Is the beard fard or just a Sunnah?
As it is known, beard is something that needs to be present in men due to fitra and is the sunnah of the previous prophets. In many hadiths, it is ordered that the beard be left in its natural form and be lengthened. There is no permission to shorten it. Islamic scholars and believers have adopted that natural state and applied it for centuries.
As it is understood from those hadiths, the Messenger of Allah grew a beard as other prophets did and advised us to grow beards. There is no recording that Hazrat Prophet and his companions shaved their beards. However, Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) clipped his beard at the bottom and on the sides. (Tirmidhi, Adab, 17). Imam Malik says, "A Muslim should grow his beard in the form that the majority of Muslims grow; he should cut the extra part; it is mandoob (recommended). If that extra part is not cut, it causes an ugly appearance. There is no limit in shortening the beard. The best way is to shorten it so that it will look beautiful. "He said, based upon an application reported from Imam Baji Abdullah Ibn Umar and Abu Hurayra that the extra part out of a handful could be cut.”
It is stated in Durrul-Muhtar that it is sunnah to have a handful of beard. Similarly, according to the opinion of the majority, it is sunnah to cut the extra part out of a handful.
Scholars have different opinions about growing, shortening and shaving the beard. According to some scholars, it is fard to grow a beard and it is haram to shave it; according to some, it is sunnah to grow a beard and it is makrooh (abominable) to shave it; others say it is mustahab (preferred) to grow. As for their evidence, the first opinion that says it is fard to grow a beard and it is haram to shave it belong to the majority of the scholars. Their evidence is mainly as follows:
a) Hazrat Prophet ((pbuh) ordered us to grow beards in a hadith. Orders are obligatory unless it is stated that they are mandoob or mubah (optional) . The order “Grow beards” necessitates it to be fard.
b) Likewise, Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) ordered us not to resemble polytheists or fire-worshippers. Saving the beard means resembling them. And it is haram.
c) Shaving the beard means changing what Allah created, which is mentioned in the 119th verse of Chapter an-Nisa. That act, which is carried out by obeying the devil, is forbidden.
d) Beard is a quality that discriminates men from women. Men who shave their beards resemble women. Our religion forbids men from resembling women.
However, some scholars who say that it is haram to shave the beard mean shaving the beard after deciding to grow a beard. Otherwise, it is not haram to shave the beard without deciding to grow a beard.
Those who have the opinion that to grow a beard is sunnah and to shave it is makrooh are people like Imam Nawawi, a Shafii scholar, Razi, Ghazzali, Sheikh Zakariyya al-Ansari, Ibn Hajar, Ramli, Hatib, Shirbini. Those who have that opinion say the following.
a) The order in the hadith does not make growing a beard fard because our Prophet (pbuh) also ordered to dye the hair so as not to resemble Jews and Christians but some companions did not dye their hair. That incidence shows that the orders like that do not show obligation.
b) It is haram to resemble polytheists in the issues relating to religion and belief. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) put on sabots like the priests did. If it were definitely haram to resemble them in issues like that, Hazrat Prophet would have never done it.
c) If the issue is dealt with only in terms of resembling polytheists even if in the customs and traditions, contrarily, it will be concluded that growing a beard is haram because many priests and non-Muslims grow beard today.
d) The ten items that are listed as the sunnahs of prophets are regarded as sunnah or mustahab by most of the scholars. Since beard is one of them, it should be evaluated like that. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) advised his umma the best customs. .
Those who say it is mustahab and customary sunnah to grow a beard and optional to shave it say the following: Growing a beard, eating, drinking, sitting, wearing clothes are the natural customs of the Prophet that he does because he is a human being. Therefore, growing a beard is not a sunnah related to worshipping but a sunnah that is done customarily. It is also called sunnah zawaid (customary sunnah). Some scholars of our time like Mahmud Shaltut and Muhammad Abu Zahra are of that opinion. Accordingly, it is virtuous to grow a beard but shaving the beard is permissible. If a person does not grow a beard or if he shaves his beard, no judgment against him is given. It will be appropriate to act in accordance with the environment one lives in.
As for the mustache, which is almost a part of the beard, there are some narrations from Hazrat Prophet about clipping the mustache so as to show the edge of the upper lip or cutting it all. According to the opinion that is the judgment is based on, it is sunnah to clip the mustache or to cut it all: The believer is free to do either way.
However, it is not regarded permissible to clip the sides of the mustache and leave a small amount in the middle. It is stated in the sharh (explanation) of Shir’a that Hazrat Umar lengthened both ends of his mustache and that there is no drawback to it.
(For the judgments, opinions and ijtihads about the beard and mustache, see Ibn Abidin, II, 113, V, 261; al-Mahhal, I,183-189; Shawkani, Naylul-Awtar, I, 137-138; al-Madhahibul-Arbaa, II, 44-46; Sharhu'n-Nawawi (Marginal notes of Irshadushshari), II, 261-265; Ianatu't-Talibin, II, 340; Fathu'r-Rabbani, XVII, 313-314; Mahmut Shaltut, al-Fatawa, 227-229; İslâmda Helal ve Haram, Yusuf al-Qardawi, (Trns. Mustafa Varlı), 107-109; Muhammad Abu Zahra, İslâm Hukuku Metedolojisi (Trns. Abdülkadir Şener), 51-52; Zakariyya Kandahlavi, Wujubu i'fail-Iihya).
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Is it haram to shave the beard?
Can you inform us about the accepted ways of bathing in Islam?
Being naked while having a bath is not a sin but it is against good morals.
We should not speak and we should close our private parts when we bathe or take a Ghusl (ritual ablution of the whole body). However, the Ghusl is valid if we do not act accordingly. The accepted way of bathing: 1- We should clean our teeth with miswak (Islamic toothbrush) before we bathe. 2- We should take a bath with nice thoughts like being clean when we pray in the presence of Allah. 3- We should enter to the bathroom stepping first with our left foot. 4- When entering we should say “in the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful, I seek refuge in Allah from the evils of devil banished and every kind of excrements. We should close the door so that nobody sees inside the bathroom. 5- When bathing especially in a public bathing place, we should cover our private parts and wear a loincloth. 6- We should firstly wash our right and left shoulders. 7- We should not waste the water. 8- When we feel hot water on our skins, we should think of Hell and compare the hell fire with this hotness of water. 9- We should not talk while bathing; we should not sing songs including Allah’s names or holy things and should not read verses from the Quran. 10- We should not enter the bathroom towards the evEning and between the evening prayer and night prayer. 11- We should not pour water on us while standing but while sitting. 12- We should not urinate or defecate in the place of bathing. Our Prophet especially warns us about it, “one of you should not urinate in the place where he bathes. If he does, he should not make wudu (ablution) in that place. Most of doubts come from this.” 14- Those who have bath should wash and clean the bathroom. There should not be any unpleasant sight in the bathroom. They should clean all the dirt of soap, hair, and dirty water on the floor. The dirty clothes should not be hung and should not be left as dirty. 15- Everybody should have their own loincloths and use that. 16- Before bathing if they have long hairs and mustaches, they should shorten and cut them off. 17- It is mustahab (recommended) to pluck and shave the hairs of your armpits once in maximum forty days 18- It is Sunnah to remove the pubic hairs once in maximum forty days it is Sunnah. 19- It is Sunnah to have kohl three times on our right eye, two times on our left eye, and to begin from the right one. 20- We should bury or burn the nails and hairs we cut by wrapping them in something.
Did our Prophet (pbuh) ever pray (perform salat) without covering his head or wearing a cap or turban?
Wearing a cap (one worn by Muslims especially in prayers) is a sunnah (the practice of Prophet Muhammad, pbuh). It is makrooh (religiously abominable) to perform prayers (salat) without wearing caps, deeming it troublesome to carry a cap or not considering it important. However, it is a sunnah to keep one's head covered during prayer (salat). Besides, some scholars have regarded it as good to pick the cap which falls during prostration to the ground and to put it back on the head, without performing much action (for instance, with one hand). It is not makrooh not to cover the head because of a valid excuse. In addition, there are those who say that there is no harm in not covering the head with the intention of humility and deep reverence for Allah. It is also sunnah to wrap a turban over the cap in prayers. The Prophet said: “The prayer which is performed with turban is 70 times more meritorious than the prayer performed without turban.” (Taj). According to some scholars, in place of turban, a cap may be used to cover the head.
The Prophet wore lined or unlined caps. Those made in Damascus would be white and without lining (Abu Shayh, p. 118). Ibn-i Umar informed that in campaigns the Prophet wore cap with projecting parts over ears (Ali al-Kârî, I, 204.).
Should a Muslim place his/her right foot first when leaving his/her home for prayer?
As the Prophet (pbuh) used his right hand for eating and drinking (Jami’ as-Saghir, 1/281), he also advised to take with the right hand, to hold with the right hand, to begin from the right while putting on shoes and clothes and performing wudu (ablution). (Jami’ as-Saghir, 1/286, 1/469)
So, it is Sunnah (the practice of the Prophet) to use the right hand for eating and drinking and to begin from the right to do all other acts.
It is useful to distinguish between “beginning from the right” and “using the right hand”. It is Sunnah to begin from the right in several acts; but it is permissible to use the left hand or the left foot when there is necessity. For example, we begin from the right while putting on shoes but left shoe is also got on just after that. We begin from the right while performing wudu but the left parts are washed immediately after the right sides and they are not ignored.
Using the right hand “all the time” is Sunnah only in eating and drinking. In other acts (including writing), on condition of starting from the right, one of the more capable of the two hands can be used. Under those circumstances, it is Sunnah to cleanse oneself (after urinating and defecating) with the left hand and to begin from the right in all other acts and to use the right hand for eating and drinking. On the other hand, a person who does not act in that way is not a sinner.
What needs to be done before traveling in Islam? Is it a sunnah to choose one of the travelers as the head before setting off?
The person to set off for a travel needs to take all material and spiritual measures. The measures can vary depending on the length of the journey, the situation of the place to be traveled to and the features of the traveler.
It is mandub (recommended) to perform a prayer of two rak’ahs before setting off for journey or after returning from it.
According to what is reported from Abu Said and Abu Hurayra (may Allah be pleased with them), the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,
“If three people set off for a journey, let them choose one of the as the head!” (Abu Dawud, Jihad 80.)
It is necessary to try to form congregations so that the large Islamic congregation will be formed from small congregations. (Abdullah Parlıyan, Açıklamalı Tam Riyazu’s-Salihin Tercümesi: 286.)
What is meant by that order is to carry out affairs commonly in harmony, not to have different ideas and to fall into disagreement.
It is sunnah al-muakkadah to choose a head for a journey. There are also some scholars who say it is wajib.
What is meant by three is the fact that a congregation consists of at least three people. If there are more, a head is necessary in the first place.
It is useful to say the prayers mentioned in verses and hadiths, to ask for forgiveness, to say salawat, to read the chapter al-Fatiha, and read ayat al-kursi seven times.
In the verse, “That has created pairs in all things, and has made for you ships and cattle on which ye ride, In order that ye may sit firm and square on their backs, and when so seated, ye may celebrate the (kind) favor of your Lord, and say "Glory to Him Who has subjected these to Our (use), for We could never have accomplished this (by ourselves). "And to Our Lord, surely, must We turn back!"” (az-Zukhruf, 43/12-13-14), Allah reminds His slaves some of the bounties He has given them; He especially mentions the land and sea vehicles that are used especially on journeys; then, He teaches the prayer to be said when one gets on such a vehicle in order to thank Him for those bounties: “Glory to Him Who has subjected these to Our (use), for We could never have accomplished this (by ourselves). And to Our Lord, surely, must We turn back!”
As it can be seen, those words are the expression of a full state and consciousness of slavery. Especially the last sentence makes a connection between the current journey and the great journey of no return and tells us that the actual journey is the journey of slavery and worshipping and that it should be continued at all times and everywhere. It also tells us that the life in the world itself is a travel and journey.
“Glorification, blessing, confessing one’s weakness and the fact that the return is to Allah” mean trust and renewing belief for the traveler; it also means to be freed from all kinds of feelings of loneliness and fears. Thus, it means that the traveler becomes ready for a peaceful journey without stress and without tending to be a traffic monster.
According to what is reported from Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), when the Messenger of Allah got on his animal and settled, he would utter Allahu akbar three times and say the following prayer:
“Glory to Him Who has subjected these to Our (use), for We could never have accomplished this (by ourselves). And to Our Lord, surely, must We turn back!”
O Allah! We ask from you goodness, taqwa and good deeds that you will be pleased with in this journey.
O Allah! Make this journey easy for us and make the distant places near!
O Allah! You are the one who will help us in the journey and who will protect our families while we are away.
O Allah! I take refuge in you from the difficulties of the journey, facing depressing things, and seeing bad things about our families when we return.”
The narrator says Hazrat Prophet would say the same prayers when he returned from the journey and added the following sentence:
“We are those who have returned from a journey, repented and praised our Lord.” (Muslim, Hajj 425, see Abu Dawud, Jihad 72; Tirmidhi, Daawat 45-46)
We learn from this narration of Abdullah Ibn Umar how Hazrat Prophet acted when he set off for a journey. Our beloved Prophet, who is our role model in everything and our leader, would say Allahu akbar three times after getting on the animal and read verses 12-13 of the chapter az-Zukhruf (43). Then, he would mention his wishes regarding the journey, the return and those that were left behind by expressing the feelings of a person who was about to set off.
If we think about the issues that the Messenger of Allah mentioned, we will see that they are the common thoughts and concerns of everybody who sets off for a journey. We learn from the hadith how to say prayers with those thoughts and concerns and what to ask from Allah. The words to be uttered in each place are different. It is the necessity of knowledge and wisdom to utter appropriate words and to express wishes depending on the place and situation. Those prayers of our Prophet consist of the most appropriate words to be uttered by a slave at the beginning and end of a journey. Therefore, he is an indispensable example for us.
To sum up:
1 Hazrat Prophet would take refuge in Allah everywhere and at all times.
2 A Muslim should not forget that each journey has an aspect that reminds the last journey of man and should not neglect taking refuge in Allah.
3 Prayer (dua) is both the power, duty and worshipping of a slave.
Can a Muslim recite Allah's names in public by using stone prayer beads? Isn't it a Bid'ah
Our Prophet recommended saying subhanallah (Allah is free from imperfection), alhamdulillah (praise to Allah) and Allahuakbar (Allah is the greatest) at various times and especially after prayers (salats). The Companions of the Prophet said and counted those phrases by using prayer beads, their fingers or small stones. Therefore, it can be said that the prayer beads of today are similar to them and it is a nice tradition.
What are the phrases of glorifying Allah (tasbihat) that we say after prayers (salats) based on? For instance, did people say salawat for our Prophet after prayers during the Era of Bliss (the period when our Prophet lived)?
Tasbihat after prayers
It is the sunnah of the Prophet to recite tasbihat after prayers whether we perform prayers alone or in congregation. Tasbihat can be recited in congregation or individually.
To mention the names and attributes of God Almighty, to say He is free from all kinds of imperfection and to thank Him are the essence of the prayer. The holy phrases ”Subhanallah” (Allah is free from imperfection), “Alhamdulillah” (praise to Allah) and “Allahuakbar” (Allah is the greatest), which are recited thirty-three times are like the cores of the prayer. The fact that those holy phrases are present in the prayer shows that they are so convenient for worship and so important for our spiritual life. (Badiuzzaman, Sözler (Words), p, 45)
Muawiya bin Hakam as-Salami (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates: The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, “Our prayer consists of saying subhanallah, Allahuakbar and reciting the Quran; no words connected to the worldly things are uttered in our prayers!” (Nasai, Kitab’us-Sahw, 20)
Some poor companions of Ansar went to the Messenger of Allah and said:
“O Messenger of Allah! Wealthy people reached high ranks. They pray and fast as we do! In addition, they perform hajj and umrah, free slaves and give alms with their money and goods, which we cannot do!”
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “Shall I teach you something? Thanks to it, you will catch up with those who passed you and then you will pass them. Thus, nobody except those who do what you do can be more virtuous than you!”
It was a great glad tiding. The companions said: “Yes, O Messenger of Allah; please teach it to us!”
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “Say ‘Subhanallah, Alhamdulillah and Allahuakbar’ thirty-three times after each prayer. Then say “La ilaha illallahu wahdahu la sharika lah. Lahu’l-Mulku wa lahu’l-Hamdu wa huwa ala kulli shay’in qadir” (There is no god but Allah. He has no partner; praise, bounty and dominion belong to Him. He is Omnipotent); your sins will be forgiven even if they are as many as the foams of the sea!”. (Muslim, Masajid, 142)
Badiuzzaman states that the phrases of tasbih, tazim, tahlil, dhikr and salawat, which are sunnah to recite after prayers, taking refuge in Allah and mentioning the names of Allah are the prayers of Hazrat Prophet (pbuh), that is, his sunnah. (Kastamonu Lâhikası, p.72-73)
It is sunnah to recite the prayer of adhan (wasilah) between the iqamah and fard prayer. It is sunnah for the person reciting adhan and the people listening to it to recite the prayer of adhan immediately; it is sunnah for the person reciting iqamah and the people listening to it to read the prayer of adhan before the fard prayer by opening and raising their hands.
It is sunnah to recite the prayer of “istiadha” (taking refuge in Allah), which is read to be saved from the torture in the grave, devil, soul, the world and Dajjal, the torture of Hell and other mischiefs and evils after the morning and evening prayers. In addition, it is sunnah to recite dhikr, salawat and prayers. It is sunnah to ask forgiveness and mercy from God Almighty not only for us but also for our teachers and masters who has rights on us, our parents, our student friends and all of the believers. It is also sunnah to recite salawat and salams a million times for our Prophet, Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh), to send salam (greetings) and good wishes to his family and companions, to exceed the limited numbers while reciting them, to use the phrases “as many as the leaves of the trees, the waves of the seas and the drops of rain”, which denotes infinity, while reciting salawat, salams and barakah. It is also sunnah to ask to enter Paradise.
Some of the glad tidings by our Prophet (pbuh) about tasbih and dhikr are as follows:
*Abdullah bin Amr (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) stated the following: “There is nobody in the world who will say, ‘La ilaha illallahu wallahu akbar. Wala hawla wala quwwata illa billah’ (There is no god but Allah. Allah is the greatest. There is no might and power but that of Allah) and whose sins will not be forgiven even if they are as many as the foams in the sea.” (Tirmidhi, Daawat, 58)
*Abu Musa al-Ash’ari (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated: We were in a battle together with our Prophet (pbuh). When we returned and saw Madinah, Muslims raised their voices and started to say “Allahuakbar”. Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “Your Lord is not deaf! He is not one that is not ready here! He is among you. He is among the heads of your camels. O Abdullah bin Qays! Shall I teach you a treasure from the treasures of Paradise? It is ‘La hawla wala quwwata illa billah.” (Tirmidhi, Daawat, 58)
*İbn-i Masud (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated: The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) stated the following: “When I was taken up to Miraj, I met Ibrahim (pbuh). He said to me, “O Muhammad!” “Give my greetings to your umma and tell them that the soil of Paradise is nice and its water is sweet! There are plains full of trees in Paradise. Their planted trees are ‘Subhanallahi walhamdulillahi wala ilaha illallahu wallahu akbar.” ( (Tirmidhi, Daawat, 59)
*Abu Zarr (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates: The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “Whoever says, “La ilaha illallahu wahdahu la sharika lahu. Lahu’l-Mulku wa lahu’l-Hamdu yuhyi wa yumitu wa huwa ala kulli shay’in qadir” (There is no god but Allah. He has no partner; praise, bounty and dominion belong to Him. He gives life and He takes life. He is Omnipotent) without speaking any other words after the morning prayer, kneeling down is given tens of rewards; ten sins of him are cleared off, he is raised ten ranks; he becomes secure from all kinds of evils that day; he is protected from the devil; no sin can reach him and annul his good deeds!” (Tirmidhi, Daawat, 63)
*Ma’qil bin Yasar (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates: the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) stated the following: “Whoever says, ‘Audhu billahi minashshaytanirrajim’ and recites the last three verses of the Chapter al-Hashr when he gets up in the morning (after the prayer), Allah appoints seventy thousand angels to pray for him that day until the evening; if he dies that day, he dies as a martyr. Whoever recites it at night, he reaches the same rank.” (Taj, 4/44)
Let All-Merciful Lord not deprive believers from his abundance and prosperity. Amin.
For detailed information about the performance of tasbihat in accordance with the Madhhab of Shafii, see Shafii Catechism or al-Fiqh al-Islami, Volume 2 by Wahba Zuhayli.
Saying salawat for our Prophet
As it is known, it is a non-ignorable duty and debt of fidelity of every Muslim to say salawat whenever the name of Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) is mentioned.
It is informed that for every Muslim who understands the wisdom of the existence thanks to him, it is fard to say salawat once in the life, wajib for the following mentions and sunnah for repetitions; it is said that skipping salawat causes deprivation from intercession (shafaah).
A person who feels gratitude for someone who does him a favor and a person who shows respect to a person for a long time just for the sake of a cup of coffee will definitely feel gratitude for the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), who was a means for saving his eternal life, and will say salawat with great respect when he hears his name and will attain his intercession with his loyalty.
Our Lord orders us to say salawat for the Prophet in the 56th verse of the Chapter al-Ahzab:
–Allah and His angels, send blessings on the Prophet: O ye that believe! send ye blessings on him and salute him, with all respect.!
As a necessity of the command of that verse it has been stated that it is fard to say salawat once in the life, wajib for the first hearing of following mentions and sunnah for repetitions in the same place. What is understood is that after each salawat and salam, both our Lord and the angels become pleased; in addition, the angels pray for those who say salawat. We see in hadith books that the angels pray for the person who says salawat, which causes the rank of our Prophet (pbuh) to rise in Paradise, as “May Allah make your rank rise, too” and other angels say ‘amin’ for that prayer. They react as “May Allah not make your rank rise” for those who do not say salawat and the other angels agree with that reaction by saying ‘amin’. Thus, those who say salawat when they hear the name of our Prophet (pbuh) receive good prayers from the angels and those who do not say salawat receive the curse of the angels. Furthermore, our Prophet (pbuh) is offended by the unfaithful people of his umma who do not say salawat for him although they hear his name and expresses his reproach as “May his nose be covered with dust.”
There are numerous kinds of salawat. The most famous of them are the ones that we recite after tahiyyat during prayers: “Allahumma salli ala Muhammadin wa ala ali Muhammad” and “Sallallahu alayhi wasallam”. Their meanings can be summarized as follows:
–May the mercy of our Lord, the asking forgiveness of the angels and our salam (greetings) be upon Hazrat Muhammad and his family.
Since salawat like that are prayers special to our Prophet, our Lord will not reject a prayer special to him.
If we start our special prayers with salawat that is not rejected and finish with salawat, we expect that our prayer between two accepted prayers will be accepted too.
When the name of the Prophet is seen while reading and writing it is the best to say:
–“Allahumma salli ala Muhammadin wa ala ali Muhammad” or “Sallallahu alayhi wasallam”, the initials (pbuh) written in the texts are used to remind salawat. However, when the salawat signs like that increase in a text, the readers sometimes have difficulty and the signs that are added for respect sometimes may cause disrespect, contrary to what is intended. Instead of causing disrespect, it is better to decrease those signs and leave it to the understanding of the reader.
It cannot be said that salawat said for the Prophet will cause the forgiveness of sins because something like that is not in question. It causes a rise in the rank. Therefore, nobody can estimate and determine the rank of the Prophet because each second salawat like rivers flow from his umma every second and it is understood that the rise in rank will never stop and that it will go on till the doomsday.
A historical example of respect:
Sultan Mahmud of Ghazna always addressed his servant Muhammad, whom he liked a lot, as Muhammad, but once he addressed him using his father’s name. The servant felt bad about it and asked the Sultan why he had addressed him using his father’s name but not using his nice name. The Sultan answered:
–I always had wudu and called that lofty name when I had wudu. Now I do not have wudu! I felt ashamed to pronounce that name without wudu!
Those who show laziness in saying salawat when his holy name is pronounced should read and draw lessons from that event.
Khitan: The act of circumcising; surgical removal of the foreskin of males.
Although it doesn’t take place in the Quran, khitan is considered to be a symbol for Muslims. Its roots reach to Hadrath Abraham and it was a custom in the Arabs before the Islam too. Arabs used to perform it for both men and women.
It is told that khitan is started by Hadrath Abraham by applying on himself at the age of eighties. It is also told that the test of Hadrath Abraham with some mentioned words in the Quran (Baqara, 2/124) was with cleanness related questions. Body related of these were the issues like khitan, shaving armpit and groin hair, istinja (cleaning after toilet) with water and nail trimming.
Khitan is an act of cleaning befitting to human, like these cleanings: washing and rinsing the mouth with water, pulling water to the nose and cleaning it, cutting or trimming the moustache, trimming the nails, shaving the armpit and groin hair. (Bukhari, Libas, 51, 63, 64; Muslim, Taharah, 49; Abu Dawud, Tarajjul, 16; Tirmidhi, Adab, 14)
Hadrath Abraham is told to perform khitan at his eighties in the village of Kaddum (Bukhari, Anbiya, 8; Muslim, Fadail, 151; Musnad al Shamiyyin, I, 88). In a saying coming from Abu Hurayra the word “kadum” is used instead of “Kaddum”, then it becomes “he performed khitan with a carpenter’s tool, adze”. Also by some sources he is told to perform it at the age of 70 or 120. Hadrath Abraham performed khitan. The Pentateuch of Jews commanded this too. It was carried out till Jesus by Christians too, but later on they abandoned this custom with a wrong comment like khtian is throwing the screen covering the heart (Translation of Tajrid al Sarih, IX, 112).
In another narrative it is said that: “Surely the one entertaining a guest for the first time, the one wearing underpants for the first time, and the one performing khitan for the first time was Hadrath Abraham” (Muwatta, Sifat un Nabi, 4). Later on performing khitan was carried out by all the prophets and their followers.
Hadrath Muhammad (pbuh) says: “There are four things that they are from the customs of the prophets. Performing khitan, using pleasant smells, using miswak (a natural toothbrush), and getting married” (Tirmidhi, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Musnad).
It is told that some prophets were born with khitan already applied. These are some like 10-17. Imam Al-Suyuti expressed some of these with a poem. These are Adam, Sit, Nuh (Noah), Sam, Idris (Enoch), Musa (Moses), Saleh (Shaloh), Lut (Lot), Yusuf (Joseph), Shuaib (Jethro), Yunus (Jonah), Sulayman (Solomon), Yahya (John) and Isa (Jesus), peace be upon them. And the poem ends with “Hatam (The last)” indicating Hadrath Muhammad (pbuh). (On inborn khitan of Hadrath Muhammad see Ibn Khaldun, Mukaddima, Istanbul 1970, II, p. 400; Ahmet Cevdet Pasha, Kisas-i Enbiya, Istanbul 1972, I, 59). Also according to some saying, his grandfather had it applied khitan giving a feast on his seventh day of the born.
Before Islam khitan was applied as a precaution of hygiene (Muhammad Hamidullah, The life and work of the Prophet of Islam, translation by Salih Tug, Istanbul 1973, p. 291). It is accepted as an operation of cleaning and becoming beautiful between Arabs. In this respect they use also the word “taharah (cleanness)” for khitan (Karslızade Cemalettin, Ma'dabat ul Khitan, Istanbul 1252 H., p. 7)
Hadrath Muhammad (pbuh) told to new Muslims “Shave your excessive body hair that Islam doesn’t like, and have khitan” even if they were 80 years old (Kanz al-Ummal, I, 263).
As Usaym Ibn Kalib transmits from his father, his grandfather told him: “I came to Hadrath Muhammad and accepted Islam. Upon this he told me: Throw away the hairs of kufr (disbelief, denial) from your body and have khitan” (Ahmad Ibn Hanbal III, 415; Abu Dawud, Taharah, 129).
Khitan relies on the rule of Sharia (Islamic principles of jurisprudence) of “giving pain to a creature may be permissible only if that pain gives a benefit to that creature and that benefit is bigger than the pain”.
The age of khitan changes from region to region, from the seventh day of the born to the age of 13. Having their children applied khitan before they reach to puberty is a duty of their fathers. Hadrath Muhammad (pbuh) had their grandchildren Hadrath Hasan and Hadrath Husain applied khitan on their seventh day of the born.
It is more appropriate for a child to have khitan when he is a baby and find himself already had it when he reaches to puberty. This way he feels comfortable without any fear.
In some societies khitan is applied to women too. This custom lives between some Muslims in Egypt, Arabia and Java. These societies are known to apply khitan before Islam too. When we think about the Islamic world, khitan for women seems to be in the minority as a local practice (A.J. Wensinck, Hiton, IA, VII, p. 543).
Hadrath Muhammad (pbuh) says “Khitan is sunnah (from the way of the prophet) for men, and is a virtue for women” (Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, V, 75; Abu Dawud, Adab, 167; al Fath ur Rabbani, XVII, 1312). While Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Malik think it is an absolute sunnah for both sexes, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal thinks that khitan is wajib (compulsory, although of a slightly lesser degree than fard) for men, and sunnah for women. Khattabi says that also many scholars think it is a wajib.
Hadrath Muhammad (pbuh) used to lead the people to the good deeds and taught people the things distinguishing Muslims from the others. He didn’t investigate people’s deeds and applications in deep; his duty as a messenger was to declare the message and leave the judgment to Allah. But people becoming a Muslim knew that khitan was one of the principles in Islam and they used to have it applied after having ghusl (ablution of whole body).
Scholars of Islam show the main reason why khitan should be necessary as: A person without khitan applied tends to break his ablution and salah easily because the foreskin covers the penis completely (urinating breaks the ablution which is a must for the salah). When some urine remains in it, it is hard to feel and clean it. A healthy cleanliness is possible only by khitan. Because of this, many people consider a person without khitan to be imam inappropriate, and forbid it. And when he performs salah by himself he is considered like a person having an excuse who couldn’t hold his urine.
Along with religious reasons, khitan has many benefits for the health too. With the more developed science of medicine today, reason and the importance of the khitan is better understood. The rate of uterus diseases in the societies where the males do not have khitan is far more than in the societies who apply it.
Khitan is the complementary for the religion, introduced via Hadrath Abraham by Allah. This is such a religion that it keeps our soul clean with the activities like salah, fasting, zakah (alms), hajj (pilgrimage), dhikr (practice that focuses on the remembrance of Allah), and tafakkur (to observe and reflect on God’s creation; act of meditation and contemplation on Allah’s creation); and it keeps our flesh clean with the activities like ghusl (ablution of whole body), cutting or trimming the moustache, trimming the nails, shaving the armpit and groin hair, istinja (cleaning after toilet), and khitan.
Our Creator -Allah- says:
“Then We revealed to you: Follow the faith of Ibrahim, the upright one, and he was not of the polytheists.” (An Nahl/The Bee, 123).
“(Our religion) takes its hue from Allah. And who can give a better hue than Allah. And it is He Whom we worship.” (Al Baqara/The Cow, 138).
How our Prophet (Pbuh) slept at night and What should we do when we go to bed at night?
“The Prophet recited the following prayer when he went to bed in order to sleep: ‘Allahumma bi’smika amutu ve ahya’ (O my Lord, I sleep and wake up with your name); and when he woke up, he prayed as follows: ‘Alhamdulillah alladhi ahyana ba’da amatana ve ilayh an- nushur’ (All praise be to Allah who wakens us after we have slept and to whom we will return.) (Shamal Shareef/281)
Getting up for the tahajjud prayer (voluntary salat (prayer) that is done any time at night between Salat al-Isha and Salat al-Fajr) after sleeping for some time is sunnah (act and deeds of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)). It is a practice of the virtuous persons. That salat will be in the form of light in the grave. When someone wakes up, he should not put his hands inside a bowl or plate before washing his hands three times. (Ramuz, V. 1/30-2)
He lay down on his right side while lying down. One should not lie facedown while lying down. The Prophet (pbuh) has forbidden that kind of lying. The Prophet woke a person up who was lying down like that and told him “That way of lying is a kind of lying which Allah does not like.” (Abu Dawud, Adab: 95)
How Can We Be Sure That the Hadiths of the Prophet (PBUH) Reached Us Without Distortion?
The Prophet (PBUH) himself took the first precautions by saying: "Whoever intentionally lies about me will find his abode in hellfire,"(1), and thus, He caused sahaba (his companions) to behave more carefully regarding it. Therefore, sahaba gave close attention to the issue of reporting Hadiths. For example, Hadrath Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) said: “When I report something to you from the Prophet (PBUH), I try to be so careful that, it is easier for me to be broken into pieces by falling onto the ground from the sky than telling lies concerning Him (PBUH).”(2)
Next to the preservation of the Qur'an and of its verses, Sahaba concentrated all their efforts on the accurate preservation of knowledge about the words, deeds and conducts of Allah's Messenger (PBUH), and especially those related to miracles of the Prophets and the injunctions of the Sacred Law. They never neglected even the most insignificant act or statement of his, as is confirmed by the books of tradition. During the Era of Bliss (3), many sahaba put the words and deeds of the Prophet (PBUH) into writing. In particular people called Seven Abdullahs(4) -notably among them Abdullah b. Abbas and Abdullah b. Amr b. As (May Allah be pleased with them) who were appointed spiritually regarding hadiths wrote down and recorded the hadiths about fundamentals of belief, the injunctions of Islam and the miracles of the Prophet (PBUH).
Companions acted too meticulously about reporting hadiths; sometimes they avoided narrating some Hadiths that they knew very well and they did not want to narrate them. What is more, Hazrat Anas Bin Malik (May Allah be pleased with him), who served the Prophet (PBUH) about ten years once said: “If I did not have the anxiety and fear of making mistakes, I would report more things from the Noble Messenger (PBUH).” (6) Similarly, when people wanted Abdullah Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) to narrate a Hadith, he hesitated, became worried, and finally after he told a Hadith he never neglected saying, (7): “Look! I am transmitting something from my memory but you must know that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) uttered something approximately in the same meaning or in close meaning or similar to what I told you.” (6)
A similar incidence; Zubayr Ibn Avvam who is one of the ten Companions who were given the glad tidings of Paradise had narrated so few Hadiths that his son asked him: “Father, why don’t you narrate Hadiths?” He replied: “I am scared to death to say even a word different from what Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said. It is because He (PBUH) said: ‘Whoever intentionally lies about me will find his abode in hellfire.’” (8)
After the period of Companions, thousands of scholars of the following generation educated by the Companions and who are known as Tâbiin preserved those Hadiths which they gathered from the Companions and recorded by writing or by memorizing in the same serious delicacy. Some examples of how delicate the Tâbiin were regarding Hadiths: Said Ibnu’l-Musayyib said: “He walked for days for a Hadith when required.”(9); Masruk Ibnu’l-Ajda travelled for “even one of the letters of a Hadith” (10); According to Ibn Qais, Abu’d-Derdâ, a lover of knowledge, traveled from Damascus to Makkah in order to learn a Hadith; and many other similar travels are some examples regarding th issue. (11)
Abdurrahman Ibn Abi Layla, who was reported to have had met five hundred Companions Abdurrahman was introduced as the “man who had seen five hundred Companions of the Prophet (PBUH)”, when he arrived in a town said, “I met and knew one hundred and twenty Companions; they all could sit in a mosque together; When they were asked something they knew, they would look at one another’s face; while talking, with the fear of confusing Allah’s Messenger’s words, they would wait for someone to answer; when no one replies, one of them grits his teeth and by taking refuge in Allah narrates something with a warning like Ibn Mas’ud’s words: “Look! I am transmitting something from my memory but you must know that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) uttered something approximately in the same meaning or in close meaning or similar to what I told you.”” (12) Apart from Tabiin, especially the Four Imams and the scholars of Hadiths who were responsible for preserving hadiths preserved and reported the hadiths by means of writing. It is said that Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, one of the sect Imams, had memorized one million Hadiths from different sources, with different proofs and different scriptures, even though their contents were the same, he memorized sound, good and weak narration forms of those Hadiths; he wrote his famous Musnad book which contains forty thousand Hadiths by searching three hundred thousand Hadiths.
Spending his whole life for the blessed words of the Allah’s Messenger (PBUH), Yahya Ibn Maîn memorized fabricated (mawdu) Hadiths which did not belong to the Prophet (PBUH) although the meanings were true. Ahmed Ibn Hanbal asked why he did this, he replied: “I tell people asking me about Hadiths as ‘this one is fabricated, that one is fabricated and you can use others except those.” (13) From Imam Zukhri to Yahya b. Said al Qattan, from Bukharî and Muslim to Dâraqutnî and Hâkim, many Hadith scholars who memorized Hadiths emerged.
Two hundred years after Hijra (migration), primarily Bukhari and Muslim and the other authors of the six esteemed narration books called Kutub-u Sitta, shouldered the duty of recording and preserving the hadiths. Thousands of severe critics and researchers such as Ibn al-Jawzi identified and sorted out the fabricated hadiths that would be likely to be included in the Hadiths and the words that had been added into hadiths up to that time in order to cause suspicions about Hadiths.
Apart from those, although not included in the fashion of Hadith science, there are some incidences in which Hadiths were asked to Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) directly and their soundness was searched beyond time and place in a state between sleep and wakefulness called yaqaza. For instance the great Imam Jalaladdin as-Suyuti is narrated to have met the Prophet (PBUH) many times in the state of yaqaza. In addition, Imam Bukhari, performed ablutions and two rak’at prayers for each Hadith which he had acquired through his studies and after asking the blessed spirit of our Master (PBUH) and say: “Is it true O Allah’s Messenger?”, he added the Hadith in the Hadith book in accordance with a private signal he got.(14)
Therefore, one should not occupy his mind with the question “How can we be sure that those hadiths that reached us through a fourteen century length of time are sound?”
This article was prepared by referring to the Letters (Mektubat), one of the treatises of Badiuzzaman Said Nursî.
(1) Bukhari, Ilm, 38; Muslim, Zuhd, 72; Abu Dawud, Ilm, 4; Tirmizi, Fitan, 70; Musnad, 1/70.
(2) Bukhari, İstitâba, 6; Abu Dawud, Sunan, 28.
(3) The period of the Prophet (PBUH) is called as the Era of Bliss. The reason why it is called like that is that the most civilized and excellent community was established out of a desert tribe after being honored with Islam;, they were honored with the blessing of belief that would make them attain the happiness in bothh worlds. For detailed information: (Turkish web page)
(4) Abdullah Ibn-i Abbas, Abdullah Ibn-i Umar, Abdullah Ibn-i Mas'ud, Abdullah Ibn-i Rawâha, Abdullah Ibn-i Salam, Abdullah bin Amr bin As, Abdullah bin Abi Awfâ (May Allah be pleased with them)
(5) Dârîmî, Muqaddima, 25.
(6) Ibni Majah, Muqaddima, 3.
(7) There are many examples demonstrating how the companions of the Prophet (PBUH) gave attention to the matter of reporting Hadiths.
(8) Bukhari, , 38.
(9) Zahabî, Tazkirata’l-Huffaz, 1/56; ar-Rihla, p.127-129.
(10) M.Ajjaj al-Hatîb, as-Sunnatu Qabla’t-Tadwin, p: 178.
(11) Ar-Rihla, p.78; Ibni Majah, Muqaddima, 17.
(12) Zahabî, Siyar-u A’lâmi’n-Nubalâ, 4/263.
(13) M.Ajjaj al-Hatîb, as-Sunnatu Qabla’t-Tadwin, p:229.
(14) Ibn-i Hajar, Tahzibu’t-Tahzib, 9/49.
What is the Sunnah?
The lexical meaning of the Sunnah is “way, process, nature, principle and law”. As a term, it means all of the expressions, statements and deeds of the prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The meaning of statement is not to refuse a matter by remaining silent. Hadiths explain verses of the Qur’an. Verses of the Qur’an explain divine intention which is declared briefly. They give a judgment on a subject which is not included in the Qur’an.
The order of “Perform salah!” is the essence; its details are included in the hadiths. There are no details concerning the numbers of rakahs of salahs, the forms of praying in the verses of the Qur’an. Then, how would the order of “Perform Salah” be fulfilled if there was no Sunnah? “Perform salah the way you see me performing it.” (Glorious Hadith).
Similarly, the particulars and details of the order of “Give alms” is certain by hadiths.
Badiuzzaman explains hadiths as “the primary tafsir (interpretation)” of the Qur’an. While the explanations of the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) about the verses of the Qur’an is “the first interpretations”, his answers to the questions of fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) is the first fatwas (Islamic religious ruling) too. Also, the Ijtihads (making of a decision in Islamic law) that were made by him is the first in history. The apostle of God guided his Ummah through ijtihads as he did regarding every issue.
“When there comes to them some matter touching (public) safety or fear, they divulge it. If they had only referred it to the Messenger or to those charged with authority among them, the proper investigators would have tested it from them (direct).” (Surah An-Nisa, 4/83)
Every destination has a different way. The way of becoming rich and a scholar is not the same. For the first, the rules that are peculiar to the economy must be followed and the ones who are successful are to be taken as examples. For the second, one must be the student of experts on science.
Reaching the divine truths is only possible through following the authorized experts of this area.
“Self-evidently truth and reality lie in prophethood and in the hands of prophets. While evil, misguidance, and loss are with those who oppose them.” (The Flashes, The Seventeenth Flash)
A verse that informs presents the Sunnah as a requirement for the love of God:
Say: "If ye do love Allah, follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins; for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (Surah Aal-e-Imran, 3/31)
The prophet Muhammad is an exemplary human (PBUH) who is loved and consented by God. The love of God of a person who does not follow him is doomed to be unfulfilled. While the truth is this, turning away from the Sunnah of the Prophet by deciding to act upon only with verses as a result of being possessed by delusion and this means to give up resembling the person who is loved by God.
If a person tries to evaluate the Qur’an with his own ideas instead of with the light of hadiths, the result will not be the way of the apostle of God (PBUH) but that man’s personal way. It is clear where this way will lead to.
What is meant by understanding the Qur’an is living with it and letting it live. At this point, the greatest guide is the apostle of God (PBUH). Let us read this truth from the verses of the Qur’an:
“Take what the Messenger assigns to you, and deny yourselves that which he withholds from you. And fear Allah; for Allah is strict in Punishment.” (Surah Al-Hashr, 59/7)
“Nor does he say (aught) of (his own) Desire. It is no less than inspiration sent down to him.” (Surah An-Najm, 53/3-4)
“He who obeys the Messenger, obeys Allah: but if any turn away, We have not sent thee to watch over their (evil deeds).” (Surah An-Nisa, 4/80)
When the subject of adherence to the Sunnah is mentioned, we understand the notion of following the way of the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and thus being on the right way in every issue.
Now let us ask ourselves the following question: What would a believer do if he/she were in the time of the prophet? Of course, he/she would follow the apostle of God in every subject. Wouldn’t he?
So, at this moment, it is the same thing by being very observant of the Sunnah of the prophet (PBUH).
Badiuzzaman divides the Sunnahs into three main categories:
“The sources of the Noble Prophet’s Illustrious Practices are three: his words, his acts, and his conduct.” (The Flashes, the Eleventh Flash)
So, the sacred practices of the prophet Muhammad (PBUH), is comprised by “the bright statements from His blessed language”, “the deeds that He performed” and the exemplary ethics that He showed himself to the humanity”.
A Muslim starts to imitate the lord of the prophets (PBUH) from the fards (the duties that are commanded by God). As the orders of God are fard and they are also sunnah since they are performed by the apostle of God (PBUH). That is, a believer who is very observant of the orders of God and keeps himself away from the prohibitions will be regarded to have performed the fard parts of the Sunnah.
A believer who performs the fards continues his spiritual development with nafilah (supererogatory) worships. Nafilah means worships apart from fard and wajib (obligatory).
As the Sunnahs of five daily prayers is in the group of Nafilah worships, there are many nafilah worships such as the Duha prayer, tahiyyat al-Masjid (the prayer of greeting the Masjid) and the night prayer.
“Adat al Hasana” (Good Habits) is the human deeds of the apostle of God such as eating, drinking and sitting. Any of these are a good example for humans. When a believer tries to do his daily activities by imitating the apostle of God (PBUH), he will be able to find another kind of prosperity and an opportunity to have peace in worldly deeds.
“One who makes it his practice to follow the Practices of the Prophet (PBUH) transforms all his acts into worship, and may make his whole life fruitful and yielding of reward.” (The Flashes, the Eleventh Flash)
As for the Behavioral Sunnahs, these form a spectacular picture that were drawn by “taqwa, affection, all faculties of good morals, the highest moral qualities of human and the strongest humanistic characteristics.
The presence of fear and love of God in heart is among the Behavioral Sunnahs.
“I am the one who loves God the most. And I am the one who fears of Him the most.” (Hadith)
Is the saying, “Whoever adheres to my Practices when my Community is corrupted shall receive the reward of a hundred martyrs.” a hadith and how should it be understood?
Yes, these statements are hadith. (1)
A person can receive the reward of a hundred martyrs in a time when bid’ahs (innovations) and aberrations invade the Islamic community and overrule the society.
Of course, the truths of the Qur’an and the principles of the Sunnah are not separated from one another. The time when bid’ahs are in great request among the ummah and the majority of people are invaded by bid’ahs and aberrations is so risky and dangerous.
As danger increases in a deed, its reward increases, too. In such a dangerous time, first and foremost, spreading the truths of belief, the Islamic principles and causing the Qur’an to be understood and integrating the Sunnah and Islam into life is a great service. Under normal circumstances, this demands a self-sacrifice more than a martyr does so that it can gain the reward of many martyrs.
Because while a martyr dies in the way of God by showing a sacrifice at one moment, a person who is working for the truths of belief, the Qur’an and Sunnah of the prophet (PBUH) can sacrifice great things at every day of his life in such an atmosphere.
So it is understood that as the time gets worse, fitna (mischief) increases, the rewards of deeds increase, too. Besides, there is an encouragement for performing a single sunnah in this glorious hadith.
The word tamassuk (adhering to the Sunnah) used in the hadith contains the following meanings: (2)
1- ) It means determination, perseverance and insistence: It describes determination in adherence, perseverance and insistence. There are such people in the time of corruption of the ummah that they maintain the positive behavior with determination and perseverance and show their commitment to the Sunnah of the prophet (PBUH) and principles of the Qur’an. They risk all of the things in this way. This meaning is included in the root of tamassuk “msk” and its derivatives.
2- ) There is continuation in tamassuk (adhering to the Sunnah). Besides, determination, insistence and perseverance requires persistence. When the meanings of the verb are examined, persistence is seen in all of them. Grasping of something without releasing requires constant grasping. Preserving means constant protection. So a deed that gains the reward of a hundred martyr requires constancy, patience, determination and sacrificing one’s life in the way of Qur’an and Sunnah, which are not separated from one another.
3- ) Tamassuk (adhering to the Sunnah) indicates the protection of the “whole”. Grasping of something for the purpose of not releasing is possible through acquiring and keeping the whole of what is acquired, just like catching a person. Keeping the mouth shut means avoiding talking entirely. It does not mean to talk a bit and to remain silent and not to talk. The Arabic word of imsak which means refraining is like to give up eating, avoiding sexual intercourse and refraining from all.
So during the corruption of the ummah, adhering to the Sunnah of the prophet (PBUH) is a kind of adhering which concerns the whole and general and is intended to support and to keep it alive. This means adhering all aspects of Islam, the Qur’an and the Sunnah, not leaving them and a struggling to keep them alive. Generally, there are few people to do this in the time of the corruption of the ummah. And it is also clear that this is difficult. For this reason, the reward of it is so great.
4- ) Tamassuk (adhering to the Sunnah) reflects the struggle of mutual powers: In the root of msk and tamassuk, there is a mutual struggle and the resistance and opposition between two powers. The words imsak, imtisak, tamassuk and mask express not leaving something but holding it for the purpose of not releasing. Here, the party that bears the brunt is the one that grasps it and not leaves it. The pary that is grasped does not surrender easily. It wants to get rid of this grasp and be free.
For instance, in the deed of holding or preventing the tongues from speaking expressed by the root msk, the tongue tries to talk but is beaten by the power that prevents it in this struggle. When the conflict in the root msk is thought of from the viewpoint of the hadith, “Whoever adheres to my Sunnah…”, it expresses a constant struggle and effort to maintain and protect the Sunnah.
1. al-Baghawi, Husayin b. Muhammad ash-Shafi, Masabihu’s-Sunna, I-II, Beirut, nd. I, 40, no: 130; al-Munawi, Abdurra‘uf, Faydu’l-Qadir, I-WI, Beirut, nd. WI, 261. (no: 9171-9172); For the issue of rewards’ increasing when the ummah corrupts, see Taftazani, Masud b. Umar, Sharhu’l-Maqasid, I-W, Beirut 1988 I, 308; al-Haythami, Ahmad b. Hajar, as-Sawaiqu’l-Muhriqa, Cairo 1385, p. 210.
2. al-Qamusu’l-Muhit III, 329; al-Mu’jamu’l-Wasit p. 869; al-Mufradat, p,469.
Will you give information about drinking water in three breaths?
What is essential is to drink water slowly. The amount of breaths or sips can be increased or decreased based on the amount of the water. It is among the manners of drinking water to drink it in three breaths and to say "Alhamdulillah" after drinking water. The Prophet (pbuh) stated the following:
"Drink water like a baby sucking milk from a breast; do not drink like filling water from a tank. If you do so, you will have lung diseases."
The Prophet always drank water and other beverages in three breaths (Bukhari, Ashriba, 26) and stated the following regarding the issue:
“Do not drink water in one breath like a camel. However, drink it in two or three breaths. Say 'Bismillah' and when you drink something, say 'Alhamdulillah'' after drinking water.” (Tirmidhi, Ashriba, 13)
The Prophet (pbuh) stated the benefits of drinking water in three breaths as follows:
"1. A person who drinks water in three breaths becomes satisfied; thus, his thirst is quenched.
2. It is healthier to drink water in three breaths." (Muslim, Taharah, 65; Ashriba, 121)
If water goes down to the stomach slowly, the body sends it to the place where it is needed. If a lot of water comes at the same time, the body loses its balance and cannot fulfill its duty fully. A person who feels cold feels colder when cold water comes to his stomach suddenly. The body of a person who feels hot shows a reaction to the water that comes to the stomach suddenly and cannot benefit from the coolness of the water fully. If a person drinks water slowly and in little amounts, such harms do not occur.
It is not appropriate to blow into the container of water or beverage. According to what is reported from Abu Said al-Khudri, the Prophet (pbuh) prohibited blowing into drinks. Somebody asked the Prophet (pbuh):
"What shall I do if I see some twigs, etc fall into a container of liquid?" The Prophet (pbuh) said,
"Remove them.” The man asked,
"When I drink water in one breath, I cannot quench my thirst." The Prophet (pbuh) said,
“Move the container away from your mouth when you drink. (Drink it in three breaths.) ” (Tirmidhi, Ashriba, 15)
I heard that the Prophet never ate watermelons, onions and garlic. Is it true? If so, what are the reasons for not eating them?
Watermelon is among the fruits that the Prophet (pbuh) loved and ate.
It is makruh to go to the mosque after eating raw onions and garlic. For, people may be disturbed due to their bad smell. The Prophet (pbuh) did not generally eat onions and garlic because he was always with people and led prayers. However, we have no information showing that he never ate onions or garlic.
Will you information about the manners of drinking water and drinking water while standing?
While drinking water, it is better to turn toward the qiblah, sit down, say basmala and hold the glass with the right hand. One should act moderately while drinking water like other things; he should not drink too much; he should avoid drinking very cold and very hot water.
The Prophet (pbuh) sometimes drank water while standing, showing that it was not a sin to drink water like that. Thus, he showed the permissibility of drinking water while standing.
When all of the narrations regarding the issue are taken into consideration, it can be said that it is permissible to drink water while standing but it is better to drink while sitting.
Ibn Abbas states the following:
"I gave the Prophet (pbuh) zamzam water. He drank it while standing." (Bukhari, Hajj 76, Ashriba 76; Muslim, Ashriba 117-119)
Hz. Ali drank water while standing. Then, he said,
"I saw the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) drink water like you have seen me drinking water." (Bukhari, Ashriba 16)
Ibn Umar states the following:
"When the Messenger of Allah was alive, we would eat while drinking and drink water while standing." (Tirmidhi, Ashriba 12, see also Ibn Majah, At`ima 25)
Abdullah Ibn Amr states the following:
"I saw the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) drink water while sitting too." (Tirmidhi, Ashriba 12. see also Nasai, Sahw 100)
According to a narration of Anas, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) prohibited a person from drinking water while standing. The narrator, Qatada, says, "We asked Anas, 'What about eating while standing?' Anas said, "Eating while standing is worse." (Muslim, Ashriba 113. see also Tirmidhi, Ashriba 11)
The statement "the Messenger of Allah prohibited from drinking water while standing" is expressed as follows in another narration of Muslim: “forbade from drinking water while standing.” (Muslim, Ashriba 112, 114)
According to what was narrated from Abu Hurayra, the Messenger of Allah stated the following:
“None of you should drink water while standing. If you do, you should vomit.” (Muslim, Ashriba 116)
When the hadiths for and against drinking water while standing are taken into consideration, it is understood that the narrations about the Prophet (pbuh) drinking water while standing are more than the ones prohibiting drinking water while standing.
It is understood that Imam Bukhari concluded that it was permissible to drink water while standing as Kamil Miras states (Tajrid Translation, XII/53).
It means the Prophet (pbuh) sometimes drank water while standing, showing that it was not forbidden; maybe he did not want it to become a habit because it was not healthy. He spoke against drinking water while standing in order to state that it is more appropriate to drink water while sitting, to encourage people to do so and to show more clearly that he prefers it.
The threat of the Prophet (pbuh) “If you drink water while standing, you should vomit” is not an order. Some scholars hold the view that the sentence “If you drink water while standing, you should vomit” was uttered by Abu Hurayra, not the Messenger of Allah.
In conclusion, we can state the following: When it is necessary to drink something outside and when there is no seat to sit, it is not necessary to look for a place to sit; however, it should not be forgotten that drinking water while sitting is healthier.
1. The Prophet and some Companions that saw him drank water while standing. Therefore, it is not a sin to drink water while standing.
2. That the Prophet (pbuh) prohibited drinking water while standing shows that he finds it more appropriate to drink water while sitting.
3. That the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said a person who drank water while standing should vomit does not mean that he wanted it to be done definitely. For, the Prophet sometimes used this style to educate Muslims.
What advice did the Prophet (PBUH) give us about eating little?
A person who cares about his/her health and wants to have a long life should definitely carry out the following advice of the Prophet (PBUH).
“A few morsels are enough for a person to live. A person who wants to eat more (in order to become stronger and to work harder) should fill one third of his stomach with food, one third with water and should leave the remaining one third empty in order to breathe easily.” (1)
Researches show that for deep and easy breathing, the stomach should not be full. Not being able to breathe fully means not being able to live fully.
Besides, the blood that comes to the lungs to be cleaned spreads to the body without being cleaned completely. Thus the health of a person deteriorates. What cleans the blood is the oxygen taken into the lungs through breathing. This is possible by breathing deeply. A part of the stomach should be left empty for breathing deeply.
A person breathes about 16 times in a minute. He/she takes in half a litre of air with each deep and full breath.
So a person takes 16x60 minutes x 24 hours = 23.240 breaths; 23.240 x 1/2 = 11.620 litres of air in a day.
What cleans our blood is the oxygen contained in the 11.620 litres of air. If we fill our stomach with food, there will be no space for the lungs to inflate in the abdomen; so we will breathe half. Therefore, the oxygen taken into our lungs through air decreases to half. It will not suffice to clean the blood and our health deteriorates.
The food that we buy with the money we work hard to earn and that we work hard to cook gives us harm instead of benefit. The Prophet (PBUH) expressed how bad and harmful it was to eat until we filled up the stomach by saying the following sentence:
"Man never filled a container worse than his stomach." (2)
That is, the worst thing a man fills is eating by filling up his stomach.
1. Ibn Majah, At'ima, 50
2. Tirmidhi, Zuhd, 47
Will you explain the following hadith: "When you get up, wash your hands three times; you cannot know what you touched with them during the night."
It is sunnah to wash the hands before eating. As a matter of fact, the following is stated in a hadith:
"To wash the hands before a meal eliminates poverty; to wash the hands after a meal eliminates sins." (Tabarani, Ghazali, Ihya)
"The abundance of a meal stems from washing the hands both before and after the meal." (Tirmidhi, Shamail, 79)
If a person who has just woken up wants to put his hands into a bowl or receptacle, he needs to wash his hands before doing so. The Prophet (pbuh) stated the following regarding the issue:
"When one of you wakes up and wantsto put his hands into a bowl or receptacle, he should wash his hands twice or thrice. For, he cannot knowwhat he touched with them during the night." (Bukhari, Wudu 26; Muslim, Taharah 87-88; Tirmidhi, Taharah 19; Nasai, Taharah 115)
According to those hadiths, it is sunnah to wash the hands before touching bread and food but it is more important to wash them when we wake up. It is not haram to touch one's private parts but this sunnah is very important in terms of health. For, the private parts are the places where microbes are abundant. When a person acts in accordance with this sunnah, he gets rewards and becomes healthier.
Will you give information about manners of sleeping? Will you give information about manners of lying face down and sleeping? Is lying face down a deed that was forbidden by the Sunnah?
Lying face down is contrary to good manners.
It is necessary to put out the fire before going to bed. Today, it is necessary to check whether, the oven, stove, boiler, central heating, etc is off or not. If central heating boiler, etc is not safe, it is better to turn them off before going to bed.
Hz. Salim reported the following from the Prophet (pbuh):
"When you go to bed at home, cover and put out the fire." (Ramuz, II/467-4)
In particular, those who use wood and coal burning stoves should be very careful.
One should make wudu before going to bed.According to what is reported from Bara bin Azib, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,
"When you go to bed, make wudu as you do for prayer (salah) and lie down turning to your right side. Then, prays as follows:
'O Allah! I have submitted myself to You. I have committed my affairs to You. I have relied on You since I fear and love You. I take refuge only in You. My salvation depends on you. I believe in the Book You revealed and in the Prophet You sent.'
"If you do so and die during the night, you will die as a Muslim. Let this supplication be your last words before sleeping." (Muslim, Dhikr: 56)
There are several prayers to be read before going to bed. One should read the one(s) that he can read easily. For instance, the Prophet (pbuh) prayed as follows: "O Allah! Protect me from your punishment on the day You resurrect your slaves!" (Günlük Hayat, II/158)
The Prophet (pbuh) also recommended reading the chapter of al-Fatiha and another chapter (Ramaz, I/26-1) and saying,"La Ilaha Illallah, Wahdahu La Sharika Lah, Lahu'l mulku wa Lahu'l Hamdu wa huwa Ala Kulli Shay'in Qadir (There is none worth of worship but Allah alone, Who has no partner, His is the dominion and to Him belongs all praise, and He is able to do all things)" and"La hawla wala quwwata illa Billah (There is no might and no power except by Allah's leave)" and saying "Subhanallah" 33 times"Alhamdulillah" 33 times "Allahu Akbar" 34 times (totally 100)
Hz. Huzayfa reports the following about how the Prophet (pbuh) prayed before going to bed and what he said after waking up:
"When the Prophet went to bed, he would read the following du'a (prayer):
'Allahumma bi'smika amutu wa ahya' (O Allah! I die with your name and revive with your name).
When he woke up, he would read the following du'a:
'Alhamdulillahi'lladhi ahyana ba'da amatana wa ilayhi'n-nushur' (Praise be to Allah, who revives us after killing us and to whom we will return)" (Shamail-i Sharif, p.281)
It is sunnah to get up for tahajjud after sleeping for a while. This is the custom of righteous people. This prayer will be your light in the grave. One should not put his hands in any plate, glass or jug without washing his hands three times after waking up. (Ramuz, I/30-2)
One should not lie face down. The Prophet prohibited lying like this. The Prophet awakened a person who was sleeping like that in the mosque and said, "Lying down like this is a kind of lying that Allah does not like." (Abu Dawud, Adab: 95)
- What should one do when he has a dream?
Dream is a part of sleep. Almost everybody has dreams. What is necessary to do when one has a dream? The Prophet (pbuh) stated the following regarding the issue:
"When one of you has a dream that he likes, he should not tell it to anybody except the ones he loves. If he sees a dream that he does not like, he should spit three times to his left side and take refuge in Allah from the outcast Satan and his evil. He should not tell anybody about this dream. In that case, the dream cannot harm him." (Günlük Hayat, II/245)
- What are the basic rules regarding manners of sleep?
Allah Almighty granted us sleep to enable our bodies to rest. Sleep is a great bounty. If you ask a person who suffers from insomnia (sleeplessness), you will understand how valuable sleep is.
- It is necessary to use the night well, which is the most appropriate time for sleep. One should go to bed early and get up early as much as he can.
- He should make wudu before going to bed and pray Allah; he should praise and pray Allah when he wakes up.
- One should turn to his right side when he lies down and put his right hand under his right cheek. (Even if he turns and changes his position afterwards, this sunnah is regarded to have fulfilled.)
- He should not lie face down.
- If he has a bad dream, he should spitthree times to his left side and take refuge in Allah from Satan. He should not tell anybody about this dream.
- He should try to get up for tahajjud prayer and make this his habit.
- He should go to bed early so as not to miss the morning prayer.
- He should not sleep again after the morning prayer if it is possible and he should start work.
Sleep is of three sorts:
THE FIRST is `Ghaylula'. This is from pre-dawn to forty-five minutes or so after the sun has risen, the time when prayer is lawful but reprehensible. Sleep at this time is contrary to the Practices of the Prophet (PBUH), since according to Hadiths, it leads to a decrease in one's livelihood and to be its being unfruitful. The time most appropriate for preparing to labor for one's sustenance is when it is cool. When this time has passed, a lethargy descends. It has been established through numerous experiences that just as this is detrimental to that day's labor and indirectly to one's livelihood, so also is it the cause of unfruitfulness.
THE SECOND is `Faylula'. This is from the afternoon prayer till sunset. This sleep leads to a diminution of life, that is, it makes life that day shorter and makes it pass in a state of semi-sleep due to drowsiness, thus causing a physical deficiency to life. So too in an immaterial aspect, since most of the results of that day, material and immaterial, become apparent after the afternoon prayer, to pass that time in sleep as though prevents those results being seen and makes the day as though not lived.
THE THIRD is `Qaylula', which is in accordance with the Practices of the Prophet (PBUH). It is from mid-morning to just past noon. This sleep is part of the Practices since it allows a person to rise at night to pray. So also in the Arabian Peninsula to rest from work at noon when it is intensely hot is the custom of the people and of the area, so has further strengthened this Practice of the Prophet (PBUH). This sleep increases both life, and sustenance. For half an hour's Qaylula sleep is the equivalent of two hours' sleep at night. That means it adds one and a half hours' to a person's life every day. It saves one and a half hours from the hand of sleep, the brother of death, and makes it live, adding it to the time of working for one's livelihood.(Lem'alar, Yirmi Sekizinci Lem'a, Dördüncü Nükte, (Flashes, Twenty-eighth Flash, Fourth Point) p.269)
That is, it is not a good thing to sleep from the time the sun rises to about forty-five minutes after the sun rises. What is essential is to go to bed early and to get up early. One should not sleep after performing the morning prayer; he should read the Quran, hadith, tafsir, catechism and then start to work.
The Prophet stated the following:
"There is abundance and success in the early hours of the morning."
The wisdom behind the unfruitfulness and failure that has recently increased gradually should be sought under the light of the hadith above. Unfortunately, television faces man as "the enemy of going to bed early". It is necessary to overcome this fierce enemy, to go to bed as early as possible, to get up for tahajjud prayer, to get up for the morning prayer in a vigorous way before sunrise and to start work after that without sleeping again. Our grandfathers and grandmothers, whom we saw as vigorous and hardworking people, did like that. When this nice habit disappeared, health, abundance and peace disappeared too.
It is necessary not to sleep between the afternoon (asr) and the evening (maghrib). Everybody experienced the harm of sleeping in that period. A person who sleeps and gets up during that period becomes dopy; he cannot come round easily.
To sleep for a while after the noon prayer (qaylula) is very useful.
Does a person get thawab (reward) when he does something that is sunnah without being aware of it?
Intention is important in worshipping. A person who acts in accordance with sunnah without being aware of it gets thawab for his deed but he does not get as much thawab as a person who acts with the intention of sunnah.
However, a person who always acts in accordance with sunnah does not have to think that what he is doing is sunnah all the time; he gets the reward of sunnah when he does it.
How are nails cut in accordance with the Sunnah? What are the manners of cutting nails?
Nails, which are the thin, hard layers covering the outer tips of the fingers and toes protecting the fingers and toes from external effects, get long in time. Cutting the parts that get long is one of the sunnahs that are the necessities of being humans. Hz. Prophet (pbuh) stated that one of the five kinds of cleanliness of human nature is cutting the nails.
«There are five things that are the necessities of human nature: To be circumcised, to remove the pubic hair, to cut the nails, to remove the underarm hair and to shorten the mustache.» (Muslim, Taharah, 49)
When nails get long, dirty things and microbes enter between the flesh and the nails. Especially the fingers touch almost all parts of the body and the mouth while eating, infecting the body with microbes. Cutting the nails is very important in terms of preventive medicine. It is necessary for the water to touch under the nails (the parts of the nails that get long) while making wudu and ghusl. Since they are full of dirt, water will not reach those parts, causing wudu and ghusl to be incomplete. It is wrong and contrary to the sunnah to lengthen the nails with the purpose of beauty even if one keeps them clean.
To cut nails is forbidden only when one is in ihram during hajj or umrah; they can be cut any time except when one is in ihram. There are some wrong beliefs among people that it is not permissible to cut nails at certain times, for instance, at night. This belief originated from the times when there was no electricity since the pieces of cut nail could not be seen at night; it can be valid when it is dark and there is no electricity. However, today, when electricity is widely used, there is no drawback to cutting nails at night. The pieces of cut nails should not be left around; they should be removed properly.
MANNERS OF CUTTING NAIL
Can fingernails and toenails be cut at the same time? Are there any days determined for cutting nails?
They can be cut at the same time. There is no definite day for cutting nails. They can be cut when it is necessary, when they are long. It is regarded mustahab to start cutting the fingernails first and the toenails after that, to start cutting the nail of the right index finger first followed by the fingers on its right, then starting the left hand from the little finger ending with the right thumb forming a circle when palms face each other, then starting from the little toe of the right foot ending with the little toe of the left. (Khattab as-Subki, al-Manhal, I/189) That is what Ghazali says.
There are different views regarding the issue.The most appropriate one is to cut the nails once a week. There is no drawback to cutting them every two weeks. It is makruh tahrimi to postpone cutting the nails to forty days.
It is mustahab to cut the nails on Friday (especially for men who go to mosque) if they do not get too long up to that day.The following is stated in Fatawayi Qadihan regarding the issue:
"If a man determines Friday for cutting his nails or having a haircut though he accepts that it is permissible to cut them on other days and waits for Friday for cutting his nails though they are very long, it becomes makruh. For, he who has long nails will have little sustenance. If they do not get very long until Friday and if he waits until Friday by obeying the advice in the hadith, it becomes mustahab. For, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) stated the following according to the narration of Hz. Aisha,
"If a person cuts his nails on Friday, Allah will protect him from troubles till next Friday and three days more." [Qadihan (Hindiyya, marginal notes) NI/411; Hindiyya V/358. For similar hadiths, see al-Hindi, Kanzu'l-Ummal VI/656 659].
There are some people who want to leave the Sunnah and act only in accordance with the Qur’an. What is your opinion about that issue?
We see some unqualified people who only accept the divine rules the Noble Quran brings and reject the Sunnah, Ijma (consensus) and Qiyas (a type of judgment reached by making analogy) which are the other main sources of the religion. Their purpose is only to spoil peoples' belief and to make them go astray. While they accept the Quran as the only school of law, underestimate the Prophet's sunnah and Islam's other evidences, they accept some hadiths which suit their purposes and reject the ones which do not. They cannot deceive conscious Muslims; they are not appreciated by them, either. They have no right for that.
As it is known, as Muslims are obliged to obey the divine rules revealed in the Quran; they are also obliged to accept the religious rules declared through hadiths.
Those people do not heed at all the valuable books written about tafsir (commentaries of the Quran), hadith, fiqh (Islamic laws) and books in other fields which have been appreciated by all scholars and intellectuals.
Yes, a person who misguides people by taking refuge in the shadow of the Almighty Quran should at least know that a Muslim, no matter how ignorant he is, knows and believes definitely that the exalted Sunnah is a secondary evidence and the mainstay of Islam and he has absolutely no doubts and hesitations about whether the Quran is Allah's word or not.
Then, not taking Sunnah into account and not esteeming it by saying: “The foundation of the religion of Islam is merely the Quran; we apply only the rules in it; we call halal (permissible) what it deems halal and we call haram (prohibited) what it deems haram” means not perceiving the Prophet's value and his mission. He is the one who notifies and comments on the Quran at first.
The Prophet (pbuh) states in one of his hadiths the following:
“I was granted the Quran and as much as it (the sunnah) together with it. If my hadith reaches someone while he is leaning against his seat and if he says We have Allah's book with us, we deem the halals in it as halal and harams in it as haram, he must know that what Allah's Messenger deems as haram is like what Allah deems as haram.” (Abu Dawud, Sunnah, 6, Imara 33; Tirmidhi, Ilm 10)
Some of the scholars state the following: Every decree the Sunnah introduces has a far or close base in the Quran. The Sunnah eventually leads to the Quran. It explains what the Quran tells in brief and it discloses the issues which cannot be comprehended.
Stating that ones who have the idea to content themselves only with the Quran are the unlucky persons who stray from the Sunnah, Shatibi says: “Many of the people of innovation (bidah) strayed themselves and also caused some others to go astray by leaving hadiths and interpreting Allah's Book wrongly.”
Allah has undertaken to guard the Quran's meanings as well as its words, that is, those two essentials, by the verse:
“Verily We: It is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (the Quran) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption).” (al-Hijr,15/9)
Islamic scholars declare that the guarding here covers the Sunnah as well as the Quran. That verse undertakes the Prophets Sunnah and hadiths which have the essence of being the commentaries and explanations of the Quran; that is, the verse;
“We have sent down unto thee (also) the Message; that thou mayest explain clearly to men what is sent for them.” (an-Nahl 16/44)
Because the “declaration” stated in the verse is one of the meanings of the Quran. That declaration can only be through the Prophet's Sunnah and hadiths.
“So take what the Messenger assigns to you, and deny yourselves that which he withholds from you. And fear Allah; for Allah is strict in Punishment.” (al-Hashr, 59/7)
Elmalili Hamdi Yazir assigns the following meaning to that verse:
“Whatever the Messenger gives you, accept it; and from whatever he forbids you, keep away from it; do not do what he forbids you and fear Allah and avoid going against Allah's and His Messenger's commands, being unjust towards each other and betraying the state...”
According to that, the Quran cannot be considered without the Sunnah and the Sunnah cannot be considered without the Quran. Disregarding one of them is an illness and heresy rising from not comprehending the religion of Islam. If it is possible to say, if the Quran is a sun, then the exalted Sunnah is its light. One cannot be sacrificed for the other.
As Almighty Allah has guarded the Quran by the hafizes of the Quran (those who memorize th whole Quran), he has also guarded the Sunnah and hadiths by the scholars of Islam.
Is the incident narrated as "tafsir of honey" about Hz. Ali true?
It is definite that to accept or to reject stories like that immediately will lead us to some wrong things. They might be true or fabricated. For, some wrong ideas and thoughts that we call "superstitions" have entered Islam throughout years. Some of them can be contrary to the basics of Islam. Islamic scholars call some of them "Israiliyyat" That is, some of them are ideas put forward by Jews in order to demolish the foundations of Islam.
The incident called "tafsir of honey" does not exist in the basic resources of Islam. Therefore, it is necessary not to share it with other people in order to prevent it and similar ones from spreading.
When you encounter things like that, it is necessary to ignore them, not to do them and to prevent them from spreading if it is not a religious issue and if it can cause the community to give it a lot of importance.
Will you please give information about the bindingness of the Sunnah acting in accordance with it and understanding whether it is based on revelation or not?
The Sunnah is what the Prophet did, said, and all of his acts and attitudes. Then, we can say that what he did during his lifetime is the Sunnah.
The word Sunnah used in fiqh books means “there is reward if we do it but there is no sin if we do not do it.” For instance, eating with the right hand, cleaning the teeth, not eating while standing, etc.
However, when we consider the word Sunnah in its broad sense, it includes everything that our Prophet did. In that case, the demands and prohibitions of Allah are also included in the Sunnah. For instance, did our Prophet perform prayers? Yes. Then, it is sunnah to perform prayers.
Accordingly, it is necessary to divide sunnah into parts.
Fard: Everything that Allah definitely wants us to do or to avoid. It is our Prophet who carries out the commands and prohibitions of Allah in the best way and who serves as an example. If we act in accordance with the Prophet, we will have followed the Prophet such as performing prayers, fasting, avoiding fornication and not eating anything haram (forbidden).
Wajib: The wajibs of our religions: for instance, it is wajib to perform the prayer of witr as three rak’ahs.
Nafilah (supererogatory): They are the things that are other than fard and wajib that we carry out while performing prayers. For instance, to read some verses from the Quran while performing prayers is fard but to read subhanaka prayer is nafilah.
Adab (appropriate behavior): We name the following as adab. If we do as the Prophet did while doing our daily tasks like eating, sleeping, entering the mosque or toilet, etc, we will have done them in accordance with their procedures. A person who does not act accordingly is not regarded to have committed sins.
It means we can divide the sunnah as fard, wajib, nafilah and adab. This is the order of the superiority of the parts of sunnah.
We can think of it like a human body. Man has necessary organs to live: for instance, the brain, heart, head, etc. The principles that we must believe in are like the heart and brain of our spirit.
Our body has sense organs like eyes, ears, hands, feet, etc. Fards are like them. They are the eyes, ears, hands and feet of our spirit. A person who does not perform fards is like a person without hands, feet, eyes and ears.
We also have some beauties and adornments like fingers, eyebrows and hair in our bodies. We can live without them. However, if we have them, we will be perfect. Similarly, the nafilah and adab parts of the sunnah are the adornments and beauties of our spirit. If we perform them, we will receive many rewards; if we do not perform them, we will not receive any sins.
To sum up, the fard and wajib parts are the sunnahs that are obligatory to be performed. We will receive many rewards if we perform the nafilah and adab parts.
As for harams, we must protect our spirits from killing and poisoning harams as we protect our bodies from killing factors like aids, poison and fire.
The Bindingness of the Sunnah and Hadith
We will deal with that issue in accordance with the Qur’an, glorious hadiths, views of scholars and silently approved (taqrir) revelation.
a. The Quran: There are some verses showing that Hazrat Prophet receives revelation other than the Quran (1), too.
Some of them are as follows:
1- It is understood from the following verses that our Prophet was given wisdom along with the Book: ‘Messenger from among themselves, rehearsing unto them the Signs of Allah, sanctifying them, and instructing them in Scripture and Wisdom’, (2) ‘sent down to him the Book and wisdom’, (3).
Those two words have both similarity and difference. Accordingly, since what is meant by the Book is the Quran, wisdom has to be something else. The probability that it is the Sunnah is the strongest probability.(4) It is the point of difference. The point of similarity is that both of them originate from revelation.(5)
2- The promise stated in the following verse was given to Muslims but it is not stated what it was in the verse: “Behold! Allah promised you one of the two (enemy) parties, that it should be yours: ye wished that the one unarmed should be yours” (6). It proves that it is informed through another kind of revelation.
3- The following verse proves definitely that there exists revelation apart from the Quran:
“When the Prophet disclosed a matter in confidence to one of his consorts, and she then divulged it (to another) and Allah made it known to him, he confirmed part thereof and repudiated a part. Then when he told her thereof, she said "Who told thee this?" He said "He told me who knows and is well-acquainted (with all things)."(7)
Although there is no explanation about the disclosure of the secret in the Quran, the Prophet knows about it. It becomes clear that there exists revelation which is not included in the Quran since he cannot know it on his own and since it is stated that Allah informed him.
1- According to the narration of Miqdad b. Ma’dikarib, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said the following:
“...I was given the Book and the like of it”(8)
2- Qudsi Hadiths: (9) The following phrases that are present in those kinds of hadiths: “the Messenger of Allah stated the following in the hadith that he reported from his Lord”, “Allah stated the following in the hadith that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) narrated” and the fact that those hadiths started with the words “O my slaves” proves that Hazrat Prophet received revelation other than the Quran.
3- The famous event that is known as the Jibril (Gabriel) hadith: (10). Jibril came in the form of a man, asked some questions and received answers; Hazrat Prophet told his companions that it was Jibril and that he had come to teach them the religion.
4- The expressions of Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) like ‘certainly my Lord revealed to me, (11) I was ordered, I was forbidden, (12) and the fact that he said Jibril taught him some things (13) prove that revelation other than the Quran exists, too.(14)
The fact that Hazrat Prophet said “actually I did not know about them but Allah informed me about them” when he answered the questions of a Jewish person”(15) supports that issue.
3. Views of the Scholars:
The Companions of the Prophet knew that our Prophet (pbuh) received revelation other than the Quran from his practices, explanations and words. They expressed it many times. Scholars also expressed their views about the origin of the Sunnah based on hadiths and the expressions of the companions; most of them expressed that the source of the Sunnah was based on revelation.
Hazrat Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) said that there was revelation about Hazrat Khadija and that she was given a manor in Paradise.
The expression that is present in narrations: Jibril brought down the Sunnah as he brought down the Quran shows that there exists revelation other than the Quran. (16) In addition, the fact that the Prophet received the information like treating the neighbors well, making wudu (ablution), performing prayers, calling out the talbiya, performing prayers in the sacred Aqiq Valley, the times of the prayers, the gate of Paradise through which the umma of Muhammad will enter, the name of Hazrat Hamza (may Allah be pleased with him) being written on a tablet by the beings of the sky (17) shows that there exists revelation other than the Quran.
Tawus says that he himself has a written text that was sent by revelation about diyah (blood money, ransom) and that decrees about zakat and diyah came by revelation. (18)
By saying, “when a hadith from the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) reaches you, never make judgments contrary to it; because the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was a conveyor from Allah, the Exalted” (19), Awzai stated that the sunnah was based on revelation.
As we have mentioned before, a person who made important explanations about the issue was Imam Shafi. (20) According to the person whom he bases his knowledge on and whose knowledge he relies on and the understanding that he himself also accepts, the Sunnah is either revelation, or the statement of the revelation or something that Allah handed him. It is based on his prophethood that is peculiar to him and the wisdom that Allah inspires him based on it. No matter which one of the above alternatives is accepted, Allah ordered people to obey the Messenger of Allah and to act in accordance with the Sunnah. The explanation of the Quran by the Sunnah takes place either by the prophethood coming from Allah, or by inspiration or by the “command” that was given to him.
Ibn Hazm, who agrees on the same views, defines the sunnah as non-recited (ghayr matluw) revelation and says that it is necessary to obey the sunnah, which is the second revelation, as it is necessary to obey the Quran. They are the same in that they are binding and they come from Allah.(21)
Ghazali states that the sunnah is based on revelation and that it is non-recited revelation.(22)
If the whole sunnah is regarded as revelation, it becomes spontaneously clear that Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) cannot change the Sunnah as he cannot change the Quran.(23)
There arises an important issue along with the understanding that the whole sunnah is based on revelation just like the Quran. If Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) waited for the revelation of sunnah like the verses of the Quran for every situation and event, how are his ijtihads and consultations to be dealt with? There were definitely some times when he waited for revelation but to think and accept that he acted like that in every phase of his life will cause problems.
Due to those situations, some scholars had the view that not all of the sunnah but some of it was based on revelation and some of it was based on situations like ijtihad and consultation.
For instance, Ibn Qutayba says the following, dividing the source of the sunnah into three:
a) the sunnah that Jibril brought from Allah. (24)
b) the sunnah that Allah left to His Messenger (pbuh), that He wanted him to explain his view. (25)
c) the sunnah that the Messenger of Allah practiced for adab; the sunnah that one receives rewards when one performs but does not receive any punishment when one abandons. (26)
Sarakhsi of Hanafis, who adopts the same view, says that the judgments that Hazrat Prophet made based on his opinion and ijtihad are like revelation:
Revelation consists of two parts:
1- Apparent revelation. It is divided into three.
a) The revelation that comes through the tongue of the angel that is perceived by the ear and that is certainly known to be coming from Allah. That part is the revelation of the Quran.
b) The revelation that is explained to the Prophet by the angel through signs, without any words. (27)
c) Inspiration. It is the divine manifestation in the heart of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) without any doubt. A light arises in his heart and the judgment about the issue becomes clear.
2- Esoteric revelation: Calling it as “ma yushbihu’l-wahy” (resembling revelation), Sarakhsi says that there are judgments that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) reached through his opinion and ijtihad. The fact that he is not left free to make mistakes and that he is always under the control of revelation makes that kind of judgments like revelation. The ijtihads of other people from his umma are not like the ijtihad of Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) since there exists the probability of making mistakes and it is impossible to correct them through revelation. (28)
That explanation of Sarakhsi means all of the acts of Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) are based on and are corrected by revelation. The act or word of Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) is either true or wrong. If it remains as it is, it becomes apparent that it is true because Allah will not let a wrong act or word continue.
Shatibi says the following:
Hadith is either pure revelation coming from Allah or an ijtihad by Hazrat Prophet (pbuh). However, in that case, his ijtihad is either based on a sound revelation in the Book or sunnah or has been checked by it. Even if the view that Hazrat Prophet can make a mistake in his ijtihad is accepted, he will never be left on a mistake; he will be corrected at once. In the end, he will find the truth. Therefore, there is no probability of mistakes in anything that comes from him. (29)
Acting upon those views, it can be said that those who say all of the sunnah is revelation do not exaggerate because all of the sunnah is checked by revelation; it is either left as it is or corrected. That is, since we cannot accept the existence of an application that is not checked by revelation, we can say as a conclusion that all of the sunnah is based on revelation. However, when we say that all of the sunnah is based on revelation, we mean the sunnah that was determined during the age of the Messenger of Allah and that reached us as sound.
d. Silently approved (taqrir) revelation
What we defined as taqrir sunnah when we explained the sunnah is the silent approval by Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) of some actions or words that he saw or heard. (30) That is, when the companions did or said something based on their Jahiliyya applications or their own opinions, Hazrat Prophet sometimes corrected them, sometimes changed them and sometimes did not say anything. The companions regarded his silence as approval because it would not be appropriate for a prophet to leave a mistake as it was. Therefore, his silence meant that action or word was not wrong.
The companions were under the control of Hazrat Prophet (pbuh); similarly, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was always under the control of revelation as a necessity of the attribute of ismah (innocence) (31). Therefore, it should be known that his mistake would not be left without correction (32) and that the warning would be made at once, without any delay (33). Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) differs from everybody else and from those who are authorized to make ijtihad. It is known that he was warned because of some of his actions even before he became a prophet. (34)
Once, when he wanted to take off his izar (outer garment) in order to throw stones but he was prevented. In another occasion, he wanted to take off his izar to help his uncle Abu Talib to repair the Zamzam Well but he fainted. He said someone with white clothes told him to cover himself when he came to.(35)
His body was protected to save him from exposing the parts that are not suitable to show to others; he was also protected from some unpleasant applications of that period. According to his own statement, he wanted to watch some games and entertainment in the places where marriage ceremonies were held but he fell asleep and could not watch or hear them; after that, he did not commit any bad things till he was appointed as a prophet.(36)
Can it be thought that a person who was under protection even when he was not a prophet and when he was not appointed as an example for his umma and humanity yet would not be protected in a period when he became an example in all aspects for his umma and humanity and that his errors and mistakes would not be corrected? (37)
As a matter of fact, we see some examples of it in the Quran.
Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) were worried about the protection of the revelation and Allah, the Exalted, eliminated his worry by saying there is no need to worry about it.(38)
He was warned about the issues like the guidance of men, people’s obeying the command of Allah, that his duty was only to convey the message of Allah that guidance depended on Allah’s will and that the result depended on the will of Allah (39); he was warned about Abu Talib, whom he asked for forgiveness; and he was forbidden to pray for his uncle. (40)
On the other hand, he was stopped from cursing his enemies after the Battle of Uhud (41) from his wish of mutilation after what was made to Hazrat Hamza (may Allah be pleased with him) (42).
Furthermore, he was warned about releasing the prisoners of war in return for ransom after the Battle of Badr (43); he was prevented from the application he wanted in order to win the hearts of hypocrites (munafiqs) (44) ; he was also warned when he made himself haram what Allah had made halal due to the wishes of the prisoners of war .(45)
Those verses above and similar verses are clear indications that Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) was corrected when what he did was not in compliance with the divine consent. Allah, the Exalted, first leaves him free and wants him to make ijtihad or consultation with his companions. Then, if it was in compatible with Allah’s consent, it was left as it was; if it was not, he was corrected. As a matter of fact, the fact that he first said the children of the polytheists were like their fathers and then he said that they would go to Paradise, that he first said the lizards were cursed Jews and then gave up that idea due to the warning by revelation, that first he said the view about torture in grave was a Jewish mischief and then accepted the existence of torture in grave due to the warning by revelation and he took refuge in Allah from it in his prayers, (46) shows that he was warned and corrected outside the revelation of the Quran too.
As it is seen, it is impossible for the Messenger of Allah to continue a wrong deed, act or word that he saw or was informed about because that kind of silent approval is followed by the umma; it is also impossible for the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) to continue the wrong acts or words in the presence of Allah; whatever he did during his lifetime is an example and something to be followed for us.
Then, Allah, who is All- Knowing, All-Aware, All-hearing, All-Seeing and Wise, either corrected all kinds of words, deeds and acts of the Prophet or approved them and left them as they were. Whether we call those things that Allah did not change and left as they were as esoteric revelation as Hanafi scholars called them (47) or as silently approved revelation, we can say that the sunnah of Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) is based on revelation.
Acting upon that fact, we think that we should accept that the continuation of some of the customs and traditions of the community the Prophet lived in were checked by Allah and since they were silently approved, it is not correct to regard them as only customs and traditions. Besides, we had stated that they were based on Hazrat Ibrahim (pbuh) or other prophets.
Then, even if the attitudes and acts of the Prophet had existed in the same form in the period of Jahiliyya, they would have been corrected by revelation if they were wrong. It can be said that those that were not corrected were approved.
1- Although it is said that what is meant by the verse: “Nor does he say (aught) of (his own) Desire. It is no less than inspiration sent down to him” is the Quran, there are some scholars who say it includes the sunnah too. For instance, Elmalılı (a Turkish tafsir scholar) interprets that verse as “It, that is, the Quran or his speech, is nothing but revelation. It cannot be expressed in any other way. It can only be sent as revelation.” Thus, he indicates that the sunnah is revelation too. (Yazır, Hak Dini VII, 457); Cf Qurtubi, Tafsir, XVII,84-85; Aydınlı, Abdullah, Sünnetin Kaynağı Hakkında, Din Öğretimi dergisi, Issue37, Ank, 1992, p.48; Kırbaşoğlu, Sünnet, 236 et al.
2- al-Baqara, 48; Aal-e-Imran, 164.
3- an-Nisa, 113; al-Jumua, 2.
4- For those who say what is meant by wisdom is sunnah, see Hasan al-Basri, Qatada, Yahya b. Kathir, (Suyuti, Miftahu’l-Janna, s.23); Imam ash-Shafii, ar Risala, 32,78,93.
5- The fact that the Quran and sunnah are revelation brings about the question what the difference between them is. We understand from that verse that there is no difference between them in terms of nature. However, one of them is wahy matluw (recited revelation), the other is wahy ghayr matluw (non-recited revelation). Suyuti explains the issue as follows: The word of Allah has two parts. Allah says to Jibril, “Say to the Prophet Allah commands you to do this and that. Jibril understands the divine wish and conveys it to the Prophet. It can be resembled to a king sending a reliable person as a delegate to his subjects and the conveyance of the message by the delegate through his own words. The other is: Allah says to Jibril, “Go to the Prophet and read this book to him.” Jibril reads the book to the Prophet exactly, word for word. The revelation of the Quran can be resembled to the second from and the sunnah to the first form. Therefore, it is said that it is permissible to report the sunnah with the meaning. Suyuti, al-Itqan, I,45; see Subhi as-Salih, Hadis İlimleri, p.261-262; Karaman, Hadis Usulü, p.9-10.
6- al-Anfal, 7.
7- at-Tahrim, 3.
8- It is important for our issue that it is stated at the beginning of the hadith that there will emerge some people who will say we will accept what is in the Quran but we will reject what is not in it and that the sunnah is given. See Abu Dawud, Sunnah, 6.
9- Those hadiths that are called qudsi (sacred) or divine are stated by being attributed to Allah. There are some views that both the words and meanings of them belong to Allah or the meaning belongs to Allah and the words belong to the Prophet like the other hadiths. See Al-Hadith, wa’l-Muhaddithun, p.18; Qawaidu’t-Tahdith, p.64 et al.
10- See, Bukhari, Eeman, 37; Muslim, Eeman, 1; Abu Dawud, Sunnah, 16; Tirmidhi, Eeman,4.
11- Muslim, Jannah, 63-64; See, Aydınlı, Sünnetin Kaynağı, p.50-51; Toksarı, Sünnet, p.98-99; Abu Dawud, Adab, 48.
12- Muslim, Eeman, 32-36; See, al-Munawi, Fayzu’l-Qadir, VI, 289-290.
13- For examples, see, Muslim, Janaiz, 1; Tirmidhi, Eeman, 18; Jihad, 32.
14- Although some researchers claim that since the hadiths in which the word revelation is mentioned are narrated in terms of meaning, they cannot be accepted as evidence that hadiths in general are revelaed (Erul, Bünyamin, İslamiyat, C.1, s.1, p.55 et al), in another article, the same person says that it is not possible to say that Allah is not in contact with Hazrat Prophet except the Quran. He also says the Messenger of Allah was appointed with the duty of tabligh (conveying the message), teaching and explaining. However, he also says that it will be better to call it wisdom. (Erul, Bünyamin, İslamiyat, V.III, p.1., p.184.
15- Muslim, Hayd, 34.
16- Bukhari, Nikah, 108.
17- See respectively, Suyuti, Miftah, 29; Musnad, II, 85,160; Bukhari, Adab, 28; Muslim, 1,140; Abu Dawud, Manasik, 24,27; Tirmidhi, Hajj, 14; Abu Dawud, Salat, 2; Bukhari, Badu’l-Khalq, 6; Abu Dawud, Sunnah, 9; Musnad, I, 191; Ibn Hisham, Sira, III, 101-102.
18- Suyuti, Miftah, 29.
19- Abdulghani Abdulkhaliq, Hujja, 337; It is said that there is ijma (consensus) that sunnah is based on revelation. See, ibid, p.338; It is reported that Hasan b. Atiyya said sunnah is based on revelation like the Quran. Darimi, Muqaddima, 49.
20- Imam Shafii, who says wahy matluw is the Quran and wahy ghayr matluw is the sunnah, states that the sunnah is the ‘wisdom’ mentioned in the Quran. (ar-Risala, 3-4,10; al-Umm, V, 127,128.)
21- Ibn Hazim, al-Ihkam, 93; cf. Kırbaşoğlu, Sünnet, p.260-261.
22- Ghazali, Mustasfa, I, 83; that Khattabi has the same opinion, see Khattabi, Maalimu’s-Sunan, V, 10.
23- Çakan, İ.Lütfi, Hadislerde Görülen İhtilaflar ve Çözüm Yolları, Ist, 1982, p.96.
24- The hadith that states a woman and her maternal or paternal aunt cannot be married to the same man at the same time is like that. Bukhari, Nikah, 27; Muslim, Nikah, 37-38.
25- He gives the following incident as example: wearing silk clothes is haram for men but Hazrat Prophet lets Abdurrahman b. Awf wear silk clothes due to his illness. See, Bukhari, Jihad, 91; Libas, 29; Muslim, Libas, 24-26.
26- Ibn Qutayba, Abu Muh. Abdullah, Ta’wilu Mukhtalifi’l-Hadith, Beirut, 1972, p.196 et al.
27- Phrases like the holy spirit blew into my heart are revelation of that kind. Ibn Majah, Tijarah, 2; Bayhaqi, Sunan, VII, 76; Suyuti, Miftah, 30.
28- Sarakhsi, Shamsuddin, Usulu’s-Sarakhsi, Beirut, 1973, II, 90-96.
29- Shatibi, Muwafaqat, IV, 19; For similar views, see, Abdulghani, Hujja, p.334 et al.
30- See, Aydınlı, Istılah, 148; Also See, Bukhari, I’tisam, 24.
31-Ismah, one of the attributes of the prophets, means being away from unbelief, not knowing Allah, telling lies, making mistakes, erring, neglecting, not knowing the details of the Shariah. It also means impossibility of continuing to make a mistake. See, Ghazali, Mustasfa, II, 212-214; Sabuni, Maturidiyye Akâidi, trans Bekir Topaloğlu, Ank. 1979, s.212-212; Yazır, Hak Dini, IX, 6357; Abdulghani, Hujja, 108 et al.
32- Sarakhsi, Usul, II, 68.
33- Sabuni, Maturidiyya, 121; Abdulghani, Hujja, p.222; For the view of Ibn Taymiyya that prophets will not be let continue to make a mistake, see Abduljalil Eesa, Ijtihadu’r-Rasul, Egypt, nd. p.33.
34- That Allah protected him (pbuh) from the impurities of Jahiliyya, see Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, I, 121; Abu Nuaym, Dalail, I, 129; Bayhaqi, Dalail, I, 313.
35- Abu Nuaym, Dalail, I, 147; See also, Bukhari, I, 96; Muslim, I, 268; Bayhaqi, Dalail, I, 313-314.
36- See. Tabari, Tarikh, II, 196; Abu Nuaym, Dalail, I, 143; Bayhaqi, Dalail, I, 315; Once, they took him (pbuh) to an entertainment by force, but he disappeared; Then, he said; a white-skinned, tall man said to me; ‘O Muhammad! Never touch that idol. Go back!’”. Cf Musnad, II, 68-69; Köksal, İslam Tarihi, II,117-121.
37- For more information, see Sarakhsi, Usul, II, 91; Ghazali, Mustasfa, II,214; Sabuni, Maturidiyya, p.121; Abdülghani, Hujja, 221-222; Abduljalil Eesa, İjtihad, p.31-33; Çakan, İhtilaflar, p.96,113; Erdoğan, Sünnet, 192 et al.
38- Qiyamah, 16-17.
39- See respectively al-Ghashiya, 21-22; Hud, 12; al-Kahf, 23; al,-Qasas, 56; Yunus, 99; ash-Shuara, 3.
40- at-Tawba, 113.
41- Tirmidhi, Tafsir, sura 3/12; Aal-e-Imran, 128; Abduljalil Eesa, Ijtihad, p.95.
42- The organs of Hazrat Hamza like his ear and nose had been cut off and his liver had been removed. Ibn Hisham, Sira, III, 101-103. For the verse, see an-Nahl, 126-127.
43- al-Anfal, 67-68. See Abdülghani, Hujja, 185.
44- at-Tawba, 88, 84; See Ibn Kathir, Tafsir, II, 378; Abduljalil Eesa, p.105.
45- at-Tahrim, 1-2.
46- See Abduljalil Eesa, Ijtihad, s.59-66.
47- See, Sarakhsi, II, 90-91; Tahanawi, Muh. Ali b. Ali, Kashshafu Istilahati’l-Funun, Ist, 1984, II, 1523.
What does sha’air (marks) of Islam mean? What can we understand exactly from the word sha’air?
"Sha’air" means customs, marks of Islam and rules about Muslims. For instance, to mention Allah, to praise Allah, to call adhan and to wear Islamic garments are sha’air. They are called "Sha’air al-Islamiyya (Marks of Islam)". They are issues and signs that are related to Muslims and that involve the community of Islam.
"The most important among the practices are those that symbolize Islam and are connected with its ‘marks.’ The marks of Islam are worship, concern the community, and quite simply are general rights of a sort. Just as the whole community benefits from one person doing them, so too if he gives them up, the whole community is answerable." (Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, Lem'alar)
"Just as there are two sort of rights, “personal rights” and “general rights”, which are held to be “Allah’s rights” of a sort; so too among the matters of the Shari‘a, some concern individual persons and others, with regard to generality, concern the public. These latter are called “the marks of Islam”. These marks concern everyone and everyone participates in them. To interfere in them without the consent of the public is an infringement of the public’s rights. The most minor of those marks (one which has the status of Sunna) is equal in importance to the greatest matter. They concern the whole world of Islam directly. Those who are trying to break the luminous chain to which all the great figures of Islam since the Era of the Prophet till now have been bound, and to destroy it and corrupt it, and those who assist them, should dwell on what a ghastly error they are making. If they possess the smallest grain of intelligence, they should tremble!”
First of all, we should state that the sha’air that are marks of Islam are various. Some of them are fard like prayers, some of them are wajib like sacrificing an animal and some of them are sunnah like calling adhan and greeting.
Sha’air are a fact that has been kept by Muslims for centuries. Therefore, all Muslims, from the Prophet (pbuh) to the Muslims of today, have rights on them. To harm them means to violate the rights of all Muslims. It is fard al-kifayah to keep sha’air alive.
Sha’air is a duty of worshipping belonging to the community in the form of the right of the public. When somebody does it, the whole community benefits from it; when nobody does it, the whole community is held responsible. Due to this importance, it is more virtuous to do sha’air openly rather than secretly, like fard worshipping. Hypocrisy is not included in sha’air; they are declared to everybody. For, to show sha’air gives spiritual power to believers and demoralizes deniers.
Declaring sha’air means conveying the message of Islam spiritually, and to announce and show to people the reality of belief and the Quran. All Muslims, from the Era of Bliss to today, have rights on them. The crime of those who try to alienate Muslims from sha’air is big accordingly. It is seen that Muslims are sometimes mistaken about those who attack sha’air. Badiuzzaman Said Nursi determines this sate as “a strange characteristic of this age”. Due to the extraordinary gullibility of Muslims, when they see only one good deed of “the horrible criminals who destroy the rights of thousands of people”, they forget about their bad deeds and state that they support these people. This causes the deviant and criminal people who are very few to dominate the right majority with the help of the gullible supporters. In fact, a person can forgive only the bad deeds committed against him. He cannot waive the rights of others, especially the rights of the community. Otherwise, he is regarded to have joined the cruelty.
One of these terrible cruelties is the demand to recite the translation of the Quran and the adhan. They are the greatest and holiest marks of Islam. Many words and phrases like Subhanallah, alhamdulillah, words of salam, bismillahirrahmanirrahim, words that express wonder and appreciation like mashallah, barakallah, words like taqwa and tawakkul are regarded asmarks of Islam (sha’air al-Islamiyya).
Minarets, gravestones, madrasahs, the epitaphs on fountains are marks of Islam in this sense. They remind us Allah, the Quran and Islam. Muslim names, some idioms and proverbs that have become part of our language can also be included in them.
Is tabarruk, expecting barakah (abundance) from things permissible?
FIRST EVIDENCE (Tabarruk of Sons of Israel with the Ark, the chapter of al-Baqara, verse 248)
SECOND EVIDENCE (Tabarruk of Hz. Yaqub with the shirt, the chapter of Yusuf, verse 93)
THIRD EVIDENCE (Sacred Valley, the chapter of Taha, verse 12)
FOURTH EVIDENCE (Safa and Marwa are among Allah's signs, the chapter of al-Baqara, verse 158)
FIFTH EVIDENCE (Holy Majid al-Aqsa, the chapter of al-Isra verse 1)
SIXTH EVIDENCE (Blessed and sacred places)
FIRST EVIDENCE (Tabarruk with the blessed hair of the Prophet (pbuh))
SECOND EVIDENCE (Tabarruk with the blessed hair of the Prophet (pbuh) after his death)
THIRD EVIDENCE (the Prophet (pbuh) giving his hair to people)
FOURTH EVIDENCE (People racing in order to get the hair of the Prophet (pbuh))
FIFTH EVIDENCE (The Prophet (pbuh) wanting the remainder of his wudu water to be kept)
SIXTH EVIDENCE (Tabarruk with the sweat of the Prophet (pbuh))
SEVENTH EVIDENCE (Tabarruk by touching the blessed skin of the Prophet (pbuh))
EIGHTH EVIDENCE (Tabarruk with the place where the Prophet (pbuh) performed prayers)
NINTH EVIDENCE (Tabarruk with the place where the Prophet (pbuh)'s blessed mouth touched)
TENTH EVIDENCE (Tabarruk by kissing the hand that touched the Prophet (pbuh))
ELEVENTH EVIDENCE (Tabarruk with the gown of the Prophet (pbuh))
TWELFTH EVIDENCE (Tabarruk with the place that the hand of the Prophet (pbuh) touched)
THIRTEENTH EVIDENCE (Tabarruk with the glass of the Prophet (pbuh) and the place where he performed prayers)
FOURTEENTH EVIDENCE (Tabarruk with the pulpit of the Prophet (pbuh))
FIFTEENTH EVIDENCE (Tabarruk with the blessed grave of the Prophet (pbuh))
SIXTEENTH EVIDENCE (Tabarruk with the traces of righteous people and previous prophets)
SEVENTEENTH EVIDENCE (Tabarruk with Masjid al-Ashshar)
Tabarruk means to want barakah (abundance). It means to attain barakah through something. We can explain it in a more detailed way as follows: To show respect to the things belonging to a person or to the place where he lived due to the love felt toward him is expressed with the word Tabarruk.
When we deal with the issue of tabarruk, we will concentrate on the blessed beard of the Prophet. For, in our country, the thing that is visited the most with the intention of tabarruk is the blessed beard of the Prophet. Unfortunately, those who visit the blessed beard of the Prophet are accused of polytheism (shirk) by some people. This Wahhabi mentality, which regards tabarruk as polytheism, rejects the respect shown to holy things and label those who show respect to them as polytheists (mushriks).
Inshaallah, we will definitely prove how wrong the Wahhabi mentality is.
EVINDENCES FROM THE QURAN ABOUT TABARRUK
Tabarruk of Sons of Israel with the Ark, the chapter of al-Baqara, verse 248
The first Quranic evidence that we will mention to show that tabarruk is permissible is the ark that is mentioned in verse 248 of the chapter of al-Baqara. First, let us summarize the incident narrated on page 39:
Sons of Israel went to their prophet and asked to send them a king. They promised that they would fight in the way of Allah with this prophet. Allah sent them a person called Talut as their king. However, Talut was poor; therefore, Sons of Israel did not want to accept him as the king. They said they deserved to be the king more than Talut.
Thereupon, their prophet said to them:
إِنَّ آيَةَ مُلْكِهِ A Sign of his authority is that أَن يَأْتِيَكُمُ التَّابُوتُ there shall come to you the Ark of the covenant فِيهِ سَكِينَةٌ مِن رَبِّكُمْ with (an assurance) therein of security from your Lord.
What is in that ark? Security (sakina) from your Lord.
Sakina: means material and spiritual abundance. That ark had such sakina. Sons of Israel attained Allah's mercy and barakah (abundance) with that ark.
According to what is stated in tafsirs of Fakhrurrazi, Abussuud, Hazin, Qurtubi and Alusi, when Sons of Israel went astray and disobeyed Allah Almighty, He inflicted the tribe of Amaliqa upon them. This tribe took the ark from them. Afterwards, Allah Almighty sent the ark to Sons of Israel through His angels as a sign of the kingdom of Talut. The phraseتَحْمِلُهُ الْمَلآئِكَةُ carried by angelsmentioned in the verse shows that the ark was brought to them by angels who carried it.
We refer the details of the story to tafsir books. What we need to know here is as follows:
There is an ark with which Sons of Israel makes tabarruk. As the Quran puts it, فِيهِ سَكِينَةٌ مِن رَبِّكُمْthere is security in it from your Lord. They attain sakina, that is, blessings and abundance, due to this ark. Afterwards, this ark is removed from them due to their sins; later, it is returned to Sons of Israel by being carried by angels as a sign of the kingdom of Talut. Let us analyze this ark, which is a means of barakah, in detail:
An ark, that is a piece of wood, can bring about material and spiritual barakah and blessings with divine permission. Those who show respect to it can benefit from its barakah and blessings. And Allah wants Sons of Israel to show respect to it. When people cease to respect it, Allah removes it from them.
It is necessary to understand the following point: Barakah and blessings do not belong to the ark. They were placed in it by Allah. Every barakah, boon and grant come from the treasure of Allah. There is nobody except Him that can own grant. However, Allah does things based on reasons/causes in this world of wisdom. He places fruit on the branch of the tree. He sends milk through the udders of cows. He sends down water through clouds. He presents us with vegetables through the ground. Every boon comes to us through a reason.
Real belief is not denying the reason but seeing Allah’s hand of mercy on it. The one who denies the reason is deprived of mercy.
In the verse that we interpreted, the ark that is mentioned is only a means. The sakinah in the ark does not belong to it. The owner of it is only Allah. However, Allah made that ark a reason and a means for His barakah and blessings.
Then, what is necessary to do here is not burning the ark on behalf of oneness but showing respect to that ark on behalf of Allah and knowing that the sakinah in it comes from Allah. This is both oneness and reasoning. Now, we will ask those who deny tabarruk some questions:
We ask those who deny tabarruk the following questions:
- Allah can place blessing and abundance in an ark, a piece of wood and make it a means of His mercy. Those who show respect to it attain Allah’s mercy. You read about it in the Quran. Does a piece of blessed hair from the beard of the Prophet not have as much value as a piece of wood in the eye of Allah?
- Those who show respect to an ark on behalf of Allah attain sakina; why should those who show respect to the blessing beard of the Prophet on behalf of Allah not have sakina?
- Showing respect to the ark is not regarded as polytheism (shirk); why should respect to the blessing beard of the Prophet (pbuh) be regarded as polytheism?
I think that you would have called those who showed respect to the ark polytheists if you had lived at that time and you would have burned the ark as soon as you had the opportunity. Your mind is not so good. Therefore, you call those who visit the blessed beard of the Prophet (pbuh) polytheists.
I am asking you: Why should Our Lord, who placed blessing and abundance in an ark, not place blessing and abundance in the hair taken from his beard and make it a means of His mercy?
We regard the blessed beard when we visit it as the ark in the verse. The beard is not the real owner of theblessing and abundance. Every blessing and abundance come from the treasure of Allah. However, Allah sends blessing to His slaves sometimes through a beard, sometimes through a tree, sheep and cloud in this material world and sometimes through a different reason.
Oneness does not mean to deny reasons/causes. Oneness means to see the creator of the causes/reasons, that is, Allah. This is the real oneness. You are so distant from the real oneness that you deny reasons on behalf of oneness and ignore reasoning.
O those who regard visiting the blessed beard of the prophet as polytheism!Answer my questions now:
1. Would Allah have placed sakina in that ark if it were haram to show respect to things with the intention of tabarruk?
2. Would He have ordered them to show respect to the ark?
3. Would He have removed the ark from them as a punishment for their disrespect?
4. Would he have returned the ark to them after they had lost it as a sign of the kingdom of Talut?
It is possible to show respect even to an ark on condition that barakah is known to have come from Allah. In that case, it is possible to show respect to the blessed beard of the Prophet, which is much more valuable than the ark in the eye of Allah, on condition that barakah is known to have come from Allah. Since showing respect to the ark is not regarded as polytheism, showing respect to the blessed beard of the Prophet (pbuh) will never be regarded as polytheism.
Tabarruk of Hz. Yaqub with the shirt, the chapter of Yusuf, verse 93
The second Quranic verse that we will show for the permissibility of tabarruk is the incident narrated in verse 93 of the chapter of Yusuf. The summary of the incident is as follows:
Hz. Yaqub lost his eyesight due to the sorrow caused by being away from his son, Hz. Yusuf. Hz. Yusuf, who became the prime minister in Egypt, found his brothers and father years later and learned from them that his father became blind. Hz. Yusuf, said to his brothers:
اِذْهَبُوا بِقَمِيصِي هَـذَا Go with this my shirt فَأَلْقُوهُ عَلَى وَجْهِ أَبِي and cast it over the face of my father: يَأْتِ بَصِيرًا he will come to see (clearly).
Hz. Yusuf's brothers took the shirt and returned to their father. The Quran expresses this scene as follows:
فَلَمَّا أَن جَاء الْبَشِيرُ Then when the bearer of the good news came, أَلْقَاهُ عَلَى وَجْهِهِ He cast (the shirt) over his face, فَارْتَدَّ بَصِيرًا and he forthwith regained clear sight.
As you can see clearly in the verse, Hz. Yaqub wiped Hz. Yusuf's shirt on his face and was healed.
Let us analyze the verses in a more detailed way and make those who deny tabarruk see some points clearly.
When Hz. Yusuf found out that his father was blind, he sent his shirt to him and asked him to wipe it on his face. In other words, Hz. Yusuf asked his father to use his shirt as a means of healing. This is the meaning of sending his shirt. Hz. Yaqub accepted it and wiped his face with the shirt with the intention of being healed.
Now, we ask those who deny tabarruk the following question:
- Is there a physical relationship between a shirt and healing of eyes? There is definitely no physical relationship. That is, a shirt does not have the property to enable eyes to see. Then, why did Hz. Yusuf send this shirt? Why did he not just open his hands and pray for his father? Why did he use the shirt as a means and send it with the intention of tabarruk? Why did he want his father to use the shirt as a means?
If tabarruk is shirk, does Hz. Yusuf – God forbid – invite his father to shirk? What about Hz. Yaqub? He wipes his face with the shirt. That is, he uses the shirt as a means of healing. If it were not permissible to use things for tabarruk, Hz. Yaqub would probably have said, "I will not apply to anything for tabarruk in order to be healed. It is shirk. I will only pray." He should have said something like that. However, he did not speak like that; he used the shirt as a means of tabarruk. It means tabarruk is permissible.
Besides, tabarruk means to use an object as a means by expecting the result from Allah Almighty. It is like the following example: A person goes to see a doctor; his going to see a doctor is an actual prayer. He takes the medicine given by the doctor with the intention of healing; taking the medicine is also an actual prayer. That is, when he takes the medicine, he thinks as follows:
"O Lord! Healing comes only from You. You are the only Healer. I go to see the doctor and take the medicine because You order us to act in accordance with reasons/causes. I obeyed Your order by going to see the doctor and taking this medicine. I know that the doctor and the medicine cannot heal me. Healing comes from Your treasure."
A person who goes to see the doctor and takes the medicine believes and should believe like that; similarly, Hz. Yaqub believed like that and applied tabarruk by thinking as follows:
"O Lord! You are the one who closed my eyes and You are the one who will open them. Even if all of the doctors of the world came together, they could not open my eyes without Your permission. I use Hz. Yusuf's shirt as a means of healing and ask you to heal my eyes."
This is the intention of Hz. Yaqub. For, a person who applies tabarruk does not expect barakah from the object. He regards that object as a means for Allah's mercy. This is what the people who deny tabarruk does not understand. After these explanations, let us ask those who deny tabarruk some questions:
We ask those who deny tabarruk the following question: A shirt, a piece of fabric, becomes honorable by touching the body of Hz. Yusuf and becomes a means of barakah like making a blind person see again.
- Are the hairs from the blessed body of the Prophet (pbuh) not as valuable the shirt of Hz. Yusuf?
- Why should our Lord, who made a piece of fabric a means of healing for the sake of Hz. Yusuf's sincerity, not make the blessed beard of the Prophet a means of mercy and barakah for the sake of his prophethood?
- Why do you call visiting the blessed beard of the Prophet shirk by regarding the explanations above unreasonable?
We also want to ask the following question:
- If it is shirk to show respect to objects with the intention of tabarruk, why did Hz. Yusuf send his shirt to his father and asked his father to wipe his face with the shirt? Did Hz. Yusuf commit a deed – God forbid – that was shirk?
- Why did Hz. Yaqub wipe his face with the shirt? Why did Hz. Yaqub use the shirt as a means of healing?
- If taking refuge in things with the intention of tabarruk were shirk, would Hz. Yaqub have wiped his face with the shirt? Or, do you know belief and oneness better than Hz. Yusuf and Hz. Yaqub?
What is the difference between Hz. Yaqub's wiping his face with the shirt and our kissing the blessed beard of the Prophet? There is no difference between them. If using a shirt as a means of tabarruk is permissible, using the blessed beard of the Prophet should also be permissible. It is permissible to use the shirt as a means of tabarruk because Hz. Yusuf and Hz. Yaqub did so. It is not possible for two prophets to commit a deed that is shirk. Since using a shirt as a means of tabarruk is permissible, it should be permissible to visit the blessed beard of the Prophet too.
If you say it is not permissibleto visit the blessed beard of the Prophet, you have to say, "It is not permissible to wipe the face with the shirt." When you say so, you will have to attribute shirk to Hz. Yusuf and Hz. Yaqub. This will be a dilemma for you. What will you do? You will either accept that visitingthe blessed beard of the Prophet is permissible or you will have to accuse two prophets of Allah of shirk. You have no other choice.
Sacred Valley, the chapter of Taha, verse 12
The third Quranic evidence that we will show for the permissibility of tabarruk isverse 12 of the chapter of Taha. In this verse, our Lord addresses Hz. Musa as follows:
فَاخْلَعْ نَعْلَيْكَ Put off thy shoes: thou art in the sacred valley Tuwa.
Those who deny tabarruk say, Things cannot be sacred; to show respect to things is shirk. That is what they say. What does the Quran say about Tuwa? It says Tuwa is a sacred valley.
What is demanded from Hz. Musa in that valley? He is demanded to take off his shoes, that is, to step on the valley barefoot and to show respect to it. That is what the Quran says though you say that things cannot be sacred and it is shirk to show respect to things.
Dear brothers! Believe that those who deny tabarruk have no connection with the Quran at all. Be sure that if the verse “Put off thy shoes: thou art in the sacred valley Tuwa” were a hadith instead of a verse, they would denied it at once and said, "This hadith is fabricated." The verse clearly states that Tuwa is a sacred valley and that it was not permissible to step on it with shoes.
The verse says so but this Wahhabi mentality does not view verses. If they did, we would not see the terrible state of Arafat when we went there. Let us connect this issue with visiting the blessed beard of the Prophet.
We ask those who deny tabarruk the following question:
You read in a verse that a piece of land can be sacred. Allah forbids stepping on it with shoes; you read in the verse that respect is demanded for it. Can you say, “Tuwa is a valley; that one is also a valley in my village. There is no difference between them.” You can never say so.
Yes both of them are valleys; both of them consist of soil. However, Allah calls one of them sacred and forbids stepping on it with shoes; He has not given this honor to the other one. Then, you have to show respect to it; let alone dirtying it, you must not step on it with your shoes.
- Since a piece of land can be sacred with divine permission and it is discriminated from other pieces of land thanks to it, why should the blessed beard of the Prophet not be sacred and why should it not be discriminated from other beards?
- Is the blessed beard of the Prophet (pbuh) not as valuable as a piece of land in the eye of Allah?
- Is it unreasonable for our Lord, who describes Tuwa as sacred, to render the beard of the Prophet (pbuh) sacred and to demand respect for it? Why do you have difficulty in understanding it?
May Allah give you reason and common sense! May he protect the ummah of Muhammad from your evil!
Safa and Marwa are among Allah's signs, the chapter of al-Baqara, verse 158
The fourth Quranic evidence that we will show for the permissibility of tabarruk is verse 158 of the chapter of al-Baqara. Lord states the following in a verse:
إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ Behold! Safa and Marwa are among the symbols of Allah مِنْ شَعَائِرِ اللَّهِ are among the symbols of Allah.
What are Safa and Marwa? They are Allah's signs/symbols (sha’air).
Safa and Marwa are two small hills with a height of a few meters. During hajj, sa’y is performed between them. Most of you already know these two hills. Allah Almighty says "are among the symbols of Allah" for these two hills. What is the importance of signs/symbols? Let verse 32 of the chapter of Hajj answer this question:
وَمَنْ يُعَظِّمْ شَعَائِرَ اللَّهِ Whoever holds in honor the symbols of Allah, فَإِنَّهَا مِنْ تَقْوَى الْقُلُوبِ such (honor) should come truly from piety of heart.
From what does respect to signs/symbols originate? From piety of heart.
What are Safa and Marwa? They are Allah's sha’air. Then, to show respect to Safa and Marwa originate from piety (taqwa) of heart. If a person does not show respect to them, his heart has no taqwa. The verses have this meaning.
Those who deny tabarruk say, “Things cannot be sacred; it is shirk to show respect to things/objects.”
Now, we are asking them:
- Since it is shirk to show respect to things, go and dirty Safa and Marwa hills and show disrespect to them. Can you do it? You cannot do it. You might do it but will it be in accordance with the Quran?
Is it possible for you to say, “They are hills; the one in our village is also a hill; they are the same”? You cannot say so because Allah describes Safa and Marwa hills as Islam's signs/symbols.
You cannot treat Safa and Marwa in the same way as you treat the hills in your village. It originates from piety of heart.
You say showing respect to things is shirk but Allah orders us to show respect to Safa and Marwa. If showing respect to things were shirk, would Allah have ordered it?
The Quran describes those who show respect to Safa and Marwa as people whose hearts are of taqwa but you call them mushriks (polytheists). If you are a bit sane, you will understand how far away from the Quran you are. Let us connect this issue with visiting the blessed beard of the Prophet.
We ask those who deny tabarruk the following question:
A hill can be a sign/symbol of Islam. The Quran states that that to show respect to it originates from piety of heart and disrespect from lack of piety of heart. You also see and read it.
- How can you say, "showing respect to things is shirk and visiting the blessed beard of the Prophet is shirk" after these explanations?
- Is it possible for our Lord, who renders a hill a sign and demands respect for it, not to demand respect for the beard of the Prophet (pbuh)? Is the blessed beard of the Prophet (pbuh) not as valuable as a small hill in the eye of Allah?
- In fact, Allah created this realm for the sake of the Prophet. Does the beard or other things of a person for whose sake the realms were created not deserve to be respected more than a hill?
How can a person who has some taqwa in his heart show disrespect to the blessed beard of the Prophet? I ask just people that question.
Holy Majid al-Aqsa, the chapter of al-Isra verse
The fifth Quranic evidence that we will show for the permissibility of tabarruk is verse 1 of the chapter of al-Isra. The following is stated about Masjid al-Aqsa in that verse:
الْمَسْجِدِ الأَقْصَى الَّذِي the farthest Mosque, بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ the farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless.
How did Allah Almighty describe Masjid al-Aqsa (the farthest mosque)? The farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless.
Those who deny tabarruk say, "Things cannot be mubarak." I ask them: - O those who say, "Things cannot be mubarak."Do you not read the Quran? See what Allah says: “the farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless.” Allah says, "I bless the things that I wish." You say, "You cannot bless; things cannot be blessed." Are you aware what kind of a statement you utter and what kind of a crime you commit?
Know it very well that Allah places barakah in a place and thing, making that thing blessed just as He places a benefit and use in a food and medication, giving it barakah. We learned five of those blessed things and places. We will find out more.
Denying the barakah of some things and places means denying some verses of the Quran. For, the Quran clearly states that barakah has been placed in some things and places. One of the places apart from Masjid al-Aqsa in which barakah is placed is the Kaaba. Let us hear what the Quran states about the Kaaba:
The following is stated in verse 96 of the chapter of Aal-i Imran:
إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيْتٍ The first House (of worship) وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ appointed for menلَلَّذِي was that بِبَكَّةَ at Bakka: مُبَارَكًا Full of blessing وَهُدًى لِلْعَالَمِينَ and of guidance for all kinds of beings.
Let us have a look at the meaning of the full sentence:
“The first House (of worship) appointed for men was that at Bakka: Full of blessing and of guidance for all kinds of beings.”
How did our Lord describe the Kaaba? He described it as blessed just as He described Masjid al-Aqsa.
Then, let us ask again those who deny tabarruk:
Allah describes the Kaaba as blessed though you do not accept that things can be blessed. After this statement, can you say, “The Kaaba is a piece of stone and my house is also a piece of stone; both of them are the same; I will treat both of them in the same way; I will not show respect to them?” You cannot say so. You might say so but will it be in accordance with the Quran?
Is it possible for you to say, “They are hills; the one in our village is also a hill; they are the same”? Let us connect this issue with visiting the blessed beard of the Prophet.
We askthose who deny tabarruk the following question:
- Masjid al-Aqsa and the Kaaba are blessed places, that is, places in which barakah has been replaced, as the Quran expresses it. Since Allah places barakah in something made of stone, why should He not place barakah in the blessed beard of the Prophet (pbuh)? Why should he not give barakah to those who show respect to it and kiss it?
- Is the blessed beard of the Prophet (pbuh) not as valuable as a stone in the eye of Allah?
That stone becomes the Kaaba and Masjid al-Aqsa when barakah is placed in it and is discriminated from other stones. When that beard grows on the blessed face of the prophet (pbuh), it is discriminated from other beards and receives barakah. Even if its name is the same, the difference between them is as big as the distance between the earth and the sky.
Blessed and sacred places
We proved the issue by using five verses of the Quran. There are many more verses that we can show. Dealing with each verse under a separate heading will lengthen the issue unnecessarily; therefore, we will use several verses as evidence in this chapter and prove again that things can be blessed and sacred.
We hope that the issue has been understood since we have analyzed the issue in detail and meditated on verses deeply. Therefore, we are not going to analyze the verses we will use as evidence in this chapter in detail. The essence of the issue is as follows:
Those who deny tabarruk say, "Things cannot be blessed and sacred. Showing respect to things is shirk." To answer their statement, we show the things that the Quran describes as sacred and blessed and say, "You say things cannot be sacred but the Quran states that these things are sacred." Thus, we refute their words by the verses of the Quran.
Now, let us have a look at the beings that the Quran describes as sacred:
The following is stated in verse 137 of the chapter of al-Araf:
“And We made a people, considered weak (and of no account), inheritors of lands in both east and west, - lands whereon We sent down Our blessings.”
According to Hasan al-Basri and Imam Qatada, the place mentioned as“lands whereon We sent down Our blessings is Damascus”. This verse clearly states that Damascus was rendered blessed.
It means some places can be superior to others. It is not shirk, unbelief or a sin to be in those places with the intention of tabarruk. It enables man to benefit from Allah's barakah.
The following is stated in verse 71 of the chapter of al-Anbiya:
“But We delivered him and (his nephew) Lut (and directed them) to the land which We have blessed for the nations.”
According to Ibn Abbas, the place mentioned as "the land which We have blessed" is Makkah.
It means a place can be superior to other places when Allah renders it blessed and sacred. In that case, the duty of man is probably to show more respect to those places, which Allah rendered blessed and sacred, and to visit those places in order to benefit from their blessing.
The following is stated in verse 81 of the chapter of al-Anbiya:
“(It was Our power that made) the violent (unruly) wind flow (tamely) for Solomon, to his order, to the land which We had blessed.”
According to Imam Suddi, the place mentioned as "the land which We had blessed", in the verse is Damascus and the land around it. This verse clearly proves that some places can be blessed and sacred.
The following is stated in verse 8 of the chapter of an-Naml:
“But when he came to the (fire), a voice was heard: "Blessed are those in the fire and those around: and glory to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.’”
In verse 30 of the chapter of al-Qasas, the phrase اَلْبُقْعَةِ الْمُبَارَكَةِ a blessed spot is used for the same place. The valley mentioned in the verse is Mount Tur and the land around it. Ibn Abbas states that the rendering blessed here means rendering sacred. This expression can also be understood as follows:
The place the fire exists is a blessed region; and barakah has been given to the places around this land. For, prophets were sent from those places. Their dead bodies are in that region. Allah Almighty blessed that region, especially the place where He spoke to Hz. Musa (Moses).
The following is stated in verse 18 of the chapter of Saba:
“Between them and the Cities on which We had poured our blessings, We had placed Cities in prominent positions.”
According to what Ibn Abbas states, the phrase "the Cities on which We had poured our blessings" are the villages of Palestine. As you can see, this verse clearly states that some towns have been rendered blessed.
The following is stated in verse 21 of the chapter of al-Maida:
“O my people! Enter the holy land which Allah hath assigned unto you.
According to some tafsir scholars, the holy land mentioned in the verse consists of Ariha, Palestine and some part of Jordan.
Those who deny tabarruk say "Things cannot be sacred." However, it is clearly stated by the phrase الْاَرْضَ الْمُقَدَّسَةَ that the earth is sacred. Will those who deny tabarruk close their eyes and overlook these verses?
Allah Almighty blessed not only things and places but also some nights; He reminded us to benefit from the barakah of those nights. For instance, He stated the following in verse 3 of the chapter of ad-Dukhan:
إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةٍ مُبَارَكَةٍ We sent it down during a Blessed Night.
Thus, we are informed that the night of Barat is blessed. After seeing this verse, can you say that all nights are the same and that they are not superior to one another? You cannot say so. If you do, you will oppose this Quranic verse.
There are more verses that we can show but it will mean to state what is already known, which is unnecessary. Therefore, we will not lengthen it anymore and connect the issue with visiting the blessed beard of the Prophet:
We ask those who deny tabarruk the following question: A night can be blessed. A piece of land and a valley can be sacred. We read them in the Quran.
- Why should the beard of the Prophet (pbuh) not be blessed? What do you not understand about it? Can there be anything more natural than it?
Besides, we will mention the respect the Companions showed to the Prophet (pbuh)’s beard and things.
- Will you still call visiting the blessed beard of the Prophet shirk?
What else can we say to you if you say so? We will only say, ‘Guidance and success come from Allah. May Allah grant you guidance and open the lock in your heart! This is our final word to you.
HADITHS ABOUT TABARRUK AND THE PRACTICES OF THE COMPANIONS
Up to now, we have proved tabarruk through verses. Now, we will prove tabarruk through hadiths.
Let us see the narrators and resources of these hadiths; after that, we will analyze them as a whole.
Tabarruk with the blessed hair of the Prophet (pbuh)
According to the narration of Jafar Ibn Abdillah from his father, When Khalid Ibn Walid lost his cap on the Day of Yarmuk, he said, "Look for it." People looked for it but could not find it. He said, "Look for it again." When they found it, they saw that it was an old cap; Khalid Ibn Walid said,
"When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) had a haircut after umrah, people raced to get his hair. I was faster than the others and got the hair of his forehead and placed it in this cap. I was always helped (by the barakah of this blessed hair) in any battle that I joined after that.”(Tabarani, Mu'jamul-Kabir, No:3804, 4/104; Hakim, Mustadrak, No: 52299, 3/338; Ibn Hajar, al-Matalibul-Aliya, No: 4044, 4/90; Abu Yala, Musnad, No: 7183, 13/139)
According to the statement of Imam Ayni, When Khalid Ibn Walid wanted the people to look for his cap for a long time, the Companions objected; thereupon, Khalid Ibn Walid Halid said,
"I did not act like that because of the value of this cap; I did not want it to be obtained by the mushriks. For, there were some hairs of the Messenger of Allah in it." (Ayni, Umdatul Qari, 3/37)
Tabarruk with the blessed hair of the Prophet (pbuh) after his death
Uthman Ibn Abdillah Ibn Mawhab narrates:
“My people sent me with water in a silver glass to Umm Salama, the wife of the Messenger of Allah. There was some hair of the Prophet in it. When a person suffered from evil eye or some other disease, he would send a vessel to Umm Salama. When I went to her, I saw some red hairs of the Messenger of Allah in a small container.”(Bukhari, Libas: 64, No: 5557, 5/2210)
Imam Ayni explains this incident as follows:
Umm Salama had some red hair in a small container resembling a small bell for camels. (The color of the Prophet’s hair was not red but they might the hair cut when his hair was dyed in henna.) When people got ill, they would use them for tabarruk; that is, they would ask cure with its barakah and put that hair in a container with water; they would drink this water in order to be cured. The family of Uthman, the narrator of the hadith, took some of that hair, put it in a silver water container and drank it with the intention of cure. Then, they sent Uthman to Umm Salama with this water container. Umm Salama took the container and put it in juljul, an object like a camel’s bell. Uthman, the narrator saw the red hair in it. (Ayni, Umdatul-Qari, 22/49; Qastalani, Ishadus-Sari, 8/465)
The Prophet (pbuh) wanting the remainder of his wudu water to be kept the Prophet (pbuh)
According to what is reported from Anas Ibn Malik, when the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) arrived in Mina and threw stones at Satan, he returned to his place in Mina. After slaughtering his animal, he said to the barber, "Take", he showed his right side and after that his left side. Then, he started to distribute his hair to the people. (Muslim, Hajj: 56, No:1305, 2/947; Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, No:12093, 4/223; Bayhaqi, Sunan al-Kubra, No:9400, 5/168)
The following was reported from Anas Ibn Malik:
When the Messenger of Allah threw stones at Satan, slaughtered his animal and started to have a haircut. He bent the right side of his head toward the barber. The barber cut the hair on the right side of his head. Then, he called Abu Talha from Ansar and gave this hair to him. Then, he bent the left side of his head toward the barber and said, "Cut." When the barber cut the hair on the left side, the Prophet gave this hair to Abu Talha and said to him, "Share it among people." (Muslim, Hajj: 56, No: 1305/326, 2/948; Tirmidhi, Hajj: 73 No:912, 3/255; Abu Dawud, Manasik: 78, No:1981, 1/606; Humaydi, Musnad, No: 1220, 2/512)
According to what is reported from Hafs Ibn Ghiyas, the barber started from the right side and gave one or two hairs to everybody. (Muslim, Hajj:56, No:1305/324, 2/947)
People racing in order to get the hair of the Prophet (pbuh)
Hz. Anas (ra) said,
“When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) had his hair cut in Mina, he took the hair from the right side of his head. When the haircut was over, he gave those hairs to me and said, "O Anas! Take them to Umm Sulaym (your mother)!" When people saw this privilege of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) for my mother, they started to race in order to get one of the remaining hairs of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh).”
Muhammad Ibn Sirin, who reported this hadith from Anas narrates: When I told this hadith to Abidatul-Salmani, he said, “It is better and more valuable for me to have one of those hairs with me than to have all yellow and white things on the earth and under the earth (to have all precious things and mines). (Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, No:13686, 4/509; Bayhaqi, Sunan al-Kubra, Salat:523, No:4223, 2/599)
The following was reported from Ibn Sirin: Once, I said to Abida, "We have some hair ofthe Messenger of Allah; we obtained it from Anas."Thereupon, Abida said, “Having only one hair of the Messenger of Allah with me is definitely better for me from the world and everything in the world.”(Bukhari, Wudu':32, No:168, 1/75)
Abida, who is mentioned in the hadith, is one of the notables of Tabiun; he became a Muslim two years before the death of the Prophet but he could not see the Prophet.
The Prophet (pbuh) wanting the remainder of his wudu water to be kept
Talq Ibn Ali narrates:
We went to the Messenger of Allah in a group and paid allegiance to him. We performed a prayer with him. Then, we told him that we had a church that belonged to us in our country. We asked him to give usthe remainder of his wudu water. Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) asked some water, made wudu, rinsed his mouth and poured the wudu water into a container and said to us,
"Set off now. When you arrive in your country, demolish your church; sprinkle this water there and transform that place into a mosque."
Thereupon, we said, "Our country is far away and it is hot. This water might get dry." Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,
“Add more water on it. For, my wudu water increases the cleanliness of water.”
After that, we set off and arrived in our city. We demolished the church and sprinkled that blessed water there. Wetransformed that place into a mosque and called adhan. The priest was a person from the tribe of Tayy. As soon as he heard adhan, he said, "This is a true call." Then, he headed toward one of our valleys. We could not see him after that. (Nasai, Masajid:11, No: 700, 2/369; Hatib at-Tabrizi, Mishqatul-Masabih, Salat: 7, No:716, 1/228; Ibn Hibban, No: 1120, 2/224; Tabarani, Mujamul-Kabir, No: 8241, 8/332; Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, No: 16293, 5/494; Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat, 5/552; Abu Nuaym al-Isfahani, No:47, 1/90; Ibn Abi Shayba, Musannaf, Salat:304, No:10, 1/528)
Doubtlessly, there is a strong secret settled in the Companions here:
Although there was a lot of water in Madinah and their country had a lot of water, they wanted the wudu water of the Prophet (pbuh). This was because of the barakah of that water. Otherwise, why should they put up with the trouble of carrying a small amount of water from a city to another in that hot weather?
Besides, when they said, "This water might get dry", the Messenger of Allah said,"Add more water on it." It shows that he shows consent when they do it and that the barakah given to water will remain constant.
According to the statement of Ibn Hajar, this hadith bears evidence that it is permissible to practice tabarruk with what the Messenger of Allah left and to carry them to cities. Besides, it indicates that what touches the body of the Messenger of Allah will not change forever, that this thing will remain in the perfect form that it attains when it touches the valuable organs of the Messenger of Allah and that anything that touches it will attain barakah.
Tabarruk with the sweat of the Prophet (pbuh)
According to what is narrated from Hz. Anas, his mother Umm Sulaym used to lie on a leather rug and sleep on it during the day. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) slept on that rug close to her. When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) slept, he would sweat a lot. Umm Sulaym collected his sweat and hairs in a jar, and mix them with nice scent. When Anas bin Malik was about to die, he wanted that mixture to be added on the scent to be put on him when he died. They did so. (Bukhari, Isti'dhan: 41, No:5925, 5/2316; Muslim, Fadail: 22, No: 2332, 4/1816; Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, No: 27187, 10/319)
Umm Sulaym, the mother of Anas, who narrated this hadith, was a foster aunt of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh); since she was a close relative, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) would enter her house and sleep next to her. This hadith shows that it is permissible to make tabarruk with the things that remained from the Messenger of Allah (pbuh).
In another narration, it is stated that Umm Sulaym made tabarruk with the sweat of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and that the Messenger of Allah saw and approved it. As a matter of fact, Anas bin Malik stated the following:
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) would enter the house of Umm Sulaym and sleep in her bed when she was absent. Once, he came and slept in her bed. When Umm Sulaym was told, "The Prophet slept on your bed in your house", Umm Sulaym went home at once. The Messenger of Allah was in sweat and his sweat accumulated on the piece of leather on the bed. Umm Sulaym opened her bag and started to squeeze the leather to collect the sweat in the jar in her bag. Meanwhile, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) woke up and asked, "O Umm Sulaym! What are you doing?" She said, "O Messenger of Allah! We hope tabarruk from it for our children." Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, "What you do is right." (Muslim, Fadail: 22, No: 2331/84, 4/1815)
According to another narration, Umm Sulaym answered that question as follows: "This is your sweat. We add it to our perfume. It is the best scent." (Muslim, Fadail: 22, No: 2331/84, 4/1815)
According to what is understood from those sound narrations, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) saw what Umm Sulaym did and approved it. There is no contradiction between the two narrations stating that Umm Sulaym collected his sweat for its scent in one narration and for barakah in the second one. For, these statements show that Umm Sulaym did it for both. (Ibn Hajar, Fathul Bari, 11/74)
Tabarruk by touching the blessed skin of the Prophet (pbuh)
Usad Ibn Hudayr, who was one of the notables of Ansar, was talking to a group of people and making them laugh. The Prophet (pbuh) hit his side with a piece of stick. Thereupon, he said, “I want retaliation.” The Prophet (pbuh) said, "All right." Thereupon, Usayd said, "You are wearing a shirt; I did not have a shirt on me when you hit me." When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) rolled up his shirt, Usayd started to hug the Messenger of Allah and kiss his side. He said, "O Messenger of Allah! What I wanted to do was this." (Abu Dawud, Adab: 160, No: 5224, 2/778; Hakim, Mustadrak, No: 5262, 3/327; Bayhaqi, Sunan al-Kubra, Jirah: 25, No: 16021, 8/87; Tabarani, Mu'jamul-Kabir, No: 556, 1/205)
In another hadith, according to what Habban Ibni Wasi Ibn Habban narrated from the old people of his nation, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was straightening the ranks of his Companions on the Day of Badr with an arrow he was holding in his hand. Meanwhile, he hit Sawwad Ibn Ghaziya, who was an ally of Sons of Adiyy Ibn Najjar, with the arrow in the stomach and said, "O Sawwad! Stand straight." Thereupon, Sawwad said, "O Messenger of Allah! You hurt me. Allah definitely sent you with truth and justice. Allow me to retaliate. Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) opened his abdomen and said, "Retaliate." Sawwad hugged the Messenger of Allah and kissed his abdomen. Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, "O Sawwad! Why did you do that?" He said, "O Messenger of Allah! What you saw happened. I wanted my skin to touch your skin in my last meeting with you." When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) heard this, he prayed for Sawwad. (Ibn Hisham, as-Siratun-Nabawiyya, 2/202; Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wan-Nihaya, 3/307)
In another hadith, according to what is narrated from Hz. Anas bin Malik, somebody called Zahir who lived in the desert brought some presents (plants, herbs, perfume, etc.) to the Messenger of Allah whenever he visited him. When he wanted to set off, the Prophet (pbuh) would give him some things that were available in the city. The Messenger of Allah loved him a lot and said, "Doubtlessly, Zahir meets our needs in the desert and we meet his needs in the city." His face was ugly. Once, he was selling the things he bought when the Messenger of Allah hugged him from behind. He shouted, "Leave me! Who is that?" When he turned round, he recognized the Messenger of Allah and wanted his back to touch the chest of the Messenger of Allah some more (with the hope of barakah). Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, "Who will buy this slave?" Zahir said, "O Messenger of Allah! You always regard me as cheap." The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, "However, you are not cheap in the eye of Allah." (Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, No: 12648, 4/323; Tirmidhi, Shamail, No: 231; Abu Ya'la, Musnad, No: 3456, 6/174; Bayhaqi, Sunan al-Kubra, Shahadah: 82, No: 21172, 10/419)
What would those who regard the people who visit the blessed beard, cardigan and grave of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) as polytheists have said if they had seen what the lofty Companions mentioned in those hadiths had done? Are these people about whom the phrase "guiding stars" is used on the true path or some poor people who call them polytheists on the true path? All sane and just people must make up their mind regarding this issue.
Tabarruk with the place where the Prophet (pbuh) performed prayers
Sharaf ar-Rawha is a place two destinations away from Madinah. The Prophet (pbuh) states the following about the virtue of that place in a hadith narrated by Abu Hurayra:
"This is one of the valleys of Paradise. Seventy prophets performed prayers before me here. Musa, Son of Imran, stopped here with seventy thousand people on the way to hajj or umrah." (Ayni, Umdatul-Qari, 4/269; Ibn Shabba, Tarikhul-Madinatil-Munawwara, 1/80; Wafaul-Wafa, 2/167-168)
In another narration, it is stated that Abdullah Ibn Umar, the great fiqh scholar of the Companions, did not perform the noon prayer on the way but performed it when he arrived there and that when he arrived there before the time for the morning prayer started, he waited there and performed the morning prayer there.
Musa Ibn Uqba narrates:
I saw Abdullah Ibn Umar’s son, Salim, look for some places and perform prayers there. He said his father, Abdullah Ibn Umar, habitually performed prayers there and saw the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) perform prayers there. (Bukhari, Masajid: 55, No: 469, 1/183)
It can only be explained by tabarruk that Abdullah Ibn Umar, one of the four great fiqh scholars of the Companions, and his son, Salim, looked for the places where the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) performed prayers and gave great importance to performing prayers in those places.
Mahmud Ibnir-Rabi' al-Ansari narrates:
Itban Ibn Malik, who was one of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and who was one of the Ansar who took part in the Battle of Badr, went to the Messenger of Allah once and said,
"O Messenger of Allah! My eyes got weak. I lead prayers to my tribe. When it rains, floods occur in the valley between me and them. I cannot go to the mosque to lead prayers there. O Messenger of Allah! I would like you to come to my house, perform a prayer there and make my house a place of prayer."
Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, "I will do it inshaallah." The next day, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and Hz. Abu Bakr came to my house after noon time. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) asked for permission to enter my house. I gave him the permission. He did not sit when he entered. He asked me, "In which part of your house do you want me to pray?" I showed him some part of my house. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) uttered takbir to start prayer. We stood behind him in a rank. After performing two rak’ahs, he saluted. (Bukhari, Masajid: 14, No:415, 1/164; Muslim, Iman: 10, No:33, 1/61; Ibn Majah, Masajid: 8, No: 754, 1/249; Nasai, Iqamah: 46, No: 843, 2/440; Abu Davud at Tayalisi, No: 1241)
Imamı Ayni, Imam Nawawi and Imam Qastalani deduced the following decrees from the hadith above:
1. Tabarruk with the traces of righteous people is permissible.
2. It is nice to perform prayers in the places where they performed prayers.
3. It is permissible to ask from them to make something have barakah.
Tabarruk with the place where the Prophet (pbuh)'s blessed mouth touched
Abdurrahman Ibn Abi Amra narrates from his grandmother (who is called Kabshatul-Ansariyya):
“Once the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) entered her house and drank water from the water-skin hanging on the wall by standing. Kabsha cut off the part of the water-skin where the blessed mouth of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) touched by expecting barakah from it.”(Ibn Majah, Ashriba:21, No: 3423, 2/1132, Tirmidhi, Ashriba: 18, No:1892, 4/306, Humaydi, Musnad, No: 354, 1/172, Tabarani, Mujam al-Kabir, No: 8, 25/15)
The following is reported from Anas Ibn Malik: “Umm Sulaym kept the part of the water-skin from which the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) drank water in her house for barakah.” (Ahmed Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, No: 12189, 4/238)
All of those hadiths are definite by sound chains of narrators and are recorded in the soundest resources. The question that needs to be asked here is this:
What was the purpose of the Companions when they kept the things belonging to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh)? Was it a reminiscence? Did they keep them to display in a museum? If so, why did they turn to Allah with them when they were hit by a misfortune or illness?
The Companions had only one purpose for keeping them: it was tabarruk with those things.
Tabarruk by kissing the hand that touched the Prophet (pbuh)
Yahya Ibn Harith az-Zimari stated the following:
Once, I met Wasila Ibn Asqa and asked him, “You paid allegiance to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) with this hand of yours. Is that right?" When he said, “Yes”, I said, “Let me kiss your hand.” He extended his hand and I kissed his hand. (Tabarani, Mu’jamul-Kabir, No: 226, 22/94; Haysami, Majmauz-Zawaid, No: 12798, 8/84)
Abdurrahman Ibn Razin narrates:
When we stopped by at a place called Rabaz, we were told: “Salama Ibn Akwa is here.” We went to him and greeted him. He showed us his hands and said, “I paid allegiance to the Prophet of Allah with these hands.” He extended his hands which were big like the hands of a camel. We kissed his hands. (Bukhari, Adab al-Mufrad, Chapter: 445, No: 1002, p. 264)
Ibn Jud’an narrates:
Once, Thabit asked Anas, “Did you touch the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) with your hands?" He said, “Yes.” Then, Thabit kissed his hands. (Bukhari, Adab al-Mufrad, Chapter: 445, No: 1003, Sh.264)
Tabarruk with the gown of the Prophet (pbuh)
Hz. Asma, Hz. Abubakr’s daughter, showed her gown (worn by Persian rulers), which had a hem of brocade, and sleeves bordered with brocade, and said,
“Here is the gown of Allah's Messenger (pbuh). This gown was kept by Hz. Aisha until she died; and when she died, I got possession of it. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) used to wear it. We wash it for the sick people (we make them drink its water). Cure is sought with it.” (Muslim, Libas and Ziynah: 2, No: 2069, 3/1641)
According to the statement Imam Nawawi, this hadith indicates that it is mustahab to make tabarruk with the traces of righteous people. (Sahih al-Muslim, Sharhun-Nawawi, 14/44)
Tabarruk with the place that the hand of the Prophet (pbuh) touched
According to what is reported from Safiyya Bint Majza’a, Abu Mahzura had a forelock on his forehead; when he let it, it would touch the ground. Once, he was asked, “Are you not going to cut your hair?” He said, “I am not going to cut it because the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) touched this hair with his hand.” He did not cut it until he died. (Tabarani, Mu’jamul-Kabir, No: 6746, 7/176, 177, Abu Dawud, Salah: 28, No: 501, 1/191, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, No: 15376, 5/242)
Tabarruk with the glass of the Prophet (pbuh) and the place where he performed prayers
Abu Burda narrates:
Once, I went to Madinah. Abdullah Ibn Salam met me and said, “Let us go to my house; I will make you drink from the glass from which the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) drank; you can also perform a prayer in the place where the Messenger of Allah prayed.” When I went with him, he made me eat sawik (soup made from barley and wheat) and dates. I also performeda prayer where the Messenger of Allah prayed. (Bukhari, al I'tisam bil-Kitabi was-Sunna: 16, No: 6910, 6/2673)
Let us ask a question here:
- Why did Abdullah Ibn Salam invite Abu Burda to his house? To make him drink from the container from which the Messenger of Allah drank andperform a prayer in the place where the Messenger of Allah prayed.
If tabarruk were not permissible, would Abdullah Ibn Salam have made this invitation? If tabarruk were not permissible, would Abu Burda have accepted this invitation? He would not have accepted it and he would have said, "Tabarruk is not permissible and it is shirk. I will not come with you." However, he did not say so and accepted the invitation. This invitation and Abu Burda’s accepting it show that tabarruk is permissible.
Tabarruk with the pulpit of the Prophet (pbuh)
According to the statement of Ibrahim Ibn Abdirrahman Ibn Abdilqari, it was seen that Abdullah Ibn Umar put his hand on the place where the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) sat on the pulpit and then wiped his face with his hand.
According to what is reported from Ibn Qusayd and Utbi, when there were very few people left in Masjid an-Nabawi, the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) would touch Rummana (the war club resembling a pomegranate that the Messenger of Allah held with his right hand), which was on the right side of the grave of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), make tabarruk, turn toward the qiblah and beg Allah. (Qadi Iyad, ash-Shifa bi Ta'rifi Huquqil-Mustafa, 2/86, Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat, 1/254)
Ibn Taymiyya, who is the greatest imam of the sect of Wahhabis, who oppose tabarruk regarding it as shirk, reported something true regarding the issue and said, “Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal allowed touching the pulpit of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and that the greatest fiqh scholars of Madinah like Ibn Umar Said Ibn Musayyab and Yahya Ibn Said did it.” (Ibn Taymiyya, Iqtidaus-Siratil-Mustaqim, p. 367)
It is understood from all of those hadiths that it is liked and approved to make tabarruk with the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) himself, his traces or anything belonging to him.
Tabarruk with the blessed grave of the Prophet (pbuh)
Amr Ibn Maymun al Awdi Narrates:
I saw Hz. Umar (who was in his deathbed after being wounded in the shrine). He addressed his son as follows:
“O Abdullah Ibn Umar! Go to the mother of believers, Hz. Aisha. Tell her, ‘Umar Ibnil-Hattab greets you.’ Then, ask permission from her so that I will be buried with my two friends (the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and Hz. Abu Bakr).”
When Ibn Umar conveyed his father’s message to Hz. Aisha, she said,
“I wanted that place for myself but today I will definitely prefer Umar to myself.”
When Ibn Umar returned, Hz. Umar asked him, “What is the news with you?” He said, “O leader of the believers! Aisha gave you the permission.” Hz. Umar said,
“Nothing was more important to me than that place."(Bukhari, Janaiz: 94, No: 1328, 1/469)
According to the statement of Ibn Hajar, this narration shows the mercy to be sent down on righteous people and the virtue of the people who want to be neighbors with good people in grave by expecting their prayer.
Muhammad Ibn Ahmad adh-Dhahabi stated the following:
It is reported that Ibn Umar regards touching the grave of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) makruh but Ibn Umar regards it makruh because he thinks it is disrespect. When Ahmad Ibn Hanbal was asked about “touching the grave of the Prophet and kissing it”, he did not consider it to be wrong.
If we are asked, “why the Companions did not act like that”, we will answer as follows: “For, the Companions saw the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) alive; they kissed his hands, raced in order to get his wudu water and shared his clean hair on the day of Hajj al-Akbar. We tend toward his grave with respect since we cannot see him alive. Do you not see what Thabit al-Bannan did? He would kiss Anas Ibn Malik’s hand and wipe his face saying, "This hand touched the hand of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). They originate from a Muslim’s extreme love toward the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) because a believer is ordered to love Allah and His Messenger more than his life, wealth, son, daughter, people, even Paradise and houris.
Hafiz Dhahabi reports that Ahmad Ibn Hanbal's son, Abdullah stated the following:
“I saw my father taking a hair of the Messenger of Allah to his mouth and kissing it. I saw that he put that hair on his eye, dip it in water and expect cure by drinking that water. I also saw him take the bowl of the Messenger of Allah, wash it in a big water container and drink that water. I also saw him drinking zamzam water with the intention of cure and spread it on his hands and face.”(Dhahabi, Siyaru A'laminnubala, 11/212)
Tabarruk with the traces of righteous people and previous prophets
According to what is reported from Abullah Ibn Umar, when people stopped on the way with the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) in Hijr, the land of the tribe of Thamud, they drew water from wells and kneaded dough with it. When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) saw it, he asked them to pour the water and to give the dough to their camels. He also ordered them to draw water from the well from which the she-camel (which came out of rock as a miracle of Hz. Salih) drank water. (Muslim, Zuhd: 1, No: 2981, 4/2286)
According to the statement of Imam Nawawi, this hadith encourages people to avoid taking water from the wells of oppressors and to take water from the wells of righteous people. (Nawawi, Sharhu Muslim, 18/112)
Tabarruk with Masjid al-Ashshar
Ibrahim Ibn Salih Ibn Dirham narrates: I heard the following from my father:
On the way to hajj, one of us (Hz. Abu Hurayra) asked us, “Is there a town called Ubulla near here?” When we said, “Yes”, he said, “Who promises to perform a prayer of two or four rak’ahs for me in in Masjid al-Ashshar and promises to say, ‘This prayer is for Abu Hurayra’? For, I heard my friend Abul-Qasim (pbuh) say,
‘Allah will definitely resurrect so martyrs fromMasjid al-Ashshar that only martyrs of Badr will be able to resurrect with them.’” (Abu Dawud, Malahim: 10, No:4308, 2/516, Bukhari, Tarih al-Kabir, No: 942, 1/293)
According to the statement of the great scholar Sheikh Khalil Ahmad as-Saharanfuri, this hadith indicates that the thawabs of bodily worshipping can be given to others as presents and that the places where saints and people close to Allah exist can be visited for tabarruk. (Ahmad as-Saharanfuri, Bazlul-Majhud, 17/225)
All of those hadiths and practices of the Companions prove that tabarruk is permissible. We address those who close their eyes to those hadiths as follows: The notables of the Companions like Anas bin Malik, Abdullah Ibn Umar and Hz. Aisha narrated those hadiths. And those narrations are written in the soundest resources like Bukhari, Muslim and Ibn Majah. Hafizes of hadiths analyzed those hadiths in detailed and unanimously agreed that they were sound.
If a person still denies tabarruk after these explanations, he is like a person who closes his eyes to the sun in the middle of the day. He cannot eliminate the light; he only makes it the night for himself.
Is cupping/getting one’s blood drawn sunnah? If it is sunnah, is there a certain time to do it? Does cupping invalidate fasting and wudu?
Cupping (hijamah) means to get one’s blood drawn with the intention of protecting one’s health or for treatment.
It is known that cupping was a method of protecting health and treatment before and during the time of the Prophet (pbuh), that he had cupping and that he encouraged others to have cupping. Accepting cupping as one of the best treatment methods (1), the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and his Companions are narrated to have had cupping in general for pains and headache (2) on their heads, shoulders, neck veins, hips and feet (3) and it is narrated that the Prophet said cupping strengthened the intellect and memory (4).
Cupping is advised on Monday, Tuesday or Thursday, and on the seventeenth, nineteenth and twenty-first days of the lunar months (5); in addition, there is some information about what parts and veins/vessels of the body are appropriate for cupping and some examples of cupping practice. (6) Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya states that the advice and information in the hadiths coincide with what the doctors of the period agreed and that according to the view of those doctors, blood pressure increased based on the movement of the moon and that the best time for cupping was the middle of the lunar month and the week that followed and that this period is more useful for cupping unless there is an emergency. (7) Scholars like Ibn Hajar and Ayni state that Bukhari did not include the hadiths mentioned above in his book because he found them weak and that there is no certain time for cupping. (8)
It is known that tides occur based on various positions of the moon in its orbit in the sea and even on land and in the atmosphere and that they reach the highest level in the phases of the new moon and full moon. Some researches done today show that the moon has similar effects on human body, that changes are observed in the hormone and liquid balance in the body in full moon and that the puerperal and menstrual bleeding in women are more severe then. Therefore, it is understood that if the hadiths that advise certain time periods are examined in terms of hadith technique and evaluated under the light of new scientific research, interesting results will be obtained.
It is known that the Prophet (pbuh) paid some money to Abu Tayba, who was a slave, for cupping. (9) When Anas b. Malik was asked whether cupping fee was halal, he answered it by reporting this incident. (10) It is not clearly stated in his narration whether the payment was the fee for cupping but Ibn Abbas said, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) paid the fee in this incident and added: "If it were haram, the Prophet would not have paid any money." (11) On the other hand, it is narrated that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) prohibited blood money (12) and that he said the income of the cupper was dirty (13). Some scholars interpreted the blood money in the first hadith as the money received directly by selling blood while others interpreted it as cupping fee. If it is taken into consideration that Abu Juhayfa, who narrated the hadith, bought a slave that practiced cupping and broke his instruments he used for cupping and when he was asked why he did so, he narrated that hadith, it can be thought that at least the view of the narrator is like that. (14)
Due to those different narrations, different ijtihads were made beginning from the time of the Companions. Some scholars attribute the prohibition of the Prophet (pbuh) to the profession of cupping being usually practiced by slaves and regarded as a low profession in terms of social status and they say it is not permissible for free people to charge money for cupping; some scholars say the reason for the prohibition is that it is a service and duty that needs to be done freely among Muslims. According to a view, it was forbidden to charge money previously and that the prohibition was removed afterwards; according to another view, the prohibition in the hadith does not show that it is haram but that it is makruh tanzihi.
It is stated in hadith resources that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said the fasting of both the person who performed cupping and the person who had cupping would be invalidated (15), that he had cupping when he was fasting (16) and that cupping would not invalidate fasting (17).
Anas b. Malik said they did not have cupping when they were fasting and attributed it to the fact that it would cause trouble to the person who was fasting. (18) According to Hanafis, who base their view on the first hadith, cupping invalidates fasting. However, the majority states that cupping does not invalidate fasting claiming that this hadith was abrogated. Nevertheless, even those scholars advise that cupping should be made after iftar since it could cause trouble to the person who is fasting.
When those two hadiths and the other narrations are evaluated together, the hadith "the fasting of both the person who performs cupping and the person who has cupping will be invalidated" should be understood as "the fasting of both the person who practices cupping and the person who has cupping face the danger of being invalidated." For, the person who performs cupping sucks blood and it is possible for blood to go down his throat and the person who has cupping can become too weak to continue fasting. As a matter of fact, Anas b. Malik stated that cupping was not regarded appropriate because it would weaken the person who was fasting. (19) Therefore, to give blood does not invalidate fasting.
It is known that the Prophet (pbuh) had cupping when he was in ihram (20); therefore, it is permissible for a person who is in ihram to have cupping. If some part of the body is shaved before cupping, according to some scholars, the general decrees about shaving are valid; however, according to others, a special permission is in question here and fidyah is not necessary, or this state is regarded as a matter of extenuation while determining the amount.
The views of the madhhabs related to bleeding are valid as to whether cupping invalidates wudu or not. According to Hanafi, Hanbali and Zaydi scholars, who hold the view that bleeding invalidates wudu, bloody cupping invalidates wudu; according to Shafii and Hanbali madhabs, cupping does not invalidate wudu. (21)
1. Bukhari, Tibb, 13; Muslim, Musaqat, 62, 63.
2. Bukhari, Tibb, 15; Abu Dawud, Tibb, 3.
3. Bukhari, Tibb, 14, 15; Abu Dawud, Manasik, 35, Tibb, 4. 5; Tirmidhi, Tibb, 12; Ibn Majah, Tibb, 21.
4. Ibn Majah, Tibb, 22
5. Abu Dawud, Tibb, 5; Tirmidhi, Tibb, 12; Ibn Majah. Tibb, 22
6. Abu Dawud, Tibb, 5; Ibn Majah, Tibb, 21
7. Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, at-Tibbbun-Nabawai (published by Adil al-Azhari-Mahmud Faraj al-Uqda), Cairo 1410/1990, p. 42, 45
8. Ibn Hajar, Fathul-Bari, XXI, 266-267; Ayni, Umdatul-Qari, XVII, 374-375
9. Bukhari, Tibb, 13
10. Muslim, Musaqat, 62
11. Bukhari, Ijarah, 18; Muslim, Musaqat, 66
12. Bukhari, Buyu, 25, 113
13. Abu Dawud, Buyu 1, 38; Tirmidhi, Buyu, 46
14. Ayni, Umdatul-Qari, IX, 287-288; Ibn Hajar, Fathul-Bari, IX, 165, 300-301
15. Bukhari, Savm, 32; Abu Dawud, Savm, 29; Tirmidhi, Savm, 60
16. Bukhari, Savm, 32, Tibb, 11; Abu Dawud, Savm, 30
17. Abu Dawud, Savm, 31; Tirmidhi. Savm, 24
18. Abu Dawud, Savm, 30
19. Bukhari, Savm, 32
20. Bukhari, Savm, 32, Tibb, 12. 14. 15; Abu Dawud, Menâsik, 35
21. see Diyanet İslam Ansiklopedisi, Hacamat item.
Hijamah (cupping) means to get one’s blood drawn from between two shoulders, the back, the back part of the head or some other place of the body through a glass, cup, bottle or horn with the intention of treatment. It is among the advice of the Prophet (pbuh) about health and a sunnah that he himself practiced.
Cupping is a general method of treatment that is used in order to eliminate the disorders caused by extra blood in the body rather to treat a certain disease.
This method, which was used by an instrument called "cupping knife", was replaced by drawing blood through an injector. A cupping knife is an instrument resembling a comb that makes a series of scratches on the body. Knives that are attached to a spring with a trigger in a copper box with many slits on it come out of the slits when a button is pushed and scratches occur on the body. Blood is drawn from the scratches by using a glass, cup, etc. A kind of leech is also used for it. The leech is placed on the painful place of the body and it sucks the dirty blood.
No matter what instrument and method is used, what matters is to get blood drawn. Cupping that is made upon the examination and advice of a specialist is a useful treatment method that is permissible in Islam.
Actions are dependent upon intentions. Cupping that is made with the intention of following the Sunnah and for the health of our body, which is entrusted to us, is regarded as worshipping. For, we can worship and fulfill our duties only with a healthy body.
There is definitely a meaning and wisdom behind the things that the Prophet (pbuh) did and advised us to do. His life is an example for us: "Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the Praise of Allah." (al-Ahzab, 33/21)
Abdullah b. Abbas narrates that a group of angels that the Prophet (pbuh) passed by said to him, "Order cupping to your ummah!" (Ali Nasif, at-Taj, III, 203)
Hz. Prophet (pbuh) himself had cupping by Abu Tayba; he got blood drawn from his head, paid money for it and said, "The best way to get blood drawn is cupping. (Or, cupping is one of the best ways of treatment.)"(Bukhari, Tibb 13; Muslim, Musakat 62, 63; Abu Dawud, Nikah 26, Tibb 3)
Hz. Prophet (pbuh) had cupping when he was in ihram too. (Bukhari, Savm, 22; Muslim, Hajj 87, 88; Abu Dawud Manasik 35). Scholars unanimously agree that cupping is permissible in ihram unless one has his hair cut. Similarly, the Prophet (pbuh) had cupping when he was fasting too. That is, he got his blood drawn. (Bukhari, Tibb II; Abu Dawud, Siyam 29)
According to what is reported from Nafi, Ibn Umar said to him, “Blood has eaten me (by accumulating). Fetch me a cupper and find a young one. Do not chose an old one or a child.”
Nafi says, Ibn Umar said, I heard the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) say, "To have cupping when one is hungry is more useful. To have cupping increases the intellect and memory. It strengthens the ability of a hafiz to memorize. He who wants to have cupping should do so on Thursday by mentioning Allah's name." (Ibn Majah, Kitabut-Tibb, 22)
Ibn Hajar gives the following in Cupping part of the explanation of Bukhari as follows: Bukhari has a chapter called "What time to have cupping" in his Sahih and he reports that Abu Musa had cupping at night and that Ibn Abbas states in a hadith that the Prophet (pbuh) had cupping when he was fasting.
Ibn Hajar writes the following regarding the issue: There are a few hadiths about the appropriate times for cupping but none of them is in compliance with the condition Bukhari lays. It seems to me that Bukhari wanted to say that cupping could be done when it was necessary and that there was not a certain time to do it. For, he narrated that cupping was practiced at night and the hadith that the Prophet (pbuh) had cupping when he was fasting.
It is based on a medical fact that cupping, that is, getting blood drawn, is useful to human health. The benefit of cupping is observed especially in treatment of some dermatological diseases.
GETTING BLOOD DRAWN
Blood is an important substance for life; it flows in veins, reaching the smallest cells of the body, carries food to them. On average, a person has blood at a rate of about one twelfth to one fifteenth of his body weight.
In today’s science of medicine, blood is drawn from a person for three purposes: For examination and analysis, for treatment; for transfusion.
1. For examination: A little or a big amount of blood can be drawn based on the situation. A little amount of blood can be taken from fingertips or earlobes and from heels of babies. A few drops of blood taken by pricking the fingertip is enough to count leukocytes and erythrocytes and to examine their forms and properties. In some diseases, it is necessary to take more blood in order to search whether some substances like sugar, urea and cholesterine exist in the blood. This amount is taken from the vein in the elbow cavity.
2. For treatment: If blood pressure goes up suddenly, if some poisonous substances accumulate in the blood, etc., as much blood as necessary is taken from the vein in the elbow cavity with injectors or by cutting the vein in order to heal the patient.
3. For blood transfusion: Blood is drawn from a healthy person from a vein with a thick injector in order to give it to an ill or wounded person.
Drawing blood was applied in the form of cupping in the past; cupping is sometimes used today too. In order to treat some illnesses, it is necessary to accumulate blood somewhere on the skin or by scratching the skin to draw some blood. This application is called "cupping". Bottles, cups, horns, etc. were used for cupping. On the other hand, blood is sucked by attaching a leech on the body.
In diseases like afflux of blood in the lungs, bronchitis, nephritis and pericarditis, the method of "dry cupping" is applied on the skin on these organs. The air in the glass, bottle or cup is emptied with fire; therefore, blood afflux is seen in the skin there; and this part first becomes red and then dark purple. This operation takes two or three minutes. In this method of cupping, it is possible to save the inner organs from blood afflux by drawing the blood to the skin from the organs inside.
The second method used in cupping is "bloody cupping". The places that turn red and dark purple after dry cupping are crushed with a cupping knife or a sterilized knife. Blood starts to flow out from those places. They are wiped with cotton and cupping glasses are placed again. The cups suck the places that are crushed and blood fills in the cups slowly.
The method of bloody cupping is generally applied related to diseases like blood afflux to lungs, pneumonia, severe infections in the respiratory tract, pericarditis and nephritis. On the other hand, it is known that cupping is useful for fat people and people having a lot of blood though they do not have any apparent diseases.
In today’s developing medicine, very effective new drugs and methods of drawing blood are used.
Getting blood drawn (hijamah) is something that the Prophet gave importance and encouraged his ummah. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) himself got his blood drawn several times. It is narrated that he had cupping on the seventeenth, nineteenth and twenty-first of lunar months. (see Tirmidhi, Tibb, 12; Abu Dawud, Tibb, 5)
According to what Anas b. Malik narrates, the places where the Prophet (pbuh) got blood drawn were the two veins at the back sides of his neck and the part between two shoulders. (Ibn Majah, Tibb, 21). Ibn Abbas reported the following from the Messenger of Allah (pbuh): "On the night of Miraj (Ascension), all of the groups that I encountered said to me, "O Muhammad! Continue to get blood drawn and order your ummah to do it." (Tirmidhi, Tibb, 12; Ibn Majah, Tibb, 20; Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, I, 354).
The Messenger of Allah states the following about when to have cupping and its medical benefits: "It is more appropriate to have cupping when one is hungry. There is cure and barakah in it. On the other hand, having cupping strengthens the intellect and memory." (Ibn Majah, Tibb, 22).
It is possible and permissible to get blood drawn in Ramadan while fasting. However, it is makruh if it weakens the body and makes fasting difficult. It is narrated that the Prophet had cupping when he was fasting but it is also narrated that he prohibited others from having cupping while fasting. (see Bukhari, Tibb, II, Sawm, 32; Abu Dawud, Sawm, 28, 29, 30; Tirmidhi, Sawm, 59, 61; Ibn Majah, Siyam, 18; Ahmad b. Hanbal, V, 363, 364, I, 248). Accordingly, it is more appropriate to have cupping at night in Ramadan unless there is a necessity.
I yawn a lot when I perform a prayer and say prayers (dua); it prevents me from reading. What is the reason for it?
To yawn means to give and take a long breath when the mouth opens involuntarily and spontaneously due to sleepiness, tiredness or boredom. It is similar to a state of absent mindedness and heedlessness. It is not something that fits a Muslim. Therefore, the Prophet (pbuh) states the following regarding the issue:
"Allah likes it when a person sneezes but not when he yawns. If a person sneezes and says "Alhamdulillah", a Muslim who hears it should say "yarhamukallah". Yawning is of evil. Therefore, someone who feels like yawning should prevent it as much as he can. For, when one of you yawns, Satan laughs at him." (Bukhari, Adab, 165, 166; Muslim, Zuhd, 54; Tirmidhi, Adab, 1, 4; Nasai, Janaiz, 52).
What is meant by Satan’s laughing is the state of heedlessness and tiredness of the yawning person, which is liked by Satan. Besides, any bad thing that happens to a believer pleases Satan and makes him laugh. A believer should move, wash his hands and face, make wudu and relax if he is tired when he feels like yawning so as not to please Satan. If he cannot prevent yawning, he should cover his mouth with his hand or something else.
(see Şamil İ.A.)