Kunyah

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,

I’ve been asked by many people the reason for using ”Umm Khaleel’ when I do not even a child to begin with. Insha’Allah this article will give you a better understanding on why I use a kunyah 🙂

As for the choice of kunyah, I’ve considered many other names but decided to stick to ‘Umm Khaleel’ because I’ve always been amazed by stories of Prophet Ibrahim alayhi salam about his complete obedience and tawakkul to His Rubb which is why he earned the title of being a ‘close friend of Allah’ or ‘khalilullah’. This name serves as a reminder to myself of who I would like to be and my goal in this Dunya and aakhirah insha’Allah 🙂

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Definition & recommendation:

A Kunyah is a combined term consisting of a name preceded by the word Abu (father) or Umm (mother). Depending on its position in a sentence, Abu may appear as Abaa or Abee. Most often, the name used in the kunyah is the bearers eldest child. But, as we will show below, this is not a necessary condition.

Bearing a kunyah and addressing people by their kunyah is an old Arab etiquette that was condoned by Islam. It was practiced by the Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), his companions, and the righteous Muslims through the ages. Addressing a person with his kunyah is a show of respect and esteem. Thus, it is recommended for a Muslim to bear a kunyah and to address other by their kunyah’s.

Bearing a kunyah before having children:

Contrary to common understanding, it is recommended for a Muslim to bear a kunyah even without offspring.

Hamzah bin Suhayb reported that ‘Umar (radee Allaahu ‘anhu) said to Suhayb: “How come you use Abu Yahya as your kunyah even though you do not have a son (called Yahya)?” Suhayb (radee Allaahu ‘anhu) replied:

“Allaah’s Messenger (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) gave me this kunyah of Abu Yahya.” [1]

Furthermore, a person’s kunyah should not necessarily contain the name of his (or her) children. Many of the companions (radee Allaahu ‘anhum) were known with a kunyah that did not derive from a child’s name. Examples: Abu Bakr, Abu Hafs (‘Umar), Abu Hurayrah, Abu Tharr, Abu Sulaymaan (Khalid bin al-Waleed), Abu Salamah, etc.”

Giving a kunyah to a childless woman:

Further to the above discussion, it is also recommended for a woman to take on a kunyah, even if she does not have any offspring.

‘A’ishah (radee Allaahu ‘anhaa) reported that she once said to the Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam): “O Allaah’s Messenger, why do you not give me a kunyah?” He replied:

“Take a kunyah after your sister’s son ‘Abdullaah. So you are Umm ‘Abdillaah.” [2]

Commenting on this hadeeth, al-Albaanee (rahimahullaah) said:

“This indicates that it is recommended to have a kunyah, even for those who do not have children. This is an Islamic etiquette that, as far as I know, is unparalleled by other nations. Thus, all Muslim, men and women, should adhere to it and drop what has invaded them of foreign customs…” [3]

Giving a kunyah to children:

It is also permissible to give kunyah’s to children and address them by their kunyah’s. This is part of the Arab and Islamic tradition that the Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) approved and practiced.

‘Anas (radee Allaahu ‘anhu) reported that Allaah’s Messenger (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) often visted ‘Anas’s family. On one of his visits, he saw a younger brother of ‘Anas sad. The Messenger (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) asked. “What is his problem?” He was told that he had a small bird that died. So he said to him:

“O Abu ‘Umayr, what happened to the birdie?” [4]

Umm Khaalid bint Khaalid (radee Allaahu ‘anhaa) reported that the Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was brought some garments among which was a small black khamisah [5] with green or yellow impressions. He asked his companions: “To which girl do you think we should give this khamisah?” They all remained silent. So he said, “Bring me Umm Khaalid.” She was carried before the Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) wearing a yellow dress, and he the garment on her with his own hand while saying:

“May you wear it out and replace it. This is pretty, O Umm Khaalid! This is pretty, O Umm Khaalid.” [6]

The Prophet’s (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) kunyah:

It is not permissible to bear the Prophet’s (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) kunyah: Abul-Qaasim. It is further preferable to avoid naming ones eldest son as Qaasim because, by common tradition, the father would be called Abul-Qaasim.

Jaabir bin ‘Abdillaah (radee Allaahu ‘anhu) reported that a boy was born for a man from among the Ansaar, so he named him Qaasim. The Ansaar said to him: “We will not address you as Abul-Qaasim, and will not please your eye with this.” When the Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) heard about this he said:

“The Ansaar have done well! Bear my name, but do not use my kunyah. I have been made a Qaasim (distributor) because I distribute and judge among you. So, bear my name but do not use my kunyah.”

The Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) then said to the man: “Name your son ‘Abdur-Rahmaan.” [7]

Similarly, Abu Hurayrah and ‘Anas (radee Allaahu ‘anhum) reported that the Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“Use my name, but do not use my kunyah.” [8]

Some reports of this hadeeth from ‘Anas indicate that the Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said this when a man was calling another man saying: “O Abdul-Qaasim!” The Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) thought that he meant him and turned to look at him. The man then explained. “I did not mean you, O Allaah’s Messenger.” [9]

‘Alee (radee Allaahu ‘anhu) reported that he said to the Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam): “O Allaah’s Messenger, if I am granted a son after you, may I give him your name and your kunyah?” The Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) replied. “Yes.” [10]

Commenting on the various views regarding this issue, Ibn Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said:

“The dislike (of using the Prophet’s [sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam] kunyah) has three reasons:

1) Giving the meaning of the name (Qaasim) to those who do not deserve it … because he (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) divided among the people according to Allaah’s command, and not the division of kings who give and deny according to desire.
2) Concern about confusing (between the Prophet [sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam] and someone else) when addressing or calling … as was the case when a caller said to the Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam): “I did not mean you.”
3) Using both of the Prophet’s (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) name and kunyah removes the benefit of having a distinction (in name) for him.

The first reason makes it prohibited to use the Prophet’s (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) kunyah during his life and after his death. The second limits the prohibition to his lifetime. The third reason only prohibits bearing both his name and his kunyah (by the same person)…”

Footnotes:

[1] Recorded by Ibn Maajah, al-Haakim, and others. Verified to be authentic by al-Albaanee (as-Sahihah, No. 44)
[2] Recorded by Ahmad, Aboo Daawood, and others. Verified to be authentic by al-Albaanee (as-Sahihah, No. 132 and Sahih ul-Adab il-Mufrad Nos. 850, 851)
[3] As-Sahihah, Vol 1.1, P. 257
[4] Record by al-Bukhaaree, Muslim and others
[5] Khamisah: A light black or red garment made of silk or wool with little coloured impressions
[6] Recorded by al-Bukhaaree
[7] Recorded by al-Bukhaaree, Muslim, and others
[8] Recorded by al-Bukhaaree, Muslim, and others
[9] Recorded by al-Bukhaaree, Muslim, and others
[10] Recorded by Aboo Daawood, at-Tirmidhee, and others. Verified to be authentic by al-Albaanee (as-Sahihah, Vol. 6.2, Pgs.1081-1082)

This article has been transcribed from the book ‘Our Precious Sprouts’, Pgs. 43-47 by Dr. Muhammad al-Jibaly

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Causes that lead to a hardened heart #6 [LAST]

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,

[Transcribed from “A commentary on Ibn Taymiyyah’s Essy on the Heart” translated by Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips]

6. Repeated sins over time

57:16

“Has the time not come for those who have believed that their hearts should become humbly submissive at the remembrance of Allah and what has come down of the truth? And let them not be like those who were given the Scripture before, and a long period passed over them, so their hearts hardened; and many of them are defiantly disobedient.‘ [57:16]

Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu alayhi Salam warned against scorning any sins saying: “Beware of scorned sins. When a person develops the habit of ignoring minor sins, his heart becomes progressively hardened to sin in general and major sins then become easy for him to commit. By being conscious of the smallest of sins and scrupiously avoiding them, the believer becomes firmly protected fro major sins.

On the other hand, if one does not make a conscious effort to revive one’s faith and reflect on one’s actions, even pure and sincere acts of worship can deteriorate into blind rituals over time. As is said, “Familiarity breeds contempt.” The mind shifts into automatic mode and the body performs according to commands, while the heart dies.

Fastabiqul Khairat <3

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,

[update] I pray that all of you are in the best of health and eemaan insha’Allah. I haven’t been blogging much lately because subhan’Allah, work seems to be piling up :/ Al-Hamdulillah ala kulli hal! I wanted to apologize too if I take a loooong time to approve and reply to the comments. And also some of the posts have been written weeks ago so I don’t keep track when they are up..

If anyone is wondering why I use this phrase ‘fastabiqul khairat’ [or ‘race to all that is good’] as my blog title, it’s actually a reminder for me from time to time that I should increase in good deeds. Subhan’Allah, I’m impressed when I browse through blogs I find that sisters and brothers out there are doing so much for Islam and yet I’m still lacking farrr behind. There are posts on raising awareness about Islam, clearing misconceptions, reminders … a whole list of them! I would like to tell all of you to keep it up insha’Allah!

Apart from online reminders, we should also find a company of friends who are constantly encouraging us to become better Muslims. If you have friends who are always racing you to do good deeds, you’ll find yourself joining in the race with them! The people we spend most of time with affect our eemaan whether we like it or not so we need to watch who we are friends with. I’m sure some of you can vouch for this..

Subhan’Allah, I unexpectedly became close friends with this sister who is masha’Allah such an eemaan booster to me. She’s in one of my classes and although we sit together sometimes, we rarely speak to each other much except after class but we are always rushing home since it’s already late. Recently, I invited her to have lunch with me .. it was one of those days whereby I was feeling a bit impulsive so when she crossed my mind the night before, I sent her a text message about lunch. Al-Hamdulillah I felt like my eemaan skyrocketed up the roof from that few hours spent with her lol.

I learnt that she prays all her salaah at masjid despite staying quite a distance from masjid. It is of course preferable that a woman prays at home, but at the same time Prophet sallallahu alayhi salam did not forbid the women from going to the masjid because of the rewards one can attain from congregational prayers.  Not everyone is able to do that! She does volunteer work at a few Muslim-based NGOs here and she goes for Islamic classes despite the workload! And there are a whole list of other things which I found out too after doing some ‘digging up’ from her lol.

Bottomline is that: I’m strangely jealous of her good deeds and now I’m finding ways to ‘overtake’ her lol. My dormitory is the closest to the masjid and yet I find it difficult to perform all of my salaah there. But subhan’Allah, just knowing that the sister will be at the masjid has become sort of a motivation for me. She has listened to me whine about school work and her advice has always been reminders taken from Qur’an and Sunnah. There is a saying of Prophet sallallahu alayhi salam (which I plucked from the book called “In the Early Hours”):

The best friend is one who makes you remember Allah when you see him

Also,

Whoever Allah wishes good for, He will grant him a righteous friend who will remind him if he forgets and aids him if he remembers

The writer also mentioned something beautiful:

And the Qur’an says: “Bind yourself upon those who call upon Allah morning and evening” [Al-Kahf: 18: 27-28]. As soon as you see the seed of iman planted in your heart and you recognise it in someone else’s and you find that he agrees with you,  you will feel ten times stronger. Social scientist have also discovered that group life is one of the most powerful forces to stimulate and improve human being

 Ya Rabb, I am truly blessed for all the righteous sisters I’ve met for the past few months ever since I came here al-Hamdulillah. There had been some really amazing sisters, apart from the sister mentioned above, who are equally as inspiring. I’m excited to meet more of them insha’Allah.

May all of us be blessed with the best companions who will be of benefit to us in this Dunya and Aakhirah!