In his book, Al-Fawa’id, paraphrasing the great Imam Ibn al-Qayyim رحمه الله invites the reader to know Allaah عز و جل in two ways,
1. To observe the creation and ponder upon it.
2. To contemplate on the ayahs of Allaah عز و جل mentioned in the Qur’an.
If we were to sincerely acknowledge the above two points and implement them in our lives then there is no doubt that we will recognize Allaah عز و جل, and will strive to make our lives better in this world and the Hereafter by implementing the correct belief in Allaah عز و جل and His Messenger, the obligations in the religion of Islaam and by performing voluntary acts of worship because of the ‘ihsaan’ we develop in ourselves by Allaah’s عز و جل permission (i.e., as per the hadeeth of Jibreel: That you worship Allaah عز و جل as if you are seeing Him, for though you don’t see Him, He, verily, sees you.).
One of the amazing signs that we can reflect upon is the creation of the heavenly bodies and the space which exists out of the atmosphere of the earth. We have read a lot about the sun, the moon, and the planets but let us today see what some extraordinary technology has brought for us from the voids of darkness beyond the earth’s atmosphere.
Growing up, with our eyes we witness the sunrise and sunset, we see the beautiful full night moon and the amazing sight of the stars on clear summer nights but there are also things which are not visible to the naked eye (at least under the city lights). One example I would like to present from my amateur astrophotography is the ‘Orion Nebula’.
This beautiful creation of a hot gaseous interstellar cloud is up there in the sky and is a constant reminder for me that such beautiful objects exist and many more like it which are not easily seen with our eyes. The revolution in scientific instrumentation in telescopes and other technologies has enabled us to discover many more objects similar to it in space. We are so advanced right now that we can capture some (stacked) pictures of such nebulae or galaxies using ground-based telescopes with cameras in our house backyards but bear in mind it is an expensive hobby and is much feasible if we live far away from the city!
One such technological advancement on a massive scale was way back in 1990, the launch of the revolutionary Hubble Space Telescope. Hubble captured and produced some amazing pictures of nebulae and galaxies over the decades. One such amazing capture is that of the “Eagle Nebula” or specifically known as the “Pillars of Creation” within the Eagle Nebula.
2 The Eagle Nebula. Source: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2017/messier-16-the-eagle-nebula
We can see how in this picture above how awe aspiring is the creation of Allaah عز و جل, such magnificent clouds are of the size beyond our imagination, the elements it is made up of are the source of light which makes it so beautiful. No doubt, this one image itself is a masterpiece.
Recently, in the year 2021, the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope was commissioned on the 24th of December. This is a breakthrough in space telescopes because this space telescope is Hubble 2.0, and that means it is a successor to the Hubble Telescope.
3 James Webb Space Telescope. Source: https://engt.co/31l2anI
The exciting thing about JWST is it will help us answer questions like, What lies deep within the space? What is out there yet to be discovered? How can it help solve a few theories about the Universe? These are some questions we can anticipate an answer for from JWST, in shaa Allaah. No doubt, this is exciting stuff we are looking forward to. But as we wait for the next scientific breakthroughs we need a reminder for ourselves to remain grounded in our faith. We should know:
All of this is by Allaah’s عز و جل permission.
We as mankind forget that we own nothing in this universe, Allaah عز و جل has given us everything and thus we should never be arrogant in accepting the truth, and acknowledging our weakness and limitedness. The scientific community at large these days tend to get arrogant thinking that they know everything about the universe (when theories are presented as facts to the general public) but we should always keep in mind that “our eyes can only reach a distance”, i.e., we are limited and whatever we have from our amazing minds to resources that we use to make intelligent hardware and software is all from the blessings of Allaah عز و جل.
In the last couple of decades, we have seen several advancements in technology, in AI, and other inventions but this was only possible because of the amazing intellectual brains Allaah
عز و جل has given to us as mankind. The exploration of space, i.e., what lies beyond earth’s atmosphere is also by Allaah’s permission.
“O assembly of jinn and men! If you have power to pass beyond the zones of the heavens and the earth, then pass beyond (them)! But you will never be able to pass them, except with authority (from Allâh)!” (Qur’an 55:33)
Thus, in the conclusion of this reminder, a believer in Islaam should not doubt that whatever happens in this universe is by the permission of Allaah عز و جل.
Don’t fall for the bait.
Some people from the scientific community who fail to recognize their Creator because they fall short on sincerely pondering upon the creation and the purpose of life often come up with scientific terms or sentences to create confusion from their articles, videos or any other form of media to those who believe in their Creator. To cite a few examples, “JWST will reveal the origin of the Universe”, “JWST will confirm if the Universe is 14 billion years old” or any other such catchy headlines aimed at the common masses as click baits and possibly to spread scientific theories (presented as facts!). For example, the scientists state that the universe is around 14 billion years old and they have come up with this number using something known as the “Hubble constant” in Cosmology. This constant has been adjusted over the decades so much so that this constant now encapsulates (the time required for) the Darwinism evolution that we as mankind evolved over millions of years from micro-organisms. So yes, science today especially in the field of Cosmology and Theoretical Physics heavily involve theories rather than observation and testable evidence (and is rapidly also getting Philosophy involved with a concept like a multiverse and this can be seen in the latest studies of Quantum Mechanics).
The bottom line here is, as much exciting and promising the project of JWST is, we should remember not to go overboard with regards to believing and promoting everything the scientists or the media say about it.
We should reflect.
How many aayaat in the Qur’an invite us to reflect upon the creation of the heavens and the earth and yet many of us are so busy with this materialistic life that we do not pause to reflect as this is one of the most important activities in our lives which pushes us to sincerely turn towards our Creator. To cite a few aayaat from Surah Aal-Imran,
“Those who remember Allâh (always, and in prayers) standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying): “Our Lord!
You have not created (all) this without purpose, glory to You! (Exalted are You above all that they associate with You as partners). Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire.” (Qur’an 3:191)
Even with the launch of JWST and the anticipation of what lies deep into the space, the revelation of it will be by Allaah’s عز و جل permission alone, it sure will bring excitement to mankind for a few days and then we usually forget about it just because this is (the mentality of mankind) going on since the beginning of our creation. We see amazing aayaat like the glorious sunrise and sunset, the magnificent mountains, the beautiful birds and flowers…, these are only to name a few from the creation and we do not reflect upon them as we have taken them for granted and just as a part of the system. As believers, one must spend ample time reflecting upon the heavens and the earth and it is a key to a huge success as it will help us recognize our Lord through His Lordship (Tawheed Ar-Ruboobiyah), it will make us strive to worship Him alone without associating any partners to Him (Tawheed Al-‘Ibaadah), and it will make us know our Lord through His beautiful Names and Attributes (Tawheed Al-Asmaa ul Husna).
Concluding, to reflect, ponder, contemplate, whatever you call it, will facilitate us to bring about love, hope, and fear of our Lord and will bring us near to Him by His permission. May Allaah عز و جل facilitate us to ponder upon His creation and upon His Glorious book, Al-Qur’an.
O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves part of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused…
And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent….
My Beloved Sister, the following is a significant hadith, so PONDER OVER it:
Abu Hurairah said that it was reported that the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said:
“There are two types of people of hell that I have not seen: people who have whips like the tails of cattle with which they strike the people, and women who are dressed but naked, walking with an enticing gait, with their hair looking like the humps of camels, leaning sideways. They will not enter Paradise nor smell its fragrance, although its fragrance can be detected from such-and-such a distance. “[Reported by Muslim]
Would you NOT FOLLOW YOUR MOTHER Aaeishah and Umm Salamah, may Allaah be pleased with them both?
My beloved sister, A woman’s modesty and how well she covers herself is analogous to the strength of her belief (eemaan). Consider what your mother ‘Aaeishah, the daughter of Aboo Bakr, may Allaah be pleased with them both, said:I used to enter my house in which the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and my father were buried, I would remove my (outer) clothes and say:“It is only my husband and father (that are buried here). However, when Umar was buried with them, by Allaah. I would not enter except with my garment (properly) fastened around me out of shyness for Umar”.
What eminence is greater than this eminence, and what modesty is more esteemed than this modesty, whereby her modesty is unwavering even towards a man who is dead and buried under the earth! This is the nobility of your mother, so would you not follow her?
And also, your mother, Umm Salamah, may Allaah be pleased with her, said: She mentioned the trait of a women’s dress to the Messenger of Allah [sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam], so, he said:“Let it down a hand span.” Umm Salamah said:“But that will expose her (feet). He said: “Let it down a forearm’s length, but no more than that.”[An-Nasaaie]
This is the condition of one whose deen is firm and strong. As for the one whose deen is flimsy and her faith is weak, then she prefers exposing herself by a hand span, or a forearm’s length or even more according to the fragility of her eemaan. My beloved sister, (know that) the essence of chastity is modesty!
THE CONDITIONS FOR THE HIJAAB ACCORDING TO ISLAAMIC LAW (THE SHAR’ EEAH) In order for the Hijaab to be in accordance with the Shar’eeah (Islaamic Law), the scholars say that it has to fulfill eight conditions; they are:
First: It should cover the entire body
Second: It should be loose and not narrow, so that it does not reveal the outline of the body.
Third: It should not resemble the dress of kaafir (disbelieving) women.
Fourth: It should not resemble men’s clothing
Fifth: It should not be transparent (or “see-through)
Sixth: And should not be an adornment in and of itself.
Seventh: It should not be perfumed with bakhoor any other fragrance
Eight: It should not be a garment of fame and vanity.
My beloved sister! Hijaab was legislated for COVERING, NOT FOR BEAUTIFICATION, ADORNMENT AND/OR ATTRACTION
Be aware that the different types of clothing that are sold in the markets as Hijaab, are not really Hijaab. (Please be aware that) what matters is the reality not the name. So it is upon you to wear the Hijaab that was previously mentioned along with its eight conditions so that you would achieve happiness in this world and the next.
If you have read the first two parts of these series, you would know by now that your intention really makes the difference between success and failure. Success by winning Paradise in the hereafter or failure by entering into the Hell fire. Your intention, your sincerity towards Allah in your deed will decide whether it is an acceptable deed or not, as the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam relates to us:
“Allah does not accept any deed except that which is done only for Him and to seek His pleasure.”
Narrated by al-Nasaa’i, 3140; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 52
But now we are going to answer an important question in this article:
Is a sincere intention to please Allah enough to make a deed permissible?
To answer this, we must first understand that the intention is always one of two players in a deed. The other player that accompanies an intention almost all the time is the action itself. We know what the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam has said about the intention. Now what has the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam said about the action? He said:
“Whoever does any action that is not in accordance with this matter of ours (that is Islam), will have it rejected.”
Narrated by Muslim, al-Aqdiyyah, 3243
From this we understand that although the intention is an important component of the deed, it is NOT enough to make a deed permissible. It has to be accompanied by an action that is within the guidelines of the matters taught to us by Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala and His Messenger Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam.
The hadeeth above is so profound that the scholars of Islam have many things to say about it:
Ahmad ibn Hanbal said: “The principles of Islam are covered by three hadeeth”:
The hadeeth related by `Umar that actions are but by intentions,
The hadeeth related by `Aishah that states whoever innovates a matter in this matter of ours will have it rejected, and
The hadeeth related by al-Nu`man ibn Bashir which states that what is lawful is clear and what is unlawful is clear.
Al-Hakim relates that Imam Ahmad said: “It would be appropriate to mention these three hadeeth at the beginning of every book on the subject, since they are the foundations of the hadeeth”:
The one stating that the actions are by intentions,
The one stating that the creation of one of you is brought together in the womb for forty days, and
The one stating that whoever innovates something in this religion of ours will have it rejected
So from the matter above we can conclude that for any deed to be accepted, you have to bring two things with it. If even one of these is missing, Allah will not accept your deed:
The intention of worship should be to sincerely please Allah alone.
The actionof worship should be in accordance with the Law of Allah and His Messenger.
The two conditions for the acceptability of any deed
The two conditions above have been mentioned by numerous scholars of Islam:
1) Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “Allah has made devotion of worship to Him alone and following the Sunnah the means of deeds being accepted; if these conditions are not met, then deeds are unacceptable.”
2) On this Aayah:
“So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.”
[Surat Al-Kahf: Aayah 110]
Ibn Katheer comments saying: “These two factors form the basis for an acceptable deed: it must be done sincerely for the sake of Allah alone, and it must be correct and in accordance with the Shari’ah (law) of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).’
And on this Ayah:
“And who can be better in religion than one who submits his face to Allah and he is Muhsin.”
[Surat An Nisa: Ayah 125]
Ibn Kathir explains the meaning saying: “Meaning, performs the good actions in sincerity for his Lord with faith and awaiting the reward with Allah, following the correct guidance that Allah legislated in the religion of truth which He sent His Messenger with. These are the two conditions, in the absence of which no deed will be accepted from anyone:
a) Sincerity and
The work is sincere when it is performed for Allah alone and it becomes correct when it conforms to the Shari`ah. So, the deed becomes outwardly correct with following the Sunnah and inwardly correct with sincerity. When any deed lacks either of these two conditions, the deed becomes null and void. For instance, when one lacks the pillar of sincerity in his work, he becomes a hypocrite who shows off for people. Whoever does not follow the Shari`ah, he becomes an ignorant, wicked person. When one combines both pillars, his actions will be the deeds of the faithful believers whose best deeds are accepted from them and their errors erased.
[Tafseer lbn Katheer]
3) On this hadeeth:
‘Actions are only judged by intentions’ [Saheeh al-Bukhaari #1]
Sheikh al-Albani, May Allah be pleased with him, explained: “Many people know this hadeeth in wording but don’t understand its meaning. Why? Because oftentimes we turn (to some people) and say: ‘Ya akhee, this action that you are doing, or this statement that you are uttering, is not a righteous action.’ What is the answer? ‘Ya akhee, the Messenger (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘Actions are only judged by intentions’ and my intention is good! My intention is righteous!’
If one’s actions are not righteous but intention is righteous – this is not enough. Likewise it is also not enough if it is vice versa: i.e. if one’s actions are righteous but intention is not righteous. So either one is not enough without the other.”
4) Ibn Rajab (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “This hadeeth (“Whoever does any action that is not in accordance…..”) forms one of the most important principles of Islam. It is like a scale for weighing up deeds according to their outward appearance, just as the hadeeth ‘The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions’ is the means of weighing up the inner nature of deeds. Just as every action which is not intended for the sake of Allah brings no reward to the one who does it, so too every deed which is not in accordance with the command of Allah and His Messenger will also be rejected and thrown back at the one who does it. Everyone who innovates in Islam something for which Allah and His Messenger have not granted permission, that thing has nothing to do with Islam.
[Jami’ al-‘Uloom wa’l-Hikam, part 1, p.176]
Incorrect actions are widespread in the Muslim ummah, where a person might think the intentionis good but the action itself is an innovation in Islam. Again, repeating what was said by Ibn Rajab above about innovations:
Everyone who innovates in Islam, something for which Allah and His Messenger have not granted permission, that thing has nothing to do with Islam.
Innovations in Islam and the warning against them
Some common actions of worship that some Muslims do with a good intention but are innovations in Islam because the action itself is incorrect are as follows:
Asking for help from a righteous dead person in a graveyard or shrine thinking that he/she has special virtues to provide sustenance, health and protection.
Religious festivals and birthday celebrations like celebrating the birthday of the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam.
Wearing amulets and hanging special ornaments in the house seeking protection through it from evil.
Religious music such as qawwalis that is done in remembrance of Allah and His Messenger.
Reciting Surat Al-Fatihah on special occasions such as on the meal that is offered upon the death of a person, which is an innovation also.
Reciting dhikr (remembering Allah) in a manner and in a number not prescribed by authentic teachings from Allah and His Messenger.
Isolating certain nights to stand in worship reciting Surahs in an innovated manner and number, such as on the night of 15th of Sha’ban (known as Shab-e-Baraat in the Indian subcontinent) and 27th of Rajab (Shab-e-Mi’raj).
Supplicating to Allah in unison with the imam after every Salah except in acceptable forms prescribed by the laws of Allah and His Messenger such as in Witr salah in Taraweeh.
Uttering the intention out allowed such as the intention to pray.
The above are just a handful of the the great number of innovations plaguing the Muslim ummah today. These innovations arise when Muslims do not bring the two conditions for the permissibility of a deed of worship together.
Imaam ash-Shaatibee (rahima-hullaah) mentions:
“Linguistically bid’ah (innovation) means ‘a newly invented matter’. The Shari’ah definition of bid’ah as: ‘A newly invented way [beliefs or action] in the religion, in imitation of the Shari’ah (prescribed law), by which nearness to Allah is sought, [but] not being supported by any authentic proof – neither in its foundations, nor in the manner in which it is performed’.”
[Al-I’tisaam of ash-Shaatibee, 1/37]
The Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam was very severe in warning us against any innovation in Islam. He Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam said:
“Beware of newly-invented matters, for every newly- invented matter is a going astray.”
Classed as saheeh (authentic) by al-Albani in Saheeh Sunan al-Tirmidhi, no. 2157
The warning against innovation in the religion of Islam is given to us every Friday using the words of the Prophet Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam, reminding us of the need to be aware of it and avoid it:
“The truest word is the Book of Allah and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad. The most evil matters are those that are newly invented (in the religion), for every newly invented matter is an innovation. Every innovation is misguidance and every misguidance is in the Hellfire.”
Source: Sunan al-Nasā’ī 1578
Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Albani
Note that the kind of innovation that is prohibited are those that are introduced in the matters of the religion of Islam, as is clearly stated in the hadeeth discussed earlier where the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam said: “Whoever does any action that is not in accordance with this matter of ours (that is Islam), will have it rejected.”. This is not innovation in the matters of this world such as innovation of cars for example for the ease of the people.
Innovation in Islam stems from differing from the Qur’an and Sunnah. And differing from the Qur’an and Sunnah is what destroyed the Jews and the Christians. In the beautiful Surat Al-Bayyinah, Allah subhanu wa Ta’ala describes exactly that.
He Subhanahu wa Ta’ala says:
And the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) differed not until after there came to them clear evidence. (i.e. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and whatever was revealed to him). [Surat Al-Bayyinah: Aayah 4]
Ibn Kathir explains the Ayah above in his Tafseer by saying:
“This refers to the people of those divinely revealed Scriptures that were sent down to the nations that were before us. After Allah established the proofs and evidences against them, they divided and differed concerning that which Allah had intended in their Scriptures, and they had many differences. This is like what has been reported in a hadeeth that has many routes of transmission:
The Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa sallam said:
“Verily, the Jews differed until they became seventy-one sects. And verily, the Christians differed until they became seventy-two sects. And this Ummah will divide into seventy-three sects, and all of them will be in the Fire except one. They (the sahabah) said, “Who are they, O Messenger of Allah? ” He replied, “Those who are upon what I and my Companions are upon.”
It was narrated from Mu’aawiyah ibn Abi Sufyaan (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) stood among us and said: “Those who came before you of the people of the Book split into seventy-two sects, and this ummah will split into seventy-three: seventy-two in Hell and one in Paradise, and that is the jamaa’ah (main body of Muslims).”
Narrated by Abu Dawood (4597) and others; classed as saheeh by al-Haakim (1/128),
Sheikh ul Islam ibn Tamiyyah said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (4/155) (3/346): “The sign of these groups – i.e., the seventy-two groups that go against Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah – is that they forsake the Qur’aan, Sunnah and scholarly consensus. The one who follows the Qur’aan, Sunnah and scholarly consensus is one of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah.”
Sheikh Saalih Al-Munajjid has published on islamqa.info: “The cause of difference and division among these groups mentioned in the hadeeth has to do with fundamental matters of religion and basic issues of ‘aqeedah, not differences of opinion regarding fiqh.” 
Aqeedahrefers to: what a Muslim believes in his heart about the matters which are known from the Qur’an and the Prophetic Sunnah, in acknowledgement of the truth of Allah and His Messenger. 
That’s why Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) says:
“The saved group is described as Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah, and they are the greater majority and the vast multitude. As for the other groups, they are followers of weird ideas, division, innovation and whims and desires, and none of these groups reached anywhere close to the size of the saved group, let alone being equal to them, rather some of these groups are very small in number. The sign of these groups is that they go against the Qur’aan, Sunnah and scholarly consensus. The one who follows the Qur’aan, Sunnah and scholarly consensus is one of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah.”
[Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (3/346).]
Keep in mind that the widely known 4 imams viz. Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Malik, Imam Shafi’i and Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal and their madhabs are not one of the sects.
The Imams of the four madhab knew the seriousness of introducing innovations in Islam by moving away and differing from the Qur’an and Sunnah. All of them are famously known to have said,
“If I say something then compare it with the book of Allah and the Sunnah of his messenger and if it agrees with them then accept it and that which goes against them then reject it and throw my saying against the wall!”
[An Nawawee, al Majmoo (1/63) and Ibn ul Qayyim, A’laam ul Muwaqqi’een (2/361)]
What is important to be kept in mind from the matter above is that not all deeds done with a good intention are righteous. There are many innovative practices that were introduced and will continue to be introduced by the sects that differ from the Qur’an and Sunnah. You need to be aware of these sects and innovative practices with knowledge to protect yourself and guide those who don’t know. And more importantly, you need to make sure that your deed meets the two conditions for it to be acceptable by Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala. Which is that, it must be performed with a sincere intention to please Allah alone and the action of worship performed must be from the guidelines given to us by Allah and His Messenger and not an innovation in Islam that differs from the law of Allah and His Messenger.
Some important pieces of advice
Before his death, the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam gave this ummah some very important pieces of advice in order to safeguard themselves from innovative sects and religious practices and to ensure that the two conditions for the permissibility of a deed are met. Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala let the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam know that the Muslim ummah will be split into multiple sects and that there will come a time when there will be a lot of differences, which is the time we live in today. In such a time, this is the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam’s advice to you:
Advice number 1:
“Indeed, whoever among you lives (for a long time) he will see much difference. Beware of the newly invented matters, for indeed they are astray. Whoever among you sees that, then he must stick to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly guided caliphs. “
Jami At tirmidhi 2676, Book 41, Hadith 32
Advice number 2:
“I have left behind two things, you will never go astray as long as you hold fast onto them, the Qur’an and Sunnah.”
Muwatta Imam Malik, 1601
Advice number 3:
“You have to follow my Sunnah (way) and the way of my rightly-guided successors (al-khulafa’ al-rashidoon); bite onto it with your eyeteeth (i.e., cling firmly to it).”
Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, al-‘Ilm, 2600
Advice number 4:
“You must adhere to my Sunnah and the way of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs who come after me. Adhere to it and cling to it strongly, and beware of newly-invented matters, for every newly-invented matter is an innovation (bid’ah) and every innovation is a going astray.”
Narrated by Abu Dawood (4607) and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood
If we had to summarize the advises of the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam above into a single statement, it would be:
Stick to the Qur’an and Sunnah upon the understanding and implementation of the rightly guided Salaf as-Saalih.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
“The sign of the people of bid’ah (innovation) is that they do not follow the salaf.”
End quote from Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (4/155).
Who are the Salaf as-Saalih?
Muhammad Nasir- Deen Al-Albaani (d.1420A.H) -rahimahullah-said: “The Salaf as-Saalih (Pious predecessors) includes the three generations about whom the Messenger SallAllahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam testified regarding their goodness in a Hadeeth whose authenticity is agreed upon. Rather this Hadeeth has reached the level of Mutawwatir due its many chains in the Saheeh of Muslim and other than them from a great deal of the Companions, that the Prophet SallAllahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam said:
“خير الناس قرني ثم الذين يلونهم ثم الذين يلونهم ثم الذين يلونهم”
“The best people are my generation then those who will come after them and then those after them…”
Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 6065, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2533
Sheikh al-Albani continues, “So the three generations whose goodness has been testified are the ones who are intended by being the Salaf as-Saalih.”
The narration above is a command from the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam, his command to follow the Salaf as-Saalih and his affirmation that their path is the only correct path.
Where is the command of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala to follow the Salaf as-Saalih and his affirmation that their path is the only correct path? It is in the Qur’an as follows:
And the first to embrace Islam of the Muhajirun (those who migrated from Makkah to Al-Madinah) and the Ansar (the citizens of Al-Madinah who helped and gave aid to the Muhajiroon) and also those who followed them exactly (in Faith). Allah is well pleased with them, as they are well pleased with Him.
He has prepared for them Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise), to dwell therein forever. That is the supreme success. [Surat At-Tawbah: Aayah 100]
On this Aayah Sheikh al-Albani comments:
“Indeed this noble Aayah is the foundation from where it is necessary for every Muslim to spring forward from to get to know the Da’wah which some of the scholars, in the past and present have defined as the ‘Da’watus–Salafiyyah’.
Whoever truly wants to return to the Book and the Sunnah then it is necessary for that person to return to what the Companions of the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam were upon, and the Tabi’een (the successors of the Companions) and the successors of the Ta’abeen.”
[Taken from a tape entitled ‘Dawatus-Salafiyyah’]
So in summary the Salaf as-Saalih are the first three generations whom Allah and His Messenger Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam have commanded us to follow, imitate and understand the Qur’an and Sunnah like the way they understood it. They are:
1st generation – The Sahabah (Those who met the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam as believers and died in a state of believing in him as Muslims).
2nd generation – Tabi’een (Those who came after the period of the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam, who did not meet the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam, but met the Sahabah as believers and followed the teachings of the Sahabah and died as Muslims.)
3rd generation – Atba at Tabi’een (Those who came after the period of the Tabi’een, who did not meet the Sahabah, but met the Tabi’een as believers and followed the teachings of the Tabi’een and died as Muslims.)
Some practical steps in order for us to ensure that the action in our deed is from the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah:
1. Obtain knowledge of the religion of Islam from true scholars so that your action is based upon clear evidence from the Qur’an and authentic Sunnah. If someone comes with something new that you do not know of, ask for evidence.
Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala commands ask to verify some new piece of knowledge that comes to us with clear evidences:
O you who believe! If a rebellious evil person comes to you with a news, verify it, lest you harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful to what you have done. [Surat Al Hujurat: Aayah 6]
Say, “Produce your proof, if you should be truthful.” [Surat Al Baqarah: Aayah 111]
If we don’t know whether an action is a permissible form of worship, then Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala tells us to:
“Ask the people of the knowledge if you do not know.” [Surat Al-Anbiya: Aayah 7]
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said,
“Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim.”
[Source: Sunan Ibn Mājah 224
Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Albani]
He Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam also warned us to take knowledge from the true scholars before it is taken away:
“Allah does not take away the knowledge by taking it away from the hearts of the people, but He takes it away by the death of the Scholars till no Scholar remains. Then people will take as their leaders the ignorant who when asked will give their verdict (fatwa) without knowledge. So they will go astray themselves and will lead the people astray.”
[Reported by Al-Bukhārī, no. 100]
In a wording, he said, “There will remain the ignorant from whom verdicts (fatwas) will be sought. They will give verdicts based upon their own opinions, so they will go astray and will lead the people astray.”
[Al-Bukhāri no. 7307]
Ibn Mas’ūd said,
“Learn knowledge before it is taken away, and it is taken away by the death of the scholars. Beware of going extremes and delving too deeply, and beware of innovations. Upon you is to adhere to the ancient affair.”
[See Ad-Dārimī with the explanation, Fathul-Mannān 2/115, Al-Musannaf of Abdur-Razzāq 11/252, Jāmi’ Bayān Al-‘Ilm wa Fadlihi 1/152, Al-‘Amr bil-Ittibā’ p. 59)
Mu’aadh ibn Jabal (Radhi Allah ‘Anhu) said:
“O’ people, you must seek knowledge before it is taken away, for indeed when its people (the scholars) die, it will be taken away. And beware of bid’ah, innovation and sophistication, and adhere to the ancient way [i.e., the way of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)].”
[Al-Bidaayah wan-Nahy ‘anha by Ibn Waddaah]
And always, always ask for evidence from the Qur’an and Sunnah with regards to the act of worship that you are about to perform:
The author, (Imām al-Barbahārī) may Allah have mercy upon him said; “Examine! May Allah have mercy upon you, the speech of every person that you hear, practically in your day and age. Do not act in haste and do not enter into anything from it until you ask and see – Did any of the companions of the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam speak concerning it or any of the scholars? For if you find a narration from them concerning it then hold tightly onto it and do not exchange it for anything nor give anything precedence over it and consequently fall into the Hell-Fire.” 
Sheikh Saalih Al-Fawzaan says:
“Beware and do not rush into accepting speech upon false value even if you are impressed and carried away by his eloquent speech, ability to manipulate words and lectures, do not hasten to it until you have looked into it and examined it against the Qurʾān and Sunnah. Look to see who said (this speech), is he a person of understanding or not? Ask the people of knowledge about him and examine to see if any of the salaf had preceded him in his speech. I have warned against this on many occasions, do not introduce opinions, views, statements that have not been mentioned before (from any of the salaf).” 
[Ithāf al-Qāriī fī Sharh us-Sunnah of Al-Barbahārī, 1/102-109 of Shaykh Ṣāliḥ ibn Fawzān al-Fawzān]
2. Ensure that the action is something which the Salaf as-Saalih have known to have done and it is not something newly introduced. Stop where they stopped.
It is easy to understand this point when we realize that Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala perfected and completed the religion of Islam during the time of the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam. All the rules and regulations of worship were sent through revelation during the time of the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam. The revelation also stopped during the time of the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam. Then how can someone come after and introduce something new to a religion that Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala said is perfect and complete?
This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. [Surat Al-Maidah: Aayah 3]
Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala perfected the religion to the extent that He taught us through His Messenger Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam how to clean ourselves after excretion and urination, to a level of perfection that someone was very amazed at this and said to Salman Al-Farsi RadhiAllahu ‘Anhu:
“Your Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam teaches you about everything, even about excrement.”
To which Salman Al-Farsi RadhiAllahu ‘Anhu responded:
“Yes, he has forbidden us to face the Qibla at the time of excretion or urination, or cleansing with right hand or with less than three pebbles, or with dung or bone.”
[Sahih Muslim: Book 2, Hadith 73]
The companions of the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam practiced the perfect religion. It is enough for us to follow them.
Hudhayfah ibn al-Yamaan (RadhiAllahu ‘Anhu) said:
“Do not perform any act of worship that was not practiced by the Companions of the Messenger of Allah, for the earlier generation did not leave any room for the latter to add anything (to the religion). Fear Allah, O’ readers, seekers of knowledge, and follow the path of those who came before you.”
[Narrated by Ibn Battah in Al-Ibaanah]
Imaam Al-Awzaa’ee (d.157) said:
“Make yourself patient upon the Sunnah, stop where the people stopped, speak with what they spoke with, and refrain from what they refrained from. And follow the path of your Righteous Predecessors (Salaf-as-Saaliheen) for verily, sufficient for you is that which was sufficient for them.”
[Related in Ash-Shari’ah, by Al-Aajurree, p. 58]
‘Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood (RadhiAllahu ‘Anhu) said:
“Whoever wants to follow an example, let him follow the example of those who have passed away, the Companions of Muhammad (sallalahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). They were the best of this ummah, the purest in heart, the deepest in knowledge, the least in sophistication. They were people whom Allah chose to be the Companions of His Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam and to convey His religion, so imitate their ways and behavior, for they were following the Straight Path.”
[Al-Baghawi in Sharh as-Sunnah]
‘Abdulaah Ibn Mas’ood (RadhiAllahu ‘Anhu) said:
“Follow and do not innovate, for everything has been taken care of, and you must follow the ancient way (i.e., of the Salaf).”
[Ad-Daarimi in his Sunan]
‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Umar (RadhiAllahu ‘Anhu) said:
“People will continue to adhere to the correct way so long as they follow the footsteps [of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam)].”
[Al-Laalkaa’i in Sharh Usool I’tiqaad Ahl as-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah]
Ibn ‘Abbaas RadhiAllahu ‘Anhu said:
“Indeed the most detestable of things to Allah are the innovations.”
[As-Sunan al-Kubraa, 4/316]
Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal said:
“The basic principles of Sunnah in our view are: adherence to the way of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah, following their example and forsaking bid’ah (innovation), for every bid’ah is going astray.”
[Al-Laalkaa’i in Sharh Usool Ahl as-Sunnah]
The author, (Imām al-Barbahārī) may Allah have mercy upon him said: “Safe yourselves from the small innovations, cause verily the small/minor innovations go to an extent and become major. Likewise every innovation in this ummah was minor in the beginning, seemed similar to the haqq (the truth). Everyone who performed it got deluded by it, to an extent that it became unavoidable. It later turned into a deen that is practiced. So the person who followed it left the Sirat al-Mustaqeem (the straight path).”
3) Do not decide whether an act of worship is acceptable or not based upon its good or bad appearance, logic or on weak opinion. Its permissibility depends only upon whether it is found in the Qur’an and authentic Sunnah or not.
‘Abdullaah Ibn ‘Umr said:
“Every bid’ah (innovation) is misguidance, even if people think it is good.”
[Al-Laalkaa’i in Sharh Usool I’tiqaad Ahl as-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah]
About the act of mas’aa (wiping over socks to complete the ablution) the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam taught us to wipe the top of the socks even though it is logically more sound to wipe the bottom of the socks because you find more dirt there. About this ‘Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (Radhi Allah ‘Anhu) commented:
“If religion were based on opinion (what people think is common sense), then we should wipe the bottom of the khuff (leather slippers) rather than the top, but I saw the Messenger of Allah wiping the top of them.”
[Ibn Abi Shaybah in Al-Musannaf]
Imam Al-Awzaa’i said:
“You must follow the footsteps of those who came before, even if the people reject you. Beware of personal opinions even if people make them attractive. The clear way is that of the Straight Path.”
[Al-Khateeb in Sharaf Ashaab al-Hadeeth]
Imaam Maalik said:
“Truly I am only a mortal: I make mistakes (sometimes) and I am correct (sometimes). Therefore, look into my opinions: all that agrees with the Book and the Sunnah, accept it; and all that does not agree with the Book and the Sunnah, ignore it.”
[Ibn ‘Abdul Barr in Jaami’ Bayaan al-’Ilm, 2/32]
Imaam Abu Haneefah said:
“When I say something contradicting the Book of Allah the Exalted or what is narrated from the Messenger (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), then ignore my saying.”
[Al-Fulaani in Eeqaaz Al-Himam, p. 50]
Imaam Ash-Shaafi’ee said:
“The Muslims are unanimously agreed that if a sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) is made clear to someone, it is not permitted for him to leave it for the saying of anyone else.”
[I’laam , 2/361]
Imaam Ahmad said:
“Do not follow my opinion; neither follow the opinion of Maalik, nor Shaafi’i, nor Awzaa’i, nor Thawri, but take from where they took (i.e. from the Salaf as-Sallih)”
[Ibn al-Qayyim in I’laam, 2/302]
Your intention makes the difference, but your sincere intention is useless if the actionyou perform is not according to the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah upon the understanding of the Salaf as-Saalih.
We will end this series with an incident that took place after the death of the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam, that shows to us how important it was for the Sahabah to ensure that both their intentionand their actionis according to what Allah and His Messenger had left them with in the Qur’an and Sunnah. Here is the incident:
Amr ibn Yahya said: “I heard my father narrating from his father who said:
“We were at the door of ‘Abd-Allah ibn Mas‘ood before the early morning prayer. When he came out we walked with him to the mosque. Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari came up to us and said, “Did Abu ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan come out to you yet?” We said, “No.” He sat down with us until [Abu ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan] came out. When he came out, we all stood up to greet him, and Abu Moosa said to him: “O Abu ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan, earlier I saw in the mosque something that I have never seen before, but it seems good, al-hamdu Lillaah.” He said, “And what was it?” He said, “if you live, you will see it. I saw people in the mosque sitting in circles waiting for the prayer. In every circle there was a man, and they had pebbles in their hands. He would say, ‘Say Allahu akbar one hundred times,’ and they would say Allahu akbar one hundred times; then he would say, ‘Say Laa ilaaha ill-Allah one hundred times,’ and they would say Laa ilaaha ill-Allah one hundred times; then he would say, ‘Say Subhaan Allah one hundred times,’ and they would say Subhaan Allah one hundred times.’ He asked, ‘What did you say to them?’ He said, ‘I did not say anything to them; I was waiting to see what your opinion would be and what you would tell me to do.’ He said, ‘Why did you not tell them to count their bad deeds and guarantee them that nothing of their good deeds would be wasted?’ Then he left, and we went with him, until he reached one of those circles. He stood over them and said, ‘What is this I see you doing?’ They said, ‘O Abu ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan, these are pebbles we are using to count our takbeer, tahleel and tasbeeh.’ He said, ‘Count your bad deeds, and I guarantee that nothing of your good deeds will be wasted. Woe to you, O ummah of Muhammad, how quickly you are getting destroyed! The Companions of your Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) are still alive, his garment is not yet worn out and his vessels are not yet broken. By the One in Whose hand is my soul, either you are following a way that is more guided than that of Muhammad or you have opened the door of misguidance!’ They said, ‘By Allah, O Abu ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan, we only wanted to do good.’ He said, ‘How many of those who wanted to do good failed to achieve it! The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) told us that people recite Qur`an and it does not go any further than their throats. By Allah, I do not know, maybe most of them are people like you.’ Then he turned away from them. ‘Amr ibn Salamah said, ‘I saw most of the members of those circles fighting alongside the Khawaarij on the day of Nahrawaan.’ ”
[Reported by al-Daarimi, al-Sunan, no. , ed. by ‘Abd-Allah Haashim al-Yamaani. Al-Albaani classed its isnaad as saheeh in al-Silsilat al-Saheehah under hadeeth no. See Majma’ al-Zawaa’id by alHaythami ]
The point to understand from the hadeeth above is:
Even though the act of worship that the people in the masjid were performing by saying takbeer, tahleel and tasbeeh is an act that looked good in appearance and sincere in intentionas they were praising Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’la, the sahabah still scolded them for doing it because it was an actiondone in a manner that was not prescribed by the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam and warned them to stop because they knew it will not be accepted by Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala.
The incident above is a lesson for us to ensure that our deeds with sincere intentionsare always accompanied by correct action. It warns us against becoming like those who try to change a religion that is already perfect by introducing new practices which will never be accepted by Allah, about whom the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam said:
“I will reach the Cistern ahead of you. He who comes to me will drink, and whoever drinks will never thirst again. There will come to me some people whom I will recognize and they will recognize me, then they will be prevented from reaching me. I shall say: ‘They are of me,’ but it will be said: ‘You do not know what they introduced after you were gone.’ So I shall say: ‘Away, away with those who changed (the religion) after I was gone.’”
[Narrated by al-Bukhaari (6212) and Muslim (2290)]
Tim Humble studied at the reputed Islamic University of Madinah. During his first Hajj
pilgrimage he applied to and was accepted into the University. He graduated from the Faculty of Hadeeth Studies in 2011. Notably he memorised and is certified in the six canonical works of hadeeth.
He is also an accomplished Raaqee (exorcist). Based out of Newcastle, U.K., he travels the world lecturing and delivering courses on the Islamic Sciences as well as being extremely busy in administering Ruqyah Shar’iyyah treatments to people.
Ruqyah is the treatment of sicknesses and afflictions through the recitation of the Quran, the Names of Allah and the authentic dua and adhkaar that are reported from the Prophet Sallalahu Alayhi wa Sallam.
It can be used for any kind of sickness or affliction, anything for which you seek a cure. Whether it is psychological, physical, mental, medical, financial, jinn, sihr, evil eye, magic, jealously. Whatever has afflicted you, ruqhyah can be a cure bidhnillahi Tabaraka wa Ta’ala.
This article only summarises the material found in Tim Humble’s lecture on YouTube called ‘A Simple Guide to Self Ruqyah’ .
وَلَيْسَ بِضَآرِّهِمْ شَيْـًٔا إِلَّا بِإِذْنِ ٱللَّهِۚ وَعَلَى ٱللَّهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ ٱلْمُؤْمِنُونَ But he will not harm them at all except by permission of Allah.
And upon Allah let the believers rely.
[Al-Mujadila: Ayah 10]
There are 7 essential points that form the bases of getting out of every museebah (calamity) and that comes before seeking to do Ruqyah:
1. Correct your Aqeedah
Your Aqeedah refers to: what a Muslim believes in his heart about the matters which are known from the Quran and the Prophetic Sunnah, in acknowledgement of the truth of Allah and His Messenger. 
It is the belief in your heart that corrects the rest of your actions. The evidence for this has been reported in the incident below:
Nu’man b. Bashir (Allah be pleased with him) reported:
I heard Allah’s Messenger Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam as having said this (and Nu’man pointed towards his ears with his fingers):
“What is lawful is evident and what is unlawful is evident, and in between them are the things doubtful which many people do not know. So he who guards against doubtful things keeps his religion and honour blameless, and he who indulges in doubtful things indulges in fact in unlawful things, just as a shepherd who pastures his animals round a preserve will soon pasture them in it. Beware, every king has a preserve, and the things God his declared unlawful are His preserves.Beware, in the body there is a piece of flesh; if it is sound, the whole body is sound and if it is corrupt the whole body is corrupt, and hearken it is the heart.“
Reference : Sahih Muslim 1599 a
In-book reference : Book 22, Hadith 133
What did Younus Alayhis Salaam do first when he was trapped in the belly of the fish and in great distress and worry? The first thing he called out was the statement of Aqeedah, the statement of Tawheed (to single out Allah in all acts of worship and to abandon the worship of anything else). Allah mentions this incident in the Quran:
And [mention] the man of the fish, when he went off in anger and thought that We would not decree [anything] upon him. And he called out within the darkness’s:
“There is no deity except You; exalted are You (free from any imperfections). Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.”
So We responded to him and saved him from the distress.
And thus do We save the believers. [Surat Al Anbiya: Ayahs 87 and 88]
And what did Ayub Alayhis Salaam do first when he was inflicted with serious illness and was in great distress and worry? The first thing he called out was the statement of Aqeedah, of believing in the divine attributes of Allah of His Great Mercy. Allah mentions this incident in the Quran:
And (remember) Ayub (Job), when he cried to his Lord: “Verily, distress has seized me, and You are the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy.”
So We answered his call, and We removed the distress that was on him, and We restored his family to him (that he had lost), and the like thereof along with them, as a mercy from Ourselves and a Reminder for all who worship Us. [Surat Al Anbiya: Ayahs 83 and 84]
And what did Zechariah Alayhis Salaam do first when he was in need of a child, a righteous heir and was in great distress and worry? The first thing he called out was the statement of Aqeedah, of believing in the divine attributes of Allah. Allah mentions this incident in the Quran:
And [mention] Zechariah, when he called to his Lord, “My Lord, do not leave me alone [with no heir], while you are the best of inheritors.” So We answered his call, and We bestowed upon him Yahya (John), and cured his wife (to bear a child) for him. Verily, they used to hasten on to do good deeds, and they used to call on Us with hope and fear, and used to humble themselves before Us. [Surat Al Anbiya: Ayahs 89 and 90]
The Ayah below summaries how important a pure, clean, doubtless Tawheed and Aqeedah is for ones security and guidance:
It is those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah and worship none but Him Alone) and confuse not their belief with Zulm (wrong i.e. by worshipping others besides Allah), for them (only) there is security and they are the guided. [Surat Al An’am: Ayah 82]
Allah promises you security and guidance when your Aqeedah is correct.
2. Follow the correct Sunnah of the Prophet Mohammed Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam
If we don’t, then Allah warns us of the consequences:
And let those who oppose the Messenger’s (Muhammad SAW) commandment (i.e. his Sunnah legal ways, orders, acts of worship, statements, etc.) (among the sects) beware, lest some Fitnah (disbelief, trials, afflictions, earthquakes, killing, overpowered by a tyrant, etc.) befall them or a painful torment be inflicted on them. [Surat An Nur: Ayah 63]
And if we do, then Allah Gives us glad tidings:
Obey the Messenger – that you may receive mercy. [Surat An Nur: Ayah 56]
One of the major reasons why calamities strike people is because they oppose the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam.
When you ask people of what they are doing to cure themselves with remedies from the Quran and Sunnah, they say we read this dua 109 times, this salah 87 times etc. Not a single action they are doing have any evidence for them in the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah Sallalahu Alayhi wa Sallam.
So whatever measure you take to cure yourself, whatever dua, dhikr you make, ask yourself:
Do I have an evidence for what I am doing from the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam?
What is an evidence?
Kallal Allah wa Kallal Rassul.
What Allah said and what the Prophet said.
With a saheeh isnaad or a hasan isnaad (reliable chain of narrations), or the ijmaa (consensus) of the ummah or the guidance of the companions RadhiAllahuAnhu especially those things which they agreed upon unanimously. Everything else is just an opinion.
3. Make sincere Tawbah
Tim Humble says, “I have never seen cases cure faster than by doing this.”
And he says “If you only make tawbah to Allaah along with correcting the first two things of course, it will be enough insha’Allah, to bring about a cure.”
What is Tawbah?
Muhammad As-Saalih Al-‘Uthaimeen writes in his book Sifat Salaat-in-Nabee (pages 49-51) :
Sincere Repentance: Must meet five conditions (in order to be accepted), which are:
Sincerity to Allaah, the Most High: This is by the person doing it only for the sake of Allaah and seeking His reward and salvation from His punishment.
Remorse:for the sin that was committed, such that he is sad he did it and wishes he had never done it.
Ceasing: to commit the sin immediately. If the sin was against Allaah, then he should (1) stop doing it if it was an unlawful act, or (2) hasten to do it if it was an obligation that he abandoned doing. And if the sin was against a created being (such as humans), then he should hasten to free himself from it, whether by returning it back to him or seeking his forgiveness and pardon.
Determination: to not go back to doing that sin again in the future.
The repentance should not occur before the time when its acceptance is terminated, either by death or by the sun rising from the west. Allaah says: “Repentance is of no effect for those who commit sins constantly until when death faces one of them, he says: Verily I repent now.” The Prophet ( sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever repents before the sun rises from its west, Allaah will accept his repentance.” [Reported by Muslim]
What is Taqwa?
A famous successor to the companions, Ṭalq Ibn Ḥabīb, was asked the meaning of taqwá to which he replied,
“Taqwá is that you act in obedience to Allah, hoping for his mercy, upon a light from Allah; and taqwá is that you leave acts of disobedience to Allah out of fear of him, upon a light from Allah.”
This narration was reported by Ibn Abī Shaybah in “Kitāb al-Īmān” (no. 99) and al-Albānī declared it to be authentic.
Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala says:
So be afraid of Allah; and Allah teaches you. [Surat Al Baqarah: Ayah 282]
And Allah explains how having Taqwa will help you get out of any calamity:
And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him,
He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). [Surat At Talaq: Ayah 2]
5. Dhikr and Du’a
Tim Humble says: “How many go from one place of the earth to the other while if they held their hands up to Allah in sincerity, Allah would answer them?”
Tim Humble recommends buying the book Fortress of the Muslim written by Sa’id bin Ali bin Wahf Al-Qahtani that is full of authentic dua’s from the authentic Sunnah of the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam.
Please click on any of the links below to download the Android or iPhone app for the whole book or a PDF version:
allaahumma innee a‛oodhu bika minal-hammi wal-ḥazani, wal-‛ajzi wal-kasali, wal-bukhli, wal-jubni, wa ḍala‛id-dayni, wa ghalabatir-rijaal
O Allah, I seek refuge with You from anxiety, and sorrow, and weakness, and laziness, and miserliness, and cowardice, and the burden of debts and from being over powered by men. [Bukhari No# 2893, 5425, 6363, 6369; Abu Dawud No# 1541; At-Tirmidhi No# 3484; An-Nasa’i No# 5449, 5450, 5453, 5476]
6. Patience in all its forms
Tim Humble says that we have to show: “Patience in doing good deeds, to do the means to get out of the problem, avoiding sins, with regards to the decree of Allah.”
Allah Subhanu wa Ta’ala says:
And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient,
Who, when afflicted with calamity, say:
“Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.”
Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy.
And it is those who are the [rightly] guided. [Surat Al Baqarah: Ayahs 155-157]
Tim Humble says, “Go and do. And then leave what you can’t control in the hands of Allah.”
Tim Humble then reminded us of the women who had epilepsy during the time of the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam:
‘Ata’ b. Abi Rabih said –
Ibn Abbas said to me: May I show you a woman of Paradise? I said: Yes. He said: Here is this dark-complexioned woman. She came to Allah’s Apostle (ﷺ) and said: I am suffering from falling sickness and I become naked; supplicate Allah for me, whereupon he (the Holy Prophet) said: Show endurance as you can do and there would be Paradise for you and, if you desire, I supplicate Allah that He may cure you. She said: I am prepared to show endurance (but the unbearable trouble is) that I become naked, so supplicate Allah that He should not let me become naked, so he supplicated for her.
Reference : Sahih Muslim 2576
In-book reference : Book 45, Hadith 69
Her sickness was a means for her to jannah.
All these 7 things require knowledge and action. From Surat Al Fatihah we learn that the Jews earned the wrath of Allah because they had the knowledge but they choose to do wrong and the Christians went astray because they choose to remain ignorant while thinking they were doing good.
Now once the above 7 points have been established in your life, the following 5 points have to be implemented:
Firstly, Tim Humble starts with the importance of salat as a means of protection, quoting the hadith of the difference between us and the disbelievers:
Narrated Abdullah bin Buraidah narrated from his father that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “The covenant between us and them is the Salat, so whoever abandons it he has committed disbelief.”
Grade : Sahih (Darussalam)
Reference : Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2621
In-book reference : Book 40, Hadith 16
In Muslim (657) it is narrated that Jundub ibn ‘Abd-Allah said: The Messenger of Allah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said: “Whoever prays Fajr is under the protection of Allah, so do not fall short with regard to the rights of Allah, for anyone who does that, Allah will seize him and will throw him on his face into the Fire of Hell.”
Secondly, Tim Humble highlights the importance of reciting the prescribed Adhkaar (remembrance), from the Qur’an and Sunnah. Below are some of the very essential Adhkaar that a person must make it a habit to recite just like the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam did.
1. The dhikr of the morning and the evening after Fajr and Asr.
Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala says:
“And remember your Lord by your tongue and within yourself, humbly and with fear without loudness in words in the mornings, and in the afternoons and be not of those who are neglectful. Surely, those who are with your Lord (angels) are never too proud to perform acts of worship to Him, but they glorify His Praise and prostrate before Him” [Surat al-A‘raaf: Ayahs 205-206].
It was narrated that Abaan ibn ‘Uthmaan (may Allah be pleased with him) said, narrating from ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) say: “Whoever says ‘Bismillah illadhi la yadurru ma’a ismihi shay’un fi’l-ard wa la fi’l-sama’ wa huwa al-samee’ ul-‘aleem (In the name of Allah with Whose name nothing can harm on earth or in heaven, and He is the All-Hearing, All-Knowing)’, three times, will not be stricken with a sudden affliction until morning comes, and whoever says them when morning comes will not be stricken with a sudden affliction until evening comes.”
He said: Abaan ibn ‘Uthmaan was afflicted with paralysis and the man who had heard this hadith from him started looking at him. He said to him: Why are you looking at me? By Allah, I did not tell a lie about ‘Uthmaan and ‘Uthmaan did not tell a lie about the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). But the day which that (paralysis) befell me, I got angry and forgot to say them. 
Narrated by Abu Dawood (5088). It was also narrated by at-Tirmidhi in his Sunan (no. 3388) as follows:
The Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “There is no one who says in the morning of every day and the evening of every night ‘Bismillah illadhi la yadurru ma’a ismihi shay’un fi’l-ard wa la fi’l-sama’ wa huwa al-samee’ ul-‘aleem (In the name of Allah with Whose name nothing can harm on earth or in heaven, and He is the All-Hearing, All-Knowing)’, three times but nothing will harm him.” At-Tirmidhi said: It is hasan saheeh ghareeb. It was classed as saheeh by Ibn al-Qayyim in Zaad al-Ma‘aad (2/338) and by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
It is proven in Saheeh Muslim that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: A man came to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and said: O Messenger of Allah, I was stung by a scorpion last night. He said: “If you had said, when evening came, ‘A’oodhu bi kalimaat Allaah al-taammah min sharri ma khalaq (I seek refuge in the perfect words of Allah from the evil of that which He has created)’, it would not have harmed you.” Narrated by Muslim (2709). According to a report narrated by at-Tirmidhi: “Whoever says three times when evening comes, ‘A’oodhu bi kalimaat Allaah al-taammah min sharri ma khalaq (I seek refuge in the perfect words of Allah from the evil of that which He has created)’, no fever will harm him that night.” No. 3604.
Another of the adhkaar that offers protection against evil and wards off harm, by Allah’s leave, is that which was narrated by ‘Abdullah ibn Khubayb (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: We went out on a rainy and very dark night, looking for the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) to lead us in prayer, and we found him. He said: “Say,” but I did not say anything. Then he said: “Say,” but I did not say anything. Then he said: “Say,” and I said: What should I say, O Messenger of Allah? He said: “Say: Qul huwa Allaahu Ahad and al-Mu’awwidhatayn, in the evening and in the morning, three times, and they will suffice you against all things.” Narrated by Abu Dawood (5082) and by at-Tirmidhi (3575), who said: It is hasan saheeh ghareeb. An-Nawawi said in al-Adhkaar (p. 107): Its isnaad is saheeh.
Al-Mu’awwidhatayn refers to the last two Surahs in the Qur’an:
‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib (may Allaah be pleased with him), who said that Faatimah (upon whom be peace) came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and asked him for a servant. He said, “Shall I not tell you of something that is better for you than that? When you go to sleep, say ‘Subhaan Allaah’ thirty-three times, ‘Al-hamdu Lillah’ thirty-three times, and ‘Allaahu akbar’ thirty four times.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 4943). In the Sunnah it is recommended for the Muslim to recite certain verses when he goes to bed. 
Among the soorahs and verses which we are recommended to recite are the following:
a) – Aayat al-Kursiy (al-Baqarah 2:255)
It says in a mu’allaq report narrated in Saheeh al-Bukhaari (2311) that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) appointed me to guard the zakaah of Ramadaan, then someone came and started rummaging in the foodstuff … and at the end of the hadeeth he said: “When you go to your bed, recite Aayat al-Kursiy, for there will remain with you a guardian from Allah, and no devil will approach you, until morning comes.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “He told you the truth although he is a liar. That was a devil.”
b) – The last two verses of Soorat al-Baqarah
It was narrated from Abu Mas’ood al-Ansaari (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever recites the last two verses of Soorat al-Baqarah at night, they will suffice him.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5009) and Muslim (2714). Ibn al-Qayyim said in al-Waabil al-Sayyib (132): They will suffice him against any evil that may harm him.
It was narrated that ‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him) said:
“I did not think that any sane person could sleep without reciting the last three verses of Soorat al-Baqarah.”
In al-Adhkaar (220), al-Nawawi attributed it to the report of Abu Bakr ibn Abi Dawood, then he said: It is saheeh according to the conditions of al-Bukhaari and Muslim.
c) – Soorat al-Isra’ and Soorat al-Zumar
It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would not go to sleep until he had recited Bani Israa’eel (Soorat al-Isra’) and al-Zumar.
Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (3402) who said: it is a hasan hadeeth. It was also classed as hasan by al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar in Nataa’ij al-Afkaar (3/65), and it was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
d) – Soorat al-Kaafiroon
It was narrated that Nawfal al-Ashja’i (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to me: “Recite Qul yaa ayyuha’l-kaafiroon then go to sleep at the end of it, for it is a disavowal of shirk.”
Narrated by Abu Dawood (5055) and al-Tirmidhi (3400); classed as hasan by Ibn Hajar in Nataa’ij al-Afkaar (3/6); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
e) – Surat al-Ikhlaas and al-Mi’wadhatayn [i.e., the last two surahs of the Qur’aan]
It was narrated from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) went to bed every night, he would hold his hands together and blow into them, and recite into them Qul Huwa Allaahu Ahad, Qul a’oodhu bi rabb il-falaq and Qul a’oodhu bi rabb il-naas. Then he would wipe them over whatever he could of his body, starting with his head and face and the front of his body, and he would do that three times. Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5017).
It was narrated that Ibraaheem al-Nakha’i said:
They regarded it as mustahabb to recite these Surahs every night three times: Qul Huwa Allaahu Ahad and al-Mi’wadhatayn. Al-Nawawi said in al-Adhkaar (221): its isnaad is saheeh according to the conditions of Muslim.
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Adhkaar (221):
“It is better for a person to do all that has been narrated of this matter, but if he cannot do that he should do whatever he is able to do.”
4. Daily adhkaar
There are so many adhkaar for every possible situation. Such as for entering the masjid entering and leaving the home, entering and leaving the bathroom. Again, we recommend you to download the book ‘Fortress of the Muslim’ as mentioned earlier.
Narrated Anas ibn Malik:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: When a man goes out of his house and says: “In the name of Allah, I trust in Allah; there is no might and no power but in Allah,” the following will be said to him at that time: “You are guided, defended and protected.” The devils will go far from him and another devil will say: How can you deal with a man who has been guided, defended and protected?
Grade : Sahih (Al-Albani)
Reference : Sunan Abi Dawud 5095
In-book reference : Book 43, Hadith 323
This above is just one example, for all these adkhaar, learn them, get them going in your life, step by step.
5. Protection of the house
Tim Humble then proceeds to talk about the need to make the house a place that remembers Allah much. Some of the points he makes are:
“Make your house a fortress, protected against the shaitaan. The bigger that haraam the more the shaitaan loves that haraam. Get rid of the haram in the house: Free mixing, pictures and images of living being and animals, TV, music, movies, get it all out. Make the house a place of prayer. Men praying sunnah in the house instead of in the masjid, because that is the sunnah. Make your house a place of knowledge, where the poor are welcome, where you give a lot of sadaqah. Make the house a place where shaitaan hates to be.”
We now come to the actual method of ruqyah:
Ruqyah is the treatment of sicknesses and afflictions through the recitation of the Quran, the Names of Allah and the authentic dua and adhkaar that are reported from the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam.
It can be used for any kind of sickness or affliction, anything for which you seek a cure. Whether it is psychological, physical, mental, medical, jinn, sihr, evil eye, magic, jealously. Whatever has afflicted you, ruqyah can be a cure bidhnillahi Tabaraka wa Ta’ala.
There is nothing wrong with going to someone for ruqyah because that is also from the Sunnah, but the way that is better for your imaan and your nearness to Allah and better for your cure is self ruqhyah.
Tim humble says that by his experience, those who get a quicker cure are those who do self treatment.
He says, “Some people will say that isn’t the intention important? Isn’t it important for me to know whats wrong with me before i start ruqyah. Some of my colleagues have said this. May Allah protect them.
However I have done some research on this issue and I feel confident in saying that at least in the early days you can do a general intention for a cure and insha’Allah that will benefit you and when you know what it is then you can become more specific insha’Allah. The evidence for this is that the dua the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam used for ruqyah was general for eg:
The Prophet (ﷺ) 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.”
حَدَّثَنَا عَمْرُو بْنُ عَلِيٍّ، حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى، حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ، حَدَّثَنِي سُلَيْمَانُ، عَنْ مُسْلِمٍ، عَنْ مَسْرُوقٍ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ ـ رضى الله عنها ـ أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَانَ يُعَوِّذُ بَعْضَ أَهْلِهِ، يَمْسَحُ بِيَدِهِ الْيُمْنَى وَيَقُولُ “ اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّ النَّاسِ أَذْهِبِ الْبَاسَ، اشْفِهِ وَأَنْتَ الشَّافِي، لاَ شِفَاءَ إِلاَّ شِفَاؤُكَ، شِفَاءً لاَ يُغَادِرُ سَقَمًا ”. قَالَ سُفْيَانُ حَدَّثْتُ بِهِ مَنْصُورًا فَحَدَّثَنِي عَنْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ عَنْ مَسْرُوقٍ عَنْ عَائِشَةَ نَحْوَهُ.
Reference : Sahih al-Bukhari 5743
In-book reference : Book 76, Hadith 58
And in some duas the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam combined between multiple things:
Abu Sa’id reported that Gabriel came to Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) and said:
Muhammad, have you fallen ill? Thereupon he said: Yes. He (Gabriel) said: “In the name of Allah I exorcise you from everything and safeguard you from every evil that may harm you and from the eye of a jealous one. Allah would cure you and I invoke the name of Allah for you.”
Reference : Sahih Muslim 2186
In-book reference : Book 39, Hadith 54
The treatment has various preconditions:
You direct all worship to Allah alone without giving the rights of Allah to anyone or anything else.
Trusting Allah completely and recognising that there is no cure except from Allah. If you believe you will get a cure from Mohammed Tim, I can promise you that you will not get a cure.
Again, strictly following the Sunnah.
You are not in possession of a Tahweez.
Ibn Mas’ud said, “The Tahweez are haraam from the Quran and from anything other than the Quran.”
Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala says, “And they followed [instead] what the devils had recited during the reign of Solomon. It was not Solomon who disbelieved, but the devils disbelieved, teaching people magic and that which was revealed to the two angels at Babylon, Harut and Marut. But the two angels do not teach anyone unless they say, “We are a trial, so do not disbelieve [by practicing magic].” And [yet] they learn from them that by which they cause separation between a man and his wife. But they do not harm anyone through it except by permission of Allah . And the people learn what harms them and does not benefit them. But the Children of Israel certainly knew that whoever purchased the magic would not have in the Hereafter any share. And wretched is that for which they sold themselves, if they only knew.” [Quran 2:102] For more on the prohibition on Tahweez, please read: https://www.facebook.com/notes/dar-basim/taweez-is-it-a-sunnah-or-is-it-free-from-doubts/395525187179480/
You are praying your 5 daily prayers
The next thing is to prepare the environment to do ruqyah in:
Tim Humble says,
“It is most likely the person will try to harm themselves. Rarely will they harm you. Make sure there is nothing in the environment that allows him or her to do that. Lock the doors, keeps knives or objects of any kind far away from reach etc.
It is best practise to do ruqyah with a partner who can monitor the situation.
NOTE: Cases where the patient reacts in a crazy manner to cause harm to himself are very very rare.
I want to be clear that ruqyah means reciting the Quran and not playing some audio.
You can use ruqyah audio to supplement your ruqyah, but it does not count as ruqyah.Do it as a supplement, as a bonus.”
Steps to perform ruqyah
1. Purify your intention
2. Ask Allah Subhana hu wa Ta’ala for his aid.
3. Begin by saying:
أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيم
4. Every single day, a minimum of 45 minutes, by Tim’s experience, continue reading:
a) Surat Al Fatihah
Either one time. Or 3 times. Or 7 times. Or a random number of times not aiming for a fixed number.
Bismillahi arqika, min kulli shay’in yu’dhika, min sharri kulli nafsin aw ‘ayni hasidi,
Allahu yashfika, bismillahi arqika
In the name of Allah I exorcise you from everything and safeguard you from every evil that may harm you and from the eye of a jealous one.
Allah would cure you and I invoke the name of Allah for you.
Reference : Sahih Muslim 2186
In-book reference : Book 39, Hadith 54
” بسم الله الذي لا يضر مع اسمه شيء في الأرض ولا في السماء وهو السميع العليم “
Bismillah illadhi la yadurru ma’a ismihi shay’un fi’l-ard wa la fi’l-sama’ wa huwa al-samee’ ul-‘aleem
In the name of Allah with Whose name nothing can harm on earth or in heaven, and He is the All-Hearing, All-Knowing.
At-Tirmidhi said: It is hasan saheeh ghareeb. It was classed as saheeh by Ibn al-Qayyim in Zaad al-Ma‘aad (2/338) and by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
” أعوذ بكلمات الله التامات من شر ما خلق “
‘A’oodhu bi kalimaat Allaah al-taammah min sharri ma khalaq
I seek refuge in the perfect words of Allah from the evil of that which He has created.
Narrated by Muslim (2709)
It is related that Ibn ‘Abbas said, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to seek refuge for al-Hasan and al-Husayn (when they were small). He said, Your fore father (Ibraheem A.S) used to seek refuge – with it for Isma’il and Ishaq, and this is the dua the prophet s.a.w recited for them:
’A‛oodhu bial-laahi wa qudratih min shar-ri maa ajidu wa uḥaadhir (7 Times)
Place your hand at the site of the pain and say:
“In the name of Allah.” (three times)
“I seek refuge with Allah and His omnipotence from the evil of what I feel and that which I am wary of.” (Seven times)
Make sure you are making the following changes depending on who you are reading the above dua’s for, this basically means ‘I seek refuge from Allah for you’:
If you like you can repeat an Ayah. Like some of the scholars used to do.
Whenever you wish you may blow. With or without spittle. You may blow in your hands and put them on the person.
You may blow in your hands and put them on the person. You may read while holding the person. You may read into the persons ear. You may read and blow after every Ayah. After every Surah. Or every page. Whatever the Sunnah allows.
What if there is a non Mahram, then how can you touch?
You will need the presence of a Mahram. If not available, then at least the presence of another sister. All physical contact should not be done by you.
You are further than arm’s length away from her. So you can’t get touchy feely by accident and for safety.
Recite from behind her head so you don’t have to worry about lowering your gaze. Note that she is obviously in her proper full hijab.
Coming back to Mahram, there is no harm in you touching but remember to:
Touch feel what’s going on
Keep an eye for what’s going on
Listen to what’s going on
DO NOT HIT CAUSE YOU DON’T KNOW HOW-Although it’s allowed.
If you see some movement in the body, e.g. arm starts to move, just focus your blowing, focus your rubbing in that area.
NOTE: If there are other specific Ayat related to the sickness  , you are welcome to recite any Ayat that you wish. But after the 45 minutes.
Tim says, “Because I fear for you something that I fell in for a while, I would be reading Surat Saffat instead of Falaq and Naas which were REVEALED to treat these problems. And i would run out of time and realise i didn’t read the quls.”
If you have more than 45 minutes you can also recite Surat Al Baqarah.
“It is one of the most important tools against magic and the magicians. You can break it up but what is recommend is to finish as much as you can in one go.”
The Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam told us that its recitation in a house keeps the Satan away:
Abu Hurayrah reports that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) said: “Do not make your houses like graves, for the Shaytan runs away from a house in which Surat al-Baqarah is recited.”
[Narrated by Muslim, 780]
If depends upon the seriousness of the situation. If it’s really serious than finish reciting the entire Surah along with your 45 minutes.
You may also keep a bottle of good quality olive oil, and regularly blow into the oil as you are reading. This can also be done with water, preferably zamzam.
You can use them during or later on in the treatment.
You generally rub the olive oil and and the water you either spray or drink.
On Islamqa.info it says:
He may also recite the above into water, some of which should be drunk by the person who has been affected by sihr, and he should wash with the rest, one or more times as needed. This will remove the sihr by Allah’s leave. This was mentioned by the scholars (may Allah have mercy on them), and by Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Hasan (may Allah have mercy on him) in Fath al-Majeed Sharh Kitab al-Tawheed, in (the chapter entitled) Bab Ma ja a fi’l-Nushrah, and by others. 
There are healing benefits in oil, black seeds and honey.
About oil, the Messenger Sallallaahu alayhi Wasallam said:
“Eat olive oil and anoint yourselves with it, for it is from a blessed tree.”
[Tirmidhi At’ima, 43]
“Eat olive oil with your bread, and oil yourselves with it, for it is from a blessed tree.”
[Ibn Maja, At’ima, 34]
“Eat the oil and use it on your hair and skin, for it comes from a blessed tree.”
[Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 1775; see also Saheeh al-Jaami]
About Black seeds, the Messenger Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said:
“In it there is healing for every disease, except as-saam.” Ibn Shihaab said: As-saam is death.
[Al-Bukhaari (5688) and Muslim (2215)]
About honey, Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’la has said:
“And your Lord inspired the bees, saying: “Take you habitations in the mountains and in the trees and in what they erect. (68) “Then, eat of all fruits, and follow the ways of your Lord made easy (for you).” There comes forth from their bellies, a drink of varying colour wherein is healing for men. Verily, in this is indeed a sign for people who think”
[Surat al-Nahl : Ayahs 68-69]
Abu Sa’id al-Khudri reported: A man came to the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and he said, “My brother has diarrhea.” The Prophet said, “Give him honey to drink.” The man gave him honey to drink and he said, “I gave it to him but his diarrhea only got worse.” The Prophet said, “Allah told the truth and your brother’s stomach is mistaken.” He gave him more honey and get got better.
Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 5386, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 4114
Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi (authenticity agreed upon) according to Al-Bukhari and Muslim
Now the next question is this:
What might happen after the 45 minutes session above is implemented?
Tim Humble says, “In the vast majority of cases 60 to 70% nothing might happen. But do NOT stop at least for a month. Because so many times the problem takes time to come up.”
If it’s medical, go to the doctor AND do ruqyah. As long as you don’t feel well continue doing ruqyah. Even if the Ruqyah made you feel better on the first day, continue the Ruqyah for one month.
If people start to get mild reactions, like they don’t start feeling well, their finger or mouth twists or they don’t feel well,manage it kindly with more ruqyah and water.
If it’s severe, if the jinn manifests itself and starts speaking, very kindly tell them to leave and that you are not there to harm him, don’t create pacts, or oaths. Give a little dawah. Don’t listen to their stories. Stay on message, nicely and simply tell them to leave, invite them to the religion of Islam. Tell them I’m asking you in the Name of Allah to leave and if you leave no harm will come to you. But if you don’t I will continue reading. Simple. Don’t go into a conversation. Stick to the message.
Now for the violent reaction. Very rare where the person kicks or beats. Your first concern is their safety not yours. Don’t run out of the room. Safely restrain them proactively. Meaning before they start hurting themselves restrain them. Put some gentle pressure on the shoulders.
Tim says, “One of the rare cases I would touch a women who is non mahram is when the Mahram cannot handle it and the women is hurting herself. Focus on the recitation to weaken them not your strength. That’s why you have a partner, and you are mashing them weak by the permission of Allah through the recitation.”
Another way of healing practised by the Prophet Mohammed Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam was hijamah, please read in full here: https://islamqa.info/en/3268
Tim Humble says about hijamah, “It’s more useful towards the end of the ruqyah when the problem is almost gone.”
Don’t worry if it takes too long
Tim Humble says “It is because Allah wants to test your iman as He promised He would do in the Quran.”
And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient, Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: “Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.” Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are the [rightly] guided. [Surat Al Baqarah: Ayahs 155-157]
Whoever desires the life of this world and its adornments – We fully repay them for their deeds therein, and they therein will not be deprived. They are those for whom there is nothing in the Hereafter but Fire; And lost is what they did therein, and worthless is what they used to do. [Surat Hud: Aayah 15]
The Salaf-us-Saalih have commented on this verse:
Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas RadhiAllahu ‘Anhu said concerning this verse, “Verily those who show off, will be given their reward for their good deeds in this life. This will be so that they are not wronged, even the amount equivalent to the size of the speck on a date-stone.” Ibn `Abbas Radhi Allahu ‘Anhu continued saying, “Therefore, whoever does a good deed seeking to acquire worldly gain – like fasting, prayer, or standing for prayer at night – and he does so in order to acquire worldly benefit, then Allah says, `Give him the reward of that which he sought in the worldly life,’ and his deed that he did is wasted because he was only seeking the life of this world. In the Hereafter he will be of the losers.”
Mujahid and others said, “This verse was revealed concerning the people who perform deeds to be seen.”
Qatadah said, “Whoever’s concern, intention and goal is this worldly life, then Allah will reward him for his good deeds in this life. Then, when he reaches the next life, he will not have any good deeds that will be rewarded. However, concerning the believer, he will be rewarded for his good deeds in this life and in the Hereafter as well.”
[The commentary above was taken from Tafseer Ibn Kathir]
Let’s focus on those golden words above once again to understand that Qatadah Rahimahullah is talking about two people, who are doing absolutely the SAME deed, but one wins only in this world and the other wins both here and in the hereafter:
“Whoever’s concern, intention and goal is this worldly life, then Allah will reward him for his good deeds in this life. Then, when he reaches the next life, he will not have any good deeds that will be rewarded.”
“Concerning the believer, he will be rewarded for his good deeds in this life and in the Hereafter as well.”
Take the example from Part 1 of this topic where the wealthy man spent his provision in the path of Allah, and yet he will be thrown into the hell fire. The other man whose provision was half a date that he spent in charity, is likely to be saved from the fire. Both men are doing the SAME deed of spending and yet one excels only in this world while the other excels both in this world and in the hereafter. Half a date of charity outweighed a lifetime of accumulated wealth. The intention made the difference.
Your intention is such an important aspect of your deed that you can use to invest EVERYTHING that you do here in this world and gain reward in the hereafter, even acts that you may not consider to be worship towards Allah such as: sleeping, eating, playing football, going to the gym, cooking, painting. How, you ask? Where is the proof from the Qur’an and Sunnah you ask? Let us explore the topic of intention (sincerity towards Allah) a bit more and truly realize how broad it is and what we are missing out on.
The famous hadeeth on niyyah
The Commander of the Faithful, Umar ibn al-Khattab, relates that he heard Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) say:
“Actions are but by intentions and every man will have only what he intended. So whoever emigrated for Allah and His Messenger, then his emigration was for Allah and His Messenger. And whoever emigrated to attain something of this world or to marry a woman, then his emigration was for whatever reason he emigrated.”
[Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim]
This hadeeth is so important that Imam Al-Bukhari chose to record this as the very first hadeeth in the famous Sahih Al-Bukhari. Imam As-Shafi`i said: “This hadeeth contains a third of knowledge. It applies to seventy distinct branches of Islamic Law.”
Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal said that this hadeeth is one of three that covers the principles of Islam.
The background of the hadeeth is as follows:
When the believers were migrating from Makkah to Madinah, some Muslims immigrated for the love and pleasure of Allah. But others migrated for worldly gain.
It is related that a man sought the hand of a woman called Umm Qays. She refused to marry him unless he undertook the emigration to Madinah. So he made the emigration and married her in Madinah. He became known as “the emigrant to Umm Qays”. Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, in his commentary on Sahih al-Bukhari entitled Fath al-Bari, asserts that the story of the “emigrant to Umm Qays” is authentic. In fact, its chain of transmission fulfills all of the conditions of authenticity set forth by al-Bukhari and Muslim. However, Ibn Hajar also points out that there is no evidence to indicate that the Prophet (Sallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) was referring to this incident when he said “Actions are but by intentions…” In any case, this hadeeth is general in its meaning relating in some way to every action that has or should have an intention behind it.
So we see two men, both migrating to the city of Madinah. Both undertaking the tedious, weary task of giving up their nice comfortable homes that they lived in for so long, leaving behind wealth and possession, a fantastic secure job, then taking the trouble of travelling for many hundreds of miles to get to a destination that was completely new to them and could possibly be the beginning of a tough time to settle in. Both these men are going through the SAME thing. But one gains the reward of Allah and the other doesn’t. One wins and the other loses. Isn’t that astonishing? What makes the difference? The intention. One did it for the pleasure of Allah. The other for a woman.
The winner converted his action to worship by a simple intention in the heart to please Allah.
So the lesson here is that: the famous hadeeth on niyyah is not just for established acts of worship in our shariah, like fasting or praying. Rather this hadeeth is for any permissible deed that we do. This is what Ahmad ibn Hanbal understood from the hadeeth, because he said: “I prefer that when anyone does any deed – whether it be prayer, fasting, or charity, or whether it be any other kind of virtuous deed – he should have his intentions always precede his actions, for the Prophet (Sallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) said: ‘Actions are but by intentions…’.”
The important lesson above is stressed in the following quote by Sheikh Salih Al-Munajjid:
It should be noted that intentions are of two types : 1 – Obligatory intention, without which an act of worship is not valid, such as the intention in doing wudoo’, praying, paying zakah (obligatory alms), fasting and doing Hajj (Pilgrimage). This intention is something that no one can do without. When you pray, you already have an intention in your heart. It is difficult for a person to forget to form the intention in such cases.
2 – The second type of intention is that which is mustahabb (preferable) in order to attain reward. This is what some people forget, which is to keep the intention in mind when doing permissible things, so that they will be acts of worship, such as eating, drinking and sleeping with the intention of strengthening oneself to do acts of worship, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
“You will never spend anything that you spend for the sake of Allah, but you will be rewarded for it, even the morsel of food that you put in your wife’s mouth.”
Narrated by al-Bukhari (56)
And similarly, the Messenger of Allah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam said to Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas Radhi Allahu ‘Anhu:
“You will not spend charity with which you seek Allah’s Face, but you will ascend a higher degree and status because of it, including what you put in your wife’s mouth.”
Saheeh Al-Bukhari and Muslim, as noted in Tafsir Ibn Kathir under Aayah 2:274
It should also be noted that:
1) Your niyyah needs to precede your action.
2) The niyyah is in the heart.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said “The intention of purifying oneself by doing wudoo’ ghusl or tayammum, of praying, fasting, paying zakaah, offering kaffarah (expiation) and other acts of worship does not need to be uttered verbally, according to the consensus of the imaams of Islam. Rather the place of intention is the heart, according to the consensus among them. If a person utters something by mistake that goes against what is in his heart, then what counts is what he intended, not what he said.” 
3) A person’s intention should be comprised of:
A– That he is performing the specific act of worship, like wudoo’, salah, zakah etc. (This is important because you cannot make the intention after the act of worship. For e.g. you take a shower and then after you finish you cannot make the intention that you performed ghusl and expect reward from it).
B– That he’s performing it for the sake of Allah
C– That he’s performing the act of worship so as to fulfill the command of Allah
This is the complete intention (Allah knows best).
[Sharh Riyadh Us Saliheen by Shaikh ibn ‘Uthaymeen (1/14)]
How doing the same deed made one a winner and the other a loser
Now let us see some more examples of how the same deed made people winners and others losers because one intended by the deed to seek the pleasure of Allah and the other didn’t.
Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala says:
“There is no good in most of their secret talks save (in) him who orders Sadaqah (charity in Allah’s Cause), or Ma’ruf (Islamic Monotheism and all the good and righteous deeds which Allah has ordained), or conciliation between mankind, and he who does this, seeking the good Pleasure of Allah, We shall give him a great reward.” [Surat An-Nisaa’: 114]
Ibn Rajab comments on this verse:
“Allah describes enjoining alms giving, goodness, and reconciliation as good deeds in and of themselves. This is because such deeds benefit the people. However, Allah only promises a reward to those who carry out these deeds “seeking the good pleasure of Allah”. Therefore, if a person performs these good and beneficial deeds for the sake of Allah, then the deeds will be good for him as well as for those who benefit from his deeds. If he had other ulterior motives, then these deeds will be of no good for him. [Jami` al-`Ulum wa al-Hikam]
Similarly, using Ibn Rajab’s words again, the deed such as going to the gym may be a good deed in and of itself because you may do it to improve your health and stay fit. However, Allah only promises a reward to those who carry out this deed “seeking the good pleasure of Allah”.
You can just about place any good deed in the underlined part above and it will still hold true. Lets try again.
A deed such as sleeping may be a good deed in and of itself because you may do it to relieve yourself from the hardships of the day. However, Allah only promises a reward to those who carry out this deed “seeking the good pleasure of Allah”.
See? It is that simple. It requires you to be attentive of Allah in your actions all the time, whether you’re sitting, moving, at your work place, with your family, with your friends, whatever and wherever. As Allah says:
Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding. Those who remember Allah (always, and in prayers) standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying): “Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose, glory to You! (Exalted be You above all that they associate with You as partners).
Then protect us from the punishment of the Fire. [Surat Aal ‘Imran: Aayahs 190-191]
Mu’adh (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
I sleep and I get up (to pray at night), and I seek reward for my sleep as I seek reward for my getting up.
Narrated by al-Bukhari (4088)
He (may Allah be pleased with him) sought reward for his sleep just as he sought reward for his getting up to pray at night, because he intended by sleeping to gain strength to do acts of worship. Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar said in al-Fath: What this means is that he sought reward by resting just as he sought reward by striving, because if the intention in resting is to enable one to do acts of worship, one attains reward.
So why can’t we make the same intention when we work, play football, cook food, wash ourselves or whatever, to be sincere to Allah and seek reward through it? Take each of the deeds just mentioned and relate it to the hereafter:
Work:Hasn’t the Prophet Sallalahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam commanded us numerous times to work for our provision, one being in the following hadeeth :
It was narrated that ‘Aishah RadhiAllahu ‘Anha said:
“The Messenger of Allah said:
“The best (most Pure) food that a man eats is that which he has earned himself.”
Sunan an-Nasa’i 4449
In-book reference : Book 44, Hadith 1
English translation : Vol. 5, Book 44, Hadith 4454
In another hadeeth:
Ka`b ibn `Ujarah رضي الله عنه said: “A man passed by the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and his Companions were impressed by the man’s strength and energy. They said: ‘O Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم, if only this was for the sake of Allah!’ The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said: ❝If he goes out to work for the sake of his young children, he is striving for the sake of Allah; if he goes out to work for the sake of his aged parents, he is striving for the sake of Allah; if he goes out to work to keep himself from having to beg, he is striving for the sake of Allah; but if he goes out to work for the purposes of showing off and boasting, then he is striving in the way of the Shaytaan.❞
[Al-Tabaraanee in al-Kabeer (282) and in al-Sagheer (940) and graded as “Saheeh li-ghairihi” by Shaikh al-Albaanee in Saheeh al-Targheeb (1692 & 1959) and in as-Saheehah (2232) from the Hadeeth of Abu Hurairah]
Most of us have a Monday to Friday fixed hours job that we get up for about 70% of the times in a week. We get up to go to work, why can’t we go to work to worship Allah? A simple sincere conscious intention towards seeking the pleasure of Allah is all that is required.
Say you are a doctor. Abu ‘Aisha Amjad writes , “The Muslim doctor should hope for Allah’s reward and good recompense. He (or she) should be sincere to Allah in his (or her) profession and should not practice medicine only for his (or her) status to be acknowledged. Rather he (or she) should be sincere and hope for Allah’s reward.* Alqamah Ibn Waqqaas Al-Laythiy said: I heard Umar Ibn Al-khattaab (radiyallaahu-‘anhu) saying whilst on the minbar: I heard the Messenger of Allah (sallal-laahu-‘alayhi-wasallam ) saying: إنما الأعمال بالنيات وإنما لكل امرئ ما نوى فمن كانت هجرته إلى الله ورسوله فهجرته إلى الله ورسوله ومن كانت هجرته لدنيا يصيبها أو امرأة ينكحها فهجرته إلى ما هاجر إليه “Actions are (judged) by intentions and every person will have what he intended. So he whose migration was to Allah and His Messenger, his migration is to Allah and His Messenger. And he whose migration was for some worldly (gain) or for a woman to marry, then his migration is to that for which he migrated.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Why don’t we think about the above before we go to work? All it requires is a sincere intention and then Allah will reward us even whilst we are typing away on a computer or performing a heart surgery or whatever our job is, because our intention was to please Him alone.
Play football: Hasn’t the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam commanded us in numerous places to stay fit, healthy and strong, one of which is:
“A strong believer is better and is more lovable to Allah than a weak believer.”
In-book reference : Sahih Muslim, Book 46, Hadith 52
USC-MSA web (English) reference : Book 33, Hadith 6441
Why don’t we think about this before we start exercising or going to the gym or playing for physical fitness. All we have to do is form a sincere intention towards Allah to please Him abiding by the commandments He gave us to follow Himself for taking care of our-selves. And then we can enjoy both this time of keeping ourselves healthy in this world and also reap reward in the hereafter because we converted our action into worship for the sake of Allah.
Cook Food: Hasn’t Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’la said:
O you who have believed, eat from the good things which We have provided for you and be grateful to Allah if it is [indeed] Him that you worship.
[Surat Al-Baqarah: Aayah 172]
Why don’t we think about this before we start cooking or eating, why don’t we think about wanting to please Allah, forming an intention and then proceeding with the action and gaining numerous reward at the same time in this world and hereafter as opposed to the one who starts the deed without being conscious of Allah and thus not benefiting from the time and effort that he/she spends cooking and eating?
Washing ourselves: Hasn’t the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam taught us by his actions to clean ourselves, one incident being:
“The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to relieve himself, then another boy and I would bring a vessel of water and a short spear [to use as a sutrah for the prayer he was going to do after doing wudoo’] and he would cleanse himself with the water.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 149; Muslim, 271
Why don’t we think about this action of cleansing that the Prophet Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam did before entering the bathroom, reciting the du’aas that he Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam has taught us to say before entering the bathroom, forming an intention to please Allah to clean ourselves for His sake and His pleasure because the Prophet Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam used to clean himself and thus gain the reward of Allah and His Blessings, Mercy and Victory in this world and the hereafter?
These are just some deeds that we do everyday. We do many more and by Allah! we will find something in the Qur’an or Sunnah guiding us and telling us how to go about doing it.
Do you see how Allah has guided us in every single matter of our lives from prayer to professional work to how to clean ourselves in the bathroom to physical fitness? Allah has showed us how His religion is comprehensively part of everything that we do here in this world and how we can relate everything to Him and seek His pleasure and gain great reward.
And why else would Allah tell us to say and remind ourselves that:
Say (O Muhammad Sallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam): “Verily, my Salat (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists).
[Surat Al-An’am: Aayah 162]
Allah has guided us in every aspect of our lives and has taught us how to relate everything that we do with seeking His pleasure and the Hereafter. And the one who doesn’t do so, is not mindful of Allah in all his activities and therefore has no sincerity or intention behind what he does and he just aimlessly does the deed, is surely in loss. This also goes for the people who don’t make an effort to know Allah and don’t invest the time to build a relationship with Allah that would have helped them to remember and want to please Allah all the time in whatever they do. Such people will surely be in loss in the hereafter. Which is why the great scholar Imaam lbn al-Qayyim Rahimahullah said:
“The lifespan of a person is the period of his life, and there is no life for the one who has turned away from the (worship) of Allah, and is occupied with other than Him, rather the life of the animals is better than his life. For indeed, a person’s life is by way of his heart and soul, and there is no life for a person’s heart except by having knowledge of its Creator, having love for Him, and worship of Him alone, turning to Him in repentance, having tranquility and comfort in His remembrance, and having delight in drawing closer to Him. So whoever is deprived of this life has indeed been deprived of goodness in its entirety. Rather there is nothing in this world with all that it has that could compensate for this life (of having knowledge of Allah, worshiping Him, and having delight in drawing closer to Him etc).
Some practical steps in order for us to be mindful of Allah and seek reward from our deed with a sincere intention:
Sheikh Saalih Al-Munajjid writes:
“What helps to keep this intention in mind is:
Deliberating, thinking and not being hasty.
So you should think about what you are intending to do, take stock of yourself before acting, think about whether it is halaal or haraam (permissible or impermissible), then look at your intention:
What do you want from this?
Every time you take stock of yourself and think before acting, this will remind you about forming the intention, until it becomes second nature and a habit that you adopt, so that you will not enter or exit, eat or drink, give or withhold, without having an intention in doing so; thus most of your time will become times of worship.”
And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.
I do not want from them any provision, nor do I want them to feed Me.
Verily, Allah is the All-Provider, Owner of Power, the Most Strong.
[Surat Adh-Dhariyaat: Aayahs 56-58]
It is possible for you to worship Allah 24 hours a day. You are not worshiping Allah only when you are in the mosque. Your entire life can revolve around worship. You are here for the hereafter. You were given life because of worship. And your sincerity, your intention towards Allah will make the difference.
When you come across the aayaahs in the Qur’an that speak of the hell fire, you are left terrified, shaken, broken by the extreme nature with which Allah describes the destruction of it! Aayaahs of the Qur’an such as:
In fierce hot wind and boiling water And a shade of black smoke, Neither cool nor beneficial [Surat Al-Waaqi’ah: Aayahs 42-44]
There will be sent against you both, smokeless flames of fire and (molten) brass, and you will not be able to defend yourselves. [Surat Ar-Rahmaan: Aayah 35]
For them there will be no food except from a poisonous, thorny plant, which neither nourishes nor avails against hunger. [Surat Al-Ghashiyah: Aayahs 6-7]
Wherein he will neither die nor live. [Surat Al-A’la: Aayah 13]
It is a fire about whose intense heat in comparison to that of the fire on earth has been described by the Prophet Sallalahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam when he said,
“The fire of the Children of Adam that you all kindle is one part of the seventy parts of the fire of Hell.”
They (the Companions) said, “O Messenger of Allah! Isn’t it sufficient’?’
He replied,” It is more than it by sixty-nine times.”
Al-Bukhari and Muslim
It is a fire whose severe isolation and loneliness has been described by the sahabah and many scholars of the past.
Ibn ‘Abbas RadhiAllahu Anhu said, “Its doors will be closed.” and “they will have chains on their necks, and the gates (of Hell) will be shut upon them.”
Ad-Dahhak said, ُ”It will be sealed over them and it will have no door.”
Qatadah said, ُ”It will be shut and there will be no light in it, no escape, and no way out of it forever.”
Thabit Al-Bunani said, “It will burn them all the way to their hearts while they are still alive.” Then he said, “Indeed the torment will reach them.” Then he cried.
Such horrifying reports of the fire that Allah has prepared make you wonder how evil the people who enter it must have been, so much so that they weren’t able to attain Mercy from the Most Generous of those Who grants Mercy and Forgiveness. As Allah says:
None shall enter it save the most wretched. [Surat Al-Layl: Aayah 15]
These must have been some really reaaaaally bad people who did some reaaally bad deeds.
But do you know who are the very first amongst the people who will enter such a fire? Here are the first three:
A man who studied religious knowledge and taught it and who used to recite the Qur’an.
A man who spent his wealth in every way possible way that Allah likes.
A man who died as a martyr in the path of Allah.
You don’t believe it? It is what the Prophet Sallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam said himself:
On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say:
“The first of people against whom judgement will be pronounced on the Day of Resurrection will be a man who died a martyr.
He will be brought and Allah will make known to him His favors and he will recognize them.
[The Almighty] will say: ‘And what did you do about them?’
He will say: ‘I fought for You until I died a martyr.’
He will say: ‘You have lied – you did but fight that it might be said [of you]: ‘He is courageous.’
And so it was said. Then he will be ordered to be dragged along on his face until he is cast into Hell-fire.
[Another] will be a man who has studied [religious] knowledge and has taught it and who used to recite the Qur’an. He will be brought and Allah will make known to him His favors and he will recognize them.
[The Almighty] will say: ‘And what did you do about them?’
He will say: ‘I studied [religious] knowledge and I taught it and I recited the Qur’an for Your sake.’
He will say: ‘You have lied – you did but study [religious] knowledge that it might be said [of you]: ‘He is learned.’ And you recited the Qur’an that it might be said [of you]: ‘He is a reciter.’
And so it was said. Then he will be ordered to be dragged along on his face until he is cast into the Hell-fire.
[Another] will be a man whom Allah had made rich and to whom He had given all kinds of wealth. He will be brought and Allah will make known to him His favors and he will recognize them.
[The Almighty] will say: ‘And what did you do about them?’
He will say: ‘I left no path [un-trodden] in which You like money to be spent without spending in it for Your sake.’
He will say: ‘You have lied – you did but do so that it might be said [of you]: ‘He is open-handed.’
And so it was said. Then he will be ordered to be dragged along on his face until he is cast into Hell-fire.”
It was related by Muslim (also by at-Tirmidhi and an-Nasa’i)
While Abu Hurayrah RadhiAllahu ‘Anhu was narrating this hadeeth, he was so traumatized by it that he kept gasping until his head fell forward and he needed the support of another person beside him.
These three people, in spite of all their hard earned effort towards doing good deeds, where did they fail? The failed in their sincerity towards Allah. And only that caused them to enter the Hell fire. Their intention is what made the difference.
We learn from this that just doing a good deed is not enough. What plays an even more important role in deciding whether that deed will be accepted by Allah, is the intention behind it.
The Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“Allaah does not accept any deed except that which is done only for Him and to seek His pleasure.”
Narrated by al-Nasaa’i, 3140; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in as-Silsilah as-Saheehah, 52.
The question that should be asked to yourself before doing any good deed is:
Am I doing this to please Allah?
They fell into something called Riya (showing off).
In al-Musnad (27742), it is narrated that Mahmoud ibn Labeed said that the Messenger of Allaah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam said:
“The thing that I fear most for you is minor shirk.” They said: “O Messenger of Allah, what is minor shirk?” He said: “Showing off, for Allah will say on the Day when people are recompensed for their actions: ‘Go to those for whom you were showing off with your deeds in the world, and see what reward you find with them.’”
Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in as-Silsilah as-Saheehah, 951.
Allah has mentioned in the Qur’an with regards to shirk:
“Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship).” [Surat An-Nisa: Aayah 48]
And although riya is regarded as minor shirk, it must be avoided just as major shirk is avoided.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: Do the words of Allah, “Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship)” [an-Nisa’ 4:48] include minor shirk?
He replied: “The scholars differed concerning that. Some of them said that it includes all kinds of shirk, even minor shirk such as swearing by something other than Allah; Allah will not forgive him. But with regard to major sins, such as drinking alcohol and zina, they are subject to the will of Allah; if Allah wills He will forgive them and if He wills He will punish them. Shaykh al-Islam [Ibn Taymiyah] said different things. On one occasion he said: Allah does not forgive shirk even if it is minor. And on another occasion he said: That which Allah does not forgive is major shirk. Whatever the case, we must beware of shirk altogether, because the general meaning may include minor shirk too, because He says “Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him” meaning any partner, therefore it suggests any kind of shirk. End quote from Majmoo’ Fataawa as-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (2/203).
We can notice how riya ties to shirk even in the following hadeeth where we see how we may incur the anger and wrath of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, who is the Most Merciful, if we do our deeds to show off to others than Allah:
The Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam said:
“Allah – the Blessed and Sublime – says: “I am in no need of partners. Whoever does a deed for the sake of others as well as me, I leave his deed for those others.'”
We see how it affects one of the most important principles of Tawheed (to single out Allah in all acts of worship and to abandon the worship of anything else) which is:
Tawheed Al-Uloohiyyah – “to single out Allah within the actions of the servant.”
This includes all actions that draw them closer to Allah, Glorified and Exalted, like Du’aa (supplicaton). All forms of worship must be strictly for Allah alone, and nothing can be done for other than Him. This is what is called tawheed al-‘ibaadah, or tawheed al-uloohiyyah, and it is the tawheed that is put into practice as the servant singles out Allah in everything He has requested, with an intention for Him alone, in all acts of obedience. [Taken from Shaykh Saalih ibn ‘Abdillaah Al-Fawzaan’s book-Duroos min Al-Qur’aan Al-Kareem (p.12-14).]
“Shirk among you will be more subtle than the footsteps of an ant, but I will teach you something which, if you do it, both minor and major shirk will be kept away from you. Say:
اللهم إني أعوذ بك أن أشرك بك وأنا أعلم وأستغفرك لما لا أعلم
Allahumma inni a’oodhu bika an ushrika bika wa ana a’lam wa astaghfiruka lima la a’lam. (O Allah, I seek refuge with You from associating anything with You knowingly, and I seek Your forgiveness for that of which I am unaware).”
Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3731
It is tragic to know how many times we fall into this error. When we stand up for salah, do we stand up with the sole purpose of seeking Allah’s pleasure alone or do a thousand other thoughts run in our mind because of which prayer just becomes a ritual that we do to go with the flow that everyone else is going in? Do we stand up to pray just to be seen by others to save our reputation which is at stake when people start realizing we don’t come to the mosque so often? When I invite people over for dinner am I doing it so that I receive praises of how delicious and costly the food is and make them listen to the trouble you had to go through to arrange for it? When once in a blue moon you call your parents to check on how they are doing, do you see the deed as just a chore that you need to get out of the way so that you don’t have to listen to your parents complaining about you not keeping in touch with them so often? Where is Allah in our minds when we do all these so called ‘good deeds’? The pleasure of Allah is the last thing in our minds let alone the only thing.
We can do all the good deeds that we want, be as righteous, humble, knowledgeable, devoted to worship in the eyes of people as much as we want, but if there is no connection that we make between our deeds and the pleasure of Allah, we are doing it all for nothing.
Even the Jews and Christians do good deeds
Even the Jews and Christians do a lot of good deeds, maybe sometimes even more so than a lot of the Muslims in today’s time. But Umar ibn Al Khattab RadhiAllahu ‘Anhu would look at the righteousness of these folks and start crying, for he understood that all that hard work was going to get them nowhere except into the Hell fire.
Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Al-Burqani narrated from Abu `Imran Al-Jawni that he said,
“Umar bin Al-Khattab passed by the monastery of a monk and he said: `O monk!’
Then the monk came out, and `Umar looked at him and began to weep.
Then it was said to him: `O Commander of the faithful! Why are you weeping?’ He replied: `I remembered the statement of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, in His Book:
‘Working [hard] and exhausted (in doing their deeds). They will enter in the hot blazing Fire,’ [Surat Al-Ghaashiyah: Aayahs 3-4]
So that is what has made me cry. ‘
Ibn Kathir writes for the explanation of the Aayah above, ‘they did many deeds and became weary in their performance, yet they will be cast into a blazing Fire on the Day of Judgement.’
Can we say the same for us and many of our deeds?
Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala constantly reminds us throughout the Qur’an of the importance of accompanying ‘belief in Allah’ along with our righteous deeds. The same Aayah is repeated again and again:
Except for those who have believe and do righteous deeds.. [Surat Al-Asr: Aayah 3]
Ibn Kathir writes concerning this Ayah, “Allah makes an exception, among the species of man being in loss, for those who believe in their hearts and work righteous deeds with their limbs.”
The element of having belief i.e. being mindful of Allah, while we do good deeds cannot be taken lightly. We should be afraid of becoming from the people who used to do so much work and so many good deeds whom Allah will treat as follows:
And We will regard what they have done of deeds and make them as dust dispersed. [Surat Al-Furqan: Aayah 23]
Under the Ayah above, Ibn Kathir quotes this Ayah:
O you who believe! Do not render in vain your Sadaqah (charity) by reminders of your generosity or by injury, like him who spends his wealth to be seen of men, and he does not believe in Allah, nor in the Last Day. His likeness is the likeness of a smooth rock on which is a little dust; on it falls heavy rain which leaves it bare. They are not able to do anything with what they have earned. [Surat Al-Baqarah: Aayah 264]
The Salaf-us-Saalih were afraid
The Salaf-us-Saalih (our righteous predecessors) were afraid of their insincerity towards Allah in their deeds, even though they were the best of mankind in their worship towards Allah. The Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam has said about them:
‘The best people are my generation then those who will come after them and then those after them…’
Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 6065, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2533
So the word ‘Salaf or more appropriately ‘Salaf-us-Saalih’ includes the first three generations from the time of the Messenger of Allah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam:
1st generation – The Sahabah
2nd generation – The Tabi’een (Those who followed the Sahabah)
3rd generation – The Atba-ut-Tabi’een (Those who followed the Tabi’een)
The concern that the Salaf-us-Saalih had towards ensuring sincerity in their actions for the pleasure of Allah alone and the fear they had of showing off can be seen by some of their actions and statements:
A great scholar and imam by the name of Ibn al-Qayyim rightly said,
“Deeds without sincerity (to please Allah alone) are like a traveler who carries in his water jug dirt. The carrying of it burdens him and it brings no benefit.”
Imam Ibn al-Qayyim
One of them would be reading Qur’an in the masjid when someone would walk in and he would hide it in his garment so that others don’t see that he is doing a good deed.
One of them would wait for their wife to go to sleep, and then he would sneak out of his bed to pray Qiyaam al-Layl (the night prayer). His wife would never know.
One of them continued to fast voluntary fasts for 20 years. His wife would give him breakfast in the morning and he would go give it as a sadaqah. He would come home during maghrib time to eat and break his fast and his wife would think it is his dinner.
Sa’eed ibn ‘Aamir may Allah have mercy upon him said: “Ayyoob As-Sikhtiyaani may Allah have mercy upon him used to pray all night long and would conceal this from people. When it was close to the time of the Fajr prayer, he would raise his voice as if he had just woken up.”
Abu Yoosuf, may Allaah have mercy on him, said:
“Intend Allah through your (search for) knowledge, for indeed I never sat in a gathering of people in which I made it my intention to humble myself except that I didn’t leave from it until I had surpassed them. And I never sat in a gathering of people in which I made it my intention to surpass them, except that I didn’t leave from it until I was disgraced.
Knowledge is one of the many acts of worship and one of the many ways of gaining nearness to Allah. So if one purifies his intention while seeking it, his deed will be accepted and purified. And its blessing will become complete. However, if he intends other than the sake of Allah when seeking knowledge, his deed becomes nullified and wasted and his transaction is lost. Perhaps he may even miss out on these (worldly) objectives and never achieve any of them. So in this case, he will have failed in his objective and at the same time wasted his efforts.”
Please see how the words above tie in to what the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam said:
“He who does not acquire knowledge with the sole intention of seeking the Pleasure of Allah but for worldly gain, will not smell the fragrance of Jannah on the Day of Resurrection.”
Reported by Abu Hurairah: Abu Dawud, Book 13, Hadith 1391
Al-Hasan al-Basrî said:
“I swear by Him in whose hand is my soul. No one feels safe from it (insincere intention) except for a hypocrite and no one fears it except for a believer.”
Yaqub il Maqfuf used to say:
“The sincere person is the one who hides his good deeds the same way he hides his bad deeds.”
Abu Uthmaan used to say:
“Sincerity is forgetting the sight of the creation, and continually being mindful of Allah.”
Ibraheem ibn Al Adham used to say:
“He has not been truthful to Allah, the one who seeks fame and recognition.”
The famous Sheikh Al Albaani used to say:
“Fame will break ones back.”
i.e. the more famous you become in the eyes of the people, the harder it is for you to guide your actions towards sincerity.
Sa’ad ibn ‘Abdullah used to say:
“There is nothing tougher upon the person then his niyyah.”
Sufain Ath-Thawri used to say:
“I have not struggled against anything more difficult than my niyyah (intention). Verily it keeps changing upon me.”
Abdullah ibn Mubarak used to say:
“Maybe a small deed will become big because of the niyyah (intention), and a big deed may become small because of the niyyah.”
The quote above is reflected in the hadeeth where a small task of giving half a date can save someone from the fire where the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
“Save yourself from hellfire by giving even half a date-fruit in charity.” –
Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Hadith 498
Compare this to the hadeeth of the three men who entered hell. The man who spent his wealth in every possible way that Allah likes entered hell. And in this hadeeth a man who is giving only half a date in charity is being saved from the hell fire. The intention is what made the difference.
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The interpretation of the Sahaabah and Taabi’in, that ‘idle talk’ refers to singing, is sufficient. This was reported with saheeh isnaads from Ibn ‘Abbaas and Ibn Mas’ood. Abu’l-Sahbaa’ said: I asked Ibn Mas’ood about the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):
‘“And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks.”
He said: By Allaah, besides Whom there is no other god, this means singing – and he repeated it three times. It was also reported with a saheeh isnaad from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them both) that this means singing. There is no contradiction between the interpretation of “idle talk” as meaning singing and the interpretation of it as meaning stories of the Persians and their kings, and the kings of the Romans, and so on, such as al-Nadr ibn al-Haarith used to tell to the people of Makkah to distract them from the Qur’aan. Both of them are idle talk. Hence Ibn ‘Abbaas said: “Idle talk” is falsehood and singing. Some of the Sahaabah said one and some said the other, and some said both. Singing is worse and more harmful than stories of kings, because it leads to zinaa and makes hypocrisy grow (in the heart); it is the trap of the Shaytaan, and it clouds the mind. The way in which it blocks people from the Qur’aan is worse than the way in which other kinds of false talk block them, because people are naturally inclined towards it and tend to want to listen to it. The aayaat condemn replacing the Qur’aan with idle talk in order to mislead (men) from the path of Allaah without knowledge and taking it as a joke, because when an aayah of the Qur’aan is recited to such a person, he turns his back as if he heard them not, as if there were deafness in his ear. If he hears anything of it, he makes fun of it. All of this happens only in the case of the people who are most stubbornly kaafirs and if some of it happens to singers and those who listen to them, they both have a share of this blame. (Ighaathat al-Lahfaan, 1/258-259)
2. The Prophet Sallahu Alayhi wa Sallam has forbade it
The Prophet sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said,
“From among my followers there will be some people who will consider illegal sexual intercourse, the wearing of silk, the drinking of alcoholic drinks and the use of musical instruments, as lawful. And there will be some people who will stay near the side of a mountain and in the evening their shepherd will come to them with their sheep and ask them for something, but they will say to him, ‘Return to us tomorrow.’ Allah will destroy them during the night and will let the mountain fall on them, and He will transform the rest of them into monkeys and pigs and they will remain so till the Day of Resurrection.”
Reference : Sahih al-Bukhari 5590
In-book reference : Book 74, Hadith 16
USC-MSA web (English) reference : Vol. 7, Book 69, Hadith 494
It was narrated that Naafi’ (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Ibn ‘Umar heard a woodwind instrument, and he put his fingers in his ears and kept away from that path. He said to me, O Naafi’, can you hear anything? I said, No. So he took his fingers away from his ears and said: I was with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and he heard something like this, and he did the same thing. (Saheeh Abi Dawood). Some insignificant person said that this hadeeth does not prove that musical instruments are haraam, because if that were so, the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would have instructed Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them both) to put his fingers in his ears as well, and Ibn ‘Umar would have instructed Naafi’ to do likewise! The response to this is: He was not listening to it, but he could hear it. There is a difference between listening and hearing. Shaykh al-Islam (Ibn Taymiyah) (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Concerning (music) which a person does not intend to listen to, there is no prohibition or blame, according to scholarly consensus. Hence blame or praise is connected to listening, not to hearing. The one who listens to the Qur’aan will be rewarded for it, whereas the one who hears it without intending or wanting to will not be rewarded for that, because actions are judged by intentions. The same applies to musical instruments which are forbidden: if a person hears them without intending to, that does not matter. (al-Majmoo’, 10/78).
Ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdisi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: the listener is the one who intends to hear, which was not the case with Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them both); what happened in his case was hearing. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) needed to know when the sound stopped because he had moved away from that path and blocked his ears. So he did not want to go back to that path or unblock his ears until the noise had stopped, so when he allowed Ibn ‘Umar to continue hearing it, this was because of necessity. (al-Mughni, 10/173)
Al-Qaasim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Singing is part of falsehood. Al-Hasan (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: if there is music involved in a dinner invitation (waleemah), do not accept the invitation (al-Jaami by al-Qayrawaani, p. 262-263).
3. The 4 Schools of thought have forbade it
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The view of the four Imaams is that all kinds of musical instruments are haraam. It was reported in Saheeh al-Bukhaari and elsewhere that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said that there would be among his ummah those who would allow zinaa, silk, alcohol and musical instruments, and he said that they would be transformed into monkeys and pigs… None of the followers of the imaams mentioned any dispute concerning the matter of music. (al-Majmoo’, 11/576).
Al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The four madhhabs are agreed that all musical instruments are haraam.(al-Saheehah, 1/145).
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The madhhab of Abu Haneefah is the strictest in this regard, and his comments are among the harshest. His companions clearly stated that it is haraam to listen to all musical instruments such as the flute and the drum, even tapping a stick. They stated that it is a sin which implies that a person is a faasiq (rebellious evil doer) whose testimony should be rejected. They went further than that and said that listening to music is fisq (rebellion, evildoing) and enjoying it is kufr (disbelief). This is their words. They narrated in support of that a hadeeth which could not be attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). They said: he should try not to hear it if he passes by it or it is in his vicinity. Abu Yoosuf said, concerning a house from which could be heard the sound of musical instruments: Go in without their permission, because forbidding evil actions is obligatory, and if it were not allowed to enter without permission, people could not have fulfilled the obligatory duty (of enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil). (Ighaathat al-Lahfaan, 1/425).
Imaam Maalik (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about playing the drum or flute, if a person happens to hear the sound and enjoy it whilst he is walking or sitting. He said: He should get up if he finds that he enjoys it, unless he is sitting down for a need or is unable to get up. If he is on the road, he should either go back or move on. (al-Jaami’ by al-Qayrawaani, 262). He (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “The only people who do things like that, in our view, are faasiqs.” (Tafseer al-Qurtubi, 14/55).
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: With regard to the view of Imaam Ahmad, his son ‘Abd-Allaah said: I asked my father about singing. He said: Singing makes hypocrisy grow in the heart; I do not like it. Then he mentioned the words of Maalik: the evildoers (faasiqs) among us do that. (Ighaathat al-Lahfaan).
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, explaining the view of Imaam al-Shaafa’i: His companions who know his madhhab (point of view) stated that it is haraam and denounced those who said that he permitted it. (Ighaathat al-Lahfaan, 1/425).
Ibn Qudaamah, the researcher of the Hanbali madhhab – (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Musical instruments are of three types which are haraam. These are the strings and all kinds of flute, and the lute, drum and rabaab (stringed instrument) and so on. Whoever persists in listening to them, his testimony should be rejected. (al-Mughni, 10/173). And he said (may Allaah have mercy on him); If a person is invited to a gathering in which there is something objectionable, such as wine and musical instruments, and he is able to denounce it, then he should attend and speak out against it, because then he will be combining two obligatory duties. If he is not able to do that, then he should not attend. (al-Kaafi, 3/118)
4. The Sahabah, the Tabi’een and the Atba at Tabi’een have forbade it
Some people even have the nerve to suggest that the Sahaabah and Taabi’een listened to singing, and that they saw nothing wrong with it!
Al-Fawzaan (may Allaah preserve him) said: We demand them to show us saheehisnaads going back to these Sahaabah and Taabi’een, proving what they attribute to them. Then he said: Imaam Muslim mentioned in his introduction to his Saheeh that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn al-Mubaarak said: The isnaad is part of religion. Were it not for the isnaad, whoever wanted to could say whatever he wanted to.
Some of them said that the ahaadeeth which forbid music are full of faults. No hadeeth was free of being criticized by some of the scholars. Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The ahaadeeth which were narrated concerning music being haraam are not full of faults as has been claimed. Some of them are in Saheeh al-Bukhaari which is the soundest of books after the Book of Allaah, and some of them are hasan and some are da’eef. But because they are so many, with different isnaads, they constitute definitive proof that singing and musical instruments are haraam.
All the imaams agreed on the soundness of the ahaadeeth which forbid singing and musical instruments, apart from Abu Haamid al-Ghazzaali, but al-Ghazzaali did not have knowledge of hadeeth; and Ibn Hazam, but al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) explained where Ibn Hazam went wrong, and Ibn Hazam himself said that if any of (these ahaadeeth) were saheeh, he would follow that. But now they have proof that these reports are saheeh because there are so many books by the scholars which state that these ahaadeeth are saheeh, but they turn their backs on that. They are far more extreme than Ibn Hazam and they are nothing like him, for they are not qualified and cannot be referred to.
5. There is a specific way at specific time using a specific instrument that is permissble
The women at Eid or Wedding using the daff
The exception to the above is the daff – without any rings (i.e., a hand-drum which looks like a tambourine, but without any rattles) – when used by women on Eids and at weddings. This is indicated by saheeh reports. Shaykh al-Islam (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: But the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) made allowances for certain types of musical instruments at weddings and the like, and he made allowances for women to play the daff at weddings and on other joyful occasions. But the men at his time did not play the daff or clap with their hands. It was narrated in al-Saheeh that he said: “Clapping is for women and tasbeeh (saying Subhaan Allaah) is for men.” And he cursed women who imitate men and men who imitate women. Because singing and playing the daff are things that women do, the Salaf used to call any man who did that a mukhannath (effeminate man), and they used to call male singers effeminate – and how many of them there are nowadays! It is well known that the Salaf said this.
Young girls singing
In a similar vein is the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her), when her father (may Allaah be pleased with him) entered upon her at the time of Eid, and there were two young girls with her who were singing the verses that the Ansaar had said on the day of Bu’aath – and any sensible person will know what people say about war. Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “Musical instruments of the Shaytaan in the house of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)!” The Messenger of Allaah had turned away from them and was facing the wall – hence some scholars said that Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him) would not tell anybody off in front of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), but he thought that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was not paying attention to what was happening. And Allaah knows best. He (the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)) said: “Leave them alone, O Abu Bakr, for every nation has its Eid, and this is our Eid, the people of Islam.” This hadeeth shows that it was not the habit of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his companions to gather to listen to singing, hence Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq called it “the musical instruments of the Shaytaan”. And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) approved of this appellation and did not deny it when he said, “Leave them alone, for every nation has its Eid and this is our Eid.” This indicates that the reason why this was permitted was because it was the time of Eid, and the prohibition remained in effect at times other than Eid, apart from the exceptions made for weddings in other ahaadeeth. Shaykh al-Albaani explained this in his valuable book Tahreem Aalaat al-Tarab (the Prohibition of Musical Instruments). The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) approved of young girls singing at Eid, as stated in the hadeeth: “So that the mushrikeen will know that in our religion there is room for relaxation.” There is no indication in the hadeeth about the two young girls that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was listening to them. The commands and prohibitions have to do with listening, not merely hearing, just as in the case of seeing, the rules have to do with intentionally looking and not what happens by accident. So it is clear that this is for women only. Imaam Abu ‘Ubayd (may Allaah have mercy on him) defined the daff as “that which is played by women.” (Ghareeb al-Hadeeth, 3/64).
“No people go astray after having been guided except they developed arguments amongst themselves.” (Saheeh)
Abyssinians playing in the mosque of the Prophet
Some of them used the hadeeth about the Abyssinians playing in the mosque of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) as evidence that singing is allowed! Al-Bukhaari included this hadeeth in his Saheeh under the heading Baab al-Hiraab wa’l-Daraq Yawm al-‘Eid (Chapter on Spears and Shields on the Day of Eid). Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: This indicates that it is permissible to play with weapons and the like in the mosque, and he applied that to other activities connected with jihaad. (Sharh Muslim). But as al-Haafiz ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: whoever speaks about something which is not his profession will come up with weird ideas such as these.
Some of them use as evidence the hadeeth about the singing of the two young girls, which we have discussed above, but we will quote what Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, because it is valuable:
Ibn al-Qayyim on the two girl singing “incident”
I am amazed that you quote as evidence for allowing listening to sophisticated songs the report which we mentioned about how two young girls who were below the age of puberty sang to a young woman on the day of Eid some verses of Arab poetry about bravery in war and other noble characteristics. How can you compare this to that? What is strange is that this hadeeth is one of the strongest proofs against them. The greatest speaker of the truth [Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq] called them musical instruments of the Shaytaan, and the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) approved of that appellation, but he made an exception in the case of these two young girls who had not yet reached the age of responsibility and the words of whose songs could not corrupt anyone who listened to them. Can this be used as evidence to allow what you do and what you know of listening (to music) which includes (bad) things which are not hidden?! SubhaanAllaah! How people can be led astray! (Madaarij al-Saalikeen, 1/493).
Ibn al-Jawzi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) was young at that time; nothing was transmitted from her after she reached the age of puberty except condemnation of singing. Her brother’s son, al-Qaasim ibn Muhammad, condemned singing and said that it was not allowed to listen to it, and he took his knowledge from her. (Talbees Iblees, 229). Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: A group of the Sufis used this hadeeth – the hadeeth about the two young girls – as evidence that singing is allowed and it is allowed to listen to it, whether it is accompanied by instruments or not. This view is sufficiently refuted by the clear statement of ‘Aa’ishah in the following hadeeth, where she says, “They were not singers.” She made it clear that they were not singers as such, although this may be understood from the wording of the report. So we should limit it to what was narrated in the text as regards the occasion and the manner, so as to reduce the risk of going against the principle, i.e., the hadeeth. And Allaah knows best. (Fath al-Baari, 2/442-443).
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: How strange! What type of faith, light, insight, guidance and knowledge can be gained from listening to tuneful verses and music in which most of what is said is haraam and deserves the wrath and punishment of Allaah and His Messenger? … How can anyone who has the least amount of insight and faith in his heart draw near to Allaah and increase his faith by enjoying something which is hated by Him, and He detests the one who says it and the one who accepts it? (Madaarij al-Saalikeen, 1/485)
Shaykh al-Islam said, discussing the state of the person who has gotten used to listening to singing: Hence you find that those who have gotten used to it and for whom it is like food and drink will never have the desire to listen to the Qur’aan or feel joy when they hear it, and they never find in listening to its verses the same feeling that they find when listening to poetry. Indeed, if they hear the Qur’aan, they hear it with an inattentive heart and talk whilst it is being recited, but if they hear whistling and clapping of hands, they lower their voices and keep still, and pay attention. (Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 11/557 ff)
Some say that music and musical instruments have the effect of softening people’s hearts and creating gentle feelings. This is not true, because it provokes physical desires and whims. If it really did what they say, it would have softened the hearts of the musicians and made their attitude and behaviour better, but most of them, as we know, are astray and behave badly.
Some Q n A
How does music cause hypocrisy to grow in the heart, and not other sins?
This is one of the clearest indications of the Sahaabah’s understanding of the workings of the heart and their knowledge of diseases of the heart (i.e., spiritual diseases) and their remedies. It highlights the fact that they were indeed doctors of the heart, unlike those who deviate from their path.
It should be understood that singing has specific characteristics that affect the heart, instilling hypocrisy in the heart and causing it to grow, just as water causes plants to grow.
If a man of understanding reflects upon the condition of singers and the condition of people who remember Allah and read the Qur’an, the intelligence of the Sahaabah will become clear to him, and he will realise how much knowledge they had of spiritual diseases and their remedies. And Allah is the source of strength.
I don’t get it how it affects my heart, I don’t feel bad when I listen to music
Those who watch movies, if they had no music, would it be as interesting to watch? Every scene has a different tune playing in the background to suit the scene. If it is a horror, romantic or action scene, the music swiftly changes. This is because the music alters the mind, it puts a person into a different mood, it creates an effect on the heart and thus shaytaan uses this tool to entice us into haram.
It causes an eclipse to occur in the heart, which can’t be noticed that easily. The belief that Allah is watching us becomes overshadowed causing a person to enter into the state of ignorance, which paves the way to many more sins.
Perhaps – for fair-minded and objective readers – this summary will make it clear that the view that music is permissible has no firm basis. There are no two views on this matter. So we must advise in the best manner, and then take it step by step and denounce music, if we are able to do so. We should not be deceived by the fame of a man in our own times in which the people who are truly committed to Islam have become strangers. The one who says that singing and musical instruments are permitted is simply supporting the whims of people nowadays, as if the masses were issuing fatwas and he is simply signing them! If a matter arises, they will look at the views of fuqahaa’ on this matter, then they will take the easiest view, as they claim. Then they will look for evidence, or just specious arguments which are worth no more than a lump of dead meat. How often have these people approved things in the name of sharee’ah which in fact have nothing to do with Islam!
Strive to learn your Islam from the Book of your Lord and the Sunnah of your Prophet. Do not say, So-and-so said, for you cannot learn the truth only from men. Learn the truth and then measure people against it. This should be enough for the one who controls his whims and submits himself to his Lord. May what we have written above heal the hearts of the believers and dispel the whispers in the hearts of those who are stricken with insinuating whispers. May it expose everyone who is deviating from the path of Revelation and taking the easiest options, thinking that he has come up with something which none of the earlier generations ever achieved, and speaking about Allaah without knowledge. They sought to avoid fisq (evildoing) and ended up committing bid’ah – may Allaah not bless them in it. It would have been better for them to follow the path of the believers.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “There will appear people in my community, who will hold adultery, silk, alcohol and musical instruments to be lawful.” (Bukhari)
Isn’t the warning from the hadith above enough for us. It’s clear that fatwas on music are already here making it permissible, I don’t think we are too far away from the time when fatwas on alcohol and zina start coming in. Today it might be unimaginable for even someone who thinks music is not haram or is makruh that how alcohol and zina would be halal too but Prophet Sallahu Alayhi wa Sallam has not lied and he said the truth. It’s coming!
May Allah guide our affairs and lead us to the straight path. Ameen.
As a student of Astrophysics, I have always found myself plunging into studying the cosmos. Lately I have also started reading about particle physics. In short I can describe my experience as breath-taking! I am stunned by the creation of Almighty.
At the same time, I always wonder, why the likes of smart people, highly intelligent, like Hawking (Theorotical Physicist – highly known for his work on Black Holes and Hawking Radiation, who died today), Ed Witten (proposer of M-theory) etc. did/do not receive guidance to believe in a Superme Creator..
(Hawking has produced some amazing research on Black Holes. Hawking Radiation describes the process on how a black hole slowly evaporates and loses its existence)
I found my answer in the Nobel Qur’an, where Allaah عز وجل says,
“And ‘Ad and Thamud (people)! And indeed (their destruction) is clearly apparent to you from their (ruined) dwellings. Shaitan (Satan) made their deeds fair-seeming to them, and turned them away from the (Right) Path, though they were intelligent.”
-Sura Al-Ankabut, Ayah 38
For anyone who knows the history of the people of ‘Ad and Thamud, it becomes apparent that they were highly intelligent, strongly built, carved homes in sand hills – a feat which requires planned engineering (refer Tasfir ibn Kathir). This becomes explicit in the ayah,
“Do they not travel in the land, and see what was the end of those before them? They were superior to them in strength, and they tilled the earth and populated it in greater numbers than these (pagans) have done, and there came to them their Messengers with clear proofs. Surely, Allah wronged them not, but they used to wrong themselves.”
-Sura Ar-Rum, Ayah 9
Going back the former ayah in Surah al-Ankabut, Allaah عز وجل uses the word مُسْتَبْصِرِينَ to describe the people of ‘Ad and Thamud – that means they were given baseerah – they were a people with deep insights. That’s why, Dr. Muhsin Khan and Taqi ud Deen al-Hilali (May Allaah have mercy upon both of them) interpreted the word مُسْتَبْصِرِينَ as ‘they (people of ‘Ad and Thamud) were intelligent’.
So it becomes explicit now, people with high intelligence doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be guided. Why aren’t they guided then?
Dr. Muhsin Khan and Taqi ud Deen al-Hilali mentioned the five reasons why people fall into major disbelief in the appendix of their interpretation of the Noble Qur’an,
(To understand what a true Muslim believes and what are the six articles of faith, please download the concise thirteen page book here – Belief of a Muslim)
So basically, it is one of the reasons above, the well known scientists today persist in their disbelief and hence lack guidance towards the ultimate truth.
I’d like to conclude this article by including another ayah from the Noble Qur’an and سبحان الله , this from Surah al-Ankabut again,
And [He also forgave] the three who were left behind [and regretted their error] to the point that the earth closed in on them in spite of its vastness and their souls confined them and they were certain that there is no refuge from Allah except in Him. Then He turned to them so they could repent. Indeed, Allah is the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful.
O you who have believed, fear Allah and be with those who are true.
[Surat At-Tawbah: Ayahs 118-119]
Ka`b bin Malik RadhiAllahuAnhu had become blind. His son Abdullah used to guide him and attend to his needs. Ka`b bin Malik RadhiAllahuAnhu narrated a story to his son, looking back into the past during the time of great battles he had spent alongside the Prophet Sallalahu Alayhi wa Sallam. This story is especially a particular battle called ‘the battle of Tabuk’ which he did not join. What happened when the Prophet Sallalahu Alayhi wa Sallam found out that he had not joined the battle? Let us read the story of Ka’b bin Malik RadhiAllahuAnhu that is noted down in the famous explanation of the quran Tafseer Ibn Katheer:
Ka`b bin Malik narrates,
“I did not remain behind Allah’s Messenger in any battle that he fought except the battle of Tabuk. I failed to take part in the battle of Badr, but Allah did not admonish anyone who did not participate in it, for in fact, Allah’s Messenger had gone out in search of the caravan of Quraysh, until Allah made the Muslims and their enemies meet without any appointment. I witnessed the night of Al-`Aqabah pledge with Allah’s Messenger when we pledged for Islam, and I would not exchange it for the Badr Battle, even though the Badr Battle is more popular among the people than the `Aqabah pledge.
As for my news of this battle of Tabuk, I was never stronger or wealthier than I was when I remained behind Allah’s Messenger in that battle. By Allah, never had I two she-camels before, but I did at the time of that battle. Whenever Allah’s Messenger wanted to go to a battle, he used to hide his intention by referring to different battles, until it was the time of that battle (of Tabuk) which Allah’s Messenger fought in intense heat, facing a long journey, the desert, and the great number of enemy soldiers. So the Prophet clearly announced the destination to the Muslims, so that they could prepare for their battle, and he told them about his intent. Allah’s Messenger was accompanied by such a large number of Muslims that they could not be listed in a book by name, nor registered.”
Ka`b added, “Any man who intended not to attend the battle would think that the matter would remain hidden, unless Allah revealed it through divine revelation. Allah’s Messenger fought that battle at a time when the fruits had ripened and the shade was pleasant, and I found myself inclined towards that. Allah’s Messenger and his Companions prepared for the battle and I started to go out in order to get myself ready along with them, but I returned without doing anything. I would say to myself, `I can do that if I want.’ So I kept on delaying it every now and then until the people were prepared, and Allah’s Messenger , and the Muslims along with him, departed. But I had not prepared anything for my departure. I said, `I will prepare myself (for departure) one or two days after him, and then join them.’ In the morning following their departure, I went out to get myself ready but returned having done nothing. Then again, the next morning, I went out to get ready but returned without doing anything. Such was the case with me until they hurried away and I missed the battle. Even then I intended to depart to catch up to them. I wish I had done so! But such was not the case. So, after the departure of Allah’s Messenger , whenever I went out and walked among the people (who remained behind), it grieved me that I could see none around me, but one accused of hypocrisy or one of those weak men whom Allah had excused. Allah’s Messenger did not remember me until he reached Tabuk. So while he was sitting among the people in Tabuk, he said,
“What did Ka`b bin Malik do?”
A man from Banu Salimah said, “O Allah’s Messenger! He has been stopped by his two Burdah (garments) and looking at his own flanks with pride.”
Mu`adh bin Jabal said, “What a bad thing you have said! By Allah! O Allah’s Messenger! We know nothing about him but that which is good.”
Allah’s Messenger kept silent.”
Ka`b bin Malik added, “When I heard that Allah’s Messenger was on his way back to Al-Madinah, I was overcome by concern and began to think of false excuses. I said to myself, `How can I escape from his anger tomorrow’ I started looking for advice from wise members of my family in this matter. When it was said that Allah’s Messenger had approached (Al-Madinah) all evil and false excuses abandoned my mind and I knew well that I could never come out of this problem by forging a false statement. Then I decided firmly to speak the truth.
Let us pause for a moment here and reflect. Remember, the sahabah were also human beings who could make mistakes now and then. He, Ka’b bin Malik Radhi Allahu Anhu, could have chose to lie, but he didn’t. He decided not to resort to false excuses and lies in this pressurizing situation. He was determined to speak the truth. What happened next? Ka’b bin Malik continues to narrate:
“Allah’s Messenger arrived in the morning, and whenever he returned from a journey, he used to visit the Masjid first, and offer a two Rak`ah prayer, then sit for the people. So when he had done all that (this time), those who failed to join the battle came and started offering (false) excuses and taking oaths before him. They were over eighty men. Allah’s Messenger accepted the excuses they expressed outwardly, asked for Allah’s forgiveness for them and left the secrets of their hearts for Allah to judge. Then I came to him, and when I greeted him, he smiled a smile of an angry person and then said,
I came walking until I sat before him. He said to me,
“What stopped you from joining us? Had you not purchased an animal for carrying you?”
“Yes, O Allah’s Messenger! By Allah, if I were sitting before any person from among the people of the world other than you, I would have escaped from his anger with an excuse. By Allah, I have been bestowed with the power of speaking fluently and eloquently, but by Allah, I knew well that if I tell you a lie today to seek your favor, Allah would surely make you angry with me in the near future. But if I tell you the truth, though you will get angry because of it, I hope for Allah’s forgiveness. By Allah, I had never been stronger or wealthier than I was when I remained behind you.”
SubhanAllah! The sahabah could have said anything at that moment to get away. But pay attention to what the Sahabah said. He said, “I knew well that if I tell you a lie today to seek your favor, Allah would surely make you angry with me in the near future. But if I tell you the truth, though you will get angry because of it, I hope for Allah’s forgiveness.” Look at how the sahabah is fearing Allah in this situation knowing that Allah is all aware of his actions, his speech and what is in his heart. The sahabah knows that although he may escape the Prophet Sallalahu Alayhi wa Sallam in the short term with a forged lie, he will never be able to escape Allah in the long term. This is a lesson we need to learn. We should know that if we lie, we may escape a certain situation in that small moment of time, but what about the anger and punishment of Allah that may follow in the future because of this? What if we choose instead to speak the truth fearing Allah, knowing that Allah is seeing our actions and knows everything, then Allah is surely be with those who are truthful. So hearing the sahabah, what did the Prophet Sallalahu Alayhi wa Sallam say? Ka’b bin Malik continues:
Allah’s Messenger said,
“As regards to this man, he has surely told the truth. So get up until Allah decides your case.”
I got up, and many men of Banu Salimah followed me and said to me, `By Allah, we never witnessed you commit any sin before this! Surely, you failed to offer an excuse to Allah’s Messenger like the others who did not join him. The invocation of Allah’s Messenger to Allah to forgive you would have been sufficient for your sin.’ By Allah, they continued blaming me so much that I intended to return (to the Prophet ) and accuse myself of having told a lie, but I said to them, `Is there anybody else who has met the same end as I have’ They replied, `Yes, there are two men who have said the same thing as you have, and to both of them was given the same order as given to you.’ I said, `Who are they’ They replied, `Murarah bin Ar-Rabi` Al-`Amiri and Hilal bin Umayyah Al-Waqifi.’ They mentioned to me two pious men who had attended the battle of Badr and in whom there was an example for me. So I did not change my mind when they mentioned them to me.
A lesson to learn here is how the good deed of the two sahabah Murarah bin Ar-Rabi` Al-`Amiri and Hilal bin Umayyah Al-Waqifi RadhiAllahuAnhu inspired Ka’ab bin Malik to stand firm on the truth. We see how a good deed can inspire someone else to do a good deed too. What happened to the three sahabah who stood firm on truth? Ka’ab bin Malik RadhiAllahu Anhu explains:
Allah’s Messenger forbade all the Muslims from talking to us, the three aforesaid persons, out of all those who remained behind for that battle. So we kept away from the people and they changed their attitude towards us until the very land (where I lived) appeared strange to me as if I did not know it. We remained in that condition for fifty nights. As for my two companions, they remained in their houses and kept on weeping, but I was the youngest and the firmest of them. So I would go out and attend the prayer along with the Muslims and roam the markets, but none would talk to me. I would come to Allah’s Messenger and greet him while he was sitting in his gathering after the prayer, and I would wonder whether he even moved his lips in return of my greeting or not. Then I would offer my prayer near him and look at him carefully.
When I was busy with my prayer, he would turn his face towards me, but when I turned my face to him, he would turn his face away from me. When this harsh attitude and boycott of the people continued for a long time, I walked until I scaled the wall of the garden of Abu Qatadah who was my cousin and the dearest person to me. I offered my greeting to him. By Allah, he did not return my greetings. I said, `O Abu Qatadah! I beseech you by Allah! Do you know that I love Allah and His Messenger’ He kept quiet. I asked him again, beseeching him by Allah, but he remained silent. I asked him again in the Name of Allah and he said, `Allah and His Messenger know better.’ Thereupon my eyes flowed with tears and I returned and jumped over the wall.
While I was walking in the market of Al-Madinah, suddenly I saw that a Nabatean from Ash-Sham came to sell his grains in Al-Madinah, saying, `Who will lead me to Ka`b bin Malik’ The people began to point (me) out for him, until he came to me and handed me a letter from the king of Ghassan (who ruled Syria for Caesar), for I knew how to read and write. In that letter, the following was written: `To proceed, I have been informed that your friend (the Prophet) has treated you harshly. Anyhow, Allah does not make you live in a place where you feel inferior and your right is lost. So, join us, and we will console you.’ When I read it, I said to myself, `This is also a sort of test.’ I took the letter to the oven and made a fire burning it.
So we see how Allah tested these sahabah who chose to stand firm on the truth. The lesson we take here is that we may face tests from Allah. Allah may test us to see if we stand resilient and firm. Did the tests come to an end for the sahabah or were there more to come? Let’s see:
When forty out of the fifty nights elapsed, behold! There came to me a messenger of Allah’s Messenger saying `Allah’s Messenger orders you to keep away from your wife.’ I said, `Should I divorce her; or else what should I do’ He said, `No, only keep aloof from her and do not mingle with her.’ The Prophet sent the same message to my two fellows. I said to my wife, `Go to your parents and remain with them until Allah gives His verdict in this matter.”’
Ka`b added, “The wife of Hilal bin Umayyah came to Allah’s Messenger and said,
“O Allah’s Messenger! Hilal bin Umayyah is a helpless old man who has no servant to attend on him. Do you dislike that I should serve him?”
He Sallalahu Alayhi wa Sallam said,
“No you can serve him, but he should not come near you sexually.”
She said, “By Allah! He has no desire for anything. By Allah, he has never ceased weeping since his case began until this day of his.”
On that, some of my family members said to me, “Will you also ask Allah’s Messenger to permit your wife (to serve you) as he has permitted the wife of Hilal bin Umayyah to serve him.”
I said, “By Allah, I will not ask permission of Allah’s Messenger regarding her, for I do not know what Allah’s Messenger would say if I asked him to permit her to serve me while I am a young man.”
We remained in that state for ten more nights, until the period of fifty nights was completed, starting from the time when Allah’s Messenger prohibited the people from talking to us. When I had finished the Fajr prayer on the fiftieth morning on the roof of one of our houses, while sitting in the condition in which Allah described (in the Qur’an): my very soul seemed straitened to me and even the earth seemed narrow to me for all its spaciousness. There I heard the voice of a man who had ascended the mountain of Sal` calling with his loudest voice, `O Ka`b bin Malik! Be happy (by receiving good tidings).’ I fell down in prostration before Allah, realizing that relief has come with His forgiveness for us.
The sahabah immediately turned to Allah with praise and shukr (thanks).
Allah’s Messenger announced the acceptance of our repentance by Allah after Fajr prayer. The people went out to congratulate us. Some bearers of good news went to my two companions, a horseman came to me in haste, while a man from Banu Aslam came running and ascended the mountain and his voice was swifter than the horse. When the man whose voice I had heard, came to me conveying the good news, I took off my garments and dressed him with them; and by Allah, I owned no other than them on that day. Then I borrowed two garments, wore them and went to Allah’s Messenger . The people started receiving me in batches, congratulating me on Allah’s acceptance of my repentance, saying, `We congratulate you on Allah’s acceptance of your repentance.”’ Ka`b further said, “When I entered the Masjid, I saw Allah’s Messenger sitting in the Masjid with the people around him. Talhah bin `Ubaydullah swiftly came to me, shook my hands and congratulated me. By Allah, none of the Muhajirun got up for me except Talhah; I will never forget Talhah for this.” Ka`b added, “When I greeted Allah’s Messenger , his face was bright with joy. He said,
“Be happy with the best day you have ever seen since your mother gave birth to you.”
I said to the Prophet, “Is this forgiveness from you or from Allah.”
He said, “No, it is from Allah.”
Whenever Allah’s Messenger became happy, his face would shine as if it was a piece of the moon, and we all knew that characteristic of him. When I sat before him, I said, “O Allah’s Messenger! Because of the acceptance of my repentance I will give up all my wealth as alms for the sake of Allah and His Messenger.”
Allah’s Messenger said, “Keep some of your wealth, as it will be better for you.”
I said, “So I will keep my share from Khaybar with me.” I added, “O Allah’s Messenger! Allah has saved me for telling the truth; so it is part of my repentance not to tell but the truth as long as I am alive.”
By Allah, I do not know of any Muslim, whom Allah has helped to tell the truth more than I. Ever since I have mentioned the truth to Allah’s Messenger , I have never intended to tell a lie, until today. I hope that Allah will also save me (from telling lies) the rest of my life. So Allah revealed the Ayah:
Allah has forgiven the Prophet, the Muhajirin and the Ansar who followed him in the time of distress, after the hearts of a party of them had nearly deviated, but He accepted their repentance. Certainly, He is unto them full of kindness, Most Merciful. And the three who stayed behind, until for them the earth, vast as it is, was straitened and their souls were straitened to them, and they perceived that there is no fleeing from Allah, and no refuge but with Him. Then, He forgave them, that they might beg for His pardon. Verily, Allah is the One Who forgives and accepts repentance, Most Merciful. O you who believe! Have Taqwa of Allah, and be with those who are true (in words and deeds). [Surat At Tawbah: Ayahs 118-119]
Ka`b said, “By Allah! Allah has never bestowed upon me, apart from His guiding me to Islam, a greater blessing than the fact that I did not tell a lie to Allah’s Messenger which would have caused me to perish, just as those who had told a lie have perished. Allah described those who told lies with the worst descriptions He ever attributed to anyone. Allah said,
They will swear by Allah to you when you return to them that you would leave them alone. So leave them alone; indeed they are evil; and their refuge is Hell as recompense for what they had been earning. They (the hypocrites) swear to you (Muslims) that you may be pleased with them, but if you are pleased with them, certainly Allah is not pleased with the people who are Al-Fasiqun (rebellious, disobedient to Allah). [Surat At Tawbah: Ayahs 95-96]
Ka`b added, “We, the three persons, differed altogether from those whose excuses Allah’s Messenger accepted when they swore to him. He took their pledge and asked Allah to forgive them, but Allah’s Messenger left our case pending until Allah gave us His judgement about it. As for that Allah said, ‘And (He did forgive also) the three who stayed behind…’ What Allah said does not discuss our failure to take part in the battle, but to the deferment of making a decision by the Prophet about our case, in contrast to the case of those who had taken an oath before him, and he excused them by accepting their excuses.”
The story above is from an authentic Hadith collected in the Two Sahihs (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) and as such, its authenticity is agreed upon. This Hadith contains the explanation of this honorable Ayah in the best, most comprehensive way. Similar explanation was given by several among the Salaf. For instance, Al-A`mash narrated from Abu Sufyan, from Jabir bin `Abdullah about Allah’s statement,
(And (He did forgive also) the three who stayed behind…) “They are Ka`b bin Malik, Hilal bin Umayyah and Murarah bin Ar-Rabi`, all of them from the Ansar.”
Ibn Kathirs (A scholar of Islam) comments on this story:
Allah sent His relief from the distress and grief that struck these three men, because Muslims ignored them for fifty days and nights, until they themselves, and the earth — vast as it is — were straitened for them. As vast as the earth is, its ways and paths were closed for them, and they did not know what action to take. They were patient for Allah’s sake and awaited humbly for His decree. They remained firm, until Allah sent His relief to them since they told the Messenger of Allah the truth about why they remained behind, declaring that they did not have an excuse for doing so. They were requited for this period, then Allah forgave them. Therefore, the consequence of being truthful was better for them, for they gained forgiveness. Hence Allah’s statement next,
O you who believe! Have Taqwa of Allah, and be with those who are true.
The Ayah says, adhere to and always say the truth so that you become among its people and be saved from destruction. Allah will make a way for you out of your concerns and a refuge.
Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said that the Messenger of Allah said:
“Hold on to truth, for being truthful leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise. Verily, a man will keep saying the truth and striving for truth, until he is written before Allah as very truthful (Siddiq).
Beware of lying, for lying leads to sin, and sin leads to the Fire. Verily, the man will keep lying and striving for falsehood until he is written before Allah as a great liar.”
(In the name of Allah, the entirely merciful, the especially merciful.)
Praise be to Allah. I ask Allah to exalt the mention and grant peace to the final messenger Muhammad sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, his family, his companions and all those who follow him on the path of righteousness until the end of time.
Looking at the large amount of sisters leaving their countries (especially from Hyderabad, India) and heading to the west for pursuing higher education, I thought of writing this article as a naseehah (advice) to them, and I hope that they will comprehend on its content and take necessary steps to be on the path that leads to paradise (as that is the aim of every muslim alive).
This article has two parts, one part is aimed at those sisters who have already left their homes and gone abroad, whereas the other part is for those who are thinking to follow the footsteps of the sisters addressed in the first part. (The first part is advice, and the second part discusses the Islamic ruling in brief.)
Part 1 (The advice)
Those who have already left will bear witness to the fact that there’s a lot of evil involved for an unmarried muslim sister leaving parents and siblings behind to head out to the west for seeking worldly education.
“Since I’m already here, and have jumped into this ocean full of evils, what can be done now?” may be the thoughts of someone reading this who is trapped in such a situation. I would advise, if you can, please go back dear sister, there is nothing more important than safeguarding your eeman. But if you cannot, please fear Allah in each and every matter of yours.
The people who sin in the west usually give the reason: “Bhai, majboori hai bhai, majboori me haraam cheez bhi halaal hojati.” (Meaning: Brother, it’s a necessity, and during a necessity, whatever is haraam (impermissible) becomes halaal (permissible). But they fail to understand this principle correctly. I will attach a link to the fatwa which explains this principle underlining its conditions. (You can check it for a detailed discussion.) However, I will explain it in layman terms below.
Consider a person who is hungry and has nothing halaal to eat in front of him. If his hunger reaches to the point that he fears death due to his hunger, then he can eat the haraam which he sees in front of him (flesh of swine, dead animal etc.). But if his hunger is not intense, and he can wait for sometime (if his hunger wouldn’t cause him to die) he must wait. He cannot simply eat the haraam. It only becomes halaal when he is about to die because of hunger.
Also, if you were to consume this haraam food, how much would you eat? Would you eat your fill? No. You cannot do that. You can only eat few morsels that would keep you alive. In other words, if you are eating your fill, you are overstepping the mark. The haraam food that you are consuming becomes halaal for you to save you from death. Therefore, you can only eat what will keep you alive.
Similarly, these people who say majboori hai (meaning: it’s a matter of necessity) should sincerely examine their cases fearing Allah whether it’s really al-dharoorah (necessity) or not. You cannot just do everything and anything in the west just because it’s a necessity. Each case needs to be examined. Is there a halaal alternative to this problem? And if there is, then it’s no more a necessity and what you are doing is haraam no matter what excuses you give.
Now, since (in the above example) you can only eat what would keep you alive and cannot eat your fill, the matter in which you are involved due to necessity, you have to fear Allah in it, and cannot do whatever you like.
Let’s understand this by an example. We know that it is not permissible for a muslim woman to study in a mixed university (I will discuss why in the next part if you are curious about the reason), but let’s say, there’s a sister who is compelled to do so. She just doesn’t have an option. So, since it’s a majboori for her, can she do anything in the university? Can she take part in events that involve free mixing between the genders? Can she study in a group with men?
The answer is no. That is because, it is like she is compelled to eat the flesh of swine. So she can consume it, but she should not eat her fill (as she is not compelled to do so). She should only eat enough that will keep her alive. She is not compelled to take part in events. She is not compelled to study in groups that consist of men. So, she needs to fear Allah and interact with men only when she doesn’t have an option. And she must always try to find an alternative to this interaction. Maybe she can get her work done without getting involved with men. Maybe she has an alternative. She has to cut down the interaction as much as she can.
I hope this makes it clear about the majboori thingy. What about the hijab dear sister? Just because you live in the west doesn’t give you an automatic permission to get your hijab off. And by hijab, I mean the Islamic hijab which has some guidelines. Yes, it doesn’t have to be black (as some people think), it can be of any color that will serve its purpose. But, it’s not just a headscarf as many people in the west think of it. I will attach a link to the guidelines of hijab and their evidences here. (The first link contains the conditions without evidences, and the second link contains the evidences of those conditions, if you are interested to know about them.)
As long as your hijab satisfies the above conditions, it can be of any color. So, please fear Allah in this area and put your hijab on. Yes sister, I know it’s not that easy. But, do you really want jannah? If yes, then you need to put some efforts to achieve it. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says in the Qur’an:
“Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested.” (The Qur’an 29:2)
He also says:
“Who has created death and life, that He may test you which of you is best in deed. And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving;” (The Qur’an 67:2)
So you see sister, life is a test! Nobody can go to jannah without being tested in this dunya. The prophets were the best of people and faced the most difficult tests. Until we start passing in these tests, we cannot really succeed and make it there.
And you don’t need to think about those things which aren’t in your control. You don’t need to feel depressed to the point that it affects your present life. You are supposed to worry about only that which is under your control. If you are compelled to do something, in sha Allah, Allah will not hold you accountable for that. But you need to act wisely in those things which are at hand. If you were involved in anything sinful, repent sincerely to Allah and leave off the sin. Take help from someone who can help you to leave that. You need to put a full stop, and not return. In sha Allah, Allah will accept your repentance, verily He is at-Tawwab (the one who accepts repentance), and ar-Raheem.
“Except those who repent and believe (in Islamic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds, for those, Allah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
And whosoever repents and does righteous good deeds, then verily, he repents towards Allah with true repentance.” (The Qur’an 25:70-71)
I will end this part by giving you a deal. Please think about it.
Sister, you might have cooked in the kitchen before. It is possible to get burns and cuts while you work there. You may even have got one. How did you feel? Can you bear that? If no, then can you bear the fire of Hell which is seventy times hotter than the fire in this world? If no, then do you want to enjoy this transient life (free of struggles) and become one of the losers in the Hereafter?
If the answer is no, then please reflect on all the points mentioned above sincerely, and start making the positive change that will help you reach your goal.
May Allah help you.
Part 2 (Ruling on muslim women going to the west for the purpose of studies)
Before I begin to talk about the ruling in brief, I highly recommend that you watch this lecture that I delivered a year ago. It is titled “Women Empowerment & Islam (MJCET Student Chapters: IEEE, ECell etc. specifically addressed)”. In it, I have highlighted few important points regarding women empowerment from an Islamic perspective.
Secondly, with regards to the ruling on this issue, please check out this fatwa.
In brief, Islam doesn’t stop women from seeking knowledge. Seeking knowledge is not haraamfi nafsihi (in and of itself). It is what the environment and other things that make it haraam. There is absolutely no problem if a woman were to seek a master’s degree in the country in which she resides (along with her family) if all the Islamic guidelines are met. Heading to the west involves a lot of evils. For example, it is not allowed for a muslim woman to travel alone unless she is accompanied by a mahram.
“Come on, we are in the 21st century! It was haraam back then because they used to travel on camels and blah blah! Today, we have airplanes and this and that.”
Being in the 21st century doesn’t change the Islamic ruling. Didn’t Allah know of the future from before? Didn’t He know that airplanes are going to be invented in the future? If you say no, you do not remain a muslim anymore, because you don’t believe that Allah has knowledge of the past and the future. If you say yes, then how is it possible that the rulings of Islam would change when Allah revealed the following aayah during al-hajjatul wada’ (the farewell pilgrimage):
“…This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion….” (Al Qur’an 5:3)
Apart from free mixing between the genders, and travelling without a mahram, there are many other evils that the sister will face when she lives alone. On whom will she depend to get her daily chores done? Who will support her if she gets ill and needs someone to help her and look after her? Living in a country where there is no protection whatsoever and with wolves wandering everywhere who can use her as they like leave her in great danger, and Allah’s refuge is sought. Only Allah is al-Hafiz (the protector), who can save her from all sorts of evil out there.
And that is why, due to the nature of women in which Allah created them, He enjoined that she is to be guarded by her maharim (plural of mahram). Allah gave a muslim woman the status of a queen who has bodyguards around her. Her maharim are her guards protecting her from every calamity. He enjoined that women be under the care of her maharim, and they go with her (whether the mahram is her father, brother, husband and so on) wherever she goes. Why does she want to reject this status and become a regular woman like the kafirah?
Lastly, this trend of muslim sisters going to the west is acting as an example for their juniors. It is as if they are calling their juniors towards misguidance indirectly.
The prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam said, “Whoever calls others to guidance will have a reward like the rewards of those who follow him, without that detracting from their reward in any way. And whoever calls others to misguidance will have a burden of sin like the burden of those who follow him, without that detracting from their burden in any way.” (Narrated by Muslim, 2674)
May Allah help and guide the all the muslims worldwide to follow the only path that leads to Paradise.
Verily, Allah said the truth when He said:
“And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger (Muhammad sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) after the right path has been shown clearly to him, and follows other than the believers’ way. We shall keep him in the path he has chosen, and burn him in Hell – what an evil destination.” (The Glorious Qur’an 4:115)
May Allah send blessings upon the final prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam.
“And who does more wrong than he who is reminded of the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of his Lord, but turns away from them forgetting what (deeds) his hands have sent forth. Truly, We have set veils over their hearts lest they should understand this (the Quran), and in their ears, deafness. And if you call them to guidance, even then they will never be guided.” (The Noble Qur’an 18:57)