Prophet Lut

The stories of the prophets which are told to us in the Qur’an are not just tales of devout and God-fearing people. They are meant to serve as a warning to us of what happens to people who do not follow in the way of Allah.

Prophet Lut’s community

The society in which Prophet Lut (A.S.) lived must have been very much like the society in which we live, where natural laws governing the behaviour of men and women toward each other are not any longer respected. What is naturally right has become wrong and what is naturally wrong has become right, and all types of dishonesty and wickedness abound. Somehow, people who try to live in the way of Allah, who try to be clean and pure, honest and trustworthy, who are fearful of Allah, these people are scorned and disliked and made fun of. As you read the story of Prophet Lut (A.S.), remember that Allah’s punishment for wrongdoers is never far away and that those who fear Allah are surely rewarded.

Prophet Lut (A.S.) attempted to get his people to turn from their wicked ways. He would say to them, “Won’t you fear Allah? I am a trustworthy messenger, so fear Allah and obey me. I don’t ask for any reward from you. My reward is from the Lord of the Worlds. Of all the creatures on this earth, you alone approach males, and leave the women whom Allah has created for you to be your mates. You are people who sin beyond all limits.”

The people knew that Prophet Lut (A.S.) and his followers were leading a much cleaner and purer life than their own. Deep down in their hearts they knew that what he said was true, but they didn’t like being told so. So they would say, “If you don’t stop your preaching, you will surely be driven out of town!”

He in turn would reply, “I do detest your doings. O my Lord! Deliver me and my family from such things as they do!”

Now, at about the same time that Allah sent angels as messengers to Ibrahim , to foretell the birth of Ishaq , the angels also told Ibrahim that they had been sent to destroy the people in Prophet Lut’s (A.S.) township. His immediate reaction was, “But there is Lut there!” They replied, “We well know who is there. We will certainly save him and his following, except his wife. She is among those who lag behind.”

When the same messengers came to Prophet Lut (A.S.) , he was deeply concerned for their safety at the hands of his fellow townspeople, and he felt powerless to protect them. But they said, “Don’t be afraid and don’t grieve. We are here to save you and your followers.”

Just as Prophet Lut (A.S.) had feared, the townspeople came after his guests. He even tried to offer them his daughters for them to marry, if they would only leave his guests alone. But they tried to snatch away his guests anyway, until Allah blinded their eyes and they heard, “Now taste my anger and my warning.”

Prophet Lut Leaves

Then the angels conveyed their message to Prophet Lut (A.S.) . They said, “O Lut! We are messengers from your Lord. Travel with your family while yet a part of the night remains. You bring up the rear and don’t let anyone look back. But your wife will remain behind and to her will happen what happens to the people. Morning is the appointed time and it is not far off, so go!”

And Prophet Lut (A.S.) had faith in Allah and left his home and all he had ever known, for the sake of his Lord.

When morning came the cities were turned upside down. Brimstones as hard as baked clay rained down upon the cities and spread, layer on layer. Everyone and everything in the towns were destroyed. That was the end of those who indulged in sin and crime.

You can read about Prophet Lut in the Qur’an, Sura 7, Ayat 80-84; Sura 11, Ayat 63-83; Sura 15, Ayat 57-77; Sura 25, Ayat 160-175; Sura 25, Ayat 54-58; Sura 29, Ayat 26, 28-35; Sura 37, Ayat 133-138; Sura 51, Ayat 31-37; Sura 54, Ayat 33-39; Sura 66, Ayat 10.

The Realm after Death (Barzakh)

It is the belief (‘Aqeedah) of deen that after death, mankind will enter a realm before the day of resurrection, which is known as Aalam-e-Barzakh. There are many sects in Islam who claim to be Muslims but do not believe in Aalam-e-Barzakh.’ This is a grave misunderstanding on behalf of these people. Death is the ultimate reality that no human can escape. It awes people and challenges all of their false claims of deviant beliefs. It puts an end to their hopes for prosperity and success in this life. Once there, they have no way of returning to this life.

Allah say’s in the noble Qur’aan:

“Until, when death comes to one of them (those who join partners with Allah), he say’s, “My lord! Send me back. Perhaps I may do good in that which I have left behind,” Indeed no! It is but a word that he speaks, and behind them is a Barzakh until the day when they are raised up.”

The discussion regarding Al-Barzakh is only based on authentic text from Allah’s book and his messengers Sunnah. It has been mentioned in the Qur’aan and has been established by numerous Ahaadeeth.

Al-Barzakh has two states. A person will either be punished in this realm, which is known, as “Azhaabul-Qabr” or he will receive the blessings and bounties of Allah due to his faith and good deeds, this is known as “Tan’eemu Ahlit-Taa’ah Fil Qabr.”

Majority of the books on six Aqeedah only mention the former state and suffice on that. This is due to the fact that the narration regarding six Azhaabul-Qabr exceeds the narrations regarding Tan’eemu Ahlit-Taa’ah Fil Qabr. Also, due to the fact that there are more people who will be punished in the grave than those who shall receive bounties. It is reported in an very lengthy Hadeeth reported by Ahmed and Abu Dawood on the authority of Al-Baraa Bin Azhib, that they (the companions) when out with Allah’s messenger to the funeral of a man from the Ansaar.

They reached the location of the grave before it was dug. The messenger of Allah sat down facing the Qibla; and they sat around him quietly, as if afraid to disturb birds standing on their heads. He held in his hand, a stick with which he was moving the earth, raising and lowering his eyes three times. He said to them (two or three times), “seek refuge in Allah from the punishment of the grave.” Then he said (three times), “oh! Allah I seek refuge in you from the punishment of the grave.”

From this Hadeeth, we can see that the prophet himself seeked refuge from the punishment of the grave. No human being will be speared from the squeeze of the grave. However, the following Hadeeth indicates that it is not the same degree of severity for all people; some it would be Sa’ad bin Mu’az; however, he was squeezed once then released.” (Narrated by At-Tabrani in Al-Kabir).

However those who will receive the bounties and the mercy of Allah will truly be in the gardens of bliss. Although it is apparent that the best protection against punishment in the grave is to carry the truth belief in Allah and avoid the major sins. There are specific things that are mentioned in the Ahaadeeth that protect a person from the punishment of the grave. These things are as follows: Martyrdom on the battlefield (At-Tirmizhi), standing guard in the way of Allah (Muslim), death caused by abdomen disease (At-Tirmizhi), reciting suratul Mulk (Al-Hakim), Dying on Friday (Ahmed and At-Tirmizhi).

Before the two above mentioned, it states that the person will be approached by Munkar and Nakeer.

Author:(Maulana) Afikul Islam
(Arabic Year 6 – 2001), Darul Uloom London

Anger

When angered by someone, leave his presence or have him removed from your presence and drink cold water. If the anger is overwhelming then reflect: Allah Ta’ala too has rights over me and I frequently violate such rights. When He forgives us, we too should forgive the faults and errors of others. What will be my plight if He seeks to take vengeance?
Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi

A Female Child

It is mentioned in a hadith that Nabi (sallalaahu alayhi wassallam) said, ” When a female child is born, Allah Ta’ala sends His angels to that house. They come to the dwellers of the house and pray that peace may be upon them, The angels then cover the newly born girl in the shadow of their wings and caressing the head of the baby with their hands they say that, this is a weak and frail person, whoever will bear the responsibility of cherishing her will go on having the blessing of Allah Ta’ala as long as that person remains alive.” ( Al-Mojam al – Saghir li Tabrani).

Source: Upbringing Children in Islam

Replying to One who sneezes

As a right one Muslim enjoys over another, one should reply to the person who sneezes.

Hadhrat Anas Bin Malik (رضى الله تعالى عنه) narrates that two people sneezed in the presence of Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم). He replied to one and not the other. The one who did not get the reply of Yar-Hamukullah said: “So and so sneezed and you replied but you did not do so when I sneezed?” The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) replied: “He said “Alhumdulillah” whilst you failed to say Alhumdulillah.” [Muslim]

One of the etiquettes of sneezing is that the sound should be stilted and the nose covered. This ensures that one’s companion are not annoyed if anything comes out of his nose. In the event of any food or person before him, one should turn his face away and sneeze to prevent the particles that emerge from sneezing from falling onto the food or person before him.

Whenever our beloved Rasulullah صلى الله عليه وسلم sneezed, he would cover his face with his hands or with a piece of cloth, so that the sound of the sneeze could not be heard too loudly. [Tirmidhi]

Abu Musa al-Ash’ari (رضى الله تعالى عنه) said: I heard Allah’s messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) say, “When one of you sneezes and praises Allah, invoke a blessing on him, but if he does not praise Allah do not invoke a blessing on him.” [Muslim]

Source: The 40 Pathways to Jannah by Sheikh Khalid Sayyid Ali

Am I Grateful?

Am I truly grateful for each breath that I take,
For each and every moment that I am awake?
Do I thank Allah for my restful sleep,
And for the dreams that cause me to weep?

Am I honestly thankful to the Almighty One,
For the early morning mist, the bright, rising sun?
During Fajr prayer, I use my soft prayer mat,
As Allah’s servant, do I appreciate that?

Throughout the day, do I realise,
That Allah, All knowing and the Most Wise,
Gives me what I need and so much more
And that I have so much to be grateful for?

A grandmother’s love, a book of hadith,
The clothes that I wear, the food that I eat,
The book that I should follow, the Holy Qur’an,
Promoting the good and ending the wrong.

So I must ask myself every beautiful day,
Am I truly grateful for each breath that I take,
For each and every moment that I am awake?
Do I thank Allah for my restful sleep,
And for the dreams that cause me to weep?

By Ibn-e-Malik (Voices Issue 7)

Prophet Nuh

The prophets of Allah often had a tough time getting their people to listen to them, and Prophet Nuh (Alayhis Salam) was no exception. His people had been going very far astray, they worshipped idols, and many of them were so involved with their material well being that they forgot about their souls. Therefore Allah sent Prophet Nuh (Alayhis Salam) to his people with a message.

Prophet Nuh’s Message

The prophet Nuh’s (Alayhis Salam) message was a simple one. He said that they should worship Allah and serve none but Allah. If they wouldn’t change their ways, he feared that Allah would send down a terrible punishment on them. He reminded them of all the beauty and bounty that Allah had provided for them.

There were some people who did believe and they tried very hard to live as Allah had commanded. But most of the people would find reasons for not listening to Prophet Nuh’s (Alayhis Salam) message. Often the leaders would say that Prophet Nuh (Alayhis Salam) was crazy. At other times the leaders of those who didn’t believe would say, “You are just a man, no different from us, no angel, so how can you carry a message from Allah?”

And Prophet Nuh (Alayhis Salam) would remind them that he had never claimed to be anything other than a man, he had never claimed to know anything more than what he knew, and he had never tried to get anything from them in return for what he had to tell them. But he repeatedly told them that he had a message from Allah, which it was his duty to deliver, whether or not they chose to listen to him.

Many of the people who believed in Prophet Nuh (Alayhis Salam) were not very high in social status, so the leaders of the people looked down on the followers of Prophet Nuh (Alayhis Salam). But he said that no one could save him from Allah’s anger if he drove away any of those who believed, no matter how poor or uneducated they were. Finally the leaders of the people would say in exasperation, “You’ve argued and argued with us for a long time, so bring on this punishment now that you’ve been threatening us with.”

Prophet Nuh’s (Alayhis Salam) answer was, “Allah will bring it on you if He so wills, and then you will not be able to stop it.”

These discussions went on for a long time. Prophet Nuh (Alayhis Salam) lived for 950 years among his people (Sura 29,Ayat 14). He became very discouraged when not many people would listen to him. He then received a message from Allah, “None of your people will believe except those who have believed already: So don’t worry about the wrongdoers any more. Build a ship under our guidance. Those who are in sin will soon be destroyed.”

Prophet Nuh and the building of the Ship

Prophet Nuh (Alayhis Salam) and his followers built the ship out of broad planks and caulked it with palm-fibre. As they worked the non believers ridiculed them. Sometime after the ship had been completed, water started gushing out of the earth. Allah commanded Prophet Nuh (Alayhis Salam) to get into the ship, and to take with him a male and a female of each kind of living thing, and also to take the members of his family who believed and the small number of other believers from the community.

This was Prophet Nuh’s (Alayhis Salam) prayer before the flood. “O my Lord! Leave not a single one of the unbelievers on earth. For if any are left, they will only mislead those who worship you, and they will only produce wicked, ungrateful offspring. O my Lord! Forgive me, my parents, all who enter my house in faith, and all believing men and women. And to the wrongdoers grant no increase except in eternal damnation.”

The waters started to rise as water poured out of the earth and rain poured down upon the earth, and the waves were very high, like mountains. But the ship floated safely on the waves. Nuh (Alayhis Salam) saw one of his sons still on the shore and called to him to join them. The son was not a believer and called back that he would be safe on some mountain top. At that moment a wave came along and swept the son away, and he was seen no more.

Now Nuh (Alayhis Salam) was concerned about his son who had been washed away by the waves, because a father never stops being a father, even if the son is not a worthy man. So Nuh (Alayhis Salam) asked Allah, “O my Lord, surely my son is one of my family. And you promised that my family would be safe.”

Allah replied, “He is not a member of your family, for his conduct is not righteous. So don�t ask me for things about which you have no knowledge.” Then Nuh (Alayhis Salam) realized that he had gone too far. He begged Allah to forgive him for asking for something about which he had no knowledge. Only Allah knew why the son had been separated from the others.

When all the earth was flooded, Allah commanded, “O earth, swallow up your water and O sky, withhold your rain!” Slowly the waters receded and the ship came to rest on top of Mount Judi. The only surviving people were in that ship. Thus did Allah do away with those who did wrong.

Then Allah said, “O Nuh! Come down from your ship with peace from us, and blessings on you and on some of the peoples who will spring from those with you. But there will be other people who will lead a life of pleasure for a time, only in the end to be punished by us.”

You can read about Nuh (Alayhis Salam) in the Qur’an, Sura 7,Ayat 59-64; Sura 11,Ayat 25-49; Sura 26,Ayat 105-122; Sura 54,Ayat 9-15; and Sura 71,Ayat 1-28.