sin and evil in the human self, He also imparts the inspiration with which to avoid them:

And [I swear by] the self and what proportioned it and inspired it with depravity or sense of duty, he who purifies it has succeeded; he who covers it up has failed.

Ash-Shams: 7-10

As we have seen, in the same way that one side of self calls people to wickedness, a person also possesses a conscience that constantly calls him to goodness. The voice of the lower self is that of satan, and the voice of one’s conscience is the voice of truth. By constantly ignoring their conscience, hypocrites bring the wickedness in their lower selves to the fore. At this point they enter a state of spiritual conflict, and as a result, experience unremitting unease.

In addition to this unease, whose cause they are totally unable to identify, they harbor feelings of restlessness, doubt, and fear. The factor underlying all this fear is their distance from Allah and inability to comprehend that all things are under His control. Since they imagine that events are actually under their own control, they assume that they must also calculate every tiny detail regarding them.

Like all deniers, hypocrites are constantly preoccupied by such worldly matters as how to live, how to please others, how to maintain good health and never fall ill. That is by no means the end of the matter; they panic when they see that events are not going as they wish, and chase even more after the things of this world. This state of affairs persists until they die. Since they refuse to submit, admit their need of Allah, and place their affairs in His hands, they live in permanent stress and restlessness. Their psychological states are described in these terms in the Qur’an:

They imagine every cry to be against them.

Al-Munafiqun: 4

In addition, their efforts to make themselves popular and please others actually worsen their uneasy situation. That is because hypocrites, who constantly perform evil and mire themselves in sin, are in fact not liked by many people at all. In the same way that they attract the hatred of believers, they also gain the antipathy of others. Allah depicts them as repellent to others, thus inflicting on them one of the worse troubles they could ever face, that of not being loved, and thus leaving them alone and friendless in both this world and the Hereafter.

These people are unloved by others in the same way that they are unloved by Allah. They seek to give the impression that they are of great stature, though they are not so at all, and thus fall into a most humiliating position. Actually despised by those around them, they never enjoy true respect, and no value is ever placed on their ideas. That they will be demeaned both in this world and in the Hereafter is revealed in the Qur’an:

. . . They will have disgrace in this world and in the Hereafter they will have a terrible punishment.

Al-Baqara: 114

. . . Do you, then, believe in one part of the Book and reject the other? What repayment will there be for any of you who do that except disgrace in this world? .

Al-Baqara: 85

4. They Imagine that They will Inevitably be Forgiven

. . . [They are] taking the goods of this lower world, and saying, “We will be forgiven.”

Al-A’raf: 169

Due to the disease of self-satisfaction they bear within them, hypocrites imagine that Allah has a great love for them and will inevitably reward them with good things. They maintain that all their many devilish deeds were actually committed with the best of intentions. They think, along the lines of the verse cited above, “If we do wrong, we will be forgiven.” This stems from their refusal to recognize Allah or to appreciate His justice.

Yet Allah is He Who punishes evil. Because of what they have done in this world, hypocrites will be gravely disappointed in the next one. They appear to be as one with the community of the faithful, and may engage in various activities. Yet because of the sickness in their hearts, they will see that all their actions in this world count for nothing. However, their self-satisfaction prevents them from seeing this while they are in this world. The position they will face in the Hereafter is described in these terms in verses:

Say: “Shall I inform you of the greatest losers in their actions? People whose efforts in the life of this world are misguided while they suppose that they are doing good.”

Al-Kahf: 103-104

5. The Physical Harm Wrought by Their Self-Satisfaction

We have already emphasized the consequences to which hypocrites’ actions will give rise. Instead of thinking that these will inflict harm on them, they imagine that they are actually performing good deeds, as the verses tell us. The warnings and reminders issued to them come as a great surprise. They imagine that the believers they deal with are behaving wrongly and are unnecessarily warning totally innocent people. They imagine that the messenger and believers cannot fully appreciate them. However, believers, and the messenger in particular, are perfectly capable of perceiving the sickness in their hearts, both from their defective words and from their external appearances. Indeed, Allah has revealed that His messenger will be able to recognize them:

If We wished, We would show them to you and you would know them by their mark and know them by their ambivalent speech. Allah knows your actions.

Muhammad: 30

But as we have been describing since the very outset, the disease of self-satisfaction actually inflicts great harm on them. Their inner darkness and their uneasy, cunning spiritual state totally impacts on their external appearance. Clear proof can be seen regarding their hypocrisy, both in their speech and in their physical appearance. But as previously stated, only the messenger can establish certain identification on this matter. Following his description, the believers around him witness how their inner darkness is reflected on the outside.

The fact that their ways of speaking and facial expressions are defective, the dark expression that falls over their faces, their inability to understand even the simplest matters, and their lack of wisdom are just a few examples of the damage their sickness inflicts. Yet they cannot see that the blessings in their possession are departing one by one. On the contrary, they imagine that all is well. Indeed, they remain totally unaware of the defects in their external appearance, their gestures, expressions and speech. This is both a great trouble inflicted on them by Allah, and also a trap that will cause their own snares to rebound back on themselves.

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