Check below answers in case you are looking for other related questions:


Meaning of Misak, Sehra, Syed, Syedna

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

 

 

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Dear Mr. Burhan,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy,and Blessings be upon all of you)

I have a few lingering questions that I would like your response: What is the exact meaning of Syedna?  I have heard that the direct decedents of our

prophet Muhammad (saws) were entitled to the "Syed" title.

1. What is the difference between "Syed" & "Syedna"?

2. What is the meaning of "misak" and what is its significance in Islam? 

3. If it is an Oath, then are those who unknowingly take it bound by it?  This is to say that I understand that many, if not, the majority of those taking their "misak" take it because it is a tradition and in many cases do not understand what it really is. They are programmed to say  "Naam" when they hear the priest say "Naam."

4. What is the meaning of "Sehra" and what is its significance in Islam?

5.  In one of your earlier Q&A on Zakat, which reads as follows:

 "What we can tell you with certainty,  in light of the Holy Quran,  is where the money of zakaat and sadaqa is 'supposed' to go.

 Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 9 Surah Taubah verse 60: Zakat Collections are for the needy, and the indigent, and for those who are employed to collect them, and for those whose hearts are to be won over, and for the ransoming of slaves, and for helping the debtors, and the way of Allah, and for the hospitality of the way-farers."Please be kind enough to elaborate on this subject, especially where it refers to the recipients of Zakat as;" and for those who are employed to collect them".  Under this definition, wouldn't Syedna and his family members be entitled to receive Zakat? Anxiously awaiting your response

Best Regards

 

(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)

 

Answer:

 

Meaning of Misak, Sehra, Syed, Syedna

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

 

Your comment: What is the exact meaning of Syedna?  I have heard that the direct decedents of our prophet Muhammad (saws) were entitled to the "Syed" title.The Arabic word syed means a leader; thus syedna means our leader in Arabic terminology.

The title of syed was not given to the noble descendants of the Prophet (saws) by Allah and His Messenger (saws). They are rather known as the ahle-bayt (people of the household) of the Messenger of Allah (saws), or they are known as the Banu Hashim from the hereditary tribal name of the Prophet (saws). Syed is basically used in colloquial Arabic for any kind of leader, and some people started using this title in their names as a connotation that they were the descendants of the noble Prophet (saws).

 




Your comment: What is the difference between "Syed" & "Syedna"?

Syed means a leader, and Syedna means our leader. There is no difference in the meaning, except for the belonging of the title. Its like saying bayt (house), and baytna (our house).

 

Your comment: What is the meaning of "misak" and what is its significance in Islam?  If it is an Oath, then are those who unknowingly take it bound by it?  This is to say that I understand that many, if not, the majority of
those taking their "misak" take it because it is a tradition and in many cases do not understand what it really is.  They are programmed to say "Naam" when they hear the priest say "Naam."

Meethak basically means to make an unbreakable covenant or strong oath with someone. It is inconceivable that one would take an unbreakable covenant or strong oath with someone unknowingly. It is the responsibility of the person giving this oath that he understands the accountability of this oath. The person taking the oath must also explain to the person giving it, what exactly are his responsibilities when he gives this oath.

 

Allow me to relate a worldly example: If a person makes an agreement with (lets say) a German company and a contract is drawn in the German language which the person does not understand. It is the responsibility of the person to translate that contract into a language which he can understand well, so that he is aware of what exactly are the terms and conditions of the contract. It would be extremely unwise if the person signs the contract without understanding it, because he will be liable in a court of law if he is not able to abide by the terms and conditions of the contract.

 

In Islam, the biggest meethak or covenant is the one that a believer makes with Allah and His Messenger (saws). Thus the kalima shahaadah is considered a meethak or covenant, and when he testifies that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah Alone, and that Mohamed (saws) is Allahs slave and Messenger; he enters the fold of Islam. This meethak between the believer and his Creator supercedes all other covenants of man.

 

The meethak that you are talking about is simply a ritual and an innovation in Islam, and there is absolutely no evidence about taking this sort of meethak from every believer who attains puberty. The Messenger of Allah (saws) did take the meethak at a couple of very critical junctures in Islam, and always took meethak when a non-believer wished to become a muslim. But there is absolutely no evidence in the authentic traditions that the Messenger of Allah (saws) took the meethak from every child when he attained puberty. This ritual which has crept up in the sect is a clear innovation in Islam, and as with all innovations; it must be rejected.

 

It has been reported by Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (r.a.) that the Prophet (saws) said: If anyone introduces an innovation (in religion), he will be responsible for it. If anyone introduces an innovation or gives shelter to a man who introduces an innovation (in religion), he is cursed by Allah, by His angels, and by all the people.

 

It has been reported by Jabir ibn Abdullah (r.a.) in another authentic narration that the Prophet of Allah (saws) said in a sermon: The best speech is that which is embodied in the Book of Allah, the Al Quran; and the best guidance is the guidance given by me, Mohamed (saws). The most evil affairs are the innovations, and every innovation is an error.

 

Your comment: What is the meaning of "Sehra" and what is its significance in Islam?

Sehra is not an Arabic term, and the closest word is Sahra which basically means a desert in Arabic. The custom of sehra whereby the face of the groom is covered in marriage, has absolutely no significance in Islam. The sehra is a custom of some parts of the Indian sub-continent.

If any custom of the land does not have a pagan religious background; and does not have any connotation of shirk; and does not have any sort of indecency; and does not clash with Islamic teachings and guidance; then there is no harm. But if it is proved that the custom of sehra is a pagan religious ritual, or has anything to do with shirk; then it will be forbidden in Islam.

 

Your comment: In one of your earlier Q&A on Zakat, which reads as follows: "What we can tell you with certainty,  in light of the Holy Quran,  is where the money of zakaat and sadaqa is 'supposed' to go. Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 9 Surah Taubah verse 60:Zakat Collections are for the needy, and the indigent, and for those who are employed to collect them, and for those whose hearts are to be won over, and for the ransoming of slaves, and for helping the debtors, and the way of Allah, and for the hospitality of the way-farers."

Please be kind enough to elaborate on this subject, especially where it refers to the recipients of Zakat as; "and for those who are employed to collect them".  Under this definition, wouldn't Syedna and his family members be entitled to receive Zakat?

Basically, the zakaat money can be used for any good cause in the Way of Allah, except to build a mosque; which has to be built by non-zakat funds.

 

Ref: "and for those who are employed to collect them" Under this definition, wouldn't Syedna and his family members be entitled to receive Zakat?
The zakaat is a charity tax which is due from every eligible believer, and which in an Islamic State, will be collected by the central authority from the eligible people and distributed to the poor and needy of the society. Thus, the central authority will obviously employ personnel to collect and distribute the zakaat according to the guidance of Allah and His Messenger (saws). What this aayah allows is that the salaries of the people employed to collect and distribute the zakaat funds can be paid from it.

If the syedna and his family are employed by a central authority in an Islamic State to collect and distribute the zakaat collections, then their fair salary can be paid from these funds. But this aayah in no way allows that all the zakaat funds that are collected from the believers can be kept by the ones who collect it!

 

It would be like saying that the income-tax officers who are employed by the Central Government keep ALL the tax they collect for themselves! That would be illegal in any society.

 

The zakaat funds is the share of the poor and needy of the society from the wealth of those who have been blessed with bounty from Allah. This tax is so important in Islam that it was named one of the pillars of Islam by Allahs Messenger (saws). If some people collect this tax and do not spend it on the poor and needy and in the Cause of Allah, but rather keep it for themselves; then they shall be severely accountable in the Court of Allah on the Day of Judgement. Allah has warned the believers about such unscrupulous leaders who collect the wealth of others, and do not spend it in the Way of Allah in the Holy Quran.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 9 Surah Taubah verses 34-35:O you who believe! There are indeed many among the priests and the holy men who devour the wealth of others by evil means, and debar the people from the Way of Allah. Give them the good news of a painful torment, who hoard up gold and silver and do not expend these in the Way of Allah. The Day shall surely come when the same gold and silver shall be heated in the fire of Hell, and with it will be branded their foreheads, their bodies and their backs. (And it will be said): Here is that treasure you had hoarded up for yourselves! Taste now the evil of your hoarded treasure!

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

 

Your brother and well wisher in Islam,

 

 

Burhan

 


Related Answers:

Recommended answers for you: