Categories
Non-Muslims

Valentine’s Day celebration in Islam– Accepted or Not (Let’s find out now.)

After the zeal of many Muslims trying to figure out whether it is lawful in Islam to take part in Christmas, celebrating birthdays and others, here comes another, Valentine’s Day celebration.

Basically known as the celebration of love and romance among friends and loved once.

After I Googled this Valentine thing, I found out that it is something Muslims shouldn’t think about.

In actual fact, considering the background and history of this celebration, and the way people go about it now, there is no need to hesitate in saying NO to it.

Some people will always deny the truth without any valid proof, they will rather claim that some of these practices like birthdays, Valentine and the likes no longer have any religious significance (despite the fact that it is most of the ancient rituals that are being disguised in today’s celebrations)

Can Muslim couples who are legally married celebrate Valentine’s Day?

As a matter of fact, Valentine’s celebration can never be something Islam can tolerate even if you are a couple.

If you really need a very short answer to this question, then it is NO.

However, if you want to learn more detail then keep gliding down the page.

Let’s see what the World Book Encyclopedia tells us regarding Valentine’s Day:

“The customs connected with the day …probably come from an ancient Roman festival called Lupercalia which took place every February 15. The festival honored Juno, the Roman goddess of women and marriage, and Pan, the god of nature” (1973, vol. 20, p. 204).

Actually, there are many different stories concerning this particular topic, but still, the primary concept is firm.

Let’s continue with what the research got for us. From a site called United Church of God with URL ucg.org, I obtained the following commentaries on valentine.

“For the people of ancient Rome, the festival of Lupercalia was an annual ritual believed to ward off evil spirits and increase fertility. Lupercalia (also known as Februatio, from which comes the month name February) was popular among many of the new converts to the fast-rising Catholic Church.

As the book Celebrations: The Complete Book of American Holidays notes, “Everywhere that [mainstream] Christians came into power they immediately adapted the holidays and customs of the people to their own creed” (Robert Myers and Hallmark Cards editors, 1972, pp. 50-51).

Such was their course of action with this festival of Lupercalia at the end of the fifth century. While Pope Gelasius officially condemned the pagan Roman festival and banned its observance, many of its accompanying practices quickly appeared in a newly established holiday added by him to the official church list of feast days in A.D. 496—St. Valentine’s Day.

Soon, people were no longer looking to obtain fertility by being beaten with strips of animal skin called februa. Instead, they turned their focus to St. Valentine, the patron saint of “engaged couples and anyone wishing to marry” (Celebrations, pp. 48-49), whose actual identity is even murkier than what connection he bore to romance.

What amounted to a renamed, refurbished Lupercalia then picked up steam, gradually adapting itself into the Valentine’s Day we know today, which included the added elements of Valentine cards and Cupid, the Roman god of erotic love.

We now have a basic concept of the celebration of Valentine’s Day.

Friendship and sending cards to our legal loved ones have never been something bad in Islam, in fact, they are wonderful if done in the right way.

Allah did not oppose romance either, provided it is at the right time and in the right way.

But does the pagan religious history of Valentine’s Day taint our practice as Muslims?

What does Allah say about observing pagan traditions, disguised or not?

Surah al-Kafirun, Chapter 109 verse 1 to 6

  1. Say: “O disbelievers!”
  2. “I worship not that which you worship.”
  3. “Nor will you worship whom I worship.”
  4. “And I shall not worship that which you are worshipping.”
  5. “Nor will you worship that which I worship.”
  6. “To you be your religion, and to me my religion.”

I really like the way this surah was revealed.

Our beloved Prophet (pbuh) in fact was sent as a mercy for mankind. He lived such an exemplary lifestyle that we can follow even till now, even till the end of time.

This verse was revealed as a result of similar issues we are discussing today.

It has been said that in their ignorance (ie disbelievers), they invited the Messenger of Allah to worship their idols for a year and they would (in turn) worship his God for a year. Therefore, Allah revealed this Surah.

Allah sent Prophets to this world to guide us on the right path.

This means that there is no (true) object of worship except Allah and there is no path to Him (i.e., way of worshipping Him) other than that which the Messenger came with.

He commanded His Messenger to disavow himself from their religion

It is also narrated in so many Hadiths, some of which says:

“Whoever imitates a people is from them” (Sunan Abu Dawud)

Also:

Abu Sa’id al−Khudri reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying:

You would tread the same path as was trodden by those before you inch by inch and step by step so much so that if they had entered into the hole of the lizard, you would follow them in this also.

We said: Allah’s Messenger, do you mean Jews and Christians (by your words)” those before you”?

He said: Who else (than those two religious groups)?

[Sahih Muslim Book 33, Number 6448:]

In the actual fact, the above verses and hadiths indicate that this practice and its type remain just as detestable as they have been in the side of Allah.

Instead of pagan practices and activities like Valentine’s Day, Christmas celebration, new year celebration and all you can think of, our focus should be on the two main festivals Allah has given us in the Quran which point us toward His amazing and incomparable plan for all humanity.

Yes, from the background and history of Valentine’s Day, we could clearly see that this satanic practice of Lupercalia has been repackaged and disguises as a normal activity, making it seem as if there is nothing evil about showing love to your spouse during valentine.

And also, there is no place in the bible that mentioned such thing like a valentine. This was practiced already until Romans become Christians.

Let’s listen to what is stated in the Bible concerning the celebration of pagan tradition:

When the Lord, your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess …do not inquire after their gods, ‘saying, How did these nations served their gods? I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way for every abomination to the Lord which He hates they have done to their gods … Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it [Deuteronomy 12:29-23]

It is very clear from the above verses that the Bible also forbids practices of the tradition of the disbelievers.

But as a matter of fact, they (Christians) practiced this Valentine the most. They see to it as something normal to an extent they make that day a holiday for themselves.

Dear Muslims, we are completely different.

We are the Ummah of the Man who brought light to this world, the man who was sent as a Mercy for the whole of humanity.

He said He is proud of us so let’s show to the world that we are indeed the best among them.

Let’s do away with their activities, let’s not follow their footsteps as the Prophet mentioned.

Let’s live as good Muslims and die as good Muslims, I think that’s the only way you and I can be saved.

Categories
Muslim Lifestyle

For single Muslims: How to live a happy lifestyle

Are you a single Muslim?

Being single form part of everyone’s life, it could be part or throughout life. However, it comes with temptations, fears and worldly influence for many Muslims.

It is for sure that our faith as Muslims encourages early marriage among young people to escape the temptations involved.

Others took full advantage of this, by the time they got to experience what singleness is meant, they aren’t single any longer.

What about my brother or sister who for his/her own reasons wants to leave a single life for some time or waiting for the best time?  What is it like to be a single Muslim without falling into the pit of dilemmas and temptations that come with it, whether man or woman?

Being single comes with challenges. You’ll have to spend years fighting against an invisible enemy who disregards Allah[swt] glory and seeks to detour you away from His good and perfect will. You’ll be tempted to follow the world’s ways, to forsake the desire of your own heart to be cherished, and most importantly, to forsake Allah Almighty.

Truly speaking, to be free from all these unhappy situations, and maintain your happiness and righteousness in every moment of your single life, it is imperative that you possess a thorough and profound understanding of yourself and your situation, and how to maintain discipline over it.

Keep gliding down this page to learn how the Holy Quran and Sunnah want you to happily deal with singleness without crossing the line.

Understand your condition from Allah [swt] perspective

If Allah[swt] should aid you, no one can overcome you; but if He should forsake you, who is there that can aid you after Him? And upon Allah[swt] let the believers rely. (Quran 3:160)

Your perspective about yourself defines many things about how you react to life’s situations.

So first of all, you need to know that your life as a Muslim is ultimately guided by someone. Though it is simple, it isn’t always easy to grasp this concept. However, nothing can compare to the joy that will embrace you as you get to know your condition in Allah[swt]’s perspective.

Are you single by your choice, the choice of others (divorced), or by the circumstances of your life, Allah[swt] is deeply aware of you. It is stated in the Glorious Quran:

“And indeed We have created man, and we know what his self whispers to him. And we are nearer to him than his jugular vein.” (Quran 50:16)

If you have ever looked into a broken mirror, you will only see a distorted image of yourself. But upon seeing that you’re messed-up in the mirror, you never pay any attention to it because you know your face isn’t messed, it’s the mirror that isn’t clear.

In the same way, you should forget the world’s broken mirror and look into the accurate mirror of Allah[swt] to discern the truth. Stay focused on what Allah [swt] has enjoined and forget all that He[swt] has forbidden.

Seek Direction within the Muslim Community

“… and fear Allah[swt] through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship)…” (Al-Nisa’ 4:1)

The Muslim community is the source for much of both our physical and spiritual growth as happy Muslims. Allah[swt] calls us to these vibrant communities within our families and within the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet[saw].

As a single Muslim, this community is one of the best means for making a potential spouse and receiving guidance and support needed for Marriage. Even in today’s world of online dating, marriage experts still see matches made by friends, family and the Muslim communities to be among the best.

Therefore, get connected to families. Feeling detached and alone serves a very comfortable means for the devil to defeat you. You need to be around others, such as families and good friends who you can develop deep and helpful relationships with, and spend time with them at meals, with their kids, outings, etc. Bring them into your life; that way you will be kept engaged with much love and happiness.

Use this as a chance to grow

Single Muslims who have more respect for Allah’s command may felt the weight of loneliness. However, it is possible to make your loneliness a means to grow a happy life and to come closer to Allah[swt] rather than seeking His wrath for the sake of your desires.

If you’ve been married but now single due to certain conditions, then you should use this as a chance to heal. Use this moment to focus on healing from past hurts and also working on your own areas of weakness.

Singleness also can serve you better in living a pure lifestyle that can prepare you for a good partner in the future. It is obvious in today’s world that staying sexually pure is the greatest challenge among young people. However, in our case as happy and righteous Muslims, that’s not true because we value what Allah wants than our desires.

Singleness should prepare you for a blessed marriage. Also, you can think of this moment as an investment in the welfare of your future marriage.

Meanwhile, every single Muslim should also bear it in mind that whether they marry in the future or not, sexual purity is an awesome reflection of their relationship with Allah[swt] as the Quran asserted:

“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze, and protect their private parts. That is purer for them. Verily, Allah[swt] is All-Aware of what they do.” (Quran 24:30)

Seek Guidance from Allah[swt] Almighty through Dua and zikr

The Prophet [saw] said, “Allah [swt] said, ‘I am as My servant thinks (expects) I am. I am with him when he mentions Me. If he mentions Me to himself, I mention him to Myself; and if he mentions Me in an assembly, I mention him in an assembly greater than it. If he draws near to Me a hand’s length, I draw near to him an arm’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.’” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

You need to realize that Allah[swt]’s help is nearer than you think. His help will surely reach you once you turn to Him and ask Him with patience.

See Also: A Touching Advice for Young Muslims

Discover and deal with the roots of your singleness with prayer. If you want to get married, yet it hasn’t happened for you, your single situation could be due to unfinished business within your personal life. For instance, there may be some basic trust issues, fears of intimacy or tendency to allow others to control you in the case of a lady. Issues like this affect not only singleness but one’s entire life.

To deal with it in a successful way, you need to get into the spiritual growth process and begin to discover the personal struggles that may have kept you single longer than you wished. In fact, it is possible that Allah[swt] can turn the pain of possible betrayal and loneliness into an incredible time of spiritual, emotional and relational growth.

Perhaps there are unique factors in your life that you have never before, or will never again experience. It’s easier said than done, but why not pray and ask Allah[swt] if there is something He wants to build into you or if there is some help around the corner. Allah Almighty’s mercy will surely embrace you soon as stated in the Glorious Quran:

“And when My servants ask you (O Muhammad concerning Me, then answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright” (Quran 2:186)

Enjoy being a single Muslim

BOOK LINK: Enjoy Your Life by Dr. Muhammad Al-‘Areefi

In fact, you must be content with what Allah[swt] has apportioned for you now because He has a reason for everything he does.

Yes, you have to enjoy life to the fullest! Beware of allowing your singleness to impact on your behavior as a happy Muslim. Have fun as a single person, whether it is a temporary or permanent condition. You have more freedom than married people though, use it to grow and invest in your future or future Marriage.

A thought:

Always turn and look at the bright aspect of your single life before looking at the dark aspect and you will surely be happy Insha-Allah.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Always look at the bright aspect of your life before looking at the dark aspect and you will surely be happy.” quote=”Always turn and look at the bright aspect of your single life before looking at the dark aspect and you will surely be happy Insha-Allah.” theme=”style5″]

Categories
Hajj

First 10 days of Dhul Hijjah: Its Importance and Facts

What you would learn about the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah:

  1. Virtues  (Importance) and Facts of the First Ten Days of Dhul Hijjah
  2. How to prepare for these days!
  3. Preferable deeds to perform in these 10 days

Verily, Islam and Muslims have been blessed by Allah[swt] with many merits and special characteristics.

One of the special characteristics that Allah[swt] has blessed the Ummah with are the times of the year, during which, the obedience or acts are extremely beneficial.

Likewise, He has blessed us with special places where forgiveness and mercy may be sought and where righteous deeds may be performed.

At these times and at these places, Muslims strive to obtain the pleasure of Allah[swt] and (perhaps even) compete with others in doing things that bring them closer to the Rahmah of Allah[swt].

These seasons or times of the year are (in fact) gifts from Allah[swt]. And He [swt] has given it to the Ummah since they are generously rewarded for relatively small good deeds. These are times of the year with great opportunities.

One of the times of opportunities is the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah.

The virtues and importance of these ten days of Dhul Hijjah have been mentioned in the Noble Quran and in the authentic Sunnah.

Let’s explore them Insha-Allah[swt]!

Virtues and facts of the First Ten Days of Dhul Hijjah

Outlined below are the virtues and facts of the first 10 days of Dhyl Hijjah:

Allah swore by those days in the Holy Quran.

“By the down. And by ten nights (of Dhul Hijjah)” – (Al-Fajr: 1-2).

Ibn Katheer in his commentary on this verse:

“The intending meaning of the ten nights is the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah as has been stated by Ibn ‘Abbas, Ibn Az-Zubair, Mujahid, as well as others from the Pious Predecessors and those who came after them”

Allah Completed Islam during one of these ten days.

“This day I have perfected for you, your religion and completed My favors upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.” (Quran, Al-Maidah:3)

These 10 days fall at the end of the well-known months of Hajj

The first ten days of Dhul Hijjah fall at the end of the well-known months of Hajj.

Righteousness in these days comes with great rewards

Righteous deeds performed during the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah are, as we have already discussed, more beloved to Allah[swt] than those deeds performed during other regular days.

The first 10 days of Dhyl Hijjah are generally considered the best days of the year.

The first ten days of Dhul Hijjah are considered the best days of the year because the Prophet[saw] said:

“The best days in this worldly life are the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah.”

Pilgrimage to Mecca is performed during these 10 days of Dhul Hijjah.

Another virtue (importance) of the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah is that the pilgrimage to Mecca is performed during them (which is one of the pillars of Islam).

Arafat also falls on one of these days

The first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah also contains the blessed day of Arafat. This day is a great day during which Allah[swt] frees many of His worshippers from the fire of Hell.

Yawm-un-Nahr also falls on one of these blessed days

Another virtue of the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah is that Yawm-un-Nahr falls on one of them.

Yawm-un-Nahr is also called “The greatest day of Hajj” (i.e. because several important rights of Hajj must be performed on that day such as slaughtering the sacrificial animal, shaving the head (for men) or shortening the hair (for women), stoning all their jamarat, and the Tawaf of Hajj)

First 10 days of Dhul Hijjah: How to prepare for it!

We should prepare for the times of the year, during which, acts of obedience are extremely advantageous by doing the following things:

Sincere Repentance.

We should prepare for this time with sincere repentance to Allah[swt].

Further Reading: How to repent sincerely: Step by Step guide

Learn the conduct and act of worship for this time of the year

We should also prepare by learning about the conduct and various acts of worships for this time of the year.

For example, learning about legal rulings concerning the first ten days of the month.

This is such that every Muslim can worship Allah[swt] upon knowledge. It will prevent falling into bid’ah (newly invented matters in religion) which are now associated with certain seasons and times of the year.

Remembrance of Allah and performing righteous deeds

Seek to get closer to Allah[swt] by remembering Him, obeying Him, worshiping Him, and reading the Quran.

Also by serving Him and helping His religion (Islam) by defending the Quran and the Sunnah of His Prophet[saw], and helping Muslims as much as you can.

Thanking Allah

Thanking Allah Almighty during these days

We should also welcome this blessed days by thanking Allah[swt] for providing us with such an opportunity to obtain the generous rewards for the righteous deeds performed during this season or time of the year.

And for allowing us to live to see another season during which we may obtain a great mass of rewards, especially in light of the fact that many people were denied this opportunity either by death or illness or thru negligence.

Preferable deeds in the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah

It is preferable to increase all types of good deeds during these blessed days of the month, because of the superiority of performing righteous actions.

However, there are some preferable deeds to perform during these days, or on some of them. They are as follows:

Increase the rememberance of Allah (SWT)

In surah Al-hajj, Allah[swt] encourages the believing once to remember Him during the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah as stated below:

… and mention the name of Allah[swt] on known (specific) days…”

Frequently saying ‘Al-hamdu Lillah’, ‘La ilaaha illAllah’, ‘Allahu Akbar’

It is Sunnah to say the Takbeer during the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah and to say it loudly in the mosque, the home, the street and every place where it is permitted to remember Allah[swt] and mention His name out loud, as an act of worship and as a proclamation of the greatness of Allah[swt].

Fasting during the first 10 days.

It has been authentically narrated that the Prophet[saw] used to fast the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah. Hunaydah Ibn Khalid narrated upon the authority of his wife who said:

“Some of the wives of the Prophet[saw] told me that the Prophet[saw] used to fast the Day of Aashoorah, the first nine days of Dhul Hijjah, and three days out of every month”

Standing the Nights in Prayer.

This is one of the righteous deeds that is preferable to perform during these 10 days of Dhul Hijjah.

However, it is important not to specifically choose the night of Eid for night prayers while not doing so for the other nights of the first ten days of the month.

Fasting the Day of Arafat.

If you can fast all the first nine days of the month, then you automatically will fast on this day. But if you can’t fast all the days, then it is preferred to include the day of Arafat in your fasting days among the 10. The Prophet[saw] said:

… fasting the day of Arafat is an expiation for (all of the sins of the previous year, and an expiation for all the sins of the coming year.”

So, my beloved brothers and sisters, if it difficult for you to fast all the nine days of the first 10, then at least do not deny yourself the great and generous reward for fasting the Day of Arafat!

Attending the Eid Prayer

The Prophet[saw] always attended the Eid prayers and never left them off. Likewise, he [saw] commanded all the people to attend the Eid prayers, even elderly women, widows still in their period of seclusion after the death of their husbands, and even menstruation women, although he [saw] ordered them not to pray and to stay away from the place of prayer.

All of which is evidence that attending the Eid prayer is either a stressed Sunnah or an obligatory act of worship.

Slaughtering and distributing the meat of a Sacrificial Animal

Sacrificing an animal on the day of Eid-ul-Adha which is the last of these ten days is a Sunnah of Prophet Ibraheem (peace and blessings of Allah[swt] be upon him) and a Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad [saw]. Every Muslim whom Allah[swt] has given the ability should fulfill this duty as Allah[swt] says:

Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice.” (Al-Kawthar 108:2)

It is reported that:

the Prophet[saw] never missed slaughtering a sacrificial animal. He always slaughtered two rams, always sacrificing them after the Eid prayer, and he said: “Whoever slaughters before the Eid prayer then it is not a sacrifice, it is simply considered meat that he has given to his family.

And Abu Hurayrah (may Allah[swt] be pleased with him) reported that Allah[swt]’s Messenger[saw] said,

“Whoever can afford to offer a sacrifice but does not do so, let him not approach our place or prayer.” (Reported by Ahmad and Ibn Majah).

It is necessary for the one who intends to offer the sacrifice that he/she does not remove any hair, nail or skin from the sunset on last day of Dhul- Qa’dah until the sacrifice is done on the Eid day.

This hadith is reported by all the famous Muha-dit Heen apart from al-Bukhari.

Further Reading: The Sacrifice of “Eid al-Adha”

Performing Hajj and Umrah

It is preferable for anyone who has already performed the obligatory Hajj and Umrah to again perform as often as it is easy for him to do so, because of what has been mentioned (in the authentic Sunnah) about the reward for frequently performing Hajj and Umrah. Ibn Mas’ood [ra] said that the Messenger of Allah [saw] said:

“Make the Hajj and the Umrah follow each other closely for they remove poverty and sins just as a blacksmith’s furnace remove impurities from iron, gold, and silver. And there is no reward for a Hajj which is accepted except Jannah.”

So, part of the greatest deeds that you can spend your time doing during the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah, is to join the ranks of those performing Hajj and Umrah.

Contained in the last 10 days of Dhul Hijja are lots of acts of worship, remembrance, submissiveness, and so many open displays of our complete dependence upon Allah[swt].

May Allah[swt] enable us to make the best of these blessed days and nights and make it a means of our success in this world and the next!