"Hold yourselves accountable before your accountability!"

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Allah Azza Wa Jalla says: [And do not speak of that which you have no knowledge. Verily, all your hearing, your sight and your heart, you will be responsible for all of that.]

We have persevere to attain the pleasure of Allah Azza Wa Jalla by always doing and speaking that which He is pleased with. He will account us for everything on the Day of Reckoning; and therefore, we should hold ourselves accountable before we are held accountable.

Qiyam Lillah

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Al Hamdu Lillaahi Rabbil 'Aalameen was Salaatu was Salaamu 'alaa Ashrafil Anbiyaa'e wal Mursaleen

"Blessed is He Who sent down the Criterion to His servant, that it may be an admonition to all creatures. [Surah Al Furqan verse 1].

Wa Ba'd:

Alal Muslimeena Jami'ah! There are many beautiful verses spread throughout the Most Holy and Noble Qur'an that invites a true Mu'min to read them repeatedly, to reflect and ponder upon them, and to put them into daily practice. If we try to put the gist of life into a single phrase, that phrase is "Qiyam Lillah" - standing up for the sake of Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala Most Exalted and Merciful. "Qiyam Lillah" is not just an act; it is a decision to ordain one's life according to divine values and to dedicate it totally and completely to Almighty Allah Rabbul Ala'meen. It is a way of life. It is the resolution to live a life of courage and commitment, the resolution to live and die for a divine cause and to face all the trials, the tribulations, the dangers, the anxieties and the personal losses and setbacks that one may encounter on the path of faith and commitment. Almighty Allah Tabaraqa Wata'ala reminds us in verse 139 of Surah Al-Imran:

"So lose not heart, nor fall into despair, for ye must gain mastery if you are true in Faith."

O you who believe! Conviction in this Divine promise is the real prize of a truthful believer. Almighty Allah Most Exalted has bestowed upon us the greatest favour and blessing, that is Islam. He alone is our Helper and Protector. The aim of man's existence, in the sight of Almighty Allah Azza Wajjal, is total submission, that is, to attain a true awareness of our Most Merciful Creator and Maker, to conduct our life in conformity with His Commands and to seek Him by following the path laid down by His Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam. These then are the first glimpses of a true Muh'min who has resolved to live a life of Qiyam Lillah and who invites others to do the same. This dictum is the only way to the betterment of both worlds.

Ibad Allah! This refers to a state where Truth is triumphant and no battles are waged for the souls of men and they do not have to undergo the ordeal of deciding which way to turn; where only Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala is obeyed and Divine honours are paid to Him Alone; where justice and faith in Allah prevail. It was Qiyam for the sake of Almighty Allah that made Nabee Ebrahim Alayhis Salaam, the friend [Khalil] of the Beneficent, attain to the station of sincere friendship [Khullah] of Almighty Allah and liberated him from the multiple manifestations of the world of corporeal nature. Islam is the faith that defines us, defines who we are, defines our identity. Islam is the religion that Almighty Allah Most Merciful has chosen for us, has perfected for us, and has granted us, as the Qur'an so eloquently expresses in part of verse 3 of Surah Al Maidah:

"This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed my favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion."

But why is it that we believe that Islam is such a tremendous bounty from Almighty Allah?  Because there is nothing like Islam on earth: It is Islam that has taught human beings that the Lord their Creator is the One and Only.  That He has no partners, no wife, and no son, and that there can be no compromise on His Oneness. It is Islam that has taught human beings that they are all equal and that no Arab is superior to a non-Arab, nor a non-Arab is superior to an Arab, and that the best of all of us is the one who is the most righteous. Islam is a favour, Islam is a privilege, Islam is a great bounty from Almighty Allah Most Exalted and Merciful. All we have to do is to be grateful for this great blessing and say as we are commanded in verse 43 of Surah Al-A'raf:

"Praise be to Allah who has guided us to this:  never could we

have found guidance, had it not been for the guidance of Allah"

Beloved people of Imaan! Today is the day when the Divine spiritual breeze has begun to blow. Today, is the best day for making Qiyam for the sake of reform [Islah]. If we let this golden opportunity slip and if we fail to stand for the sake of our Most Exalted Creator and Maker and revive the rites of our Din, tomorrow will be a day when we will be overwhelmed by a hoard of lustful blasphemers who will make our religion and dignity the victim of their venomous and vicious aims. Today what excuse do we have to offer before Almighty Allah Rabbul Ala'meen? We have all seen how the avowed enemies of Islam continue to perpetrate their hatred for Islam, for our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam and for the Muslim Ummah.

O Ummatul Muslimeen! It is our self-seeking character and our abandoning of Qiyam for Almighty Allah's sake that has made us see these dark days, allowing all the world's people to dominate us and subjecting the Islamic countries to the Jahilliyah influence of foreigners. It is our Qiyam for the sake of selfish personal interests that has strangled the spirit of solidarity and true brotherhood within the Ummah. It is Qiyam for the carnal self that has scattered us and separated us from one another. It is Qiyam for personal benefit that allows despotic rulers to rule over Muslim countries. It is Qiyam for the fear of Islam that Western countries have snatched away the Hijab from chaste Muslim women. It is Qiyam for the sake of hatred and greed that has made the media moguls and their mouthpieces  defame Islam and the Beloved of Almighty Allah Azza Wajjal.

Fa ya Ayyuhan nas! We observe that the precious fruits of action according to religious precepts are not fully realized in this world. Neither do those who do good arrive at their reward, nor those who blaspheme and spread corruption, Fithnah, and oppression realize the requital for their evil actions. It is Qiyam for the sake of carrying out acts  beneficial to ourselves and our community and to avoid acts of corruption. These are the provisions and commandments that Islam has brought and to which it has summoned; as we see, some of them pertain to belief, some to ethics, and some to action. It is Qiyam to accept them and to put them into action. This is the means to happiness, because, as we know, a Muh'min cannot find happiness without being a realist, adopting high ethical standards in life, and acting in accordance with them.

Ummatal Qur'an! It is Qiyam for the sake of making every individual in a society responsible for determining what is Halal and Haram and what is harmful in accordance with laws of human design, and in such a case human laws would have supplanted Divine Laws and there would be no further need for religion. If we consider closely, however, we see that the decrees and provision of Islam does not only address worship of Almighty Allah Most Merciful but has also provided commands and provisions covering all aspects of individual and social life.

It has surveyed the full extent of human life in a marvelous way and has set forth appropriate provisions for every individual and social activity. Finally, it has secured the happiness of the individual in human society from every standpoint, to the greatest possible degree, as any fair-minded person will affirm. As has been explained, Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala explains Islam in verse 19 of Surah Al-Imran in accordance with the limited compass of human understanding:

"Truly, religion before Allah is Surrender (Islam), and those who received the Book did not differ until after knowledge reached them, through transgression

among themselves, and as to whosoever disbelieves in Almighty Allah's Signs, - Allah is swift in reckoning."

O you who believe! Summon the people to Allah's Way by explaining what is true and sound and what is corrupt, with good advice and counsel, and by demonstrating the Truth in the best possible manner, because Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala knows best who has found the way and who is lost. Of course, one must know that human happiness and individual and social prosperity are based upon practice of religious commandments. Apart from that, merely nominal attachment to religion is useless, since what has value is the Truth itself, not summons to the Truth. One who calls himself or herself a Muslim and who, for all his or her inner darkness, base morals, and ugly behaviour, awaits the angel of happiness, is just like a patient who pockets the doctor's prescription and expects to get well. Certainly no one will get anywhere that way.

O seekers of Allah who are committed to the Truth! O you who believe! Read the admonition of the Most Glorious Creator of the heavens and the earth. Accept the sole remedy of reform suggested by Him. Abandon personal and selfish interests, that you may Insha'Allah attain to felicity in this world and in the Aghirah. Verily, there are times in your life wherein Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala sets gusts of spiritual opportunity going. Look out, and place yourself in its path and remember that whoever chooses Almighty Allah Rabbul Ala'meen as his or her Protector and Guardian will escape the darkness of bewilderment and misguidance. The aim and idea behind all our acts should be for the Pleasure and Favour of Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala and the service of Islam, the service of our Beloved Nabee - Rahmatul Liel Ala'meen Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam and the service of the Muslim Ummah.

And Almighty Allah knows best.

Imam Abdul Hameed

Women attending the Eid Salaah

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As-Salam Alaykum,

There has been much controversy in South Africa regarding our mothers and sisters in Islam attending the Eid prayers. Others in the Muslim world will find it amusing!

The Hadith of the Prophet (SAW) as narrated by Imam Bukhari and others is CLEAR that the women would attend the Eid Salah in the Era of the Prophet (SAW).

In fact, the Prophet (SAW) would order all women, including the young virgins, those in haydh, and those did not have proper clothes to attend (the latter were instructed to borrow clothes and the menstruating women to just sit there in the Eidgah/Musalla).

This was the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW) as he established it for all generations.

Of course, in later times, with the expansion of Islam to various lands and cultures, this Sunnah was "temporarily suspended" by some Fuqaha, especially noting that the attendance of women was not considered an Obligation, but an Encouraged matter (which may be "suspended temporarily" by the Ulama considering their context).

They tried to suspend it due to (genuine or cultural) fears of Fitna and danger.

The Hanafis were at the forefront of this "suspension". The founding savant of the Hanafi Madh-hab, Imam Muhammad bin al-Hasan narrates in his Kitab al-Athaar that:

"Imam Abu-Hanifah informed us from Abd-al-Karim ibn Abi'l-Mukhariq that (the female Sahabi) Umm Atiyyah (RA) said:

"Women used to be granted as a concession ("ordered" in other stronger narations) to go out to attend the two Eids (prayers): al-Fitr and al-Adha (i.e. in the time of the Prophet SAW)."

However, immediately after that, Imam Muhammad states:

"Their going out to attend the Eid does not please us, except for old women beyond child-bearing age. This is the opinion of Abu-Hanifah also."

As we can see from this early Hanafi text: all women were already attending the Eid prayer (as per the established Sunnah) in those early days.

However, it seems that the noble Imam Abu-Hanifah (a Persian from Iraq) did not "like it".

Nevertheless, even he (RA) also, made an exception for "older women". He didn't ban it outright!

It seems that this Hanafi opinion of "suspending the Sunnah" (not "prohibiting it" as no one can do that), spread in Hanafi ruled lands (e.g. Indo-Pak), where the local pre-Islamic cultures were already very conservative regarding women attending public gatherings.

HOWEVER, I wish to remind everyone here that while this may have been the case with Hanafi India or Salafi Arabia (exception of the Haramayn though); in OTHER PARTS OF THE MUSLIM WORLD, the Sunnah of women attending the Eid Salah has continued uninterrupted.

Nobody "suspended it" or stopped it ever.

I attach here photos from the Eid Salah in the Mauritanian Desert. It is perhaps the closest image one can get of the Salah of the Prophet (SAW)'s time.

You will notice the women sitting behind the men.

Also, photos from Indonesia (country with largest Muslim population).

Muslims of the Cape come from Indonesia generally and follow the Shafi'i Madh-hab.

As a photo says a thousand words, attached are also photos of mass female Eid congregations from:

Egypt, Kashmir, Senegal, Sudan, Somalia, Turkey, Iran, Philippines, UK, Gambia and INDIA.

Please look at them carefully so that we can expand our horizons!

We are part of a global Ummah. After that, as South Africans, we are part of Africa.

The question for our local Fuqaha is:

As 21st century South African Muslims, will we continue to advocate this "suspension of the Sunnah" that we inherited from our Indian Hanafi roots? or are we going to suspend that "suspension" itself and go back to the Sunnah as the more suitable option for our multi-cultural global/African context???

Do note that going against the Hanafi Madh-hab in one issue does not remove one from the Madh-hab as is well-known to anyone who has studied Fiqh and Usul al-Fiqh.

Note also that Imam Abu-Hanifah (RA) himself stated:

"If the hadith is authentic, then that is my Madh-hab".

Hanafi Ulama stated that this important statement of the Imam means:

'If an opinion of Imam Abu-Hanifah - that was based on analogy or contextual considerations (and not a hadith) - seems to contradict an authentic hadith, then one should leave that opinion and follow the hadith. One will still remain a Hanafi'.

See the Radd al-Muhtar of al-Allamah Ibn-Abidin al-Shami.

The "suspension" of the Eid Prayer for Women is an opinion based on contextual considerations, and not textual evidence. Therefore, if a Hanafi scholar goes against that opinion in order to follow the established Hadith, he remains a Hanafi, as the Imam al-A'zam himself confirmed!


The Power of the Kalima

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Our Beloved Nabee Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam came, holding the flag of Islam in his hand, and bearing a motto of which the very first word was "La" (No!). That one word - "La" - at the very beginning of the testimony contains the whole destructive but also the entire constructive power that Islam came out with in the shape of a glorious revolution. The question that arises: Why did Islam appear first with a word such as "La" (No!)?

How does it come about that this word "La"  occurs at the very beginning of the sentence which has as its goal the affirmation of Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala's Wahdaniyyah (Unity and Oneness)? A very simple linguistic explanation would arise in the fact that a negative syntactic form is more effective for an affirmation of the subject than a positive one would be.

Thus "La" (No!) on the flag of Islam was not meant for some existing deities. Not only because they are not in existence but also because their existence is not possible at all. The word "La" (No!) was therefore sent to the human intellect, and to human reason and knowledge, putting forward first of all the semantic and ontological absurdity of the existence of plurality in the concepts of Almighty Allah, Perfection, Unity, Oneness and Sovereignty etc.

So Islam and its "La" (No!) first revolutionized the human intellect. Ontically, no other deity can ever compete with Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala. However, as we learn from the Most Holy and Glorious Qur'an, they have been competing with Almighty Allah Azza Wajjal as materialized deaf and dumb idols whose brittle nature was shown by Nabee Ebrahim Alayhis Salaam who destroyed them into pieces.

At one time this word "La" (No!) created a generation - the generation of Sahaba Ridwanullahi Ta'ala Alayhim Ajma'een - without comparison in the history of Islam, even in the history of man. This is without any question of a doubt the open truth of history, and we as the favoured Ummah of Almighty Allah's Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam ought to ponder over it deeply so that we may reach and attain its secret.

Why did this call begin in this manner? And why did the Divine Wisdom decide that this call be confronted in the initial stages with the word "La"? It was Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala's Wisdom that this fundamental question should be made to His Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam and to his Ummah. This Doonya belongs exclusively to Almighty Allah and should be purified and cleansed for none other than Rabbul Ala'meen. It cannot be purified for Him unless the banner of:

"La Illaha Illalla."

is unfurled across the length and breath of this earth. Man is a slave and servant to his Glorious Creator and Sustainer alone, and he can remain so only if he unfurls the banner of:

"La Illaha Illalla."   -  "There is no deity except Allah."

It was Almighty Rabbul Ala'meen's Wisdom that this fundamental question of faith and belief should be made the central theme of the initial call to His Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam to all of humanity. The very first message brought to the people was that they bear witness with the declaration of:

"La Illaha Illalla."   -  "There is no deity except Allah."

Our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam devoted his efforts to making known to people Who their True Creator and Sustainer is and that they should worship Him and Him Alone. The Meccan portion of the Most Holy and Glorious Qur'an revealed to our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam - over a period of thirteen years, dealt only with:

"La Illaha Illalla."   -  "There is no deity except Allah."

This is the great question upon which mankind's existence depends and will continue to depend until the end of time. And thus the full thirteen years of the Meccan period were spent in explaining and expounding this fundamental question, that question from which all other questions and details pertaining to human life are derived.

The Most Holy and Glorious Qur'an made this question the only subject of its message during the Meccan period and never discussed other subsidiary and derived matters. These subsidiary topics were not mentioned until Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala decided that matters pertaining to faith had been fully explained and that

"La Illaha Illalla."    -  "There is no deity except Allah."

had entered into the hearts of that illustrious selected group of people who were to establish His Din and were to give it a practical form. Those who call toward Allah's Din and want to establish the way of life prescribed by this Din should ponder at length over this significant fact, that for thirteen long years the Most Holy and Glorious Qur'an exclusively expounded this faith and did not deviate from this issue to describe the details of that system which was to be established on this faith or any laws for the organization of the Muslim Ummah.

From the viewpoint of the limited understanding of mankind, it does not seem as though this would be the easiest way to reach the hearts of the pagan Arabs. They knew their language well and knew the meaning of "Ilah" (Allah), and they also knew the meaning of:

"La Illaha Illalla.:     -  "There is no deity except Allah."

They knew that "Uluhiyah" means 'sovereignty' and they also realized that ascribing sovereignty only to Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala meant that their ego, the authority and self-proclaimed prestige and power would be taken away from the priests, the leaders of the tribes, the wealthy and the rulers, and would revert only to Rabbul  Ala'meen.

It also meant that only Almighty Allah's authority would prevail in the hearts and conscience, in matters pertaining to religious observances and in the affairs of life such as business, the distribution of wealth and the dispensation of justice - in short, in the soul and bodies of men. They knew very well that the proclamation of

"La Illaha Illalla" was a serious challenge to that worldly authority which had usurped the greatest attribute of Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala, namely, sovereignty.

"La Illaha Illalla."    -  "There is no deity except Allah."

was a rebellion against all modes of behaviour which have been devised under this usurpation and was a declaration of war against the authority which legislates laws not permitted by Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala. It was no secret to the pagan Arabs who knew the real meaning of this message - what its significance was in relation to their pagan traditions, their rule and their power. They greeted this call - this revolutionary message with anger, and fought against it with that vigour which is well known to us.

At the time of our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam's call to Messengership, Arab society was devoid of proper distribution of wealth and devoid of justice. A small group monopolized all wealth and commerce, which increased through usury (Ribah). The great majority of the people were poor and hungry. The wealthy were regarded as noble and distinguished, and the common people were not only deprived of wealth but also of dignity and honour.

The moral level of Arabia was extremely low from every point of view and only a few primitive tribal mores prevailed. Oppression, repression and injustice was the rule of the day. The Divine Declaration of "La Illaha Illalla" was capable of starting a social movement, declaring war against the class of nobles and the wealthy, taking away their wealth and distributing it among the poor, the needy and the destitute.

When, after hard work and dedication, belief became firm and the authority to which this belief refers was acknowledged, when people recognized their Supreme Creator and Sustainer and worshipped Him Alone, when they became independent not only of other human beings but also of their own desires, and when "La Illaha Illalla" became imprinted on their hearts - then Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala, through faith and through the believers, provided everything which was needed.



Almighty Allah's earth became free so that His Authority might be established and that the earth might be cleared of all rebels against Him, whether they were Roman, Persian or Arab. The society was freed from the shackles of oppression, and the Islamic system was established in which justice was Allah's Justice and in which weighing was Almighty Allah's Balance. The banner of social justice was raised in the name of One Creator, and the name of the banner was Al-Islam. No other name was added to it and "La Illaha Illalla" was written on it.

When belief in "La Illaha Illalla" penetrates into the deep recesses of the heart, it also penetrates through the whole system of life, which is a practical interpretation of this faith. By this I mean, those who believe are already pleased with the system which this faith uniquely determines and submit in principle to all the laws and injunctions and details even before they are promulgated. Indeed, the spirit of submission is the first requirement of Imaan. Through this spirit of submission the believers learn the Islamic regulations and laws with eagerness and pleasure.

In this manner, the killing of daughters, drinking and fornication was forbidden, usury was prohibited, and gambling was proscribed, and all the evil habits of the Days of Ignorance were completely abolished - abolished by a few verses of the Most Holy and Glorious Qur'an or by a few words from the lips of our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam. Islam is a most beautiful and practical religion; it has come to order the practical affairs of life. Islam is not a 'theory' based on 'assumptions' - it is a way of life working with actuality. Thus it is first necessary that a Muslim community come into existence which believes in "La Illaha Illalla" which commits itself to obey none other but Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala, denying all other authority, and which challenges the legality of any law which is not based on this belief.

When the revival of this religion starts among a people, this aspect of it must have first priority. The very first Islamic call was based on it; thirteen complete years of the Meccan period of the Most Holy and Glorious Qur'an were devoted to this Divine Message of "La Illaha Illalla." The Most Glorious Qur'an did not come down at once but took thirteen years to construct and strengthen the structure of Imaan. Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala could have revealed the entire Qur'an at once and then left the Sahaba Ridwanullahi Ta'ala Alayhim Ajma'een to learn it for a period of thirteen years so that they would master the "Islamic Theory."

But Almighty Rabbul Ala'meen did not choose this method. He wanted something else. He wanted to lay the foundations of a community, a nation, a movement and a belief simultaneously. He wanted the community and the movement to be founded on a belief, while with dynamic progress of the community the faith also grew. This is the glorious character of our beautiful Din, and the Meccan period of the Most Holy and Glorious Qur'an testifies to it.

The theoretical foundation of Islam, in every period of history, has been to witness "La Illaha Illalla"  which means to bear witness that the only true Creator is Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala, that He Alone is Gafooroor Raheem, that He Alone is the Creator, Sustainer and Ruler of the heavens and the earth, and that He Alone is the Real Sovereign; to believe in Him in our hearts, to worship Him Alone, and to put into practice His Holy Sharia'h.

Without the declaration and complete acceptance of "La Illaha Illalla" which differentiates the one who says he is a Muslim from a non-Muslim, there cannot be any practical significance to this declaration, nor will it have any weight according to the Islamic Law. We know of Almighty Allah's guidance through one source only, that is, through our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam. Thus, in the second part of the Holy Islamic Code, we bear witness:

"Muhammadar Rasoolullah"

"And I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah."

In this great Islamic society, all nations and all races were gathered and united as a single Ummah under the banner of "La Illaha Illallahu Muhammadar Rasoolullah." Their various characteristics were united, and with Muhabbat and mutual cooperation, harmony and unity they took part in the construction of the Islamic community and Islamic culture. This marvelous civilization was not an "Arab civilization" not even for a single day; it was purely an Islamic civilization. It was never a 'nationality' but always a 'community' of belief - united under the banner of the Holy Code of Islam

"La Illaha Illallahu Muhammadar Rasoolullah."

These are characteristics which were never achieved by any other group of people in the entire history of mankind.

Baarak Allaahu Feekum wa sal-Allaahu wa-salkam

'alaa Nabiyyinaa Muhammad Sallallaho Alaahi Wasallam.

Was Salamu alaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhoo.

Imam Abdul Hamid