Not Paying Zakaat ! Beware Of The Athaab !

THE FOLLOWING episode was narrated by Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (rahmatullah alayh), and it happened in Thana bavan where Hadhrat was resident.

A Mullaji had horded a sum of money which he kept in an earthenware vessel underground. He would almost daily open up the jar and count the money. His extreme love for the money prevented him from paying the compulsory Zakaat. Some youngsters who were his students had observed the daily practice of the Mullaji. One day during the absence of the Mullaji, they stole the money. With some of the money they prepared a lavish meal, and also invited Mullaji. Whilst eating, the Mullaji enquired about the occasion for having prepared such a sumptuous feast. The youngsters said: “Hadhrat this is as a result of your blessings.”

However, the Mullaji asked several times for the reason of the feast. But the youngsters each time responded with the same comment. When one boy sarcastically laughed, the Mullaji became apprehensive. It occurred to him that there was something sinister about the feast. He became so much disturbed that he discontinued
eating and hastened to his room. When he opened the jar, he was so terribly shocked to discover that his money was missing that he suffered a heart attack and died on the spot. The youngsters who had played the prank were remorseful. They informed the people of what had transpired. A pious Aalim, Maulana Sa’duddeen of the town told the people that the money which was the cause for the death of the Mullaji was accursed and that they should bury it with him. Thus the remainder of the money was put in a bag and buried together with  Mullaji.

A robber being apprized of this episode thought the Aalim was a moron hence he advised that such a considerable sum of money be wasted. During the night time, the robber opened the grave to steal the money. When he opened the grave, to his surprise he saw all the silver coins neatly spread out on the kafan of Mullaji. The coins were all sparkling very brightly. As the robber touched a coin, he let out a terrible scream. The extreme heat of the coin was unbearable.

In fear the robber fled. The sizzling pain would not disappear. Nothing could cool his burning finger. He had to keep his finger immersed in a container of cold water permanently. This would give him some relief. Whenever he removed his hand to change the water, the sizzling pain would compel him to scream. The mayyit
(Mullaji) was being tormented with the silver he had horded and whose Zakaat he had not paid.

The Qur’an warns those who do not pay Zakaat that their faces and bodies will be branded with the heated coins which they used to horde on earth.

Related Article: Guide to Zakah – Understanding & Calculation

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Merrymaking in the garb of I’tikaaf (Functions & Programmes Deceptively labelled as ‘I’tikaaf’)

[Majlisul Ulama]

UBBAAD AND QURRAA’ 

Ubbaad = worshippers   
Qurraa = Qur’an reciters (qaaris). 

In aakhiruz zamaan (the end of times – times in proximity to Qiyaamah), there will juhhaal  ubbaad and fussaaq qurraa.” (Hadith) 

The qaaris of show and money, and the halqah thikr,  bid’ati worshippers, the mass I’tikaaf crowds, etc. are conspicuous Signs of Qiyaamah mentioned in this Hadith.

MOCKERY OF IBAADAT FOR NAFSAANI ENDS

Complaining  about  the  merrymaking  mock  ‘i’tikaafs’  and  other nafsaani  shenanigans  orchestrated  in  the  Musaajid  during  the  Holy Month  of  Ramadan,  a  Brother  from  the  U.S.A.  writes:

“Asalaamualaikum.

What  is  the  ruling  on  the  mass  ‘I’tikaaf’  that  takes  place  in  the  last ten  nights  of  Ramadan? Some  of  the  Aalims  who  have  set  themselves  up  as  Shuyookh  of Tasawwuf  in  the  U.K  will  disappear  for  Umrah  for  the  first  20  days  of Ramadan  (most  probably  to  get  away  from  Fasting  for  23  hrs  in the  mid-summer  heat)  and  then  come  back  to  conduct  their  mass or  mess  gatherings  in  the  last  ten  days.

Their  action  boggles  my  mind  because  the  last  10  days  are  the most  sacred.  Why  leave  such  a  Holy  Sanctuary  as  the  Haramain Shareefain  to  conduct  the  mass  proceedings  in  the  U.K.  or U.S.? (The  reason  for  rushing  back  for  the  last  ten  days  is  the pursuit  of  the  dunya.  They  are  deprived  of  the  mass  merrymaking in  the  Haramain  Shareefain.  There  they  will  not  stand  out  as ‘hadhrats’  to  be  worshipped.  They  will  be  ordinary  laymen,  and  in this  there  is  no  fun,  no  acclaim,  no  aggrandizement  and  no hadyahs.  – The  Majlis)

You  have  not  seen  anything  like  this  show  which  takes  place  in  the last  ten  days  and  nights  of  this  auspicious  Month. 500  or  more persons  take  part.  It  is  a  ‘memorable’  sight  to  behold,  and  to  shake your  head  in  bewilderment.  Their  hadhrat  saheb  will  have  his  own conspicuous  tent,  the  size  of  a  small  room  in  one  corner  of  Masjid if  he  is  in  Iti’kaaf,  Or  in  some  cases  the  Masjid  is  custom  built  in such  a  way  that  the  Buzurg  will  have  a  small  room  with  a  toilet  and shower  just  like  in  a  hotel  and  Allah  knows  best  ……

The  best  part  of  the  pantomime  show  is  at  Fajr  time,  The  Salaah  of Fajr  will  always  be  delayed  by  5-10  sometimes  even  15  mins. (This is  one  of  the  shenanigans  of  the  imposter  ‘shaikhs’  to    have  all eyes  focused  on  him  when  he  emerges  from  his  cloisture  in  full regalia. – The  Majlis)

In  anticipation  of  the  hadhrat  saheb  to  come  out  of  hiding  to commence  Salaah  there  will  be  total  silence,  it  would  not  be  an exaggeration  to  say  that  if  the  Masjid  had  a  hard  floor  a  pin  drop would  be  heard,  No  one  will  be  making  Dhikr  at  this  time  and everybody’s  attention  will  be  focused  on  the  door  from  which  the ‘wali’  of  Allah  will  make  an  appearance.

Then  finally  the  door  will  creak  open  and  the  hadhrat  with  kingly dignity  will  walk  into  the  Masjid  taking  baby  steps  with  his  elite group  and  entourage  of  servants  following  behind  like  bridesmaids behind  the  bride.  (Was  this  the  Sunnah  of  Rasulullah  –sallallahu alayhi  wasallam?  The  poor  hadhrat  is  blissfully  ignorant  of  the  fact that  Rasulullah  –  sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam  –  always  maintained an  unostentatious  presence  when  he  was  among  a  group  of  his Sahaabah. – The  Majlis)

He  will  in  slow  motion  look  at  the  crowd,  then,  like  the  pope blessing  his  underlings,  say  ‘Asalaamualaikum’.  With  500  –  600  or even  more  chelas/followers  in  unison  chanting  “wa  alay  kumus salaam”,  it  is  another  ‘memorable’  episode.  After  this,  the  entire congregation  will  stand  up  for  Salaah.  (In  the  Musjid  the  standing up  for  the  Fardh  Salaat  is  initiated  by  the  Iqaamah,  not  by  a  man whom  people  have  made  an  idol. – The  Majlis)

I  don’t  know  if  i  am  wrong  to  say  this  but  it  bothers  me  a  lot.  Why can’t  these  hadhrat  sahebs  sit  in  anticipation  for  Salaah  in  the  first saff  a  few  moments  before  Salaah?  Why  can’t  these  people  adopt an  approach  which  resembles  humility  instead  of  an  approach  of Pride?  (They  act  like  Fir’oun.  They  can’t  lower  their  hallucinated dignity  by  sitting  in  the  saff  with  the  ‘rabble’  because  in  this  there  is no  attention  drawn  to  them.  Their  ego  is  in  demand  of  inflation. These  jaahil  peers  and  shaikhs  are  ignorant  of  the  Sunnah,  hence they  set  themselves  up  as  ‘gods’  (Arbaabam  min  doonillaah).

I  have  been  told  such  people  have  such  a  high  level  of humbleness  and  piety  that  they  are  totally  oblivious  to  the  fact  that 500+  people  are  there  watching.  (If  they  had  genuine  tawwadhu’  humility  –  they  would  not  be  following  in  the  shadows  of  Fir’oun, Haamaan  and  Nimrood.  –  The  Majlis)

On  one  hand  we  have  the  so  called  hadhrats  of  England  with  their mass  ‘I’tikaaf’  gatherings,  and  on  the  other  hand  we  have  their American  counterparts,  the  Imaams  and  trustees  of  Masaajid, organizing  mass/mess  so-called  ‘I’tikaaf  parties.  Talk  about  mass deviation.  The  following  are  their  shenanigans:

A  massive  tent  that  costs  $35,000  is  erected  outside  the  Masjid.  A barrier  is  then  placed  inside  this  tent  to  separate  males  and females.  (The  scenario  of  zina  having  habaailush  shaitaan  –  the traps  of  the  devil  –  in  the  same  venue  of  merrymaking  –  The Majlis)

A  chart/list  is  placed  inside  the  Masjid  for  each  of  the  30  days  of Ramadan.  Brothers  are  encouraged  to  put  their  names  on  this list  to  fund  the  food  for  that  particular  evening’s  ‘Iftaar’  party. Please  note,  each  night  these  shenanigans  take  place,  it  costs  a whopping  $1700  for  food  that  is  cooked  in  the  local  restaurants  to feed  400+    Brothers  and  Sisters,  some  of  whom  Allah  Ta’ala  has blessed  with  tremendous  wealth.  –  They  devour  carrion  and  a variety  of  mushtabah  and  haraam  food  with  which  to  ruin  their Fast.  They  are  the  brothers  of  shaitaan  for  squandering  so  much money  when  Muslims  are  starving  world-wide.  –  The  Majlis)

The  red  herring  of  “great  reward  to  feed  a  fasting  person  in  the month  of  Ramadan”  is  pumped  into  the  minds  of  the  ignorant public  to  fleece  them  of  the  money  required  to  make  this  happen.

On  Jumuah  the  Imaam  preaches  the  following.

‘Brothers  and  Sisters  do  not  break  your  fasts  at  home,  we  will provide  the  food  for  everyone  at  the  Masjid  in  the  Holy  month  of Ramadan,  you  will  gain  the  benefit  of  praying  the  Salaah’s  of Maghrib,  Isha  and  Taraweeh  with  Jamaat“.  (We  are  living  in  the era  of  the  juhala  leading  the  juhala.  The  public  is  jaahil,  the  imams are  jaahil,  the  trustees  are  jaahil  and  the  hadhrats  are  jaahil.  It  is the  Reign  of  Jahaalah  predicted  in  the  Hadith  –The  Majlis)

How can  this  so  called  fikr/good  intention  of  theirs  be  justified  when women  also  come  in  droves?  (They  have  no  good  intentions.  It  is the  quest  for  nafsaani  gratification.  –  The  Majlis) Even  if  females  didn’t  attend,  it  still  does  not  make  sense  to  feed 400  or  500+  people  with  bloated  stomachs  every  day  when  the poor  displaced  Hungry  and  Homeless  Muslims  of  Burma  and elsewhere  are  suffering  with  no  end  in  sight.  What  really  makes  my blood  boil  is  that  the  modernist  Imaam  and  his  gang  of  Bid’atee Trustees  are  absolutely  convinced  that  what  they  are  doing  is right.”

OUR  COMMENT

Allaamah  Abdul  Wahhaab  Sha’raani  (rahmatullah  alayh),  the  Wali of  Allah  Ta’ala  of  the  9th   Islamic  century  said  regarding    a  ‘shaikh’ of  Tasawwuf  who  claims  to  have  renounced  the  dunya  but  erects for  himself  a  mansion  –  a  super  structure    as  do  these  dacoits  of ‘tasawwuf’  of  this  era  –  to  lure  people  to  come  to  him  for  ‘islaah’,  is an  imposter.  The  masses  should  flee  from  him.

I’tikaaf  is  the  Ibaadat  of  this  Ummah  which  replaces  the Rahbaaniyat  (Monasticism)  which  was  the  valid  practice  during  the time  of  Nabi  Isaa  (alayhis  salaam),  and  also  during  bygone  times before  him.  I’tikaaf  is  a  miniature  Rahbaaniyat.  It  is  renunciation  of the  dunya  and  the  adoption  of  Zuhd  (abstinence  from  most  lawful activities).  It  is  an  occasion  of  communion  with  Allah  Azza  Wa  Jal. It  is  a  time  of  solitude  like  the  solitude  of  the  cave  and  wilderness where  the  Raahibeen  (genuine  Muslim  monks  of  bygone  times) found  solace  and  comfort  in  the  Remembrance  of  Allah  Ta’ala.  The Qur’aan  Majeed  states:  “Behold!  In  the  remembrance  of  Allah  do hearts  find  rest.”

I’tikaaf  is  a  time  for  strengthening  the  bond  with  Allah  Ta’ala  by focusing  the  mind  and  heart  fully  on  Him  with  silent  Thikr  and  Fikr (contemplation)  which  is  the  Salaat  of  the  Soul.  It  is  the  Ibaadat  in which  all  four  Arkaan  (Fundamentals)  of  Tasawwuf  have  to incumbently  be  given  practical  expression.  These  fundamentals are:

Reduction in speech 

Reduction in food  

Reduction in sleep  

Reduction in mingling  with people.

But,  lamentably,  in  the  mock-mass  ‘i’tikaafs’  of  merrymaking organized  in  these  times,  all  four  Arkaan  are  eliminated  and substituted  with  their  exact  opposites.

I’tikaaf  has  been  designed  by  the  Shariah  for  the  acquisition  of greater  purity  of  the  heart  and  greater  concentration  of  the  mind. For  these  achievements,  solitude,  silent  and  individual  Thikrullaah and  rigid  practise  on  the  four  Arkaan  of  Tasawwuf  are  imperative. The  Fiqhi  validity  of  I’tikaaf  is  never  adequate  for  the  achievement of  the  spiritual  objectives  of  this  wonderful  Ibaadat.

The  Raahibs  (sincere  Muslim  Monks  of  bygone  times)  devoted their  entire  lives  in  caves  and  in  the  wilderness,  totally  renouncing the  dunya  to  gain  the  spiritual  benefits  of  Zuhd.  Such  benefits  are achieved  only  in  an  environment  of  genuine  seclusion  and  solitude. That  is  the  purpose  for  setting  up  a  small  enclosure/tent  in  the Musjid  for  the  persons  of  I’tikaaf.  Therein  do  they  have  to  meditate on  the  solitude  of  the  Qabr  and  its  torments.  It  was  precisely  for this  reason  –  to  gain  the  Proximity  of  Allah  Azza  Wa  Jal  –  that Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  would,  prior  to  Nubuwwat, spend  days  and  even  weeks  in  I’tikaaf,  in  solitude  and contemplation  in  the  cold  Cave  of  Hira  in  the  wilderness.  Allah Ta’ala  has  made  it  infinitely  easy  for  this  Ummah  to  achieve  Divine Proximity  by  means  of  observing  I’tikaaf  in  the  Musjid.  But  the essential  condition  is  to  observe  the  I’tikaaf  in  the  way  it  should  be observed.  The  only  reason  why  the  venue  of  the  Musjid  has  been selected  for  I’tikaaf  is  to  ensure  performance  of  Salaat  with Jamaat.  It  is  therefore  haraam  to  abuse  the  Musjid  with merrymaking  and  picnicking  as  the  hadhrats  are  scandalously perpetrating  nowadays  in  the  name  of  Islam.
I’tikaaf  is  not  a  time  for  camping,  picnicking,  merrymaking  and gluttony  which  accompany  these  mass-mock  gatherings  which they  scandalously  dub  ‘i’tikaaf’.  This  type  of  mock  ‘i’tikaaf’  of  waste, ostentation,  pride  and  merrymaking  as  described  by  the  Brother from  the  U.S.  is  not  confined  to  the  U.S.  and  U.K.  The  same  style of  khuraafaat  in  the  name  of  ‘i’tikaaf’  has  become  the  norm  in South  Africa  as  well.  In  the  name  of  the  ‘i’tikaaf’,  the  hadhrats  are plundering  the  morals  and  Imaan  of  the  lay  people.  A  massive mockery  of  the  Deen  is  being  perpetrated  in  the  Musaajid  during the  Holy  Month  of  Ramadan.

Nowadays,  any  chap  can  overnight  become  a  ‘hadhrat’  of tasawwuf.  Their  tasawwuf  nowadays  is  generally  confined  to  public halqah  thikrsinging  nazams,  gluttony,  merrymaking  and  massmock  ‘i’tikaafs’.  They  block  and  pollute  the  Musaajid.  They  waste the  Lillah  funds  of  the  public  for  gratifying  their  gluttony.  They cause  stinks  and  stenches  in  the  Musaajid  with  their  food  of gluttony  and  the  effects  of  constipation,  the  consequence  of  their gluttony.  They  chase  the  Malaaikah  away  and  they  cause  distress to  other  musallis  with  all  the  stench  they  create  in  the  Musjid.

The  Mu’takaf  (place  of  I’tikaaf)  in  the  Musjid  is  not  a  Madrasah  for conducting  dars.  It  is  neither  a  venue  nor  a  time  for  delivering lectures.  It  is  not  a  time  for  mass  activity.  It  has  to  be  a  time  of solitude.  That  is  precisely  why  a  small  ‘tent’  is  erected  in  the  Musjid for  the  person  of  I’tikaaf.  He  has  to  remain  in  his  tent  engrossed  in Thikr  and  Ibaadat  in  general.  He  may  not  wile  away  the  time  in conversation  to  combat  his  ‘boredom’.  In  fact  I’tikaaf  is  the  cure  for boredom.  It  is  a  time  for  communing  with  Allah  Ta’ala,  not  for  any other  indulgences. 

I’tikaaf  is  the  best  opportunity  for  giving  practical  expression  to Rasulullah’s  command:  “Remember  abundantly  that  being  which will  sever  delights,  i.e.  Maut.”  The  person  in  I’tikaaf  has  to incumbently  sit  in  solitude  in  his  Mu’takaf  to  meditate  on  Maut.  He has  to  reflect  on  the  solitude  of  the  Grave  and  its  torments.  This  is among  the  primary  objectives  of  I’tikaaf.  The  mass  gatherings, gluttony,  noise,  mingling  and  merrymaking  are  all  nugatory  of  this Maqsad  (Objective).

Merrymaking  in the  garb  of  I’tikaaf

I’tikaaf  is  not  an  assembly  of  people  to  be  subjected  to  supervised programs  and  other  activities,  be  these  of  a  Deeni  nature.  Solitude and  seclusion  are  the  fundamental  ingredients  of  I’tikaaf.  Every individual  should  conduct  himself  as  he  would  on  the  Day  of Qiyaamah.  No  hadhrat  will  be  allowed  to  supervise  any  program on  that  Day.  What  is  transpiring  at  these  mass  gatherings  where  a mess  is  made  of  the  I’tikaaf  ibaadat,  is  hadhrat-worship.  The hadhrats  are  utilizing  the  last  ten  days  of  Ramadan  for promoting  their  nafsaaniyat.  In  so  doing,  they  come  within  the scope  of  the  Hadith  in  which  one  of  the  Signs  of  Qiyaamah,  is:

The  dunya  will  be  pursued  with  the  amal  of  the  Aakhirah.”

Ibaadat  which  is  an  amal  for  the  Aakhirah,  is  being  used  by  the hadhrats  for  the  acquisition  of  the  dunya  and  for  fulfilment  of nafsaaniyat.

Never  in  the  annals  of  Islam,  were  there  such  ludicrous  ‘i’tikaaf’ shows  organized  as  are  being  perpetrated  presently.  These gatherings  of  merrymaking  do  not  have  the  slightest  resemblance with  the  Sunnah.  They  eliminate  the  spirit  and  ethos  of  I’tikaaf.

In  the  kitaab,  Lataaiful  Ma-aarif,  the  objectives  of  I’tikaaf  observed by  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  are  described  as follows:

“And,  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  would  observe  I’tikaaf in  these  ten  days  in  which  the  search  for  Lailatul  Qadr  is  made,  to terminate  his  (other)  occupations,  and  to  free  him  for  the  nights, and  to  be  in  seclusion  for  communion  with  his  Rabb,  and  for  His remembrance  and  for  dua.  He  would  prepare  an  enclosure wherein  he  would  seclude  himself  from  the  people.  Thus,  he  would not  mingle  with  the  people,  not  even  for  teaching  knowledge,  nor for  reciting  the  Qur’an  (to  the  people).  On  the  contrary,  the  most meritorious  (afdhal)  is  to  seclude  oneself  and  to  be  silently engrossed  with  one’s  Rabb  and  in  His  remembrance,  supplicating to Him.

This  I’tikaaf  has  been  ordained  for  observance  in  the  Musaajid only  to  ensure  that  Jamaa-aat  (Salaat)  are  not  missed  because any  seclusion  which  prevents  from  Jamaat  is  forbidden………..

Thus,  the  Mu’takif  imprisons  himself  (i.e.  devotes  himself)  for  the obedience  of  Allah  and  for  His  Thikr,  and  he  severs  from  himself  all activities  which  divert  him  from  Allah.  He  focuses  with  his  heart and  body  on  His  Rabb  and  on  that  which  draws  him  closer  to  His Rabb.  For  him  (the  Mu’takif)  there  remains  no  concern  besides Allah,  and  nothing  can  please  him  besides  Allah.”

According  to  the  Hadith,  the  only  objective  of  I’tikaaf  is  seclusion for  the  sake  of  ibaadat.  By  ibaadat  here  is  meant  original  ibaadat  – the  Remembrance  of  Allah  Ta’ala  –  for  which  man  has  been created  as  mentioned  in  the  Qur’aan:

I  have  not  created  man  and  jinn  except  that  they  worship  Me.”

Ibaadat  in  the  context  of  I’tikaaf  does  not  bring  within  its  scope tableeghta’leem  and  tarbiyat  of  others.  All  such  acts  of  virtue  are secondary.  They  are  not  the  Maqsood  (Objective)  of  man’s creation.  They  are  only  the  ways  and  means  of  achieving  the primary  Maqsood.  This  fact  is  adequately  illustrated  by  Allah’s command  to  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam):

And  when  you  have  completed  (your  work  of  tableegh),  then  exert (yourself  in  direct  Ibaadat).”      

The  tableegh  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  was  his primary  obligation.  Allah Ta’ala  raised  him  for  tableegh  of  the Deen.  All  day  long  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  was occupied  in  this  lofty  Ibaadat  of  Tableegh.  Despite  his  noble occupation,  Allah  Ta’ala  commanded  him  to  exert  himself  in  the primary  Ibaadat  of  Allah’s  Thikr  during  the  night  time.  This  ibaadat he  had  to  execute  in  privacy  –  in  seclusion.

Similarly,  the  objective  of  I’tikaaf  is  the  primary  Ibaadat  of Thikrullah  and  to  prepare  for  the  AakhirahI’tikaaf  is  not  the occasion  for  programs  with  others.  Delivering  bayaans  is  an interference  with  the  purpose  of  I’tikaaf.  It  is  not  an  occasion  of halqah  thikr.  In  fact  there  is  no  practice  of  congregational  thikr  in Islam  for  any  occasion.  Such  collective  acts  and  lectures  are nugatory  of  the  letter  and  spirit  of  I’tikaaf.

Besides  primary  Ibaadat  there  is  no  scope  in  the  I’tikaaf  for tableegh,  lectures,  and  group  thikr.  When  even  secondary  acts  of ibaadat  begate  the  spirit  of  i’tikaaf,  what  conclusion  should  be drawn  from  the  merrymaking,  noise,  chatter,  conversation  (be  it  of a  Deeni  nature),  gluttony,  etc.  which  are  salient  features  of  the mass-mock  i’tikaaf  functions  organized  by  the  shaikhs  and  molvis of  this  age?  They  are  making  a  despicable  mess  of  the  Masnoon I’tikaaf.

These  functions  of  mass  i’tikaaf  are  designed  for  show  (riya)  and motivated  by  pride  (takabbur).  The  shaikhs  of  so-called  ‘tasawwuf’ of  this  age  have  not  even  smelt  of  the  fragrance  of  Tasawwuf. They  are  far,  very  far  from  even  the  confines  of  true  Tasawwuf. Their  bankruptcy  in  this  sphere  constrains  them  to  resort  to ostentatious  activities  for  remaining  in  their  ‘tasawwuf’  business. Thus,  they  are  inordinately  eager  to  expand  their  circle  of  mureeds. Some  even  send  out  agents  to  canvass  and  rope  in  mureeds. Public  halqah  thikr  sessions,  nazam  concerts,  luring  females  to their  programs,  and  mass  i’tikaaf  camping  are  among  their  ways  of promoting  and  projecting  themselves.  RiyaUjub  and  Takabbur drips  from  them.  It  is  clearly  visible  on  their  faces  and  in  their misdeeds  presented  as  acts  of  the  Deen.  They  come  within  the scope  of  the  Hadith:

They  pursue  the  dunya  with  the  amal  of  the  Aakhirat.”

A  person  who  is  genuinely  desirous  of  observing  I’tikaaf, should  search  for  a  small  Musjid  in  a  quiet  area  –  far  from  the madding  crowd  –  so  that  he  could  engross  himself  with  Allah Ta’ala in seclusion.

SATANISM IN  THE  GARB OF ‘I’TIKAAF’ MOCKERY AND PILLAGE  OF IBAADAT – THE FARCE IN ZAMBIA

A concerned Brother from the U.S.A. writes:

“Recently  one  brother  returned  from  I’tikaaf  from  Zambia.  The  set  up was  650  men  and  several  women    (wives  of  the  mureeds).  Only  200 could  fit  in  the  masjid  and  the  remaining  450  were  in  a  tent.  The  women were  doing  nafl  I’tikaaf  in  a  hall.  The  Shaikh  Zulfiqar  Naqshbandi  from Pakistan  had  mureeds  from  all  over  the  world  including  ulema  from Deoband.

What  was  disturbing  was  the  affluent  brother  who  sponsored  the  event runs  a  soda  company. It  costs  about  two  thousand  dollars  for  the  plane ticket  alone.  The  meal  sequence  was  biryani  every  day  and  then  at  night ice  cream,  falooda,  and  other  sweets.  They  had  a  ‘khidmaat  jamaat  who would  roll  out  the  dastkhaans  and  futons  for  all  the  guests.  The  food  was so  much  and  so  delicious  according  to  the  brother  he  suffered  from diarrhea  while  he  was  there. He  was  also telling  me  how  the  soda  was  delicious.   The  brother who runs the  soda  factory  is  planning  to  expand  the  masjid  to  accommodate  1000 people  next  year.  There  were  some  other  strange  and  weird  things.  In order  to  see  the  shaikh  one  had  to  pass  through  at  least  ten  persons.  He mentioned something very queer. I want clarification on it.

1.  He  said  the  shaikh  would  cast  his  gaze  on  a  person  and  he    would  be inclined  to  zikr.  One  Maulana  in  the  past  told  me  that  even  non-Muslims could  do  such  things.  It  is  not  something  to  be  impressed  with.  Please advise.

2.  He  talked  about  the  noorani  faces  of  the  people  serving  the  people.  Is  it possible  to  have  a  noorani  face  with  so  much  food  and  extravagance  that the  brother  gets  diarrhoea.  How  can  a  face  glitter  with  noor  when  so
much  doubtful    and  perhaps  haraam  food  and  sodas  were  consumed?  Is there some kind of deception in this show?

3. Does  the  Shariah  allow  women  to  undertake  journeys  from other countries  to  sit  in  I’tikaaf  in  tents  at  a  venue    overflowing  with  a  crowd of  men  and  women?  We  all  know  that  it  is  not  permissible  for  women  to  attend    even  the  Musjid  for  Salaat,  even  if    stringent  conditions  are    in place.  So  how  is  it  permissible  for  them  to  travel  from  one  country  to another with  strange  men  all  along  the  journey  to participate  in  a  function which has no  substantiation in the Sunnah?

4.  The  brother  got  khilifaat  also,  but  in    the  past  25  years  that  he  has  been bayt,  the  shaikh  barely  spoke  and/hardly  corresponded  with  him.  His shaikh  barely  knows  anything  about  him.  He  sat  with  him  for  5  minutes. Is  it  proper to give  khilafaat  like  this.

5. Should I say anything to the brother.”  (End of letter)

COMMENT

The  show,  waste,  extravagance  and  haraam  acts  organized  by  this miscreant  ‘shaikh’  who  lacks    understanding  in  Tasawwuf  –  who  does not  know  even  the  essential  rudiments  of  Tasawwuf  –  are  the  elements of    satanism  passed  off    as  ‘ibaadat’    in  the  garb  and  name  of  I’tikaaf.  He and  all  the  participants  were    lost  in  shaitaaniyat  which  they  advertise  as ‘sufi’ism’ or ‘tasawwuf’’.

A  Muslim  whose    with    unbefuddled  brains  confronted  by  the  falsehood being  passed  off  as  ibaadat  in  the    garb  of  I’tikaaf,  will  not  fail  to  discern and  understand  the  evil  of  the    bid’ah  and  haraam  ‘urs’    festival  which  this  cult-leader  has  organized  in  Zambia.  The  Qur’aan  and  Sunnah  urge Muslims  to  utilize  their  Aql  (the  Bounty  of  Intelligence)  to  understand and distinguish between right and wrong – vice and virtue.

Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  said:  “Sin  is  that  which  agitates the  conscience”  For  the  Muslim  whose  intelligence  has  not  been  corroded with  evil,  there  is  no  difficulty    in  understanding  what  is  halaal  and  what is  haraam.  Hence,  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  ordered  us:

Seek  a  fatwa  from  your  heart.” 

The  pure  heart  of  the  Mu’min  will  not fail  in  providing  the  correct  fatwa  and  guiding  one    to  the  Haq.  The genuine  noor  of  the  heart  is  not  the  deceptive  satanic  ‘noor’  on  the  faces of  those  who  devour  mushtabah  food  so  gluttonously  as  to  suffer  from the  disease  of   continuous  excreting.

Who  in  Islam  had  originated    these  circus  performances  grotesquely dubbed ‘I’tikaaf’?  What  resemblance  does  the  miscreant’s  pantomime show  have  with  the  I’tikaaf  observed  and  taught  by  Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam)?  The  detailed  explanation  of  the  external  form  and  of the  soul  of  I’tikaaf  are  not  unknown  entities.  The  kutub  of  the  Shariah explain  the  method  of  I’tikaaf.  The  essential  ingredients  of    the  circus shows  of  the  miscreant  deviated    false  ‘sufis’  of  this  age  are  eating, excreting,  extravagance,  show,  pride,  and  other  evils  stemming  in  the wake of the aggravating presence of women.

The    fraudulent  ‘shariah’  of  the  impostor  ‘sufis’  of  this  age  encourages their  en-trapped    and  deceived  mureeds  to  undertake  inter-continental journeys,  squandering  thousands  of  dollars  to  attend  the  mock  ‘I’tikaaf’.  Our  Shariah  –  the  Shariah  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  – does  not  permit  such  satanism.   

The  ‘shaikh’  should  hang  his  head  in shame  if  he  has  any  vestige  of  Imaani  haya  and  ghairat  for    inviting womenfolk  to  undertake  journeys  to  attend  his  satanic  demonstration  in the  name  of  ‘I’tikaaf’.    From  the  moment  they  leave  home    until  the moment  they  return  home,  they  are    in  the  process  of  sinning.  They  are perpetually  under  divine  curse  whilst  they    are  out  of  their  homes.  From home  back  to  their  home  they  indulge  in  sin  and  transgression,  and  the  imposter  ‘shaikh’  will  have  to  bear  the  load  of  all  this  villainy  and immorality which he is organizing for nafsaani gratification.

The    Rooh  and  Maqsood  of  I’tikaaf  have  been  explained  earlier  in  this article.  Read  and  understand  the  meaning  of  I’tikaaf.  Do  not  fall  in  the trap  of  these  miserable    deceits  posing  as  shaikhs  of  Tasawwuf.    They  rob you  of  your  Akhlaaq  and  even  Imaan.  May  Allah  Ta’ala  save  the  ignorant mass from the clutches of these wolves in sheep’s skin.

During  the  Ramadan  I’tikaaf,  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam) was  transformed into a  different  person.  He  cut  all  ties  with the  Sahaabah.

He  terminated  all  Tabligh  and  Ta’leem  activities,  and  became  engrossed in  silent  Thikr  and  Muraaqabah  sitting  in  solitude.  There  was  no gathering, no feasting  and  no fanfare.

The answers to your queries are in brief, as follows:

(1)  Kuffaar,  magicians,  fussaaq  and  fujjaar  are  also  capable  of administering  ‘tawajjuh’.  Christian  faith-healers  are  well  known  for  this Hindu  sadhus  and  yogis  excel  in  tawajjuh  (casting  gazes  to  bring  about temporary  effects  on  the  minds  of  the  victims.)  Never  be  misled  and duped  by  such  stunts.  The  criterion  of  Haqq  is only  the  Shariah,  nothing else.

(2)  Shaitaan  also  has  ‘noor’  –  a  dales  and  deceptive  noor.  He  is  able  to  present  such  ‘noor’  with  by  means  of  which  he  indices  in  the  observer  the understanding  that  it  is  the  noor  of  Jibreel  or  the  Noor  of  Allah  Ta’ala. Such  satanic  stunts  are  practised  by  frauds  masquerading  as  Sufis  and Walis.  The  ‘noor’  which  they  are  speaking  of  is  in  reality  zulmat (spiritual  darkness).  There  is  no  genuine  noor  on  the  faces  of  people whose  occupation in Ramadan is  to  gluttonously eat  and excrete. They have no other job.

(3)  The  worse  villainy  perpetrated by  the  ‘shaikh’  is    opening  the  doors  of zina  by  inviting  women  to  participate  in  his  mock  ‘i’tikaaf’  circus.  Only  a person  devoid  of  Imaani  ghairat  indulges  in  such  shaitaaniyat.  On  the very  first  occasion  when  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  had  sat in  I’tikaaf,  his  wife  Hadhrat  Zainab  (radhiyallahu  anha)  arranged  for  her tent  to  be  set  up  near  to  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  She  had  also  intended  to  sit  in  I’tikaaf.  When  Nabi-e-Kareem  (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam)  saw  the  tent,  he  ordered  it  to  be  taken  down.  So  annoyed  was he  that  he  himself  abandoned  the  I’tikaaf  and  made  qadha  of  it  in Shawwaal.  There  was  no  crowd  of  Sahaabah  in  I’tikaaf.  The  presence  of just  one  lady  –  his  own  Holy  Wife  –  disturbed  him  so  much  that  he abandoned  the  I’tikaaf.  What    would  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam)  say  and  do  if  he    had  to  be  present  to  witness  the  circus  with its  satanism  polluting  the  Musjid  and  ruining  the  morality  of  hundreds  of Muslims  during  the  auspicious  month  of  Ramadan  in  the  name  of I’tikaaf?  These  fake  ‘sufis’  must    drown  themselves  in  shame.  Their conduct is absolutely disgusting.

(4)  Khilaafat  nowadays  is  an  extremely  cheap  commodity.  Khalifas  are available  for  one  cent  each.    The    fake  shaikh  only  needs  to  be    buttered and  oiled  up  a  bit  for  acquiring    ‘khilaafat’.  It  is  a  massive  fraud perpetrated  in  the  name  of  the  Deen.  These  fake  ‘shaikhs’  and    paper ‘khalifahs’  are  morons    bereft  of  even  a  little  fear  for  Allah  Ta’ala,  hence all these shenanigans in the name of the Deen.

(5)  You  may  give  this  letter  to  the  brother  who  was  entrapped  in  the pantomime of shaitaan.

We  are  living  in  an  era  in  close  proximity  to  Qiyaamah.  What  we  are observing  are  signs  of  Qiyaamah  predicted  by  Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam).  The  Deen  is  being  grossly  abused  and  manipulated  for worldly  objectives.

The  emphasis  which  these  bogus  ‘sufis’  accord  to  their  brand  of  mock ‘I’tikaaf’    has  absolutely  no  relationship  with  the  Hukm  of  observing  the Masnoon  I’tikaaf  in  Ramadan.  Imaam  Maalik  (rahmatullah  alay)  said: “I  wondered  about  I’tikaaf  and    the  abstention  of  the  Sahaabah  from  its observance    despite  the  intensity  of  their  concern  and  obedience  to  the Sunnah.”

In the  section,  Saunul  Musjid  (Protecting  the  Musjjid),  Shaikh Jamaaluddin  Al-Malati  Al-Hanafi  states  in  his  Kitaab,  Al-Mu’tasar  minal Mukhtasar min  Mushikilil Aathaar:

What  used  to  be  done  (i.e.  in  the  Musjid    for  I’tikaaf)  would  not  prevent the  people  from  Salaat  in  the  remaining  section  of  the  Musjid.”  Now  just imagine  the  chaos  in  the  Musjid  jammed  to  capacity  with  hundreds  of  pretenders,  with  the  aggravation  of  the  huge  tent  to  accommodate  another 400  men  including  some  women  in  the  name  of  ‘nafl  I’tikaaf’.  This ‘shaikh’  has  hoodwinked  the  hundreds  of    juhala  to  believe  that  Nafl I’tikaaf is  valid    in  the  tent.  They    wasted    thousands    or  tens  of  thousands of  dollars  in  haraam  air-fares  to  participate  in  the  merrymaking  mock ‘I’tikaaf’  circus,  hence    their  brains  had  to  be  soothed  with  the  fabrication of  ‘nafl  I’tikaaf’ in the  tent.

The  usual  musallis  of  the  Musjid  are  impeded  in  their  ibaadat.  The scenario  is  ridiculously  abnormal,  grossly  un-Islamic  and  totally  in conflict  with  the  Sunnah  and  in  violation  of  the  masaa-il  and  spirit  of   genuine    Sunnah  I’tikaaf.  The  haraam  invasion  of  the  Musjid  by  the campers  is  Islamically  intolerable.

Why  did  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam) order  that  the  I’tikaaf tents  of  his  Wives  (radhiyallahu  anhuma)  be  pulled  down,  then  in annoyance  he,  himself  abandoned  the  I’tikaaf?  When  he  saw  that  three tents  had  sprang  up  in  the  Musjid,  he  was  disturbed,  and  with  annoyance Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  exclaimed:  “What  is  this?  Do  you intend  goodness?”  The  situation  was  becoming  abnormal  and  it  would  interfere with the Salaat of the musallis, hence, he terminated the I’tikaaf.

What  is  happening  in    these  mass  mock  circus carnival ‘I’tikaafs’  organized  by fake  ‘sufis’  who  have  not  as  yet  set  one  foot  in  the  Path  of  true Tasawwuf,  is  a    shocking  and  a  lamentable  farce  innovated  in  the  name  of the Deen.

In  Umdatul  Qaari,  Allaamah  Aini  responding  to  Imaam  Zuhri’s  surprise  at  the  abstention from  I’tikaaf  by  the  vast  majority  of  people, he  says: “Our  Ashaab  (the  Ahanaaf  Fuqaha)  said:  ‘Verily,    the  majority  of  the Sahaabah  did  not  observe  I’tikaaf.  Imaam  Maalik  said:  ‘It  did  not  reach me  that    Abu  Bakr,  Umar,    Uthmaan  Ibnul  Musayyib  nor  anyone  else from  these  Aimmah  of  the  Salaf  except  Abu  Bakr  Bin  Abdur  Rahmaan had observed I’tikaaf.”

The  Ummah  has  abandoned  numerous  acts  of  the  Sunnah,  yet  these imposter  ‘sufis’  do  not  encourage  the  revivation  of  the  Sunnah.  Rather, they  invent  new  bid’at  with  which  they  further  ruin  and  destroy  the Akhlaaq and moral fibre of the people.

The  shaikh  who  organized  the  mass,  mock  i’tikaaf  does  not  appear  to have  the  haziest  idea  of  the  objective  of  I’tikaaf. Allaamah  Aini  states  in Umdatul  Qaari:  “When  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  saw  them (his  wives)  by  him  (in  I’tikaaf)  in  the  Musjid,  then  it  appeared  as  if  he was  in  his  home  together  with  his  wives,  hence  the  Maqsood  (objective) of  I’tikaaf  is  defeated.  And,  it  (the  Maqsood)  is  seclusion  from  wives  and (severance) from worldly relationships.”

Another  probability  for  ordering  the  removal  of  the  tents,  according  to Allaamah  Aini,  and  also  according  to  simple  logic,  is:  “They  (the  Holy Wives)  restricted  the  space  of  the    Musjid  with  their  tents.”  And  this posed  a  great  inconvenience  to  the  Musallis.    In  these  circus    ‘itikaafs’ such  as  the  show  in  Zambia  and  even  here  in  South  Africa,  the  entire Musjid is hijacked and polluted.

Morons  cite  the  erroneous  practices  of  seniors  as  daleel  for  bid’ah.  The  Sunnah  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  cannot  be neutralized  with  the  a’maal  of  the  Buzrugs.  Their  deeds  do  not constitute the Shariah

It  is  haraam  to  worship  the  buzrug.  Reprimanding  this  ‘hadhrat’  attitude and  stupid  blind  following  of  the  bid’ah  introduced  by  some  hadhrats, especially  quack  hadhrats  of  our  age,  the  Qur’an  Majeed  states  about Bani  Isaaeel:  “They  took  their  ahbaar  (ulama)  and  ruhmaan  (saints  – hadhrats) as  gods  besides  Allah……..

THE ‘ITIKAAF  FARCE  IN STANGER

The  whole  of  the  Muslim  public  is  not  blind.  Many  people  are appalled  at  the  shenanigans  which  the  bid’ati  bogus  ‘shaikhs’  are perpetrating  in  the  garb  of  ‘I’tikaaf’.  While  the  Barelwi  Qabar Pujaari  bid’atis  perpetrate  their  moulood  bid’ah  in  the  guise  of ‘Hubb-e-Rasool’  (Love  for  the  Rasool),  the  new  brand  of  pseudo-deobarelwi bid’atis  infulge  in  their  new-found  camping  and merrymaking  bid’ah  in  the  name  of  ‘I’tikaaf’  when  in  reality  there  is not  even  a  semblance  of  Masnoon  I’tikaaf  in  their  practices  of  riya, takabbur and israaf.

A Concerned  Brother  from  Stanger  who  observed  the  show,  writes:  

“Please  give  me  the  Shariah stance  on the  following  issue:

In  the  Stanger  Masjid  this  year,  an  overseas  shaikh  was invited  to  spend  I’tikaaf  for  the  last  10  days.  Almost  300  individuals  sat for  I’tikaaf  (majority  from  out  of  town).  The  following  were  the  salient  features  of  this  I’tikaaf  function:

Q. Huge  expenses  were  incurred  to  feed  the  large  crowd  for  SehriIftaar  and  supper.  Is  this  ok  in  the  Shariah  when  men,  women  and children  in  Syria,  Palestine,  Burma  etc.  are  starving  and  even dying  of  hunger?  I  don’t  know  the  cost  but  one  can  estimate  the cost  of  Sehri  and  then  Iftaar/supper  for  300  men  over  10  days.  My understanding  is  that  regardless  of  who  paid  for  the  food,  is  it  not an  unnecessary  expense  given  the  condition  of  the  Ummah?  If  I am wrong  please  do  correct  me.

A.  The  ‘huge    expenses’  are  pure  Satanism  (shaitaaniyat),  for  Allah  Azza Wa  Jal  says  in  the  Qur’an  Majeed:  “And  do  not    waste,  for  verily,    the wasters  are  the  brothers  of  the  shayaateen  (devils).”  Wasters  being  the  ‘brothers  of  the  devils’  are  bereft  of  compassion,  hence  the  plight  of  the suffering  Muslims  of  Syria,  Palestine,  Burma  and  other  places  –  the suffering  Muslims  who  languish  in  appalling  straits  of  misery,  hunger, poverty  and  gross  jahaalat  bordering  on  kufr  –  is  a  non-issue  for  them. Their    fossilized  hearts  lack  the  capacity  for  even  understanding  the  pain and  misery  of  the  suffering  Ummah,  and  their  arid  and  barren  eyewells are  incapable  of  shedding  a  tear.  We  thus  see  these  ‘brothers  of  the shayaateen’  utilizing  the  auspicious  Month  of  Ramadan’  and  the Ibaadat  of  I’tikaaf  for  making  merry,  for  eating  and  only  excreting.  In the  aftermath  of  all  this  khuraafaat  organized  by  the  ‘buzrugs’  and ‘hadhrats’  who  bamboozle  the  ignorant  masses  with  a  display  of  some shathiyaat  (some  abraca-dabra  ‘tawajjuh’  stunts)  is  the  mass  of  the excreted  mess  of  the  foods  of  waste  which  for  many  culminated  in diarrohea.

These  fake  ‘shaikhs’  should  hang  their  heads  in  shame  for  utilizing  and  mismanipulating  the  Deen  for  nafsaani  gratification  and  for  attaining  the objectives  of  their  worldly  pursuits.   

Brother,  you  are  not  wrong. Be grateful  to  Allah  Ta’ala  for  the  ability  to  have  understood  the  villainy, moral  and  spiritual  destruction  which  these    imposter  ‘shaikhs’  commit  in the  name  of  the  Deen.  Everyone    is,  Alhamdulillah,  not  susceptible  to deception.     

Q.  The  large  crowd  obviously  meant  that  noise  levels  in  the  masjid would  skyrocket.  At  salaah  times  the  noise  in  the  wudhu  area  was like  a  circus.  If  you  read  your  Sunnah  salaah  close  to  the  wudhu area  you  could  not  even  hear  what  you  are  reading.  Talking  would go  on  even  while  Iqaamah  was  being  recited.  I  am  not  saying  the Masjid  is  silent  out  of  Ramadan,  but  aren’t  we  looking  for  trouble when  we  host  such  a  large  crowd?    Then  certain  individuals  would loudly  exclaim  “Shoo”,  “Shoo”  and  even  speak  out  loudly  and  ask those  talking  to  remain  silent.  This  just  made  an  even  bigger  noise. Announcements  were  made.  Elderly  members  of  the  Stanger community  were  frequently  inconvenienced  by  the  huge  influx  of visitors.  Wudhu  places  were  reserved  for  those  in  I’tikaaf  and numerous  announcements  were  made  after  Salaah  to  give  priority to  the  visitors.  Those  reading  on  chairs  faced  great  difficulty  as they  could  only  read  Salaah  at  the  back  of  the  Masjid  due  to  the mureeds  of  the  shaikh  rushing  for  place  near  the  mimbar.  Many  of those  in  i’tikaaf  were  seen  smoking  e-cigarettes  in  the  masjid  area after  iftaar.  Is  this  Ramadan?  Is  this  respect  for  Ramadan?  Is this  the  meanng  of  I’tikaaf?

A.  Allah  Ta’ala  has  ordained  that  the  Musaajid  be  places  of    Ibaadat,  not venues  of  merrymaking,  camping  and  picnicking.  Defilement  of  the sanctity  of  the  Musaajid,  disturbing  the    peace  of  the  Musallis,  preventing the    usual  Musallis  from    performing    their    acts  of  Ibaadat  with  serenity, etc.  are   major sins. Undoubtedly, the  atmosphere   created in  the  Musaajid by  the  deviate  ‘shaikhs’  with  their  crowds  of  ignorant  followers, transform  the  Musjid  into a  circus.  The  trustees  of  the  Musjid  are  partners in  the  vile  sins  which  are  perpetrated  by  the  ignoramus  followers  on  the instructions  and  on the  strength  of    these  misguiding    characters  who  have set  themselves  up  as  spiritual  guides.  They  lack  in  even  the  understanding of  the   rudiments   of  Tasawwuf.

Cigarette-smoking  in  the  Musjid  is  indeed  mind  boggling.  Shaitaaniyat has  assumed  the  form  of  ‘ibaadat’.  Never  in  the  history  of  Islam  were  the Musaajid  so  thoroughly  defiled  and  polluted  as  is  being      perpetrated presently  by  the  new  brand  of  bid’ati  peers  who  slanderously    proclaim allegiance  to  the  School  of  Deoband  when  in  reality    they  haven’t  even  smelt  of  the  fragrance  of    the  Tariqah  of  the  Akaabir  of  Deoband (when we say Akaabir of Deoband, we indicate towards the senior clusters of the institution (rahimahumullah) and not any tom, dick and harry who had studied in any of Deoband affiliated institutions).  Every step  of  these    impostors  is  in  conflict  with  the  Sunnah.    They  know  not what  is  Ramadhan.  They  do  not  have  the  faintest  idea  of  the  meaning  of I’tikaaf.  They  are  capitalizing  on  the    Sunnah  concept  of  I’tikaaf  to achieve  their  satanic  objectives.

Q.    Is  it  Sunnah  to  print  posters  and  invite  people  from  far  and  wide to  come  to  a  place  for  I’tikaaf?  A  few  hours    of  bayaans  were delivered  every  day.  Is  that  the  point  of  Ramadan  or  is  individual ibaadat  the  aim?  The  masjid  speakers  in  the  back  section  were always  on.  So  you  could  not  read  Qur’aan  or  make  Zikr  or  read nafl  namaaz  while  the  bayaans  were  going  on.  Is  this  Sunnah?

A.  Inviting  people    from  far  and  wide  –  from  different  countries  to undertake  journeys  for    I’tikaaf,  is  not  only    to  be  discouraged.  It  is  a haraam  act  to  be  condemned.    Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam) prohibited    undertaking  journeys  to  visit  even  Musaajid  except  three Musjids  –  Musjidul  Haraam, Musjidun Nabawi  and  Musjidul  Aqsa.

It  is  shaitaaniyat  to  invite  and  encourage  people  to    undertake  journeys to  perform  a  private  act  of  ibaadat  such  as  I’tikaaf    which  the  vast majority  of  Sahaabah  never  performed.  In  fact,  Imaam  Maalik (rahmatullah  alayh)  said:  “I  pondered  in  (the  matter  of)  I’tikaaf    and  the abstention  of  the  Sahaabah  from  it  despite  the  fact  that  Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam)  had always  observed it.

Do  these  crank  ‘shaikhs’  understand  the  importance  and  significance  of I’tikaaf  better  than  the  Sahaabah  thus    encouraging  Muslims  to    indulge in  a  variety  of  sins  which  are  concomitant  to    journeys  nowadays  in  order to  observe  I’tikaaf  in  another  country?  We  have  explained  the   body  and soul  of  I’tikaaf   in  this  article.  

Q.  Those  intending  i’tikaaf  were  asked  to  register  online.  Then there  was  an  ‘orientation’  meeting  in  the  masjid  after  zuhr  on  the day  i’tikaaf  commenced.  Laptops,  files  etc.  were  being  shuffled around.  A  survey  form  was  handed  out  before  Eid.  Part  of  the masjid  cubicles  were  announced  to  be  the  i’tikaaf  admin  block. I’tikaaf  rules  were  printed  out  which  you  had  to  agree  to  abide  by. Is  this  complicated,  formal  way  the  way  of  the  Ulama  of  Deoband? Is  this  the  Sunnah  way  of  observing  I’tikaaf?  Did  Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayi  wasallam)  and  the  Sahaabah  observe  I’tikaaf  in this  manner?

A.  The  registration  and  office  activity  paraphernalia  which    have  been added  to  the  mock  ‘I’tikaaf’  pantomime  show  are  haraam  rubbish. There is  not  the  slightest  relationship  between  all  this  rubbish  and  I’tikaaf  which is  an  act  of  individual  ibaadat  to  be  observed  in  solitude,  seclusion  and silence.   

Q. Is  it  a  Sunnah  practice  to  make  congregational  dua  over  the speakers  before  Iftaar?  This  happened  daily  in  the  Masjid?

A. It  is  Bid’ah  Sayyiah  (an  evil  innovation).  There  is  no  basis  in  the Sunnah for this  new  innovation  fabricated by  the  imposter ‘shaikh’.  

A SISTER’S  QUESTIONS

A Sister poses  the  following  questions:
“Below  is  some  information  which  has  reliably  reached  me regarding  Maulana  Zulfiqar  and  some  of  his  mureeds.  I  am greatly  disturbed  by  these  things.  Despite  people  speaking   greatly  of    this  shaikh,  I  find  it  difficult  to  ignore  some  of  his actions.

Q.  Female  mureeds  are  allowed  in  the  presence  of  the  shaikh. They  don  niqaab  in  front  of  him  while  he  addresses  them  and  casts tawajjuh on them. Please comment.

A.  The  error,  deviation  and  sin  of  this    deviate  ‘shaikh’  are    conspicuous. Only  those  blinded  by  ignorance  and  false  emotions  will  fail  to understand  the   evil  of    these  perpetrations  of   this  miscreant  ‘shaikh’  who comes    fully  within  the  scope  of  the  Hadith:    “Verily,  I  fear  for  my Ummah the aimmah who are mudhilleen (those who mislead).”

The  appearance  of  females  in  the  presence  of  the  ‘shaikh’  of  ignominy  even  with  niqaab,  is  haraam.  He  is  a  ghair  mahram.    It  is  haraam  for women  to  sit  in  the  company  of    a  male  regardless  of    the  niqaab.  Being  a  shaikh  is  not  a  licence  for  haraam.  A  shaikh  is  not  exempted  from observing  the      laws  of  the  Shariah  which  applied  to  even  Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

The  ‘tawajjuh’  stunts  of  this  character  are  designed  to  entrap  the ignorant  and the  unwary.  Even if  a  man transforms   stones  into gold, flies in  the  air  and  walks  on  water,  he  will  be  an  imposter  and  a  fake  if  he  is not  a  strict  follower of  the  Sunnah and a  staunch  observer  of the  Shariah. The  only  criterion  by  which  to  ascertain  and  judge  the  credentials  of  a person  is  the  Shariah.  Sadhus,  yogis  and  Christian  faith-healers  also demonstrate    these  tawajjuh  stunts.  People  should  not  be  awed  by  such  conjuring  performances  of  imposter  spiritual guides.

Popularity  and  number  of  mureeds  are  common  factors    with  even shaitaan  who  enjoys  greater  popularity  and    whose  ‘mureeds’  are  by  the billion.  It  is  Waajib  to  scale  the  actions  and  statements  of  the  ‘shaikh’  on the  Scale  of  the  Shariah.  This  man  is  guilty  of  ruining  the  morals  of    the females  who  are  mentally  enslaved  to  his  misguidance.  With  his  stunts  he corrupts the Imaan of Muslims.

Just  on  the  basis  of  this  one  act  of  moral  turpitude  of  this  deviated  so-called ‘shaikh’ is  he    persona non grata.  It  is  not  permissible  to  adopt  him as  a  spiritual  guide.

Q.  His  mureeds  who  are  aalims  and  aalimahs  conduct  ‘aalim’ courses  online  for  all  and  sundry.  They  study  in  the  comfort  of  their homes.  In  this  way  anyone  can  qualify  as  an  aalim.  Is  this  not  a dangerous  way  of  imparting  specialized  Deeni  Knowledge  at  the academic  level?  Is  it  possible  to  become  a  qualified  Aalim  in  this manner?

A.  It  is  not  possible  to  become  a  Sanadi  Aalim  online.  While  one  may learn  some  rudimentary  masaa-il  pertaining  to  the  basics  of  the  Deen,  one cannever  become  a  qualified  Aalim  studying  in  this  dumb  manner. Mr.Zulfiqar  and  Mr.Kamaluddeen who  conduct  this  type  of  online  programs  are  liberals  and  modernists.  They  are  very  far  from  the  Sunnah.  They  suffer  from  an    inferiority  complex  which  makes  them  the worshippers  of  the  West.  They  are  overawed  by    western    culture,  hence they  take  pride  in    their  western  college  donkey  degrees  which  they  flaunt to awe other ignoramuses of their ilk.  

Q.    Mufti  Kamaluddeen,  a  senior  khalifah  of  Shaikh  Zulfiqar,  has been  frequenting  South  Africa.  This  Mufti  and  his  wife  conduct   lecture  programmes  at  various  universities.  Is  this  not  encouraging Muslims  to  attend  universities  where  the  environment  is  immoral and  haraam  without  any  doubt?    They  have  programmes  for  males and  females.  Why  do  they  have  their  programmes  in  places  where Allah’s Wrath and Curse descend?

A.  They  have  their  programmes  at  haraam  venues  because  they  are mudhilleen  –  misguides  who  lead  Muslims    astray.  They  pave  the  path  of Jahannam  for  Muslims.  Therefore,    they    place  the  stamp  of  approval  on haraam,  immoral,  satanic  universities.  South  Africa  has  becoming  a haven  for  deceits  and  moral  dacoits.  They love  South  Africa  because  of two  outstanding  features  of  Muslims  in  this  country:  Abundance  of wealth,  and  a  glut  of  stupidity.  It  is    quite  a  simple  matter    to  overwhelm people  of  stupidity      by  a  display  of  some  abracadabra  stunts  to  fleece  them    of    their  money.  These  quack  peers  and  misguides    are  ruining  the Imaan of  the  masses  and destroying   their moral  character.      

AN EX-MUREED WRITES

An ex-mureed of   ‘shaikh’  Zulfiqar  writes  from   Saudi  Arabia:

Assalamualaykum  Warahmatullahi  Wabarakatuh,

“A  few  years  ago  Peer  Zulfiqar  did  his  daughter’s  wedding  in Dubai  where  hundreds  of  khulafa  and  mureeds  from  all  over  the world  gathered.  They  did  shopping  in  expensive  malls.  Dubai mureeds  were  imposed  duties  of  khidmat.  The  wedding  reception was  held  in  the  most  expensive  hotel  in  Dubai.

A  person  went  from  Riyadh  for  I’tekaf  in  Zambia.  Ticket  was 5300  riyals  (approximately  R16,000  rands).  The    shaikh  paid  food expenses  in  Zambia.  Daily  3  bayans  plus  muraqabah.    (The organizer  of  the  circus  was  a  wealthy    soft  drink  manufacturer  who footed  the    bill  –  The  Majlis) 

If  on  average  one  person  spent  5000  riyals  on  ticket  and  there were  700  people  including  women,  that  means  3500000  riyals    4 million  rands),  which  is  9.5  crore  pkr.  –   95  million  Pakistani  rupees just  on  tickets.

(This  does  not  include  the  wasteful  expenditure  for  the  huge  tent  to house    400  people,  the  food  expenses,  etc.  –  The  Majlis)
In  Pakistan  there  are  suffering  poor  people,  widows,  orphans  etc. Average  support  for  one  home  per  month  is  5000  rupees  (R1000). A  friend  in  Karachi  does  this  (act  of  charity).  So  with   this  wasted money,  they  could’ve  provided  19000  families  with  basic necessities  like  wheat,  daals,  etc  for  the  whole  month  of Ramadan.  Or  they  could’ve  supported  1600  families  for  the whole  year.  Or  160  families  for  10  years. (But  the  Satanism  in  them    goaded  them  to    waste  this  colossal  sum  of money  on  eating and excreting  –  The  Majlis)

This  is  excluding  the  food  expenses  and  local  travelling  charges.   The  problem  is  that  the  molvis  and  rulers  are  the  same  today. They  have  abundance  of  funds  at  their  disposal.  They  live  in luxuries,  they  don’t  care  about  people.  (They  are  absolutely  corrupt –  rotten  to  the  core  –   The  Majlis)

If  peer  Zulfiqar  used  this  money  to  open  maktabs  in  rural  areas of  Pakistan,  he  could  gave  set  up  hundreds  of  maktabs  with  10 years  of  salaries  safely  kept…  (With  all  the  money  which  was squandered  down  toilet  and  sewerage  drains  during  the  Zambia fete,  20,000  children  totally  deprived  of  the  very  elementary   teachings  of  the  Deen  to  sustain  Imaan,  could    have  been provided  Maktab  Ta’leem.  The  Maktab  course  is  two  years.  The   funds  wasted  in  the  haraam  festival  in  Zambia  were  sufficient  to save  the  Imaan  of  thousands  of    village  children    from    the   depradations  of  anti-Islam  forces  such  as    missionaries  and    the kufr  influences  of  western  modernism.  –  The  Majlis)

But  who  cares???  (They  will  care  the  day  that  Malakul  Maut   tugs  at  their  souls.  The  agonies  of  Maut  will    make  them  to  care, but  it  will  be  too  late.-  The  Majlis)

Only  the  rich  can  afford  to  go  visit  the  shaykh  at  ‘itikafs’  (mock, farcical    functions  dubbed  ‘I’tikaaf  –  The  Majlis)  and  weddings  and yearly  umrahs.  So  these  shaykhs  have  plenty  of  fat  cows  from which  they  can  milk  from,  and  use  for  their  own  ends.    (This  is  the primary  objective    for  organizing  all  these  haraam  festivals  in  the name  of  the  Deen  –  The  Majlis)

The  khulafa  and  mureeds  seem  to  go  every  year  to  spend  time in  the  ‘blessed’  suhbat  for  ‘spiritual  upliftment’  but  it  seems  like  it  is just  an  excuse  to  go  on  a  kuffaar-style  holiday.
Forget  the  millions  of  brothers  and  sisters  around  the  world  who are  suffering,  a  token  donation  every  now  and  then  which  is  like loose  change  for  them  is  enough  to  soothe  the  conscience  (and dupe  the  ignorant  mureeds  trapped  in  their  tentacles  –  The  Majlis).

If  they  don’t  want  to  support  families  instead  they  could’ve  started maktabs.  One  ustadh  would  cost  5000  rupees  per  month.  Usually madrasahs  in  Karachi  pay  way  less  than  that.  I’ve  seen  the payscale  2000  to  8000  Pakistani  rupees. 

If  they  pay  an  ustadh  5000  rupees  per  month  in  rural  areas  it means  they  could’ve  easily  set  aside  salaries  for  1600  ustadhs  for the  whole  year!  Next  year  more  can  be  donated  by  the  rich  cows.   Imagine  1600  ustadhs  getting  secure  jobs  and  how  much  work  of deen  could’ve  been  done  (educating  thousands  of  Muslim  children thereby  saving  their  Imaan  –  The  Majlis)

But  they’d  rather  spend  millions  on  show  and  gratification  of  their nafs  than  care  about  people  in  rural  areas  of  Pakistan  who  don’t  know  even  the  Kalima.  These  shaikhs  have  a  lot  of  time  for  rich businessmen  and  “islamic  bankers”  but  no  time  for  poor  people. (This  is  quite  logical.  It    is    these  personnel    who  are  the  men  with the  boodle  –  The  Majlis)   You  will  never  see  this  shaikh  or  his  mureeds  shooing  away  any rich  business  man  or  banker  even  if  they  survive  on  haraam,  but you’ll  see  them  everyday  ignoring  and  kicking  away  poor  people who  come  only  for  guidance.”

BASELESS OBJECTIONS  AND SPURIOUS ARGUMENTS

A  Brother  objecting  to  our  criticism  of  mass  mock  ‘I’tikaaf’ merrymaking functions,  wrote: 

With  all  due  respect  I  have  read  your  comments  about  the  mass I’tikaaf  programmes  taking  place  in  the  month  of  Ramadan. Whilst  I  acknowledge  that  some  of  the  actions  mentioned  by  you are  not  substantiated  even  by  our  pious  elders,  I  think  that  you cannot  paint  all  the  I’tikaaf  programmes  with  the  same  brush. Hence, what will you say about the following :-

1.  Have  you  not  read  the  Hadeeth  in  which  Rasulullah  sallalahu alaihi  wasallam  stated  that  he  sat  for  I’tikaaf  for  the  1st  10  days  of Ramadan  in  search  of  Laylatul  Qadr,  then  for  the  next  10  days until  it  was  revealed  to  him  that  this  night  comes  in  the  last  10 days;  whereupon  he  stated  something  to  this  effect  that  :  “he  who wishes,  should  sit  in  I’tikaaf  with  me  for  the  last  10  days.”  Was  this not  approval  for  a  group  of  Sahabah  (radhiallahu  anhum)  gathering together  for  I’tikaaf  with  Rasulullah  sallalahu  alaihi?  Would  the Sahabah  radhiallahu  anhum  have  abstained  from  sitting  in  I’tikaaf with  Rasulullah  sallalahu  alaihi  wasallam  after  receiving  an invitation  like  that?  Yes  of  course,  Masjid  An-Nabawi  was  not  so big in that era to accommodate large crowds.

2.  Are  you  going  to  place  spiritual  luminaries  such  as  Hazrat Shaikhul-Hadeeth  Moulana  Muhammad  Zakariyya  Saheb rahimahullah  and  Hazrat  Mufti  Mahmood  Hasan  Saheb  Gangohi rahimahullah  (who  used  to  have  thousands  of  people  sitting  with them  in  I’tikaaf  with  meals  provided  of  course)  in  the  same  egg basket  as  those  whom  you  term  as  introducing  bid’aat  in  their mass  I’tikaaf  programmes?  Someone  mentioned  to  me  that  even your  esteemed  personality  was  blessed  with  the  good  fortune  of sitting  for  I’tikaaf  in  the  khidmat  of  these  great  luminaries.  If  these Buzrug’s  methods  cannot  be  used  as  Shar’ie  proofs  then  what  will you say about #3, #4, #5 and #6 below?

3.  Spiritual  luminaries  such  as  Hazrat  Masihul  –  Ummat  Moulana Masihullah  Saheb  rahimahullah  established  Khanqas  for  scores  of people  who  would  be  housed  in  rooms  to  participate  in  Hazrat’s Majaalis  at  designated  days  and  times.  Was  this  system  (of  having special  times  for  Majaalis  and  they  staying  in  special  rooms  for  this purpose  and  the  Shaikh  making  special  tawajjuh  on  his  mureeds and  granting  them  khilafat)  established  from  Rasulullah  sallalahu alaihi  wasallam?  If  you  consider  this  as  a  form  of  Bid’ate  – Hasanah  and  a  method  or  treatment  for  spiritual  maladies  could not the same be said for the mass I’tikaaf programmes?

4.  Did  Hazrat  Moulana  Husain  Ahmed  Madani  rahimahullah  and subsequently  his  son  Hazrat  Moulana  As’ad  Madani  rahimahullah not  have  mass  Itikaaf  programmes  with  Khanqas  being  established in  the  Masjid?  Did  they  not  have  the  system  where  a  Qari  recited that  night’s  parah  of  Taraweeh  with  others  listening?  Did  they  not have  loud  Zhikr  and  Nafl  congregational  Nafl  Salaah  during Tahajjud  time?  I  know  you  will  say  that  Buzrug’s  actions  do  not constitute  Shar’ie  proof  but  would  a  Khalifa  of  Hazrat  Moulana Rashid  Ahmed  Saheb  rahimahullah  (Hazrat  Madani  rahimahullah) do  any  action  contrary  to  the  Sunnah?

5.  Mass  Itikaaf  gatherings  also  take  place  at  the  markaz  in Nizamuddin  every  year.  Is  that  a  bid’ah?

6.  Was  the  modern-day  Darul  Uloom  system  (where  students board  and  lodge  in  the  Madaaris  and  attend  classes  according  to  a predetermined  curriculum)  established  during  the  Era  of  Rasulullah sallalahu  alaihi  wasallam  and  Sahabah  radhiallahu  anhum?  Ulema term  this  as  a  Bid’ah  FOR  the  upliftment  of  Deen,  hence  a  Bid’at e Hasanah.  Could  not  the  same  be  said  about  the  elders’  Itikaaf gatherings?

THE RESPONSE

(1)  All  mass-organized  I’tikaaf  programmes  have  to  be incumbently  painted  with  the  same  brush.  At  the  minimum,  these functions  are  Bid’ah.    Beyond  the  minimum  limit,  they  are,  in addition  to  Bid’ah,    functions  of  fisq  and  fujoor.  You  have  missed the  point  entirely.  Since  you  have    reacted  emotionally,  you  have not  understood  what  has  been  criticized  regarding  the  mass I’tikaafs.  Do  read  and  re-read    the    criticism  of  these  mass  I’tikaafs to  ascertain  what  exactly  has  been  criticized.  This  is  an  issue  of the  Deen,  therefore  apply  your  mind  constructively  with  the intention of ascertaining the Truth.

Your  citation  of  the  Hadith  pertaining  to  Rasulullah’s  I’tikaaf confirms  that  you  are  unaware  of  the  mode  of  the  I’tikaaf  of Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  and  the  Sahaabah. Contrary  to  what  you  have  mentioned,  the  Sahaabah  did  not  join Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  en-masse  for  I’tikaaf. In fact,  the  vast  majority    of  the  Sahaabah  and  the    illustrious  Aimmah of the Taabi-een era did not observe I’tikaaf.

This  fact  is  so  conspicuous  that  it  constrained  the  illustrious  Imaam Maalik  (rahmatullah  alayh)  to    comment:  “I  pondered  about  I’tikaaf and  the  abstention  of  the  Sahaabah  from  it  despite  the  fact  that they  were    devoted  followers  of  the  Sunnah.”    The  Fuqaha  confirm that the  great majority of the Sahaabah did not observe I’tikaaf.

Imaam  Maalik  (rahmatullah  alayh)  further  said  that  it  did  not  reach him  that  Hadhrat  Abu  Bakr,  Umar  and  Uthmaan  (radhiyallahu anhum)  nor  the    senior  Aimmah  of  the  Salaf  except  Abu  Bakr  Ibn Abdur  Rahmaan,  had  observed  I’tikaaf.  Thus,  there  was  no  group of  Sahaabah  who  had    joined  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam) in I’tikaaf.

Furthermore,  Nabi-e-Kareem  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  did  not give  bayaans  during  I’tikaaf.    There  was  no  festival  mood.  There were  no  wedding  degs  of  food.  I’tikaaf  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam)  was  not  a  programme/function    which  resembles a  haraam  wedding  reception  where    huge  pots  of  food  are prepared  for  only eating and excreting. 

Another  fact  which  you  miss  is  that  no  one    forbids  anyone  from making  ibaadat  in  the  Musjid  the  whole  night  from  the  1st Ramadan  until  the  end  of  Ramadan.  What  is    criticized,  is  the festival  which  takes  place.  The  waste  is  haraam.    People  spending millions  of  rands  in  air  fares,  coming  from  different  countries  to  sit in  a  so-called  I’tikaaf  with  a  luminary,  are  labouring  in  self-deception.  If  these  outsiders  were  really  sincere,  and  if  their ibaadat  was  truly  for  Allah’s  sake,  they  would  have  sat  in  I’tikaaf  in their neighbourhood Musjids

But  there  is  no  fun  and  no  merrymaking  sitting  in  a  small neighbourhood   Musjid  in    relative  seclusion  meditating  on  Maut, the  Qabr  and  Aakhirat,  which  were  the  A’maal  of  Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  and  the  Sahaabah  when  they  were  in I’tikaaf.

(2)  The  spiritual  luminaries  to  whom  you  have  made  reference  are not  our  models  nor  our  Imaams  whom  we  make  Taqleed  of.  We follow  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  and  the  Sahaabah and  the  Aimmah  Mujtahideen.  If  the  deeds  of  the  spiritual luminaries  are  in  conflict  with  the  Sunnah,  and  if  their  deeds  lead to  bid’ah,  as  they  have,  then  we  set  these  aside.  We  do  not  make taqleed  of  the  errors  or  perculiarities  of  spiritual  luminaries regardless  who  they  may  be.  Allaamah  Sha’raani  (rahmatullah alayh) said:

He  who    takes  daleel  from  the  obscutities  (and  errors)  of  the Ulama, makes his exit from Islam.”

Do  not  cite  spiritual  luminaries  to  us,  for  we  are  cognizant  of  the Qur’an’s  castigation  of  those  who  make  taqleed  of  even  the errors  of  the  spiritual  luminaries.  Allah  Ta’ala    criticizing  those  who   follow  the  spiritual  luminaries  even  in  error,  says  in  the  Qur’an Majeed:
They  take  their  ahbaar  (scholars)  and  ruhbaan  (spiritual luminaries)  as arbaab (gods)  besides Allah….

Tell  us  on  the  basis  of  the  Dalaa-il  of  the  Shariah  where  we  have erred  in  our    conclusions  and  fatwa.  Do  not  make  reference  to spiritual  luminaries  whose  amal  is  not  daleel  in  the  Shariah.  You quote  the  spiritual  luminaries  of  this  belated  age  while  we  quote Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam),  the  Sahaabah,  the Taabieen  and  the  amal  of  the  Ummah  of  fourteen  centuries. Spiritual luminaries are not among the Dalaa-il of the Shariah.

(3)  The  above  discussion  has  dealt  with  ‘spiritual  luminaries’.  You have  again  mentioned  the  same  issue.  You  quote  Hadhrat Masihullah  (rahmatullah  alayh).  For  your  edification,  Hadhrat Masihullah  (rahmatullah  alayh)  never  sat  in  I’tikaaf   in  his  entire lifetime.  We  are  discussing  mass  I’tikaaf.  Not  khaanqas.  Do  not detract  from  the  issue  with    diversions.  Do  not  confuse  issues.

Khaanqas  are  different  issues.  Adhere  to  the  topic.  Hadhrat Masihullah  never sat in I’tikaaf with even one mureed.

Also  be  informed  that  Hadhrat  Masihullah  (rahmatullah  alayh)  did not  operate  a  customary  khaanqah.  There  are  still  senior  students, mureeds  and  khalifahs  of  Hadhrat  Masihullah  around  who  can testify  for   the  lifestyle  and  Tariqah  of  Hadhrat  Masihullah (rahmatullah  alayh).  We  are   more  acquainted  with  Hadhrat Masihullah’s  ta’leem  than    you.  So,  do  not  attempt  to  mislead  and deceive  an  unwary  public  with  the  name  of  Hadhrat  Masihullah (rahmatullah alayh).

Hadhrat  Masihullah  (rahmatullah  alayh)  made  it  clear  that  like,  his Shaikh,  Hadhrat  Maulana  Ashraf  Ali  Thaanvi  (rahmatullah  alayh), he  did  not  operate  a  langar  khaanah  (a  public  kitchen  for  all  and sundry).  He  was  averse  to  the  langar  khaanah  system.  His  primary   occupation was Islaah of the Nafs.

(4)  We  do  not  follow  Hadhrat  Husain  Ahmad  Madani  in  his personal  practices.  We  do  not  follow  him  in  his  error  of  making Tahajjud  Salaat  with  Jamaat  which  is  Makrooh  Tahrimi  in  terms  of the  Hanafi  Math-hab.  Whilst  we  have  never  criticized  Hadhrat Madani  (rahmatullah  alayh)  for  his  error,  we  are  not  his muqallideen.  Quote  the  Sunnah  to  us,  not  luminaries,  or  better,  do not  cite  the  errors  of  luminaries  as  daleel.  We  state  with  emphasis that  the  mass  I’tikaaf  programmes  are  bid’ah  regardless  of  who practised  it.  Short-sighted  spiritual  luminaries  with  good  intentions   initiated    the  mass  I’tikaaf  innovation  which  has  today  degenerated to  the  level  of    shaitaani  israaf,    fisq  and  fujoor.  Whilst  the  original error  of  this  practice  was  initiated  by  sincere  buzrugs  with  good intentions,  this  innovated  practice  has  been  hijacked  by    ‘sufi’ quacks and cranks using the Deen to gain the dunya

(5)  The  Tabligh  Jamaat  markaz  is  not  among  the  Dalaa-il  of  the Shariah.  It  is  superfluous  to  cite    the  markaz  as  daleel,  for  it  is  not among  the  Dalaa-il  of  the  Shariah.  The  Tabligh  Jamaat  is  an expert  in  the  art  of  compromising  the  Haqq.  Fork-tongued diplomacy  spuriously  dubbed  ‘hikmat’  is  abhorrent  in  Islam.  

(6)  You  have  miserably  failed  to  understand  the  thrust  of  our criticism  because  you  are    blinded  by  emotional  bias.  The establishment  of  Darul  Ulooms  has  absolutely  no  relationship  to the  wasteful  mass  I’tikaaf  festivals.  You  are  again  confusing issues.  The  permissibility  of  Darul  Ulooms  is  not  a  basis  for  forging permissibility  for  the  waste  and  all  the  other  evils  attendant  to  mass I’tikaafs.  The  evils  have  been  pointed  out  in  articles    written  by other Ulama. Read their articles with an open mind. The    function  of  the  Darul  Ulooms  is  or  is  supposed  to  be    the protection    of  the  original  Deen,  while  the  consequence  of  mass I’tikaafs  is  the  introduction  of  israaffisqfujoorbid’ah  and  the destruction  of  the  letter  and  spirit  of  the  Masnoon  I’tikaaf.

Keep  your  mind  focused  on  the  evils  and  the  haraam  activities which  are  taking  place  at  the  mass  festivals  called  I’tikaaf,  and fear  Allah  Ta’ala.  May  Allah  Ta’ala  guide  us  all.    Salaam  on  those who  follow  Huda  (the  guidance  of  Allah).

SOME QUERIES

In  your  recent  article,  Satanism  in  the  Garb  of  I’tikaaf,  the  following is mentioned:

“In  Umdatul  Qaari,  Allaamah  Aini  responding  to  Imaam  Zuhri’s surprise  at  the  abstention  from  I’tikaaf  by  the  vast  majority  of people, he says: 

Our  Ashaab  (the  Ahnaaf  Fuqaha)  said:  Verily,  the  majority  of the  Sahaabah  did  not  observe  I’tikaaf.  Imaam  Maalik  said:  It  did not  reach  me  that  Abu  Bakr,  Umar,  Uthmaan,  Ibnul  Musayyib  nor anyone  else  from  these  Aimmah  of  the  Salaf  except  Abu  Bakr  Bin Abdur  Rahmaan,  had  observed  I’tikaaf.

Please  explain  why  the  majority  of  the  Sahaabah  abstained  from I’tikaaf.  I  have  also  heard  that  it  was  not  Hadhrat  Masihullah’s regular  habit  to  sit  in  I’tikaaf.  

OUR COMMENT

It  is  difficult  for  us  students  to  venture  a  reason  for  the  abstention from  I’tikaaf  by  the  majority  of  the  Sahaabah  and  even  the   Aimmah-e-Salaf  of  the  Taabi-een  era.  Even  Imaam  Maalik (rahmatullah  alayh)  was  not  able  to  venture  a  cogent  reason  for this seemingly anomalous attitude of the Sahaabah.

In  our  deficient  opinion, the  probable  reason  for  this  attitude  was that  despite  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  himself observing  I’tikaaf  regularly,  he  did  not  emphasize  its  observance for  the  Sahaabah.  In  fact,  Nabi-e-Kareem  (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam)  mentioned  that  service  to  a  brother  Muslim  in  need  is more  meritorious  than  120  I’tikaafs.  Thus,  once  when  Hadhrat Abdullah  Ibn  Abbaas  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  was  sitting  in  I’tikaaf,  he was  informed  of  a  need  of  a  certain  Muslim.  He  immediately  left  his Mu’takaf,  went  out  of  the  Musjid  and  hastened  to  fulfil  the  need  of the  one    in  need.  When  someone  reminded  him  that  he  had nullified  his  I’tikaaf,  he  mentioned  the  Hadith  of  120  I’tikaaf. Obviously he must have made Qadha of the I’tikaaf.

Rasulullah’s  instruction  to    remove  the  tents  of  his  three    wives  and also  his  own  tent,  and  his  expression  of  annoyance  when  he  saw the  three  tents  in  the  Musjid,  and  his  decision  to  break  and  nullify his  I’tikaaf  on  this  account,    clearly  indicate  the  undesirability  of organized  mass  I’tikaaf  as  has  been  innovated    nowadays. Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  made  Qadha  of  his  I’tikaaf during Shawwaal.

We  believe  that  it  was  this  attitude  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam)  that  the  Sahaabah  understood,  hence  they  abstained from  I’tikaaf.  It  is  not  possible    for  the  Sahaabah  to  have  abstained if  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  had  encouraged  them  to observe  I’tikaaf.  They  were  devotees  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam).  It  is  inconceivable  that  such    devotees  would have    flagrantly  violated  Rasulullah’s  command,  instruction    or   encouragement. 

Furthermore,  the  status  of  I’tikaaf  vacillates  between  Mustahab and  Sunnat  alal  Kifaayah.    It  is  not  an  ibaadat  for  mass observance,  least  of  all  the  type  of  mess  which  these  mock  mass functions  entail.  The    Fiqhi  category    of  I’tikaaf  also  negates  the   undue emphasis accorded to I’tikaaf.

To  the  best  of  our  knowledge    Hadhrat  Masihullah  (rahmatullah alayh)  never  sat  in  I’tikaaf.    The  greatness  of  Hadhrat  Masihullah (rahmatullah  alayh)  is  his  meticulous    observance  of  the  Sunnah. His  simplicity  glittered    conspicuously.            

SATANIC ISRAAF  (WASTE)  AMID  SUFFERING  OF THE UMMAH

Israaf  (waste/extravagance)  is  an  attribute  of  Iblees.  On  the  basis of  this  evil  satanic  attribute,  the  Qur’an  Majeed    describes  the wasters  as  Ikhwaanush  Shayaateen  (the  brothers  of  the  devils). The  gravity  and  notoriety  of  Israaf    can  therefore  not  be  overemphasized  even  if  one    makes  such  an  endeavour. Israaf  is  always  evil  and    destructive,  spiritually  as  well  as physically.  It  is  the    effect  of  takabbur  (pride)  and  riya  (show).  Only those  who  have  opted  for  deliberate   spiritual  blindness  will  have the  capacity  to  deny  the    huge  shaitaani  Israaf    which  occurs  at  all mass  I’tikaaf  functions  and  festivals.  The  waste  is  glaringly conspicuous.  While  I’tikaaf  is  supposed  to  be  an  Ibaadat  in  which the  emphasis  is  on  Zuhd  (Abstinence/renunciation  of  the  dunya), Muraaqabah  and  Muhaasabah,  The  mock  mass  ‘i’tikaaf’  of    these days  is  the  very  antithesis  of  the  Masnoon  I’tikaaf  observed  by Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  and  the  Sahaabah.  These bid’ah  i’tikaaf  festivals  resemble  haraam  wedding  receptions.

The  attributes  which  are  supposed  to  be  cultivated  in  I’tikaaf  are utterly  eliminated  by    shaitaani  indulgence  in  israaffisq  and  fujoor –  all  of  which  have  been  discussed  in    this  treatise.  The  fujoor aspect  is    specially    associated  with  the    presence  of  women  and the  haraam  tawajjuh  stunts  of  the  modernist  quack  ‘sufi’  who  has not  yet set foot in the Path of genuine Tasawwuf.

Millions  of  rands  of  the  bounty  of  wealth  are  being    squandered down  the  sewerage  drains  in  the  orgiastic  ‘I’tikaaf’  programmes  of the    ‘hadhrats’  who  are  paving  the  paths  of  Jahannam  for  their   unsuspecting  flocks  revelling  in  the  festivities  organized  during the  most  auspicious  days  and  nights  of  Ramadan.  Allah  Ta’ala did  not  bestow  wealth  to  people  for  wasting  on  festivities, unnecessary  journeys,  setting  up  huge  expensive  tents  and  the other  wasteful  expenditure    concomitant  with  the    paraphernalia  of the mock mass I’tikaaf festivals.

All  over  the  world,  millions  of  Muslims  are  languishing  in  squalor, poverty  and  appalling  jahaalat  –  total  ignorance  of  the  very  basic requisites  of  the  Deen  so  imperative  for  sustaining  Imaan.  The suffering  of  Muslim  men,  women  and  children  of  Syria,  Gaza  and   Burma  are  currently  in  the  public  glare.  Yet  these  quack  and  crank ‘hadhrats’  feigning   total  physical  blindness,   mislead  their   followers,  casting  them  into  the  cauldron  of  shaitaani  Israaf.  They are spiritually blind as the Qur’an Majeed aptly depicts them:

Verily,  the  (physical)  eyes  are  not  blind,  but  the  eyes  within  the breasts (hearts) are blind.”

It  is  this  spiritual  blindness  which  has  calcified  their  understanding preventing  them  from  progressive  thinking,  hence    they  believe that  their  misdeeds  are  deeds  of  virtue,  as  the  Qur’an  Majeed states:

Say:  ‘Shall  I  inform  you  about  the  losers?’  They  are  those  whose effort  is  wasted  in  this  worldly  life  whilst    they  think  that  what  they are  doing  is  goodness.

These  wasters  and  indulgers  in  mock  mass  ‘i’tikaaf’  believe  that   their  deeds  of  waste  and  sin  are    acts  of  virtue.  They  are  in  fact  the losers  in  this  dunya  and  in  the  Aakhirat.

In  every  remote  village  of  the  world  where  there  are  droves  of ignorant  Muslims,  the  kuffaar  missionaries  are  active  in  their poselytizing  depradations.  Milllions  of  ignorant  Muslims,  especially children  in    rural  villages  are  the  targets  of  the  missionaries, modernism  and  kufr.   

Maktabs  to  educate  these    children  in  the elementary  teachings  of  Islam,  to  enable  them  to  know  what  Imaan is, to  recite the Qur’an, to perform Salaat, etc. are non-existent. 

The  millions  which  are  wasted  on  these  festivals  in  the  name  of ‘i’tikaaf,  should    rather  be  diverted  to  establishing  Maktabs,  feeding the  orphans,  the  widows  and  the  suffering  masses  of  Muslims uprooted  from  their    homes.  They  live  in  horrible  and  heart-rending conditions.  Whole  families   live  huddled  together  under  plastic sheeting,  not  even  a  decent  hut.  They  scavenge  like  animals  for food,  whilst  the  ‘hadhrats’    and  their  flocks  indulge  in  luxuries  and festivities,   eat  gluttonously  and  excrete.  Does  their  Imaan  demand such  callous  and  insensitive  conduct?    Do  they  not  know  that   the demand  of  Imaan  has  been    explained  by  Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi wasallam):

The    Muslimoon  (the  Ummah  of  Islam)  is  like  one  person.  If  the eye  pains,  the  whole  body  is  affected.  If  the  head  pains,  the whole body is affected.

What  has  happened  to  the  brotherly  pain  which  should  be  in  the heart  of  every  Believer  –  throbbing  in  his  heart  at  the    misery  of  the suffering  Ummah?  How  can  Muslims  in  Ramadan  indulge  in satanic  extravagance  when  the  Ummah  is  being  ground  and crushed  by  suffering  and  misery.  The  Ummah  is  engulfed  by  the forces  of  kufr,  yet  those  who  indulge  in  ‘i’tikaaf’  festivities,  happily lose  themselves  in  satanic  waste  like  villains  revelling   in  orgies of  drunkenness.

The  colossal  Israaf  of  these  haraambid’ah  functions  which pollutes  the  Holy  Month  of  Ramadan  and  defiles  the  sanctity  of the  Musaajid  can  feed  thousands  of  suffering  widows,  orphans  and others    gripped  by  hunger  and  poverty.  But,  this  reality  simply  does not dawn on the fossilized brains of the revellers. 

How  is  it  possible  for  Imaan  to  tolerate    this  huge  shaitaani  Israaf   amid  the  misery  and  suffering  of  the  Ummah?  Perhaps  the treasure of Imaan has been extinguished.        

MR. ZULFIQAR  AHMAD  –  A SELF INTRODUCTION

In  the  forefront  of  the  new-fangled  Bid’ah  mass  mock  so-called ‘I’tikaaf’  festivals  is  Mr.Zulfiqar  Ahmad.  The    title,  ‘Mr.’  is  not   awarded  to  him  pejoratively.  Whereas  the  title,  ‘shaikh’  is unbeftting  him,  the  term,  ‘Mr.’  based  on  his  western  kuffaar  titles and  exploits  is  an  appropriate  designation  for  this  man  of  bid’ah who has led astray numerous unwary and ignorant Muslims.

The  western  kuffaar  ‘credentials’  which  he  proudly  flaunts    consists of  a  formidable  array  of  flotsam  designations  which  befool  only those  who  lack  understanding  of  the  Deen  and  its  objectives.  The following  are  his  malafide  ‘credentials’  and  qualifications  which  he, himself  advertises  to  the  world  for  reasons  which  are  too conspicuous  for  elucidation.  Observe  his  following  self-advertised   list  of  malafides  for    a  better  understanding  who  this  personality who  presents himself as a Naqshabandi shaikh really is.

Silly  Scrap  Diplomas  

Matric  –  First  Division  

BSC Punjab – First  Division

Honorary  Roll  of  Honour  

BSC Electrical  Engineer  –  First  Division  

Special  Honour    in  Computer  Project  

Afecto  Management  Course  –MAF

Strategic  Management  Course  (Lums) 

Short  Course  on  Library  Science  (Lums)  

Project  Management  Course  Sweden  

Human Reserves  Management  Course  (Lums)  

Kuffaar  Sport  Diplomas  

Best Performance    in  Dialogue   Outstanding  School  Scout  

Outstanding  Performances  in  Gymnastics  

School  Cricket  Team  Captain  

District  Football  Team  Captain  

College  Swimming  Team  Champion

Mundane  Achievements  

Apprentice  Electrical  Engineering  
Member  of   Pakistan  Society  of  Sugar Technology  

Assistant  Electrical  Engineer  

Member  of  Pakistan  Engineering  Council  

Chief  Electrical  Engineer  

Gold Medal  for  Outstanding  Thesis  (PSST)  

Senior  Member  of    Instrument  Society  –America  

General  Manager  of  Planning   Participant  in  the  Asian  Chemical  Instrument Conference – Singapore.

These  are  his  worldly  qualifications  –  all  of  which  are  scrap  in terms  of  the  Shariah  –  which  he  flaunts  and  have  advertised  to impress  and  awe    ignoramuses    suffering  from  inferiority  complex inherited  from  the  colonial  British  masters  and  bosses  who  have moulded the outlook of  Mr.Zulfiqar and of others of his ilk.
While  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  said:  “The  world  is carrion.”,  Mr.Zulfiqar  posing  as  a  Naqshbandi  Shaikh  of  Tasawwuf proudly  purrs  with  his  array  of  scrap  mundane  credentials.  What has  constrained  this  man  who  claims  to  be  a  Sufi  advertise  his major  sins  of  participation    in  kuffaar  sport  attended  by  a  host  of fisq  and  fujoor  activities?    He  has  in  fact  brought  shame  to  the Naqshabandi  Silsilah  of  which  he  is    grotesquely  ignorant.  No Shaikh  of  Tasawwuf  will  proudly  flaunt  his  sins  of  the  past  nor   exhibit  kuffaar  mundane  achievements  which  have  absolutely  no relationship  with Tasawwuf and Islam.

The  tawajjuh  stunts  which  he  perpetrates  to  impress  the  ignorant are  most  unbefitting  for  a  man  who  proclaims  himself  to  be  a Shaikh  of  Tasawwuf.  Whilst  tawajjuh  is  an  occult  practice,  it  has  no relationship  with  Tasawwuf.  He  has  descended  to  a    despicable ebb  of    fisq    with  his  stupid  tawajjuh  performances  perpetrated  on females  whom  he  ushers  into  his  presence  in  total  conflict  with  the Shariah.  The  argument  that  the  women  are  donning  niqaab  when they  sit  in  front  of  their  guru  who  mesmerizes  them  with  some satanic  performance, is devoid of Shar’i substance.

It  is  haraam  for  a  man  to  have  a  group  of  women  sitting  in  his presence.  The  evil  and  prohibition  are  aggravated    when  the  man casts  mental  spells  on  the  brains  of  the  weak  females    when  he implants  his  obnoxious  haraam  gaze  on  them.  The  Naqshabandi Tariqah  is  one  of  the  authentic  Four  Silsilahs  of  Tasawwuf.  It  does not  impart  the  lesson  of  rubbish  and  haraam.  It  does  not  propagate satanism  and  bid’ah.  It  does  not    advocate  violation  of  Hijaab  nor  of any rule of the Zaahiri Shariah.

Muslims  should  not  dwell  in  self-deception  as  a  result  of  the performances  of  Mr.Zulfiqar.  Tasawwuf  is  not  theory.  It  is  practical Islam  which  is  100%  in  conformity  with  the  Shariah.  Never  be duped  into  accepting  a  person  on  the  basis  of  supernatural  stunts he  may  be  able  to  display.  Even  if  a  man  transforms  stones  into gold,  flies  in  the  air  and  walks  on  the  water,  never    be  awed,  and never  accept  him  as  a  Man  of  Allah  if  his    way  of  life  is  in  conflict with the Shariah.

A man  of  Tasawwuf  is  supposed  to  be  a  man  of Allah,  not  a  man  of  carrion  –  a  man  of  the  dunya.  Describing  the Man  of  Allah,  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  said:  

He  is  one  who  reminds  you  of  Allah  when  you  look  at  him;  your knowledge  (of  the  Deen)  increases  when  he  speaks,  and  his deeds remind you of the Aakhirat.”

But  this  man,  instead  of    diverting    the  focus  of  Muslims  from  the dunya,  and    creating  concern    for    the  Aakhirat,  seeks  to  impress Muslims with scrap kuffaar credentials.  

Ikhfa’  (concealment)  is  a  special  attribute  of  the  Naqshabandi Tariqah  which  emphasizes  the  imperative  need  for  silent  Thikr  in   contrast  to  the  Chishtiyyah  Silsilah.  The    theme  of  Ikhfa  is  not restricted  to  Thikr.  It  is  supposed    to  permeate  all  spheres  of  life.   Departures  from  the  norm  of  Ikhfa  are  valid  only  if  countenanced by  the  Shariah.  But  all  the  publicity  and  abracadabra  stunts  and performances   of   this  miscreant  ‘shaikh’  are  in   contradiction  of  the  teachings  of  the  Naqshabandi  Silsilah violent With  his  mass  mock  ‘I’tikaaf’  festivals  he  has  ruined  the  Imaan  of innumerable  Muslims.  Hoisting  bid’ah  in  Deeni  guise  is  among  the worst  acts  of  treachery  against  Allah  Ta’ala.  While  the  Barelwi grave  worshippers  are  notorious  for  bid’ah,  this  era  has  given  birth to  pseudo-deobandi  miscreants  who  mislead  the  Ummah  with  their nafsaaniyat  projected  in  the  hues  of  Deeni  acts.  In  their  treachery against Allah Ta’ala, they are now surpassing the Barelwi bid’atis.

It  is  not  permissible  to  be  initiated  into  the  circle    of  Mr.Zulfiqar  as mureeds.  Those  who  are  already  trapped  in  his  den  of  dhalaal (deviation)  should  honourably  sever  their  relationship.  There  is  no goodness  following  a    man  of  bid’ah.  On  the  contrary,  Imaan  is severely  damaged  by  such  a  relationship.    Allah  Ta’ala  has bestowed  Aql  –  intelligence  imbued  with  Imaan  –  to  Muslims.  This divinely  inspired  intelligence  should  not  be  wasted  in  futility  and rubbish.  It  should  be  constructively  employed  to  understand  and  to   differentiate between vice and virtue – Haqq and baatil

Only  those  of  Intelligence  derive  lesson.” (Qur’aan)

A SPURIOUS OBJECTION

A resident  of  Lusaka, Zambia,  in defence  of  the  mass  I’tikaaf  held in Ramadan in Zambia,  by  Mr. Zulfiqar Ahmad, writes:  

Assalaamualykum  wa  rahmatullahi  wabaraakatuhu.

I  am  a  resident  of  Lusaka, Zambia.

I am  writing  with  regards  to  your article  that  appeared on    28th  July  2015  entitled  “SATANISM  IN THE  GARB  OF  ITIKAAF:  MOCKERY  AND PILLAGE  OF  IBAADAH THE FARCE IN  ZAMBIA”

Before  I  begin,  I  would  like  to  state  that  I  understand  that  the  response  to the  letter  that  was  given  by  The  Majlis  was  based  on  the  information provided by  the  brother who wrote  the  letter (lets  call  him  Bakr).

However,  it  appears  that  the  brother  who  was  narrating  the  itikaaf incident  to  Bakr  (lets  call  him  Zayd)  had  not  revealed  all  the  necessary details  regarding  the  itikaaf.  Zayd’s  information  regarding  the  itikaaf  is vague  and  it  is  also  his  personal  opinion.  As  a  result,  it  is  very  easy  for  a person reading  the  letter  to jump  to incorrect  conclusions.

I  therefore  felt  obliged  to  clarify  the  contents  of  the  letter  written  by brother Bakr as  narrated  to him  by  brother Zayd.

I  hope  and  pray  that  the  contents  of  this  email  are  reproduced  so  that  the misconceptions  and    misunderstandings  surrounding  Shaykh  Zulfiqar  and the  itikaaf  in Zambia  are  clarified.

I  will  reproduce  brother  Bakr’s  letter  and  I  will  insert  my findings/clarifications  in  CAPITAL  LETTERS  wherever  I  deem  it necessary  to do so.  

The  reproduced letter with  clarifications:

“Recently  one  brother  returned  from  I’tikaaf  from  Zambia  .  The  set  up was  650  men  and  several  women    (wives  of  the  mureeds).    Only  200 could  fit  in  the  masjid  and  the  remaining  450  were  in  a  tent.  The  women were  doing  nafl  I’tikaaf  in a  hall.

(BROTHER  ZAYD  MADE  IT  SOUND  LIKE  THE  MEN  AND WOMEN WERE TOGETHER  IN  ONE  PLACE.  THIS  WAS  NOT  THE CASE.  THE  WOMEN  WERE   IN  A  HALL  LOCATED  IN  A DIFFERENT  LOCALITY  APPROXIMATELY  15  KM  AWAY  FROM THE MASJID  (MASJIDE  UMAR) AND  TENT.

YES,  THERE  WERE  200  MUTAKIFS  DOING  SUNNAH  ITIKAAF  IN THE  MASJID.  THOSE  IN  THE  TENT  WERE  IN  NAFAL  ITIKAAF. HOWEVER,  THE  TENT  WAS  NOT  THE  VENUE  FOR  ITIKAAF. THE  TENT  WAS  USED  FOR  SLEEPING  AND  EATING  PURPOSES FOR  THOSE  WHO  WERE  IN  NAFAL  ITIKAAF.  THESE  BROTHERS WOULD  ACTUALLY  BE  IN  THE  MASJID  FOR  NAFAL  ITIKAAF MOST  OF  THE  TIME  AND  THEY  WOULD  ONLY  GO  BACK  TO THE TENT  FOR SUHOOR, IFTAAR AND  TO  SLEEP.

THE  MUTAKIFS  IN  THE  MASJID  WOULD  ROLL  UP  THEIR BEDDINGS  AND  WOULD  PLACE  THEIR  BELONGINGS ELSEWHERE  SO  AS  TO  CREATE  SPACE  IN  THE  MASJID  FOR ANY  COMING  BROTHERS  TO  PRAY,  THUS  MINIMISING  ON  THE INCONVENIENCE  CAUSED  TO  OTHER  MEN  WHO  WERE  NOT  IN ITIKAAF  BUT  WOULD  COME TO THE MASJID  TO  DO  IBAADAH.

EVEN  WHILST  THE  MUTAKIFS  IN  THE  MASJID  WERE SLEEPING,  THEY  USED  TO  LEAVE  SPACE  IN  THE  MIDDLE  OF THE  MASJID  SO  THAT  OTHERS  COULD  MAKE  IBAADAH  IF THEY WANTED TO.)

The  Shaikh  Zulfiqar  Naqshbandi  from  Pakistan  had  mureeds  from  all over the  world  including  ulema  from  Deoband.

What  was  disturbing  was  the  affluent  brother  who  sponsored  the  event runs  a  soda  company.  It  costs  about  two  thousand  dollars  for  the  plane ticket  alone.

(THE  BROTHER  WHO  RUNS  THE  SODA  COMPANY  IS  NOT  THE SPONSOR  OF  THE  ITIKAAF.  YES  HE  IS  VERY  CLOSE  TO SHAYKH  ZULFIQAR.  HOWEVER,  HE  DOES  NOT  SPONSOR  THE MUTAKIFS.  THEY  COME  ON  THEIR  OWN  WILL,  PAYING  FOR THEIR OWN TICKETS)  

The  meal  sequence  was  biryani  every  day  and  then  at  night  ice  cream, falooda, and other sweets.

(BIRYANI  WAS  NOT  SERVED  EVERYDAY.  YES  THERE  WERE SMALL  SNACKS  SERVED  AROUND  11PM  FOR  THOSE  THAT WERE HUNGRY.  HOWEVER, NO  ONE  WAS  OBLIGED TO EAT.)
They  had  a  ‘khidmaat  jamaat  who  would  roll  out  the  dastkhaans  and futons  for all  the  guests.

The  food  was  so  much  and  so  delicious  according  to  the  brother  he suffered from  diarrhoea  while  he  was  there.

(BROTHER  ZAYD  MAY  HAVE  OVEREATEN  HIMSELF  AND POSSIBLY  THE  FOOD  MAY  NOT  HAVE  AGREED  WITH  HIM.  AS A  RESULT,  HE  HIMSELF  SUFFERED  FROM  DIARRHOEA.  WE CAN  NOT  GENERALIZE  WITH  REGARDS  TO  THE  OTHER MUTAKIFS  AND  CONCLUDE  THAT  THEY  ALSO  ATE  SO  MUCH THAT THEY HAD  DIARRHOEA.

SHAYKH  ZULFIQAR  HAD  STRESSED  GREATLY  ON  3  THINGS DURING  THE  ITIKAAF  :  QILLATE  KALAAM,QILLATE  TA’AAM AND QILLATE  MANAAM.

HE  GREATLY STRESSED TO THE MUTAKIFS  THAT THE MASJID IS  THE  HOUSE  OF  ALLAH  SWT  AND  NOT  A  PLACE  OF MERRYMAKING  AND  MINGLING.HE  ALSO  ADVISED  THE MUTAKIFS  TO  CONSIDER  THE  TIME  SPENT  IN  ITIKAAF  AS VALUABLE  AND THAT THEY SHOULD   USE IT FOR TILAAWAT, ZIKR, DUAA,  MURAAQABAH  AND  NAWAAFIL SALAAT.)

He  was  also telling  me  how  the  soda  was  delicious.

The  brother  who  runs  the  soda  factory  is  planning  to  expand  the  masjid  to accommodate  1000 people  next  year.

(THE  BROTHER  WHO  RUNS  THE  SODA  COMPANY  IS  NOT PLANNING TO  EXPAND  MASJIDE  UMAR.)

There  were  some  other  strange  and  weird  things.  In  order  to  see  the shaikh one  had  to  pass  through at  least  ten persons.

(SHAYKH  ZULFIQAR  PREFERED  NOT  TO  BE   DISTURBED DURING  ITIKAAF. HE  DETESTED  THAT  THE  MUTAKIFS  TALK DURING  ITIKAAF. WHY  THEN  WOULD  HE  EVEN  WANT  TO MEET WITH PEOPLE?!)  

He  mentioned something  very  queer. I  want  clarification on it.

1.  He  said  the  shaikh  would  cast  his  gaze  on  a  person  and  he    would  be inclined  to  zikr.  One  Maulana  in  the  past  told  me  that  even  non-Muslims could  do  such  things.  It  is  not  something  to  be  impressed  with.  Please advise.

2.  He  talk  about  the  noorani  faces  of  the  people  serving  the  people.  Is  it possible  to  have  a  noorani  face  with    so  much  food  and  extravagance  that the  brother  gets  diarrhoea.  How  can  a  face  glitter  with  noor  when  so much    doubtful    and  perhaps  haraam  food  and  sodas  were  consumed?    Is there  some  kind of  deception in this  show?

(AS  MENTIONED  BEFORE,  BROTHER  ZAYD  HIMSELF  MAY HAVE  OVER  EATEN.  THIS  DOESN’T  MEAN  THAT  ALL  THE MUTAKIFS  AND  KHUDDAMS  ALSO  OVER  ATE.  THE  MUTAKIFS WERE  ADVISED  TO  EAT  LESS  SO  AS  TO  NOT  DEFEAT  THE PURPOSE  OF  FASTING.  THE  FOOD  AND  SODA  WERE  100% HALAAL).  

3.    Does  the  Shariah  allow  women  to  undertake  journeys  from  other countries  to    sit  in  I’tikaaf  in  tents  at  a  venue    overflowing  with    a  crowd of  men  and  women?  We  all  know  that  it  is  not  permissible  for  women  to   attend    even  the  Musjid  for  Salaat,  even  if    stringent  conditions  are    in place.  So  how  is  it  permissible  for  them  to  travel  from  one  country  to another with    strange  men  all  along  the  journey  to participate  in  a  function which has  no    substantiation in the  Sunnah?

(SHAYKH  ZULFIQAR  HAS  NEVER  INSTRUCTED  THE  WOMEN TO  SIT  FOR  ITIKAAF  IN  TENTS  CLOSE  TO  THE  MEN,  LET ALONE MINGLE  WITH THE MEN.

THE  WOMEN  TRAVELLED  WITH  THEIR  HUSBANDS /MAHAARIM.

AS  MENTIONED  EARLIER,  THE  WOMEN  WERE  NOT  AT  THE SAME  VENUE  AS  THE  MEN.  THEY  WERE  APPROXIMATELY  15 KM AWAY FROM THE MASJID AND TENT.

SHAYKH  ZULFIQAR  IS  VERY  PARTICULAR  ABOUT  HAYAA AND   PARDAH AND HE GREATLY STRESSES ON THESE  TOPICS.

INFACT,  MOST  OF  THE  WOMEN  IN  LUSAKA  STARTED DONNING  THE  NIQAAB  AFTER  THE  COMINGS  OF  SHAYKH ZULFIQAR .

THOSE  THAT  PERSONALLY  KNOW  SHAYKH  ZULFIQAR  WILL ATTEST  TO  THE  FACT  THAT  THEY  DONT  KNOW  OF  ANYONE WHO  IS  MORE  PARTICULAR  ABOUT  THE  RULES  OF  SHARIAH AND  THE  SUNNAH  THAN  HIM. HE  ALWAYS  ENCOURAGES  HIS MURIDEEN  AND  PEOPLE  IN  GENERAL  TO  FOLLOW  THE SHARIAH AND ADOPT  THE  SUNNAH  INTO THEIR  LIVES.).

4.  The  brother  got  khilifaat  also,  but  in    the  past  25  years  that  he  has  been bayt,  the  shaikh  barely  spoke  and/hardly  corresponded  with  him.    His shaikh  barely  knows  anything  about  him.  He  sat  with  him  for  5  minutes. Is  it  proper to give  khilafaat  like  this.

(I  HAVE  NO  SAY  IN  THIS  REGARD  AS  I  COULD  NOT  CLARIFY THIS  STATEMENT.  HOWEVER  I  AM  AWARE  THAT  SHAYKH ZULFIQAR  GREATLY  STRESSES  ON  RAABITAAE  SHAYKH.  I KNOW  FOR  A  FACT  THAT  ALL  HIS  OTHER  KHULAFAA  USED TO  CONSTANTLY  KEEP  IN  TOUCH  WITH  HIM  VIA  EMAIL, LETTERS  AND  PHONE  CALLS  PRIOR  TO  GAINING  KHILAAFAH. IF  HE  WAS  IN  THEIR  AREA,  THEY  WOULD  CERTAINLY  GO VISIT  HIM.  INFACT,  HIS  KHULAFAA  STILL  MAINTAIN CONTACT WITH HIM.)

5. Should i  say  anything  to the  brother.”    (End of  letter)

I  END  HERE  TOO. JAZAKUMULLAH WA MAA TAUFEEQEE ILLAA  BILLAAH. BROTHER IN  ISLAM
MA’AS SALAAM.

OUR RESPONSE

(1)  Even  if  the  women  were  at  a  different  venue  away  from  the  Musjid,  it is  highly  improper  to  invite  women  out  of  their  homes,  and  worse,  from other  countries,  to  undertake  journeys  to  observe  Nafl  I’tikaaf.    If  a woman  is  desirous  of  observing  I’tikaaf,  she  should    demarcate  a  small section  in  her  home  and    remain  there  for  I’tikaaf.  It  is  haraam  for  women to  undertake  journeys  for  an  act  which  the  Shariah  does  not  impose  on them  at  all.  From  the  time  they  leave  home,  they  are  involved  in  sin  at almost  every  step of  the  journey. 

The  venue  for  the  women’s  ‘I’tikaaf  being  elsewhere  does  not  mitigate the  bid’ah  of  the  mass  I’tikaaf,  nor  does  it  justify  the  presence  of  the women  at  the  tent/hall    to  observe    nafl  I’tikaaf  far,  very  far  from  their home  sanctuaries.  The  Shaikh  purports  to  be  a  Deobandi,  yet  he  fails  to understand  the  simple  mas’alah  that  women  are  not  allowed  to  emerge from  their  homes    to  attend    the  Fardh  Salaat  in  the  Musjid  despite  the fact  that  this  was  allowed  during  the  time  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam), but  banned by  the  Sahaabah.  

What  Imaani  logic  permits  the  separation  of  a  women  from  her  husband in  a  foreign  county  to  enable  her  to  go  to  a  tent  15  km  away  from  him  to sit  in    a  mock  ‘nafl  I’tikaaf’.  From  whence  did  the  shaikh  acquire  this mas’alah?  Whose  sunnah is    he  following?
 
Brother,  your  attempt  to  justify  the  bid’ah  festival  with  the  argument    that the  women  were  in  a  tent  15  kilometres  away    is  devoid  of  Shar’i substance.  

(2)  The  venue  of  I’tikaaf  is  the  Musjid,  not    the  tent.    There  was absolutely  no  need  for    crowds  of  people  to  travel  to  Zambia  for observing  Nafl  I’tikaaf.  Did  the  hundreds  of  people    undertake    journeys to    come  and  sleep  in  a  tent    under  guise  of  observing  the  last  10  days  of Ramadan  in  I’tikaaf?  Could  they  not   observe  valid  Nafl  I’tikaaf  in  the Musaajid  in  their  own  localities?  By  what  stretch  of    Shar’i  reasoning  did they  waste  so  much  money,  and  travel    to  Zambia    to  observe  nafl I’tikaaf?  

(3)    Your  explanation  about  the  campers  making  space  for  the  usual musallis  is  untenable.  The  200  persons  filled  the  Musjid  to  capacity.  No matter  how  much    they  may  have  cramped  themselves,  the  reality  of  the   Musjid  being    unnecessarily  overcrowded  cannot  be  refuted  with honesty.  Furthermore,  we  have  observed  with  our  own  eyes  in  a  Musjid in  India  where  a  very  prominent  Buzrug  held  his  mass  I’tikaaf,  one  could hardly  find    space  during  the  day  time  for  Salaat.  Literally  one  had  to walk  over    sleeping  ‘mu’takifeen’  who  blocked  the  entire  area  of  the Musjid.  This  problem  is  not  restricted  to  the  Musjid  in  Zambia.  It  is  an evil    in  all  Musjids  where    mass  I’tikaaf  takes  place.  The  shaikh  has become  a  cult  leader.  

(4)  Regardless  of  who  paid  the  airfares.  The  fact  remains  that  huge amounts  of  money  were  squandered  for  an  event  not  ordered  by  the Shariah.  Why  did  the  shaikh  not  advise  his  mureeds  to  contribute    the money  to  the  suffering  Ummah?  The  shaikh  is  not  ignorant  of  the  plight of  the  Syrian  refugees,  of  the  Rohingya  brutalized  Muslims,  etc.  He  is responsible  for  the  huge  waste  of  money,  etc.  How  much  did  it  cost  to hire  the  tents  for the  men  and the  women? 

(5)  Brother    Zayd,  the  one  who    narrated  the  festival,  is  in  fact  a  khalifah of    Mr.Zulfiqar  Ahmad.  Whether  you  are    speaking  the  truth  or  whether   Zayd  or  whether  he  is  lying  or  you,  the  fact  of  the  mass  I’tikaaf  remains. It  is  a  bid’ah  innovated  by  the  so-called  sufis  of  this    age.    If  these  shaikhs had  a  proper  understanding  of  Tasawwuf,  they  would  never  have embarked  on  their  bid’ah  ‘mass  itikaaf’  festivals    for  which  there  is  no basis  in Islam.  

(6)  The  emphasis  of  the  shaikh  on  the  three    things  is  devoid  of  reality.  In fact, in the  light  of  the  colossal  Israaf, his    statements  are  hypocritical. His advices  are  empty  words  devoid  of  substance    because  he  is  the  organizer of  the  festival  which  entails  so  much  waste  and  merrymaking.  The  shaikh should  recall    the  wedding  which  he  had  organized  in  the  most  expensive hotel  in  Dubai  and  what  it  entailed.    His    advices  at    the  mass  I’tikaaf  are all  hollow.  

(7)  One  brother  who  attended    says  that  the  soda  man  intends    expanding the  Musjid  to  accommodate  1000  persons.  You  say  it  is  not  so.  Who speaks  the  truth?  Anyhow,  whether  he  expands  the  Musjid  or  not,  the mass  I’tikaaf  is  bid’ah. It  cannot  be  justified.  

(8)  If  the  shaikh  is  a  lover  of  solitude  and  detests  speaking  whilst  in I’tikaaf,  how  does  he  justify  logically  his  mass  I’tikaaf?  How  does  he justify     the  journeys  which  men  and  women  undertake  at  great  expense, inconvenience  and  commission  of  haraam  along  the  journey?    Mass   bid’ah  I’tikaaf  is  not    the  way  of  a  Man  of  Allah  who  loves  khalwat. These  excuses  all  fall  within  the  scope  of  the  Aayat:  “In  fact,  man  has   awareness  over  his  nafs  even though he  puts  forth  excuses.”  

(9)  His  weird  act  is  casting  tawajjuh  on  females  –  haraam  tawajjuh.  This is  among  his  practices. The  women here  testify  to this  act. A  ‘shaikh’ who practises  tawajjuh  on females  is  not  to be  trusted. 

(10) All  sodas  are  haraam.  

(11)  Mr.  Zulfiqar  is  in  fact  responsible  for  the  journeys  undertaken  by  the women  regardless  of  the  presence  of  their  mahrams.  It  has  not  been alleged  that  the  women  travelled  without  their  mahrams.  You  are diverting  the  issue  with  confusion.  The  issue  is  that  women  have undertaken  journeys  for  a  festival  not  imposed  or  ordered  by  the  Shariah. The  shaikh  is  responsible  for  the  entire  mess.  He  should  not  now  plead innocence. The  women journeyed to attend the  festival  he  had organized.  

(12)  The  niqaab  is  not  the  be  all  of  Purdah.  The  primary  demand  of Purdah  is  for  women  to  remain  at  home,  not  to  undertake  journeys  in  an immoral  world  to  sit  in  some  type  of  nafl  I’tikaaf  with  a  crowd  of  other women  in  a  tent  thousands  of  miles  away  from  home  and  separated  from her husband.

Furthermore,  a  man  who  practices  tawajjuh  on  women  cannot  lay  claims to hayaa.  

(13) With regard to khilaafat  –  in this  era  this  is  a  very  cheap commodity.   Just  any  Tom,  Dick  or  Harry    is  appointed  ‘khalifah’.  There  is  a  glut  of khalifahs.    They  are  available  very  cheaply.  

In  conclusion,  be  aware  that  the  vindication  you  have  proffered  is baseless.  The  little  discrepancies  which  you  believe  were  reported  by Zayd  do  not    detract  from  the    fact  that  the  mass  I’tikaaf  festivals  which   ‘shaikhs’  of  this  age  are  organizing  all  over  the  show  are  acts  of  bid’ah. The  very  concept  of  mass  I’tikaaf  is  bid’ah  even  if  we  have  to    assume that  waste  does  not  occur.  

Mass  I’tikaaf  oversteps  the  limits  of  the  Shariah.  The  shaikhs  who  are responsible  for  these  mass  festival  functions  should  spend  some  time  to learn  the  masaa-il  and  the  aadaab  of  I’tikaaf.  They  will  render  themselves and  the  Ummah  a  favour  if  they  learn to  perform  I’tikaaf  the  Sunnah  way, not  in ways  innovated by  Buzrugs.  

It is our dua that Allah Ta’ala guides us, for you and for the shaikh.

ANOTHER BASELESS ARGUMENT IN   SUPPORT OF  ‘I’TIKAAF’ FESTIVALS

A  supporter  of  mass  I’tikaaf,  writing  in    support  of  the  ‘i’tikaaf’ festivals  which  have  been  innovated    fourteen  centuries  after Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), says:
From  your  recent  articles,  it  appears  you  are  of  the  opinion  that  the mere  performance  of  i’tikaaf  by  a  sizeable  group  of  people  in  a masjid  is  bid’ah.  You  have  based  this  opinion  on  some  statements of  Imam  Malik  rahimahullah  ta’ala  in  which  he  narrates  the  practice of  the  Salaf  as  being  to  generally  abstain  from  i’tikaaf.  And  you have  also  based  this  opinion  on  a  hadith  in  which  the  Prophet (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  expressed  his  displeasure  at  three  of his  wives  preparing  to  engage  in  i’tikaf  with  him.  However,  other scholars  have  opposed  the  view  of  Imam  Malik.  Hafiz  Ibn  Hajar mentioned  after  quoting  the  statement  of  Imam  Malik:

It  appears  that  he  intended  a  specific  description  of  i’tikaaf.  Or else,  we  have  related  from  numerous  Sahabah  that  they  performed i’tikaaf.”

Ibn  Abi  Shaybah  narrates  in  his  Musannaf  from  numerous personalities  of  the  Salaf  that  they  engaged  in  i’tikaaf,  including  the Sahabi,  Hazrat  Abdullah  ibn  Umar  (radiyallahu  anhuma). Moreover,  many  of  the  commentators  have  explained  that  the reason  why  the  Prophet  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  was displeased  by  his  wives  performing  i’tikaf  with  him  on  that  one occasion  was  that  they  were  trying  to  compete  with  each  other  for closeness  to  the  Prophet  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  which  is  an incorrect  intention  for  i’tikaaf.  

Most  importantly,  there  are  some  reports  from  the  Salaf  showing that  at  times  groups  of  men  would  perform  i’tikaaf  simultaneously in  a  single  masjid.

Ibn  Abi  Shaybah  narrates  in  his  Musannaf  with  an  authentic  chain:

The  Sahabi,  Hazrat  Qutbah  ibn  Malik  (radiyallahu  anhu),  narrated that:  “Hazrat  Umar  (radiyallahu  anhu)  observed  a  group  of  people performing  i’tikaf  in  a  masjid  while  they  were  screened  (by  a  veil). He  found  this  strange  and  said:  What  is  this?  They  said:  We  are only  using  it  as  a  screen  to  conceal  our  food/our  eating.  He  said: Then,  put  the  screen  over  it,  but  once  you  have  eaten,  remove  it.” (Musannaf  Ibn  Abi  Shaybah,  Shirkah  Darul  Qiblah,  6:306)

Here,  Hazrat  Umar  (radiyallahu  anhu)  did  not  find  it  strange  that  a group  of  people  was  performing  i’tikaaf  together  in  a  single  masjid. He  only  found  it  strange  that  they  were  using  a  screen  to  cover themselves.  But  when  the  mu’takifeen  explained  to  him  why  they did  this,  he  approved  of  this  practice  also.  Hence,  this  proves  that not  only  did  a  group  of  men  from  the  Salaf  at  times  perform  i’tikaaf together  in  the  same  masjid,  but  that  Hazrat  ‘Umar  (radiyallahu anhu)  tacitly  approved  of  it.  It  even  shows  that  they  would  eat together  as  a  group  behind  a  veil.

Ibn  Abi  Shaybah  also  narrates  in  his  Musannaf:

Hazrat  Hudhayfah  ibn  al-Yaman  (radiyallahu  anhuma)  came  to Hazrat  Abdullah  ibn  Mas’ud  (radiyallahu  anhu)  and  said:  Should  I not  cause  you  to  be  surprised  at  a  group  of  people  performing i’tikaaf  between  your  house  and  the  house  of  al-Ash’ari?  Meaning, at  the  masjid.  Hazrat  Abdullah  ibn  Mas’ud  said:  “Maybe  they  are right  and  you  are  mistaken  (at  your  surprise).”  (Musannaf  Ibn  Abi Shaybah,  Shirkah  Darul  Qiblah,  6:308)

The  reason  Hazrat  Hudhayfah  ibn  al-Yaman  (radiyallahu anhuma)  expressed  surprise  at  the  i’tikaaf  is  that  it  was  done outside  of  the  three  holy  masjids.  However,  according  to  Hazrat Abdullah  ibn  Mas’ud  (radiyallahu  anhu),  Hazrat  Hudhayfah  ibn  al Yaman  (radiyallahu  anhuma)  was  mistaken,  and  it  was  correct  to perform  i’tikaaf  in  a  masjid  outside  of  the  three  holy  masjids. Importantly,  neither  of  these  two  prominent  Sahabah  expressed surprise  that  a  group  of  men,  numbering  more  than  one  or  two, had  gathered  together  in  a  single  masjid  to  perform  i’tikaaf.

On  the  basis  of  this  amal  from  the  Salaf,  how  can  we  still  declare  it a  bid’ah  for  a  group  of  people  to  perform  i’tikaaf  in  the  same masjid?

Jazakallahu  khayran

OUR RESPONSE

(1)  Your  inference   regarding  a  ‘sizeable  group  of  people’ observing  I’tikaaf  is  incorrect.  At  no  stage    did  we    claim  that  a ‘sizeable  group  of  people’    observing  I’tikaaf  is  bid’ah.   

We  are  also unaware  of  the  meaning  of    ‘a  sizeable  group’.  The  supporter  has not    explained  his  ambiguity.  Our  target    of  criticism    is  the  mass organized  festivals  held  congregationally  under  the  auspices  of  a hadhrat  who  himself  is  lost  in  nafsaaniyat.  There  is  a  difference between  ‘mass’    and    ‘sizeable’. 

Furthermore,  the  Shar’i  ruling  of Sunnat  alal  Kifaayah  precludes  a  mass  festival.  No  mass  I’tikaaf was  organized  by  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam),  the Sahaabah,  the  Taabi-eenTab-e-Taabieen    and  the    Fuqaha    of the  Ummah.  These  mass  I’tikaafs  are  a  recent  innovation  which   have  no  basis  in    the  Sunnah  nor  in  the  fourteen  century  history  of Islam..

(2)  Since  you  have  injudiciously  applied  your  intellect,  you  have abortively  attempted  to  scuttle  the  statements  of  Imaam  Maalik (rahmatullah  alayh)  who  flourished  in  an  age  in    close  proximity  to the  Sahaabah.  He  lived  in  Madinah  which  was  the  home  of numerous  very  senior    Taabi-een  Fuqaha.  He  was  more  aware  of Rasulullah’s  I’tikaaf  practice  than    Haafiz    Ibn  Hajar  who  trailed behind him  about eight centuries later.

The  importance  of  Imaam  Maalik’s  statements  on  this  issue  may not  be  discounted  as  drivel,  nor  may  their  importance  be  minimized   on  the  basis  of    Ibn  Hajar’s statements.

Imaam  Maalik’s  statement  on  this  issue  has  greater  credibility  than the  opinion  of  Ibn  Hajar.  Furthermore,    permission  for  the  bid’ah mass  I’tikaaf  festivals  of  our  era    cannot  be  based  on   Ibn  Hajar’s statement.    There  is  nothing  in  his  statement  to  justify    the    evil which  is  being  perpetrated  nowadays  by    mobs  indulging  in gluttony and defilement of the Musaajid.

(3)  You  mention  that    some  scholars  have  opposed  Imaam Maalik’s  view.  Such  opposition  may  not  be    interpreted    as  a licence  for  the  bid’ah  and  israaf  mass  i’tikaaf  festivals    of  this  day, and  against  which  our  criticism  is  directed.  If  you  apply  your intellect  judiciously,  without  blind  emotion,  you  will  not  fail  to understand  what  exactly  is  our  target  of  criticism.  You  have    opted for  blindness,  hence  you  ignore  all  the  haraam  khurafaat  attendant   to  the  i’tikaaf  festivals.  Instead  of  faulting  Imaam  Maalik (rahmatullah  alayh),  why  do  you  not    open  your  eyes  to  attend  to the evils  accompanying the mass i’tikaaf functions?

On  what  issue  did  some  scholars  oppose  Imaam  Maalik?  On  the issue  of  mass  I’tikaaf?  The  difference  with  Imaam  Maalik  does  not pertain  to  mass  I’tikaaf?  It  relates  to    the  non-observance  of   I’tikaaf  by  the  Sahaabah    claimed  by  Imaam  Maalik.  It  appears from  the    statement  of  Imaam  Maalik  that  the  Sahaabah  had abstained  from  I’tikaaf  whereas  Ibn  Hajar  says  that  more  than  one Sahaabah  (not  numerous)  had  observed  I’tikaaf.  Mass  I’tikaaf  is not in this equation.

It  is  quite  possible  that  Imaam  Maalik  was  referring  to  the  senior Sahaabah  abstaining  from  I’tikaaf,  hence  he  mentioned  the  names of  the  first  three  Khulafa’.  Abstention  of  all  the  Sahaabah  does  not necessarily    flow  from  Imaam  Maalik’s  statement.    Whatever  the meaning  may  be,  the    issue    between  Imaam  Maalik  and  ‘some scholars’    has  no  relevance  to  the  kind  of    mass,  wasteful,  bid’ah I’tikaaf innovated   recently.  

(4)  Ibn  Hajar’s  statement:  “It  appears  that  he  (Imaam  Maalik) intended  a  specific  description  of  I’tikaaf.”,  is  an  opinion  ventured   about    eight  centuries    after  Imaam  Maalik’s  categorical    statement.   Furthermore,  Ibn  Hajar  was  unable  to  elucidate  the    ‘specific description’  suggested  by  him.    His  interpretation  is  palpably invalid.  It  is  a  shot  in  the  dark.  With  such  ambiguity,  the  categorical claim  of    such  a  great  Imaam  as  Imaam  Maalik  (rahmatullah  alayh) may  not  be  scuttled.

(5)  It  is  extremely  far-fetched  to  accept  that  Imaam  Maalik (rahmatullah  alayh),  the  illustrious  Imaam  who  lived  in  Madinah  in close  proximity  to  the  age  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam)  and  surrounded  by  numerous    of  the  most  high  ranking Taabi-een  Fuqaha,  was  unaware  of  the  state  of  the  Sahaabah regarding  I’tikaaf  observance.  If  he  was  unaware,  what  makes  Ibn Hajar,  eight  centuries  later,  more  aware?  It  is  obvious  that  the narrations  of  I’tikaaf  which  reached  Ibn  Hajar,  did  reach  Imaam Maalik  (rahmatullah  alayh).  Despite  this  fact,    he    stated  the attitude  of  the  Sahaabah  in  general  towards  I’tikaaf,  and  such attitude  of  the  Sahaabah  was  the  effect  of  Rasulullah’s  ta’leem.  It is  inconceivable  that  the  Sahaabah  who  were  the  devotees  of Nabi-e-Kareem  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)    and    who  sacrificed their  lives  to    meticulously  observe    every  detail  of  the  Sunnah would  not  have  engaged  in  I’tikaaf  enmasse  if  this  had  been  the spirit and desire of Rasulullah’s I’tikaaf.

The  attitude  of  the  Sahaabah  regarding  Taraaweeh  Salaat  is  most   significant.  Although  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  did  not observe  Taraaweeh  in  the  formal  manner  we  know  today,  the Sahaabah,  especially  Hadhrat  Umar  (radhiyallahu  anhu),    went  to great  lengths  to  establish  Taraaweeh  Salaat  in  the  formal  manner in  which  the  Ummah  has  always  been  performing  it.  But  no  such concern  has  been  accorded  to  I’tikaaf  by  the  Sahaabah  and  the Taabi-een  despite  the  fact  that  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam)  observed  it  unfailingly  every  year.  “Ponder!  O  People  of Intelligence’ (Qur’aan)  

It  really  has  no  weight,  and  cannot  be  presented    in  negation  of   the  claim  made  by  Imaam  Maalik.  It  is  surprising  that  the  objector without  any  Shar’i  basis,    attempts  to  negate  with  Ibn  Hajar’s   doubtful  opinion  Imaam  Maalik’s  statement   made    eight  centuries before.  In  presenting  Ibn  Hajar’s  opinion,  the  objector  has displayed clear emotional bias for the mass i’tikaaf bid’ah.

(6)  The  contention  of  Hafiz  Ibn  Hajar  pertains  to  an  entirely different  issue.  While  Imaam  Maalik  (rahmatullah  alayh)  maintains that  the  vast  majority  of  the  Sahaabah  did  not  observe  I’tikaaf despite  their  devotion  to  the  Sunnah,  Ibn  Hajar  claims  that  I’tikaaf was  observed  by  ‘more  than  one’  Sahaabi.  The  brother  has incorrectly  translated  with  the  term  ‘numerous’.  ‘Ghayr  waahid’ does  not  mean    numerous.  It  means  more  than  one.  At  most it could mean several. 

Should  we  temporarily  accept    the  term,  numerous,  then  too,  the brother’s  argument  is  baseless.  Even  on  the  basis  of  Ibn  Hajar’s comment,  the  brother’s  argument  is  spurious.  It  is  devoid  of  Shar’i substance  for  the  simple  reason  that  our    criticism  is  not  directed  at numbers  per  se.  The  concern    is  related  to  the  evils  related  to  the mass    performances  in  the  name  of  I’tikaaf.

The  ‘several’  Sahaabah  or  the  ‘numerous’  Sahaabah  who  had observed  I’tikaaf,  did  not  do  so  congregationally  under  the domination  of  a  hadhrat  nor  was  their  I’tikaaf  an  occasion  of merrymaking  and  gluttony.  Each  one  engaged  in  his  own  ibaadat in  solitude.  The  satanic  extravagance, the  journeys  of  even females, the  smoking  in  the  Musjid,  the  show,  and  peer-worship   did  not  accompany  the  I’tikaaf  of  the  Sahaabah.  Their  I’tikaaf  was pure Ibaadat.

(7)  Ibn  Abi  Shaybah  does  not  narrate  the  I’tikaaf  of  “numerous  of the  Salaf”. Of  the  Sahaabah,  he  mentions  only  Hadhrat  Abdullah Ibn  Umar  (radhiyallahu  anhu).  He  mentions  only  three  among  the Taabi’een  who  had  observed  I’tikaaf.  This  is  a  far  cry  from ‘numerous’.  The  term  ‘numerous’  has  also  been  intentionally employed to mislead unwary readers. 

It  should  be  understood,  that    there  is  no  contention  regarding observance  of  I’tikaaf  which  is  Sunnat  alal  Kifaayah.  The argument  relates  to  the  nonsense  which  the  hadhrats  and  their mobs of mureeds perpetrate nowadays in the name of I’tikaaf

(8)  The  objector    mentions  the    “incorrect  intention”  of  the  Holy wives  of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  for  his  displeasure when  he  had  observed  the  three  tents  in  the  Musjid.  If  the intention  of  the  Noble  Wives  was  “incorrect”,    to  a  far,  far  greater degree  are  the  intentions  of  today’s  hadhrats  and  their  mobs  of juhhaal  murideen  not  only  incorrect,  but  corrupt.  The  misdeeds which  they  perpetrate  in  the  Musaajid  during  the    holy  days  and nights  of  Ramadan  vividly  display  the  corruption  of  their intentions.

Furthermore,  while  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  had ordered  the  removal  of    the  I’tikaaf  tents  of  only  three  persons  who were  observing  I’tikaaf,  and  he  himself  nullified  his  I’tikaaf,  the hadhrats  of  today  have  hundreds  of  juhala  with  them  in  the Musaajid.  When  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  had expelled    from  the  Musjid  three  of  the  most  pious  beings  (His Wives),  there  is  a  greater  need  to  expel  the  mobs  of  holiday-makers from the Musaajid.

(9)  The  objector,  without  applying  his  mind,  quotes  the  following   narration  from Ibn Abi Shaybah:

Hazrat  Umar  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  observed  a  group  of  people performing  i’tikaaf  in  a  masjid  (should  be  in  the Musjid,  for  it  was Musjid  Nabawi)  while  they  were  screened  (by  a  veil).  He  found  this strange  (He  found  it  detestable),  and  said:  ‘What  is  this?’  They said:  ‘We  are  only  using  it  as  a  screen  to  conceal  our  food/our eating.’  He  said:  ‘Then,  put  the  screen  over  it,  but  once  you  have eaten,  remove  it.”

Commenting  on  this  narration,  the  objector  says:  “Here,  Hazrat Umar  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  did  not  find  it  strange  that  a  group  of people  was  performing  i’tikaaf  together  in  a  single  masjid.  He  only   found  it  strange  that  they  were  using  a  screen  to  cover themselves.” 

In  this  there  is  no  daleel  for  the  mass  i’tikaaf  festivals  of  this  age.  A group  of  people  observing  I’tikaaf  in  a  Musjid  is  not  the  problem.  If they  eat  together,  it  is  not  an  issue  of  contention.  The  objection and  complaint  are  directed  at  the    circus  performance  of  the hadhrats  and  their  mureeds  –  at  the    huge  waste  of  money travelling  by  planes  from    different  countries  to  converge  on  the venue  where  the    hadhrat,  and  even  imposter  hadhrat,  has  set himself  up  for  ‘i’tikaaf’.  The  complaint  is  against  the  women undertaking  journeys  to  participate  in  the  i’tikaaf  festival  of  the ghair  mahram  hadhrat.  The  complaint  is  against  the  massive circus  tents  set  up  outside  the  Musjid  to  cater  for  the holiday-makers.  The  complaint  is  against    the  cigarette  and  hookah smoking    which  have  now  been  initiated.  Soon  the  Musjid  will  be filled  with  tobacco  smoke.  The  complaint  is  against  the  light banter,  the  noise,  the  blocking  of  the  Musjid  space,  the  waste  of food,  the gluttony,  the  sins  which  especially  women  have  to commit  at the airports and along the journey, etc., etc.

It  is  indeed  only  a  calcified  intelligence  which ignores  all  these evils,  and  tries  to justify  the  mass  festivals  on  the  basis  of  the   small  group  of  people  who  had  observed  proper  I’tikaaf 14 centuries  ago.  Their  I’tikaaf  was  a  Masnoon  Ibaadat  devoid  of  all the  evils  which  accompany  today’s  mass    pantomime  ‘i’tikaaf’ shows.

(10)  Hadhrat  Umar’s surprise  further  confirms  that  the  screen  was a  new  development.  However,  since  it  was  devoid  of  evils,  and since  a  valid  reason  for  proffered,  he allowed  it.  If  the  objector  is sincere,  he  should  consult  his  heart  and  seek  a  fatwa  –  what   would  Hadhrat  Umar’s  attitude  have  been  if  he  had  to  witness  the mess  of  mass  i’tikaaf  with  even  droves  of  women  jetting  in  from other  countries?  What  would  have  been  his  reaction  when  he  had banned  even  the  most  pious  women  of  the  Ummah  from  coming to  even  Musjid  Nabawi  for  the  Fardh  Salaat?  Rasulullah  (sallallahu alayhi  wasallam)  ordered  the  sincere  person:  “Seek  a  fatwa  from your  heart.”  There  is  no  need  to  cite  Ibn  Hajar’s  conjecturing  to understand  the  evil  and  bid’ah  of  the  mass  i’tikaaf  functions organized nowadays.

(11)  The  objector’s  citation  of  the  Hadith  of    Hadhrat  Huzaifah (radhiyallahu  anhu)  has  absolutely  no  relevance  to  the  issue    of contention,  viz.,    mass  festival  I’tikaaf.  The  narration    pertains  to  a difference  of  opinion  between  the  two  senior  Sahaabah  –  Hadhrat Huzaifah  and  Hadhrat  Ibn  Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu  anhuma). Whereas,  according  to  Hadhrat  Huzaifah  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  as   well  as  other  Sahaabah  and    some  senior  Fuqaha  of    the Taabi’eenI’tikaaf  is  valid  in  only  three  Musjids  –  Musjidul  Haraam, Musjid  Nabawi  and  Musjid  Aqsa  –  according  to  Hadhrat  Ibn Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  and  the  Jamhoor,  it  is  valid  in  all Musaajid where  the five daily Salaat are being performed.

The  objector  committed  chicanery  by  abstaining  from  citing  the full  Hadith.  Hadhrat  Hudhaifah  (radhiyallahu  anhu),  refuting  the stance  of  Hadhrat  Ibn  Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  retorted: “What!  Do  you  not  know  that  verily,  there  is  no  I’tikaaf  except  in   three  Musaajid  –  Musjidul  Haraam,  Musjidul  Aqsa  and    the  Musjid of  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)?  I    do  not    care  whether  I make  I’tikaaf    therein  (i.e.  the  Musjid  in  which  the  people  were observing  I’tikaaf)  or  in  their  market  place.”  That  is,  it  is  the  same. The I’tikaaf is not valid.

There  is  no  justification  in  this  Hadith  for  the  mass  bid’ah  I’tikaaf being  observed  nowadays.    A  handful  of  people    was    in  I’tikaaf  in the  Musjid  mentioned  in  this  Hadith.  There  is  no  resemblance between  the  valid  I’tikaaf  which    the  people  were  observing  and  the   festivals  of  today  organized  by  the  hadhrats  for  their  droves  of mureeds, including women.

(12)  Making  another  spurious  assertion,  the  objector  says: “…neither  of    these  two  prominent  Sahaabah  expressed  surprise that  a  group  of  men,  numbering  more  than  one  or  two,  had gathered together in a single masjid to perform I’tikaaf.”

His  statement  is  designed  to  pull  wool  over  the  eyes  of  the  ignorant and  unwary.  At  no  stage  did  we   claim  that  I’tikaaf  by  more  than one  or  two  persons  is  not  permissible.  In  fact,  in  the  Musjid  directly under  our  control  here  in  Port  Elizabeth,  a  dozen  persons  annually sit  in  I’tikaaf.  This  is  not  a  congregational  gathering.  Everyone   observes  I’tikaaf  alone.  Their  food  comes  from  their  homes.  Their I’tikaaf  is  not  organized  under  the  auspices  of  some  hadhrat. There are no bayaans, nazams and women in this I’tikaaf.

(13)  The  objector  having  read  our  articles  with  an  emotional  bias, has  failed  to  grasp  the  point.  He  has  failed  to  understand  what  has been  criticized.  There  is  no  objection  to  a  group    of  men  observing I’tikaaf  decently  according  to  the  Sunnah  in  a  Musjid.  He  has intentionally  opted  for  blindness,  hence  he  ignores  all  the  evils   accompanying  the  mass    i’tikaaf  circus  shows. There  is  a  very  big difference  between  a  group  of  men  observing  I’tikaaf  as  it  should   be  observed,  and  a  mass  festival  in  the  name  of  i’tikaaf.    

(14)  The  attitude  of  the  Sahaabah  relative  to  I’tikaaf  is    stated  in  a nutshell  by  Hadhrat  Abu  Hurairah  (radhiyallahu  anhu).  He  said: “Never    do  I  make  a  vow,  and  never  do  I  observe  I’tikaaf.”  This knocks  out  the  bottom  from  the  mass  mock  ‘I’tikaaf’    of  the hadhrats  of  this  age.

Whatever  the  objector  has  said  is  baseless  and  devoid  of  Shar’i substance. 

THE REWARD OF  A THOUSAND I’TIKAAFS

What  is  the  purpose  of  observing  I’tikaaf?  Most  of  those  who participate  in    the  mass  merrymaking  i’tikaaf  festivals,  do  not observe  I’tikaaf  for  the  Pleasure  of  Allah  Ta’ala,  and  for    achieving greater  proximity  to  Allah  Ta’ala,  and  for  thawaab  in  the  Aakhirah. They  join  the  festival  solely  on  account  of  ‘saint-worship.  Since their  hadhrat  will  be  spending  his  i’tikaaf  in  a  Musjid,  be  it    ten thousand  kilometres  from  his  home,  the  mureed  will  indulge  in extravagance  in  order  to    travel  to  the  peer  sahib.  If  their  Hadhrat would  not  be  observing  i’tikaaf,  there  would  be  no  festival,  no merrymaking and no mass i’tikaaf.

They  will  waste  large  sums  of  money    travelling  by  plane  and indulging  in  the  many  sins  stemming  from  intermingling  of  the sexes  along  the  journey  to  participate  in  the  festival.  But  it  will  not dawn  on  them  to  rather  contribute  the  money  or  part  of  it  to  aid  the suffering  servants  of  Allah  Ta’ala  and  gain  thereby  the  thawaab  of a  thousand  I’tikaafs.  In  fact,  if  these  mureeds  do  not    join  the hadhrat  in  i’tikaaf,  the  vast  majority  would  not  sit  in  I’tikaaf  in  their hometowns,  and  even  the  hadhrat  will  then  be  disillusioned  and remain  in  his  homeplace  to  observe  I’tikaaf  in  his  neighbourhood Musjid  if  he  is  indeed  sincere  in  his  Ibaadat.  If  there  will  be  no crowds  of  worshippers  to  hail  him,  the  hadhrat  will  not   journey alone  to  Zambia  to  sit  in  I’tikaaf  alone.  The  mass  i’tikaaf  is    merely a stunt for the acquisition of worldly and nafsaani objectives.
Once  Hadhrat  Abdullah  Ibn  Abbaas  (radhiyallahu  anhuma)  was  in I’tikaaf  in  Musjid  Nabawi.  A  man  entered  and  sat  down.  Hadhrat Ibn  Abbaas  (radhiyallahu  anhuma)  noticed  a  cloud  of  worry  on  his face.  On  enquiring    of  the  reason  for  his  grief,  the  man  said  that  he was  unable  to  pay    the  debt  he  owed  a  certain  person. Hadhrat Ibn  Abbaas  (radhiyallahu  anhuma)  said  that  he  would  intercede on  his (the debtor’s) behalf.

So  saying,  he  went  out  of  the  Musjid.  The  man  reminded  him  of  his I’tikaaf. Hadhrat Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhuma) said: “I  did  not  forget.  I  have  heard  from  this  Being  in  this  Grave  (i.e. Rasulullah  –  sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)    –  and  much  time  has  not yet  passed  (since  his  demise)  –saying:    ‘He  who  goes  to  attend  to a  need  of  a  brother,  and  he  strives  for  its  attainment,  it  is  better  for him  than  spending  ten  years  in  I’tikaaf.  He  who  spends  one  day  of I’tikaaf  for  the  Pleasure  of  Allah,    Allah  will  create  a  barrier  of  three ditches  between  him  and  the  Fire.  The  distance    will  be  more  than the distance between the heaven and the earth.”

The  hadhrats  and  their  flocks  of    vainglorious  mureeds  are  lost. They  dwell  in  bewilderment  in  their  realm  of  nafsaaniyat.  Whilst  the Ummah  suffers  under  the  yoke  of  poverty  and  jahaalat,  the fraudulent  ‘sufis’  of  this  age  excel  in  eating  and  excreting.  Their nafsaaniyat  and  bid’aat  are  named  ‘i’tikaaf’.  Who  are  they deceiving with the ‘i’tikaaf’ cover?

If  the  sincere  ones  duped  into  a  brand  of  miscegenated  ‘piety’ apply  their  intelligence    constructively  to  attain  the  truth,  they  shall, In sha-Allah,  not  fail  to  see  beyond  the  veneer  of  deception  to understand  the  massive  farce  of  the  circus  of  these  mass  i’tikaaf bid’ah  and  israaf  functions  which  have    of  recent  gained ascendency.

Our  sincere  advice    for  them  is  to  remain  in  their  hometowns;  not to  become  the  brothers  of    the  shayaateen  by  wasting    the  bounty of  wealth  to  undertake  expensive  and  sinful  journeys    for  an  act which  they  should  observe    in  their  neighbourhood  Musaajid should  they  truthfully    desire  to    observe  I’tikaaf.    If  they  have  too much  wealth,  it  should  not  be  wasted.  There  are  avenues  for genuine  spending  in  Allah’s  Path  to  gain  His  Pleasure  and Thawaab-e-Jaariyah.

THE MUSAAJID ARE NOT CAMPING GROUNDS

AMONG  THE  SIGNS  of  the  Impending  Hour  of  Qiyaamah according  to  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  is:  “Voices will be raised in the Musaajid.

The  materialization  of  this  prediction  could  be  witnessed nowadays  in    all  the  Musaajid,  and  the  worst  perpetrators  of  this crime  are  the  people  of  the  Deen  –  Ulama,  other   members  and  the  like.  It  appears  that  they  suffer  from  the misconception  of  the  permissibility  of  audible  and  even  loud conversation  accompanied  by  even  mirth,  if  the  talk  happens  to be  of  Deeni  hue.    This  malady  and  signs  of  Qiyaamah  are aggravated  in  particular  in  such  Musaajid  where  I’tikaaf  is observed  by  a  crowd  of  mureeds.  The    Musjid  is  then  desanctified    with  sumptuous  feasts  accompanied  by a  banter  of light  talk,  even  worldly  talk  and  laughter,  which  are  all  acts negatory  of  the  sanctity  of  the  Musjid.  In  fact  such  haraam indulgence  obliterates  from  the  mind  the  remembrance  of  Allah Ta’ala  and  the  Aakhirah  for  which  objectives  the  Musaajid  are established.

The  feasting  in  the  Musaajid  in  the  manner  in  which  it  takes place  on  occasions  of  mass  I’tikaaf  has  degenerated  to  a despicable  level.  The  mirth,    discussion,  over-eating,  sumptuous dishes  and  the    continuous  banter  transform  the  I’tikaaf  into  a   mundane  activity,  and  the  Musjid  into  a  camping  ground.   Musallis  who  do  not  participate  in  the  mass  I’tikaaf,  but  who frequent  the  Musjid  for  Salaat,  are  decidedly  disturbed  by  the mannerism  of  the  Mu’takifeen  (those  who  observe  I’tikaaf).  The attitude  of  the  I’tikaaf  participants,  especially    at  the  time  of feasting, creates  the  impression  that  they  believe  that  they  own the  Musjid,  are  in  control  of  the  Musjid,  and  that  they  alone  have the  right    to  the  Musjid,  hence  they  care  not  a  hoot  for  anyone who  happens  to  be  engaged  in  Nafl  SalaatTilaawat,  etc.  The non-participating  Musalli  is  expected  to  vacate  the  Musjid  and perform  his  ibaadat  at  home  while  the  campers  believe  it  to  be their right to feast, make merry and dominate  the Musjid.

Another  haraam  act  to  which  the  Mu’takifeen  have  become insensitive  is  that  they  have  become  oblivious  of  soiling  the Musjid  when  they  feast. They  hopelessly  fail  to  fulfil  the  huqooq (rights)  of  the  food  and  Dastarkhwaan  (the  cloth  on  which  the  food is  spread).  After  having  filled  and  over-filled  their  bellies  with  an excess  of   delicious  and  sumptuous  foods,  they  very unceremoniously    roll  up  the  Dastarkhwaan  for  dumping.  The haqq  of  the  Cloth  is  not  fulfilled.  Its  haqq    requires  that  it  be  firstly ‘cleaned’  of  all  food  morsels  in  a  respectful  manner;  that  the morsels  not  be  dumped  or  washed  down  the  drain;  that  it  (the Cloth)  be  immediately  washed  and  ceremoniously  stored.  All these  etiquettes  (aadaab)  are  integral  constituents  of  Shukr (Gratitude  to  Allah  Ta’ala)  for  the  wonderful  Bounty  (Ni’mat)  of Food. It  is  essential  for  the  Mu’takifeen  to  understand  that  frugality in  food  consumption  is  a  necessary  requisite  of    the  spirit  (Rooh) of  I’tikaaf.  However,  the  manner  and  attitude  of  those  observing I’tikaaf  convey  the  distinct  impression  that  they  are    camping, hence  the  merrymaking  in  the  Musaajid.  When  the  crowd  of Mu’takifeen  sits  down  to  eat,  their  attitude  should  be  one  of silence  and  humility.  There  should  be  no  raising  of  voices,  no unnecessary  banter  and  absolutely  no  mirth.  An  observer viewing  the  scene  should  be  awed  by  the  silence,  dignity  and decorum  of  the  Mu’takifeen.  It  is  indeed  lamentable  that  so  many musallis  feel  the  need  to    complain  about    the  attitude  and  acts of    the  Mu’takifeen  in  general,  and  in  particular  of    those  who observe I’tikaaf In congregational form. 

Members  of  the  Jamaat  are  well  aware  of  the  three  modes of    Masnoon  eating  when  consuming  the  Ni’mat  of  food.  In  fact, one  mode  is  so  humble  that  the  Fuqaha  have  advised  that  it should  not  be  adopted  in  public.  The  purpose  of  mentioning  this fact  is  to  remind    the  teachers  of  the  three  modes  of  sitting  that Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  said  that  he  was  a  slave of  His  Master  (Allah  Azza  Wa  Jal),  hence  he  loved  to  sit  like  a humble  slave  when  the  Master    bestows  to  him  the  wonderful Ni’mat  of  food.  Mirth,  loudness  and  ghaflat  (a  happy  go  lucky attitude)  especially  at  the  time  of  eating  are  the  ways  of  men such as Fir’oun, Haamaan and Qaaroon.

When  eating  generally,  especially  during  I’tikaaf  in  the Musaajid,  the  attitude  of  humility  adopted  by  Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  at  the  Dastarkhwaan  should  be uppermost  in  the    mind.  The  focus  must  incumbently  be  on  Allah Ta’ala  and  the  provision  of  the  Rizq  in  front    of  you.  The  mind and  the  tongue  should  not  dwell  on  anything  else.  Shukr  for  the Bounty  of  Food  is  not  at  all  fulfilled  by  mere  verbal  profession  – by  moving  the  lips  and  tongue  with  the  Masnoon  Dua  bereft  of the rooh that should accompany the Dua

It  is  essential  for  the  elders  of  the  Jamaat  and  for  the  Musjid trustees  and  for  the  Ulama  in  general  to  remember  this Naseehat,  the  Aadaab  of  the  Musjid,  the  Aadaab  of  the  Food and  the  Sanctuary  of  the    Musjid  and  the  Signs  of  Qiyaamah, and  to  impart  the  Necessary  and  Ta’leem  to  their  subordinates  to ensure  that  the  Musjid  is  treated  in  the  manner  Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  commanded.  All  the  aadaab  of  the Musjid  are  recorded    in  the  kutub  of    the  Shariah  for  easy reference. May  Allah  Ta’ala  endow  us  all   with  the  taufeeq  of giving practical expression to our preaching.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Q.  What  is  the  Shar’i  status  of  group-I’tikaaf.  In  a  Musjid  in Lenasia  about  300  people  invade  the  Musjid  for  I’tikaaf  every year.  They  cause  considerable  inconvenience  to  the  regular musallis.  They  take  over  the  Musjid.  There  is  much  feasting taking  place.  The  scenario  appears  like  a  holiday  camp.  Please comment. 

A.  This  is  another  merrymaking  bid’ah.  They  neither  understand  the meaning  of  I’tikaaf  nor  have  they  dreamt  of    its  spirit.  It  is  not permissible  to  swamp  a  Musjid  in  this  manner. In  fact,  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  had  discouraged  this sort  of  I’tikaaf  when  he  once  observed    I’tikaaf  ‘tents’  having  been  set up  in  the  MusjidIbaadat  too  has  now  been  transformed  into  fun  and merrymaking  events  of  riya  –  show  and  ostentation.

Q.  In  some  places  during  the  last    ten  days  of  Ramadan,  group I’tikaaf   programmes  are  organized.  Large  numbers  of  people occupy  the  Musjid  for  I’tikaaf.  Congregational  thikr  takes  Place. Food  is  provided  for  the  whole  group.  Durood  Shareef  majlis also  takes  place.  Here  where  I  am,  this  question  cannot  be  asked because  the  mureeds  of  the  sheikh  will  shoot  one  down  and interpret  the  question  as  disrespect  for  the  sheikh.  Please  clarify in  the  light  of  the  Shariah  whether  these  group  I’tikaaf programmes are permissible.

A.  The  group  form  of  ‘I’tikaaf’  which  has  gained  momentum    where the  halqah  thikr  shaikhs  visit  and    establish  bases,  has  exceeded  the bounds  of  the  Shariah  and  has  entered  into  the  domain  of  bid’ah.

In  most  places  the  I’tikaaf  has  been   reduced  to  merrymaking functions  whereas  I’tikaaf  is  supposed  to  be  in  seclusion  and  solitude as  much  as    possible.  The  manner  in  which  these  public  group I’tikaafs  is  conducted  defeats  the  objective  of  I’tikaaf.  These  functions resemble  feasting  at  wedding  gatherings.  They  have  degenerated into  bid’ah.  It  is  precisely  for  this  reason  that  you  are  unable  to  pose the  query. The  wayward  mureeds  believe  that  their  shaikh’s  I’tikaaf function is waajib, hence they take offence when questioned. Furthermore,  there  is  no  origin  in  the  Sunnah  for    this  practice. These  functions  also  disturb  the  other  musallis  and  interfere  with  their freedom and their few minutes of solitude (Nafl I’tikaaf).

If  Hadhrat  Abdullah  Ibn  Mas’ood  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  had  been  alive today, he would have expelled all  these bid’atis from the Musaajid

Q.  Many  youngsters  these  days  are  sitting  for  I’tikaaf.  It  seems to  have  become  a  trend  for  a  group  of  friends  to  sit  together.  We have  heard  and  seen  how  I’tikaaf  has  become  a  party  for  them. Some  have  even  went  to  the  extent  of  taking  a  Hooka  pipe  into the  I’tikaaf  tents  for  smoking.  A  person  argues  that  although  the Ibaadat  of  I’tikaaf  is  to  be  done  in  seclusion,  isn’t  there  great benefit  in  the  Ulama  conducting  programmes  in  the  Musaajid  as is  the  norm  nowadays.  There  are  TafseerIslaahi  and  even Seerah  programmes  conducted  especially  in  the  last  10  days. Atleast  those  youngsters  and  other  Mu’takifeen  can  gain  some benefit  if  there  is  a  Taleem  programme  of  some  sort  instead  of them  socialising  away  their  time.  Please  comment  on  this argument.

A.  I’tikaaf  is  not  for    teaching,  giving  bayaans  and  passing  on  benefit to  others.  I’tikaaf  is  strictly  for  personal  ibaadat  to  be    done  in  strict seclusion and solitude.

The  arguments  presented  are  spurious  and  deceptive.  Perceived benefits  may  not  be  used  to  override  the  Shariah.  Shaitaan  had misled  the  Ummats  of  bygone  times  with  the  idea  of  ‘benefits’  and new  acts  of  ‘worship’.    Gradually  the  entire  Shariats  of  the  previous Ambiya  were  mutilated  beyond  recognition.  The  Purity  of  the  Deen and  Sunnah  may  not  be  adulterated  and  distorted  with    practices which  people  perceive  as  beneficial.  Our  obligation  is  to  act  in accordance  with  the  Shariah.  It  is  not  our  obligation  to    hanker  after people  who  have  selected  the  path  to  Jahannam  with  their  indolence, lethargy  and  indifference  to  the  Deen.  If  any  practice  brings  about change  in  any  teaching  of  the  Shariah,  it  will  be  an  evil  bid’ah regardless  of  how  shaitaan  has  adorned  it  and  no  matter  what benefits are perceived therein.

Q.  Some  brothers  from  the  U.S.A.  go  to  Madinah  specially  to observe  the  I’tikaaf  of  the  last  ten  days  of  Ramadan.  Is  this advisable?

A.    It  is  not  advisable.  The  brothers  should  remain  in  their  hometowns for  I’tikaaf.  It  is  not  advisable  to  spend  so  much  money  and    to undergo  journies  and  become  involved  in  sins  unintentionally  along the  route  for    making  I’tikaaf  in  the  Haram  Shareef.  The  brothers  lack in  understanding.  They  should  put  their  money  to  constructive  use. There  are    millions  of  suffering  Muslims    on  whom  the  money  could be  spent,  thereby  gaining    tremendous  Amounts  of  thawaab,  far,  far  in  excess  of  the  thawaab  for   undergoing  a  journey  to  sit  in  I’tikaaf    in Madinah  Munawwarah.  The  thawaab  of  assisting  a  Muslim  in  need  is the  equivalent  of  a  thousand  I’tikaaf.  Thus  Hadhrat  Abdullah  Ibn Abbaas  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  nullified  his  I’tikaaf  specifically  to  aid  a brother in distress.

Q. What is the ruling of mass I’tikaaf  without merrymaking?

A.    Mass  I’tikaaf    activities  even  if  unaccompanied  by  merrymaking are  improper.    Ibaadat    has  to  be  incumbently    discharged  in  the Masnoon  manner.  It  is  not  permissible  to  attach  a  new  dimension    to Ibaadat.

Mass  I’tikaaf  is  a  new  dimension,  hence  bid’ah.  Firstly,  I’tikaaf should  not  be  organized.  People  should  not    observe  I’tikaaf  in congregation  with  their  sheikh.  The  Sahaabah  did  not  observe  I’tikaaf in congregation with Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). 

I’tikaaf  is  Sunnat  alal  Kifaayah.  It  is  highly  improper  to  block  the Musjid  with  large  numbers  of  mu’takifeen.  The  spirit  of  I’tikaaf  is destroyed  and  the  musallis    are  greatly  inconvenienced  by    the  occupying  crowd  which  conveys  the  idea  of  an  invasion  having  taken place.  A large crowd performs as if they own the Musjid.

If  a  number  of  people  of  their  own  accord,  without    the  I’tikaaf being  a  congregational  activity,    sit  in  I’tikaaf  each  one  making  his own  food  arrangement,  then    they  may  not  be  debarred.  However,   the  trustees    are  entitled  to    prevent  such  a  large  number  of  even those  observing  I’tikaaf    individually    if    the  peace  of  the  Musjid  is disturbed. The  basis  for  this  prevention  is    Rasulullah’s  command  to remove  the    three  tents  in  Musjid  Nabawi  which  were  set  up  for I’tikaaf.   The  issue  here  is  not    the  specific  reason  which  Rasulullah (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  had  for    preventing  the  I’tikaaf.  Of importance  is    the  fact  that  it  is  permissible  to  prevent  persons  from I’tikaaf for a valid reason.

It  is  improper  for  a  Shaikh  to  organize  a  mass  I’tikaaf.  He  should observe  I’tikaaf  alone,  and  seclude  himself  from  his  mureeds  during the  I’tikaaf  which  is  not  an  occasion    for    ta’leem  and  tabligh.  It  is  an occasion  of  MuraaqabahMuhaasabah  and  Thikrullah  in  seclusion and in solitude. 

Q.  What  is  surprising  to  me  is  that  some  great  Ulama  of  the recent  past  had  condoned  mass  I’tikaaf.  Surely  they  were  not ignorant  of  the  Shariah.  Some  mureeds  said  that  their  Shaikh was  mentioned  as  a  Qutub  by  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi wasallam)  in  a  dream  which  a  pious  Aalim  saw.    Now  when  such a  Qutub  observes  mass  I’tikaaf,  how  should  we  understand  it? Please explain this conundrum

A.    Our    criterion  is  not  the    actions  of  Ulama  and  the  Qutubs.  Our criterion  is  the  Shariah.  The  truth  is  that    even  great  Ulama  are sometimes  short  sighted.  Whilst  they  are  pious  and  great,  they  lack faqaahat. They  are  unable  to    forsee  the  evils  which    their  newly invented    practices  will  lead  to.  While  the  Buzrugs  permit occasionally  a  good  nazam,  the  Fuqaha  emphatically  proclaim nazams/nasheeds/qasedahs  HARAAM.  The  Fuqaha  were  the Guardians  of  the  Shariah.  We  follow  the  Fuqaha,  not   every  practice of  the  Buzrugs.  Any  practice  of  a  Buzrug  or  a  Qutub  which  conflicts with the Shariah must be set aside.

The  Shariah  is  not  the  product  of  the  dreams  of  the  Auliya  nor  of their  mukaashafaat.  The  Shariah  is  the  product  of    the  Wahi   delivered  to  us  by  Rasulullah  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam).  We  are under  obligation  to  follow  the  Shariah,  not  the  dreams  and  kashf  of Buzrugs.  It  does  not  matter    even  if  a  Buzrug  flies  to  the  Arsh,  we shall  not  be  awed  by  such  a  feat.  Our  obligation  is  to  maintain  the purity  of  the  Shariah.  We  do  not  worship  our  Auliya. Allaamah  Sha’raani  (rahmatullah  alayh)  said:    “Whoever    cites  as proof    the  isolated    acts  (obscurities  and  incongruencies)  of  the Ulama, has made his exit from Islam.

Some  of  the  bid’ah  practices  of  the  Barelwi  Qabar  Pujaaris  were  in fact introduced quite innocently and sincerely by Buzrugs. But look at what  these  grave-worshippers  have  done  to  the  initial    practices  of the  Auliya.  And  look  at  the  haraam  festivals  and  merrymaking  which are    polluting  the  Musaajid  nowadays  in  the  name  of  I’tikaaf.  If    a Buzrug    had  not    initiated    the  practice  of  mass  I’tikaaf,  this  Ibaadat would  not  have    developed  into  a  bid’ah  nor  would  the  Musaajid  have been    polluted    as  is    the  current    state  of    mass  I’tikaaf  affairs.  The slightest  deviation  from  the  Sunnah  is  fraught  with  grave  Imaani perils.

Vision of Allah in the Heaven

(By Hazrat Maulana Manzoor Nu’maani)

THE greatest favour to be conferred on the dwellers of Paradise is the seeing of God, and everyone endowed with a refined awareness will, un­doubtedly, find the longing for it embedded in his heart. It is but natural for the bondsman who is enjoying countless blessings of the Lord in this world and will be rewarded in Heaven with immeasurably greater boons to feel an earnest_ desire to see the Beneficent and the Merciful Lord who created him and was showering on him His ex­quisite gifts. There will, of course, remain a feeling of non-fulfilment in him if he is never blessed with the stupen­dous spectacle and the Almighty will, indeed, not keep the bondsman unfulfilled whom he will, by His Grace, allow to enter Paradise.

The Qur’an has given to the Faithful the Tidings of this unique favour and the Holy Prophet, too, has mentioned it and all the Muslims have believed in it implicitly. Some people, however, who are given to imagine about the Hereafter on the basis of what they see in the world around them and regard the limited knowledge vouchsaf­ed to them here to be the last word in that direction repudiate and possibility of it on the ground that it does not stand to reason. They argue that only a thing that exists in a material form and has colour or surface can be seen by the human eye, and that, too, when it is placed in front of the viewer and within a certain distance. Since God has neither form nor substance, nor is He con­tained in space and time, the question of seeing Him does not arise. But this line of reasoning, ostensibly, is ins­ane and puerile. Had the conviction of the Believers been that God will be seen with these very eyes (of the present world) which can observe only material objects and things having colour or dimension, the viewpoint of dissenters could have some validity. But neither the Qur’an nor the Traditions say so, nor is it the creed of the faithful Believers.

The people of the Sunnah and of the way of Com­panions functioning as a body (Ahl–i–Sunnat wal Jama’at) who, in adherence to the precepts of the Qur’an and the Traditions, believe that the bondmen worthy of the magnificent favour will see God in Heaven also take it for granted that He will bless the dwellers of Paradise with powers and faculties that have not been given to anyone in this world, one of which is that the vision that will be granted to them will not be as weak and limited as that of our eyes in the pre­sent existence and it is with these eyes that the fortunate bondmen will see the Lord who possesses neither form nor colour nor dimension.

If the skeptics are still doubtful about the seeing of Allah Almighty, on account of its logical infeasibility, they should pause and ponder whether God sees His creatures or not. In case perception was possible only with the means and under the circumstances that were peculiar to us. He must, of necessity, be incapable of seeing anything for He had neither eyes nor were the creatures  placed in a par­ticular position in respect of Him. Thus, those who believe that God sees without eyes and in all direc­tions at the same time, and even things we can not perceive by the eye in any case and by any means, ought to have no misgivings. Relying to the utmost on the tidings contained in the Qur’an and the Traditions, they should assume that the Almighty will, by His Power and Benevolence, grant them eyes in the Hereafter which will enable them to take joy in the marvellous spectacle of his own.

Zakaat and the Solar Year

[Majlisul Ulama]

Zakaat is an Islamic institution which is a Fardh lbadat of fundamental importance. It is one of the fundamentals of Islam. There is no distinguishing between the two fundamentals, viz Salat and Zakaat, in so far as importance is concerned. Islam has attached a host of laws to this institution of Zakat. Like Salat, it is a great and an independant lbadat which will be discharged only if the Shari rules relevant to it are fulfilled. Zakat being a strictly Islamic lbadat, cannot be hinged onto worldly considerations which interfere with the correct discharge of this obligation. It is not to be made a secondary institution merely because of inconveniences caused to us by the laws of finance and economics of the kuffar. Here we refer to the ‘Nisab Time’. Zakat becomes payable after twelve Islamic months have passed upon the attaining of the Nisab value. Regarding this time-period, we say that the solar calendar or the Christian calendar does not suffice. It is essential that the Islamic calendar – or twelve Islamic months – be counted regarding the time-period of the Nisab.

SUGGESTED

In certain quarters it has been suggested that the Christian calendar too will be valid providing that 4% is added to the stock-figure obtained from the stock-taking after twelve solar months. Stock-taking is usually effected at the end of the financial year (which is after twelve Christian months) for income tax purposes. Muslim businessmen, therefore, employ these figures in the calculation of their Zakat, the argument being that it is too difficult to have two stock-takings – one for income tax and one for Zakat. The suggested addition of 4% to the stock-figure, is, ostensibly, to ‘rectify’ the discrepency which occurs as a result of the 11 day longer Christian calendar. However, in actual fact, the discrepency is not rectified by adding 4%. In fact, a number of serious discrepencies will result if the Christian calendar is employed for Zakat purposes. Hereunder we explain a few such serious discrepencies.

The Shariah does not apply Zakat tax to a part of the year. Zakat is payable for only full-year units. Hence, if Zakat has not been paid for two years, for example. then the only way of discharging the obligation is to pay Zakat for two years. If after two years and one month (for example) one decides to pay the past Zakat, one will be liable for two years’ Zakat and not for two years and one month, part of the year not being considered.

The addition of 4% resembles a penalty for late payment. But, the Shariah levies no penalty for late payment of Zakat.

Assuming that stock is taken 18 months after having attained Nisab, it will mean that the stock-figure has to be inflated by 50% since 6 months is 50% of the year, but this is at the end of the Islamic twelve months Mr Zaid had stock, cash and other Zakat-taxable wealth for the sum of R 20,000, but as yet he did not effect stock-taking because the financial year for income tax purpose has not yet ended. Eleven days after the expiry of the Islamic year, Mr Zaid takes stock on the 28th February and finds that his stock and other Zakat­ taxable assets amount to R 30,000. Now according to the ‘4% increase’ theory, the amount of R30 000 will have to be increased by 4%, giving a total of R 31,200 on which Zakat have to be paid, i.e. according to the ‘4% increase’ theory. However, according to the Shariah, Zakat should be paid on only the amount owned at the end of the Islamic year, which in this example is R 20,000. The additional R 10,000 by which the R 20,000 was augmented in the succeeding 11 days are exempt from Zakat. Zakat will be payable on the additional R 10,000 only at the end of the next twelve Islamic months, and that too if at the end of that period this amount remains in the form of Zakat-taxable assets. If during the course of the year this amount was lost, utilized or converted into non-Zakat wealth, e.g. motor car, building, furniture, etc., then Zakat will not be payable on it.

At the end of the Islamic twelve months Mr Amr had Zakat taxable assets for the amount of R 2,000, but as yet he did not take stock. Eleven days after (i.e. at the end of the financial year) he takes stock and discovers that due to some misfortune his Zakat-taxable assets were reduced to below Nisab. In this case, Mr Amr will not be liable for Zakat according to those who accept the Christian calendar for Zakat calculating purpose. But, according to the Shariah he is liable for Zakat on R 2,000 because at the end of the Islamic twelve months he was the owner of Zakat wealth for the sum of R 2,000.

At the end of the Islamic year Mr Bakr had Zakat-taxable assets for the amount of R 10,000, but as yet he did not take stock. Eleven days thereafter he takes stock. Within the course of the succeeding eleven days he had incurred debts for Now. according to those who accept the Christian calendar as valid for Zakat purpose, Mr Bakr will have to pay Zakat on only R 6,000 since according to the Shariah debts are deductable from Zakat-taxable assets. But, in actual fact Mr Bakr must pay Zakat on R 10,000 because the debts were incurred only after his Zakat became due on the R 10,000, hence, the debt of R 4,000 cannot be employed to offset Zakat payment in that sum.At the end of the Islamic year Mr Ahman had Zakat­ taxable wealth for the amount of R 100 which is below Zakat. A week thereafter he obtains by way of inheritance R 20,000. At the end of the financial year which occurred eleven days after the Islamic year, Mr Ahmad’s Zakat-taxable assets amounted to R 20,100. According to the ‘4% increase theory, Mr Ahmad has to pay Zakat on R 20,100 plus 4%. However, according to the Shariah he does not have to pay even one cent Zakat. He is not at all liable for Zakat on the R 20,000 since he did not own it at the termination of the twelve Islamic months.

At the end of the Islamic year Mr Qasim had R 8,000 worth of Zakat-taxable wealth but as yet he did not effect stock-taking. At the end of the financial year (which occurred eleven days after the Islamic year) he takes stock and finalises his accounts. During the course of the eleven days following the Islamic year (i.e. prior to stock-taking) Mr Ahmad converts R 6,000 of his Zakat-taxable wealth into non-Zakat assets, e.g. he purchased a motor car. Now according to his final figures realised after stock-taking the sum of R 6,000 will no longer reflect as Zakat ­taxable assets which will be an amount decreased by R 6,000, plus the suggested 4% increase on the stock-figure. But, according to the Shariah he is liable to pay Zakat on the  R 6,000 as well despite it having been converted into a non-Zakat asset because the conversion was effected after the Zakat became due on the amount.

At the end of the first twelve Islamic months Mr Zaid in actual fact had R 25,000 stock, but his debts amounted to R 25,000. Mr Zaid never took stock after the twelve Islamic months nor did he do so at the end of the financial year. The true position according to the Shariah is that Mr Zaid is not liable for Zakat because his debt eliminates his Zakat-taxable At the end of the following financial year Mr Zaid takes stock and finds that his stock is R 20,000 and his debts R 5000. According to the ‘increase’ theory he is liable for Zakat on R 15,000 plus an increase of 100%, i.e. he has to pay Zakat on R 30,000 because now the stock has not been taken 11 days after the Islamic year, but one year after the Islamic year. However, in actual fact, according to the Shariah, he has to pay Zakat on only R 15,000 (if this was the position of his Zakat assets at the end of the second Islamic year).

The theory to be employed in the event of stock being taken according to the solar calendar posits a 4% addition to the Zakat-taxable assets as at the end of the financial year calculated in terms of twelve Christian months. This percentage according to the theory remains constant, i.e. at the end of each successive solar year 4% will be merely added to the figures and Zakat levied on the total sum. This presents an unreal situation, for the percentage remains constant whereas the Islamic year in relation to the Christian year recedes by approximately 11 days (or the approximate 4% posited in the theory). In terms of the theory, the logical conclusion should be a successive increase of approximately 4% (3.1% to be more exact) per solar year since at the end of the first Christian year, the Islamic year would have lapsed by 11 days; at the end of the second Christian year, the Islamic year would have lapsed by 22 days, hence in terms of the ‘increase’ theory, the stock-figure will be inflated by 8% (6.2% to be exact); at the end of the third Christian year, the Islamic year would have receded by 33 days, hence in terms of the theory, the Zakat-taxable figure will have to be inflated by 9.3%, and so on. The percentage increase with which the Zakat wealth has to be inflated will increase with each year. This will provide 100% increase in the Zakat-taxable wealth after about 34 years. But, in no way does this ‘increase’ whether of 4% or 100% solve the discrepencies created by calculating Zakat at the end of the solar year. The ‘increase’ theory has no bearing to reality. It remains a fictitious and a groundless supposition.

Utilizing the solar year for Zakat purposes will magnify the incidence of error with each successive year which produces a constant recession of the Islamic year in relation to the Christian year. In the first year there will be an eleven-day gap between the Islamic and the Christian year; in the second year a twenty-two day gap; in the third year a thirty-three day gap, and so on. The greater the gap, the greater the danger of increased discrepency since more transactions could be effected in the greater time period. Every transaction involving Zakat-taxable wealth effected in this time-gap will affect the Zakat position. Zakat-taxable wealth which had been converted into non-Zakat-taxable items during this time-gap will be exempt from Zakat if the calculation is done at the end of the Christian year. And, all increases in Zakat-taxable wealth during this time-gap will be subjected to Zakat if the calculation is based on the Christian calendar. But, in terms of the Shariah, whatever Zakat-taxable assets have been converted into non­ Zakat-taxable items during the time-gap will be subjected to Zakat and all increases in Zakat-taxable wealth during the time-gap will be exempted from Zakat. Such increases will only be taxed by Zakat at the end of the next Islamic year, if such wealth still remains in one’s possession.

If Zakat is calculated on the basis of the Christian calendar, then one whole year will be missed out after about 33 years, and this ‘escaping’ of a year’s Zakat cannot be rectified or compensated by means of the unrealistic ‘increase’ even if at the end of the 33rd year the increase is 100%. The ‘gap’ between the Islamic and the Chrisitan years after 33 years will be one year, and in one year all one’s wealth may be depleted or lost, this bringing about the total ‘escape’ from Zakat even if 100% increase in the figures is effecteu. At the end of the 33rd Christian year, one may have Zakat-taxable wealth less than the value of Nisab whereas a year before when the time was due for the Zakat calculation one could have possessed a considerable sum of Zakat-taxable wealth.

If, for example, stock is taken only after two years and the figure for the stock is R 5,000 at this stock-taking. But, the amount of stock at the end of the first year was R 2,000. According to the ‘4% addition’ theory, the amount of stock will have to be increased by 100% since the stock was taken after two years. It will follow that Zakat should be paid on R 10,000 whereas in actual fact Zakat will have to be paid on only R 7,000 (R 2,000 for the first year and R 5,000 for the second year).

20th Ramadan – Fateh Makkah

[By Saifur Rahman al-Mubarakpuri]

Al HUDAIBIYAH  TREATY  (Dhul  Qa‘dah  6  A.H.):

When  Arabia  began  to  witness  the  large impressive  sweep in  favour  of  the  Muslims,  the  forerunners  of the  great  conquest  and  success  of  the  Islamic  Call  started  gradually  to  loom  on  the  demographic horizon,  and  the  true  believers  restored  their  undisputed right  to  observe  worship  in  the  sacred sanctuary.

It  was  about  the  sixth  year  Hijri  when  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  saw  in  a  dream,  while  he  was still  in  Madinah,  that  he  had  entered  the  sacred  sanctuary in  Makkah  in  security  with  his  followers,  and was  performing  the  ceremonies  of  ‘Umrah  (lesser pilgrimage).  Their  heads  were  being  shaved  and  hair cut  off.  As  soon  as  he  informed  some  of  his  Companions  the  contents  of  his  dream,  their  hearts  leapt up  with  joy  since  they  found  in  it  the  actualization  of  their deep  longing  to  take  part  in  pilgrimage  and its  hallowed rites  after  an  exile  of  six years.  The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  had  his  clothes  washed,  mounted  his  camel  and  marched  out  towards Makkah  at  the  head  of fifteen  hundred  Muslims  including  his  wife  Umm  Salamah.  Some  desert  bedouins whose  Faith  was  lukewarm  hung  back  and  made  excuses.  They  carried  no  weapons  with  them  except sheathed  swords  because  they  had  no  intention  of fighting.  Ibn  Umm  Maktum  was  mandated  to  dispose the  affairs  of  Madinah  during  the  Prophet’s  absence.  As  they  approached  Makkah,  and in  a  place  called Dhi  Hulaifa,  he  ordered  that  the  sacrificial  animals  be  garlanded,  and  all  believers  donned Al-Ihrâm,  the pilgrim’s  garb.  He  despatched  a  reconnoiterer  to  hunt  around  for  news  of  the  enemy.  The  man  came back  to  tell  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  that  a  large  number  of  slaves,  as  well  as  a  huge  army, were gathered  to  oppose  him,  and  that  the  road  to  Makkah  was  completely  blocked.  The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) consulted  his  Companions,  who  were  of  the  opinion  that  they  would  fight  none unless  they  were  debarred from  performing  their  pilgrimage.
 
The  Quraishites,  on  their part,  held  a  meeting  during  which  they  considered  the  whole  situation  and decided  to  resist  the  Prophet’s  mission  at  all  costs.  Two  hundred  horsemen  led  by  Khalid  bin  Al-Waleed were despatched  to  take  the  Muslims  by  surprise  during  Zuhr  (the  afternoon) prayer.  However,  the rules  of  prayer  of  fear  were revealed  meanwhile  and  thus  Khalid  and  his  men  missed  the  chance.  The Muslims  avoided  marching  on  that  way  and decided  to  follow  a  rugged  rocky  one.  Here,  Khalid ran  back to  Quraish  to  brief  them  on  the latest  situation. 

When  the  Muslims  reached  a  spot  called Thaniyat  Al-Marar,  the  Prophet’s  camel  stumbled  and  knelt down  and  was  too  stubborn  to  move. Prophet Muhammad  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  swore  he  would  willingly  accede to  any  plan  they  put  forward  that  would  glorify  Allâh’s  sanctities.  He  then  reprovingly  spurred  his  camel and  it  leapt  up.  They  resumed  their march  and  came  to  pitch  their  tents  at  the  furthest  part  of  Al Hudaibiyah  beside  a  well  of  scanty  water.  The  Muslims  reported  thirst  to  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  who  took  an  arrow  out  of  his  quiver,  and  placed  it  in  the  ditch.  Water immediately  gushed  forth, and  his  followers  drank  to  their fill.  When  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) had  rested,  Budail  bin Warqa’  Al-Khuza‘i  with  some  celebrities  of  Khuza‘ah  tribe,  the  Prophet’s  confidants,  came  and  asked him  what  he  had  come  for.  The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) replied  that  it  was  not  for  war  that  he  had come  forth:  “I  have  no  other design,”  he  said,  “but  to  perform  ‘Umrah  (the  lesser pilgrimage)  in  the Holy  Sanctuary.  Should  Quraish  embrace  the  new  religion,  as  some  people  have  done,  they  are  most welcome,  but  if  they  stand  in  my  way  or  debar  the  Muslims  from  pilgrimage,  I  will  surely  fight  them  to the  last  man,  and  Allâh’s  Order  must  be fulfilled.” The  envoy  carried  the  message  back  to  Quraish,  who sent  another  one  called  Mikraz  bin  Hafs.  On  seeing  him,  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said  that  that was  a  treacherous  man.  He  was  given  the  same  message  to  communicate  to  his  people.  He  was followed  by  another  ambassador known  as  Al-Hulais  bin  ‘Alqamah.  He  was  very  much  impressed  by  the spirit  of devotion  that  the  Muslims  had  for  the  Sacred  Ka‘bah.  He  went  back  to  his  men  and  warned them  against  debarring  Muhammad  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  and  his  Companions  from  doing  honour  to Allâh’s  house  on  the  peril  of  breaking  his  alliance  with  them.  Hulais  was  succeeded  by  ‘Urwa  bin  Mas‘ud Ath-Thaqafi  to  negotiate  with Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) .  In  the  course  of discussion  he  said  to the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) : “Muhammad!  Have you  gathered  around yourself  mixed people  and then  brought  them  against  your  kith  and  kin  in  order  to  destroy  them.  By  Allâh  I  think  I  see  you deserted  by  these  people  tomorrow.”  At  this  point  Abu  Bakr  stood  up  and  expressed  his  resentment  at this  imputation.  Al-Mugheerah  bin  Shu‘bah  expressed  the  same  attitude  and reprovingly  forbade  him from  touching  the  Prophet’s  beard.  Here,  Quraish’s  envoy  remarked  indignantly  and  alluded  to  the latter’s  treacherous  act  of  killing  his  companions  and  looting  them  before  he  embraced  Islam. Meanwhile,  ‘Urwah,  during  his  stay  in  the  Muslim  camp,  had  been  closely  watching  the  unfathomable love  and profound respect  that  the followers  of  Muhammad  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  showed  him.  He returned  and  conveyed  to  Quraish  his  impression  that  those  people  could  not  forsake  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  under  any  circumstances.  He  expressed  his  feelings  in  the  following  words: “I have  been  to  Chosroes,  Caesar  and  Negus  in  their  kingdoms,  but  never  have  I  seen  a  king  among  a people like  Muhammad  among  his  Companions.  If  he  performs  his  ablution,  they would  not  let  the  water  thereof  fall  on  the  ground; if  he  expectorates,  they  would  have  the  mucus  to rub  their faces  with; if  he  speaks,  they  would  lower  their voices.  They  will  not  abandon  him for  anything in  any  case.  He,  now,  offers  you  a  reasonable  plan,  so  do  what  you  please.”

Seeing  an  overwhelming  tendency  towards  reconciliation  among  their  chiefs,  some reckless,  fight-prone youngsters  of  Quraish  devised  a  wicked  plan  that  could  hinder  the  peace  treaty.  They decided  to infiltrate  into  the  camp  of  the  Muslims  and  produce  intentional  skirmishes  that  might  trigger  the  fuse  of war.  Muhammad  bin  Maslamah,  chief  of  the  Muslim  guards,  took  them  captives,  but  in  view  of  the farreaching imminent  results  about  to  be  achieved,  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  set  them  free.  In  this context  Allâh  says: 

And  He it  is  Who  has  withheld  their  hands  from  you  and your  hands  from  them in  the  midst  of Makkah,  after  He  had  made  you  victors  over  them.”  [48:24] 

Time  passed.  Negotiations  went  on  but  with  no  results.  Then  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) desired  ‘Umar (rashiyallahu anhu)  to  see  the  nobles  of  Quraish  on  his  behalf.  ‘Umar excused  himself  on  account  of  the  personal enmity  of  Quraish;  he  had,  moreover,  no  influential  relatives  in  the  city  who  could  shield  him  from danger;  and  he pointed  to  ‘Uthman  bin  ‘Affan (radhiyallahu anhu),  who  belonged  to  one  of  the  most  powerful  families  in Makkah,  as  the  suitable  envoy.  ‘Uthman  went  to  Abu  Sufyan  and  other  chiefs  and  told  them  that  the Muslims  had  come  only  to  visit  and  pay  their  homage  to  the  Sacred  House,  to  do  worship  there,  and that  they  had  no  intention  to  fight.  He  was  also  asked  to  call  them  to  Islam,  and  give glad  tidings  to  the believers  in  Makkah,  women  and  men,  that  the  conquest  was  approaching  and  Islam  was  surely  to prevail  because  Allâh  would  verily establish  His  religion  in  Makkah.  ‘Uthman  also  assured  them  that after  the  performance  of  ceremonies  they  would  soon  depart  peacefully,  but  the  Quraishites  were adamant  and  not  prepared  to  grant  them  the  permission  to  visit  Al-Ka‘bah.  They,  however,  offered ‘Uthman  the  permission  to  perform  the  pilgrimage,  if  he  so  desired  in  his  individual  capacity,  but ‘Uthman  declined  the  offer  saying:  “How  is  it  possible  that  I  avail  myself  of  this  opportunity,  when  the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is  denied  of it?”  The  Muslims  anxiously  waited for  the  arrival  of  ‘Uthman with  mingled feelings  of  fear  and  anxiety.  But  his  arrival  was  considerably  delayed  and  a  foul  play  was suspected  on  the  part  of Quraish.  The  Muslims  were  greatly  worried  and  took  a  solemn  pledge  at  the hand  of  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)   that  they  would  sacrifice  their lives  to  avenge  the death  of their Companion  and  stand  firmly  by  their  master,  Muhammad  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) ,  under  all conditions.  This  pledge  goes  by  the  name  of  Bay‘at  Ar-Ridwan  (a  covenant  of  fealty).  The  first  men  to take  a  pledge  were  Abu  Sinan  Al-Asadi  and  Salamah  bin  Al-Akwa‘,  who  gave  a  solemn  promise  to  die  in the  cause  of  Truth  three  times,  at  the front  of  the  army,  in  the  middle  and  in  the  rear.  The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  caught  his  left  hand  on  behalf  of  ‘Uthman.  This  fealty  was  sworn  under  a  tree, with  ‘Umar  holding  the  Prophet’s  hand  and  Ma‘qil  bin  Yasar  holding  a  branch  of  the  tree  up.  The  Noble Qur’ân  has  referred  to  this  pledge  in  the  following  words: 

Indeed,  Allâh  was  pleased  with  the  believers  when  they  gave  their  Bai‘a  (pledge)  to  you  [O Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)]  under  the  tree.” [48:18] 

When  Quraish  saw  the firm  determination  of  the  Muslims  to  shed  the  last  drop  of  blood for  the  defence of  their  Faith,  they  came  to  their  senses  and  realized  that  Prophet Muhammad’s  followers  could  not  be  cowed down  by  these  tactics.  After  some further interchange  of  messages  they  agreed  to  conclude  a  treaty  of reconciliation  and  peace  with  the  Muslims.  The  clauses  of  the  said  treaty  go  as  follows:

1. The  Muslims  shall return  this  time  and  come  back  next  year,  but  they  shall  not  stay in  Makkah for  more  than  three  days. 

2. They  shall  not  come  back  armed  but  can  bring  with  them  swords  only  sheathed  in  scabbards  and these  shall  be  kept  in  bags. 

3. War  activities  shall  be  suspended  for  ten  years,  during  which  both  parties  will  live  in  full  security and  neither  will raise  sword  against  the  other. 

4. If  anyone from  Quraish  goes  over  to Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  without  his  guardian’s permission,  he  should  be  sent  back  to  Quraish,  but  should  any  of Prophet Muhammad’s  followers  return to  Quraish,  he  shall  not  be  sent  back. 

5. Whosoever  to  join Prophet Muhammad  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  or enter  into  treaty  with  him,  should  have the  liberty  to  do  so;  and  likewise  whosoever  wishes  to  join  Quraish,  or enter  into  treaty  with them,  should  be  allowed  to  do  so. 

Some  dispute  arose  with  regard  to  the  preamble.  For example,  when  the  agreement  was  to  be  committed  to  writing,  ‘Ali  bin  Abi  Talib,  who  acted  as  a  scribe  began  with  the  words:  Bismillâh  irRahman  ir-Raheem,  i.e.,  “In  the  Name  of  Allâh,  the  Most  Beneficent,  the  Most  Merciful” but  the  Makkan plenipotentiary,  Suhail  bin  ‘Amr declared  that  he  knew  nothing  about  Ar-Rahman  and  insisted  upon  the customary formula  Bi-ismika  Allâhumma,  i.e.,  “In  Your  Name,  O  Allâh!” The  Muslims  grumbled  with uneasiness  but  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  agreed.  He  then  went  on  to  dictate,  “This  is  what Muhammad,  the  Messenger  of  Allâh  has  agreed  to  with  Suhail  bin  ‘Amr.” Upon  this  Suhail  again protested: “Had  we  acknowledged  you  as  Prophet,  we  would  not  have  debarred you  from  the  Sacred House,  nor  fought  against  you.  Write  your  own  name  and  the  name  of your father.”  The  Muslims grumbled  as  before  and  refused  to  consent  to  the  change.  The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  however, in  the  larger  interest  of  Islam,  attached  no  importance  to  such  an  insignificant  detail,  erased  the  words himself,  and  dictated instead: “Muhammad,  the  son  of  ‘Abdullah.”  Soon  after  this  treaty,  Khuza‘a  clan, a  former  ally  of  Banu  Hashim,  joined  the  ranks  of  Prophey Muhammad  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  and  Banu  Bakr sided  with  Quraish.

It  was  during  this  time  while  the  treaty  was  being  written  that  Abu  Jandal,  Suhail’s  son,  appeared  on the  scene.  He  was  brutally  chained  and  was  staggering  with  privation  and fatigue.  The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  and  his  Companions  were  moved  to  pity  and  tried  to  secure  his  release  but  Suhail  was adamant  and  said:  “To  signify  that  you  are faithful  to  your  contract,  an  opportunity  has  just  arrived.” The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  said:  “But  the  treaty  was  not  signed  when  your  son  entered  the camp.” Upon  this,  he  burst  forth  and  said,  “but  the  terms  of  the  treaty  were  agreed  upon.”  It  was indeed  an  anxious  moment.  On  the  one  hand,  Abu  Jandal  was  lamenting  at  the  top  of  his  voice,  “Am  I to  be returned  to  the  polytheists  that  they  might  entice  me  from  my  religion,  O  Muslims!” but,  on  the other  hand,  the  faithful  engagement  was  also  considered  to  be  necessary,  above  all  other considerations.  The  Prophet’s  heart  welled  up  with  sympathy,  but  he  wanted  to  honour  his  word  at  all costs.  He  consoled  Abu  Jandal  and  said,  “Be  patient,  resign  yourself  to  the  Will  of  Allâh.  Allâh  is  going  to provide  for you  and  your  helpless  companions  relief  and  means  of  escape.  We  have  concluded  a  treaty of  peace  with  them  and  we  have  taken  the  pledge in  the  Name  of  Allâh.  We  are,  therefore,  under  no circumstances  prepared  to  break it.”, in silent  resignation  was  therefore,  Abu  Jandal borne  away  with  his  chains. 

When  the  peace  treaty  had  been  concluded,  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  ordered  his  Companions to  slaughter  their  sacrificial  animals,  but  they  were  too  depressed  to  do  that.  The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) gave  instructions  in  this  regard  three  times  but  with  negative response.  He  told  his  wife Umm Salamah  about  this  attitude  of  his  Companions.  She  advised  that  he  himself  take  the  initiative, slaughter  his  animal  and  have  his  head  shaved.  Seeing  that,  the  Muslims,  with  rended  hearts,  started to  slaughter  their  animals  and  shave  their  heads.  They even  almost  killed  one  another  because  of  their distress.  The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) prayed  three  times  for  those  who  shaved  their  heads  and once for  those  who  cut  their  hair.  A  camel  was  sacrificed  on  behalf  of  seven  men  and  a  cow  on  behalf  of the  same  number  of  people.  The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  sacrificed  a  camel  which  once  belonged to  Abu  Jahl  and  which  the  Muslims  had  seized  as  booty  at  Badr,  thus  enraging  the  polytheists.  During Al-Hudaibiyah  campaign,  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  permitted  Ka‘b bin  ‘Ujrah,  who  was  in  a state  of  Ihram  (state  of ritual  consecration  of  the  pilgrim) for  ‘Umrah  (lesser pilgrimage)  to  shave  his head  due  to  illness,  on  the  condition  that  he  will  pay  compensation  by  sacrificing  a  sheep,  fasting  for three  days  or  feeding  six  needy  persons.  Concerning  this,  the  following  verse  was  revealed:

And  whosoever  of you  is  ill  or  has  an  ailment  in  his  scalp (necessitating  shaving),  he  must  pay  a Fidyah  (ransom)  of either fasting (three  days)  or  giving  Sadaqa  (feeding  six  poor persons)  or offering  sacrifice  (one  sheep).” [2:196] 

Meanwhile  some  believing  women  emigrated  to  Madinah  and  asked  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) for  refuge  which  they  were  granted.  When  their families  demanded  their return,  he  would  not  hand them  back  because  the  following  verse  was  revealed: 

O you  who  believe!  When  believing  women  come  to  you  as  emigrants,  examine  them,  Allâh knows  best  as  to  their  Faith,  then  if you  know  them  for  true  believers,  send  them  not  back  to  the disbelievers,  they  are  not  lawful  (wives) for  the  disbelievers  nor  are  the disbelievers  lawful (husbands) for  them.  But  give  the  disbelievers  that  (amount  of  money)  which  they  have  spent [as  their  Mahr]  to  them.  And  there  will  be  no  sin  on  you  to  marry  them  if  you  have  paid  their Mahr  to  them.  Likewise  hold  not  the disbelieving  women  as  wives  …”  [60:10] 

The  reason  why  the  believing  women  were  not  handed  back  was  either because  they  were  not  originally included  in  the  terms  of  the  treaty,  which  mentioned  only  men,  or because  the  Qur’ân  abrogated  any terms  dealing  with  women  in  the  verse: 

“O  Prophet!  When  believing  women  come  to  you  to  give  you  the  Bai‘a  (Pledge),  that  they  will  not associate  anything  in  worship  with  Allâh  …”  [60:12] 
This  is  the  verse  which  forbade  Muslim  women  from  marrying  disbelieving  men.  Likewise,  Muslim  men were  commanded  to  terminate  their  marriages  to  disbelieving  women.  In  compliance  with  this injunction,  ‘Umar bin  Al-Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu) divorced  two  wives  he  had  married  before  he  embraced  Islam; Mu‘awiyah  married  the  first  woman,  and  Safwan  bin  Omaiyah  married  the  second. 

AL HUDAIBIYAH  TREATY:  SOCIO-POLITICAL  IMPACT:

A  series  of  events  confirmed  the  profound  wisdom  and  splendid results  of  the  peace  treaty  which  Allâh called  “a  manifest  victory”.  How  could it  be  otherwise  when  Quraish  had  recognized  the  legitimate Muslims’ existence  on  the  scene  of  political  life  in  Arabia,  and  began  to  deal  with  the  believers  on  equal terms.  Quraish  in  the light  of  the  articles  of  the  treaty,  had  indirectly  relinquished its  claim  to  religious leadership,  and  admitted  that  they  were  no  longer interested  in  people  other  than  Quraish,  and  washed their  hands  of  any  sort  of intervention  in  the religious  future  of  the  Arabian  Peninsula.  The  Muslims  did not  have  in  mind  to  seize  people’s  property  or kill  them  through  bloody  wars,  nor  did  they  ever  think  of pursuing  any  coercive  approaches  in  their  endeavours  to  propagate  Islam,  on  the  contrary,  their  sole target  was  to  provide  an  atmosphere  of freedom  as  regards  ideology  or religion: 

“Then  whosoever  wills,  let  him  believe,  and  whosoever  wills,  let  him  disbelieve.” [18:29] 

The  Muslims,  on  the  other  hand,  had  the  opportunity  to  spread  Islam  over  areas  not  then  explored. When  there  was  armistice,  war  was  abolished,  and  men  met  and  consulted  together,  none  talked  about Islam  intelligently  without  entering  it;  within  the  two  years  following  the  conclusion  of  the  treaty  double as  many  entered  Islam  as  ever before.  This  is  supported by  the  fact  that  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) went  out  to  Al-Hudaibiyah  with  only  1,400  men,  but  when  he  set  out  to  liberate  Makkah,  two years  later,  he  had  10,000  men  with  him.

The  article  of  the  treaty  pertaining  to  cessation  of  hostilities  for  ten  years  points  directly  to  the  utter failure  of  political  haughtiness  exercised by  Quraish  and its  allies,  and  functions  as  evidence  of  the collapse  and impotence  of  the  war  instigator. 

Quraish had  been  obliged  to  lose  those  advantages  in  return  for  one  seemingly  in  its  favour  but  does  not actually  bear  any  harm  against  the  Muslims,  i.e.,  the  article  that  speaks  of  handing  over  believing  men who  seek refuge  with  the  Muslims  without  their  guardians’  consent  to  Quraish.  At  first  glance,  it  was  a most  distressing  clause  and  was  considered  objectionable  in  the  Muslim  camp.  However,  in  the  course of  events,  it  proved  to  be  a  great  blessing.  The  Muslims  sent  back  to  Makkah  were  not  likely  to renounce  the  blessings  of  Islam;  contrariwise,  those  very  Muslims  turned  out  to  be  centres  of influence for  Islam.  It  was  impossible  to  think  that  they  would  become  apostates  or renegades.  The  wisdom behind  this  truce  assumed  its  full  dimensions  in  some  subsequent  events.  After  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) had  reached  Madinah,  Abu  Baseer,  who  had  escaped  from  Quraish,  came  to  him  as  a Muslim;  Quraish  sent  two  men  demanding  his  return,  so  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  handed  him over  to  them.  On  the  way  to  Makkah,  Abu  Baseer managed  to  kill  one  of  them,  and  the  other  one fled to  Madinah  with  Abu  Baseer  in  pursuit.  When  he reached  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) ,  he  said, “Your  obligation  is  over  and  Allâh  has  freed  you  from  it.  You  duly  handed  me  over  to  the  men,  and  Allâh has  rescued  me  from  them.” The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  said,  “Woe  is  his  mother,  he  would  have kindled  a  war  if  there  had  been  others  with  him.”  When  he  heard  that,  he  knew  that  he  would  be handed  back  to  them,  so  he fled  from  Madinah  and  went  as  far  as  Saif  Al-Bahr.  The  other  Muslims  who were  oppressed  in  Makkah  began  to  escape  to  Abu  Baseer.  He  was  joined  by  Abu  Jandal  and  others until  a  fair-sized  colony  was  formed  and  soon  sought  revenge  on  Quraish  and  started  to  intercept  their caravans.  The  pagans  of  Makkah  finding  themselves  unable  to  control  those  exiled  colonists,  begged the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  to  do  away  with  the  clause  which  governed  the  extradition.  They implored  him  by  Allâh  and  by  their  ties  of  kinship  to  send  for  the  group,  saying  that  whoever  joined  the Muslims  in  Madinah  would  be  safe  from  them.  So  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) sent  for  the  group and  they  responded,  as  expected,  positively.

These  are  the  realities  of  the  clauses  of  the  truce  treaty  and  as  it  seems  they  all  function  in  favour  of the  nascent  Islamic  state.  However,  two  points  in  the  treaty  made  it  distasteful  to  some  Muslims, namely  they  were  not  given  access  to  the  Holy  Sanctuary  that  year,  and  the  seemingly  humiliating attitude  as  regards  reconciliation  with  the  pagans  of Quraish.  ‘Umar (radhoyallahu anhu),  unable  to  contain  himself for  the distress  taking full  grasp  of  his  heart,  went  to  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and  said: “Aren’t  you the  true  Messenger  of  Allâh?” The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) replied  calmly,  “Why  not?”  ‘Umar  again spoke  and  asked: “Aren’t  we  on  the  path  of righteousness  and  our  enemies  in  the  wrong?”  Without showing  any resentment,  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) replied  that  it  was  so.  On  getting  this  reply he  further  urged: “Then  we  should  not  suffer  any  humiliation  in  the  matter  of  Faith.” The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  was  unruffled  and  with  perfect  confidence  said: “I  am  the  true  Messenger  of  Allâh, I  never  disobey  Him,  He  shall  help  me.” “Did you  not  tell  us,”  rejoined  ‘Umar,  “that  we  shall  perform pilgrimage?”  “But  I  have  never  told  you,” replied  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  “that  we  shall  do  so this  very year.” ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was  silenced.  But  his  mind  was  disturbed.  He  went  to  Abu  Bakr  and  expressed his  feelings  before  him.  Abu  Bakr   confirmed  what  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  had  told  him.  In  due  course  the  Chapter of  Victory (48th)  was  revealed  saying: 

Verily,  We  have  given  you  [O  Muhammad  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)]  a  manifest  victory.”  [48:1] 

The  Messenger  of  Allâh (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  summoned  ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) and  imported  to  him  the  happy  tidings. ‘Umar  was  overjoyed,  and  greatly regretted  his  former  attitude.  He  used  to  spend  in  charity,  observe fasting  and  prayer  and free  as  many  slaves  as  possible in  expiation  for  that  reckless  attitude  he  had assumed. 

The  early  part  of  the  year  7  A.H.  witnessed  the  Islamization  of  three prominent  men  of  Makkah,  ‘Amr bin  Al-‘As,  Khalid  bin  Al-Waleed  and  ‘Uthman  bin  Talhah.  On  their  arrival  and  entrance  into  the fold  of Islam,  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said,  “Quraish  has  given  us  its  own  blood.”

CONQUEST OF MAKKAH

Ibn Al-Qayyim  described  the  conquest  of  Makkah  as  the  greatest  one  by  which  Allâh  honoured  His religion,  Messenger,  soldiers  and  honest  party.  He  thereby rescued  the  Sacred  House,  whose  guidance all  people  seek.  It  was  the  greatest  propitious  event  in  heaven  and  on  earth.  It  was  the  most  significant prelude  to  a  new  era  that  was  to  witness  the  great  march  of  Islamization  and  the  entry  of people  into the  fold  of  Islam  in  huge  hosts.  It  provided  an  ever  shining  face  and  a  most  glowing  source  of inspiration  to  the  whole  earth. 

Pre-Conquest  Events:

According  to  the  terms  of  the  treaty  of  Hudaibiyah,  the  Arab  tribes  were  given  the  option  to  join  either of  the  parties,  the  Muslims  or Quraish,  with  which  they  desired  to  enter  into  treaty  alliance.  Should  any of  these  tribes  suffer  aggression,  then  the  party  to  which  it  was  allied  would  have  the  right  to  retaliate. As  a  consequence,  Banu  Bakr  joined  Quraish,  and  Khuza’ah  joined  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). They  thus  lived  in  peace for  sometime  but  ulterior motives  stretching  back  to  pre-Islamic  period  ignited by  unabated  fire  of revenge  triggered  fresh  hostilities.  Banu  Bakr,  without  caring  a  bit  for  the  provisions of  the  treaty,  attacked  Banu  Khuza’ah  in  a  place  called  Al-Wateer in  Sha’ban,  8  A.H.  Quraish  helped Banu  Bakr  with  men  and  arms  taking  advantage  of  the  dark  night.  Pressed  by  their  enemies,  the tribesmen  of  Khuza’ah  sought  the  Holy  Sanctuary,  but  here  too,  their lives  were  not  spared,  and, contrary  to  all  accepted  traditions,  Nawfal,  the  chief  of  Banu  Bakr,  chasing  them  in  the  sanctified  area  – where  no  blood  should  be  shed  – massacred  his  adversaries. 

When  the  aggrieved  party  sought  justice  from  their  Muslim  allies,  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), as their leader,  demanded  an  immediate  redress  for  not  only  violating  the  treaty but  also  slaying  men allied  to  him in  the  sanctified  area.  Three demands  were  made,  the  acceptance  of  any  one  of  them  was imperative: 

a)  to  pay  blood  money  for  the  victims  of  Khuza’ah, 
b)  to  terminate  their  alliance  with  Banu  Bakr;  or 
c)  to  consider  the  truce  to  have  been  nullified. 

This  behaviour  on  the  part  of  Quraish  was  clearly  a  breach  of  the  treaty  of  Al-Hudaibiyah  and  was obviously  an  act  of  hostility  against  the  allies  of  the  Muslims,  i.e.  Banu  Khuza’ah.  Quraish  immediately realized  the  grave  situation  and  feared  the  horrible  consequences  looming  on  the  horizon.  They immediately  called  for  an  emergency  meeting  and  decided  to  delegate  their  chief  Abu  Sufyan  to Madinah  for  a  renewal  of  the  truce.  He  directly  headed for  the  house  of  his  daughter  Umm  Habiba  (the Prophet’s  wife).  But  as  he  went  to  sit  on  the  Messenger’s  carpet,  she  folded  it  up.  “My  daughter,”  said he,  “I  hardly  knew  if  you  think  the  carpet  is  too  good for  me  or  that  I  am  too  good for  the  carpet.”  She replied,  “It  is  the  Messenger  of  Allâh’s  carpet,  and you  are  an  unclean  polytheist.” 

Being disgusted  at  the  curt  reply  of  his  daughter,  Abu  Sufyan  stepped  out  of  her room  and  went  to  see the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  but  the  latter  was  well  aware  of  his  tricks  and  did  not  hold  him  any assurance.  He  then  approached  Abu  Bakr,  but  the latter  too  declined  to  interfere.  He  contacted  ‘Umar to  intercede but  this  great  Companion  made  a  point-blank  refusal.  At  last  he  saw  ‘Ali  bin  Abi  Talib  and began  begging  him  in  the  most  humble  words,  cunningly  alluding  to  the  prospects  of  mastery  over  all the  Arabs  if  he  were  to  intercede  for  the  renewal  of  the  treaty.  ‘Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) also  briefly regretted  his  inability  to do  anything  for  him.  Abu  Sufyan  turned  his  steps  back  to  Makkah  in  a  state  of bitter disappointment and  utter  horror.  There  he  submitted  a  report  of  his  meeting  with  his  daughter,  Abu  Bakr,  ‘Umar  and ‘Ali’s  reaction  and  the  meaningful  silence  of  the  Prophet.  The  Makkans  were  dismayed,  but  did  not expect  imminent  danger. 

Preparations  for  the  Attack  on  Makkah,  and  the  Prophet’s  Attempt  at  imposing  a  News  Black out:

On  the  authority  of  At-Tabari,  the  Messenger  of  Allâh (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  asked ‘Aishah (radhiyallahu anha)  his spouse  three  days  prior  to  receiving  news  relating  to  breaching  of  covenant,  to  make  preparations peculiar  to  marching  out  for  war.  Abu  Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu),  meanwhile,  came  in  and  asked  ‘Aishah  (radhiyallahu anha)  what  the matter  was,  showing  surprise  at  the  preparations  being  made  as  it  was  not,  as  he  said,  the  usual  time for  war.  She  replied  that  she  had  no  idea.  On  the  morning  of  the  third  day ‘Amr  bin  Sâlim  Al-Khuza’i arrived  in  the  company  of  forty  horsemen  to  brief  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  on  the  plight  of  his people  and  seeking  the  Muslims’  help  for retaliation.  People  of  Madinah  then  got  to  know  that  Quraish had  breached  the  covenant.  Budail followed ‘Amr,  and  then  Abu  Sufyan  and  the  news  was  unequivocally confirmed. 

With  view  of  securing  a  complete  news  black-out  concerning  his  military intentions,  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) despatched  an  eight-men  platoon  under  the  leadership  of  Qatadah  bin  Rab’i  in  the direction  of  Edam,  a  short  distance  from  Madinah,  in  Ramadan  8  A.H.,  in  order  to  divert  the  attention  of people  and  screen  off  the  main  target  with  which  he  was  pre-occupied. 

There  was  so  much  dread  and  fear everywhere  that  Hatib,  one  of  the  most  trusted  followers  of  the Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  secretly despatched  a  female  messenger  with  a  letter  to  Makkah  containing intimation  of  the  intended  attack.  The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) received  news  from  the  heaven  of Hatib’s  action  and  sent  ‘Ali  and  Al-Miqdad (radhiyallahu anhum) with  instructions  to  go  after  her.  They  overtook  the messenger,  and  after  a  long  search  discovered  the  letter  carefully  hidden  in  her locks.  The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) summoned  Hatib  and  asked  him  what  had  induced  him  to  this  act.  He replied,  “O Messenger  of  Allâh  peace  be  upon  him!  I  have  no  affinity  of blood  with  Quraish;  there is  only  a  kind  of friendly relationship  between  them  and  myself.  My  family is  at  Makkah  and  there  is  no  one  to  look  after it  or  to  offer protection  to  it.  My  position  stands  in  striking  contrast  to  that  of  the  refugees  whose families  are  secure  due  to  their blood  ties  with  Quraish.  I  felt  that  since  I  am  not  related  to  them,  I should,  for  the  safety  of  my  children,  earn  their gratitude  by doing  good  to  them.  I  swear  by  Allâh  that  I have  not  done  this  act  as  an  apostate,  forsaking  Islam.  I  was  prompted  only  by  the  considerations  I have  just  explained.” 

‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) wanted  to  cut  his  head  off  as  a  hypocrite,  but  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) accepted  his excuse  and  granted  him  pardon,  then  addressed  ‘Umar  saying:  “Hatib is  one  of  those  who  fought  in  the battle  of  Badr.  How  do  you  know  that  he is  a  hypocrite?  Allâh  is  likely  to  look favourably  on  those  who participated  in  that  battle.  Turning  then,  to  Hatib,  he  said:  “Do  as  you  please,  for  I  have  forgiven  you.” 

After  making  full preparation,  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) proceeded  to  Makkah  at  the  head  of  ten thousand  soldiers  on  the  10th  of  Ramadan,  8  A.H.  He  mandated  Abu  Ruhm  Al-Ghifari  to  dispose  the affairs  of  Madinah  during  his  absence.  When  they reached  Al-Juhfa,  Al-‘Abbas  bin  ‘Abdul  Muttalib  and his  family  came  to  join  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).  At  Al-Abwa’,  the  Muslims  came  across  Abu Sufyan  bin  Al-Harith  and  ‘Abdullah  bin  Omaiyah,  the  Prophet’s  cousins,  but,  on  account  of  the  harm they  had  inflicted,  and  their  satiric  language,  on  the  believers,  they  were  not  welcomed.  ‘Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) addressed Abu  Sufyan  to  go  and  beseech  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) for  pardon  and  confess  his  ill-behaviour in  a  manner  similar  to  that  of  Yusuf’s  (the  Prophet  Joseph)  brothers: 

They  said: ‘By  Allâh!  Indeed  Allâh  has  preferred  you  above  us,  and  we  certainly  have  been sinners.’”  [12:91]  Abu  Sufyan  observed  ‘Ali’s  (radhiyallahu anhu’s) counsel,  to  which  the  Prophet  quoted  Allâh’s  Words: 

He  said: ‘No  reproach  on  you  this  day,  may  Allâh  forgive  you,  and  He  is  the  Most  Merciful  of  those  who show  mercy!‘” [12:92] 

Abu  Sufyan  recited  some  verses  paying  a  generous  tribute  to  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  and professing  Islam  as  his  only  religion.  The  Muslims  then  marched  on  in  a  state  of fasting  until  they reached  a  place  called  Al-Qadeed  where water  was  available.  There  they broke  fast  and  resumed  their  movement  towards  Mar  Az-Zahran.  The Quraishites  were  quite  unaware  of  the development  of  affairs,  but  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  did not  like  to  take  them  by  surprise.  He,  therefore,  ordered  his  men  to  kindle  fire  on  all  sides  for  cooking purposes.  The  idea  behind  this  was  that  Quraish  should  be  afforded  full  opportunity  to  assess  the situation  in  which  they  were  pitchforked  correctly,  and  should  not  endanger  their lives  by  leaping  blindly in  the  battlefield.  ‘Umar bin  Al-Khattab  was  entrusted  with  the  guard  duty.  In  the  meanwhile,  Abu Sufyan  along  with  Hakim  bin  Hizam  and  Budail  bin  Warqua’,  two  terrible  polytheists,  went  out  to reconnoiter.  Before  they  got  near  the  camp,  they  met  ‘Abbas,  the  Prophet’s  uncle.  He  apprised  Abu Sufyan  of  the  situation  and  advised  him  to  accept  Islam  and  persuade  his  people  to  surrender before Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) otherwise,  his  head  would  be  struck  off. 

Under  the  prevailing  compelling  circumstances,  Abu  Sufyan  went  in  the  company  of ‘Abbas  seeking  the Prophet’s  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  audience.  The  Muslims  were  furious  to  see  Abu  Sufyan  and  wanted  to  kill him  on  the  spot.  But  the  two  men  managed,  not  without  difficulties,  to  see  the  Messenger  of  Allâh (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  who  advised  that  they  see  him  the  following  day.  The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) addressed  Abu  Sufyan  saying: “Woe  to  you!  Isn’t  it  time for  you  to  bear  witness  to  the  Oneness  of  Allâh and  Prophethood  of  Muhammad?”  Here,  the  archenemy  of  Islam  began  to  beseech  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  in  the  most  earnest  words  that  testify  to  the  Prophet’s  generosity  and  mild  temper  begging for  pardon  and  forgiveness,  and  professing  wholeheartedly  the  new  faith.  On  request  by  ‘Abbas,  the Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  in  the  context  of  the  general  amnesty  he  proclaimed,  gave  Abu  Sufyan, who  had  a  liking  for bragging,  a  special  privilege,  saying:  “He  who  takes  refuge  in  Abu  Sufyan’s  house is  safe;  whosoever  confines  himself  to  his  house,  the  inmates  thereof  shall  be in  safety,  and  he  who enters  the  Sacred  Mosque  is  safe.”

On  the  morning  of  Tuesday,  17th.  Ramadan,  8  A.H.,  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  left  Mar  Az Zahran.  He  ordered  Al-‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu)  to  detain  Abu  Sufyan  at  a  commanding  gorge  that  could  afford  a  full view of  the  Muslim  army  parading  on  its  way  towards  Makkah,  and  hence  give  him  the  chance  to  see  the great  and  powerful  soldiers  of  Allâh.  The  different  tribes  successively  passed  with  their  banners  flown up,  until  at  last  the  battalion  of  the  Emigrants  and  Helpers  with  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) at  their head  heavily  armed  marched  by.  Abu  Sufyan  began  to  wonder  who  those  people  were,  to  which  Al’Abbas  told  him  that  they  were  Muhammad  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and  his  Companions.  Abu  Sufyan  said that  no  army  however powerful  could resist  those  people  and  addressing  Al-‘Abbas,  he  said: “I  swear by  Allâh  that  the  sovereignty  of your  brother’s  son  has  become  too  powerful  to  withstand.”  Al-‘Abbas answered,  “It  is  rather  the  power  of  Prophethood,”  to  which  the  former  agreed. 

Sa’d  bin  ‘Ubadah (radhiyallahu anhu) carried  the  flag  of  the  Helpers.  When  he  passed by  Abu  Sufyan,  he  said  “Today  will witness  the  great  fight,  you  cannot  seek  sanctuary  at  Al-Ka’bah.  Today  will  witness  the  humiliation  of Quraish.”  Abu  Sufyan  complained  about  this  to  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  who  got  angry  and  said “Nay,  today  Al-Ka’bah  will  be  sanctified,  and  Quraish  honoured,”  and  quickly  ordered  that  Sa’d  should be  stripped  off  the  flag,  and  that  it  should  be  entrusted  to  his  son  Qais ibn Sa’d (radhiyallahu anhu),  in  another version,  to  Az Zubair. 

Al-‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) urged  Abu  Sufyan  to  hasten  into  Makkah  and  warn  the  Quraishites  against  any  aggressive behaviour  towards  the  Muslims.  There  in  Makkah,  he  shouted  at  the  top  of  his  voice  and  warned  against any  hostilities  advising  them  to  seek  safety in  his  house.  His  wife  got  indignant  and  tugged  at  his moustache  cursing  him  and  abusing  his  cowardly  stance.  The  people  within  Makkah  mocked  Abu  Sufyan and  dispersed  in  different  directions,  some  into  their  houses,  others  into  the  Holy  Sanctuary  while  some undisciplined  reckless  ruffians  led  by  ‘Ikrimah  bin  Abi Jahl,  Safwan  bin  Omaiyah  and  Suhail  bin  ‘Amr encamped  themselves  in  a  place  called  Khandamah,  with  a  murderous  intent  in  their  minds. 

The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  on  his  part,  was  quite  modestly  and  calmly  drawing  the  final  touches for  the  military  breakthrough  awaiting  the  Muslims,  by  Allâh’s  Will.  He  appointed  Khalid  bin  Al-Waleed (radhiyallahu anhu) as  a  leader  of  the  right  flank  of  the  army  with  Aslam,  Sulaim,  Ghifar,  Muzainah  and  Juhainah  tribes under  his  command  to  enter Makkah  through  its  lower  avenues.  Az-Zubair  bin  ‘Awwam  was  to  lead  the left  flank  and  would  storm  Makkah  from  the  upper  side  holding  up  the  Messenger’s  banner.  Abu ‘Ubaidah  took  command  of  the  infantry  and  was  to  penetrate  into  the  city via  a  side  valley.  They  were given  full  and decisive  orders  not  to  kill  unless  in  self  defence  and  in  that  case  they  would  exterminate any  aggressive  elements  and  quell  any  opposition. 

The  Muslim  battalions  marched  out  each  in  its  already drawn  route  to  fulfill  the  missions  they  were supposed  to  carry  out.  Khalid  bin  Al-Waleed  worked  his  way  into  the  heart  of  the  town  quite successively  killing  twelve  of  the ruffians  and  sustaining  two  martyrs.  Az-Zubair  set  out  and reached  the fixed destination  where  he  planted  the  banner  at  Al-Fath  (conquest)  Mosque  and  waited  there for  the arrival  of  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).  A  tent  was  pitched  for  him  where  he  offered  prayers  of thanks  to  the  All-Mighty  Allâh,  Who,  out  of  His  immense  grace,  had  granted  him  a  splendid victory.  But he  did  not  repose  long.  He,  in  the  company  of  the  Helpers  and  Emigrants,  got  up  and  proceeded towards  Al-Ka’bah,  the  Sacred  House,  which  is  an  emblem  of  the  Oneness  and  Supremacy  of  Allâh.  It was  unfortunately  infested  with  idols  that  numbered  360.  He  knocked  them  down  with  his  bow  while reciting  the verse  of  the  Noble  Qur’ân: 

And  Say: ‘Truth  (i.e.  Islam has  come  and Batil (falsehood,  i.e.  Satan  or polytheism,  etc.)  has  vanished.  Surely!  Batil  is  ever  bound  to vanish.‘”  [17:81] 

And  Allâh  further  said:  “Say (O  Muhammad  sallallaahu alayhi wasallam): “The  Truth  (the  Qur’ân  and  Allah’s  Inspiration)  has  come,  and Al-Batil (falsehood  –  Iblis)  can  neither  create  anything  nor resurrect  (any  thing).” [34:49] 

He  then started  the  usual  circumambulation  on  his  ride.  He  was  not  in  a  state  of  Ihram (ritual  consecration) then.  On  completion,  he  called for ‘Uthman  bin  Talhah,  the  janitor  of  Al-Ka’bah,  from  whom  he  took  the key.  He  went  in  and  saw  images  of  Prophets  Ibrahim  and  Ishmael (alayhimussalaam),  throwing  divination  arrows. He  denounced  these  acts  of Quraish  and  ordered  that  all  idols  be dismantled,  images  and effigies deleted.  He  then  entered  the  sacred  hall  to  face  the  wall  opposite  the door  and  there  again  performed devout  prostrations,  and  went  around  acclaiming  Allâh’s  Greatness  and  Oneness.  Shortly  afterwards,  he returned  to  the  door-way  and  standing  upon  its  elevated  step,  gazed  in  thankfulness  on  the  thronging multitude  below  and  delivered  the  following  celebrated  address: 

There  is  no  god  but  Allâh  Alone.  He  has  no  associates.  He  made good  His  Promise  that  He  held  to  His slave  and  helped  him  and  defeated  all  the Confederates  along.  Bear in  mind  that  every  claim  of privilege,  whether  that  of  blood,  or property,  is  under my  heel,  except  that  of  the  custody  of  Al-Ka’bah and  supplying  of  water  to  the  pilgrims.  Bear in  mind  that  for  anyone  who  is  slain,  even  though  semideliberately,  with  club  or  whip,  for  him  the  blood-money is  very  severe:  a  hundred  camels,  forty  of them  to  be  pregnant. 

O  people  of  Quraish!  surely  Allâh  has  abolished  from  you  all  pride  of  the  pre-Islamic  era  and  all  conceit in  your  ancestry,  (because)  all  men  are  descended  from  Adam,  and  Adam  was  made  out  of  clay.”  He then  recited  to  them  the  verse: 

O  mankind!  We  have  created you  from  a  male  and  a  female,  and  made  you  into  nations  and  tribes, that  you  may  know  one  another.  Verily,  the  most  honourable  of  you  near  Allâh  is  that  (believer)  who has  At-Taqwa  [i.e.  one  of  the  Muttaqûn:  i.e.  pious  and righteous  persons  who  fear  Allâh  much  (abstain from  all  kinds  of  sins  and  evil  deeds  which  He  has  forbidden),  and  love  Allâh  much  (perform  all  kinds  of good  deeds  which  He  has  ordained)].  Verily,  Allâh  is  All-Knowing,  All-Aware.”  [49:13]  He further  added:

O  you  people  of  Quraish!  What  do  you  think  of  the  treatment  that  I  am  about  to  accord  to  you?” They replied: 

O  noble brother  and  son  of  noble brother!  We  expect  nothing  but  goodness  from  you.”  Upon  this  he said: 

I  speak  to  you  in  the  same  words  as  Yusuf (the  Prophet  Joseph)  spoke  unto  his  brothers:  He  said:  “No reproach  on  you  this  day,” [12:92] go  your  way,  for you  are freed  ones.”  As  for  the  door-keeping  of  Al-Ka’bah  and  supplying  of  water  to  pilgrims,  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) ordered  that  these  jobs remain  in  the  hand  of ‘Uthman  bin  Talhah  and  that  the  key  will  stay  with  him  and  his  descendants  for ever. 

When  time  for prayer  approached,  Bilal (radgiyallahu anhu) ascended  Al-Ka’bah  and  called for  prayer.  Abu  Sufyan  bin  Harb, ‘Itab  bin  Usaid  and  Al-Harith  bin  Hisham  were  meanwhile  sitting  in  the  yard.  ‘Itab  bin  Usaid  commented on  the  new  situation  (Bilal  ascending  Al-Ka’bah  and  calling  for prayer)  saying  that  Allâh  honoured  Usaid (his  father)  having  not  heard  such  words.  The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) approached  and  assisted  by Divine  Revelation  told  them  that  he  had  learnt  about  what  they  had  spoken  of.  Al-Harith  and  ‘Itab, taken  by incredible  surprise,  immediately professed  Islam  and bore  witness  to  the  Messengership  of Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) adding  that  “We  swear  by  Allâh  that  none  had  been  with  us  to  inform you.” 

On  that  very  day,  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  entered ‘Umm  Hani’s (radhiyallahu anha) house  where  he  washed  and offered  prayers  of victory.  ‘Umm  Hani  had  sheltered  two  Makkan  relatives  of  hers  in  her  house  in  which act  she  was  granted  support  by  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam. 

Shedding  blood  of  nine  arch-criminals  was  declared  lawful even  under  the  curtains  of  Al-Ka’bah. Nevertheless,  only four  of  them  were  killed  while  the  others  were  pardoned  for  different  reasons.  As  for those  who  were  killed,  mention  could  be  made  of ‘Abdul ‘Uzza  bin  Khatal  who  had  become  a  Muslim  and then  deputed  to  collect  alms-tax in  the  company  of  a  Helper.  They  had  also  a  slave  with  them. ‘Abdullah,  in  a  fit  of  rage,  killed  the  Helper’s  slave  on  account  of  a  mere  trifling  dispute,  and  joined  the pagan  Arabs  as  an  apostate.  He  was  never repentant  at  this  heinous  crime  but  rather  employed  two women  singers  and  incited  them  to  sing  satirically  about  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). 

The  other  man  who  was  put  to  death  was  Miqyas  bin  Sababa.  He  was  a  Muslim.  A  Helper  accidently killed  his  brother  Hisham.  The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  had  arranged  the  payment  of  blood  money  to him,  which  he  had  accepted.  His  revengeful  nature,  however,  was  never  appeased,  so  he  killed  the Helper  and  went  to  Makkah  as  an  apostate. 

Similarly,  Huwairith  and  one  woman  singer  went  to  death. 

On  the  other  hand,  every  attempt  was  made  to  grant  pardon  to  the  people.  ‘Ikrimah  bin  Abu  Jahl,  who had  attacked  Khalid’s  detachment  at  the  time  of  the  entry  into  Makkah,  was  forgiven.  To  Wahshi,  the murderer  of  Hamzah,  the  Prophet’s  uncle,  and  to  Hind,  who  had  chewed  his  liver,  was  also  extended  his generous  clemency.  The  same  generous  treatment  was  accorded  to  Habar  who  had  attacked  the Prophet’s  daughter  with  a  spear,  while  on  her  way from  Makkah  to  Madinah,  so  grievously  that  she ultimately  died  of  the fatal  injuries. 

In  the  same  context  of  magnanimity  peculiar  to Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  two  chiefs  of  Quraish were pardoned  once  they  had  embraced  Islam.  They  were  Safwan  bin  Omaiyah  and  Fudalah  bin  ‘Umair. The  latter  had  attempted  to  assassinate  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  while  circumambulating  in  the Holy  Sanctuary.  The  Prophet’s  matchless  tolerance  and  broad-mindedness  instigated  by  his  mission  as ‘A  mercy  to  all people’,  converted  a  terrible  hypocrite into  a  faithful  devout  believer. 

On  the  second  day  of  the  great  conquest,  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) stood  up  and  addressed  the people in  matters  relating  to  the  holy  status  of  Makkah.  After  entertaining  Allâh’s  praise,  he  proclaimed that  Makkah  was  a  holy  land  and  would remain  so  till  the  Day  of Judgement.  No  bloodshed  was  allowed therein.  Should  anyone  take  the  liberty  of fighting  within  Makkah  on  grounds  derived from  the  events that  characterized  the  conquest,  he  should  remember  that  it  had  been  a  licence  granted  temporarily  to the  Prophet,  and  virtually  does  not  go  for  others.  Ibn  ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu)  narrated: The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:  “Allâh  has  made  Makkah,  a  sanctuary,  so  it  was  a  sanctuary before  me  and  will  continue  to  be a  sanctuary  after me.  It  was  made legal for  me (i.e.  I  was  allowed  to  fight  in  it)  for  a  few  hours  of  a day.  It  is  not  allowed  to  uproot  its  shrubs  or  to  cut  its  trees,  or  to  chase (or  disturb)  its  game,  or  to  pick up  its  fallen  things  except  by  a  person  who  would  announce  that  (what  has  found)  publicly.”  Al-‘Abbas said:  “O  Allâh’s  Messenger!  Except  the  lemon  grass  (for it  is  used)  by  our goldsmiths  and  for  our homes.” The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) then  said: “Except  the lemon  grass.”  In  this  context,  out  of the  spirit  of revenge,  the  tribesmen  of  Khuza’ah  killed  a  man  from  Laith  Tribe.  Here  the  Prophet  was indignant  and  ordered  Khuza’ah  to  stop  those  pre-Islamic  practices.  He,  moreover,  gave  the  family  of anyone  killed  the  right  to  consider either  of  two  options,  blood-money  or  just  retribution  (the  killer is killed). 

After  having  delivered  his  address,  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  rode  to  a  small  hill,  Safa,  not  far from  Al-Ka’bah.  Turning  his  face  towards  the  Sacred  House,  amidst  a  vast  admiring  and devotional multitude,  he raised  his  hand  in  fervent  prayer  to  Allâh.  The  citizens  of  Madinah  who  had  gathered round  him  entertained  fear,  as  Allâh  had  given  him  victory  over  his  native  city,  he  might  choose  to  stay here.  He  insisted  on  explanation  of  their fear  and  so  they  spoke  openly.  He  immediately  dispelled  their fears  and  assured  them  that  he  had  lived  with  them  and  would  die  with  them.

Immediately  after  the  great  conquest,  the  Makkans  came  to  realize  that  the  only  way  to  success  lay in the  avenue  of  Islam.  They  complied  with  the  new  realities  and  gathered  to  pledge  fealty  to  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).  The  men  came  first  pledging full  obedience in  all  areas  they  can  afford.  Then  came the  women  to  follow  the  men’s  example.  The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  with  ‘Umar  bin  Al-Khattab receiving  the  pledge  of fealty  and  communicating  to  them  for  him.  Hind  bint  ‘Utbah,  Abu  Sufyan’s  wife, came  in  the  trail  of  women  disguised lest  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  should recognize  and  account for  her,  having  chewed  the  liver  of  Hamzah (radhiyallahu anhu),  his  uncle.  The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) accepted  their allegiance  on  condition  that  they  associate  none  with  Allâh,  to  which  they immediately  agreed.  He added  that  they  should  not  practise  theft.  Here  Hind  complained  that  her  husband,  Abu  Sufyan,  was tight-fisted.  Her  husband  interrupted  granting  all  his  worldly  possessions  to  her.  The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  laughed  and recognized  the  woman.  She  implored  him  to  extend  his  pardon  to  her  and  efface all  her previous  sins.  Some  other  conditions  were  appended  including  the  prohibition  of  adultery, infanticide  or  forging  falsehood.  To  all  these  orders,  Hind  replied  positively  swearing  that  she  would  not have  come  to  take  an  oath  of  allegiance  if  she  had  had  the  least  seed  of disobedience  to  him.  On returning  home,  she  broke  her  idol  admitting  her  delusion  as  regards  stone-gods. 

The  Messenger  of  Allâh (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) stayed  in  Makkah  for  19  days.  During  that  period  he  used  to define  the  way  to  Islam,  guide  people  to  the  orthodox path.  He  ordered  Abu  Usaid  Al-Khuza’i  to  restore the  pillars  of  the  Holy  Sanctuary,  sent  missions  to  all  quarters  inviting  them  to  adopt  Islam  and  break down  the  graven  images  still  lying  in  the  vicinity  of  Makkah,  and  he  did  have  all  of  them  scrapped, inculcating  in  the  believers’  ears  his  words: 

Whoever  believes  in  Allâh  and  the  Hereafter is  supposed  to  scrap  out  the  idols  that  should  happen  to be  in  his  house.” 

Shortly  after  the great  conquest,  the  Prophet  peace  be  upon  him  began  to  despatch  platoons  and errands  aiming  at  eliminating  the  last  symbols  reminiscent  of  pre-Islamic  practices.  He  sent  Khalid  bin Al-Waleed  in  Ramadan  8  A.H.  to  a  spot  called  Nakhlah  where  there  was  a  goddess  called  Al-‘Uzza venerated  by  Quraish  and  Kinanah  tribes.  It  had  custodians  from  Bani  Shaiban.  Khalid,  at  the  head  of thirty  horsemen  arrived  at  the  spot  and  exterminated  it.  On  his  return,  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi easallam)  him asked  him  if  he  had  seen  anything  there,  to  which  Khalid  gave  a  negative  answer.  Here,  he  was  told that  it  had  not  been  destroyed  and  he  had  to  go  there  again  and  fulfill  the  task.  He  went  back  again  and there  he  saw  a  black  woman,  naked  with  torn  hair.  Khalid  struck  her  with  his  sword into  two  parts.  He returned  and  narrated  the  story  to  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  who  then  confirmed  the  fulfillment of  the  task. 

Later,  in  the  same  month,  ‘Amr bin  Al-‘As (radhiyallahu anhu) was  sent  on  an  errand  to  destroy  another  idol,  venerated  by Hudhail,  called  Suwa’.  It  used  to  stand  at  a  distance  of  three kilometres  from  Makkah.  On  a  question posed by  the  door-keeper,  ‘Amr  said  he  had  been  ordered  by  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  to  knock down  the  idol.  The  man  warned  ‘Amr  that  he  would  not  be  able  to  do  it.  ‘Amr  was  surprised  to  see someone  still in  the  wrong,  approached  the  idol  and  destroyed  it,  then  he  broke  the  casket  beside it  but found  nothing.  The  man  immediately  embraced  Islam.  Sa’d  bin  Zaid  Al-Ashhali  was  also  sent  in  the same  month  and  on  the  same  mission  to  Al-Mashallal  to  destroy  an  idol,  Manat,  venerated  by  both  Al Aws  and  Al-Khazraj  tribes.  Here  also  a  black  woman, with  messy  hair  appeared  wailing  and beating  on  her  chest.  Sa’d  immediately killed  her,  destroyed  the  idol  and  broke  the  casket  and returned at  the  conclusion  of  his  errand. 

That  is  the  story  of  the  conquest  of  Makkah  and  the  decisive  battle  that  exterminated  paganism  once and for  all.  The  other  tribes  in  the  Arabian  Peninsula  were  waiting  and  closely  watching  the  final outcome  of  the  bitter  struggle  between  the  Muslims  and  idolaters,  already  convinced  that  the  Holy Sanctuary  would  not  fall  but  in  the  hands  of  the  righteous  party.  It  had  been  a  conviction  deeply established  in  their  minds  ever  since  the  elephant  army  of  Abraha  Al-Ashram  advanced  from  Yemen intending  to  destroy  the  Sacred  House  50  years  before. 

Al-Hudaibiyah  Peace  Treaty  was  the  natural  prelude  to  this  great  victory  in  which  people  believed deeply  and  over  which  people  talked  a  lot.  The  Muslims  in  Makkah,  who  had  feared  to  declare  their Faith  in  public,  began  to  appear  and  work  ardently  for  this  new  approach  of  life.  People  began  to convert  into  Islam  in  hosts,  and  the  Muslim  army  that  numbered  3000  only  in  the  previous  Ghazwah, now  came  to  reach  10,000  in  number.  In  fact,  this  decisive  change  provided people  with  the  keen insight  to  perceive  things  and  the  world  around  them  as  a  whole in  a  different  perceptive.  The  Muslims were  then  to  steer  the  whole  political  and  religious  affairs  of  all  Arabia.  They  had  monopolised  both  the religious  supremacy  and  temporal  power. 
The  whole  post-Hudaibiyah  phase  had  been  well-fledged  in  favour  of  the  new  Islamic  movement. Streams  of  the desert  Arabians  began  to  pour in  paying  full  homage  to  the  Messenger  of  Allâh  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  embracing  the  true  faith  and  then  carrying  it  to  different  quarters  for  propagation.

Ramadan’s Last Ten Nights and Days

Checklist –

In this blessed month of Ramadan, we have now come to the grand finale – the last ten days of Ramadan that are regarded as the “cream” of Ramadan. In it is a night that Qur’an tells us is better than 1000 months (yes, months…not days!)

The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:

There has come to you Ramadan, a blessed month which Allah has enjoined you to fast, during which the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the rebellious devils are chained up. In it there is a night which is better than a thousand months, and whoever is deprived of its goodness is indeed deprived.” (Hadith Narrated by An-Nasaa’i, 2106; Ahmad, Sahih At-Targheeb, 999.)

So, in preparation for the grand finale, here is a checklist of some of the things that we can all do to make the remaining days of Ramadan work to our advantage:

1) Get in High Gear for the Next few Nights and Days 

Time is of the essence. Every moment counts. Whatever you need to do for the next ten days to make the most in `Ibadah, good deeds, reciting Qur’an, dhikr, making du`a, etc., rewards are going to be multiplied. No one knew about the importance of these days more than the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would strive hard in worship during the last ten nights of Ramadan as he did not do at other times. (Hadith Muslim)

If we lose this opportunity, we have to wait another year, assuming we are still around and are in good health and shape to make use of it. Even if we are, we have the past years’ sins on our shoulders and life’s normal trials and tribulations to face the coming year. So, there is no better time to ask Allah to make all that easier than NOW.

2) Get a Copy of the Qur’an and Recite as Often as You Can 

Not enough can be mentioned on the benefits and virtues of Qur’an. It is proven in the authentic Sunnah that the Qur’an will intercede for those who read it at night, as Ahmad (6626) narrated from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr (radhiyallahu anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:

Fasting and the Qur’an will intercede for a person on the Day of Resurrection. Fasting will say, ‘O Lord, I deprived him of his food and his desires during the day, so let me intercede for him.’ And the Qur’an will say: ‘I deprived him of his sleep at night so let me intercede for him.’ Then they will intercede.” (Narrated by Ahmad; classed as sahih in Sahih al-Jami`, no. 3882.)

As is stated in the hadith in which the The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:Whosoever reads a letter from the Book of Allah will receive a Hasanah (good deed) from it (i.e. his recitation), and the Hasanah (good deed) is multiplied by ten. I do not say that Alif-laam-meem is (considered as) a letter (in reward), rather Alif is one letter, laam is one letter, and meem is one letter.” (Reported by At-Tirmidhi, Ad-Darami)

The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: “The best of you is he who learns the Quran and teaches it.” (Hadith Reported by Al-Bukhari)

3) Get your Sins Forgiven

First the bad news –In Musnad Ahmad it is narrated that Thawbaan said: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:

A man is deprived of provision (Rizq) because of the sins that he commits.” (Narrated by Ibn Majah, 4022, ).

And now for the good news –

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) that the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:

Whoever spends the night of Laylat al-Qadr in Prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, will be forgiven his previous sins.

4) What to Say on Laylat Al-Qadr

One of the best du`a’s that can be recited on Laylat Al-Qadr is that which the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) taught ‘A’ishah (radhiyallahu anha). It was narrated by At-Tirmidhi, who classed it as sahih, that ‘A’ishah (radhiyallahu anha) said: I said: “O Messenger of Allah, If I know which night is Laylat Al-Qadr, what should I say?” He said: 

Say: Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibb al-‘afwa fa`fu ‘anni (O Allah, You are All-Forgiving and You love forgiveness so forgive me).

5) Get in the Class of the Pious People

Allah has described the pious as follows (interpretation of the meaning):

(They used to sleep but little by night (invoking their Lord (Allah) and praying, with fear and hope). (Adh-Dhariyat 51:17)

(And in the hours before dawn, they were (found) asking (Allah) for forgiveness,) (Adh-Dhariyat 51:18)

Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: “There is in Paradise an Apartment, the exterior of which can be seen from the interior, and the interior of which can be seen from the exterior. Such apartments have been prepared for those who are Polite in their talk, Provide Food to the Needy, Fast frequently and observe the TAHAJJUD PRAYERS when people are sleep.” (Mishkhat Al-Masabih ; Hadith No. 1232)

6) Finally…

Think of all that you need to ask Allah for and ask Him now. If you haven’t before, this is the time to connect with Him and feel closer to Him. And when you do during these last ten nights and days of this Ramadan, you would want to do this again and again– even after the month is over.

And finally, when you are in a state of Ibadah (Prayers and worship), please open your heart for others as well and please do remember your brothers and sisters who are in great difficulty all around the world in your prayers. Remember what The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:

The supplication that gets the quickest answer is the one made by one Muslim for another in his absence.” (Hadith-Reported by Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi)

You snooze…you loose! So strive during these last ten days, as if it would be your last chance to do so. A wise man once said…

“ I will pass this way but once so let me do whatever good I can NOW for I may NEVER pass this way again!”

May Allah Ta’ala grants us the wisdom, courage and strength to reap the full benefits of this month…Aameen!

I’tikaaf (Seclusion in the Musjid)

[by Maulana Zakariyyah Kandhlawi (rahimahullah) from Fadha’il Ramadan]

The meaning of I’tikaaf is to seclude oneself in the Musjid with the express niyyah (intention) of I’tikaaf. According to the Hanafi school of thought, there are three different types of I’tikaaf.

(a) Waajib I’ilikaaf:
This I’tikaaf becomes compulsory when a person makes it obligatory upon himself. An example of this is. when a person makes a vow to Allah that if Allah fulfills a certain wish of his, he will undertake to perform so many days l’tikaaf. In this case the moment his wish is fulfilled, I’tikaaf becomes compulsory. A person may just make unconditional vow whereby he makes I’tikaaf waajib upon himself for certain number of days. This becomes a Waajib duty on him from that moment onwards.

(b) Sunnah I’tikaaf
This was the general practice of Rasulullah and it means to seclude oneself inside the musjid for the last ten days of Ramadan.

(c) NafI I’tikaaf:
There-is no special time or specific number of days for Nafl l’tikaaf. A person may make niyyah for any number of days at any time, even for his whole life. Imaam Abu Haneefah (rahmatullah alayh) however states that it must be for at least one full day.

Imaam Muhammad (rahimahullah) states that there is no limit on the minimum period of time. The fatwa is on this latter view. Therefore it is desirable for anyone entering a musjid to make the niyyah (intention) of I’tikaaf for the period that he will remain in the musjid. So while he is in ibaadah he also gains the reward of I’tikaaf.

(In view of the above, it is advisable that everyone entering the musjid to join the congregation prayer, should on entering the musjid, make the niyyah for I’tikaaf. In that case, it means that as long as he remains busy with salaah, thikr, listening to lectures or sermons, he also receives reward for the I’tikaaf). I always observed that my late father used to make niyyah for I’tikaaf while stepping into the musjid with his right foot. Occasionally, by way of teaching and reminding his followers, he used to raise his voice when reciting the niyyah.

OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES OF I’TIKAAF

The reward for I’tikaaf is great. Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) constantly performed I’tikaaf. The example of the one who resides in the musjid in l’tikaaf is like a person. who having gone to a certain place for something, remains there until it is granted.

When someone comes begging to our door and then refuses to leave until he has been granted his request, I am sure that even the one with the hardest heart amongst us will eventually accede to his request. How muchmore merciful is Allah. Who even grants without reason.

Hence. when one isolates himself from all worldy things and goes to Allah’s door. what doubt can there be for his plea to be accepted. And when Allah has favoured someone others cannot describe the ecstacy and enrichment of such limitless treasures. How could a person ever describe what he has not obtained? However, can an underaged person describe adulthood? Nevertheless. this is a course in which one shall give nothing else besides total dedication or else be taken away for the final meeting of his creator. Allaama ibn Qayyim. on explaining the significance of I’tikaaf, writes that actual aim of I’tikaaf is to divert the heart from everything except Allah and to join it with Allah alone thereby forming a complete spiritual connection with the creator.

All worldly connections are thus cut off for the sake of gaining Allah’s attention. All thoughts. desire, love and devotion become centred around Him. In consequence His love is attained- a love and friendship that will be the only friend in the loneliness of the grave. When a person has that then who can possibly imagine the great ecstasy with which that time of the grave will be spent? In Maraquil Falaah, the author writes that I’tikaaf. when properly and sincerely performed is a most virtuous deed. One cannot possibly enumerate all the great advantages and benefits in it. In actual fact. what takes place in I’tikaaf is that the heart is drawn away from everything else except the Creator, while our whole life is actually laid down at His doorstep. One remains in ‘ibaadah all the time. Even when one is asleep, one is still in His service, striving for nearness to Him. Allah says (according to a Hadith): “Whoever draws near to Me (the length of) one hand, then I draw nearer to him (the length of) two hands; and whoever draws near-to Me by walking, I draw hear to him by running

In I’tikaaf one goes to Allah’s house and the most Kind Host always honours a guest who visits Him. The one in I’tikaaf also attains safety in Allah’s fortress where no enemy can reach. Besides this there are numerous other virtues and distinctive featues of this important ‘ibaadah.

WHERE TO PERFORM I’TIKAAF

The best of places for I’tikaaf, for male, is the Musjidul Haraam in Makkah. The next best is the Musjidul Nabawi in Madinah, and the next best is Baitul Mukaddas. Thereafter, comes the Jaam’i Musjid in one’s own town and last but not least, the musjid nearest to one’s home. Imam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh) stipulate the musjid should be one wherein the five daily prayers are performed, while Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad (rahimahumullah). are agreed that any musjid according to the Shari’ah can be entered for I’tikaaf, even if there is no regular salaah with Jama’ah.

As for the females, they should perform I’tikaaf in the musjid inside their homes.Where however, no musjid exists and the desire for I’tikaaf be there, one room of the house should be set aside for this purpose, I’tikaaf is in fact an easier task for women. A special section of the house, most commonly the prayer room, is set aside wherein they seclude themselves, remaining in ‘ibaadah. The domestic duties can then be performed by daughters or servants, and the women in I’tikaaf, while remaining in a section of her own house, is spiritually rewarded for it. It is so very unfortunate that in spite of the ease, our women folk still remain deprived of the blessings of I’tikaaf.

HADITH NO.1

“Abu Sa’id Khudri (radhiyallahu anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) once performed l’tikaaf for the first ten days of Ramadan. Thereafter he made I’tikaaf in a Turkish tent (inside the musjid) for the middle ten days. Thereafter he raised his head out of the tent and said, ‘”Verily in search of Laylatul Qadr did I perform l’tikaaf for the first ten days, then for the middle ten days. Then someone (an angel) come and told me, “It is in the last ten days whosoever has made I’tikaaf with me should continue for the last ten days”. I had been shown that night and then made to forget, which it shall be. And verily did I see myself prostrating to Allah with my forehead on mud on the morning after the night. Seek Laylatul Qadr the last ten nights of Ramadan; seek it among uneven ones“.

Abu Sa’id (radhiyallahu anhu) says; “That same night it rained. The roof on the musjid leaked. and I looked at Rasulullah’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) two eyes and on his forehead there were remains of water and mud. This was on the morning of the 21st performing sujood in muddy clay”.  [Mishkaat.]

COMMENTARY

It used to be the general practice of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) to perform I’tikaaf in Ramadan. At times he used to remain in the musjid for the whole month and during the last year of his life he was in I’tikaaf for twenty days. Because he always secluded himself in the musjid for last ten days, the ‘ulama consider it sunnah mu’akkadah to perform I’tikaaf for that period.

From the above Hadlth it can be deduced that the major object behind l’tikaaf was to search for Laylatul Qadr. What better, manner can there be than to be in I’tikaaf because, it is considered to be in ‘ibaadah all the time, whether one is awake or asleep. Furthermore, one in I’tikaaf is free from, all daily tasks and thus, has all the time to devote to thikrullah, (the rememberance of Allah) and meditation. Throughout Ramadan Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) exerted himself and increase his ‘ibaadah and when the last ten days came along, he had no limit in exerting himself. He himself remained awake throughout the night and awakened his family for the same purpose. Aa’isha (radhiyallahu anha) reports:

During Ramadan Rasullullah tied his lungi tightly about him, staying awake all night and waking his family (for the purpose of ‘lbaadah).”
Tied his lungi tightly about him‘ means either that he knew no limits in exerting himself in ‘ibaadah; or that he gave due importance and preference to ‘ibaadah, and avoided all forms of sexual contact.

HADITH NO. 2

Ibn Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) relates that Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, “The. person performing l’tikaaf remains free from sins, and he is indeed given the same reward as those who do righteous deeds (inspite of not having done those deeds as a result of having been secluded in the musjid“. [Mishkaat from Ibn Majah].

COMMENTARY

(Note that one remaining secluded in the musjid is not allowed to depart from there for worldly needs. ‘He may only set forth to the outside for the calls of nature, to perform ablution or ghusl or for attending jumu’ah when that is not performed in the same musjid, after which he must return forthwith).

Now this Hadith points to two great benefits of I’tikaaf. . . . Firstly one is saved from sin. It is true that it very often happens that one falls into sin without ever intended to do so. (The world all around. us is full of temptations). To commit sin in the blessed month of Ramadan is indeed a great injustice io ourselves. By remaining secluded in the musjid, one completely avoids the temptation to sin. Secondly, it would appear outwardly that when one is secluded in the musjid, one is automatically at a disadvantage by not being allowed to perform certain good deeds like joining funeral prayers, attending burials, visiting the sick. etc. That is not so, because according to this hadith one is rewarded for these deeds even though not performing them. What a great favour from Allah! How great is Allah’s bounty! By performing ‘Ibaadah one receives the reward of numerous other ‘ibaadahs. In fact Allah Ta’ala seeks the slightest cause to bestow His blessings. His blessings could be received in abundance with a little effort and plea. If only we can understand and properly appreciate these favours. That proper appreciation and understanding can only enter our minds when we have the true love and interest for our Deen.

(May Allah grant us that Aameen!).

A PIECE OF ADVICE:

THE MASNOON IBAADAT OF I’TIKAAF

[by Majlisul Ulama]

DON’T DESTROY IT WITH MERRYMAKING AND AMUSEMENT

Within the next couple of days, the period for the Sunnah I’tikaaf of the last ten days of Ramadan will commence. This Ibaadat is a Sunnah alal Kifaayah Act. If a few individuals observe it, the whole community is absolved of the obligation. This is not an Ibaadat of mass proportions, hence the Sahaabah and the Salafus Saaliheen did not accord it the emphasis which present-day ‘sufis’ are attaching to it for their own ulterior motives. In the process of attaining fulfilment for their nafsaaniyat, the ‘shaikhs’ of today are ruining the little natural Imaani Roohaaniyat (spirituality) of their unsuspecting ignorant mureedeen who are caught up in the whirlpool of merrymaking and nafsaani amusement which characterize these errant, anti-Sunnah mass mock ‘i’tikaaf’ programmes. 

Remember that the I’tikaaf is for cultivating solitude and proximity to Allah Ta’ala. This cannot be achieved with the racket, merrymaking, gluttony, fuzool, lahw and la’b which characterize the mass so-called ‘i’tikaaf’ programmes. Only a handful of persons should be allowed to fulfil the I’tikaaf obligation in a Musjid. Those sitting in I’tikaaf must understand that this Ibaadat cordons them off from the dunya. They should therefore, spend all the time in IbaadatNafl Salaat, Tilaawat, Thikrullaah, Istighfaar, Durood¸ etc. If tired, go to sleep, but do not seek diversion with conversation in the Musjid. It is HARAAM to indulge in conversation inside the Musjid. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Conversation in the Musjid consumes good deeds just  as cattle consume grass.”

Seek relief for tiredness in sleep, not in conversation. Don’t go about greeting people in the Musjid, especially during I’tikaaf regardless of their status and seniority. Fall asleep with Allah’s Name on your tongue so that your every breath is recorded as a Tasbeeh

Don’t ruin your wonderful I’tikaaf ibaadat with haraam and mushtabah food. Exercise some restrain and control over the nafs. Totally abstain from carrion chicken products, soft drinks and other processed food laced with chemically named poison, mushtabah and haraam ingredients. Keep your mind and body clean and pure to gain maximum benefit of the I’tikaaf. The Mu’takaf (the I’tikaaf cubicle) resembles the Qabr, and the I’tikaaf is the monasticism of this Ummah. Do not make the ‘Qabr’ into a merrymaking playground. 

Do not sit in I’tikaaf in a Musjid where a mass gathering takes place in the name of ‘I’tikaaf’. Search for a small quiet Musjid if you are intent on I’tikaaf. Those sitting in a genuine I’tikaaf and conducting themselves correctly, are sure to obtain the auspicious Night of Qadr. Do not miss this opportunity with merrymaking and nonsense which are the characteristics of the anti-Sunnah mass gatherings organized in the name of I’tikaaf. Everything of the mass ‘i’tikaaf’ is in violation with the letter and spirit of I’tikaaf.