Saturday, July 28, 2012

Fasting and Travelling: Prophetic Traditions

DURING THE HOLY MONTH OF RAMADAN, believers are generally expected to observe fasting in normal circumstances. Many of them, however, may have to go on regular travels as part of their everyday life routine. Arduous journeys may also have to be undertaken by some people and fasting on such occasions may entail hardship for the persons concerned. Some of them, may have a health situation that necessitates continuous medication. Islam takes into account these diverse physical and health conditions of the believers and it offers the possibility of replacing the missing fasts with an equal number of days in other/ better times. Both the Holy Qur’an and the noble practice of the Holy Prophet (sa) affirm the exceptions under special circumstances. In his Friday Sermon of July 27, 2012 Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib (atba) of Mauritius explained at length the essential wisdom of these benign teachings of Islam.

Read the Extracts from the Friday Sermon:

“And whoever is ill or on a journey - then (to replace the missed fasts) an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship.” (2: 186)

In this verse of the Holy Quran, Almighty Allah is referring to the travellers and the sick people. Allah says: “And whoever is ill or on a journey - then (to replace the missed fasts) an equal number of other days.” (2: 186)

A traveller who sets on a journey within a distance which enables him not to shorten his prayer, he can either fast or not fast and replace the missing fast or fasts afterwards, but if he sees that he is able to fast, then he can fast.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Significance of Namaz-e-Jumu’ah

Namaz-e-Jumu’ah, or the Friday noon prayer, is an important obligation on devout Muslims. The significance of the prayer finds a specific mention in the Holy Qur’an itself, with the believers being exhorted by Allah Almighty to proceed to the prayers and leave off all business wherever they are, once the call for prayer comes. Recently, a Muslim sought the guidance of the Messenger of our times, Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib of Mauritius (atba) on a related matter: Can the Namaz-e- Jumu’ah be performed in a place and situation where there are only three persons (one male and two females) and a child?  

For the benefit of our readers, the guidance issued by Hadhrat Sahib (atba) is reproduced below: 
“... [I]t is absolutely permissible to conduct Jummah prayers with 3 persons and a child. A Jamaat is formed with TWO persons, and women also are the servants of Allah and their presence in Jummah counts. 
When Allah says in Surah Jumu'ah:
"O you who believe! when the call is made for Prayer on Friday, hasten to the remembrance of Allah, and leave off all business. That is better for you, if you only knew." (62:10)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ramadan: Pillars of Fasting

In his Friday Sermon of 20 July 2012, Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim(atba) of Mauritius explained the spiritual significance of fasting, especially in the holy month of Ramadan. Drawing upon the Qur’anic prescriptions and prophetic traditions on this issue, Hadhrat Sahib (atba) identifies, in his speech, the main pillars of Fasting.   

Read the Extracts from the Friday Sermon:

O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may become righteous. (2: 184)

The definition of Siyaam, Sawm, Roza or fast, means to abstain from something. Allah makes us understand this meaning well from the Holy Quran, where He cites the example of Mary (upon her be peace) who said:

‘I have vowed to the Most Merciful abstention (that is, silence), so I will not speak today to (any) man.’ (19: 27)

When one reads these verses and reflect on each of them, one shall see that as a matter of fact, this is an act of worship which the believer does with sincerity for the sake of Allah alone whereby he abstain from food, drink and also sexual relations among other things. While these were legal for him during the other months, but while encountering the month of Ramadan, he has to abstain from these same things from dawn to dusk only for the pleasure of Allah. He does this only for His Rab and Allah gave him this instruction; and these commandments were revealed to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and were later compiled into Book form – a perfect book wherein there is no doubt and which is a guide only for the righteous. This book is none other than the Holy Quran, and Allah says in that same Holy Book:

"The month of Ramadan is that in which the Quran was sent down as guidance for mankind with clear proofs of guidance and discrimination. Therefore, whosoever of you is present (at home) in this month, let him fast therein..." (2: 186)

And in the same verse, Allah says

"Allah desires (to give) you facility and He desires not hardship for you, and that you may complete the number, and that you may exalt Allah for His having guided you and that you may be grateful". (2: 186)

In section 23 of the second chapter (Al-Baqara), Allah the Almighty has guided the believers on how to observe the fast and what are its rulings. And if a Muslim follows these commandments to the letter and makes it a must to understand the importance and the benefits of fasting, then he shall derive many rewards from it. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Body Hygiene: Prophetic Traditions

ISLAM places much emphasize upon cleanliness. Purity of the body, mind and the soul are inextricably intertwined in Islam, for physical cleanliness is central to spiritual purity. In his Friday Sermon of 13 July 2012, Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim (atba) of Mauritius explained the Prophetic traditions on body hygiene and respect for the natural environment in the wider context of leading a healthy and long life in the Islamic way.

Drawing upon his own close study and analysis of the subject, the Khalifatullah observes: “[t]he absence of tobacco and alcohol consumption, consumption of five fruits and vegetables daily, physical exercise half an hour a day can contribute to the prolongation of life. Certainly it is the cleansing of the body, whether of our internal systems and our soul which each contributes to make us human beings capable of living a long life, according to the will of God in good physical, moral and spiritual health...”

Read the Extracts from the Friday Sermon:

“The human being who lives temporarily on earth will be compensated after his death according to his beliefs, his actions as well as his intentions. In Islam, acts of goodness not only reveal the spiritual and cultural, but they (also) concern different aspects of man’s life.

Islam has taught rules under the name which is now commonly called hygiene. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) said: “Ten things are part of (what the human being does by) natural predisposition: trimming his moustache, keeping the beard, brushing the teeth, rinsing his nostrils, trimming his nails, washing his finger joints, removing the hair of the armpits, shaving the pubic hair, using water after relieving him (after going to the toilet), and (one link in the chain of transmission says he remembers the tenth thing vaguely, that is) rinsing his mouth.” (Reported by Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, An-Nasaa’i)

According to other links in the chain of transmission, the tenth thing is circumcision. In another famous Hadith reported by Muslim, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) considers purification as being half of faith. So we see that Islam has put much emphasis on how Muslims must cultivate a healthy (clean) lifestyle.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Parenting: Spirituality and Science

Children are the best Gifts Almighty Allah bestows upon the parents. And good parenting is an Islamic virtue. Inculcating good habits and etiquettes in them and nurturing their inherent creative instincts are a huge responsibility and parents are accountable to the Lord Almighty for the same. In an age that offers too many ‘value’ systems and life styles, temptations and diversions are trying to take over the attention of today’s children. In this context, parenting has to go beyond the command/control/authority approach that parents usually deploy and be flexible enough to take account of the evolving realities: the growing reasoning power of children, their intelligence and age. The pride of being a practicing Muslim has to be demonstrated as a living reality to our children on an everyday basis. If the Islamic way is presented to our children with practical example and persuasion characterized by a relationship of trust and friendship, love and mutual respect, it will win over their hearts and minds.  

In his Friday Sermon of July 06, 2012, Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib (atba) of Mauritius threw new light on the subject of parenting. Drawing upon recent scientific experiments and new knowledge available on the developmental biology of the human brain, the Khalifatullah underscores the critical importance of early years of a child’s life experiences in the eventual development of his/her emotional stability, personality traits and intelligence level.

Read the Extracts from the Friday Sermon: 

“The regimented way many raise their children is not appropriate to modern life and, more particularly, to life in the countries we now live in. At an early stage, regimentation is a  powerful method to activate good habits and the performances of regular activities such as prayer and reading of the Holy Quran. But as the reasoning of children develops, we must as parents also begin to change our approach to reflect their intelligence and the life of the child.

Particularly in the western world, there are many distractions and temptations fighting for the attention of our children. These, together with the fact that we are inclined to serve our natural desires (some might say naturally inclined to evil), mean that we are in danger of losing our children if we rely totally on obedience to our commands. Unless we build up a relationship of trust and friendship with our children as well as authority through mutual respect and love, we have little hope of retaining our children given the strength of the worldly distraction they are exposed to (TV being a prime example).

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Bibi Momin Azim Sahiba (1928-2012)

BIBI MOMIN AZIM SAHIBA, the respected and beloved mother of the Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim (atba) of Mauritius, died on June 30, 2012. Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilaihi Rajiuun....She was 84 years old and the death came after a brief illness. Hailing from a spiritually distinguished family with a track record of great sacrifice and considerable service to Islam, Bibi Sahiba’s forefathers were among the earliest Ahmadis of the Island nation. [ To read an article about her family background and pious life, click here]. 

Bibi Momin Azim Sahiba was an important and exceptional witness to the current Divine Manifestation in Mauritius from its very early days. May Allah grant the departed, pious soul a high and lofty place in the bliss of Jannat. Ameen, Summa Ameen.  In his Friday Sermon of July 06, 2012 Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim (atba) thanked all those who offered her Janaza prayers and briefly described the events of the last days of Bibi Momin Azim Sahiba’s earthly life. The shadow of Allah’s help and succour comes to the Party of Allah in myriad ways even in times of death and funeral.

Read the Extracts from the Sermon:       

“Before ending, by the grace of Allah, I would like to thank all my disciples and all those who have directly expressed or sent their sincerest condolences about the sad demise of my beloved mother Bibi Momin Azim Sahiba and who prayed her Janaza prayers. Alhamdulillah, Summa Alhamdulillah, it gives my heart tranquillity to find such love for Allah, His Rassool and the mother of Allah's Rassool in your heart.

She was really an exceptional lady, and despite that all her children except this humble self are found in the Jamaat Ahmadiyya (mainstream), but she never hesitated to stand firm along with her son, the Messenger of Allah, to such an extent that Allah gave this humble self the blessing to have my mother with me and my family members in our house in her last days. She even emitted signs that she would be going away, by telling this humble self that this was the last time that she would be coming to my place. Prior to taking her to the hospital, I and my family members gave away Sadqua and took her to a private doctor and made all the necessary tests and eco and we also prayed a lot. After 8 days of staying with me, we had to admit her to the hospital due to sudden deterioration in her health.