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Miftah-ul-Janna (Booklet for way to Paradise)

concerning beard-growing

concerning beard-growing are in keeping with the teachings of the Hanafî Madhhab in this respect, it has been deemed apropos to refer the readers to them as evidential informants. Hadrat ’Abdul-Haqq-i-Dahlawî ‘rahmatullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaih’ (958 [1551 A.D.] – 1052 [1642], Delhî) states as follows in the third volume of Eshi’atul-leme’ât: “Islamic scholars followed the local custom of the place they lived in concerning hair and beard-dying. For, it incurs notoriety not to follow the custom of one’s locality [in matters that are mubâh, permissible], which, in turn, is makrûh.” Muhammad bin Mustafâ Hâdimî ‘rahima-hullâhu ta’âlâ’ (d. 1176 [1762 A.D.], Hâdim, Konya, Turkey) states in his book entitled Berîqa: “It is stated in a hadîth-i-sherîf: ‘Grow your moustache short and your beard long.’ Therefore, it has been prohibited to shave one’s beard or to grow it shorter than a small handful. It is sunnat to grow one’s beard until it becomes as long as a small handful. It is sunnat also to pare it when it becomes longer than a small handful.” A small handful is a length equal to the sum of four finger widths, beginning with the lower side of the lower lip. When the Sultân commands something that is sunnat, even if it is something that is mubâh (permissible), it becomes wâjib to do it. Its being done by the Sultân and by all Muslims means a command. At such places it is wâjib to grow one’s beard as long as a small handful. To grow it shorter than a small handful or to shave it means to abandon something that is wâjib. It is makrûh tahrîmî. (Please see the next chapter for terms such as wâjib, makrûh, etc.) It is not permissible for a person who does so to be îmâm in a mosque (and to conduct namâz in jamâ’at). In the Dâr-ul-harb, however, it is permissible, nay, it is a must to shave your beard lest you should be persecuted or (lose your job, which in effect means to) be unable to make a living and/or so that you can perform amr-i-ma’rûf, serve Muslims and Islam, and protect your faith and chastity. Without an ’udhr, it is makrûh to shorten or shave it. And it is bid’at to (continuously) have a beard shorter than a small handful and to believe that thereby you are performing an act of sunnat. It means to change the sunnat. Committing an act of bid’at is a sin graver than homicide.] Supposing a girl and a boy reached the age of discretion and puberty, they were married under the contract of nikâh, and yet they failed to answer a question asked concerning the attributes of îmân, that would mean that they were not Muslims. The nikâh between them would be sahîh only after their being taught the tenets of îmân and thereafter their contract of nikâh being – 48 –

enewed. Please see the chapter dealing with the fifty-four fards (or farâid). If a person pares his moustache and another person, who is with him, says, “It’s no good,” it is feared that the latter may lose his îmân. For, it is an act of sunnat to shorten one’s moustache, and that (latter) person has taken an act of sunnat lightly. If a person wears silk –which covers his entire body from head to foot– and another person sees him and says, “May you be blessed with it,” it is feared that he, (i.e. the latter,) may lose his îmân. If a person commits an act of makrûh, such as lying with one’s feet extended towards the Qibla and spitting or urinating in the direction of Qibla, if thereupon other people try to dissuade him from doing that act of makrûh and the admonished person says, “I wish all our sins were as venial as this,” it is feared that he may lose his îmân. For, he has talked about makrûh in such a way as if it were an unimportant matter. And also, if a person’s servant enters his master’s room and greets his master (by saying, “Selâmun ’alaikum, sir,” and if a third person, who happens to be with his master in the room, chides the servant by saying, “Be quiet, you ill-mannered person! One simply does not greet one’s master like that,” that (third) person becomes a kâfir. However, if his purpose is to teach rules of decorum to the servant and means to say that the servant might as well do the greeting (silently) in his heart, then, evidently, his statement is not an act of kufr. If a person backbites another and then replies others’ dissuasive remarks, “I haven’t done something important at all, have I,” he has become a kâfir, according to scholars. For, he has commended an act of harâm, instead of denouncing it. If a person says, “If Allâhu ta’âlâ gives me Paradise, I won’t enter Paradise without you,” or “If I am ordered to enter Paradise with so and so, I won’t,” or “If Allâhu ta’âlâ gives me Paradise, I will not want it, but I will prefer to see His dîdâr (beautiful countenance),” statements of this sort are acts of kufr, according to scholars. Another statement that is said (by scholars) to be an act of kufr is to say that îmân will increase or decrease. According to Birgivî, it is kufr to say that it will increase or decrease with respect to mu’minun bih, yet it is not kufr to say so with respect to yaqîn and quwwat-i-sidq. For, many mujtahids spoke on the abundance and paucity of îmân. – 49 –

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