"By the grace of Allah, you are gentle towards the people; if you had been stern and ill-tempered, they would have dispersed from round about you" [Qur'an 3:159]
About himself the Prophet (pbuh) said:
"Allah has sent me as an apostle so that I may demonstrate perfection of character, refinement of manners and loftiness of deportment." [Muwatta; Musnad; Mishkat]
Can dress be so important that its violations may put a man or a woman into hellfire? Let us read.
Allah T'ala says in the Holy Quran:
يَا بَنِي آدَمَ قَدْ أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكُمْ لِبَاسًا يُوَارِي سَوْءَاتِكُمْ وَرِيشًا وَلِبَاسُ التَّقْوَىَ ذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ ذَلِكَ مِنْ آيَاتِ اللّهِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَذَّكَّرُونَ
The Prophet (s.a.a.w.) enjoined upon Muslims to treat the poor kindly and to help them with alms, Zakat, and in other ways. He said: "He is not a perfect Muslim who eats his fill and lets his neighbor go hungry."
He asked, "Do you love your Creator? Then love your fellow beings first."
Monopoly is unlawful in Islam and he preached that "It is difficult for a man laden with riches to climb the steep path that leads to bliss."
He did not prohibit or discourage the acquisition of wealth but insisted that it be lawfully acquired by honest means and that a portion of it would go to the poor. He advised his followers
"To give the laborer his wages before his perspiration dried up."
He did not encourage beggary either and stated that
"Allah is gracious to him who earns his living by his own labour, and that if a man begs to increase his property, Allah will diminish it and whoever has food for the day, it is prohibited for him to beg."
To his wife he said, "O A'isha, love the poor and let them come to you and Allah will draw you near to Himself." [Sahih Bukhari]
One or two instances of the Prophet's (s.a.a.w.) concern for the poor may be given here. A Madinan, Ibad Bin Sharjil, was once starving. He entered an orchard and picked some fruit. The owner of the orchard gave him a sound beating and stripped off his clothes. The poor man appealed to the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) who remonstrated the owner thus:
"This man was ignorant, you should have dispelled his ignorance; he was hungry, you should have fed him."
His clothes were restored to the Madinan and, in addition, some grain was given to him [Abu Dawood]
A debtor, Jabir Bin Abdullah, was being harassed by his creditor as he could not clear his debt owing to the failure of his date crop. The Prophet (s.a.a.w.) went with Jabir to the house of the creditor and pleaded with him to give Jabir some more time but the creditor was not prepared to oblige. The Prophet (s.a.a.w.) then went to the oasis and having seen for himself that the crop was really poor, he again approached the creditor with no better result. He then rested for some time and approached the creditor for a third time but the latter was adamant. The Prophet (s.a.a.w.) went again to the orchard and asked Jabir to pluck the dates. As Allah would have it, the collection not only sufficed to clear the dues but left something to spare. [Sahih Bukhari]
His love for the poor was so deep that he used to pray: "O Allah, keep me poor in my life and at my death and raise me at resurrection among those who are poor." [Nasai]
The following is a four years old article by Khalid Baig, but with a new movie out, it is worth reading before one decides to go to the cinema. (July 10, 2007)
Harry Potter: Facts about Fiction
Posted: 21 Rabi-u-Thani 1424, 21 June 2003
As expected there was much frenzy around the latest Harry Potter book. Bookstores and clubs around the world arranged special midnight parties and other events in celebration of the launching of the long-awaited fifth book in the series. A grandiose countdown was held in Times Square for the coming of the fifth book.
The book was set to break many old records. Online bookseller Amazon had already received one million pre-orders of the new book, its largest pre-order ever. Scholastic, the American publisher had ordered 8.5 million copies as the largest first printing ever. Worldwide, 13 million copies of the book had rolled off the presses in a massive print run.
The other books in the Harry Potter series have been translated into more than 55 languages, including Urdu, Persian, and Turkish. Nearly 200 million copies of the first four books have been sold in 200 countries.
What is all this craze about?
The series chronicles the growing up of a young orphan wizard named Harry Potter who attends a secret magic boarding school called Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Harry is a very unique wizard. His parents are killed while he is a baby by a wicked powerful wizard named Voldemort, but generally called "you-know-who" or "he-who-must-not-be-named". Voldemort fails in his attempt to kill Harry and instead is nearly destroyed when his magic rebounds on him. Harry is left with a lightning shaped scar on his forehead.
Harry is sent to live with his "muggle" (non-magical people) relatives for the next ten years. He lives a miserable life, tormented by his aunt and uncle and his spoiled cousin. They attempt to keep him from knowing that he is a wizard.
Then, suddenly a letter arrives from Hogwarts on his eleventh birthday, changing his life completely. Harry finds out he is a wizard and rather famous for his encounter with the evil lord Voldemort. Despite opposition from his aunt and uncle, Harry goes to the wizard boarding school where he meets new people, including his best friends Ron and Hermione. Harry discovers that he has both admirers and enemies.
Each book details the events of one school year.
The main characters in the story have few noble qualities; they lie with impunity, use profanity, don't respect their elders, break rules regularly, and are unrepentant.
While the books are characterized by most people as innocent fantasy and entertainment, they contain many evil messages - not all of which are subtle.
The books glorify magic and sorcery. Harry and his classmates regularly cast spells, brew potions, learn to tell the future, communicate with the spirits of the dead, train magical animals, and ride brooms. They study astrology, crystal gazing, numerology, transfiguration, and divination. Darker things occur as well such as murder, human sacrifice, drinking of unicorn blood, etc. The fight between good and evil in this book is actually a conflict between "good magic" and "evil magic", both of which are evil.
The books are in effect promoters of paganism. They glorify magic and paganism while non-magical people, called Muggles, are despised and portrayed as boring, narrow-minded, and paranoid of magic.
Not surprisingly, the main characters in the story have few noble qualities; they lie with impunity, use profanity, don't respect their elders, break rules regularly, and are unrepentant.
And for all these qualities and more, the books are popular and are having an effect. It is the "in" thing to purchase the book. And not just the book. Children have gone crazy over Harry Potter memorabilia, surrounding themselves with Harry Potter T-shirts, posters, toys, costumes, wands, hats, etc.
The media has been glorifying the book that glorifies sorcery.
Welcome to the world of capitalism and paganism, where superstitions and the occult reign supreme in the hearts and minds of people, and where the twin forces have forged an "alliance of the willing" that is doing its "magic" on a global scale.
Capitalism is all about maximization of profits and if that requires appealing to the lowest instincts and the darkest recesses of human nature, so be it. Millions of dollars have been spent on advertising the latest craze on billboards, buttons, bumper stickers, and posters etc. U.S. publisher Scholastic alone has planned a $4 million marketing budget for this single book - among the largest advertising budgets ever for a book.
The media machine --- equally adept at political, cultural, and commercial propaganda --- has been doing its part faithfully, paying a great deal of attention to the smallest events relating to the coming of the fifth book. It has been glorifying the book that glorifies sorcery.
Even if it were innocent entertainment (which it is not) the extreme devotion would be unjustified. But this culture is given to extremes and incidents of mass craziness are nothing new in it. The cabbage patch dolls craze in the 1980s was similar to current craze over the Harry Potter books. The Cabbage Patch Dolls were the fad of the 1980s. The most distinctive feature about them was that each doll looked a bit different from others and came with its own unique name and birthday, "adoption papers," and a "birth certificate." Marketing gimmick and television coverage combined to make sales explode starting in 1983. Chartered planes were used to bring the dolls from the overseas manufacturing plants to meet the ever increasing demand. Fist fights among eager customers often broke out in retail stores when a shipment of dolls arrived. In 1985, Coleco posted record sales of $600 million, thanks to their Cabbage Patch Kids.
When life has no higher purpose, entertainment and fun become the over-riding goal in life. When there is no belief in or clear concept of God as Creator and Master of the universe, superstition, sorcery, and the occult become fascinating.
When life has no higher purpose, entertainment and fun become the over-riding goal in life.
It is a reflection on the state of the society that there has been scarce opposition to this series that promises to become darker with each new release.
The Role of Muslims
In this current state of hysteria, Muslims should have played an important role in opposing this book and exposing the flaws of this culture. It is the duty of Muslims to guide the world, rather than blindly follow the ignorant masses. The Qur'an commands us in Surah Al-Kahf, "And don't obey any whose heart We have permitted to neglect the remembrance of Us, one who follows his own desires, whose case has gone beyond all bounds." [Al-Kahf 18:28]
Yet, unfortunately, we find very little opposition or reflection from Muslims, many of whom have chosen to blindly follow the pop culture. Many Muslims have assured themselves that the books are harmless fiction. Others even claim them to be beneficial because they encourage reading. Reading what? It does not occur to them to ask that question.
Islam prohibits both pointless entertainment (lahw) and sorcery. But countless Muslims seem to be unaware of that. And they are the ones fascinated by Harry Potter.
1668. `Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) said: Some people asked the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) about soothsayers. He (PBUH) said, "They are of no account.'' Upon this they said to him, "O Messenger of Allah! But they sometimes make true predictions.'' Thereupon the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "That is a word pertaining to truth which a jinn snatches (from the angels) and whispers into the ears of his friend (the soothsayers) who will then mix more than a hundred lies with it.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
The narration in Al-Bukhari is: "The angels descend in the clouds and mention matters which has been decreed in heaven; Satan steals a hearing (listens to it stealthily) and communicates it to the soothsayers who tell along with it a hundred lies.''
Commentary: Kahin (soothsayer), Munajjim (astrologer) and Arraf (foreteller) have similar characteristics but with a slight difference. All of them make predictions about the future. Kahin would overhear some jinn and disclose the secret to people which would sometimes prove true, because the jinn's source of information was Satan who sometimes stole away some information from the angels. But after the annunciation of the Prophet (PBUH) it was made impossible for jinns and satans to overhear anything in the skies. Moreover, Kahin and others of his ilk would make predictions on the basis of certain signs and circumstantial evidence which could go wrong or right. This is so even to this day. Astrological prediction is also a form of foretelling but this is often wrong. Al-`Irafah, or what is known to be as divination is also an indication of some future occurrence on the basis of certain causes and events. All the three occult arts supplement each other and also take the help of similar other things. In other words, these are all different forms of soothsaying. Geomancy also tries to tell about the invisible future. At-Tarq is the art of taking omen by striking birds with gravel on their wings or by throwing barley, etc., before them. In the latter formula, if a bird flies towards the right side, it would be a good omen; and if it goes towards the left it will be a bad one. All such things are unlawful and have been strictly forbidden by Islam. If anything predicted by these means comes by chance true, it does not furnish any justification for their validity.
1669. Narrated Safiyyah, daughter of Abu `Ubaid, on the authority of some of the wives of the Prophet (PBUH) who said, "He who goes to one who claims to tell about matters of the Unseen and believes in him, his Salat (prayers) will not be accepted for forty days.''
Commentary: We learn from this Hadith that visiting soothsayers and astrologers for the purpose of knowing from them what lies hidden in future is such a great offense that he who does it, loses all merits of his forty days Salat. Some people try to detect the culprits involved in a theft case through the so-called fortunetellers or seek their advice in matters relating to business, marriage etc. All such things are unlawful because Allah Alone knows the invisible world.
1670. Qabisah bin Al-Mukhariq (May Allah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying, "The practice of `Iyafah, the interpretation of omens from the flight of birds, the practice of divination by drawing lines on the ground and taking evil omens are all practices of Al-Jibt (the idol, the diviner, or sorcerer).''
Commentary: Iyafah is an occult practice in which the practitioner rapidly draws lines on the soft ground in the presence of his client in such a manner that the lines cannot be counted then he effaces the lines in pairs. If at the end of the exercise two lines are left on the ground, it is taken as a good omen; if it is a single line, it is a bad omen. Some people have also described certain other forms of this occult formula. In any case, it was one of the formulas practised by the soothsayers of the Period of Ignorance. This practice, like others of this kind, was prohibited and Muslims were made to understand that such things could neither benefit nor harm anyone, and were mere tricks and frauds; and any reliance on them was absolute superstition and heresy. How sad it is that a large number of Muslims of the present age have faith in such occult practices and believe in superstitions. May Allah grant us guidance and save us from such evils. Al-Jibt covers a wide meanings. It means anything worshipped other than the true God (Allah), i.e., all false deities, be they an idol, Satan, graves, stars, angels, saints, Jesus the son of Mary, etc.
1671. Ibn `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "He who acquires a branch of the knowledge of astrology, learns a branch of magic (of which he acquires more as long as) he continues to do so.''
Commentary: In this Hadith, astrology has been regarded a part of magic. In Islam the learning of magic has been held equivalent to infidelity. Thus, it is evident that in Islam, astrology and soothsaying are highly dangerous, and learning them is a great sin. Astrology here stands for that pseudo-science on the basis of which future events are predicted with reference to the movements of stars. There is another science called astronomy by means of which timings of sunrise and sunset are calculated. This branch of science, however, is a genuine science because it is based on experiment and observation.
1672. Mu`awiyah bin Al-Hakam (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I said: "O Messenger of Allah, I have recently emerged from ignorance and Allah has favoured me with Islam. There are still some men among us who visit the soothsayers to consult them (on matters relating to the future).'' He (PBUH) replied, "Do not visit them.'' I said: "There are some men who are guided by omens.'' He replied, "These are the ideas which come up in their minds but you should not be influenced by them (i.e., these things) should not prevent them from pursuing their works.'' I said: "There are some men who practise divination by drawing lines on the ground.'' The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) replied, "There was a Prophet who drew lines, the line which agrees with the line drawn by that Prophet would be correct.''
1. This Hadith has already appeared earlier [Hadith No 701]. "These are the ideas which come up in their minds'' means that sometimes something appears and one's mind at once takes it as a bad omen. This is something instinctive and natural and one is not accountable for it. But if one acts in accordance with that omen then what he does is wrong and is, therefore, forbidden. For this reason, the Prophet (PBUH) said, "(i.e., these things) should not prevent them from pursuing their works.''
2. The drawing of a line mentioned in this Hadith is different from the drawing of lines in `Iyafah mentioned earlier. Moreover, that was an act of a Prophet which was done by him in the light of Wahy sent to him by Allah and, therefore, was certainly correct. But now, nobody possesses that knowledge and cannot, therefore, be adopted. The statement of the Prophet (PBUH) that: "The line which agrees with the line drawn by that Prophet would be correct'' was by way of elucidation. It does not mean that that act can also be done by anyone today, for how can it be done without knowing its principles. How did that Prophet of Allah draw that line? What were its principles? Since that knowledge has passed away with that Prophet, it is now no longer valid, nor would it be fruitful.
Who was the Prophet who did it? Some people say it was Prophet Daniyal (Daniel), while other think it was Prophet Idris. Allah Alone knows the truth.
1673. Abu Mas`ud Al-Badri (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) prohibited the price of a dog, the earning of an prostitute, and the money given to a soothsayer.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
1. "Prohibition of the price of dog'' signifies that the sale and purchase of dogs is forbidden. This a general order which applies to dog of every kind, whether it is for hunting or protection of farms (which is permissible) or is a tamed one. The reason being that dog is an absolutely unclean animal no matter what breed it is. Some `Ulama' are of the opinion that the sale and purchase of such dog which one intends to keep for lawful needs such as hunting and protecting farms is permissible. So far as reasoning is concerned, the views of the majority of `Ulama' are quite strong because we find absolute prohibition of dogs in this Hadith.
The earning of a vile woman has been called `Dower' in the Hadith because of its evident form, otherwise it is unlawful and nobody accepts its justification. Similar is the case of soothsayers, astrologers, fortunetellers and all those who fool people by telling them about future and thus swindle money from them. Their income is also unlawful.
2. It is also unlawful to make any payment to such swindlers because when it is not lawful for them to make money in this manner, how can we consider the money given to them lawful?