Source: islamqa.info & aithofmuslims.wordpress.com
It is permissible to make du’aa’ in Arabic and in languages other than Arabic. Allaah knows the intention of the supplicant and what he wants, no matter what language he speaks, because He hears all the voices in all different languages, asking for all kinds of needs.
Allah! I ask of You integrity and soundness in my religion, my life, my family, and my possessions.
O Allah! Cover my shame, pacify my fears, guard me from what is in front of me and behind me, from what is on my right and on my left, over my head and under my feet.
O Allah! Grant health to my body. O Allah grant health to my hearing. O Allah! Grant health to my sight. There is no deity except You.
By: Shaykh Hamza Yusuf
Ready or not, all secrets will be revealed
To God belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and the day on which the end of time will happen, a day on which prattlers will lose out. And you will see every people kneeling; every people will be summoned to its record: “Today you are being repaid for what you used to do. This record of Ours speaks about you in truth; for We have been transcribing what you have been doing.” As for those who believed and did good works, their Lord will admit them into divine mercy. That is the evident success. And as for those who scoffed, were not My signs recited to you, yet you were arrogant, and were sinning people? And when it has been said that the promise of God is true, and there is no doubt about the end of time, you have said, “We do not understand what the end of time is; we suppose it merely speculation, and we cannot be sure.” And the evils they did will be manifest to them, and what they used to sneer at will have surrounded them.
Day of Resurrection
How can you disbelieve in Allah when you were lifeless and He brought you to life; then He will cause you to die, then He will bring you [back] to life, and then to Him you will be returned.
Surat Al-Baqarah 2:28
A Taste of Reality
By: Soufyan Bouharat
Bismillah (In the name of Allah).
Let’s think and reflect for a moment about life. The true reality of the purpose of our existence. Imagine this: a life without entertainment. For example, no TV, no Music, no Games, no Sport, no Internet. Just imagine that we would do none of these amusement activities. These types of entertainment are not a primary need.
Imagine sitting in your home or walking outside with nothing of these distractions coming up in your mind. What remains? The true purpose of life.
“And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” – Qur’an Chapter 51: sūrat l-dhāriyāt (The Wind that Scatter)
Did Russia Really Promise Crimea To Turkey?
As the current dispute over control of the Crimean Peninsula between Russia and Ukraine intensifies, there’s a claim making the rounds online that, if true, could have major repercussions for the region today. Most versions of the story claim that after Russia annexed Crimea in 1783, it signed a treaty which promised that if Crimea ever declared independence, it would automatically be transferred to the Ottoman Empire.
On March 11, 2014, the Supreme Council of Crimea declared its independence from Ukraine in the aftermath of the Euromaidan protests and the ouster of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych. That would mean that according to the 231 year old treaty’s provisions, the Crimean Peninsula would now legally belong to Turkey (the successor state to the Ottoman Empire). Many of the articles making this claim online have sensationalist headlines that declare that Crimea should now belong to Turkey or that Turkey now finds itself in the middle of the dispute between Ukraine and Russia. But is there any truth to this claim?
The Termination of “Israel”- a Qur’anic Fact
By: Sheikh Abu Al-Waleed Al-Ansari
Translated by Abu Al-Waleed Al-Hamawi
It is evident that Allah has Promised to subject upon the corrupted Children of Israel His believing servants who will afflict them with a horrible torment…
Praise be to Allah who grants dominance to whom He wills and deprives it of whom He wills. He is the Enricher and the Preventer. He the Almighty Says:
“And so are the days (good and not so good), We give to men by turns, that Allah may test those who believe, and that He may take martyrs from among you. And Allah likes not the Zalimun” [Qur’an 3:140].
Peace and blessings upon His servant and messenger who was sent as a Mercy to this world. He (saws) said: “Verily, this matter (i.e. this Religion) will reach what the night and the day has reached (i.e. the whole earth). Allah will not exclude an urban nor a nomad household without which this religion would have entered” [Reported by Ahmad].
During these times when the affliction upon the people of Islam is exacerbated, Islam continues to suffer ruthless attacks by its cunning enemies. These are the times of hardship and agony when the Muslim struggles to convince himself about the reality of the inverted facts. This is expected when polytheism becomes religious monotheism, when adulation of the enemies of Allah is regarded as wisdom and craftiness, when slackening to support and defend the oppressed Muslims is a sign of intelligence and aptitude. In short, when truth becomes falsehood and falsehood becomes truth. Living these critical times, one feels the urgent need of those honest and trustworthy people of knowledge and religion who are sincere to Allah, His Book, His Messenger and to the Imams of the Muslims and their common folk.
Unfortunately, we observe that many of those who claim to have knowledge are negligent in declaring the truth and in inviting people to it. Instead they garnish the falsehood and dissolute its identity in order to justify their negligence while accepting the transient adornments of this world. This lead the ignorant blind-followers to regard the statements made by these false men of religion as true evidence to dismiss them from preparing for revival.
One of the consequences of this chronic disease that was caught by the Muslim Ummah is the content and approval of our people when the infidel rulers of today held a permanent accord with the Jews. Those who did not approve this accord were nevertheless influenced by the fabrications made by those rulers and said: “The presence of the Jews on the land of Palestine has become an unavoidable reality that we must accept. The Ummah must now be prepared to deal with it!!”. There are also those poor and defeated people who thought that this cursed accord will relieve their difficulties. The best of those people were crying: “Land in exchange for peace”. All those people overlooked the fact that this is a matter of Kufr and Iman and that it is a trial from Allah to test His servants and to distinguish the wicked from the good, and to witness those who will give victory to the religion by sincerely fighting for Allah’s Cause, as He the Most High said:
“Do you think that you shall be left alone while Allah has not yet tested those among you who have striven hard and fought and have not taken Walijah[(helpers, consultants from disbelievers, pagans, etc.) giving openly to them their secrets] besides Allah and His Messenger, and the believers. Allah is Well-Aquatinted with what you do” [Qur’an 9:16],
“Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, ‘When (will come) the Help of Allah?’ Yes! Certainly, the Help of Allah is near!” [Qur’an 2:214].
Indeed it is a trial and an affliction by Allah who promised to give victory, honour and consolidation to the believers. There is no doubt that disbelief and falsehood will be abolished, in particular the state of the Jews who earned Allah’s Anger, the murderers of the Prophets and the enemies of the Messengers. The termination of this state is announced in the Book of our Lord and proclaimed by our Prophet (saws).
Allah (swt) States: “And we decreed for the Children of Israel in the Scripture, that indeed you would do mischief on the earth twice and you will become tyrants and extremely arrogant! So, when the promise came for the first of the two, We sent against you slaves of Ours given to terrible warfare. They entered the very innermost parts of your homes. And it was a promise (completely) fulfilled. Then We gave you once again, a return of victory over them. And We helped you with wealth and children and made you more numerous in manpower. (And We said): ‘If you do well, you do good for your ownselves, and if you do evil (you do it) against yourselves’. Then, when the second promise came to pass, (We permitted your enemies) to make your faces sorrowful and to enter the mosque (of Jerusalem) as they had entered it before, and to destroy with utter destruction all that fell in their hands. [And We Said in the Taurat (Torah)]: ‘It may be that your Lord may show mercy unto you, but if you return (to sins), We shall return (to Our Punishment). And We have made Hell a prison for the disbelievers” [Qur’an 17:4-8].
In the previous verses, Allah (swt) mentions how the Children of Israel rebelled and disobeyed the Command of Allah, and how they became extremely arrogant. The Qur’anic Mufasiroon (commentators) – May Allah have mercy upon them – have lengthily described how the Jews did mischief on this earth twice. Most of them report that the doing of mischief twice had passed when the Jews killed Zachariah (as) and then killed Yahiah (John) son of Zachariah (as). However, the scholar Al-Shinqeety -may Allah have mercy on him- says in his Tafseer (Adwa’ul-Bayaan), that their conclusions were based on Israi’liat (Jewish reports). Al-Shinqeety in commenting on the verse ‘But if you return (to sins), We shall return (to Our Punishment)’, says:
“The Most High explains how he decreed for the Children of Israel in the Scripture, that indeed they will do mischief on the earth twice. When the first promise came, He sent against them slaves of His given to terrible warfare who occupied their homes and tortured them. Then, when the second promise came to pass, He sent to them a tribe that made their faces sorrowful and who entered the mosque (of Jerusalem) as they had entered it before, and who destroyed with utter destruction all that fell in their hands. He (swt) also explained that if they return to doing mischief for the third time, then He will return to take revenge from them by subjecting their enemies upon them ‘but if you return (to sins), We shall return (to Our Punishment)’.
How Do We Know the Quran is Unchanged?
The awakening of Europe from the Dark Ages and the subsequent intellectual enlightenment of the 1600s-1800s was one of the most powerful movements in modern history. It brought to Europe a dedication to empirical science, critical thinking, and intellectual discourse. Much of this was imported from the Muslim world’s intellectual history, through Muslim entry points into Europe such as Spain, Sicily, and Southeast Europe.
This rise in intellectual work coincided with a period of European imperialism and colonialism over the Muslim world. European nations such as England, France, and Russia slowly conquered portions of the Muslim world, dividing it among themselves. Thus the intellectual enlightenment, coupled with imperialism over the Muslim world, led to what the Europeans saw as a critical study of Islam, its history, beliefs, and teachings. This movement is known as Orientalism. One of the greatest shortcomings of Orientalism, however, is the analysis of Islamic history on European terms, discarding the centuries of academic work put in by great Muslim minds since the time of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.
One of the most dangerous aspects of Orientalism was the European study of the origins of the Quran. Since it is well accepted in academic circles that both the Torah of the Jews and the New Testament of the Christians have changed over the centuries, European academics erroneously believed the same must be true about the Quran. Their efforts to prove their belief that the Quran has been changed and is not authentic led to studies and works of questionable intention and low scholarly merit. This article will critically analyze the origins of the Quran, its transmission, and its compilation, to understand why Muslims accept the copies of the Quran they have in their homes to be the exact same words that were spoken by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in the early 600s AD.
The Promise to Protect
Muslims believe that Allah has already promised to protect the Quran from the change and error that happened to earlier holy texts. Allah states in the Quran in Surat al-Hijr, verse 9:
إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ
“Indeed, it is We who sent down the Quran and indeed, We will be it’s guardian.”
For Muslims, this verse of promise from Allah is enough to know that He will indeed protect the Quran from any errors and changes over time. For people who do not accept the authenticity of the Quran in the first place, however, clearly this verse cannot serve as proof of its authenticity, since it is in the Quran itself. It is from here that the academic discussion begins.
Narration of the Quran to the Companions
The revelation of the Quran was not an isolated event in time. It was a constant stream of verses descending to Muhammad ﷺ throughout the 23 years of his prophethood in Makkah and Madinah. The Prophet ﷺ appointed numerous Companions of his to serve as scribes, writing down the latest verses as soon as they were revealed. Mu’awiya ibn Abu Sufyan and Zaid bin Thabit were among the scribes who had this duty. For the most part, new verses would be written on scraps of bone, hide, or parchment, since paper had not yet been imported from China. It is important to note that Muhammad ﷺ would have the scribes read back the verses to him after writing them down so he can proofread and make sure there were no errors.1
To further ensure that there were no errors, Muhammad ﷺ ordered that no one records anything else, not even his words, hadith, on the same sheet as Quran. Regarding the sheets that the Quran was being written down on, he stated “and whoever has written anything from me other than the Quran should erase it”2. This was done to ensure that no other words were accidentally thought to be part of the text of the Quran.
It is important to understand, however, that physical writing down of the Quran was not the main way that the Quran was recorded. Arabia in the 600s was an oral society. Very few people could read and write, thus huge emphasis was placed on ability to memorize long poems, letters, and other messages. Before Islam, Makkah was a center of Arabic poetry. Annual festivals were held every year that brought together the best poets from all over the Arabian Peninsula. Exuberant attendees would memorize the exact words that their favorite poets recited and quote them years and decades later.
Thus, in this type of oral society, the vast majority of the Companions learned and recorded the Quran by memorization. In addition to their natural ability to memorize, the rhythmic nature of the Quran made its memorization much easier.
The Quran was not narrated to just a few select Companions. It was heard and memorized by hundreds and thousands of people, many of them travelers to Madinah. Thus, chapters and verses of the Quran quickly spread during the life of the Prophet ﷺ to all corners of the Arabian Peninsula. Those who had heard verses from the Prophet ﷺ would go and spread them to tribes far away, who would also memorize them. In this way, the Quran achieved a literary status known among the Arabs as mutawatir. Mutawatir means that it was so vastly disseminated to so many different groups of people, who all had the same exact wording, that it is inconceivable that that any one person or group could have falsified it. Some sayings of the Prophet ﷺ are known to be authentic through it being mutawatir, but the entire Quran itself is accepted as being mutawatir, because of its wide spread during the life of the Prophet ﷺ through oral means.
Collection After the Death of the Prophet ﷺ
We have thus far seen that the way the Quran was taught to the numerous Companions of the Prophet ﷺ prevented it from being subject to the protection of a few people. As verses became widespread across the Islamic world, it was impossible for those verses to be changed without Muslims in other parts of the world noticing and correcting them. Furthermore, during the life of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, the angel Jibreel would recite the entire Quran with him once a year, during Ramadan. When the Quran was finished being revealed near the end of the Prophet ﷺ’s life, he made sure that numerous companions knew the entire Quran by heart.
During the reigns of the first caliphs, however, a need to compile all the verses into a central book arose. Taking preemptive action, the caliphs who ruled the Muslim world after the death of the Prophet ﷺ feared that if the number of people who had the Quran memorized dipped too low, the community would be in danger of losing the Quran forever. As a result, the first caliph, Abu Bakr, who ruled from 632 to 634, ordered a committee be organized, under the leadership of Zaid bin Thabit, to collect all the written pieces of Quran that were spread throughout the Muslim community. The plan was to collect them all into one central book that could be preserved in case the people who had the Quran memorized died out.
Zaid was very meticulous about who he accepted verses from. Because of the enormous responsibility of not accidentally altering the words of the Quran, he only accepted pieces of parchment with Quran on them had to have been written down in the presence of the Prophet ﷺ and there had to be two witnesses who can attest to that fact.3 These fragments of Quran that he collected were each compared with the memorized Quran itself, ensuring that there was no discrepancy between the written and oral versions.
When the task was completed, a finalized book of all the verses was compiled and presented to Abu Bakr, who secured it in the archives of the young Muslim state in Madinah. It can be assumed with certainty that this copy that Abu Bakr had matched exactly the words that Muhammad ﷺ had spoken because of the numerous memorizers of Quran present in Madinah, coupled with the disseminated pieces of parchment on which it was recorded. Had there been discrepancies, the people of Madinah would have raised the issue. There is, however, no record of any opposition to Abu Bakr’s project or its outcome.
The Mus’haf of Uthman
During the caliphate of Uthman, from 644 to 656, a new issue regarding the Quran arose in the Muslim community: pronunciation. During the life of the Prophet ﷺ, the Quran was revealed in seven different dialects – qira’as. The dialects differed slightly in their pronunciation of certain letters and words, but the overall meaning was unchanged. These seven dialects were not an innovation brought in by corruption of the Quran in later years, as it was mentioned by the Prophet ﷺ himself, and there are numerous sayings of his describing the authenticity of all seven dialects that are recorded in the hadith compilations of Bukhari and Muslim. The reason for there being different dialects for the Quran was to make it easier for different tribes around the Arabian Peninsula to learn and understand it.
During Uthman’s reign, people coming into the Muslim world at its periphery, in places like Persia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and North Africa were beginning to learn the Quran. An issue arose for them when it came to pronunciation of words, as they would hear different Arabs pronouncing the same verses differently. Although the different pronunciations were sanctioned by the Prophet ﷺ and there was no inherent harm in people reciting and teaching them, it led to confusion among new non-Arab Muslims.
Uthman responded by commissioning a group to come together, organize the Quran according to the dialect of the tribe of Quraysh (the Prophet ﷺ’s tribe), and spread the Qurayshi dialect to all parts of the empire. Uthman’s team (which again included Zaid bin Thabit) compiled a Quran into one book (known as a mus’haf – from the word for page, sahifa) based on first hand manuscripts along with the memories of the best Quran reciters of Madinah. This mus’haf was then compared with the copy that Abu Bakr commissioned, to make sure there were no discrepancies. Uthman then ordered numerous copies of the mus’haf to be made, which were sent to far off provinces throughout the empire, along with reciters who would teach the masses the Quran.
Because the Quran was now compiled and being produced on a regular basis, there was no need for the numerous fragments of verses that people had in their possession. He thus ordered that those fragments be destroyed so they cannot be used in the future to cause confusion among the masses. Although Orientalists use this incident to try to prove the erroneous claim that there were some discrepancies that Uthman wanted to eliminate, that is a simplistic way of looking at the event. The entire community in Madinah, including numerous eminent Companions such as Ali ibn Abi Talib, willingly went along with this plan, and no objections were voiced. Had he been eliminating legitimate differences, the people of Madinah would have surely objected or even revolted against Uthman, neither of which happened. Instead, the mus’haf of Uthman was accepted by the entire community as authentic and correct.
Trickle-down economics is the greatest broken promise of our lifetime
The richest 85 people in the world have as much wealth as the poorest 3.5 billion – or half the world’s entire population – put together. This is the stark headline of a report from Oxfam ahead of the World Economic Forum at Davos. Is there a reason why the world’s powerful, gathering at the exclusive resort to sip cognac and eat blinis, should care? Well, yes.
If one subscribes to the charitable view that neoliberal philosophy was simply naive or misguided in thinking that “trickle down” would work infinitely, then evidence that it doesn’t, should be cause for concern. It is a fundamental building block of supply-side economic theory – the tool of choice these past few decades for those in charge to make adjustments. The realisation that governments have been pulling at economic levers which, for some time, have been attached to nothing, should be a wake-up call to the deepest sleepers.
Even if one subscribes to the cynical view that the elite knew what they were doing all along, observing that the “rising tide” is lifting fewer and fewer boats and leaving more and more to rot in the sediment – both at a personal and national level – must make most wonder “am I in the right boat and is it big enough?” Concentration is rampant. Credit Suisse estimates that the world will have 11 trillionaires within two generations.
It is not so much that the supply-side principle “if you build it, they will come” is no longer true. It is more that we appear to have passed a tipping point, where so much wealth has been concentrated at the top, they no longer need bother to “build” anything. In short, it has become more economically efficient to buy countries’ economic policy than to create value in order to sell it on. If one can control government to favour the richest, while raising barriers for new entrants, thus increasing their share of the pie exponentially, what is the incentive to grow the pie?
This applies to both companies and individuals. Small business gets clobbered by taxes and business rates, while big business turns around and says to the state: “This is how much tax I fancy paying this year, take it or leave it”. The rich no longer create jobs, through a process of consolidation, takeover and merger, they actually destroy them. Zero-hours contracts are the way of the future; in a society that is hungry, desperate and devoid of political engagement or unionism, why would anyone offer terms and conditions that give individual workers any standing?
And yet, the realisation must dawn soon – one hopes – that this model is unsustainable because its effects are uncontrollable. The more unequal we become as a society, the faster the top’s earnings diverge from the bottom’s. “When so much of the purchasing power, so much of the economic gain, goes to the very top,” Bill Clinton’s former labour secretary Robert Reich explains in the film Inequality For All. “There’s simply not enough purchasing power in the rest of the economy.” At the same time, there is far too much loose cash sloshing around at the top, leading to unwise risks and toxic investments. Wealth inequality in the US was at its highest levels, historically, in 1928 and 2007, one year before its two biggest financial crises, notes Reich. The base of the pyramid atrophies and begins to crumble.
Then why are most governments continuing to fiddle with supply-side levers in order to revive the economy, when it is abundantly clear it does not work? The simple answer is in two parts. First part: habit. The second was perfectly expressed by the creator of The Wire, David Simon: “That may be the ultimate tragedy of capitalism in our time, that it has achieved its dominance without regard to a social compact, without being connected to any other metric for human progress.”
We have come to measure, to an increasing extent, individuals’ success by their wealth, spending power and other assorted trappings. We do the same with the economic success of governments; measure it by an aggregated data set that fails to take into account wealth distribution, educational achievement, innovation, or even the welfare and health of the population they claim to represent. We must shift this perspective. It will be the hardest, simplest thing we have ever had to do as a species.
Omar Suleiman: “The 85 richest people in the world have the same amount of wealth as the poorest 3.5 billion. Islam’s solution: those 85 paying zakat alone would be a serious game changer.“