Revive a Sunnah | Using Miswak (Siwak) and its Excellence

Miswaak A Miswak, or siwak, is a natural tooth-stick made from a twig of a tree. Typically made from peelu, olive or walnut tree. It is used to clean the teeth, and holds an important place in Islam. The reason for this is that our blessed and beloved Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi wa Sallam), along with all the other prophets (Ala Nabiyyina wa Alayhim as-Salat wa as-Salam), used it regularly, and strongly advised his followers to do the same. Unfortunately! Today, most perhaps this beautiful sunnah of using Miswak is almost a ‘Forgotten’ Sunnah (May Allah forbid). Whereas, this is definitely one of the most favorable and easiest Sunnah of all. Instead, we embarrassed to practice it in public. May Allah give us better understanding. Here we present some of the sacred traditions of the beloved Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi wa Sallam) on the excellence and benefits of using miswak.

Ahadtih on the Excellence of Miswak

Hadith 1: The Beloved Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi wa Sallam) states, “Miswak is a thing that pleases the Merciful Lord.” [Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 1, Page 637, Hadith 1933]

So it is obvious that one will reap endless bounties when the Lord Almighty is pleased.

Hadith 2: The Noble Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi wa Sallam) has stated, “When any one of you stand at night to offer Salah, you should clean your teeth with a Miswak because when you recite the Quran, an angel places his mouth on yours and anything coming out of your mouth enters the mouth of that angel.” [Shu’ab al-Iman, Vol. 2, Page 381, Hadith 2117]

Hadith 3: Sayyiduna Abu Umamah (Radi Allahu Anhu) has narrated the following saying of the Holy Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi wa Sallam), “Miswak is a means of the purification of your mouths and the pleasure of your Rabb.” [Sunan Ibn Majah, Page 2495, Hadith 289]

Hadith 4: Tabrani narrates a Hasan narration on the authority of Hadrat Ali (Radi Allahu Anhu), citing that Rasoolullah (SallAllahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said, “If I did not feel that it would be difficult upon my Ummah, I would have commanded them to perform miswak with every Wudu.” [Mu’jam al-Awsat, Vol. 1, Page 341, Hadith 1238]

Hadith 5: In other words I would have made it Fard. In some narrations the term Fard has also appeared. [Mustadrak lil Haakim, Vol. 1, Page 364, Hadith 531] Read the rest of this entry »

UMRAH: IMPORTANT MASAA’IL

The meaning of “Umrah” is “to visit.” The accomplishment of Umrah at least once in a lifetime is Sunnat-e-Mu’akkadah. The Umrah performed during the auspicious month of Ramadaan supercedes that Umrah completed in other days. Bukhari Shareef states that Umrah in Ramadaan is equal to Hajj.

VISITING THE GRAVE OF THE PROPHET

Visiting the grave is part of the Sunnah and is both excellent and desirable. Hazrat Ibn Umar (radi Allahu anhu) said that the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said, “My intercession is assured for all who visit me.” (at-Tabarni) Hazrat Anas bin Malik (radi Allahu anhu) said that the Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Anyone who visits me in Madina for the sake of Allah is near to me and I will intercede for him on the Day of Rising.” (Al-Bayhaqi).

Imam Malik (radi Allahu anhu) disliked anyone saying “the tawaf of the visit,” or “we visited the grave of the Prophet,” because people normally use that for visits between themselves, and he did not like to put the Prophet on the same level as other people. He preferred a specific statement like “We greeted the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). He did not dislike people saying, “We visited the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).” (Ash-Shifa)

Females unlawful for marriage

The females prohibited for marriage are the following. The Holy Quraan says: (4:23): “Forbidden to you are your

  1. mothers,
  2. and your daughters,
  3. and your sisters,
  4. and your paternal aunts,
  5. and your maternal aunts,
  6. and your brother’s daughters,
  7. and sister’s daughters,
  8. and your mothers that have suckled you,
  9. and sister’s daughters,
  10. and mothers of your wives,
  11. and your step daughters who are in your guardianship born of your wives to whom you have gone in, but if you have not gone into them, there is no blame on you,
  12. and the wives of your sons who are of your loins,
  13. and that you shall not have two sisters together except what has already passed,
  14. and all married women except those whom your right hand possess.”

Islam allowed a man or a girl to select his or her mate after sights and glances and not beyond that. This instruction is neglected in Muslim societies generally in India, following strict notion of Pardah. Guardians should arrange for a sight ceremony so that the bridal parties may not repent afterwards.

According to Imam-e-A’zam Abu Hanifa (alaihir rahmah), it is lawful to have a sight of the bride and bridegroom before marriage.

Sayyidah Ayesha (radi Allahu anha) reported that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Whoso female gets herself married without permission of her guardian, her marriage is void, her marriage is void, her marriage is void. If he had intercourse with her, there is dowry for her on account of her private parts having been made lawful. If they dispute, then the King is the guardian for those who have got no guardian”. (Abu Da’ood)

In a contract of marriage, two witnesses at least are essential. Sayyiduna Ibn-e-Abbas (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Beloved Habeeb (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: “The fornicators are those who marry by themselves without witnesses”. (Tirmidi)

Dower

Dower is a consideration of the contract of marriage. It is essential to the validity of a marriage. The Holy Quraan says: “O Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)! Surely We have made lawful to you your wives whom you have given their dowries”. (33:50) Another verse says: “And there is no blame on you to marry them whom you give them their dowries”. (60:10)

Dower is an essential part of marriage but it is not invalid if it is not paid or contracted before marriage. The Holy Quraan says: “There is no blame on you if you divorce women when you have not touched them, or appointed for them a dower.” (2:23) The Holy Quraan also says: “And your women – give their dowries as a gift, but they of themselves be pleased to give up to you a portion of it, them eat it with enjoyment and pleasure.” (4:4) Islam has prescribed dower as a great check for free use of husband’s oppression.

Amount of Dower

The Holy Quraan has laid down no hard and fast rule about the amount of dower. It is to be adjudged according to the social position of the parties, their wealth, their personal qualifications, and conditions of the human society. The Holy Quraan says: “One wealthy according to his means and one straitened in circumstances according to his means”. (2:236)

The dower of Sayyidah Umm-e-Habibah (radi Allahu anha) in marriage with the Glorious Prophet of Islam (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) was fixed at 4000 Dirhams. Dowry of Holy Prophet’s (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) daughters was nearly 500 Dirhams for each. Dowry may be increased or decreased after marriage by mutual agreement. (4:24)

The Jurists divided dowry into two portions: one payable o demand called Mehr-e-Mu’ajjal, and another payable at death or dissolution of marriage by divorce called Mehr-e-Muajjal. Where no dower has been fixed, it is to be adjudged according to the amount settled in one’s family and the condition of the husband. After consummation, the wife becomes entitled to full dower, and before consummation only half, or a mere present in case of separation before consummation.

Marriage Feast

Walima is a feast arranged on the occasion of marriage. The husband should invariably give the feast.

Sayyiduna Anas (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) noticed a sign of yellow colour on Abdur Rahman Bin Awf (radi Allahu anhu). He asked: “What is this?” He replied: “I have married a woman for a measure of 5 Dirhams of gold”. He said: “May Allah bless you. Give a feast even though with a goat.” (Agreed) Same reported that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) did never feed for any of his wives what he fed for Sayyidah Zainab (radi Allahu anha). He gave feast (for her marriage) with a goat. (Agreed)

Sayyiduna Abdullah Bin Omar (radi Allahu anhuma) reported that the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Whenever one of you is invited to a feast of marriage, attend it”. (Agreed)

Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Glorious Prophet of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: “The worst of feasts is a feast of marriage where the rich are invited and the poor are left. Whoso does not attend the invitation, disobeys Allah and His Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)”. (Agreed)

Sexual Intercourse

The following rules of sexual intercourse should be observed:

  1. Before actual coition, hold conversation of sexual love and give caresses and kisses. Play and toy in order to rouse sexual organs for easy cohabitation.
  2. Before the act is begun, recite the following: “In the Name of Allah, the Almighty and the Great, Allah is Greatest. O Allah! Protect us from the devil. And keep the devil aloof from what You have provided us.”
  3. Don’t turn the face towards the West.
  4. At the time when semen runs out, think of this verse: “All praise is for Allah Who created man from water. Then He made for him blood and marriage relationship.” (25: 54)
  5. Don’t let out your semen very soon at least before the ovary of your wife comes out. This is made much easier when kisses and caresses and other tactful ways rouse wife’s passions.
  6. Try to enter semen into uterus and don’t throw it outside without any excuse.
  7. Before your second coition, sexual organs must first be cleaned and washed.
  8. Ablution should be made after coition.
  9. Coition should be avoided as far as possible in the nights of the new moon, full moon and at the end of the lunar month.
  10. Sexual intercourse is desirable when the husband and the wife both show inclination for it, and no forcible coition should take place. When a man calls his wife to bed and she declines, Angels curse her and Almighty Allah remains displeased with her.
  11. Coition must always be made with the male organ and the female vaginal canal and never through the rectum.

On the following occasions, sexual intercourse is unlawful:

  1. Intercourse during continuance of the menses of the wife. The Holy Quraan says: “They ask you about menstruation. Say, it is a little harmful.” Therefore, keep aloof from women during their menstrual discharge and do not go near them until they are clean.
  2. After childbirth till the stoppage of blood nearly up to the 40th day.
  3. During the hours of fasting from the appearance of whiteness till the setting of the sun. Intercourse during night is not prohibited even during the fasting month.
  4. Unnatural intercourse either with male or with an animal is unlawful.

If a man promises not to go unto his wife for four months, and if in the meantime, he does not have sexual intercourse with her, the wife will be considered as divorced if not taken in the mean time.

ADOPTION

Adoption is forbidden in Islam is most certain. In verses 4 and 5 of Surah 33, entitled “Al-Ahzab” or “The Clans” we read what may be rendered in translation as follows: “nor has He made your wives whom you declare (to be your mothers) your mothers, nor has He made those whom you claim (to be your sons) your sons. This is but a saying of your mouths. But Allah says the truth and He shows the way. Proclaim their real parentage. That will be more equitable in the sight of Allah. And if you know not their fathers, then they are your brethren in the faith, and your clients. And there is no sin for you in the mistakes that you make unintentionally, but what your hearts purpose (that will be a sin for you). Allah is Forgiving, Merciful”. (33: 4-5)

This is a clear statement of prohibition. When Almighty Allah says that He has not made a particular relationship in a certain fashion, He means that He disapproves of that fashion. When Almighty Allah disapproves something, He forbids it.

This is not to say that a Muslim family may not raise an orphan child or that a woman may not bring up her sister’s children or a man may not look after his brother’s infants. Indeed, such an action is highly rewarded by Almighty Allah. What is more important is to keep the relationship clear and according to the fact. The children must be called after their own parents.

We have also the Holy Prophet’s (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) Sunnah to confirm this prohibition. The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) had adopted Sayyiduna Zaid Bin Haritha (radi Allahu anhu) as his son before the advent of Islam. Sayyiduna Zaid (radi Allahu anhu) was known from that moment as “Zaid Bin Muhammad”. However when this Quraanic verse was revealed, Zaid (radi Allahu anhu) was called after his own father, Haritha. The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) continued to love Sayyiduna Zaid (radi Allahu anhu) and his children, especially Sayyiduna Usamah (radi Allahu anhu), very dearly.

The question of leaving one’s property by Will to one’s adopted child is truly a separate matter. Islam established a system of inheritance, which is very detailed and fair to all. This system is an essential part of the overall Islamic economic system that ensures the division of property generation after generation. It takes into account the fact that according to Islam, a person is “put in charge” of his property, which belongs to Almighty Allah. Therefore, it is Almighty Allah Who decides how property is divided after death.

If someone raises an orphan child, he can leave a portion of his property by Will. Every person is allowed to bequeath by Will up to one-third of his property, but the beneficiaries of his Will cannot include any of his heirs.

INTERDICTION AGAINST ABOMINABLE

It is narrated on the authority of Sayyiduna Abu Sa’eed (radi Allahu anhu) that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: “He who amongst you sees something abominable should modify it with the help of his hand; and if he has not strength enough to do it, then he should do it with his tongue; and if he has not strength enough to do it (even) then he should (abhor it) from his heart, and that is the least of faith.” (Muslim)

This Hadith throws a good deal of light on how the society is to be kept safe and secure from evil and corruption. It has been made an obligatory act for every Muslim to see carefully that the moral health of the community does not deteriorate, and whenever there is any sign of decadence in any quarter it should be checked with determination. Islam does not allow its followers to lead the life a silent spectator in the world; it has made them duty-bound to eradicate evil, since once it is allowed to creep into the society, it corrodes it and the whole social structure crumbles down. It has, therefore, been enjoined upon the believers to take effective measures to fight against it. Those who have power enough to check it with force must do so, while others by means of preaching and persuasion should try to sweep it out of effective existence, but if the circumstances become so adverse that even this becomes impossible, then we should at least keep our conscience alive to the fact that it is an evil and should be strongly abhorred, and wait for a suitable opportunity to drive it out completely.

It must be made clear in this connection that the commentators of the Hadith are of the view that forbidding with the help of hand implies the power of the State. That it is the duty of the State and society to check the evil in all its forms and shapes and in case of necessity even the strictest measures may be adopted.

Imam Nawawi (alaihir rahmah) says there is a consensus of opinion that this act of bidding the people to do good and forbidding them to do wrong is obligatory on believers.

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