Friday, 18 August 2017

The Hard Fight for What is Right

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Rev. John Watson once wrote, “This man beside us also has a hard fight with an unfavouring world, with strong temptations, with doubts and fears, with wounds of the past which have skinned over, but which smart when they are touched.  It is a fact, however surprising.  And when this occurs to us we are moved to deal kindly with him, to bid him be of good cheer, to let him understand that we are also fighting a battle; we are bound not to irritate him, nor press hardly upon him nor help his lower self.”

And this somewhat, is echoed in Rev. Martin Luther King’s quote here, with the addition of justice for all.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Dwight D. Eisenhower on the Chance for Peace

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave a speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, on the 16th April 1953, now called “The Chance for Peace,”.  He said, “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.  This world in arms is not spending money alone.  It is spending the sweat of its labourers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.  The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.  It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population.  It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals.  It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement.  We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat.  We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.  This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking.  This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense.  Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. Is there no other way the world may live?”

Commentary on the Hadits of the Blind Man's Intercession through the Prophet (s.a.w.)

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

There is a direct and explicit order of the Prophet (s.a.w.) recorded in Sunan ibn Majah to make tawaswswul upon the Prophet (s.a.w.).  It was narrated from ‘Utsman ibn Hunayf (r.a.) that a blind man came to the Prophet (s.a.w.) and said, “Pray to Allah to Heal me.”

The Prophet (s.a.w.) replied, “If you wish to store your reward for the hereafter, that is better, or if you wish, I will supplicate for you.”

He said, “Supplicate.”  So, the Prophet (s.a.w.) told him to perform ablution and do it well, to pray two raka’at and to say this supplication: “Allahumma innii as’aluka wa atawajjahu ilayka bi nabiyyika Muhammad, nabiyyi rahmati.  Ya Muhammad inni atawajjahu bika ilaa rabbii fii haajati hadzihi li tuqdhaa lii Allahumma fashaffi’hu fiyya,” meaning, “O Allah, I ask of You and I turn my face towards You by virtue of the intercession of Muhammad, the Prophet of Mercy.  O Muhammad, I have turned to my Lord by virtue of your intercession concerning this need of mine so that it may be met.  O Allah, Accept his intercession concerning me.”

Imam Abu Ishaq (r.a.) said this hadits is swahih.  Imam at-Tirmidzi (r.a.), in al-Jami asw-Swahih, declared it hasan swahih gharib.  It is also found in Imam an-Nasa’i’s (r.a.) ‘Amal al-Yawm wa al-Laylah; Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal’s (r.a.) Musnad; Imam Hakim’s (r.a.) al-Mustadrak asw-Swahihayn, where he declared it swahih; Imam an-Nawawi’s (r.a.) al-Adzkar; Hafizh ibn Katsir’s (r.a.) al-Bidayah wa an-Nihayah; and Imam ibn Hajr al-Haytsami’s (r.a.) al-Jawhar al-Munazhzham.  Besides them all, Imam ibn Majah (r.a.), and Imam adz-Dzahabi (r.a.) declared the narration to be swahih.

Similarly, there is another hadits recorded by Imam Hakim (r.a.), but in different words.  Like the previous hadits, ‘Utsman ibn Hunayf (r.a.) said he was present in the Prophet’s (s.a.w.) company when a blind man called on the Prophet (s.a.w.) and complained about the loss of his eyesight.  He added, “O Messenger of Allah, there is no one to guide me and I am in great trouble.”

On hearing his complaint, the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “Bring an earthen pot for ablution, then perform the ablution and offer two cycles of optional prayer.  Then say, ‘O Allah, I appeal to You, and submit to You through the mediation of Your merciful prophet, Muhammad.  O Muhammad, through your mediation, I submit myself to your Lord that He should Give light to my eyes.  O Allah, Acknowledge his intercession in my favour and Accept my supplication also in my favour.”

‘Utsman ibn Hunayf (r.a.) said, “I swear by Allah that we had neither left the company nor had we carried on a long conversation that the man entered and it seemed as if he had never been blind.”

This hadits is found in Imam an-Nasa’i’s (r.a.) ‘Amal al-Yawm wa al-Laylah; Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal’s (r.a.) Musnad; Hafizh ibn Katsir’s (r.a.) al-Bidayah wa an-Nihayah; Imam as-Suyuthi’s (q.s.) al-Khaswa’isw al-Kubra’; Imam al-Qasthalani’s (r.a.) al-Mawahib al-Laduniyyah; and Imam al-Bayhaqi’s (r.a.) Dala’il an-Nubuwwah.

Imam ash-Shawkani (r.a.), while authenticating tawaswswul, explained the saying of Imam ibn al-Jawzi (r.a.) that one should ask Allah (s.w.t.) through the intermediary of the prophets and the pious servants of Allah (s.w.t.).  He said, “I say that to seek intercession with Allah through the prophets and righteous is proven as is narrated by at-Tirmidzi who called it hasan swahih gharib, and also narrated by an-Nasa’i, ibn Majah and ibn Khuzaymah in his Swahih.  al-Hakim said, ‘It is swahih on the criteria of al-Bukhari and Muslim, the hadits of ‘Utsman ibn Hunayf that a blind man came to the Prophet (s.a.w.) and said, ‘I have been afflicted in my eyesight, so pray to Allah for me.’

The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, ‘Go perform ablution, perform two raka’at of swalah and then say, ‘O Allah! I ask You and turn to you through my prophet, Muhammad.’’

This hadits is mentioned in the book of swalat al-hajat.  And regarding tawaswswul through righteous people, it is proven from Swahih,” referring to Swahih al-Bukhari, “that the swahabah used to seek rain through ‘Abbas, the uncle of the Prophet (s.a.w.).  ‘Umar said, ‘O Allah we turn to you through the means of the Prophet's uncle.’”  This is written in Tuhfat adz-Dzakirin.

Imam ash-Shawkani (r.a.) also said, “And in this hadits is the proof on permissibility of seeking intercession to Allah through the Prophet (s.a.w.) but with the belief that Allah is the One Who Grants or Takes; whatever He Wills Happens and whatever He does not Will cannot happen.”

Mark Twain on Entry to Heaven

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Mark Twain aptly said, “Heaven goes by Favour; if it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.”