ISSUE 7 / FREERAMADHAN 1437 / JUNE 2016
By the students of Imam Zakariya Academy under the guidance of Mufti Shah Sadruddin
O Allah, You are Most Forgiving, and You love forgiveness; so forgive me
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Islamic Slaughter: Animal Welfare
My Friend Allah
Mufti Muhammed Shafi
Did You Know?
Sunnah Of the Prophet
Fountain Of Hadith
Alim Course Timetable
rBy Ubaidullah Bapu
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Contents Imam Ahmad r
Adversity, persecution and Imam Ahmad: An ideal example
In recent times we have witnessed the persecution of innocent people across the world; from the ongoing Syrian conflict to a surge in Islamophobic attacks on Muslims in the UK. Our rich Islamic history provides countless examples of figures standing up for the truth and exercising forbearance. Yet one scholars example is particularly profound; Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbalr.
Imam Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Hanbal (164-241 AH/780-855 CE) is an exemplary figure from the first three generations after the Prophet g. An illustrious scholar noted for his asceticism, erudition as well as his Musnad, he is also the founder of one of the four schools of thought in Islamic jurisprudence. His scholastic accomplishments truly need no introduction.
However, amongst the achievements that distinguishes Imam Ahmad is his fortitude and steadfastness upon the truth when he was persecuted by the Mutazilite establishment. During the second century, Hellenistic thought began to seep into Muslim lands through the availability of Greek works translated into Arabic. The supposed rationality of these treatises appealed to a faction of the Muslims, as they attempted to reconcile Islamic doctrine with philosophical supposition. At the forefront were the Mutazilites, who
advocated a belief in the creation of the Quran - the eternal word of God.
Through the support of the Abbasid regime, this belief was imposed upon Muslims as state doctrine. Many scholars at the time ceded to this belief either due to convenience or fearing persecution and torture from tyrannical governors. The execution of many scholars who maintained the orthodox stance only emphasised the scourge engulfing the Muslims at the time. Meanwhile, the great Imam was not executed, but his courage against the heretics culminated in his imprisonment and torture. The oppressors fettered Imam Ahmad in shackles and whipped him relentlessly as they urged him to retract the orthodox view of the Muslims. Imam Ahmad, whilst in the state of fasting, was implored by those who witnessed his torture to retract his view and profess the Mutazilite doctrine to save himself (as it is advised to save ones life in such a situation). Yet Imam Ahmad remained steadfast, as he had a greater concern for the Ummah and what would happen if he surrendered to the deviants. Imam Ahmad acknowledged the responsibility that rested on him due to his status as a true scholar of the believers. Thus, he was uncompromising and remained patient, despite his captors warning him that he could die like this. Imam Ahmad simply replied (al-farqu baynanaa wa baynakum al-janaiz), The difference between us
will be manifested in our janazah (i.e. that they should beware of what happens at their deaths and to observe his). They knew he would be resilient to uphold the truth and he was finally released after spending over two years imprisoned. He eventually passed away at the age of 77. One of his sons mentions that his father still had scars from the lashes when he passed away. Despite this, over 800,000 people attended his janazah in Baghdad to pay tribute to the noble scholar. It has also been recorded that twenty thousand people accepted Islam on that day.The words with which Imam Ahmad warned his persecutors were manifested. His patience and perseverance was truly accepted by Allah as the great Imam remained fearless and unwavering in his position. It is also due to this ibn Qutaybah states, When you find a person who loves Ahmad ibn Hanbal, you should know he is a follower of the Sunnah. Imam Ahmad not only left a legacy in the Islamic sciences, from hadith, jurisprudence and theology, but he also symbolised the example set by our beloved Prophet g and his companions r in standing up for the truth and remaining steadfast in turbulent times. It is for these reasons he is recognised as the mujaddid of his time.
May Allah enable us to follow the footsteps of such great figures. Ameen.
By Ubaidullah Bapu (Graduated)
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Ramadhan The Month of Blessing
How do I become the friend of Allah the Exalted? How do I draw closer to the one who created me? How do I attain the Taqwa which will prevent me from disobeying my Lord? These are questions which should occupy the mind and heart of every believer.
Rejoice O believer! in the saying of Allah the Exalted, O you who believe! Fasting has been prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become from the Muttaqun (the pious, the righteous, those who fear Allah c much: they abstain from all kinds of sin and evil which He has forbidden, and those who love Allah c much: they perform all kinds of good which he has ordained)
The blessed month of Ramadhan is casting its shade upon us, the month of forgiveness, mercy and blessings, the month in which Allah the All Mighty revealed the glorious Quran, and in which , The gates of Paradise are thrown open, the gates of Hellfire are closed, and the devils are imprisoned. (Bukhari)
Welcoming the Holy month of RamadhanEvery activity requires preparation. Just as our bodies need to be warmed up before a football game or the engines in our vehicles need to be warm before putting our foot down, our hearts and limbs need to be moistened and warmed up by the worship of Allah c in preparation for this great
month. The Messenger of Allah g would prepare for the month of Ramadhan by increasing the amount of worship and he would supplicate two months in advance: O Allah! Make the months of Rajab and Shaban blessed for us, and let us reach the month of Ramadan (i.e. prolong our life up to Ramadan, so that we may benefit from its merits and blessings) (At-Tabarani and Ahmad). Thus we should all increase the quality and quantity of our worship in preparation for the coming of Ramadhan, specifically in the recitation of the Glorious Quran, the quality of our salaah, and the remembrance (dhikr) of Allah c.
How to gain Maximum benefit from fastingImam Ghazali r mentions in his renowned work Ihya Al Uloom Al deen that there are 3 grades of fasting; Ordinary, special and exceptional. Ordinary fasting is merely abstaining from food, drink and sexual satisfaction. How many people who fast, do not gain anything from their fast but thirst (Al Darami). Imam Bukhari r mentions in his saheeh, Allah is not in need of anyone abandoning his food and drink who does not abandon lies and acting by them while fasting. Brothers and sisters it is thus imperative and of utmost importance that we do not fall into this category and that we abstain from all types of sin, especially whilst fasting.Special Fasting requires one to restrain
the eyes, ears, tongue, hands, feet and all other organs from the disobedience of Allah c, be it backbiting, lying, using abusive language, looking at haram, committing haram and those things which lead to haraam. This grade of fasting with the permission of Allah c will bring about self-discipline and subjugate the desires of the nafs (inner self ). It will allow the individual to gradually gain control over those desires which lead to sin. It will also make us inclined to the worship of Allah c and most importantly, will be a means of gaining piety and His nearness.Exceptional Fasting is the fasting of the heart from unworthy concerns and worldly thoughts, in total disregard of everything but Allah c. This type of fast also incorporates all that is mentioned in the special fasting category. This is the fast that we should all aim for and yearn to fulfil. This is the fast which will lead to us becoming the Awliyaa (special friends of Allah c), and it will lead to his love, obedience and servitude.
How to spend RamadhanIt is clear from the brief discourse above, that there are innumerable bounties and blessings which descend in this great month. It is therefore imperative to ensure that not a single moment is wasted and that every opportunity is grasped. The abundance of mercy in this month is so great that the person who lets these days pass without gaining the forgiveness of Allah c has been cursed [Ibn Hibbaan].
By Arif Desai (Year 5)
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Attempting to balance between daily commitments whilst ensuring that we do not disregard the virtues and significance of this month is a challenge that we face. We will discuss, with the permission of Allah c, practical methods and routines which will help us attain maximum benefit in Ramadhan. Particular focus has been directed towards helping those individuals who are working to manage their time effectively and facilitate for worship.
It is advisable that we try and take some days off during this month, so that we can devote some time exclusively for Allah c. However, this may not be possible for all of us. For those that will be working, we will list some practical steps which if followed, will InshaAllah allow us to make the most of the time available.
There is no intelligence like good planning (Al Bayhaqi). We need to plan, organise and structure our month, devising a structured timetable which is challenging yet achievable. Time should be ded