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What will your excuse be tomorrow before Allaah?

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    What will your excuse be tomorrow before Allaah?

    Praise be to Allaah Who has created us to worship Him and has prescribed His
    religion and sharee'ah for us to adhere to, and Who accepts our excuses for
    our mistakes and for what we forget or are forced to do.

    Allaah has commanded us to adhere firmly to His religion, as He says
    (interpretation of the meaning):

    "Hold fast to that which We have given you" [al-Baqarah 2:63].

    Religion is a serious matter that distinguishes truth from falsehood, it is
    not a thing for amusement [cf. Al-Taariq 86:13]. Many people do not take the
    matters of their religion seriously, and they offer feeble excuses. This is
    one of the signs of the Munaafiqoon (hypocrites), who take their religion
    for mockery and fun [cf. Al-Maa'idah 5:57], and when they are rebuked or
    advice is offered to them, they come up with excuses which in fact are worse
    than the sin for which they are offering these excuses.

    Often we hear strange responses from people when we seek to offer advice or
    confront them about their evil actions and sins. For example:

    Why do you not give up this sin?

    - These are difficult times, and everyone is like this.

    - I have not been guided yet.

    The joke you told is a serious matter, and it is making a mockery of Islam.

    - My intention is sound, and I only meant to have some fun.

    How can you work in this haraam job?

    - I can't find any other job. Do you want me to die of starvation?

    How could you shake hands with a woman who is a stranger to you
    (non-mahram)?

    - My heart is pure.

    Why do you not wake your child up to pray Fajr?

    - Poor kid, he didn't get enough sleep and he has to go to school.

    Your daughter has passed the age of ten and she is still wearing short
    clothes; why don't you tell her to wear hijaab?

    - She is still young. When she reaches the age of puberty we will
    tell her to wear hijaab.

    Wear the correct Islamic hijaab.

    - It doesn't look good on me. What will people say about me? The
    cover restricts my breathing.

    Fear Allaah and do not wear abaayahs (outer garments) that are colourful or
    have patterns.

    - This is what is available in the stores.

    How can you bring the means of forbidden entertainment (TVs etc.) into your
    home?

    - Our wives and children put too much pressure on us.

    Why don't you pray in the mosque?

    - The Imaam's voice is off-putting, and there are too many offensive
    smells.

    Why do you shave off your beard, my brother?

    - Because it doesn't look nice, I can't grow a full beard.

    Thus people come up with excuses one after another, for major and minor sins
    alike, in a failed attempt to avoid feeling guilty and avoid the advice of
    sincere people. In order to find out the rulings on this matter and to learn
    more about this dangerous phenomenon, we will refer to the Book of Allaah
    and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
    him), and the words of the scholars.

    Some of the incidents of false excuses referred to in the Qur'aan:

    Allaah has mentioned in His Book some examples of false excuses, many of
    which were made by the Munaafiqoon, such as their excuses for failing to
    perform obligatory duties, the chief of which was jihaad for the sake of
    Allaah, and other duties.

    (1)

    Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

    "They (the hypocrites) will present their excuses to you (Muslims), when you
    return to them. Say (O Muhammad) 'Present no excuses, we shall not believe
    you. Allaah has already informed us of the news concerning you. Allaah and
    His Messenger will observe your deeds. In the end you will be brought back
    to the All-Knower of the unseen and the seen, then He (Allaah) will inform
    you of what you used to do.'" [al-Tawbah 9:94]

    Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

    Here Allaah states that when the Muslims returned to Madeenah, the
    Munaafiqoon would offer excuses. "Say (O Muhammad) 'Present no excuses, we
    shall not believe you" means, we will not accept it as true. "Allaah has
    already informed us of the news concerning you" means, Allaah has already
    told us about you. "Allaah and His Messenger will observe your deeds" means,
    your actions will be made known to people in this world. "In the end you
    will be brought back to the All-Knower of the unseen and the seen, then He
    (Allaah) will inform you of what you used to do" means, and He will inform
    you of your deeds, both good and bad, and will requite you accordingly.

    Ka'b ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) explained what happened
    when he stayed behind from the campaign to Tabook. He said:

    "When I heard that (the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
    was on his way back from Tabook), I was filled with remorse and I began to
    think of a lie that I could tell so as to escape his anger and I consulted
    some of my relatives to ask for their advice. But when I heard that the
    Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was close
    at hand, thoughts of falsehood left me and I knew that I would never find a
    way out by lying, so I resolved to tell the truth. In the morning, the
    Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) entered (Madeenah), and
    whenever he returned from travelling he would always go to the mosque first.
    So he prayed two rak'ahs there, then sat down to await the people. When he
    did that, those who had stayed behind came and began to make excuses,
    swearing oaths. There were eighty-odd of these men. The Messenger of Allaah
    (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) accepted their public
    declarations and oaths of allegiance, and prayed for forgiveness for them,
    referring their secret thoughts to Allaah. Then I came to him and greeted
    him with salaam, and he smiled as a person who is angry smiles, then he
    said: 'Come here.' So I came and sat down before him. He said, 'What kept
    you back? Did you not buy a mount (riding animal)? I said, 'Yes. By Allaah,
    if I were sitting with anyone else in this world, I would think that I would
    be able to escape his wrath by making some excuse, for I am skilled in
    argument. But by Allaah, I know that if I told you a lie that you would
    accept, then soon Allaah would provoke your anger against me. But if I tell
    you the truth, which will make you angry with me, I hope that Allaah will
    forgive me for it. By Allaah, I had no excuse. I have never been stronger or
    richer than when I stayed behind.' The Messenger of Allaah (peace and
    blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: 'As far as that is concerned, he has
    told the truth. Get up (and wait) until Allaah decides concerning you.' So I
    got up, and some men from Banu Salimah got up and followed me, saying, 'By
    Allaah, we have never known you to commit any sin before this. How come you
    were unable to offer an excuse to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and
    blessings of Allaah be upon him) as the others who stayed behind did? It
    would have been sufficient if the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings
    of Allaah be upon him) had asked for forgiveness for your sin.' By Allaah,
    they kept at me until I wanted to go back and give the lie to myself. Then I
    asked them, 'Is there anyone else who is in the same position as I am?' They
    said, 'Yes, there are two men who said something like what you said, and the
    same answer was given to them. I said, 'Who are they?' They said: 'Muraarah
    ibn al-Rabee' al-'Amri and Hilaal ibn Umayyah al-Waaqifi.' They had told me
    the names of two righteous men who had been present at Badr and who were
    exemplary characters. I remained silent when they mentioned them to me."

    (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4066).

    When Allaah mentioned those who told lies to the Messenger of Allaah (peace
    and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and offered false excuses for staying
    behind, He mentioned them in the worse way that they could ever be
    mentioned: "They (the hypocrites) will present their excuses to you
    (Muslims), when you return to them. Say (O Muhammad) 'Present no excuses, we
    shall not believe you. Allaah has already informed us of the news concerning
    you. Allaah and His Messenger will observe your deeds" [al-Tawbah 9:94 -
    interpretation of the meaning].

    (2)

    Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

    "And when a party of them said: 'O people of Yathrib (Al‑Madinah)!
    There is no stand (possible) for you (against the enemy attack!) Therefore
    go back!' And a band of them ask for permission of the Prophet saying:
    'Truly, our homes lie open (to the enemy).' And they lay not open. They but
    wished to flee." [al-Ahzaab 33:13]

    This is the excuse that the Munaafiqoon used when they wanted to stay behind
    from the campaign of al-Ahzaab and go back to their houses, claiming that
    the houses were unprotected. Their excuse was unacceptable, because they did
    not really want to protect their houses; what they actually wanted to do was
    to run away. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): "And they lay not
    open. They but wished to flee."

    "And a band of them ask for permission of the Prophet." It was narrated from
    Ibn 'Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that they said: "We are afraid
    that our houses may be robbed." This was stated by more than one (of the
    scholars). They used the excuse of going back to their houses, claiming that
    they lay open (to attack), i.e., there was nothing to protect them from the
    enemy, so they were scared that the enemy may attack their houses. Allaah
    said (interpretation of the meaning):

    "And they lay not open" - it was not as they claimed. "They but wished to
    flee" - i.e., to run away from battle.

    (Tafseer Ibn Katheer).

    (3)

    Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

    "And among them is he who says: 'Grant me leave (to be exempted from Jihaad)
    and put me not into trial.' Surely, they have fallen into trial. And verily,
    Hell is surrounding the disbelievers." [al-Tawbah 9:49]

    Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy upon him) said: Allaah says, and among
    the Munaafiqeen are those who will say, O Muhammad, Grant me leave to stay
    behind and do not put me into trial by making me go out (to fight) with you,
    because of the young women of the Romans. Allaah says (interpretation of the
    meaning): "Surely, they have fallen into trial" meaning, they have fallen
    into trial (fitnah) by their saying that. Muhammad ibn Ishaaq narrated that
    Az-Zuhri, Yazeed ibn Roomaan, 'Abd-Allaah ibn Abi Bakr, 'Aasim ibn Qutaadah
    and others said: One day, when he was preparing to go out [to fight the
    Romans], the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
    him) said to Al-Jadd ibn Qays, the brother of Bani Salimah, "O Jadd, how do
    you feel about going to fight Bani'l-Asfar (the Romans)?" He said, "O
    Messenger of Allaah, will you grant me leave to stay behind and not expose
    me to trial (fitnah)? For by Allaah, among my people there is no man who is
    more tempted by women than I am, and I fear that if I see the women of
    Bani'l-Asfar I will not be able to control myself." The Messenger of Allaah
    (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) turned away from him and said,
    "I give you leave (to stay behind)." Then there was revealed concerning
    al-Jadd ibn Qays the following words (interpretation of the meaning):

    "And among them is he who says: 'Grant me leave (to be exempted from Jihaad)
    and put me not into trial.'." i.e., because he feared the temptation of the
    women of Bani'lAsfar. But this is not the case. The trial into which he fell
    by staying behind from accompanying the Messenger of Allaah (peace and
    blessings of Allaah be upon him) and preferring his life to the life of the
    Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was a far
    greater trial. "And verily, Hell is surrounding the disbelievers" means,
    they will not be able to find any way out or means of escape from it.

    (4)

    Allaah also says concerning the excuses of the Munafiqeen (interpretation of
    the meaning):

    "If you ask them (about this), they declare: 'We were only talking idly and
    joking.' Say: 'Was it at Allaah, and His Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses,
    lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and His Messenger that you were mocking?'

    Make no excuse; you disbelieved after you had believed. If We pardon some of
    you, We will punish others amongst you because they were Mujrimoon
    (disbelievers, polytheists, sinners, criminals)."

    [al-Tawbah 9:65-66]

    Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

    If a person says words of kufr or divorce (talaaq) in jest, his wife is
    thereby divorced and he is counted as a kaafir, even if he was only joking,
    because when he said it he meant to say it. The fact that he was joking is
    not an excuse. This is unlike the case when a person is forced to do
    something, or he makes a mistake, or he forgets - all of which are excused.
    A person who is forced to say something is excused, and what he said may be
    deemed as allowable, but the one who jokes is not allowed to utter in jest
    words of kufr or of divorce. When he said the words, he meant to say them,
    and he cannot claim that he was forced or that he made a mistake or said it
    out of forgetfulness or ignorance. Allaah and His Messenger do not accept
    joking as an excuse that will ward off the punishment; indeed, the one who
    jokes is more deserving of punishment. Do you not see that Allaah accepts
    the excuse of the person who is forced to speak words of kufr if his heart
    is filled with true faith, but He does not accept any excuse from the one
    who jokes. On the contrary, He says (interpretation of the meaning):

    "If you ask them (about this), they declare: 'We were only talking idly and
    joking.' Say: 'Was it at Allaah, and His Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses,
    lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and His Messenger that you were
    mocking?'" Make no excuse; you disbelieved after you had believed"
    [al-Tawbah 9:65-66]

    (I'laam al-Muwaqqi'een, 3/63)

    We say to every heretic and hypocrite who propagates kufr and clearly makes
    statements of kufr in works of fiction or journalistic articles and song
    lyrics, then gives that excuse that he did not intend to insult religious
    symbols or the things that Islam holds sacred or the person of the Prophet
    (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), we say to these munaafiqeen in
    every place and time: "Present no excuses, we shall not believe you"
    [al-Tawbah 9:94 - interpretation of the meaning]. We say to them: wait until
    the Day comes when it will be said to you:

    "O you who disbelieve (in the Oneness of Allaah - Islamic Monotheism)! Make
    no excuses this Day! You are being requited only for what you used to do"
    [al-Tahreem 66:7 - interpretation of the meaning].

    (5)

    Another of the foolish excuses of which Allaah has told us in His Book, is
    that which the Children of Israel made to their Prophet Moosa (peace be upon
    him) when he was leading them towards the Holy Land (Palestine).

    Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said concerning these Jews: One
    of the ways in which the Shaytaan played with them is when Allaah had saved
    them from the tyranny and oppression of Pharaoh, and had parted the sea for
    them, and had shown them the signs and miracles, and had helped them and
    protected them and granted them glory, and given them what He had not given
    to any other among the 'Aalameen (mankind and jinns, in the past) (cf.
    Al-Maa'idah 5:20),

    Then He commanded them to enter the town which Allaah had decreed was to be
    theirs. This included the glad tidings for them that they would prevail and
    conquer the land, and that that town would be theirs, but they refused to
    obey his orders, and they responded to this command and these glad tidings
    by saying: "So go you and your Lord and fight you two, we are sitting right
    here" [al-Maa'idah 5:24 - interpretation of the meaning].

    Think about how kind the Prophet of Allaah Moosa (peace be upon him) was
    towards them, and how gently he treated them, and how he reminded them of
    Allaah's blessings towards them and His promise that the town would be
    theirs. He told them not to disobey him by turning on their heels, and
    warned them that if they disobeyed him, they would be losers. So he combined
    commands and prohibitions, glad tidings and warnings, encouragement and
    threats, and a reminder of previous blessings. But they responded in the
    worst manner and rejected the command of Allaah by saying:

    "O Moosa! In it (this holy land) are a people of great strength"
    [al-Maa'idah 5:22 - interpretation of the meaning]. They showed no respect
    to the Messenger of Allaah, the one with whom Allaah had spoken, and they
    even addressed him by his first name, instead of saying "O Prophet of
    Allaah". They said that there were strong people dominating that town, and
    they forgot the power of the One Who dominates the heavens and the earth,
    Who could subjugate those tyrants to the people who obeyed Him. Their fear
    of those tyrants, whose forelocks were in the Hand of Allaah, was greater
    than their fear of the Compeller, the Most High, may He be exalted, and they
    had more fear in their hearts of them than of Him.

    Then they clearly stated their disobedience and their refusal to obey:

    "and we shall never enter it till they leave it" [al-Maa'idah 5:22 -
    interpretation of the meaning]. Thus they confirmed their disobedience in
    several ways:

    (1) They stated the reason for their disobedience: "In it (this holy land)
    are a people of great strength".

    (2) They stated that they would not obey; the sentence starts with the
    word "inna" which signifies affirmation (e.g., verily, indeed), followed by
    the word "lan", a negation which implies "never", i.e., we will not enter it
    now or in the future.

    Then they stipulated a condition for their entering the town, which was that
    the tyrants should leave. Then "Two men of those who feared (Allaah and) on
    whom Allaah had bestowed His Grace" [al-Maa'idah 5:23 - interpretation of
    the meaning] - by obeying His command, from among those who feared Allaah -
    this is the view of the majority and this is correct. "[They] said: 'Assault
    them through the gate' [al-Maa'idah 5:23 - interpretation of the meaning],
    i.e., the gate of that town: attack them, for they are filled with fear of
    you.

    "for when you are in, victory will be yours" [al-Maa'idah 5:23 -
    interpretation of the meaning]. Then they guided them to that which would
    bring them victory, namely putting their trust in Allaah. But the people's
    response was to say:

    "O Moosa! We shall never enter it as long as they are there. So go you and
    your Lord and fight you two, we are sitting right here." [al-Maa'idah 5:24 -
    interpretation of the meaning]

    Glory be to the One Whose patience was so great that when they responded to
    His command in this manner and addressed His Messenger in this way, He was
    forbearing towards them and did not hasten to punish them. His patience and
    kindness was so great that the worst punishment He gave them was to make
    them wander in the desert for forty years, with the clouds shading them from
    the heat and with manna and quails sent down for them.

    (Ighaathah al-Lahfaan, 2/313).

    Having read the aayat in which Allaah mentions the false excuses and
    responds to them, we should go back and think about our duties and what is
    required and expected of us. We should think of our own shortcomings and the
    excuses that we have in mind or that we give to others.

    Allaah has sent down His Book to us Muslims and He has obliged us to obey
    Him and follow His commands. We have no excuse not to follow the sharee'ah,
    and we have no option when it comes to Allaah's commands.

    Let us remember what Sa'd ibn al-Rabee' said to Zayd ibn Thaabit with his
    dying breath: "Tell my people the Ansaar that they have no excuse before
    Allaah if some harm reaches the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of
    Allaah be upon him) and their eyes are still blinking (i.e., they are still
    alive)." Then his soul slipped away; may Allaah be pleased with him.

    People's excuses for not adhering to Islam

    There are many things that a lot of people say to excuse themselves for not
    obeying the commands of Allaah and His Messenger:

    "The rulings are too difficult; these are difficult times; I haven't been
    guided yet". and other examples such as those given above. Another thing
    that they say is: we are afraid of people!

    They fear the people, but Allaah is more deserving of being feared. Is He
    not the One Who says to us (interpretation of the meaning):

    "so fear them not, but fear Me' [al-Maa'idah 5:3]

    "Therefore fear not men but fear Me" [al-Maa'idah 5:44]

    Is it not a form of Shirk for a person to fear other people as he fears
    Allaah or even more so?

    Mu'aawiyah wrote to 'Aa'ishah Umm al-Mu'mineen (may Allaah be pleased with
    her) saying: "Send me a letter and advise me, briefly." So 'Aa'ishah (may
    Allaah be pleased with her) wrote to Mu'aawiyah saying: "Peace be upon you.
    I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
    say, whoever seeks to please Allaah by making people angry, Allaah will
    protect him from people; whoever seeks to please people by making Allaah
    angry, Allaah will leave him to the people. Peace be upon you." (Narrated by
    at-Tirmidhi, 2414).

    People come up with many foolish reasons for not implementing the commands
    of Allaah and His Messenger, in an attempt to make excuses so that they will
    not feel guilty, and in order to justify what they are doing by saying that
    they are under pressure or by misinterpretating things to suit themselves.
    Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, refuting that:

    No one has any excuse whatsoever for disobeying Allaah and going against His
    commands when he knows of them and is able to do what he is commanded and
    avoid what is forbidden. If there (really) was an excuse, he would not
    deserve to be punished and blamed, either in this world or in the hereafter.

    (Madaarij al-Saalikeen, 1/189)

    Blame yourself, done not blame someone else * and die of regret, for you
    have no excuse.

    Some people use the Shaytaan as an excuse.

    Some people use al-qadaa' wa'l-qadar (divine decree) as an excuse.

    This is the worst kind of excuse.

    Allaah connected the adornment of this world and sin to the shayaateen, as
    He said (interpretation of the meaning):

    "and Shaytaan (Satan) made fair‑seeming to them that which they used
    to do" [al-An'aam 6:43]

    "And so to many of the Mushrikoon (polytheists) their (Allaah's
    so‑called) 'partners' have made fair-seeming the killing of their
    children" [al-An'aam 6:137]. This does not contradict the aayah
    (interpretation of the meaning):

    "Thus We have made fair‑seeming to each people its own doings"
    [al-An'aam 6:108] - because when this is connected to Allaah, it means that
    it is the matter of al-Qadaa' wa'l-Qadar (divine decree), but when it is
    connected to the Shaytaan it means that he is the means by which it happens.
    Moreover, when sin is made attractive, this is a punishment for them liking
    and accepting that which the Shaytaan made fair-seeming to them, because the
    punishment for sayi'aat (bad deeds) is more bad deeds, and the reward for
    hasanaat (good deeds) is more good deeds.

    What is meant is that using al-qadar as an excuse contradicts the idea of
    repentance, and it is not an acceptable excuse at all. In some reports it is
    stated that if a person commits a sin, then says, 'O Lord, this was Your
    decree and this is what You ordained for me,' Allaah says, 'You did this,
    you earned it, you wanted it and you strove for it, and I will punish you
    for it.' If he says, 'O Lord, I did wrong and I erred and I transgressed,'
    Allaah says, "I decreed it and ordained that it would happen, and I will
    forgive you for that.' If he does a good deed and says, 'O Lord, I did it
    and I gave in charity and I prayed and I fed others,' Allaah will say to
    him, 'I helped you and I guided you.' And if he says, 'O Lord, You helped me
    and supported me and blessed me,' Allaah will say, 'You did it and you
    wanted it and you earned it.'

    So there are two kinds of excuses: those in which a person does not admit
    that he was wrong - which contradicts the idea of repentance, and those in
    which a person does admit that he was wrong - which makes repentance
    complete.

    (Madaarij al-Saalikeen, 1/184)

    Some people may have some kind of excuse, but it is very slight and it will
    not be of much use if they want to use that excuse before Allaah. If you
    want to know how valid an excuse is, ask yourself, will this be of any
    benefit to me before Allaah? And fear

    "The Day when their excuses will be of no profit to Zaalimoon (polytheists,
    wrongdoers and disbelievers in the Oneness of Allaah). Theirs will be the
    curse, and theirs will be the evil abode (i.e. painful torment in
    Hell‑fire)" [Ghaafir 40:52 - interpretation of the meaning]

    Each person knows best about himself and whether his excuses are genuine or
    false. On the Day of Resurrection all matters will become clear, as Allaah
    says (interpretation of the meaning):

    "Nay! Man will be a witness against himself [as his body parts (skin, hands,
    legs) will speak about his deeds], Though he may put forth his excuses (to
    cover his evil deeds)" [al-Qiyaamah 75:14-15]

    Acceptable excuses

    On the other hand, there are some sincere people who Allaah knows that they
    did not do some of the things that were enjoined upon them because of
    something that prevented them from doing so. These are some examples:

    It was reported from Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet
    (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was on a campaign and he said:
    "There are some people in Madeenah and we did not travel through any valley
    or mountain pass but they were with us, and they were prevented from coming
    with us for a genuine reason."

    (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2627).

    Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

    "And those who made excuses from the Bedouins came (to you, O Prophet)
    asking your permission to exempt them (from the battle), and those who had
    lied to Allaah and His Messenger sat at home (without asking the permission
    for it); a painful torment will seize those of them who disbelieve"
    [al-Tawbah 9:90]

    Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

    Allaah explained the situation of those who had excuses not to go out for
    jihaad and who came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of
    Allaah be upon him) to make their excuses and explain to him that they were
    weak and unable to go out for jihaad. They came from Arab tribes who lived
    around Madeenah. Ad-Dahaak said that Ibn 'Abbaas used to recite it "jaa'a
    al-ma'dharoon" - without a shaddah - meaning those who had excuses. This
    meaning is more apparent, because Allaah then says: "and those who had lied
    to Allaah and His Messenger sat at home" meaning, others from among the
    Bedouin stayed at home and did not come to offer excuses. Then Allaah warned
    them of a painful torment and said: "a painful torment will seize those of
    them who disbelieve".

    (Tafseer Ibn Katheer).

    It was reported from Ibn Abi Maleekah that Ibn 'Abbaas recited
    (interpretation of the meaning):

    "Except the weak ones among men, women and children" [al-Nisaa' 4:98] He
    said: my mother and I were among those who were excused by Allaah. (Narrated
    by al-Bukhaari, 4222).

    The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to accept the
    excuse of those who had valid excuses. It was reported that al-Mugheerah ibn
    Shu'bah said: I ate garlic then I came to where the Prophet (peace and
    blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to pray, and I had already missed one
    rak'ah. When I entered the mosque, the Prophet (peace and blessings of
    Allaah be upon him) noticed the smell of garlic. When the Messenger of
    Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) finished his prayer, he
    said, "Whoever has eaten from this plant, let him not come near us until the
    smell has gone away." When I finished my prayer, I came to the Messenger of
    Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said: "O Messenger
    of Allaah, give me your hand." And I put his hand inside the sleeve of my
    shirt so that he could feel the wrapper around my chest. He said, "You have
    an excuse." (Narrated by Abu Dawood, 3330. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani,
    may Allaah have mercy on him; Saheeh Abi Dawood, 2/726).

    "the wrapper around my chest" - their custom was that when a person was
    hungry, he would wrap something tightly around his stomach, and sometimes
    they would place a stone beneath the wrapper.

    (Awn al-Ma'bood, Kitaab al-At'imah; transmitted from al-Nihaayah by Ibn
    al-Atheer).

    Excuses have a great impact on the soundness of good deeds and the
    application of the rulings. Some texts were narrated concerning those who
    have excuses, and if these texts are not connected to people who have
    excuses they will be open to misinterpretation. An example of this is the
    hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah which states that the Prophet (peace and blessings
    of Allaah be upon him) said; "Whoever catches up with one rak'ah of Subh
    (Fajr) prayer before the sun rises has caught up with Subh, and whoever
    catches up with one rak'ah of 'Asr prayer before the sun sets has caught up
    with 'Asr. (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, who said: the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah
    is a saheeh hasan hadeeth). This is the hadeeth on which our companions and
    al-Shaafa'i and Ahmad and Ishaaq based their opinion. They interpreted this
    hadeeth as referring to a person who has an excuse, such as a man who sleeps
    and misses the prayer, or forgets it and then wakes up and remembers it just
    before the sun rises or sets. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 545; al-Tirmidhi,
    171 - this version was narrated by him).

    Another example of how excuses affect the ruling on a matter:

    Permissible excuses for missing prayer in jamaa'ah:

    It was reported from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of
    Allaah be upon him) said: "I nearly decided to tell my servants to gather
    firewood, then I would have told them to give the iqaamah and start praying,
    then I would have burned the houses of people who did not attend the
    prayer." (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 201; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani, may
    Allaah have mercy on him; Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 1/69).

    Abu 'Eesaa said: the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah is a saheeh hasan hadeeth. It
    was also narrated from other companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings
    of Allaah be upon him) that they said: "Whoever hears the call [to prayer]
    and does not respond, his prayer does not count." Some of the scholars said:
    this is a strict emphasis: there are no concessions for not praying in
    jamaa'ah, except for those who have valid excuses.

    What are the valid excuses for not attending prayer in jamaa'ah?

    There are several valid excuses for not attending prayer in jamaa'ah,
    including the following:

    1. Sickness.

    Ibn al-Mundhir (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: I do not know of any
    difference of opinion among the scholars concerning the fact that the sick
    person may not attend prayers in jamaa'ah because of his sickness.

    Ibn 'Abbaas narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be
    upon him) said: "Whoever hears the call (to prayer) and has no excuse not to
    respond to it -" They said: "What excuse could he have, O Messenger of
    Allaah?" He said: "Fear or sickness, otherwise the prayer that he performed
    will not be accepted." (Narrated by Abu Dawood, 464; classed as saheeh by
    al-Albaani, may Allaah have mercy on him , without the phrase "What
    excusecould he have?", in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 1/110)

    Whatever the case, the sick person has a legitimate reason which means that
    he is excused from doing acts of worship or may make them up later. In
    al-Bukhaari it was reported that when the Prophet (peace and blessings of
    Allaah be upon him) was terminally ill, Bilaal would come to him and call
    him to pray, and he would say, "Tell Abu Bakr to lead the people in prayer."

    But not every sickness is an excuse for not praying in congregation. What is
    referred to here is debilitating sickness.

    Shaykh Muhammad al-Saalih al-'Uthaymeen said in al-Mumti' (4/438-439): the
    sickness which excuses a person from attending prayers in jamaa'ah and
    Friday prayers is the sickness which will cause him great hardship if the
    person goes to pray.

    The evidence (daleel) for that is as follows:

    1. The aayah (interpretation of the meaning): "So keep your duty to
    Allaah and fear Him as much as you can" [al-Taghaabun 64:16]

    2. The aayah (interpretation of the meaning): "Allaah burdens not a
    person beyond his scope" [al-Baqarah 2:286]

    3. The aayah (interpretation of the meaning): "There is no restriction
    on the blind, nor any restriction on the lame, nor any restriction on the
    sick" [al-Noor 24:61]


    ------------------
    "I put my trust in Allah, my Lord and your Lord! There is not a moving creature, but He has a grasp of its forelock. Verily, my Lord is on the straight path. (The truth)"
    (11:55-56)

    #2
    AL-TAUBA (9)
    "Repentance"

    The hypocrites, men and women, are as one another; they bid the disgusting and forbid the desirable, and keep their hands shut; they have forgotten God, and He has forgotten them; surely the hypocrites are the transgressors.(67)
    God promises the hypocrites, men and women, and the unbelievers the Fire of Hell, to dwell therein forever; it will suffice them; and God has cursed them; and for them shall be a lasting punishment __ (68)

    May Allah keeps on right path
    (A'meem)

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