About 3500 years ago, the Pharaoh of Egypt had declared himself Lord, ruling his nation as if life and death were in his hands. There were people in Egypt, mostly the Israelites, who believed in One God, but were made slaves and severely persecuted to the extent that their boys were killed as they were born. The land was also filled with magicians and witchcraft was the fashion of the day. Paganism was prevalent including the cow worship.
Centuries have passed since the Pharaohs ruled Egypt and much has changed. The scientific and technological advancements have made us live luxuriously in many ways. Many in America believe in One God, live in prosperity and are far removed from the like of the persecutions of the Pharaohs of the past. At the same time, magic and witchcraft still exist in the American life, but in ways which are very different from the time of the Pharaohs. An example of such presence can be seen in the Harry Potter books and paraphernalia. Paganism also has its presence, for example, in the customs of Halloween. The Holy scriptures acknowledge existence of magic, but forbid its practice.
"Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead." (Deuteronomy 18:10-11)
The story of Prophet Moses’ encounter with the magicians appears in several places in the Holy Scriptures. Below is one such narration:Read more...
Abu Hurayra reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, "No human child has ever spoken in the cradle except for 'Isa ibn Maryam, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and the companion of Jurayj." Abu Hurayra asked, "Prophet of Allah, who was the companion of Jurayj?" The Prophet replied, "Jurayj was a monk who lived in a hermitage. There was a cowherd who used to come to the foot of his hermitage and a woman from the village used to come to the cowherd.
"One day his mother came while he was praying and called out, 'Jurayj!' He asked himself, 'My mother or my prayer?' He concluded that he should prefer the prayer. She shouted to him a second time and he again asked himself, 'My mother or my prayer?' He thought that he should prefer the prayer. She shouted a third time and yet again he asked himself, 'My mother or my prayer?' He again concluded that he should prefer the prayer. When he did not answer her, she said, 'Jurayj, may Allah not let you die until you have looked at the faces of the beautiful women.' Then she left.
"Then the village woman was brought before the king after she had given birth to a child. He asked, 'Whose is it?' 'Jurayj's,' she replied. He asked, 'The man in the hermitage?' 'Yes,' she answered. He ordered, 'Destroy his hermitage and bring him to me.' They hacked at his hermitage with axes until it collapsed. They bound his hand to his neck with a rope and took him along to the king. When he passed by the beautiful women, he saw them and smiled. They were looking at him along with the people.
"The king asked, 'Do you know what this woman claims?' 'What does she claim?' he asked. He replied, 'She claims that you are the father of her child.' He asked her, 'Where is the child?' They replied, 'It is in her room.' He went to the child and said, 'Who is your father?' 'The cowherd,' he replied. The king said, 'Shall we build your hermitage out of gold?' 'No,' he replied. He asked, 'Of silver?' 'No,' he replied. The king asked, 'What shall we build it with?' He said, 'Put it back the way you found it.' Then the king asked, 'What made you smile.' 'Something I recognised,' he replied, 'The supplication of my mother overtook me.' Then he told him about it."
Taken from Parents: Al-Adab al-Mufrad Al-Bukhari
1033. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: "Were people to know the blessing of pronouncing Adhan and the standing in the first row, they would even draw lots to secure these privileges. And were they to realize the reward of performing Salat early, they would race for it; and were they to know the merits of Salat after nightfall (`Isha') and the dawn (Fajr) Salat, they would come to them even if they had to crawl.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Commentary: This expression 'to crawl' is used to illustrate the high merit of praying `Isha and Fajr in congregation in the mosque. This Hadith also urges to make best to occupy the first rows, as the `Angels of Mercy' pray for the Imam first, then for those who pray immediately behind him in the first row, then those behind them, and so on. The Hadith also points out the excellence of Adhan and the great reward of the person who pronounces it.
1034. Mu`awiyah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying: "The Mu'adhdhinun (callers to prayer) will have the longest necks on the Day of Resurrection.''
Commentary: This Hadith highlights the eminence of Mu'adhdhin and Adhan. Adhan means calling people to the worship of Allah. Mu'adhdhin (the caller) gets reward for the Salat of all those who hear his Adhan. The phrase "will have the longest necks'' has been given different interpretations. One of them is that they are those who long for the Mercy of Allah more than anyone else. Another interpretation is that their necks will grow longer on the Day of Requital and so sweat will not reach them, for every one will sweat on that day depending on his deeds: sweat will reach up to one's ankles or knees or waists. In the case of some people, sweat will reach up to their mouths. Another interpretation is that those who call Adhan will have an honourable and great status on the Day of Requital.
1035. `Abdullah bin `Abdur-Rahman reported: Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) said to me: "I see that you like living among your sheep in wilderness. So whenever you are with your sheep or in wilderness and you want to call Adhan, you should raise your voice because whoever hears the Adhan, whether a human or jinn or any other creature, will testify for you on the Day of Resurrection.'' Abu Sa`id added: "I heard this from the Messenger of Allah (PBUH).''
Commentary: Shayun is used for everything, or every other thing, and covers animals, vegetables and inanimate matter. On the Day of Requital, Almighty Allah will grant the faculty of speech, and all these things will testify for the Mu'adhdhin, as would be done by mankind and jinn.
1036. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "When Adhan for Salat is pronounced, the devil takes to his heels and breaks wind with noise so as not to hear the call. When the Adhan is finished, he returns. When the Iqamah is announced, he turns his back, and after it is finished, he returns again to distract the attention of one and makes him remember things which he does not recall in his mind before the Salat, and says `Remember this, and this,' and thus causes one to forget how many Rak`at he performed.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Commentary: The words signify that Satan runs with great speed and he breaks wind, or he intentionally does so. In any case, it shows that he has an aversion for Adhan. The second point that we learn from this Hadith is that the concentration of mind is a must for Salat to defeat all attempts of Satan to disrupt it.
1037. `Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`As (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying, "When you hear the Adhan, repeat what the Mu'adhdhin says. Then ask Allah to exalt my mention because everyone who does so will receive in return ten rewards from Allah. Then beseech Allah to grant me Al-Wasilah, which is a high rank in Jannah, fitting for only one of Allah's slaves; and I hope that I will be that man. If any one asks Al-Wasilah for me, it becomes incumbent upon me to intercede for him.''
Commentary: To invoke blessings upon the Prophet (PBUH) means to recite "Allahumma salli `ala Muhammadin, wa `ala ali Muhammadin, kama sallaita `ala Ibrahima wa `ala ali Ibrahima, innaka Hamidun Majid.'' Wasilah literally means that mode or method by which one attains his goal, but here it stands for that high rank in Jannah which will be awarded to the Prophet (PBUH). The word Shafa`ah means to beg someone to pardon somebody's faults and shortcomings or to request someone for doing a virtuous deed. In the context of this Hadith, it refers to the privilege of intercession of the Prophet (PBUH) due to which he will request for the forgiveness of such people for whom he will be given permission by Allah.
1038. Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "When you hear the Mu'adhdhin (pronouncing the call to Salat), repeat after him what he says.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Commentary: This Hadith also tells us to repeat the words of Adhan when we hear it. But when he says "Hayya `alas-Salah'' or "Hayya `alal-Falah'' we must say "La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah.''
1039. Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "He who says upon hearing the Adhan: `Allahumma Rabba hadhihid-da`wati-ttammati, was-salatil-qa'imati, ati Muhammadanil-wasilata wal-fadhilata, wab`athu maqaman mahmuda nilladhi wa `adtahu [O Allah, Rubb of this perfect call (Da`wah) and of the established prayer (As-Salat), grant Muhammad the Wasilah and superiority, and raise him up to a praiseworthy position which You have promised him]', it becomes incumbent upon me to intercede for him on the Day of Resurrection.''
Commentary: This Hadith tells us the merit of (the prayer by maens of which one attains his should be recited in the manner narrated by `Abdullah bin `Amr, which says that one should first repeat the wording of Adhan, then recite the prayer asking to exalt the mention of the Prophet (PBUH) and then pray Allah to grant him the Wasilah.
1040. Sa`d bin Abu Waqqas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "He who says after the Adhan: `Ash-hadu an la ilaha illallah Wah-dahu la sharika Lahu; wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan `abduhu wa Rasuluhu, radhitu Billahi Rabban, wa bi Muhammadin Rasulan, wa bil Islami Dinan [I testify that there is no true god except Allah Alone; He has no partners and that Muhammad (PBUH) is His slave and Messenger; I am content with Allah as my Rubb, with Muhammad as my Messenger and with Islam as my Deen],' his sins will be forgiven.''
Commentary: This Hadith mentions another prayer which should be recited beside the already mentioned Du`a-al-Wasilah.
1041. Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: "The supplication made between the Adhan and the Iqamah is never rejected.''
[Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi].