Archive for Sheikh

Forenoon prayer [salat ad-duha]

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Is prison the best place for criminals?

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A prison confines individuals who have been deprived of their liberty following a conviction for a crime which is an intentional act that is deemed to be socially harmful or dangerous and is specifically defined, prohibited, and punishable under the criminal law.

On the other hand, capital punishment or the death penalty is the execution of criminal who has been sentenced to death after conviction.

Development of prison system

Under the influence of the European Enlightenment, which gave birth to the universal Godlessness that is called secularism, the Abolition movement, in the latter part of the eighteenth century, began to limit the scope of capital punishment. Prisons increasingly became the main means of punishing serious offenders. By the early twenty-first century, a majority of countries had abolished or suspended the death penalty, and imprisonment became the most severe form of punishment their courts could impose.

Secular viewpoint

The ideas that prisons are places of punishment and capital punishment should be abolished originate from secularism. The arguments in favour of prisons mirror arguments against capital punishment.

Under secularism, murder became a crime against society as represented by the state, rather than a crime against the person as represented by the victim’s relatives.

Secular arguments in favour of prisons

The secular arguments in favour of prisons are:

  • General and individual deterrence
  • Retribution
  • Reformation
  • Protection of the public
  • Discrimination against minorities
  • Lower penalty of miscarriage of justice
  • Capital punishment is torture
  • Capital punishment is undignified


It is argued that prisons offer general deterrence to those who would otherwise commit crimes and individual deterrence by making it less likely that those who serve a prison sentence will commit crimes after their release.

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Can God be known?

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Islamic viewpoint

God is known through Divine Revelation

Muslims say that God can be known because the Qur’an is the Word of God:



The revelation of the Book [this Qur’an] is from Allah [swt], the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.[1]

Therefore, Muslims know that God speaks.

God is known through His Attributes

The Qur’an, in turn, reveals what God is like, for example,

God is Uncaused

He [Allah (swt)] begets not, nor was He begotten.[2]

God is the Creator

He is Allah, the Creator, the Inventor of all things, the Bestower of forms. To Him belong the Best Names. All that is in the heavens and the earth glorify Him. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.[3]

God is One

Say [O Muhammad (saws)], “He is Allah, [the] One.”[4]

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The times of prayer

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Prostration of forgetfulness [sujud as-sahw]

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‘Eid prayers

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Voluntary fasting

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To be regular and constant in voluntary fasting

“I [‘Alqama (ra)] asked ‘A’ishah [ra], ‘Did Allah’s Messenger [saws] use to do extra deeds of worship on some certain days?’ She replied, ‘No, but his deeds were regular and constant. Who amongst you can endure what Allah’s Messenger [saws] used to endure?’”[1]

“The Messenger of Allah [saws] did not fast more in any month of the year than he did in Sha’ban and he used to say, ‘Take on as much deeds as you are able to for Allah [swt] does not grow weary but you do.’ And he used to say, ‘The dearest of deeds to Allah [swt] are those that a person does regularly even if they are small.’”[2]

To make intention to fast before dawn

“There is no fast for the one who does not intend [to fast] before dawn.”[3]

“If a man does not intend to fast from the night before he should not fast.”[4]

“None should fast except the one who intended to fast before dawn.”[5]

Unless you are a Prophet

“The Messenger of Allah [saws] passed by my door. He said, ‘Do you have anything [to eat]?” I [‘A’ishah (ra)] said, ‘I do not have anything.’ He said, ‘Then I am fasting.’” She said, ‘Then he passed by my door a second time and we had been given some hais. I brought it to him and he ate and I was surprised. I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah [saws] you entered upon me, and you were fasting then you ate hais.’ He said, ‘Yes O ‘A’ishah (ra). The one who observes a fast other than in Ramadan or making up a missed Ramadan fast is like a man who allocated some of his wealth to give in charity; if he wishes he may go ahead and give it and if he wishes he may keep it.’”[6]

A wife may not fast without husband’s permission

“The Messenger of Allah [saws] said, ‘A woman is not to fast in the presence of her husband without his permission except Ramadan and she is not to allow anyone in his house in his presence without his permission.’”[7]

Reward for voluntary fasting

“There is a gate in Paradise called Ar-Raiyyan. Those who fast shall be invited into it and whoever was among those who fasted then he will enter it; and whoever enters it he will never thirst again.”[8]

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The Night of Decree [Lailat Al-Qadr]

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Proof of the Night of Decree [Lailat Al-Qadr]

Surah Al-Qadr Chapter 97 Verses 1-5

Verily We have sent it [this Qur’an] down in the night of Al-Qadr [Decree]. And what will make you know what the night of Al-Qadr is? The night of Al-Qadr is better than a thousand months. Therein descend the angels and the Ruh [Angel Gabriel] by Allah’s Permission with all Decrees. [All that night] there is Peace until the appearance of dawn.[1]

The blessing of Lailat Al-Qadr

“Whoever spends the nights of Ramadan in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward he will be forgiven his previous sins and whoever spends the night of Lailat Al-Qadr in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward he will be forgiven his previous sins.”[2]

“Whoever established salah [prayer] on the night of Qadr with sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah [swt] then all his previous sins will be forgiven; and whoever observes saum [fasts] in the month of Ramadan with sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah [swt] then all his previous sins will be forgiven.”[3]

The signs of Lailat Al-Qadr

“I [Zirr bin Hubaish (ra)] asked Ubayy bin Ka’b [ra], ‘Your brother Ibn Mas’ud [ra] says that whoever prays Qiyam all year he will find Lailat Al-Qadr.’ He said, ‘May Allah [swt] have mercy on him he intended that the people should not rely [on just one night]. But he knew that it is in Ramadan and that it is in the last ten nights and that it is the night of the twenty-seventh.’ Then he swore unequivocally that it is the twenty-seventh. I said, ‘On what basis do you say that O Abu Al-Mundhir [ra]?’ He said, ‘By the sign of which the Messenger of Allah [saws] told us, ‘On that day the sun rises with no rays.’”[4]

“We were talking about Lailat Al-Qadr in the presence of the Messenger of Allah [saws] and he said, ‘Who among you remembers when the moon rose looking like part of a bowl?’”[5]

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Seclusion in a mosque [I’tikaf]

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The legality of I’tikaf

Surah Al-Baqarah Chapter 2 Verse 187

It is made lawful for you to have sexual relations with your wives on the night of the fasts. They are covering for you and you are the same for them. Allah [swt] knows that you used to deceive yourselves so He turned to you and forgave you. So now have sexual relations with them and seek that which Allah [swt] has ordained for you and eat and drink until the white thread of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread then complete your fast till the nightfall. And do not have sexual relations with them while you are in I’tikaf in the mosques. These are the limits [set] by Allah [swt] so approach them not. Thus does Allah [swt] make clear His ayat to mankind that they may become the pious.[1]

I’tikaf is recommended in Ramadan

“The Prophet [saws] used to practice I’tikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan till he died and then his wives used to practice I’tikaf after him.”[2]

I’tikaf is for ten days, unless

“Allah’s Messenger [saws] mentioned that he would practice I’tikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan. ‘A’ishah [ra] asked permission to perform I’tikaf and he permitted her. Hafsa [ra] asked ‘A’ishah [ra] to take his permission for her and she did so. When Zainab bint Jahsh [ra] saw that she ordered a tent to be pitched for her and it was pitched for her. Allah’s Messenger [saws] used to proceed to his tent after the salah. So he saw the tents and asked, ‘What is this?’ He was told that those were the tents of ‘A’ishah [ra], Hafsa [ra] and Zainab [ra]. Allah’s Messenger [saws] said, ‘Is it Al-Birr [righteousness] which they intended by doing so? I am not going to perform I’tikaf.’ So he returned home. When the fasting month was over he performed I’tikaf for ten days in the month of Shawwal.”[3]

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God is All-Knowing

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Rational basis for omniscience

In deducing the nature of God, we reasoned that God must be all-knowing because He created all matter, energy, space and time from nothing. As He is the First Cause, God must, therefore, know everything about them before He created them.

Surah Al-Mulk Chapter 67 Verse 14

Should not He Who has created know? And He is the Most Kind and Courteous, All-Aware.[1]

The Qur’an confirms the rational basis for the omniscience of God.

The Arabic words used to denote omniscience in the following verses of the Qur’an are:

  • ‘alim, which means “all-knowing” and “omniscient”
  • ‘alim al-ghayb wa al-shahadah, which means “all-knowing of the unseen and the seen”
  • ‘allam al-ghuyub, which means “supremely aware, thoroughly knowing or completely familiar of secrets, the unseen, the invisible, the hidden.”


Surah Al-Baqarah Chapter 2 Verse 29

He [God] it is Who created for you all that is on earth. Then He rose over towards the heaven and made them seven heavens and He is the All-Knower of everything.[2]

Surah Al-Baqarah Chapter 2 Verse 32

They [angels] said, “Glory is to You, we have no knowledge except what you have taught us. Verily it is You, the All-Knower, the All-Wise.”[3]

Surah Al-Baqarah Chapter 2 Verse 115

And to Allah [swt] belong the east and the west so wherever you turn there is the Face of Allah [swt]. Surely! Allah [swt] is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knowing.[4]

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