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"O Allah! We seek goodness from Your Knowledge and with Your Power (and Might) We seek strength, and We ask from You Your Great Blessings, because You have the Power and We do not have the power. You Know everything and I do not know, and You have knowledge of the unseen. Oh Allah! If in Your Knowledge this action (We are about to take) is better for my religion and faith, for our life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then make it destined for us and make it easy for us and then add blessings [baraka'] in it, for us. O Allah! In Your Knowledge if this action is bad for us, bad for our religion and faith, for our life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then turn it away from us and turn us away from it and whatever is better for us, ordain [destine] that for us and then make us satisfied with it."

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Importance of a good shaykh by Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani Radi Allahu anhu

Al Ghawth al-Adham Shaykh Sayyad Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani Radi 'Allahu anhu said: You must work hard to ensure that your hearts are not locked out of the door of His nearness. Be sensible! You are getting nowhere. You must seek the company of a Shaykh who is learned in the law [hukm] and knowledge ['ilm] of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), and who will show you the way toward Him. Without seeing the successful [muflih], one cannot succeed. If a person does not seek the company of scholars who put their knowledge into practice ['ulama 'ummal], he is a chicken from an egg abandoned by the rooster and the mother hen.

Seek the fellowship of those who enjoy fellowship with the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He). What each of you should do, when the night has grown dark and people have gone to bed and their voices are silent, is get up, take an ablution [yatawadda'], perform two cycles of ritual prayer [yusalli rak'atain] and say: "O my Lord, guide me to one of Your righteous servants near to You, so that he may guide me toward You and make me familiar with Your path." The instrument [sabab] is necessary. Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) was quite capable of guiding [His servants] to Him without the Prophets [anbiya']. Be sensible! You are getting nowhere. You must awaken from your heedless folly. As the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam has said: If someone relies entirely on his own subjective judgement, he will go astray. Try to find someone who will be a mirror for the face of your religion [din], just as you look in the mirror to check the appearance of your outer face, your turban and your hair. Be sensible! What is this crazy foolishness? You say, "I don't need anyone to teach me," and yet the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam has said: The believer is the believer's mirror [al-mu'minu mir'atu 'l-mu'min].

When the believer's faith is sound, he comes to be a mirror for all creatures. They behold their religious faces [wujuh adyanihim] reflected in the mirror of his speech, every time they see him and get close to him. What is this craziness? Not a moment goes by without your begging Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) to provide you with more than you already have to eat, to drink, and to wear, with more sexual opportunities and more income. These are not things that could increase or decrease, even if you were to be joined in your plea by every supplicant whose prayers are answered [da 'in mujab].

Supplication [da 'wa] will neither increase one's sustenance by so much as an atom, nor reduce it by an atom. This is a foregone conclusion [mafrugh minhu]. You must devote your attention to doing what you have been commanded to do, and to avoiding what you have been forbidden to do. You should not worry about that which is bound to come your way, because He guarantees that it will come to you. Allotted shares [aqsam] arrive at their appointed times, whether they be sweet or bitter, whether you like them or dislike them.

The people [of the Way] attain to a condition in which they no longer have any prayer of supplication [du'a] or request [su'al] to make. They do not beg [in their prayers] to gain advantages, nor to get rid of disadvantages. Their supplication comes to be a matter concerning their hearts, sometimes for their own sake and sometimes for the sake of all creatures, so they utter the prayer of supplication without conscious premeditation [fi ghaiba].
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"O '' Allah, endow us with good behaviour in Your company under all circumstances!
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[When the believer's faith is sound], fasting [sawm], prayer [salat], remembrance [dhikr] and all acts of obedience [ta 'at] become second nature to him, mingled with his flesh and blood. Then he receives protection from Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) under all circumstances. The restraint of the law [hukm] does not desert him, not for an instant, while he is on this course. The law comes to be like the vessel in which he sits, as he travels over the ocean of the power [qudra] of his Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He). He goes on traveling over it until he arrives at the shore of the hereafter, at the shore of the ocean of grace and the hand of nearness. Thus he is sometimes in the company of creatures and at certain times in the company of the Creator. His work and toil are with creatures, while his relaxation is with the Creator.
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From Shaykh 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, "The Sublime Revelation (Al-Fath ar-Rabbani)," translated by Muhtar Holland (Al-Baz Publishing, Houston, 1992), p. 426-8.
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On the authority of Abu Hurayrah r.a., who said that Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. said: Allah SWT said:

Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him. (It was related by al-Bukhari)
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“Allah! There is no God save Him, the Alive, the Eternal. Neither slumber nor sleep overtaketh Him. Unto Him belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. Who is he that intercedeth with Him save by His leave? He knoweth that which is in front of them and that which is behind them, while they encompass nothing of His knowledge save what He will. His throne includeth the heavens and the earth, and He is never weary of preserving them. He is the Sublime, the Tremendous.”

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

ISLAM IS SIMPLE AND EASY

Note : the reason of publishing this article here is neither to object the actual practice nor serves as verification or support to the following article or any of its contents

BY : Dr. Wan Azhar Wan Ahmad
Senior Fellow/Director of Syariah Centre, Laws and Political Science
Institute of Islamic Understanding (IKIM Malaysia)


20/11/2007 as reported in The Star

Islam is not difficult. When I was teaching at the Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyyah of Laws, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), most of my students-if not all-were amazed when I remarked that Muslims are not to pray when traveling long distances on airplanes; that Muslim surgeons may choose to combine (jama') their prayers if they are working long hours in operation theatres; and that Muslims from all walks of life may also choose to combine their prayers for reasons other than those mentioned by the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w).

Now we have successfully launched our first Malaysian, a Muslim, to outer space. Proud of the achievement, I was and still am amazed to learn that this Muslim traveller was made to assume that prayers throughout his 10-day stay hundred kilometers above earth was obligatory! What was even more amazing was a special manual for his extra-terrestrial journey had been prepared.

All this may have given the impression that the religion of Islam is rigid, uncompassionate and coercive in nature. The reality, however, is quite the opposite.

I still hold firm to what I taught my students a few years ago. If the requirement for prayer is relaxed for long distance journeys on airlines, what more a journey to space! Make no mistake, I am not to be classified as a liberal, conservative, extremist, secularist and such.

The Noble Qur'an states: "Verily prayers are enjoined on Believers at fixed times" (al-Nisa', 4: 103). The key-term here is the phrase ‘fixed time' (Arabic: kitaban mauquta). Indeed, Muslims are duty bound to pray five times a day at specific durations. And Muslim scholars have done enough to calculate and determine these times respectively, whether using the traditional method of measuring the length of a shadow cast by the sun on a pole, or applying a more accurate measurement in the application of the astronomical science.

In every case, be it prayers at dawn (fajr/subh), midday (zuhr), late afternoon (‘asr), dusk (maghrib), or evening (‘isya'), these prayer times are measured and determined by the movement/motion of the earth around sun. For example, while Muslims in East Java, Indonesia, perform dawn prayers at about 4.15 a.m. (local time), Muslims in Malaysia do the same at about 5.40 a.m. Obviously, the determining factor here is not the hands of a clock but rather the movement of the earth as it rotates along its axis relative to the sun.

Many seem unaware of the fact that the question of ‘fixed time' is only relevant to our lives on earth. If we are no longer on earth, then the question of prayer times becomes no longer relevant. The question of time in relation to prayer is only relative to man on earth. In space however, since man is no longer on earth, time in relation to prayer does not apply. The revolution of the earth upon its axis relative to the sun excludes man, for which prayer is obligatory. Man in space is not traveling at the same speed as is the revolution of the earth along its axis.

Religious duties are very much associated with one's location. If one were to travel from one place to another, his/her religious obligations are performed relative to the peculiarities of his/her new destination the moment he/she reaches that place. If a Malaysian Muslim usually performs his prayers relative to the times in Malaysia, he/she must abandon this practice once he crosses the border to Thailand as the times are no longer relative to Malaysia. It is absurd to insist to pray according to the time in Kuala Lumpur while being physically in Bangkok. This Muslim has now to follow the times relative to Bangkok in carrying out his religious duties.

Therefore, it is absurd to argue that a spaceman may apply the time of his place of departure in order for him to carry out obligatory religious duties in a place not relative to earth.

Another example concerns an analogy of air travel. When one flies a long distance, he traverses different time zones. Take, for example, the Kuala Lumpur-London route, represents a more than 12 hour journey covering a distance of more than 10,000 km over a vast body of ocean and land. The flight will have to traverse through seven different time zones. If one departs KLIA at 12.50 p.m., at a speed of over 800 km/h, 15 minutes after take off, the aircraft will be over the ocean, followed by land, mountains, desert and so on.

Supposing the traveler wishes to pray zuhr. As the plane traverses different time zones every 30 minutes, which time will he need to follow? Is it the time relative to Malaysia, the ocean, India or Saudi Arabia? It may not be zuhr in India although it may be in Kuala Lumpur. Why do the Muslims of today feel the need to complicate matters when Islam is easy and simple? Even if one is heading for Mekkah to perform the pilgrimage, in this situation, the question of prayer during the journey by air seems absurd. We have already said that prayer during flight is unnecessary, what more prayer in outer space

The time factor in this realm is relative to man in space. But as we have said, time for prayer is relative to man on earth; and therefore if man is not on Earth, prayer in relation to time on earth does not apply to him.

My point is that Islam is easy, pragmatic and dynamic; it is neither rigid nor extreme. The Muslims, regardless of their social or economic status, from among the royals, political leaders, corporate figures, executives, professionals, academics, administrators, and so on who have to spend hours in long meetings or other extended commitments, surgeons who sacrifice their time to save human lives in hours of medical operations, those having difficulty in the workplace, even night market traders, the solution(s) for their preoccupation/predicament is there within Islam itself if they truly understand and not fall victim to a very narrow interpretation of religion. As far as combining the prayers, I believe many have been applying and practicing this new interpretation/method on many occasions prior to the modern era.
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comments from preferred anonymous sources

Besides than the abovementioned, please take into account :

"The positioning of the Holy Kaabah ON EARTH and not in the AIR or SPACE"