August 16, 2022 | Muharram 18, 1444
Al-Baqarah (The Cow)
Chapter 2: Verse 264 (partial)
"O you who have attained to faith! Do not deprive your charitable deeds of all worth by stressing your own benevolence and hurting [the feeling of the needy], as does he who spends his wealth only to be seen and praised by men, and believes not in God and the Last Day."
Throughout the Quran humankind is asked to find the measure in which it will give and to remain discreet and respectful of others. Indeed, one's way of giving is in itself a testimony of faith: if you have no need to be seen by others, it is a sign that you know God is always with you. Discretion also safeguards the dignity of those you help.
This duty to be discreet is more important than it may appear: it bears the mark of respect for people's dignity in all circumstances, even the most intimate. The aim is to prevent evil, to give before the poor need to beg, and to try to avoid being seen by anyone so that no one has to be embarrassed or look the other way for no reason. When society does not give what its members are entitled to have, the more affluent among them must express the greatness of this principle of dignified generosity. The Quran constantly paints this landscape, which must not be forgotten in our personal economic management.
"Westerm Muslims and The Future of Islam" - Tariq Ramadan, pp. 180-181
From Issue: 500 [Read original issue]
The Prophet (peace be upon him) is reported to have said: “The best of your religion is the easier options therein.” [Bukhari]
Thus, when there are different answers to the same question and when easier options may be available in the practice of a religious duty, judgment, fatwa, and ijtihad, the easier option should be preferred.
The Prophet’s widow Aishah reported that the Prophet was always inclined toward preventing hardship and lightening the people’s burdens as far as possible. Thus, she reported that, “he [the Prophet] did not choose but the easier of the two options so long as it did not amount to a transgression.” [Muslim]
The Prophet has also advised the believers to take advantage of the concessions God has granted to them, for “God loves to see that His concessions are taken, just as He loves to see that His commandments are obeyed.” [Al Albani]
The purport of this message is illustrated in another hadith text with regard to fasting (of Ramadan): “It is not a virtue to observe the fast when one is travelling.” [Mishkat]
"The Middle Path of Moderation in Islam: The Qur'anic Principle of Wasatiyyah" - Hashim Kamali
From Issue: 847 [Read original issue]
Laylat ul-Qadr is the most blessed night. A person who misses it has indeed missed a great amount of good. If a believing person is zealous to obey his Lord and increase the good deeds in his record, he should strive to encounter this night and to pass it in worship and obedience. If this is facilitated for him, all of his previous sins will be forgiven.
There is no consensus of the Ummah over when the night of Qadr occurs. Imam Razi has a few novel points to offer on why that is the case:
Allah concealed its knowledge from His slaves since His rida (approval and pleasure) is concealed in devotions to Him, and in concealment of the night is the cause of increase in devotions. This is following His general method: He concealed His friend (waliyy) among the people in order that all people might be respected; He concealed His response to supplications in order that they might resort to it oftener; He concealed His Great Name (Al-Ism al-A'zam [some scholars believe that Allah is the Ism al-A'zam. YMFN ED]) in order that all of His Names might be revered; He concealed the accepted prayer in order the people pay special attention to every Prayer; He concealed the time of death in order that the people never be oblivious of it.
Again if the night of Qadr been known, the sins of the sinners in that night would have weighed heavily upon them, since, to commit sins on a known blessed occasion is greater in enormity than when committed on the same blessed occasion but without the sinner knowing that it is a blessed occasion.
Three Ways to Seek Laylat ul-Qadr
1. Performing Night Prayer (Qiyam)
It is recommended to make a long night prayer during the nights on which Laylat ul-Qadr could fall. This is indicated in many hadiths, such as the following:
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever stands (in qiyam) in Laylat ul-Qadr [and it is facilitated for him] out of faith and expectation (of Allah's reward), will have all of his previous sins forgiven." [Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad]
2. Making Supplications
It is also recommended to make extensive supplication on this night. Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that she asked Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him), "O Messenger of Allah! If I knew which night is Laylat ul-Qadr, what should I say during it?" And he instructed her to say: 'Allahumma innaka afuwwun tuhibbul afwa fafu annee - O Allah! You are forgiving, and you love to forgive. So forgive me.'" [Recorded by Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and at-Tirmithi. Verified to be authentic by Al-Albani]
3. Abandoning Worldly Pleasures for the Sake of Worship
It is further recommended to spend more time in worship during the nights on which Laylat ul-Qadr is likely to be. This calls for abandoning many worldly pleasures in order to secure the time and thoughts solely for worshipping Allah. Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported: "When the (last) ten started, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would tighten his izaar (i.e. he stayed away from his wives in order to have more time for worship), spend the whole night awake (in prayer), and wake up his family." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
"Tafsir Ishraq al-Ma'ani" - Syed Iqbal Zaheer
“How to Seek Laylat ul-Qadr” – Muhammad Nasir-ud-Deen al-Albani
From Issue: 647 [Read original issue]