Time: An Irrecoverable Bounty
By Shaykh-ul-Hadīth, Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh
Once, I was reading an article wherein the author had stated that from among all the favours of Allāh ta‘ālā, for every one of them there can possibly be something that may substitute it, to some extent if not fully, apart from the favour of time, for once passed, no amount of effort can bring it back neither can anything substitute it. Take the example of the favour of sight. When lost, its restoration is not totally inconceivable. Even in the state of blindness, perception, to some extent, is possible with the help of other physical senses.
So a bounty whose value excels that of others in every respect deserves to be expended carefully and in worthwhile activities. Yet we witness that carelessness shown by people in the bounty of time is more than in any other favour of Allāhta‘ālā.
Every moment that passes by takes away a portion of our lives. The more we grow in age the less becomes our expectancy of living further in this world. Time is the only possession of this life, which decreases constantly and with precise regularity, yet in a very unnoticeable manner.
An Urdu poet has stated that the passing of time in every man’s life is as quiet and (yet) as certain as the melting of ice.
So it is of extreme importance that we utilise our time in fruitful and rewarding pursuits and not waste it away as we usually tend to do. Let us learn to value time in the forthcoming holidays, and then, if Allāh ta‘ālā wills, we will gradually become accustomed to it and maintain the attitude throughout the year.
The easiest method of preventing yourself from wasting time as well as gaining most from it is to prepare a timetable for yourself. This is not dissimilar to making a budget in the domain of economics. If one wishes to increase in one’s savings one will have to make a budget, thereby defining the limits of expenditure. On the contrary, if a person walks around with his entire income in his pocket, without any allocation of money, and continues to spend as the need arises, far from saving up any further, he will end up resorting to and depleting the original savings. So as we manage our finances for economical reasons so should we manage our time and maintain the same economical attitude here too.
Now as far as wasting time is concerned, there isn’t obviously a single way to do that. People will naturally waste time according to their respective inclinations or dispositions. Some may resort to completely meaningless activities and others may prefer to just sit idle and laze around. Moreover, some may become victims of overindulgence or fall a prey to perpetual self-satisfaction. Whichever the case, what is important to remember here is that the worst form of wasting time is to indulge in sinning and displeasing Allāh ta‘ālā. The displeasure of Allāh ta‘ālā is caused by the mere wasting of time too, but sinning will call for His extreme anger and invite His wrath. This is another point, which we need to earnestly reflect upon. For some temporary enjoyment we readily sacrifice our eternal abode of pleasure. For some trivial materialistic pleasure we are prepared to displease our Creator, the One Who has provided us with a vast array of bounties and different forms of lawful satisfaction of desires. Indeed He is the One Who has given us this very strength and capability which we are using to commit sins. How can we possibly displease Him?
My brothers, in reality, there is hardly any sacrifice in refraining from sins. Many of us feel that it is extremely difficult or almost impossible to abstain from sins. This is nothing but an illusion from Shaytān. Even the little discomfort we may experience in restraining ourselves from fulfilling unlawful desires is caused by Shaytān. We should make a habit of keeping ourselves aloof from all sinful areas. It would be difficult to control and subdue the desires once having slipped. For instance, one should always keep one’s gaze down when walking the streets, as it would be difficult to avert the gaze once it falls on the opposite gender. According to a Hadīth, the gaze is a poisonous arrow from among the arrows of Shaytān. One who safeguards his eyes only due to the fear of Allāh, (far from being painful) he will find the sweetness of Īmān in his heart. (At-Targhīb)
To conclude, I would like to emphasise that in the coming holidays, and afterwards, we should manage our time and desist from wasting it, and in particular, refrain from committing sins and thereby displeasing Allāh ta‘ālā.
(Extracted from ‘Time - A Valuable Asset’ published by the Islāmic Da‘wah Academy)
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Written by Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi, Riyadh
Translated in English by Nehal Anwar Qasmi, Najran
Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa was born in Mau, Uttar Pradesh, India around 1930A.D (1350A.H). He graduated from a well-known Islamic seminary of the Indian subcontinent Darul Uloom Deoband in 1952A.D (1372A.H). Afterwards, he moved to Egypt and got the “Certificate of Alimiyat with permission to teach" from Al- Azhar University in 1955A.D. The same year, he went to Qatar where he taught Arabic to non-Arab students and later became a librarian in the National Public Library there. As he had deep interest in the science of Hadeeth serving in the library helped him to work on various manuscripts of Hadeeth.
In 1964A.D, Sheikh joined Cambridge University, UK for PhD under the guidance of A.J. Arberry and Prof. R.B. Serjeant. His topic was "Studies in the Early Hadeeth Literature". After completing doctorate he returned to Qatar and served as the director of the National Public Library for two years there.
In 1968, Sheikh was appointed as Associate Professor at Ummul-Qura University, Makkah. In 1973 he joined King Saud University as Professor of Hadeeth sciences. He remained there until his retirement in 1991. From 1968 upto his retirement, Sheikh oversaw many research works on different subjects of Hadeeth which were carried out by the students of both Ummul-Qura and King Saud Universities. He also served as member of various educational and research institutions across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Other honorary posts:
Beside being Associate Professor at Ummul-Qura University and Professor of Hadeeth sciences at King Saud University, Sheikh has also held other honorary posts in Saudi Arabia and abroad as follows:
1. Chairman of the Dep. of Islamic Studies, College of Education King Saud University.
2. Visiting Scholar at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan (1981-82).
3. Visiting Fellow of St. Cross College, Oxford, England (1987).
4. Visiting Scholar at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA (1989-91).
5. King Faisal Visiting Professor of Islamic Studies at Princeton University, New Jersey (1992).
6. Member of Committee for Promotion, University of Malaysia.
7. Honorary Professor, Dept. of Islamic Studies, University of Wales, England.
In 1980, Sheikh received the prestigious King Faisal Award for his following works on Hadeeth:
1. Diraasaat fil-Hadeeth Nabawi wa Tarikh-e-Tadweenihi (دراسات في الحديث النبوي وتاريخ تدوينه): Arabic translation of his doctoral thesis. In this book Sheikh has answered all the questions generally raised by the Orientalists to challenge the traditions of the Prophet (PBUH).
2. Saheeh ibn-e-Khuzaymah (صحيح ابن خزيمة): This book has been compiled by Ibn-e- Khuzaymah (RA). It consists of the authentic Ahadeeth which were included by the authors of both Saheeh Al Bukhari and Muslim. Sheikh edited this book and got it published in four volumes.
3. Computerization of the text of Ahadeeth: One of the Sheikh’s important achievements is that he is the first who computerized the Arabic texts of the books of Ahadeeth.
Scholars of the Indian subcontinent have the privilege to contribute to the science of Hadeeth in all possible ways. That includes teaching Ahadeeth, writing commentaries and books to defend their authenticity and transforming them into computerized books.
By editing books of Ahadeeth and answering the objections of the Orientalists regarding the compilation of the Holy Qur’an and Hadeeth, Dr Muhammad Mustafa Azmi has served Islam at such a high level that even non-Muslim scholars of the world acknowledge his deep knowledge and insight into the science of Hadeeth.
Although Sheikh Azmi has lived in Saudi Arabia with his family for decades, yet he has not forgotten his mother land. He still keeps visiting India as his health permits and contributes in all the possible ways for the betterment of the people of his area. Sheikh has a daughter named Fatima Mustafa Azmi. She has completed M.Com and PhD from America and now she is an Associate Professor at Sheikh Zaid University. He also has two sons Aqeel Mustafa Azmi and Anas Mustafa Azmi. The elder one Dr. Aqeel has completed Master's degree in Engineering and PhD from America and now he is an Associate Professor at King Saud University while the youngest son Dr. Anas holds a Ph.D from the UK and works in the King Faisal Specialist Hospital.
Brief introduction of Sheikh’s academic services:
1. Studies in early Hadeeth literature: It is the doctoral thesis of Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa in English language and is included in the syllabus of various universities in the eastern and western countries. The first edition of this book was published in Beirut in 1968 and the second and third in America in 1978 and 1988 and still continues to be published. It was translated into Turkish and Indonesian languages in 1993 and 1994 respectively.
2. دراسات في الحديث النبوي وتاريخ تدوينه : It is the Arabic translation of his thesis and consists of 712 pages. Both books deal with the history of compilation of Hadeeth and assert that the process of compilation of Hadeeth began in the life of the Prophet PBUH not in the second or third century of Hijri as many people allege.
3. منهج النقد عند المحدثين نشأته وتاريخه : As name suggests in this book Sheikh deals with the methodology of Scholars to measure Hadeeth’s authenticity and non-authenticity. It proves that the criteria which scholars of Hadeeth set to authenticate the collection of Ahadeeth is of such a high level that has no example even in the present world to validate any thing. This book is in Arabic language and is included in the syllabus of Islamic University, Al-Medina Al-Munawwarah. Its first, second and third editions were published respectively in 1975, 1982 and 1983 in Riyadh and is still being published by different publishing houses.
4. Studies in Hadeeth methodology and literature: This book deals with the method and literature of Hadeeth that helps comprehend the Ahadeeth properly. It also replies to all the questions of Orientalists regarding authenticity of Ahadeeth. Sheikh has divided the book into two volumes. First volume discusses the methodology whereas, the second one concentrates on Ahadeeth from literary perspective. This book also is a part of syllabus in many universities and has gone into several editions.
5. The history of the Qur’anic text from revelation to compilation: This book is one of the significant works of Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa in which he describes the history of compilation of the Qur’an and highlights its authenticity over other divine books after making detailed comparison between their methods of compilation. He also gives elaborate account of the way Hazrat Zaid bin Thabit (RA) adopted to give final shape to the Holy Qur’an. Unfortunately this book has not yet been translated into Arabic or Urdu due to declining health of Sheikh. But during my meeting on 8th February, 2013 he expressed his desire that somebody should come ahead to translate it.
6. On Schacht’s Origins of Muhammadan Jurisprudence: This book presents detailed analysis and critique of the book of the noted Orientalist Joseph Schacht and gives convincing answers to all the questions raised by the author regarding the Islamic Jurisprudence. This book also is a part of syllabus in various universities and has been translated into Turkish, Arabic and Urdu languages.
7. كتاب النبي : Historians in general count 40 to 45 companions of the Prophet (PBUH) who were assigned to write on behalf of the Prophet, but Sheik Azmi has recorded with historical evidences in this book over 60 companions who used to write for the Prophet. The first edition of this book was published in Damascus in 1974, in Beirut and Riyadh in 1978 and 1981. Now it has been translated into English and published.
8. المحدثون من اليمامة إلى 250 هجري تقريبا : There are many books available about the scholars of Hadeeth from different cities of the world. But it is the only book dedicated to highlight the scholarly services of the scholars from the city of Yamamah.
9. موطا إمام مالك : It is one of the most reliable books of Hadeeth which was written by Imam Malik (RA). Sheikh edited it and published it in 8 volumes. He has also worked on the Ruwat (narrators of Hadeeth) .
10. صحيح ابن خزيمة : As mentioned above, it is one of the important books of Hadeeth by Ibn-e-Khuzaima which comprises the most authentic Ahadeeth after Saheeh Al-Bukhari and Muslim. This book has vanished for a long period, even some people believed that it no longer exists in the world. It was Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa who first discovered the book and worked on it. Now it is available in 4 volumes. The first edition was published in Beirut in 1970, second and third in Riyadh and Beirut in 1982 and 1993 and still continues to be published.
11. العلل لعلي بن عبد الله المديني : A book on the Rijaal of Hadeeth has been edited by Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa.
12. سنن ابن ماجة : A book of Hadeeth which was edited and computerized first by Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa. The idea of computerizing the books of Hadeeth came to Sheikh’s mind when he was doing his PhD in Cambridge University. And he even worked on some of them there.
13. مغازي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لعروة بن زبير برواية أبي الأسود : Hazrat Urwah bin Zubair the renowned Tabi’ee was the first to write a book on the Prophet’s biography named Maghazi Rasoolullah. This book was published in Riyadh in 1981 after Sheikh’s critical review and analysis of the book. Maghazi Rasoolullah is also an obvious proof that the scholars of Islam started writing Prophet’s biography just after his death. Idarah Thaqafat Islamiah, Pakistan published Urdu translation of that book in 1987.
14. Manuscript of Saheeh Al-Bukhari : Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa has the honor of editing the manuscript of Saheeh Al-Bukhari with additional footnote by various scholars which was prepared in 725A.H and discovered from Istanbul in 1977A.D.
In short, Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa’s services toward Hadeeth are very profound. They surround almost every aspect of the science of Hadeeth. The most important of them is his work on Hadeeth literature and methodology, critical analysis of Schacht’s Origin of Muhammadan Jurisprudence, history of the Qura’nic text from revelation to compilation, scholarly reviews and editing of various collections of Ahadeeth that would have otherwise remained unknown to the world and computerization of Hadeeth texts. Most of his books are available online for free download. May Allah grant us success in benefitting from his works and enhance our knowledge of Hadeeth Science, Amen!
Jesus (Pease be upon him) is not the son of God,he is the chosen Messenger and Prophet of Allah.
(Not permissible to congratulate saying Merry Christmas)
Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi
The overall Code which is made by Allah, the Exalted, for the birth of mankind i.e. a man getting married to a woman and have intercourse with her, thereafter by Allah’s command, firmness of pregnancy and giving birth of a child. Under no circumstance, Allah Almighty has also created some humans by not following this Code. Allah Almighty created Adam in such a way in which He involved neither a man nor a woman. Since Eve was created from Adam's rib, so, somehow, a man was involved in her creation, but there was no involvement of a woman. Similarly, Allah, the Exalted, created Jesus without a father, only from the mother (Mary daughter of Imran) through His power, in the city of Bethlehem, Palestinian. As, Almighty Allah said in the Verse 59 of Surah A’al Imran (Indeed, the example of Jesus to Allah is like that of Adam. He created Him from dust; then He said to him, "Be," and he was.)
In the light of Quran and Hadith, all Muslims believe that Jesus Christ is the chosen Prophet and Messenger of Allah. In the holy Quran, almost at 25 places, the name of Jesus Christ is mentioned and he was not hanged/crucified, but he was lifted into the heavens and a person similar to him was hanged. As, Allah Almighty has stated in Surah An-Nisa Verses 157 & 158 (And (for) their saying, "Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah." And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but (another) was made to resemble him to them). Furthermore, Allah, the Exalted, explicitly explained that Jesus Christ was not hanged/crucified, but he was lifted up. The full detail of this event is elaborated by the holy prophet PBUH and can be found in Ahadith. It is also mentioned in Hadiths that before the day of Resurrection, he will be descended from heavens to the white minaret in the east of Damascus. Then, all nook and corner of the world will be ruled by Muslims under his patronage.
No certain date of Jesus birth is found in any religious authoritative book, even in the book of Christians, it is not mentioned that he was born on 25th December. Without any evidence, they recognized 25th December as Jesus date of birth. Although, what is estimated from texts of the Quran, Hadiths and the Bible is that Jesus was born in the summer season. As per Bible (chapter 2 verse 8), when Jesus was born at the night, at that time the shepherd was grazing his sheep outside. In the last days of December, it is snowing heavily in Bethlehem that no one can dare to go out of his house. And Bible says that the shepherd was grazing his sheep outside. In the month of December, due to heavy snowing in Bethlehem (Palestine), it is impossible to graze sheep outside at night. The holy Quran (Surah Mariam Verse 25) says that immediately after the birth of Jesus, Allah, the Exalted, told Marry “And shake toward you the trunk of the palm tree; it will drop upon you ripe, fresh dates. So eat and drink and be contented.” The whole world knows that the dates become ripe in the summer season, not in winter. Besides, there are more evidence that denote that Jesus was born in the summer season.
Christians believe that Jesus is given birth by Allah Almighty (Allah forbid), i.e. Jesus is the son of Allah, the Exalted. This was strongly denounced by Allah, the Exalted, in Surah Mariam: “And they say, "The Most Merciful has taken (for Himself) a son." You have done an atrocious thing. The heavens almost rupture there from and the earth splits open and the mountains collapse in devastation. That they attribute to the Most Merciful a son. And it is not appropriate for the Most Merciful that He should take a son.” In Surah Ikhlas, Almighty Allah has explicitly said: Say, "He is Allah, (who is) One, Allah, the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is born, nor is there to Him any equivalent”. Thus, in the light of very open instructions/teachings of Quran and Sunnah, all Muslims believe that Jesus is not the son of Allah, the Exalted, but he is a man and there is no compromise in this matter at all.
Christians celebrate Merry Christmas on 25th December with the belief that Allah Almighty has given birth of Jesus on 25th December (Allah forbid). We don’t want to interfere in their religion, but it is our religious obligation that we should not participate in those religious parties/celebrations are being convened on this occasion, and also do not congratulate anyone saying Merry Christmas. As this sentence is totally averse of Quran and Sunnah. Yes! In case, your neighbour or friend is a Christian and he congratulates you on this occasion, then you have to withdraw yourselves by saying other words such as (thanks, etc.) As, the base/belief on which the Merry Christmas celebrated, is quite contrary to Quranic teachings. You could be thoughtful about your neighbour or friend, but on the other hand, there is also the issue of God's wrath and His severe punishment. So, it would be said to them openly that our belief is that Jesus besides being a chosen messenger and prophet, he is not Allah’s son at all. So that, I’m sorry to participate in the celebrations convened on this occasion.
There is substantial difference of opinion among Christians and Muslims on their belief in Isa (Alaihis Salam)
1) Nasara (Christians) believe that Isa (Alaihis Salam) is son of Allah, the Almighty, while in the light of Quran and hadith the whole Muslim Ummah (Nation) believes that Allah has no son or daughter, as Allah, the Almighty has repeatedly clarified this in the holy Quran. In Surah Al-Ikhlas also this has been clearly asserted that Allah, the Almighty neither begets nor is He begotten. Allah, the Almighty had created Adam (Alaihis salam) without any role of a man and woman, and Eve (Alaihas salam) was created without any role of a woman merely by with Allah's command. Allah, the Almighty created Isa (Alaihis Salam) by a woman (Maryam –Alaihas Salam) without any role of a male. Christians do not believe in Adam and Eve (Alaiham Assalam) as son and daughter of Allah, despite the fact that Allah, the Almighty had created Adam (Alaihis Salam) without any role of man and woman and created Eve (Alaihas Salam) without any role of a woman, then how come that Isa (Alaihis Salam) who was created without a man (in similar circumstances), is believed to be Allah’s son? Our intellect also demands that it is not befitting to the Almighty Allah Who is the Creator, Lord and Sustainer of the whole universe that He begets nor is He begotten.
2) Christians believe that Isa (Alaihis Salam) shares Allah's right of being worthy of worship. Trinity is an integral part of Christianity, which means three in one or one in three. Christians believe that Allah is one but includes three entities in one; god father, god son, the holy ghost. The Christian till to date stick to this belief. As for Islam, there is no place of trinity in it. Hundreds of verses of the Holy Quran refute this belief. According to Islamic creed Allah is one and nothing is like unto Him neither in His self nor in His attributes. In Surah Maryam, Allah strongly refutes this belief saying it is such a terrible evil thing whereby the heavens are almost torn.
3) Christians believe that Jews had crucified Isa (Alaihis Salam). However, in the light of teachings of Quran and Hadith, the whole Muslim nation is unanimous that Isa (Alaihis Salam) was neither killed nor was he crucified, but rather he was ascended to heaven prior to his crucifixion and a person resembling him was crucified in his place. He will descend down on the earth prior to the doomsday. He will spend his life following the Shari’ah of Muhammad (PBUH) and will enforce the teachings of the Holy Quran and Hadith.
4) Christians believe that the last Messenger Muhammad (PBUH) who is from the descendants of Ismail (Alaihis salam) the second son of Ibrahim (Alaihis Salam) born in Makkah is not a Messenger of Allah, the Almighty and anyone who believes in Muhammad (PBUH) as a messenger of Allah exits from the fold of Christianity. On the other hand, in the religion of Islam besides believing in Muhammad (PBUH) as the last Messenger it is also necessary to believe in Ibrahim, Musa, Isa (Alaihim Assalam). Now, the reader can easily decide as to which religion subscribes to extremism.
Summary: To exchange greetings on the occasion of New Year is a practice of non-Muslims. However, the rituals and functions organized on this occasion are not motivated by a specific religion’s ideology and it has now become a social norm. Therefore, though it is not unlawful to exchange greeting on such occasion, however, the Holy Quran and Hadith are replete with teachings of not adopting the non-Muslims’ rituals. Therefore, we should avoid exchanging such greetings, because the leader of all prophets Muhammad (PBUH), his companions, mufassireen (Quran commentators), muhadditheen (scholars of Hadith) and other scholars of Islam, none of them has been reported to have exchanged greeting on the occasion of New Year even at the beginning of Hijri year. But to exchange greeting by saying “Merry Christmas” is a pure religious matter. The belief with which the people celebrate Christmas day saying “Merry Christmas” is absolutely contrary to Islamic teaching, for Christians believe that Isa (Alaihis Salam) was born on 25th December and fathered by Allah, the Almighty. In addition they also believe in trinity, i.e. they believe that Allah, the Almighty instead of being one entity is comprised of three entities; god father, god son and the holy ghost. This belief is very dangerous and contrary to Islamic teachings. It is a matter of great sorrow that some Muslims initiate greeting each other saying “Merry Christmas” which has no room in the religion of Islam. Therefore, Muslims should not exchange greeting on this occasion. Those Muslims residing in Western countries or studying with Christians or employed with Christians or doing business with Christians should not proactively greet them on this occasion. However, if they are greeted by Christians they should say other words of prayer to them. It is worth mentioning that not a single reliable religious book even the bible itself having thousands of copies, mentions that Isa (Alaihis Salam) was born on 25th December.