Ramadhaan - A Date with Dr. Zakir
Ramadhaan- The Month of Self-Improvement & Islaah
(Duration - 45 mins)
Yusuf Chambers: Dear Brothers and sisters in Islam and humanity, Assalaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu. May the peace, the mercy and the blessings of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala be on all of you. Welcome to the show, Ramadhaan - A Date with Dr. Zakir. I’m your host, and today we’re discussing the topic, Ramadhaan: The Month of Self-Improvement & Islaah. Part-4.
Dr. Zakir, Assalaamu Alaikum.
Dr. Zakir: Wa Alaikum As Salaamu Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu.
Yusuf Chambers: So Dr. Zakir the first question I’d like to draw your attention to is regarding the use of the right hand over the left, which I understand is a Sunnah, InshaAllah you’re going to explain that. Can you explain why the right hand is preferred in such things as eating, greeting and other things and the left is not preferred at all.
Dr. Zakir: Alhamdulillah, was salaatu was salaam ala rasoolillah wa ala aalihi wa ashaabihi wa ajma’een, amma baad.
A’uzu billahi minash shaytan nir-rajeem, Bismillah hirrahman nirraheem.
Rabbish rahli Sadri Wa Yassir Li ‘Amri Wa Ahlul `Uqdatan Min Lisani Yafqahu Qawli
As far as right hand being preferred, in Islam, the things which are honorable, the things which are Mustahab, the things which get blessings, the things which are good, are supposed to be done with the right hand and the others like cleaning etc. supposed to be done with the left hand. And according to the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihe wa sallam), we have to eat with the right hand, we have to drink with the right hand, we have to shake hands with the right hand. And a person when he wears a garment he should wear the right hand side first. If he’s wearing a shirt it should be right hand first. If he’s wearing a trouser then, right leg first, if he’s wearing a footwear, again the right leg first and similarly when a person is doing Wudhu, right limb should be first. The right hand first then the left hand. The right leg first then the left leg. While we’re entering the Masjid it should be with the right foot. If your completing your Salaah and doing Salaam then the right side first, if your touching the black stone it should be with right hand, if your combing your hair then right side, trimming your moustache, right side, cutting the nails, right hand first. If you’re removing the unwanted hair from the body then again right side first, If it’s shaving the head, again the right side first and if you’re exiting the toilet, it is right leg first and if you’re putting Kohl in your eyes again the right side first and if you’re doing Miswaak, if you’re doing Siwak then again right side first.
So these are the Sunnah of the Prophet, the Prophet has taught us and as I mentioned that the things which are to clean and which are not honorable, that’s with the left hand. For example when you’re removing your garments, it is the left side first. Removing your shirt then left hand. If you’re removing your trouser, left leg. If you’re removing your footwear then again left leg and left foot first. You are exiting the mosque, then the left leg. If you’re entering the toilet again left leg. If you’re cleaning, may be going to the toilet and cleaning your part of the body, then again it is the left hand. If you’re blowing the nose, its left hand. So this is the differentiation and you find several Hadith mentioning these things.
It’s mentioned in the Hadith of Sahih Bukhari, Vol. No. 7, in the Book of Foods, Hadith No. 5376, where the beloved Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) says, he says to a young boy, that
“Say Bismillah before eating. Take the name of Allah before eating, eat with your right hand and eat what is next to you.”
It’s mentioned in Sahih Muslim, Vol. No. 3, in the Book of Drinks, Hadith No. 5010, Prophet said,
“La Takilu BiShimaali Fa Inna Shaitaana Ya Kulibishimaali”
“Do not eat and drink with your left hand for the satan eats and drinks with the left hand.”
So that’s the reason you see that most of the Muslims who follow the Sunnah and who are pious they don’t eat and drink with the left hand. But normally when we have our food, when we’re having lunch, having dinner, when you’re having with your hands and if you want to drink water, most of the people because their right hand is dirty, they have with the left hand but in order to follow the Hadith they put the right hand down. So you may have noticed that instead of having directly, they put their left hand and put the right hand down so that you know… it indicates having with the right hand..so that you don’t dirty the glass. But Shaikh Nasiruddin Albani he has the objection to this. He says that if the Hadith would have said that, drink with your right hand or eat with your right hand then the act would have been right. What the Hadith says of Muhammad (sallallahu alaihe wa sallam), “Do not drink and eat with the left hand for the Satan eats and drinks with the left hand.” So even doing this, he objects. He says even though your right hand is dirty, you can pick up the glass with your right hand because it’s preferable to dirty the glass than to dirty the soul. So he even disagrees having with the left hand and putting your right hand below. He says have it directly with the right hand. If the glass it gets dirty no problem, its preferable to dirty the glass than to dirty the soul. This is the difference of opinion that Shaikh Nasiruddin Albani has.. may Allah have mercy on him.
Furthermore it’s mentioned in the Hadith of Abu Dawud (Vol 3), in the Book of Foods, Hadith No. 4129, the beloved Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) said that,
“Use your right side first while you are doing Wudhu and while you are putting on a garment.”
The Prophet said, use your right hand first when you’re putting on a garment and when you’re doing Wudhu and then you can use the left later on.
Further it’s mentioned in the Hadith of Abu Dawud, Vol. No. 1, (Book of Taharah), Hadith No. 33, it’s mentioned that Muhammad (sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) said that,
“You should use your right hand for getting food and use your right hand for doing ablution, right side first and then use the left side and if you’re washing then use your left side.”
And it’s further mentioned in the Hadith of Sahih Muslim, Vol. No. 1, (Book of Taharah), Hadith No. 504, the beloved Prophet said:
“Do not use your right hands for things like washing etc. You’ve to use your left hand for things like washing etc.”
And based on this, MashaAllah, it’s a Sunnah that as I mentioned we do good things and honorable things, Mustahab things with the right hand and the other with the left hand.
And regarding the logic behind this is that medical science tells us today that the left side of the brain it controls the right side of the body and the right side of the brain it controls the left half of the body. And today science tells us that more than 90% of the human beings their left hemisphere of the brain is dominant that’s the reason more than 90% of the human beings they are righty, because the left side of the brain is dominant. So most of the things that people do, whether Muslim or Non Muslim they use the right side. But Islam encourages us do to the good things with the right hand and the things which are cleaning etc use the left side. And the reason is that normally most of the people use only left hemisphere of the brain because they are righty. But Islam encourages us do use right hand, right side of the body for the good things but even tells us to use the left side for doing things which are not honorable, for things which are opposite. So here a human being besides doing things, the good things with right hand he is forced to use his left side, for example while exiting the mosque, you have to exit with the left foot. for entering the toilet you’ve to enter with the left foot. So here we make a conscious effort, for example removing the garment. Normally people use the right hand, they put the garment with the right hand and they remove with the right side, this is a normal habit.
So here we deliberately, consciously use the left side for removing the garment, left side for removing the footwear. So here we are even utilizing the other part of the brain, though less than the right side, so it gives a good exercise to the brain and it is much more better for the brain. So scientifically also its better, what the Prophet said, more things you do with the right hand but we consciously do certain things with the left hand so that is a good nourishment and exercise for the brain.
Yusuf Chambers: Yet again a demonstration of the balance in Islam.
Dr. Zakir & Yusuf Chambers: Alhamdulillah
Yusuf Chambers: Next question, what is the ruling for drinking whilst a person may be standing in Islam.
Dr. Zakir: There are no less than six Hadith only in Sahih Muslim which forbids a Muslim from drinking while standing.
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) said, its mentioned in Sahih Muslim, Vol. No. 3, in the Book of Drinks, Hadith No. 5017,
“The Prophet disapproved drinking while standing.
Sahih Muslim, Vol. No. 3, Book of Drinks, Hadith No. 5018,
“The Prophet forbade a person from drinking while standing.”
It’s further mentioned in Sahih Muslim, Vol. No. 3, in the Book of Drinks, Hadith No. 5020,
“The Prophet warned from drinking while standing”
It’s also mentioned in Sahih Muslim, Vol. No. 3, in the Book of Drinks, Hadith No. 5022, the beloved Prophet said,
“None shall drinking while standing.”
So all these Hadith they disapprove of a person from drinking while standing. Immediately the next 5 Hadith, Sahih Muslim, Vol. No. 3, Book of Drinks, Hadith No. 5023 to 5027, the next five Hadith says that
“The Prophet drank Zam Zam water while standing.”
It’s also mentioned in Sahih Bukhari, Vol. No. 2, in the Book of Hajj, Hadith No. 1637, the beloved Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihe wa sallam), it says, that
“He drank Zam Zam water while standing”
So based on these Hadith all the scholars unanimously agree that drinking while sitting is Mustahab and you can stand and drink only when you have Zam Zam water. This is what some of the scholars they have given the ruling. But there are various other Hadith which also show that besides Zam Zam water, Prophet even drank normal water while standing.
It’s mentioned in Sahih Bukhari, Vol. No. 7, in the Book of Drinks, Hadith No. 5615, it says, that
“Hadhrat Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) he walked towards the courtyard of the mosque and he drank water while standing. And he said I know that many people think it is disapproved, it’s Makrooh, its disliked for a person to drink while standing but I’ve seen the Prophet drink while standing the way I’m drinking now.”
And further it’s mentioned in the Hadith of Musnad Ahmad, Vol. No. 1, Hadith No. 797, it says, that Hadhrat Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) that
“Once he was drinking while standing. And the people looked at him and they stared at him and he said that “Why are you looking at me? I’m doing what the Prophet did. I drink while standing because I’ve seen the Prophet drink while standing. I also sit while drinking because I’ve seen the Prophet sit and drink.”
And its mentioned in the Hadith of Tirmidhi, (Book of Drinks) Hadith No. 1881, that Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) he said that he along with the Prophet, in the company of the Prophet he many a time used to eat while walking and would drink while standing.
So based on these Hadith we come to know, the majority of the scholars they agree that sitting and drinking is Mustahab, is the act which is preferred because it is the commandment of the Prophet. As I mentioned earlier, whenever a commandment and action of the Prophet contradicts, the commandment carries more weight because commandment is the normal ruling. Action, may be there was a requirement, it was urgency whatever it is. So the Mustahab is to sit and drink. But because the Prophet even sometimes stood and drank, standing and drinking is also allowed that comes in the category of Makrooh, i.e. it is detestable, you’ll not get any punishment but you can stand and drink because the Prophet also stood and drank.
So as I mentioned earlier that it was a need, therefore standing and drinking is not Haraam. Some people have a misconception that standing and drinking is Haraam, so it’s not Haraam, its Makrooh, its preferred to sit and drink.
Yusuf Chambers: Can you Doctor…furthermore to your last answer, can you now sum up the etiquettes of drinking.
Dr. Zakir: As far as the Sunnah and the etiquettes of drinking are concerned,
Number one is you should say Bismillah before drinking. You should drink with your right hand. You should sit while drinking. Number four, you should drink water in three gulps or more, should not have in one gulp… finish. Number five, after finishing drinking you should praise Allah, say Al Hamdulillah. Number six is that if someone is serving drinks to other people, if there are group of people or there are guest coming, he should have the last drink. Number seven, he should start serving from the right hand side. Number eight a person should not drink from the pitcher, he should pour it into a cup or a glass and then have it. All these are hygienic, you know normally when you have from the pitcher then you know it’s preferable to have with the glass and leave the complete water clean. And the last is and the ninth one is that you should not drink in a gold or a silver vessel. So these are the etiquettes and Sunnah of drinking water.
Yusuf Chambers: JazakAllah Khair for the answers. And Dr. Zakir we’ve arrived at the last question for today in the interview phase. And it’s a quite a straight forward one and a simple one. We do hear many Muslims pronounce ‘Bismillah Hir Rahmaan Nir Raheem’ before they eat. Is this a Sunnah?
Dr. Zakir: As far as my knowledge goes I have not heard of any Sahih Hadith, I have not come across any Sahih Hadith, any authentic Hadith in which the Prophet said that before eating you have to say ‘Bismillah Hir Rahmaan Nir Raheem’ or the Prophet said ‘Bismillah Hir Rahmaan Nir Raheem’ before eating.
Infact all the Hadith I know he only said ‘Bismillah’ and even if you read the Hadith of Sahih Bukhari, Vol. No. 7, in the Book of Foods, Hadith No. 5376,
“The Prophet says to a young boy that, “Before eating say the name of Allah, say Bismillah and eat with your right hand and eat what is close to you.”
Even the Hadith of Hadhrat Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her), its mentioned in Sunan Abu Dawud, Vol. No. 3, in the Book of Foods, Hadith No. 3758, Hadhrat Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her), the Ummul Mumineen (may Allah be pleased with her) she said that,
“When you eat you should say Bismillah, in the name of Allah and if you forget to say Bismillah before eating, then when ever you remember say ‘Bismillahu Awwalahu Wa Aakhirahu’”.
Which means that in the name of Allah in the beginning and in the name of Allah towards the end. So this is the teaching of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) but unfortunately people because of lack of knowledge they say full ‘Bismillah Hir Rahmaan Nir Raheem’ ‘In the Name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful.’ And when I reminded one of the brothers that you know ‘Bismillah’ is a right, authentic. What’s the harm? ‘Bismillah Hir Rahmaan Nir Raheem’ is more ‘In the name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful.’ Isn’t it better than ‘Bismillah’. I said if the Prophet didn’t say it then do you think you want to improve on the Prophet? So then I asked him. The same logic if I use, when I’m slaughtering the animal, when you’re sacrificing the animal you say ‘Bismillah’, ‘Bismillah Allahu Akbar’, you cant say, ‘Bismillah Hir Rahmaan Nir Raheem’ ‘In the name of Allah Most gracious Most Merciful.’ Imagine you’re slaughtering animal and then saying ‘In the name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful.’. So unfortunately Muslims because of lack of knowledge instead of following the Qur’an the Sahih Hadith they try and use their own logic and they try and improve which is totally wrong, you should follow what Allah and his Rasool have said.
Yusuf Chambers: JazakAllah Khair and I can’t deny any of the answers at all….The next question is what is the Islamic dress code for men and women in Islam..quite a long question.
Dr. Zakir: As far as the Islamic Dress code is concerned, there are few guidelines given in the Qur’an as well as the Hadith. Allah first speaks about the Hijab for the male, then for the female in the Qur’an.
Allah says in the Qur’an in Surah Nur, Chapter No. 24. Verse No. 30,
“Say to the believing man that he should lower his gaze and guard his modesty.”
That means whenever a man looks at a women, any brazen thought comes he should lower his gaze.
Once there was a person, a Muslim staring at a girl for a long time. I told him brother what are you doing? It’s Haraam in Islam. He said, our beloved Prophet said the first glance is forgiven, the second is prohibited I’ve not completed my half my glance. That does not mean you can look at a girl for 10 minutes without blinking and saying I’ve not completed my glance.
Later on comes the dress code. The next verse speaks about the Hijab for the woman.
It’s mentioned in Surah Nur, Chapter No. 24. Verse No. 31,
“Say to the believing women that she should lower her gaze and guard her modesty; and display not her beauty except what appears ordinary of; and to draw a head covering over the bosoms and display not her beauty except to her husband, her sons.. ”
And a big list of Mehram, the close relatives who she can’t marry is given.
Basically there are six criteria for the Hijab for the man and the woman.
The first is the extent. It’s for the man it’s from the navel to the knee. For the women the complete body should be covered, the only part that can be seen are the face and the hands upto the wrist. There are some scholars who say that even this should be covered.
The remaining five criteria are the same for the man and the woman.
The second is, the clothes they wear it should not be tight so that it reveals the figure.
Third, it should not be transparent or translucent so that you can see through.
Number four, it should not be so glamorous so that it attracts the opposite sex.
Number five, it should not resemble that of the unbeliever.
And there’s a Hadith in Sahih Muslim, Vol. No. 3, in the Book of Dress, Hadith No. 5173,
“Where once a person was wearing a Saffron colored clothes. So the Prophet said that remove this color, this color resembles that of the unbeliever.”
Saffron is the color of the unbeliever. So you should not wear clothes that resembles that of the unbeliever and specially that which are the signs of the unbeliever. Like wearing a cross, is sign of Christianity. Putting a Vermilion or Tika is sign of Hinduism. So you should not wear those which are signs of the unbeliever.
And the sixth criteria is you should not wear clothes that of the opposite sex.
There’s a Hadith in Sahih Bukhari, Vol. No. 7, the Book of Dress, Hadith No. 5885 where the Prophet said,
“The men should not behave like the women and should not wear clothes like that of the women and the women should not behave like men, should not have manners like men and should not wear clothes etc”
So these are the basically six criteria of Hijab. But this only talks about the clothes. Beside this for the complete Hijab it even includes the way a person talks, they way a person walks, the way a person thinks, the way a person carries him or herself. All this put together is the Hijab.
And Allah further says in the Qur’an in Surah Ahzaab, Chapter No. 33, Verse No. 59,
“O Prophet tell the believing women that when they go abroad they should put on the cloak, so that they shall be recognized and it will prevent them from being molested.”
And I always give an example that if there are two twin sisters, who are very beautiful, equally beautiful, if they are walking down the streets of may be London, the city where you stay, and if one of the sisters is wearing the complete Hijab, complete body covered except the face and the hands upto the wrist. And the other twin sister who’s equally beautiful she is wearing the western clothes, mini skirts or shorts and round the corner there is a hooligan who’s waiting for a catch. I want to ask you the question which girl will he tease? Will he tease the girl wearing the mini skirt? Or will he tease the girl wearing the Hijab? Which girl will he tease?
Yusuf Chambers: Well.. Definitely the one with the mini skirt.
Dr. Zakir: That’s right, So Qur’an rightly says that Hijab has been prescribed for the woman so that it will prevent them from being molested.
So these are basic six criteria for Hijab and furthermore there are other rulings about clothes etc as far as the gents clothes are concerned, for the men our beloved Prophet said that “Gold and Silk are prohibited.”
It’s mentioned in Sunan Nasai, Book of Zeenah, Chapter No. 40, Hadith No. 5147, where the beloved Prophet said, “Two things, gold and silk are forbidden for the males of my Ummah, but they are permissible for the females.”
Furthermore you get guidance from the Hadith that the trousers, the lower garment should be above the ankle, it should not be below the ankle.
And it’s mentioned in the Hadith of Sahih Bukhari, Vol. No. 7, Book of Dress, Hadith No. 5787, the beloved Prophet said, that the
“Izaar, the trouser that hangs below the ankle, that will be in fire.”
As we discussed in the previous episode, wearing trousers and lower garment below the ankle is prohibited.
Further we get guidance that wearing dress of fame and those which make you outstanding as compared to the other people around you, like those like the kings wear and the leaders proving that they are superiors, it is prohibited.
It’s mentioned in Sunan Abu Dawud (Vol. No. 3, Book of Dress) Hadith 4018 and 4019, that the person who wears the clothes for fame and for glamour, Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala will clothe him with that on the Day of Resurrection and the other version says that Allah will clothe him with disgrace on the Day of Judgment, on the Day of Resurrection.
There are further guidelines given that, it’s preferable that you wear white clothes and our Prophet said, its mentioned in Sunan Abu Dawud, in the Book of Dress, Vol. No. 3, Hadith No. 4050 the Prophet said, that
“Wear white garments because they are best of your garments and shroud the dead person in white.”
And further our beloved Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) said, it’s mentioned in Sunan Abu Dawud, Vol. No. 3, in the Book of Dress, Hadith No. 4129, the Prophet said, that
“Whenever you wear a garment or do Wudhu, you start with your right hand.”
So this is also Sunnah that while wearing a garment we start with the right hand. So these are the few rulings which we get in the Qur’an and the Hadith regarding the Hijab, the dress code and regarding what you can follow of the Sunnah as far as wearing the dress is concerned.
Yusuf Chambers: JazakAllah Khair Dr. Zakir, I’m sure that we can talk for a whole episode and more on just that topic alone. So..now we gonna move on to many questions we got on the topic, Ramadhaan - The month of Self Improvement and Islaah relating to some of the Sunnah’s we’ve been talking about and the last couple of episodes and the…so lets get the first question.
So Dr. Zakir the first question from the worldwide audience of Peace TV, Alhamdulillah, May Allah guide them and have mercy upon them.
Dr. Zakir: Ameen
Yusuf Chambers: What is the purpose of Sunnah in Islam? Isn’t the Qur’an enough for guidance? Question Mark.
Dr. Zakir: As far as what is the purpose of Sunnah and isn’t the Qur’an sufficient? There are some people so called ‘Modernist’ inverted comma’s, they call themselves modernist, the Muslim they say that isn’t the Qur’an sufficient? Why we have to refer to the Sunnah? And they fail to realize that the Sunnah is the unavoidable second source of Islam. The authentic Hadith of Muhammad (sallallahu alaihe wa sallam), his sayings his actions, his approval are very important for us to understand the Qur’an. And infact the Sahih Hadith, the authentic Hadith, the Sunnah of the Prophet is the commentary of the Qur’an. There are certain verses which are there in the Qur’an which may not require any commentary, they are clear cut. For example, “Qul HuwAllahu Ahad”, “Say He is Allah One and only”, to understand that is simple, Allah is one, don’t require a commentary. But there are many other verses which without the Hadith, without the Sunnah, you cannot follow the verses. For example, the Qur’an says that a Muslim who is rich he should give Zakaat. So the Qur’an does not specify how much percentage of Zakaat he should give. Only when you read the Hadith of Prophet, the Sunnah of the Prophet you come to know that if you have wealth, gold, silver money etc, you have to give 2.5% of that wealth. As we discussed earlier if it’s a farm produce crop, then without irrigation 10%, with irrigation 5% and so on and so forth. Without the Hadith how will you come to know? The Qur’an does specify the people who you can give Zakaat to but how much to give is not mentioned.
Furthermore the Qur'an says that you should offer Salaah. Certain things are mentioned in the Qur'an about Sujood, about Ruku, but the details aren’t mentioned, how many Rakaat you have to offer Salaah. What are the exact postures of Salaah, where to keep your hand etc. So that you get from the Sunnah. So imagine the pillars of Islam cannot be followed without the Hadith, it’s so important.
As Allah says in the Qur'an in Surah Ahzaab, Chapter No. 33, Verse No. 21,
“Verily in the Prophet is the most beautiful pattern of conduct”
And that’s the reason Allah says in several verses in the Qur'an including Surah Nisa, Chapter 4, Verse 59, that,
“Ati Ullah Wa Ati-ur-Rasool”
“Obey Allah and Obey the Messenger”
That means if you have to obey Allah, you have to obey the Messenger. And obeying the Messenger is obeying Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala). Therefore Sunnah is unavoidable.
There are some verses of the Qur'an where the commentary of the Qur'an is found in the Qur'an itself. But many other places in the Qur'an the Hadith is a must for the commentary. For example, I’ll give you just a few examples for a better understanding.
Allah says in the Qur'an in Surah Ma’idah, Chapter No. 5, Verse No. 38,
“As to the thief be it a man or a woman chop off his or her hand as a punishment from Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala).”
So that means anyone who robs anything, anyone who steals anything according to the Qur'an you have to chop off your hands. But when we go to the detail, when we go to the Hadith, when you go to the Sunnah of the Prophet we come to know, it’s mentioned in Sahih Bukhari, Vol. No. 8, in the Book of Hudood, Hadith No. 6789, the beloved Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) said, that
“Anyone who robs quarter of a Dinar or more you should chop off his hand.”
That means if he robs less than that then there’s no chopping off hand. Imagine someone steals bread because he cannot eat, so will you chop of his hand? No! And it’s the duty of the ruler of that area, the Khalifa of that area should look after his basic needs. But someone robs for his pleasure etc then it’s Haraam, chopping is a must.
Secondly where will you chop his hands from? You get from the Hadith. The Prophet said, we come to know from Hadith, from the wrist. Otherwise people may think you can chop from the fingers, you can chop from the elbow, you can chop from the upper arm, where do you chop from? From the Hadith you come to know it’s from the wrist. There are several such examples in the Qur'an a person can give where Sunnah is a must.
For example Allah says in the Qur'an in Surah Nisa, Chapter No. 4, Verse No. 101,
“When ye travel through the earth there’s no blame on you if you shorten your prayers, for fear of the unbelievers that they will attack you, for the unbelievers to you are an avowed enemy.”
Now here the Qur'an clearly says that you can shorten your prayers when you’re traveling for the fear of the unbelievers that they may harm you etc.
There’s a Hadith which is mentioned in Sahih Muslim, Vol. No. 1, (Book of Salaah), Hadith No. 1461, where one of the Sahaaba he asked Hadhrat Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) that the Qur'anic verse says that when ye travel you can shorten your prayers for the fear of the enemy but now there’s no fear of enemy, so why should we shorten it now? So Hadhrat Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) he replies. I asked the same question to the Messenger of Allah and he said, “This is charity for you. So accept the charity of Allah”, that means whenever you travel irrespective you have to fear of the enemy or not, fear of the unbeliever or not yet you can shorten.
If the Hadith wasn’t there the Qur'anic verse gives only one type of reason but you get the commentary in the Hadith. So from the Hadith you come to know that whenever you travel… and then what’s the distance, then again you come to know from the Hadith, that is approximately more than 80 kilometers. You get the..what is distance where a person is called as a traveler. And again you get the details in the Hadith. From the Hadith we come to know that whenever you travel more than 80 kilometers then you’re called a traveler and you can shorten your prayers. And you should shorten because that’s a gift from Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala, it’s a charity from Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala. You can go and on giving examples but I’ll just give one more example.
Allah says in the Qur'an in Surah An’aam, Chapter No. 6, Verse No. 145 that,
“I have been only prohibited to eat those food which are mentioned in the Qur'an”
and the verse continues that,
“Hurrimat `Alaykumul Maytatu Wad Damu Wa Lahmul Khinzir Wa Ma 'Uhilla Lighayrillah Bih”
Which means, “Forbidden for you food are dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, and any food on which any name besides Allah’s name is taken.”
So by this verse you come to know that only these four types of food are prohibited. All the other you can have. But for the details when you go to the Hadith… there are several Hadith which says that even other types of food are prohibited.
For example, its mentioned in Sahih Muslim, Volume No. 3, (Book of As Said Waz Zabihah), Hadith No. 4752, the beloved Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) said that
“Forbidden for you to eat are the birds of prey.” Those birds which has got talons, which have got claws.
So these birds are prohibited, which is not mentioned in the Qur'an, it’s mentioned in the Hadith.
There are several Hadith mentioning… Sahih Muslim and Sahih Bukhari that “Forbidden for food are the animals which attack others which are carnivorous animals, meat eating animals like tiger, leopard, cheetah, lion etc.”
It’s mentioned in Sahih Bukhari, (Vol. No. 7) in the Book of Slaughtering, Hadith No. 5528, the beloved Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) said that
“Forbidden for you to eat is the meat of the donkey”
So all these things are not mentioned in the Qur'an, we have to go to the Hadith. So from the Hadith you get the more details, Qur'an is more of a telegraphic message. Its very important, very authentic Alhamdulillah, but for commentary you have to go to the Hadith. That’s that reason the Hadith is unavoidable and it’s a must.
That’s what our beloved Prophet said. It’s mentioned in Mustadrak Al Hakim, (Vol. No. 1, Book of Ilm), Hadith No. 319 where the Prophet said that,
“I leave behind the Qur'an and my example, and my Sunnah. So if anyone who holds to the Qur'an and my Sunnah, he will always be on the straight path, he will not go wrong.”
So that’s the reason Sunnah is the unavoidable second source of Islam without which you cannot understand Islam in totality.
Yusuf Chambers: Clearly… wouldn’t be very practical to just have the Qur'an without the Hadith as you have eloquently explained Dr. Zakir and may Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) guide all those people…
Dr. Zakir: Ameen
Yusuf Chambers: ..who otherwise are doing something else. Next question is it correct for a Muslim to reply in the same manner to the one who abuses him whilst he is doing Islaah?
Dr. Zakir: As far as when a person is doing Islaah or Da’wah the guidelines are given in the Qur'an.
Allah says in the Qur'an in Surah Nahl, Chapter No. 16 Verse No. 125,
“Ud`u 'Ila Sabili Rabbika Bil-Hikmah Wal Maw`izatil Hasanah Wa Jaadilhum Bilati Hiya 'Ahsan”
“Invite all to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching and argue with them and reason with them in the ways that are best and most gracious.”
So as far as Da’wah is concerned or Islaah is concerned we should do with Hikmah and Husna in ways that are best and most gracious with beautiful preaching even if your opposite person, the Muslim or non Muslim while doing Islaah or Da'wah he gets angry, he starts cursing, he starts giving verbal abuse, yet he should be kind and loving the way the Prophet was. And we see in the example of Prophet that many a time the non Muslims they troubled the Prophet and we know the story that there was a lady who used to always throw dirt on the Prophet, whenever he used to pass by, she used to throw dirt on him and one day when no dirt falls on him he’s wondering how did this non Muslim lady didn’t throw dirt, so he went up to find out what’s happened to her and there he realizes that she was sick. So then he goes and he prays for her, she was so happy that she accepts Islam. The Prophet did not retaliate in the same way.
And we find several such examples mentioned in Sahih Bukhari, (Vol. No. 8, Book of Manners), Hadith No. 6030 that
“once a Jew he comes and wishes the Prophet, “As Saam Alaikum”, ““As Saam Alaikum” in Arabic means “May death be on you” and the Prophet replies back, “On you to” Hadhrat Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her), the wife of the Prophet she hears this and she gets very angry. She tells to the Jew, that “May Allah’s curse be on you, May the wrath of Allah be on you” and she starts getting angry. So the Prophet tells to her that you should be calm, you should be humble, you should not get angry. So Hadhrat Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) she replies that “Did you hear what they told you?” So the Prophet replies, “Did you hear what I replied to them? And my Du’a would be accepted; their Du’a would not be accepted.
So this was the way the Prophet dealt with the people. It’s further mentioned in Sahih Muslim, Vol. No. 4, (Book of Al Birr Was Silah), Hadith No. 6280 that
“It’s not proper for a person whose Sidq to invoke curses”
Means a person who is sincere…that means its not right for a believer, a believing Muslim to invoke curses on others…invoke and speak rudely and verbal abuses etc.
And its mentioned in Hadith of Tirmidhi, (Book of Al Birr), Hadith No. 2019 that
“A believer should not invoke curses. Its not correct for a believer to invoke curses and that’s what the Prophet always said that when people… as he said that, I’ve come as a mercy and blessing.. I’ve not come as a invoker of curses.”
So here we realize that this was the example that we have to follow and as Allah says in the Qur'an in Surah Ahzaab, Chapter 33, Verse No. 21, that
“Verily in the Prophet is the most beautiful pattern of conduct”
So while doing Da’wah, while doing Islaah we should never get angry, we should not retaliate, we should win them over, wining over is much better than rather retaliating. You’ve to be kind, soft, and merciful.
Yusuf Chambers: JazakAllah Khair for the answers. Next question, Dr. Zakir is.. what is the ruling on one who commits suicide and furthermore what can the parents do to reduce the punishment of the one who has committed suicide?
Dr. Zakir: As far as suicide is concerned.. we discussed earlier that it is one of the major sins..according to Imaam Ad-Dhahabi in his book Al Kabair, he puts suicide as number 29th in the list of 70 major sins.
And Allah says in the Qur'an, in Surah Baqarah, Chapter No. 2, Verse No. 195,
“Make not your own hands the cause of your destruction”
Indicating very clearly that suicide is prohibited in Islam and there are various Hadith which speak about this.
It’s mentioned in Sahih Bukhari, Vol. No. 7, (Book of Medicine), Hadith No. 5778 where the beloved Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) said, that
“Whoever throw himself from the mountain and falls and dies, he will keep on falling perpetually in the Hellfire forever. And if a person drinks poison and dies, he will keep on… in the hell have a bottle of poison and keep on drinking it and keep on dying in the hell. And if someone stabs himself then in the hellfire he’ll keep on stabbing himself, forever.”
And again Allah’s Messenger repeats the message in Sahih Bukhari, Vol. No. 8, (Book of Manners), Hadith No. 6047, where the beloved Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) said that
“If a person commits suicide and kills himself in the hellfire he’ll keep on doing that same act.”
He’ll be found in the same way in the hell. The same way as he has killed himself, he will have the same actions done in the hell.
And the beloved Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) said, it’s mentioned in Sahih Bukhari, Vol. No. 4, (Book of Stories of the Prophets), Hadith No. 3463, that
“There was a person who had a wound and it was paining him to much, he was impatient, so he takes a knife and he cuts his hand and then he bleeds to death. And the Prophet he says, “That because he was impatient and he killed himself he will not enter paradise”
And a similar Hadith is mentioned in Sahih Muslim, Vol. No. 2, in the Book of Salaah, Hadith No. 2133, that a person was brought to the Prophet who had killed himself with the broad headed spear and he had committed suicide, he was brought to the Prophet, so the Prophet did not read his Janazah Salaah.
From here we come to know it is a major sin but that doesn’t mean.. when we come to know further we come to know that the other Sahaaba’s did read the Janazah Salaah. It doesn’t mean that a person who commits suicide has done Shirk, it’s not the biggest sin in Islam, it is a major sin, it is a big sin. But it does not tantamount to Kufr.
And if Allah wishes and pleases he may forgive him, as Allah says in the Qur'an in Surah Nisa, Chapter 4, Verse 48, and Surah Nisa, Chapter 4, Verse 116,
“If Allah pleases he may forgive any sin but the sin of Shirk he will never forgive”
So that’s the reason in such cases when person who commits suicide it’s a major sin, every Muslim should be discouraged but if he does that the other Muslims they should pray for him. Pray for this Magfirah, ask for forgiveness and similarly as the question was.. what should the parents do? Of a person who has committed suicide? So the parents should pray to Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) to forgive their child if he has committed suicide and InshaAllah, Allah is Rahmaan and Raheem… and if Allah pleases he may forgive.
Yusuf Chambers: JazakAllah Khair for the answer. And may Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) forgive any of those people that have wrongfully killed themselves like this. The last question from our viewers today is ..some people think its not obligatory to enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil, they quote the verse from Surah Maidah, Surah 5, Verse 105,
“O you who believe guard your own selves, if you follow the right guidance, no hurt can come to you for those who are in error.” To support their claim is it the right interpretation? Or not?
Dr. Zakir: As far as the interpretation of this verse of the Qur'an is concerned, this verse says that,
“O you who believe no harm will come to you if you follow the right guidance”
So the criteria of this verse is that you should follow the right guidance and if you read the commentary of this verse, right guidance is what? Right guidance is enjoining what is good and forbidding what is wrong. As Allah says in the Qur'an in Surah Ale Imran, Chapter No. 3, Verse No. 110,
“Kuntum Khaira Ummatin Ukhrijat Lin-Naas”
“O ye Muslim, ye are the best of people evolved for mankind enjoining what is good and forbidding what is wrong.”
“Ta’ Muruna Bil Ma’roofi Watan Hawna Anil Munkar. Wa Tu’ Minoona Billah”
“Enjoining what is good and forbidding what is wrong and believing in Allah”
So, if you have to be on the right guidance, Allah says you have to enjoin what is good and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah. If we do not enjoin what is good and if we do not forbid what is wrong we aren’t fit to be called as Khaira Ummah. So even according to this verse you have to enjoin what is good and forbid what is wrong.
And the criteria for a Muslim to go to Jannah are given in Surah Al Asr, Chapter No. 103, Verse No. 1 to 3 which says,
“Wal asr Inna al-insana lafee khusr Illa allazeena amanoo wa Aamilus Salihati watawasaw bilhaqqi Watawasaw bis Sabr”
“By the token of time, Man is verily in a state of loss except those who have faith, those who have righteous deeds, those who exhort people to Truth and those who exhort people to patience and perseverance.”
For any human being to go to Jannah he requires 4 things. Thats.. Eemaan..Number one, Righteous deed..number two, number three.. Watawa saw bil Haq.. Exhorting people to truth and number four exhorting people to patience and perseverance. If any one of these 4 is missing, you shall not enter Jannah. You may be a very good Muslim you may be offering Salaah, you may have gone for Hajj, you may be paying Zakaat, but if you don’t do Da’wah, If you don’t enjoin what is good and forbid what is wrong you will not go to Jannah. If Allah wants to forgive you and put you in Jannah that’s a different question, that his prerogative.
As Allah says in Surah Nisa, Chapter 4, Verse 48, and Surah Nisa, Chapter 4, Verse 116,
“If He wished he may forgive any sin but the sin of Shirk he’ll not forgive”
But under normal circumstances all four things are equally important. Eemaan, righteous deeds, exhorting people to truth i.e. Da’wah and Islaah and exhorting people to patience and perseverance. Therefore Da’wah and Islaah is one of the criteria for any Muslim, for any human being to go to Jannah.
Yusuf Chambers: Well.. JazakAllah Khair, once again Dr. Zakir we’ve come to the end of the show. And I would ask all of those brothers and sisters who are watching to tune in at the same time tomorrow when we will be discussing very important topic of Da’wah to Non Muslims, InshaAllah.
Assalaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu.