In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

The Islamic Calendar

 The article was collected by Ummu Mariam.

 

 

 

Verily, all praises and thanks are due to Allah, we praise Him, seek His help and His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evils of our souls and evils of our deeds. One whom Allah guides none can lead him astray, and one whom He misguides, none can guide him. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad (SAAS) is His servant and His messenger.

"O you who believe! Fear Allah (by doing all that He has ordered and by abstaining from all that He has forbidden) as He should be feared. (Obey Him, be thankful to Him, and remember Him always), and die not except in a state of Islam [as Muslims (with complete submission to Allah)]." (Al-Qur‘aan 3:102 - interpretation of the meaning)

"O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife (Eve), and from them both He created many men and women and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you." (Al-Qur‘aan 4:1 - interpretation of the meaning)

"O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger (SAAS) he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hell-fire and made to enter Paradise)." (Al-Qur‘aan 33:70-71 - interpretation of the meaning)

Ammaa ba'd (as for what follows), the best of speech is the speech of Allah that is the Book of Allah. The best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (SAAS). Of all matters, the worst are innovations; and everything new is an innovation, and every innovation is a deviation, and every deviation leads to Hell-fire.


Introduction

The Islamic calendar (or hijri calendar) is based on lunar months, which begin when a thin new crescent Moon is actually sighted in the sky after sunset within a day or so after the New Moon. Hence, the month is either 29 days or 30 days. There are 12 months in an Islamic year, which is either 354 days long or 355 days long, compared to Gregorian calendar year of 365 or 366 days. Since the Islamic calendar is purely lunar, as opposed to solar or luni-solar, the Muslim (hijri) year is shorter than the Gregorian year by about 11 days, and months in the Islamic (hijri) year are not related to seasons, which are fundamentally determined by the solar cycle. This means that important Muslim festivals, which always fall in the same hijri month, may occur in different seasons. For example, the hajj and Ramadan can take place in the summer as well as the winter. It is only over a 33 year cycle that lunar months take a complete turn and fall during the same season.

It was during Allah's Messenger Muhammad's last pilgrimage in the 10th year of hijrah (10th year of his migration from Mecca to Medina), that the decision to introduce a purely lunar Islamic Calendar was made. The Islamic Calendar was first introduced in 638 CE by the close companion of the Prophet (SAAS) and the second Caliph, 'Umar ibn al-Khattab (RAA) (592-644 CE). He did it in an attempt to rationalize the various, at times conflicting, dating systems used during his time. However, the era between 1st year to 10th year of the hijrah was not following this Islamic Calendar; instead the prevailing practices of various kinds of intercalation was followed in Arabia at that time. Different tribes were following different intercalations, so there was no uniform calendar. 'Umar (RAA) consulted with his advisors on the starting date of the new Muslim chronology. It was finally agreed that the most appropriate reference point for the Islamic calendar was the hijrah. The hijrah, which chronicles the migration of the Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) from Mecca to Medina in September 622 CE, is the central historical event of early Islam. It led to the foundation of the first Muslim city-state, a turning point in Islamic and world history. The actual starting date for the Calendar was chosen (on the basis of purely lunar years, counting backwards) to be the first day of the first month (1st of Muharram) of the year of the hijrah. Muharram 1, 1 A.H. corresponds to July 16, 622 CE. The earliest date of Islamic calendar for which a Julian calendar date is exactly known is 9th Dhul-Hijjah, 10 A.H., which corresponds to March 6, 632 CE (Friday), when the Messenger Muhammad (SAAS) performed his last and farewell pilgrimage to Mecca.

The hijri calendar year is usually abbreviated A.H. in Western languages from the latinized "Anno Hegirae" or more commonly known as "After hijrah". The 12 months of the Islamic calendar are:

  1. Muharram
  2. Safar
  3. Rabii' al-Awwal
  4. Rabii' al-Aakhir
  5. Jumaadaa al-Uulaa
  6. Jumaadaa al-Aakhirah
  7. Rajab
  8. Sha'baan
  9. Ramadan
  10. Shawwaal
  11. Dhul-Qi'dah
  12. Dhul-Hijjah

Among these twelve months there are four which are sanctified. These four months, according to the authentic traditions, are Dhul-Qi'dah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab. The month of Muharram or the "sacred month" has been blessed with certain virtues, and the tenth day of this sacred month is known as 'Aashuuraa‘ and it is one of the most important and blessed days of Allah in the Islamic calendar. Some scholars are of the opinion that before the fasts of Ramadan were made compulsory, the fast of the day of 'Aashuuraa‘ was compulsory upon the Muslims. This is stated in a hadiith reported by 'Aisha (RAA), who said: "The people used to fast on 'Aashuuraa‘ (the tenth day of the month of Muharram) before the fasting of Ramadan was made obligatory. And on that day the Ka'bah used to be covered with a cover. When Allah made the fasting of the month of Ramadan compulsory, Allah's Messenger (SAAS) said: 'Whoever wishes to fast (on the day of 'Aashuuraa‘) may do so; and whoever wishes to leave it can do so.'" (Al-Bukhari) Nevertheless the Prophet (SAAS) continued to fast this day and encouraged his companions to do the same.

However, a number of innovations and acts of the days of ignorance (pre-Islamic customs) based on false beliefs, extremism and ignorance, have been added to the day of 'Aashuuraa‘. Some of the innovators (Shia) take this day as an occasion of mourning, tearing one's garments, striking the cheeks, and afflicting oneself with cuts for the sake of commemorating the death of al-Hussain ibn 'Ali (RAA) [the grandson of the Prophet (SAAS)]. And others (an-Nawaaseb) have fabricated reports in favour of making 'Aashuuraa‘ a day of celebration in order to indicate their stance. Also, from the innovations are the acts of some ignorant people who do ghosl (take a bath), put kohl in their eyes, wear new clothes, are generous to their families and so on in this day.

These aspects are dealt with in this article especially since the day of 'Aashuuraa‘ is at hand.


Some rulings concerning the hijri calendar

Sheikh Muhammad ibn Saaleh al-'Utheimeen rahimahullaah was asked: What is the ruling on congratulating people on the occasion of the hijri new year, and how should one reply to a person who offers congratulations?

He replied: If someone offers you congratulations, then respond to him, but do not initiate such greetings. This is the correct view concerning this matter. So if a person says to you, for example, "Happy New Year", then you can say, "May Allah make it a good and blessed year for you." But you should not initiate such a greeting, because I do not know of any report that the Salaf (early generations of Islam) congratulated one another on the occasion of the new year, rather the Salaf did not regard the first of Muharram as the first day of the new year until the caliphate of 'Umar ibn al-Khattab (RAA). (Taken from: islam-qa.com, question #21290)


Question: #21314:

Is using the Christian calendar regarded as befriending the kuffaar?

Answer:

All praises and thanks are due to Allah.

It is not regarded as befriending them, but it is regarded as imitating them. The Christian calendar existed at the time of the sahaabah, but they did not use it, rather they ignored it and used the hijri calendar. They established the hijri calendar and did not use the Christian calendar even though it existed at their time. This indicates that the Muslims should be independent of the kuffaar's customs and traditions, especially since the Christian calendar is a symbol of their religion, because it is based on veneration and celebration of the birth of the Messiah at the turn of the year. This is an innovation introduced by the Christians, which we do not share or follow, so if we use their calendar that means we are imitating them.

All praises and thanks are due to Allah, we have the hijri calendar which was established for us by the caliph 'Umar ibn al-Khattab (RAA), in the presence of the muhaajiroon and ansaar, and this is sufficient for us. (Sheikh Saaleh al-Fawzaan, Kitaab al-Muntaqaa, 1/257) (Taken from: www.islam-qa.com)


Question: #1552:

Some of the offices of al-Muntadaa al-Islaamii are in countries which use the Gregorian calendar. We use the hijri calendar, but this causes us problems when we deal with government departments which do not use the hijri calendar, or when drawing up budgets, paying salaries and preparing financial reports for the appropriate departments in those countries.

Answer:

All praises and thanks are due to Allah.

There is nothing wrong with using both dates, so long as the hijri date is written first, followed by the equivalent Gregorian date. The hijri date is based on the lunar months, which are clear and can be readily observed by anyone who has eyes to see, but the Gregorian months do not have any clearly visible signs and can only be known through calculations. Hence the Islamic sharee'ah uses the Arabic months for the dates of fasting, hajj, i'tikaaf and so on. Beginning with the hijri date is also a manifestation of the symbols and features of Islam among those who do not know them. And Allah knows best. (Al-Lu‘lu‘ al-Makiin min Fataawaa Sheikh ibn Jibreen, p. 53) (Taken from: www.islam-qa.com)


The virtues of the month of Muharram

All praises and thanks are due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets and Chief of the Messengers, and upon all his family and companions.

Allah's sacred month of Muharram is a blessed and important month. It is the first month of the hijri calendar and is one of the four sacred months concerning which Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): "Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year), so was it ordained by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them, four are sacred (i.e. the 1st, the 7th, the 11th and the 12th months of the Islamic calendar). That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein…" (Al-Qur‘aan 9:36)

Abu Bakrah (RAA) reported that the Prophet (SAAS) said: "The year is twelve months of which four are sacred, the three consecutive months of Dhul-Qi'dah, Dhul-Hijjah and Muharram, and Rajab Mudar which comes between Jumaadaa and Sha'baan." (Reported by al-Bukhari, 2958)

Muharram is so called because it is a sacred month (Muharram means "sacred" in Arabic) and in order to confirm its sanctity.

Allah's words (interpretation of the meaning): "So wrong not yourselves therein" mean do not wrong yourselves in these sacred months, because sin (committed) in these months is worse than in other months.

It was reported that ibn 'Abbaas (RAA) said that this phrase (so wrong not yourselves therein) referred to all the months, then these four were singled out and made sacred, so that sin (committed) in these months is more serious and good deeds bring a greater reward.

Qataadah said concerning this phrase (so wrong not yourselves therein) that wrongdoing during the sacred months is more serious and more sinful than wrongdoing at any other time. Wrongdoing at any time is a serious matter, but Allah gives more weight to whichever of His commands He wills. Allah has chosen certain ones of His creation: He has chosen from among the angels Messengers and from among mankind Messengers. He chose from among speech the remembrance of Him (adh-dhikr). He chose from among the earth the mosques, from among the months Ramadan and the sacred months, from among the days Friday and from among the nights laylat-ul-qadr, so venerate that which Allah has told us to venerate. People of understanding and wisdom venerate the things that Allah has told us to venerate. (Summarized from the Tafsiir of ibn Kathiir. Tafsiir of suurat-ut-Taubah, aayah 36.)


The virtue of observing more supererogatory fasts during Muharram

Abu Huraira (RAA) said: "Allah's Messenger (SAAS) said: 'The best of fasting after Ramadan is fasting Allah's month of Muharram.'" (Reported by Muslim, 1982)

The phrase "Allah's month", connecting the name of the month to the name of Allah in a genitive grammatical structure, signifies the importance of the month. Al-Qaari said: "The apparent meaning is all of the month of Muharram." But it was proven that the Prophet (SAAS) never fasted any whole month apart from Ramadan, so this hadiith is probably meant to encourage increasing one's fasting during Muharram, without meaning that one should fast for the entire month.

It was reported that the Prophet (SAAS) used to fast more in Sha'baan. It is likely that the virtue of Muharram was not revealed to him until the end of his life, before he was able to fast during this month. (Sharh an-Nawawi 'alaa Sahiih Muslim)


Allah chooses whatever times and places He wills

Al-'Izz ibn 'Abd as-Salaam rahimahullaah said: "Times and places may be given preferred status in two ways, either temporal or religious/spiritual. With regard to the latter, this is because Allah bestows His generosity on His servants at those times or in those places, by giving a greater reward for deeds done, such as giving a greater reward for fasting in Ramadan than for fasting at all other times, and also on the day of 'Aashuuraa‘, the virtue of which is due to Allah's generosity and kindness towards His servants on that day…" (Qawaa'id al-Ahkaam, 1/38)


'Aashuuraa‘ in history

Ibn 'Abbaas (RAA) said: "The Prophet (SAAS) came to Medina and saw the Jews fasting on the day of 'Aashuuraa‘. He said, 'What is this?' They said, 'This is a righteous day, it is the day when Allah saved the Children of Israel from their enemies, so Moses fasted on this day.' He said (SAAS), 'We have more right to Moses than you,' so he fasted on that day and commanded (the Muslims) to fast on that day." (Reported by al-Bukhari, 1865)

"This is a righteous day" – in a report narrated by Muslim, (the Jews said): "This is a great day, on which Allah saved Moses and his people, and drowned Pharaoh and his people."

"Moses fasted on this day" – a report narrated by Muslim adds: "…In thanksgiving to Allah, so we fast on this day."

According to a report narrated by al-Bukhari: "…So we fast on this day to venerate it."

A version narrated by Imam Ahmad adds: "This is the day on which the Ark settled on Mount al-Juudii, so Noah fasted this day in thanksgiving."

"And commanded (the Muslims) to fast on that day" – according to another report also narrated by al-Bukhari: "He said to his companions: 'You have more right to Moses than they do, so fast on that day.'"

The practice of fasting on 'Aashuuraa‘ was known even in the days of al-jaahiliyyah, before the Prophet's mission. It was reported that 'Aisha (RAA) said: "The people of al-jaahiliyyah used to fast on that day…"

Al-Qurtobi said: "Perhaps Quraish used to fast on that day on the basis of some past law, such as that of Abraham (AS)."

…Fasting on 'Aashuuraa‘ was a gradual step in the process of introducing fasting as a prescribed obligation in Islam. Fasting appeared in three forms. When Allah's Messenger (SAAS) came to Medina, he told the Muslims to fast on three days of every month and on the day of 'Aashuuraa‘, then Allah made fasting obligatory when He said (interpretation of the meaning): "…Observing the fasting is prescribed for you…" (Al-Qur‘aan 2:183) [Ahkaam al-Qur‘aan by al-Jassaas, part 1]

The obligation was transferred from the fast of 'Aashuuraa‘ to the fast of Ramadan, and this is one of the proofs in the field of usool al-fiqh that it is possible to abrogate a lighter duty in favour of a heavier duty.

Before the obligation of fasting 'Aashuuraa‘ was abrogated, fasting on this day was obligatory, as can be seen from the clear command to observe this fast. Then it was further confirmed later on, then reaffirmed by making it a general command addressed to everybody, and once again by instructing mothers not to breastfeed their infants during this fast. It was reported from ibn Mas'ud (RAA) that when fasting in Ramadan was made obligatory, the obligation to fast 'Aashuuraa‘ was lifted, i.e. it was no longer obligatory to fast on this day, but it is still desirable (mustahabb).


The virtues of fasting 'Aashuuraa‘

Ibn 'Abbaas (RAA) said: "I never saw Allah's Messenger (SAAS) so keen to fast any day and give it priority over any other than this day, the day of 'Aashuuraa‘, and this month, meaning Ramadan." (Reported by al-Bukhari, 1867)

The meaning of his being keen was that he intended to fast on that day in the hope of earning the reward for doing so.

The Prophet (SAAS) said: "For fasting the day of 'Aashuuraa‘, I hope that Allah will accept it as expiation for the year that went before." (Reported by Muslim, 1976) This is from the bounty of Allah towards us: for fasting one day He gives us expiation for the sins of a whole year. And Allah is the Owner of Great Bounty.


Which day is 'Aashuuraa‘?

An-Nawawi rahimahullaah said: "'Aashuuraa‘ and Taasuu'aa‘ are two elongated names (the vowels are elongated) as is stated in books on the Arabic language. Our companions said: 'Aashuuraa‘ is the tenth day of Muharram and Taasuu'aa‘ is the ninth day. This is our opinion, and that of the majority of scholars. This is the apparent meaning of the ahaadiith and is what we understand from the general wording. It is also what is usually understood by scholars of the language." (Al-Majmuu')

'Aashuuraa‘ is an Islamic name that was not known at the time of al-jaahiliyyah. (Kashshaaf al-Qinaa', part 2, Saum Muharram)

Ibn Qudaamah rahimahullaah said: "'Aashuuraa‘ is the tenth day of Muharram. This is the opinion of Sa'id ibn al-Musayyib and al-Hasan. It was reported that ibn 'Abbaas (RAA) said: 'Allah's Messenger (SAAS) commanded us to fast 'Aashuuraa‘, the tenth day of Muharram.' (Reported by at-Tirmidhi, who said, (that it is) a sahiih hasan hadiith) … 'Ataa‘ reported that he (SAAS) said: 'Fast the ninth and the tenth, and do not be like the Jews.' If this is understood, we can say on this basis that it is mustahabb (encouraged) to fast on the ninth and the tenth, for that reason. This is what Ahmad said, and it is the opinion of Ishaaq."


It is mustahabb to fast Taasuu'aa‘ with 'Aashuuraa‘

'Abdullah ibn 'Abbaas (RAA) said: "When Allah's Messenger (SAAS) fasted on 'Aashuuraa‘ and commanded the Muslims to fast as well, they said: 'O Messenger of Allah, it is a day that is venerated by the Jews and Nazarenes.' Allah's Messenger (SAAS) said: 'If I live to see the next year, in shaa‘ Allah, we will fast on the ninth day too.' But it so happened that Allah's Messenger (SAAS) passed away before the next year came." (Reported by Muslim, 1916)

Ash-Shafi'i, his companions, Ahmad, Ishaaq and others said: "It is mustahabb to fast on both the ninth and tenth days, because the Prophet (SAAS) fasted on the tenth, and intended to fast on the ninth."

On this basis it may be said that there are varying degrees of fasting 'Aashuuraa‘, the least of which is to fast only on the tenth and the best of which is to fast the ninth as well. The more one fasts in Muharram, the better it is.


The reason why it is mustahabb to fast on Taasuu'aa‘

An-Nawawi rahimahullaah said: "The scholars – our companions and others – mentioned several reasons why it is mustahabb to fast on Taasuu'aa‘:

    The intention behind it is to be different from the Jews, who only venerate the tenth day. This opinion was reported from ibn 'Abbaas (RAA)…

    The intention is to add another day's fast to 'Aashuuraa‘. This is akin to the prohibition on fasting a Friday by itself, as was mentioned by al-Khattaabi and others.

    To be on the safe side and make sure that one fasts on the tenth, in case there is some error in sighting the crescent moon at the beginning of Muharram and the ninth is in fact the tenth."

The strongest of these reasons is being different from the People of the Book. Sheikh-ul-Islam ibn Taymiyah rahimahullaah said: "The Prophet (SAAS) forbade imitating the People of the Book in many ahaadiith, for example, his words concerning 'Aashuuraa‘: 'If I live until the next year, I will certainly fast on the ninth day.'" (Al-Fataawaa al-Kubraa, part 6, Sadd adh-Dharaa‘i' al-Mufdiyah ila-al-Mahaarim)

Ibn Hajar rahimahullaah said in his commentary on the hadiith "If I live until the next year, I will certainly fast on the ninth day": "What he meant by fasting on the ninth day was probably not that he would limit himself to that day, but would add it to the tenth, either to be on the safe side or to be different from the Jews and Nazarenes, which is more likely. This is also what we can understand from some of the reports narrated by Muslim." (Fath, 4/245)


Ruling on fasting only on the day of 'Aashuuraa ‘

Sheikh-ul-Islam rahimahullaah said: "Fasting on the day of 'Aashuuraa‘ is an expiation for a year, and it is not makrooh to fast only that day…" (Al-Fataawaa al-Kubraa, part 5) In Tuhfat al-Muhtaaj by ibn Hajar al-Haytami, it says: "There is nothing wrong with fasting only on 'Aashuuraa‘." (Part 3, Baab Saum at-Tatawwu')


Fasting on 'Aashuuraa‘ even if it is a Saturday or a Friday

At-Tahaawi rahimahullaah said: "Allah's Messenger (SAAS) allowed us to fast on 'Aashuuraa‘ and urged us to do so. He did not say that if it falls on a Saturday we should not fast. This is evidence that all days of the week are included in this. In our view – and Allah knows best – if it were so (that it is not allowed to fast on Saturdays), it is for the reason that this day will not be venerated by refraining from food, drink and intercourse, as the Jews do. As for the one who fasts on a Saturday without intending to venerate it, and does not do so because the Jews regard it as blessed, then this is not makrooh…" (Mushkil al-Aathaar, part 2, Baab Saum Yaum as-Sabt)

The author of al-Minhaaj said: "'It is disliked (makrooh) to fast on a Friday alone…' But it is no longer makrooh if you add another day to it, as mentioned in the sahiih report to that effect. A person may fast on a Friday if it coincides with his habitual fast, or he is fasting in fulfilment of a vow, or he is making up an obligatory fast that he has missed, as was stated in a sahiih report."

Ash-Shaarih said in Tuhfat al-Muhtaaj: "'If it coincides with his habitual fast' – i.e. such as if he fasts alternate days, and a day that he fasts happens to be a Friday. 'If he is fasting in fulfilment of a vow, etc.' – this also applies to fasting on days prescribed in sharee'ah, such as 'Aashuuraa‘ or 'Arafah." (Tuhfat al-Muhtaaj, part 3, Baab Saum at-Tatawwu')

Al-Bahooti rahimahullaah said: "It is makrooh to deliberately single out a Saturday for fasting, because of the hadiith of 'Abdullah ibn Bishr, who reported from his sister: 'Do not fast on Saturdays except in the case of obligatory fasts' (reported by Ahmad with a jayyid isnaad and by al-Haakim, who said: according to the conditions of al-Bukhari), and because it is a day that is venerated by the Jews, so singling it out for fasting means being like them … except when a Friday or Saturday coincides with a day when Muslims habitually fast, such as when it coincides with the day of 'Arafah or the day of 'Aashuuraa‘, and a person has the habit of fasting on these days, in which case it is not makrooh, because a person's habit carries some weight." (Kashshaaf al-Qinaa', part 2, Baab Saum at-Tatawwu')


What should be done if there is confusion about the beginning of the month?

Imam Ahmad rahimahullaah said: "If there is confusion about the beginning of the month, one should fast for three days, to be sure of fasting on the ninth and tenth days." (Al-Mughni by ibn Qudaamah, part 3 – as-SiyaamSiyaam 'Aashuuraa‘)

If a person does not know when Muharram began, and he wants to be sure of fasting on the tenth, he should assume that Dhul-Hijjah was thirty days – as is the usual rule – and should fast on the ninth and tenth. Whoever wants to be sure of fasting the ninth as well should fast the eight, ninth and tenth (then if Dhul-Hijjah was twenty-nine days, he can be sure of having fasted Taasuu'aa‘ and 'Aashuuraa‘).

But given that fasting on 'Aashuuraa‘ is mustahabb rather than waajib, people are not commanded to look for the crescent of the new moon of Muharram as they are to do in the case of Ramadan and Shawwaal.


Fasting 'Aashuuraa‘ – for what does it offer expiation?

Imam an-Nawawi rahimahullaah said: "It expiates for all minor sins, i.e. it brings forgiveness of all sins except major sins."

Then he rahimahullaah said: "Fasting the day of 'Arafah expiates for two years, and the day of 'Aashuuraa‘ expiates for one year. And when a person's ta‘miin (saying "aamiin" in prayer loudly with the imam, but not preceding him, because in one narration it says: when the imam says "aamiin" say "aamiin") coincides with ta‘miin of the angels, he will be forgiven all his previous sins … Each one of the things that we have mentioned will bring expiation. If there are minor sins for which expiation is needed, expiation for them will be accepted; if there are no minor sins or major sins, good deeds will be added to his account and he will be raised in status … If he had committed major sins but no minor sins, we hope that his major sins will be reduced." (Al-Majmuu' Sharh al-Muhadhdhab, part 6, Saum Yaum 'Arafah)

Sheikh-ul-Islam ibn Taymiyah rahimahullaah said: "Tahaarah, salaah, and fasting in Ramadan, on the day of 'Arafah and on 'Aashuuraa‘ expiate for minor sins only." (Al-Fataawaa al-Kubraa, part 5)


Not relying too much on the reward for fasting

Some people who are deceived rely too much on things like fasting on 'Aashuuraa‘ or the day of 'Arafah, to the extent that some of them say: "Fasting on 'Aashuuraa‘ will expiate for the sins of the whole year, and fasting on the day of 'Arafah will bring extra rewards." Ibn al-Qayyim rahimahullaah said: "This misguided person does not know that fasting in Ramadan and praying five times a day are much more important than fasting on the day of 'Arafah and 'Aashuuraa‘, and indeed, these expiate for what is between them, so long as one avoids major sins. And one Ramadan to the next and one Friday to the next cannot expiate for minor sins unless one also avoids major sins; but when the two things are put together, they have the strength to expiate for minor sins. Among those deceived people may be one who thinks that his good deeds are more than his sins, because he does not pay attention to his bad deeds or check on his sins, but if he does a good deed he remembers it and relies on it. This is like the one who seeks Allah's forgiveness with his tongue (i.e. by words only), and glorifies Allah by saying "subhaanallaah" one hundred times a day, then he backbites the Muslims and slanders their honour, and speaks all day long about things that are not pleasing to Allah. This person is always thinking about the virtues of his tasbeehaat (saying "subhaanallaah") and tahleelaat (saying "laa ilaaha illa Allah") but he pays no attention to what has been reported concerning those who backbite, tell lies and slander others, or commit other sins of the tongue. They are completely deceived." (Al-Mawsuu'ah al-Fiqhiyyah, part 31, Ghoroor)


Fasting 'Aashuuraa‘ when one still has days to make up from Ramadan

Al-fuqahaa‘ (the scholars of jurisprudence) differed concerning the ruling on observing voluntary fasts before a person has made up days that he or she did not fast in Ramadan. Fuqahaa‘ al-madhhab al-Hanafi said that it is permissible to observe voluntary fasts before making up days from Ramadan, and it is not makrooh to do so, because the missed days do not have to be made up straight away. Fuqahaa‘ al-madhhab al-Maaliki and ash-Shaafi'i said that it is permissible but is makrooh, because it means that one is delaying something obligatory. Ad-Dusooqi said: "It is makrooh to observe a voluntary fast when one still has to make up an obligatory fast, such as a fast in fulfilment of a vow, or a missed obligatory fast, or a fast done as an act of expiation (kaffaarah), whether the voluntary fast which is being given priority over an obligatory fast is something confirmed in sharee'ah or not, such as 'Aashuuraa‘ and the ninth of Dhul-Hijjah, according to the most correct opinion." Fuqahaa‘ al-madhhab al-Hanbali said that it is haraam to observe a voluntary fast before making up any fasts missed in Ramadan, and that a voluntary fast in such cases does not count, even if there is plenty of time to make up the obligatory fast. So a person must give priority to the obligatory fasts until he has made them up. (Al-Mawsuu'ah al-Fiqhiyyah, part 28, Saum at-Tatawwu')

Muslims must hasten to make up any missed fasts after Ramadan, so that they will be able to fast 'Arafah and 'Aashuuraa‘ without any problem.

If a person fasts 'Arafah and 'Aashuuraa‘ with the intention from the night before of making up for a missed fast, this will be good enough to make up what he has missed, for the bounty of Allah is great.


Bida' common on 'Aashuuraa‘

Sheikh-ul-Islam ibn Taymiyah rahimahullaah was asked about the things that people do on 'Aashuuraa‘, such as wearing kohl, taking a bath (ghosl), wearing henna, shaking hands with one another, cooking grains (hubuub), showing happiness and so on. Was any of this reported from the Prophet (SAAS) in a sahiih hadiith, or not? If nothing to that effect was reported in a sahiih hadiith, is doing these things bid'ah, or not? Is there any basis for what the other group does, such as grieving and mourning, going without anything to drink, eulogizing and wailing, reciting in a crazy manner, and rending their garments?

His reply was: "All praises and thanks are due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Nothing to that effect has been reported in any sahiih hadiith from the Prophet (SAAS) or from his companions. None of the imams of the Muslims encouraged or recommended such things, neither the four imams, nor any others. No reliable scholars have narrated anything like this, neither from the Prophet (SAAS), nor from the sahaabah, nor from the taabi'uun; neither in any sahiih report or in a da'iif (weak) report; neither in the books of as-Sahiih, nor in as-Sunan, nor in al-Masaaniid. No hadiith of this nature was known during the best centuries, but some of the later narrators reported ahaadiith like the one which says: "Whoever puts kohl in his eyes on the day of 'Aashuuraa‘ will not suffer from eye disease in that year, and whoever takes a bath (does ghosl) on the day of 'Aashuuraa‘ will not get sick in that year," and so on. They also reported a fabricated hadiith that is falsely attributed to the Prophet (SAAS), which says, "Whoever is generous to his family on the day of 'Aashuuraa‘, Allah will be generous to him for the rest of the year." Reporting all of this from the Prophet (SAAS) is tantamount to lying."

Then he (ibn Taymiyah rahimahullaah) discussed in brief the tribulations that had occurred in the early days of this ummah and the killing of al-Hussain (RAA), and what the various sects had done because of this. Then he said: "An ignorant, wrongful group – who were either heretics and hypocrites, or misguided and misled – made a show of allegiance to him and the members of his household, so they took the day of 'Aashuuraa‘ as a day of mourning and wailing, in which they openly displayed the rituals of jaahiliyyah such as slapping their cheeks and rending their garments, grieving in the manner of the jaahiliyyah … Satan made this attractive to those who are misled, so they took the day of 'Aashuuraa‘ as an occasion of mourning, when they grieve and wail, recite poems of grief and tell stories filled with lies. Whatever truth there may be in these stories serves no purpose other than the renewal of their grief and sectarian feeling, and the stirring up of hatred and hostility among the Muslims, which they do by cursing those who came before them … The evil and harm that they do to the Muslims cannot be enumerated by any man, no matter how eloquent he is. Some others – either an-Nawaaseb who oppose and have enmity towards al-Hussain (RAA) and his family or ignorant people who try to fight evil with evil, corruption with corruption, lies with lies and bid'ah with bid'ah – opposed them by fabricating reports in favour of making the day of 'Aashuuraa‘ a day of celebration, by wearing kohl and henna, spending money on one's children, cooking special dishes and other things that are done on a'yaad (festivals) and special occasions. These people took the day of 'Aashuuraa‘ as a festival like 'eid, whereas the others took it as a day of mourning. Both are wrong, and both go against the Sunnah, even though the other group (those who take it as a day of mourning) are worse in intention and more ignorant and more plainly wrong … Neither the Prophet (SAAS) nor his successors (al-kholafaa‘ ar-raashiduun) did any of these things on the day of 'Aashuuraa‘, they neither made it a day of mourning nor a day of celebration…

As for the other things, such as cooking special dishes with or without grains, or wearing new clothes, or spending money on one's family, or buying the year's supplies on that day, or doing special acts of worship such as special prayers or deliberately slaughtering an animal on that day, or saving some of the meat of the sacrifice to cook with grains, or wearing kohl and henna, or taking a bath (ghosl), or shaking hands with one another, or visiting one another, or visiting the mosques and shrines and so on … all of this is reprehensible bid'ah and is wrong. None of it has anything to do with the Sunnah of Allah's Messenger (SAAS) or the way of al-kholafaa‘ ar-raashiduun. It was not approved of by any of the imams of the Muslims, not Malik, not ath-Thawree, not al-Layth ibn Sa'd, not Abu Hanifah, not al-Awza'i, not ash-Shafi'i, not Ahmad ibn Hanbal, not Ishaaq ibn Raahwayh, not any of the imams and scholars of the Muslims."(Al-Fataawaa al-Kubraa by ibn Taymiyah)

Ibn al-Haaj rahimahullaah mentioned that one of the bida' on 'Aashuuraa‘ was deliberately paying zakaat on this day, late or early, or slaughtering a chicken just for this occasion, or – in the case of women – using henna. (Al-Madkhal, part 1, Yaum 'Aashuuraa‘)

We ask Allah to make us followers of the Sunnah of His Noble Prophet, to make us live in Islam and die in a state of faith. May He help us to do that which He loves and which pleases Him. We ask Him to help us to remember Him and be thankful to Him, to worship Him properly and to accept our good deeds. May He make us of those who are pious and fear Him. May Allah bless our Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) and all his family and companions (RAA). (The Virtues of Allah's sacred month of Muharram and Fasting on 'Aashuuraa‘. Taken from: www.islam-qa.com)


The sanctity of 'Aashuuraa‘ and the martyrdom of al-Hussain (RAA)

The significance of the day of 'Aashuuraa‘ is known from the time of Allah's Messenger Muhammad (SAAS), whilst al-Hussain (RAA) was martyred fifty years after the death of Allah's Messenger Muhammad (SAAS). Thus, to attribute the significance of 'Aashuuraa‘ to the martyrdom of al-Hussain (RAA) is totally baseless, nor is the sanctity of this day derived from this event!

Although, the martyrdom of al-Hussain (RAA) was a great tragedy, however, Islam is not a religion of perpetual mourning, lamenting and displaying grief. Loving al-Hussain (RAA) does not mean that his name should be lamented upon especially when he gained the status of a shahiid (martyr)! Moreover, the martyrdom is not strange or uncommon to Muslims. To lay down one's life for the cause of ad-diin is the ultimate sacrifice, for which reason martyrdom naturally has the highest honour as well. Allah (SWT) describes the martyrs as "living" (interpretation of the meaning): "Think not of those as dead who are killed in the Way of Allah. Nay, they are alive, with their Lord, and they have provision. They rejoice in what Allah has bestowed upon them of His Bounty and rejoice for the sake of those who have not yet joined them, but are left behind (not yet martyred) that on them no fear shall come, nor shall they grieve. They rejoice in a Grace and a Bounty from Allah, and that Allah will not waste the reward of the believers." (Al-Qur‘aan 3:169-171)

Furthermore, Islam teaches that whenever a disaster strikes or one hears about a Muslim's death, the believer should remind himself that all good and bad comes from Allah and he should bear the agony with patience and fortitude because Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to as-saabiroon (the patient). Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: 'Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.' They are those on whom are as-salawaat (i.e. who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided ones." (Al-Qur‘aan 2:155-157)

Indeed we grieve when we are reminded about the killing of al-Hussain (RAA), but he was not the only Muslim who was killed as some criminals would like to make it appear in order to distort the image of Islam! Before the martyrdom of al-Hussain (RAA), his father 'Ali (RAA), the fourth Caliph of Muslims was martyred. And we do not have to be unaware of the martyrdoms of many other great personalities of Islam. The second Caliph of Muslims was also martyred. While leading the fajr prayer, 'Umar (RAA) was stabbed by a fire-worshipper. His wounds proved fatal and he died on the first of Muharram. The Muslims were shattered upon the death of 'Umar (RAA).

Likewise the third Caliph of Muslims, the son-in-law of Allah's Messenger Muhammad (SAAS); 'Uthman (RAA) was also brutally murdered. The enemy besieged his house and on Friday the eighteenth of Dhul-Hijjah, the enemy finally broke into his house and killed him while he (RAA) was reciting al-Qur‘aan.

Allah's Messenger Muhammad (SAAS) also witnessed some martyrdoms. His beloved uncle, Hamza (RAA) was martyred in the battle of Uhud. After being killed his body was defiled and severely mutilated. Allah's Messenger Muhammad (SAAS) was greatly disturbed and grieved over this. So great was his grief that when the killer of Hamza (RAA) accepted Islam, Allah's Messenger Muhammad (SAAS) requested him not to come in front of him as this would remind him of his uncle and bring back the grief. Nevertheless, Allah's Messenger Muhammad (SAAS) did not observe any day as the day of shahaadat Hamza (RAA).

The incident of Bir Ma'uunah is yet another tragedy when the great sahaabah (RAA) laid down their lives for the cause of ad-diin. Allah's Messenger Muhammad (SAAS) was requested to send some of his companions to teach the people of Najd. Upon this request he (SAAS) sent seventy men from al-ansaar, who were called al-qurraa‘ (i.e. scholars). On the way they were attacked and martyred. Allah's Messenger (SAAS) was greatly grieved by this, and for one month in salaat-ul-fajr he cursed these people who had deceived and killed his beloved companions so mercilessly. Here also Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) observed no day as the day of their martyrdom.

We also experience grief when we read or hear of the martyrdoms of Muslims in the past and nowadays in various battles and other incidents. Nevertheless, despite our grief, we will refrain from all things that oppose the sharee'ah.

The Shia exceed the limits in dignifying ahl-ul-bayt and their imams in the way that the early disbelievers did to their gods or Saints. We believe that 'Ali (RAA) and the household of the Prophet (SAAS) did not initiate that kind of dignifying, nor would they agree with it if they saw it, because their belief is Islam. In fact, the people who claim to be the followers of ahl-ul-bayt, do not know anything about the religion of ahl-ul-bayt!

'Umar (RAA) said: I heard the Prophet saying: "Do not exaggerate in praising me as the Nazarenes praised the son of Mary, for I am only a servant. So, call me the servant of Allah and His Messenger." (Al-Bukhari)

If Allah's Messenger Muhammad (SAAS) instructed his ummah not to exceed the limits in dignifying him as the Nazarenes and also the Christians did for Jesus, despite the qualities and perfections Allah has conferred on him, what can be said concerning other creatures than him!

It is narrated by Anas (RAA): "A person said to the Prophet (SAAS): 'You are our chief and the son of our chief!' The Prophet (SAAS) answered: 'You may say so, but you must observe an utmost precaution lest the Satan should play tricks on you and prompts you into the act of exaggerating about me. I am Muhammad, the son of 'Abdullah and I swear by Allah that I do not like you to uplift me further from the status which Allah has assigned to me (by extolling me to skies through hyperboles).'" (Musnad Ahmad)

A narration of at-Tabaraani composes these words: It is narrated by al-Hussain ibn 'Ali (RAA) that the Prophet (SAAS) said: "Do not raise me any further than what my status is, because Allah has created me as His slave prior to appointing me as His Messenger."

In the following is a ruling concerning the evil practices (hussainiyaat ar-Raafidah) which the Shia do in "the commemoration of ahl-ul-bayt".

"This is a great evil and a reprehensible bid'ah (innovation) which should be avoided. It is not permissible to take part in it or to eat the food that is offered on these occasions, because Allah's Messenger (SAAS) and his companions (RAA) of the ahl-ul-bayt and others did not do that. The Prophet (SAAS) said: "Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours (Islam) which is not part of it will have it rejected." (Sahiih, agreed upon). And he (SAAS) said: "Whoever does an action that is not a part of this matter of ours (Islam) will have it rejected." (Narrated by Muslim in his Sahiih, and narrated by al-Bukhari in his Sahiih, mu'allaq majzuum). And there are many ahaadiith with similar meanings.

With regard to seeking the help of the dead and ahl-ul-bayt, this is a form of major shirk, according to the consensus of the scholars, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): "And whoever invokes (or worships), besides Allah, any other ilaah (god), of whom he has no proof, then his reckoning is only with his Lord. Surely, al-kaafiroon (the disbelievers in Allah and in the Oneness of Allah, polytheists, pagans, idolaters) will not be successful." (Al-Qur‘aan 23:117)

Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "And the mosques are for Allah (Alone), so invoke not anyone along with Allah." (Al-Qur‘aan 72:18)

Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "And who is more astray than one who calls on (invokes) besides Allah, such as will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware of their calls (invocations) to them? And when mankind are gathered (on the Day of Resurrection), they (false deities) will become their enemies and will deny their worshipping." (Al-Qur‘aan 46:5-6)

Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "He merges the night into the day (i.e. the decrease in the hours of the night is added to the hours of the day), and He merges the day into the night (i.e. the decrease in the hours of the day is added to the hours of the night). And He has subjected the sun and the moon, each runs its course for a term appointed. Such is Allah, your Lord; His is the kingdom. And those, whom you invoke or call upon instead of Him, own not even a qitmeer (the thin membrane over the date stone). If you invoke (or call upon) them, they hear not your call; and if (in case) they were to hear, they could not grant it (your request) to you. And on the Day of Resurrection, they will disown your worshipping them. And none can inform you [O Muhammad (SAAS)] like Him Who is the All-Knower (of everything)." (Al-Qur‘aan 35:13-14)

And there are many aayaat with similar meanings.

The Prophet (SAAS) said: "Ad-du'aa‘ (supplication) is a form of worship." (Narrated by the four authors of Sunan with a sahiih isnaad) And Muslim narrated in his Sahiih, from Amiir al-Mu‘miniin 'Ali ibn Abi Talib (RAA) that the Prophet (SAAS) said: "He is cursed who offers sacrifices to anyone other than Allah."

What is obligatory upon all of the Shia and on everyone else is to worship Allah alone in sincerity, and to beware of calling upon anyone other than Allah for help, or of praying to the dead or absent, whether they are from ahl-ul-bayt or others.

It is also obligatory to avoid praying to or seeking the help of inanimate objects such as idols, stars, etc., on the basis of the same sharee'ah evidence (daliil) that we have mentioned above.

The scholars of Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah, from the sahaabah and others, are unanimously agreed upon this matter.

Secondly: What is the ruling on the sacrifices which are offered in those places on these occasions? What is the ruling on the drinks that are distributed in the streets and to the general public?

The answer to this question is the same as the answer to the first question, which is that it is a reprehensible bid'ah and it is not permissible to take part in it, or to eat the meat of these sacrifices, or to drink any of these drinks. If the sacrifices have been made to anyone other than Allah, from among the ahl-ul-bayt or anyone else, this is major shirk, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): "Say [O Muhammad (SAAS)]: 'Verily, my salaah (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the 'aalamiin (mankind, jinn and all that exists). He has no partner. And of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims.'" (Al-Qur‘aan 6:162-163)

Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "Verily, We have granted you [O Muhammad (SAAS)] al-Kauthar (a river in Paradise). Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice (to Him only)." (Al-Qur‘aan 108:1-2)

And there are many aayaat and ahaadiith with similar meanings.

We ask Allah to help us and you and all the Muslims to do all that He loves and is pleasing to Him, and to grant us and you and all of our brothers refuge from misleading temptations, for He is Ever Near and Ready to respond.

(From Majmuu' Fataawaa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi'ah li Samaahat Sheikh al-'allaamah 'Abd al-'Azeez ibn 'Abdullah ibn Baaz rahimahullaah, vol. 8, p. 320)" (Taken from: www.islam-qa.com, question #9438)

Every year, the Shia declare the beginning of the month of Muharram (especially the day of 'Aashuuraa‘) as a period of mourning. They strike their shoulders with chains until they bleed and strike their heads with swords and cause blood to gush out while saying, 'O Hussain'! With this ugly tradition they aim to distort Islam on the pretext of expressing their grief for the killing of al-Hussain (RAA).

Before the day of 'Aashuuraa‘ ends, many pictures of that human savagery and terrifying foolishness are shown on the T.V. screens in both the east and the west to give strength to the enemies of Islam and to those who wish ill towards Islam and Muslims.

Woe to them, stupid and ignorant, for what they do to themselves. "Their evil deeds that they do are beautified for them, while they follow their own lusts (evil desires)." (Al-Qur‘aan 47:14 - interpretation of the meaning)

Satan uses strange ways to tempt them; he has corrupted them and made their evil deeds attractive to them. Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "He (Satan) makes promises to them, and arouses in them false desires; and Satan's promises are nothing but deceptions. The dwelling of such (people) is Hell, and they will find no way of escape from it." (Al-Qur‘aan 4:120-121)

This is the situation of those who turn away from Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger Muhammad (SAAS); Satan gains control over them and encourages them to commit sin and transgression. Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "See you not that We have sent the devils against the disbelievers to push them to do evil. So make no haste against them; We only count out to them a (limited) number (of the days of the life of this world and delay their term so that they may increase in evil and sins). The Day We shall gather al-muttaqoon (the pious) unto the Most Gracious (Allah), like a delegation (presented before a king for honour). And We shall drive al-mujrimuun (polytheists, sinners, criminals, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) to Hell, in a thirsty state (like a thirsty herd driven down to water)." (Al-Qur‘aan 19:83-86)

Therefore, we might note that Shiism and Islam are indeed different religions. The beliefs and thoughts of Shia are repugnant beyond belief. The most of the openly declared Shia beliefs revolve around the concept of al-imaamah, the superiority of 'Ali (RAA), and the so-called love of the Prophet's family members (ahl-ul-bayt).

The intense love that Muslims feel for the Prophet's family members, has led some of them to accept Shia as part of the Muslim ummah. However, the brutal fact remains that under the pretence of 'Ali's superiority and the so-called love of the Prophet's family members, Shia have literally evolved an entirely new religion, grossly distorted the teachings of al-Qur‘aan, and rejected the Sunnah of Allah's Messenger (SAAS). They have elevated the sayings of their imams to the level of the Prophet's sayings, classified them as narrations and base their religion on them.

And the following paragraph will shed some light on the birth history of Shiism.


The religion of the Shia

The religion of the Shia was founded by a Jew from Yemen called 'Abdullah ibn Saba‘. This religion has started with the assassination of the rightly guided caliph 'Uthman (RAA) and branched into many sections.

Caliph 'Uthman (RAA) ruled for twelve years. The first six years were marked by internal peace and tranquillity, but during the second half of his caliphate a rebellion arose. The Jews and the Magians, taking advantage of dissatisfaction among the people, began conspiring against caliph 'Uthman (RAA) and by publicly airing their complaints and grievances, gained so much sympathy that it became difficult to distinguish friend from foe.

It may seem surprising that a ruler of such vast territories, whose armies were matchless, was unable to deal with these rebels. If caliph 'Uthman (RAA) had wished, the rebellion could have been crushed at the very moment it began. But he was reluctant to be the first to shed the blood of Muslims, however rebellious they might be. No one would ever have expected what happened later. He preferred to reason with them, to persuade them with kindness and generosity. He well remembered hearing the Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) say, "Once the sword is unsheathed among my followers, it will not be sheathed until the Last Day."

The rebels demanded that he abdicate and some of the companions advised him to do so. He would gladly have followed this course of action, but again he was bound by a solemn pledge he had given to the Prophet (SAAS). "Perhaps Allah will clothe you with a shirt, 'Uthman" the Prophet had told him once, "and if the people want you to take it off, do not take it off for them." Caliph 'Uthman (RAA) said to a well-wisher on a day when his house was surrounded by the rebels, "Allah's Messenger made a covenant with me and I shall show endurance in adhering to it."

After a long siege, the rebels broke into caliph 'Uthman's house and murdered him. When the first assassin's sword struck caliph 'Uthman (RAA), he was reciting the verse (interpretation of the meaning): "…So Allah will suffice for you against them. And He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower." (Al-Qur‘aan 2:137)

'Ali (RAA) accepted the caliphate very reluctantly. 'Uthman's murder and the events surrounding it were a symptom, and also became a cause, of civil strife on a large scale. All governors gave the pledge to 'Ali (RAA) except Mu'awiyah (RAA), the governor of ash-Shaam (Great Syria). Mu'awiyah (RAA) declined to obey until 'Uthman's blood was avenged. His decision was based on the fact that he is not required to obey the Caliph until he ['Ali (RAA)] is able to enforce the rule of Allah. Mu'awiyah was the cousin of 'Uthman (RAA), so he was the responsible of asking 'Ali (RAA) to bring the murderers to trial. The Prophet's widow 'Aisha (RAA) also took the position that 'Ali (RAA) should first bring the murderers to trial...

[However, it was very difficult to put 'Uthman's murderers to account, when they were practically in control of Medina. Indeed, had 'Ali (RAA) attempted to put those people to justice, he might have opened the floodgate for more trouble. Hence, he needed to let matters cool down and his authority to be well established first, then he would have dealt with the matter.] (This is our addition.)

The pretext for the meeting of the armies on the day of the Camel and the day of Seffiin was the demand for 'Uthman's killers on the part of 'Aisha (RAA) and Mu'awiyah (RAA), but the winds of war were fanned by the followers of 'Abdullah ibn Saba‘, the Jew, from inside all three camps until events escaped the control of the companions. It is related that 'Ali (RAA), 'Aisha (RAA), and Mu'awiyah (RAA) often expressed astonishment at the dissension and opposition that surrounded them.

After that some Shia declared 'Ali as a god. He then burned them alive with fire. After the killing of 'Abdullah ibn Saba‘, Shia were divided into many new sects. Each one has its own imam.

The Seveners or al-Ismaa'iiliyyah, like all Shiites, believe that the descendants of Muhammad (SAAS), through his daughter Fatima (RAA) and her husband 'Ali (RAA), the fourth Caliph, are the rightful rulers of the Muslim world. Thus the descendants of 'Ali (RAA) are considered infallible and as divinely guided as Muhammad (SAAS) himself. This sect derives its name from Isma'il, the eldest son of the sixth Imam, Jafar as-Saadiq. In 762 CE, Isma'il died before his father, which resulted in bitter disputes of succession. The minority of Shiites regarded the old line of imams extinct and chose Isma'il's eldest son as the new imam. Thus they proclaimed a cycle of seven imams, 'Ali being the first and Isma'il the seventh, and thus the seventh imam after his line of imams would be the Mahdi, or Messiah, or the seventh after him, etc…

Al-Ismaa'iiliyyuun have usually been small in numbers, but well organised and disciplined. Soon they developed into a cult, borrowing various ideas from Jewish mysticism, Greek philosophy, Babylonian astrology, Christian Gnosticism, etc. When secular sciences were being employed in the Abbasid Empire, al-Ismaa'iiliyyuun were thriving, and managed to recruit a large number of followers, who formed a well organised guerrilla army. By combining their scholarly skills and extraordinary underground network of spies, al-Ismaa'iiliyyuun established their anti-Caliph in Egypt during the 10th century. They named their dynasty after Muhammad's daughter, and thus the name Fatimids emerged. In reality they are the dynasty of a Jew called 'Abdullah ibn Qaddah, and that was they were called al-'Abiidiyyuun too. Al-'Abiidiyyah (the state) in Egypt quickly expanded and soon al-Ismaa'iiliyyuun controlled western Syria and a large part of North Africa, killing thousands of Muslims. They also built a new capital, Fustat, near the ancient Pyramids, which in a few centuries grew to be the largest city in the Muslim world, under the name of Cairo.

When al-'Abiidiyyah dynasty was destroyed by the Abbasids, al-Ismaa'iiliyyuun split into two sub-sects, Tayibiya and Niziriya, named after two 'Abiidii princes. The former sect was soon transformed into an esoteric cult, which moved its activities underground and became invisible. The Niziriya sect transformed itself back into the pre-'Abiidiyyah Ismaa'iiliyyah, developing a network of agents and spies all over the Muslim world. The best known organization within the Niziriya was probably the drug-abusing Assassin sect, notorious for assassinations all over the Muslim world. Today, however, the Niziriya sect has turned pacifist and increasingly Westernized.

Out of the Assassin stronghold in Syria, two heterodox sub-sects have survived, al-'Alawiyyuun and the Druze. Al-'Alawiyyuun sect is militant and combines radical theories from both al-Ismaa'iiliyyah and Shia al-Ithnaa 'Ashariyyah. The Druzes, on the other hand, have until more recently been more pacifistic, waiting for the return of their Mahdi, the psychotic 'Abiidii Caliph al-Hakim, who "disappeared" when he burned down his capital around 1000 CE. In the 13th century the Druzes closed their sect, and became a distinct tribe or nation. They serve today in the Israeli army (fighting) against Palestinian Muslims.

The largest sect within Shia is al-Ithnaa 'Ashariyyah or Twelver, which follows the original line of imams. When the Seveners chose the son of Isma'il to become the imam, the majority of Shiites chose Isma'il's younger brother, Muusa al-Kadhem, as the seventh Imam. Al-Ithnaa 'Ashariyyah adopt their "Twelver" name from their belief in the twelfth Imam, Muhammad ibn al-'Askari, who "disappeared" one day and thus became the hidden Mahdi who would return to earth at the end of days! The Twelvers worship their imams, sometimes as the incarnation of 'Ali or al-Hussain. They form the vast majority of Shiites, including most Iranians and almost 50% of the Iraqi nation.

The third largest body in Shia is az-Zaidiyyah sect or the Fivers, prevailing in Yemen and among some Bedouin tribes in Saudi-Arabia. Az-Zaidiyyah sect is more or less the deification of the 7th century Arabian culture, and it fiercely denounces the semi-divinity of imams, contrary to the Twelvers. Their founder was the fifth Imam, Zaid ibn 'Ali ibn al-Hussain, who was a rationalist and thus denounced his alleged divinity. Az-Zaidiyyah imams are more like Bedouin sheikhs than divine authorities, and thus reject hereditary leadership, and are only visible during warfare.

There are said to be more than 70 small Shia sects all around the world. Probably the best example of these was al-Bahaa‘iyyah sect, which has been persecuted and refuted as anti-Islamic, but grows fast as a separate religion, basing its doctrines on "world peace and harmony" and the unity of all religions. The centre of al-Bahaa‘iyyah sect is in Israel! (The history of the Shia. Taken from: allaahuakbar.net)

When it says that the Shia's faith contradicts the teachings of Islam, that is not because the Muslims do not love the household of the Prophet Muhammad (SAAS), since loving ahl-ul-bayt is a must in Islam. Instead we believe that Shia are claiming to love and to be the followers of ahl-ul-bayt while this is not true. Similarly, the Christians claim that they love Jesus Christ and Muslims do not, while this is not true, since loving all the Prophets is a must in Islam.

Loving Allah's Prophets and their companions cannot be expressed by carrying the crosses, stakes or crucifying oneself and hammering the nails through the hands into a cross as is done by some fanatic Christians in commemoration of the crucifixion. Nor can it be expressed by striking shoulders with chains until they bleed and striking heads with swords and causing blood to gush out as is done by some barbaric Shia in commemoration of the killing of al-Hussain [the grandson of the Prophet (SAAS)]. Instead loving the Prophets and their companions can be expressed by obeying their commands, refraining from the things they prohibited, believing in their sayings and worshipping Allah by performing only acts of worship that they designated.

Therefore the only way to venerate Allah's Messenger Muhammad (SAAS) and love him and his companions is by following his Sunnah and establishing the religion of Islam and rejecting all the myths that the ignorant attribute to him. Unfortunately, Shia occupy themselves by fabricating and circulating many ahaadiith regarding their mischief, and these ahaadiith are lies against the Prophet (SAAS). Their goal is to create anarchy among the Muslims, and to spread their deviations and false religion.

From the hypocrisy of the Shia is that they try to build good relations with everyone, pretending to agree with him. When they find potential in someone, they invite him to their religion, or at least make him doubt his own religion! Their greatest danger lies in the fact that they wear the cloak of Islam while striving to destroy it from within. They also accuse the people of the truth who disagreed with their falsehood of being an-Nawaaseb, but by an-Nawaaseb they mean the Muslims, Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah. Shia do this to express their dislike of the Muslims for going against their falsehood and following the way of the truth. And one of the characteristics of the people who follow innovations is to attack Ahl-us-Sunnah and describe them with off-putting terms. Their arguments usually lie on weak and fabricated narrations as well as lies and hypocrisy. However, they forget that Allah (SWT) has guaranteed to protect His religion.

Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "And of mankind, there are some (hypocrites) who say: 'We believe in Allah and the Last Day,' while in fact they believe not. They (think to) deceive Allah and those who believe, while they only deceive themselves, and perceive (it) not! In their hearts is a disease (of doubt and hypocrisy) and Allah has increased their disease. A painful torment is theirs because they used to tell lies. And when it is said to them: 'Make not mischief on the earth,' they say: 'We are only peacemakers.' Verily, they are the ones who make mischief, but they perceive not. And when it is said to them (hypocrites): 'Believe as the people [followers of Muhammad (SAAS), al-ansaar and al-muhaajiroon] have believed,' they say: 'Shall we believe as the fools have believed?' Verily, they are the fools, but they know not. And when they meet those who believe, they say: 'We believe,' but when they are alone with their shayaateen (devils - polytheists, hypocrites), they say: 'Truly, we are with you; verily, we were but mocking.' Allah mocks at them and gives them increase in their wrong-doing to wander blindly. These are they who have purchased error for guidance, so their commerce was profitless. And they were not guided." (Al-Qur‘aan 2:8-16)

The Shia derive their religion from their imams that they consider infallible. And in the following is only a small fraction of the lies, myths and terrifying beliefs of the Shia.

    Khomeini, in his book al-Hukuumat-ul-lslamiyyah (the Islamic government), claims that the twelve imams are infallible, and he raises them to a level above the angels, which are nearest to Allah (SWT) and the commissioned prophets of Allah; he stresses: "Certainly, the imam commands a noble station and lofty position; a creative vicegerency to who's rule and power submit the very atoms of all creation[!] And an essential tenet of our Shiite sect is that the imams have a position which is reached neither by the angels (in the highest heaven) nor by any commissioned messenger of God." (Khomeini, al-Hukuumat-ul-lslamiyyah, pp. 52-53)

    "We (Shia) do not worship such a God who gives authority to rascals like Yazid, Mu'awiyah and 'Uthman." (Kashf-ul-Asraar - 107 - Khomeini)

    "All of the earth belongs to the imams." (Al-Kulaini, al-Kaafi, p. 407)

    "There is not a single truth possessed by a people saved that which originated with the imams, and everything which did not proceed from them is false." (Al-Kulaini, al-Kaafi, p. 399)

    "The imams posses all the knowledge granted to angels, prophets and messengers." (Al- Kulaini, al-Kaafi, p. 255)

    "The imams know when they will die, and they do not die except by their own choice." (Al- Kulaini, al-Kaafi, p. 258)

    "The imams have knowledge of whatever occurred in the past and whatever will happen in the future, and nothing is concealed from them." (Al-Kulaini, al-Kaafi, p. 260)

How strange, that they should falsely attribute to their imams knowledge of the unseen, and that they should adhere to that falsehood although they have not a single proof to establish its verity!

Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "O mankind! Be afraid of your Lord (by keeping your duty to Him and avoiding all evil), and fear a Day when no father can avail aught for his son, nor a son avail aught for his father. Verily, the Promise of Allah is true, let not then this (worldly) present life deceive you, nor let the chief deceiver (Satan) deceive you about Allah. Verily, Allah, with Him (Alone) is the knowledge of the Hour, He sends down the rain, and knows that which is in the wombs. No person knows what he will earn tomorrow, and no person knows in what land he will die. Verily, Allah is All-Knower, All-Aware (of things)." (Al-Qur‘aan 31:33-34)

The Shia's article of Faith "at-taqiyyah" encourage them to lie! "Nine tenths of religion is taqiyyah (dissimulation), hence one who does not dissimulate has no religion." (Al-Kaafi vol. 9 p. 110) This shows us why these people cannot be trusted. Ash-Shafi'i rahimahullaah said concerning the Shia: "I have not seen among the heretics a people more famous for falsehood than Rawaafid Shia." (Ibn Taymiyah, Minhaaj as-Sunnah an-Nabawiyyah, 1/39)

'Abdullah narrated that the Prophet (SAAS) said, "Truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise. And a man keeps on telling the truth until he becomes a truthful person. Falsehood leads to al-fujuur (i.e. wickedness, evil-doing), and al-fujuur (wickedness) leads to the (Hell) Fire, and a man may keep on telling lies till he is written before Allah a liar." (Al-Bukhari)

Ibrahim reported that his father Hasan said that his father Hasan said that his father 'Ali ibn Abi Talib (RAA) said: "Allah's Messenger said: 'There will appear, at the end of time, people who are called Rawaafidah (rejecters). They will reject Islam.'" (Musnad Ahmad)


Islam is not a religion of mourning and torturing oneself

There are some legends and misconceptions with regard to 'Aashuuraa‘ that have managed to find their way into the minds of the ignorant, but have no support in authentic Islamic sources. Some people attribute the sanctity of 'Aashuraa‘ to the martyrdom of al-Hussain (RAA). No doubt, the martyrdom of al-Hussain (RAA) is one of the most tragic episodes of our history. Yet, the sanctity of 'Aashuraa‘ cannot be ascribed to this event for the simple reason that the sanctity of 'Aashuuraa‘ was known already during the days of the Prophet (SAAS) much earlier than the birth of al-Hussain (RAA). On the contrary, it is one of the merits of al-Hussain (RAA) that his martyrdom took place on the day of 'Aashuuraa‘.

Another misconception is considering the month of Muharram as an evil or unlucky month, for al-Hussain was killed in it. It is for this misconception that some people avoid holding marriage ceremonies in the month of Muharram. This is again a baseless concept which is contrary to the express teachings of al-Qur‘aan and as-Sunnah. Such superstitions have been totally negated by the Prophet (SAAS).

If the death of an eminent person in a particular day renders that day unlucky for all times to come, one can hardly find a day, free from this "bad luck", out of 355 days of the whole year, because each and every day has a history of the demise of some eminent person. Al-Qur‘aan and as-Sunnah of the Prophet (SAAS) have made us free from such superstitious beliefs, and they should deserve no attention.

Another wrong practice related to this month is to hold the lamentation and mourning ceremonies in the memory of martyrdom of al-Hussain (RAA). As mentioned earlier, the event of Karbala is one of the most tragic events of our history, but the Prophet (SAAS) has forbidden us from holding the mourning ceremonies on the death of any person. The people of jaahiliyyah (ignorance) used to mourn over their deceased through loud lamentations, by tearing their clothes and by beating their cheeks and chests. The Prophet (SAAS) stopped the Muslims from doing all this and directed them to observe patience by saying "innaa lillaahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji'uun" (truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return). A number of authentic ahaadiith are available on the subject. To quote only one of them: "He is not from our group who slaps his cheeks, tears his clothes and cries in the manner of the people of jaahiliyyah". (Sahiih al-Bukhari)

All the reliable scholars are unanimous on the point that the mourning of this type is absolutely impermissible. Even al-Hussain (RAA) shortly before his demise, had advised his beloved sister Zainab (RAA) not to mourn over his death in this manner. He said: "My dear sister, I swear upon you that you, in case I die, shall not tear your clothes, nor scratch your face, nor curse anyone for me or pray for your death". (Al-Kamil) It is evident from this advice of al-Hussain (RAA), that this type of mourning is condemned even by the very person for the memory of whom these mourning ceremonies are held. Every Muslim should avoid this practice and abide by the teachings of the Prophet (SAAS).

Shia wailed and mourned in order to show their sorrow for the death of al-Hussain (RAA) and an-Nawaaseb rejoiced due to enmity towards ahl-ul-bayt, and both of them are wrong. In the book "Nahj-ul-Balaaghah" (one of the references of the Shia), 'Ali (RAA) is quoted as saying in one of his sermons: "With regard to me, two categories of people will be ruined, namely he who loves me too much and the love takes him away from rightfulness, and he who hates me too much and the hatred takes him away from rightfulness. The best man with regard to me is he who is on the middle course. So be with him and be with the great majority (of Muslims) because Allah's hand (of protection) is on keeping unity. You should beware of division because the one isolated from the group is (a prey) to Satan just as the one isolated from the flock of sheep is (a prey) to the wolf."

It is well known that people in the time of 'Ali (RAA) were divided into three groups:

  1. Al-Khawaarij (an-Nawaaseb) who said that 'Ali was a disbeliever and they sent ibn Muljim to kill him and he did that.

  2. The Shia who said that he was infallible imam and Allah had chosen him to lead the Muslims, and from his descendants are another eleven infallible imams!

  3. The Muslims who were the majority and who said that he was a great companion of the Prophet (SAAS) and he was a great leader to Muslims and that Muslims had chosen him to be their leader.

'Ali (RAA) proved the ruination of the Shia and al-Khawaarij and called for joining the Muslims, Ahl-us-Sunnah. But in what speech will the deviated people then believe! But "he for whom Allah has not appointed light, for him there is no light." (Al-Qur‘aan 24:40 - interpretation of the meaning)

'Ali ibn Abi Talib (RAA) said: "Allah's Messenger called me and told me: 'You are alike with Jesus, Jews hated him till they slandered his mother, and Nazarenes loved him till they put him in the position that is not for him.' With regard to me ['Ali (RAA)], two categories of people will be ruined, namely he who loves me too much and the love takes him away from rightfulness, and he who hates me too much and the hatred takes him away from rightfulness. Verily, I am not a prophet, and there is nothing revealed to me. But I work with the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet (SAAS) as much as I can. So whatever I have asked you in regard of obeying Allah, it is your duty to obey me whether you like it or not." (Ahmad)

According to the above narration, the two categories of people who will be ruined are the Shia and an-Nawaaseb. Shia go to extremes with regard to 'Ali and ahl-ul-bayt. They also slander the companions of Allah's Messenger Muhammad (SAAS) and regard the most of them as kuffaar. Concerning an-Nawaaseb, Sheikh ibn 'Utheimeen rahimahullaah said: An-Nawaaseb (an-Naasebah and Ahl-un-Nasb) are those who set themselves up against ahl-ul-bayt (the members of the Prophet's household) and hated them and slandered them. They are diametrically opposed to ar-Rawaafid (Shia). (Sharh al-Waasiteyyah, 2/283)

As for Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah, Sheikh-ul-Islam ibn Taymiyah rahimahullaah said, explaining their 'aqeedah: "They (i.e. Ahl-us-Sunnah) love the people of the household of Allah's Messenger (SAAS); they regard them with love and loyalty, and they heed the command of Allah's Messenger (SAAS) concerning them … but they reject the way of ar-Rawaafid who hate as-sahaabah and slander them, and they reject the way of an-Nawaaseb who insult ahl-ul-bayt in words and deeds. Ahl-us-Sunnah do not indulge in discussions about the disputes that took place among as-sahaabah." (Al-'Aqeedat-ul-Waasiteyyah, Majmuu' al-Fataawaa, 3/154.)

Sheikh-ul-Islam ibn Taymiyah rahimahullaah said also: "With regard to Ahl-us-Sunnah, they regard as friends all the believers. When they speak it is on the basis of knowledge and fairness, unlike those who are ignorant or follow their whims and desires; they reject the way of both ar-Rawaafid and an-Nawaaseb and they hold all of the early generations in high esteem, and they recognize status and virtue of as-sahaabah and respect the rights of ahl-ul-bayt as prescribed by Allah. They also recognize the varying status of members of the early generation, and they recognize that Abu Bakr and 'Umar enjoyed precedence and had virtues that were not shared by anyone else among as-sahaabah." (Minhaaj as-Sunnah, 2/71)

The enemies of Islam try to destroy Islam directly by hating and rebelling against ahl-ul-bayt, or indirectly by claiming the love for ahl-ul-bayt although in the reality they slander them by exalting them and attributing lies to them. In fact slandering ahl-ul-bayt and other sahaabah implies slandering this religion which was transmitted to us via ahl-ul-bayt, as-sahaabah and others.

It is narrated on the authority of 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud (RAA) that Allah's Messenger (SAAS) observed: "Never a Prophet had been sent before me by Allah towards his nation who had not among his people (his) disciples and companions who followed his ways and obeyed his command. Then there came after them their successors who said whatever they did not practise, and practised whatever they were not commanded to do. He who strove against them with his hand was a believer, he who strove against them with his tongue was a believer, and he who strove against them with his heart was a believer and beyond that there is no faith even to the extent of a mustard seed." (Muslim)

"Undoubtedly it is a sign of great misfortune and misguidance if a person's faith is based on slandering the companions of the best of mankind (SAAS) or arguing about the disputes that arose among them, instead of occupying himself with doing that which will benefit him in both his worldly and spiritual affairs.

No one should have any reason to slander, hate or bear grudges against the companions of the Prophet (SAAS). Their virtues are many, for they are the ones who supported Islam and spread the faith; they are the ones who fought the polytheists; they are the ones who transmitted al-Qur‘aan, as-Sunnah and rulings. They sacrificed themselves, their blood and their wealth for the sake of Allah. Allah chose them to be the companions of His Prophet (SAAS), so no one slanders them or hates them except a hypocrite who does not love Islam or believe in it.

It was narrated that al-Bara‘ (RAA) said: I heard the Prophet (SAAS) say: "The ansaar, no one loves them but a believer and no one hates them but a hypocrite. Whoever loves them, Allah will love him, and whoever hates them, Allah will hate him." (Narrated by al-Bukhari, 3672; Muslim, 75.)

If a man who hates the ansaar cannot be a believer and that makes him a hypocrite, then how about one who hates the ansaar and muhaajiroon and those who followed them in truth, and slanders them, curses them and denounces them and those who love them as kuffaar – as ar-Rawaafid do! Undoubtedly they deserve more to be regarded as kuffaar and hypocrites, and of not being believers.

At-Tahaawi said, discussing the beliefs of Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah: "We love the companions of Allah's Messenger (SAAS) and we do not neglect to love any one of them, nor do we disavow any one of them. We hate those who hate them and who criticize them, and we only mention them (the companions) in good terms. Loving them is part of religious commitment, faith and ihsaan, and hating them is kufr, hypocrisy and wrongdoing."

Sheikh Saaleh al-Fawzaan said: "The way of Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah is to love the family (ahl-ul-bayt) of the Prophet (SAAS).

An-Nawaaseb love the sahaabah but hate the family of the Prophet (SAAS), hence they were called an-Nawaaseb because they set themselves up (nasb) as enemies of the family of the Prophet (SAAS).

Ar-Rawaafid are the opposite: they love the Prophet's family (ahl-ul-bayt) – or so they claim, but they hate the sahaabah, whom they curse, denounce as kuffaar and criticize.

Whoever hates the sahaabah hates Islam, because they are the bearers of Islam and the followers of the Chosen Prophet (SAAS). So whoever hates them hates Islam, and this indicates that there is no faith in the hearts of such people and that they do not love Islam.

This is an important basic principle which the Muslims should understand, namely loving and respecting the sahaabah, because that is part of faith. Hating them or hating one of them is kufr and hypocrisy, because loving them is part of loving the Prophet (SAAS) and hating them is part of hating the Prophet (SAAS). (Sharh al-'Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyyah)"" (Taken from: www.islam-qa.com, question: #45563)


Defaming the companions of Allah's Messenger (SAAS) in order to weaken Islam!

This paragraph is an edited summary of the article "the creed of Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah concerning as-Sahaabah" by sheikh 'Abd al-Muhsin al-'Abbaad.

Indeed the companions (RAA) conveyed from Allah's Messenger (SAAS) that which he was sent with from guidance in the most complete and perfect form. They will have the greatest of rewards due to their companionship of Allah's Messenger (SAAS), their fighting in jihad along his side, and their noble actions in spreading Islam.

One thing we must understand is that defaming these chosen and special people is in fact a defamation of the Religion. This is due to the fact that the Religion was not passed onto successive generations except through them.

All of the companions of Allah's Messenger (SAAS) are trustworthy, based on Allah's testimony, and due to His praise as well as the praise of His Messenger (SAAS). An-Nawawi rahimahullaah said in at-Taqriib, which as-Suyuute explained in Tadriib ar-Raawii: "All of the companions are trustworthy - those who were involved in the fitan (the war which took place between them) and those other than them - according to the consensus of the scholars." Al-Haafidh ibn Hajar rahimahullaah said in al-Isaabah: "Ahl-us-Sunnah have unanimously agreed that all of them (as-sahaabah) are trustworthy, and no one opposed this except some deviants amongst the innovators."

Al-khateeb al-Baghdaadi said in his book al-Kifaayah: "Every hadiith that has a chain of narration that is connected between the one who reported it and the Prophet (SAAS) is not to be acted upon until first having affirmed the trustworthiness and reliability of its men (in the chain). It is an obligation to investigate into their condition, except a sahaabi (companion) who raises it (or attributes the hadiith) to the Prophet (SAAS). This is because the trustworthiness of the companions is established and well known from Allah's testimony, and His informing us of their pure state and His preference of them in the texts of al-Qur‘aan…" Then he continues to list some aayaat (verses) and ahaadiith concerning their virtue and then says: "And even if Allah or His Messenger (SAAS) had not mentioned anything about them from what we just stated now (of their virtues), their hijrah, jihad, offering of support, sacrificing of life and wealth, experience of the killings of their parents and children, mutually advising for the Religion, their strong Faith and unshakeable Certainty, (all of this) would necessitate their trustworthiness and having a firm belief in their honesty and integrity. It would necessitate that they are the best of those that receive testimony and approval of their trustworthiness and reliability from all people that come after them forever and ever." Then he reports a narration with the chain connected to Abu Zur'ah, who said: "If you see a man seeking to belittle anyone amongst the companions of Allah's Messenger (SAAS), then know that he is a heretic (Zindiiq). This is because according to us Allah's Messenger (SAAS) is true and al-Qur‘aan is true, and the only ones who brought this Qur‘aan and as-Sunnah to us are the companions of Allah's Messenger (SAAS). They only wish to disparage and demolish our witnesses so that they can nullify the Book and as-Sunnah, whereas they are more deserving of being disparaged for they are the heretics (Zanaadiqah)."

Allah (SWT) praised the companions in His Mighty Book, and Allah's Messenger (SAAS) praised them in his purified Sunnah, and this is enough for them as a virtue and honour. Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "And the foremost to embrace Islam of the muhaajiroon (those who migrated from Mecca to Medina) and the ansaar (the citizens of Medina who helped and gave aid to the muhaajiroon) and also those who followed them exactly (in Faith). Allah is well-pleased with them as they are well-pleased with Him. He has prepared for them Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise), to dwell therein forever. That is the supreme success." (Al-Qur‘aan 9:100)

Even those who accepted Islam from among as-sahaabah (RAA) after the treaty of al-Hudaybiyyah cannot be compared to those who accepted Islam previously - even though all of them are honoured by accompanying the Prophet (SAAS) - then how is it for those who did not attain the honour of (being from) the companions compared to those superior individuals? Indeed there is a great difference! Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "…Not equal among you are those who spent and fought before the conquering (of Mecca, with those among you who did so later). Such are higher in degree than those who spent and fought afterwards. But to all, Allah has promised the best (reward). And Allah is All-Aware of what you do." (Al-Qur‘aan 57:10)

Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "He it is Who has sent His Messenger [Muhammad (SAAS)] with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam), that He may make it (Islam) superior to all religions. And All-Sufficient is Allah as a Witness. Muhammad (SAAS) is Allah's Messenger. And those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves. You see them bowing and falling down prostrate (in prayer), seeking Bounty from Allah and (His) Good Pleasure. The mark of them (i.e. of their Faith) is on their faces (foreheads) from the traces of prostration (during prayers). This is their description in the Torah. But their description in the Gospel is like a (sown) seed which sends forth its shoot, then makes it strong, and becomes thick and it stands straight on its stem, delighting the sowers that He may enrage the disbelievers with them. Allah has promised those among them who believe [i.e. all those who follow Islamic Monotheism till the Day of Resurrection] and do righteous good deeds, forgiveness and a mighty reward (i.e. Paradise)." (Al-Qur‘aan 48:28-29)

In Allah's saying concerning as-sahaabah, "that he may enrage the disbelievers with them," is the severest ruling, the harshest threat and the worst of warnings for those who are enraged by as-sahaabah or those who have some hatred for them in their hearts.

Concerning the distribution of war-booty, Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "(And there is also a share in this booty) for the poor emigrants, who were expelled from their homes and their property, seeking Bounties from Allah and to please Him, and helping Allah (i.e. helping His religion - Islamic Monotheism) and His Messenger [Muhammad (SAAS)]. Such are indeed the truthful (to what they say). And (it is also for) those who, before them, had homes (in Medina) and had adopted the Faith, love those who emigrate to them, and have no jealousy in their breasts for that which they have been given (from the booty of banuu an-Nadeer), and give them (emigrants) preference over themselves even though they were in need for that. And whosoever is saved from his own covetousness, such are they who will be the successful. And those who came after them say: 'Our Lord! Forgive us and our brethren who have preceded us in Faith, and put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord! You are indeed full of kindness, Most Merciful.'" (Al-Qur‘aan 59:8-10)

The first of these three aayaat from suurat-ul-Hashr is in reference to al-muhaajiroon (as-sahaabah who migrated from Mecca to Medina). The second aayah refers to al-ansaar (as-sahaabah who resided in Medina who helped and took in al-muhaajiroon). The third aayah refers to those who will come after al-muhaajiroon and al-ansaar, who seek Allah's forgiveness for them and ask Him not to put hatred in their hearts for them. There is nothing beyond these three groups except for one who deserts them and falls into one of the traps of the Devil. This is why 'Aisha (RAA) told 'Urwah ibn az-Zubair concerning the condition of some of those who deserted and were forsaken: "They were commanded to seek forgiveness for the companions of Allah's Messenger (SAAS), but they (instead) reviled them." Imam Muslim transmitted this report in the last part of his Sahiih. An-Nawawi said in his explanation of it, after mentioning the aayah of suurat-ul-Hashr: "Imam Malik used this as proof for his ruling that the one who reviles as-sahaabah has no right to the war-booty. This is because Allah only made it for those who seek forgiveness for them from amongst those who come after them." Ibn Kathiir said in his Tafsiir of this aayah: "How great is the ruling that Imam Malik derived from this aayah, in that ar-Raafidee - the one who reviles the companions - has no portion of the wealth from the war-booty due to his lack of characterizing himself with the attributes of those whom Allah has praised in His saying (interpretation of the meaning): 'Our Lord! Forgive us and our brethren who have preceded us in Faith, and put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord! You are indeed full of kindness, Most Merciful.'"

It is established from the saying of Allah's Messenger (SAAS) that as-sahaabah (RAA) are the best of mankind. The Prophet (SAAS) said: "The best of mankind is my generation, then those that come after them, then those that come after them." And that if one of them were to give a mudd (of gold) in charity it would be better than the whole of Mount Uhud in gold of those who came after them. Al-Bukhari reported in his Sahiih on the authority of Abu Sa'id al-Khudri (RAA) that the Prophet (SAAS) said: "Do not revile my companions! For if one of you were to give away the size of mount Uhud in gold for charity, it would not equal a mudd [a measure of two-thirds of a kilogram (approx.)] of one of them nor even half of it."

Sheikh-ul-Islam ibn Taimiyah rahimahullaah said in his book al-'Aqiidat-ul-Waasitiyyah: "And whoever studies the history of the people (i.e. as-sahaabah) with knowledge and insight, and studies the bounty Allah bestowed upon them, he will come to know with full certainty that they are the best of creation after the prophets. There was never, nor will there ever be anyone like them. (He will come to know that) they are the chosen elite from all the generations of this nation (of Muslims), which is itself the best and most honourable of all nations with Allah."

As-sahaabah (RAA) will also accumulate the rewards of those who come after them since they served as the intermediaries between them and Allah's Messenger (SAAS). This is due to his (SAAS) saying: "If anyone calls others to follow right guidance, his reward will be equivalent to those who follow him (in righteousness) without their reward being diminished in any respect, and if anyone invites others to follow error, the sin, will be equivalent to that of the people who follow him (in sinfulness) without their sins being diminished in any respect." (Muslim)


Islam is Allah's plea against His creatures and nobody is able to extinguish it!

Allah's Messenger Muhammad (SAAS) fulfilled his duty of conveying the Message in the most complete and perfect manner - he directed his ummah towards every good, and he warned them against every evil. 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr (RAA) reported that Allah's Messenger (SAAS) said: "It was the duty of every Prophet Allah sent to guide his nation to the best of what he knew and to warn them of the evils of what he knew." (Muslim)

Allah's Messenger Muhammad (SAAS) also said: "I have not left anything which Allah ordered you except that I have ordered you with it, nor anything that Allah forbade you except that I forbade you from it." (Sahiih - narrated by al-Baihaqee)

Allah (TWT) chose for accompanying His Messenger Muhammad (SAAS) and taking knowledge from him people who are the best of this nation, which is itself the best of all nations. Allah (SWT) honoured them by allowing them to accompany His Prophet (SAAS). He (TWT) favoured them in this worldly life by giving them the opportunity to see His Messenger (SAAS) and hear his speech directly from him, and it is they who transferred this religion of Islam to others. This is the bounty of Allah which He bestows upon whom He wills, and Allah possesses the greatest of bounties.

However, Allah (SWT) tests His servants by the devils from mankind and jinn in order to distinguish the good from the wicked. Thus, throughout the history, innovators and disbelievers have been disputing with vain and false arguments with the aim of weakening the truth thereby. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): "And so We have appointed for every Prophet enemies - devils among mankind and jinn, inspiring one another with adorned speech as a delusion (or by way of deception). If your Lord had so willed, they would not have done it; so leave them alone with their fabrications. (And this is in order) that the hearts of those who disbelieve in the Hereafter may incline to such (deceit), and that they may remain pleased with it, and that they may commit what they are committing (all kinds of sins and evil deeds)." (Al-Qur‘aan 6:112-113)

No matter how much the followers of falsehood try to distort the path of Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah, the people of the truth still keep following the path of their Righteous Predecessors (as-Salaf-us-Saalih). They expose the falsehood of the innovators by basing their arguments on as-Sunnah of Allah's Messenger Muhammad (SAAS). Ibrahim ibn 'Abdurrahman al-'Udhri (RAA) reported Allah's Messenger (SAAS) as saying: "In every successive century this knowledge would be borne by the authentic scholars who would rectify the distortions of the extremists, and the falsification of the falsifiers and the interpretations of the ignorant." (Al-Baihaqee)

Thus, it should be realized that the claim of some people that as-Sunnah cannot be trusted because the followers of falsehood try to distort it, and it is enough to follow only al-Qur‘aan, is baseless and worthless. "This (claim) is the view of some heretics and misguided people, both in the past and nowadays. In modern times, those who expressed this view include Saaleh Abu Bakr in his book al-Adwaa‘ al-Qur‘aaniyyah; Hussain Ahmad Ameen in Daleel al-Muslim al-Hazeen; Ahmad Ameen in Fajr al-Islam; 'Abdullah an-Na'eem in Nahwa Tatweer at-Tashree' al-Islaami; Sa'id al-'Ashmaawi in Haqeeqat al-Hijaab; Saaleh al-Wardaani in his misleading book Rihlati mina as-Sunnah ilaa ash-Shee'ah; 'Abd al-Jawaad Yaaseen in as-Sultah fil-Islam; Nasr Abu Zaid in Imaam ash-Shafi'i; Zakariya 'Abbaas Dawud in Ta‘ammulaat fil-hadiith; Hawlat Nahr in Diraasaat Muhammadiyyah; Maurice Bucaille in Diraasat al-Kutub al-Muqaddasah; Murtada al-'Askar in Khamsuun wa Mi‘ah Sahaabi Mukhtalaq; Dr. Mustafa Mahmood in Maqaalaat 'an ash-Shafaa'ah.

We say: it is true that there were fabricators and liars who made up words and attributed them to Allah's Messenger (SAAS), but the matter is not quite so simple as imagined by those doubters who also spread doubts among others. They are unaware of the facts about how the Muslims took care of the Sunnah. Alongside the fabricators, there were great numbers of narrators who were trustworthy and highly skilled, and a large number of scholars who surrounded the ahaadiith of Allah's Messenger (SAAS) with a strong barrier which was difficult for the liars to penetrate. By means of their vast knowledge and deep insight, these muhaddithuun (scholars of hadiith) were able to spot the liars and understand their intentions and motives, and they were able to detect everything that was falsely attributed to Allah's Messenger (SAAS). These fabricators were not given free rein to do as they wished with the ahaadiith of the Prophet (SAAS), and they were given no room to penetrate the ranks of trustworthy narrators of ahaadiith without being detected.

Who else exposed the lies of these kuffaar, heretics and extreme innovators?

Who were the ones who gave us the definition of what is fabricated, the reasons for fabrication, different types of fabrications and the signs by which a fabricated report may be recognized? Who wrote so many books on this issue?

They are the guardians of Islam, the vicegerents and troops of Allah on His earth. They are the brilliant scholars of whom Haaroon ar-Rasheed spoke when he arrested a heretic and ordered that he be executed. The heretic said: "Why are you executing me?" Haaroon ar-Rasheed said: "To rid the people of you." The heretic said: "O ameer al-mu‘mineen, what will you do about the thousand ahaadiith – according to one report, four thousand ahaadiith – which I have fabricated and spread among you, in which I made what is halaal haraam and what is haraam halaal, of which the Prophet uttered not one letter?" Haaroon ar-Rasheed said to him: "What will you do, O enemy of Allah, about Abu Ishaaq al-Fazaari and 'Abdullah ibn al-Mubaarak? They will go through them and sift them letter by letter." (Tadhkirat al-Huffaadh by adh-Dhahabi, 1/273; Taariikh al-Khulafaa‘ by as-Suyuute, p. 174)

Professor Muhammad Asad said: "The existence of fabricated ahaadiith cannot be taken to prove that the entire system of hadiith is not to be trusted, because these fabricated ahaadiith never deceived the muhaddithuun as some European critics claimed, oversimplifying the matter, and as was echoed by some who claim to be Muslims." (Al-Islam 'ala Muftaraq at-Tariiq, p. 96)

We will end this discussion by quoting what was said by Imam ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah: Imam Abu al-Mudhaffar as-Sam'aani said: "If they say: there are too many reports in the hands of the people and they have become confused, we say: no one is confused except those who are ignorant. Those who have knowledge of them (the reports) check them as stringently as those who deal with money check dirhams and dinars. So they single out (and discard) the false reports and keep the good reports. If there happens to be a narrator who made a mistake, this will not go unnoticed by the brilliant scholars of hadiith. These scholars listed the mistakes made in both the isnaad (chain of narrators) and matn (texts) of reports; so you can see that for each narrator they made a list of the mistakes that he had made and the letters that he had mispronounced. If the mistakes of the narrators – in both the isnaad and the matn – did not go unchecked, then how could the fabricated ahaadiith manufactured by the heretics have slipped past those brilliant scholars? How could people have narrated ahaadiith from heretics without the scholars noticing? That is the view of some heretics, but no one would say such a thing except one who is ignorant, misguided, an innovator and a liar who wants to undermine the sahiih ahaadiith and true reports of the Prophet (SAAS) and confuse ignorant people by means of this lie. There is no evidence for rejecting the reports of Allah's Messenger (SAAS) that is weaker or more impossible than this. The one who voices this view deserves to be silenced and expelled from the Muslim lands. (Mukhtasar as-Sawaa'iq al-Mursalah, 2/561)" (Taken from: www.islam-qa.com, question #10521)

"Allah has guaranteed to protect His religion, which includes preserving His miraculous Book, and preserving as-Sunnah of His Prophet which helps us to understand al-Qur‘aan. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): "Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr and surely We will guard it (from corruption)." (Al-Qur‘aan 15:9) The word Dhikr here includes both al-Qur‘aan and as-Sunnah.

Many people – in the past and at present – have tried to insert weak and fabricated ahaadiith into the pure sharee'ah and the Prophetic Sunnah. But Allah has thrown their plots back in their faces and has provided means of protecting His religion. Among these means are the trustworthy and reliable scholars who sifted through the reports and checked their sources, examining the biographies of the narrators and even describing the point at which a narrator began to be confused in his narration, and stating who narrated from him before he became confused and who narrated from him afterwards. They described the journeys of the narrator, which cities he visited and from whom in each city he took reports. They checked many details about each narrator, more than can be listed here. All of this indicates that the religion of this ummah is protected, no matter how hard our enemies try to plot and play about with the religion and distort it.

Sufyan ath-Thawree said: The angels are the guardians of the heavens and the scholars of hadiith are the guardians of this world.

Al-Haafidh adh-Dhahabi mentioned that Haaroon ar-Rasheed was about to execute a Zindiiq (heretic), and the Zindiiq said: "What are you going to do about the one thousand ahaadiith I have fabricated?" Ar-Rasheed said: "What are you going to do, O enemy of Allah, about Abu Ishaaq al-Fazaari and 'Abdullah ibn al-Mubaarak, who will sift through those ahaadiith and examine them letter by letter?"

The seeker of knowledge can find out about the fabricated (maudoo') and weak (da'iif) ahaadiith very easily, by looking at the asaaniid or chains of narrators, and finding out about the people mentioned there in the "books of men" i.e. narrators (kutub ar-rijaal) and the books which state which narrators are sound or otherwise (kutub al-jarh wat-ta'diil).

Many scholars have compiled these fabricated and weak ahaadiith in books devoted solely to these types of reports, so that it is easy to find out about them – then one can beware of them and warn others about them. These books include al-'Ilal al-Mutanaahiyah by ibn al-Jawzee, al-Manaar al-Muneef by ibn al-Qayyim, alla-Aalee‘ al-Masnuu'ah fil-ahaadiith al-Maudoo'ah by as-Suyuute, al-Fawaa‘id al-Majmuu'ah by ash-Shawkaani, al-Asraar al-Marfuu'ah fil-ahaadiith al-Maudoo'ah by ibn 'Arraaq, and Da'iif al-Jaami' as-Sagheer and Silsilat al-ahaadiith ad-Da'iifah wal-Maudoo'ah, both by Sheikh al-Albaani rahimahullaah." (Taken from: www.islam-qa.com, question #6981)

"Some of scholars used to challenge people to bring them a verse that contradicts another verse or a hadiith, or a hadiith that contradicts another hadiith or a verse of al-Qur‘aan, and they would explain to them anything that appeared to be a contradiction, and they used to openly challenge everyone on this matter.

Ad-Daraqutni – who was one of the imams of hadiith – stood in Baghdad as a khateeb (preacher) and said: "O people of Baghdad! No one can tell lies against Allah's Messenger (SAAS) whilst I am alive." These words indicate the depth of their knowledge and understanding of Islam, which was so great that the people of falsehood could not attack Islam or introduce into it things that were not part of it.

Hence our advice to this questioner and other Muslims, especially those who mix with kuffaar because of their work or because they live in their countries, is to strive to seek knowledge and to learn the correct rulings of Islam that are derived from al-Qur‘aan and as-Sunnah, whilst paying attention to learning the reasons behind these rulings, so that they will have knowledge with which to refute the specious arguments of those who seek to attack Islam, and this will enable them to call people to Allah with proper insight and understanding." (Taken from: www.islam-qa.com, question #32492)

Al-khateeb al-Baghdaadi rahimahullaah said: "Allah has made these people – Ahl-us-Sunnah – the pillars of ash-sharee'ah, and He has destroyed through them all abhorrent innovations. They are the trustees of Allah among His creation, the intermediaries between the Prophet (SAAS) and his ummah. They are the ones who are striving hard to protect His religion; their light is shining, their virtues are well known, the signs of their sincerity are obvious, their way is prevailing, and their evidence is supreme. Every group has its own focal point which is based on whims and desires, apart from the people of hadiith, whose reference point is al-Qur‘aan, whose evidence is as-Sunnah and whose leader is the Messenger to whom they belong; they do not pay any attention to whims and desires, and they do not care about personal opinions. They are content with what is narrated from the Messenger, and they are the ones who are entrusted with it and they take care of it. They are the guardians and keepers of the faith, the vessels and bearers of knowledge. If there is a difference of opinion concerning a hadiith, people refer to them, and what they rule is what is accepted and listened to. Among them are prominent fuqahaa‘, great imams, ascetics who are well-known among their tribes, men who are known for their virtue, skilled reciters of al-Qur‘aan and good speakers. They are the majority and their way is the right way. Every innovator pretends to be following their path, and cannot dare to claim any other way. Whoever opposes them, Allah will destroy him, and whoever goes against them, Allah will humiliate him. They are not harmed by those who forsake them, and those who stay away from them will not prosper. The one who cares for his religion needs their help, the one who looks down on them is a loser, and Allah is able to support them." (Sharaf Ashaab al-Hadiith, p. 15)

Sheikh-ul-Islam ibn Taymiyah rahimahullaah said: "Hence it is clear that the people who most deserve to be called the victorious group are "Ahl-ul-Hadiith was-Sunnah", who have no leader to follow blindly apart from Allah's Messenger (SAAS). They are the most knowledgeable of people concerning his (SAAS) words and deeds, the most able to distinguish between what is sound and what is not [of al-hadiith]. Their imams have deep knowledge of that, they are the ones who understand its meanings and are the most sincere in following it. They accept it and believe in it, and act upon it. They show love to those who adopt it and they show enmity to those who oppose it. They are the ones who measure any idea against that which is proven in al-Qur‘aan and Sunnah, so they never adopt any idea and make it one of the basic principles of their religion unless it is proven in that which the Messenger brought. Rather they make that which the Messenger brought, al-Qur‘aan and Sunnah, the foundation and basis of their beliefs. With regard to the issues concerning which people dispute, such as the attributes of Allah, the divine decree, the threat of Hell, the names of Allah and the principle of enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil, etc., they refer that to Allah and His Messenger. They examine the general ideas concerning which the different groups dispute, and whatever of these ideas is in accordance with al-Qur‘aan and Sunnah, they approve of it, and whatever goes against al-Qur‘aan and as-Sunnah, they reject it. They do not follow conjecture or whims and desires. For following conjecture is ignorance and following whims and desires without any guidance from Allah is wrongdoing." (Majmuu' al-Fataawaa, 3/347, 348)

All praises and thanks are due to Allah. Our religion is preserved in men's hearts and on paper, because it is the final message in which is Allah's guidance for mankind, and He has established it as proof against them until the Hour will begin. He has decreed that it will abide and He has created for it in every age people who will follow its guidance, learn it by heart, implement its laws and believe in it. Mu'awiyah (RAA) said: I heard the Prophet saying, "A group of people amongst my followers will remain obedient to Allah's orders and they will not be harmed by anyone who will not help them or who will oppose them, till Allah's Order (the Last Day) comes upon them while they are still on the right path." (Al-Bukhari)

Allah (SWT) has blessed us by completing His religion and Islam is the perfect religion of Allah (SWT). Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "…This day, those who disbelieved have given up all hope of your religion (to wean you from your religion); so fear them not, but fear Me. This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion…" (Al-Qur‘aan 5:3)

Islam tells the truth in its reports and is just in its rulings. Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "And the Word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice. None can change His Words. And He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower." (Al-Qur‘aan 6:115)


Conclusion

'Aashuuraa‘ is a great day when Allah (SWT) saved Moses (AS) and his people and drowned Pharaoh and his people. So Moses (AS) fasted on this day in gratitude to Allah (SWT).

The day of 'Aashuuraa‘ is mercy from Allah and an opportunity for one to get his sins forgiven. This is of the bounty that Allah bestows upon us, whereby fasting one day expiates for the sins of a whole year. And Allah is the Owner of great bounty.

It is recommended to fast both the ninth and the tenth of Muharram since Allah's Messenger Muhammad (SAAS) fasted the tenth and intended to fast the ninth. And the more one fasts in Muharram, the better. Therefore, one should avail of this opportunity as much as he can.

Abu Huraira (RAA) narrated that Allah's Messenger (SAAS) said: "The most excellent fast after Ramadan is Allah's month, al-Muharram, and the most excellent prayer after what is prescribed is prayer during the night." (Muslim)

It must be borne in mind that wherever a promise of forgiveness of sins is made upon the fulfilment of some action, it is only the minor sins that are forgiven. The major sins are not forgiven without true taubah (repentance).

The intention behind fasting both the ninth and the tenth is to be different from the Jews who limit their fasting to the tenth day, and because Allah's Messenger Muhammad (SAAS) forbade the Muslims of resembling the People of the Book in many ahaadiith. This reminds us also that we have to cleave to the hijri calendar, and that using the Gregorian calendar by itself especially when it is not necessary is regarded as imitating the kuffaar. Muslims must also absolve themselves from the way of ar-Rawaafid, the rejecters of Islam - those who hate the companions and revile them - and from the way of an-Nawaaseb - those who abuse the members of the household of the Prophet (SAAS) by speech or action. These people follow their own desires and innovate things which they think to be good but are, in fact, wrong and not allowed.

Muslims must beware of the innovators who reject the Sunnah of Allah's Messenger Muhammad (SAAS) because it does not agree with their opinions, whims and desires. Muslims should not be deceived by the words of these criminals, for Satan has made their deeds appear attractive to them, and they hate to go against their "imams" or the leaders of their groups.

Allah has not given people the freedom to choose their own way of worship, rather He has revealed His Book and sent His Messenger Muhammad (SAAS) to show people the right way and to guide them. So there is nothing that is worship, goodness and guidance that Allah loves, but it has been explained by the Messenger (SAAS). Thus, it is obligatory on every person to adhere to al-Qur‘aan was-Sunnah upon the understanding of the Righteous Predecessors (as-Salaf-us-Saalih), and not to adhere to the methodology of any deviant group, which only makes the ummah more fragmented and weak. Those who follow as-Salaf-us-Saalih will be saved and those who go against them will be doomed.

Imam Malik rahimahullaah said: The Sunnah is like the ark of Noah: whoever boards it will be saved and whoever stays behind will be drowned.

Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger [Muhammad (SAAS)] after the right path has been shown clearly to him, and follows other than the believers' way, We shall keep him in the path he has chosen, and burn him in Hell - what an evil destination!" (Al-Qur‘aan 4:115)

Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "…And let those who oppose the Messenger's (Muhammad's) commandment (i.e. his Sunnah - legal ways, orders, acts of worship, statements) (among the sects) beware, lest some fitnah (disbelief, trials, afflictions, earthquakes, killing, overpowered by a tyrant) should befall them or a painful torment be inflicted on them." (Al-Qur‘aan 24:63)

On the basis of the above: adhering to the path of Allah's Messenger Muhammad (SAAS) and his companions (RAA) is not something optional, rather it is an obligation that Allah has enjoined upon His slaves.

Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "…And whatsoever the Messenger [Muhammad (SAAS)] gives you, take it; and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it). And fear Allah; verily, Allah is Severe in punishment." (Al-Qur‘aan 59:7)

Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger (SAAS), have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger (SAAS), he has indeed strayed into a plain error." (Al-Qur‘aan 33:36)

Allah, the Exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): "Indeed in Allah's Messenger [Muhammad (SAAS)] you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much." (Al-Qur‘aan 33:21)

It should be noted that no one ever invents a bid'ah but he forsakes thereby a Sunnah that is equal to it or greater than it. Imam Malik rahimahullaah said: Whoever introduces any innovation into Islam claiming that it is good is implying that Muhammad (SAAS) betrayed the message entrusted to him, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): "…This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion…" (Al-Qur‘aan 5:3) So whatever was not part of the religion of Islam at that point should never be part of the religion of Islam today.

As-sahaabah, at-taabi'uun and imams issued many warnings against innovations. Hudhaifah ibn al-Yaman (RAA) said: Every act of worship which the companions of Allah's Messenger (SAAS) did not do, do not do it.

Ibn Mas'ud (RAA) said: Follow and do not innovate, for the religion is complete. Adhere to the old way [i.e. the way of the Prophet (SAAS) and the sahaabah (RAA)].

Sufyan ibn 'Uyaynah rahimahullaah said: Bid'ah (innovation) is dearer to Ibliis (Satan) than sin, because a person may repent from sin, but not from innovation.

It is prescribed for the Muslims (especially those who live in non-Muslim countries) to free themselves from all kinds of al-qabaliyyaat, al-qawmiyyaat wal-hizbiyyaat (tribalism, nationalism and partisanship) and to cooperate together in obeying Allah and His Messenger (SAAS) with regard to matters such as enjoining the good and forbidding the evil. They have to seek authentic Islamic knowledge, act according to it, preach it, and encourage one another to adhere to the truth and to be patient. And it is the Muslim's duty to follow the truth and to join the victorious group, Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah, the Righteous Predecessors (as-Salaf-us-Saalih), loving them for the sake of Allah whether they are in his own country or elsewhere, and cooperating with them in righteousness.

May Allah guide us all to the Straight Path and save us from every act which brings His displeasure. And with Allah lies all the success. And may Allah send prayers and salutations upon our Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) and his family and his companions (RAA). "Our Lord! Forgive us and our brethren who have preceded us in Faith, and put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord! You are indeed full of kindness, Most Merciful." (Al-Qur‘aan 59:10 - interpretation of the meaning)


Published on Friday the 9th of Muharram, 1426/the 18th of February, 2005



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