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April 19, 2004
Fatwa Shopping

by Faisal Akhtar

A play in one act

[Scene 1: Faisal, his Angel and his Shaitan are walking by a thrift mall with a billboard detailing the shops in the mall as 1) “Fatwa exchange: The one stop shop for all your Fatwa needs” 2) “Innovations': The modern Islam” 3) “Factions; When Fatwas don’t do the trick”. Faisal enters the mall]

[Faisal stares at the “Fatwa Exchange“]

Shaitan: Looks like an interesting place. Come on Faisal lets check it out.

Angel: Wait a minute Faisal! What could you possibly want in such a place?

Shaitan: Remember that BMW you have been trying to save up for? I can get it to you right now if you borrow legally and Islamically from a bank at a very low APR. There is a great new fatwa out.

Angel: That’s Riba Faisal. Don’t do it.

Shaitan: You need a car man. I mean how do you expect to commute to work everyday?

Angel: A cheaper model will be just as reliable and will work just fine and the money you save you can either use to save up for higher education or even donate it for the sake of Allah.

Shaitan: This guy just wants you to live like a pauper. Islam doesn’t require you to be poor. You can live a decent life. People will respect you if you own a BMW

Angel: All respect is from Allah and living well does not require you to show off an expensive car. Use your money wisely.

Shaitan: But don’t you remember the test drive? The acceleration of the car when you pressed down on the pedal? The feel of complete control when you turned the wheel? It comes fully loaded with all the latest gadgets. By the way, you will never get married if you drive a Toyota or something. Your car is a status symbol and people don’t want poor men for their daughters.

[Faisal drools]

Angel: Would you seriously consider marrying someone who judges you based on your car and not…

Faisal [cuts him off]: I am convinced. I am going in.

Angel: If you are then I am not going with you.

Shaitan; Fine!

Shaitan (addressing Faisal): Why do you hang out with that guy?

Faisal: He has given me some good advice in the past.

Shaitan: I got all the advice you need my friend.

[Faisal and his Shaitan walk in the store. The store is neatly organized by isles ranging from “Permissible acts” to “Shirk and Kufr”]

Shaitan: Hmmm… Now where would we find Riba?

[Intentionally leads Faisal into another isle]

Shaitan: Look! Reasons to Delay Prayer. Looks like an excellent fatwa and its cheap.

Faisal: Who is the scholar and what are his credentials?

Shaitan: Who cares? Aren’t you a little tired of leaving everything unfinished just for prayer? I mean these reasons are, after all, Islamically permissible.

Faisal: No man! Lets just do what we came here to do and be done with it.

Shaitan: Fine! lets do this your way.

[Shaitan and Faisal walk up to the information counter. The clerk is handling a Customer]

Customer: When I came to this store, I expected a wider selection. I have been looking for a fatwa banning Jihad for an hour but I can’t find anything. What kind of a store is this?

Clerk: Sir, we are not a specialty store. We have tried producing such fatwas but the Quran is too clear on this matter. However, you might want to try the factions store right next door. They have a much wider selection and they specialize in fabrications and lies. Innovation is also an excellent store if you have such high demands.

Customer: Ok thanks! Wait a minute! Are you allowed to endorse other stores like this? Won’t you get fired?

Clerk: Innovations and Factions are our partner stores Sir.

Customer: Thanks a lot!

Clerk: You are welcome and please come again.

Clerk [Addressing Faisal with a smile]: Hi and welcome to Fatwa Exchange, The one stop shop for all your fatwa needs. How might I help you?

Faisal: I am looking for fatwas legalizing Riba? Which Isle is that?

Clerk: That will be the major sins isle. Isle 12.

Faisal: Thanks.

[On the way to isle 12, the loud speakers announce]

“Attention Shoppers. New at Fatwa Exchange, the one stop shop for all your fatwa needs. Newly discovered at an obscure internet website is the masturbation fatwa. That’s right, you can now enjoy solo-sex while having the contentment of mind that it is not haram. This fatwa is just $8.99 for a limited time only. Find it in the lewd and indecent acts isle. Fatwa Exchange! Your religion at wholesale prices!”

Shaitan: Sounds interesting. Wanna check it out?

Faisal: I am looking to get married here man and you are suggesting solo-sex?

Shaitan: Alright, my bad. The temporary marriage fatwa is also in the same isle. Lets go!

Faisal: Wait man, I haven’t even bought the Riba fatwa yet.

Shaitan: Ok fine. Lets go to isle 12.

[After purchasing the Riba fatwa]

Shaitan: I can see it now Faisal. You and me in a brand new BMW, cruising down the highway, music blasting…

Faisal: Wait a minute. I read that music is Haram.

Shaitan: Man that’s you problem. You read way too much. Hold on one sec.

[Runs two isles down and brings back the music fatwa]

Shaitan: See! Problem solved. Makes music permissible, its just $2.99 and from a reputable scholar.

Faisal: Where would I be without you!?

Shaitan (Sneezes and speaks at the same time) Heaven!

Faisal: What did you say?

Shaitan: Lost! You would be lost. Now onto some other important fatwas.

Faisal: Wait, I have no more money.

Shaitan: Check your wallet.

[Checks and finds some money]

Shaitan: What about that?

Faisal: That is Zakat money man.

Shaitan: No problem! Hold on one second.

[Runs to the factions store next door and brings back a book explaining how Zakat need not be paid]

Faisal: Wait, you got no money. How did you get that book for free?

Shaitan: The store owner knows me. We go way back. Now read. See! you don’t have to pay Zakat.

[Faisal is a little confused but accepts and buys the fatwas]

[At checkout]

Clerk: Are you a member of our frequent shoppers reward program?

Shaitan: Yes he is.

Faisal: Am I?

Shaitan: I took the liberty.

Clerk: Please sign away your soul here.

[Faisal signs]

Clerk: Thank you and have a nice day.

[Outside the mall, the Angel joins Faisal]

Angel: I thought you just went to buy one fatwa, what’s in all those bags?

Faisal: Nothing! Nothing! I am gonna go and buy me that BMW now.

Angel (Chasing after him): Faisal Wait!

[Curtain]


[Scene 2: Faisal is driving down Turnpike in his new BMW, music is blasting and there is a woman in a mini skirt sitting in the front seat. The Shaitan is riding shotgun while the Angel is in the back seat]

Shaitan (Yelling over the music): THIS IS AWSOME! IS THIS THE LIFE OR WHAT?

Faisal: YEAH MAN! I THINK THIS CAR IS THE FASTEST CAR IN THE WORLD.

Angel: Faisal. Turn off the music, put your seat-belt on and slow down.

[His voice drowns in the music. "Oops I did it again..."]

Faisal: I LOVE THIS PART!

[He turns up the volume and speeds up. The Angel tries again to no avail. The woman tosses her head a certain way and Faisal becomes distracted for a split second. He doesn‘t see the upcoming turn and slams into the concrete barrier at over 100mph. He gets ejected from the car breaking the windshield. He lays there breathing his last breaths. A short while later, the paramedics arrive]

Angel: Listen to me and repeat after me Faisal. Say Ashadu anla ilaha Illa Allah, wa ashadu anna Muhammadan rasulullah “I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and I testify that Muhammad are the messenger of Allah”

Shaitan [Yells at the top of his lungs]: I TESTIFY THAT THIS BMW IS THE FASTEST CAR IN THE WORLD.

Paramedic1: What did he say?

Paramedic2: I think he just testified to BMW being the fastest car in the world.

Angel (doesn’t give up). No No. Listen to me. Say Ashadu anla ilaha Illa Allah, wa ashadu anna Muhammadan rasulullah

Shaitan [Screaming again]: OOPS! I DID IT AGAIN! I PLAYED WITH YOUR HEART! GOT LOST IN THIS GAME…

Paramedic1: Are you hearing this?

Paramedic2: Yeah. He is delusional. He is singing Britney Spears songs.

[Angel of death appears. Relieves the Shaitan and the Angel of duty]

Angel of Death: Your Jobs are done. Go now!

[Angel prays for Faisal, the Shaitan curses him. Curtain]


[Scene 3: We hear the last people leaving Faisal‘s grave. The footsteps dwindle down. Faisal’s grave becomes a pit of hell and it closes in on him crushing his ribcage. He screams. Curtain]


of and relating to...
Faisal Akhtar said

Assalam-o-alaikom.

Gotta give credit where it is deserved. The title is not mine. It developed during my interactions with Amr, Hassan and Ali. Since none of them were writng about this, I took the initiative.

Wasalam

on April 20, 2004 12:18 AM
Saima said

genius ! Masha'Allah.

Recently, my family and I were considering to purchase a house and we had seen that Guidance Financial group commercial (also got the flyer in the mail).
Ok, so I can't say that they are right or wrong... (because they are based on a fatwa and I'm not qualified to judge their decision) but common sense does help when you're reading their contract.

The word interest appeared on every page.

Yeah.

Alhamdolilah, we decided not to pursue that route.

on April 20, 2004 12:35 AM
Justoju said

AssalamuAlaikum,
Absolute freaking genius. Reminiscent of "The Screwtape Letters" by C.S. Lewis. MashaAllah, excellent work Faisal and Co..

WasalaamuAlaikum

on April 20, 2004 12:38 AM
Saima said

Hey, can you use coupons at Fatwa Exchange ? and do they have an online store ?

What about customizing your fatwa ? or Supersizing it ?

on April 20, 2004 12:42 AM
Ibn Muzaffar Syed Hussain said

salaam alaikum,

man faisal, excellent job masha'allah...this is so true...now all i have to do is find this fatwa exchange...

'work in this life as if you'll live forever, prepare for the Hereafter as if you'll die tomorrow'

on April 20, 2004 12:49 AM
justoju said

Ladies and Gentlemen, that last comment was not by the Saima we know and love. It was by Saima's shaitan (tun tun TUN)

(dramatic hai na?)

on April 20, 2004 12:50 AM
Ibn Muzaffar Syed Hussain said

not really justoju...agli dafa zara zaida achi tara koshish karna...

honestly tho, we're joking around and all but this is no topic to joke around on...the last part of faisal's play is the most dreadful...that we will die saying what we were used to saying our whole lives...so whenever any of us is free and not studying or whatever, please keep 'Allah' on your tongues at all times..

may Allah give us the taufeeq to die with the words: La ilaha illallah Muhammad ar-Rasulullah

like my father alhamdulillah

'work in this life as if you'll live forever, prepare for the Hereafter as if you'll die tomorrow'

on April 20, 2004 12:53 AM
justoju said

The brother is right. On a more serious note, I leave you the following gems:

* "And keep your soul content with those who call on their Lord morning and evening,
seeking His Face;
and let not your eyes pass beyond them,
seeking the pomp and glitter of this life;
nor obey any whose heart We have permitted to neglect the remembrance of Us,
one who follows his own desires,
whose case has gone beyond all bounds."
( Surah Kahf:28 )


* "This world is but a moment, so make it [a moment] of obedience." 
--Imam al Shafi'i

* "The grief of the dead isn't because of death;
no, it's because they focused on phenomenal forms
and didn't perceive that these are only the foam,
moved and fed by the Sea"
--Mawlana Rumi (RA)

on April 20, 2004 1:12 AM
Justoju said

Brother Faisal, could you please compose two other articles focusing on each of the other two stores? This is interesting.

on April 20, 2004 1:18 AM
Faisal Akhtar said

Assalma-o-alaikom.

JazakAllah Khair all. I didn't think this was gonna get such a positive response so I am pleasently surprised.

Sister Justoju, I am trying to develop a screwtape letters series in which the devil is that of a Muslim. Inshallah I will focus more on innovations and factions in those letters.

Sister Saima and Brother Arif. The fatwa exchange can be found on many obscure internet website and there are Muftis out there who will give you almost any Fatwa you want as long as you pay them enough.

One important message I was trying to get across was that we need to be carefull when seeking religious advice. We shouldn't just jump on one scholars bandwagon because he says things we agree with. We must discern the truth for ourselves and check the evidence people provide for their point of view.

I have one question. I used some loaded language in this post. Did you guys find that it took away from the article or added to it? I find that some people get offended if there is any reference made to certain terms I used in this article. If anyone found it offensive, please say so and tell me your reasons since I know people who refrain from saying certain words fearing it would nullify their Wudu. What are your reasons for this? I am not challenging, I am just curious.

Walaikomassalam

on April 20, 2004 2:09 AM
Rami said

Asalaam Aleium Warahmatullah Wabrakatu,

Bother Faisal, this is an outsatanding article...and it has put quite a shiner on my morning (it's morning here).

Just a side note on Sister Saima's first comment, my dad was also looking to pick up an 'Islamic Loan'...but after his conscience telling him "How in the world could an Islamic loan be that expensive" he decided to push and push about how they make their calculations(he's an accountant) till someone gave him a straight answer. It turns out it's really just counted on a 6% interest rate, but they got a sheikh to give them a fatwa saying it's ok.

I wanted to write an article on the islamic loophole system...but I don't think I have the depth of knowledge nor the will to officially write an article on it.

Just as a good contemplation...and to learn from the mistakes of those before us. You may want to research about the Pharisee Hillel (You know....where the name Hillel house comes from).
By law in the Torah every 49th year is the Jubilee year...which has many conditions...one of which is to forgive all debts and to return property confiscated(due to debts). Since the priestly class were also all the loaners of the age they couldn't stand to do this act of parting with their money every half century. So Hillel came up with a way in which by signing a simple document the loaner would transfer his loan to a bank or financial instution. After the Jubille year passes the loan is simply transfered back. Since a bank is not consider human...it would not be considered under God's law. Therefore the loophole fatwa is created, the dhulm exists, and a Hillel house is built on college ave.

As Brother Ibn Muzaffar says 'Astaghfirullah'.

Waslaam Warahmatullah Wabarakatu

on April 20, 2004 3:40 AM
Justoju said

"We must discern the truth for ourselves and check the evidence people provide for their point of view."

I totally agree that we must be conscious and aware believers and watch out for radical minority conclusions. As our Rasool, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said (and as I quoted for question #2 of the Conquest final exam :) ),

Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman said,
"People used to ask the Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) about good things, but I used to ask him about bad things because I was afraid that they might overtake me.
I said, 'O Messenger of Allah, we were lost in ignorance (Jahiliyyah) and evil, then Allah brought this good (i.e. Islam). Will some evil come after this good thing?'
He said, 'Yes'
I asked, 'And will some good come after that evil?'
He said, 'Yes, but it will be tainted with some evil'
I asked, 'How will it be tainted?'
He said, 'There will be some people who will lead others on a path different from mine. You will see good and bad in them.’
I asked, 'Will some evil come after that good?'
He said, 'Some people will be standing and calling at the gates of Hell; whoever responds to their call, they will throw him into the Fire.'
I said, 'O Messenger of Allah, describe them for us.'
He said, 'They will be from our own people, and will speak our language.'
I asked, 'What do you advise me to do if I should live to see that?'
He said, 'Stick to the main body (jama'ah) of the Muslims and their leader (Imam).
I asked, What if there is no main body and no leader?'
He said 'Isolate yourself from all of these
sects, even if you have to eat the roots of trees until death overcomes you while you are in that state.'"
(Related by al-Bukhari (6/615) and Muslim (12/235))

So the lesson of this hadith was to stick to the majority opinion of the majority of muslims for the majority of time. The majority of the ummah will never go astray. Thats the concept behind Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa. Thats why we accept scholarship that has been accepted by the vast majority of muslims for the vast majority of islamic history.

But I have an 'aside' question about your statement. Do you think that most people are 'qualified' to weigh evidence? For example, an average guy with no arabic skills and no deep training in usul could pick up a Yusuf Ali translation of the Quran and the summarized Bukhari and use them to find 'evidence' for a certain point of view. However, this poor well-intentioned Muslim could be wrong due to his 'superficial' and background-less understanding.

This comes to mind because I know of a number of muslims that used their own deduction and scrutinization of the 'evidence' to land themselves in various far-out sects. Shoot, I know some people who used what they thought was purely Quranic evidence to say that Hadith were unnecessary (naudhobillah)! They did not have the educational background to understand, and subsequently accept, certain scholarly conclusions--and because they had refused to be 'blind' followers, they therefore refused to accept what they couldnt understand.

It seems these days that people have taken your statement to the other extreme where everyone is eager to criticise or make a fatwa on an issue and few are really qualified to do so. I am all for learning and weighing daleel, but I think that sometimes we need to face the reality that there is a big difference in education between us and say mujtahids from the first few hundred years of Islam. Learn the quran and sunnah until the day you die and know why you do certain things, but dont contradict the opinions of the early mujtahids unless you REALLY REALLY are SURE you know your stuff...


WasalaamuAlaikum

P.S. By the way, your use of word "miniskirt" made me feel violated. Please stop exploiting women.

on April 20, 2004 4:20 AM
Justoju said

...actually, scratch that--dont contradict the opinions of the early mujtahids unless you are a mujtahid yourself of equal learning and at the very least as experienced as they were.

on April 20, 2004 4:53 AM
Gillette aka Hassan khaja said

Assalamu 'alaikum,

am I the only one who had issues with an "angel" talking to faisal?

on April 20, 2004 8:18 AM
Ibn Muzaffar Syed Hussain said

salaam alaikum,

I agree with Justoju. I don't think we're qualified enough to deduce anything let alone read some ahadith and decide that this is what we're going to follow. Faisal I was just joking about where can I get these fataawa. I know many people who do just that - look for a scholar that will OK something and then go for it. Back to weighing evidence, that's why I don't think it's wrong to blindly follow one Imam as in fiqh. We don't have enough knowledge to discern between rulings and, because all 4 are considered true and sincere, thas why I think we should pick one and follow him Insha'Allah. They all have their basis from the Quran and Sunnah but have different criteria about what is stronger than others. Before I make this an article myself, I just want to say that before we go and decide what to follow and what not to follow, we have to check ourselves and really see whether we know all angles of the situation or are we taking the easy way out.

And no faisal, I think all of us are mature human beings and thus we shouldn't have a problem with whatever you wrote. For the sake of education and proving a good Islamic point, we should be able to say what we want InshaAllah. Just don't make it TOO vulgar. Remember all of this falls under Haya too.

'work in this life as if you'll live forever, prepare for the Hereafter as if you'll die tomorrow'

on April 20, 2004 9:23 AM
Gillette aka Hassan Khaja said

Faisal, you're bound to offend someone, so don't worry too much about that when an issue needs to be addressed.

on April 20, 2004 12:02 PM
Justoju said

I am assuming the 'angel' that Faisal speaks to is his internal fitri sense of right/wrong, aka his conscience?

on April 20, 2004 12:07 PM
Wajahat Gilani said

assalaamualaikum,

Islamic financing a home doesn't actually mean that it is cheaper than the riba system. The US Government helps keep interest rates real low for non-investment housing lending, because they encourage home ownership, not to mention the tax break you get for taking on a mortgage.

The Islamic financing system for a house should be based on the market rate. Guidance on the other hand takes the interest rate and derives the market rate from that, which I'm sure we all agree doesn't sound right. I asked them why and they said because legally they have to do it this way, and they are working on other ways to finance a home under the guidlines of shariah. Allah Hu Alim.

Scholars, including Mufti Taqi Usmani, say it is permissible because the purchaser of the loan is not held accountable for the way the loaner is calculating the market rate. But the problem arises that even though you aren't dealing with interest, your actions are causing another muslim to deal with interest? is that blameworthy? i never heard a scholar (commoners have) answer this question in regard to the topic at hand.

another point is that shariah is the boundaries. tasawuf is what moves one into the center of the circle away from the outset.

innovation (bida) (Allah, please do not let this turn into a huge debate, ameen). this is probably one of the most debated topic among Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa (the other is aqeedah). When you learn the Quran and Sunnah through the Madhaibs you learn of beda hassana/sunnah hassana, where as in non-madhaibs it is all considered beda (bad beda). this argument wages in the muslim world and is both out of context for hidaya AND ISRU. If speakers come and talk about it, marhaban, but ISRU members and especially the shura members should not get involved in this topic. It would be counter-productive.

final point, the point is not if you drive a BMW or if you drive an '82 honda civic. The point is if you crash and destroy either (Audo Billah, may Allah protect us all from collisions) would you be upset, or would you be content with what you Lord has chosen for you. I would cry like a baby, but thats me.

powerful article Faisal.

walikumsalaam
Wajahat Gilani

on April 20, 2004 12:08 PM
Justoju said

"another point is that shariah is the boundaries. tasawuf is what moves one into the center of the circle away from the outset."

Very well put. It reminded me of something Mostafa Al-Badawi wrote regarding Tazkiyatun-nafs (aka tasawwuf): an Islam without tasawwuf would be a body without a heart, a body deprived of that which pulsates within it and suffuses it with life; while a tasawwuf outside Islamic shari'ah would be a heart without a body, an organ deprived of the material support upon which its own life depends. Just as the body and heart depend entirely on each other for survival, so do Islam and tasawwuf stand in relation to each other...

on April 20, 2004 12:28 PM
curios said

Salaam

Ummm about the issue regardign tasawwuf, can you guys show me where the Prophet or any of the sahabas practiced this?

I really would like a concrete example. Thanks!

on April 20, 2004 12:53 PM
Faisal Akhtar said

Assalam-o-alaikom.

JazakAllah Kahir everyone for your wonderful feedback.

Sister Justoju said

"So the lesson of this hadith was to stick to the majority opinion of the majority of muslims for the majority of time. The majority of the ummah will never go astray."

I could be wrong but I don't think our Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) meant it that way. If the majority rule is the norm for Ahl-us-sunnah wal jamah, then close to the end day, majority of people will be Kafirs and only a small minority will be Muslims. So a human being born in that time would be at a great loss if he followed the majority. I think that the concept of Alh-us-sunnah wal jamah is that stick to the sunnah of our Prophet and the sunnah of the rightly guided predecessors under all circumstances. Or maybe I am reading your comment wrong or maybe I am completely off here. Can someone ask a scholar on this one? Hassan can you call up Ronald and find out the answer?

"But I have an 'aside' question about your statement. Do you think that most people are 'qualified' to weigh evidence?"

No i don't and that is one of the tragedies of this ummah. One must have at least some basic undertsading of Usul-ul-Fiqh and hadith science (which I don't so I am not one to talk). I think such knowledge should be mandatory in an Islamic state. The topic of making Taqleed to one of the four Imams is so controversial, I don't even want to go into it. Take my case for example. I follow the Hanafi Madhab. Me and one of my friends once had a debate about a specifc issue (the details are not important). He kept bringing me evidence against the Hanafi opinion and I kept saying that there must be a good reason why the hanafis have a different opinion (Hadith maybe weak in their opinion etc). He kept asking me for evidence but since I am no Mujtahid, I had none but i refused to accept a different point of view because I was not qualified to decalre the hanafi opinion wrong. Now this same person later accused me of failing to follow the sunnah since I was making taqleed to one madhab. I will be the first to admit it, I am lacking in religious knowledge but that comment really hurt and confused me becasue I am trying desprartely to keep my Emaan in a country like this and such criticisms don't help.

Wajahat Gilani said

"final point, the point is not if you drive a BMW or if you drive an '82 honda civic."

I am afraid that very much is the point. Crash and burn later but right now we must undertsand that expensive cars like a 90 thousand dollar BMW is israf. Make no mistakes about it, having pictures of cars on our computer and our walls invites us to israf. I am not telling you to drive an 82 civic either. But something resoanbly reliable and resonably priced. Brother are so consumed with desire for fast cars that it is all they see. We have to be very careful when spending because we will be held accountable for every peeny.

Wasalam

on April 20, 2004 12:58 PM
Humayun said

Asalamalikom brothers and sisters

Brother Faisal, honestly this is one of the most creative articles written on Hidaya in my opinion.

Brothers and sisters I am kind of upset at the sarcasm some people are directing at the Islamic banks such as Guidance. Now i know on the surface the system may seem like a loophole to the conventional interest based system but one needs to study in depth to be actually passign judgements. I myself had doubts about banks like guidance untill I read Introduction to Islamic Finance my Mufti Taqi Uthmani, who is the sharia supervisor for Guidance. By the way, and I emphasize that I am not a blind follower of him, but he is recognized to be of utmost character and is considered to be one the leading Islamic economics scholars today. He's known to be conservative in his opinions and is an independent supervisor of Guidance and a host of other Islamic banks. His book explains the whole deal with interest and islamic economics and he derives his rulings from the Quran, Sunnah, and traditional fiqh. I am not suggesting we blindly follow him or any other scholar for that matter (for the people who know me, they know I dont blindly follow any one scholar, except Bin Baz and Albani jk jk) but I think its imperative to look deep into the issue and use our senses before we put up our opinions about certain Islamic banks of which we have no knowledge of. And I can gaurantee that most of us do not have knowledge of this very complex matter.

However everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion and I am not trying to sell Guidance to anyone. But if anyone of us has doubts the bank, it is better not to post our comments in the manner that has been done in the message boards for it may hinder a person who was looking into this system from doing so.

And by the way, any scholar including Taqi Uthmani, will tell you that is the definetly not the ideal system of trade but it is a halal step towards islamicizing the economy. Its definetly not feasible to change the conventional bankign system overnight and any Halal way of financing, be it not the most ideal, will suffice for at least the time being. So brotehrs and sisters I urge all of you study upon this matter in depth and read books on Islamic Economics and if you can try to take courses on Islamic Finance online so Inshallah we can have an Islamicized economy right here in the United States.

on April 20, 2004 1:15 PM
Ibn Muzaffar Syed Hussain said

salaam alaikum,

wow masha'allah we have a nice convo going...keep it up guys...as for the concrete example of tasawwuf..maybe that's why justoju used tazkiatun nafs...and you can't say that the Prophet (upon whom be peace) or his sahabah didn't do that?...just because a person has a wrong impression of something, doesn't automatically make it wrong...WE might be mistaken...tasawwuf is also referred to ihsan as in hadith jibreel...all of our pious predecessors went through 'tasawwuf' at some point in their life and they testify that they wouldn't be who they are if they didn't do so...

may Allah guide us all to the Sirat al-Mustaqeem

p.s. nice we have another hanafi on board :)...faisal for some answers on common rulings in hanafi fiqh, read fiqh al-imam if you haven't done so already...

'work in this life as if you'll live forever, prepare for the Hereafter as if you'll die tomorrow'

on April 20, 2004 1:51 PM
Justoju said

AssalamuAlaikum,

I am sure others can answer it much better, but to add my impulsive intrusive two cents (astaghfirullah), for the Prophet and His Sahaabih, May Allah bless them and give them peace, the fruits of tazkiyatun-nafs were part of the fabric of their being. They had completely internalized their deen and would approach Allah, Glorious and Exalted, with utmost sincerity and taqwa. They didnt NEED a method or lesson plan to refine their nafs, 'experiencing' the Prophet and the events that came to pass in their lives were enough. They had been chosen over all of mankind to be who they were and to be Companions to the one who was the closest to Allah, Glorious and Exalted, of His Creation.

The sciences of tazkiyatun-nafs came (much like hadith sciences) as the need arose in later generations to reclaim a certain element of heart that was quickly dwindling away with time, corruption, and the influx of money into the muslim empire. To help one internalize one's love for Allah, Glorious and Exalted, and His Rasool so that you 'truly' love them over all of Creation the way we MUST. To 'truly' fear His displeasure and to reach the state (that it is obligatory for us to try to achieve) where one prays to Him/interacts with Him with the same presence of heart one would have had one been able to see Him. (You all know the famous Jibril hadith that is one of the 40)

If you wish for a concrete example you need only look at the hearts and states of the Rasool and his Companions, Allah bless him and give them peace. That is what tasawwuf aims to emulate.

Also, it should be noted that all of the madhabs (including the hanbali) have traditionally accepted the sciences of tasawwuf and it is interesting how many of the most reputable 'sufis' have also been orthodox sunni scholars of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa. We are not talking about some of the extreme abuses of tasawwuf (which NO ONE should condone), but only of the traditionally accepted understanding of it where the shari'ah is above all of mankind (including one's sheikh) and that one must follow the same rules and islamic guidelines that everyone else must. Its not about "I can just sit here and love Allah and do dhikr and dont need to submit to the shari'ah like everyone else". The practicing sufis that I have met have been extremely scrupulous when it comes to their practice of the shari'ah because they understand that the relationship that they wish to attain with Allah, Glorious and Exalted, depends upon it. They have reached the point where all you need to do is show them that the shari'ah (as noted by the early mujtahid imams) requires something of them, and they will submit.

I feel like I said waaaayy too much. But I dont know which parts I should delete. We are all Muslim and agree on 99% of the deen and MUST give each other the rights due to Muslim brethren--regardless of our differences. I do not aim to offend or displease anyone who Allah, Glorious and Exalted, has CHOSEN out of all of mankind to make Muslim...and that is ALL of you, you special carriers of noor you :). I only wished to shed a glimmer of light upon a very deep subject that often comes under fire due to misunderstandings and propaganda.

May Allah, Glorious and Exalted protect us from all fitna and from my lack of hikma...Amin.

WasalaamuAlaikum

on April 20, 2004 1:56 PM
Justoju said

btw, about the jargon:
ihsan = tazkiyatun nafs = tasawwuf = tarbiyatun nafs

diff. names used at diff. times for the same thing...

on April 20, 2004 2:03 PM
Sami said

Assalam Alaykum,

Interesting "play" and ensuing discussion. As far as the financial issues are concerned, let us not be so quick to condemn efforts made by Muslim scholars to correct something that has gone wrong with our Ummah (i.e. the horrendous use of Riba). Are we really making a better effort than they are to reach a solution to this problem or are we just all about talk? We can sit for hours and complain but rather than do so, help those who are trying so hard to find even better ways (i.e. the "ideal) to follow our beloved Deen. For now, let us appreciate what is already being done. Everyone involved in this debate would probably be interested in the event linked below. Harvard University is conincidentally hosting a conference on "Islamic Finance" next month Inshaa Allah. Check it out. Jazakum Allahu Khayr.

Wassalam Alaykum.

http://www.hifip.harvard.edu/

http://www.hno.harvard.edu/gazette/1997/05.08/IslamicFinanceP.html

on April 20, 2004 2:27 PM
Sami said

Assalam Alaykum Faisal,

I don't think I gave the play enough credit where it was due. I was concerned with the other issues at hand. I read it last night and I must say that it has a very good message and you are an excellent writer Mashaa Allah. Jazak Allahu Khayr Wassalam Alaykum.

on April 20, 2004 2:33 PM
Faisal Akhtar said

JazakAllah Kahir Humayon.


Justoju said

P.S. By the way, your use of word "miniskirt" made me feel violated. Please stop exploiting women.

Should I delete that part or are you just kidding? I really can't tell.

PS i love the discussion we got going. According to Tala "This is probably the longest we have gone without going off topic". Keep it up guys.

Wasalam

on April 20, 2004 2:36 PM
Faisal Akhtar said

In my conversation with Hassan, he raised an interesting point. In his opinion, I need to be careful about using metaphors to describe things that pertain to Aqeeda (such as talking to the Angel). Does anyone else find this problematic? Can someone refer me to an article or some other source?

on April 20, 2004 2:49 PM
Wajahat Gilani said

assalaamualaikum

humayun brings up an excellent point, guidance and other american islamic finance companies are a better way to go, and its only going to get better inshallah.

curios,

read Justoju's post.

faisal,

2 points

1) no one follows a madhab, you follow the quran and sunnah, the school you learn the quran and sunnah through would be a madhab. So if your taking a Shiekh Bin Baz's teachings of the Quran and Sunnah you are learning it from the Sheikh Bin Baz's school of thought, or Sheikh bin Baz's students school of thought.

2) I disagree with your statment about israf.

"But something resoanbly reliable and resonably priced"

Who decides what is reasonably priced? People are at different economic levels. For example, Person A makes a $1,000,000 a year, if he buys a $90,000 BMW, he is just spending 9% of his income on that car. Person B makes $50,000 and buys a $10,000 '82 civic. He is spending 20% of his income on a car. Who is being more spendful?

Person A could've bought a $200,000 car but maybe he wanted to be more modest, and for him to be more modest means buying a $90,000 car.

The point is do Persons A & B realize that Allah is the reason they have the cars they do, do they look at others that have better cars then them and get jealous or are they content and happy for others and with what Allah has allotted for them.

The price tag of the vehicle is immaterial, it is the contentment that one feels toward Allah, when receiving it or losing it. If having an expensive car will affect your deen than one should get a reasonable one, but once again who can define what is reasonable for another?

walaikumsalaam
Wajahat Gilani

on April 20, 2004 2:53 PM
Faisal Akhtar said

If you treat Israf as a relative term then that creates alot of problems. Continuing on your train of thought, if a person earns 1 billion dollars and spends a 1 million on a car, then he is spending only 0.01% of his income on his car. Is he spending in Israf? You can't tell me that a MaclAren F1 is not Israf (which costs a million dollars by the way and is considered by many to be the best road dwelling car ever built). If Allah subhanahu Watala has blessed us with billions, doesn't mean we can spend small fraction of that in Israf. A small fraction of billions is still a large amount which can go to far better uses than buying sports cars.

Who decides what is reasonable? That is a matter between us and our Lord. We can be billionares and justify the purchase of a million dollar car by thinking that it is a small fraction of our income but will we be able to defend our case on the end day when we will be asked about the overly expensive Mercedes we purchased? Did we really need it? Let us refer back to the Sunnah of our Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) . If he had the choice between an expensive car and cheap car, would he buy the expensive car or whould he buy the cheap model and spend the rest in the way of Allah? By the way BMW and other cheaper models have identical life spans, meaning a BMW will not last you extraordinarily longer than a cheaper model. In all honesty, do we think we really will be able to defend our case on the last and do we really think that our Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) would have bought the expensive car? Rhetorcial question.

Wasalam

on April 20, 2004 3:21 PM
Faisal said

sorry, the correct percentage of of million to one billion is 0.1% and not 0.01%.

on April 20, 2004 3:23 PM
Ibn Muzaffar Syed Hussain said

Salaam,

Great point Waj. I heard that somewhere else too that just because you have a 'nice' car doesn't mean it's israf. If Allah has blessed us with wealth, then we should be thankful and use some of it too for us. Remember the first hadith of arba'een an-nawawi - Verily actions are based on intentions. So if you know that you are not showing off and you want to use your wealth to buy a nice car and it won't hurt you in any way of following your Deen then that is between you and Allah. Remember we shouldn't be suspicious of each other either because some suspicion leads to sin as it says in Surah al-Hujurat.

Another thing about the 'nice' car or clothes issue. Remember Imam Malik, who can doubt his greatness, used to wear a new pair of clothes for each class that he taught his students on hadith. As the hadith says, Allah is Jameel and He loves Jaml. Just keep your intentions in check; don't try to make excuses.

How come no one touched the meat issue? Is that too controversial or are we unsure in our daleel for it?

may He guide us to the Sirat al-Mustaqeem

'work in this life as if you'll live forever, prepare for the Hereafter as if you'll die tomorrow'

on April 20, 2004 3:29 PM
Tanweer said

Bismillah,
As-salamu 'Alaikum,

Riyadhul Haq in his lecture "True servants of Rahman" defined Israaf as anything beyond necessity. This is a tough topic to discuss, we should all take stock and see whether we are being extravagant or not, whether we can spend less on material things and more for other causes...

Also there is a hadith that majority of the people in heaven will from the poor. Hamza Yousef explained that povery mentioned here is not the one that takes people to welfare but it is the "poverty of choice" - Prophet Muhammad(saw) , all the khulafa, had all the money in the world but they choose to be poor, they did not fulfil their desires in this world even when they could and were still thankful...People say that Uthman (ra) use to live comfortably but then again there is difference between comfort and luxury...

Ofcourse its not haraam to buy expensive houses and cars, but perhaps its better not to even if you can afford to do so...so that we can emulate our true leaders and adopt characteristics of the true servants of Allah(swt).

May Allah (swt) grants us all hidaya. Ameen

PS: To learn more about Riyadhul Haq or to listen to his lectures visit:
http://www.shariah-institute.org

I don't wanna advertise for Hamza Yousef, i'm sure ppl know him.

on April 20, 2004 3:44 PM
Tanweer said

Once again, I don't mean to offend anyone but i've seen that whenever we want to follow our desires we start hiding behind our intentions...
Allahu 'Alam

on April 20, 2004 3:46 PM
ayan said

People have differing standards. For one, even an 82 civic is very steep. For another person, an 04 BMW will be a drop in the sea compared to his wealth. For example: in Pakistan, Corolla's are the hottest thing this side of the gaown. If one is seen driving one, they are seen as wealthy. Here in america, they are one of the lower tier cars and it is clearly not a sign of wealth.
In america, if your driving a bimmer, MANY people see it as normal, since bimmers are dipping into mid 20Ks - and people do not see it as a sign of wealth. I.E, you buy according to your standards. For a millionaire, spending a million dollars might be a bit excessive, but spending say $50,000 is probably nothing at all.
Whereas for many normal people with normal salaries.. that IS their salary.

My point is not about bimmers. My point is that muslims need to move away from black and white analysis. You cannot lump people into 2 categories and say these are bad because of these possessions, and those are good because of these posessions. I think Shk Jihad said it best when he said there is no innate goodness in being poor.

on April 20, 2004 3:50 PM
ayan said

oh meri burrai, looks like someone had similar comments already. retracted.

on April 20, 2004 3:51 PM
Sami said

Assalam Alaykum,

I agree that actions when it comes to spending are defined by their intentions. If you are in a position of financial privilege, be sure to balance your spending on yourself, family, etc., with your spending on your community, Masajid, etc.

Wealth and more expensive things can be to one's benefit. For example, if you have a nice house, then you are able to entertain more people, thus increasing your reward during Ramadan and during other times. Allahu 'Alam.

Actions are judged by their intentions. Just don't forget who gave you that wealth and who can take it away.

Wassalam Alaykum.

on April 20, 2004 4:03 PM
Sami said

Before my words are misinterpreted my def. of nice house in this PARTICULAR case was nice in terms of size, i.e. big house.

"Nice" can have a variety of definitions. I live in a small apartment off campus with a few roommates and I see that as being very nice Walhamdulilah regardless of its size.

I apologize if that came across in the wrong way (it did when I reread my commentary).

Jazakum Allahu Khayrun Wassalam Alaykum.

on April 20, 2004 4:25 PM
Wajahat Gilani said

Assalaamualaikum,

Faisal, I don't think I'm explaining myself correctly, if someone bought a $20,000 car instead of a $50,000 car, how did he come to realization that the $20,000 car is the modest car? Is it because the guys around him could only afford a $20,000 car? For a billionaire the MacLauren might be the modest car for him. Your trying to judge the actions of another based on what you define to be economically moderate, when your station is different than his.

Tanweer is right, people tend to hide behide intention a lot of the times to follow their desires, but this is not the case with the majority. Their are people that hide behind nasihah just to criticize people that are jealous of others. Some brothers will criticize a pretty sister because they saw her talking to another brother, but in essence they are just jealous because they wanted to talk to the pretty sister! of course this is the minority and I know the brothers of ISRU aren't like this but my point is, just because a few hide behind intentions doesn't give us a green light to decide what is appropriate on behalf of another.

walaikumsalaam
Wajahat Gilani

on April 20, 2004 4:36 PM
Faisal Akhtar said

I think what Tanweer really meant to say in his comment is that "whatever is beyond necessity" is Israf. It doesn't matter if you can afford a $50,000 car or a million dollar, if it is unnecessary it is israf.

It doesn't matter what people around you can afford. If you are a millionare and sit in the company of such people, you can afford really expensive stuff that other people in your group buy as well but which isn't something you need. Re-read my first comment on treating israf as a relative term, it is indeed a mistake to do so.

I refer you to the tape "True Servants of Ar-Rahman" by Abu Yousaf Riyadh ul Haq. That explains clearly what israf is and is not, what is the scholarly source for your opinion?

JazakAllah khair and I am not trying to challenge you or anything, I just want to absolutely make sure that what you are saying is backed by evidence.

Wasalam

on April 20, 2004 7:16 PM
Gillette said

"JazakAllah khair and I am not trying to challenge you or anything, I just want to absolutely make sure that what you are saying is backed by evidence."

His evidence is experience. We wouldn't have discussions on israf if one of us were to spend X amount of dollars on a shirt. But I've been in situations where X has either been A) cheap or B) israf.

on April 20, 2004 7:22 PM
Wajahat Gilani said

assalaamualaikum,

Faisal, don't be rediculous you can always ask a brother for his source. but in this case i'm not disagreeing with what israf is, i'm disagreeing with the point that you can judge what israf is and isn't for other people.

I would like to point out that in some parts of Mauritania, some people will have very few thobes, probably 2 or 3. Here in the West, we definitely have many more clothes. Now, do we really need more, because the Mauritanians only need a few clothes shouldn't are lot be the same? The obvious answer is no because we are looking at the situation relatively, but if we weren't looking at it relatively than we are guilty of israf in every way. our station is different, this example we can grasp. To be someone that makes a million dollars a year is a situation we cannot grasp unless we are in that position. The desert dwelling Mauritanians can say to us our extra shirts are israf, but would that be correct?

I'm not doubting what you and Tanweer are saying israf is, my point is that how can you state for another what israf is? Islam is not communism, one price range for a car, one style of dress, etc. Each person decides for himself what is excessive, how can we decide for another, how do we base the criteria?

walaikumsalaam
Wajahat Gilani

on April 20, 2004 10:54 PM
Saima said

Insha'Allah, maybe someone with more information can email me directly on this topic... however, when my family and I had that particular financial group make up the contract, they sent us the fatwa from their shariah board. it basically stated that the word interest can be used in a contract if it's for legal reasons (tax breaks, etc). I have no experience/knowledge in this area, but they put a rate on the amount of money borrowed.. not a fixed flat fee. Wouldn't it have made more sense if it was a one time fee and then divide that fee up in x amount of years so that's ur usage (co-ownership fee)and that fee is determined on market value?

If someone has more knowledge in this area please email me directly.

JazakhAllah khayr,
Sr. Saima

on April 20, 2004 11:25 PM
Saima said

never mind.

on April 20, 2004 11:41 PM
Justoju said

I gotta say, this is excellent discussion. There have been no breaches of adab/common civility. You will all make good masjid board members inshaAllah. You make me proud Hidaya.

on April 20, 2004 11:43 PM
Rami said

Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatllah Wabarakatu,

You know...money is the test(fitnah) of this ummah. In surat al-nisa Allah provides for us the most scupulos details for things partaining to money (such as inheritence, marriage contracts...) because of course Allah knew that the Ummah of Muhammmed, peace and blessing be upon him, would be living in the age dictated by money(the age of capitalism).

So my own unwanted two cents is that when it comes to money...I think one should look more carefully at what any said person spens in the way of charity. There did exist rich people in the days of Prophet Muhiammed, peace and blessing be upon him. The difference is they gave large amounts of it to charity (this is where percentage comes in play). Giving away 10,000 20,000 dollars may seems like alot...but it really does hae to be taken in comparison to your overall wealth. That sum may really only end up being 1%.

Keep in mind that these sahaba although they had large amounts of wealth(which sometimes meant they had the latest F1 camels)...were willing...and did...spend ALL of it in the way of Allah. Uthman(Radia Allahu Anhu) gave all of his wealth to charity for the battle of Uhud, Abu Bakr(Radia Allahu Anhu) as we all know gave all of his wealth in repsonse to Umar(Radia Allahu Anhu). Abdel-rahman ibn ‘Auf(Radia Allahu Anhu) gave away his entire caravan of 700 camels wth all of there goods to charity in one night. Keep in mind that all of these people were guaranteed paradise.

So that was my unwanted two cents...that hadith on the fitnah of the ummah of Muhammed can be found in Riyadh us-Saliheen and Sahih Tirmizi...it is categorized s Hassanan Sahih. I didn't post it fully because I don't like it's translation.

Wasalaam Warahmatullah Wabarakatu

on April 21, 2004 12:58 AM
Ali Ibn Masood said

Asalaam Ala' Man 'Ittiba al-Huda,

Could somebody please show me the proof for bid'ah hasanah besides the article by Nuh Keller.
Staying away from bi'dah is a fundamental from the fundamentals of the deen (usul ad deen).

Definition of Bid'ah
a newly invented way (in beliefs and actions) in the religion, in imitation of the Sharee’ah, by which nearness to Allaah is sought, not being supported by any authentic proof, neither in it’s foundations nor in the manner in which it is performed." [al-I’tisaam 1/231 of ash-Shaatibee]

************************
The Deen is complete:
Allaah says, "this day have I perfected your religion for you, completed my favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islaam as your religion" (5:4)

The Messenger of Allaah said, "I have left behind me two things, if you cling to them you will never go astray. They are the Book of Allaah and my Sunnah" (al-Haakim)

And he (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) also said, "…and you will live to see great difference, so cling to my sunnah and the sunnah of the rightly guided caliphs after me, even if it be with your teeth" (Bukhaaree)

The Taabi’ee, the Imaam, az-Zuhree commented, "clinging to the sunnah is to be saved, as Imaam Maalik said, ‘like the Ark of Noah’, he who embarked upon it was saved, and he who did not was destroyed." (ad-Daarimee)

We are taught in the revelation that the Sunnah shall become corrupted and this corruption would become the norm, so much so that the people who follow the Sunnah would become as strangers, and those that call to purifying the sunnah would be slandered and reviled. The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "Islaam began as something strange, and it shall return as something strange as it began. So Tooba (a tree in paradise) to the strangers." It was asked, "who are the strangers?" He replied, "those that purify and correct what the people have corrupted of my sunnah" (Tabaraanee in al-Kabeer [6/202])

The Companion, Abdullaah ibn Mas’ud laments, "how will it be when the trials overcome you, in which the young grow old and the old grow senile. And the people take the bid’ah as the sunnah, and when it changes they say: the sunnah has changed. It was said: when will this be O Abu Abdurrahmaan? He replied: when your speakers are many and your scholars are few, and the wealthy ones are plenty and the trustworthy ones are few." (ad-Daarimee)

In this regard the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "I warn you of the newly invented matters (in the religion) and every newly invented matter is an innovation, and every innovation is misguidance, and every misguidance is in the Hellfire" (an-Nasaa’ee)

And he (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) used to say at the beginning of his lectures, "….and the best speech is the Speech of Allaah, and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), and the worst of all affairs are the newly invented matters (in the religion)" (Muslim)

And he (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) commanded us, "whosoever does an action which we have not commanded then it must be rejected." (Muslim)

And again, "whosoever introduces into this religion of ours that which is not part of it then it must be rejects" (Ahmad)

‘And in this hadeeth is a clear evidence that every action which is not legislated in the sharee’ah must be rejected’ [Jaami al-Ulum of ibn Rajab 1/120]


*****************************
The sayings of the Companions:
******************************
Abdullaah ibn Umar (RA) states, "every innovation is misguidance, even if the people regard it as good." (ad-Daarimee)

Mu’aadh bin Jabal (RA) used to say, whenever he sat in a circle of knowledge, "…and I warn you of what is innovated, for all that is innovated is misguidance" [ash-Sharee’ah pg.55, also Abu Dawood with similar wording]

Abdullaah ibn Mas’ud (RA) said, "follow the sunnah of Muhammad and do not innovate, for what you have been commanded is enough for you." [ad-Daarimee]

Hudhayfah bin al-Yaman said, "every act of worship that the Companions did not do, do not do it" [Abu Dawood]


*****************************************
The sayings of the Second and Third generation scholars:
*****************************************
Hasan al-Basree (d. 110H) said, "do not sit with the people of innovation, do not debate with them or listen to them" [ad-Daarimee 1/121]

Abu Aaliyah (d. 90H)said, "learn Islaam. Then when you have learned Islaam, do not turn away from it to the right or to the left. But be upon the Straight Path and be upon the Sunnah of your Prophet and that which his companions were upon…And beware of these innovations because they cause enmity and hatred amongst you, but stick to the original state of affairs that was there before they divided." [al-Hilya of Abu Nu’aym 2/218]

Sufyaan ath-Thawree(d. 167H), "innovations are more beloved to Satan than sin. Since a sin mat be repented from but an innovation is not repented from" [Sharh Usul I’tiqaad of al-Laalikaa’ee (d.414) no.238]

Imaam al-Awzaa’ee (d. 157H) said, "patiently restrict yourselves to the sunnah, stop where the people stopped, say what they said, avoid what they avoided. Take to the path of the salaf, for indeed what was sufficient for them was sufficient for you." [ash-Sharee’ah pg. 58]


********************************
The sayings of the Later Imaams:
********************************

Imaam Abu Haneefah (d. 150H) said, "stick to the narrations and the way of the salaf, and beware of the newly invented matters for all of it is innovation" [Sawnul Muntaq of as-Suyutee pg.32]

Imaam Maalik (179H)said, "he who innovates an innovation in Islaam regarding it as something good, has claimed that Muhammad (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) has betrayed his trust to deliver the message as Allaah says, ‘this day have I perfected for you your religion’. And whatsoever was not part of the religion then, is not part of the religion today." [al-I’tisaam]

Imaam Bukhaaree (d. 256H) said, "I have met more than a thousand scholars….(then he mentioned the names of the more prominent in each of the lands that he traveled in)…and I found that they all agreed on the following points:…they all used to prohibit bid’ah - that which the Prophet and his Companions were not upon, because of the saying of Allaah, ‘and hold fast to the rope of Allaah and do not separate’" [Imaam Bukhaaree’s article on belief as quoted in Sharh Usul I’tiqaad 1/170. From amongst the scholars he met were: Ahmad bin Hanbal, Abu Ubaid al-Qaasim, ibn Ma’een, ibn Aasim, ibn Abee Shaybah….]


***********************************************
The Position of the Salaf Concerning Refutation and Criticism
http://www.troid.org/articles/manhaj/innovation/whatisinnovation/refutationandcriticism.pdf

A Clarification of Doubts Regarding Innovation
Shaykh Saalih ibn al-Fawzaan al-Fawzaan
http://www.sunnahonline.com/ilm/aqeedah/0004.htm

Good Bid'ah?????
Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Uthaymeen
http://www.sunnahonline.com/ilm/aqeedah/0016.htm

Good Innovations
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan
http://www.sunnahonline.com/ilm/aqeedah/0017.htm

Innovative Excuses
Abu Rumaysah
http://www.sunnahonline.com/ilm/aqeedah/0019.htm

on April 21, 2004 1:07 AM
Justoju said

AssalamuAlaikum,

Brother, the thing is that scholars of the four madhabs agree with the classification of bid'ah hasana that is in the article you mentioned(http://www.masud.co.uk/ISLAM/nuh/bida.htm).

I know that its very easy to bogeyfy certain scholars (be they Sheikh Ibn Taymiyyah, Bin Baz, or Sheikh Nuh), especially since we live in confusing times with very little understanding of the islamic tradition. Muslims are in trouble everywhere and we are all looking for the reasons 'why' we are in this mess. The traditionalists will say that it is because no one is following the religion (as has been transmitted by the scholars) any more, and others will say that the problem is that our understanding of islam has been polluted over the years and that we must 'reform' the works of past scholars.

But the fact of the matter is, if you speak with maliki sheikhs, hanafi sheikhs, shafi'i sheikhs, OR hanbali sheikhs they will give a similar answer to sheikh Nuh's. The madhabs are pretty much in agreement on this. In fact, that is one of the reasons why certain latter day shuyukh (like sheikh ibn taymiyyah and students of his school) were taken with a large grain of salt by the madhabs--because 'some' of their views directly contradicted the understanding of the 4 schools. So, if you wish to say that there is no such thing as bid'a hasana, thats fine, we are all brethren in Islam, you have the right to come to your conclusions and be given all the rights of a Muslim--but just understand that you will be standing in contradiction to the view of the 4 madhabs. And again, thats fine--according to the 4 madhabs you are still muslim (even if you dont believe in them) and deserve to be treated like a Muslim in EVERY respect.

Personally, I support Sunni Muslim causes-- not 'solely' hanafi, salafi, sufi, ash'ari, tanzeemi, maliki or whatever. My allegiance is to Sunni Islam so I would rather have a sunni muslim who didnt follow a single madhab ruling over me and the caliphate (that will soon be established once my 12 sons destroy the infidel powers inshaAllah :) ) than continue to be ruled by kaafirs who are damned to hell.

MashaAllah, again I would like to say how heartwarming it is too see such adherence to adab on this discussion board. MashaAllah. It gives me a lot of hope for the future. I am so proud of all of you. (Lower lip quivering. Getting all teary-eyed again)...I...love (sniff sniff)...muslims...

WasalaamuAlaikum

Hanafi fiqh: http://www.sunnipath.com/resources/Questions/qa00000475.aspx

Shafi'i fiqh: 'Umdat as Salik' is practically officially the shafi'i fiqh manual. It talks a LOT about the diff. classifications of bid'a...and I really dont want to type it all up since its MANY pages long...

Hanbali fiqh: The Hanbalis dont have much on the web, so you really NEED to speak to a hanbali scholar. Also, the following is a good site on their stuff: http://212.67.202.62/~security/htspub/

Maliki: The one, the only, Sheikha Aisha Bewley :)...http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/abewley/...

on April 21, 2004 2:45 AM
Rami said

Aslaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu,

I just wanted to make the 50th comment...woohoo :)

We may be able to come up with a new solutions to home loans by the 100th...synchronize Ramadan between countries at 150...Insha Allah.

Peace to the Muslims.

Wasalaam Warahmatullah Wabarakatu.

on April 21, 2004 3:41 AM
Justoju said

lol....thats all I wanted to say, "lol"....

on April 21, 2004 4:03 AM
Justoju said

"Should I delete that part or are you just kidding? I really can't tell."

No brother Faisal, that was just an effect of my inability to be serious for more than 2 minutes. You may keep your miniskirted girlfriend. I am sorry I made you doubt your sense of appropriateness. Your writing is perfectly decent mashaAllah.

And I am ok with metaphors as long as it is clear that they are metaphors.

on April 21, 2004 5:19 AM
Faisal Akhtar said

Assalam-o-alaikom.

Ali, I thought you didn't want to post on Hidaya? What happened? Your comment just goes to prove that at-least we can, or we can try to, do some good on this website. I invite you stop writng really long comments and start writing articles. I would be willing to switch with you weekly or if you only wish to write when you see something specifically wrong and address it, you can always use the gues star column.

WIll someboy educate a Jahil like myself please. What does "Bidah Hasana" mean? Does it mean a "good innovation" (now there is a contradiction in terms)? What does it mean, as in the literal translation?

Wasalam

on April 21, 2004 6:26 AM
Muslim said

"Could somebody please show me the proof for bid'ah hasanah besides the article by Nuh Keller.
Staying away from bi'dah is a fundamental from the fundamentals of the deen (usul ad deen)."

Sure. In addition to the comments by Justoju above:

The following link gives the definition of types of bidat from the viewpoint of Hanafi scholars:

http://www.islam.tc/ask-imam/view.php?q=7833

The following article clearly shows the sayings of Imaam Al-Shâfi and others regarding this matter:

http://www.livingislam.org/n/sdb_e.html

And the following are examples:
http://www.islam.tc/ask-imam/view.php?q=4123
http://www.islam.tc/ask-imam/view.php?q=3332
http://www.islam.tc/ask-imam/view.php?q=8167

Also,

http://www.sunnipath.com/resources/Questions/qa00001041.aspx

In addition, one can simply ask a scholar who follows a madhab. We don't have to agree with all of this, but it shows that scholars besides the one first mentioned hold this view.

on April 21, 2004 9:37 AM
Ibn Muzaffar Syed Hussain said

salaam alaikum,

man i'm glad someone answered the bid'a hasanah question...also umm, the saying of Sayyidina Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) about taraweeh, which are 20 by the way...he used bid'a hasana for it no?

'work in this life as if you'll live forever, prepare for the Hereafter as if you'll die tomorrow'

hey i think this is what the hadith meant that difference amongst the scholars of this Ummah is a blessing....of course we're not scholars but I think we all see what that means now?

on April 21, 2004 9:52 AM
Ibn Muzaffar Syed Hussain said

salaam alaikum,

me again...woo hoo....anyway reading these posts, i realize that i have no knowledge whatsoever alhamdulillah...makes me want to work harder to get more knowledge...but we're supposed to relate the little that we know...it's not knowledge that i want to relate but a realization i came to a while ago and only confirmed after reading faisal's play...

please for those of us who SPEED AND LISTEN TO MUSIC in the car...DON'T...for your sake and for your family's sake...because by the way some of us drive, we are just asking for death and how many of us will want to die with the last thing we hear are the lyrics to some song???? and i know we can't have the word 'Allah' on our tongues while listening to music so i URGE you to either stop speeding or stop listening to music...remember we don't know when we're going to die AT ALL...and plus the quran is the best kind of music, one that you NEVER get tired of hearing or reading...and when in the car, make a collection of different shuyukh reciting different surahs - http://english.islamway.com/sindex.php?section=erecitorslist - or just review all the surahs you have memorized...

sorry for going off but i went thru a phase of listening to music too and this was one of the main reasons i stopped, not to mention that it is haraam...i would not want to die while listening to music...remember the Prophet (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) said that there will come a time when the Muslims will forget about death...maybe we're in that time...wallahu 'alam

take care of yourselves for your sake, your families' sake and for Islam's sake

'inna salaati wa nusuki wa mahyaya wa mamati lillahi rabbil 'alameen; la sharika lah wa bi zhalika umirtu wa ana awwalul muslimeen'

'work in this life as if you'll live forever, prepare for the Hereafter as if you'll die tomorrow'

on April 21, 2004 10:04 AM
Wajahat Gilani said

Assalaamualaikum,

All 4 Schools of Tradition have the concept of Bida Hassana/Sunnat Hassana. I direct anybody that wants evidence to big Sami. Schools outside of the 4 Traditional Madhabs argue that point, I direct anybody that wants proof to Ali.

Anymore discussion about bida lets take offline.

walaikumsalaam
Wajahat Gilani

on April 21, 2004 10:11 AM
Justoju said

Ok, so whats next? How bout we discuss whether or not non-zabeeha chicken is halaal?

on April 21, 2004 1:30 PM
Saima said

we could probably discuss anything here and actually learn from it :) its very uplifting.

on April 21, 2004 1:34 PM
Saima said

- http://english.islamway.com/sindex.php?section=erecitorslist

great site. Thanks :)

on April 21, 2004 1:41 PM
Justoju said

Sa'd Al-Ghamidi is al-rajul...

on April 21, 2004 1:52 PM
Faisal Akhtar said

This is spiraling out of control. 61 comments? Mashallah and nothing inappropriate.

on April 21, 2004 2:10 PM
Ibn Muzaffar Syed Hussain said

faisal don't let it go to your head :)
and wa iyyakum saima
waj, good point...mr. level head...well most of the time :)

wasalaam

on April 21, 2004 2:19 PM
ayan said

yah Ghamdi is woh admi.
but it sounds like he just gave up after reciting Juz 'Amma nicely?

on April 21, 2004 2:32 PM
Talal said

Everyone goes for the mashaAllah Sa'd Al-Ghamdi, Mishari Al-Afasy, Ahmad bin Ali Al-Ajmy, et cetera, et cetera... but never do I see love for the uniquely-voiced, khaleeji-fied recitation of DA MAN - Abdel Muhsin Al-Qasim.

on April 21, 2004 3:23 PM
Justoju said

great! Now lets have a debate on that!

on April 22, 2004 1:34 AM
Humayun said

is it just me but eventho Su'ud Shuraim is monotoned, but he is still awesome to listen to?

on April 22, 2004 1:59 AM
Talal said

No doubts... Shuraym's pronounciation is especially brilliant.

and so we veer off the track onto the beaten path...

on April 22, 2004 2:21 AM
Justoju said

no we arent. Because you see, if Faisal had been listening to qirat in the car instead of Britney Spears (which btw, made me lose ALL sympathy for him and made me yearn for his demise) he wouldnt have gotten into the accident. And even if he had, then his last words would have been Allah's...

so you see, we are STILL on track...

on April 22, 2004 3:04 AM
Justoju said

Oh and Ayan, Ghamidi recited non Juz Amma surahs as well. Check out the link that Saima put in her post.

Wassalamushizzo

on April 22, 2004 3:09 AM
Ibn Muzaffar Syed Hussain said

salam,

excuse me, BUT I posted the site originally, so give the props where they are due...and gillette, good poetry last night but a little too fast...azhar was madd funny, but he didn't say some of his funniest things...
by the way, call me not up to the times, but my two faves are sudais and jibreel

w/salam
'work in this life as if you'll live forever, prepare for the Hereafter as if you'll die tomorrow'

on April 22, 2004 10:17 AM
Faisal Akhtar said

Yeah I agree with Arif, Hassan was a little fast. Azhar was amazing as always and to add the reciters, listen to Mishari Rashid here

http://english.islamway.com/bindex.php?section=echapters&recitor_id=175

Listen to Taha, Maryam and Kahaf by Mishari Rashid. You will be blown away.

on April 22, 2004 2:18 PM
Ibn Muzaffar Syed Hussain said

salaam,

ya i have mishari rashid's cd set...mind blowing masha'allah...i also have hani ar-refai...not too bad himself masha'allah...as if i'm someone to judge other ppl's recitations hehe

on April 22, 2004 2:34 PM
ayan said

justoju: yeah but the recitation just wasn't as good for some reason.

on April 22, 2004 2:38 PM
Justoju said

"yeah but the recitation just wasn't as good for some reason."

Astaghfirullah brother...

on April 22, 2004 3:01 PM
Saima said

now I need a CD burner.

I have only sodais' CD set (which probably has scratches and stuff on it by now).

Br Hassan you were great. I think the fastness in his speech emphasized key parts in his poems.

on April 22, 2004 10:20 PM
Justoju said

the fastness was also good cuz if he had said certain parts a 'bit' slower I know a whooolee bunch of aunties and uncles would have gotten offended...especially that waitress part...

on April 22, 2004 11:37 PM
Gillette said

a better word for fastness is "speed."

on April 23, 2004 12:16 AM
Justoju said

Hey, relax, we never claimed to be englishists or nothing.

on April 23, 2004 12:31 AM
Justoju said

Lets see if we can take this up to 100 posts. Cmon Hidaya, only 19 more to go. Pick a topic, any topic! (that is related to the article of course)

on April 23, 2004 2:29 PM
Ibn Muzaffar Syed Hussain said

ok, not to burst anyone's bubbles or spoil anyone's fun or whatever...BUT my mom was telling me yesterday, you know AFTER the program that there is a sahih hadith that prohibits stand-up comedy? can anyone confirm please?

jazakallahu khair wa salam 'alaikum

on April 23, 2004 2:58 PM
Justoju said

good topic Ibn M....

on April 23, 2004 3:53 PM
Wajahat Gilani said

assalaamualaikum,

Arif, send that question to SunniPath.com, but I don't think the purpose was just make people laugh, I noticed suttle messages in his routine.

Hassan, I think you should've edited it and read it slower and loud, people couldn't hear some of your lines.

on April 23, 2004 4:27 PM
Faisal Akhtar said

Assalam-o-alaikom

Ok, I couldn't find the hadith making standup comedy haram specifically. However, I was able to locate this hadith.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not laugh too much, for excessive laughter kills the heart (i.e., spiritually).” (Reported by Ibn Maajah, no. 4193; Silsilah al-Saheehah, no. 506). According to another report, he said: “… too much laughter corrupts the heart.”

I think that this hadith applies to the event with Azhar Usman. I am guilty as anyone since I was at the event too. Wouldn't you all agree that listening to someone speak for an hour for no other purpose than to make you laugh is excessive? There was alot of wild laughter at the event. There are many Sahih reports that have been transmitted to us which state that our Prophet (Peace and blessing be upon him) used to smile only.

It is reported in a saheeh hadeeth that his laughter was never more than a smile. (Reported by Ahmad in al-Musnad, 5/97; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 4861). According to another hadeeth, he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to remain silent for long periods, and laugh little. (Reported by Ahmad in al-Musnad, 5/86; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 4822). ‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, said: “I never saw the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) laughing so heartily that his back teeth showed; he would o­nly smile.”(Reported by Abu Dawood, no. 5098).

I remember Ali Farooki citing a hadith in which he said Our Prophet said that "If you knew what I know, you would laugh little and cry alot". Can someone please tell me if this Hadith is authentic?

So I don't know, maybe I did something wrong by attending that event, what do you guys think? I know this will likely become a very controversial post so I invite everyone to really reflect on our behaviour in light of the Ahadith above. Was that event a mistake?

Wasalam

PS- This post was on a webpage was my primary source.

http://www.mkkp.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=6789

on April 24, 2004 8:39 PM
Gillette aka Hassan Khaja said

Assalamu 'Alaikum,

"[Sahih Al-Bukhari] Volume 8, Book 76, Number 492:
Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah's Apostle said, 'If you knew that which I know you would laugh little and weep much.'"


http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/076.sbt.html#008.076.492

on April 25, 2004 12:03 AM
Saima said

I think that's why Br Ali had talked about adaab and "laughing" and "smiling" at the beginning of the event so as to help us control ourselves. I wonder if many were paying attention :)

on April 25, 2004 12:12 AM
Bint Abdul Khaliq said

As Salaamu Alaikum

Mashallah.Very well written,gr8 eye opener.May Allah guide us all onto the siraatal Mustaqeem.Ameen.

Was Salaam

on April 25, 2004 6:36 AM
Wajahat Gilani said

Assalaamualaikum,

Most of the day is spent not laughing, but either studying, working, excersing, worshiping and eating. So after about a 10 hour work day, does laughing for an hour at a non-recurring event count as laughing excessively?

walaikumsalaam
Wajahat Gilani

on April 26, 2004 12:06 PM
Abu Muadh said

Assalamu alaikum to all,

I'm new to this message board, but alhamdulillah, I have to say that I'm impressed. The articles are really effective and the discussions were enlightening. Anyways, I just wanted to say what's up and introduce myself. Keep up the good work.

Jazakullah Khair

on June 26, 2004 4:13 AM
Faisal Akhtar said

Welcome to Hidaya.

on June 26, 2004 1:49 PM
shakeel hussain said

Dear brother
Brother I am 36 years of age and married man. My wife is disabled she is using artificial right leg. I have 2 school going children but I am jobless last many months and also facing my health problems (urinary and tongue problems)Due to jobless condition I am not able to take my medical treatment.
Allah knows and my suffering family that how much I am in both my health and financial crises because of no job.
Brother kindly help me in my job matter which will able me to take my medical treatment and provide regular meal to my children
I pray for your success and good health in my five time prayers to Allah.
Shakeel hussain
Peshawar city
Pakistan
mobile no
923005905472

on November 27, 2005 1:16 AM
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