Islamic Fiqh- Miscellaneous topics- Lesson (50): Naming the newborn baby – Rulings on Aqeeqah
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of Creations, and Peace and blessings be upon our prophet Muhammad, the faithful and the honest.
 Oh, Allah, we know nothing but what You teach us. You are the All- Knower, the Wise. Oh Allah, teach us what is good for us, and benefit us from what You taught us, and increase our knowledge. Show us the righteous things as righteous and help us to do them, and show us the bad things as bad and help us to keep away from them.
  O Allah our Lord, lead us out from the depths of darkness and illusion, unto the lights of erudition and knowledge, and from the muddy shallows of lusts unto the heavens of Your Vicinity.

Rulings on the newborn baby:

 Dear brothers, one of our brothers asked me to tackle this topic saying that many young men got married and had children, but they wished they had had some information about Shari'ah rulings on the newborn baby.

 A lot of things have been mentioned about Aqeeqah (Aqeeqah is a great Sunnah. It involves sacrificing a goat or a lamb on behalf of the child. It is giving thanks to Allah for the gift of a child), naming the newborn baby and the like, so I promised him to discuss naming the newborn baby first, then we move to Aqeeqah.

 This topic concerns every young man who is about to get married, every married young man and every young man who got married and had children already but is willing to guide his sons and daughters to the Shari'ah rulings on the newborn baby. It is very nice for every Muslim to apply in his house what the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, used to do.

1- It is recommended that the father says Adhan in the right ear of the newborn baby:

 First, it is recommended that the father is the one who says Adhan in the right ear of the newborn baby. Scholars said: "The word of Tawhid (monotheism) will be the first thing to be heard by the baby." It is remarkable that according to the experiments performed on babies, the effects which the babies are exposed to in their early years have a great influence on them when they grow up. Also, some of these effects determine the type of their tests in the future.
  There are many studies done in psychology and embryological psychology that you might not believe their results. It has been indicated in these results that the embryo owns a full psychological life. For instance, if it feels that its mother does not want to have it, it responds by making moves that cause pain to the mother's belly, and they have their unhealthy effects on her. This is a wide topic which I read about once, and I tackled it in one of the Friday sermons. The main thing that is left in my mind about this topic is that the embryo has a full psychological life.

 The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessing upon him, said Adhan in the right ear of the newborn baby. In some weak Ahadeeth it was reported that he said Iqamah in the left ear, but let us stick to the authenticated Prophetic action:

((It is reported that Abu Rafi' (a Companion) said, "I saw the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and his household and grant them peace) give Adhan in the ear of al-Hasan, the son of Ali, when Fatimah gave birth to him.))

[Reported by al-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Ahmad, al-Hakim and al-Bayhaqi]

 The beneficial Prophetic action which was reported, authenticated and agreed upon is that it is recommended that the father is the one who says Adhan in the right ear of the newborn baby.

2- Seeking refuge with Allah for the newborn baby from Satan:

 After giving Adhan it is desirable to seek refuge with Allah following the steps of the wife of 'Imran who said:

((Then when she delivered her [child Maryam (Mary)], she said: "O my Lord! I have delivered a female child," - and Allah knew better what she delivered, - "And the male is not like the female, and I have named her Maryam (Mary), and I seek refuge with You (Allah) for her and for her offspring from Shaitan (Satan), the outcast."))

[Aal-'Imran, 36]

  Both male and female babies are addressed in this Ayah, I seek refuge with You (Allah) for her and for her offspring from Shaitan, is also meant to be I seek refuge with You (Allah) for his and for his offspring from Shaitan.

 In Musnad Um Razeen, the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessing upon him, "Recited Surat Al Ikhlas in the ear of the newborn baby". The point is that this newborn baby should listen to the word of Tawhid and Allah's words in general. Also, we should seek refuge with Allah for this baby from Satan so that it won't follow Satan in the future.

3- Tahneek the newborn baby:

 Tahneek which is rubbing a piece of softened date on the roof of the mouth of a newborn baby, is Sunnah. In case a date is not available, it is allowed to do Tahneek with whatever has a sweet taste like jam, so that the baby tastes the sweetness of it.

 In Sahihain, reported by Abu Musa Al Ash’aree:

((Narrated by Abu Musa (RA)" A son was born to me and I took him to the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, who named him Ibrahim, did tahneek for him with a date.))

  Tahneek was done by putting the date in the baby's palate after the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, softened it. Al-Bukhari added to the Hadith:

((Invoked Allah's blessing upon him and returned him to me.))

[Bukhari by Abu Musa]

((Anas b. Malik reported: I took 'Abdullah b. Abi Talha Ansari to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) at the time of his birth. Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) was at that time wearing a woollen cloak and besmearing the camels with tar. He said: Have you got with you the dates? I said: Yes. He took hold of the dates and put them in his mouth and softened them, then opened the mouth of the infant and put that in it and the child began to lick it. Thereupon Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: The Ansar have a liking for the dates, and he (the Holy Prophet) gave him the name of 'Abdullah.))

[Muslim by Anas b. Malik]

 So far, we have talked about Adhan, seeking refuge with Allah and Tahneek.

4- Congratulating the father upon the birth of newborn baby:

 One of the Sunan is to congratulate the father by saying to him: "Baraka Laka Bilmaolood(May Allah bestows His blessings upon your baby)."

 Sometimes if one is blessed with a pious son, he brags that because he raised him well, took care of him and put the efforts, his son turns out like this. By saying that, the father commits Shirk. The proof is in the following Ayah; Almighty Allah says:

((So We answered his call, and We bestowed upon him Yahya (John), and cured his wife (to bear a child) for him. Verily, they used to hasten on to do good deeds, and they used to call on Us with hope and fear, and used to humble themselves before Us.))

[Al-Anbiya', 90]

 This is Allah's gift given to you without a price or any effort. On the other hand, Allah the Almighty may decree that the offspring of the most pious man could be evildoers. Therefore, whenever someone is blessed with a pious son, he shouldn't claim being the reason behind it, for this will be impoliteness towards Allah. He should attribute his son's piousness to the Divine grace instead. Allah says:

((And We bestowed upon him Ishaque (Isaac) and Ya'qub (Jacob), each of them We guided, and before him, We guided Nuh (Noah), and among his progeny Dawud (David), Sulaiman (Solomon), Ayub (Job), Yusuf (Joseph), Musa (Moses), and Harun (Aaron). Thus do We reward the good-doers.))

[Al-An'am, 84]

 Pay attention to the word bestowed which indicates a gift. The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, supplicated as follows:
 Baarakallahu laka fil mauhoobi laka, wa shakartal waahiba, wa balagha ashaddahu, wa ruziqta birrahu. ["May Allah bless you with His gift to you, and may you be thankful to Him, may your child reach the age of maturity and be and be dutiful to you and pious."].

 Children vary in their characteristics and behavior. Sometimes you see a calm and obedient child whom you do not even notice his presence in the house, and sometimes you see a noisy, naughty and hyperactive child who annoys every soul in the house. I tend to believe that the parents of the calm child followed the Prophetic Sunnah and Islamic rulings when he was a newborn baby unlike the parents of the naughty child. Actually, little children are not bad by nature, yet the social environment within which they are raised affects them dearly. Those Prophetic supplications ward off Satan from children, so instead of having naughty child who tends to destroy and break everything in the house, and who does harm to other children, you can have a calm and good child by following those Prophetic rulings.

 The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessing upon him, taught us to say Adhan in the right ear of the newborn baby and to seek refuge with Allah for it from Satan, following what wife of 'Imran did when she said:

((Then when she delivered her [child Maryam (Mary)], she said: "O my Lord! I have delivered a female child," - and Allah knew better what she delivered, - "And the male is not like the female, and I have named her Maryam (Mary), and I seek refuge with You (Allah) for her and for her offspring from Shaitan (Satan), the outcast."))

[Aal-'Imran, 36]

 I mentioned previously that it is one of the Prophetic Sunan to do Tahneek to the newborn baby with a date or whatever tastes sweet. Also, one of Sunan to congratulate the father upon the birth of the newborn baby by saying: "Baarakallahu laka fil mauhoobi laka, wa shakartal waahiba, wa balagha ashaddahu, wa ruziqta birrahu."

Parents are the reason behind man's existence:

 One of our brothers in faith told me a story about a pious woman. He said that she had a son who she cared for until he grew up and became an engineer. The son on his turn filed a suit against his own mother in order to place her under his guardianship after declaring that she was legally incompetent. He claimed that she was mentally disordered. The brother who told me the story said that she is very sane, but her son had greed for her wealth, and that he was tipped by some bad guys to do so.

 The doctor who was appointed by the court to examine her mental abilities and verify if she can manage her own wealth told me that he found her very sane. He said: 'I asked her about the date of the day I met her, the one after it and the months. Also, I asked her about her personal matters and her properties, and she answered me: "I know that my son fabricated this in order to take the house from me, and I excuse you all." Then, she turned to me and said: "I wish I could drink his blood." I heard what she said with my own ears then I wrote my report to the judge telling him that she was very sane and she was able to run her properties on her own.'

 After a period of time, I was told that young man died in a bad way and his blood money was paid to his mother, so her wish came true. Dear brothers, Your father and mother are the reason of your existence. Allah says:

((And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful
to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour.))

[Al-Isra', 23]

 I hope to explain this Ayah as it should be. Using "Wa" (the conjunction "and" in Arabic language) in this Ayah entails accordance and compatibility between the word before it and the one after it. Therefore, you can't say I bought a car and a needle, or I bought a garden and a spoon; there must be a kind of commensurability between the two things. Accordingly, Allah the Almighty elevated the act of dutifulness towards parents and put it in one level with being "Abed" (servant) to Allah.

 I address all of you dear brothers, the married among you, the youth and the young children, know that having children is a matter which is in dire need of applying the Prophetic Sunnah to in order to have dutiful children. It hurts when you raise your son for twenty years, then he turns out to be your enemy. I am telling you what sometimes happens in reality. Inapprehensible enmity is prevailed between parents and their children.

 The Mother of a man, who is very wealthy, filed a suit against him to support her financially. The man who mentioned her before me said that she had nothing to eat. She even had no water in her house, so she had to bring drinking water from outside. Beware, Allah will never forgive undutiful children no matter what they do. Let alone that they will never be admitted to Paradise. Take my advice: Never go into partnership with an undutiful person, because he can't be good to you since he has never been good to his parents.

Wisdom is a fruit of faith:

 I repeat again, we should congratulate the father upon the birth of the newborn baby, visit him and s say to him: Baarakallahu laka fil mauhoobi laka, wa shakartal waahiba, wa balagha ashaddahu, wa ruziqta birrahu.

 By Allah dear brothers, I am so touched by this Quranic Dua'a (supplication) more than any other Dua'a. Allah says:

((And those who say: "Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders for the Muttaqun" (pious)."))

[Al-Furqan, 74]

 If a husband is pleased with his wife who is just like him; she is a believer, religiously committed, fears Allah, reminds him of performing his prayers, and lowers her gaze, and if they have dutiful children, the husband will have the most wonderful thing in the worldly life. Everything else compared to this blessing is worthless.

 Sometimes, a man by his wisdom, which is one of the fruits of his faith, his connection to Allah and his reason, can guide his wife to become a good one. On the other hand, the husband who turns away from Allah, cancels his reasoning and follows Satan's whispers, will lose his wisdom and will lead his good wife to turn into a bad one. I believe dear brothers that there is something between the husband and wife that we do not know what it is. It is beyond our will, but it is in the hands of Allah the Almighty. This thing is manifested in the marital life of the couples; whenever the spouses apply the Divine method in their house, Allah will bestow His bless upon them, but if one of them turns away from Allah, they will both pay the price as domestic conflicts and misery prevail in the house.

 We come now to Sadaqah which is given on the behalf of the newborn baby, so that Allah will protect it. Sometimes, a newborn baby needs five or six expensive surgical operations due to a congenital malformation. In other cases an accident like spilling the tea pot on the face of the child might disfigure the child and tears out the father's heart whenever he looks at his child, does not this happen? Thus, giving this Sadaqah is intended to have your child protected.

 The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, asked his daughter Fatimah to shave Al-Hussein's hair, weigh it and give silver equal to its weight as Sadaqah. Also, the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, asked her to do the same with her son Al-Hasan. Like silver, gold can be given as Sadaqah. The point is to give Sadaqah on the behalf of the newborn baby in order to keep it protected, blessed in its age, dutiful to its parents, upright and pious.

5- Delaying circumcision:

 It is undesirable for Muslims to circumcise their male children on the very day they were born. Also, it is detestable to circumcise them when they are 7 days old, because the Jews do that. Circumcision (Khitan) for Muslim males is an authenticated Sunnah according to Maliki and Hanafi schools of thought, while the Shafi'i school of thought deems it obligatory (Fard) for males. Imam Ahmad said: "Khitan is mandatory (Wajib)." Between being Fard, Wajib or authenticated Sunnah, it is desirable that we delay Khitan till the household settles down; after ten days of birth and more.

6- Having a beautiful name is a right of the newborn baby upon its father:

 It is one of the Sunan to choose a beautiful name for the newborn baby. I wonder at the fact that some families look for strange and meaningless names for their children. Some of them are imported from the west, so I advise you not to choose such names lest you will be resurrected with the westerners, and your deeds won't help you then. Strange and rare names are meaningless.

 We have beautiful names in our history; there are religious and historical, whereas the imported western names are meaningless. I am addressing our brothers who like to give their children strange names, and I would like to tell you that one of the rights of the children upon their fathers is to give them beautiful names. The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, said:

((You will be called on the Day of Resurrection by your names and the names of your fathers, so choose good names for yourselves.))

[Ahmad through Abu Al Dardaa']

 The best of names is Abdullah and Abdur-Rahman as reported by Muslim:

((Narrated Abu Wahb al-Jushami while he was among his friends he said: The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, said: 'Call yourselves by the names of the Prophets. The names dearest to Allah are Abdullah and Abdur-Rahman, the truest are Harith and Hammam and the worst are Harb and Murrah.'))

[An-Nasa'ee by Abu Wahb Al-Jushami]

  In another Hadith:

((Anas ibn Malik said, 'The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was in the market when a man said, 'Abu'l-Qasim!' The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, turned towards him. He said, 'Messenger of Allah, I was calling this man.' The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Call yourselves with my name, but do not use my kunya.'))

[Muslim through Anas]

 Giving the name Muhammad as the first name of a complex name (a name that consists of more than one name, e.g. Muhammad Ali) is Sunnah. Imam Malek said: "I have heard people of Madinah saying: 'Whichever household has a member with the name Muhammad will be abundantly given sustenance." However it is Haram (forbidden) to be give someone the kunya "Abu Al-Qassem" as a name. Moreover, it is detested to be named with ugly names such like: Satan, Zalem (oppressor), Himar (Donkey), Qulaib (doggy) or any weird names.

 It is out of Sunnah to change an ugly name into a beautiful one. Thus, whoever named his son or daughter before getting himself acquainted with Allah has the right to change that name after getting himself acquainted with Allah the Almighty. It was reported that the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, ran into a little girl as narrated by Imam Muslim:

((Ibn 'Umar said that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, changed a woman's name from 'Asiya (rebellious), saying, "You are Jamila (beautiful)."))

[Muslim by Ibn 'Umar]

 In the two authentic books of hadith (Bukhari and Muslim's):

((The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, married Zaynab bint Jahsh. Her name was Barra and he changed it to Zaynab.))

 It is fine to give your children complex names, but it is preferable to have only one name following the example of the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, with his children.

 It is abhorred to give your children names of notable scholars, because you may be forced to call them names or curse them, which is impermissible, if your children bother you or make you angry with them.

 Regarding the title "king of kings" it is exclusive to Allah the Almighty. Also, it is against Tawhid to name someone with "Abdul-Nabi" or Abdul-Ka'bah. Scholars said: "Allah has mentioned Abu Lahab in Quran by Abu Lahab in order to avoid mentioning him as Abu Uzza ( Uzza is the name of one of their gods in Jahiliyah), Allah says:

((Perish the two hands of Abu Lahab (an uncle of the Prophet), and perish he! His wealth and his children (etc.) will not benefit him! He will be burnt in a Fire of blazing flames!))

[Al-Masad, 1-3]

It is forbidden to call someone by a nickname he hates:

 It is absolutely forbidden to call someone by a name he hates, even if this name is derived from one of his characteristics, like calling him one-eyed or blear-eyed. However, it is fine to call someone by his nickname in order to identify him. Al Jahez (pop-eyed) was called by this name, because he was exophthalmic. I repeat, you can call someone by his nickname in order to identify him, but without insulting him. You ought to call your friends by beautiful names like the Companions of the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, did. For example, Umar was nicknamed "Al Farooq", Hamzah was nicknamed "Allah's Lion" and Khaled was nicknamed "Allah's Sword". It is forbidden to name your son by names which pertain only to Allah like: Al-Quddoos, Al-Birr, Al-Khaleq and Al-Rahman, because these attributes pertain only to Allah the Almighty.

 I encourage you all to think it over when you are about to name your children. There are books in the market which contain five thousand names with their meanings, so you can read these names and choose whatever you like. Keep in mind that the name you are about to choose for your son will be used by you tens of thousands of times in one year.

Islamic guidance on Aqeeqah:

 We move now to the rulings on Aqeeqah. Aqeeqah is permissible but not preferable according to Hanafi school of thought, whereas other schools of thought consider Aqeeqah Sunnah. Aqeeqah by Islamic definition is the sacrificed animal that will be slaughtered on the behalf of the newborn baby on the 7th day of birth. Semantically Aqeeqah in Arabic means the hair of the newborn baby, but later on, Arabs called the sacrificed animal on the day of shaving baby's hair Aqeeqah, as one of their habits is calling things by the reasons of their occasions. The origin of this Shari'ah ruling is that

((Allah's Messenger, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, offered Aqeeqah for Al-Hasan and Al-Hussein: a ram, a ram (two rams, two rams).))

[Nassa'ee by Ibn Abbas]

 Which means to slaughter a sheep, a goat, or a ram when the newborn baby becomes 7 days old.

((The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, said: "Aqeeqah" (one or two sheep) should be slaughtered for the newborn baby, shed blood on behalf of him/her and take out any nuisances (that could be stuck to his/her body).))

[Bukhari through Salman Ibn Amer Ad-Dabbi]

 In another Hadith:

((Every child is mortgaged by its Aqeeqah. It should be slaughtered for him or her on its seventh day, the child's hair should be shaved, and he or she should be named.))

[Al Nassa'ee through Sumrah Ibn Jundub]

 Shafi'i school of thought said: "The one who is responsible for offering Aqeeqah is the member of the family who is responsible for the new born baby financially." If he is the grandfather, then he has to offer Aqeeqah, if he is the uncle, he has to offer Aqeeqah and if he is the oldest brother, he has to offer Aqeeqah. Aqeeqah is similar to Udhiyah (sacrifice that is offered at the time of Eid al-Adha to show gratitude towards Allah), and it can be a sheep, a camel, a cow or a goat. However, it is said that only sheep are slaughtered for Aqeeqah. According to Maliki school of thought Aqeeqah should be one sheep for the male newborn baby and one for the female one depending on the following Hadith by Ibn Abbas:

((Allah's Messenger, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, offered Aqeeqah for Al-Hasan and Al-Hussein: a ram, a ram (two rams, two rams).))

[Nassa'ee by Ibn Abbas]

 Which is more affordable, whereas Shafi'i and Hanbali schools of thought said: "Two sheep should be slaughtered for the male and one for the female depending on the Ayah:

((The male will have twice the share of the female.))

[An-Nisa', 176]

 They also depended on the following Hadith narrated by Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her:

((Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) said that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "Slaughter for a boy two compatible sheep, and for a girl just one."))

[Tirmidhi by Aisha].

 Aqeeqah is preferable to be slaughtered on the 7th day of birth, and the one who slaughters it should say: "Allahummah Minka Wa Ilaika Aqeeqat such and such (the child's name)" (O Allah, this is Aqeeqah of (the child’s name) who is a gift from You and to You we shall return.) Meaning, this sacrifice or this sheep is on the behalf of this baby, who should be named already on the 7th day of its birth). Those who should eat from Aqeeqah are the members of the family, guests and the mother in particular, because she loses a lot of blood in delivery. This is one of the objectives of Aqeeqah according to the Prophetic Sunnah; the mother of the baby needs kinds of food which are rich in their nutritional value in order to make up for the blood she loses in delivery. We can say that this baby comes with its Sadaqah.
  Some people do wrong practices like putting their palm print on the car using the blood of Aqeeqah, what kind of practice is this? I was surprised when I knew that this is a habit from Jahilyah (pre-Islamic period of time). Also it is detested to smear the baby's head with the blood of Aqeeqah. These kind of practices and the like (like putting a baby shoes on the truck, a horse shoe on the door, print some writings on the car even though it might be old, and smearing with blood) don't ward off bad things. I believe that warding off bad things and giving the divine protection can be obtained by being on the right path of Allah.

 Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said: "Before Islam, people used to soak the blood of the sacrificial animal with cotton and smeared it on the head of the newborn baby. The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, forbade this ritual and asked them to replace blood with musk." Cleaning the baby and perfuming it is Sunnah, while, smearing it with the blood of Aqeeqah is meaningless. Glory is to Allah, Shari'ah is full of wisdom, but when one follows habits of Jahiliyah, his intellectual and psychological levels will be affected negatively.
Like Udhiyah, you can eat from the meat of Aqeeqah and give Sadaqah from it, but never sell any part of it. Also, iIt is Sunnah to cook it and let the family and other people eat from it, while it is detested according to Maliki school of thought to arrange an open feast on it (by inviting people), since the purpose of Aqeeqah is to be eaten by the family, especially the mother who becomes weak after giving birth, so that she may restore some of her strength.

 There are some details concerning the rulings on Aqeeqah, such as breaking its bones. Its bones shouldn't be broken (so that the organs of the baby will keep intact), but this is a very detailed ruling which is not binding. According to Maliki school of thought it is fine to break the bones. A brother once asked me about this ruling, and I answered him: "This ruling is number one million among the Shari'ah rulings, so as soon as you finish with applying all the rulings which precede this one, you can think of it" Man should first start with applying the main Shari'ah rulings, and once he finishes with them, he can move on to apply the minor ones.
 One more thing that is related to the rulings on Aqeeqah is that it is preferable to give a portion of its meat to the midwife who delivers the baby, and it is desirable to offer her the leg. It is reported that the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, said about Aqeeqah which Fatimah gave for Al-Hasan and al- Al-Hussein:

((Send a leg of it to the midwife, and eat and give it in food and do not break its bones.))

 To sum up the rulings of Aqeeqah, it swings between being Sunnah and permissible. The preferred opinion is to slaughter one sheep or a goat for the baby (whether it is male or female) on the 7th day of birth. the family, the mother of the baby (who loses a lot of blood in delivery) and the guests should eat from it. Finally, this Aqeeqah is intended to be means for the baby to be protected and prospered, and to be dutiful to its parents.

Observing the divine commands is a requisite for knowing Allah:

 The point is that the believer does not feel that he is in need of Shari'ah rulings until he feels the need to obey Allah the Almighty. Knowing Allah makes someone rushes enthusiastically to observe His orders and bans. When Quran was descended on the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, in Mecca, its Ayat were all about reflecting on the universe and the Sings which indicate the Existence of Allah and His Greatness. Later on when faith settled in the spirits of Muslims, Quran's Ayat were about Shari'ah rulings. This means that there is a hierarchal order; believing in Allah comes first, and submissiveness and observing his orders and bans comes next.

 In fact, when you tell someone who is far from the essence of this religion (Islam) about the Divine orders, he will be indifferent to them, because the importance and the honor of the orders are derived from the importance and honor of the One Who ordains them. Hence, when someone knows Allah, he will hasten to apply His orders. This explains why the true believer have many questions; he keens on implementing Allah's commands, whereas the one who doesn't know Allah the Almighty will find these rulings worthless, simply because he is not serious in applying them.

Never rationalize the Shari'ah rulings:

 Let us discuss the issue of loans and lending people money. I tackled it previously, but I would like to repeat it and give you an expository example. suppose that someone lends a man one hundred thousand liras, and he wants them back after a year. When this money will be given back to the lender, it will have lost 17% of its value because of inflation. If we rationalize the Shari'ah rulings concerning this matter, we will find the rulings are illogical. Yet, the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, told us that half of the money, which you lend others to meet their needs, will be considered Sadaqh in the sight of Allah. For instance, If the inflation is 17%, then half of the money you lend will be considered Sadaqah. It is a serious problem when man refuses to apply the Divine commands unless he knows the purpose and wisdom behind applying them. You are supposed to know Allah first, verify the order second and apply it and wait for Allah's wisdom to be revealed to you.

 I would like to pay your attention to a very crucial point: Making use of something does not entail having good information about it. For example, you may be able to make use of a very complicated electric device, although you have no idea about its mechanism. This is exactly the case of the AC; you press the on button whenever you are hot in order to enjoy the coolness of its breeze, but this does not necessarily mean that you know everything about this device. Also, you might drive a brand-new advanced car, but you don't know how it is manufactured. Thus, this rule is important: "Making benefit of something is not part of knowing about it."Therefore the Muslim needs to submit to Allah the Almighty. You should be submissive to Allah when He orders you to supplicate or to lend others money. One might say, how do you want me to lend people money amidst this inflation? You should remember that Allah is able to take all your money from you, or double them through ways that you can never imagine. Hence, Allah is testing you by ordering you to lend money to others.

 This commentary is not related the topic of this lecture, but by mentioning it I would like to let you know that you don't have to be aware of all the indications, wisdom and justification of all issues to apply them. It is unacceptable to suspend applying the Shari'ah rulings until you are convinced of them. Thinking in such a way makes man a slave of his own reasoning instead of being Allah's slave. When you act as a true servant of Allah, when you know Him through His universe, when you know His Existence, Uniqueness and Perfection and when you know through your reasoning and evidence that Quran is His words descended on his Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, and that the reported Sunnah is from the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him who doesn't speak of his own desire, you will apply the Shari'ah rulings whether revealed in Qur'an or Prophetic Sunnah. Allah says:

((Nay! But worship Allah (Alone and none else), and be among the grateful.))

[Az-Zumar, 66]

(((Allah) said: "O Musa (Moses) I have chosen you above men by My Messages, and by My speaking (to you). So hold that which I have given you and be of the grateful."))

[Al-A'raf, 144]

 Let me tell you that whoever rationalizes all Shari'ah rulings and depends on his reasoning in accepting the rulings or refusing them, isn't Abed. Your reasoning should be used to guide you to believe in Allah the Almighty through this great universe, and to believe in Quran and the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him. Once you believe in all that, the role of your reasoning is over and the Divine reporting starts. It is wonderful when the Divine order is justified, Allah says:

(("Verily! I am Allah! La ilaha illa Ana (none has the right to be worshipped but I), so worship Me, and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) for My Remembrance. ))

[Ta-Ha, 14]

  This command is justified, Allah says:

((Take Sadaqah (alms) from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it, and invoke Allah for them. Verily! Your invocations are a source of security for them))

[At-Taubah, 103]

((Recite (O Muhammad) what has been revealed to you of the Book (the Qur'an), and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat). Verily, As-Salat (the prayer) prevents from Al-Fahsha' (i.e. great sins of every kind, unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.) and Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism, and every kind of evil wicked deed, etc.) and the remembering (praising, etc.) of (you by) Allah (in front of the angels) is greater indeed [than your remembering (praising, etc.) Allah in prayers, etc.] ))

[Al-Ankabut, 45]

((O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious)))

[Al-Baqarah, 183]

 Even if the divine command is not justified, you should rush to apply it. When you apply Allah's command out of submissiveness to Him, He may reward you by revealing the wisdom behind that command. It was said "Whoever applies what he knows (Shari'ah rulings), Allah will reveal to him things he does not know. (the wisdom behind applying them)."

Hastening to apply the Divine commands is a mark of faith:

 The Divine command is justified by being ordained by Allah, Allah says:

((It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision.))

[Al-Ahzab, 36]

 The least that marks your faith is that when you are aware of a Divine command from Quran or Sunnah, you should apply it and forget all about your own choice. You should cancel your option whether you like it or not, whether you find it rational or not, whether you find it reasonable or not and whether you find it applicable or not. Allah says:

((But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission. ))

[An-Nisa', 65]

  Hastening to apply Allah's commands marks your true belief in Him, and Allah might reward your submissiveness to Him by revealing to you the wisdom behind the Divine command. Following Allah's commands shouldn't be conditioned by knowing the wisdom behind them, though we may seek that wisdom. As for Aqeeqah, it is one of the Prophetic Sunan. He, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, recommended that a sheep should be slaughtered for the newborn baby to keep it protected and blessed. Also, by offering Aqeeqah, the newborn baby turns out to be a dutiful son or daughter to his/her parents. As I have mentioned earlier, Aqeeqah is just like Udhiyah; one can eat from it and give to the poor as Sadaqah.

Translation  : Noura Al-Sharabi
Auditing       : Kawthar Hajj Saleh