Monday, July 02, 2007


Purpose behind this blog.

I have a simple question for you. What do you think will be the state of Muslims in the west in 20 -30 years time? What do you think will be the most relevant issues the next generation of Muslims in the west will face? Will they even know or understand what Islam is as we do today?.Do we have the knowledge to explain to the next generation why they must remain firm on this religion when our very values such as the veil etc are being attacked?

Lets take a closer look at ourselves, What are we, as practicing muslims, living in the west doing about the problems we face? What are we doing to prevent the genocide that we fear will take place in 20 – 30 years time? People are thinking they will go back home. But home to where?

This blog has a very simple purpose Insha-Allah to open up the mind of the reader and ensure they now accept their responsibility of preserving our religion and of the correct understanding of Islam. Note this is not my understanding or your understanding and this is not a new understanding. Its the understanding we already have amongst some of our learned. All we must do is open up our heart and minds and pray to Allah for guidance and unity of this ummah!

Our vision and aim must be to ensure and safeguard that people stay in this religion in the next generation because they will face much harder times then us. And this can be done only through learning the religion from the scholars of Fiqh, the scholars of Usul, the scholars of Maqasid and then teaching this to others.

AL-Hassan told Mutarraf Ibn Abdullah “Preach your friends” Mutarraf replied “But I am afraid that I might preach what I do not practice myself.” Al-Hassan replied “May Allah have mercy upon! Which one of us does what he preaches? Satan wishes your position be prevailant upon muslims so that no one would enjoin Maroof and forbid Munkar!” [Beacon's of Light on the path of Dua't Dr Muhammed Jamil Ghazi]

This blog is my humble approach at redistibuting the knowledge which I have learn't

There are two main branches of knowledge Fiqh and Aqeedah. According to my Sheikh Sheikh Tawfeeqh Aqeedah takes about 2 years to study and Fiqh takes 10 years to master. May Allah guide us all to this understanding

May Allah dispel our fears and concerns for the next generation and make successful all our efforts in ensuring we remain firm to this perfect deen of ours.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Birthdays my conclusion

If you are thinking after my last entry that I am trying to justify birthdays you are mistaken!!!

Personally I don't feel comfortable celebrating my own birthday. The day of my birth has no significance for me. However If I am invited to a birthday or people give me presents on 28th December or If my children wish to celebrate their own birthday I will not stop them in fact I think we should celebrate it with them. I do not think that this is hypocritical and I am strongly against discouraging people from celebrating birthdays. I feel that we should tell them about the origins only If they are interested but I would like to emphasis that this is my opinion and you should seek the answer for yourself.

Lastly, there are lots more important issues to deal with then birthdays The reason why I have gone on about this issue is because it started this journey. So lets continue insha-allah.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Process of Enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong

After reading my previous post you may think I am inclined to feel that because birthdays originate from pagan practices they are wrong. I would like to inform you my opnion is completely the opposite.

Lets consider, for arguments sake, Birthdays are "wrong" based on personal ijtihad.

In my opinion the more you read and learn about fiqh the more complicated your perspective becomes lets see what the books of fiqh say about how we should deal with something we consider "wrong" based on "personal" ijtihad.

Please read the Commanding the Right and Forbidding the Wrong section in "Reliance of the Traveller." This is the "Handbook" for "Shafi Fiqh". All Shafi scholars refer to this book
If you wish to obtain this book you can download the book here Note you need the Database search program to open it up which can be downloaded here

Note this is a very short section of "Reliance" and will take you about 5 minutes to read.

Please note, all "Fiqh" schools agree with the principles i.e. the "Usul" of this book. Only the Wahabi and Salafi scholars disagree with this book and its principles. Therefore I believe what I am about to mention applies to all schools of Fiqh (Hanafi, Shafi, Hanbali, Maliki) except the "Salafi" school

Here is a couple of quotes if you don't have the time:

The second integral of commanding the right and forbidding the wrong is that the thing censured is something blameworthy that exists at present and is apparent.
Blameworthy means that its occurrence is prohibited by Sacred Law, this being of wider scope than mere disobedience, for someone who sees a child or insane person drinking wine (A: which is not a sin in relation to them) is obliged to pour it out and forbid them.
That exists at present excludes someone who has drunk wine and is now finished, and so forth. It also excludes something which will take place later, as when there is evidence that a person intends to go drinking that night. There is no censure in such cases other than to appeal to the person's conscience.Apparent excludes someone who conceals his disobedience at home and locks his door. It is not permissible to spy on him. An exception is if something is manifest to another outside the house, such as the sound of pipes and lutes. Someone who hears them may enter and break the instruments. If one smells the odor of wine outside the house, the sounder opinion is that it is permissible to enter and condemn it.

Q-3.2: One May Not Condemn Another for Questions Involving Differences Among Schools of Jurisprudence
It is a necessary condition that the thing censured be something whose blameworthiness is not merely established by ijtihad (n: the independent legal reasoning of a particular Imam). Any question in which there is ijtihad may not be a cause for censure. A Hanafi, for example, may not condemn a Shafi'i for eating something slaughtered without the Basmala (dis: j-17.5(4) ), nor a Shafi'i condemn a Hanafi for drinking some nonintoxicating raisin drunk (N: nor a Muslim condemn a non-Muslim for drinking wine (dis: o-11.5(1) ) ). (A: But if two individuals follow the same school of Sacred Law and one commits an act that is unlawful or offensive in that school or in each of the two's respective schools, it is obligatory for the other person to condemn the act even when it involves the ijtihad of their Imam. And the Shafi'i must condemn the Hanafi for eating something slaughtered without the Basmala, as the Hanafi is doing something he believes to be wrong.

Another point to note is that one should not censure someone if you will be in a more reprehensible state then the person doing the reprehensible action:

If one wants to censure something but knows it will result in one's companions also being beaten with one, it is not permissible for one to do so, because one is incapable of removing one blameworthy thing without its leading to another.
(N: It is not lawful to censure anything reprehensible when doing so will lead to a thing or state that is more reprehensible.)

Lastly how we should behave towards preventing and warn people of "potential haram"
The second degree consists of explaining that an act is wrong, since an ignorant person will often do something he does not know is blameworthy, but will stop when he finds out. So one must explain it politely, saying, for example: "People are not born scholars; we were unfamiliar with many things in Sacred Law until scholars mentioned them to us. Perhaps there are not many in your hometown," and thus lead up to it diplomatically so the person understands without being offended. To avoid the evil of remaining silent when there is something wrong, only to commit the evil of offending a Muslim when able not to, it like washing away blood with urine

However in the past many people have fallen into this trap they have followed their desire to keep Islam pure of innovation and condemned practices which the sharia has not condemned because these people (who are not scholars) fear that the masses will become corrupted by their desires. The intention is pure but surely these people have forgotten that Islam does not need this sort of protection. Agreed "Islam came as a stranger and will return as a stranger" but people perceive and convey Islam as pessimists and they forget the very nature of Islam itself.

Agreed we can and must educate people about the origins of birthdays and insha-allah if people feel these things are wrong they will desist. But I say that suggesting birthdays are wrong and looking at birthday practices in negative and dismisive way I say is imposing ones personal "Ijtihad" on others. This is clearly self delusional and in my opinion egotist

I think I have demonstrated my opinion about birthdays. Birthdays are not "haram" no scholar of "fiqh" will ever state that they are "Haram" they may recomend to people that they should do better things with their time. There is evidence that the origins of birthdays are from "pagan" practices but one has to appreciate that using this evidence to advocate that birthdays are wrong is, in essence, imposing ones ijtihad for forbidding the wrong.

Despite this why do we find people and "puritan scholars" who promote that we should NOT celebrate birthdays?

There are two reason for this:

1) Their understanding of the definition of "wrong" and understanding of how we to deal with the "wrong" is not in agreement with the definition and criteria of "wrong" from the scholars of "Fiqh" and "Usul fiqh".

2) Their conservative and egotistical beliefs and pride of their own beliefs.

Both of these apply to the "Salafi" scholars and there is plenty of material on the "Ahl-e-sunnah vs Salafi" debate

Therefore I will only focus on what the definition of "wrong" in terms of "Usul Fiqh" but I will leave that for some other time insha-Allah.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Birthdays, The Facts

Celebration of birthdays is a contentious matter amongst Muslims.

BTW When I talk about birthdays I just mean the concept of the birthday itself. Not the haram practices that can be done at birthday parties like drinking and dancing etc. There is no dispute on this matter. However there is dispute on whether Muslims should or should not celebrate birthdays even by "Halal" means. i.e. if the concept of Birthdays itself is "wrong" then it should be avoided by all means.

Just search on google for "Birthdays Origins" and read How they originate. You will find numerous links to historical accounts of where Birthdays come from. See what Christians say about the Origins of Birthdays. Lastly a secular historic view at Birthdays

A few points I should mention.

1) From my knowledge none of the Anbiya (prophets) (as), Sahaba, Scholars, Pious People in the past or anyone associated with the righteous celebrated their birthday (if anyone can find evidence otherwise in any text Bible, Torah etc please let me know)

2) The Biblical references to birthdays are always associated with a calamity and there are no mention of birthdays in the Qur'an.

3) There is evidence that the Prophet(saw) gave importance to the day he was born (note not the date but the day of the week i.e. Monday as their is a Hadith that he used to fast on Mondays because he was born on a Monday and that was the day his prophet hood started also). However no evidence can be found for giving any significance to the month or the date itself Rabbi- Awal in terms of the significance of the birth month of the Prophet (saw).

So therefore birthdays are wrong or are they?

Leaving the issue aside that Birthdays are not Haram and so we can and should carry on with them.

From reading the above we get the feeling birthdays are "wrong" and "evil" clearly something from shirk is evil and must be avoided.
Lots of people argue based on this We must stop others from committing this evil.
Those that are celebrating birthdays are committing shirk and following their desires of imitating the Kuffar.

Agreed from the Evidence indicates birthdays are wrong and if after reading this you may decide you will not celebrate your own birthday anymore that is your personal choice. Unfortunately Birthdays are not just to do with an individual, they are a social occasion. So how do we deal with issues such as being invited to children's birthday parties or our own children wishing to celebrate their birthdays?

Most Contemporary Fiqh Scholars as you know agree that Birthdays as a concept are not "Haram" or they do not even classify "birthdays" as "Makruh". However I have been told many many people (who are not scholars) that Scholars are against Birthdays because scholars give warnings and they have read and researched the evidence presented. I agree the evidence is quite compelling that birthdays have shirk practices but I think most people are not reflecting on their micro ijtihad on this issue.

To understand my position on birthdays I must first present what the Shafi school defines as "wrong" and the way "Tarieqah" of how we should approach "wrong" and interact with those doing "wrong" i.e. HOW we should "Forbid the wrong" I will cover the first later insha-Allah as the former is covered in a very deep subject called "Usul Fiqh" but for now let us just consider "Birthdays" as "wrong" as you currently perceive what "wrong" means. Lets see how we should interact with "wrong" according to the Shafi Fiqh.

The Start of the Journey

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

Every Journey has a beginning and perhaps it is best we start by describing the purpose of this blog and how it began.

I as a Muslim living in the West, living in a world of conflicts. Conflict between civilizations. Conflict between the Fitrah and Shaytan. Conflict between Justice and Injustice, between Truth and Falsehood. And we are all on life's Journey trying desperately to be on the side of the righteous. As a Muslim we know that Allah has given us guidance from the Quran and the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet (salalahau Allahee wasalaam) yet the interpretation of this source has yet again let us into conflicts amongst ourselves. Who is right? Who is wrong? Where do we stand?

We feel helpless we turn to Allah to strengthen our Iman to turn away this feeling of helplessness and we have hope that Allah will grant us knowledge that will strengthen our Iman so we can prove to ourselves that our position is correct and reveal to us knowledge to correct our understanding.

We know that Truth always prevails over Falsehood and Allah answers the prayers of his servant.

This blog is a series of notes on my journey ,my thoughts and my prayers for guidance and insha-allah the answers I find in the knowledge of our great Islamic heritage the Knowledge and Wisdom of Great Scholars of the past and the present. It is their Knowledge, their understanding that I wish to share with you all.

Hopefully after reading it will help strengthen our Iman and understanding of Allahs Deen. I pray to Allah for Unity of the Ummah

Lastly My intention is not that I want you to agree with me in fact. I wish for all those who read this to post comments and please correct me if my understanding is wrong and why (providing evidences not just their own understanding please)

It started naturally when I found myself in the middle of a matter of interpretation. The issue itself is very trivial but has lead to me thinking in a much broader context. The issue is the celebration of Birthdays. and I will cover my thoughts and my journey on issue in my next entry insha-Allah.