Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Closing Comments

As salaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

To those of you who have posted questions in the past few months and not had a response, we apologize. We have been away from Madinah for three months at our farm and future Islamic educational retreat, Healing Earth wa al hamdul'Illah. Quite honestly, we don't have the time to keep up with the questions and won't be responding to anymore emails. In addition, what we have found is that most of the questions are things that are already written about somewhere in this blog.

Most of the information herein is still valid, although prices and locations of places may and do change from time to time. Al hamdul'Illah, there is more information on the Internet about shops and places in Madinah than before, so prices of food and goods from Hyperpanda, Carrefour, Watania Organic, Jarir Bookstore, and others can be found online. Aside from expansion changes, all the basic information about Masjid un Nabawi is the same inshaa Allah. Housing prices may creep up, but we still have relatively realistic prices quoted on the blog posts about housing that can be used as a guideline. Schools have not improved to any extent, but there are listings of schools in Madinah that can be found and small, local ones do keep popping up.

We will be closing comments on this blog and will no longer be posting information herein. As we are in our final 8 months here in Madinah, prior to returning to develop our farm, build a masjid and Islamic retreat at Healing Earth, we will be busy focusing on intensive Arabic and preparations prior to leaving. If you are seeking information about living in Madinah, please do read through the posts of this blog completely. We have found that nearly every question asked of us has already been addressed on the blog, but people haven't read through it.

We pray Allah blesses you all in your efforts to draw closer to Him and worship Him and wish you all the Ultimate Success in this life and the Aakhirah - AMEEN!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Praying and Teaching in the Mosques of the Soofees

Shaykh Abdul Azeez Ibn Baaz

Reference: http://www.binbaz.org.sa/mat/15983
Question: There exists a Masjid in our area that has been built by a group from the Soofiyyah. This was after we – Ahlus Sunnah – wanted to build it, however they insisted on building it and so they did. The Masjid is under their administration and control. They hold sessions of poetry and praises in the Masjid.
Is it permissible for us – the Sunnis – to pray in this Masjid with them and also pray behind their Imaam who is an innovator, or what else can we do?
Response: If their Imaam is not a disbeliever, and he only has with him some innovations that do not necessitate a person to be exited from Islaam, then there is nothing preventing one from praying with them as well as advising, educating and teaching them by calling them to Allaah after the prayers. Also [there is no problem] in circles of knowledge in the Masjid so the people benefit, learn and leave the innovations they have with them – inshaaAllah. This is from cooperating upon righteousness and Taqwa (piety) and also from the avenue of advising each other.
If, however, the Imaam performs that which necessitates disbelief, such as the person who seeks deliverance and rescue from Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam), supplicates to other than Allaah, seeks rescue from the deceased, makes oaths and vows by them or sacrifices in their name then this is disbelief and misguidance. These actions are acts of disbelief and so it is not permissible to pray behind such a person. This is because these actions are acts of disbelief in Allaah (the Exalted) and polytheism.
Similar to this is if their Imaam possesses a creed of disbelief, like the one who believes that the righteous people are able to effect creation other than Allaah and that they control the worlds. This is similar to what some of the Soofiyyah say. Also [if the Imaam] possesses the belief of those people who believe in the unity of creation, whereby they say that the Creator and creation are one; the Creator and creation, the worshipper and the One worshipped are one in unity; and other false notions of disbelief – the one who possesses such beliefs is a disbeliever and one is not to pray behind him.
As for the innovations that are less than disbelief then it is permissible to pray behind him. For example the innovation of celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam), it is not disbelief. Also some of the other innovations that the Soofees partake in that do not contain aspects of disbelief, rather they are less than disbelief and so praying behind them cannot be prohibited.
As for the poetry that they come with, then it is to be analysed. So if it contains disbelief like the poetry of the one who wrote the Burdah, [1] wherein he said:
Most generous of mankind, I have no one to take refuge in;
Except you at occurrence of widespread calamity.
If you do not take my hand out if kindness on the Day of Resurrection,
then what great trouble I will be in
For verily amongst your bounties is this world, and the hereafter.
And part of your knowledge is knowledge of the Preserved Tablet (Lowh), and the Pen.
Whenever time caused me any distress and I took refuge in him.
I receive shelter from him which was not misused.
These verses of poetry contain disbelief and this is a misguided belief. So if those in the Masjid believe similar to these affairs then the prayer is not fulfilled behind their Imaam. This is because the belief that the Messenger of Allaah (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) knows the unseen or that he has control over this world and the Hereafter is disbelief and misguidance – refuge is sought in Allaah. The knowledge of the unseen is only known to Allaah (Glorified and the Most High).
Similar to this is the belief of some of the Soofees and polytheists who believe that the Messenger of Allaah (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) is able to rescue people on the Day of Resurrection and that he is able to recue the one who supplicates to him on the Day of Resurrection from the Fire. This is disbelief and misguidance.
All the affairs are in the Hands of Allaah (Glorified and the Most High); He is the one who saves from the Fire; He is the one who has knowledge of the Unseen; He is the one who possesses sovereignty and controls all the affairs – May He be Glorified the Most High.
The Messenger (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) does not possess the ability to exit people from the Fire; he is able to plead intercession, and Allaah has availed him a limited opportunity to intercede on the Day of Resurrection. He will only intercede for the people of Tawheed and Imaan (Faith).
Abu Huraira (may Allaah be please with him) said,
O Messenger of Allaah, who are the people truly deserving of your intercession?
He replied,
Whomsoever declared ‘Laa ilaaha illa Allaah’ sincerely from his heart
or he said,
sincerely from his self
He (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) also said,
I have delayed my supplication [so I may seek] intercession for my nation on the Day of Resurrections. It will be achieved – Allaah willing – by the one who dies from my nation and does not associate any partners to Allaah
In conclusion, if the Imaam has aspects of disbelief with him, then he is not to be prayed behind. As for if his innovations are less than disbelief then there is nothing preventing the prayer behind him.
However if there is another Masjid wherein Ahlus Sunnah are present, then it is better and preferred to pray therein; it is also more distanced from any evil.
At the same time, however, Ahlus Sunnah should remain in contact with People of Innovation (Ahl al-bid’ah) in order to advise, direct, educate and give them understanding of the religion; cooperating with them upon goodness and Taqwa (piety).
This is because some of the people of innovation may be ignorant and lack insight, so if he was to know the truth he would accept it and leave alone the innovation. Therefore Ahlus Sunnah should remain in contact with the people of innovation in order to advise, direct and teach them the Sunnah, as well as warning them from innovations.
This is the obligation upon the people of knowledge and faith. This is due to the saying of Allaah,
{Invite to the Way of your Lord with wisdom fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are guided} [16:125]
Also, the saying of Allaah,
{And who is better in speech than he who says: “My Lord is Allaah (believes in His Oneness)” and then stands straight (acts upon His Order), and invites to Allaah and does righteous deeds, and says: “I am one of the Muslims} [41:33]
We ask Allaah to grant guidance to everybody.

الصلاة مع الصوفية أصحاب الموالد
المرجع: http://www.binbaz.org.sa/mat/15983
السؤال: في حيّنا مسجد بناه جماعة من الصوفية، بعد أن أردنا نحن – أهل السنة – بناءه، ولكنهم أصروا على بنائه وفعلوا، وهو الآن تحت إدارتهم وتصرفهم، ويقومون فيه بأشعار ومدائح، فهل يجوز لنا نحن السُنيين أن نصلي فيه معهم وخلف إمامهم المبتدع أم ماذا نفعل؟
الجواب: إذا كان إمامهم ليس بكافر وإنما عنده بعض البدع التي لا تخرجه من الإسلام، فلا مانع من الصلاة معهم ونصيحتهم وتوجيههم وإرشادهم بالدعوة إلى الله بعد الصلوات، وفي حلقات العلم في المسجد حتى يستفيدوا وينتفعوا ويدعوا ما عندهم من البدع إن شاء الله، لأن هذا من باب التعاون على البر والتقوى ومن باب التناصح،
أما إن كان إمامهم يتعاطى ما يوجب كفره، كالذي يستغيث بالرسول – صلى الله عليه وسلم – أو يدعوه من دون الله، أو يستغيث بالأموات وينذر لهم ويذبح لهم، هذا كفر وضلال، هذه أمور كفرية لا يصلى خلفه، لأن هذه الأمور من الأمور الكفر بالله والشرك بالله – عز وجل،
وهكذا إذا كان إمامهم يعتقد اعتقادات كفرية، كأن يعتقد أن غير الله يتصرف في الكون من الأولياء، وأنهم يدبرون هذا العالم، من الأولياء كما يفعله بعض الصوفية، أو يعتقدون ما يعتقده أصحاب وحدة الوجود بأن الخالق والمخلوق واحد، الخالق والمخلوق والعبد والمعبود ونحو ذلك من المقالات الخبيثة الملحدة فهذا كافر ولا يصلى خلفه،
أما إذا كانت بدع دون الكفر فإن هذا يصلى خلفه، مثل بدعة المولد وليس فيها كفر، مثل بعض البدع الأخرى التي يفعلها الصوفية وليست بكفر، بل دون الكفر فلا تمنع من الصلاة خلفه،
وأما الأشعار التي يأتي بها ينظر فيها فإن كانت أشعاراً كفرية مثل أشعار صاحب البردة في قوله:
يا أكرم الخلق ما لي من ألوذ
بسواك عند حلول الحادث العمم
إن لم تكن بمعادي آخذاً بيدي
فضلاً وإلا فقل يا زلة القدم
فإن من جودك الدنيا وضرتها
ومن علومك علم اللوح والقلم
هذه أشعار كفرية، هذا اعتقادٌ ضال، فإذا كان أصحاب المسجد يعتقدوا مثل هذه الأمور فلا يصلى خلف إمامهم، لأن الاعتقاد بأن الرسول – صلى الله عليه وسلم- يعلم الغيب، أو أنه يملك الدنيا والآخرة هذا كفرٌ ولا ضلال والعياذ بالله، لأن علم الغيب لا يعلمه إلا الله – سبحانه وتعالى -،
وهكذا اعتقاد بعض الصوفية وبعض الوثنية أن الرسول – صلى الله عليه وسلم- ينقذ الناس يوم القيامة، وينقذ من دعاه يوم القيامة ويخرجه من النار، هذا كله كفرٌ وضلال، إنما الأمور بيد الله – سبحانه وتعالى -، هو الذي ينجي من النار، وهو الذي يعلم الغيب، وهو مالك لكل شيء، والمدبر للأمور- سبحانه وتعالى
-، والرسول – صلى الله عليه وسلم- ليس بيده إخراج الناس من النار، بل يشفع ويحد الله له حداً يوم القيامة في الشفاعة عليه الصلاة والسلام، ولا يشفع إلا لأهل التوحيد والإيمان، كما قد سأله أبو هريرة- رضي الله عنه – قال يا رسول الله: ((من أحق الناس بشفاعتك؟ )) قال: ((من قال لا إله إلا الله خالصاً من قلبه، أو قال: خالصاً من نفسه)، وقال عليه الصلاة والسلام: (إني اختبأت دعوتي شفاعة لأمتي يوم القيامة فهي نائلةٌ إن شاء الله، من مات من أمتي لا يشرك بالله شيئاً))  فشفاعته لأهل التوحيد والإيمان لا لأهل الكفر بالله – عز وجل -.
فالحاصل أن الإمام إذا كان عنده شيءٌ من الكفر هذا لا يصلى خلفه، أما إذا كانت بدعته دون الكفر فلا مانع من الصلاة خلفه، ولكن إذا وجد مسجدٌ آخر فيه أهل السنة فالصلاة خلفهم أولى وأحسن وأبعد عن الشر، ولكن مع ذلك ينبغي لأهل السنة أن يتصلوا بأهل البدع للنصيحة والتوجيه والتعليم والتفقيه والتعاون على البر والتقوى، لأن بعض أهل البدع قد يكونوا جاهلاً ما عنده بصيرة، فلو علم الحق لأخذ به وترك بدعته.
فينبغي لأهل السنة أن لا يدعوا أهل البدع، بل عليهم أن يتصلوا بهم وينصحوهم ويوجهوهم ويعلموهم السنة ويحذروهم من البدعة، لأن هذا هو الواجب على أهل العلم والإيمان، كما قال الله – سبحانه وتعالى -:
{ادْعُ إِلِى سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ وَجَادِلْهُم بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ} (125) سورة النحل،
وقال – سبحانه وتعالى -:
{وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ قَوْلًا مِّمَّن دَعَا إِلَى اللَّهِ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا وَقَالَ إِنَّنِي مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ} (33) سورة فصلت.
نسأل الله للجميع التوفيق الهداية.

Entering into churches in order to call to Islaam

ReferenceFataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daaimah
Question: What is the ruling on a Muslim entering a church to observe their prayers or listen to a lecture?
Response: It is impermissible for a Muslim to enter upon disbelievers in their places of worship since it increases their numbers. In addition, al-Baihaqee has reported with an authentic chain of narrators that ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “…And do not enter upon the idolaters in their churches and temples, for anger descends upon them.”
However, if [one enters their churches] for a legislative benefit, or to call them to Allah, or something along those lines, then there is no harm in doing so.
And success is with Allah alone.
May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and companions.
Signed: Abdul-Aziz bin Abdillah bin Baz (president), Abdurrazzaq ‘Afeefi (vice-president), Abdullah bin Ghudayan (member), Abdullah bin Qu’ood (member).
Question: There exist many churches here, is it therefore permitted to enter into them and to debate the clergymen? Is it permitted to enter into them in order to look around and know what they do?
Response: It is permissible for people of knowledge to enter churches in order to invite the people there to Islam. However, entering them just to look around should be avoided, because there is no benefit in doing so.
True Guidance is from Allaah; may peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and companions.
دخول معابد الكفار
السؤال:ما حكم دخول المسلم إلى الكنيسة سواء لحضور صلاتهم أو الاستماع إلى محاضرة.
الجواب: لا يجوز للمسلم الدخول على الكفار في معابدهم؛ لما فيه من تكثير سوادهم، ولما روى البيهقي بإسناد صحيح عن عمر رضي الله عنه قال: (… ولا تدخلوا على المشركين في كنائسهم ومعابدهم فإن السخطة تنزل عليهم) لكن إذا كان لمصلحة شرعية أو لدعوتهم إلى الله ونحو ذلك فلا بأس.
وبالله التوفيق. وصلى الله على نبينا محمد، وآله وصحبه وسلم.
السؤال: توجد هنا كنائس كثيرة، فهل يجوز الدخول فيها ومناقشة القساوسة الذين فيها؟ هل يجوز دخولها للنظر فيها ومعرفة ما يفعل هؤلاء؟
الجواب: يجوز الدخول في الكنائس لأهل العلم لدعوة أهلها إلى الإسلام، أما دخولها لأجل الفرجة فقط فلا ينبغي؛ لأنه لا فائدة من ورائه، ولأنه يخشى على المسلم أن يتأثر بهم، لا سيما إذا كان جاهلاً بأمور دينه، ولا يستطيع رد الشبهة التي يوجهونها إليه.
وبالله التوفيق وصلى الله على نبينا محمد وآله وصحبه وسلم.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Praying in Masjid an Nabawi for Women

Bism Illah wa assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

Many of you may not realize that although we live in Madinah, our girls and I rarely go to Masjid an Nabawi to pray. In fact, aside from Eid prayers for which it is clearly legislated that the women attend, we usually don't go at all. The reason for this is that the best place for a woman to pray is her home. It reaps the best reward and to that end, I am copying an excerpt from the book My Home, My Pathfrom the section titled, "The Role of the Woman in the Raising and Education of the Family," by Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzaan, may Allah preserve him.

"The congregational prayers in the masjid are Islamically legislated as the realm of the men, and from the best of their actions, and how much better if it is in the masjid of Allaah's Messenger, praying with him, may Allaah's praise and salutations be upon him. And yet, in spite of all this, he used to encourage the women to pray in their houses.

It is narrated from the wife of Abi Humaid as-Saa'idee,. that she went to the Messenger of Allah, may Allaah's praise and salutations be upon him, and said, "Oh, Messenger of Allaah, truly I love praying with you." So he replied, {I know that you love to pray with me, and your prayer in (an inner room) your house is better than your prayer in your outer room, and your prayer in your outer room is better than your prayer in your residence and your prayer in your residence is better than your prayer in the masjid of your people, and your prayer in the masjid of your people is better than your prayer in my masjid.} So she ordered a masjid to be built for her in the darkest and most private part of her house, and she prayed in it until she met her Lord, Glorified and Exalted is He. (The hadeeth is found in Ahmad 6/371, and Ibn Khuzaimah in his "Saheeh" 3/95 and it is hasan. Look in "Saheeh Ibn Khusaimah")

So the suggestion of the hadeeth is clear, in that the fundamental situation is that the woman stays in her home, so much so that the benefit of the prayer in her house is greater than the benefit of the prayer in his masjid with the Messenger of Allaah, may Allah's praise and salutations be upon him - yet in spite of that he did allow the woman to go out to the masjid."

Friday, January 31, 2014

Winter...Brrrr and Phew!

Just so you know, when winter comes it can get quite cold here in Madinah. However, once you get out your sweaters, warmer clothes, and light jackets the weather will turn warm again and you will find yourself sweating. It is much safer to wear layers, so you can shed the cardigan or sweater if you need to cool down. Even though we had some rain this past three days, the temperatures were still very warm and the usual days are still around 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit when the sun is at it's zenith. So, simply put, prepare to shiver for a few days, and sweat for others on and off throughout the winter months...and don't get excited at the first cool days and think that the cold weather is there to stay for the winter months.

Al hamdul'Illah for the blessing of coolness and rain in these months!

Moving again

Bism Illah wa assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

It is a common thing here to have to move, even if you are comfortable in your home. We know of people whose landlord just told them that they wanted the place for someone else and they had to leave. Our landlord informed us that he wants to build on our roof, so by April we would have to move. In any case, we found several very nice apartments here in Aziziya, all within SAR 20,000 to 25,000. However, we ended up renting a brand new, 5 bedroom, 3 bath apartment for SAR 25,000. It has a two entrances, a men's majlis, women's majlis, kitchen, and 5 rooms that can be used as bedrooms or, in our case 3 bedrooms, a school room, and a play room. Al hamdul'Illah.

Saturday, January 11, 2014


Bism Illah wa assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

Many people assume that living in Saudi Arabia, and particularly Madinah, means that all the books available here are Islamically correct and compliant. However, that is far from the case. There are wonderful collections of ahadeeth and Islamic texts that are all used by the Jami'ah students and scholars for reference, but there are many others that are incorrect, unchecked, and deviant.You either need to know your books, so you can purchase those that will truly be beneficial knowledge, or ask someone to advise you what to buy. That said, Islamic books are well worth buying here - particularly if you are buying Arabic ones or from Darussalam - as they are cheaper and the selection is exhaustive maashaa Allah.

When it comes to English books and fiction, it is quite a different story. There are Arabic translations of the totally unsuitable and un-Islamic Twilight series, Harry Potter, and more. The same books, as well as others dealing with Western families with divorce, boyfriends, and various other typical subjects, are available in English. In addition, there majority of books have pictures, images, photos, and can even be of Christian influence. We have seen children's Islamic books that talk about Muslim children doing ballet, having Christmas decorations, and celebrating secular holidays. It is not easy to find a good variety of non-fiction books for children and young adults here and many of the school and story books have spelling and/or grammar errors.

Should you want to order books, the place we use the most is The Book Depository. They ship worldwide for free and we have always received our shipments, maashaa Allah. You can find a very good collection of books there, usually cheaper than buying them here, and can select books more suited to your needs. Of course, there is always Amazon.com as well, but you have to pay shipping for the books, which can be very expensive.

Barak Allahu feekum.