Showing posts with label pillars of Islam. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pillars of Islam. Show all posts

Friday, August 24, 2018

Hajj: On Blocking Access to the Ka'aba

Ever since the great Sultan Salahauddin Ayyubi (ra) took up the title "Servant of the Two Holy Mosques"  (Khadim Al-Haramain Al-Sharifainin the medieval ages as a mark of his quest to attain nearness to Allah (swt) while he was fighting the infidels in the Crusades, many other Muslim monarchs who presided over the holy land of Makkah and Madina continued to assume this title in their times. These days, the Saudi Arabian monarchs take pride in describing their official title as the Khadim Al-Haramain Al-Sharifain, pointing to the significance of the Two Holy Mosques and the land of Makkah and Madina in Muslim spiritual and political imagination.The title refers to their important responsibility for the upkeep of mosques and holy sites within Makkah and Madina and protection of pilgrims on the Hajj. 

As the land of Makkah and Madina belong to every Muslim, all Muslims have a right to visit the Holy lands to perform the religious rites. Sectarian differences among Muslim communities and political disputes among Muslim nations are part of the existential condition of the Islamic world today. These disputes and issues should never be used as a pretext to discriminate against specific groups of Muslims or to upset the Divine order that mandates the free flow of pilgrimage into Islam's holiest shrines. Most certainly, the men whom claim to be the "trustees and stewards  of the Holy Places" have no business creating barriers in the sacred journeys of all  or any of God's devotees- regardless of their denominational identity or national origin.  

The Saudi leadership, however, has a dismal record of playing politics with Hajj in more recent times. Recently, in the aftermath of the economic blockade by the Saudi-led four nations against it, the State of Qatar has complained that its nationals are unable to register through the official channels for the Hajj this year as a direct consequence of the blockade measures instituted by the Saudi authorities due to political disputes. Likewise, speaking against the backdrop of Iranian pilgrims facing problems at the hands of the Saudi authorities, the Iranian spiritual leader Ayatullah Khamenei recently made an instructive statement:  

“The land of Mecca belongs to all Muslims. No one should think they can do whatever they want on this land. All Muslims have the same right with regard to Mecca and Medina.

“No one should manipulate and prevent the concepts of Hajj, or the points and rituals that exist in Hajj. The individuals and the government that prevent these concepts are, indeed, “creating an obstacle in the way of God” [Quran: 2:217]. The Ka'aba belongs to all the Muslims. According to the Quran, Holy Mecca belongs to all Muslims and all Muslims have the same right over Mecca and Medina. No one should think they can do whatever they want on this land.

He went on to say: “Unfortunately, the government of Saudi Arabia creates problems for the Hajj pilgrims and prevents some rituals to be performed; even though, it is righteous to allow them perform those rituals. These issues must be regarded as the Muslims’ demands, which should not be forgotten".

In his Eid-ul-Adha Sermon of 22 August 2018 (10 Dhul-Hijjah 1439 AH), Hadhrat Muhyi-ud-Din Al Khalifatullah Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius spoke movingly about the plight of the Ahmadi Muslims in our times who are unable to access the land of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) for the purpose of accomplishing their devotional obligations relating to the fifth pillar of Islam. In countries like Pakistan and elsewhere, in passport/visa applications for purposes of Hajj and Umrah visits, all Muslims had been forced to declare statements denying and condemning the Promised Massih (as). Such mindless sectarian prejudices and administrative highhandedness by the authorities smack of Pharoahan tactics. Drawing on Qur'anic teachings and the Holy Prophet (sa)'s instructions, Hadhrat Khalifatullah (atba) calls for intense soul-searching by those concerned before it is too late for them. 

Read the Extracts from the Eid Sermon: 

Saturday, June 9, 2018

The Importance of 'Zakaat' in Islam

Zakaat in Islam

Zakaat is a pillar of Islam and an obligatory act of charity ordained to every eligible Muslim. It is an act of devotion and an effective form to achieve social justice. It is also one of the five pillars of Islam and prescribed in the Holy Quran and in the Hadiths. The root of the word Zakaat in Arabic means blessing, growth, purity or improvement. The word Zakaat refers to the part of the wealth prescribed by Allah to be distributed among the categories of people described by Allah in Surah At-Taubah (Chapter 9, verse 60) and the Hadiths. Zakaat is an act of worship that purifies the wealth and soul of Muslims.

The purification of wealth means the mobilization of goods for financial growth and justified distribution (equal repartition of wealth). Purification of the soul means liberation of the Muslim’s heart from hatred, jealousy, selfishness, and greed.

Technically speaking, Zakaat is a fixed proportion that is withdrawn on an annual basis from the wealth and distributable profits and given to beneficiaries of this fund (as indicated by the Quran and Sunnah) for the well-being of Muslim society. Zakaat is calculated on the net balance after the Muslim has deducted his expenses for personal, family and other purposes (necessities). At the end of the year if the Muslim is in possession of 35 grams of gold or 595 grams of silver or the cash equivalence or article of commerce he must pay Zakaat on it at 2.5% tax, also applicable to agricultural products and livestock.

Zakaat is mentioned about thirty times in the Holy Quran and it is mentioned most in association with Salat (prayer) as this verse indicates: “Those who establish Salah (prayer) and give Zakah (Obligatory Charity/ Tax).” (Al-Baqara 2: 278).

Narrated from Anas (ra) that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “Whoever departs this world with sincerity towards Allah, worshipping Him alone with no partner, establishing regular prayer and paying Zakaat, he dies while Allah is pleased with him.” (Ibn Majah).

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Muhammad- the Universal Prophet

The Holy prophet (pbuh) was born on 12th Rabi’ul Awwal. His father was Abdullah son of Abdul-Muttalib and his mother was Amina daughter of Wahab. It was in the year of Elephant, the year when Abraha an Abyssinian at the head of an army marched towards Mecca mounted on elephants in order to attack Mecca and demolish the Ka’aba. The march of elephants frightened the Arabs but Allah sent down a swarm of flying creatures which threw stones on the Abyssinian army. This event marked history for Allah after nominating the Muhammad (pbuh) as prophet, later revealed to him about what occurred to Abraha and his army in the year of his birth. This Surah is none other than Surah Al-Fil (The Elephant: Chapter 105). Allah relates therein how He crushed them and their evil plans.

The Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) came to change the course of human history. His birth was like a spring of light which illuminated the Arabian Peninsula and the whole world.

According to various Qur’anic verses and prophetic traditions, we see the magnificence of the Prophet, whether in his physical features, and in his character. His physical beauty is comparable to the beauty of the fourteenth moon; and much more! Several of his companions have given details of his physical traits and his character. The Prophet (pbuh) had a beautiful constitution. He had a white complexion; a splendid white. His forehead was wide, and the place between his eyebrows was bright like pure silver and his eyes were beautiful, and the pupils of his eyes were black. His cilia were abundant. As for his nose, it was thin, and he had a sweet face. His beard was thick, and his neck was beautiful, being neither long nor short, to the point that if the sun hit him, it seemed like a cup of silver mixed with gold. In addition, the space between the shoulders of the Prophet (pbuh) was wide and his hair, which was neither thin nor curly, almost touched his shoulders. Aisha, his beloved wife reported that “the blessed hair of the Messenger of God (pbuh) were longer than those reaching the earlobes and shorter than those that reach the shoulders.” He was neither tall nor short. (Inset:  Hazratbal Mosque in Srinagar, Kashmir. It houses a hair of the prophet Muhammad. The "Moi-e-Muqqadas", arrived in Kashmir in 1699 during the time of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, is displayed on various occasions related with the life of the Holy Prophet ).

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Eid-ul-Adha: Prophetic Traditions

Insha-Allah, we celebrate the Eid-ul-Adha on Sunday 05 October 2014. Therefore, in today’s Friday Sermon, I shall put before you some Hadiths which has connection with the Eid-ul-Adha.

Abdullah ibn `Abdul-Rahman ibn Abza from his father (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to say in the morning and in the evening: “We wake up on pure Islam, the word of Tawhid (monotheism) and on the religion of our Prophet Muhammad (peace b upon him) and on the religion of our father Ibrahim (Abraham) who was purely a Muslim and never was from the polytheists.”(Ahmad) 

Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him) recited out loud : “Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik, Labbaik Laa Sharika Laka Labbaik, Innal Hamda wan-Ni’mata Laka wal Mulk, Laa Sharika Laka” – (Translation) I respond to Your call O Allah, I respond to Your call, and I am obedient to Your orders, You have no partner, I respond to Your call All the praises and blessings are for You, All the sovereignty is for You, And You have no partners with you. – He cried out that attestation of the unity of God (that is, the Talbiya) and that is all. (Bukhari & Ahmad)

Hazrat Shaddad ibn Aws (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to recite this supplication (duah) in his Salat(prayer): “O Allah, I ask You for steadfastness in keeping Your command. And I ask You for firmness of resolution in (pursuing) the right path…” Therefore, even for doing good deeds, pursuing the right path, there cannot be ‘firmness of resolution’ without duahs (supplication to Allah).

Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the one who showed the most firmness and perseverance and also he used to seek the help of Allah through prayer/supplications to Allah (duah), and he sought guidance, that is, the right path, intelligence and perspicacity. This is what is called ‘Rusht’ (the ability to distinguish good and evil). 

“...And I ask You (enablement) to be thankful for Your favours and to worship You in the best way. And I ask You for a truthful tongue and ‘Qalbi Saleem’ (a sound heart)…”

Now, nobody has received a purer heart than Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him) and there has not been any person who has been more truthful than him on earth. Therefore, in this way, we can correctly say that it is Allah who gives the Qawli Sadid(clear/truthful speech), ‘Qawli Salim’ (pure speech) and ‘Rusht’ (the ability to distinguish good and evil), otherwise there is no other means to acquire all these!

Then Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “…And I seek refuge in You from the mischief that You know and I ask You for the good that You know. And I seek Your forgiveness for (sins) that You know Indeed, You are the Best Knower of the unseen.”

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Being Good or Bad : Islamic Human Values

Islam has established a number of fundamental rights, valid for all humanity and must be observed and respected under all circumstances. To this end, Islam provides not only legal guarantees but also a very effective moral system. Thus in Islam anything that leads to the well-being of the individual or society is morally good, and everything that is injurious to him/it is morally bad. Islam attaches so much importance to the love of God and love of man that it warns against too much formalism. We read in the Holy Qur’an:  “Virtue does not consist in turning your faces towards the east or the west; virtuous are those who believe in God and the Last Day, the angels and the Book and the prophets, who give for the love of God help to their relatives and to orphans and the needy and travellers, and those who ask, who free captives, who observe prayer, who practice alms-giving, who fulfill the commitment they assume, who show patience in adversity, in hard times and in times of violence. Those are just and fear the Lord.” (2: 178)

We have here a beautiful description of the righteous and God-fearing believer, who obeys to (and implements) the salutary precepts, but without ceasing to gaze upon the love of God and love of as fellow human beings. We have received four precepts:

a) Our faith should be true and sincere.
b) We must be prepared to show it by acts of charity towards our fellow human beings.
c) We must be good citizens.
d) Our soul must be firm and steadfast in all circumstances.

This is the criterion upon which all individual behaviour is judged as good or bad. This criterion is somehow the nucleus around which revolve all the elements that constitute the moral conduct of each person. Before establishing moral precepts, Islam seeks to firmly implant in man’s heart the conviction that he is in constant contact with God who sees him at all times and in all places, that he can hide from the world, but not of Him; he can fool anyone, but not God, he can escape the clutches of anyone except God.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Reading the Holy Qur’an

The Holy Qur’an is the central text of Islam and it has a cherished position in the lives of the Muslims. By learning and reciting the verses of the holy text in its classical Arabic on a regular basis since childhood, devout Muslims develop a poignant and intimate relation with it. Yet, the fact remains that the Qur’an is a complex text: the verses are inter-related and interconnected and were revealed in a specific context. What it actually says is shrouded in veils of assumptions and opinions as the Sacred Text is often quoted to derive or invoked in support of directly contradictory meanings.

In his Friday Sermon of May 17, 2013 the Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib (atba) of Mauritius gave a profound discourse on the underlying norms and principles applicable for both believers and truth seekers in developing an interpretative relationship with the Qur’an. Purity of heart, an open mind capable of perceiving the larger truth, an understanding of the Divine scheme of things for the world, sincere striving in pursuit of the sublime meaning of the Divine verses-all these are essential starting points, indicates the Messenger of Allah of our times.

Read the Extracts from the Friday Sermon:

This is an honourable Quran; in a protected record. None can grasp it except those pure; a revelation from the Lord of the worlds.” (56: 78-81)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Heavenly Signs of Hadhrat Ahmad (as)

One of the most important beliefs among the Muslims is the appearance of Al Imam Al Mahdi in the Latter Days. The grand prophecies of the Holy Prophet of Islam (sa) regarding the appearance of his substitute in the Latter Days also point to the sign of solar and lunar eclipses. The appearance of the Divinely-ordained soul took place at the appointed time and the signs of celestial events also fulfilled as foretold in the holy traditions. Allah the Most High kept his side of the bargain. Yet, the world in general and the contemporary theologians in particular, rejected him. 

In his Friday Sermon of 22 March 2013, Hadhrat Khalifatullah Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib (atba) of Mauritius reflects on the personal background of Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian who was raised to the august spiritual office of Al Imam Al Mahdi by Allah the Most High, against the backdrop of the decline of the fortunes of Muslims in India and their capacity to articulate Islam’s spiritual appeal in general. In his speech, the Khalifatullah (atba) bears witness to the sublime truth of Hadhrat Ahmad (as) and further, confirms that his own Divine Mission in this era is inextricably intertwined with the Divine Mission of the Promised Massih (as) in the previous era.

Read the Extracts from the Friday Sermon:

The year 1835 holds a proud place in the human calendar. During that year a child was born in Qadian, an obscure village in northern India. For generations his ancestors had ruled with distinction over the region around Qadian. Prior to his arrival even Islam fell in decline and lost much of its glory. The child who was born was not ordinary. He was intended to bring about a great revolution not only in the realm of the spirit, but also well into the realm of matter. He was born on 13 February 1835 and was named Ghulam Ahmad by his parents and later became famous under the name of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani. He was appointed by God as the Messiah and Mahdi.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Islamic Ethics for a Better Society

In his special sermon of October 05, 2012 on the occasion of the Annual Conference [“JALSA SALANA”] of the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam International, the Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib (atba) of Mauritius reflected on the fundamental values and structural norms on which the edifice of human society is constituted. Based on a holistic analysis of the profound Islamic ordinances, the Messenger of Allah of our times pin-points several ethical principles which, if kept in mind in our individual and collective life, would go a long way in making the world a better place to live.  

Read the Extracts from the Sermon:

Now, allow me to pinpoint certain directives offered by Islam to get rid of some social evils and build a better and progressive society:

1. There should be a good relationship between the high and the low, the aged and the young.

2. Beggary is looked down on with extreme displeasure. The Holy Prophet (saw) has said: “The hand of the donor is better than the hand of the taker.” There came a period in history when people had charity to give but there were no takers.

3. With regard to our neighbours, the needy and the orphans, the Holy Quran has laid this order: “And worship Allah and associate naught with Him and show kindness to parents, and to kindred, and orphans and the needy, and to the neighbour that is a kinsman and the neighbour that is a stranger, and the companion by your side, and the wayfarer, and those whom your right hands possess. Surely, Allah loves not the proud and the boastful.” (4: 37)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Significance of Ramadan

In his Friday Sermon of August 03, 2012 Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib of Mauritius (atba) explained the significance of the Fasting month of Ramadan in the Islamic Calendar. Fasting is being prescribed for the believers so that we may act righteously and guard ourselves against evil. At an individual level, fasting enables a person to bear hardships and thereby strengthens his/her ability to withstand complex problems and life situations. At another level, it enlarges the empathy and fellow-feeling in us vis-a-vis the suffering humanity. Fasting also enables a person to detach his/her material self from the preoccupations of a mundane life and to discover the spiritual side by spending time in the remembrance of Allah, the Most High.

Read the Extracts from the Friday Sermon:
What makes the ninth Islamic month so significant? The answer is to be found in the Holy Quran, in the verse which I just recited before you, in Surah Al-Baqara . It tells us:

“The month of Ramadan (is that) in which the Quran was revealed, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights (the new moon of) the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey - then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and (wants) for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that (to) which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.” (2: 186)

Commenting on the above verse, firstly, I wish to point out that this revelation says that the Quran was revealed for mankind. Whereas all other previously revealed books were meant for specific people and specific times, the Quran is a source of guidance for all peoples and all times. The month of Ramadan is therefore a sacred month because of a great event that took place during it, that is, the start of revelation of the Holy Quran.

Secondly, the Quran was revealed for the benefit of mankind with clear proofs of guidance and discrimination (from right and wrong). Therefore this book comprises all truths; such truths as mankind may stand in need of at any time and in any circumstances.

Thirdly, there is the instruction that whosoever is on home ground and in their normal circumstances, should fast during this month of Ramadan. Now for what reason do we have to observe the fast? Again, referring to the Holy Quran, we read: 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)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Hadhrat Ahmad (as) and the Miracle of the Pen

In his Friday Sermon of March 23, 2012 Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib (atba) of Mauritius paid glowing tributes to the staggering literary contributions and special spiritual achievements of the Promised Massih Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) of Qadian. The sermon succinctly summarises the extraordinary efforts of the Promised Massih (as) to defend and espouse the cause of Sahih Al Islam by wielding the pen as the sword of Allah.

Read the Extracts from the Sermon:

“… Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi was born to a noble family in Qadian, India. From an early age he had a keen interest in religion and used to devote the majority of his time in reading books and staying in the Mosque because of his love for Allah.

He was also known for his honesty, friendliness and resolve. Over time by the grace of Allah his knowledge and understanding of religion and its application to society deepened. Being a Muslim it was his firm belief that all religions were true at origin and he always sought to uphold the dignity of religion and to demonstrate its relevance to everyone. His earnest defence of religion was ultimately blessed when he started to receive direct revelation from Allah – a blessing that he received for the rest of his life.

His mission was to revitalise the truth that all religions held within them and to revive the teachings of Islam. It was through this that he would bring mankind together and establish everlasting peace. In 1889, under Divine Guidance, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (upon him be peace) founded the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, a community which had grown in stature and strength and conveyed the message of Islam to the ends of the earth.

But today, after having reached its peak, it (this community/Jamaat) has lost its credence and essence as true all because of some rebels (creators of chaos) found therein who have trampled the teachings of Islam under their feet. But Allah remained true to His promise which He made to His Messiah and He sent another Messiah to hold fast the torch of True Islam which Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (upon him be peace) came to revive in his era.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

SALAT : A Healing Balm for the Bruised Soul

In his Friday Sermon of October 21, 2011 Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib continued the subject of Islamic prayer and reflected upon the psychological benefits of Salat. Drawing upon the latest trends in psychiatry and the treatment of mental illnesses, Hadhrat Khalifatullah sketches down the ways in which recourse to Salat and its postures would be beneficial. 

Read the extracts from the Sermon:

“A good doctor will utilise the three aspects of therapy to effect a cure:

 (1) Drugs, to actually combat the illness or relieve pain.

 (2) Food to strengthen the defences of the body and,

 (3) Fear, hope, joy or grief are emotions which the doctor should evoke by counselling the patient to conquer his illness.

If a man is engaged in worship, he will feel apprehension, fear and hope, nervousness and love. And when he takes thought of the next life, he will strengthen the faculties, delight the heart and drive away disease by this very means.

The latest trends in psychiatry, both in causation and therapy, postulate a biochemical basis for mental illness. Salat and indeed Zakat can produce mental changes and even psychotic behaviour has been determined most positively. The converse would also apply. The latest trends in psychiatry regarding the causation of depressions and even Neuroses as well as psychoses reveal that anti-Sunna behaviour is implicated. 

This anti-Sunna activity ranges from error in diet to faulty nutrition (Example, lack of Nicotinic Acid Vitamins etc. causes dementia) and to anti-social activity like isolation, lack of social companionship and lack of orientation. All these factors which represent in the various aspects of Salat, (whereby Salat in congregation leads to a fostering of brotherly feelings and companionship) can prevent mental illness. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

What to Do and Avoid in Ramadan

In his Friday Sermon of August 12, 2011 Hadhrat Khalifatullah Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib of Mauritius spoke about the larger message of Ramadan for the collectivity of believers or the Muslim Ummah.  The signature tune of the speech was an impassioned plea for unity and brotherhood and harmony in intra-community relations. Fasting in this month of Ramadan being one of the pillars of the Islamic edifice, the Khalifatullah points out the extraordinary opportunity it represents to all denominational groups within the fold of Islam to rise above their differences and celebrate the spirit of Islam as One Community.

The Khalifatullah said: 

Brothers and sisters in Islam, let us live in harmony; harmony is not a slogan but a mission. Harmony does not fall from the sky like rain! This is a personal work that everyone should do; it requires an individual commitment; that is to put aside one’s own ego and not to promote our interests, but to promote the religion of Allah. Then uproot weeds in the garden of our heart – Hatred, resentment, jealousy, lust for power, the feeling of superiority towards our brothers and sisters in Islam, the belief that we alone are on the right track and the others are in the wrong – but what should be cultivated instead is tolerance, compassion, kindness, patience and forgiveness, forgiving others constantly.

Has not Allah, Exalted is He, taught us,
“Let them forgive and overlook (any mistake from their part). Would you not love that Allah should forgive you?” (24: 23)

So we need to analyse ourselves during the month of fasting and ask, “What is my role in preserving harmony?” And each of us has a role and duty – to help this precious Ummah;
“Verily this community of yours is a single community” (21: 93) – to regain its honour and strength by cultivating harmony. Similarly, we should reflect on our own character and actions and ask: “Are we helping the process of harmony, or are we a barrier to it?” In His Book (the Quran), Almighty Allah gives us the best way to cultivate harmony: “And hold fast all of you to the ‘Habl’ (rope) of Allah and be not divided.” (3: 104)