Fruits for the Week

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Allah has chosen certain acts for all of His prophets and their followers to perform. These acts distinguish them from the rest of mankind and are known as sunnan al-fitra (the acts that correspond to the nature of mankind). They are:

1. Circumcision.

This prevents dirt from getting on one’s penis and also makes it easy to keep it clean. Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, “Ibrahim (AS) circumcised himself after he was eighty years old.” (Bukhari). Many scholars say that it is obligatory. The Shafi’iyyah maintain that it should be done on the seventh day. Ash-Shaukani said, “There is nothing that states explicitly its time or indicates that it is obligatory.

2. Shaving pubic hair and pulling out underarm hairs.

They are two sunnan acts. If the hair is only trimmed or pulled out, it will suffice.

3. Clipping one’s fingernails, trimming and shaving his mustache.

Ibn Umar related that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, “Differ from the polytheists: let your beards grow and shave your mustache” (Bukhari and Muslim). Abu Huraira (RA) reported that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, “Five things are part of one’s fitra: Shaving the pubic hairs, circumcision, trimming the mustache, removing the hair under the arms, and trimming the nails.” (Jama’ah).

It does not mention which one would specifically fulfill the Sunnah. One should make sure that his mustache is not so long that food particles, drink, and dirt accumulate in it. Zaid ibn Arqam related that the Prophet (SAW) said, “Whoever does not take (off) some of his mustaches is not one of us.” (Ahmad, Nasa’i, and Tirmidhi). It is preferred to cut the pubic hairs, pluck out the underarm hairs, cut the nails, and trim the mustache on a weekly basis, a practice that is most hygienic. If some unnecessary hair is left on the body for a longer period of time, it may disturb the person. One may leave this action for forty days, but not longer. Anas said, “The time period for us to trim the mustache, cut the nails, pluck the underarm hairs, and cut the pubic hairs was forty nights.” (Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and others)

4. Letting one’s beard grow and become thick.

This is a feature of dignity. It should not be cut so short that it appears like a shaved beard, nor should it be left so long that it becomes untidy. It is also a sign of manhood. Al-Bukhari said, “Whenever Ibn Umar made the hajj of umrah, he would hold his beard in his fist and, whatever exceeded his fist, he would cut off.”

5. Oiling and combing one’s hair.

Abu Hurairah (RA) reported the Prophet (SAW) as saying, “Whoever has hair should honor it.” (Abu Dawud). ‘Ata ibn Yasar said: “A man came to the Prophet (SAW) with unkempt hair and an untidy beard. The Prophet (SAW) pointed to him as if ordering him to straighten his hair and beard. He did so and returned. Thereupon the Prophet observed, ‘Is that not better than one of you coming with his hair unkempt, as if were a devil?’” (Malik)

6. Leaving grey hairs in place.

This applies to both men and women. ‘Amar ibn Shu’aib related on the authority of his father from his grandfather that the Prophet said,” Do not pluck the grey hairs as they are a Muslim’s light. Never a Muslim grows grey in Islam except that Allah writes from him, due to that, a good deed. And He raises him a degree. And He erases for him, due to that, one of his sins.” Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Nasa’i, and Ibn Majah). Anas said, “We used to hate that a man should pluck out his white hairs from his head or beard.” (Muslim)

7. Changing the color of grey by using henna, red dye, yellow dye, and so on.

Abu Hurairah (RA) reported that the Prophet (SAW) said, “The Jews and Christians do not dye, so differ from them.” (Jama’ah) Abu Dharr reported that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, “The best thing that one can use to change the color of grey hairs is henna and katm, a reddish dye.” (Related by the five)

It is related from some of the companions that it is better not to dye, while others say it is better to do it. Some used a yellow dye, while others say it is better to do it. Some used a yellow dye, while others used henna or katm. Others used saffron, and a group of them used a black dye. Ibn hajar mentioned in Fath al-Bari that Az-Zuhri said, “We used black dye if our face was youthful, but if wrinkles were present and the teeth were gone we would not use it.” Jabir (RA) said, “Abu Quhafah was brought to the Prophet (SAW) during the conquest of Makkah while his head was white. The Prophet (SAW) said, ‘Take him to one of his wives and let her change the color of his hair with something, but she should avoid (making his hair) black.’” (Jama’ah)

8. To use musk and other types of perfume.

These are pleasing to the soul and beautify the atmosphere. Anas reported that The Prophet (SAW) as saying, “Among the things of this world, I love women and perfume, and the coolness of my eyes is prayer.”

by Shaikh As-Sayyid Sabiq

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