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Sister’s Halaqa ~ Session 3 ~ December 15, 2007

 



Main Topic: Hajj


Always Remember:  And whatever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatever he forbids you, leave it. And fear Allah: truly Allah is severe in punishment. “[59:7]

 

Questions For Rocher:

-          Where is wudu mentioned in the Quran and what are the fard parts? (5:6 – hands up to elbows, face, wipe head and feet)

-          Name 3 things that break wudu? (call of nature, gas, bleeding profusely)

-          Name an exception to performing full wudu. (wiping of feet over socks)

-          What is a dry ablution and how do you perform it? (tayamum – stroke the earth, blow the dust off and wipe over face and the hands)

-          What’s different about a janaba bath? (wash full body after wudu but wash feet outside of bath)

-          Who taught a man the benefits of Ayatul Qursi that we least expect to teach us? (shaitan)

-          Double Points – What is the difference between Mustahab and Mubah? (mustahab carries extra rewards and mubah carries no rewards or punishments)

 

Agenda for December 15, 2007

-          Quran Recitation: Sura Bakarah – 1st Verse

-          Review of Wudu  and Rocher points

-          Main Topic: Hajj 2007 -  Pictures

-          Importance of dhikr

-          A Life Gem: Salatul Istikhara

-          Open Forum –

-          Donation Collection (Quran Sura 64, verse 17: “If ye loan to Allah, a beautiful loan, He will double it to your (credit), and He will grant you Forgiveness: for Allah is most Ready to appreciate (service), Most Forbearing)

-          Snacks brought to you by Saima ~ Thanks!!

 

Allah’s Mercy:

33: 35  For Muslim men and women,- for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in Charity, for men and women who fast (and deny themselves), for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah's praise,- for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward.

 

 

 

Remaining Items From Previous Sessions

-          Mentioned hadith that Angels surround you when you discuss Allah or recite His words.  (Can someone please find the actual hadith on this)

-          Khansa will prepare a session  or more on Surah Asr

-          Tehmiina will bring us more material on what to read for our benefit

-          Get 10 items to discuss from everyone

 

Answers to some topics from last session

Dogs – Some facts about keeping them:

-          It is clearly stated that angels do not enter the house that has a dog in it so we should be aware of this and try not to have a dog as a pet but more to protect the home or for hunting. Any dog that is being kept for the purpose of protecting the home should be kept in it’s own home outside the house.

-          It is not a sin to protect or take care of a dog or any other animal so long as you are doing it out of kindness. Any mercy we show to man and animal is rewarded by Allah’s mercy to us.

-          If a dog eats from your utensils/containers, you should wash them 7 times before you use them yourself.  You should be careful that it does not lick you out of pleasure either.

 

Volume 8, Book 73, Number 38:  Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah's Apostle said, "While a man was walking on a road. he became very thirsty. Then he came across a well, got down into it, drank (of its water) and then came out. Meanwhile he saw a dog panting and licking mud because of excessive thirst. The man said to himself "This dog is suffering from the same state of thirst as I did." So he went down the well (again) and filled his shoe (with water) and held it in his mouth and watered the dog. Allah thanked him for that deed and forgave him." The people asked, "O Allah's Apostle! Is there a reward for us in serving the animals?" He said, "(Yes) There is a reward for serving any animate (living being)."

 

Volume 4, Book 56, Number 673: Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, "While a dog was going round a well and was about to die of thirst, an Israeli prostitute saw it and took off her shoe and watered it. So Allah forgave her because of that good deed."

 

Volume 7, Book 72, Number 843: Narrated Salim's father:

Once Gabriel promised to visit the Prophet but he delayed and the Prophet got worried about that. At last he came out and found Gabriel and complained to him of his grief (for his delay). Gabriel said to him, "We do not enter a place in which there is a picture or a dog."

 

Volume 7, Book 67, Number 391: Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar:

Allah's Apostle said, "If someone keeps a dog neither for guarding livestock, nor for hunting, his good deeds will decrease (in reward) by two Qirats a day.'

 

Volume 1, Book 4, Number 173: Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah's Apostle said, "If a dog drinks from the utensil of anyone of you it is essential to wash it seven times."

 

Volume 1, Book 4, Number 174: Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, "A man saw a dog eating mud from (the severity of) thirst. So, that man took a shoe (and filled it) with water and kept on pouring the water for the dog till it quenched its thirst. So Allah approved of his deed and made him to enter Paradise." And narrated Hamza bin 'Abdullah: My father said. "During the lifetime of Allah's Apostle, the dogs used to urinate, and pass through the mosques (come and go), nevertheless they never used to sprinkle water on it (urine of the dog.)"

 

Volume 1, Book 9, Number 493: Narrated 'Aisha:

The things which annual prayer were mentioned before me (and those were): a dog, a donkey and a woman. I said, "You have compared us (women) to donkeys and dogs. By Allah! I saw the Prophet praying while I used to lie in (my) bed between him and the Qibla. Whenever I was in need of something, I disliked to sit and trouble the Prophet. So, I would slip away by the side of his feet."

 

Ruqya – Permissible but is it recommended to do on oneself?

 

Ruqya is the method of reciting an ayat and blowing on a person or putting their hands over the person to cure them of an ailment or an evil eye. This is not the same as reciting an ayat and blowing on oneself for protection against shaitan or the evil jinns that our Prophet (pbuh) has mentioned on various occasions.  Though Ruqya is a practiced carried out by many, one should not have it performed on oneself knowingly for anyone who does have it done will not be of the 70,000 who will enter Jannah without question.

 

 

Volume 7, Book 71, Number 634: Narrated 'Aisha:  The Prophet ordered me or somebody else to do Ruqya (if there was danger) from an evil eye.

 

Volume 7, Book 71, Number 635:  Narrated Um Salama:  that the Prophet saw in her house a girl whose face had a black spot. He said. "She is under the effect of an evil eye; so treat her with a Ruqya."

 

Volume 7, Book 71, Number 639: Narrated 'Aisha:  The Prophet used to treat some of his wives by passing his right hand over the place of ailment and used to say, "O Allah, the Lord of the people! Remove the trouble and heal the patient, for You are the Healer. No healing is of any avail but Yours; healing that will leave behind no ailment."

 

Volume 7, Book 71, Number 640: Narrated 'Aisha:

Allah's Apostle used to treat with a Ruqya saying, "O the Lord of the people! Remove the trouble The cure is in Your Hands, and there is none except You who can remove it (the disease) .

 

BUT also remember …..

 

Volume 8, Book 76, Number 549: Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:

The Prophet said, "The people were displayed in front of me and I saw one prophet passing by with a large group of his followers, and another prophet passing by with only a small group of people, and another prophet passing by with only ten (persons), and another prophet passing by with only five (persons), and another prophet passed by alone. And then I looked and saw a large multitude of people, so I asked Gabriel, "Are these people my followers?' He said, 'No, but look towards the horizon.' I looked and saw a very large multitude of people. Gabriel said. 'Those are your followers, and those are seventy thousand (persons) in front of them who will neither have any reckoning of their accounts nor will receive any punishment.' I asked, 'Why?' He said, 'For they used not to treat themselves with branding (cauterization) nor with Ruqya (get oneself treated by the recitation of some Verses of the Qur'an) and not to see evil omen in things, and they used to put their trust (only) in their Lord." On hearing that, 'Ukasha bin Mihsan got up and said (to the Prophet), "Invoke Allah to make me one of them." The Prophet said, "O Allah, make him one of them." Then another man got up and said (to the Prophet), "Invoke Allah to make me one of them." The Prophet said, 'Ukasha has preceded you."

 

 

Next session – January     2007

-          Quran Recitation: Sura Baqarah – 2nd Ayat

-          Main Topic: Hajj Continued; Salat – Part 1

-          A Life Gem: Tahajjud Prayer

-          Open Forum, Donations and Snacks

 

 


AL-BAKARAH


Name

Why the name AL-BAQARAH?

AL-BAQARAH (the Cow) has been so named from the story of the Cow occurring in this Surah (vv. 67-73). It has not, however, been used as a title to indicate the subject of the Surah. It will, therefore, be as wrong to translate the name Al-Baqarah into "The Cow" or "The Heifer" as to translate any English name, say Baker, Rice, Wolf etc., into their equivalents in other languages or vice versa, because this would imply that the Surah dealt with the subject of "The Cow". Many more Surahs of the Quran have been named in the same way because no comprehensive words exist in Arabic (in spite of its richness) to denote the wide scope of the subject discussed in them. As a matter of fact all human languages suffer from the same limitation.

Sequence

Though it is a Madani Surah, it follows naturally a Makki Surah Al- Fatihah, which ended with the prayer :"Show us the straight way". It begins with the answer to that prayer, "This is the Book (that) . . . is guidance. . ."

The greater part of Al-Baqarah was revealed during the first two years of the Holy Prophet's life at Al-Madinah. The smaller part which was revealed at a later period has been included in this Surah because its contents are closely related to those dealt with in this Surah. For instance, the verses prohibiting interest were revealed during the last period of the Holy prophet's life but have been inserted in this Surah. For the same reason, the last verses (284-286) of this Surah which were revealed at Makkah before the migration of the Holy Prophet to AI-Madinah have also been included in it.

Historical Background

In order to understand the meaning of this Surah, we should know its historical background:

1.                   At Makkah the Quran generally addressed the mushrik Quraish who were ignorant of Islam, but at Al- Madinah it was also concerned with the Jews who were acquainted with the creed of the Unity of Allah, Prophethood, Revelation, the Hereafter and angels. They also professed to believe in the law which was revealed by Allah to their Prophet Moses (Allah's peace be upon him), and in principle, their way was the same (Islam) that was being taught by Prophet Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him). But they had strayed away from it during the centuries of degeneration and had adopted many un- Islamic creeds, rites and customs of which there was no mention and for which there was no sanction in the Torah. Not only this : they had tampered with the Torah by inserting their own explanations and interpretations into its text. They had distorted even that part of the Word of God which had remained intact in their Scriptures and taken out of it the real spirit of true religion and were now clinging to a lifeless frame of rituals. Consequently their beliefs, their morals and their conduct had gone to the lowest depths of degeneration. The pity is that they were not only satisfied with their condition but loved to cling to it. Besides this, they had no intention or inclination to accept any kind of reform. So they became bitter enemies of those who came to teach them the Right Way and did their worst to defeat every such effort. Though they were originally Muslims, they had swerved from the real Islam and made innovations and alterations in it and had fallen victims to hair splitting and sectarianism. They had forgotten and forsaken Allah and begun to serve mammon. So much so that they had even given up their original name "Muslim" and adopted the name "Jew" instead, and made religion the sole monopoly of the children of Israel.

This was their religious condition when the Holy Prophet went to Al-Madinah and invited the Jews to the true religion. That is why more than one third of this Surah has been addressed to the children of Israel. A critical review of their history, their moral degeneration and their religious perversions has been made; side by side with this the high standard of morality and the fundamental principles of the pure religion have been put forward in order to bring out clearly the nature of the degeneration of the community of a prophet when it goes astray and to draw clear lines of demarcation between real piety and formalism, and the essentials and non-essentials of the true religion.

2.                   At Makkah Islam was mainly concerned with the propagation of its fundamental principles and the moral training of its followers. But after the migration of the Holy Prophet to Al-Madinah, where Muslims had come to settle from all over Arabia and where a tiny Islamic State had been set up with the help of the Ansar (local supporters), naturally the Quran had to turn its attention to the social, cultural, economic, political and legal problems as well. This accounts for the difference between the themes of the surahs revealed at Makkah and those at Al- Madinah. Accordingly about half of this Surah deals with those principles and regulations which are essential for the integration and solidarity of a community and for the solution of its problems.

3.                   After the migration to Al-Madinah, the struggle between Islam and un-Islam had also entered a new phase. Before this the Believers, who propagated Islam among their own clans and tribes, had to face its opponents at their own risk. But the conditions had changed at Al- Madinah, where Muslims from all parts of Arabia had come and settled as one community, and had established an independent city state. Here it became a struggle for the' survival of the Community itself, for the whole of non- Muslim Arabia was bent upon and united in crushing it totally. Hence the following instructions, upon which depended not only its success but its very survival, were revealed in this Surah :-

1.                   The Community should work with the utmost zeal to propagate its ideology and win over to its side the greatest possible number of people.

2.                   It should so expose its opponents as to leave no room for doubt in the mind of any sensible person that they were adhering to an absolutely wrong position.

3.                   It should infuse in it's members (the majority of whom were homeless and indigent and surrounded on all sides by enemies) that courage and fortitude which is so indispensable to their very existence in the adverse circumstances in which they were struggling and to prepare them to face these boldly.

4.                   It should also keep them ready and prepared to meet any armed menace, which might come from any side to suppress and crush their ideology, and to oppose it tooth and nail without minding the overwhelming numerical strength and the material resources of its enemies

5.                   It should also create in them that courage which is needed for the eradication of evil ways and for the establishment of the Islamic Way instead.

That is why Allah has revealed in this Surah such instructions as may help achieve all the above mentioned objects.

4.                   During this period, a new type of "Muslims," munafiqin (hypocrites), had begun to appear. Though signs of duplicity had been noticed during the last days at Makkah, they took a different shape at Al-Madinah. At Makkah there were some people who professed Islam to be true but were not prepared to abide by the consequences of this profession and to sacrifice their worldly interests and relations and bear the afflictions which inevitably follow the acceptance of this creed. But at Al-Madinah different kinds of munafiqin (hypocrites) began to appear. There were some who had entered the Islamic fold merely to harm it from within. There were others who were surrounded by Muslims and, therefore, had become "Muslims" to safeguard their worldly interests. They, therefore, continued to have relations with the enemies so that if the latter became successful, their interests should remain secure. There were still others who had no strong conviction of the truth of Islam but had embraced it along with their clans. Lastly, there were those who were intellectually convinced of the truth of Islam but did not have enough moral courage to give up their former traditions, superstitions and personal ambitions and live up to the Islamic moral standards and make sacrifice in its way.

At the time of the revelation of Al-Baqarah, all sorts of hypocrites had begun to appear. Allah has, therefore, briefly pointed out their characteristics here. Afterwards when their evil characteristics and mischievous deeds became manifest, Allah sent detailed instructions about them.

Theme: Guidance

This Surah is an invitation to the Divine Guidance and all the stories, incidents etc., revolve round this central theme. As this Surah has particularly been addressed to the Jews, many historical events have been cited from their own traditions to admonish and advise them that their own good lies in accepting the Guidance revealed to the Holy Prophet. They should, therefore, be the first to accept it because it was basically]y the same that was revealed to Prophet Moses (Allah's peace be upon him).

Topics and their Interconnection

These introductory verses declare the Quran to be the Book of Guidance : enunciate the articles of the Faith -- belief in Allah, Prophethood and Life-after-death; divide mankind into three main groups with regard to its acceptance or rejection -- Believers, disbelievers and hypocrites. 1 - 20

Allah invites mankind to accept the Guidance voluntarily and to submit to Him, the Lord and the Creator of the Universe and to believe in the Quran, His Guidance, and in the Life-after-death. 21 - 29

The story of the appointment of Adam as Allah's Vicegerent on Earth, of his life in the Garden, of his falling a prey to the temptations of Satan, of his repentance and its acceptance, has been related to show to mankind (Adam's offspring), that the only right thing for them is to accept and follow the Guidance. This story also shows that the Guidance of Islam is the same that was given to Adam and that it is the original religion of mankind. 30 - 39

In this portion invitation to the Guidance has particularly been extended to the children of Israel and their past and present attitude has been criticised to show that the cause of their degradation was their deviation from the Guidance. 40 - 120

The Jews have been exhorted to follow Prophet Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him) who had come with the same Guidance and who was a descendant and follower of Prophet Abraham whom they highly honoured as their ancestor, and professed to follow as a prophet. The story of the building of the Ka`abah by him has been mentioned because it was going to be made the qiblah of the Muslim Community. 121 - 141

In this portion, the declaration of the change of qiblah from the Temple (Jerusalem) to the Ka`abah (Makkah) has been made as a symbol of the change of leadership from the children of Israel to the Muslim Community, which has also been fore-warned to guard against those transgressions against the Guidance that had led to the deposition of the Jews. 142 - 152

In this portion practical measures have been prescribed to enable the Muslims to discharge the heavy responsibilities of the leadership that had been entrusted to them for the promulgation of Guidance. Salat, Fast, Zakat, Haj and Jihad have been prescribed for the moral training of the Ummat. The Believers have been exhorted to obey authority, to be just, to fulfill pledges, to observe treaties, to spend wealth etc., in the way of Allah. Laws, rules and regulations have been laid down for their organisation, cohesion and conduct of day-to-day life and for the solution of social, economic, political and international problems; on the other hand, drinking, gambling, lending money on interest etc., have been prohibited to keep the Ummat safe from disintegration. In between these, the basic articles of the Faith have been reiterated at suitable places, for these alone can enable and support one to stick to the Guidance. 153 - 251

These verses serve as an introduction to the prohibition of lending money on interest. The true conception of Allah, Revelation and Life-after-death has been emphasised to keep alive the sense of accountability. The stories of Prophet Abraham (Allah's peace be upon him) and of the one who woke up after a sleep of hundred years have been related to show that Allah is All-Powerful and is able to raise the dead and call them to account. The Believers, therefore, should keep this fact in view and refrain from taking interest on money. 252 - 260

The theme of 153 - 251 has been resumed and the Believers have been exhorted to spend in the way of Allah in order to please Him alone. In contrast to this, they have been warned against the evils of lending money on interest. Instructions have also been given for the honest conduct of day-to-day business transactions. 261 - 283

The basic articles of the Faith have been recapitulated here at the end of the Surah, just as they were enunciated at its beginning. Then the Surah ends with a prayer which the Muslim Community needed very much at that time when they were encountering untold hardships in the propagation of the Guidance. 284 - 286

( History Ref: http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/maududi/mau2.html#S2)


 

(Arabic/Transliteration/Meaning Ref: http://www.muslimaccess.com/quraan/arabic/002.asp)

 

2:1

A.L.M.

 

Alif-lam-meem

 

2:2

This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah;

 

Thalika alkitabu larayba feehi hudan lilmuttaqeena

 

2:3

Who believe in the Unseen, are steadfast in prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them;

 

Allatheena yu/minoona bialghaybiwayuqeemoona alssalata wamimma razaqnahumyunfiqoona

 

2:4

And who believe in the Revelation sent to thee, and sent before thy time, and (in their hearts) have the assurance of the Hereafter.

 

Waallatheena yu/minoona bimaonzila ilayka wama onzila min qablika wabial-akhiratihum yooqinoona

 

2:5

They are on (true) guidance, from their Lord, and it is these who will prosper.

 

Ola-ika AAala hudan minrabbihim waola-ika humu almuflihoona

 

2:6

As to those who reject Faith, it is the same to them whether thou warn them or do not warn them; they will not believe.

 

Inna allatheena kafaroo sawaonAAalayhim aanthartahum am lam tunthirhum layu/minoona

 

2:7

Allah hath set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing, and on their eyes is a veil; great is the penalty they (incur).

 

Khatama Allahu AAala quloobihimwaAAala samAAihim waAAala absarihim ghishawatunwalahum AAathabun AAatheemun

 

2:8

Of the people there are some who say: "We believe in Allah and the Last Day;" but they do not (really) believe.

 

Wamina alnnasi man yaqoolu amannabiAllahi wabialyawmi al-akhiri wamahum bimu/mineena

 

2:9

Fain would they deceive Allah and those who believe, but they only deceive themselves, and realise (it) not!

 

YukhadiAAoona Allaha waallatheenaamanoo wama yakhdaAAoona illa anfusahum wamayashAAuroona

 

2:10

In their hearts is a disease; and Allah has increased their disease: And grievous is the penalty they (incur), because they are false (to themselves).

 

Fee quloobihim maradun fazadahumuAllahu maradan walahum AAathabun aleemun bimakanoo yakthiboona

 


 

A Life Gem: Istikhara Prayer

 

 

Anytime a Muslim is making a decision, he or she should seek Allah's guidance and wisdom.  Allah alone knows what is best for us, and there may be good in what we perceive as bad, and bad in what we perceive as good.

If you are ambivalent or unsure about a decision you have to make, there is a specific prayer for guidance (Salat-l-Istikhara) that you can do to ask for Allah's help in making your decision.  Should you marry this certain person?  Should you attend this graduate school?  Should you take this job offer or that one?  Allah knows what is best for you, and if you are not sure about a choice that you have, seek His guidance.

Bukhari: Volume 2, Book 21, Number 263:

 

Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah :

 

The Prophet (p.b.u.h) used to teach us the way of doing Istikhara (Istikhara means to ask Allah to guide one to the right sort of action concerning any job or a deed), in all matters as he taught us the Suras of the Quran. He said, "If anyone of you thinks of doing any job he should offer a two Rakat prayer other than the compulsory ones and say (after the prayer): -- 'Allahumma inni astakhiruka bi'ilmika, Wa astaqdiruka bi-qudratika, Wa as'alaka min fadlika al-'azlm Fa-innaka taqdiru Wala aqdiru, Wa ta'lamu Wala a'lamu, Wa anta 'allamu l-ghuyub. Allahumma, in kunta ta'lam anna hadha-l-amra Khairun li fi dini wa ma'ashi wa'aqibati amri (or 'ajili amri wa'ajilihi) Faqdirhu wa yas-sirhu li thumma barik li Fihi, Wa in kunta ta'lamu anna hadha-lamra shar-run li fi dini wa ma'ashi wa'aqibati amri (or fi'ajili amri wa ajilihi) Fasrifhu anni was-rifni anhu. Waqdir li al-khaira haithu kana Thumma ardini bihi.' (O Allah! I ask guidance from Your knowledge, And Power from Your Might and I ask for Your great blessings. You are capable and I am not. You know and I do not and You know the unseen. O Allah! If You know that this job is good for my religion and my subsistence and in my Hereafter--(or said: If it is better for my present and later needs)--Then You ordain it for me and make it easy for me to get, And then bless me in it, and if You know that this job is harmful to me In my religion and subsistence and in the Hereafter--(or said: If it is worse for my present and later needs)--Then keep it away from me and let me be away from it. And ordain for me whatever is good for me, And make me satisfied with it). The Prophet added that then the person should name (mention) his need.

 

 

 

 

Today’s Dua: Importance of dhikr after Salat

 

Volume 8, Book 75, Number 341:

 

Narrated Abu Huraira (ra):

 

 


 Bukhari: Volume 9, Book 93, Number 489:

Narrated Abu Huraira:   Allah's Apostle said, "Allah has ninety-nine Names, one-hundred less one; and he who memorized them all by heart will enter Paradise." To count something means to know it by heart.

 

 

 Reference: http://www.godnames.org/godnames.php?f=godnames_01_08#1