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Our Beloved Nabi (sallallahu’alaihiwasallam) has mentioned:
“Indeed your Lord has reserved certain special moments in time (in which he emits abundant/special mercy)
Be sure to avail yourselves for these opportunities.” (Majma’uz Zawaaid)
We are usually aware of the significant occasions that present themselves each year. The crucial thing is how do we “avail ourselves” and maximise our benefit from these blessed nights?
Here under is a suggested format for “What to do on Blessed nights?”

1. Offer Esha & Fajr Salah in congregation

Rasululllah (sallallahu’alaihiwasallam) said:
“One who performs Esha in congregation gets the reward of spending half the night in worship. And he who follows that up with the Fajr salah in congregation, will be as if he has stayed up all night in ‘ibaadah.”
(Sahih Muslim & Sunan Abi Dawud)

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Translator’s Preface

“Your handwriting resembles that of the hadith scholars,” said al-Birzālī. These words resonated well with Muhammad ibn Ahmad such that it instilled within him the desire to pursue the science of hadith. [1] He went on to author countless works, assume lofty academic positions, and was eventually regarded as a leading authority in the field of hadīth.[2] Muhammad ibn Ahmad was none other than the Damascene hadith master and expert historian better known as Shams al-Dīn al-Dhahabī (d. 748 AH). There are countless examples in the annals of Islāmic history of apparently trivial remarks that changed the lives of laymen, thus, making them the great luminaries whose biographies decorate the pages of our prestigious history.

The following is an excerpt from the inspiring book of Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwamah entitled, ‘Ma‘ālim Irshādiyyah li Sanā’at Tālib al-‘Ilm (Instructive Signposts for Developing a Seeker of Knowledge)”[3] In this section, the author highlights the influence kind words can have on people. He cites three examples of great luminaries whose turning point in their lives were kind words uttered by those who themselves had not expected such remarkable results.

In order to make the article more reader friendly an idiomatic translation was adopted in many places. May Allāh reward our pious predecessors for the noble example they left for us, and grant us the ability to follow in their footsteps. Āmīn.

Muntasir Zaman

Simple Words that Produced Great Men
By Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwāmah

Translated by Muntasir Zamān

The topic of himmah (having a lofty spirit) in the acquisition of knowledge is lengthy and cannot possibly be encompassed in one chapter of this book. However, it is adorned with narrations and anecdotes on himmah that produced the extraordinary and resulted in incidents which are closer to miracles than reality.

I would like to mention the incident of a great Shāfi‘ī scholar named Abū Bakr ‘Abd Allāh ibn Ahmad al-Marwazī al-Qaffāl al-Saghīr (d. 417). Yāqūt al-Hamawī writes:

From those who are attributed to Marw al-Shāhjahān is ‘Abd Allāh (not ‘Abd al-Rahmān) ibn Ahmad ibn ‘Abd Allāh Abū Bakr al-Qaffāl al-Marwazī, the unparalleled scholar of his era in understanding and knowledge. He travelled in the acquisition of knowledge, authored books, and his blessing became manifest. He is an authority in the Shāfi‘ī school of thought, under whose tutelage many people studied and whose knowledge spread throughout the lands. He began his study of jurisprudence during a late stage in life.

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United Ulama Council South Africa Press Statement on the Islamic State

The Islamic State (IS) has provided a lifeline to young Muslim militants in search of giving expression to their pent up frustration with the political, social and economic servitude in their respective countries. They are attracted to the Islamic State’s narrative that governments in Muslim countries of the Middle East are corrupt, irreligious, and heavily influenced by the United States and other Western powers. Joining them, they argue, is a real fight in defense of Islam.

Despite the ‘Islamic’ appellation, the ideology of the Islamic State is starkly unrelated to Islam and critically misguided. The IS has not only weakened the resistance against state sponsored terrorism in Syria, it serves as a whirlpool engineered to attract aspiring ‘jihadists’ from every nook and cranny of the globe to one single location and to pre-occupy them with sectarian conflict so that the imperialists can continue unhindered in their business of entrenching global hegemony.

The Islamic State (IS) is guilty of unambiguous and obvious violations of Islamic Law; it has perpetrated brazen brutality in the name of Islam. It’s litany of felonies include:

1. Declaring an Islamic State with no legitimate Sharia procedure or consultation
2. Branding Muslims as disbelievers
3. Rejecting rulings of Islamic scholars
4. Killing Muslims who differ with their ideology
5. Accusing whoever opposes them of treachery and betrayal
6. Refusing to subject themselves to an arbitrated settlement as demanded by the Quran
7. Fighting fellow jihad military divisions in Syria
8. Capturing and kidnapping activists, journalists and religious figures
9. Brutally murdering non- Muslim ‘enemies’
10. Compelling non- Muslims to embrace Islam

The IS draws its cue from the dogma of the Khawarij sect which is premised on Takfeerism – Branding those who differ with them as apostates. The progression from Takfeerism to the spill of blood is both rapid and obvious which the IS has flaunted like emblems of pride, video- taped and uploaded for the whole world to see!
The Islamic State (IS) stands condemned by the United Ulama Council of South Africa l (UUCSA) as a misguided political enigma which has distorted the teachings of Islam. Its duplicity is only outmatched by its savagery and barbarity. It has divided and weakened the Muslim world, legitimized murder in the name of Islam, and shifted focus from the actual hot spots around the globe. Joining or supporting the Islamic

State’s genocidal cult because it projects itself to be the most obvious counterpart to the West is misplaced and will prove to be a FATAL ATTRACTION!

Statement Issued by the United Ulama Council of South Africa (UUCSA) which is an umbrella body of major theological formation in South Africa.

UUCSA Affiliate Members:

Jamiatul Ulama South Africa – Established in 1923 | Muslim Judicial Council of South Africa – Established in 1945
Jamiatul Ulama KZN – Established in 1955 | Sunni Jamiatul Ulama of South Africa – Established in 1978 | Sunni Ulama Council of South Africa – Established in 1992
Council of Ulama Eastern Cape – Established in 1999 | Eastern Cape Islamic Congress – Established in 1999


Q: What is Maradhul Mauwt?

A: Maradh al-Maut (sickness of death) refers to that sickness that led to one’s death. Sharīʿah has limited a person’s dealings during this time. The issue is defining that point in which dealings are limited, especially if one is a cancer patient or an acute diabetic. These are known to be terminal sicknesses, but in many instances a cancer patient lives on for years on end. So at which point will he be restricted from his dealings to safeguard the rights of his inheritors? This research presents the guiding principles for this critical issue. Other Ulama were consulted on this before arriving at a conclusion.

The Fiqh of Maradh al-Maut

A case in point: Zaid is diagnosed with cancer onNovember 1, 2012. The cancer has reached a very critical stage. Doctors say that Zaid may pass away within a period of six months.  However, at this point in time, Zaid is physically strong. He is able to fulfill his personal needs and go to the Masjid for Salāh. Doctors suggest that Zaid should go through chemotherapy without wasting time.

Zaid agrees and commences with the therapy. One month into his therapy, Zaid experiences a heart attack. After the heart attack, Zaid is housebound and shortly thereafter he passes away. What is considered the Maradh al-Maut in such a situation? Do we consider the commencement of Maradh al-Maut upon the diagnosis of the cancer? Or do we consider it from the time Zaid was housebound due to the heart attack?

Some may suggest that since the cancer was terminal, it should be classified as the Maradh al-Maut. However, many times cancer patients outlive the timespan estimated by doctors. In fact many a times, they live longer than others who are perfectly healthy. Hence, what is classified as terminal by medical doctors cannot be termed as the Maradh al-Maut. Recently in the news appeared a report of an 18 year old girl whom all the doctors had said would not live when she was born. The doctors gave her one week to survive due to multiple complications of this prematurely born child.Today the child is an 18 year old who has successfully completed her matric and pursuing higher education.

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The attack on Charlie Hebdo has rightfully attracted massive media attention worldwide, and the United Ulama Council of South Africa remains committed to its responsibility to unequivocally condemn extra-judicial killing. The attack on Charlie Hebdo will forever remain a blight on the lives of those affected by the murders. Their lives have irreversibly changed with the loss of their near and dear ones. Most publishing houses responded by adopting the “Je suis Charlie!” slogan in solidarity with the murdered members of the magazine's staff. A significant number of media practitioners have opted to publish the offending cartoons ostensibly as an avowal of their commitment to freedom of speech.

Whilst it is only human to feel revulsion for indiscriminate murder; those who claim solidarity with Charlie Hebdo, gloss over the fact that it has in the name of journalism produced some of the most racist and inflammatory cartoons directed at Muslims, Arabs, North Africans and other religious communities, which contributes to the culture of hatred and violence. Often times an inappropriate reaction to an atrocity can do more harm to society than the atrocity itself! A callous slur against 1.8 billion people is hardly an appropriate manner to demonstrate aversion to the criminal actions of two or three individuals. Is aggression under the veneer of satire not as harmful as physical violence itself? Is divisive, derisive and disparaging posturing in the name of freedom of speech not tantamount to the tyranny of freedom?

The chilling extra judicial killings on one side of the social spectrum contrasted with the brazen xenophobic and Islamophobic demonstrations on the other side of the spectrum clearly exhibit the fault lines of a society at war with itself. This tragic cycle of malevolent reaction is bound to infuse rather than defuse hatred and religious bigotry. The Charlie Hebdo massacre underscores the importance of balancing freedom with responsibility.

Provoking the six million Muslims in France and the larger 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide through constant insults and indignities is not only reprehensible but also an affront to inter-religious harmony and social stability. Freedom of expression is not the freedom to denigrate and desecrate millions and millions of Muslims. Surely, the right to protect one’s dignity, more so, the dignity of a global faith community is also a fundamental human right. The reality is that South African law, in line with international conventions, proscribes the absolute application of the right, and deems certain forms of speech illegal and unconstitutional.

According to the SA Constitution any speech which is deemed hate speech or incites to violence is illegal, and falls outside the ambit of this freedom. Humanity across the spectrum is in need of a new ethic which does not oversell rights and undersell obligations. Our destiny in this world is integrally linked together; we will have to navigate these turbulent times respecting each other's differing beliefs, emphasizing our common humanity or we will perish on account of our racist and, supremacist attitudes.

United Ulama Council of South Africa

Yusuf Patel, Secretary

Ighsaan Taliep, General President

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