MUHARRAM is the first month of the Islamic calendar. Muharram means “Forbidden.” Even before Islam, this month was always known as a scared month in which all unlawful acts were forbidden, prominently the shedding of blood. It is one of the four sanctified months about which Allah Ta’ala says: “The number of months in the sight of Allah are twelve, so ordained by Allah, the day He created the heavens and the earth; Of them four are sacred. That is the correct religion, so wrong not yourselves therein.” (Surah Tawbah – verse 36)
The four sanctified months according to authentic Ahaadeeth are the months of Zul- Qa’dah, Zul-Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab. The sanctity of these months was observed in the shariah of all the previous Prophets. “Allah Ta’ala made them (i.e. the four months) sacred and increased their sanctity. Hence He declared a sin therein more severe and increased the virtue of good deeds and the reward thereof.” (Ibn Katheer Vol.2)
The best of fasts besides the month of Ramadhaan is the fast during Allah’s month of Muharram and the best of Salaah besides the Faraaidh (obligatory salaah) is the Tahajjud Salaah (performed after midnight). (Muslim,Vol. 1)
THE DAY OF AASHURAH( 10 TH OF MUHARRAM)
The Tenth of Muharram, known as the day of Aashura, is a very significant day in the Islamic Calendar. Nabi(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) has exhorted the Ummah to fast on this day. Hadhrat Aaisha(rahiyallahu anha) reports that Nabi(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) ordered the observance of
the fast of Aashura.
However, when the fast of Ramadhaan became compulsory, Nabi(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) left the fast of Aashura (i.e. it’s compulsion). Thereafter, whoever desired, kept the fast of Aashura and whoever desired not to keep the fast did not observe it. (Bukhari, Vol. 1)
Hadhrat Ibn Abbaas(radhiyallahu anhu) says: “I did not see Rasulullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) anxiously await the fast of any day, which he gave preference to (over other days), except this day of Aashura and the month of Ramadhaan. ” (Bukhari, Vol. 1)
VIRTUE OF THE FAST OF AASHURAH
The Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) has said: “The best fasts after the fasts of Ramadhan are those of the month of Muharram.”
Although the fasts of the month of Muharram are not obligatory, yet, the one who fasts in these days out of his own will and choice is entitled to a great reward by Allah Almighty. The Hadith cited above signifies that the fasts of the month of Muharram are most rewardable ones among the Nafl fasts i.e. the fasts one observes out of his own choice without being obligatory on him.
The hadith does not mean that the award promised for fasts of Muharram can be achieved only by fasting for the whole month. On the contrary, each fast during this month has merit. Therefore, one should avail of this opportunity as much as he can.
Nabi(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) was asked with regard to the blessings of this fast, he replied:” It is a compensation for the sins of the past year.” i.e. Allah will forgive the sins of the past year.”
(Muslim, Vol 1). Abu Qataada (radhiyallahu anhu) has related that the Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) has reported to have said, ” It is my thought that by fasting on the 10th of Muharram Allah Ta’ala will pardon the sins of the past year.” (Tirmizi). Note: For the forgiveness of major sins Taubah and Istighfaar is a pre-requisite.
Hadhrat Ibn Abbaas(radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that when Nabi(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) came to Madinah and found the Jews fasting on the day of Aashura he inquired, ” What is the significance of this day on which you fast? ” They replied, ” This is the day Allah saved Nabi Moosa(alaiyhis salaam) and his followers and drowned Fir’oun and his army. Moosa(alaiyhis salaam) fasted on this day as a token of thanks – giving, thus we too fast on this day.” Nabi (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said: ” We are more worthy of Moosa(alaiyhis salaam) than you and we are more closer to him than you are.” Thereafter he fasted on this day and ordered the Sahaabah to do the same”. (Muslim, Vol 1)
According to another hadith, it is more advisable that the fast of ‘Ashurah should either be prefixed or suffixed by another fast. It means that one should fast two days: the 9th an 10th of Muharram or the 10th and 11th of it. The reason of this additional fast as mentioned by the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wassallam) is that the Jews used to fast on the day of Aashurah alone, and the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wassallam) wanted to distinguish the Islamic-way of fasting from that of Jews. Therefore, he advised the Muslims to add another fast to that of Aashurah.
Rasulullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) is reported to have said: ” Observe the fast of Aashura and oppose (the ways of) the Jews. Fast a day before it (also) or a day after.” Hence, it is better to fast on the 9th and 10th or on the 10th and 11th.
GENEROSITY TO ONE’S FAMILY
Some traditions signify another feature of the day of ”Ashurah. According to these traditions one should be more generous to his family by providing more food to them on this day as compared to other days. These traditions are not very authentic according to the science of hadith. Yet, some Scholars like Baihaqi and Ibn Hibban have accepted them as reliable.
It is mentioned in a Hadeeth: ” He who will be generous to his family on the day of Aashura, Allah will be generous to him for the entire year.”
EVENTS OF MUHARRAM:-
1.Sayyidina Hussain (R.A.), the grandson of Rasullullah(sallahu alaiyhi wassallam) was martyred in this month in Karbala.
2.Shaykhain Tirmizi and Haakim has narrated from Anas(radhiyallahu anhu) that the following verse: “Allah may forgive thee of thy sins that which is past and that which is to come.” (Al-Fath) was revealed on the 10th of Muharram.
3.Prophet Muhammed(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) went to defeat Bani Muhaarin and Bani Tha’laba (Tribes of Bani Gatfan) in the month of Muharram in the year 4 A.H. (Asahhus-siyar)
Prepared by Al-Islaah Publications from Islamic Months & Nurul Huda Pamphlet on Muharram.
1. To awaken earlier than usual
2. To brush the teeth with Miswaak
3. To have a bath (Ghusl)
4. To be well dressed in an Islamic manner
5. To be dressed in one’s best clothes (Doesn’t necessarily have to be new)
Note: Care should be taken that we do not incur debts or transgress the limits of modesty on the clothes we purchase and wear on Eid day as is seen in Muslim communities of today. Many of our brothers are seen with unsuitable haircuts and inappropriate clothing imitating the kufaar and many of sisters are seen dressed provocatively attracting unwanted attention and the gaze of strange men upon them. What would happen if we were to die in such a state? We should adopt modesty in everyday of our loves and should never imitate the kufaar in anyway. May Allah save us from this evil. Ameen
6. To use Attar (Perfume)
7. To perform Eid Salah at the Eidgah (An open ground)
8. Avoid eating before Eid Salah on the day of Eid ul Adha and to eat an odd number of dates or anything sweet on the day of Eid ul Fitr
9. To go to the place of Eid Salah early
10. To walk to the place of Eid Salah (If it is within walking distance because every step is reward)
11. To read aloud “Takbeerat” on the way to the place of prayer for Eid-ul-Adha and silently for Eid-ul-Fitr:
“Allaahu Akbar Allaahu Akbar Laa ilaaha illallaahu Wallaahu Akbar walillaahil hamd”.
12. To use different routes to and from the place of Eid Salaah
13. To frequently read the takbeers (Loudly for Eid Ul Adha and softly for Eid ul Fitr)
14. To pray the Eid-Ul-Fitr prayer later and the Eid-ul-Adha earlier.
15. To read two rak’ahs Waajib Salaatul Eidain without any Adhaan or Iqaamah
16. It is forbidden to pray Nafil prayer before or after the prayer.
17. To read the two rak’ahs Nafl prayer on reaching home.
18. During Eid Salaah, in the first rak’ah, Rasulallah would recite Surah Ala (no. 87) and Suratul Ghathia (No. 8 in the second rak’ah.
19. Reciting these Sura’s in the Eid prayer should not be regarded as obligatory for other Sura’s may also be recited.
20. When Rasulallah completed the prayer of Salaatul Eidain he would stand facing the people who were seated in their rows and deliver a khutba issuing instructions and commanding them to do good. If he intended to send an army he did so and likewise issued any special orders he wished to.
21. The Khutba was delivered after the Eid Salaah
22. During both the khutba’s of Eid Rasulallah used to recite the Takbeerat frequently
23. The khutba of both Eids are Sunnah but to listen to them is Waajib. It is totally prohibited (Haraam) to walk around, talk or even read Salaah whilst the khutba is in progress.
24. To shake hands and hug one another on happy occasions is Mubaah (permissible). The general principle of a Mubaah act is not to regard the act as compulsory as that projects a wrong image of Deen. Furthermore, people should not regard the meeting on the day of Eid as compulsory and an inseparable part of the occasion.
(SUNNATS, Mufti E. M. H. Salejee pg 89, 90)
25. The greeting on Eid: Jabyr ibn Nufayr said: ‘When the companions of Allah’s Messenger met on the day of Eid, they would say to each other, ‘Taqaballahu minna wa mink (May Allah accept from us and you).” [Al Mahamiliyyat; hasan isnad; see Fath ul Bari 2:446
WE SEE FREQUENTLY PEOPLE COMPLAINING ABOUT RAMPANT EVIL PRACTICES, degradation of society, onslaught of vulgarity and obscenity etc. This is generally followed by sermons on righteous path that has been neglected for a long time. In brief it has become our national characteristic to find faults without looking for their remedies in right earnest.
What is unfortunate and disconcerting is the perception and treatment of the problem. Every one joins in and contributes his/her bit by making one remark or the other on the social ills and the drift from the religious practices. In doing so, they place all the blame on others, absolving themselves completely. They totally forget and ignore the fact that they are as much part of the society as others, whom they are blaming. People indulge in this sort of discussion for the sake of discussion and criticize others for the sake of criticism. They have little or no desire to improve the situation or bringing change in the decaying social order. They do not have a clue of the correct track or the righteous path. Neither they try to analyze the situation nor look for the causes which have been instrumental for the drift to the present day degradation.
So, what is really needed? To begin with an honest, sincere and objective analysis of the present situation is required and then an equally honest, sincere, and pragmatic solution is to be found to correct the situation. Unless there is a strong will and commitment to bring about a material change, there is little hope that we could come out of the present predicament by sheer desire. No amount of sermons or criticism for the sake of criticism can bring about any improvement in the present situation. Hence, as the very first step we should make it a habit never to participate in the discussions which are purposeless and devoid of actions and aim at criticizing others.
For analyzing the situation pragmatically, it is easy to recognize that society is made of individuals and we are a part of it. As an individual when we are a part of the society we are to be blamed as much for the degradation as anybody else, because responsibility of ills rest on our shoulders as much. So, why not look at our own actions instead of finding faults with others – Search the Self. It is a lot easier to correct ourselves than to correct others. Now, at this stage the Devil (Satan) is bound to come in the way and show hundred and one ways to absolve oneself and batter the society. For instance, it can be argued:
How can it help the society when only one individual mends his ways and the rest do not change?
How can one individual correct himself in a miasmal environment?
An individual by himself as a mentor or reformer would be an outcast and be jeered at.
An individual is likely to lose the worldly benefits if one adopts the righteous path all by oneself.
So, the easy way out is to stay in the main stream and keep doing as others are doing. It definitely requires a lot of courage and resilience to combat the Devil’s designs. But once the initial shyness is overcome, the sailing should be smooth and calm. When one could bolster enough courage and resilience to act and act single handedly; then is the time for soul searching and realize that what one is doing should not be done and what one is not doing that should be done. Thank God people generally are not in that state of mind where they could be naive and ignorant about the dos and don’ts. Because when they grumble about the degradation of society they surely know what should be done and what not.
Therefore, the bottom line message is; correct yourself first. It is obvious one can not correct himself completely overnight. So, priorities have to be set and then set the ball rolling. For instance, one may not be in the habit of offering prayers (Salah), keeping fast (Sawm), reciting / reading Qur’an, giving obligatory charity, (Zakah), obeying parents etc. On the other hand one might have been in the habit of drinking, gambling, womanizing, cheating, lying, backbiting etc. (Only a few well known dos and don’ts have been listed for reference purpose). In such a situation one should make one’s own selection of things and lay down his priorities i.e. how to go about leaving the don’ts and adopting the dos. One must make a beginning, no matter how insignificant and small, but it must be with a will and conviction so that one sticks to it. Then gradually but firmly one should leave the don’ts and adopt the dos one by one. As one will progress on the righteous path, one will feel the help from Allah (swt), as He has promised in Qur’an:
وَالَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا فِينَا لَنَهْدِيَنَّهُمْ سُبُلَنَا
“As for those who strive hard in Us (Our cause), We will surely guide them to Our Paths (i.e. Allah’s religion – Islamic Monotheism). (29:69)
For the sake of example, if one does not pray at all, he should start with one (Salah) at least which could be of his choice. If one does not recite Qur’an, he can make a beginning by reciting only a few verses daily. Similarly, if one is a habitual liar or backbiter, he should try to cut down the frequency in such indulgence. Likewise, if one indulges in accepting unlawful gratitude’s (bribe) he should make an effort to cut it down. When one makes a sincere and honest effort to leave the munkirats (what is forbidden) and adopt the Al-Maruf (what should be done) and asks for Allah’s (swt) help and mercy, He will Insha Allah grant him that.
When one changes and moulds one’s life style in line with the precepts of Islam, one will most certainly find oneself peaceful and contended. But attainment of that exalted condition is both easy and difficult. It is easy in the sense that Allah’s (swt) help and blessings will follow all along at every step if one endeavors to tread the righteous path with sincerity, zeal, conviction, and perseverance. Also, it is difficult in the sense that one will achieve nothing if one tries to change others before changing oneself. So, the key to success is that one should apply and adopt all the principles and precepts of the Deen (Islam) in one’s own day to day life and present oneself as a model to begin with. Incidentally, by presenting oneself as a model of that one desires others to follow, one would be emulating Rasulullah (saw) as he never asked anyone to do or perform something which he would not be doing himself.
Having attained the position of self modeling, one can then be in a persuasive position to influence others. It is the law of Nature [Allah (swt)] that every human being enjoys a sphere of influence in which his / her opinion and advice carry weight. Rasulullah (saw) has also pointed out toward this Divine rule and said:
كلكم راعٍ وكُلُّكُمْ مَسْؤْلٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّته – مسلم,ابواب الجهاد باب هاجاء فى الامام
Each one of you has (control) a sphere of influence and every one will be asked about those who were under his influence.
It is very true. If we look around we can see that every individual has his/her own sphere of influence, big or small, where people within that sphere look up and listen to him/her for advice and opinion. If this sphere is very small; it consists of at least the family members. Therefore, if none else, a person can at least influence his own family members and his goal (of influencing) becomes easier if his family members see him practicing the same things which he asks them to do. So, as the saying goes, charity begins at home; make a beginning to influence your family members first. It is not only the softest nut to crack, but also the religions (Deeni) duty to make one’s family members tread the righteous path. For Allah (swt) has said in Qur’an:
يَأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ قُواْ أَنفُسَكُمْ وَأَهْلِيكُمْ نَارًا
“O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell).” (66:6)
Influencing family members to follow one’s advice and preaching is much easier than convincing others to adopt his ways. Also, this is a Sunnah, as Rasulullah (saw) did the same when he received the first message from Allah (swt) i.e. he (saw) presented it to his family members to begin with.
It is true that initially one would face some resistance even from the family members also. Some will adopt the change quicker than others, some might accept the change in piecemeal; while, still others would threaten to revolt being the members of the same family they should all see the wisdom and truth in the righteous path and will rally around the leader of the family sooner or later.
When the family members come along and start following the Islamic teachings and precepts, one has succeeded in creating a small world for oneself and the family around him. This by itself should be a great source of the feeling of happiness and contentment. If one could correct oneself and make one’s family members follow the precepts of Islam, it will undoubtedly be a great achievement; an achievement for which one could expect the mercy and blessedness of Allah (swt) the Almighty.
Now, if we pause a little and look back where we had started from. It was about the complaint and criticism of others and the society for drifting from the righteous path and indulgence in unethical and un-Islamic deeds and actions. In this regard all that people are doing is nothing more than lip service and no constructive work. By passing judgments in the cozy atmosphere of drawing rooms, one cannot expect to correct and alleviate the ills of society and un-Islamic way of life. It is a futile and inane exercise with no positive or concrete results.
So, why waste time unnecessarily with no outcome. Instead, why not do something positive and rewarding; also, something on which you have control and can exercise restrain. If one could achieve sanity and purity of purpose through Islamic teachings and precepts in one’s own house hold, it shall indeed be a big leap forward. Those who are genuinely concerned with the present drift from Islamic teachings can make a beginning within their own family.
This way a number of house holds/families will emerge acting upon the teachings and precepts of Islam. Such house holds should act as oasis in the desert and might help others to emulate and change their way for the better.
Anas (ra) says: “A person who was wearing yellow colored clothing was sitting by Rasulullah (saw). It was the habit of Rasulullah (saw) not to bluntly express things he did not approve of. (Therefore he kept silent). When that person left, Rasulullah (saw) said to those present, ‘It would have been better if you told him not to wear yellow clothing’.” (Shamaa-il Tirmidhi pg.363)
Source: Darul Uloom al-Madania
by Shaykh-al-Hadith, Shaykh Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullah
During these critical times, the Muslims should observe the following:
1. With love and reverence, carefully study the beautiful life of our beloved Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam from authentic reliable sources.
2. Frequently make mention of this beautiful life to both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
3. Distribute leaflets and booklets which cover aspects of this great life far and wide.
4. Give place to his illuminating teachings in your daily life so that others can appreciate the greatness of his exemplary conduct.
5. Send salutations and greetings upon him in abundance.
6. Supplicate to Allāh ta‘ālā, beseeching Him to pardon our sins and to grant us assistance and protection from all evil.
7. Exercise patience and remain within the boundary set by our beloved Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam.
There are many great “returns” that people experience in their lives. The returning of a missing child, finding a very valuable lost item or a close family member returning home after spending many years overseas are some instances of a great return. These are moments of immense joy and happiness. The greatest “Return,” however, is when a sinful servant who had abandoned Allah Ta’ala and fallen into sin makes sincere taubah (which literally means “to return”) and returns to his Creator. There can never be a happier moment for such a person.
Retuning to Allah Ta’ala in sincere repentance brings down the showers of the Mercy of Allah Ta’ala. Due to his repentance, the one who was previously known in the court of Allah Ta’ala as a faasiq (sinner) earns the title of Habibullah (the beloved of Allah). His crying and sobbing while begging for forgiveness is more beloved to Allah Ta’ala than the recitation of tasbeeh of those who are busy glorifying Allah Ta’ala. Can there be a greater return?
Source: Al Haadi
Those who do not really want to apologize for the wrong they have done choose words that make it seem to be an apology yet it is not. “I am sorry for how you felt” is neither an admission of guilt nor an apology for what was done. It is more like saying, “What I did was correct but how you felt was wrong.” The same applies to those who “apologize for how you reacted”.
Is it not foolish to apologize for a reaction by someone else, of our deed or utterance? If we were truly apologetic for what we did, we would consider ourselves wrong and put aside all pride by choosing words like “I am sorry for what I said or did”. Many times when a “but” is added to an apology it is a mere justification or a showered down apology which could be insincere.
Whenever we apologize we should consider the wording of the apology and be as clear and sincere as possible. Never allow pride to block, disrupt, delay or water down an apology owed to others. May the Almighty forgive our shortcomings and guide us to the straight path.
Mufti Ismail Menk
I would like to know whether spending on one’s family on the 10th of Muharram is an authenticated practice. If this is so, is it recommended to spend specifically on food and drink or will general gifts suffice. Also could these gifts be bought in advance with the intention of spending on one’s family on the 10th of Muharram?
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,
There are two types of narrations related in this regard. The first concerning the virtue of giving general charity on the 10th of Muharram (Ashura), and the second concerning the virtue of spending specifically on one’s family on this day.
As far as general charity is concerned, it has been reported from the Companion Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-As (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said, “Whoever fasts on the 10th of Muharram (Ashura), it is as though he has fasted the entire year. And whoever gives charity on this day, it is like the charity of an entire year.” (Recorded by Imam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali in his Lata’if al-Ma’arif from Abu Musa al-Madini)
As for spending and being generous on one’s family, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) is reported to have said, “One who generously spends on his family on the 10th of Muharram (Ashura), Allah will be generous on him for the entire year.” (Recorded by Imam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali in his Lata’if al-Ma’arif from Tabarani in his al-Awsat and Al-Bayhaqi in his Shu’ab al-Iman)
These and other narrations indicate that one should be generous on one’s family and dependants and spend more on them by providing more food and other items on this day as compared to other days. One may give cash, food and drink, or any other item of gift.
Although some scholars consider these narrations to be weak (dha’if), many others like Imam al-Bayhaqi, Hafidh al-Iraqi and Ibn Hibban have accepted them as reliable. Imam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali relates from Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (Allah have mercy on him) that he did consider some basis for them. He also quotes Sufyan ibn Uyayna (Allah have mercy on him) as saying, “I have practiced this [spending on the family] for fifty or sixty years, and have found nothing but good in it.” (Lata’if al-Ma’arif P 64)
Moreover, even if considered weak, scholars generally agree on the permissibility of acting upon weak narrations for virtuous actions, as long as they are not fabricated (mawdu’).
As such, in conclusion, it would be virtuous and rewarding to spend more on one’s family on the 10th of Muharram. One may provide more food and drink or any other item. However, this practice should not be considered as firmly established, and thus, one should avoid attaching extra significance to it.
And Allah knows best
[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Leicester , UK
I recently came accross this article which I posted over at http://breatheislam.blogsome.com a long time ago but the advice still holds true and beneficial for us today, so I would like to share with you here again.
When it comes to the internet, so much time is wasted, previously the TV was the time waster but now the internet has surpassed it. We need to worry about this influence a great deal more as concerned Muslims. Many many hours and hours can be spent on the net and if after this one reflects as to what they gained from that period of time, the sad reality in most cases is that it was only flicking and scrolling from screens and webpages. Yes there are benefits to be obtained but in general there is so much time wasted on the internet.
It is so sad that after Isha people can sit on the internet and stay on for so long that the Fajr Salah is missed due to being tired. Visiting some places I asked the father/ parents that your son was awake until 2am, he said ‘oh yes he was doing his homework on the computer.’ Previusly we would know the child was at the library doing his or her homework, but now they do not have to even leave their room. Only Allah really knows what is going on in the childs room whilst the parents are asleep.
Every evil is available at your finger tips now. Just a few words to type and one can have a picture of such filthy evils imprinted onto your heart, evils previously unimaginable.
All these sins have an impact on our ibaadah and our imaan. Even the kuffar and sinners/ criminals in the past would not see some of the things we can so easily view today. Then we ask ourslves why we don’t we experience pleasure and khushu in our ibadaat? This is the effect of our sins on our heart.
The Holy Prophet pbuh said: ‘A look towards the Haram is a poisoned arrow from the arrows of the Iblees.’
How strong is our imaan and how many arrows can our imaan take? Now we are having these arrows shot at us, one after the other through the internet, and Satan continues to deceive us.
May Allah SWT give us the Taufiq to stregthen and protect our imaan from such sins. Controlling our Nafs is key to save ourselves, and we need to realise that when we are in the privacy, darkness and loneliness of our room with the internet, that Allah the All Seeing, All Hearing is All Aware of what we do. If we realise that someone is watching us while we commit such harams, and that they will take us to task tomorrow then we would refrain from the Haram right away. Then how can we continue with these harams when tomorrow we will be called to account for these actions in the court of Allah? How we spent each and every second of our lives will be either for us or against us. If despite realising these points we continue with these sins we should take a serious look with regards to our connection with Allah the Almighty.
Inshallah rememberring these points will save us from the evil influences of the internet.
transcribed from a speach given by Shaykh Ibrahim Madani
May Allah SWT give the ability first of all to me, and then to you to act upon the above and save ourselves from the clutches of the Satan. Duas requested please. Wasalams
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