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Sunday, September 06, 2009

"Allow me to commit zina" - a lesson on Aqidah

What if somebody ask you this very question?

If he is a Muslim, how dare he ask that question! Some will jump into a quick conclusion. We at some stage will be asked about our religion, or simple thing like does drinking alcohol invalidate fasting in Ramadhan etc. I would easily brush off these type of questions, considering the questioner should know better, but do they? Why did they ask? Certainly not because to show how bad their religous knowledge is...

Then, I stumble upon a beautiful hadith when Prophet was asked this (silly) question.

Abu Umamah reported that a young man came to Messenger of Allah and said,

"O Messenger of Allah, give me permission to commit zina." The people shouted and the Prophet said, "Stop it!" The Messenger of Allah said, "Let him calm down. Calm here." He came and sat in front of Allah Messenger who said to him, "Would you like it for your mother?" He said, "No." He said, "Likewise, people do not like it for their daughters. Would you like it for your daughter?" He replied, "No." (And Rasulullah asked the same question but to sisters and aunts in which the person answered no for each questions). Then Allah's Messenger put his hand on his chest and said, "O Allah, forgive his sins, purify his heart and make him chaste." (Al-Tabarani, Al-Mu'jam Al-Kabeer).

Rasulullah reasoned with the questioner. Rasulullah knew that if the person is really bad, he would not ask. He would just do it The fact that he asked before he committed zina showed how he is interested in religion, but lack of its knowldege. Why would we then go against his teaching? We slander those who doesn't know his religion (while trying to learn). We laughed at those questions, thinking what type of person would he be? O Allah, forgive us and make us chaste.

Zina is not the worst case scenario

I am certainly not promoting sins and maksiat. Traditionally we have been viewing zina and pigs as something we really hate. Hence people (muslim from malaysia) who drinks alcohol still would not dare to eat pigs. There is no doubt that zina is considered one of major sins in Islam, hence the severe punishment upon committing zina. But there are other sins which Allah says are greater than zina itself. If Allah wills, He may pardon the believers who commit zina and admit him into paradise.

In a long sahih hadith, Abu Dzarr related that one night he follow Rasulullah in a dark night. Then he saw Rasulullah was talking to somebody else whom he cannot see. Then Rasulullah related that it was Jibril who come to tell him. Jibril said: Give glad-tidings to your Ummah that whoever dies and does not associate anything with Allaah will enter Paradise in which Rasulullah asked Jibril: ‘O Jibraeel, even if that person steals and even if he commits Zina?’ He: said: ‘yes.’

Allah's Mercy and Forgiveness have no boundary. Do not despair Allah forgiveness if you have commited zina. But, for those who are trying to justify their sins by quoting this hadith, let me remind you that Allah punishment is the most severe of all. Do not be tempted to commit sins just because we know we'll go to paradise. We haven't reached our end of life, so to say we will die in believing Allah is too premature. Allah forbids, but who knows because of all the sins that we commit, inch by inch our connection with religion is lost. We start to question the God himself and finally become non-believers. Nauzubillah.

The Unfogivable Sin

Surely Allah will not forgive the association of partners (shirk) with him, but He forgives (sins) less than that of whomever He wishes (Quran 4:48)

Shirk is the worst sin of all. We probably say... O we are safe. We believe in Allah and Prophet Muhammad. What else could go wrong? If we have been striving hard not to go near zina, or riba, or haraam provison, then we should pay much closer attention to things that can tip us into this unforgivable sins.

Worthless deeds

We pray and fast and went for hajj, and yet some of us do still go to bomoh to ask for supernatural help when we are in trouble. We love our parents, brothers and friends, but yet we follow their orders more that we follow Allah even when it is forbidden.

All the reminders that I've written will be worthless if this single act of worship is not being followed or guarded as well as it should.

Take for example the following hadith:

The solat of whoever approaches a fortuneteller and asks him about anything will not be accepted for 40 days and nights. (Muslim)

The scholars commented on this hadith, saying that this hadith applies to those who went to fortuneteller, even though they don't believe in what he said. If they believe in what he said, then they have disbelieved.

Whosoever approaches a fortuneteller and believes what he says, has disbelieved in what was revealed to Muhammad. (Ahmad)

And you can imagine when scholars generalize this issue (using qiyas) into something fortuneteller-like cases - ie horoscope, quizzes that tell us about future, Palm-reading etc. A mere trial (mencuba-cuba) even tough for fun can have grave consequences.

Charms and omens

The power to cause good or evil belongs only to Allah. Therefore, any belief that created things can cause good have no basis in Islam. Amulet (as protection from evil), black cat (as the sign of evil), shamrock (as good luck sign) and the stars are all created things and cannot exert the power of their Creator.

We sometimes did these things unintentionally. In medical profession, even though searching for cure is preferable in Islam, it doesn't mean that we put our trust SOLELY on the treating physician while forgetting the effect of God in curing disease.

When we see our patients, and instead of saying Insya-Allah, we say 'touch wood' or 'fingers crossed'. It might just be a habit from us, but the origin of these belief are against the teaching of Islam - therefore warrants us to leave the habit.

Touch Wood: The origin is unknown, though some writers have pointed to pre-Christian rituals involving the spirits of sacred trees such as the oak, ash, holly or hawthorn. There is, I’m told, an old Irish belief that you should knock on wood to let the little people know that you are thanking them for a bit of good luck. There’s also a belief that the knocking sound prevents the Devil from hearing your unwise comments. Others have sought a meaning in which the wood symbolises the timber of the cross, but this may be a Christianisation of an older ritual. It wasn’t always wood that was lucky: in older days, iron was also thought to have magical properties, and to touch iron was an equivalent preventative against ill-fortune.

Friday the 13th

I was born on Friday the 13th. If I die someday, would people say I died because I was born on Friday the 13th. The notion of letting numbers to rule our life is not compatible with scientific mind. We created numbers to help us, then we say that one particular number is bad for us. Why created that particular number in the first place?

The origin goes back to the evening of Jesus's last supper as told in Bible. At the Last Supper, there were 13 people. One of the 13 was Judas, the man who supposedly betrayed Jesus. Friday the 13th is supposed to be particularly unlucky for 2 reasons. First, Friday is the day Jesus was supposed to ahve been crucified. And according to medieval belief, Friday is the day when witches held their meetings.

The flight commander of the Apollo moonshot in 1970, which came near to disaster, explained on his return that he should have known that something was going to happen. When asked why, he replied that the flight took place on Friday the 13th, blast off was at 1300 hours and flight number was Apollo 13! (The Fundamentals of Tauheed - Dr Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips 2006)

Little change but big effect

Not to pray to other gods probably is straight forward enough for us Muslims, but purifying our Aqidah is not that easy. That does not include riya' - the minor shirk, which is the act of the heart, and very difficult to control. But we should try to guard our Aqidah from these 'little' things. These 'little things' are actually big for the correct Aqidah, without which all our our deeds will be worthless.

Do we let the moon dictate our actions? Or the sound of owl as a sign of death? Or let any created things to supersede the Creator Himself?



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