Sunday, January 10, 2016

Extremism is on the rise

Extremism is on the rise everywhere. In my native Bangladesh in recent months, the Internet has been abuzz with incendiary remarks by secular fundamentalists, many of whom are atheists or against established religions, esp. Islam, creating an environment of hostility and tense relationship within the society. As a result some hateful bloggers were attacked physically and/or killed, believed to be perpetrated by some extremist Muslims with alleged ties with the terrorist outfit Daesh (or ISIL or ISIS). Some of the alleged planners and killers have already been handed over severe punishments including death.
There is no doubt that some misguided youths are having difficulty separating themselves from what they see or hear in the popular media, including the Internet. They are personalizing such matters and assuming that they have a duty to righting the wrong. And many a time, they don’t have the facts right. They are also vulnerable to propaganda and insinuation.

Take for example the case of an Islamic scholar who was killed recently in Bangladesh. Reportedly, he was killed by a Muslim fanatic or extremist who considered him endorsing bidah or innovation in Islamic rituals. To the extremist killer, the scholar had wrongly endorsed congregational du’a or munajat at the end of congregational prayer services. He either forgot that Muslims in the Indian sub-continent (more commonly known as South Asia today) have been making group du’a for centuries or considered that such rituals are bidah.

A well known hadith says: Ad-du’a ul mukhkhul ‘ibadah (meaning: du’a or supplication is the cream of worship). The importance of group worship, esp. salat or prayer, is well known from hadith literature. So, it is quite rational that the ritual of congregational du’a has been very common amongst the Hanafi Sunni Muslims that make up the majority within the Sunni Muslim world; they consider the practice as a mustahab. They draw the importance from two major sources – Qur’an and sunnah.

The first proof of evidence of the Hanafi School of fiqh comes from the Qur’an, surah Qaaf (50:40) where it says: “And during a part of the night glorify His praises and (so likewise) after the prayers.” Some of the commentators of the Qur’an, on the commentary of this ayah, have said that this ayah is referring to congregational du’a after salah (prayer). As to the hadith, see some references by clicking here and here.

Here are some examples below to show the importance of making du’a.
(1) Abu Umama al-Bahili (R) narrates: The Messenger of Allah (S) was asked as to which supplication (du’a) was most quickly accepted? He replied: “In the middle of the night and after the obligatory (fard) prayers.” (Sunan Tirmidhi, 5/188 with a sound (hasan) chain of transmission). 

2) Mughira ibn Shu’ba (R) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (S) used to supplicate three times after every prayer. (Recorded by Imam al-Bukhari in his Tarikh al-Awsat) 

3) Thawban (R) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (S), after completing his prayer, used to seek forgiveness from Allah thrice and say: “O Allah! You are peace, from you is peace, You are exalted through Yourself above all else, O Majesty and Beneficence.” (Sahih Muslim, 5/89) 

4) Mughira ibn Shu’ba (R) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (S), used to say after completing his prayer: “There is no god but Allah, alone without partner. His is the dominion, His is the praise, and He has power over all things. O Allah, none can withhold what You bestow, none can bestow what You withhold, and the fortune of the fortune avails nothing against You.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, 11/133 & Sahih Muslim, 5/90) 

5) Muadh ibn Jabal (R) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (S) said to him: “I advise you O Muadh that you don’t leave the following words after every prayer: “O Allah, assist me in remembering you, showing gratitude to you and worshipping you in a good manner.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, 2/115 & Sunan Nasa’i, 3/53) 

The above are just some of the narrations that encourage supplicating to Allah after prayers, both obligatory and optional.

The raising of the hands whilst supplicating is also a Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (S). There are general narrations that indicate that the hands should be raised whilst supplicating, and then there are narrations that specifically relate to raising the hands whilst supplicating after prayers. 

Umar ibn al-Khattab (R) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S), when he used to raise his hands in supplication, he did not place then down until he wiped his face with them.” (Sunan Tirmizi, 5/131) 

Abdullah ibn Zubayr (R) saw a person raising his hands and supplicating before he completed his prayer. When he ended his prayer, he said to him: “The Messenger of Allah (S) never used to raise his hands until after completing his prayer.” (Recorded by Tabrani in his al-Mu’jam, and authenticated by al-Haythami in Majma’ al-Zawaid) 

Abu Huraira (R) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S) raised his hands after making salam, and then whilst facing in the direction of the Qiblah, he said: “O Allah, …. liberate the weak Muslims from the hands of the non-believers.” (Recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim & Imam Ibn Kathir in his Tafsir) 

The great Jurist, Hadith expert and scholar, Imam al-Suyuti (RA) mentions in his Tadrib al-Rawi that there are approximately 100 narrations with regards to raising the hands whilst supplicating, even though they concern separate incidents, thus reaching the level of certainty (Tawatur bi al-Ma’na).

Supplicating collectively is also not foreign to the Qur’an and Sunnah. There are many proofs for the collective du’a in the Qur’an and Sunnah, both inside and outside Salat. 

1) Allah Most High said to Sayyiduna Musa and Sayyiduna Harun (peace be upon both of them): 

“Accepted is your prayer (O Musa and Harun)!” (Surah Yunus, 89) 

According to tafsir literature, as narrated by the Imams of Tafsir from Ibn Abbas, Abu Huraira, Abu al-Aliya, Abu Salih, Ikrima, Muhammad ibn Ka’b al-Qurazi, Rabi` ibn Anas and others the modality of this supplication was that Musa (AS) supplicated while Harun (AS) said Amîn. (See the Tafsirs Ibn Kathir (2/656) and al-Suyuti's al-Durr al-Manthur (3/315). 

2) Habib ibn Maslama al-Fihri (R) narrated that he heard the Messenger of Allah (S) say: “No group of believers assemble, one of them supplicating while others saying Amîn, except that Allah answers their prayer.” (Recorded by Tabrani in al-Mu’jum al-Kabir, 4/26 & Hakim in his al-Mustadrak, 3/347 and he classed it as authentic (sahih) 

3) Anas ibn Malik (R) narrated that a villager came to the Messenger of Allah (S) on Friday and said: “O Messenger of Allah! The livestock are dying, the dependents are dying, and the people are dying! Whereupon the Messenger of Allah rose his hands in supplication and the people raised their hands in supplication with the Messenger of Allah…..” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Book of supplications). 

4) Abu Shaddad narrates while Ubada ibn al-Samit was present and confirmed him (Allah be pleased with them both): “We were in the house of the Messenger of Allah (S) when he said: “Is there any stranger amongst you?” He meant one from the People of the Book. We said, “No, O Messenger of Allah”. He ordered for the door to be shut and said: “Raise your hands and say Lâ ilâha illAllâh. We raised our hands for a while. Then he said: “O Allah! Truly You have sent me with this phrase and promised me Paradise for it. Truly, You do not break the trust”. Then he said: “Be glad, for Allah has forgiven you.” (Recorded by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad, 4/124, Tabrani in Mu’jam al-Kabir & classed by Haifidh al-Munziri to be sound (hasan). 

The above and other narrations are clear proof on the fact that to supplicate collectively is not against the Sunnah or an innovation (bid’ah). This relates to supplicating inside or outside prayer. 

According to Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam of Darul Ifta, UK, “In light of the above, it becomes clear that to supplicate collectively after prayers is not an innovation rather something that has been proven from the Sunnah. There are evidences that one should supplicate immediately after obligatory prayers, and that raising one’s hands whilst supplicating is also a Sunnah, and finally collective supplication is also established in the Sunnah. 

Now, keeping these three types of evidences in mind, if one was to supplicate with the Imam and the other followers, then there is nothing wrong in doing so. We don’t need an explicit Hadith that says, to supplicate after Salat, whilst raising your hands and in congregation is Sunnah, rather, combining the three types of evidences are sufficient to prove its authenticity. 

For example, The Imam supplicates after obligatory prayers because this has been clearly mentioned in the Sunnah, with raising his hands, as that has also been established by the Sunnah, and the followers joined him, as supplicating collectively has also been proven in the Sunnah, then I don’t see where the problem lies. 

Moreover, if all the worshippers supplicate simultaneously after Fardh prayers, then automatically there will be collective supplication.” 

Having said that it must be understood that the status of collective supplication after obligatory prayers is Mustahab or Sunnah.

He also says, “This supplication can be carried out loudly or silently. However, it is preferable to supplicate silently, as Allah Most High says: 

“Call on your lord with humility and in private.” (al-A’raf, 55) 

It is stated in the Hanafi reference book, al-Bazzaziyya: 

“If the Imam supplicated loudly with the followers, then there is nothing wrong in doing so, so that people learn the Qur’anic and Prophetic supplications. When they learn them, then supplicating loudly would be wrong.” (al-Bazzaziyya) 

In conclusion, there is nothing wrong in supplicating and making Du’a collectively after Fard prayers. However, one should not regard it as necessary or in any way part of Salat.

There are many more proofs from the ahadith, which prove that du’a after salah was a practice of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S) himself. Hazrat Shaikh Yunus Sahib (of India, Saharanpoor, and the great Khalifah of the late Hazrat Shaikh Zakariya rahmatullahi alaiyah), has said that the majority of the evidence points towards the du’a after salah.

And yet, today, this sunnah is not practiced in almost all masajid in the USA. Even inside Bangladesh, as a result of Saudi Wahabi indoctrination, most Imams no longer make collective munajat. And as I said in the beginning, some misguided hotheads, or more correctly extremists, are so sure about their (flawed) understanding of Islam that like the early Wahabis of Ottoman era they are even killing Hanafi Imams or scholars who practice or promote this sunnah.

1 comment:

  1. MashALLAH..Not doing Dua and leaving it in collectively will be a waste because Allah is Merciful, He gives more than we seek.