In hadiths (sayings of the Prophet) the Prophet used different expressions while explaining the development of embryo in mother's womb. While some hadiths imply that the embryo becomes alive when it is 120 days old, some hadiths explain that it becomes alive when it is 40 days old. The scholars who interpret the hadith as 120 days have said that it is not forbidden to have abortion before the first 4-month is finished, but that after the completion of 4 months, abortion is forbidden.
FAQ in the category of Misfortunes and Disasters
It is not wrong to be sad and cry without revolting against Allah (SWT) during the time of troubles. As a matter of fact, our prophet Muhammad (PBUH) cried upon the death of his son, Hz. Abraham, near his grave. This shows that it is permissible to be sad during the troubles and calamities. However, it is necessary to avoid saying things which are considered revolting such as ‘why has this trouble come to me?’, ‘what did I make wrong to deserve these things?’ and so on.
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That those whose child die receive reward is because children intercede for their parents and that their parents show patience. If she bears it patiently, a woman whose husband dies will also receive the reward for her patience, too, God willing.
We cannot show a definite cause for this subject matter. That is, we cannot say that every calamity or disaster is given by Allah for only punishment. The earthquakes and disasters on earth have lots of reasons. We cannot evaluate them all in one category.
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The most important and effective thing to do for this subject is to move away him/her from the environment in which he/she stands in and provide him/her a religious community house (a dormitory like place where students come from abroad and study there while they are not separated from their religious duties such as fasting, praying). Mud definitely splashes to a person who is in a swamp. You should take him/her from that swampy environment and settle him/her in a place where there are decent people. Such an environment must be provided for him/her.
If a female or a male is forced into marriage by being threatened with death, intensive beating or long-term imprisonment, that marriage is not valid. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) stated the following regarding the issue:
“Allah forgave my ummah for actions carried out as a result of mistakes, forgetting and being forced for my sake.”1
The following hadith reported by Imam Nasai enlightens the issue in a very nice way:
Hansa, the daughter of Hidama from Ansar, goes to Hazrat Aisha and complains to her:
“My father forced me into marriage with the son of his brother to increase his prestige. I do not want him.”
Hazrat Aisha says “wait until the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) comes” and makes her sit down.
When the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) comes, Hazrat Aisha informs him about the situation. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) sends for the father of the girl and gives the girl the authority to marry.
Then Hansa says to the Messenger of Allah (PBUH):
“O Messenger of Allah! I will accept to marry him but I wanted to make it clear that fathers had no authority to force their daughters into marriage.”2
What we understand from taking the authority from fathers is that they cannot force their daughters into marriage. Both of the hadiths above show that the consent by the female is one of the conditions for the marriage to be valid. Since forcing eliminates consent, the marriage becomes invalid.
This decision is the view of the majority of the mujtahid imams. However, Hanafi sect has a different view. According to Hanafis, consent, in essence, is not one of the conditions for the marriage to be valid. As evidence, they present the hadith that states being serious and making a joke have the same effect in carrying out the act of marriage.
However, the view of the majority of the imams regarding the issue is better in terms of the state of the home to be set up and to prevent unjust treatment of the parties in marriage.
1 Ibn Majah, Talaq: 16.
2 Nasai, Nikâh: 36.
It is worship to show patience to illnesses and not to revolt. It has great rewards.
Illnesses are different kinds of worship for patient slaves.
“Worship consists of two kinds, positive and negative. What is meant by the positive is obvious. As for negative worship, this is when one afflicted with misfortune or sickness perceives his own weakness and helplessness, and turning to his Compassionate Lord, seeks refuge in Him, meditates upon Him, petitions Him, and thus offers a pure form of worship that no hypocrisy can penetrate. If he endures patiently, thinks of the reward attendant on misfortune and offers thanks, then each hour that he passes will count as a whole day spent in worship. His brief life becomes very long.” (Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, Lem’alar (Flashes))
An understanding that will deprive man, who is a traveler to the hereafter, of this second type of worshipping will cause his rank in Paradise to be lower.
“I was a secret treasure. I wanted to be known and created the creatures.”
Most of those who read the sacred hadith above look at this world; they do not remember the hereafter very much. The source of this incomplete understanding and evaluation is being ignorant of the fact that Allah Almighty is free of time. In fatc, this sacred hadith is not related to this short worldly life. This meaning will be manifest fully in the hereafter and the miracle of Miraj (Ascension) is a glad tiding of it. Our lofty prophet and famous messenger travelled all of the layers of the sky with this miracle, observed Paradise and Hell, and after these scenes of majesty and beauty, he was addressed by the owner of those manifestations and attained the honor of seeing His holy beauty.
In Nur Collection, the phrase “great miracle of the sainthood of Ahmad" is used for Miraj. As it is known, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) has two aspects: his slavery and his prophethood. He believes in his Lord and worships Him the most in terms of slavery. He loves Him the most and fears Him the most. He performs nafilah worshipping several times more than fard worshipping. He performs prostration, which is the boon that makes a slave approach his Lord the most, as much as possible.
One of the duties of slavery that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) realized in perfect sense is patience. He won the test of patience with migration, battles, so many misfortunes and hardships in the best way. So many lofty and holy deeds of worshipping that we cannot express introduced him to the miracle of Miraj.
Prayer is the Ascension of the believer. Misfortunes and illnesses are another ladder of progress. People who are subject to different tests with such manifestations throughout their lives will migrate to the land of eternity after this short worldly life. They will attain the origins of the shadows in the world, and find and enjoy the boon of knowledge and love in the perfect form there.
In short, to think of a life without any misfortunes and illnesses means to ignore the test in this world and Paradise and Hell, which are the results of this test. Doing so means to be overwhelmed by the shadow, content oneself with it, and to ignore the original.
Firstly, the principle “unbelief continues but oppression does not continue” shows that Israel continues its unbelief in terms of their principles of faith because they violated the prohibition of Saturday along with oppression.
Secondly, a period of time that seems very long to us is very short for Allah. The state does not hurry to catch a criminal because it is sure that it will catch and punish the criminal. Allah's patience is definitely more than the state’s patience; He does not have any concern that He cannot – God forbid – catch the criminal. Even if a person lives under oppression throughout his life, it is a very short time for Allah. For, a big penalty awaits the oppressors in the hereafter.
“Let not the Unbelievers think that our respite to them is good for themselves: We grant them respite that they may grow in their iniquity: But they will have a shameful punishment.” (Aal-i Imran, 3/178)
As it is expressed in the verse above, Allah gives some time to oppressors but He never neglects/forgets them. On the contrary, He gives the oppressors some more time so that they will commit crimes to deserve more penalty because their oppression will infuriate Allah. Long live Hell for oppressors!
The fourth point is this: For Allah’s wrath to come for the oppressors and His help for the oppressed ones as soon as possible, it is necessary for the oppressed ones to show a stance that will deserve help. The abasement and faint-heartedness of both the Palestinians and the other Islamic countries, which are their brothers, virtually invite the continuation of the oppression. Those who died inshallah went into the presence of Allah as martyrs. However, the disagreement and division of the Muslims that are alive and their supporting the oppressors make them accomplices and delay the salvation of Palestine.
This world is a place of service and hardship, not a place of reward and comfort. The real duty of man is to know his Lord and to live according to the criteria He imposed. And this is done through worshipping.
Worshipping is divided into two:
1- Positive worshipping
2- Negative worshipping
The positive worshipping, as we know, includes salah -obligatory prayer performed five times a day-, fasting, etc. The negative worshipping, on the other hand, is the great good rewards that man gains when he accepts his weakness and poverty, and takes refuge in his Lord and shows patience when he faces diseases, calamities and natural catastrophes.
On the other hand, it is the prophets - primarily our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) - and pious people, who are the beloved servants of Allah, that have encountered the hardest of the troubles. If troubles were evil, as it is supposed, Allah would not inflict these troubles on His most beloved ones. As it is stated in the hadith:
“The ones who are subject to the troubles and hardships most are the most virtuous ones and best of the humanity.” (1)
The reason why Muslims face troubles and calamities more is that the punishment of the mistakes they have done in this world will be given here and not left to the Hereafter. As the big mistakes and murders are handled in big courts and small ones in small courts, the mistakes of the believers whose sins are few are cleansed in this world with various troubles and calamities, and not left to the Hereafter. However, the mistakes of the disbelievers are postponed to the eternal place of punishment, Hell, because the troubles and calamities of this world would not suffice.
(1) al-Munawi, Faydul-Qadir, 1:519, no: 1056; al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak, 3:343; Bukhari, Marda: 3; Tirmidhi, Zuhd: 57; Ibn Majah, Fitan: 23; Darimi, Riqaq: 67; Musnad, 1:172, 174, 180, 185, 6:369.
Since the mistakes of unbelievers are big, their reckoning will be carried out in the big court in the hereafter and they will be punished in Hell, which is the place of big punishment.
Since the mistakes of Muslims are small, they are punished for some of their mistakes in the world. Therefore, misfortunes usually hit Muslims. The hardships they suffer during those misfortunes are atonement for their sins.
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The month of Safar is the second month in the Hijri calendar. As it is known, the first month of the Hijri calendar is the month of Muharram; it includes the day of ashura. The third month is Rabi'ul-Awwal; the Prophet (pbuh) was born on the twelfth night of this month.
It is known that some months and days in the Hijri calendar are known as holy due to some kinds of worshipping being rendered fard in them and being the date of some important events. For instance, the month of Rajab, Shaban and Ramadan are known as three months of worshipping in which nafilah and fard deeds of worshipping were decreed; especially the month of Ramadan and Laylatul-Qadr (Night of Power) in this month are mentioned in the Quran; the other two are mentioned to form a productive ground for various kinds of supererogatory (nafilah) worshipping in sound hadiths. It is known that the months of Muharram, Rajab, Dhul-Qada and Dhul-Hijja were respected by Arabs before Islam and they avoided wars in these months.
It is necessary to mention here the other holy days and nights mentioned in sound resources: Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha, Arafah days and nights,holy nights, Friday, day of Ashura, etc. Various kinds of worshipping are performed including, nafilah, wajib and fard on these days.
As it is seen, in Islam, there are certain months, days and nights that are respected and that are allocated for certain types of worshipping but it is not possible to mention any time period allocated for disasters, misfortunes and acts of God. Such an allocation is not suitable for the spirit of Islam. It is not appropriate to declare certain months as months of misfortunes. It is not possible to limit Allah’s will with months and days; besides, such an allocation does not comply with the manners of servitude.
Do divine warnings and disasters not take place in other months? They do. Besides, even if we suppose that divine warnings increase in certain months, it was forbidden by the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) to declare those months as months of misfortunes and inauspiciousness.
The month of Safar was accepted as ominous by the Arabs of Jahiliyyah and to perform umrah in this month was regarded as a major sin. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) eliminated this belief of inauspiciousness attributed to this month by saying,
“Umrah is legitimate in all months.” (Bukhari, Hajj, H. No:777)
However, we see that there have been superstitions among people since the time of the Arabs of Jahiliyyah that the marriages established in this month will not last long, that the activities done in this month will be abortive, that the works started in this month will end ominously, etc.
According to what is reported from Abu Hurayra, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,
"There is no ill omen in Islam; the best thing is a good omen." (Bukhari, Tibb, 54)
Thus, he stated that this harmful understanding is not present in Islam. The following is stated in another hadith:
"There is no ill omen in things, in the month of Safar and in the hooting of the owl." (Muslim, Salam, 102)
After determining that the month of Safar is a normal month, we can mention the following prayer (dua) that is deemed appropriate to say in the month of Safar though it is not confirmed by reliable sources:
“Bismillahirrahmanirrahim. O Allah! Praise and thanks be to You! I am grateful to you. I am your slave and therefore I am peaceful. I entrust my soul, religion, world, hereafter, end of my works and deeds to You. I entrust the ummah of Muhammad to You from the severity of your power, strength, might and force. You are the one who protects the entrusted things, whose decree is valid and whose qada is victorious."
"Ya Ahkama’l-Hakimin wa ya Asraa’l-Hasibin wa ya Akrama ma’mulin wa ajwada mas’ulin ya Hayyu ya Qayyumu ya Qadimu ya Fardu ya Witru ya Ahadu ya Samadu ya man lam yalid wa lam yulad wa lam yakun lahu kufuwan ahad! Ya Azizu Ya Wahhabu Salla’llahu ala khayr-i khalqihi Muhammadin wa alihi wa sahbihi ajma’in! Amin!”
It is advised that one should perform a prayer of two rak'ahs on the last Wednesday of this month, reading one al-Fatiha and eleven al-Ikhlas in each rak'ah and uttering eleven istighfars and eleven salawat after the prayer.
There is no special way of giving sadaqa in this month. One should give sadaqah in this month as he does in the other months.
Is it sunnah to read the following prayer 100 times between the noon and the afternoon on the first Wednesday of the month of Safar?
“YA DAFIAL BALAYA IDFA’ ANNAL BALAYA FALLAHU KHAYRUN HAFIZAN WA HUWA ARHAMURRAHIMIN INNAKA ALA KULLI SHAY’IN QADIR."
Its translation: “O Allah, who drives misfortunes away! Drive misfortunes away from us! Allah is the best protector, He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy. You definitely have power over all things."
It is a nice prayer and it can be said any time. It can also be said in the month of Safar. However, we have not been able to find any hadiths stating that it should be said in the month of Safar. Accordingly, it is more appropriate to say this prayer at any occasion without allocating it to a certain time.
The true calamity and the harmful calamity is the one which harms our faith, our Islam and our high ethics. We must always seek refuge with Allah and beg for His help because of these calamities. (see Tirmidhi, Daawat: 79).
However, calamites which are not connected with religion are not calamities in reality. Some of them are warnings from Allah and some of them are a means of redemption for sins and some others, such as diseases, are blessings from Allah, which serve as purification. (see Bukhari, Iman, 39; Muslim, Birr, 52).
As a matter of fact, glad tidings are given in some narrations:
“Sins drop off a person because of trembling with marsh fever just like fruits drop off a tree because of being shaken.”(Bukhari, Marda: 3, 13, 16; Muslim, Birr: 45).
“A disease cleans off a Muslim’s sins just like fire cleans off the stains of gold and silver.”(Ibn Majah, Tibb 18).
And in another hadith, the Prophet says that Allah sends the most violent and the most severe calamities to the ones whom He loves the most:
“People who experience calamities the most are, firstly, (prophets and then saintly people) based on their levels. One is exposed to calamities and tests according to his faith. If his faith is strong, he experiences more calamities. However, if his faith is weak, he experiences calamities accordingly. By experiencing calamities again and again, a person is purified from all his sins.” (Tirmidhi, Zuhd 57; Ahmad bin Hanbal 1, 172, 174).
“If a human being does not to deserve a place prepared for him in (Heaven) with his deeds, Allah sends a calamity to his body or to his properties or to his family so that he is made to deserve this place through his patience to this calamity.” (Ahmad bin Hanbal V-272)
Therefore, believers can experience calamities and troubles because of many reasons and wisdoms, all of which are for their own good.
1- One of them is as a result of sins we commit.
“Whatever misfortune happens to you, is because of the things your hands have wrought.” (ash-Shurah, 30)
“Whatever evil happens to thee, is from thy (own) soul (your own sins).” (an-Nisa, 79)
“Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls).” (ar-Ra’d, 11)
2- Calamities, misfortunes and diseases are sent as redemption for sins.
“One who suffers calamities in the worldly life and shows patience goes to the hereafter purified from his sins or with his sins decreased.”
“Each calamity is because of a sin that is to be forgiven.” (Abu Nuaym)
“Each calamity that happens to a believer redeems his sins.” (Bukhari)
“Calamities and diseases hit a believer until his sins are forgiven.” (Hakim)
3- Calamities hit a believer so that he will deserve a sublime place in Heaven. For this reason, Prophets experienced lots of calamities and misfortunes.
“The most violent calamities hit prophets and saintly people.” (Tirmidhi)
“Calamities hit one to allow him to receive blessings.” (Bukhari)
“Misfortunes happen in order to lead a person to a higher degree.” (Abu Nuaym)
“A human being, of whom Allah wills the best, experiences calamities.” (Tabarani)
“If one was always in good health and fineness, these two would be enough to destroy him.” (I. Asakir)
“Even if a believer hides in a nest of lizard, someone will still find him to give him trouble.” (Bayhaqi)
“World is a dungeon for believers (compared to the blessings of Heaven).” (Muslim)
“Whoever loves Allah and His Messenger should gird on armor! (be prepared!)” (Bayhaqi)
In short, we can say the most violent calamities hit those whom Allah loves the most. Patience shown to calamities allows saintly people to advance. The Prophet prayed to Allah to give him endurance against calamities which might hit him.
Like in the past, happiness and wealth are frequently confused today. And this wrong view will probably exist in the future.
Some think that wealth, luxury, position and title are same as happiness. However, they see many people around who have everything and can taste every worldly pleasure, but are still unhappy. Some cannot get on well with their partner. Some complains about their sons’ naughtiness. Some seek cure for a deadly disease of their mother. Some have a lot of receivables in the market but cannot get them. Some have problems with their company partners.
Thousands of problems like these tell man continuously that this world is a not a place of comfort.
The following is stated in the Quran:
“Every soul must taste of death and We try you by evil and good by way of probation; and to Us you shall be brought back.” (al-Anbiya/the Prophets, 35)
Accordingly, this world is place of exam.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) defines the world as “arable field of the afterlife” in a hadith (saying or tradition of the Prophet Muhammad).
This world was not created as a place of comfort but as a place of testing and the field of the hereafter. In this place of testing, all human beings make efforts and sweat all the time. They cultivate their field every day for the hereafter and become very tired at the end of the day.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says:
“There is no comfort/ease in this world.”
How is it possible to find comfort in this strange world where night and day run one after the other, disease and health check us in turns, difficulty and ease surround us one after the other, turmoil and peace dominate our spirit in turns.
There is no comfort in the world, but there is happiness for the believer. If one tastes the faith in this world and follows the way of good deeds, he makes use of every good and bad incident of this life for the sake of his afterlife. And the most importantly, he does not bother himself because he knows there is no comfort in this world.
Here is a formula of happiness from Prophet Muhammad (pbuh):
“Be like a poor man or a traveler in this world.”
Our attention is drawn to two sources of happiness in this hadith and we are given two recipes of happiness:
The first recipe: To know that we are poor and strangers in this world and we came here to earn something for our real homeland, the afterlife.A person who knows himself like that does not fall in love with this mortal world and does not exaggerate the temporary problems of this world. He knows that he will leave this world one day and aims the real world of happiness.
“You are a guest here and will go to another place from here. A guest does not give his heart to something that he cannot take away with him.” (Mesnevî-i Nuriye)
The second recipe: To know that we are travelers and live accordingly. Such a person only wants to reach his destination; it does not matter very much whether he sits on the front or back seats on the bus. Sometimes, we read on a newspaper: A murderer was caught in a foreign country and brought back with an airplane. How can travelling on a luxury plane make this man happy? However, a small merchant becomes happy when he goes to a big city to buy and sell goods even if he travels on the back seat of a little bus. For, he knows that the end of this travel he will buy goods and be rich after these troubles.
On the other hand, And if man does not seek the facilities of his home when he is on the bus, he does not feel uncomfortable on that travel. Otherwise, he makes himself unhappy. In the Risale i Nur Collection, there are many precious recipes of happiness. Let us present three of them here:
“The one who forms a relation with the Pre-Eternal Monarch through belief and obeys Him through good works will pass with the speed of lightning or of Buraq through the stages of this guest-house of the world, the spheres of the intermediate realm and the world of resurrection and the extensive frontiers of all the realms that are beyond the grave, until he attainseternal happiness.” (Sözler/The Words)
When a person submits himself to his Lord, he gets the taste of not being ownerless and unprotected. He says “I have a Creator who created me in the best way, placing my every organ in the best place, organizing my spiritual world in the best way, running my every sense for a different task. My blood circulation and this world’s turning are all with His power and knowledge. So I am not alone, abandoned, or ownerless.”
The happiness and calmness of being a creation and artwork of Allah cannot be compared any other worldly pleasure.
A chain of happiness starting from belief reaching the happiness in two worlds:
“Belief necessitates affirmation of Divine unity, affirmation of Divine unity necessitates submission to Allah, submission to Allah necessitates reliance on Allah, and reliance on Allah necessarily leads to happiness in thisworld and the next .” (Sözler/The Words)
Happiness in both worlds is possible with reliance to Allah. A believer performs the necessities of whatever he wants for this life and afterlife and then finds peace by relying on Allah since he knows that “Every good result comes from Allah”.
Tawakkul means to know Allah as a trustee. It is a consciousness that originates from belief and a result of surrendering. Those who surrender to Allah trust in Him. Surrendering originates from oneness. A Person who knows that there is no real does except Allah, the everything belongs to Him and that everything is under His control will definitely surrender to Him.
Another recipe of happiness is as follows:
“The mark of reining in and tethering the soul and leaving the spirit free and urging it towards perfections is ‘happiness in this world and the next’.” (Sözler/The Words)
In this sentence, the happiness in this world and the next are based on two things: The first one is controlling and restraining the soul, and the second one is developing our spirit.
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The disasters and misfortunes that hit man can be due to the mistakes he made, due to a test or so that he will gain thawabs. That is, not all misfortunes that hit man are due to his sins. For instance, prophets are innocent but the biggest misfortunes hit them. As a mattear of fact, the Prophet explained the reason for the severe illness he suffered before his death as follows:
The Prophet could not lie still in his bed due to the severity of his illness and the high fever. He was turning to the right and left in his bed. Those who were near him said,
“O Messenger of Allah! If one of us showed that he suffered so much pain, you would scold him.”
The Messenger of Allah explained his situation with this answer:
“My illness is not like the ones that you know. Allah inflicts the most severe troubles, illnesses and misfortunes on His righteous and believing slaves. However, due to that trouble, illness and misfortune, He elevates the rank of that person and eliminates his sins.” (see Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, 2/207-208)
Umm Bishr, Bishr b. Bara’s mother, who visited the Messenger of Allah when he was ill, narrates what she saw as follows:
“I went to see the Messenger of Allah. When I saw the severe temperature in his body, I could not help saying,
‘O Messenger of Allah! I have never seen such a fever.’
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,
‘Our illness is more severe than the illnesses of other people but the reward that we will get will be more.’ (Sa’d, Tabaqat, 8/314)”
When a misfortune hits man, he knows in his conscience that it happened due to this or that mistake/sin.