Mufti Md. Shahabuddin Saeeli
There was a man in the past whom Allah had given both wealth and children. The Prophet (Pbuh) said, “When the time of his death approached, he asked his children; What type of father have I been to you? They replied: You have been a good father. He said; but he (that is your father) has not stored any good deeds for the life hereafter to face Allah, and feared Allah’s punishment. Hence, he said “When I die, burn my body till it becomes mere coal and then grind it into powder and when stormy wind blows, throw my ashes in it. So he took a firm promise from his children to follow his instructions. And by Allah! They did accordingly (fulfilled their promise) Then Allah commanded, “Be and Behold” That man was standing there. Allah then said, “O my slave what made you to do all that”? The man said, “Your fear”, hearing this Allah forgave him.” (Bukhari : 2/959)
The Moral of the Story
There are a number of Ahadith which indicate that the man was firm in his faith and believed in the unity of Allah. According to a Hadith, the man used to steal shroud and was a wrong doer. Furthermore, another Hadith says that he lost his hope about Allah’s mercy and forgiveness for his evil deeds. Hence, he intended to escape from Allah’s punishment in a unique way. Therefore, Allah forgave him for his fear, even without questioning him.
The fear of Allah in fact is an important thing. When a man fears punishment, then only he feels the guilt of his sins. And this feeling only becomes the sole cause of his repentance and he seems to be a sincere person who earnestly seeks Allah’s mercy and favour. For this very reason Allah forgave the man who wanted to escape from Allah’s punishment, brooding over his indecent life.
The above story points out that fear of Allah would rescue the people from punishment. Therefore, Allah says: “They will advance to each other, engaging in mutual enquiry. They will say. Aforetime, we were not without fear for the sake of our people. But Allah has been good to us, and has delivered us from the chastisement of the scorching wind." (Qur’an : 52/25-27)
We can draw a lesson from this story also, that we ought to excuse the illiterate people and should avoid declaring them disbelievers and also avoid haste in making our judgment. A great Islamic scholar Allahmah Ibn Taimia writes; It is to be noted that declaring anyone unbeliever in some particular cases becomes inevitable from the point of view of ‘shariah’. For instance, a person who refuses to accept Prophethood of Muhammad (Pbuh) or any tenet of Islam, could be called an apostate. However, the new Muslims and the people who could not gain Islamic education as they are residing in far off places, if they do not agree with some Islamic tenants due to lack of proper information or ignorance, one has no right to condemn them as disbelievers. I thought many times over the story which is mentioned in “Bukhari” and “Muslim” that the man was doubtful about Allah’s power, as well as he believed that Allah will not rise him again on the day of resurrection, whereas, such opinion is an open disbelief, but Allah forgave him since he was a believer and fearing slave of Allah. (Fatawa Ibn Taimia: 23/247)
Therefore, we must avoid calling others infidel (Kafir) out of amusement or jealousy or anger too. The Prophet (Pbuh) said: “When a believer calls his brother disbeliever, surely one of them would be an infidel.” (Bukhari; 2/92)
A great Muslim philosopher Imam Ghazali makes it clear that we have to avoid calling anyone infidel whoever turns his face towards the Ka’aba during Salat or accepts the oneness of Allah and Prophethood of Muhammad (Pbuh) verbally making a mistake in sparing life of a thousand disbelievers is a minor crime than making a mistake in killing a Muslim. (Al-Iqutisad-Fit-Itaquad: 24/223)
What was known as Ivory Coast in the past is now generally called Cote D’Ivore, the French name of the country. It is situated on the southern coast of the western bulge of African continent. It is a prosperous country with fertile lands and large number of cattle.
Islam entered this country in 1076. As a result, about half of the population is Muslim today. Islam has a rich history in Cote D’Ivore. Most marvellous of the Islamic architecture are Ivory Coast’s ancient mosques which are unique in shape and structure. The mosque in Kong is most fascinating. Built of mud, it displays a number of conical columns with wooden beams protruding out of them. The architecture is called ‘Sudanic’. Earlier, the conical columns were topped by eggs of ostrich to protect them from lightning. But now porcelain replicas of the eggs are used. The wooden protrusions from the walls serve as footholds for the workers who frequently repair the walls after rains. Riviera mosque in capital Abidjan has stained glass windows. Another such earthen mosque in Samatiguila has a separate prayer chamber for women. But they do not have wooden protrusions.
The mosque of octagonal minarets in the city of Bouake is yet another example of diversity in mosque architecture in Cote D’Ivore. The onion domes over the minarets resemble the domes of Kremlin (Moscow) buildings. Recently, a modern mosque has been built in Abidjan which seems to be influenced by the mosques in Middle East. Several other mosques have intricate lattice work on their parapet walls, minarets etc.
(Courtesy: Aramco World)
Funny how a Rs.10/- note looks so big when you take it to mosque, but so small when you take it to the shopping mall.
Funny how long it takes to serve Allah for an hour, but how quickly a team plays one day of cricket.
Funny how long a couple of hours are spent at religious duties, but how short they are when watching a movie.
Funny how we can’t think of anything to say when we pray, but don’t have difficulty thinking of things to talk about to a friend.
Funny how we get thrilled when a soccer game goes into extra time, but we complain when a sermon is longer than the regular time.
Funny how hard it is to read a verse in the Qur’an, but how easy it is to read 100 pages of a best-selling novel.
Funny how people want to get a front seat at any game or concert, but scramble to get a place at the back of the mosque, especially during Taraweeh namaz in Ramadan month.
Funny how we need 2 or 3 weeks advance notice to fit a religious event into our schedule, but can adjust our schedule for other events at the last moment.
Funny how much difficulty some people have learning a simple Islamic script well enough to tell others, but how simple it is for the same people to understand and repeat gossip about someone.
Funny how we believe what the newspaper says, but question what the Qur’an/shariah says.
Funny how everyone wants to go to heaven, provided they do not have to believe, or to think, or to say, or do anything.
FUNNY, IS IT? No, it is serious business for the top floor of our body.
May ALLAH forgive us all. Aameen
Farheen Ahmad (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Compiled by Dr. Shahid Athar
- “What actions are most excellent? To gladden the heart of human beings, to feed the hungry, to help the afflicted, to lighten the sorrow of the sorrowful, and to remove the sufferings of the injured.” (Bukhari)
- “The most excellent Jihad is that for the conquest of self.” (Bukhari)
- “If you put your whole trust in Allah, as you ought, He most certainly will satisfy your needs, as He satisfies those of the birds. They come out hungry in the morning, but return full to their nests.” (Tirmidhi)