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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

SHACKLING SHAYTAN OUTSIDE OF RAMADAN

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By Shaykh Asim Ahmad

What do you think this man is up to after he completes his wudu?

Salat, right? Otherwise, why would he be performing wudu?

This is a mistaken mindset. When we think wudu, we always think salat. This mindset derives from the famous hadith, “There is no salat without purification” (Tirmidhi; 1/51 | Ibn Majah 1/182).

But does that mean that wudu is only a prerequisite for salat and has no virtue of its own especially when the above hadith above makes no such claim that wudu is a virtue of salat only.

Why do I raise this topic?

Because we often perform wudu only for salat. If the wudu breaks, we don’t bother to perform wudu until it’s time to pray again, which basically means that most of our day is passed in a state of minor impurity.

But if wudu is only ritual purification, then why was it that the Prophet (sa) was always mindful of being in wudu even when he was in a state of major impurity [i.e., requiring ritual bath], even though wudu cannot rid one of major impurity?

 And, why did he always perform wudu before performing ritual bath from major impurity (Bukhari; wudu qabl al-ghusl)? What was the need if he already was achieving purification with the ritual bath?

And then, he told ‘Umar (ra) that if he is ever in a state of major impurity and wants to sleep without ghusl, he should perform wudu first [Bukhari; al-junub yatawadd’u thumma Yanam].

Furthermore, the Prophet (sa) remained in a perpetual state of wudu [Muslim jawaz al-salawat kulliha bi wudu’in wahid], and likewise the Sahaba [Bukhari; wudu min ghayr hadathin]. Some hadith even suggest he was obligated to perform wudu for every salat though it was later abrogated and reduced to making miswak for every salat. Ibn Umar (ra) and other Sahaba too routinely performed wudu for every salat regardless of whether they were in a prior state of wudu or not [Tirmidhi; wudu li kulli salat | Sunan al-Darimi; idha qumtum ila al-salat 1/521].

 To me, it was clear from these and numerous other hadith that wudu is a virtue in itself and that to assume that its inseparability from salat proves its irrelevance to the life of a believer is a gross misunderstanding.

 YES, IT’S PERMISSIBLE TO BE IN A STATE OF MINOR IMPURITY OUTSIDE OF SALAT, BUT WHICH TRUE BELIEVER CAN BE PLEASED, OR EVEN INDIFFERENT, TO A BODY SOILED WITH IMPURITIES JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT ABOUT TO PRAY SALAT?

Firstly, the fact that wudu is a protocol for a believer to enter the court of Allah proves that a believer who is in wudu is in proximity to Allah, and that Allah hears and responds to the pleas and invocation of a believer in the state of wudu more than one without.

Secondly, a believer is more inclined to pray while being in wudu because he has the key to enter the Splendid Court whenever he desires.

Bad company of Shayateen

Thirdly, being in a state of purification attracts the angels and repels the shayateen [p. shaytan] because shaytan is attracted to impurities the way angels and humans are naturally attracted to fragrance and good scent. The Prophet (sa) taught us to recite the du‘a, “O Allah, I seek refuge in you from the khubuth (male shayateen) and khaba’ith (female shayateen)” [Muslim; 1/283], because shayateen dwell in places of impurity.  Angels, on the other hand, love purity and are repelled by bad smell. Abdul Kareem al-Khadeer in his commentary of Tirmidhi says, “Shaytan enters where the angels do not” [3/15].  In addition, angels refuse to enter the home of a person who is in a state of major impurity unless he has performed wudu [Abu Dawud; fi al-khuluq li al-rijal].

In another hadith: “They [i.e., angels] are bothered by the very things that bother us” [Muslim; nahi man akala thuman]. Like us, they are bothered by impurities and excrement, yes, and bad breath too. This is why the Prophet (sa), in a sense, shunned pungent-smelling foods [i.e., onions and garlic] from his life because of the archangel Jibril’s (as) frequent, unannounced visits.  Ibn Khuzayma says this rule [i.e., the Prophet (sa) avoiding pungent-smelling foods] was exclusive to the Prophet (sa) and he even dedicates a chapter as follows:

  • Chapter on the proof that the Prophet (sa) was excluded from eating this [i.e., onion] because of his munajat (whisperings) with the angels [Sahih Ibn Khuzayma; 2/806].

 What it boils down to is that if a believer remains in perpetual wudu, the shayateen keep their distance and he is in the company of the angels, while if the believer is in a state of minor impurity, the shayateen accompany him and the believer is corrupted by their bad company.

He is more forgetful of Allah. He is more affected by bad thoughts, more inclined to evil and more susceptible to the deceptions of shaytan—and Dajjal. He is called the Prince of Darkness and Evil. Perpetual wudu is hateful to his being, because as the next point adduces, wudu illuminates the limbs and forehead while He feeds on darkness and evil.

A perpetual wuduist is, thus, saved from his dark fitna.

Illumination of limbs

Fourthly, wudu illuminates the limbs that are washed in wudu. The more we keep our limbs illuminated with wudu, the brighter they will shine on the Day of Judgment and the quicker the Prophet (sa) will recognize us Latecomers. Once, the Prophet (sa) visited a graveyard with a group of Sahaba (ra). On his way back, he said I wish I could see our brothers.

The Sahaba (ra) asked, “Aren’t we your brothers?”

“You are my companions. My brothers are those who will come after me and have not seen me.”

One sahabi asked, “If you haven’t seen them then how will you recognize them, Prophet of Allah?”

He said, “What do you think of a person whose piebald horse [white markings on forehead and feet] is among a herd of all-black horses, will he recognize his horse?”

They said, “Of course.”

“They will come on the Day of Judgment with illuminated foreheads and limbs from the effects of wudu” [Ahmad 13/373 | Ibn Khuzayma 1/6 | Muslim 1/217 (with slight variant wording].

Yes, it’s permissible to be in a state of minor impurity outside of salat, but which true believer can be pleased, or even indifferent, to a body soiled with impurities just because they are not about to pray salat?

Solution?

If we can make the habit to never leave the bathroom after attending the call of nature without performing wudu, we would become perpetual wuduists.

One more thing. When we perform wudu, the sins of the limb with which those sins were committed are rinsed out with the water, including “under the fingernails” [Muslim; khuruj al-khataya ma maa’ al-wudu].

The sins we committed with our mouths, our eyes, and ears, and the mind—dirty thoughts and the states of ignorance etc. are all washed off. Now that you performed wudu, you remain in a state of purity. In fiqh books, this water that falls from wudu is called musta’mil (used). It is pure but cannot be reused for wudu because it contains the excrement of sins. Its too bad we cannot see sins in their real ugly form, otherwise we would be relieved to have all that filth soiling our souls separated from our bodies.

 Note for the sisters

Even for sisters on their period, remaining in perpetual wudu comes with all the benefits mentioned above. The angels will enter the home of a believing brother/sister even while they are in the state of major impurity for as long as they are in wudu.  

Source: https://firstwebsite.squarespace.com/blog/shacklingshaytan

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