“`INSTRUCTION: ANSWER FOUR(4) QUESTIONS ONLY“`
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَفِي خُسْرٍ
إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Indeed, mankind is in loss,
Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience.
(i) Value of Time: The Surah emphasizes the importance of time, as it begins by swearing by time itself. It reminds us of the fleeting nature of our lives and the urgency to use our time wisely for meaningful actions.
(ii) Importance of Faith and Good Deeds: The Surah highlights that human beings are in a state of loss unless they combine faith (belief) with righteous actions. This teaches us that faith alone is not enough; it must be accompanied by sincere deeds that reflect our beliefs.
(iii) Community and Brotherhood: The Surah also underscores the significance of mutual counsel and cooperation for truth and patience. This teaches us the value of fostering a sense of community, supporting one another in doing good, and being patient in the face of challenges.
Isnād: Isnād, also known as the “chain of narrators,” refers to the list of individuals who have transmitted a specific Hadith (sayings or actions of Prophet Muhammad) from one person to another. The Isnād includes the names of the narrators in a sequential order, indicating the source of the Hadith and the people who passed it down through generations.
Matn: Matn is the textual content or the actual wording of a Hadith. It represents the specific saying, action, or event attributed to Prophet Muhammad. The Matn is accompanied by the Isnād to provide a complete record of the transmission of the Hadith from the Prophet through the chain of narrators.
(i) Isnad (Chain of Narrators) Continuity: A key factor in assessing the authenticity of a Hadith is the continuity and reliability of the Isnād (chain of narrators). Each person in the chain should be known for their integrity, memory, and accuracy in transmitting information. Gaps or inconsistencies in the chain can raise doubts about the Hadith’s reliability.
(ii) The Integrity of Narrators: The credibility and character of the narrators in the chain play a crucial role. Narrators should be trustworthy, honest, and have a strong moral character. They should not be known for spreading falsehoods or having biases that could influence their narration.
(iii) Agreement with Established Knowledge: A Hadith should not contradict well-established principles of Islamic teachings, the Quran, or other authentic Hadith. If a Hadith contradicts something that is already widely accepted in the Islamic tradition, it may be deemed less authentic.
(i) Obligation and Timing: Hajj is one of the Five Pillars of Islam and is obligatory for every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it, while `Umrah is a recommended pilgrimage that can be performed at any time of the year.
(ii) Duration and Rites: Hajj is performed during specific days of the Islamic lunar month of Dhu al-Hijjah, usually lasting around 5-6 days, and involves more elaborate rituals including standing at Arafat and sacrificing an animal. `Umrah, on the other hand, is a shorter pilgrimage that can be done at any time of the year, and involves fewer rituals.
(iii) Pilgrimage Sites: Hajj involves visiting specific locations in and around the city of Mecca, including Mina, Arafat, and Muzdalifah. `Umrah includes fewer sites, primarily focusing on the Kaaba and Sa’i (running between the hills of Safa and Marwah).
(i) Takbir al-Ihram: Raising your hands and saying “Allahu Akbar” to begin the prayer.
(ii) Qunut in Witr: Raising hands and supplicating to Allah during the Witr prayer.
(iii) Tasbih after Rukuh: Saying “Subhanallah” (Glory be to Allah) three times after bowing (ruku) during each unit (rak’ah) of prayer.
(iv) Tashahhud: Reciting the testimony of faith while sitting in the final sitting of the prayer.
(v) Salat al-Witr: Offering an odd-numbered set of rak’ahs (units) at the end of the night prayers, usually performed after the Isha prayer.
(i) Talking: Speaking intentionally during the prayer, except in cases where speech is required for the validity of the prayer, like reciting Quranic verses.
(ii) Eating or Drinking: Consuming food or drink during the prayer.
(iii) Significant Movement: Engaging in significant bodily movements that are not part of the prayer, such as excessive fidgeting or moving around.
(iv) Loss of Concentration: Allowing your mind to wander and lose focus on the prayer, or indulging in thoughts that distract you from the act of worship.
The Treaty of Hudaybiyyah was a peace agreement signed in 628 CE between the Prophet Muhammad and the Quraysh tribe of Mecca. The treaty came about after several years of conflict and tension between the Muslims and the Quraysh who had persecuted and expelled the Muslims from Mecca.
When the Muslims led by Prophet Muhammad attempted to perform the pilgrimage to Mecca the Quraysh blocked their access. However negotiations took place and eventually a truce was reached at a place called Hudaybiyyah.
The treaty had several key provisions. Firstly it declared a ten-year ceasefire wherein both parties agreed not to engage in warfare or any acts of aggression against each other. Secondly it allowed the Muslims to perform the pilgrimage the following year thus symbolizing a recognition of the legitimacy of the Muslim faith. Lastly the treaty stated that any person who wanted to join the Muslims or return to Mecca would be free to do so without any repercussions.
(i) Patience and Strategic Thinking: The treaty teaches the importance of patience and long-term strategic thinking. Despite the initial unfavorable terms of the treaty, the Muslims exercised patience, which allowed them to strengthen their position and eventually achieve their goals.
(ii) Flexibility and Compromise: The willingness to compromise and be flexible in negotiations can lead to beneficial outcomes, even if they don’t appear advantageous at first. The Muslims accepted certain conditions that seemed unfavorable, but these concessions set the stage for later success.
(iii) Divine Wisdom and Trust in God’s Plan: The events surrounding the treaty underscore the concept of trusting in a higher plan. Despite facing challenges and setbacks, the Muslims remained steadfast in their faith and trusted in God’s guidance. The eventual violation of the treaty by the Quraysh led to the Muslims’ successful entry into Mecca.