بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Subhan Allah, it’s amazing. I’ve noticed that when topics like “dawah” or “hijab” or “Hajj” or “Ramadan” or “the biography of the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam)”, are discussed, many people flock to listen.
However, when the topic is aqeedah (creed) then………most of the people vanish.
And why is that, I wonder? The most important thing that a Muslim needs to have is the correct aqeedah. Everything else (ibaadah, good manners, etc) follows after that.
I’ve mentioned the importance of tawheed and aqeedah before and I’ll do so again.
[Note: Tawheed means “worshipping Allah alone” whereas Aqeedah is something that one firmly believes in and follows. So, our aqeedah is the aqeedah of tawheed.
Aqeedah is more general than tawheed. You can read a short explanation of this issue here.]
This is what Imam As-Saadi (rahimahullah) had to say about tawheed:
“There is nothing that produces such good results nor holds such a variety of virtues like tawheed”. [For more virtues of tawheed, you may refer to the article where this quote was taken from.]
Tawheed has different branches. One of those is the tawheed of Allah’s Names and Attributes.
As the scholars pointed out, the greatness of a subject depends on the greatness of its subject matter.
What does the tawheed of Allah’s Names and Attributes discuss? Well, it talks about Allah’s Beautiful Names and His Attributes which means that it is talking about Allah Himself.
Is there a subject matter greater than this? No.
Therefore, this is the greatest subject.
Also, one should realise that they cannot get close to Allah without knowing anything about Him! The more one knows about Allah’s Names and His Attributes, the more that they will love and obey Him.
So, if someone is interested in studying this subject, what should he/she do?
Well, the first thing to do is to make sure that you learn it from a person with proper aqeedah, because if you don’t, you’re finished. Your aqeedah will be in tatters if you ever study this great subject with any of the people of innovation.
Also, one should know that this field talks about two matters: 1) Allah’s Names and 2) His Attributes so one should study both matters.
A point of caution: This is not an easy subject although it is a very important one. So be patient, strive hard, and ask Allah to make it easy for you.
For those who might want to learn more about Allah’s Attributes, I would encourage them to read Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen’s (rahimahullah) explanation of Al-Aqeedah Al-Wasitiyyah.
Al-Aqeedah Al-Wasitiyyah is a book written by the amazing scholar Ibn Taimiyyah (rahimahullah) (he was the teacher of Imams Ibn Kathir and Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahumullah)) and it basically focus on the Attributes of Allah and what the Quran and the Sunnah say about them.
Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen was an awesome scholar, maasahaa Allah, who died about 10 years ago. He had a really wonderful way of explaining things so all the hard stuff looks easy.
I read Volume 1 of the translation of his book (the explanation of Al-Aqeedah Al-Wasitiyyah) and I loved it. Why?
– Well, it’s about my favourite subject (tawheed)
– He makes it so easy and tries to give many examples so that a person can understand the concept.
– His tafsir.
I know, you might be like “Tafsir? Isn’t that an explanation of the Quran? What does that have to do with a book on Aqeedah?”
Well, because a vast majority of the book are ayaat (verses) from the Quran and because he explains each of them, this book really ends up doubling as a book of tafsir.
[And Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen’s tafsir is another story. I need to write another post just to tell you how much I love reading his tafsir.]
– The heart softeners.
You know, there is nothing as heart softening as tawheed.
In this explanation, Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen keeps talking about “behavioural aspects” meaning how the knowledge of such and such attribute must make us behave. So, rather than being a technical book on tawheed, his explanation is very practical and useful for daily life.
So, am I going to link to this explanation? No, because it’s not online (not that I know of).
There is a summarised translation of this explanation online but it seems to be a quarter of the original size.
How can you get your hands on the two volume copy? Well, Darussalam is the one that published this book so you may it buy from them.
This is what the book looks like: http://store.dar-us-salam.com/nw/242.html
Just a few points:
1) Darussalam has another explanation of Al-Aqeedah Al-Wasitiyyah as well. That is a small book but the one that I’m talking about is much more detailed.
2) For those of you who might want to buy the Arabic copy and live in Dubai, I’d advise you to buy it from Al-Furqan bookstore. That’s where I bought my Arabic copy from and it’s a wonderful edition.
3) Would I recommend this book to complete beginners? Well, no. I think one should have some background of tawheed otherwise they might get a bit confused.
4) The book doesn’t just talk about Allah’s Attributes. There’s loads of other stuff mentioned there as well.
5) I’m not too good with book reviews but I hope that the post encourages you to read this book!
6)Yes, yes, yes. Anyone who knows me personally can borrow my Arabic or English copies, insha-Allah.
Yes, this awful day is almost upon us.
These days, many Muslims take the matter of celebrating days like this very lightly.
This is a BIG mistake. Apart from the fact that we were ordered to only celebrate Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha, days like Halloween and Valentine’s Day have really ghastly origins. They’ve got kufr (disbelief) written all over them.
And please don’t say “It’s in the intention.”
When you know that these things contain things which displease Allah, then how can you do them and then say “My intention was good”? A good intention means that you were trying to please Allah, and obviously you cannot please Him with that which He dislikes!
It is not befitting for the one who believes in Allah and the Last Day to take part in such festivals. It’s as simple as that.
So, here’s a short article on the pagan origins of this day: Halloween by Muhammad Al-Jibaaly.
Here’s another one that explains the ruling on greeting the kuffar (disbelievers) on their festivals: Greeting the kuffar on their festivals by Ibn Uthaimeen (rahimahullah)
And here’s a rather ghastly looking poster that you can put outside your house to stop those kids from banging on your door and demanding that you give them some candy.
“Ruling”, you ask? There’s a “ruling” on becoming angry when one’s life is in shambles?
Actually, yes, there is.
I’ll talk a bit more about this in the Common (but Dangerous) Mistakes Series, insha-Allah.
For now, here’s the mind-blowing article: Ruling on Becoming Angry when Afflictions occur by Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen (rahimahullah).
I just came across this very nice article by Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen (rahimahullah) about the number of rakaahs in Taraweeh.
Everyone is advised to read it – especially those who spend time fighting over whether it’s supposed to be 8 or 20 rakaahs.
Concerning the Number of Rak’ahs in Taraaweeh
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih Al-‘Uthaymeen
Translated exclusively for http://www.bakkah.net
[In the Name of Allaah, the All-Merciful… After mentioning the Sunnah of praying 11 and 13 rak’ahs for Taraaweeh, and that it is best, Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih Al-‘Uthaymeen then said:]
However, if the people of the masjid prefer that he (the imaam) shortens the length of the recitation and the length of the bowings and prostrations, and increases the number of rak’ahs, saying: “Verily this is easier on us,” then there is no harm if he agrees with them, due to the generality of the statement of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam):
“Make things easy and do not make things difficult.” 
And also due to the generality of his statement (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam):
“When one of you leads the people (in prayer), then let him shorten (the length of the prayer).” 
So long as we do not fall into anything prohibited, then bringing ease to those under our authority is better and takes precedence. The imaam is the one responsible for the masjid, having been put in authority over the praying people, thus he is called the “imaam.” The imaam is the one who has authority over them in affairs related to the prayer, for example he orders them to establish their rows and straighten them. So if the imaam is requested to be easy on them by increasing the number (of rak’ahs) while shortening the bowings, prostrations, and recitations, then there is no harm in that.
With this we must say that it is not befitting for us that we be excessive or neglectful, as some of the people commit ghuluw (excessiveness) when they stick to the Sunnah of the number (of rak’ahs), saying, “It is not permissible to increase upon the number that comes in the Sunnah,” and they speak in the sternest way against someone who increases upon that (by praying more than 11 or 13 rak’ahs), saying that he is sinful and disobedient. And there is no doubt that this is a mistake. How could he be sinful or disobedient when the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) was asked about the night prayer, and he said:
“(It is) two (rak’ahs) by two (rak’ahs).” 
And he did not limit it to any set number. And it is well known that a person who asks about the night prayer does not know the number (of its rak’ahs), since the one who does not know how to pray the night prayer would more rightfully not know the number (of its rak’ahs). Furthermore, he (the questioner) was not from the servants of the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam), so we can not say that he knew about the affairs within his house.
One of my friends (you know who you are) just sent me this wonderful article.
We only have 12 days of Ramadan left so we need to squeeze them for all their worth.
Turn your Regular Activities into Acts of Worship
Beware of slacking in acts of worship during the Month of Ramadan
by Sheikh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-’Uthaymeen, may Allah have mercy upon him.
All praise is due to Allah, much blessed praise. I bear witness that no one has the right to be worshipped except Allah alone having no partners.
And I bear witness that Muhammad is His Slave and Messenger. Allah sent him with the guidance and the religion of truth, aided him against his enemies and thus he vanquished them with a severe vanquishing. So all the praise is for Allah, the Lord of all that exist and may peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, companions and all those who follow them in goodness until the Day of Judgment.
As for what follows:
O Mankind: How many of a people wish to reach the Month of Ramadan but do not reach?!
How many of a people were thinking about fasting Ramadan but did not get the chance to fast it?!
How many a people are in their grave(s) depending upon their deeds, incapable of adding a single good deed to his good deeds or able to diminish a single evil deed from his evil deeds?!
But you, Allah has favored you to reach this virtuous month, therefore take advantage of it by doing righteous actions that draw you closer to Allah! Seize this happening with a good intention and sincerity to Allah, ‘azza wa jall, and properly following His Messenger, sallahu ‘alayhi wasallam.
O Muslims! Indeed many of the people are (very) heedless in this Month. They spend their nights in senseless matters that do not contain any benefit in them. Rather, these matters could quite well be detrimental for them. They loiter around in the market places waiting for suhoor (pre-dawn meal) until when the time for suhoor comes; they eat and may even over sleep the fajr prayer. As regards their day(s), majority of them are spent sleeping. They don’t benefit from them. And this, by Allah, is (without question) bereavement. Certainly, this time period, rather this magnificent season is for gain and profit; the individual seizes this opportunity to get closer to Allah, ‘azza wa jall.