So Taught Our Prophet

Hadith 1:
The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said: “When a bondsman washes his face, every sin he contemplated with his eyes will be washed away from his face along with the water, or with the last drop of water; when he washes his hands, every sin they wrought will be effaced from his hands with the water, or with the last drop of water; and when he washes his feet, every sin towards his feet have walked will be washed away with the water, or with the last drop, with the result that he comes out pure from all sins.” (Muslim)

1. How does purifying our body reflect our soul’s purification?
The power of the Islamic way of life is in its understanding of the inextricable link between body and soul, worldly experience and spiritual experience, life in this world and life in the Hereafter. The nature of one inspires and reflects the other. Thus by purifying our body we inspire and reflect our soul’s purification.

Hadith 2:
The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said: “The word of wisdom is the lost property of the believer, so whenever he finds it he has a better right to it.” (Tirmidhi)

1. ‘Acquiring knowledge is obligatory on Muslims’. Explain.
It is a right and duty of a Muslim to seek knowledge. The Messenger of Allah gave glad tidings to anyone who undertakes the task of seeking knowledge. Abu Hurayrah relates that the Prophet said, “For him who embarks on the path of seeking knowledge, Allah will ease for him the way to Paradise.” (Muslim). When a servant of Allah is granted knowledge, he appreciates Allah’s creation more, and becomes more familiar with Allah’s attributes and qualities. As a result, he sincerely witnesses that his Creator is the only one worthy of worship, and then submits to Him humbly.

2. Why is it important for us to gain knowledge about our surroundings?
We ought to know about our surroundings, our environment. The more we know about Allah’s creation the more we know about Him. If we try to know about Allah, the relationship with Him becomes stronger. Therefore, it is important for us to gain knowledge about our surroundings.

Hadith 3:
Abu Hurayrah reported that a person came to Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) and said: “Who among the people is the most deserving of a fine treatment from me?”
He said: “Your mother.”
He again asked: “Then who (next)?”
He said: “Again it is your mother.”
He said: “Then who?”
He said: “Again it is your mother.”
He said: “Then who?”
Thereupon he said: “Then it is your father.” (Muslim)

1. Why have mothers been given more importance than fathers?
It is a mother who surrenders her own body to exhaustion and pain so it could serve as a vessel for carrying our soul into this world. Such an act deserves great importance. Even after the delivery of the baby, a mother’s responsibilities continue. She feeds them and takes care of them by sacrificing her comforts in the day and her sleep in the night without any greed or compulsion but only out of sheer love and affection. This is why from the most important obligations upon a person is to show gratitude to the mother, and kindness and good companionship with her. And in this matter, she is to be given precedence over the father.

2. Mention an ayah and a hadith related to obedience towards parents.
Allah says: “And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them (so much as) “Ugh” (Uff), nor shout at them, and speak to them a generous word”.  [Quran 17: 23]
The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), placed kindness and respect towards parents next to prayers:
‘Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood (May Allah be pleased with him) said: “I asked the Prophet (Peace be upon him), “Which deed is most liked by Allaah?” He said: ‘Prayer offered on time.’ I asked him: ‘Then what? He said, “Kindness and respect towards parents…” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

Hadith 4:
The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him): “O women of the Faithful, do not think it is a little thing which you give to your neighbor even if it is a small part of the leg of a goat.” (Abu Dawud included the addition: ‘Give gifts to each other for surely gifts take away ill-feeling from the hearts.”) (Bukhari)

1. How does giving gifts ‘take away ill-feeling from the hearts.’?
Each individual is responsible for the welfare of others in the community and the community is responsible for him. The smallest gift is a reminder of this, fostering goodness in the soul of the giver and encouraging others to also act righteously.

2. Discuss the importance of generosity among human beings.
A single act of generosity is like a pebble thrown into a pond that creates widening ripples of goodness for us and others. It establishes the spirit of mutual support and co-operation which is essential to Islamic society. It brings people closer to each other by removing greed and jealousy.

Hadith 5:
One day the Prophet (Peace be upon him) was going to Prayer and he saw the people buying and selling. He called to the merchants and traders, so they looked up. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) told them, “Traders will be resurrected on the Day of Judgement as sinners except those who are honest and righteous.” And the Prophet continued: “The honest businessman will be resurrected on the Day of Judgement among the Prophets, with the most truthful and the martyrs.” (Tirmidhi)

1. Mention some advantages of honesty and disadvantages of dishonesty.
When a person is honest, he does not need to give evidence to others for his truthfulness. Such a person is immediately trusted.
Honesty in trading is an act so pleasing to Allah that those who practice will be among the ranks of Allah’s most beloved.
Dishonest person is eventually classified as a liar. No one trusts a single word of a dishonest person.
A dishonest person does not gain success in this world nor in the Hereafter.

2. According to the hadith with whom the honest traders will be resurrected with?
The honest traders will be resurrected with the Prophets, the most truthful and the martyrs.

Hadith 6:
Abu Hurayrah (May Allah be pleased with him) said he heard Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) say: “Swearing produces a ready sale for commodity, but blots out the blessing.” (Muslim)

1. Why is swearing not encouraged is Islam?
Whether the oath is true or not, it degrades the Name of Allah. Swearing very often is a mark of a liar.

2. When is it not necessary to swear by Allah’s name?
To prove that one is being honest or that goods are worth their price. Traders can prove their honesty through their own deeds and history of their dealings.

Hadith 7:
Abu Hurayrah (May Allah be pleased with him) is reported to have heard the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) as saying: “It is better for one among you to bring a load of firewood on his back, and give charity out of it (and satisfy his own need), and be independent of people, than that he should beg from people whether they give him anything or refuse him. Truly the upper hand is better than the lower hand, and begin (charity) with your dependants.” (Muslim)

1. Where does charity start?
Charity begins at home, by providing the essentials for sustaining one’s own family life.

2. ‘Begging leads to laziness.’ Explain the statement.
When one begs, one is dependent upon others for their livelihood. This eventually causes one to be too lazy to work and stand on one’s own feet, because of being used to that dependence.

3. Is it right to hold certain jobs in contempt?
No, it is not. The dignity of earning one’s own living, however, meager, is to be sought after. Even the poorest gain leads to higher self esteem and heavenly reward if they honestly earn their own income, no matter what their profession is.

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PURIFICATION – AT-TAHARAH

1. What is Taharah?
Taharah means Purification. That is ritual purity from every minor and major impurity and defilements. It not only includes cleanliness of body but even clothes, place and all aspects of Muslim’s life.
2. ‘Purity is half of the Faith.’ Elaborate.
Purity holds an important place in Islam. Being clean is to fulfill half the demands of faith. The remaining half covers all other aspects of Faith. To fulfill obligations such as Salah, Tawaf, reciting the Qur’an, Cleanliness is a condition without which the obligations are invalid. ‘Purity is half of the Faith’ without which a Muslim’s Faith will be incomplete.
3. Mention the two kinds of purification.
a. Purification from Hadath – ritual impurity.
b. Purification from Najasa – defilements.
  
4. When does a major ritual impurity occur?
A major ritual impurity occurs in the following four states:
1. Husband and wife conjugal relationship
2. Hayd – Menstruation
3. Bleeding after childbirth
4. Ihtilaam – Wet dreams
5. When does a minor ritual impurity occur?
A minor ritual impurity occurs in the following two states:
1. Relieving nature
2. Loss of consciousness and sleep
6. Who is a Ha’iz and What are the do’s and don’ts for a Ha’iz?
A woman in the condition of menstruation is called Ha’iz
1. Women are excused from performing Salah.
2. They are also exempted from fasting, but not absolutely. They are required to make up the lost days after attaining ritual purity.
3. They are not allowed to touch the Quran.
4. They are not allowed to enter a masjid or perform the Tawaf.
5. They are forbidden to their husbands, until they attain ritual purity.
7. Islam does not prescribe separation for a menstruating woman. Comment.
People should not abstain from sitting together on the same floor or eating together when a woman has her monthly period,making her virtually an untouchable as has been the custom among Jews and some other communities. Islam does not prescribe separation for a menstruating woman. 
8. What is Ghusl? How is it performed?
Ghusl means washing the whole body. According to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) the manner of performing Ghusl is:
1. Wash hands three times
2. Wash and remove every defilement, congealed or liquid, from the body.
3. Do Wodhu as for Salah.
4. Scoop water over the head, running wet fingers through the hair, letting the water reach down the roots of the hair.
5. Pour water over the entire body, beginning with the right side, then the left,
    washing underarms, inside and outside the ears, inside the navel, between the toes.
It is an obligation that the water should reach all the parts of the body. If any part of the skin remains dry, the Ghusl is not valid.
  
9. What is Najasah? Detail the various types of impurities.
Najasah means defilement, including bodily, material and discernible impurities.
Types of impurities:
1. Al-Maita (Carrion) – It means an animal or bird that has died in any way other than the Islamic manner of slaughter. It also includes anything that is cut or torn from the limbs of a live animal.
2. The Hide – It is impure unless it is tanned. Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said, “Tanning removes its impurity; and if the hide is tanned, it is purified.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)
3. Blood – Whether it is of man or animal, menstrual or post-natal, it is unclean.
4. The Swine, living or dead, and what is begotten of it. The flesh of swine is forbidden.
5. The Dog – It is unclean. Dogs render food impure which they lick.
6. Al-Khamr – Wine, literally al-Khamr, is what obscures the intellect. Every drink which causes intoxication is forbidden. Allah’s Messenger said, “Wine is the key to all evils.” (Ahmed)
7. Urine and Excrement- These objects are unclean. It is obligatory to purify garments, body, or place defiled by them.

 

ALLAH IS ALL POWERFUL (Surah Qaf verses 36 – 45)

1. What does the Qur’an command the Prophet to do with regard to the unbelievers?
Allah commands the Prophet to bear with patience what the unbelievers about Resurrection, to turn to Him and perform the prescribed prayers.
2. What is the best time for individual adoration?
Allah should be remembered at all times. But the best time for individual adoration is early in the morning before sunrise, late in the day before sunset, and a portion of the night, when there is stillness in the air, and man’s spirit loves to commune with things spiritual.

NUSAYBAH BINT KA’B رضي الله عنها

1. Who was Nusaybah?
Nusaybah bint Ka’b رضي الله عنها to the famous clan of Banu an-Najjar of Madinah. She was a prominent Ansari woman of the Khazraj of Madinah. Her surname was Umm Umarah.
2. ‘Her courage and bravery were phenomenal’. Substantiate the statement with special reference with regard to her participation in the Battle of Uhud.
Nusaybah رضي الله عنهاdefended the Prophet (peace be upon him) gallantly at a most critical moment in the Battle of Uhud. When the fighting turned against the Muslims, many of them fled, leaving the Prophet exposed to his Quraysh enemies. Nusaybah, however, fought bravely and fought with Ibn Qamiah who tried to kill the Prophet (Peace be upon him). He stuck her neck with his sword causing a deep wound which took a whole year to heal. Altogether she received twelve wounds in the Battle of Uhud. She was undoubtedly a woman of courage!
3. Write a character sketch of Nusaybah bint Ka’b رضي الله عنها
Nusaybah bint Ka’b was one of the most pious Muslim women of Madinah. She was one of the first Muslims of Madinah. She was known for her bravery and courage. She was in the forefront particularly when the Battle of Uhud was fought. She never bothered about her safety and was always concerned about the safety of the Prophet.
Later she fought the apostates of Yamamah and lost her hand and sustained a major wound.
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) was so pleased with her and her family that he prayed to Allah that they might be his companions in Paradise. In the life history of Nusaybah, there is indeed an inspiring  lesson for the modern-day Muslim women.

PROPHET DAWUD عليه السلام

1. Trace the ancestry of Prophet Dawud عليه السلام   
Prophet Dawud’s ancestry goes back to Yaqu’b, the son of Ishaq, the son of Ibrahim. (May Allah’s peace be upon them all)
2. Give an account of Dawud’s acceptance of Jalut’s challenge to combat.
Once an army of fierce fighters came to attack his people. Among them was Jalut. He was a huge man. He came out with his sword and armour and called on any of the soldiers of Bani Israel to come and fight him. When he saw that nobody would fight him he laughed at Bani Israel. It was young Dawud who stepped forward and accepted Jalut’s challenge for a combat.
3. Describe how Dawud slayed Jalut.
Dawud was offered an armour and arms but he declined to use them as he had not tried them, while the shepard’s sling and staff were his well-tried weapons. Dawud picked up a few stones on the spot. Jalut came forward to kill Dawud with his sword but Dawud used his sling and threw a stone which hit Jalut on his forehead. He fell to the ground and before he could recover, Dawud took Jalut’s sword and killed him.
4. Who was Talut? Why did he marry his daughter to Dawud?
Talut was a king. Dawud’s bravery and wisdom in slaying Jalut made Talut develop a liking towards Dawud. This is the reason why he gave his daughter in marriage to Dawud.
5. Which Book was revealed to Dawud عليه السلام by Allah?
Zaboor was the Book that was revealed to Dawud by Allah.
6. What did Dawud عليه السلام preach his people?
Prophet Dawud عليه السلام preached his people to worship and glorify none but Allah.
7. Detail Allah’s blessings on Dawud عليه السلام
* Allah made Dawud His Prophet, gave him kingship, wisdom and sound judgement.
* Allah made Dawud strong in his Kingdom.
* Allah subjected to his the mountains and the birds.
* Allah softened iron for Dawud.
* Allah gave him a son called Sulayman who later became a Prophet
8. Describe how Dawud عليه السلام ruled his kingdom.
Prophet Dawud ruled his vast kingdom with wisdom and justice, and never forgot that all the kingdom belongs to Allah. He advised his people to worship none but Allah.
9. What was Sulayman’s wise judgement in the case where sheep had ruined a man’s crop?
The owner of the field should have the temporary possession and the right of enjoying their product –milk, wool, new-born lambs etc, while the owner should tend the damaged field until it was restored to its former productivity, whereupon both the flock of sheep and the field should revert to their erstwhile owners: in this way the plaintiff would be fully compensated of his loss without depriving the defendant of his substance – the flock of sheep.
10. What moral lessons does the story of Dawud عليه السلام teach us?
* Numbers do not count but Faith does. Help comes from Allah from unexpected quarters.
* Size and strength are of no avail against truth, courage and careful planning.
* A brave believer in Islam tries his own weapons.
* If Allah is with us the enemy’s weapons may become an instrument of his own destruction.
* Pure Faith brings Allah’s reward, in Dawud’s case it was power, wisdom and other gifts.

IMAM ABU HANIFA

1. Who was Abu Hanifa and where was he born?

Abu Hanifa Numan bin Thabit was born in Kufa in 80 AH. He was a great jurist who codified the Fiqh according of the need of his time.
2. What is Abu Hanifa known for?
Abu Hanifa is known for the contributions he made in the field of Fiqh and he is popularly known as the originator of the Hanafi school of thought.
3. What sources was his Qiyas based on?
His Qiyas was based on two sources: the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
4. Name Abu Hanifa’s two students disciples (students)?
Imam Muhammad and Imam Abu Yusuf.
5. Why Abu Hanifa did not want to be part of the government?
As a result of his popularity, several governors tried to make Abu Hanifa work for their governments but he refused in spite of their persecution, because they were unjust and often cruel.
6. What title is given to Abu Hanifa and his followers?
They are generally known as ‘ahl ar-ra’y’ (people of personal opinion)
7. Mention any four countries where Hanafi school of thought is followed?
Hanafi fiqh is followed by most people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Turkey, China, Bangladesh and parts of Egypt.

THE SHARI’AH – THE DIVINE LAW

1. What is Shari’ah?
The Shari’ah is the Divine Law. The word ‘Shari’ah’  means ‘a path leading to water’. Water is the source of life without which man dies.  Shari’ah is the path leading to Allah. Leaving this path is like leaving the path of Allah. Shari’ah, therefore, is the path through which Allah wishes men to walk, and hence every deed without exception falls within the perspective of the law. It signifies an entire way of life
2. What are the sources of Shari’ah?
The Shari’ah is based on two main sources, the Qur’an and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It has two secondary sources, the Ijma and Qiyas.
3. Can Shari’ah be changed? Why?
No, Shari’ah can never be changed because it is the Divine Law, formulated by none other than the Creator and Sustainer of mankind Who knows what is best for His creation.
4. Compare Shari’ah with man-made laws.
                
Shari’ah
Man-made laws
Formulated by the Creator Who has Perfect Knowledge of everything.
Formulated by human beings whose knowledge is utterly imperfect.
Applicable the world over. It is universal in nature.
Applicable only in certain places. It is regional or local in nature.
For e.g. Laws of a country cannot be applied in another country.
Can never be changed.
Changeable every now and then
When applied in life, doesn’t conflict with human nature.
Miserably in conflict with human nature.
No one is above the Law
Suffers bias and favouritism
Based on Justice and Equality
Hardly any role for justice and equality
5. What is Ijma?
Ijma – consensus – is the result of long deliberations by Muslim scholars who are well versed in the Qur’an and Hadith and who work together to reach an agreed formula for solving a particular problem.
6. What is Qiyas?
Qiyas means comparing one thing with another – a reference – and is used to solve modern problems by finding something similar in the Qur’an or Hadith. For example, no one ‘fixed’ heroin in the time of the Prophet, so he never considered it. Through the use of Qiyas, Muslims are able to compare drugs with alcohol – which are also addictive, harmful to bodily functions and mental process – are conclude that drug-taking is against Shariah.
7. Write a brief essay on: Shariah – the Divine Law.
The Shari’ah is the Divine Law. The word ‘Shari’ah’  means ‘a path leading to water’. Water is the source of life without which man dies.  Shari’ah is the path leading to Allah. Leaving this path is like leaving the path of Allah. Shari’ah, therefore, is the path through which Allah wishes men to walk, and hence every deed without exception falls within the perspective of the law. It signifies an entire way of life.
The Shari’ah is based on two main sources, the Qur’an and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It has two secondary sources, the Ijma and Qiyas.
A Muslim must look into the Qur’an first for finding a solution to his problem.
If he finds an answer in the Qur’an, then he must follow it. If he doesn’t find an answer, he must then refer to the Hadith. If he finds an answer in the Sunnah of the Prophet, he must follow it. If he doesn’t find an answer in the Hadith even, then he must refer to the consensus of the Ummah.
Ijma – consensus – is the result of long deliberations by Muslim scholars who are well versed in the Qur’an and Hadith and who work together to reach an agreed formula for solving a particular problem.
Qiyas means comparing one thing with another – a reference – and is used to solve modern problems by finding something similar in the Qur’an or Hadith. For example, no one ‘fixed’ heroin in the time of the Prophet so he never considered it. Through the use of Qiyas, Muslims are able to compare drugs with alcohol – which are also addictive, harmful to bodily functions and mental process – are conclude that drug-taking is against Shariah.
Shariah is Divine in nature and therefore cannot be changed. Shari’ah transcends time and space.
8. What is Fiqh?
Fiqh is Islamic jurisprudence – the science of Islamic law.  The word ‘fiqh’ means ‘knowledge’ or ‘understanding’ and refers to the collection of laws. An action is either lawful or unlawful and the law is usually only concerned with unlawful actions. But in Fiqh, all actions are discussed and there are five categories of behaviour in descending order of lawfulness:
  1. Fard or Wajib – compulsory: doing these is rewarded and not doing them is punished.
  2. Mandub – recommended: doing them is rewarded but not doing them is not punished.
  3. Mubah – permissible: doing them is allowed because they have not been forbidden.
  4. Makruh – disliked: doing them is discouraged but not punished.
  5. Haram – forbidden: doing them is punished.

SURAH QAF, Verses 16 – 26 (LIFE AFTER DEATH)

LIFE AFTER DEATH (SURAH QAF, Verses 16 – 26)
1. Allah is closer to man than his neck-vein. Elaborate.
Allah created man and He knows the innermost desires and motives of man even better than man does himself. He knows more truly the innermost state of our feelings and consciousness than does our own self. Not only Allah is closer to man than his jugular vein but also man’s every word and deed is recorded and will be brought before him on the Day of Judgement to bear witness to our lives.
2. Why is it essential for one to remember the Day of Judgement?
Belief in the Life after Death is one of the demands of Islamic Faith. It is essential for one to remember the Day of Judgement because it keeps a person away from sin and evil. It motivates him to do good deeds and be righteous in this world. The fear of the evil consequences of one deeds is one of the benefits of remembering the Day of Judgement.
3. Who are the writing Angels?
The writing Angels are two: They are the Two Respected Writers (Kiraman Katibeen) who record each and every human being’s evil and good deeds done in this world.
4. What is the Trumpet? When will it be blown?
The Trumpet is the signalling of the end of this world and the beginning of the other world. What we know from the Qur’an is that on the Day of Judgement the Trumpet will be blown at Allah’s command whereupon all will die. Then after a definite period of time, which is known to Allah alone, the second Trumpet will be blown. Now all people ever born on earth will be resurrected. Each individual will be questioned by Allah.
5. What is Shirk? What are its evil consequences?
Shirk is to associate partners with Allah in His Attributes, in His Rights and in His Powers. The evil consequences of Shirk are disgrace in this world and severe punishment in the form of Hell in the Day of Judgement.

SURAH QAF (Verses 1 – 15)

Answer the following questions:
1. When was Surah Qaf revealed? What is the central theme of Surah Qaf?
The Surah Qaf was revealed in the early years of the Prophet’s mission in Makkah.
The central theme of this Surah is mainly devoted to the twin problems of death, Resurrection and the certainty that all human beings will have to answer before Allah for what they have done on earth.
2. What was the attitude of the Makkan pagans towards the Prophet’s call?
The Makkan pagans showed a negative attitude towards the Prophet’s call. They considered it quite strange that Allah could raise men and women after they had died and become mere dust and bones!
3. What does the term Qaf signify in this Surah? How many Suwar of the Qur’an begin with disjointed letters?
One of the Huroof al Muqatta’at, disjointed letters, the term Qaf signifies the beginning of the Surah – the meaning of the letter Qaf is known only to Allah. There are 29 Suwar (Surahs) in the Qur’an which begin with disjointed letters.
4. What is the al-Lawh al-Mahfuz?
A well-protected Register of Allah which has full account of everything of this world, a well-protected Book which has not left out any particle un-recorded!
5. Bring out the significance of the phrase ‘Brethren of Lut’.
Lut was a Prophet of Allah. He was sent as a warner to the people of the town of Sodom. The city was completely destroyed for its evil practices. He considered his people as his brethren. The phrase however refers to the people of all times who indulge in senseless sins like homo-sexualism.
6. What do you know about the people of Tubba and ashab ar-Rass?
Tubba was the title borne by a succession of powerful Himyar kings who ruled for centuries over the whole of  South Arabia. The Himyar were an ancient race.
Ar-Rass means an old well. Ashab ar-Rass means the Companions of ar-Rass. They were the descendents of the Tribe of Thamoud who belied their Prophet and threw him into a well. Allah destroyed the community.
7. What is the true Muslim concept of life?
This life is a test. Man is created for the worship of Allah. The result of this test will be made known in the Day of Judgement when Allah will judge people according to the deeds done in this world. The life of this world is temporary whereas the Life Hereafter is permanent.
8. What will happen to the soul after death?
When a man dies, his physical body perishes. But the soul remains in the grave. It will enjoy the pleasures of Paradise if the man was a righteous believer and the soul will be punished if the man was an evil-doer. The soul will be in this state until Allah gives life to the dead and takes account of all deeds in the Day of Judgement.
9. Who will enter the joys of Heaven?
Those who live a righteous life in this world accordingly to the Divine Guidance would enter the joys of Heaven.
10. Who will be punished in Hell?
Those who reject Divine Guidance and live a life of rebellion will be punished in Hell.
11. Is it difficult to believe in the Resurrection of the body? Why?
No, it is not difficult to believe in the Resurrection of the body because Allah who has created man for the first time, can easily re-create him for the second time as well.