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Random Issues

October 26, 2005


edit: 5:45 pm Thursday – yay…

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these random issues posts.
Saqib seems to think these are my best posts. But the reality is that
while I have plenty of topics to write about (especially after
Ramadan), I don’t feel like actually writing them all out. Maybe I’ll
do a bit about the last ten days on Friday, but until then:

1. Maybe I’m a minority on this issue (but hey, that’s never stopped me
from voicing my opinion, right…) but I find it quite disturbing to
hear of taraweehs wherein they crank out all 20 rak’ahs in less than an
hour. Sure, everyone raves about them saying that they’re in and out of
the masjid and how great such a taraweeh is… but it makes me wonder
if this is defeating the purpose of taraweeh itself? Yes, taraweeh is
sunnah (or nafl, depending on your school of thought), but I wonder if
the Qur’an itself is being disrespected when imams read as fast as they
possibly can. The desi imams (ie, those who did their hifz in the
subcontinent) seem to be experts at this, often making no effort to
distinguish various letters, follow rules of maddah, ghunnah, ikhfah,
etc. Personally, I don’t get to hear many other huffaz outside of
shabeena so much of what I hear is from the authority of people I trust
who have relayed such information to me… but even these people tell
me that even if they stand with a mushaf (copy of the Qur’an) open (and they can read quite fluently while looking at the mushaf),
that it’s dang near impossible for them to make out what such imams are
reading. The only words they can make out are the beginning word of the
ayah and then the last word of the ayah. Personally, I think that this
is not only antithetical to Qur’anic injuntion of “… and recite the
Qur’an in slow, measured tones”, but also denies the congregation of
hearing a live recitation being read with fluency, accuracy, and
emotion. There’s something to be said about hearing the Qur’an being
read (or even reciting it) with emotion in taraweeh, in Ramadan… a
certain joy and feeling that cannot be explained in words. And what
will explain to you this joy? Honestly, I think the only way is that
one has to experience it for himself, but I can say that this feeling
is the greatest high in the world. I think the purpose of taraweeh
isn’t to simply fly through the Qur’an as quickly as possible (heck,
that’s what shabeena is for), but rather, it’s to re-kindle that spark
between a community of believers and God’s Book by letting them hear
how magnificent and beautiful His Book is. These turbo-charged
taraweehs that are being mainstream now threaten that joy, and because
of this, I wonder if the entire purpose of taraweeh is being defeated.

2. White Sox… 3-0 in the Series. Let me be clear, I’m not nor will I
ever be a White Sox fan, but I must admit… this team is pretty damn
good. That game last night, despite going until 1:30 am (relax, I
revised the 26th juz during the commercial breaks and downtime, so it
wasn’t a complete waste of time…) was fun to watch. Who would’ve
thought that a bench player who was acquired only two months ago would
come to bat in the 14th inning in his first World Series bat, right
after they had hit into a double play, would send one to the
bleachers… as Stewart Scott would say, “and the Lord said, rise
upppah!”… wow. So I guess I have to apologize to White Sox fans for
ripping on their team. The Sox are damn good, and it’s good they’ll be
(hopefully) bringing back a World Series title to the greatest city in
the western hemisphere.

3. kr’s remaining Ramadan schedule (in addition to nightly taraweeh at
the Muslim Educational and Cultural Center of America (MECCA), 720 S.
Plainfield Road, Willowbrook, IL 60527)

Friday: Shabeena at MSI (Glendale Heights), 27th juz

Saturday: Shabeena at ISNS (Rolling Meadows) (tentative)

Sunday: Shabeena at ISNS (Rolling Meadows), 29th juz

Monday: Khatm at MECCA, 8 pm.

4. Someone asked my opinion on the beard… it’s ironic that just
yesterday, after we finished with taraweeh and witr, a tableeghi jamaat
guy comes up to me and asks me if I’ve heard of Mufti Navalur Rahman’s
fatwah that was apparently given a few weeks ago. I replied no, and he
said this fatwah stated that it’s not allowed for someone who doesn’t
have a fist-length beard to lead any prayer. I internally prayed for
patience with this guy, told him that the basic definition of a beard
is hair that covers the jawbone and can be held/plucked in two fingers,
and that a fist-length beard is certainly sunnah. I thanked him for his
time, smiled, nodded, and said salaam to him. He continued to ask me if
I thought my beard was long enough… rather than get into an argument
with a TJ, in Ramadan, in the masjid… I simply told him that if maybe
he should repray his taraweeh if he thought it didn’t count. What
bothers me the most about this guy’s statement to me was his
implication that anyone without a fist-length beard is an open sinner,
and since an open sinner cannot lead prayer (e.g., someone who drinks
in public, etc.), he was implying that I shouldn’t be leading. I then
spoke to Shaykh Amin about this and he chuckled, saying that “well, I
guess our poor Malaysian brothers are up the creek without a paddle if
we were to go with this.” Moreover, while the Prophet (salallahu
`alayhi wa sallam) did mention in hadith that one should lengthen the
beard, there was never a prohibition (according to Shaykh Amin) about
trimming the beard. Indeed, if one looks at minatures from classical
Muslim times, one will find most Muslim men having short, trimmed
beards as opposed to the fist-length. Again, the latter is certainly
more virtuous, there’s no denying that… the point is that this modern
obsession that certain groups of people have with making it a standard
is simple bizarre. In a perfect society, following that ideal would be
easy. But given that it’s difficult for Muslim men to have any
semblance of a beard in this country, to make it even more difficult on
them by making the fist-length the standard… will only cause more
people to give up on the beard altogether. The bare minimum is always
the standard and must be maintained so as to give even the most basic
and knowledge-less Muslim an opportunity to be worthy of salvation
(I’ll discuss more about why I think we need to make a distinction
between personal fiqh and societal standards after Ramadan, since I
know it will open up a pandora’s box of discussion and, well,
opposition). Regardless of all that, how disrespectful is it to come up
to someone after they’ve led prayer and just imply to them that
they’re a sinner and their entire prayer isn’t valid? Sigh, when will
we start looking at the bigger picture instead of being fascinated with
a few pixels? Anyway, if the above wasn’t as cohesive as I hoped it
would be, then let me simply state that my view on the beard is similar
to my view on hijab (except that I believe hijab to be fard)–meaning,
that I think a person should grow at least the bare minimum length of a
beard, but I’m not going to hold it against them, or not pray behind
them, or not give them their proper due if they don’t have a beard (or
don’t wear hijab) because at the end of the day, God’s the Judge, not
me or anyone else. Those matters are between an individual and the Lord
of the Worlds… I think for us to interfere and impose is trespassing upon
His territory.

edit (to the above): in response to several questions, for the record,
I do have a beard… at least what can be defined as a beard,
definitely not the fist-legnth.

Currently Reading: Surah al-Ahqaf, Surah Muhammad, Surah al-Fath, Surah al-Hujurat, Surah Qaf, Surah al-Dhariyat


From → Uncategorized

  1. Anonymous permalink

    If Mawlana Saab read your comments on the beard issue, he’d whoop you…..he’d whoop you good.
    But anyway, perhaps you should strengthen your stance on that topic by presenting the example of at least 1 Sahabi who had a beard less than a fist.
    If you want to get an insight as to why the TJ guy said what he said, read this article from AlBalagh

  2. Anonymous permalink

    You should have just encouraged people to leave a beard, even if a small one, and then just left it that.  You shouldn’t have brought up the length issue.  That needs to be brought up on an individual basis with people taking their conditions into mind.
    Btw…Just want to make it clear that I did not give any opinion of my own here.  Not on the whole issue, and especially not about your leading taraweeh.

  3. “meaning, that I think a person should grow at least the bare minimum length of a beard, but I’m not going to hold it against them”i thought i encouraged them with that… if not, hey all you slacking muslim guys out there, you should try to grow something, even if it’s just a small beard as mufti abrar so eloquently stated.why the hate man… why only one eprop?as for mawlana saab on the beard issue… i was gonna mention this in my personal fiqh post, but i think it’s interesting that he brought in the Egyptian qari who had no beard and also shaves quite regularly… we all listened to him recite Qur’an. now if Mawlana Saab thought so strongly about this issue, do you think he would have brought this guy in and let us all listen to an “open sinner” recite the Qur’an?

  4. Anonymous permalink

    It is also quite interesting how Mawlana Saab never even asked him to lead a single prayer during his whole stay.  Besides, there is nothing wrong in listening to the recition from an “open sinner” (not that I’m calling him a Fasiq).
    Fine….here’s 2 eprops.  Now you can’t get mad at me for recording your Shabeena at MSI on Friday.

  5. Anonymous permalink

    interesting questions on high-speed taraweeh.

  6. Anonymous permalink

    I got tricked into going into a jammat once with promises of free food…I snuck out the window though and one of the jamatis giving a speech started asking me where he could find weed in champaign…Man he must’ve known i was mexican or somethin… i laughed and walked away, my current roomate was in jail and i had to go bail him out….
    true story …well almost the jamati asked my roomate for weed not me, but i was there too!

  7. Anonymous permalink

    mashallah, i absolutely love ur post
    kudos to you for having so much patience when dealing with that guy thats probably more than i would have done
    in my mosque we pray 8 rak’as taraweeh at a time then give a few minutes break but i think it would emotionally benefit everyone if we slowed it down even more than that
    thanks for the concern about my uncle

  8. Good point about the “turbo-charged taraweehs”… but sometimes, when people are tired from work or school, it’s a good alternative for them to go for the sake of still doing the Sunnah of Tarawih… but this should only be used by people sparingly. The majority should be reading at a decent speed so that people like us can understand and enjoy the Quran.

  9. lol….khatam at meccawow man your so lucky you got 27th juz….thats amazing

  10. yes yes, i too agree about the TCTs. correct me if im wrong, but i think the word taraweeh comes from the word for rest. so take it easy, break after four, get some raaha on, and keep going steadily iA. im all about the emotion-full taraweeh. 27th juz is powerhouse, no doubt. really feel those last three surahs in that one iA.peace,IJB

  11. I think you should grow a chest length beard, braid it, and put little swarovski crystal pendants on the ends of those little braids.  I think it would be fetching. 

  12. Assalam-U-Alaikum,
    MasahAllah, nice post…very interestig…
    Allah Hafiz

  13. Maybe if you started thinking for once in your life you would’ve realized that issues 1 and 2 are in fact, correlated. Shorter taraweehs = coming home in time to watch the world series. Geez…

  14. Isn’t it funny how we seem to be able to judge other people if they don’t have a beard or don’t wear hijab? Sure, having a beard and wearing hijab is great, but what use is the hijab and/or beard if the person does all sorts of stupid things regardless…

  15. Anonymous permalink

    good post mash’Allah…

  16. Everytime we go on Jamaat, there’s always a talk by one of the elders about the beard… I always wonder, “Man, I’ve heard this before, don’t we have any new topics yet?”
    Oh, and I only went on Jamaat twice… for 3 days… lol.

  17. Try to follow below….but if you got something better to do, DON’T! 
    1.  After living in Egypt, I’ve realized that they only true way that one can go about disrespecting the Qur’an is to NOT USE IT!  We had taxi drivers listening to it while cussing, bawaabs (door men/cleaners) listening to it when cleaning the bathrooms, and homeless people that still felt that they needed to quote ayat at will.  It had encapsulated their lives, and although in our realm of thinking we would find some of these methods disrespectful, they used the Qur’an in EVERY MOMENT of their life.  Something to consider!
    2.  SOX BABAY, SOX!  (and I’m originally from MICHIGAN)  Gotta’ love this team and its will to win!
    3.  Can someone give me the validity to shabeena?  It’s a beautiful method in finishing the Qur’an in nafl salat, but is there traditional authenticity behind it?  Mind you I’m not jumping on some biddah wagon here – just looking for some meaningful validity.
    4.  Man, I hate this beard topic!  Do what you gotta do – hold it down for your Ummah!  No one in Egypt – none of my teachers – had beards.  They had little mustaches.  And they lived in a Muslim country!  There is no way that you couldn’t pray behind these BEAUTIFUL individuals.  And someone with more knowledge in their pinky (meaning everyone) than me correct me if I’m wrong – the beard is Sunnah?  So not having a beard would not amount to a sin, correct?  And offending someone is a sin, correct (a hadith read about hiding offensive comments, for bringing a fellow Brother or Sister down verbally would be a sin )?  So asking someone where their beard is, or going as far as to say that their prayer is invalid – offensive – sin – (Maulan Yusuf Abdullah  from Deoband said offending someone is like bulldozing the Ka’aba)?  
    Just my $.02 cents that were lying around next to my Qur’an (shoulda picked up the Qur’an instead of doing this)!

  18. Salaamz Kamran.  This was a very interesting post. 
    1.  I can’t stand those type of imaam’s that rush through.  With all due respect, this is how it is at Jamia Masjid on Devon ave.  Couldn’t understand a word when I attended taraaveeh prayers this year.
    2.  It’s an excellent point that u brought up about people leading prayers without beards.  Someone always told me that I should never lead prayers if someone praying behind has a beard, no matter how they’re tajweed maybe.  It just seemed so weird that if anybody who has a beard is implied to be an angel and gets the license to lead prayers, while others who dont have a beard are implied to be sinners and can’t be a part of leading prayers. 
    Awesome post!  looking forward to read more of your thoughts about these issues.  KR 156 rules on xanga…hehe!

  19. I agree with most of what you said. But, on the flip side of things, praying behind an Imam that reads slow tends to be difficult for the “normal” Muslim who doesn’t know Arabic or has attained that level of appreciation of just listening to Qur’an.

  20. comments later….it will probably have to be a post on its own…. : )
    hope you make it to the featured content 🙂

  21. Asalamualaikum,A few points…1) If you’re referring to Mufti Saab’s taraweeh in your post, I think your source is mistaken. Personally, I think he recites very clearly. It’s quick-paced, but clear. He gets done quickly and he has a beautiful tafseer afterwards. I don’t see why people would have a problem with his taraweeh except if they prefer a really slow one. 2) It’s a ni’mah within itself that people actually come to the masjid. If they want to go stand and pray a quick taraweeh, more power to them. If people feel they want to stand behind a slower taraweeh that last 2-3 hours, more power to them as well. More important than them standing and listening to an emotional recitation is the fact that Alhamdulillah, they’re fulling a sunnah muakkadah (if you’re Hanafi…I don’t know about the other schools). If they want to hear a recitation with emotion, there are many websites that offer such recordings Alhamdulillah. 3) May Allah bless you for keeping your standards high for how taraweeh must be done but as Kazim pointed out, slow reading for 20 rakats can definitely be difficult on the “normal” Muslim. I absolutely love Faisal’s recitation at IFS. All Praise is due to Allah that He swt has given me the opportunity to attend taraweehs throughout my life, and I have to say, I’ve never had a harder time standing in taraweeh than when I prayed behind Faisal. He recites so beautifully, but your feet can only handle so much. I think I had blisters. But I didnt care, cause at the end of the day, you have to do it, and that’s that. But I think the “normal” Muslim may be discouraged from coming due to its difficulty. Allahu Alam.4) Sox won! Woo……………….hoo. haha. 5) Regarding the beard, I don’t think you should be so hard on the TJ. Assume the best and the best is that he’s a sincere guy who approached you with something that was troubling him. Alot of TJs in Chicago hold a very, very close teacher-student relationship with Mufti Saab and since his teacher told him this fatwa, it probably troubled him seeing you lead the prayer, and hence, he approached you. I think you shouldve pulled him to the side and discussed further with him rather than taking offense. Believe it or not, like Abrar pointed that, there is a strong opinion out there that it is wajib for Muslim men to grow a fist length beard. I think you owe it to yourself to check out that opinion and make a decision for yourself whether you want to give credence to it or not. My personal view on it is that I believe it’s wajib but because I’m a punk, I don’t do it. I’m not denying that it’s the rule…I’m just an idiot for not following it. May Allah forgive me for that. And regarding the Malaysian brothers comment by Hafiz Amin, I hardly think anyone would be accountable for something they have no control over. And yes, different situations may call for a lax on some of the rules, maybe for protecting your identity or if you’re a Malaysian who can’t grow a beard, but that doesnt mean the rule changes. Allahu Alam6) To IShuttari: Does Egypt even allow beards? Is it true that Mohammad Jibreel is allowed to keep a beard only cause he’s so prominent?

  22. White Sox, World Champs, baby…. YEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAHHHH…. eat it, Cubs fans! HAHAHA

  23. Can our Muslim community get past the issues of beards and hijab? We have people dying in hurricanes and earthquakes and we are still arguing about the length of a man’s hair. It’s pretty ridiculous.

  24. i think this no praying behind a non bearded man thing is a desi thing correct? ive never ever heard arabs discussing it. must be one of those, moonsighting-halal-meat-hijab-type issues. Abdul-basit didnt have a beard …hes one of  the greatest Quraa’ of all time. In the end, you follow what you think is right and realize that not everyone thinks what you think is right, is right since there are different opinions like kr siad. we’re a huge ummah and we should look for things to bond us to together, not to break us apart.

    btw, this is the most cliched comment ever. peace.

  25. the beard..thats gotta be frustrating. kinda like when people see me wearing hijab and tell me it doesnt count because i don’t wear jilbab or niqab. and yay sox. my brother was up watching it..acting like he knew what was going on.

  26. I’m just gonna post all various thoughts in any random order.  So please ignore the non-cohesiveness of the long comment.  I did warn you guys about the long comment though.  read it…you might find many things to criticize me for 🙂
    Point #1) It’s totally wrong if someone is reading so fast that they are not adhering to the Tajweed rules especially the major mistakes rules.  But I think that if the rules are adhered to, then in Taraweehs it’s ok to read fast to make things easy for the congregation.  People can’t take two hour long Taraweehs.  After the first couple of days at our Masjid which has 2 hour long Taraweehs, I was so exhausted.  People have to go to work the next day.  These long Taraweehs are not like a one-night stand.  It’s for a whole month.  Scholars are even saying that if because of the long Taraweehs, less people are coming, then don’t finish the Quran but rather recite the last ten surahs.  We want people to be attached to the Masjid as much as possible and not be turned away from them because of long Taraweehs.  If some Imam wants to recite long Taraweehs because he gets a spiritual high, let him recite on his own in front of Allah when no one else is there to listen.  If someone wants to listen to it, there are tons of cassettes out there.  The Prophet always put forward the concept of ‘Takhfeef’ i.e. making things easy for people and not making things hard for people.  When he would hear children crying, he would shorten his prayers.  When a person complained about  Muaz (R.A.) to the Prophet (S.A.W.) that he started Surah Baqarah in Esha prayer, the Merciful Prophet rebuked and chastised Muaz and said are you causing a Fitna?  Then he told him to recite Wasshams, Waddhua, Wallayl and Al-Aala in Esha.  If you look at the Sunnah surats for the prayers, for example Maghrib, the Sunnah is to recite one of the last 16 Surahs of the Quran i.e. the shortest ones.  Personal take on this issue is that, from Monday till Thursday (when people have to go to work next morning), I try to finish 4 rakats in about 10~11 minutes.  Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, average 15 minutes and sometimes even 20 minutes for 4 rakats.  In few years time, Esha will be at 10:00 PM.  Are Imams still gonna take two hours for Taraweehs past midnight and expect people to remain?  I don’t think so buddy.  In Muslim/Arab countries it’s easier for people cause their schedule/load is very light in Ramadhan.  If the Prophet were alive today, he would have stopped all these long Taraweehs.  Usually the Arab Imams really overdo it.  Like, the other day, at our Masjid, the Arab Imam who recited really amazing, took two hours and 20 minutes!  And what’s up with them doing all these long duas in Witr.  The prophet never did such long duas in Witr prayer.  In a gist….reciting so fast that a person is making major tajweed mistakes is wrong….and also taking two hours for Taraweehs is wrong…IMHO….
    2) The Jahil ignorant TJ brother.  I think putting the name of Tableegh Jamaat with the guy’s individual actions is just like putting the name of Islam with terrorists.  I’m sure the members of the biggest International (they are in every single country of the world) spiritual movement of the past century would be offended by that equation.  There are many ignorant TJs out there who love to criticize scholars and Imams because of their superiority complex…but still…Majority are not like that….Though Chicago has more than normal. : ) …. About the beard issue…after seeing the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihe Wasallam with a full fist length beard in a dream, I’m not gonna stay it’s wajib for everyone but what I will say is that in the Hanafi Mazhab it is wajib.  If someone because of various reasons, fear of losing job, scared of being physically hurt or whatever wants to take the opinion of other imams they could.  I think in the Shafi and Maliki Mazhab it’s not wajib.  But the important point is..never belittle any action of the Prophet…or never try to justify your mistake and try to prove it’s correct…have a feeling of desire to follow every action of the prophet as much as possible….hey kr…I’m not trying to hint towards you….end of the day…that guy’s actions are totally wrong….some of them are really cold hearted…click on the following to read a post titled:  Beard according to the Sunni Schools of Thought

    IShuttari:  Shabeena is not something which was previously done in Islam.  There is no congregational nafl prayers in Islam.  It was never done by the prophet or his companions even though they were extremely avid in trying to draw closer to Allah.  Also, the way the Quran is recited in Shabeena by some is totally wrong and just abhorrent.  Astaghfirullah….. The only way out of it is a person shouldn’t pray that night’s Taraweehs and count the Rakats in Shabeena as his Taraweehs.  Then it would be considered his Taraweeh prayer and not Shabeena.  So, if you are leading the Shabeena prayers, and you pray 20 every day, that night just pray 18 in your Masjid or whatever, and then go and lead the 2 rakats and they will be considered as your remaining two Rakats of Taraweeh. 
    Kr….congrats.  you made it to the Featured Content…I think Saqib’s right….i like these Random issues posts as well…i’m thinking of copying and pasting this on my xanga and making it as my new post….

  27. My question is why are Aunties and Uncles against thick beards (not even fist length)? It really bothers me, but then again it doesn’t.

  28. general responses to comments:–i wasn’t referring to mufti saab’s taraweeh or any one specific taraweeh. i was referring to the overall state of many taraweehs.–i understand that praying behing a slow imam might be “difficult”… hence, taraweeh is not fard and hence it has “breaks” (the word itself is derived from a word meaning to take rest) to rest up. people, including myself, spend 2+ hrs watching sporting events and movies… at least in Ramadan, i think we should gut it out a little bit and be able to stand for more than an hour. if we say the average isha+taraweeh+tafseer+witr combo at a given masjid takes about 90 minutes, then this extra 30 minutes that the 2 hr taraweehs take is somehow too “difficult”… 30 minutes? so this extra 30 minutes has now made 2 hr taraweehs (like mine) somehow a great difficulty? i can understand if a taraweeh is taking like 3-4 hrs vs 90 minutes… but we’re comparing 90 minutes vs 120 minutes. man, people in the past friggin died to preserve knowledge, they travelled from madinah to damascus for one hadith…. and we can’t put in 30 minutes cause it’s too difficult? and this isnt even every day… this is for like 30 days. as bernie mac said, we need to “stop whining, and go do some pushups or somethin”–i dont think i was hard on the TJ. i didn’t get into an argument or call him out or anything. i simply thanked him for his time and advice, nodded, smiled, and said salaam. –i do think this is more of a subcontinent issue. after the british invasion of india, the scholars of deoband were very staunch about certain issues that they felt were critical to maintaining a Muslim identity, since the british brilliant and deviously sought to destroy any semblance of Muslim identity. this philosophy was definitely a necessity at the time, but i think now that this mentality has become accepted as a norm, rather than understanding the reason for being so stauch about it. don’t get me wrong, i definitely agree that the fist-length is the gold standard and is the sunnah of the Prophet (salallahu `alayhi wa sallam) and that anyone with a fist-length is better than me since he’s following a sunnah that i’m not… what concerns me is people using this criteria and coming up to those of us with not-as-long beards and saying that we can’t lead prayer (ie, putting us into the category of an open sinner). –i think Asad made the best point… Muslims dying like flies all across the world and we’re still arguing the beard issue.–as for the ruling(s) made by the scholars, i want to make it clear that i respect these opinions. however, people should also be aware that the Azharite scholars have also made recent fatwahs that permit for less than fist-length beards to be considered as beards and acceptable. let me be clear: this is not to say that one scholar’s opinion is better than another… the point is that there is no consensus on this issue: there’s a plethora of opinions (as is the case on most issue) on this issue. whatever a person wishes to follow is his choice of personal fiqh… it ought not to be the standard for everyone. i think i really need to write my personal fiqh post soon, but that’s gonna open a can of worms, so i’ll wait after ramadan. in short though, i think that whatever a person decides as a goal for himself that is over the bare minimum should not be similarly imposed on others. –congrats to the white sox… honestly, they’re a great team, to be able to win all those close games. i’ll write a post in a few days on what i learned from the white sox postseason, inshallah.

  29. Anonymous permalink

    Hey KR (I don’t mean to start a debate),
    1.  You still haven’t provided an example of a single Sahabi with less than a fist full beard.
    2.  Using fatwas from Azharite scholars is not the best way to prove a point.  Many of them have also permitted Riba.  Can we now say that “There is no consensus on Riba and Azharite scholars have permitted it.  Therefore, if one chooses to follow this opinion as per their own personal fiqh, then this is ok?”
    3.  You can’t look at differences nowadays and say there is no consensus.  If there ever was ever a consensus made in the past, then that Ijmaa’ applies to this day even if some people start to disagree now.  Remember, we talked about this in class.  Oh yeah, you’ve been ditching for the past three weeks.  Man…..your bumness level is starting to reach that of Shaf (ok fine, I know that’s an exaggeration.  And its not backbiting either.  He knows and admits he’s a bum).
    4.  Be careful of what you write.  Make sure you don’t make weak opinions of some scholars or your own personal opinions seem as the ruling on a certain topic. 

  30. Simply hilarious– truly
    Now, if i could just spend that much time amused by reading about medicine– you lucky punk; took and passed step1; moving on to step2 for all i know– PUNK!!!

  31. Asalamualaikum”i think Asad made the best point… Muslims dying like flies all across the world and we’re still arguing the beard issue.”Arguing is such a negative word. I’d say we’re discussing the issue rather than “going at it”, per say. On that note, I don’t see why discussion of issues related to following the deen correctly, like growing the beard and wearing the hijab, should come to a halt because of the ongoing tragedies around the world. I think one of the most powerful duas I’ve ever heard was Maulana Saleem’s this past year at the IIE graduation. He literally broke down when he mentioned the humiliation of the ummah around the world and how we do so much wrong, that we don’t even deserve to ask Allah of anything. Allahu alam, but maybe, just maybe, we are being humiliated because of how lax we have become regarding following Islam. I know people find that statement controversial, but the fact of the matter is it just might be true. Recall the story of Umar (r) when his troops were being defeated and him and his companions sat and pondered as to why. After realizing they had forgotten the sunnah of miswak, they immediately put it into action, and as we all know, scared the heck out of the enemies. At every point in time, every Muslim should do an introspection that maybe our failure to follow the commands of Allah and teachings of the Prophet (s) is the reason we’re in our miserable state, individually and as an ummah. May Allah help all those suffering around the world. Practicing the deen in this day and age is not easy and we ask Allah to help us fulfill our responsibility. Ameen.

  32. 1. i thought i made this clear in my above comment, but again, let me clear: i’m not debating the validity that it’s sunnah to have the fist-length beard. clearly, that’s the gold standard and something that people should strive to do. now, there’s no point in saying that all the Companions only had fist-length beards because then one can use that same logic and say, well, the Prophet never wore pajamas/pants, even though he bought a pair of pants and remarked that this would be a better covering… the point being, my point wasnt to override this sunnah by saying, oh look, sahabi x didn’t have a fist length beard, etc… my point was simply this: to make this an issue for someone who’s leading prayer to the point wherein you go up to the imam and basically question the validity of his leading the prayer is something that i find hard to accept2. i mentioned that Azharite scholars’ fatwah to represent the other side of the coin and to let others know that there are other opinions on this issue. again, im not championing this fatwah or the fist-length fatwah either. what im championing is that people be knowledgeable of what’s the sunnah, assess with themselves if they can do it or not, and do what truly feels proper in their heart, as the hadith from the 40 of Imam Nawawi states: On the authority of Wabisa bin Mabad, may Allah be pleased with him, who said: I came to the messenger of Allah and he said: “You have come to ask about righteousness ?” . I said:” Yes.” He said: “Consult your heart. Righteousness is that about which the soul feels tranquil and the heart feels tranquil, and wrongdoing is that which wavers in the soul and moves to and from in the breast even though people again and again have given you their legal opinion [in its favor].”what i find troubling is a ruling that a person without a fist-length cannot lead prayer… that’s what i was questioning and feeling uneasy about. i’m not saying that my opinion is correct either and i don’t see where youre thinking that im making a ruling (you’re the mufti remember, not me) as i never stated that im making a ruling, but i am saying that this particular statement made by this TJ brother about a fatwah apparently given by Mufti saab troubles me… why? cause it basically says that the poor people who’ve prayed behind me and asim ansari… their taraweeh doesnt count. heck, all those thousands of people that have prayed behind Faisal at IFS… oh dang, i guess their taraweeh didn’t count either. And wow, woe to our malaysian brothers, none of their prayers have counted for centuries now… becharay. the other thing that i find troubling is also that we have a million issues that need to be solved and we’re bogged down on issues like this? it reminds me of how when the british invaded india, many of the scholars, instead of tending to the needs of the people, were involved in the famous debate of how many angels can fit on the head of a pin.on the flip side, can an imam with a fist-length beard but who beats his wife, backbites and slanders community members, etc… should he be allowed to lead prayer? these sorts of imams DO exist, people KNOW they batter their wives, but no one says a damn thing. oh, but mashallah, he has a fist-length beard… where’s the fatwah on this?3. my bumness is valid… i explained why ive been awol to asees. he’ll tell you tomorrow why ive been awol… but i agree, i’m a bum. 4. i didnt make any ruling. i merely stated my opinion in regards to a fatwah, which i’m fully entitled to have.

  33. Anonymous permalink

    Kaz brought up a good point. Although I had to say I enjoyed standing in Taraweeh with Imam Faisal at IFS. At ISNS we dont go super fast, get done in about 1.5 hours or so. But at times when Hafiz Yaqoob Shareef is a little ‘kacha’ (and not that i have any right to say that, in the sense he’s just unsure about the correct words he gets worried) and goes a little fast.
    And goood point with SAqib saab

  34. Anonymous permalink

    It looks like you have a lazy eye in your profile pic.

  35. Anonymous permalink

    Few things:
    1.  I didnt say you issued any ruling. I said “Make sure you don’t make…your own personal opinions seem as the ruling…”
    2.  I think it really needs to be clear why those you say a person who does not have a fist length beard should not lead.  Its goes back to “Fisq.”  A Malaysian brother who cannot grow a beard is not a Fasiq (i.e. he is not going against the command of the Prophet (SAWS) by shaving).  However, a person who has a fist-length beard but beats his wife IS a “Fasiq” because he is known to do so, including backbiting and the other things you mentioned.  Therefore, he should not lead prayers either.  [This is all related to the majority opinion and may or may not be my opinion]
    3.  The whole issue is whether a Fasiq SHOULD lead prayer, not if the prayer behind is VALID or not.  As Imam Tahawi has clearly mentioned in his famous book, Aqeedah Al-Tahawi, it is part of our aqeedah that the prayer behind this person is valid.  It is in fact one of the “Khisaal” (characteristics) of the Ahl-us-Sunnah Wal-Jamaa’ that we pray behind both types of imaams (Saalih & Fasiq).
    4.  Your anology of no Sahabi ever having lesser than a fist full beard with the Prophet (SAWS) never wearing pants is totally invalid.  The Prophet (SAWS) approved of pants, which is known as “Taqreer” and is a proof for us in its validity (not to mention of his (SAWS)’s praising of it).  However, there is no such case reported of the Prophet (SAWS) approving of a lesser than fist full beard. 
    5.  Nothing that you have stated so far really bothers me greatly (cuz I hear it all the time) except for your comment about the minimum being the standard.  Hopefully, I’m misunderstanding what you really meant to say.  I’ll do a separate post on this over the weekend cuz my comments on this are too long.

  36. Abrar, i think youre completely missing the boat with my main point(s) here, let me reiterate-the fist-length is the gold standard. it’s the sunnah of the Prophet, no Companion is reported to have less than it, etc.-yet, miniatures from classical Muslim communities depict most men with short, trimmed beards, certainly less than the fist-length. thus, im suggesting that this wasnt such a big issue during their time as the minimum standard was emphasized so that the common man could follow it… those who were more pious-minded went the extra mile and went for the gold-standard.-what i’m also suggesting is that this beard issue has become a modern topic of discussion and debate, when it never was one historically. thus, im questioning the necessity and usefulness of such a debate at this point in time.-since people have read the subcontinent scholars’ opinions on this, i also think they should read other scholars’ views on this. note, im not saying i agree with these views, but this is to show that scholars like Yusuf al-Qaradawi have commented on this issue, laying forth all 3 opinions (ie, one cannot shave at all, it is makruh to shave, and shaving is permissible) and then analyzed it. those who are interested may read:1. line was that this implication made in the fatwah that the TJ brother mentioned to me (and like you showed above seems antithetical to the Sunni creed) that praying behind someone like me is invalid is what irked me the most and was the issue of contention here. note, let me also state that i mean Mufti Saab no disrespect and that he is indeed someone that i greatly admire and respect amongst the Chicago scholars. im not here to argue, as you seem to think, about the fist-length, whether the Companions had less than that, whether its sunnah or wajib, etc. i’m only contending that i think such a contemporary ruling is insensitive, doesn’t sit well with me personally, and doesn’t take into account social realities. for example, my mom has said i can’t keep a fist-length beard. so now do i eschew a sunnah/wajib action and disregard my mom’s command (which is fard)… since she’s not “striving to make me associate partners with God”, i have no right to go against her will. this is an example of social realities that i feel aren’t taken into consideration by those who brandish such rulings on other people. moreover, and you can ask guys like sadiq, sayeed, etc… for the longest time (even when we were studying at IIE back in 96 and also in 98), none of Mawlana Saab’s sons (especially Sa’ad bhai) had fist-length beards. i have pictures of the ’96 graduation to prove this. in fact, we used to joke around with Sa’ad bhai that he must spend so much time standing in front of the mirror trimming his beard to make sure each hair was the same length cause it was mashallah so pimp. they led prayer all the time. my point in bringing up this example is simply to ask is this really such an issue that we’re making it to be? since there is no shariah-based text that says a beard of any length is a prerequisite for leading people in prayer or to be used to establish an imam (heck, there are text(s) that say that the 100th criteria to determine between two equally qualified people is the one who has the more beautiful wife should lead, since he would be more apt and likely to be lowering his gaze… which is why we should all strive to marry supermodels…hehe) i find it unsettling that this contemporary ruling has been made. that’s all my point was, nothing more, nothing less.-as for the rest of your points, i could and will reply, but i’m going to chose not to online, and instead i’ll continue this discussion with you in person since i think most people will only get more and more confused reading these comments back and forth.

  37. i never usually post abrar, but i would say that you need to consult maulana saleem himself. i do not think the reason he didnt let the egyptian qaris lead had to do with him not having a fistful beard. it mightve had to do with something with him not having a beard OR more probably, had to do with the person being a traveller.anywho, maulana has on numerous occassions told me to lead him in prayer, so i guess that nullifies your theory.also, i dont agree with everything kr is saying. i just wanted to shed some light on just that one comment of yours.–sayeed

  38. whoa whoa, sayeed shariff posted on my xanga… what a loser, didn’t give me epropsyeah, i have to second that as well… mawlana saleem has asked me (and therefore honored me with an honor i don’t deserve) by asking me to lead prayer. he’s done the same to several other IIE huffaz that dont have fist-length beards. i mean, if he prayed behind sayeed shariff and his haram haircut… i think mawli’s pretty chill about such things =).

  39. Assalaam Alai Kum
    Just thought that i’d give my comment on this beard issue. i’m a girl but i do know some stuff about this.
    I pasted stuff from Mufti Ibrahim Desai’s website as to why the beard is waajib.
    Imaam Bukhari (Radhiallaahu Anhu) reports on the authority of Naafi’ who narrates from Abdullah ibn Umar (Radhiallaahu Anhu) that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ‘Oppose the Mushrikeen (polytheists); lengthen the beard and trim the moustache.’ Naafi’ further states, ‘And ibn Umar (Radhiallaahu Anhu) during Hajj or Umrah used to hold on to his beard with his fist and cut off whatever was in excess of that.’ (Bukhari vol.2 pg.875; Kitaab-ul-Libaas) Through this Hadith, the verdict of the growing of the beard being Waajib (obligatory) is deduced. That is because any explicit command of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) will be regarded as Waajib, if there is no apparent, clear reason/proof which states that that particular command is for Istihbaab (preference). This is an established fact in Usool-ul-Fiqh (principles of jurisprudence). Moreover, the Wujoob is further emphasized by the fact that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) did practice on this in his entire life. Know well that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) did not trim his beard in his life (there is no Sahih Hadith which proves otherwise). However, because the narrator himself (Ibn Umar (Radhiallaahu Anhu) did trim his beard upto a fist’s length, this implies that the Wujoob of keeping a beard is up to a fist length only. Furthermore, such has also been reported from Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra (Radhiallaahu Anhu) and other Taabi’een. (Tamheed of ibn Abdul-Barr and Fathul Baari). Therefore, the meaning of our statement that you question is, ‘If any person has trimmed his beard upto less than one fist, then his beard will not be a Shar’ee beard.’
    Ask yourself the question, who does my allegiance belong to, to Allah Ta’ala and His Rasul (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) or to the trend of time.
    And why would you want to alter islam so that it can suit you? if we start doing that, islam is going to loose its noor and be changed around just like christianity was changed around.
    And it is makrooh to read behind a faasiq. the namaaz does get accepted. It’s just going to be makrooh.
    Not that i have any right to call u a faasiq or to say that you are saying the fist length is required. i’m just letting you know the reasoning behind the beard being waajib.
    and to that kid who said that the topic of the beard is boring and can’t they think of new topics. those people are trying to create more love between and rasoolulah s.a.w. and here you are saying that that topic is boring. if u only knew how much the prophet sacrificed for his ummah and how much pain he had to go through just to get islam to reach us. if u only knew how much he cried for us and how much he cared for us, you would not find the sunnah of prophet s.a.w. a boring topic.
    Just my opinion.
    And Allah Taala knows best.

  40. some olden scholars (ibn Taymiyyah for one) say that if you don’t know Arabic you can not teach/be a caller of the deen. So I guess all the islamic workers out there (with their trimmed beards and non arabic knowing selves) should just pack up and go home.. or in your case go with the TJS for 40 days (and leave your trimmer behind).Now on a serious note.. as far as I understand there are three opinions on the required length of the beard. Two of which take a hadith and argue the meaning of the hadith in 2 opposite ways. There was a companion who the prophet was not so pleased with because of his messy beard… so he grabbed his beard and cut everything else…there is another famous hadith which says cut the moustache and let the beard grow. The literalists take this as… letting the beard grow longer than ones own height if it comes to that… I believe I heard Hamza Yusuf once say that the length that someones beard grows beyond a fist length determines that persons ignorance. (I heard this yeaaars ago, so don’t quote me, or him..)so the three opinions are:1. Maximum fist length2. Minimum fist length3. Anything which resembles the shape of a beard (some shcholars reject “french style” beards they want full thickness..ha.. I guess they wouldn’t be happy with the “theres somehting on your face.. oh its a beard” line beards eitherSince we know that the scholars have a wide array of possibilities for what is the actual requirement.. that gives us some breathing space…

  41. Anonymous permalink

    Yeah, I agree Kamran that perhaps we should carry out this debate outside of here since I can respond to every point you made, but then you’ll respond to those, and so on and so forth.  On a side note, I’m really glad we had this debate with proper respect, proving that matters of deen can be debated with respect instead of being argued over with animosity.
    As for Sayeed’s comment on Mawlana Saab having people with lesser than a fist-length beard lead prayer, there could be a lot of reasons.  Mawlana Aziz has done this too, but he is known to be against it.  He explained at one occasion why he did this. But regardless, the actions of the pious people (except the Sahabah) aren’t a proof for or against anything.  The same applies to the brothers’ trimming storyand to miniatures from classical Muslim countries. 
    Now, how about that “How to utilize the last ten days of Ramadan” post, huh? 

  42. lol I don’t think you can hold or pluck your beard with 2 fingers… nice try though ;P

  43. Anonymous permalink

    man i almost missed fajr cuz of all of these longggggggggggg comments…

  44. the comments were better than the post.

    props nonetheless..

    i actually learned a few things

  45. Anonymous permalink

    hi assalamelekum ooh about the beard thing…i kinda agree with qidas…im sure he had his reason to ask you that dont take it personally!~  yay for your reply tho!~  alrighty w’salams!~

  46. Dude, are you like, deleting my comments?

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