Several critics of Islam claim that Muslims worship some stones in the Kaaba, that the Prophet (P) destroyed the idols of the other tribes but kept the black stone idol.
The Black Stone was a meteorite that was sent down by God to Prophets Abraham and his son Ishmael,(pbut), to give the precise location of where the Ka’aba was to be built and as a starting point of circumbulation. The Stone used to very white but turned black in time.
The Black Stones, known as Hajar AlAswad, are not objects of worship. They are a part of the Kaaba and it is NOT mentioned in the Quran anywhere and its not holy.
Placed in the corner of the Ka’aba, it serves as a starting point of circumbulation and as a marker for thr 7 circuits. The Black Stone is just a stone and nothing more.
Narrated ‘Abis bin Rabia: Umar came near the Black Stone and kissed it and said “NO DOUBT, I KNOW THAT YOU ARE A STONE AND CAN NEITHER BENEFIT ANYONE NOR HARM ANYONE. Had I not seen Allah’s Apostle kissing you I would not have kissed you.” (BUKHARI:Volume 2, Book 26, Number 667)
The question is why did Muhammed (P) kiss the stone? For sure he did not kiss it with intention of worshipping because of God’s specific instruction against idol worship. He kissed it out of love for Ibrahim and Ismail (pbut), he kissed it out of the reason the black stone sent to the earth, what it stood for – the legacy left behind by prophet Ibraham (p), and finally as an act of appreciation and graditite for God’s command that He instructed the location of Ka’aba to the earlier prophets. If for instance, someone happened to find a relic of the Prophet, an utensil he used for making abultion – for example, he would pick it and kiss it. This does not mean that he worshipped it but he kissed it out of love and respect for the owner of that utensil. Umar (R) kissed the stone because of the action of the Prophet (P) and nothing more.
Kissing a stone is not a sign of its worship at all. Kissing the Black Stone cannot be twisted into an idol worship, for the stone is not an image. However we can see in the bible how Jacob worshipped a stone which he used for sleeping, by annointing it with oil.
“When Jacob got up early the next morning, he took the rock that he had used for a pillow and stood it up for a place of worship. Then he poured olive oil on the rock to dedicate it to God” (Genesis 28:18)
Muslims do not annoint the Black Stone and neither did the pagan Arabs. The pagan Arabs used to worship many idols and could be worshipping the Black Stone as well. Human nature is such that its very easy to get misled into beleiving anything has certain powers to get what we need.People used to worship anything just to meet their desires. This is evident even today. Some people crowd around the Black Stone thinking that it has power. Its misconception and not in Islamic teachings at all.The stone has no power whatsoever. Muslims kiss it following the actions of the Prophet.
The prophet did not always kiss it. Ibn ‘Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allah (p) performed Tawaaf on his camel, and every time he came to the corner [where the Stone is] he would point to it and say “Allahu akbar.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4987).
Touching the Stone is one of the things by means of which God expiates for sins. It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (p) say: “Touching them both [the Black Stone and al-Rukn al-Yamani] is an expiation for sins.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 959).
Expiation of sins is only for touching it with sincerity and not with intention of worshipping it, in which case the worshipper would be out of Islam! This toucging is out of resopect and nothing more. Moreover it is touching only and not kissing according to the hadith.
In a previous post we have seen how much rewards we are accumulating with our fard, sunnah, nafl prayers. I want to add that all prayers in the Masjid al Haram are worth 100,000 prayers elsewhere. In the month of Ramadan this is multiplied 70 times! Do the calculation to see the weight of rewards.
Now what about reading of Quran during Ramadan?
The Qur’an has a special place in this month, because it was in this month that the Qur’an was bought down and revealed gradually over a period of 23 years. Actually Ramadan is said to be the month of Qur’an. It is highly recommended to read it as much as possible. There is a special merit to reciting the Qur’an in the nights of Ramadan – the night is more peaceful than the busy day and it is easier to concentrate.
The word “Ramadan” is mentioned only ONCE in the whole Quran and not surprisingly it is mentioned in connection with the Qur’an.
“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong)”. (Al-Baqarah 2:185)
In days other than Ramadan, each LETTER of the Qur’an carries 10 rewards. As we know any good deed in Ramadan, is multiplied by 70 (or more as Allah (swt) wishes). So each letter has reward of 700! – And that’s minimum! There are approximately 323,671 letters in the Quran. So imagine the points. In addition to this we also recite all our prayers. All adds up to a heavy reward in sha allah.
But what about those who cannot read fluently or are not sure of the accent or pronunciation?
Ayesha (ra), relates that the Prophet (saas) said: “Truly the one who recites the Qur’an beautifully, smoothly, and precisely, he will be in the company of the noble and obedient angels. And as for the one who recites with difficulty, stammering or stumbling through its verses, then he will have TWICE that reward.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Subhan’Allah – 700 x 2 = 1400! For those who read with difficulty – DOUBLE the reward for making the big effort. Neither time nor effort is wasted. The mercy of Allah (swt) is amazing.
How about those who cannot read but can listen to the recitation?
Listening to the Quran is, by itself, an act of worship. By listening, Allah (swt) guides His slaves and sets straight their affairs in this world and the Hereafter. Allah (swt) says: “So, when the Qur’an is recited, listen to it, and be silent that you may receive mercy” (Al-A‘raf 7:204).
The early generations used to gather for this purpose. When the Companions of the Prophet (saas) gathered together, they would tell one of them to recite while the others listened. Umar ibn al-Khattab (ra) would say to Abu Moosa: “Remind us of our Lord”, and Abu Moosa would recite the Qur’an and they listened.
As with reading, it is better to listen with understanding and reflecting on it. If one is not capable of reading then listening, in sha allah, will benefit him. As for those who are capable of reading, reward of listening should not be an excuse out of laziness. But he can read as much as he can and also listen. In other words, we do what is the most possible for us to do to gain benefit, reward and mercy, because Allah (swt) says : “So keep your duty to Allah and fear Him as much as you can” (Al-Taghaabun 64:16).
Allah (swt) also says: “Those who listen to the Word (of Allah) and follow the best (meaning) in it: those are the ones whom Allah has guided, and those are the ones endued with understanding”. (Zumar 39:18)
Narrated by Abdullah bin Masud: Allah’s Messenger (saas) said to me, “Recite (of the Qur’an) for me,” I said, “O Messenger of Allah! Shall I recite it to you although it had been revealed to you?” He said, “I like to hear (the Qur’an) from others.” So I recited Surat-an-Nisa’ till I reached: “How (will it be) then when We bring from each nation a witness and We bring you (O Muhammad) as a witness against these people?” (4: 41). Then the Prophet said, “Stop!” And behold, his eyes were overflowing with tears! (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
Qur’an is also recited in congregational prayers by the imaam where the followers are required to listen intently to benefit from it.
In light of the above guidance of the Qur’an and the Sunnah, without doubt, if one listens to the recitation of the Qur’an with the intention to seek guidance, one would be assured of receiving their reward from our Lord Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
Let us concentrate of reading and listening to the Qur’an in this month as much as we can when it holds most rewards. What better way to invest time in.
Do we need Hasanats to earn those palaces in Jannah?! Here are some points where we can achieve our dream houses – except that there not just dreams. Is Jannah reachable?
1. You walk to the Masjid and every step you take earns you a Hasanah and gets rid of a sin and elevates your position in Jannah. Step by step until you reach the Masjid.
2. Praying in masjid is 27 (other narration say 25 times) times better than praying alone in ordinary days but in Ramadan every good deed is awarded minimum 70 times over. So you pray the Fard Prayer and in congregation which is 70 prayers by 27 prayers. So that’s 70 by 27 for each obligatory prayer which equals 1890 prayers. At the end of the day, if you pray all 5 prayers in the same way, you will earn the rewards of 9,450 prayers! Then if we multiply this number by 30 days, we get 283,500 prayers, which is more than 150 years of prayer! SUPER DEAL! This is just from praying the obligatory prayers in congregation.
3. You also choose to pray your Sunnah which equals a Fard in Ramadan. You pray all the Sunnan of the prayers during the day and you get a palace in Jannah every single day. We look forward so much to buying a house in America, Canada, London, Paris or wherever in pursuit of the Duniya Dream, what about the Real Dream of having a House in Jannah? Have we really thought about that? When we pray all our Sunnah and earn 30 Palaces in Jannah, how do you acquire these Palaces and get access to them? You enter Jannah through the door of Ar-Rayaan, which is exclusive to the ones who fast. After they enter, it will be closed behind them.
4. Day after day, you clock your foot steps, you pray your obligatory prayers and your Sunnah prayers and those rewards are increasing until you reach the Night of Qadr. You stay up that night in sincere worship to Allah (swt) for the last 10 nights of Ramadan. At the break of dawn, you walk the earth without a sin on your back. No more sins but those 3 points of reward mentioned above are still accumulating. Forgiveness of your sins, yes – all of them!
5. On top of all those four points mentioned above, Allah (swt), in His endless mercy adds more rewards as He wishes. Add to the four points the reward of fasting that only Allah (swt) knows, the rewards for a charity, for reading Qur’an, for praying the Taraweeh, for dhikr, for inviting people to break their fast at your place and… At the end of Ramadan you would have one heavy account In sha Allah and none of it will be wasted. This is huge!
Now get this, all these rewards are earned in one single Ramadan. Imagine all these rewards in the one Ramadan being repeated for a second, and a third and a fourth, etc for as long as you are alive, every year when Ramadan comes round, this is the outcome?! How much rewards would you have earned?
So the question was: Is Jannah reachable and the answer is YES YES YES! But what’s the catch? WE HAVE TO WANT IT SO MUCH AND WILLING TO WORK FOR IT! Allah is merciful to His servants and all these deeds are not wasted – not one of them.
Quoted from Ibn ‘Abbaas (raa): The Prophet (saas) was asked, “Which of the days is the best?” He replied, “The day of congregation (Jumu’ah).” He was again asked, “Which of the months is the best?” He replied, “The month of Ramadaan.” He was again asked, “Which of the deeds is the best?” He replied, “To punctually establish the five daily prayers.”
To your success always in duniya and akhirah.
It is evident that Allah (swt) commanded us to do what is good for us, to sustain and enjoy healthy lifestyle while we are here in this world – temporarily. He did this not by saying this exercise is good for weight loss or this food is healthier … etc no, He left the choice to us. But He, in His infinite wisdom, He did this by making it spiritual, that is, telling us to obey Him so that we will be rewarded in hereafter. This says one thing – that although He indirectly tells us what is good for us in this world, His ultimate aim is tell us what is good for us in the next world which is permanent unlike the limited time we have here. And by following these commands not only do we enjoy the benefits in this world but we also we earn rewards of the hereafter.
Fasting is one such command. Allah (swt) says “He has left his food, drink and desires for My sake. The fast is for Me. So I will reward (the fasting person) for it and the reward of good deeds is multiplied ten times.” (Bukhari Vol 3 Book 31 no 118)
Fasting has many health benefits but Allah (swt) does not emphasis the worldly benefits but He tells us that He has prescribed fasting for us so that we become aware of Him, realize His favors, and we be righteous. Fasting is an act that is solely between Allah (swt) and the one who is fasting. Who can tell if someone is truly fasting or not? One may do away with food just so those around him will think he is fasting. Yes he is fasting by abstaining from food but he is doing it for all the wrong reasons. This is why we are hugely rewarded for fasting when we practice it for Allah (swt). We fast only for Him.
The Prophet said, “There is a gate in Paradise called Ar-Raiyan, and those who observe fasts will enter through it on the Day of Resurrection and none except them will enter through it.” (Bukhari Vol 3 Book 31 no 120)
There are numerous ahadiths about the benefits in the hereafter due to fasting; and we, as Muslims, must believe with certainty that the Promises that Allah (swt) makes are true. The worldly benefits or fasting are numerous too. The best of us are those who take full advantage and benefits of these days – of both worlds – here and hereafter.
Some points to consider:
1. The body starts a “fasting stage” approximately eight hours after the last meal – that is – when the body is done with absorbing all the nutrients from the digestive system. Then the body starts using stored glucose for source of energy and when this runs out, fat is used. If fasting is prolonged (for days) then when fat energy is depleted the body starts using protein (by breaking down the muscles) for energy. Delaying suhoor till the end and eating as soon after sunset will help us to maintain energy for the longest time. So we see the wisdom when Prophet said that the time between suhoor and adhan is about the time of reading 50 ayahs from the Quran. (Bukhari Vol 3 Book 31 no 144). He also said that breaking the fast should not be delayed.
2. When breaking the fast, start with dates and water. Not only is this sunnah, but since getting the right amount of energy is one of the important aspects of fasting, dates are the perfect food to give us that boost of energy. Dates also provide us with much-needed fiber which helps digestion. Take 15 minutes break after eating the dates – a good opportunity to pray Maghreb and then return to eating. The body should be gently readied for its functions.
3. A study by scientists in the USA found that the mental focus achieved during Ramadan increases the level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor causing the body to produce more brain cells, thus improving brain function. This makes it an ideal time to read/memorize Qur’an when there is good focus. The study also showed that during fasting there is a distinct reduction in the amount of the hormone cortisol, produced by the adrenal gland. This means that stress levels are greatly reduced both. Again – favorable time to focus on spiritual benefits.
4. Fasting reduces cholesterol level according to the study conducted by a team of cardiologists in UAE. Low cholesterol means reducing risk of heart disease. If we follow a healthy diet after the fasting season, we can maintain the new lower cholesterol level.
5. Extra prayers help us to focus on the spiritual side of this month. Once we break the fast, people go out and about with the new found energy but extra prayers bring us back into focus about importance of Ramadan.
– fasting improves immune system
– helps to kick bad habits
– Increases metabolism
– detoxifies our bodies
– gives our body a break
For some people, fasting is way to lose weight. It maybe true that fasting helps to reduce weight. However, fasting is not a good way to lose weight. Yes, it gives us the opportunity to give our system a break it needs, an opportunity to lose weight, to manage our hunger/thirst. It definitely helps us to control our hunger/thirst, to control addictions and to plan our eating habits and most importantly to implement patience. Over eating does not help and defeats the purpose. Remember it’s all about fasting and not feasting.
Islam stresses on fasting during this month as one of the pillar of Islam. Although fasting is an act solely between the one who is fasting and his Creator, the whole essence of Ramadan is sensationalized to a larger community level, to being group activity. The whole community takes part in Ramadan activities. This way, the radiance of it is multiplied and emphasized all the more. Group performance is more effective than individual act.
May Allah (swt) help us to get the maximum benefit of this month and give us all good health and immense reward in akhirah. Ameen
Remember it’s all about fasting and not feasting. Keep everything in moderation. And no wastage please.
And Allah knows best.
May this Ramadan be a source of blessing for us.We ask Allah swt to increase our emaan, grant us ihsaan, bestow on us sabr, delight us in dhikr, bless us with taqwa, accept our tawbah and honor us in Jannah, Ameen
To your success always in duniya and akhirah.
Everything truth and good in this post, it is a gift from Allah (swt) and any mistakes are my own.
Please forward this to share knowledge, even by tongue and
don’t forget to make du’as for the sender
To start on a serious note: For someone somewhere, this could be the last Ramadan. Could it be me, or you, some relative or someone we know, a close friend? Allah knows. Should we not then spend it in the best way possible?
Although we learn many lessons from the Quran and saying of the Prophet (saas), there is much we can learn from real experiences. However nothing can pull the strings of the heart more intensely than those true stories in relation to the teachings of Islam. Here is one such story – a story of repentance. For those of us who have heard this story before told by Abdullah Ash-Sherif, then it’s serves as a reminder and for the rest it’s a lesson to pay attention too.
I used to work as a taxi driver in the period between 2004 and 2008 as a temporary work until I could find another job.
One day, while driving in the streets of Alexandria, Egypt, and listening to the voice of Sheikh Mishari Ar-Rashid reciting some verses of Surah Al-Hadid (57) a man in his 60s stopped me and asked to take him to Karmuz (one of the
oldest neighborhoods in Alexandria.) He got into the car and I started driving to his destination.
Though focusing on the road, I noticed that the man was very irritated. He was shaking his knees, rubbing his hands and looking to the cassette player from time to time. He kept doing that until the Sheikh recited the following Ayah:
“Has the time not come for those who have believed that their hearts should become humbly submissive
at the remembrance of Allah and what has come down of the truth? And let them not be like those who were given the Scripture before, and a long period passed over them, so their hearts hardened; and many of them are defiantly disobedient”.(Al-Hadid 57:16)
The man burst into tears all of a sudden and cried uncontrollably. He never ceased so I had to stop the car at the road side to calm him down. I talked to him but he did not reply; he just went on crying and weeping.
I thought that the Qur’an recitation was the reason for his crying so I turned off the cassette player. However, the old man asked to replay the last verse. When I did, he started wailing again.
I had to wait until the Sheikh finished the Surah. Only then, the man started to calm down and tell his story:
Excuse me, my dear son. My name is Mus`ad, I had a heart disease and my sons used to rush me to our neighbor doctor when I had a heart attack at night. One night, I had the attack and we went to him as usual, but he pretended to be asleep and never opened the door for us.
So, my children took me to a public hospital and as you know, no real care is offered in public hospitals. Anyway, I told my children that I was getting better. Actually, I just wanted them to go home because they had work in the morning and
they could not afford missing the work. After we got home, the pains were so sharp. I felt so sick. So, I left my home and sat at the side of the Mahammadyah (an old water canal in Alexandria).
For hours, I kept praying to Allah and earnestly asking Him to heal me from this heart disease. I erupted in tears and said,
“O Allah, You make me suffer because I don’t pray, please, heal me and I won’t leave a Rak`ah anymore.”
My pains increased more. I cried in a higher tone, “Stop it! Don’t You feel sorry for me?!”
A while later, I felt a bit at ease and went to sleep. When I woke up, I felt I was much better. Since that day, I have
never experienced that pain or heart crisis anymore.
But I have never prayed even one Rak`ah!
When you played this recitation, I felt that Allah, the Almighty, was speaking to me. He was scolding me for my negligence of praying.
Do you think that I was crying because I feared that He would afflict me with heart disease? No, By Allah, I was not! I just felt embarrassed and ashamed of myself. Allah fulfilled my wish but I never kept my word.
All the while Allah (swt), through His immense mercy, showers us with His blessings, no matter how far away we are from Him, we continuously, through our sheer blindness, ignore Him again and again. How sad it is then to realize His favors and we are filled with regret. Never waste the time we are blessed with. It could be the last Ramadan of someone. Let
us lift our hearts and seek repentance in this special month, let us also realize His favors on us and let not our deeds today be the cause of regret tomorrow. Time is short.
May this Ramadan be a source of blessing for us.We ask Allah (swt) to increase our emaan, grant us ihsaan, bestow on us sabr,
delight us in dhikr, bless us with taqwa, accept our tawbah and honor us in Jannah, Ameen
To your success always in duniya and akhirah.
Everything true and good in this post is gift from Allah (swt) and any mistakes are my own.
Please forward this to share knowledge, even by tongue and get rewards while Allah (swt), and
don’t forget to make du’as to the sender.
During the month the month of Ramadan, we often hear the ayat that fasting was prescribed for us so that we may attain “taqwa” (righteous).
What is “taqwa” and how does fasting help us to attain it. The word “taqwa” has a vast meaning: righteousness, piety, being conscious of Allah (swt) even though He is unseen, doing that which Allah has enjoined and avoiding that which He has forbidden. So how does fasting make us all these?
Here are some thoughts:
1. Fasting is first and foremost an act of obedience to Allah (swt), therefore making us conscious of Him by fulfilling His commands.
2. Usually we humans realize the significance of anything valuable when we lose it. In the same light, when we abstain we realize and appreciate the values of our blessings. It makes us almost beg for the objects of our desires back and this motivates us to be grateful for them and we turn to the source of those blessings by our obedience to Allah (swt).
3. Fasting makes us control our desires naturally. When one has eaten his fill, his desires grow, he is happy, he feels like he is on the top of the world. However when one is hungry, his desires are weaker. The Prophet (saas) said: “O young men! Whoever among you can afford to get married, let him do so, for it is more effective in lowering the gaze and protecting one’s chastity. Whoever cannot do that, let him fast, for it will be a shield for him.”
4. Fasting humiliates and weakens Shaitaan; thus it weakens the effects of his whispers on a person, reduces his sins and makes him more God-conscious (taqwa). This is because the Shaitaan as Prophet (saas) said, “flows through the son of Adam like blood”, but fasting narrows the passages through which the Shaitan flows, so his influence grows less. Thus one is motivated to do good deeds, and to give up evil deeds.
5. The month of fasting is a training ground. By continuously doing good deeds, obeying the commands, being conscious, giving up haraam and doing deeds that will please Allah (swt), one becomes more aware of the importance of being righteous and if he is sincere, this behavior will come naturally to him, will be part of him, making him more conscious of Allah (swt).
There are many ways to become “mutaqoon” (people of “taqwa”) and fasting is one of them.
Why should we attain “taqwa”?
One reason – so that the Qur’an – the Word of Allah (swt) Himself becomes a Book personally written for us.
“This is the Book; in it is guidance sure without doubt to the muttaqeen (people of taqwa). Who believe in the Unseen are steadfast in prayer and spend out of what We have provided for them. And who believe in the Revelation sent to thee and sent before thy time and (in their hearts) have the assurance of the Hereafter. They are on (true) guidance from their Lord and it is these who are the successful”. (Al-Baqarah 1:1-5)
Another reason – So that we are on the path to Paradise promised for people of taqwa. In many Ayat of the Qur’an Allah (swt) says that the reward of the people of “taqwa” is Paradise.
“Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord and for a garden whose width is that (of the whole) of the heavens and of the earth prepared for the Muttaqeen [people of Taqwa]”. (Aali `Imraan, 3:133).
One more reason – People of “taqwa” have high honor and status with Allah (swt) and He loves them. It makes us worthy of Allah’s pleasure and acceptance.
“Yes, whoever fulfills his pledge and fears Allah much; verily, then Allah loves those who are Al-Mutaqoon”. (Aali `Imraan, 3:76)
What more reasons do we need?
And Allah knows best.
Let us rush to attain taqwa this Ramadan.
May this Ramadan be a source of blessing for us. We ask Allah swt to increase our emaan, grant us ihsaan, bestow on us sabr, delight us in dhikr, bless us with taqwa, accept our tawbah and honor us in Jannah, Ameen
To your success always in duniya and akhirah.
Everything truth and good in this post, it is a gift from Allah (swt) and any mistakes are my own.
Please forward this to share knowledge, even by tongue
and don’t forget to make du’as for the sender