The I’tikaf

1. What is I’tikaf?
I’tikaf is to stay in a mosque for a certain number of days, especially in the last ten days of Ramadan.
2. What was the practice of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) regarding I’tikaf?
It was the practice of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) to spend several days and nights during Ramadan in the mosque, devoting himself to prayer and meditation, to the exclusion of all worldly activities.
3. What is the purpose of I’tikaf?
The main purpose is to seclude oneself from all worldly activities, and devote one’s whole time and energy to the remembrance of Allah.
4. Mention the kinds of I’tikaf?
There are two kinds of I’tikaf: Sunnah Mu’akkadah and Wajib
5. What conditions control the act of I’tikaf?
Three conditions control the act of I’tikaf:
  1. The Niyyah
  2. 2. To be in a state of purity
  3. Staying in the mosque.
6. What are the commendable things in I’tikaf?
1. To recite the Qur’an and understand its meanings
2. To engage oneself in the zikr (remembrance) of Allah
3. To seek forgiveness of one’s sins
4. To invoke blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)
7. What are the permissible things in I’tikaf?
1. To leave the masjid to relieve oneself or to take bath or for any lawful need
2. To leave for salatul jummah, if it is not held in the mosque where one is observing I’tikaf.
3. To eat, drink and sleep in the mosque.
8. Mention the things that nullify an I’tikaf.
1. Leaving the mosque intentionally without any genuine reason
2. Conjugal relations
3. Loss of purity by menstruation in case of women


1. What is the Arabic word for fasting?
‘Sawm’ is the Arabic word for fasting.
2. What is fasting?
Fasting is to abstain from eating, drinking and conjugal relations; from dawn to dusk for the sake of Allah.
3. On whom fasting is obligatory?
Fasting is obligatory on every sane Muslim, male and female.
4. What sort of people may not fast?
Fasting is not incumbent upon the sick, the travellers, the very old, the very young and the women who are pregnant or have infant children to feed. But the sick and the travellers should make up the days they have missed, when they are able to do so.
5. Mention some of the virtues of fast?
According to a hadith, “Every good of man is granted manifold increase – ten to seven hundred times. But Allah says, ‘Fasting is for Me, and I reward for it as much as I wish”. True fasting leads to forgiveness of all sins.
6. What is a voluntary fast?
It is a non-compulsory fast observed in days other than Ramadan.  Voluntary fast is called as ‘Sawm an-Nawafil’.
7. Mention the days over the year on which Sawm an-Nawafil is commended.
1. Six days of Shawwal
2. Ninth of Dhul-hijjah (that is, Day of Arafah)
3. Tenth of Muharram
4. 13th, 14th and 15th of each Islamic month
5. Mondays and Thursdays
6. In the month of Shaban
7. On alternate days

FATIMAH AZ-ZAHRA رضي ا لله عنها

1. Who was Fatimah Az-Zahra What was her mother’s name? When was she born? 
Fatimah Az Zahra was the youngest of the four daughters of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Her mother’s name was Khadijah. She was born about five years before the prophethood of Allah’s Messenger.

2. Describe Fatimah’s marriage with Ali. 
Fatimah was married to Ali in 2 H. A ram was sacrificed, a wedding feast was arranged, and the house was readied for the bridal couple. Soft sand was brought from the sea-bed and was scattered it over the earthen floor. Dates and figs were laid out for the guests to eat in addition to the main meal, and a water-skin was filled with water they had perfurmed. This wedding feast was the finest held in Madinah at that time.

3. Fatimah’s life after her marriage was rigorous. Discuss. 
Fatimah’s life after her marriage was rigorous as she had no one in the house to help her. Ali, her husband, earned some money as a drawer and carrier of water, and she as a grinder of corn.

4. What did Allah’s Messenger do when Fatimah asked him to give her a servant? 
Allah’s Messenger said, ‘When you go to bed you say: Allahu Akbar thirty four times, Subhanallah thirty-three times, and Alhamdulillah thirty-three times; this is better for you than a servant.’

5. How many children did she have? 
She had five children, three sons, Hasan, Husayn and Muhsin; and two daughters, Zaynab and Umm Kulthum.

6. When did Fatimah die? 
Fatimah died on 3rd Ramadan in 11 H.

7. What had she willed before her death?
Before her death, Fatimah willed that her body be carried for burial in such a way that no one could recognise whether it was the body of a man or woman.

8. Write a character sketch of Fatimah. 
Fatimah resembled her father closely in habits, traits and in manner of conversation. She was kind and polite. She was a brave and a courageous lady. As there was no one to help her at home, she used to the rigorous household work by herself.

9. Modern Muslim women have indeed an example to copy in Fatimah. Do you agree with this view?
Not only do I agree with this view but also firmly believe that much of the problems in Muslim families will be solved if Fatimah’s inimitable character is imbibed by the modern day Muslim women.

10. Who were the four great women of the world according to the Prophet? 
The four great women of the world according to the Prophet were Khadijah, Fatimah, Maryam bint Imran and Asi’yah (wife of Pharoah).

11. What did the Prophet once say once about Hasan and Husayn? 
The Prophet said, ‘Dearest unto me of the people of my house are Hasan and Husayn’.


1. Can a needy believer keep away from work without a genuine reason?
No, a needy believer can’t keep away from work without a genuine reason.

2. Earning a lawful living is an obligation. Explain. 
One has to earn a living in order to survive in this world. Islam enjoins and emphasises that a Muslim’s earnings must be through lawful means. Able-bodied Muslims are not permitted to beg and live at the mercy of others. Earning a lawful living is a form of worship (Ibadah), and therefore, an obligation in Islam.

3. What is the dignity of work in Islam? 
Dignity lies in working and striving to make a lawful living. Be it a white-collared job or a menial job, a job signifies that the worker has respect and honour. No job is to be held in contempt or considered inferior. Honour belongs to those who work and not to those who sit idle and survive as parasites.

4. What standard does Islam set on earning a living? 
The general standard about earning a living is that Islam does not permit its followers to earn money in any way they like; rather it draws a clear line between lawful and unlawful methods based on the Qur’an and the Sunnah. There is no limit for earning. Muslims are permitted to earn as much as they can provided they do lawful business adopting lawful means.

5. Allah’s Messenger disliked beggary and lethargy. Discuss. 
The fact that Allah’s Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), disliked beggary and lethargy can be understood from the following Hadith: ‘It is better for one of you to take his rope and fetch a load of firewood on his back and sell it than he should beg from people whether they give anything or refuse him’.

6. Is it right to hold certain manual jobs in contempt? Why?
No, it is not right to hold certain manual jobs in contempt because every job is important for the welfare of the society.

7. Which professions and industries does Islam forbid to believers?
Some of the professions and industries that are forbidden to believers are earning through:
1. Dancing and other immodest and shameful art
2. Making statues and similar articles
3. Production, sale and distribution of alcoholic drinks and drugs
4. Employment in night clubs, dancing halls, pubs, casinos and organisations dealing in usury
5. Gambling, interest, bribery, lotteries and such other practices which are harmful to the society.

8. What is the teaching of Islam relating to payment to workers?
The teaching of Islam relating to payment to workers is highlighted in the hadith: Pay the worker before his sweat dries. The workers must be paid promptly and there should not be any delay in the payment of their wages or salaries.

9. What will be the fate of the one who underpays his workers or just does not pay at all? 
The fate of the one who underpays his workers or just does not pay at all will be that Allah will become his adversary on the Day of Judgement. And when Allah becomes someone’s adversary, his fate is doomed.

So Taught Our Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم


1. “Never does a Believer draw a veil over the nakedness of another Believer without Allah’s drawing a veil over his nakedness on the Resurrection Day”. 
What does this hadith mean? 
It means that a Muslim should not reveal the shortcomings and defects of other Muslims. If we hide them from others, Allah will hide our shortcomings and defects on the Day of Resurrection. Allah will forgive our sins as none else except Him knows our weaknesses and defects.

2. ‘Allah, the exalted be He, says: if a servant of Mine merely desires to do good, I shall count this desire as a good deed; and if he does it I shall count it tenfold. and if he desires to commit a bad deed; but he does not commit it, I shall count it as a good deed, seeing that he has refrained from it only for My sake’. 
1) The above-quoted hadith, is it Hadith Qudsi or Hadith Nabawi? 
The above-quoted Hadith is Hadith Qudsi because it starts with the wordings ‘Allah, exalted be He,  says………’.

2) Allah is Most Kind and Merciful. Explain this in the light of the above-quoted hadith.
The fact that Allah considers even a Muslim’s mere desire, good or bad, as a good act, speaks volumes about the benevolence of Allah. Had it been otherwise, Allah would have considered the actual doing of the act, and not just the desire. One good deed is accounted as ten good deeds. Even refraining from committing a bad is accounted as doing one good deed. All these are clear pointers to the fact that Allah is indeed the Most Merciful towards His creation.

3) What is the purpose behind this hadith? 
The purpose is to encourage Muslims towards the contemplating and doing of good deeds. It is to motivate Muslims to do more and more good deeds so that they get manifold reward from Almighty Allah. It also clearly tells Muslims to be mindful of their intention. Even desire and good intention fetches reward.

4) ‘And if he desires to commit a bad deed; but he does not commit it, I shall count it as a good deed, seeing that he has refrained from it only for My sake’. Explain. 
Human mind is a factory of thoughts. Bad desires and thoughts coming to one’s mind are not bad in itself. The real test lies in not putting those bad desires into action. If a Muslim refrains from committing a bad act for the sake of Allah, then Allah shall count even this refraining as doing a good deed.

3. In the sight of Allah, the most hateful of things allowed, is divorce. 
1) What do you understand by the phrase ‘in the sight of Allah’? 
In the sight of Allah means according to Allah.

2) What is the most hateful of things allowed in Islam? 
Divorce is the most hateful of things allowed in Islam.

3) Does the Prophet (pbuh) mean that a Muslim should not practice divorce? 
No, the Prophet did not mean that. What is important here is that Muslims must exercise utmost care in pronouncing divorce, as it is the most hated of all the permitted acts in Islam.

4) Why divorce is the most hateful of all things allowed in Islam? 
It is because divorce separates two hearts and with their separation, two families get separated bringing problems in the Muslim society. It adversely affects the woman who is divorced. Her life becomes miserable. It shatters peace of mind and brings enmity between the families. It also badly affects the growth of the children of the divorced parents. Allah is Kind and Merciful. He wants Muslim society to live in peace and harmony. That is why He hates the act of someone divorcing his wife.

4. ‘Four things make for happiness: a righteous wife, a spacious dwelling, an honest neighbour, and a pleasant mount’. 
1) What are the four things that make one’s life happy? 
The four things that make one’s life happy are: 1) A Righteous Wife 2) A Spacious House 3) An Honest Neighbour 4) A Good Vehicle

2) Why did the Prophet mention the having of ‘A Righteous Wife’ in the first place, as a priority? One marries to live a happy life. A man’s life cannot be happy and peaceful if his wife is not righteous. Similarly, a woman’s life cannot be happy and peaceful if her husband is not righteous. So, the unmarried people must give first priority to good character and righteousness while selecting their life partner.

3) Why did the Prophet include ‘An Honest Neighbour’ in the list of things needed to make one’s life happy?
No man is an island. One has live in the society, adopting caring and sharing attitude. If one’s neighbour happens to be dishonest or a trouble maker, then one can’t lead a happy life. There will always be fighting with the neighbour and a sense of insecurity will prevail. That’s why the Prophet said one’s neighbour should be honest, which also means that you need to adopt honesty; after all, you are also someone’s neighbour!

5. “It is enough to make a man liar that he should go on repeating all that he might hear”.
What does his hadith teaches us? 
This hadith tells us to be careful while talking to others. It also warns us not to communicate what all we might hear from people or come to know through the media. A Muslim must be careful in his communication. Before communicating any matter we need to check its authenticity lest we communicate a lie being unaware of the real fact behind what we communicate. And, as the Prophet said, the sign of a liar is that he goes on repeating all that he hears.

6. A woman is sought in marriage on account of four things: her property, her family, her beauty, her piety. Seek to find one for the sake of her piety”. 
Why did the Prophet insist on marrying a girl of piety? 
Piety and right conduct will last long. The other three things mentioned in the hadith do not necessarily last. Today one may have property, tomorrow it won’t be there. Today one may be physically beautiful, tomorrow physical beauty will fade. But the inner beauty of righteousness will stay throughout one’s life until death. And it is also a fact that if piety is missing, then all material possessions of this world won’t bring peace in the family. What is true for a girl is true for a boy as well!

7. “Pay the worker before his sweat dries.”
Explain this hadith.
In this hadith, the Prophet Muhammad has instruction the employers and owners of companies to pay the wages and salaries of the employees promptly. They should not delay the salaries and wages of the workers as it is unjust and mean. To emphasis on how quick a Muslim employer should pay his staff, the Prophet has said that it should be paid ‘before his sweat dries’. How lofty is the teachings of Islam and how badly its teachings are trampled upon by the people at the helm of affairs!

8. ‘When a person spends on his wife and children, it is counted as charity on his part.’ 
What do you understand from the above quoted hadith? 
Money spent even for maintaining one’s family, wife and children, do not go waste. It is like an investment for which man will be rewarded. Taking care of one’s family is the best way to an honest and decent living. As one cannot give charity for illegal purposes and prohibited acts, in a similar way man cannot spend his money in whatever way he likes for the sake of the love of his family. He has to spend his hard-earned money in the right way for the right cause. Only then it is will be accounted as charity.

9. ‘If any Muslim clothes a Muslim when he is without clothes, Allah will clothe him with some green garments of paradise; if any Muslim feeds a Muslim when he is hungry, Allah will feed him with the fruits of paradise; and if any Muslim gives a drink to a thirsty Muslim, Allah will let him drink from the fountain of Paradise.’ 
1) What noble acts are mentioned by the Prophet (peace be upon him) in the above quoted Hadith? Clothing a Muslim when he is in need of clothes, feeding a poor and needy Muslim and providing water to a thirsty Muslim are the noble acts that are mentioned in this Hadith.

2) What will be the reward for the one who puts this Hadith into practice? 
The reward will be that in Hereafter Almighty Allah will make him enter Paradise and he will enjoy all the blessings therein.

3) What is the specific reward for a Muslim who gives a drink to a thirsty Muslim? 
If any Muslim gives a drink to another Muslim when he is thirsty, Allah will make him drink from the Fountain of Paradise in the life Hereafter.

4) What is the moral of this hadith? 
The moral of this hadith is that Muslims who are fortunate to have been blessed with the bounties of Allah in form of wealth and richness must share some of the bounties with those poor and needy Muslims who are not fortunate in terms of wealth.

10. ‘Beware, in everybody there is a piece of flesh, if it is healthy, the whole body is healthy, and if it is sick, the whole body is sick. Beware it is the heart’. 
Explain the above-mentioned hadith.
Human heart is the centre of all feelings and emotions. Feelings, good or bad, are directed from the heart. If the heart is set right, the whole person will be good and if the heart has bad feelings, the person will be of bad character. Therefore, every Muslim should be mindful of his heart. The Prophet has advised Muslims to remember Allah at all times so that the heart can be prevented from getting bad.

11. ‘When a person is drowsy during his Prayers, let him go to sleep until he knows what he recites’. 
1) What should a Muslim do when he is feeling drowsy in prayers? 
When a Muslim feels drowsy in Prayers, he should stop praying and go to sleep!

2) Why did the Prophet say that a Muslim who feels drowsy in prayers must go to sleep? 
Prayer is a sacred duty. It must be performed properly with utmost care. The person who prays must know what he is communicating with his Lord. In a state of drowsiness, one doesn’t know what one is reciting. And when one does not know what one is saying in Prayers, it would amount to playing with Allah and taking prayers for granted. Prayers must be performed in a conscious way. This is the reason why the Prophet said that a Muslim who feels drowsy in prayers must go to sleep.

12. ‘The best Jihad is to speak the truth before a tyrant’. 
1) What is Jihad? 
Jihad is to strive one’s utmost against evil and falsehood.

2) Explain the above-quoted hadith.
Speaking the truth requires boldness and courage. It cannot be done by cowards and weak-minded people. And speaking the truth before a tyrant, an oppressor, needs greater courage and fearlessness. The repercussions of speaking the truth before a tyrant will always be dangerous and risky to one’s life. One has to struggle through in order to speak the truth in front of an oppressor. That is why the Prophet termed it as the best Jihad.

13. ‘One who tries to help a widow and the poor is like a warrior in the way of Allah’.
1) What is the Arabic word for warrior?
Mujahid is the Arabic word for warrior. It also means ‘the one who strives against evil’.

2) What is the Arabic phrase for ‘in the way of Allah’. 
The Arabic phrase equivalent of the English phrase ‘in the way of Allah’ is ‘Fi Sabeelillah’.

3) What is the purpose behind this hadith?
The purpose is multi-folded. It is to convey the message to the Muslims that Jihad is not just fighting the enemy on the war front but Jihad is also to serve the cause of humanity by helping the poor and the weaker sections of the society. It is also to motive the Muslims to become facilitators in the upliftment of the Muslim society. One who struggles to help the poor and the widows in fact struggles in the way of Allah. He fights for their cause. He tries to bestow upon them the human rights which the society has violated. He, therefore, is a warrior in the way of Allah.