It is reported in al-Musnad, on the authority of Anas, that the Prophet (saw) said: “The faith of a servant is not put right until his heart is put right, and his heart is not put right until his tongue is put right.”(1).. This shows that the Prophet (saw) has made the purification of faith conditional on the purification of the heart, and the purification of the heart conditional on the purification of the tongue.
At-Tirmidhi relates in a hadith on the authority of Ibn Umar: “Do not talk excessively without remembering Allah, because such excessive talk without the mention of Allah causes the heart to harden, and the person furthest from Allah is a person with a hard heart.”(2)
Umar Ibn al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “A person who talks too much is a person who often makes mistakes, and someone who often makes mistakes, often has wrong actions. The Fire has a priority over such a frequent sinner.”(3)
In a hadith related on the authority of Mu’adh, the Prophet (saw) said, “Shall I not tell you how to control all that?” I said, “Yes do, O Messenger of Allah.” So he held his tongue between his fingers, and then he said: “Restrain this.” I said, “Oh Prophet of Allah, are we accountable for what we say?” He *saaws* said, “May your mother be bereft by your loss! Is there anything more than the harvest of the tongues that throws people on their faces (or he said ‘on their noses’) into the Fire?”(4)
What is meant here by ‘the harvest of the tongues’ is the punishment for saying forbidden things. A man, through his actions and words, sows the seeds of either good or evil. On the Day of Resurrection he harvests their fruits. Those who sow the seeds of good words and deeds harvest honour and blessings; those who sow the seeds of evil words and deeds reap only regret and remorse.
A hadith related by Abu Huraira says, “What mostly causes people to be sent to the Fire are the two openings: the mouth and the private parts.”(5)
Abu Huraira also related that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “The servant speaks words, the consequences of which he does not realise, and for which he is sent down into the depths of the Fire further than the distance between the east and the west.”(6)
The same hadith was transmitted by at-Tirmidhi with slight variations: “The servant says something that he thinks is harmless, and for which he will be plunged into the depths of the Fire as far as seventy autumns.”(7)
Uqba ibn Amir said: “I said: “O Messenger of Allah, what is our best way of surviving?’ He, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, replied: “Guard your tongue, make your house suffice for sheltering your privacy, and weep for your wrong actions.”(8)
It has been related on the authority of Sahl ibn Sa’d that the Prophet (saw) said, “Whoever can guarantee what is between his jaws and what is between his legs, I guarantee him the Garden.”(9)
It has also been related by Abu Huraira, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Let whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day either speak good or remain silent.”(10)
Thus talking can either be good, in which case it is commendable, or bad, in which case it is haram.
The Prophet (saw) said: “Everything the children of Adam say goes against them, except for their enjoining good and forbidding evil, and remembering Allah, Glorius and Might is He.” This was reported by at-Tirmidhi and Ibn Ma’jah on the authority of Umm Habiba, may Allah be pleased with her.(11)
Umar ibn al-Khattab visited Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with them, and found him pulling his tongue with his fingers. Umar said “Stop! may Allah forgive you!” Abu Bakr replied; “This tongue has brought me to dangerous places.”(12)
Abdullah ibn Mas’ud said: “By Allah, besides Whom no god exists, nothing deserves a long prison sentence more than my tongue.” He also used to say: “O tongue, say good and you will profit; desist from saying evil things and you will be safe; otherwise you will find only regret.”
Abu Huraira reported that Ibn al-Abbas said: “A person will not feel greater fury or anger for any part of his body on the Day of Judgement more than what he will feel for his tongue, unless he only used it for saying or enjoining good.”
Al-Hassan said: “Whoever does not hold his tongue cannot understand his deen.”
The least harmful of a tongue’s faults is talking about whatever does not concern it. The following hadith of the Prophet (saw) is enough to indicate the harm of this fault:
“One of the merits of a person’s Islam is his abandoning what does not concern him.”(13)
Abu Ubaida related that al-Hassan said: “One of the signs of Allah’s abandoning a servant is His making him preoccupied with what does not concern him.”
Sahl said, “Whoever talks about what does not concern him is deprived of truthfulness.”
As I have already mentioned above, this is the least harmful of the tongue’s faults. There are far worse things, like backbiting, gossiping, obscene and misleading talk, two-faced and hypocritical talk, showing off, quarrelling, bickering, singing, lying, mockery, derision and falsehood; and there are many more faults which can affect a servant’s tongue, ruining his heart and causing him to lose both his happiness and pleasure in this life, and his success and profit in the next life. Allah is the One to Whom we turn for assistance.
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said, “And mankind, with regard to their performance of prayer are in five levels.
The First: The level of the one who is negligent and wrongs his soul. He is the one who falls short in performing ablution properly, performing the prayer upon its time and within its specified limits, and in fulfilling its essential pillars.
The Second: The one who guards his prayers upon their proper times and within their specified limits, fulfils their essential pillars and performs his ablution with care. However, his striving is wasted due to whisperings in his prayer so he is taken away by thoughts and ideas.
The Third: The one who guards his prayers within the specified limits, fulfils their essential pillars and strives with himself to repel the whisperings, thoughts and ideas. He is busy struggling against his enemy (Shaitan) so that he does not steal from the prayer. On account of this he is engaged in (both) prayer and jihad.
The Fourth: The one who stands for the prayer, completes and perfects its due rights, its essential pillars, performs it within its specified limits and his heart becomes engrossed in safeguarding its rights and specified limits, so that nothing is wasted from it. His whole concern is directed towards its establishment, its completion and its perfection, as it should be. His heart is immersed in the prayer and in enslavement to his Lord, the Exalted.
The Fifth: The one who stands for the prayer like the one mentioned above. However, on top of this, he has taken and placed his heart in front of his Lord, the Mighty and Majestic, looking towards Him with his heart with anticipation, (his heart) filled with His love and His might, as if he sees and witnesses Allah. The whisperings, thoughts and ideas have vanished and the coverings which are between him and his Lord are raised. What is between this person and others with respect to the prayer, is superior and greater than what is between the heavens and the earth. This person is busy with his Lord, the Mighty and Majestic, delighted with Him.
The first type will be punished, the second type will be held to account, the third will have his sins and shortcomings expiated, the fourth will be rewarded and the fifth will be close to his Lord, because he will receive the portion of the one who makes his prayer the delight and pleasure of his eye. Whoever makes his prayer the delight and pleasure of his eye, will have the nearness to his Lord, the Mighty and Majestic, made the delight and pleasure of his eye in the hereafter. He will also be made a pleasure to the eye in this world since whoever makes Allah the pleasure of his eye in this world, every other eye will become delighted and pleased with him.
May Allah Subhaana Wa Ta’ala give us the guidance to get to level five, amen.
According to the teachings of our Beloved Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, the first thing we will be asked about on the Day of Account is our prayer.
“The first matter that the slave will be brought to account for on the Day of Judgment is the prayer. If it is sound, then the rest of his deeds will be sound. And if it is bad, then the rest of his deeds will be bad.”
Prayer is the foundation of our faith, a pillar of Islam, as the Prophet, peace be upon him, said. It even speaks for or against us on the Day of Judgment.
The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “When a person performs his prayer at the designated time, the prayer ascends the sky, lighting it up on the way upward, to the highest heaven. On arrival there, it asks pardon for the person. Thus it will pray till the Day of Account, saying, ‘May it please Allah to care for you, as you have cared for me.’
And when a person performs prayer outside the designated time, it ascends the sky showered in darkness. On reaching the heavens, it is rolled up like bundled clothes, and is used to smite the face of the person who performed it. And the prayer itself says, ‘May it please Allah to deny you, as you have denied me.'”
Prayer also represents the covenant we made with Allah Ta’ala from time immemorial. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Verily, the only thing separating a person from disbelief and polytheism is the abandonment of prayer.”
In other words, the prayer is what guards against falling into unbelief.
The question to ask yourself is: do you want to be happy in this world and the next? If so, then know that true happiness comes from doing what Allah has asked us and leaving that which He forbade.
Allah Ta’ala says, “Truly, to a happy state shall attain the believers: those who humble themselves in their prayer, and who turn away from all that is frivolous, and who are intent on inner purity” [Al-Mu’minun, 23:1-4].
Finally, keep in mind, that if you are a male, you are highly encouraged to go to the masjid for congregational prayer. Group prayer is a cornerstone of Muslim community life. Help to build a strong community and strengthen your own relationship with Allah by going to His house.
Isn’t it interesting that there are hadiths that speak to the merit of performing fajr and isha in congregation? That’s because the Prophet, peace be upon him, in his wisdom, realised that these prayers pose a challenge for some people. So, to encourage them, he suggested that they pray these prayers in the masjid. ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, ‘If someone prays ‘Isha’ in a group, it is as if he had prayed half of the night. If someone prays Subh in a group, it is as if he had prayed the entire night'” [Muslim].
If you are unable to pray in congregation in the masjid then pray in congregation at home. You will be rewarded for praying in congregation and it will strengthen your relationships.
Think of prayer as a gift from Allah. Cherish the ability to stand in prayer while you are young and healthy. Remember Allah and Allah will remember you!
The moon has been sighted for Rajab on the 23rd of January 2023
Rajab is one of the four sacrosanct months in the Islamic year. We tend to use Rajab and Sha`ban after it to prepare for the holy month of Ramadan. For those who have prayers or make up fasts from the previous year, now is an excellent time to being fulfilling those duties; inshaAllah, husbands will be especially considerate when it comes to wives making up missed days. And for everyone, it’s an excellent time to return to Allah, and ask Him for an increase in obedience and acts of worship.
In Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, the two [Imams] have related from a hadith that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) gave a speech during the Farewell Pilgrimage, and during it said:
Verily, truly time has revolved like the day on which Allah created the heavens and the earth! The year is twelve months, including four [that are] sacrosanct; three consecutive [months]: Dhu al-qa`da, Dhu al-hijja, and al-Muharram; and Mudhars Rajab which is between Jumada and Shu`ban and he mentioned the hadith.
Allah Mighty and Majestic says:
Lo! the number of months with Allah is twelve months by Allah’s ordinance in the day that He created the heavens and the earth. Four of them are sacred: that is the right religion. So wrong not yourselves in them. (Qur’an, Al-Tauba, 9:36).
So, He Most Sublime declared that ever since He created the heavens and the earth, [and ever since] He created the night and day revolving in the horizon, [and ever since] He created the things in the heaven, including the sun, moon, and stars; [and ever since] He made the sun and the moon in orbit in the cosmos and the dark or night and white of day were produced from [day and night]’ever since then He made the year twelve months in accordance to the crescent moon.
And so the year, with respect to the Legislation, is portioned by the traveling of the moon and its rising, not by the travelling of the sun and its moving from place to place like the people of Ahl al-kitab do.
It has been mentioned by Abu Nuaim in ‘Hilya’ from Anas Ibn Malik (Allah be pleased with him) he said, that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to make the following dua, when the month of Rajab came in:
‘Allahuma Barik lana fi Rajaba wa Sha’bana wa ballighna Ramadhan’
“O Allah, make the months of Rajab and Sha’ban blessed for us, and let us reach the month of Ramadan (i.e. prolong our life up to Ramadan, so that we may benefit from its merits and blessings).”
It has been mentioned by Abul Fath ibn Abil-Fawaris in his Amali (dictations and transmissions) and Allama Suyuti has also mentioned in his Jami Saghir from Hasan Basri that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,
‘Rajab is the month of Allah. Shaban is my month. Ramadhan is the month of my ummah (followers).’
From the above hadith, it shows that it is preferable to make dua, to remain in the coming and following months, in order to perform good actions in them, because a true believer increases in his age with goodness. The best of people is the one who lives long and performs good actions.
The pious predecessors used to prefer dying after performing good actions, like the fast of Ramadhan or returning from Haj. And it was said by them, ‘whoever dies in this way, is forgiven.’
There is no doubt that the month of Rajab is the key to the opening of the months of goodness and blessing.
Abu Bakr Warraq (May Allah be pleased with him) said,
‘Rajab is a month of cultivation, Shaban is month of irrigating the fields, and the month of Ramadhan is a month of reaping and harvesting.’
The summary is, that the month of Rajab is a sacred month and the first, virtuous and noble of them all. So it is appropriate to celebrate it ENTIRELY and to give attention to it by performing good acts, and refraining oneself from sins and offensive things, because it is the month of Allah.
It has been mentioned that Allah said, ‘Fasting is for me and I will recompense one for it.’
Fasting in the month of Rajab prevents one from sins, let alone refraining one from killing and having enmity towards the enemy (which this month was made sacred for), like it was practised by the people in the ignorant (jahili) period.
We should use this month to start getting into the groove for Ramadhan by starting to offer nafl fasts particularly Mondays and Thursdays and the 13/14/15 of the month.
A small action for this month but which has great merits. After reading the farz of Fajr and Maghrib salah, read “Rabbigfirly War Hamney Wa Tub Alayya” 70 times. This means “My Lord Forgive me, Have Mercy Upon Me and Turn towards me”. Continue this during the whole month. Every action is by its intention. So if you are sincere in your intentions that you want to read it then you should add it to your calendar or set a reminder in your phone.
May Allah SWT give us the strength to worship Allah SWT to the best of our ability and prepare well for the coming month of Mercy, Ameen.
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