The Journey Of Learning | The Holy Quran

The Journey of Learning the Holy Qur’an

“Say (O Mohammad), ‘It is a great item of news.’”

The Holy Qur’an is Allah’s strong rope, His shining light, and His wise words. It is the right path revealed by Allah as His light, guidance, and illumination to protect people from going astray, and to take them out of ignorance. Thus, it has been made a leader for pious people and a proof against the disbelievers.

   The Holy Qur’an is the greatest gift from Allah (exalted His name). it is also His choice and selection as Allah says in His Holy Book, “Them we have made the Book as an inheritance for those we have selected from our slaves.” (Fater Chapter)

   The Messenger of Allah (Peace Be Upon Him) said, “Allah has His own folk from people.” Sahaba Said, “Who are they?” he said, “They are the people of Qur’an, the special folk of Allah.”

    Learning the Holy Qur’an is a lifelong journey which begins through selection from Allah, besides guidance, blessing and a great good luck. Then Allah endows the person with good intention, they work to begin the blessed journey.

   The Holy Qur’an is the only book which is characterized by a special method of reading and recitation governed by strict rules. This method has passed on, over generations, and with high degrees of relation, oral speech and reception of the reader through his sheikh (teacher), and through the latter’s sheikh till they reach our reverend prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah Be Upon Him).

   I, personally, set off on the journey of learning the Holy Qur’an when I realized that we read it in a way not matching its greatness and sublimity as the words of Allah- like reading a book or a newspaper. When I listened to the recitation of Sheikh Mahmoud Khalil Al Hosary, and that of Sheikh Mostafa Ismaeel, I heard sweet recitation. Hence, I knew how negligent and rude we were in learning the appropriate way of recitation- a point of view reinforced by hearing the Qur’anic verse: “ولقد يسرنا القرآن للذكر فهل من مدكر” سورة القمر

  Here I knew that there is no reason for not kicking off the memorization and reasoning of the Holy Qur’an. At this point, one must have sincere intention and determination to learn the Qur’an, so they must begin studying under a sheikh (teacher), male or female (in accordance with the learner’s gender).

First Stage:  Learning the rules of Tajweed

Before beginning the memorization process, you must learn the rules of Tajweed, simultaneously with listening to Sheikh Al Hosary and continuous practice to master Qur’anic recitation properly. Some of those starting to learn will face a little difficulty, at this point, struggling to utter each letter from its proper place of articulation. Therefore, one must seek refuge in Allah, Almighty and ask Him for facilitation and guidance while repeating the Qur’anic verse: “وما توفيقي إلا بالله عليه توكلت وإليه أنيب.”. Consequently, they will feel differently, a mixture of fluency and eagerness to learn armed with determination to struggle and overcome whatever spoils or damages this great thing.

Second Stage: Qur’an memorization

After mastering the rules of Tajweed, the great part begins- memorization.

Memorizing the Holy Qur’an requires a strong will and putting the Holy Qur’an on top of all priorities. Firstly, the learner must select a clear printed copy of the Qur’an, preferably only one copy, so that the mind can photocopy the page. In addition, the learner must maintain a certain amount of memorization as much as they could.

   To memorize properly, there are some steps and basics to be followed:

– read the verses intended to be memorized before going to bed to make the mind ready for the memorization process.

– improve your performance by reading under the supervision of your teacher so that your mistakes decrease.

– begin the memorization process and, to make this step easy, research the interpretation.

– repeat the assigned verses several times trying to link the meaning of the verses to the memorization process.


I would like to memorize Al Fatiha (Surah/ Chapter), I start repeating the first verse, then I go on to the second, connecting the previous verse to the present.

Writing the verses is another technique of memorization to test the mind’s ability to remember the verses and this is a good way reinforcing the memorization process. The technique of writing the verses is perfect for memorizing long verses, and to make the process easier, one must memorize line by line, linking the two lines together, and so on.

   When facing difficulty in memorization, it is recommended repeating the verses several times while listening to them without memorization. In this way, we prepare the mind for memorization later. After the preparation stage, memorization will be easy as the mind is used to listening and repeating the verses.

   The wonderful thing about memorization is that you will be eager to memorize the next chapter after you have finished the previous till you are blessed by Allah with completing the memorization of the whole Qur’an. You will feel over the moon when you have finished memorizing the last verse of the Qur’an. It is a much greater moment that the whole world, especially when feeling the blessings of Allah, Almighty, and the rebirth and the new life.

Allah says: قُلْ بِفَضْلِ اللَّهِ وَبِرَحْمَتِهِ فَبِذَٰلِكَ فَلْيَفْرَحُوا هُوَ خَيْرٌ مِّمَّا يَجْمَعُونَ “سورة يونس 58

  On the other hand, the learner must stich to a continuous revision so as to maintain the verses in the mind. By authority of Abu Mousa Al Ashari, our Prophet said: “تعاهدوا هذا القرآن، فو الذي نفس محمد بيده لهة أشد تفلتا منن الإبل في عقلها.”

Third Stage: Ijaza (licence) of Hafs reading

   Proceeding with the memorization to get the Ijaza (licence) of Hafs reading, the first method of reading one must master before going on to the other readings.

Each stage of studying the Holy Qur’an is more difficult and greater than the previous one, so it requires renewal of intention relying on and seeking assist for Allah, Almighty.

   The Ijaza (licence) of the Holy Qur’an is a continuous chain of teachers passing on proper reading from one to another till you reach the first teacher, our Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).

   The stage of studying to get the Ijaza is the stage of mastering reading and recitation, so it necessitates a good amount of practices, for the learner will be authorized to read and recite the Qur’an following a reading passed on from the Messenger of Allah (Peace Be Upon Him). hence, it is a great responsibility which needs effort and patience to reach that goal.

   When having true intention, one must rely on Allah, consequently all the hinderances will be eliminated. Personally, my journey of learning the Qur’an to be awarded the Ijaza took me eight years of hard work.

   From the very beginning, one must know that science has its own charity, because each letter from the Qur’an a person learns must by taught to another to get abundance of blessings from Allah.

As for me, I began my career by teaching children in minor places and in some mosques. Then, after many years of hard work, I revised my reading under the supervision of a Palestinian teacher, who in turn recommended to work in a KSA organization. After that, I was recommended to work as a voluntary teacher in the Islamic University of Minnesota, USA, then as a teacher in an Islamic organization in the UK. So I prayed to Allah to gather this long years’ work experience in one project to help both children and adults.

   At this point, it struck my mind the idea of establishing an online school for teaching the Holy Qur’an, an idea supported by my university major, which is business management and accountancy, and this helped me to plan and start the blessed work.

    Putting the idea into effect came during COVID-19 period, and I am trying hard to apply all my experience to the students of our school (Al Iman Online), which is a seed for a proper educational entity, and a training place for teachers.

We seek guidance and good luck from Allah.

   Through my blessed journey of learning the Qur’an, each letter changed my personality to the best. And every time I get closer to Allah, a bad habit or behavior of mine is rooted out and replaced by patience and wisdom in tackling life matters, and the most important thing, avoiding whatever wasting my time and making use of it in a useful way.

    Therefore, I advise parents to support their children and pray for them to be guided to and by the Holy Qur’an. They should also show their children the importance of this Holy Book in our life, without forcing them to learn it as this would turn them stubborn.

Finally, I pray to Allay to guide our youth to the right path. I also advise them to make use of their time and not to waste it, reminding them that the Holy Qur’an is the words of Allah, and the best thing to do is to learn and teach it, which is a great blessing endowed by Allah.

Al-Isra - Wal-Mi'raj Journey | Alimaanonline

Al-Isra’ wal-Mi’raj Journey

Al-Isra’ wal-Mi’raj took place during a time when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was facing intense hardship and pain. The Quraysh, who were his tribe and his family, constantly ridiculed, humiliated and oppressed Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his followers. Moreover, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had just faced the Year of Sorrow (’Aam al-Huzn), during which he (SAW) lost his beloved wife Khadijah (RA), and his uncle Abu Talib, who was his protector and ally.

About Al-Isra and Al-Miraj it is being mentioned in surah Al-Isra.

The first evidence is from Quranic scripture Chapter 17 verse one ( Surah Al-Isra’) :

سُبۡحٰنَ الَّذِىۡۤ اَسۡرٰى بِعَبۡدِهٖ لَيۡلاً مِّنَ الۡمَسۡجِدِ الۡحَـرَامِ اِلَى الۡمَسۡجِدِ الۡاَقۡصَا الَّذِىۡ بٰرَكۡنَا حَوۡلَهٗ لِنُرِيَهٗ مِنۡ اٰيٰتِنَا ؕ اِنَّهٗ هُوَ السَّمِيۡعُ الۡبَصِيۡرُ

Journey of Al-Isra’


Isra means “ nocturnal Journey”. Derived from the Arabic root words سرى ( sara), it means “ travel at night”. Whereas in this particular context, it refers to the night journey or transportation of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him from his hometown or place of birth Mecca to the furthest mosque of Aqsa in Jerusalem. This was the first part or phase of the complete nightly ascension.

When the Prophet (saw) was sleeping in the house of Umm Hani (ra) in Makkah he said, ‘the roof of my house was opened and the Angel Jibril [as] descended’ (Bukhari). Scholars reconciling between various narrations, say the Prophet (saw) was then taken to the Hijr, the semi-circular wall of the Ka‘bah, where the Prophet (saw) said that Jibril (as), ‘opened my chest, and washed it with Zamzam water. Then he brought a golden tray full of wisdom and faith, and having poured its contents into my chest, he closed it’. [Bukhari]

The Prophet (saw) continued, ‘I was then brought a white beast which is called al-Buraq [from the Arabic word barq, meaning lightning], bigger than a donkey and smaller than a mule. Its stride was as long as the eye could reach’. [Muslim]

It is narrated by Anas (ra) that Buraq was, ‘saddled and reined, but he shied from him (saw). So Jibril [as] said to him, “Is it from Muhammad [saw] that you do this? For nobody has ridden you who is more honourable to Allah than him!” He said, “Then he started sweating profusely”’. [Tirmidhi]

At several points along the journey, Jibra’eel (as) stopped Buraq and told the Prophet (saw), ‘Dismount and pray’. The first stop was at ‘the place of emigration’ i.e. Madinah – and soon after this night the Prophet (saw) would meet the Ansar and migrate to Madinah. The second stop was at Mount Sinai, where Allah (swt) revealed the Torah to Musa (as). The third stop was at Bethlehem, where ’Isa (as) was born.

The fourth stop was the grave of Musa (as), ‘I happened to pass by Musa [as] on the night of my Night journey by the red sandhill whilst he was standing praying in his grave’ (Muslim). We know that his grave is located, ‘a stone’s throw’ away from the holy land of the Blessed Masjid Al-Aqsa (Bukhari). This incident clearly shows us an example of what the Messenger of Allah (saw) said about Prophets (as) after they pass away that, ‘The Prophets are alive in their graves praying’ (Abu Ya‘la).

Finally, the Messenger of Allah (saw) arrived in the holy city of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and he said, ’When we reached Bait al-Maqdis [literally ‘the holy house’ another name for the Blessed Masjid Al-Aqsa] Jibril (as) pointed with his finger causing a crack in the rock, and he tied the Buraq to it [at the western wall of the noble sanctuary]’ (Tirmidhi). Waiting inside were all 124,000 Prophets (as). Jibra’eel (as) led the Prophet (saw) to the front, and he (saw) led them all in prayer in this blessed space.

Journey of AL Mi’raj


Miraj is an Arabic word meaning “ladder, to elevate, or to ascend”. In Islamic literature, it is used for the night journey of Prophet Muhammad when he was miraculously taken to the presence of Allah The Almighty in Heaven. According to the Islamic faith, it is one of the major miracles of the Prophet ﷺ. This also refers to the second phase and the one which was most contended by the Arab polytheists of that time.

Nevertheless, there is sufficient evidence in the Islamic scripture which is the Quran and the prophetic narrations commonly referred to as Ahadith as blatant proof of this event that it actually took place and was not based on mere whims or a probable dream interpretation of the messenger of Allah.

The dominant opinion is that the Prophet (saw) alongside Jibril (as) then proceeded to the Noble Rock (as-Sakhrah al-Musharrafah) that is currently housed by the holy Dome of the Rock Masjid at the centre of the noble sanctuary (al-Haram ash-Sharif) of the Blessed Masjid Al-Aqsa.

The First Sky

 Allah ascended the Prophet (saw) from the Dome of the Rock through the skies, where he not only saw many miraculous sights and numerous angels, he also met the past Prophets (as). Along the way, he (saw) was greeted with excitement and delight, as his arrival had been much-anticipated.

The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: ’Then he ascended with us to the heaven [first layer of the sky and end of the known universe]. Jibril [as] then asked the (gate of heaven) to be opened (by knocking on one of its doors). [Bukhari]

It was said, “Who are you?” He said, “Jibril [as]“.

It was said, “And who is with you?” He said, “Muhammad [saw]“.

It was said, “Has he been sent for?” He said, “He has indeed been sent for”.

And it (the door of the heaven) was opened for us and suddenly I was with (the Prophet) Adam [as]. Then he welcomed me and supplicated for good for me’. [Muslim]

The Second to Sixth Sky

Then the Prophet (saw) continued to ascend the layers of sky with Jibril (as). Again, permission was sought to enter, and the angelic guards were delighted and welcomed the Messenger of Allah (saw).

At the second sky, he met the maternal cousins, the Prophets Isa (as) and Yahya (as).

At the third sky, the Prophet (saw) met the Prophet Yusuf (as) whom he described as having ‘been given half of (world) beauty’ [Muslim]. The Messenger of Allah (saw) had himself been blessed with all beauty, ma sha’ Allah!

At the fourth sky, the Prophet (saw) met the Prophet Idris (as) whose soul was taken there, and he is praised in the Qur’an: ‘We raised him to a lofty position’. [The Noble Qur’an, 19:57]

At the fifth sky, he met the Prophet Harun (as); and in the sixth sky, he met Prophet Harun’s younger brother, the Prophet Musa (as).

The Seventh Sky

At the seventh sky, the Prophet (saw) met his greatest ancestor, the Prophet Ibrahim (as) who was ‘reclining his back against al-Bait al-Ma‘mur. And there enter into it seventy thousand angels every day, never to return to it (again)’. [Muslim]

(Bait al-Ma’mur literally means ‘the much-visited House’. It is the heavenly Ka‘bah directly above the one on earth).

Sidrah al-Muntaha

It is a huge Sidr tree as well as the end of the seventh heaven. According to Islamic beliefs, this is the boundary no one ever passed except Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) along with angel Jibreel. This is where Allah told Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that Muslim believers were to enrol in prayers 50 times a day. The Prophet accepted the offer but as he was going back to the earth, he met Prophet Moses who advised that 50 prayers were too much for a day. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) went back to Allah and requested to reduce 50 prayers as it was too much. Allah reduced 5 prayers and made it 45 prayers a day. But according to Prophet Moses, it was still too much. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) took nine trips between Moses and Almighty Allah and after that, it was finally reduced to 5 times prayers a day. Prophet Moses continued to ask for the reduction in numbers, but Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that he was too guilt-ridden. Moreover, he is grateful for 5 prayers a day.

It was here that Allah gave this Ummah the gift of compulsory Salah, a daily source of strength to Muslims because it gives us the opportunity to communicate with Allah and draw closer to Him.

Finally, the Prophet (saw) was taken back down to the Blessed Masjid Al-Aqsa and returned to Makkah on the Buraq.

As he was transported home, he saw various caravans heading towards Makkah, which he would later describe to the Quraish as proof that he really had made this miraculous journey. Allah even displayed Bait al-Maqdis to the Prophet (saw), while the Quraish were cross-examining him in the Hijr of the Ka‘bah [Bukhari]. The entire journey had taken place in a small portion of a night, and there were many who would mock the Prophet (saw) for making such a claim.

On the night of 27th Rajab*, as well as offering naffal prayers, giving sadaqah and increasing other forms of worship, It’s important to reflect on Al-Isra wal-Mi’raj and draw lessons from the blessed event which may greatly help us.

For those who may be experiencing a difficult period of time in their lives, Al Isra’ wal Mi’raj is a reminder of what Allah tells us in the Qur’an- “For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease. Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.“ Quran, 94:5-8.

KHADIJAH BINT KHUWAYLID (خديجة بنت خويلد ) | Alimaanonline

Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (خديجة بنت خويلد )

“The first wife of the prophet Mohammed; Khadija was a successful business women in her own right who controlled one of the most important caravan trade routes in the region. She was the first Muslim and believed in Mohammed before he believed in himself. Not only was she an extraordinary woman in her own right: strong, successful in business, a mother, spiritual – but she also defies and refutes so many of the stereotypes of women in Islam that people hold today.”

Muhammad’s first wife, the first Muslim woman

The Mother of Islam, Khadija was the first wife of the Prophet Muhammad and is a shining example of a strong, independent Muslim woman with an entrepreneurial spirit. She was born in Makkahin in 556 CE. Her father was a prosperous businessman and a popular leader of the Quraysh tribe. Her first marriage left her a widow; and following the end of her second marriage Khadijah turned down numerous proposals from wealthy men, expressing little desire to marry again. She instead focused on her children’s upbringing and began building the merchant business she had inherited from her father.

Khadija did not travel with her trade caravans. Instead, she employed agents who would trade on her behalf for a commission. In 595, she employed her distant cousin Muhammad ibn Abdullah as an agent. Prophet Muhammad was just 25 years old, but had already earned a good reputation as a trustworthy man, which led Khadija to offer him double her usual commission. She was rewarded well for this when Muhammed brought back twice as much profit as Khadija had expected.

This happened before the revelation. When in 610 Muhammad received the first revelation from the Archangel Gabriel, he returned home confused and distressed, and decided to tell Khadijah about it. After listening to him –and, more importantly, believing him–she calm him down and took him to consult with her cousin Warqah ibn Nawfal, a hanif, or believer in monotheism and knowledgeable of the Christian tradition. At the time, Muhammad feared he was possessed by a jinn. It was Waraka who explained him that the angel in question was not a demon, but Jibril (Gabriel), the same archangel who came to speak to Moses. From that moment on, the revelations to the Prophet Muhammad continued. Thus, as told in The Chronicles of Tabari, the first person in History to convert to Islam was Khadijah.

In the Islamic tradition, Khadija is considered and appreciated for the important role she played in supporting the Prophet and in his fight against his enemies. In one of the Kutub al-Sittah (original books of compilation of hadith, or sayings and acts attributed to Muhammad), the Sahih Muslim, the following hadith about the Prophet’s wife can be read:

“Allah granted me no better wife than she: she had faith in my Message when people rejected it. She believed in me when people called me a liar. She shared her wealth to ease my grief when people abandoned me. And she gave me, by the grace of Allah, the progeny that no other wife could give me.”


Year of Grief

Khadijah came out of the mountain pass of Abu Talib physically weakened. She became sick, and her beloved husband and daughters cared for her, consoled her, and alleviated her suffering to the best of their ability. But as Allah would have it, no remedy or cure was able to heal her, and she finally surrendered her soul and left for the Highest Company. She died amid the tears of her daughters and the sorrow of their great father, the noble Messenger, over his companion, life partner, and solid support. Her death was one of the saddest experiences of the Messenger of Allah, to the extent that the year of her death was called the year of grief.

Today Khadijah, who is also known as “the mother of the believers”, still holds a special place in the hearts of Muslims, so much so that the year of her death (619) is known as the “year of sorrow”.

HOW TO PERFORM HAJJ | Alimaanonline

How to Perform Hajj?

Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatu


Allah prescribed Hajj once in a lifetime upon the Muslims who have the means and are physically able to perform it.

Hajj is classified into three types on the basis of performance:

  • Hajj – Ifrad: When a person enters Miqaat in the state of Ihram with the intention of performing Hajj and will not combine Umrah with it will be referred to as Mufrid and Hajj will be termed as Hajj – e – Ifrad. This kind of Hajj is only allowed for the people living in Makkah or its premises.
  • Hajj – e – Qiran: Qiran means to combine two things, the person who performs Umrah and Hajj combined with the same Ehram is termed as Qiran.
  • Hajj – e – Tamattu: the person who performs Hajj – e – Tamattu is known as Mutamatti. Tamattu means taking advantage of a facility, the person will perform Umrah and Hajj with the same Ehram in this type of Hajj but the only difference is Mutamatti relinquishes his or her Ehram and on 8th Zil – Hajj resumes that Ehram.


Conditions of Ehram

When a Muslim gets into the Ehram there are certain conditions and restrictions bound him to a code of conduct and he or she needs to ensure not to break any conditions out of them.

For male and female, there are specific types of Ehram and both of them needs to get into the exact Ehram as it is suggested. For males, they need to uncover their right shoulder and on the other hand, females have to cover their full-body other than their face from the forehead to the chin line.

  • The pilgrims are not allowed to hunt or hurt anybody or animals in the condition of Ehram.
  • Any kind of sexual activity is prohibited
  • The pilgrims need to consider their food such as avoiding the vegetables and fruits with strong essence and it is better not to smell them.
  • Any kind of fragrance is prohibited from being used by the pilgrims in the condition of Ehram
  • Cleanness is very much important, the pilgrims need to consider the terms of Taharat in the condition of Ehram.


How to perform Hajj


Ihram is the intention of the person willing to perform all rites of ‘Umrah, Hajj, or both when he arrives at the Miqat. Each direction coming into Makkah has its own Miqat. It is recommended that the one who intends to perform Hajj makes Ghusl (a shower with the intention to purify one’s self), perfumes his body, but not his garments, and puts on a two-piece garment with no headgear. The garments should be of seamless cloth. One-piece to cover the upper part of the body, and the second to cover the lower part. For a woman the Ihram is the same except that she should not use perfumes at all and her dress should cover the whole body decently, leaving the hands and the face uncovered. The pilgrim should say the intention according to the type of Hajj. For Hajj Al-Tamatt’u one should say: “Labbayka Allahumma ‘Umrah” which means “O Allah I answered Your call to perform ‘Umrah”. It is recommended to repeat the well-known supplication of Hajj, called Talbeyah, as frequently as possible from the time of Ihram till the time of the first stoning of Jamrat Al-Aqabah in Mina. Men are recommended to utter the Talbiyah aloud while women are to say it quietly. This Talbeyah is of the form:

“Labbayka Allahumma Labbayk. Labbayka La Shareeka Laka Labbayk. Inna-alhamda Wan-ntimata Laka Walmulk. La Shareek Lak.” (Here I am at your service. O my Lord, here I am. Here I am. No partner do You have. Here I am. Truly, the praise and the provisions are Yours, and so is the dominion. No partner do You have.)


Performing ‘Umrah

Tawaf: When a Muslim arrives in Makkah, he should make Tawaf around the Ka’bah, as a gesture of greeting A1Masjid Al-Haraam. This is done by circling the Ka’bah seven times in the counterclockwise direction, starting from the black stone with Takbeer and ending each circle at the Black Stone with Takbeer, keeping the Ka’bah to one’s left. Then the pilgrim goes to Maqam Ibrahim (Ibrahim’s Station), and performs two rak’ah behind it, close to it if possible, but away from the path of the people making Tawaf. In all cases, one should be facing the Ka’bah when praying behind Maqam Ibrahim.

Sa’i: The next rite is to make Sa’i between Safa and Marwah. The pilgrim starts Sa’i by ascending the Safa. While facing the Ka’bah he praises Allah, raises his hands, and says Takbeer “Allah-u Akbar” three times, then makes supplication to Allah. Then the pilgrim descends from the Safa and heads towards the Marwah. One should increase the pace between the clearly marked green posts but should walk at a normal pace before and after them. When the pilgrim reaches the Marwah, he should ascend it, praise Allah and do as he did at the Safa. This is considered one round and so is the other way from the Marwah to the Safa. A total of seven rounds are required to perform the Sa’i. After Sa’i, the Muslim ends his ‘Umrah rites by shaving his head or trimming his hair (women should cut a finger tip’s length from their hair). At this stage, the prohibitions pertaining to the state of Ihram are lifted and one can resume his normal life.

There are no required formulas or supplications for Tawaf or for Sa’i. It is up to the worshipper to praise Allah or to supplicate Him with any acceptable supplication or recite portions of the Qur’an. Although it is recommended to recite the supplications that the Prophet, peace, and blessings be upon him, used to say during the performance of these rites. It must be noted that ‘Umrah can be performed by itself as described above at any time of the year.

Going out to Mina on the day of Tarwiah

A pilgrim performing Hajj AlTamatt’u should intend Ihram, from the place where he is staying, on the 8th day of Thul-Hijjah, which is the Tarwiah Day, and leave to Mina in the morning. In Mina, the pilgrims pray Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib, and Isha on the 8th day of ThulHijjah and Fajr on the 9th day of ThulHijjah. Dhuhr, Asr, and Isha are each shortened to two Rak’ah only but are not combined. The pilgrim remains in Mina until sunrise of the 9th day of ThulHijjah and then leaves to Arafat.


Going to Arafat

On the 9th day of Thul-Hijjah, the Day of Arafat, the pilgrims stay in Arafat until sunset. The pilgrims pray Dhuhr and Asr at Arafat, shortened and combined during the time of Dhuhr to save the rest of the day for glorifying Allah and for supplication asking forgiveness. A pilgrim should make sure that he is within the boundaries of Arafat, not necessarily standing on the mountain of Arafat. The Prophet Muhammed, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “I stood here on this rocky hill and all Arafat is a standing place” Muslim. One should keep reciting Talbiyah, glorifying Allah the Greatest, and repeating supplication. It is also reported that the Prophet, peace, and blessings be upon him, used to say the following supplication: “There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, the One without a partner. The dominion and the praise are His and He is powerful over everything.” Anas Ibn Malik was asked once how he and his friends used to spend their time while walking from Mina to Arafat in the company of the Prophet, peace, and blessings be upon him. Anas said: “Some of us used to cry out Talbeyah, others used to glorify Allah the Greatest, and the rest used to repeat prayers. Each one of us was free to worship Allah in the way he likes without prejudice or renunciation of his right.” Bukhari.

In the vast square plain of Arafat, tears are shed, sins are washed and faults are redressed for those who ask Allah for forgiveness and offer sincere repentance for their wrongdoings in the past. Happy is the person who receives the Mercy and Pleasure of Allah on this particular day.


Going to Muzdalifah

Soon after sunset on the Day of Arafat, the pilgrims leave for Muzdalifah quietly and reverently in compliance with the advice of the Prophet Muhammed, peace, and blessings be upon him, who said when he noticed people walking without calmness: “O people! Be quiet, hastening is not a sign of righteousness.” Bukhari. In order to follow the example of the Prophet Muhammed, peace, and blessings be upon him, it is preferable to keep reciting the Talbiyah, glorifying Allah the Greatest, and mentioning the name of Allah until the time of stoning Jamrat Al-Aqabah (a stone pillar in Mina). In Muzdalifah, the pilgrim performs Maghrib and Isha prayers combined, shortening the Isha prayer to two Rak’ah. Pilgrims stay overnight in Muzdalifah to perform the Fajr prayer and wait until the brightness of the morning is widespread before they leave to Mina passing through the sacred Mash’ar valley.

Women and weak individuals are allowed to proceed to Mina at any time after midnight to avoid the crowd.

Return to MINA and Stoning Jamrat Al-Aqabah 

When the pilgrims arrive at Mina, they go to Jamrat Al-Aqabah where they stone it with seven pebbles glorifying Allah “Allahu Akbar” at each throw and calling on Him to accept their Hajj. The time of stoning Jamrat Al-Aqabah is after sunrise. The Prophet Muhammed, peace, and blessings be upon him, threw the pebbles late in the morning and permitted weak people to stone after leaving Muzdalifah after midnight. The size of the pebbles should not be more than that of a bean as described by the Prophet Muhammed, peace, and blessings be upon him, who warned against exaggeration. The pebbles can be picked up either in Muzdalifah or in Mina.

Slaughter of Sacrifice

After stoning Jamrat Al-Aqabah, the pilgrim goes to slaughter his sacrifice either personally or through the appointment of somebody else to do it on his behalf. A pilgrim should slaughter either a sheep, or share a cow or a camel with six others.

Shaving the head or trimming the hair

The final rite on the tenth day after offering his sacrifice is to shave one s head or to cut some of the hair. Shaving the head is, however, preferable for it was reported that the Prophet prayed three times for those who shaved their heads when he said: “May Allah’s Mercy be upon those who shaved their heads.” Bukhari and Muslim. For women, the length of hair to be cut is that of a fingertip. The stoning of Jamrat Al-Aqabah and the shaving of the head or trimming of hair symbolizes the end of the first phase of the state of Ihram and the lifting of its restrictions except for sexual intercourse with one’s spouse. Stoning Jamrat Al-Aqabah, slaughtering the sacrifice, and shaving the head or cutting part of the hair are preferred to be in this order, as it is the order that the Prophet Muhammed, peace, and blessings be upon him, did them. However, if they are done in any other order, there is no harm in that.

Tawaf Al-Ifadhah

Tawaf Al-Ifadhah is a fundamental rite of Hajj. The pilgrim makes Tawaf-AIIfadhah by visiting Al-Masjid AlHaraam and circling the Ka’bah seven times and praying two Rak’ah behind Maqam Ibrahim. Then the pilgrim should make Sa’i between the Safa and the Marwah. After Tawaf Al-Ifadhah the state of Ihram is completely ended and all restrictions are lifted including sexual intercourse with one’s spouse.

Tawaf Al-Ifadhah can be delayed until the days spent at Mina are over.

Return to Mina

The pilgrim should return to Mina and spend there the days of Tashreeq (i.e. the I I th, 1 2nd, and 1 3rd day of Thul-Hijjah). l During each day, and after Dhuhr prayer, | the pilgrim stones the three stone pillars called “Jamarat”: The small, the medium, and Jamrat Al-Aqabah, glorifying Allah “Allahu Akbar” with each throw of the seven pebbles stoned at each pillar. These pebbles are picked up in Mina. A l Pilgrim may leave Mina to Makkah on the 13th of Thul-Hijjah or on the 12th if he wishes, there is no blame on him if he chooses the latter, but he has to leave before sunset.

Farewell Tawaf

Farewell Tawaf is the final rite of Hajj. It is to make another Tawaf around the Ka’bah. Ibn Abbas said: “The people were ordered to perform the Tawaf around the Ka’bah as the last thing before leaving Makkah, except the menstruating women who were excused.” Bukhari.


How to Become More Grateful to Allah

Yasmin Mogahed once shared a story of a lady who has a type of genetic disease where every time she gives birth, her babies would slowly lose their physical senses (sight, hearing, taste etc) one by one after a few months.

At the time, she had 3 children and all three of her children would go through the same deterioration in their physical senses. But the remarkable part is, this lady continued to think good of Allah and give thanks to Him for whatever befalls her.

How did she do it?

I suppose with a high level of iman, it is definitely possible. After all, we are all slaves of Allah. So, what right do we have to question Allah’s decree?  But Allah knows best. He would not test us with calamities we couldn’t handle. The best we can do as His best slaves is to continue to give thanks for everything He has given us.

The best part about being grateful to Allah is that Allah appreciates it!

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “While a man was on the way, he found a thorny branch of a tree there on the way and removed it. Allah thanked him for that deed and forgave him.”

Even just removing a branch on the road is acknowledged by Allah, what more if we love others sincerely and continue to do good deeds every day to gain His pleasure? It is priceless to Him.

I’d like to share with you 8 ways you can show gratefulness to Allah

1) Always remember to say “Alhamdulillah” when you see something that you feel grateful for.

After each prayer, spend a few minutes thanking Allah (glory be to Him) for some of the little and big things you have in your life. Acknowledge that Allah (glory be to Him) has created and sustains us, then give thanks for being chosen to be a Muslim, for giving us our faith and for keeping Shaitaan away.

  • Remember that Allah (glory be to Him) is always deserving of our thanks and feels displeasure when we are ungrateful.
  • Allah’s displeasure (glory be to Him) with our ingratitude is not because He needs our thanks, but simply because He knows that a state of grateful servitude is best for us.
  • Allah (glory be to Him) may decide to punish our ingratitude, either in this world by sending hardship, or in the next world by sending us to Jahannam (Hellfire), or both.
  • The feeling of gratitude comes from the heart and helps us to recognise just how completely dependent we all are upon Allah (glory be to Him).
  • Reflect on your own life and you will soon come to appreciate the many blessings that Allah (glory be to Him) has bestowed upon you.

2) Prostrate to Allah

It was narrated from Abu Bakrah that when the Prophet (ﷺ) heard news that made him happy, or for which one should be happy, he would fall down prostrate in gratitude to Allah, the Blessed and Exalted.

We call this ‘Syukr Sujood – grateful prostration’. Whenever you receive good news or anything that pleases you, make a quick prostration at that moment.

If you’re at home, this would be easier to do but if you’re in public, you can ‘postpone’ that prostration and do it during prayer time. InsyaAllah.

3) Contemplate His blessings in your life

Begin by reflecting upon all that is worthwhile in your life. Recount all the good things in your mind or jot them down – including your relationships, abilities, possessions, and achievements. If you are not consciously aware of what there is to be thankful for, then you simply cannot be thankful for it. Also think about what could have been worse in your life: imagine being deprived of something valuable or picture yourself living in a homeless shelter. These scenarios, disconcerting as they may seem, allow you to appreciate your situation in life, and not take things for granted.

4) Thank Allah (glory be to Him) that you’re in good health, wealth and state of being. Use the blessings that Allah (glory be to Him) has conferred upon you to do good deeds that will please Him. Thanking Allah (glory be to Him) will only increase your blessings.

  • Thank Allah (glory be to Him) every day for making you a Muslim and ask Him to guide you to strengthen your faith and increase you in religious knowledge.
  • Our record of gratitude throughout our life will be carefully examined on the Day of Judgement and will play a significant part in determining our fate in the hereafter.
  • Ingratitude is symptomatic of being too concerned with worldly affairs and will count heavily against us when the weight of our good and bad deeds are examined.
  • If you do recognize that you have been ungrateful, pray to Allah (glory be to Him) for forgiveness. Acknowledge your ingratitude, express regret, promise not to repeat it and ask for forgiveness. Try to offset your ingratitude with a good deed, such as extra prayers or a day of fasting.

5) Be content at heart

Do not yearn for what others have; rather, be content with what you can acquire, without overworking yourself or trampling upon someone else to get there. If you constantly compare your financial status or perceived well-being with anyone else, you are not going to achieve peace of mind. And without peace of mind, there is no contentment of heart. So, when you see someone living in luxury or doing great in life, just be happy for them instead of feeling envious. Try to give your best at everything, and know that whatever befalls you is by the will of Allah.


6) Express gratitude with words

Call upon Allah each day to express how grateful you are for His favors. Begin your daily supplication of gratitude with the words, “O Allah, I am thankful to You for giving me all these blessings,” and then recount them individually – as many as you can. Alternatively, reflect on one blessing each day that you are grateful for. Praise Allah by saying “Alhamdulillah” every time you eat or drink something, and whenever something good comes your way. Remember Allah frequently, call upon Him without any intermediary, and praise Him for His beneficence and generosity.

7) Obey the commands of Allah

Obedience to the commands of Allah is the most practical form of gratitude. By obeying Allah, you are acknowledging His supremacy over you, and His many favors upon you. Therefore, make every effort to enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong. Strive for the truth even if it goes against you or those close to you. On the other hand, placing your personal interests above the commands of Allah is sheer ingratitude which hampers your spiritual growth.

8) Feel motivated and set your intention to be grateful. Gratitude is a beautiful way of acknowledging and obeying Allah (glory be to Him) and provides a wonderful opportunity to earn rewards in this life and the next.

  • Remember that worshiping Allah (glory be to Him) is the greatest way of expressing our gratitude to Him and obedience is a great form of worship.
  • Try to establish as strong daily routine of worship including regular prayers (salah), remembrance of Allah (glory be to Him) through repeating phrases glorifying Allah (glory be to Him) (dhikr), asking Allah (glory be to Him) for help (dua), Qur’an study and trying to follow the Shariah.
  • Regular fasting is a great way of reminding ourselves of Allah’s generosity (glory be to Him) and keeping gratitude uppermost in our minds.
  • Surround yourself with friends that are naturally grateful, who will encourage you to towards the obedience of Allah (glory be to Him).
  • Closely following the Islamic dress code is another good way of expressing gratitude to Allah (glory be to Him).


Allah the Almighty revealed: “Remember when your Lord said to the angels: ‘Verily, I am going to place mankind generations after generations on earth.’ They said: ‘Will You place therein those who will make mischief therein and shed blood, while we glorify You with praises and thanks (exalted be You above all that they associate with You as partners) and sanctify You?’


Allah said: ‘I know that which you do not know.’ Allah taught Adam all the names of everything, then He showed them to the angels and said: ‘Tell Me the names of these if you are truthful.’ They (angels) said: ‘Glory be to You, we have no knowledge except what You have taught us. Verily, it is You, the All-Knower, the All-Wise.’ He said: ‘O Adam! Inform them of their names,’ and when he had informed them of their names, He said: ‘Did I not tell you that I know the unseen in the heavens and the earth, and I know what you reveal and what you have been hiding?’ Remember when We said to the angels: ‘Prostrate yourself before Adam.’ They prostrated except Iblis, he refused and was proud and was one of the disbelievers (disobedient to Allah).

We said: ‘O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in the Paradise and both of you freely with pleasure and delight of things therein as wherever you will but come not near this tree or you both will be of the dhalimin (wrongdoers).’ Then the Satan made them slip therefrom (the Paradise), and got them out from that in which they were. We said: ‘Get you down all with enmity between yourselves. On earth will be a dwelling place for you and an enjoyment for a time.’ Then Adam received from his Lord Words. His Lord pardoned him (accepted his repentance). Verily He is the One Who forgives (accepts repentance), the most Merciful. We said: ‘Get down all of you from this place (the Paradise), then whenever there comes to you Guidance from Me, and whoever follows My Guidance there shall be no fear on them, nor shall they grieve. But those who disbelieve and belie Our ayah (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, and signs and revelations, etc) such are the dwellers of the Fire, they shall Abide therein forever.’ ” [Al-Qur’an 2:30-39]

Almighty Allah also revealed: “And surely, We created you (your father Adam) and then gave you shape (the noble shape of a human being), then We told the angels, ‘Prostrate to Adam’, and they prostrated, except Iblis, he refused to be those who prostrate. Allah said: ‘What prevented you (O Iblis) that you did not postrate when I commanded you?’ Iblis said: ‘I am better than him (Adam), You created me from fire and him You created from clay.’ Allah said: ‘O Iblis get down from this (Paradise), it is not for you to be arrogant here. Get out for you are of those humiliated and disgraced.’ Iblis said: ‘Allow me respite till the Day they are raised up (Day of Resurrection).’ Allah said: “You are of those allowed respite.” Iblis said: ‘Because You have sent me astray, surely I will sit in wait against them (human beings) on Your Straight Path. Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left and You will not find most of them as thankful ones (they will not be dutiful to You).’

Allah said: ‘Get out from Paradise, disgraced and expelled. Whoever of them (mankind) will follow you, then surely I will fill Hell with you all.’ ‘And O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in Paradise, and eat thereof as you both wish, but approach not this tree otherwise you both will be of the dhalimin (unjust and wrongdoers).’ Then Satan whispered suggestions to them both in order to uncover that which was hidden from them of their private parts before, he said: ‘Your Lord did not forbid you this tree save you should become angels or become of the immortals.’ Satan swore by Allah to them both saying: ‘Verily I am one of the sincere well wishers for you both.’ So he misled them with deception. Then when they tasted of the tree, that which was hidden from them of their shame (private parts) became manifest to them and they began to stick together the leaves of Paradise over themselves (in order to cover their shame). Their Lord called out to them saying ‘Did I not forbid you that tree and tell you, Verily Satan is an open enemy unto you?’ They said: ‘Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers.’ Allah said: ‘Get down one of you an enemy to the other (i.e. Adam, Eve, and Satan etc). On earth will be a dwelling place for you and an enjoyment, for a time.’ He said: ‘Therein you shall live, and therein you shall die, and from it you shall be brought out (resurrected).’ ” [Al-Qur’an 7:11-25]


We imagine when Allah the Almighty decided to create Adam: He addressed His angels and told them to prostrate before him. He did not mean to ask their opinion or take their advice, for He is above that. Allah the Exalted told them that He was going to create a vicegerent on the earth who would have children and grandchildren who would corrupt the earth and shed each other’s blood. That is why the angels said to Allah the Almighty: “Will You place therein those who will make mischief therein and shed blood?” [Al-Qur’an 2:30]


There are old traditions about the angels before the creation of Adam. According to Ibn Qatadah, it was said that the angels were informed about the creation of Adam and his progency by the jinn who lived before Adam. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar said that the jinn had existed for about 2000 years before Adam and then shed blood. Therefore Allah sent on them an army of angels that drove them out to the depths of the seas. Ibn Abu Hatim narrated from ‘Ali Jafar al-Baqr that the angels were informed that man would cause wickedness and shed blood on earth. It was also said that they knew that no one would be created on earth who would not be wicked and shed blood. Whether or not these traditions are correct, the angels did understand that Allah would create a vicegerent on earth. Allah the Almighty announced that He was going to create a human being out of clay, that He would mould him and blow His spirit into him and then the angels should prostrate before him. Abu Musa al-Ashari narrated that the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Allah created Adam from a handful of dust taken from different lands, so the children of Adam have been created according to the composition of the land. Therefore from mankind we have white, red, black and yellow ones; we have good and evil, ease and sorrow, and what comes in between them.” [Sahih al-Bukhari] Ibn Mas’ud and other companions of the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said that Allah the Almighty sent Gabriel onto the Earth to get Him clay therefrom. The Earth said: “I seek refuge in Allah from your decreasing my quantity or disfiguring me.” So Gabriel returned and did not take anything. He said: “My Lord, the land sought refuge in You and it granted.” So Allah sent Michael for the same purpose, and the land sought refuge with Allah and it was granted. So he went back and said to Allah what Gabriel has said before him. Then Allah sent the Angel of Death, and the land sought refuge in Allah, the angel said: “I also seek refuge with Allah from returning without carrying out His command.” So he took clay from the face of the earth and mixed it. He did not take from one particular place, but rather he took white, red, and black clay from different places. The Angel of Death ascended with it, Allah soaked the clay till it became sticky. Then Allah said to the angels: “Truly, I am going to create man from clay. So when I have fashioned him and breathed into him (his) soul created by Me, then you fall down prostrate to him.” [Al-Qur’an 38:71-72]


So Allah shaped Adam into a human being, but he remained a figure of clay for 40 years. The angels went past him. They were seized with fear by what they saw, and Iblis felt fear most. He used to pass by the figure of Adam, buffeting it, which would make a sound like pottery. Allah told us: “He created man (Adam) from sounding clay like the clay of pottery.” When the time drew near to breathe the spirit into Adam, as Allah decreed, He commanded the angels: “When I breathe My spirit into him prostrate before him.” Allah breathed His spirit into Adam and when it reached his head Adam sneezed. The angels said: “Say all praise belongs to Allah.” Adam repeated: “All praise belongs to Allah.” Allah said to him: “Your Lord has granted you mercy.” When the spirit reached his eyes, Adam looked at the fruits of Paradise. When it reached his abdomen Adam felt an appetite for food. He jumped hurriedly before the spirit could reach his legs, so that he could eat from the fruits of Paradise. Allah, therefore, said: “Man is created of haste.” [Al-Qur’an 21:37]


And then: “The angels prostrated themselves all of them together. Except Iblis, he refused to be among the prostrators.” [Al-Qur’an 15:31-32].


Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Allah created Adam from dust after He mixed the clay and left him for some time until it became sticky mud, after which Allah shaped him. After that Allah left him till it became like potter’s clay. Iblis used to go past him saying ‘You have been created for a great purpose.’ After that Allah breathed His spirit into him. The first thing into which the spirit passed was his eye and then his nose. He sneezed. Allah said: ‘May your Lord have mercy upon you, O Adam! Go to those angels and see what they would say.’ So Adam went and greeted them, they replied saying: ‘Peace be upon you and the mercy and blessings of Allah.’ Allah said: ‘O Adam! This is your greeting and that of your offspring.’ ” [Sahih al-Bukhari] Allah the Almighty revealed: “Remember when your Lord brought forth from the children of Adam, from their loins, their seed (or from Adam’s loin his offspring) and made them testify as to themselves saying: ‘Am I not your Lord?’ They said: ‘Yes! We testify.’ Lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection. ‘Verily we have been unaware of this.’ Or lest you should say: ‘It was only our father aforetime who took others pas partners in worship along with Allah and we were merely their descendants after them; will you then destroy us because of the deeds of men who practiced al-batil (polytheism) and committing crimes and sins, invoking and worshipping others besides Allah?’ Thus do We explain the ayah (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations etc) in detail so that they may turn unto the truth.” [Al-Qur’an 7:172-174]

Adam’s progeny declared: “Our Lord, we bear witness that You are our Lord; we have no other Lord but Allah. Allah raised their father Adam, and he looked at them and saw those of them who were rich and those who were poor, and those who had good forms and those who did not. Adam said: “O Allah! I wish You to make Your servants equal.” Allah replied “I love being thanked.” Adam saw among the prophets like lamps among his progeny. Almighty Allah declared: “Remember when We took from the Prophets their covenant, and from you (O Muhammad), and from Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus son of Mary. We took from them a strong covenant.” [Al-Qur’an 33:7]


In another verse Allah the Exalted commanded: “So set you (O Muhammad) your face towards the religion of pure Islamic Monotheism Hanifah (worship none but Allah Alone) Allah’s Fitrah (Allah’s Islamic Monotheism), with which He has created mankind. No change let there be in khalqillah (the Religion of Allah-Islamic Monotheism), that is the straight religion, but most men know not.” [Al-Qur’an 30:30]


Another version of the story relates that Allah took a handful of the dust of the earth and mixed into it the colors, white, black, yellow and red. That is the reason why men are born different colors. When Allah mixed the dust with water, it turned into potter’s clay that makes a sound. It was fermented and had a smell. Iblis passed by, wondering what was going to be made of that clay. From the clay Allah created Adam. He molded his form with His own hands and blew His spirit into him. Adam’s body quivered as life was imbued into it. “Verily His Command, when He intends a thing is only that He says to it be and it is.” [Al-Qur’an 37:82]


Allah the Almighty declared: “Verily the likeness of Jesus, in Allah’s Sight is the likeness of Adam, He created him from the dust then He said to him. Be – and he was.” [Al-Qur’an 3:59] Adam opened his eyes and saw all the angels prostrating before him except one being who was standing at a distance. Adam did not know what kind of creature it was that did not prostrate before him nor did he know its name. Iblis was standing with the angels so as to be included in the command given to them but he was not one of them. He was a jinn, and as such he was supposed to be inferior to the angels. What is clear is that this prostration was to show respect and did not mean that the angels were worshipping Adam. Prostrating in worship is done only for Allah. Almighty Allah recounted the story of Iblis’s refusal to prostate before Adam: “Remember when your Lord said to the angels, ‘I am going to create a man (Adam) from sounding clay of altered black smooth mud. So when I have fashioned him completely and breathed into him (Adam) the soul which I created for him then fall you down prostrating yourselves unto him.’ So the angels prostrated themselves all of them together, except Iblis, he refused to be among the prostrators. Allah said: ‘O Iblis! What is your reason for not being among the prostrators?’ Iblis said: ‘I am not the one to prostrate myself to a human being, whom You created from sounding clay of altered black smooth mud.’ Allah said: ‘Then get out from here for verily you are rajim (an outcast or cursed one). Verily the curse shall be upon you till Day of Recompense (Day of Resurrection).’ ” [Al-Qur’an 15:28-35]


In another surah Almighty Allah recounted it thus: “Surely We created you (your father Adam) and then gave you shape (the noble shape of a human being), then We told the angels, ‘Prostrate to Adam and they prostrated except Iblis he refused to be of those who prostrate.’ Allah said:’What prevented you Iblis that you did not prostrate when I commanded you?’ Iblis said: ‘I am better than him (Adam), You created me from fire and him You created from clay.’ Allah said: ‘Get down from this Paradise, it is not for you to be arrogant here. Get out, for you are of those humiliated and disgraced.’ Iblis said: ‘Allow me respite till the Day of Resurrection).’ Allah said: ‘You are of those allowed respite.’ ” [Al-Qur’an 7:11-15]


Ibn Jarir reported that Muhammad ibn Sirin said that the first one to reach a conclusion by reasoning was Iblis and that the sun and moon were not worshipped except through this method. This means that Iblis tried to compare himself to Adam. He believed that he was more honorable than Adam. Therefore he abstained from prostrating even though Allah had commanded him to do so, just as He had commanded the angels. If an analogy is made we see that Iblis is vain. For indeed clay is better than fire because in it can be found the qualities of calmness, clemency, perseverance and growth; whereas in fire can be found heedlessness, insignificance, haste, and incineration. Iblis tried in vain to justify his refusal: “‘Shall I prostrate to one whom You created from clay?’ Iblis said: ‘See? those whom You have honored above me, if You give me respite (keep me alive) to the Day of Resurrection, I will surely seize and mislead his offspring (by sending them astray) all but a few!’ ” [Al-Qur’an 17:62]


Adam was following what was happening around him and had feelings of love, awe, and astonishment. Deep love of Allah, Who had created and glorified him and Who had made His angels prostrate before him. Awe of the Creator’s wrath when He excluded Iblis from His mercy. Adam was surprised by this creature, Iblis who abhorred him without even knowing him and who imagined himself better than Adam without having proved that he was worthier. What a strange creature Iblis was, and how strange was his excuse for not prostrating! He imagined that fire is better than clay, but how did he get such an idea? Such knowledge is exclusive to Allah Who (created) fire and clay and Who knows which is the better of the two. From the dialogue Adam realized that Iblis was a creature characterized by cunning and ingratitude. He then knew that Iblis was his eternal enemy. He was greatly astonished at Iblis’s audacity and Allah’s tolerance. Immediately after his creation Adam witnessed the large amount of freedom that Allah gives to His commissioned creatures. Allah knew that Iblis was not going to obey Him in prostrating before Adam. Allah could have totally annihilated him or turned him into a handful of dust or stifled the refusal in his mouth. Yet, Allah gives His commissioned creatures absolute freedom even to the extent that they can refuse Allah the Almighty’s Commands. He grants them the freedom of denial, disobedience, and even disagreement with Him. His kingdom will not diminish if the disbelievers do not believe in Him nor will it be extended if many people believe in Him. On the contrary, the disbelievers will lose, and the believers will gain but Allah is above all of that. There were many traditions about Iblis at the time of Prophet Muhammad sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Ibn Masud, Ibn ‘Abbas and a group of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said that Iblis had been the head of the angels in the worldly heavens. Ibn Abbas said in one narration that his name had been Azazil and in another narration he said it had been al-Harith. Ibn Abbas also said that Iblis was a jinn and that they had once been the keepers of Paradise, with Iblis the most honorable and the most learned and the most pious of them. Another tradition says that he had been one of the famous four possessors of wings (angels), before Allah transformed him into the accursed Satan. Allah Almighty recounts Iblis’s disobedience in another surah: “Remember when your Lord said to the angels: ‘Truly I am going to create man from clay. So when I have fashioned him and breathed into him (his) soul created by Me, then you fall down prostrate to him.’ So the angels prostrated themselves all of them; except Iblis, he was proud and was one of the disbelievers. Allah said: ‘The truth is, and the truth I say, that I will fill Hell with you and those of them (mankind) that follow you together.’ ” [Al-Qur’an 38:71-85] After this lesson about freedom Adam learned another lesson, one about knowledge. Adam realized that Iblis was the symbol of evil in the universe and that the angels were the symbol of good. However he did not yet know anything about himself. Then Allah made him perceive his true identity and the reason for his creation, and the secret of his glorification. Allah the Exalted said: “He taught Adam all the names of everything.” [Al-Qur’an 2:31]


Almighty Allah granted Adam the power to know the natures of all things and to summarize them by names; that is a bird, that is a star, that is a tree, etc Allah implanted in Adam an insatiable need for and love of knowledge and a desire to bequeath knowledge to his children. This was the reason for his creation and the secret of his glorification. After Adam had learned the names of all things, along with their properties and uses, Allah presented them to the angels and said: “Tell Me the names of these if you are truthful.” [Al-Qur’an 2:31] the angels admitted their inability: “Glory be to You, we have knowledge except what You have taught us. Verily it is You the All Knower, the All Wise.” [Al-Qur’an 2:32]


Allah Almighty then turned to Adam: “O Adam! Inform them of their names, ” and when he had informed them of their names, He (Allah) said: “Did I not tell you that I know the unseen in the heavens and the earth, and I know what you reveal and what you have been hiding?” [Al-Qur’an 2:33] Allah wanted the angels to know that He knew of their astonishment when He had told them about the creation of Adam and that He also knew of their confusion which they had not revealed, as well as what Iblis had concealed of his disobedience and ingratitude. The angels realized that Adam was the creature who knew what they did not know and that his capacity to learn was his noblest quality. His knowledge included knowledge of the Creator which we call faith or Islam, as well as the knowledge he would need to inhAbut and master the earth. All kinds of worldly knowledge which are included in this. Adam knew the names of everything. Sometimes he talked to the angels, but they were preoccupied with worshipping Almighty Allah. Therefore Adam, felt lonely. One day he slept and when he awoke he found near his head, a woman gazing at his face with beautiful tender eyes. The angels asked him her name. He replied: “Eve (Hawa).” (Means living things). They asked: “Why did you call her Eve?” Adam said: “Because she was created of me and I am a living being.” Ibn Abbas and a group of companions of the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam narrated that when Iblis was sent out of Paradise and Adam was accommodated therein, Adam was alone in Paradise and did not have a partner from whom he could get tranquility. He slept for some time and when he woke up, he saw a woman whom Allah had created from his ribs. So he asked her, “Who are you? She replied, “A woman” He asked: “Why have you been created?” She said :”So that you could find tranquility in me.” The angels, trying to find out the extent of his knowledge, asked him: “What is her name O Adam?” He replied, “Eve” They asked “Why was she so named?” He replied, ” Because she was created from something living.” Muhammad Ibn Ishaq and Ibn Abbas related that Eve was created from the shortest left rib of Adam while he was sleeping and after awhile she was clothed with flesh. That is why Allah the Exalted said: “O Mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam) and from Him (Adam) He created his wife (Eve), and from them both He created many men and women.” [Al-Qur’an 4:1]


Allah also said: “It is He who has created you from a single person (Adam) and then He created from him his wife (Eve), in order that he might enjoy the pleasure of living with her.” [Al-Qur’an 7:189]


Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “O Muslims! I advise you to be gentle with women, for they are created from a rib, and the most crooked portion of the rib is its upper part. If you try to straighten it, it will break and if you leave it, it will remain crooked, so I urge you to take care of the women.” [Sahih al-Bukhari] Allah commanded Adam to dwell in Paradise: “O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in the Paradise and eat both of you freely with pleasure and delight of things therein as wherever you will, but come not near this tree or you both will be of the dhalimin (wrong doers).” [Al-Qur’an 2:35]


The location of this Paradise is unknown to us. The Qur’an did not reveal it, and the commentators had five different opinions. Some said that it was the Paradise of our refuge and that its place was heaven. Others regreted that statement because if it was the paradise of refuge Iblis would have been forbidden admission and disobedience would have been forbidden as well. Still others said that it was another paradise that was created by Allah for Adam and Eve. A fourth group said it was a Paradise on the earth located in a high place. Another group of commentators accept what was in the Qur’an without questioning where this Paradise was located. We agree with this last opinion as the lesson we learn from its location is immaterial compared to the lesson we learn from the events that took place there. Adam and Eve were admitted to Paradise and there they lived the dream of all human beings. Allah permitted them to approach and enjoy everything except one tree, that might have been the Tree of Pain or the Tree of Knowledge. Allah forbade them they were give abode in Paradise. “But come not near this tree or you both will be of the wrong doers.” [Al-Qur’an 2:35]


Adam and Eve understood that they were forbidden to eat the fruit of that tree. Adam was however a human being and man tends to forget. His heart changes and his will weakens. Iblis summoned all the envy within him and took advantage of Adam’s humanity to exploit him. He started to whisper to him day after day, coaxing him: “Shall I guide you to tree of Immortality and the Eternal Kingdom?” He said to them: “‘Your Lord did not forbid you this tree save you should become angels or become of the immortals.’ He (Satan) swore by Allah to them both saying: ‘Verily I am one of the sincere well wishers for you both.’ ” [Al-Qur’an 7:20-21]


Adam asked himself: “What will happen if I eat from this tree? It might truly be the Tree of Immortality.” His dream was to live forever in the pure innocence of Paradise.” Years went by, and Adam and Eve were preoccupied with thoughts of that tree. Then one day they decided to eat of its fruit. They forgot that Allah had warned them not to approach it and that Iblis was their sworn enemy. Adam stretched out his hand, picked one of the fruits and offered it to Eve. They both ate of the forbidden tree. Allah Almighty told us: “So he (Satan) misled them with deception.” [Al-Qur’an 7:22]


Allah said: “Thus did Adam disobey his Lord so he went astray.” [Al-Qur’an 20:121]


According to the Old Testament, Eve was tempted by the serpent to eat of the forbidden tree. She ate because of the words of the serpent and fed Adam some of it. At that moment, their eyes were opened to the fact that they were naked, and they took the leaves of the fig tree to cover themselves. Wahb ibn Munabah said that their clothing (before their sin) was made of light on the private parts of both of them. This story in the Old Testament is a falsification and deception. Allah the Almighty revealed: “O Children of Adam! Let not Satan deceive you, as he got your parents (Adam and Eve) out of Paradise stripping them of their rainments; to show them their private parts. Verily he and qabiluhu (his soldiers from the jinn or his tribe) see you from where you cannot see them. Verily, We made the devils (protectors and helpers) for those who believe not.” [Al-Qur’an 7:27]


Adam had hardly finished eating when he felt his heart contract, and he as filled with pain, sadness and shame. The surrounding atmosphere had changed and the internal music had stopped. He discovered that he and his wife were naked, so they both started cutting tree leaves with which to cover themselves. Allah the Almighty addressed him: “‘Did I not forbid you that tree and tell you: Verily Satan is an open enemy unto you?’ They said: ‘Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers.’ Allah said: ‘Get down, one of you an enemy to the other (Adam, Eve, and Satan etc). On earth will be a dwelling place for you and an enjoyment, for a time.’ He said: ‘Therein you shall live and therein you shall die, and from it you shall be brought out (resurrected).’ ” [Al-Qur’an 7:22-25]


Again there are old stories about these events. Al-Hafidh ibn-Asakir narrated that Allah commanded two angels to remove Adam from His holy proximity. So Gabriel stripped him of the crown on his head, and Michael took the diadem from his forehead. Adam thought that his punishment had been hastened and bowed down crying; “Forgiveness! Forgiveness!” so Allah asked: “Are you running away from Me?” Adam replied, “No, my Lord, but I am shy of You.” Abdur-Rahman ibn Amru al-Awza’i said that Adam spent 100 years in Paradise. In another narration it was said he spent 60 years. Ibn Asakir reported that Adam wept for 60 years for his loss of Paradise and 70 years for his mistake, and he wept for another 70 years when his son was killed. They left Paradise and descended upon the earth. Adam was sad and Eve was crying. Allah accepted their repentance because it was sincere and He told them that the earth would be their realm and origin where they would live and die and whence they would come on the Day of Judgment. Allah the Almighty recounted this third lesson Adam learned in Paradise: “Indeed We made a covenant with Adam before, but he forgot, and We found on his part no firm will power. Remember when We said to the angels, ‘Prostrate yourselves to Adam.’ They prostrated (all) except Iblis, who refused. then We said: ‘O Adam! verily, this is an enemy to you and to your wife. so let him not get you both out of Paradise, so that you be distressed in misery. Verily, you have (a promise from Us) that you will never be hungry therein nor naked. And you will suffer not from thrist therein nor from the sun’s heat.’ “Then Satan whispered to him, saying, ‘O Adam! Shall I lead you to the Tree of Eternity and to a kingdom that will never waste away?’ Then they both ate of that tree, and so their private parts appeared to them, and they began to stick on themselves the leaves from Paradise for their covering. Thus did Adam disobey his Lord, so he went astray. Then his Lord chose him, and turned to him with forgiveness and gave him guidance. “Allah said: ‘Get you down (upon the earth), both of you, together from Paradise, some of you are an enemy to some others. Then if there comes to you guidance from Me, then whoever follows My Guidance shall neither go astray, nor fall into distress and misery. But whosoever turns away from My Reminder (neither believes in this Qur’an nor acts on its orders etc). Verily, for him is a life of hardship and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection.’ “He will say: ‘O my Lord! Why have you raised me up blind, while I had sight before.’ Allah said, “Like this, Our ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc). came unto you, but you disregarded them (you left them, did not think deeply in them, and you turned away from them), and so this Day, you will be neglected in the Hellfire, away from Allah’s Mercy. “And thus do We requite him who transgresses beyond bounds (commits the great sins and disobeys his Lord (Allah) and believes not in His Messengers, and His revealed Books, like this Qur’an etc.), and believes not in the ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc). of his Lord, and the torment of the Hereafter is far more severe and more lasting.” [Al-Qur’an 20:115-127]


Some people believe that the reason why mankind does not dwell in Paradise is that Adam was disobedient and that if it had not been for this sin, we could have been there all along. These are naive fictions because when Allah wanted to create Adam, He said to the angels, “I shall make a vicegerent on the earth.” He did not say, “I shall make a vicegerent in Paradise.” Adam’s descent on earth, then, was not due to degradation but rather it was dignified descent. Allah knew that Adam and Eve would eat of the tree and descend to earth. He knew that Satan would rape their innocence. That experience was essential for their life on earth; it was a cornerstone of their vicegerency. It was meant to teach Adam, Eve, and their progeny that it was Satan who had caused them to be expelled from Paradise and that the road to Paradise can only be reached by obedience to Allah and enmity to Satan. Could it be said that Adam and the rest of mankind were predestined to sin and to be expelled from Paradise and sent to the earth? In fact, this fiction is as naive as the first one. Adam complete free will, and he bore the consequences of his deed. He disobeyed by eating of the forbidden tree, so Allah dismissed him from Paradise. His disobedience does not negate his freedom. On the contrary it is a consequence of it. The truth of the matter is that Allah knew what was going to happen, as He always know the outcome of events before they take place. However Allah does not force things to happen. He grants free will to His human creatures. On that He bases His supreme wisdom in populating the earth, establishing the vicegerents, and so on. Adam understood his 3rd lesson. He knew now in a practical way that Iblis was his enemy, the cause of his losing the blessing of living in Paradise, and the cause of his distress. Adam also understood that Allah punishes disobedience and that the way of Paradise has to be through submission to the will of Allah. And he learned from Allah Almighty to ask for forgiveness. Allah accepted Adam’s repentance and forgave him. He then sent him to the earth as His first messenger. Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Adam and Moses argued with each other. Moses said to Adam: ‘Your sin expelled you from Paradise.’ Adam said: ‘ You are Moses whom Allah selected as His messenger and as the one to whom He spoke directly. Yet you blame me for a thing which had already been written in my fate before my Creation?” Allah’s Prophet Muhammad sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said twice, “So Adam outclassed Moses.” [Sahih al-Bukhari]. ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab also narrated that the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Moses ‘alayhis-salam said: ‘My Lord! May I see Adam who removed us and himself from the Paradise?’ So Allah made him see Adam and he said to him: ‘Are you Adam?’ Adam said: ‘Yes.’ And he said, ‘Were you the one in Whom Allah breathed His spirit and before whom He bowed His angels and to whom He taught the names of all things?’ Adam answered, ‘Yes.’ So Moses said, ‘What made you remove us and yourself from Paradise?’ Adam said, ‘Who are you?’ Moses said, ‘I am Moses.’ Adam said, ‘So you are Moses the prophet of the Children of Israel. Were you the one Allah spoke to directly?’ Moses answered, ‘Yes.’ Adam said, ‘Why do you blame me for a matter which Allah had predestined?’ ” So Allah’s Prophet Muhammad sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said twice. “Adam outclassed Moses.” [Sahih al-Bukhari] There are many traditions concerning the place of Adam’s descent upon earth. Ibn Abi Hatim narrated that Ibn Abbas said: “Adam descended on the land ‘Dihna’ between Makkah and Ta’if.” Al-Hassan said that Adam descended in India and Eve in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), Iblis in Bodistiman (Iraq), and the serpent in Asfahan (Iran). This last was also reported by Ibn Hatim. Ass’adi related that Adam descended with the Black Stone (a large black stone set into the wall of the Ka’bah in Makkah. It is said to have come from Paradise) in India, and he had a handful of the seeds of Paradise. He sowed them in India and they grew into the fragrant tree therein. Ibn ‘Umar said that Adam descended on as-Safa and Eve on al-Marwa (names of two mountains in the vicinity of the sacred house in Makkah. Part of the rites of pilgrimage (hajj) includes pacing between these two hills in commemoration of Hagar’s search for water). This was also reported by Ibn Hatim. Abdur-Razzaq reported that Abu Musa al-Ashari said that when Allah ordered Adam to descend from Paradise to earth, He taught him the making of everything and provided him with the crops from Paradise. Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “The best of days on which the sun has risen is Friday. One this day Adam was created, and on this day he was descended to earth.” [Sahih al-Bukhari] Adam knew he bade farewell to peace and he left Paradise. On earth he had to face conflict and struggle. No sooner had one ended than another began. He also had to toil to sustain himself. He had to protect himself with clothes and weapons and protect his wife and children from the wild beasts. Above all he had to struggle with the spirit of evil. Satan, the cause of his expulsion from Paradise, continued to beguile him and his children in an effort to have them thrown into the eternal hellfire. The battle between good and evil is continuous, but those who follow Allah’s guidance and should fear nothing while those who disobey Allah and follow Iblis will be damned along with him. Adam grasped all of this and with the knowledge of this suffering he started his life on the earth. The only thing that allowed his grief was that he was master of the earth and had to make it yield to him. He was the one who had to perpetuate, cultivate and construct and populate the earth. He was also the one who had to procreate and raise children who would change and improve the world. The pinnacle of earthly bliss was reached when Adam and Eve witnessed the birth of their 1st children, a set of twins. Adam was a devoted father and Eve a contented mother. The twins were Cain (Qabil) and his sister. Later Eve gave birth to a second set of twins, Abel (Habil) and his sister. The family enjoyed the bounties and fruits of the earth provided by their Lord. The children grew up to be strong and healthy young adults. Cain tilled the land while Abel raised cattle. The time arrived when the two young men desired life partners. This was part of Allah’s plan for mankind, to multiply and form nations with different cultures and colors. Allah revealed to Adam that he should marry each son to the twin sister of the other. Adam instructed his children according to Allah’s command, but Cain was displeased with the partner chosen for him, for Abel’s twin sister was not as beautiful as his own. It appears that since the beginning of time, physical beauty has been a factor in the attraction between man and women. This attraction caused Cain to envy his brother Abel. He rebelled against Allah’s command by refusing to accept his father’s advice. At first glance Cain’s rebellion might appear strange, but we should remember that although man has a pure nature, the potential for dichotomy exists. In other words, he had both good and bad qualities. He can become greedy, covetous, possessive, selfish and even destructive. Man is, therefore capable of seeking self-satisfaction even if it leads to failure in this life and in the hereafter. The path to goodness lies in harnessing the enemy within him, his baser self by controlling evil thoughts and deeds and practicing moderation in his desires and actions. His reward then will be the delights of this world and the hereafter. Thus Allah tests us through our divided nature. Adam was in a dilemma. He wanted peace and harmony in his family, so he invoked Allah for help. Allah commanded that each son offer a sacrifice, and he whose offering was accepted would have right on his side. Abel offered his best camel while Cain offered his worst grain. His sacrifice was not accepted by Allah because of his disobedience to his father and the insincerity in his offering. This enraged Cain even further. Realizing that his hopes marrying his own beautiful sister were fading, he threatened his brother. “I will kill you! I refuse to see you happy while I remain unhappy!” Abel feeling sorry for his brother, replied, “It would be more proper for you, my brother to search for the cause of your unhappiness and then walk in the way of peace. Allah accepts the deeds only from those who serve and fear Him, not from those who reject His Commands.” Abel was intelligent, obedient, and always ready to obey the will of Allah. This contrasted sharply with his brother who was arrogant, selfish and disobedient to his Lord. Abel did not fear his brother’s threats, but neither did he want his brother to be hurt, Allah had blessed Abel with purity and compassion. Hoping to allay the hatred seething in his brother Abel said, ” My brother, you are deviating from the right path and are sinful in your decisions. It is better that you repent to Allah and forget about your foolish threat. But if you do not then I will leave the matter in the hands of Allah. You alone will bear the consequence of your sin, for the Fire is the reward of the wrong-doers.” This brotherly plea did nothing to lessen the hatred in Cain’s heart, nor did he show fear of Allah’s punishment. Even familial considerations were cast aside. Cain struck his brother with a stone killing him instantly. This was the 1st death and the 1st criminal act committed by man on earth. When Abel had not appeared for some time, Adam began to search for him but found no trace of his beloved son. He asked Cain about Abel’s whereabouts. Cain insolently replied that he was not his brother’s keeper nor his protector. From these words his father understood that Abel was dead and Adam was filled with grief. Meanwhile Cain did not know what to do with his brother’s corpse. He carried it on his back wandering from place to place trying to hide it. His anger had now subsided and his conscience was saddled with guilt. He was tiring under the burden of the corpse which had started to have a stench. As a mercy, and to show that dignity could be retained even in death, Allah sent two ravens that began fighting, causing the death of one. The victorious bird used its beak and claws to dig a hole in the ground, rolled its victim into it and covered it with sand. Witnessing this, Cain was overcome with shame and remorse. “Woe unto me!” he exclaimed. “I was unable to do what this raven has done, that is to hide my brother’s corpse.” Cain then buried his brother. This was also the 1st burial of man. Allah the Almighty revealed: “And (O Muhammad) recite to them (the Jews) the story of the two sons of Adam (Abel and Cain) in truth; when each offered a sacrifice to Allah, it was accepted from the one but not from the other. The latter said to the former, ‘I will surely kill you.’ “The former said, ‘Verily Allah accepts only from those who are al-Muttaqin (the pious). If you do stretch your hand against me to kill me I shall never stretch my hand against you to kill you, for I fear Allah; the Lord of the ‘alamin (mankind, jinn, and all that exists). Verily I intend to let you draw my sin onyourself as well as yours then you will be one of the dwellers of the Fire, and that is the recompense of the dhalimin (polytheists, and wrongdoers).’ So the self of the other (latter one) encouraged him and made fair seeming to him the murder of his brother; he murdered him and became one of the losers. Allah sent a crow who scratched the ground to show him to hide the dead body of his brother. He (the murderer) said: ‘Woe to me! Am I not even able to be as this crow and to hide the dead body of my brother?’ Then he became one of those who regretted.” [Al-Qur’an 5:27-31] Ibn Abbas, Ibn Masud and a group of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam related that inter-marriage of the male of one pregnancy with the female of another had been in practice among Adam’s children. Abel wanted to marry Cain’s sister, but Cain wanted her for himself because she was very beautiful. Adam ordered him to give her in marriage to his brother but he refused. So Adam ordered both of them to offer a sacrifice, then went to Makkah to perform the pilgrimage. After Adam had left, they offered their sacrifices; Abel offered a fat lamb, he was a shepherd, while Cain offered a bundle of worst grain. fire descended and devoured Abel’s sacrifice, leaving that of Cain so he became angry and said: “I will surely kill you so that you will not marry my sister.” Abel replied, “Allah accepts from those who fear Him.” According to Abu Ja’far al-Baqr, Adam was watching their offering and was sure that Abel’s sacrifice would be accepted. Cain complained to Adam that the acceptance was due to his supplication for Abel and that he had not done the same for him, so he promised his father to settle the matter between himself and his brother. One night, Abel was late returning from tending his flock. Adam sent Cain to see what happened to him. When he found him, he glared at him saying: “Yours was accepted, and mine was not.” Abel replied, “Allah only accepts from the Allah-fearing.” Cain became angry on hearing this and hit him with a piece of iron that was with him and thus killing him. In another version it was said that he killed him with a rock to the head while he was sleeping. Adam was utterly grief stricken by the loss of his two sons. One was dead, the other was won over by the devil. Adam prayed for his son and turned to mundane matters for he had to toil for his sustenance. At the same time he was a prophet advising his children and grandchildren, telling them about Allah and calling them to believe in Him. He told them about Iblis and warned them by recounting his own experience with the devil and of how the devil had tempted Cain to kill his brother. Years and years passed, Adam grew old and his children spread all over the earth. Muhammad Ibn Ishaq related that when Adam’s death drew near, he appointed his son Seth to be his successor and taught him the hours of the day and night along with their appropriate acts of worship. He also foretold to him the floor that would come. Abu Dharr narrated that the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Allah sent down 104 Psalms, of which 50 were sent down to Seth.” ‘Abdullah ibn al-Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal narrated that Ubayy ibn Ka’ab said, “When Adam’s death was near, he said to his children: ‘O my children, indeed I feel an appetite for the fruits of Paradise.’ So they went away searching for what Adam had requested. They met with the angels, who had with them his shroud and what he was to be embalmed with. They said to them: ‘O Children of Adam, what are you searching for? What do you want? Where are you going?’ They said: ‘Our father is sick and has an appetite for the fruits of Paradise.’ The angels said to them: ‘Go back, for your father is going to meet his end soon.’ So they returned (with the angels) and when Eve saw them she recognized them. She tried to hide herself behind Adam. He said to her, ‘Leave me alone. I came before you; do not go between me and the angels of my Lord.’ So they took his soul, embalmed and wrapped him, dug the grave and laid him in it. They prayed on him and put him in his grave, saying: ‘O Children of Adam, this is your tradition at the time of death.’ ” Before his death Adam reassured his children that Allah would not leave man alone on the earth, but would sent His prophets to guide them. The prophets would have different names, traits and miracles, but they would be united in one thing; the call to worship Allah alone. This was Adam’s bequest to his children. Adam finished speaking and closed his eyes. Then the angels entered his room and surrounded him. When he recognized the Angel of Death among them, his heart smiled peacefully. After Adam’s death, his soth Seth (Shith) took over the responsibilities of prophethood, according to a hadith narrated by Abu Dharr. Abu Dharr narrated that Prophet Muhammad sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Allah sent down one hundred and four Psalms, of which fifty were sent down to Seth.” [Sahih al-Bukhari] When the time of his death came Seth’s son Anoush succeeded him. He in turn, was succeeded by his son Qinan, [then] Mahlabil [who many claim] was the King of the Seven Regions, that he was the first one to cut down trees to build cities and large forts and that he built the cities of Babylonia. He reigned for a period of forty years. When he died his duties were taken over by his son Yard, who on his death, bequeathed them to his son Khonoukh, who is Idris ‘alayhis-salam according to the majority of the scholars.


The four stories of Surat Al-Kahf

Surah Al Kahf is a Meccan Surah meaning it was revealed when Prophet Muhammad was in Mecca. It was revealed to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ before the Hijrah/Migration to Medina when the persecution of Muslims and Islam was at its peak. It was revealed somewhere between the 8th and 10th year of Prophethood.

These are the main lessons from the four stories of Surah Al-Kahf.


1. Trial of Faith – People of the Cave/ Ashabu Al-Kahf (Verses 9 – 26)

سَيَقُولُونَ ثَلاثَةٌ رَّابِعُهُمْ كَلْبُهُمْ وَيَقُولُونَ خَمْسَةٌ سَادِسُهُمْ كَلْبُهُمْ رَجْمًا بِالْغَيْبِ وَيَقُولُونَ سَبْعَةٌ وَثَامِنُهُمْ كَلْبُهُمْ قُل رَّبِّي أَعْلَمُ بِعِدَّتِهِم مَّا يَعْلَمُهُمْ إِلاَّ قَلِيلٌ فَلا تُمَارِ فِيهِمْ إِلاَّ مِرَاء ظَاهِرًا وَلا تَسْتَفْتِ فِيهِم مِّنْهُمْ أَحَدًا(22)

This story is about a number of young men who were driven out of their homes because they believed in Allah. They ended up in a cave where Allah made them sleep for many years (309 lunar years which is 300 solar years). When they woke up they felt they had slept for a day or half a day. One of them went to the town to get some food disguising himself thinking that the people would recognise and harm him. Only to find himself amongst a different people. The people of the town were amazed at his appearance of this man and the old coins he was using. The story shows us how Allah protects the righteous who believe in Him no matter how hard their situation is. The Biblical version of the story is called ‘The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus”, however, the Qur’an doesn’t mention the number of those who were in the cave.

2. Trial of Wealth – The story of the man who owns two gardens (Verses 32 – 44)

This is a story about a man who owned two beautiful gardens, but he became arrogant and told his friend

وَكَانَ لَهُ ثَمَرٌ فَقَالَ لِصَاحِبِهِ وَهُوَ يُحَاوِرُهُ أَنَا أَكْثَرُ مِنكَ مَالا وَأَعَزُّ نَفَرًا (34)


The man forgot to be thankful for the bounties Allah has bestowed upon him, hence Allah destroyed his gardens. This story is a lesson to those who take worldly matters for granted and forget that all that they have is from Allah and He is capable of taking it all away if he wills.

3. Trial of Knowledge – Moses and Al-Khidr (Verses 60–82)

Prophet Muhammad said: “Once Moses stood up and addressed Bani Israel. He was asked who the most learned man amongst the people was. He said: “I.” Allah reprimanded him as he did not attribute absolute knowledge to Him (Allah). So, Allah said to him: “Yes, at the junction of the two seas there is a slave of Mine who is more learned than you.” Moses said: “O my Lord! How can I meet him?” So Allah instructed Musa as to where to find the man who was known as “Al-Khidr”-The Green One.

Musa goes on a journey with Al-Khidr where he learns that Allah bestows his knowledge on whoever he wishes. Nobody should ever feel he/she is the most knowledgeable, as all knowledge belongs to Allah.


4. Trial of Power – Dhul-Qar-nayn with Yajuj Majuj (Verses 83–98)

Dhul Qarnain was a righteous and just king, who traveled the lands from West to East.  The Qur’an mentions three of his journeys. On his last journey, he reaches a place between two mountains where he met a tribe of people. They asked him to build a wall between them and the people of Gog and Magog “Ya’juj and Ma’juj” who were causing mischief in the land. Dhul Qarnain agreed to do so. Dhul Qarnayn was not proud of his achievements, in fact, the Quran mentions that  after he built that great wall.

قَالَ هَذَا رَحْمَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّي فَإِذَا جَاءَ وَعْدُ رَبِّي جَعَلَهُ دَكَّاء وَكَانَ وَعْدُ رَبِّي حَقًّا(98)

The Prophet ﷺ said:

“One who memorized the first ten verses of Surah al Kahf will be secure against the Dajjal (Anti-Christ).”



Prophet Muhammed (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) SEERAH part 1.

 Al-Sarraj Al-Munir


The Seerah has a number of unique features which make studying it a source of spiritual and intellectual pleasure. Studying it is essential for all scholars of shari’ah, daa iyahs who call people to Allah and those who are concerned with social reforms, to ensure that Islam will be conveyed to the people in a convincing manner, so that they will know that it is the refuge to which they should turn at times of trouble or confusion, so that the people’s hearts will be open to the daa ‘iyahs and the reforms promoted by the reformers will be more successful and more sound. We will sum up below the most important and unique features of the Prophet’s biography.

Firstly: It is the soundest account of the life of any Prophet who was sent, or any great reformer. The biography of the Messenger of Allah (~ ) has come to us via the soundest academic methods and with the strongest proof – as we shall see when we examine the sources of the Seerah – which leaves no room for doubt concerning the major events of the Prophet’s life. This makes it easy for us to detect fabricated accounts, that were added in later times of miracles or events dreamt up, by ignorant minds who wanted to add more of an element of the extraordinary to the life of the Messenger of Allah (“*), over and beyond that which Allah had decreed of his high status, the sanctity of his mission and the greatness of his character.

What is unique about the soundness ofthe Seerah is that it is proven, and there cannot be any doubt about it; this is something which cannot be said of the biography of any of the previous Messengers of Allah. In the case of Moosa (Moses) (}~) (may Allah’s peace be upon him), the true events of his life are mixed with the fabrications introduced by the Jews, so we cannot rely on the extant Torah in order to find a true picture of the life of Moosa (:,~). Many western critics have also started to complain about some of the books of the Pentateuch, and some of them have stated clearly that some of its books were not written during or soon after the lifetime of Moosa, but rather they were written long after he had died, by an unknown author. This alone is sufficient to cast doubts upon the soundness of

the life of Moosa ()~ ) as narrated in the Torah. So the Muslim can only believe in the details of his life that were narrated in the Qur’an and the ~alJeelJ SUlmah.

The same may be said of the life of ‘Eesa (Jesus) (~0), for these Gospels which are officially recognized by the Christian churches are those which were only approved of hundreds of years after the time of the Messiah; they were chosen – without any academic basis – from among hundreds of Gospels that were in circulation among the Christians at that time. Moreover, the attribution of these Gospels to their supposed authors cannot be proven in any scientific manner that would give peace of mind. They were not narrated through any chain of narrators that goes back to their authors. There is also some dispute among western critics concerning the names of some of these authors – who were they, and when did they live?

Ifthis is the case regarding the biographies ofMessengers connected to religions that are widespread in the world, the element of doubt is even stronger regarding the founders of other religions and philosophies of hundreds of millions throughout the world. The stories told by the followers of Buddha and Confucius about their lives have no sound basis from the point of view of academic research. Rather, the priests accepted them blindly from one another and each generation added more elements that were akin to myths and legends. No enlightened mind that is free from blind-following of these religions can accept these myths.

Hence, we find that the soundest biography. the one which has the strongest proof and was narrated in the most reliable fashion, is the biography of Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah (~).

Secondly: The life of the Prophet (~ ) is well known at all stages, from the marriage of his father ‘Abdullah to his mother Aaminah, until his death. We know a great deal about his birth, his childhood, his youth, how he earned his living before his Prophethood began, and his travels outside Makkah until Allah sent him as a Messenger. After that point, we know in more precise details all about his life, year by year, which makes his biography as clear as the sun. As some western critics said: Muhammad (~ ) is the only one who was born in the light of the sun.

This is something that is not even remotely available with regard to any of the previous Messengers. In the case of Moosa (%~), we do not know anything at all about his childhood or youth, or how he earned his living before he became a Prophet, and we know only a little about his life after he became a Prophet, not enough to form a complete picture of his personality. The same may be said of ‘Eesa (~ ). We do not know anything about his childhood, except what is mentioned in the Gospels that exist now, which say that he entered the Temple of the Jews and debated with their rabbis. This is the only event which they mention of his childhood. We do not know anything of his life after his Prophethood began, apart from matters that have to do with his call, and a little about his way of life. Apart from that, it is as if the matter is covered with a thick fog.

How can we compare this to the sound sources of the Seerah, with their precise details about the personal life of our Messenger, such as how he ate, drank, stood, sat and dressed, his shape and appearance, how he spoke and interacted with his family, how he worshipped and prayed, how he dealt with his Companions. The details of his biography are so precise that they even narrated how many white

hairs there were on his head and in his beard.

Thirdly: The biography of the Messenger of Allah (~ ) tells the life story of a man whom Allah honoured with the role of a Messenger. The Seerah does not try to make him more than human, or add myths and fables to his life. No divinity is ascribed to him in any way, whether major or minor. If we compare this to the stories that the Christians tell about the life of ‘Eesa (1.0 ), or that the Buddhists tell about Buddha, or that the idol-worshippers tell about their gods, it will become clear to us that there is a huge difference between the biography of the Prophet (* ) and the biographies of these other figures. This has a far-reaching effect on the human and social behaviour oftheir followers, for the claims ofdivinity accompanying ‘Eesa (:-:’0) and Buddha made them unsuitable examples for people to follow their personal and social lives. Contrary to that, Muhammad (:$) remained and will remain the perfect human example for everyone who wants to live a happy and decent life on the personal, family and social levels. Hence, Allah (~ ) says in His holy Book:

لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا (21 (


Indeed in the Messenger ofAllah [Muhammad} you have a good example torollowfor him whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day. ..(Qur ‘an 33: 21)

Fourthly: The biography of the Messenger of Allah (~ ) includes all aspects of human life. It tells us the story of Muhammad, the trustworthy and righteous youth, before Allah honoured him with the Message. It also tells us the biography of the Messenger of Allah who called people to Allah, seeking the best means of conveying his Message and striving his utmost to do so. It tells us his biography as the leader of a state, establishing the best system for his state, and protecting it by his alertness, sincerity and honesty in order to guarantee its success. It tells us his biography as a husband and father, with his compassion and kind treatment. clearly setting out the rights and duties of husbands, wives and children. It tells us his biography as an educator and guide who gave his companions an exemplary training and education, by means of which he transferred from his soul to theirs that which made them follow his example in all matters, both major and minor. It tells us his biography as a friend who fulfilled the duties of friendship, satisfying its obligations and observing its etiquette, which made his companions love him more than they loved themselves and more than they loved their families and relatives. His seerah tells us the story of a brave warrior, a victorious leader, a successful politician, a trustworthy neighbour and a faithful ally.

To sum up: The biography of the Messenger of Allah (~’s) includes all aspects of human life and interaction with society, which makes it the best example for every daa ‘iyah, every leader, every father, every husband, every friend, every teacher, every politician, every head of state, and so on…

We do not find anything like this comprehensiveness, not even anything that comes close, in what is left of the biographies of the previous Messengers and founders of ancient and modem religions and ideologies . Moosa (~~ ) is the example o f a national leader who saved his nation from slavery and expounded principles and laws that suited that nation only. But we do not find in his life-story anything that makes him an example for warriors, teachers, politicians, heads of state, fathers or husbands.

‘Eesa U~;;,) represents the ascetic daa’iyah who, when he left this world, had no wealth, no house and no possessions. But according to his life-story as it is extant among Christians, he does not represent a war leader, a head of state, a father, a husband – because he never married, a lawgiver or any of the other roles represented in the life of Muhammad (~ ). The same may be said of Buddha, Confucius, Aristotle, Plato, Napoleon, and other great men of history. They are fit to be examples – if at all – in only one aspect of life where they achieved distinction and for which they are known. The only man in history who is fit to be an example for all groups, for all talented people in all aspects of life, is Muhammad (~ ).

Fifthly: The biography of Muhammad (;~) is the only one that can give us proofbeyond any shadow of a doubt about the truthfulness of his message and Prophethood. It is the biography of a perfect man whose call went from victory to victory, not by way of extraordinary feats and miracles, but in a purely natural way. For he began his call and was persecuted; he conveyed his message and gained supporters; he was forced to fight so he fought; he was wise and successful in his leadership. By the time his death drew near, his call has spread all over Arabia, by means of conviction, not by means of suppression and force. Whoever knows the customs and beliefs that the Arabs used to follow, and the attempts they made to silence his da ‘wah, even plotting to assassinate him, and how unequal was the match between him and his opponents in every battle he won, and the short time it took his message to prevail before he died, which was only twenty-three years, will be certain that Muhammad (~<;) was indeed the Messenger of Allah, and that A)lah would not haye blessed him with steadfastness, strength, influence and victory if he were not indeed a true Prophet. Allah would not have given this support, which is unique in history, to one who told lies about Him. The life- story of the Messenger of Allah (;~’:’;) proves to us that his message is true from a purely rational point of view. The miracles that happened to him are not the main reason why the Arabs believed in his call. In fact we do not find any miracle that made the stubborn kujJaar (unbelievers) believe, even though physical miracles are proof against those who witness them. It is certain that the Muslims who  did not see the Prophet (~’S) or witness his miracles, believed in the truth of his message because of the definitive rational evidence that attested to the truth of his claim to Prophethood. This rational evidence includes the Qur’an, which is an intellectual miracle that makes every intelligent and fair-minded person believe that Muhammad’s claim to be a Messenger is true.

This is utterly different from the life-stories ofthe previous Prophets as preserved among their followers, which indicate that people believed in them because ofthe miracles and extraordinary feats that they saw at their hands, without thinking in a rational way about the principles of their calls, or submitting to them on the basis of reason. The clearest example ofthat is the Messiah (/f~), for Allah tells us in the Qur’an that the main reason why the Jews believed his message was that he healed the blind, the lepers and healed the sick, raised the dead, and told them what they were eating and what they were storing in their houses. He did all of that by Allah’s leave. The Gospels that are currently extant tell us that these miracles were the only reason why the masses believed in him all at once, not that he was a Messenger as the Qur’an tells us, but that he was God and the son of God – exalted be Allah above that. So after the time of the Messiah, Christianity spread because of miracles and extraordinary feats, and the Acts ofthe Apostles is the greatest evidence ofthat. So it is true to say that Christianity to its followers is a religion based on miracles and extraordinary feats, not on intellectual conviction.

Hence, we can see a clear difference between the life of ‘Eesa and that of Muhammad (l’c::t:), because no one believed him as a result of seeing his miracles, rather they believed him on the basis of rational and intellectual conviction. Although Allah honoured him with miracles, that was by way ofhonouring him and refuting his stubborn and arrogant opponents. Anyone who studies the Qur’an will see that it is based on convincing by means of rational arguments and on calling attention to the visible signs of the greatness of Allah’s creation. Knowing that the Prophet (~ ) was unlettered, makes his bringing the Qur’an a sign of the authenticity of his Prophethood.