Notes from Mawlana Arshad Madani (hafizahullah) Talk
kr’s note: I’m still waiting for the audio recording to further edit/add to this. I unfortunately did not take my notebook with me to the lecture (shame on me), so this is from what I remember from this past Monday evening. I will update this post once I re-listen to the recording, inshallah. For those who attended, please feel free to add things I may have left out or misquoted. May God forgive me for any mistakes in narrating, translating and transcribing the gems of the Shaykh in this early draft.
Notes from Mawlana Arshad Madani (hafizahullah) Talk at IIE, June 16, 2014
–Lecture started with mentioning of verse 66:6, wherein Allah commands the believers to save ourselves and our families from the hell-fire. The address is not to all of mankind, but it is to the believers, so the believers must obey and follow. But it is a daunting task to save one’s self and one’s family from the hell-fire, so Allah makes following His Command easier by sending us the examples of the Prophet (S) and the Shari’ah to help facilitate obeying this Command.
–In order to save our families from the hell-fire, the process must begin even before we start our families. We cannot wait to have families and then think how will we save them. So when we look for spouses, the Prophet (S) gave us the advice that we should look for deen above all else, as opposed to things that man generally looks for (beauty, wealth, status, etc). If your future spouse lacks deen and fear of Allah, then all these attributes are of no benefit to carry out that Command.
–Saving ourselves from the Fire starts with recognizing the reality that Shaytan exists and can influence us. We are not above being influenced by Shaytan. So even when we have intimate relations with our spouses, the Prophet (S) taught us du’as to protect ourselves and any potential offspring at the time of conception from the influence of Shaytan.
–The effect of the mother’s ibadah will be manifest on the child as she is pregnant. If she has a relationship with Allah, the Qur’an, etc., it will be easier for the child to have a relationship with these as well. This is why we should marry someone who has taqwa above all other qualities.
–As soon as the child comes into the world, the father has the responsibility to recite the adhan in the child’s ears. Modern science and medicine may say this has no benefit because the child’s hearing system is not developed, but we do it because the Prophet (S) told us to do so. We don’t look for scientific proof for the sunnah because we trust him (S). So we recite the adhan in the child’s right ear, and the iqamah in the left ear. The adhan has the reminder of the two most important lessons for the child: the first part has takbeer and shahadah (reminder of Iman), the second part (Hayya `ala-‘l-Salah/Hayya `ala’l-Falah) has the reminder to do righteous actions (`amal salih).
–We should teach our children “La ilaha ill Allah” as their first words with the hope that these will be their last words as well. Instead we teach them every other word first before the most important ones.
–The Prophet (S) (or Mu’adh b. Jabal (R), I don’t remember exactly) said: “Cause them to fear Allah”. So we should spend time with our children telling them about Jannah and Jahannam in detail, giving them hope and fear. This is how we teach them to fear Allah. We should not hold back in the descriptions of both places.
–Shari’ah mandates that by the age of 7, they must pray. We sometimes feel that teaching deen is separate from teaching dunya, but we should appreciate the wisdom in teaching deen properly, we will teach them dunya concurrently. So if they have to pray by the age of 7, we will also have to teach them how to keep their clothes clean, how to clean themselves, how to make wudu, etc. So by prioritizing teaching them salah by age 7, we will end up teaching them knowledge of the dunya as well (personal hygiene). This is the beauty of the Shari’ah, it prioritizes the practice of deen, but don’t think it will neglect the important knowledges of the dunya.
–In some places, as soon as the mother becomes pregnant, the parents enroll the unborn child onto wait lists for a top private school. If we can do this even before child is born, what are we doing for the child’s deliverance from the hell-fire before and after he is born?
–We should separate the beds of children by age 10. This was wisdom given at a time when haya (modesty) was present, so this is even more relevant at a time when modesty is not present.
–We must take the deen completely, cannot take certain parts and leave out certain parts. So for example, the Prophet (S) never prevented women from coming to the masjid. But he also said that the best line for men is the first row, and the best line for women is the back row. Why? Because this allows the most separation. After the fard prayer, the women Companions (R) would immediately leave and pray their sunnah at home, whereas the men would wait 5-10 minutes and pray their sunnah at the masjid. This again allowed the separation, unlike our masjids where we loiter and linger around between the genders. The Masjid during the Prophet’s (S) time had 3 doors: two for men (Bab Jibril and Bab Salam), and one for women (Bab al-Nisa). The men Companions never used the women’s door and vice versa. `Umar and his son (`Abdullah b. `Umar) never went through the women’s door. Even now, these doors are there at the Prophet’s Mosque. So each gender had their own entrance, this is not to diminish women or men, but to reflect a reality of society and promote the general good. So if we’re going to take the sunnah, we should take the entire practice of it, not just the parts we like.
–Even in prayer, if the Imam makes a mistake, the men are supposed to loudly say Subhanallah or Allahu Akbar, whereas the women make a clapping sound to indicate. The fuqaha have even discussed whether the clapping should be done palm-to-palm or palm-to-back-of-hand.
–We should encourage our children to pursue dunya studies as well, this is also important, but we must teach them the knowledge and practices necessary for them to save themselves and their future families from the hell-fire. This is the only way we can fulfill the Command of 66:6.