Tag Archives: hadith

Learn your tradition first!

Rejecting the practice of the religion of what you are already upon without studying it in detail in favour of more [seemingly] “convincing” arguments is crass stupidity. I am concerned that a lot of youth, without taking the time to study their religion properly [according to their Madhhab], leave the tradition that they were on by default in favour of [blindly] following someone [a non-Madhhabi] who quotes Quran and hadith and makes a “convincing” argument. It is easy to “convince” someone who doesn’t really know much in the first place and thus our youth fall prey to misguidance.

When some young people rediscover their faith they end up rejecting their default religious practices as inherited by them through their parents. Whilst many non-Islamic cultural practices may have crept in, the foundations of what they were already upon are solid and established,  rooted in the Quran and Sunnah and should not be dismissed out of hand without serious study and contemplation.

My advice to the youth who rediscover their faith is LEARN YOUR OWN TRADITION PROPERLY before you decide to jump ship. As with most things, appearances can be deceiving and none more so than in religion where you think you are going to something more “authentic” and “true” when in fact it is something with a veneer of authenticity based upon a faulty understanding of the religion.

They should also know that the Madhhabs are based on solid foundations and have stood the test of time and all those people from the élite of this Umma down to the commonfolk have all adhered to one of the four Sunni Madhhabs. The call against following a Madhhab is a new one, a bida that has appeared and which has grown more vocal over the last 100/150 years.

One of the root causes of this phenomenon is that most mosques and local religious authorities do not offer any foundational Islamic education nor do they have any concept of pastoral care. Many kids do not enjoy the mosque experience when they are sent as small children to learn the Quran by rote. Often times they are verbally and physically abused and once completing the Quran they leave the mosque with a negative association. Additionally, many youth are alienated from their local mosques and imams because the mosque is usually run by narrow-minded  individuals and imams who have little or no command of the English language and who have no empathy or any idea of what the needs of such young people are. Faced with this, these young people go looking for religious instruction and pretty soon they will come across people who will show them “Quran” and “Sunnah” and quote “sahih” hadith and give them “authentic” aqida and all the while they are feeding them a slow poison that is turning them against their families and communities.  We can’t blame these kids, after all, they have reached a stage in their lives where they have concern for their akhira and ultimately this is their driving their motivation and they are sincere, the tragedy is that they are looking in the wrong places for guidance because the right places are barren.

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NASA confirms Sun can rise from the West?

I got this in my InBox recently and immediately I realised it was just some lazy Pakistani journalist trying to fill some column inches.

He says:

“The science of astronomy states that the speed of planet Mars has been decreasing in its course toward the eastern direction in the past few weeks”

No, Mars has not been slowing down, the speed of its orbit hasn’t changed, it’s just a quirk of geometry that it seems that way relative to the Earth.

Quite clearly this hack doesn’t understand the phenomenon in question, namely the retrograde motion of Mars. He proudly states:

“Then in the months of August and September… Mars changed its course in the opposite direction to the West- and that until the end of September which means the sun will rise now from the west on Mars!!”

No! Mars has not changed direction, it is still going the same way in its own orbit around the Sun, even on Mars the Sun rises and sets as it has always done, he does go on to say

“And this weird phenomena of the opposite movement is called “Retrograde Motion”

but completely fails to understand what this means. Here a nice animation that will demonstrate Retrograde Motion.

You’ll see from the animation that it is an illusion, nothing has changed.

He also says:

“Most scientist state that all the planets will go through the same once at least and our planet Earth is one of them. Planet Earth will move in the opposite direction some day and the sun will rise from the west!!”

Really? And which scientists would that be? If the Earth were to either spin in the opposite direction or change it’s orbit to be in the opposite direction, then way before even any of that comes close life on Earth would have come to an end.

He ends with:

“This piece of news is very important as it brings with it a great sign of warning and remembrance of the coming of a new WORLD”

It would be important if it was accurate and if you bothered to check with a science teacher at your local primary school then you would have written a piece of news.

Now, he is right that there is a hadith about the Sun rising from the West. The hadith, more than likely, is alluding to something else perhaps, or some strange inexplicable phenomenon. What happens on Mars relatively to us viewing from Earth is not relevant to the hadith.

The point I am making here is that we should not take third party sources that seemingly quote a credible source (NASA) as fact when the facts of the citation have not been established and then link them to prophecy or Qur’anic verses. Too many times I have seen such things being circulated only for the facts to be quite different and then Muslims end up looking stupid.

Again, I am not surprised that this is in a Pakistani Newspaper, I have read and seen many idiotic things in them by lazy hacks who just aren’t doing their jobs and writing about real issues.

Here’s the article:

Signs of the Day of Judgement: NASA confirms possibility of sun rising from the West

ARTICLE (April 09 2010): The science of astronomy states that the speed of planet Mars has been decreasing in its course toward the eastern direction in the past few weeks to the level we notice the “waver” between the east and the west and on Wednesday the 30th of July the planet movement stopped going toward the eastern direction.

Then in the months of August and September… Mars changed its course in the opposite direction to the West- and that until the end of September which means the sun will rise now from the west on Mars!! And this weird phenomena of the opposite movement is called “Retrograde Motion” Most scientist state that all the planets will go through the same once at least and our planet Earth is one of them. Planet Earth will move in the opposite direction some day and the sun will rise from the west!!

This might occur soon and we are unaware! The rise of the sun from the west is mentioned in the hadith and this is the major sign of the day of judgement, most if not all, the minor signs have occurred. Wake up. Our beloved messenger Mohamed (Peace Be Upon Him) said: “One of the signs of the hour the sun will rise from the west, where no longer tauba (forgiveness) will be granted”!!

And the strange thing most of our Shariah scholars mentioned that the rise of the sun from the west occurs only once on that day the sun will rise from the west then again from the east and continues until Allah wishes and this is similar to what is happening to Mars it stops, then it changes its course of direction for a short period of time then returns to way once it was.

And Abdullah Bin Amro (R.A.) said: (I memorised from the messenger (SAW) a hadith I will never forget I heard the messenger of Allah (SAW) say: The first aya to come the rise of the sun from the west) [Ahmad]. And the messenger SAW “Allah places HIS hand at night to forgive his morning sinners, and places in the morning to forgive his night sinners until the sun rises from the west” [Muslim].

This piece of news is very important as it brings with it a great sign of warning and remembrance of the coming of a new WORLD – the world of he Hereafter When we show this hadith that was told 1400 years ago about this miracle..you will see InshaALLAH, a lot will revert to right path…And the Muslims if they see this phenomena happening in Mars who knows maybe it would bring them closer to our CREATOR. May Allah keep all of us in the right path and provide us with success in this world as well as in the hereafter.

The Source for this was a Pakistani Newspaper called The Business Recorder.

Does a single Islamic Culture exist?

Over on Facebook someone copied and pasted the hadith (or at least a paraphrased version of it) “Whomsoever emulates a nation is one of them.” (Abu Dawud) on to their status.

I saw this and noticed that the person who posted this hadith has a picture of three Muslims in trainers (called sneakers in the USA), blue jeans and t-shirts and striking a pose that is culturally specific to Western culture but more specifically to American culture, the only thing that alerts you to the fact that they are Muslims are 1. the T-shirts have “Muslim” emblazoned across them and other Muslim slogans and 2. they are wearing kufis – Muslim skullcaps. Aside from these two tell tale signs, they are dressed in an overt and ostensible classic American style, one could say emulating the culture of the USA.

I posted a comment on the brother’s status:

Hadith like this need to be explained. I mean, is wearing jeans and T-shirts emulating?

You can see what I was getting at. I then get a wall-to-wall message from the brother:

salam akhi in responce…The Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) has stated very clearly: “Whomsoever emulates a nation is one of them.” (Abu Dawud) From this Hadith we deduce that emulating the Kuffar is Haraam (totally prohibited) in regards to religious and social habits which are confined to them only.

It is unfortunate that we find many Muslims openly following many customs of the Kufaar ?following the celebration of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Birthdays and now even Valentine?s Day. In western countries, there is a growing social and religious integration between the Muslims and the non-Muslims. Muslims, today, are fusing their Islamic culture with that of the Kuffar. This absorbance of cultures has been achieved to such an extent that some Muslims have even abandoned their very own Islamic identity and Islamic culture. They are unable to differentiate between what is right and wrong. Christmas, birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day

I then responded to this as follows:

Islam accepts (and indeed absorbs) the cultures and traditions of other societies on the condition that they do not violate the Shariah, I notice from your profile picture that you and the brothers in it have a culturally very American look, is that not imitating the kuffar? Also exactly what is “Islamic culture”, I do not believe that an identifiable “Islamic culture” actually exists, rather Muslims have their own culture based on where they are from (with the aforementioned caveat of not violating the Shariah), therefore we see Muslims from China exhibiting Chinese culture, so too the Indo-Paks have their own culture, the Turks very much have their own culture (and more distinctly so during the Ottoman period), various far-eastern Muslims and even the Arabs are culturally diverse too and display their own culture? I think it is far too simplistic to take a single hadith and apply it to all situations and conditions, when clearly there are certain criteria that apply.

As mentioned in my response, there is really no such thing as a specifically identifiable monolithic “Islamic culture” that the brother has alluded to above, when Islam embeds itself into a country, culture or society, the norms of that society are generally accepted with proviso that the practices do not violate a principle of the Shariah. Principially, the overwhelming things and actions in this world are HALAL (permissible) unless an evidence can be brought to the contrary. With this principle in mind we don’t just throw out culture wholesale, we evaluate, discard what is incorrect and accept what is good. We only have to look at the periods of Islamic conquests to realise that Islam, or rather Muslims (without objection from the ulama), took from the cultures they conquered and took what benefited and left that which did not, the culture then took on a new form specific to that time and place. Ottoman mosques resemble Byzantine basilicas, in many cases that’s what they once were, in other cases the Ottomans employed Byzantine artisans and craftsman. Chinese mosques look like Chinese temples, Indo-Pak mosques have borrowed from culturally “Hindu” (as opposed to religiously Hindu) art and craft, the influences are unmistakeable.

My last response on this thread was:

This hadith requires an exposition and needs the parameters defined, this is why we rely on rulings derived from hadith rather than an hadith on its own to establish a ruling. The wording of the hadith [in question] is general and on the face of it seems to suggest that *any* emulation/imitation makes you from that nation, additionally, as stated, it doesn’t suggest that it is a bad thing (being from the nation you emulate) since the Qur’an has stated “We have made you into nations so that you may know one another”, so immediately there is a problem of defining what is meant by the hadith.

The upshot here is that quoting a hadith and establishing it as a ruling is not correct, hadith are the raw materials which the jurists use to provide the rulings which we follow, essentially the fuqaha (jurists) operationalise the Sacred texts for us. May Allah make us of those who follow right guidance and understanding.