Sacred Law

Knowledge: Am I Learning What I Should?

Posted by on Oct 24, 2009 in Sacred Law | Comments Off

Knowledge: Am I Learning What I Should?

The duties of faith are a necessary measure so as to regulate human affairs: to guide man, prevent him from straying, harming himself or harming others. By recognising the Sacred Law (shari‘ah) exists to guide and protect us, we can attain to a reasonable equilibrium in this world and felicity in the next. Vital to this is knowledge; for without it we would not know how to live out God’s will in our lives. As such, a core body of sacred knowledge has been made mandatory on all Muslims to learn – which is what is meant by the hadith: ‘Seeking knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim.’ Such knowledge covers three broad areas, an explanation of which is given here in Abu Aaliyah’s article.

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Is Differing A Mercy?

Posted by on Sep 24, 2009 in Sacred Law | Comments Off

Is Differing A Mercy?

The query being responded to by Shaykh Bin Bayyah centres on whether differences of opinion (ikhtilaf) in religious issues are a mercy or not. It was around the late second/early third Islamic century that one or two unorthodox voices proposed the notion that differences could not possibly be a mercy; for if they were a mercy, agreement must be a punishment! A thousands years have passed since al-Khattabi first showed how this view was utterly false. Regrettably, such an aberrant notion was given a new lease of life in our time, causing much confusion and strife. This fatwa restates the normative, mainstream voice on the matter in the hope of bringing back a sense of proportion. Indeed, living with disagreement is how we grow.

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Why Is My Prayer Unanswered?

Posted by on Mar 24, 2009 in Sacred Law | Comments Off

Why Is My Prayer Unanswered?

Du‘a (“supplication”, “prayer” or “petitioning” God) is the very substance of worship, as one hadith puts it. Another says: ‘There is nothing more honourable to God than supplication.’ The Qur’an urges us to ‘ask God of His favours.’ It further states: ‘I answer the prayer of the supplicant when he prays to Me.’ This being so, why is it that our prayers seem sometimes to go unanswered? Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymin addresses this question and, in doing so, reassures us of God’s promise to respond; on the one hand, and alerts us to our own failings that bar our du’as from acceptance; on the other.

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Fussing Over the 15th of Sha‘ban

Posted by on Aug 11, 2008 in Sacred Law | Comments Off

Fussing Over the 15th of Sha‘ban

The 15th night of Sha‘ban has, for a time, become a source of much controversy and argument. Does the night have merit and can it be singled-out with extra prayers and acts of devotion, or is doing so a bid‘ah? Abu Aaliyah addresses the issue and cites a number of classical authorities. He points to the distinction between what scholars have said about the specific Prayer of mid-Sha‘ban, and between general prayers in mid-Sha‘ban. A much needed and insightful read.

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The Three R’s of Ramadan

Posted by on Sep 10, 2007 in Sacred Law | Comments Off

The Three R’s of Ramadan

Ramadan yields to the faithful an array of timely lessons to help steer them through what is rapidly becoming a vulnerable and volatile world. Three lessons, above all others, lie at the core; and may be termed as the Three R’s: reverence, restraint and responsibility. Abu Aaliyah explains what exactly they mean, how fasting helps nurture these virtues and how necessary they are to believers as they navigate their way through the turbulence of life.

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Prayer Beads: Muslim Unity Hanging By a Thread

Posted by on Jul 14, 2007 in Sacred Law | Comments Off

Prayer Beads: Muslim Unity Hanging By a Thread

Abu Aaliyah contends that most people who have been wrongly taught that dhikr beads are a bid‘ah tend to be very open and accepting of the counter argument – the view of the vast majority of classical jurists. It is only with a tiny clique of diehards, who are self-referential and view Islam entirely through the lens of a tinier, limited set of scholars, that any dogged and divisive opposition is seriously found. The psychology of bigotry aside, it is in the hope of clarifying the issue and in wishing to appeal to the open-minded seeker, that this article is written. ‘If you wish to know the mistakes of your teacher, sit with other than him,’ is the received wisdom here.

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Guardians of Sacred Knowledge

Posted by on Jun 15, 2007 in Sacred Law | Comments Off

Guardians of Sacred Knowledge

Abu Aaliyah explores – mainly through the words of Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (d.795H/1392CE) – how Islam’s knowledge-based legacy was preserved by two types of scholars. One was dedicated to memorising and recording the Prophet’s words and deeds, peace be upon him, with meticulous care and precision. The other type are skilled in understanding the intent of the texts and extracting rulings from them. The first group are the hadith specialists (muhaddithun); the second, the jurists (fuqaha). Today, distinction between the two is being eroded, in that because a scholar specialises in hadith, it is assumed he must possess jurists abilities too. The article discusses the correct outlook on the matter.

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Commencing Gatherings with the Fatihah

Posted by on May 25, 2007 in Sacred Law | Comments Off

Commencing Gatherings with the Fatihah

Shaykh Bin Bayyah not only explains the ruling on the issue, he outlines why a difference over it even exists. He writes that jurists have long differed over the dalil ‘amm – a “general proof-text” – and how it is to be acted on. Differences in juristic methods and legal theory on this matter have long given rise to different rulings on a plethora of issues, from the time of the earliest religious authorities: the salaf. Hence, this fatwa is essential for anyone concerned with true Muslim unity and with shielding the ummah from unwarranted splitting and schism.

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On Celebrating the Prophet’s Birthday

Posted by on Apr 19, 2007 in Sacred Law | Comments Off

On Celebrating the Prophet’s Birthday

The Qur’an states: ‘God has surely shown favour to the believers by sending them a Messenger of their own, to recite to them His signs, and purify them, and instruct them in the Book and in wisdom; while before they were in evident error.’ Asked why he fasted on Mondays, the Prophet, peace be upon him, replied: ‘This is the day I was born, and which I was sent as a Prophet.’ Without doubt, then, the day that the Prophet, peace be upon him, was born is joyous indeed. But does the shari‘ah permit us to earmark his birthday, or mawlid, as an annual celebration? Shaykh Bin Bayyah explains the issue:

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Dhikr in Congregation

Posted by on Apr 19, 2007 in Sacred Law | Comments Off

Dhikr in Congregation

The Qur’an teaches: ‘O you who believe! Remember God abundantly.’ Remembring God (dhikr) is, it has been said, a key to sanctity and a means for arrival. The questioner asks of Shaykh Bin Bayyah whether reciting the Qur’an collectively, in unison, or making congregational dhikr, is lawful or not?. The Shaykh’s reply is informative and nuanced, and is a reminder that a reprehensible innovation, or bid‘ah, is that act which has no basis in the Qur’an, Sunnah, consensus (ijma‘) or analogy (qiyas); or has no precedent in the practice of the pious predecessors or salaf.

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