Top 10 Muharram Misconceptions

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Muharram is marked in many places by chest-thumping, flagellating crowds and processions that leave traffic jams and chaos in their wake. People make special sweets and dishes and line streets with streamers and lamps, to the extent that non-Muslims mistake these ceremonies for a celebration and might even wish Muslims “Happy Muharram”!

While many Muslims are now aware that these practices are bid’ahs (innovations), there are some other misconceptions about Muharram that have no basis in the Qur’an or Sunnah, that Muslims still hold true.

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Sincerely for Allah: Al-Ikhlaas Explained

THE verb khalasa means 'to become pure, clear, free or safe', and akhlasa is 'to purify something'. So ikhlaas means 'purification' – the purification of one's belief and intention, which leads to sincerity in worship. Ikhlaas can also indicate the purification of one's deeds from riyaa' (showing off), in complete obedience to Allah alone.

Every Muslim has to focus on knowing the true meaning and purpose of life. Then he must formulate an all-encompassing intention to utilize his moral, spiritual, mental, emotional and physical resources to purify his soul. A person making decisions based on this higher purpose, aspiring to attain Allah's approval is living and striving; otherwise he is just existing and wasting his efforts.

Say, "Shall we inform you of the greatest losers as to their deeds? They are those whose effort is lost in the life of this world, while they think that they are doing good in [their] work."  (Quran, 18:103-104)

Ibn Katheer said,

“This is general, referring to everyone who worships Allah in a way that is not acceptable, thinking he is correct in doing so and that his deeds will be accepted. But he is mistaken, and his deeds will be rejected.”

Ikhlaas (sincerity) is a condition for Allah's acceptance of the righteous actions that are done in accordance with the Qur'ān and Sunnah. It is when the worshipper intends all of his deeds for the acceptance of Allah, for His rewards and His favours.

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In Allah We Trust: What Tawakkul Really Means

Birds tawakkul

"At-Tawakkul ‘ala Allah" is the Islamic concept of complete reliance on Allah or "trusting in Allah's plan." The root word in Arabic is وَكَلَ (wakala) which means to entrust, charge or authorize. Allah is al-Wakeel, the Disposer of Affairs, the One entrusted, relied upon, depended upon and sufficient to take care of all matters.

Difference between tawakkul and tawaakul

Tawakkul means putting trust in Allah while also implementing the means that have been permitted. Scholars have made an important distinction between tawakkul (توكل) and tawaakul (تواكل). Tawakkul is a Muslim's trust and acceptance of the divine will, which no one knows, understands or controls except Allah.

tawaakulThe meaning of tawaakul, on the other hand, comprises elements of laziness, inability, a resigned, careless attitude. It indicates refusal to strive in accordance with the laws and ways which Allah has laid down for humankind. Those who misunderstand it wait for a miracle to 'drop from the sky' without striving towards it in any way. Such people expect Allah to send down their provisions, feed them and take care of their affairs and concerns while they do nothing.

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Book Review: Belief in Allah by Umar al-Ashqar

Belief in Allah UmarTHE first of a set of eight on ‘aqeedah, this translation is like none other I’ve read. The excellent English and grammar, kept me wanting more, unlike other translations that have put me off with their poor English.

It is a thorough study of the subject, covering all bases and all arguments, as well as refuting it, making it one of the best resources to study, as well as equip oneself for da’wah to anyone in doubt of the existence of Allah (swt). In providing such information about the arguments against ‘aqeedah, it is a one-stop source to understand the logic behind their debate, before taking it apart with reason.

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