Dr. Ali Gomaa in Washington post and CNN

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Washington post

Prophet Muhammad is ‘the mercy to all worlds’ to Muslims: Egypt’s mufti

It goes without saying that violence of any sort, whether inspired by religious sentiment or secular interests, must be condemned unequivocally and in the strongest terms possible. This is in keeping with the best of Muslim tradition, which abhors sectarian rife, inter-ethnic conflict, and interreligious violence. This lesson is best contained in the example of the Prophet Mohammed himself, who was repeatedly subjected to the worst treatment by his enemies, only to consistently disregard these insults and instead take the path of forgiveness, mercy and compassion. This is why he is known to Muslims as “the Mercy to all worlds.” Indeed, this example is most succinctly summarized in the Quran itself, which instructs believers as follows: “The good deed and the evil deed are not alike. Repel the evil deed with one which is better.”

The world is sorely in need of such lessons, which represent the authentic teachings of the Quran and the Prophet of Islam. It is important to separate these noble messages from those that are bandied about by those who have no competencies in religious interpretation, Quranic hermeneutics or the history of Islamic thought. Unfortunately, the current state of the Muslim world is such that institutions and structures of legitimate authority have been weakened to such an extent that inflammatory rhetoric has taken the place of thoughtful analysis as a motivator of action and a guide for religious sentiment.

We are today in desperate need of serious religious leaders who engage the reality of the modern world – complete with its challenges and difficulties – in order to create an environment in which people can coexist. This must be a joint effort from members of all faith groups and cultures.

A necessary part of any such effort must be a sincere desire to understand what is behind the Muslims’ reverence for the Prophet. For more than a billion Muslims around the world, the Prophet Mohammed is their ultimate example. He is their reference point and, as the Quran explains: “dearer to them than their own selves.”

Prophets are the means, in the Islamic worldview, through which people have been taught about God. This is no less true for the succession of Prophets that preceded Islam – including Abraham, Moses and Jesus – than it is for the Prophet Mohammed himself. They are revered teachers who taught us the very nature of reality, the purpose of our existence, and how to connect with God Himself.

As a result, Muslims strive to emulate the example of the Prophet in every aspect of their lives. They seek to inculcate the values in a deep and profound manner. These include, among other things, the ability to confront evil provocations with patience, tolerance and mercy. These are, for Muslims, spiritual values of the utmost importance, and they are best exemplified in the life of the Prophet Mohammed himself.

A famous story from his life is known to Muslims around the world. One of his enemies was a woman who lived above a street he used to pass daily, and would litter the streets with garbage as he walked past. One morning, when the Prophet was walking by, he noticed no such provocation. His response to this sudden reprieve was to ask after the woman’s health, concerned that she had strayed from her daily routine, as painful as it might have been for himself. The stories of the Prophet’s praying for his enemies, and exhibiting enormous steadfastness in the face of insults and provocations, are legion in Islamic literature.

This should be the Muslim ideal, there is no doubt. Unfortunately, it is not possible that everyone can live up to the ideal. What is clear is that people’s attachment to the personage of the Prophet is undiminished, even when they are unable for their own reasons to live up to the lessons he has taught. Insults against the Prophet are taken as more serious than insults against one’s own parents and family, indeed than one’s own self. The Prophet is a sacred figure, who taught Muslims how to live in this world, and whose appearance in the world was a gift from the divine.

As such, inflammatory materials that are clearly designed to offend the deeply-held sensibilities of over a billion people around the world only contribute to the escalation of tensions with no observable benefit.

Muslims should either ignore such provocations, or respond non-violently, as per the limits laid down by their religion. Such limits have been obviously transgressed in recent days, and the broader Muslim religious establishment as well as the Coptic Church in Egypt all joined in calling for calm and not allowing this to further escalate.

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Published in: on September 23, 2012 at 4:35 am  Leave a Comment  
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Al Jazeera Documentary on Blessed Relics

Beloved prophet (PBUH) has left for his lovers not only his everlasting teachings but also physical belongings including a piece of tooth and many strands of his blessed hair. These things are of a great importance for his lovers as a living strand of dynamic connection to their Prophet through the ages.

Al Jazeera Network on their Documentary channel broadcasted a film in Arabic about the blessed relics of the holy Prophet (PBUH). The film was produced by Mr. Majdi Imam with commentary of reputed Scholar and the Grand Mufti of Egypt, Dr. Ali Gomaa.

Here is an extract from the film followed by its Arabic text and English translation.

اما الشعرات الشريفة فهي كثيرة جدا منتشرة حتى ايامنا هذه في كثير من بلدان العالم الاسلامي وسبب كثرتها حلاقة النبي صلى الله عليه و اله و سلم لشعرراسه الشريف يوم حجة الوداع وامره لابي طلحة رضي الله عنه ان يوزع شعر الجانب الايسر من راسه الشريف بين الناس وقد فعل والمحفوظ في تركيا شيء من شعر لحيته الشريفه صلى الله عليه وسلم وضعت داخل قارورة زجاجية مملوئة بشمع العسل مغلقة من طرفين

…………………..
لان يكون عندي منه صلى الله عليه وسلم شعرة احب الى من كل شيئ على ظهر الارض هذا هو معيار كمال الحب

Translation :

There are too many blessed hairs even today widely spread in many countries of the Islāmic world. The reason for this large quantity is the prophet’s (PBUH) shaving on his Farewell Hajj and his order to Abu Talha (R) to distribute the hairs from the left side of his head among people and he has done it. In Turkey some hairs of the Prophet’s (PBUH) blessed beard is kept in a glass vial filled with beeswax closed from both sides.
…………………..
To have a strand of His hair in my possession is dearer to me than everything on earth’ this is the criterion of the Perfect Love.

Here is the link to the full video in Arabic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=377eYmzBU6g#!

Grand Mufti Dr. Ali Goma on Celebrating 15th of Sha’aban

Egypt’s Dar al-Ifta – Celebrating the night of mid-Sha’ban and other religious occasions.

First, the night of mid-Sha`ban is a blessed night. There are numerous hadiths which strengthen one another (and are, thus, elevated to the degree of being fair and strong) and which establish the merits of this night. Therefore, commemorating this night is, undoubtedly, lawful regardless of the fact that these hadiths may be weak or fabricated.

Hadiths on the virtue of the night of mid-Sha`ban:

  1. `A`ishah, the Mother of Believers (may Allah be pleased with her), said:”One night, I did not find the Prophet in his bed, so I went out searching for him and found him at Al-Baqi` cemetery with his head raised towards the sky. He said:‘O ‘A`ishah! Were you afraid that Allah and His Messenger would treat you unfairly?‘ I said, ‘No, I thought you had gone to spend the night with one of your (other) wives’. He said: ‘Allah Almighty descends to the lowest heaven on the night of mid-Sha`ban and forgives more people than the number of hairs on the hides of the sheep of Bani Kalb.” (At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, and Ahmad)
  2. Mu`adh Ibn Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “On the night of mid-Sha`ban, Allah looks at His creation and forgives all of them except for the polytheist and the quarrelsome.” (At-Tabarani and Ibn Hibban who declared it authentic)
  3. `Ali Ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Perform the night vigil prayers on the night of mid-Sha`ban and fast its day (i.e., the day preceding it) for Allah descends to the lowest heaven at sunset of that night and says: ‘Is there any one asking for forgiveness that I may forgive him? Is there any one asking for sustenance that I may grant him sustenance? Is there any one under trial that I may relieve him? Is there any such-and-such…, is there any such-and-such?’ And so forth until the beak of dawn.” (Ibn Majah)

There is no objection to audibly recite surat Ya-Sin three times after the Maghrib Prayer in congregation because this is considered part of commemorating this night. As for the making dhikr (remembrance of Allah), the matter is open; it is permissible to designate certain places and times to regularly perform good deeds as long as this is not considered obligatory and thus a sin to neglect them.

`Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with them both) said: “Every Saturday, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to go to Qiba’ Mosque either on foot or riding” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

In Fath Al-Bari, Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar stated:

In spite of having different chains of transmissions, this hadith proves the permissibility of designating specific days to regularly perform certain good deeds.

In Lata’if al-Ma’`rif Al-Hafiz Ibn Rajab said: “The scholars of Ash-Sham differed over the manner of celebrating this night:

  • The first opinion is that it is commendable to celebrate this night by assembling in mosques. Khalid Ibn Ma`dan, Luqman Ibn `Amir, and others used to wear their finest clothes, use incense, and line their eyes with kohl to celebrate this night in the mosque. Ishaq Ibn Rahawiyah approved of this.

Concerning commemorating this night in congregation in the mosque, he said, “This is not an innovation.” Al-Karmani cited this opinion in his Masa’il.

  • The second opinion is that it is offensive to gather in mosques on this night to perform (special) prayers, narrate moral stories, and make supplications. It is not offensive for one to pray individually on this night. This is the opinion of Al-Awza`i, the imam, jurist, and scholar of the people of Ash-Sham.

Based on this, it is permissible to celebrate the night of mid-Sha`ban in the aforementioned manner; it is neither an innovation nor is it offensive provided that it is not deemed an obligation. However, if it is considered obligatory to the extent of obligating others to observe it and accusing those who do not participate in its commemoration of committing a sin, it is then an innovation because they obligate what neither Allah nor His Messenger have made obligatory.

This is why there were some people among the predecessors who maintained the offensiveness of commemorating this night in congregation. Therefore, if this obligation is non-existent, then there is no offensiveness attached to it.

Second, it is commendable to celebrate different religious occasions provided they do not include anything unlawful. The command to remind people to observe ‘the days of Allah‘ has been mentioned in the Shari`ah, (…and remind them of the Days of Allah…) (Ibrahim 14: 5)

It is also included in the magnanimous Sunnah— it has been reported in the Sahih of Muslim that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to fast every Monday. He said: “I was born on this day.”

Likewise, Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both) narrated: “When Allah’s Messenger came to Madinah, he found the Jews fasting on the day of `Ashura’. So he asked, ‘What is (the significance) this day you are fasting?‘ They replied, ‘It is a day of great significance. On this day Allah delivered Musa and his people (from their enemy) and drowned Pharaoh and his army — so Musa fasted this day out of gratitude to Allah. Therefore, we, also, fast on this day.’ The Messenger of Allah then said: ‘We have more right to Musa than you.‘ So the Messenger of Allah fasted on this day and commanded (Muslims) to fast it.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Based on this, it is lawful to celebrate religious occasions in the aforementioned manner — it is neither offensive nor an innovation.

Rather, such celebrations are by way of honoring the rites of Allah Almighty, (…and whoever respects the signs of Allah, this surely is (the outcome) of the piety of hearts…) (Al-Hajj 22: 32)

Allah Almighty knows best.

Excerpted with slight editorial modification from, www.dar-alifta.org