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Islamic Souks and Fairs

spice marketIslam is the most perfect way of life which was presented to us by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). Thus whatever conforms to this perfect way, whether it relates to Ibaadah, business, personal attire and appearance or social life, will be Islamic. Anything that is contrary to the way of life presented by the Qur’an and Sunnah can never be Islamic.

From the above, it is clear that something does not become “Islamic” simply by attaching the label of Islam to it, or due to being organised by Muslims/ Muslim organisations or because some apparently Muslim items such as abayas, scarves and nasheed CD’s will be sold there.

Unfortunately many people are in the misconception that many Fairs, Souks, bazaars, etc., held in the name of Islam or organised by Muslim organisations are Islamic, due to the reasons mentioned above. The reality is that there are many un-Islamic aspects at these Fairs and Souks due to which they cannot be referred to as “Islamic”. Intermingling of sexes, photography, pop-music styled nasheed concerts, immodest dressing, men and women rubbing shoulders with each other are often the “highlights” of such events. Such events also attract youth of both genders and often serve as a meeting point for immodest activities. In essence, today’s “Islamic Souks and Fairs” mainly provide entertainment, shopping and various family activities in the name of Islam.

Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) prophesized the coming of such critical times in the Ummah, when the true spirit of Islam will be totally lost, and only the name and outer appearance of Islam will remain.

Hazrat Ali (Radhiyallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “A time will soon dawn upon the people when Islam will only remain in name, and the Qur’an will only remain in its words. The Masaajid will be decorated, yet bereft of guidance (i.e. people will not perform Salaah in it).” (Shu’abul Imaan #1908)

From this Hadith we understand that true Islam can only be obtained when the true spirit of Islam and its value system is implemented in the lives of the Muslims, and the Qur’an is not merely recited in melodious tones, but its teachings and injunctions are adhered to.

The View of our Elders regarding Seerat Jalsas on the 12th of Rabee‘ul Awwal

green dome 1

The View of Hazrat Moulana Husain Ahmad Madani (rahimahullah), one of the greatest Mujaahids of the 14th century of Islam  

Sheikhul Hadith Hazrat Moulana Muhammad Zakariyya (rahimahullah) writes:

Hazrat Moulana Husain Ahmad Madani (rahimahullah) once came to Sahaaranpur on the 12th of Rabee‘ul Awwal when the people had decided to hold a Seerat Jalsah and insisted that Hazrat Moulana Madani (rahimahullah) attend and deliver a bayaan. I said that Mowlood is now being held in the name of Seerat. When people came to call Hazrat Madani (rahimahullah) for the bayaan, he sternly refused to come and began reprimanding them saying, “It seems like all the love and mahabbat you show for Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is only on the 12th of Rabee‘ul Awwal. Why are you not having this program at any other time in the year and are confining it to the 12th of Rabee‘ul Awwal?” The people replied, “Hazrat! We are desirous of listening to bayaans on the seerat of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) at any time of the year. However, there is nobody willing to address us and deliver bayaans on the seerat of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) at other times.” Hazrat Madani (rahimahullah) said, “If the people are prepared, I am willing to give the bayaan at other times.” The people, without thinking, accepted this offer. Hazrat Madani (rahimahullah) promised to come and give a bayaan on the topic of seerat weekly on a Thursday night since his jumu‘ah programs were already arranged for a few months in advance. Apart from the occasions when he was out travelling, Hazrat (rahimahullah) came to Sahaaranpur every Thursday night for approximately four months for this program. Hazrat (rahimahullah) would reach Sahaaranpur at 8:30 and proceed directly to the Jaami‘ Musjid where he would perform salaah and thereafter commence the lecture. After the lecture, between 12:30 and 1:00 in the morning, Hazrat (rahimahullah) would come to my home.

(Aap Beeti 4/72)           

The View of Hazrat Mufti Mahmood Saheb Gangohi (rahimahullah), the Faqeeh of the 15th century of Islam


On the night of Me‘raaj, after the Esha Salaah, a bayaan is given to enlighten us regarding the incident of Me‘raaj. Similarly, a bayaan is given on the 12th Rabee‘ul Awwal after the Esha Salaah. Are these practices correct or are they innovations in Deen?


There is no special sunnah practice to be carried out exclusively on these nights. Hence these nights should be regarded the same as other ordinary nights. We should not, from our own side, add anything to Deen which is not part of Deen.

 (Fataawa Mahmoodiyyah 5/433)


The View of Hazrat Sayyid Ahmed Shaheed Saheb (rahimahullah), the greatest Mujaddid of the 13th century of Islam

When Hazrat Sayyid Ahmed Shaheed Saheb (rahimahullah) had completed performing Haj, he proceeded to the blessed city of Madinah Munawwarah. During his stay in Madinah Munawwarah, a unique incident occurred which truly revealed his uncompromising commitment to completely following the Shariat. This incident is also a great lesson and means of inspiration for those who claim to be ardent lovers of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and claim to follow Deen entirely.

Some of the ‘Ulamaa and prominent people of the city had gathered in the musjid on the 12th of Rabee‘ul Awwal. A person came to Sayyid Ahmed Shaheed (rahimahullah) and said, “Tonight is the 12th of Rabee ‘ul Awwal and I have been sent by the prominent people of the city to invite you to the program in the musjid.” Sayyid Saheb (rahimahullah) was initially lying down when the person came to call him. On receiving the invitation, however, he immediately sat up and addressed Moulana ‘Abdul Hayy Saheb, the son-in-law and student of Shah ‘Abdul ‘Azeez Saheb (rahimahullah), saying, “Tell this person that if this program in the musjid is being held for the mere sake of entertainment, then excuse us from attending it. If it is held with the intention of ‘ibaadat, however, then prove and establish its position in Deen from the Qur’aan and Sunnah. It is only for the purpose of ‘ibaadat and earning reward that we have left our homes and travelled to this blessed land. Hence if it is proven that this program is established from the Qur’aan and Sunnah, we will wholeheartedly be pleased to attend. However, if it cannot be proven that this program is established in the Sunnah then we are totally absolved of it and have nothing to do with it.” Moulana ‘Abdul Hayy (rahimahullah) explained to the person what Sayyid Ahmed Shaheed Saheb (rahimahullah) had said. The person returned to the gathering in the musjid and informed them of Sayyid Saheb’s response. On hearing what Sayyid Ahmed Shaheed (rahimahullah) said, they all remained silent.

This incident occurred almost two hundred years ago in the year 1238AH (1822) and was certainly free of all the evil practices and customs prevalent today. Despite that, when Sayyid Saheb (rahimahullah) had seen that this was not established in the Sunnah, as it was not practiced by Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum), he excused himself and refused to attend.

(Seerat Sayyid Ahmed Shahid 1/362)

The disastrous consequence of legalising photography

Hazrat Moulana Yunus Patel Sahib رحمة الله عليه

One of the greatest calamities of our times is the abuse of the camera.

In this day and age, with the easy availability of cell-phones, digital cameras, camcorders, etc. everyone seems to be in possession of a tool which has created an upheaval in mischief. How many have had their names dragged through the mud or have been black-mailed, slandered or left humiliated and disgraced due to photographs taken and then circulated?

Photography is an evil, which has been entirely misjudged and under-estimated.

Just recently, a brother related a dream to me, requesting an interpretation. I interpreted his dream saying: ‘It seems as if movies are being viewed in the Musjid.’

Within a matter of days, the interpretation was made apparent. We had a visiting ‘Aalim give a talk in our Musjid. I was sitting on a chair, near the front, when I observed three young boys very absorbed with their cell phones. I requested a friend to go to the back of the Musjid and see what they were up to. He observed that they were viewing some film with dirty, indecent pictures.

إنا لله و إنا إليه راجعون We give our children high-technology at the expense of hayaa (modesty), Deen and Imaan.

One is to have no shame and commit sins in the presence of Allah Ta`ala, but increasing in shamelessness is when one is brazen enough to commit sins in the presence of Allah Ta`ala, whilst in the Musjid, the House of Allah Ta`ala.

The same shamelessness is found en-masse in the Musjid of all Masaajid, Musjidul Haraam in Makkah Shareef. The objective of the majority visiting these days, is taking photographs and video recording, instead of engaging in Ibaadah.

Complaints – and it is even our experience – of flashes and clicks of the camera, seen or heard, whilst Salaah is in progress or whilst in Tawaaf.

There is a very dire need to explain that this is a grave and serious crime in the sight of Allah Ta`ala.

What needs to be understood is that photography of anything animate is a clear prohibition. It is haraam.

It has been narrated from Hadhrat Jabir (Radiyallahu Anhu) that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) forbade pictures in the house and he forbade making them.

Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Verily, of the most grievously tormented people on the Day of Resurrection are picture-makers.”

There are, in fact, many other Ahaadeeth, which clearly prove this prohibition.

Why did Allah Ta`ala prohibit photography?

One reason is quite clear; that it was the origin of shirk (polytheism):
Going down the passage of history, we find that mankind was introduced to idol worship due to Shaytaan’s efforts in leading mankind astray. So due to his whispering encouragement, people began to draw and sketch their pious predecessors, thinking that their faces and images will be a source of inspiration; an incentive to also follow in their footsteps of piety. However, it was the means by which many began to worship those pictures, and thereafter carved such idols; and idol worship came into vogue.

Whilst this would have been more than sufficient for the Believer, it is no longer considered a worthy reason by Muslims who want to engage in the sin. Many say that there is no way that they would worship a photograph or even a sketch, let alone an idol. My Shaikh, Hadhrat Moulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Sahib دامت بركاته explains that one reason behind the prohibition is so that Allah Ta`ala may protect the respect and dignity of His servants.

Many a time, a person who was engaged in various evils is granted hidayah (guidance). Sometimes, this hidayah is such that he attains a high stage of wilayah. The person becomes a great Wali (Friend) of Allah Ta`ala and even a Shaikh, and thousands of people throng to his gatherings. Now at such a time, if someone were to dig up pictures of his past … what embarrassment would he have to endure?

From Allah Ta`ala’s side, there is forgiveness of sins, on sincere taubah, to the extent, that all evidence is ‘deleted’ and Insha-Allah, the person will not have to render an account for those sins. However, if photographs were taken, then this is evidence which the person has produced against himself, and which cannot always be destroyed – especially if it is in the hands of others who wish to bring disgrace to the person.

My Shaikh mentioned the above reason, during an election in Pakistan, where a woman was a candidate in the election. She was blackmailed with photographs of herself in a compromising situation, so that she withdraws.

Further to this reason, we find that the porn industry and filthy films are all based on pictures. Islam nips the problem in the bud by prohibiting photography.

If everyone practiced upon this teaching, we would not have pornography, woman abuse and exploitation, child pornography, and the evil consequences of rape, insanity, suicide, incest, etc., much of which has shattered and devastated the marriages and homes of many Muslims.

Now thinking over all these harms, we should appreciate the prohibition all the more and show that appreciation by abstaining. There is nothing but great wisdom in the prohibitions of Allah Ta`ala, with nothing but good for His servants.


The opinion of Hadhrat Moulana Yusuf Binnori رحمة الله عليه on television

During the last meeting of the Pakistan Islamic Council that Allamah Yusuf Binnori رحمة الله عليه attended, Hadhrat was asked to appear on television. He declined. Later Hadhrat was asked whether films could be used for the propagation of Deen, provided that all immorality and factors that destroy character are removed. Upon this, Hadhrat Moulana رحمة الله عليه expounded on a principle of Deen, the gist of which is:

“I wish to share with you a principle issue. We have not been obligated by Allah Ta’ala to use every possible means, whether permissible or impermissible, for the tableegh of Deen. Instead, we are required to use all our energies and resources to propagate Deen only using permissible means and methods.

Together with the injunction of tableegh, Islam has also laid down guidelines and principles for tableegh. We are thus obligated to conduct our tableegh within this framework.

If we are successful in our efforts after following the guidelines and principles, then indeed, we have achieved our ultimate goal and objective. If our efforts were unfruitful, but we had adopted the permissible methods and means, we will not be compelled to further our tableegh by using every possible and available means, be it permissible or impermissible.

If even one person is blessed with guidance after using the permissible means, then undoubtedly our tableegh was successful. However, if on the other hand, scores and droves of people embrace Islam on account of us adopting impermissible methods and means, then this holds no value in the sight of Allah Ta’ala.

How can success ever be achieved when we have transgressed the bounds of Shari‘ah? Rather than it being the tableegh of Deen, it would be the tableegh of something else.

Photography inherently contradicts the injunctions of Islam. Therefore, we will not be compelled to utilise it as a tool for tableegh. If a person is prepared to accept Islam through our invitation via permissible methods and means, then we will definitely be grateful and pleased. However, for those who are not prepared to do so and wish to accept our invitation only by means of the television, then we regret that we will have to be excused.

If this stance is not adopted today, then the television will be a tool for tableegh now, but in time to come, be-hijaab (unveiled) women would be used for this purpose, and an effort will be made to use immoral gatherings of music and dancing, etc., to invite people to Deen.

In this way, in the name of tableegh we will be guilty of gradually violating the laws of Islam.”

(Article written by Mufti Taqi Saheb in the kitaab "Muhadditul Asr Hazrat Moulana Muhammad Yusuf Binnori (Rahmatullah Alayh) P.g. 91, Nuqoosh-e-Raftagaa, P.g 104)

Fatwa of Moulana Yusuf Ludhyaanwi رحمة الله عليه

Hadhrat Moulana Yusuf Ludhyaanwi رحمة الله عليه writes:

Although the photos captured by video or television equipment are not visible (like a normal printed picture), but they are stored, and displayed on a television set.

These pictures cannot be excluded from the hukm of tasweer.

The most that can be said is that instead of the olden method of picture-making, technological advancement has brought about a new means of picture-making.

When Shari‘ah has declared picture-making  as haraam, then no matter which methods or means are invented, Tasweer will remain haraam.

The humble of opinion of this servant is that in hand-drawn pictures those evil are not found which are found in video and tv… because of the television and videos every home has been transformed into a cinema…

Does this make sense that on the one hand Shari‘ah declares hand-drawn pictures as haraam, and the picture maker as mal’oon and warns him of “ashad-dun naasi azaaban yowmal qiyaamah”, but on the other hand declares Halaal this ‘storm of immorality and indecency’ known as TV?

As for the claim made by some that there is some benefit therein, so I ask:

“Are there no benefits in intoxicants, pork, interest and gambling?” But the Qur’aan Shareef has put a cross on all these benefits by announcing “wa ithmuhumaa akbaru min naf'ihimaa”.

Some say that through TV and videos we will propagate and spread Islam.

In our country there are Deeni programmes on TV, but, with due respect, may I ask:

How many non-muslims have accepted Islam by viewing these Deeni programmes?

How many bê-namaazi’s began performing Salaat because of these programmes?

How many sinners have made taubah because of these programmes?

This is nothing but deception.

This instrument of immorality and sin, which is ‘najisul ayn’ from head to toe, which is mal’oon, the one who makes it is mal’oon in Dunya and Akhirat, how will it assist in spreading Deen?….

As for those who say that so-and-so says this and so-and-so does that, this is not a daleel of jawaaz (permissibility) for us.

Wallahu a’lam

(Moulana) Muhammad Yusuf

20 Zhul Qa’dah 1406

(Mufti) Ihsaanullah Shaa’iq, Darul Iftaa wal Irshaad, Naazimabad, Karachi 16 jumaadal Ukhraa 1425

Al Jawaab Saheeh  (Mufti) Muhammad  16/06/1425

Al Jawaab Saheeh (Mufti) Saeedullah  16/06/1425


Opinion of Hadhrat Moulana Yunus Patel Saheb رحمة الله عليه regarding the influence of television

One of the many Sunnats of the Ambiyaa عليهم السلام is that of hayaa – shame and modesty: a quality which is sorely missing in the lives of the majority of Muslims today and which should otherwise be an outstanding characteristic and feature of all Muslims, whether married or unmarried.

Television is such an evil that if our society only understood its reality, then they would find no excuse to watch. Its spiritual harm is that it takes away the hayaa and shame of our men, women and children.

The content of most television programmes is nothing but immodesty and indecency, which invites nothing but immodesty and indecency – into our homes, into our lives and the lives of our children.

However, this truth and reality seems to just pass over the understanding of even those Muslims who have some link with Deen. Many are regular with Salaah, they are seen in the Musjid, they are wearing the garb of the pious and yet they will be the ones to present flimsy and feeble excuses to view television programmes.

Let us consider this situation of sin from the following view – which Alhamdulillah, has been a means of many getting rid of the television.

  • If a person has to knock on your door and tell you: ‘I would like to use your lounge to commit adultery.’
  • Or a group of some friends have to request you: ‘We would like to use your home to gamble and enjoy our liquor.’
  • Or a group of youngsters have to tell you: ‘We have chosen your home as a venue for our partying, dancing, drug-taking and fornicating.’
  • Or a Christian family has to request you: ‘We would like to use your home as a venue for our church ceremony. The marriage of our daughter as well as the baptism of our grandchild. We have already obtained the consent of one of our priests.’
  • Or some idol-worshippers have to suggest: ‘We would like to carry out some of our religious rites in your home. We would like to bring our idols also. You are more than welcome to observe or participate in our rites. ’

Many Muslims, on hearing such requests, will get very angry; will express disgust – if not swear and curse such suggestions.

However, these very same Muslims who will even resort to swearing and cursing such proposals, invite into their homes all of the above by the switch of the television, by hiring English and Hindi films and DVDs and downloading porn and other films from the internet. There is so much of adultery, partying and other filth that we seem to just welcome into our homes – least realizing the consequences.

Just to give you one example and this is but the tip of the iceberg – and it is said with the intention of removing the blindfold that most parents wear:

A father of four children mentioned to me that he had got rid of his television and he thereafter explained why. He said that late one night he heard strange noises from his children’s room. On opening the door of their room, he found their television switched on. […This is our concept of modesty: parents must have their own television, to view all kinds of filthy programmes in their privacy, and children must have their own television to view all kinds of indecency in their privacy (Na’oozu Billah).]

The father mentioned that there were dirty and obscene scenes of naked people on the television screen. He mentioned that it was filthy and that it shocked him; but what had him even more shaken was that his children were all undressed, engaging in the same kind of indecent acts. They were imitating the pornography they were viewing. He said himself, that until then he had not considered the harm of television. It took this kind of incident to wake him up. …This is just one example of so many. Do we wish to face something similar?

…Do we care to even know what our sons and daughters are doing in the secrecy of their rooms? The fact that many demand that no one ‘invade’ their space and privacy to the extent of having ‘No Entry’ signs on their doors, should have parents a little more than worried…  especially if they are viewing television and are surfing the net or have free access with cell phones.

Many have written, that after watching certain films or programmes, the desire came strongly into their hearts to take drugs, drink liquor, murder their parents, indulge in homosexuality, engage in adulterous relationships, commit suicide, rape, and so much else – and many of them do so.

Moreover, with sins like television and evil, lustful glancing, Allah Ta’ala removes the love between husband and wife and even ones children become disobedient.

There are many husbands who entertain thoughts of and fantasize of other women when with their wives. And they will when they are watching different actresses and television presenters. Many wives are guilty of the same infidelity having seen or socialized with ghair-mahaarim. Many women are so infatuated and obsessed with some soccer player or cricket player that they become dissatisfied with their husbands, and spend their time fantasizing.

Had the person not viewed all those ghair-mahaarim on the television screen and computer screen, and had lowered his gaze in real life situations, then he would not have desired that which he cannot have, and there would not have been dissatisfaction with his (or her) spouse.

Moreover we complain: There is no barkat in our homes; there is no barkat in our wealth; there is no barkat in our time. Our children are rebellious. The husband is having an extra-marital relationship. The daughter has accepted Christianity. The son is on drugs … and the list of complaints does not end.

Then who is to blame except the one who brought all of this haraam into the home by purchasing the television and exposing the family to so much of sin.

…Great Ulama became bay’at upon the hands of Moulana Hakeem Fakhrudeen رحمة الله عليه. He mentioned that there was a time, that with the rising and setting of the sun, he saw nothing but noor in Surat. The atmosphere was one of noor. The day commenced with Salaah, Tilaawat, Zikrullah…

After the cinemas and television and videos flooded Surat, there was nothing but ‘zulmat’ – darkness. With the distraction of such entertainment, Ibaadah becomes a forgotten duty.

One Wali of Allah Ta’ala, on visiting a home, mentioned that he perceived the sin of Zina (adultery) from the walls of that home. He was able to recognize this due to the purity of his heart. The residents of that home were not indulging in adultery but they were watching the sin on television.

When fire burns against a white wall, it blackens the wall. The Ahle-Dil, with their purified hearts, see the fire of sins which has burnt and blackened the white hearts of the Muslims.

We should take lesson and take measures to protect ourselves and our children.


Cartoons and films portraying Ambiyaa عليهم السلام and Sahabah (Radiyallahu Anhum)

Q: What is the Islamic ruling regarding cartoons or films portraying stories of the Ambiyaa عليهم السلام or the Sahaabah? In today’s times, these types of films are available in the market and are widespread on the internet.

A: Before addressing the issue in question, it is vital for us to understand a few preliminary aspects in order that the issue be understood in correct perspective.

The purpose for acquiring Islamic knowledge is that one may find the correct direction in reaching Allah Ta’ala. Knowledge in itself is not the goal; rather it is a medium that leads one to the goal. The goal is practising on the laws of Sharee’ah in accordance to the manner prescribed by Allah and His Rasul (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). If the knowledge one acquires does not lead one to the goal, then in reality this is not worthy of being called Islamic knowledge. Perhaps it could be called information. Hence, the pertinent question one needs to pose is, what is Islamic knowledge and how should one go about acquiring this knowledge?

In order for the knowledge which one acquires to be acceptable in the sight of Allah Ta’ala and sanctioned by Sharee’ah, it is necessary that certain aspects be adhered to:

The first aspect is the aspect of authenticity and reliability. Extreme caution should be exercised in sourcing Deeni knowledge. One should ensure that he refers to reliable, qualified Ulama in the pursuit of seeking Islamic knowledge. Similarly, the material one exposes himself to in the course of seeking education, should be sourced from authentic and reliable sources. If one acquired his knowledge from unauthentic sources or unreliable personalities, then obviously the overall picture of Deen which one will obtain will certainly not conform to the pure and pristine brand of Islam. Concoctions, adulterations and distortions would be noticed in various aspects of his Deen. This will be grossly due to the fact that he had not sourced his knowledge from those authentic, reliable sources approved by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). The disastrous outcome of acquiring knowledge through these channels is that Islam will be reduced to customs and rituals which will change with the fashions and the norms of the time. The great Taabi’ee Muhammed bin Sireen رحمة الله عليه has said:

إنَّ هَذَا الْعِلمَ دِينٌ ، فَانْظُرُوا عَمَّنْ تَأَخُذُونَ دِينَكُمْ (الشمائل للترمذي رقم 415)

Certainly this knowledge that you are acquiring is your Deen, hence you should ensure that you acquire your Deen from authentic and reliable people.

The second aspect is the means through which the knowledge is acquired. It is incumbent that permissible means be adopted in acquiring Islamic knowledge. The method one adopts should conform to the method adopted during the Mubaarak era of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), the Sahaabah and the Khairul Quroon (the glorious era of the Taabi’een and Tab’ut Taabi’een). If one adopts a haraam means to acquire Islamic knowledge, this will be unacceptable in the sight of Allah Ta’ala and such information will be bereft of the true noor of Deen. Thus such knowledge will not lead one to the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala and enable one to uphold the pillars of Islam.

The third aspect is adopting the Sunnah approach when acquiring the knowledge of Deen. The Sunnah approach is to show the highest level of respect and honour to everything related to Deen (viz. The Quraan, the Ahaadith, the Ambiyaa, the Sahaabah, the Ulama, the symbols of Islam, etc.) as well as conforming to all the aadaab (etiquettes) of Deen. When Islamic knowledge is acquired in this manner, adhering to the way shown to us by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and adopting the etiquettes of Islam, one will witness the true spirit of Deen coming alive in the lives of the believers. The books of Hadith are replete with many glaring examples which illustrate the Sunnah method adopted by the Sahaabah and the Tabi’een in the pursuit of acquiring the knowledge of Deen. When the knowledge of Deen in reality is the knowledge of Nubuwwat and those who tread on this path to acquire it are honoured with the title of “The heirs of the Ambiyaa”, one could well imagine the great need for one to adopt the outer as well as inner qualities of the Ambiyaa. In other words, one should not confine knowledge to word or action; instead one should endeavour to cultivate the very spirit and noor of the knowledge in all respects. Acquiring such knowledge under the guidance of the true men of Allah Ta’ala who acquired this from their seniors and so forth and so on with an unbroken chain linking up to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) produces an indelible impression on the hearts of people, thereby motivating the true love within people to emulate the Mubaarak Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) in all facets of life.


How did the people of the past acquire Deeni Knowledge?

Hereunder are two examples which will shed light on the method of how the people of the past acquired Islamic knowledge.

Hadhrat Abdullah bin Abbas (Radiyallahu Anhuma) says:

"After the passing away of Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), I said to an Ansaari friend of mine, ‘Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is no longer with us, but a large number of the Sahaabah are still present among us. Hence, let us go to them in the pursuit of Islamic knowledge.’ He said, 'What is the need to acquire `ilm whereas these eminent Sahaabah are present? Who will approach you to enquire of any deeni mas’alah whilst these great men are amongst us?'” Hadhrat Ibnu Abbas (Radiyallahu Anhuma) further mentioned, “I was not in any way discouraged by his words. Rather, I kept up my quest for knowledge and began approaching every Sahaabi who had heard something from Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). In this way, I managed to gather a substantial amount of ‘ilm from the Ansaar. If on my visit to any Sahaabi, I found him resting, I spread my shawl at the entrance of his home and remained seated awaiting his emergence. At times, my face and entire body would get covered with dust, however, this did not cause me to desist from my endeavour and I continued to remain seated there anxiously awaiting their emergence.

I thus carried on my pursuits, till there came a time when people began to flock to me for learning the knowledge of Deen. My Ansaari friend realised this at that time and remarked, 'This person has surely proved himself to be more intelligent than all of us.’”

A student of Hadith once came as a guest to Imaam Ahmad bin Hambal رحمة الله عليه. It was the sublime conduct of the Imaam that he presented water to the student when going to bed. He placed it close to the student so that he may use it for wudhu at the time of Tahajjud. The following morning the Imaam noticed the water untouched. Hence he exclaimed: “Subhaanallah! A student of knowledge, yet he does not perform tahajjud during the night!” Imaam Ahmad رحمة الله عليه indicated to this fact that the knowledge one acquires should motivate him towards upholding the Mubaarak Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) in his life.


Why is it impermissible to acquire Deeni knowledge through viewing cartoons and films?

Based on the above, after closely examining the issue of acquiring knowledge through viewing cartoons and films which outwardly portray Islamic information, one will realise that this means of acquiring knowledge does not conform to the above mentioned Islamic method of acquiring Islamic knowledge. Furthermore, acquiring Islamic knowledge through this means is impermissible due to the following reasons:

  1. This means of acquiring ‘ilm is impermissible in Sharee’ah as it directly opposes the command of Allah Ta’ala and His Rasul (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) had sounded severe warnings in his Mubaarak Ahaadith for those who have any involvement in picture making. Hence, propagating Islam via this means is impermissible.

إن أشد الناس عذابا عند الله يوم القيامة المصورون (صحيح البخاري 2/880 ، صحيح لمسلم 2/201)

Those involved in picture-making will be subjected to the worst forms of punishment on the day of Qiyaamat. (Bukhaari 2/880, Muslim 2/201)

  1. In many of these films men and women are seen together. This opposes the law of Sharee’ah in regard to segregation between na-mahram males and females. Hence, this type of enactment, instead of creating an Islamic effect, it only destroys the fabric of Deen through inciting one towards sin.
  2. The actors in these films are portraying illustrious personalities such as the Ambiyaa or Sahaabah etc. This enactment is in itself deception, as the onlookers will begin to base their opinions of Ambiyaa and Sahaabah through the actions of these sinful people. To add insult to injury, the film being videoed is impermissible in Islam. Hence they are trying to propagate Deen through portraying the lives of these illustrious personalities while being involved in such a grave sin.
  3. Propagating Islam through this medium degrades the position of these illustrious personalities and reduces Deen to a thing of entertainment. Furthermore, this will lead to the masses beginning to regard these so called “Islamic movies” as a substitute to Hollywood and Bollywood movies.
  4. Presently the Kuffaar are using this as a means to distort and adulterate the Deen of Islam. Muslims should not be so gullible to fall into the traps and the nets of the Kuffaar. It has been proven that many of these films shattered the Imaan and beliefs of many Muslims and created suspicions and doubts in their Deen.
  5. Portraying these great personalities via cartoon characters causes great disrespect to these saintly personalities. How can Deen come alive in the Ummah when gross disrespect is shown to those who were responsible for bringing Deen alive in the world?
  6. The outcome of such plays, films, cartoons etc. is in reality making a mockery of the august Deen of Allah Ta’ala and the illustrious men of Islam. Similarly, those who view these types of films will be viewed as supporters and promoters of this sin in the sight of Allah Ta’ala.
  7. Lastly, the kitaabs of Aqaaid have recorded that if people enact a play for entertainment purposes where one person assumes the position of a great Aalim or Mufti, and people refer Deeni issues to him, and laugh at him and make a mockery of him, all present on account of showing disrespect to Deen will come out of the fold of Islam. Hence, the outcome of viewing these cartoons, films, etc. is extremely destructive and detrimental to one’s Imaan.

We make Duaa to Allah Ta’ala to bless the Ummah at large with the true love and respect for Deen and the symbols of Deen, and enable us to emulate the Mubaarak Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) in our lives. 

Significance of the 15th of Sha’baan

Q: I heard from an Arab Shaykh that although there are ahaadith with regards to the virtues of the night of shab-e-baraat, but nothing is authentic. So we dont need to attach special reverence to this day or night. Is this true? If not, please provide authentic ahaadith.

A: There are many authentic Ahaadith reported regarding the virtues of the fifteenth night of Sha’baan (Shab-e-baraa’at). Hereunder are a few Ahaadith:

عن أسامة بن زيد رضي الله عنهما قال قلت يا رسول الله لم أرك تصوم من شهر من الشهور ما تصوم من شعبان قال ذاك شهر يغفل الناس عنه بين رجب ورمضان وهو شهر ترفع فيه الأعمال إلى رب العالمين وأحب أن يرفع عملي وأنا صائم رواه النسائي (الترغيب والترهيب 2/48)

Hadhrat Usama ibn Zaid (Radiallahu Anhuma) reports that on one occasion I asked Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) “I do not see you fasting in any month as much as I see you fasting in Sha’baan?” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied, “The month of Sha’baan is that month which comes in between Rajab and Ramadhaan. In this month many people are negligent (of Allah Ta’ala and doing righteous deeds). It (Sha’baan) is a month in which the actions of man are raised to Allah Ta’ala, and I desire that my actions be raised whilst I am fasting.”

وعن معاذ بن جبل رضي الله عنه عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم قال يطلع الله إلى جميع خلقه ليلة النصف من شعبان فيغفر لجميع خلقه إلا لمشرك أو مشاحن رواه الطبراني وابن حبان في صحيحه (الترغيب والترهيب 2/51)

Mu’aaz ibn Jabal (Radiallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, Allah Ta’ala focuses towards His creation (with mercy) on the fifteenth night of Sha’baan, thereafter He forgives His entire creation with the exception of those who ascribe partners with Allah Ta’ala and those who harbour malice for the creation.

وعن عائشة رضي الله عنها أن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم كان يصوم شعبان كله قالت قلت يا رسول الله أحب الشهور إليك أن تصومه شعبان قال إن الله يكتب فيه على كل نفس ميتة تلك السنة فأحب أن يأتيني أجلي وأنا صائم (الترغيب والترهيب 2/49)

Hadhrat ‘Aaisha (Radiallahu Anhaa) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) used to fast for the entire month of Sha’baan. Hadhrat ‘Aaisha (Radiallahu Anhaa) said that I enquired “O Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), is Sha’baan regarded as the most beloved month for one to fast in.” Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “It is in this month that Allah Ta’ala decides who is going to pass away that year, I desire that the decision of my death take place at the time when I am fasting.”

As far as the fast of Sha’baan is concerned, there are many authentic Ahaadith that give a clear description of how Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) fasted. Some Ahaadith explain that he fasted throughout the month of Sha’baan while other Ahaadith mention that he fasted for most of the month of Sha’baan. Apart from this it is proven that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)’s Mubaarak habit was to fast on the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth of every month. In view of the above-mentioned Ahaadith we presume that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was fasting on the fifteenth day of Sha’baan. Hence, since this day (the fifteenth) coincides with the fast of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), fasting on this day alone will also be permissible (though it is better for one to fast on the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth).

As far as the Hadith that commands fasting on the fifteenth day of Sha’baan is concerned, though it is regarded as weak according to the Muhadditheen (not competent to establish a Sunnah independantly), practicing upon it will be permissible since it comes within the purview of the other ahaadith which explain the fasting of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) . Over and above, it is authentically reported that when Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was asked the reason for him fasting during the month of Sha’baan, he said, “In this month of Sha’baan there is a night wherein the book of deeds of a person (in which the entire years actions are recorded) is raised to Allah Ta’ala and I desire that my deeds also be raised in the condition that I am fasting. From this Hadith we understand that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was fasting on the fifteenth of Sha’baan since the fifteenth night is the occasion when the actions are raised to Allah Ta’aala.

From the above-mentioned proofs it is evident that there is no harm in one fasting on the fifteenth of Sha’baan.

وفي رواية للنسائي قالت لم يكن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم لشهر أكثر صياما منه لشعبان كان يصومه أو عامته (الترغيب والترهيب 1/50)

وفي رواية للبخاري ومسلم قالت لم يكن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم يصوم شهرا أكثر من شعبان فإنه كان يصوم شعبان كله وكان يقول خذوا من العمل ما تطيقون فإن الله لا يمل حتى تملوا وكان أحب الصلاة إلى النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم ما دووم عليها وإن قلت وكان إذا صلى صلاة داوم عليها (الترغيب والترهيب 1/50)

وعن أم سلمة رضي الله عنها قالت ما رأيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يصوم شهرين متتابعين إلا شعبان ورمضان رواه الترمذي وقال حديث حسن وأبو داود ولفظه قالت لم يكن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم يصوم من السنة شهرا تاما إلا شعبان كان يصله برمضان (الترغيب والترهيب 1/50)

فتاوى محمودية (15/226)

Contemporary fataawa of Mufti Taqi Usmani (pg. 107)


Answered by:

Mufti Zakaria Makada

Checked & Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)

Women attending Congregational or Eid Salaah

musjid nabawi 2The era of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was a mubaarak era. It was an era where Wahi (revelation of the Quraan) was being received from Allah Ta'ala. New Shar’ee laws regarding various issues were constantly being revealed by Allah Ta’ala and there was a need for Sahaaba to learn the laws of Deen relating to salaah, fasting and other injunctions directly from Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Generally Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) would educate the Sahaabah after salaah. Hence women were permitted to attend the congregational Salaah in the Musjid in order to learn the laws of Deen.

However, it should be borne in mind that the era of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was the khairul quroon (the best of eras). The greatest honour of that era was to perform salaah behind Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). People were protected and safeguarded from fitnahs. The levels of Imaan, taqwa and piety were so high that all the Sahabah, whether men or women, were prepared to make any type of sacrifice for the cause of Deen. The ardent love within the hearts of the Sahaabah for Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was unimaginable and unconceivable. Similarly, there can be no match or comparison for the unflinching commitment and submission they displayed before the command of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). When Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) commanded them to segregate men and women and prohibited them from intermingling, they immediately surrendered before the command of Allah Ta'ala and His Rasul (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). When Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) commanded the women to dress in a shabbily, unattractive state and not to apply any perfume when leaving their homes for salaah (so as not to be a means of fitnah in attracting the gazes of men towards themselves), they spontaneously submitted and obeyed.

Nevertheless, as time passed and the laws of Deen were learnt, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) began encouraging women to perform their salaah within the confines of their homes and discouraged them from attending the congregational salaah.

Shari'ah commanding women to remain within the confines of their homes

The command of Shariah exclusive to women is that they should remain within the confines of their homes and that they should not leave their homes except at the time of need. Addressing the Azwaaje Mutahharaat (the mubaarak wives of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and the women of this ummah, Allah Ta’ala says:

وَقَرْنَ ​فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ الْأُولَىٰ ﴿الأحزاب: ٣٣﴾

“Remain within your homes and do not leave your homes displaying your beauty and attraction in the manner it was displayed by the women in the former times of ignorance.”

قد أذن لكن أن تخرجن لحاجتكن (صحيح مسلم رقم 2120)

Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) addressing the women had said: “Permission has been granted to you to leave your homes (only) at the time of need.”

Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)’s ardent desire that women should remain within the confines of their homes

عَن أَنَسٍ ، قال : جئن النساء إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقلن : يارسول الله ذهب الرجال بالفضل والجهاد في سبيل الله فما لنا عمل ندرك به عمل المجاهدين في سبيل الله فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : من قعد -أو كلمة نحوها- منكن في بيتها فإنها تدرك عمل المجاهد في سبيل الله. وهذا الحديث لا نعلم رواه عن ثابتٍ إلاَّ روح بن المسيب وهو رجل من أهل البصرة مشهور. (مسند البزار رقم 6962)

It is reported from Hadhrat Anas (radhiyallahu anhu) that a group of women once came to Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and complained, “O Messenger of Allah, the men have excelled the women through the abundant virtues that they acquire (in your company) and through striving in the path of Allah in jihad. Is there any action by means of which we could receive the same rewards of those fighting in the path of Allah?” Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) responded saying, “Those among you who remain within the confines of their home (worshipping Allah Ta’ala), they will acquire the reward of those striving in the path of Allah Ta’ala.”

عن عبد الله ، عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال إن المرأة عورة فإذا خرجت استشرفها الشيطان وأقرب ما تكون من وجه ربها وهي في قعر بيتها (مسند البزار رقم 1820)

It is reported from Abdullah bin Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “A woman should be concealed (from the eyes of strange men). When she exits from her home Shaitaan stares at her (i.e. he causes men to cast lustful glances towards her and he strives to mislead her by commiting sin). The time that she is closest to her Lord is when she is concealed within her home.”

Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)’s encouraging women to perform salaah within the confines of the home

عن عبد الله عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال صلاة المرأة في بيتها أفضل من صلاتها في حجرتها وصلاتها في مخدعها أفضل من صلاتها في بيتها. (سنن ابي داود رقم 570)

It is reported from Hadhrat Abdullah bin Ma’sood (radhiyallahu anhu) that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said “The salaah of a woman in her bedroom is more rewarding than her salaah in the communal room of her house and the salaah she performs in the inner most portion of the bedroom (i.e. a small room within the bedroom or a corner of her bedroom) is greater and more rewarding than her salaah in her bedroom.” 

عن عبد الله بن سويد الأنصاري عن عمته أم حميد امرأة أبي حميد الساعدي أنها جاءت الى النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم فقالت يا رسول الله إني أحب الصلاة معك قال : قد علمت أنك تحبين الصلاة معي وصلاتك في بيتك خير من صلاتك في حجرتك وصلاتك في حجرتك خير من صلاتك في دارك وصلاتك في دارك خير من صلاتك في مسجد قومك وصلاتك في مسجد قومك خير من صلاتك في مسجدي قال : فأمرت فبني لها مسجد في أقصى شيء من بيتها وأظلمه وكانت تصلي فيه حتى لقيت الله جل وعلا (صحيح ابن حبان رقم 2217)

Hadhrat Ummu Humaid (Radhiallahu Anha), the wife of Abu Humaid As-Saa’idi (Radhiallahu Anhu) once came to Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and said, “O Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), I long to perform salaah behind you.” Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) replied, “I am aware that you long and desire to perform salaah behind me, however your salaah in your bedroom is more rewarding than your salaah in any other part of your home. The salaah in any other part of your home is more rewarding than the salaah in your courtyard. The salaah in your courtyard is more rewarding than the salaah in the musjid of your locality. The salaah in the musjid of your locality is more rewarding than your salaah in my musjid (i.e. Musjid Nabawi). Hadhrat Ummu Humaid (Radhiallahu Anha) (in compliance and obedience with the mubaarak desire of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)) instructed that a small place be reserved for her salaah in the innermost and darkest portion of her bedroom, and she would devotedly perform all her salaah here until the end of her life.

وعن أبي عمرو الشيباني أنه رأى عبد الله يخرج النساء من المسجد يوم الجمعة ويقول اخرجن إلى بيوتكن خير لكن رواه الطبراني في الكبير بإسناد لا بأس به (الترغيب والترهيب 1/228)

It is reported from Abu Amr Ash-Shaybaani that he had seen Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) removing the women from the musjid on the day of Jumu’ah while instructing them in the following manner, “O women! Return to your homes, for indeed remaining within your homes is better for you.”

The verdict of Umar (Radiyallahu Anhu)

Though women were allowed to attend the congregational salaah and the eid salaah in the Mubaarak era of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), however it was the burning desire of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) that women perform their salaah within the confines of their homes, thereby remaining completely concealed from the eyes of strange men. Hence we find that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) expressed this desire in the aforementioned Ahaadith. Subsequently, during the era of the Khilaafat of Hazrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu), this permission for women attending the congregational Salaah was revoked on account of the fitnah witnessed due to women attending the congregational Salaah. All the Sahaaba concurred with the verdict of Hazrat Umar (Radiyallhu Anhu). The following Hadith of Aaisha (radhiyallahu anha) sufficiently explains the necessity of revoking the previous permission which existed in the Mubaarak era of Rasullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).

عن عمرة بنت عبد الرحمن أنها أخبرته أن عائشة زوج النبى صلى الله عليه وسلم قالت لو أدرك رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ما أحدث النساء لمنعهن المسجد كما منع نساء بنى إسرائيل. قال يحيى فقلت لعمرة أَمُنِعَ نساء بنى إسرائيل قالت نعم.(سنن ابي داود رقم 569)

It is reported by ‘Amrah that Hadhrat ‘Aaisha (radhiyallahu anha) said, “Had Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) been alive today and witnessed the fitnah being caused through the women leaving their homes and attending the congregational salaah, Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) would have surely prohibited them in the same manner as the women of the Banu Israa’eel had been prohibited from attending the congregational salaah.”

When this was the condition in the era of the Sahaabah that due to the increase in fitnah women were prohibited from attending the congregational salaah in the Masaajid, then one can well imagine the need for not allowing women to participate in the congregational prayer in this time and age, where fitnah is rampant, overwhelming and widespread to such an extent that controlling the fitnah has become impossible.