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Posts Tagged ‘Nur


In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

Is The Hijab REALLY Required?

A non-hijabi Muslimah recently wrote to me because she is not convinced that the hijab is a requirement in Islam. She asked me to put forward the Islamic evidences of hijab. In this post I will try my best to do just that using Quranic iyas and authentic ahadith.

1. Surat Al Nur: 

– Bism’Allah Al Rahmaan Al Raheem –
And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be protect their private parts, and not to display of their zeenah except that which is apparent, and to draw their headcovers over their juyub, and not to reveal their zeenah save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands’ fathers, or their sons or their husbands’ sons, or their brothers or their brothers’ sons or sisters’ sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigour, or children who know naught of women’s nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed.” [24:31]
“..and not to display of their zeenah except that which is apparent” 
i.e. they should not show anything of their zeenah to a non-Mahram man, except for whatever it is apparent (clear, impossible to hide..) – most scholars agree that this refers to the hands and face…- …however, slight differences have arisen amongst the scholars concerning the precise meaning of …except only that which is apparent… from Surat Al Nur which according to Ibn `Abaas (RAA), includes “the face, the two hands, and rings. This view is shared by Ibn `Umar, `Ata’a, and others from the Tabi’een.” [Tafseer Ibn Kathir]. Imam Ash-Showkani states that it includes: “The dress, the face, and the two hands”; Ibn `Abaas and Qatadah have stated: “The adornments include eye shadow (i.e., Kuhul), bracelets, hand dye, and rings, and it is permissible for women to (uncover) them.” [Fateh Al-Qadeer]
– ‘Zeenah‘ (adornment) means 2 things: natural beauty and physical adornments e.g. makeup, jewelry etc

– “..draw their headcovers over their juyub..” The women used to cover their hair but leave their necks and bosoms uncovered. This iya makes it clear that women should cover their ‘juyub’ – which most agree refers to the neck and chest area (and some say includes the ribs) – with a head covering. I know that some Muslims use this iya to back their opinion that Islam only requires women to cover their breasts, however, why would Allah (SWT) have mentioned the ‘khimaar’ (a headcover) when telling these women to cover? The Quran is timeless and applies to nations at any time, if the headcover was simply cultural it would not have been mentioned at all.

2. Surat Al Ahzaab:

O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their outer garments about themselves (when they go out). That is better so that they may be recognised and not harassed. And Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” [Al-Ahzaab, 33:59]

– Abu Dawood related that Aishah (R) said: “After this Aayah was revealed the women of the Ansar appeared like crows.” (because of the color and shape of the cloaks they wore).

– “..to be recognised..” i.e. as Muslim women (would modest clothing alone allow people to recognise you as a Muslim woman?)

3. Ahadith

There are other ahadith on the hijab but these are the ones I have picked to post:

– Aishah (R) said: “May Allah bestow His Mercy on the first Muhajirat (emigrants). When Allah revealed:…and draw their headcovers over their necks and bosoms… they tore material and covered themselves with it.” [Al-Bukhari]
– Usamah ibn Zaid said: Allah’s Messenger (S) gave me a gift of thick Coptic cloth he had received as a gift from Dahiah Al-Kalbi, and so I gave it to my wife. Thereafter the Prophet (S) asked me: Why didn’t you wear the Coptic cloth? I replied: I gave it to my wife. The Prophet (S) then said: Tell her to wear a thick gown under it for I fear that it may describe the size of her limbs. [Narrated by Ahmad, Al-Bayhaqi, and Al-Haakim]
– Narrated by Aishah: Allah’s Apostle used to offer the Fajr prayer and some believing women covered with their veiling sheets used to attend the Fajr prayer with him and then they would return to their homes unrecognized. [Bukhari]
– The Prophet (S) said: There will be in the last of my Ummah (nation of believers), scantily dressed women, the hair on the top of their heads like a camel’s hump. Curse them, for verily they are cursed. In another version he said: …scantily dressed women, who go astray and make others go astray; they will not enter Paradise nor smell its fragrance, although it can be smelled from afar. [At-Tabarani and Sahih Muslim]
Also keep in mind that the concept of ‘hijab’ is not an Islamic one but a command from Allah (SWT) to the Jews, Christians and the all of the monotheistic religions before that. It has only been recently that the question of the obligation of hijab has been risen amongst the Muslim ummah, before it was accepted and expected.
I hope that has cleared up your doubts, if not, perhaps you should focus on some other part of your religion and I am pretty sure you will want to adopt the hijab sooner or later, Insha’Allah 🙂
[written by a sister]



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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

Islamic Guidelines for Visitors to the Prophet’s Mosque

Praise be to Allaah.

medinaO you who come to the City of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), you have come to a good place and you are going to earn great reward. May Allaah accept your righteous deeds and fulfil your greatest hopes. Welcome to the land of Hijrah and victory, the land of the Chosen Prophet, the land to which the righteous Sahaabah migrated and the home of the Ansaar.

There follow a few words of advice to those who want to visit the Mosque of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him):

1 – O you who come to Madeenah, you are in a place which, after Makkah, is the best and noblest of all places, so respect it as it should be respected; honour its sanctity and holiness and observe the best etiquette therein.

Know that Allaah has warned of the severest punishment for those who commit evil therein. It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“Madeenah is a Haram (sanctuary), so whoever commits evil therein or gives protection to an evildoer, the curse of Allaah, the angels and all of mankind may be upon him. Allaah will not accept any obligatory or naafil deed from him on the Day of Resurrection.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1867; Muslim, 1370.

So whoever commits any evil action or offers protection to any evildoer who seeks his help is exposing himself to a humiliating punishment and the wrath of the Lord of the Worlds.

One of the most serious of evil deeds that violate its purity is openly doing acts of bid’ah and spoiling its atmosphere with myths and false ideas, and contaminating its pure land with the spread of articles which promote bid’ah, books which contain shirk, and all kinds of reprehensible and haraam actions which go against Islamic sharee’ah. The evildoer and the one who gives him protection are equally guilty of sin.

2 – Visiting the Prophet’s Mosque is an act that is Sunnah; it is not an obligatory action and has nothing to do with Hajj, nor is it an action that is required in order for Hajj to be complete.

All the ahaadeeth which say that it is connected to Hajj or that say that visiting the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is  connected to Hajj are fabricated and false. Whoever travels to Madeenah for the purpose of visiting the Mosque and praying therein, his intention is acceptable and his efforts will be rewarded.  Whoever travels there only for the purpose of visiting the graves and seeking the help of their occupants, his intention is haraam and his actions are reprehensible.

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“Do not travel to visit any mosques except three: al-Masjid al-Haraam [in Makkah], this Mosque of mine [in Madeenah] and al-Masjid al-Aqsa [in Jerusalem].” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1189; Muslim, 1397.

It was narrated from Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“The best places to which a person may travel are this Mosque of mine, and the Ancient House (i.e., the Ka’bah).” Narrated by Ahmad, 3/350; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 1648.

3 – Prayers offered in the Mosque of Madeenah bring a multiple reward, both obligatory and naafil prayers according to the more correct of the two scholarly opinions.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“One prayer in this Mosque of mine is better than one thousand prayers offered anywhere else, except al-Masjid al-Haraam.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1190; Muslim, 1394.

But offering naafil prayers at home is better than offering them in the mosque, even if the reward for offering them in the Mosque is multiplied, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said,

“The best prayers are those that a man offers in his home, apart from the prescribed [obligatory] prayers.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 731; Muslim, 781.

4 – The visitor to this great Mosque should note that it is not permissible to seek blessing (barakah) from any part of the Prophet’s Mosque, such as the pillars, walls, doors, mihraab or minbar, by touching or kissing them.

It is also not permitted to seek blessing from the Prophet’s hujrah (chamber) by touching it, kissing it, or wiping one’s clothes against it or to circumambulate it. Whoever does any of these things has to repent and not repeat it.

5 – It is prescribed for the one who visits the Prophet’s Mosque to pray two rak’ahs in the Rawdah or whatever he wants of naafil prayers, because it is proven that there is virtue in doing so.

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

The area between my house and my minbar is one of the gardens (riyaad, sing. rawdah) of Paradise, and my minbar is on my cistern (hawd)” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1196; Muslim, 1391.

And it was narrated that Yazeed ibn Abi ‘Ubayd said:

“I used to come with Salamah ibn al-Akwa’ and he would pray by the pillar which was by the mus-haf, i.e. in the Rawdah. I said, ‘O Abu Muslim, I see that you are keen to pray by this pillar!’ He said, ‘I saw that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was keen to pray here.’” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 502; Muslim, 509.

Being keen to pray in al-Rawdah does not justify being aggressive towards people or pushing the weak aside, or stepping over their necks.

6 – It is prescribed for the visitor to Madeenah and for the one who lives there to go to the Mosque of Quba’ and pray there, following the example of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and seeking the reward of ‘Umrah.

It was narrated that Sahl ibn Haneef said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“Whoever goes out until he comes to this mosque – meaning the Mosque of Quba’ – and prays there, that will be equivalent to ‘Umrah.” Narrated by Ahmad, 3/437; al-Nasaa’i, 699; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb, 1180, 1181.

According to Ibn Maajah:

“Whoever purifies himself in his house, then comes to the Mosque of Quba’ and prays there, he will have the reward of ‘Umrah.” Narrated by Ibn Maajah, 1412.

In al-Saheehayn it is narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to go to the mosque of Quba’ every Saturday, walking or riding, and he would pray two rak’ahs there. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1191; Muslim, 1399

7 – For the visitor to Madeenah, it is not prescribed to visit any other mosques in the city apart from these two, the Mosque of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the Mosque of Quba’.

It is not prescribed for the visitor or anyone else to head for a particular spot, hoping for blessing or to worship Allaah in that place, when there is no evidence from the Qur’aan or Sunnah concerning visiting that place and no evidence that the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) did that.

It is not prescribed to go to the places and mosques in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or the Sahaabah prayed in order to pray there or to worship Allaah by offering du’aa’s there etc., because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not enjoin that or encourage people to visit these places. It was narrated that al-Ma’roor ibn Suwayd (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

We went out with ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab, and we passed by a mosque on the way.

The people hastened to pray there, and ‘Umar said, “What is the matter with them?” They said, “This is a mosque in which the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) prayed.” ‘Umar said, “O people, those who came before you were doomed because they followed such practices, until they established places of worship in such locations. If a time for prayer comes when you are there, then pray, and if it is not the time for prayer, then move on.” Narrated by Ibn Abi Shaybah in al-Musannaf, 7550.

When ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab heard that there were people who came to the tree under which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had received the bay’ah (oath of allegiance), he ordered that it be cut down. Narrated by Ibn Abi Shaybah in al-Musannaf, 7545.

8 – It is prescribed for men who are visiting the Prophet’s Mosque to visit the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the graves of his two companions Abu Bakr and ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them), and to send salaams upon them and make du’aa’ for them.

But for women it is not permissible for them to visit graves according to the more correct of the two scholarly opinions, because of the hadeeth narrated by Abu Dawood (3236), al-Tirmidhi (3236) and Ibn Maajah (1575) from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him), according to which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursed the women who visit graves.

The way in which the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is to be visited is that the visitor should come to the grave and face it and say “Al-salaamu ‘alayka ya Rasool-Allaah (Peace be upon you, O Messenger of Allaah).” Then he should move about a yard to his right and say salaams to Abu Bakr by saying, “Al-salaamu ‘alayka ya Aba Bakr.” Then he should move a little further to his right, about a yard, and say salaams to ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab, by saying, ‘Al-salaamu alayka ya ‘Umar.”

9 – It is prescribed for men who are visiting Madeenah to visit the people buried in Baqee’ al-Gharqad and the martyrs of Uhud, to send salaams on them and to make du’aa’ for them.

It was narrated that Buraydah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said:

The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to teach them, when they went out to the graveyards, to say, “Al-salaamu ‘alaykum ahl al-diyaar min al-mu’mineen wa’l-muslimeen, wa innaa in sha Allaah bikum laahiqoon. Nas’al Allaah lana wa lakum al-‘aafiyah. (Peace be upon you, O dwellers of these abodes, believers and Muslims. We will, when Allaah wills, join you. We ask Allaah to grant salvation to us and you).”

10 – Visiting the graves is prescribed for two great purposes:

(i)    So that the visitor may receive a lesson and reminder.

(ii)  So that the person visited will benefit from the du’aa’s and prayers for mercy and forgiveness that are offered for him.

Permission to visit graves is subject to the condition that no false words are spoken, the worst of which are shirk and kufr. It was narrated from Buraydah from his father that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“I used to forbid you to visit graves, but now whoever wants to visit them let him do so, but do not utter any falsehood.” Narrated by al-Nasaa’i, 2033; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 886.

Muslim narrated this also (no. 977), but without the phrase, “but do not utter any falsehood.”

It is not permitted to circumambulate these graves or any others, or to pray towards them or amongst them, or to perform acts of worship beside them such as reading Qur’aan, making du’aa’, etc, because these are means of associating others in worship with the Lord of all creation and taking them (graves) as places of worship , even if no mosque is built over them.

It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah and ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with them both) said: When death was approaching the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), he put a cloak over his face, and when he felt hot he removed it and said,

“May Allaah’s curse be upon the Jews and Christians, for they took the graves of their Prophets as places of worship” – warning against doing what they did. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 436; Muslim, 529.

And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“The most evil of people are those upon whom the Hour will come when they are still alive and those who take graves as places of worship.” Narrated by Ahmad, 1/405. It is also narrated by al-Bukhaari in a mu’allaq report in Kitaab al-Fitan, Baab Zuhoor al-Fitan, 7067. Also narrated by Muslim in Kitaab al-Fitan, Baab Qurb al-Saa’ah, 2949, without mentioning the taking of graves as places of worship.

It was narrated that Abu Marthad al-Ghanawi said:

I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say, “Do not sit on graves or pray facing towards them.” Narrated by Muslim, 972.

And it was narrated that Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said,

“All of the earth is a place of prayer apart from graveyards and bathrooms.” Narrated by Ahmad, 3/83; al-Tirmidhi, 317; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel, 1/320.

According to a hadeeth narrated by Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade people to pray between graves. Narrated by Ibn Maajah, 1698. Al-Haythami said in Majma’ al-Zawaa’id (2/27), Its men are the men of saheeh.

It is not permissible to prostrate on graves, rather that is a kind of idolatry and ignorance, and a sign of intellectual deviation and backwardness. It is not permissible for the visitor to those graves or anyone else to seek blessings from them by touching them, kissing them, clinging with any part of the body to them, or to seek healing from its dirt by rubbing one’s hands or face with it or to take anything from them in order to dilute it with water and wash oneself with it.

It is not permissible for visitors to the grave or others to bury any part of their hair or body or handkerchiefs in them, or to put their pictures or anything else that they may have with them in their soil in order to seek blessing (barakah).

It is not permissible to throw money or any kind of food such as grains etc. on them. Whoever does any of these things has to repent, and not do it again. It is not permissible to perfume them, or to swear to Allaah by their occupants. It is not permissible to ask of Allaah by virtue of their occupants or their status, rather that is a haraam kind of beseeching Allaah and is one of the means that lead to shirk. It is not allowed to build up the graves or erect any structure over them, because this is a means of veneration that leads to shirk. It is not permissible to sell food or perfume etc to one who it is known will use them for such seriously wrong actions.

Seeking the help of the dead or asking them for support or calling upon them and asking them to meet needs and to help alleviates calamity and to bring benefits and ward off hardships are all forms of major shirk which put a person beyond the pale of Islam and make him a worshipper of idols, because no one can relieve a person of worries and distress except Allaah alone with no partner or associate. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Such is Allaah, your Lord; His is the kingdom. And those, whom you invoke or call upon instead of Him, own not even a Qitmeer (the thin membrane over the date stone).

If you invoke (or call upon) them, they hear not your call; and if (in case) they were to hear, they could not grant it (your request) to you. And on the Day of Resurrection, they will disown your worshipping them. And none can inform you (O Muhammad) like Him Who is the All‑Knower (of everything”

[Faatir 35:13-14]

“Say (O Muhammad): ‘Call upon those — besides Him whom you pretend [to be gods like angels, ‘Eesa (Jesus), ‘Uzayr (Ezra) and others]. They have neither the power to remove the adversity from you nor even to shift it from you to another person.’

Those whom they call upon [like ‘Eesa (Jesus) ‑ son of Maryam (Mary), ‘Uzayr (Ezra), angel and others] desire (for themselves) means of access to their Lord (Allaah), as to which of them should be the nearest; and they [‘Eesa (Jesus), ‘Uzayr (Ezra), angels and others] hope for His Mercy and fear His Torment. Verily, the Torment of your Lord is (something) to be afraid of!”

[al-Isra’ 17:56-57]

Written by Shaykh Salaah al-Budayr (Imam and Khateeb of the Prophet’s Mosque.)

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In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

In the 21st Century, we live in a world where sadly, the essential ingredients of trustworthiness and honesty are no longer a part of the character of many people, Muslim and non-Muslim alike.  Whilst the two qualities are inextricably entwined, for the purposes of this article trustworthiness, particularly fulfilling promises shall be the focus.

Being trustworthy implies being honest, fair in dealings and punctual, as well as honouring trusts and keeping promises and commitments.   This is known as amanah in Arabic. The meaning of amanah is exactly trustworthiness, or, it is something or someone left to another to protect or keep.  The opposite of amanah is betrayal or even treason.  That is, to fail to keep the amanah in the way the person who left it expected  and wanted it to be.

In Islam every believer is a brother or sister to the another; we are one body, one nation.  The right hand must be able to trust the left hand. The commands and rules from Allah SWT are designed for our benefit and Islam holds people’s rights in high esteem.  Furthermore, Islam encourages its believers to trust each other and to assume that the intentions of others are good. It is important to think positively about others unless proven otherwise because such feelings of certitude give individuals inner peace.  However, sadly nowadays people are increasingly finding it difficult to trust others because broken promises, pledges and vows result in a loss of confidence in one another which is detrimental to society as a whole.

If we sit and ponder over how easy it is to say ‘I promise’ we soon realise that guarding those promises and living up to them is the difficult part of the equation.  This is why a promise should only be made if we are absolutely sure that we can fulfil it. More often than not, we find excuses to explain away why we did not keep that promise, while the party to whom we made the promise awaits impatiently, in the belief and hope that we will fulfil it.  As a result of breaking the promise we hurt our brother or sister beyond words and the fragile walls of trust and confidence begin to break down.

We also forget that a delayed promise is also a denied promise! When we say ‘Insha Allah’s, we drag the Name of Allah in vain, and make Allah a witness, to a promise we really did not intend to keep in the first place. We may also be so irresponsible and forgetful and be oblivious to the fact that fulfilling a promise is indeed a debt on us, which is witnessed by none other than Allah SWT!!  Furthermore, shockingly these days we see more and more individuals who are not only careless about keeping promises but consider treason (betrayal of trust) to be clever and some people may even brag about their actions to others.

Both promises and covenants involve saying something about an issue to confirm that you will uphold the trust.   Allah SWT praises the believers by promising them Paradise:

“Those who are faithfully true to their amanah (all the duties which Allah has ordained, honesty, moral responsibility and trusts, etc.) and to their covenants…these indeed are the inheritors.  Who shall inherit Paradise.  And dwell therein forever” (Quran 23:8, 23:10-11)

Allah SWT orders the believers to fulfil their covenant time and time again in the Quran:

“And fulfill (every) covenant. Verily! The covenant will be questioned about.” (17:34)

“And fulfill the Covenant of Allah (Bai’ah: pledge for Islam) when you have covenanted.” (16:91)

“O you who believe! Fulfill (your) obligations.” (5:1)

“O you who believe! Why do you say that which you do not do? Most hateful it is with Allah that you say that which you do not do.” (61:2,3)

“Whoever fulfills his promise and guards (against evil), Surely Allâh loves those who guard (against evil).” [3:76]

“…Surely every promise shall be questioned about.” (17:39)

Furthermore there are a number of ahadith in which Prophet Muhammad (s) described those who go around breaking promises, as one having a characteristic of a Nifaaq (hypocrisy).

On the authority of Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (s) said:

“Four traits whoever possesses them is a Munaafiq (hypocrite) and whoever possesses some of them has an element of hypocrisy until he leaves it: the one who when he speaks he lies, when he promises he breaks his promise, when he disputes he transgresses and when he makes an agreement he violates it.” [Bukhaari, and Muslim]

Hypocrisy, involves deception, scheming and presenting an outward appearance of good while concealing its opposite.

In the Shari’a, hypocrisy is of two types:

a) Greater (An-Nifaaq Al-Akbar):

To present an outward appearance of belief in Allah, his Angels, his books, his messengers, the last day, etc. while concealing within that which negates all or some of that.

This is the hypocrisy, which the Prophet (s) confronted during his life and the ones who Allah said in the Qur’an that they are in

“the lowest depth of hell-fire”.

b) Lesser (An-Nifaaq Al-Asghar) or hypocrisy of action:

To present an outward appearance of good and good deeds while concealing within that which negates that. This form of hypocrisy is built on the things mentioned in the above hadith.

In another tradition Prophet Muhamed (s) has said:

“There are three signs of a hypocrite: when he talks he speaks untruth, when he makes a promise he does not keep it, and when he makes a contract he deceives, although he may be offering prayers, observing fast and calling himself a Mus1im.”

Fulfilling promises is essential for a person who wishes to live a social life; it is the basis for social happiness, development, and success. Islam so greatly condemns the violation of promises that it has made it illegal and unethical for its followers to violate their oaths even if they were made with tyrants and desolates.

Promises can be intentionally and unintentionally broken.

Intentional promises are those that are made by an individual knowing full well that he/she intends to break it. They are lies and lying is a punishable sin in Islam. Making promises to children, for example, and then not fulfilling them falls under this category. To no other group of individuals are broken promises more devastating, than to children. Children are like elephants, they almost never forget. If you promise a child something, they will remember that promise, even though they may not verbalise it to you. The promises themselves may seem silly or unimportant at the time but they do count on our record of evil deeds.  Extreme caution should be taken when uttering a promise whether it is to an adult or a child. As the above verse says a liar falls under the pale of hypocrisy.

Therefore, the Messenger of Allah (s) prohibited men from breaking promises to their children. He said:

“And a man shall not make a promise to his child and not fulfill it.”

Abdullah said:

“Lies are of no use in either seriousness or jest. Also, it is not right for someone to promise something to his/her child/children and then fail to fulfil that promise.” (Related by Abu Dawood.)

Below is an extract by a Doctor illustrating the tragic events, which can occur if promises are broken:

“A sixteen year old boy who robbed every day was brought to me for treatment. I discovered that when the boy was seven or eight years old, his father had forced him to give his toy to an aristocrat’s daughter, for whom his father worked. That toy, to the boy, represented an ultimate dream for he had worked hard to get it. The boy’s father promised to buy a substitute toy but had unintentionally forgot. The hopeless boy sought revenge by stealing a piece of candy from his father’s pocket. A day later the boy broke into a house and stole some item.    It was not difficult to treat the boy when he was brought to me. It is possible that the boy would have come to be a dangerous criminal if he was not properly treated. But now his chances of becoming a reasonable and self-confident individual are much greater.” (Dr. Alindi)

This illustrates that by keeping our promises to our children, we are also teaching them the importance of honour and commitment. By keeping our word to them, they will in turn learn to keep promises made to us and to their peers, inshaa Allah.

Unintentional promises are ones that you make in good faith. You plan to fulfil them but then you either forget to do it or lack the means to follow through with it. In this event, breaking these promises is not punishable as Allah SWT judges us by the intention we carry in our hearts. For example, you promise your sister you will buy her new clothing for doing well in exams but find that you cannot afford to do so when the time comes around to doing so. You have no choice but to break the promise.  It is still, however, best to try your hardest to fulfil these promises because breaking one’s promise is despicable and contrary to the spirit of Islam.

Allah SWT says in the Quran:

“And keep the promise; the promise is a responsibility.” (17:34)

Oaths to Allah – these are vows or oaths that you make directly to Allah Almighty. There are two types of these as well. The first being a ‘conditional oath’, which means that in times of distress or fear you make an oath to Allah. For example, you swear to Allah that if He heals you of a malady that you will fast every Monday for the rest of your life. And once the malady passes you might fulfil the oath or neglect it. The second is an ‘unconditional oath’ which means that you simply decide to do something for the sake of Allah. For example, you promise Allah to give a certain percentage of your salary each month to a special charity for two complete years. Again it is up to you whether or not you keep the oath. No one knows you made the oath but Allah right? Both of these types of oaths are obligations and must be fulfilled as they are considered to be acts of worship. Breaking a covenant made to Allah Almighty is very grave indeed.

In a narration, a group of Khawarij were captured during the time of Hajjaj, who reviewed their cases and sentenced them as he wished. When the last man was standing in front of Hajjaj waiting for his sentence, time for prayer arrived. Hajjaj heard the call for prayer and turned the prisoner over to a noble man and told him to bring him back in the morning. The noble man left the palace with the prisoner.

As they were walking the prisoner said:

“I am not one of the Khawarij. I ask Allah by His Mercy to prove my innocence, for I am an innocent hostage in their hands. I ask you to let me spend the night with my wife and children so I can leave my will with them. I promise that I will return before the roaster crows in the morning. After a moment of silence, the noble man agreed to the man’s insistence and permitted him to go home for the night. A short time later the noble man fell victim to his fear and imagined that he would be the subject of Hajjaj’s fury.

That night the man woke up terrified and was astonished to hear the prisoner, who he had given permission to go home, knocking at his door as he had promised.

This noble man was overwhelmed with surprise and could not help but exclaim:

“Why have you come to my door’?

The prisoner replied: “He who recognizes Allah’s greatness and power, and makes Him a witness to his oath, must fulfil his promise.

The noble man proceeded with the prisoner to the palace of Hajjaj, and narrated to him the complete story. Hajjaj, who is known for his ruthlessness, was so moved by the man’s honesty that he allowed him to go free.

So in conclusion, we should commit ourselves to the noble character and behaviour of our Rasool (s) and his companions in every way in every aspect of our lives.  This includes good conduct, remembrance, recitation of the Quran, honesty and truthfulness, being humble towards others, enjoining good and forbidding evil, feeling bad for one’s sins, giving sadaqah and seeking Allah SWTs forgiveness all the time.  We must be aware that we cannot just take one part and abandon another part of the religion.  As a final remark in relation to this article is that people should always remember that quite simply, broken promises hurt individuals and can erode relationships. Trustworthiness is too valuable of a characteristic to own.

DON’T GIVE IT AWAY AND DON’T FORGET that keeping a promise, even if it seems SMALL, as the verses of the Quran show, is an adequate reason to gain the most bejewelled of all things; the love of Allah, Almighty.

May Allah SWT guide us all to the truth, help us to be just with one another, to be mindful of the vows and promises we make to one another and keep us on the Straight path.   May Allah’s peace and blessing be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (s) and upon his family and companions and all those that follow him, and all praise is due to Allah.

AMEEN.

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