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LANALLAH __Islamic BlogZine__
Sunday, October 31, 2004

Bismillah ...SubhanAllah, Alhumdulillah , Allahu Akbar! Posted by Hello
Saturday, October 30, 2004

Fasting and Your Biological Rhythms

By Ebrahim Kazim, M.B., B.S., D.T.M & H., M.R.C.P.

Allah (all glory be to Him) tells us in the Holy Qur'aan about Ramadan that, '(He wants you) to complete the prescribed period (of fasting), and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful.' (2:185)

Many benefits, in addition to the spiritual, result from completing this prescribed period of fasting. This article attempts to explain those related to our biological rhythms.

The Stages of Sleep


The background activity of the brain is called the electroencephalogram (EEG) and can be recorded by the use of scalp electrodes. The dominant frequency and amplitude characteristic of the surface EEG varies with states of arousal.

A person goes through five stages while going to sleep.

Calm wakefulness is accompanied by alpha waves 8-12 Hz (cycles per second) and low voltage fast activity of mixed frequency. This is called stage one. Alpha waves disappear when we open our eyes.

As sleep deepens into stage two, bursts of 12-14 Hz (sleep spindles) and high amplitude slow waves appear.

The deep sleep of stages three and four is featured by an increasing proportion of high voltage slow activity. Breathing is regular in slow-wave sleep or non-REM (Rapid Eye Movements) sleep.

Delta activity (very slow waves, 0.5-4 Hz, high amplitude) is unusual in a normal record and accompanies deep sleep i.e. stages three and four sleep.


After about 70 minutes or so mostly spent in stages three and four, the first REM period occurs, usually heralded by an increase in body movements, and a shift in the EEG pattern from stage four to stage two. These rapid low-voltage irregular waves resemble those seen in alert humans; sleep, however, is not interrupted. This is called stage 5 or REM sleep, when the EEG activity gets desynchronised. There is marked muscle atonia despite the rapid eye movements in REM sleep, and the breathing is irregular.

Theta activity with a pattern of large regular waves occurs in normal children and is briefly seen in stage one sleep and also in REM sleep.

Non-REM (NREM) sleep passes through stages one and two, and spends 60-70 minutes in stages three and four. Sleep then lightens and a REM period follows. This cycle is repeated three or four times per night, at intervals of about 90 minutes throughout the night, depending on the length of sleep. REM sleep occupies 25% of total sleeping time.

When the eyes are opened, the alpha rhythm is replaced by fast irregular low voltage activity with no dominant frequency, called the alpha block. Any form of sensory stimulation or mental concentration such as solving arithmetic problems could produce this break-up of the alpha rhythm. This replacement of the regular alpha rhythm with irregular low voltage activity is called ?desynchronisation?.

Fasting Positively Affects Sleep

During the first few hours of an Islamic fast, the EEG is normal. However, the frequency of the alpha rhythm is decreased by a low blood glucose level. This may happen at the end of the fasting day towards evening when the blood sugar is low.

Fasting improves the quality and intensifies the depth of sleep, a matter of particular importance to the aged who have much less stage three and four sleep (deep sleep). The processes of repair of the body and of the brain take place during sleep. Two hours of sleep during the month of Ramadan are more satisfying and refreshing than more hours of sleep otherwise!

REM sleep and dreaming are closely associated. Dreaming may be necessary to maintain health, but prolonged REM deprivation has no adverse psychological effects. Dreaming sleep occupies 50% of the sleep cycle in infants and decreases with age. Brain synthetic processes occur in deep sleep; brain protein molecules are synthesized in the brain during deep sleep or used in REM sleep in restoring cerebral function. Fasting significantly increases deep sleep and leads to a fall in REM sleeping time or dreaming time, and also accelerates synthesis of memory molecules.

Fasting and the Circadian Rhythm

The period of the circadian pace-maker in humans is 24 hours 11 minutes. Hormonal secretion is frequently characterised by rhythmic fluctuations which may be regular or irregular in periodicity. The period of regular oscillation may be as short as a few minutes or as long as a year.

The body timing system that drives circadian rhythms is exposed to external factors ranging from the imposed activity-rest cycle, the natural light-dark cycle, and social activities outside the workplace.

There are biological pacemakers or oscillators within the body with time-keeping capacity which synchronise with the external environmental cycles such as light. Environmental cues that synchronize biological pacemakers are called ?zeitgebers? (from the German ?time-givers?), and the process of re-setting the pacemaker is called re-synchronization.

The light/dark cycle is a potent zeitgeber for circadian rhythm but daily cycles in temperature, food availability, social interaction (such as congregational prayers) and even electro-magnetic field strength synchronize circadian rhythm in certain species. Because of recurring cycles of light, temperature and food availability, organisms evolved endogeous rhythms of metabolism and behavior providing response to specific environmental cycles. Many biological rhythms reflect the period of one of four environmental cycles: cycles of the tide, of day and night, of moon phase and of seasons.

Muslims who have been fasting regularly since childhood, have been exposed to different sleep/wake and light/darkness cycles on a daily basis in one annual lunar month. Hence, it may be easier for such persons to synchronize their circadian, circalunar and circannual biological rhythms under difficult conditions.

Fasting, Jet Lag and Shift Work

International travel across time zones produces symptoms of jet lag such as sleep disturbances, gastro-intestinal disorders, decreased alterness, fatigue and lack of concentration and motivation.
Factors contributing to symptoms of jet lag are (1) external desynchronisaion due to immediate differences between body time and local time at the end of the flight. (2) internal desynchronisation due to the fact that different circadian rhythms in the body re-synchronise at different rates, and during the re-synchronisation period, these rhythms will be out of phase with one another.

General symptoms arising from desynchronisation include tiredness during the day and disturbed sleep and reaction time. The severity of these adverse effects and therefore the time required for re-synchronisation depends on the ability to pre-set the bodily rhythms prior to flying, the number of time zones crossed, the direction of flight, age, social interaction and activity. NASA estimates that it takes one day for every time zone crossed to regain normal rhythm and energy levels. A 6-hour time-difference thus needs 6 days to get back to normal.


Rapid adaptation to a new zone can be facilitated by maximising exposure to zeitgebers for the new cycle e.g. changing to meal times and sleep times appropriate to the new time zone. Maximising social contact and exposure to natural lgihting will result in faster resynchronisation than staying at home in a hotel and eating and sleeping without regard to local time. There are widesperead individual viariations in the rapidity of resynchronisation.

Muslims who fast regularly and who have experienced disturbed wakefulness/sleep cycles on a daily lunar annual basis, can adapt themselves much faster to different time zones during international travel and do not suffer from the ill effects of jet lag. Moreover, the social contact during the Tarawih congregational prayer and the other social-cum?spiritual activities act as zeitgebers which regulate any desynchronised biological rhythm.

Shift workers also experience similar symptoms as jet lag, especially gastro-intestinal, cardiovascular, and sleep disorders and also reproductive dysfunctions in women. The inverted schedule of sleeping and waking also results in diminshed alterness and performance during night-time work with attendant increase in the number of fatigue-related accidents during night time shift hours. Normally, a period of three weeks is required for re-synchronisation among shift workers, and as the fasting Muslim atunes himself to resynchronization processes during the space of just over four weeks in Ramadan, his health problems as a shift worker would be negligible, as his synchronization processes would be more rapid, whether during Ramadan or at any other time.


It is also a common observation that as soon as Ramadan is over, normal circadian rhythms are established in the fasted Muslims with such great rapidity as to be at par with pre-Ramadan levels on the first day of Shawwal, i.e. Eid-ul-Fitr.

Fasting and Encephalins

During fasting, certain endogenous, narcotic-like substances known as opioids (or endorphins) are released into the body. They have a tranquilizing effect as well as an elating effect on the mind. These are also probably responsible for prevention of psychosomatic diseases. The opioids have several effects, including slowing down metabolism to conserve energy. Another effect of opioids may be that, although they produce elation as well as intense hunger, they do not drive the person to eat with sheer gluttony.

Muslims in Ramadan experience an ability to intensely focus their minds on meditation, Quranic recitation and prayers. This spiritual gain during the Holy Month is despite the fact that normal sleep/waking cycles are somewhat disturbed and despite a long day of fasting. Perhaps now we have a closer idea as to the science of this miraculous process.

Dr. Ebrahim Kazim is a medical doctor and the founder and director of the Islamic Academy in Trinidad. The above article was excerpted with permission of the author from his book 'Further Essays on Islamic Topics'.










A Brother like That

Shuaib received an automobile from his brother as a Eid present. On Eid day when Shuaib came out of his office, a street urchin was walking around the shiny new car, admiring it. "Is this your car, Uncle?" he asked. Shuaib nodded. " My brother gave it to me for Eid." The boy was astounded.


"You mean your brother gave it to you and it didn't cost you nothing? Boy, I wish..." He hesitated. Of course Shuaib knew what he was going to wish for. He was going to wish he had a brother like that. But what the lad said jarred Shuaib all the way down to his heels. "I wish," the boy went on, "that I could be a brother like that." Shuaib looked at the boy in astonishment, then impulsively he added, "Would you like to take a ride in my automobile?" "Oh yes, I'd love that."


After a short ride, the boy turned and with his eyes aglow, said, "Uncle, would you mind driving in front of my house?" Shuaib smiled a little. He thought he knew what the lad wanted. He wanted to show his neighbors that he could ride home in a big automobile. But Shuaib was wrong again. "Will you stop where those two steps are?" the boy asked. He ran up the steps. Then in a little while Shuaib heard him coming back, but he was not coming fast. He was carrying his little crippled brother. He sat him down on the bottom step, then sort of squeezed up against him and pointed to the car.


"There she is, uncle, just like I told you upstairs. His brother gave it to him for Eid and it didn't cost him a penny. And some day I'm gonna give you one just like it...then you can see for yourself all the pretty things in the Shop windows that I've been trying to tell you about."


Shuaib got out and lifted the boy to the front seat of his car. The shining-eyed older brother climbed in beside him and the three of them began a memorable holiday ride. That Eid, Shuaib learned what Rasullallah(sallallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) meant when he had said: "Love for your brother what you love for yourself ".

Author: Unknown
Courtesy: www.everymuslim.com
Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Stop Hatred & Misinformation about the Best of Creation (peace be upon him)

Sign the petition below at

http://www.petitiononline.com/iecrc786/petition.html

To: All Bookstores

We the undersigned declare that we are utterly shocked and dismayed at the blasphemous publication of Mr. Craig Winn's book "Prophet of Doom" (Publisher: CricketSong Books - April 25, 2004) that presents false and malicious information regarding our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), the Prophet who is revered by 20 percent of the world's population, and who Muslims believe to be the Prophet sent as a Mercy to all the worlds.

Mr. Winn, a businessman, who according to Amazon.com's own editorial review knew nothing about Islam prior to 9/11, reveals his lack of knowledge and poor scholarship in his fictitious writing, which is outside the pale of America's freedom of expression as it contributes towards the provocation of hate and the fraying of the fabric of its multi-cultural society by offending the sensibilities of a large segment of its population, namely:




Muslims who are very well aware of and dearly love our Prophet (Peace Be
Upon Him), and

Those of other faiths who have studied the life of the Prophet Muhammad
(Peace Be Upon Him) and have the following to say:


"His readiness to undergo persecutions for his beliefs, the high moral
character of the men who believed in him and looked up to him as leader, and
the greatness of his ultimate achievement - all argue his fundamental
integrity. To suppose Muhammad an impostor raises more problems than it
solves. Moreover, none of the great figures of history is so poorly
appreciated in the West as Muhammad."
-- W. Montgomery Watt, MOHAMMAD AT MECCA, Oxford, 1953, p. 52.

"I wanted to know the best of one who holds today's undisputed sway over the
hearts of millions of mankind....I became more than convinced that it was
not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of
life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet,
the scrupulous regard for his pledges, his intense devotion to this friends
and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God
and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before
them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the 2nd volume (of the
Prophet's biography), I was sorry there was not more for me to read of the
great life."
-- Gandhi, (Young India)

"It is not the propagation but the permanency of his religion that deserves
our wonder, the same pure and perfect impression which he engraved at Mecca
and Medina is preserved, after the revolutions of twelve centuries by the
Indian, the African and the Turkish proselytes of the Koran. . . The
Mahometans have uniformly withstood the temptation of reducing the object of
their faith an devotion to a level with the senses and imagination of man.
'I believe in One God and Mahomet the Apostle of God' is the simple and
invariable profession of Islam. The intellectual image of the Deity has
never been degraded by any visible idol; the honours of the prophet have
never transgressed the measure of human virtue, and his living precepts have
restrained the gratitude of his disciples within the bounds of reason and
religion."
-- Edward Gibbon and Simon Ocklay, HISTORY OF THE SARACEN EMPIRE, London,
1870, p. 54.

"It is impossible for anyone who studies the life and character of the great
Prophet of Arabia, who knows how he taught and how he lived, to feel
anything but reverence for that mighty Prophet, one of the great messengers
of the Supreme. And although in what I put to you I shall say many things
which may be familiar to many, yet I myself feel whenever I re-read them, a
new way of admiration, a new sense of reverence for that mighty Arabian
teacher."
-- Annie Besant, THE LIFE AND TEACHINGS OF MUHAMMAD, Madras ,1932, p. 4.

"My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world's most influential
persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he
was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the
religious and secular level."
-- Michael H. Hart, THE 100: A RANKING OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS IN
HISTORY, New York: Hart Publishing Company, Inc., 1978, p. 33.

We call for the removal of all copies of this book from all bookstores - regular or online and for the cessation of its publication immediately.

Thank You.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned


Monday, October 25, 2004

Unfolding the Rose

A young, new ustadh (teacher) was walking with an older, more seasoned ustadh (teacher) in the garden one day. Feeling a bit insecure about what Allah had for him to do, he was asking the older ustadh for some advice. The older ustadh walked up to a rosebush and handed the young ustadh a rosebud and told him to open it without tearing off any petals. The young ustadh looked in disbelief at the older ustadh and was trying to figure out what a rosebud could possibly have to do with his wanting to know the will of Allah for his life and ministry.

But because of his great respect for the older ustadh, he proceeded to try to unfold the rose, while keeping every petal intact... It wasn't long before he realized how impossible this was to do. Noticing the younger ustadh's inability to unfold the rosebud without tearing it, the older ustadh began to recite the following poem...

It is only a tiny rosebud,
A flower of Allah's design;
But I cannot unfold the petals
With these clumsy hands of mine.

The secret of unfolding flowers
Is not known to such as I.
ALLAH opens this flower so sweetly,
Then in my hands they die.

If I cannot unfold a rosebud,
This flower of Allah's design,
Then how can I have the wisdom
To unfold this life of mine?

So I'll trust in Allah for leading
Each moment of my day.
I will look to Allah for His guidance
Each step of the way.

The pathway that lies before me,
Only Allah knows.
I'll trust Him to unfold the moments,
Just as He unfolds the rose.
Saturday, October 23, 2004

WASAAWIS (stray shaitaani thoughts)

Everyone's mind wanders during Salaat.Shaitaan is bound to whisper into the mind.We are living in a world of corruption and contamination.We associate in evil and indulge in much futility.It is not possible to totally prevent thoughts from entering into the mind.The mind is like a public road, where all types of people walk. The Mashaa-ikh advise that the best way in which to combat such stray thoughts is to ignore them.

When thoughts enter the mind, don't be worried about them.Let them come. Only try to deflect the mind by thinking about something which does not break Salaat, e.g. start thinking of the Ka'bah or try to concentrate on the words you are reciting.Think about Jannah and Jahannum.

But don't become perturbed by the thoughts. As long as you don't introduce thoughts intentionally, there is nothing to be worried about. The more you worry ,the more the thoughts will enter your mind, because shaitaan derives pleasure in annoying the Mu'min.

Titbits of Thought

One of the fundamental and core beliefs in Islam is belief in the Hereafter. It’s simple – to be a Muslim we have to believe that our final abode is Heaven or Hell. And Allah has created man such that he only has a limited time on Earth. Where we’ll eventually land up in the Hereafter depends on what we do in this lifetime….so the question thus arises, after knowing all this , how can we so recklessly and heedlessly defy the commands of Allah? We must be DUMB to trade the eternal , everlasting bliss for the pleasure of this world which is so fickle that it comes in one Hadith (something to the effect) that all the treasures of this world is not even worth the wing of a mosquito! A wing of a mosquito, Can we even imagine how small that is?!

Music – listen carefully to the words – of course it sounds alluring coz how else is shaytaan gonna attract us? The words are inviting us to sin, look at the so called ‘superstars’ , look at their lives, are they truly happy ?Why do they turn to drugs , alcohol and why aren’t their marriages very successful? Do you think that their money and fame are providing them with contentment? The answer is obvious: NO. They live their lives listening to the whispers of shaytaan and they are miserable because they live trapped in the darkness of sin and vice. They have no sense of morality, they have stripped all decency from their hearts and they are left with nothing, with no other purpose in life than to earn more money, become more famous, expose more of their bodies. They are slaves to shaytaan and their nafs, just like the people of jaahiliyyah.And we, Muslim youth, are following them like a flock of sheep , YET we have been blessed with intellect and are the best of creation!

How have we become so blind that we have chosen to ignore Allah and His Qur’aan and forget about the sacrifices that Nabi (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam) had undergone just so that we could proudly practise the Deen of Islam as true sincere Muslims? Have we forgotten that Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam) had been exiled along with his companions for THREE YEARS and for whom? For whom did Nabi (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam) spend the entire night praying and crying due to immense worry? For whom did Nabi (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam) endure such stoning at Ta’if that his shoes were filled with blood?For whom did Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) endure taunts such as ‘magician’ and ‘madman’. For us , for us… woe unto us , it was YOU and ME that he suffered for.

Do we know that on every Monday and Thursday our deeds are placed before our Nabi (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wasallam)? What grief must he be feeling when he sees that the youth of his Ummah have pushed aside deen and have embraced the lifestyles of the kuffar?In the time of Nabi (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) the kuffar used to cause him grief and pain, but what about the pain he experiences now when he comes to know of us ,the Muslim youth sitting in the dark lairs of shaytaan and eagerly watching sexual scenes from movies without a care at all about our Imaan?About Muslim youth idolizing and swooning at the sight of the immodest, immoral actors and singers? Muslim youth indulging in drugs, alcohol, and dating without the least bit of guilt in our hearts?? Muslim youth whose lifestyles, if we are to be brutally honest with ourselves, have more in common with the Kuffar that of Muslims?Oh Allah forgive us!

We have forgotten our purpose in life. Forgotten that Allah is watching us! It’s either we have forgotten or we just couldn’t care less. I don’t think it’s being too harsh to say that most of us are suffering from an inferiority complex and are ashamed of our faith. That is the sad, transparent truth that we have to realize. The first step towards change is to realize that a problem exists.

Living our lives as practicing Muslim teens does not mean that we have to live boring, sedentary lives. We CAN enjoy life and have fun, as long as it’s within the parameters of the shariah.

As someone once very aptly put it : “The life of a Muslim is like driving or walking on a road.We are allowed to travel anywhere and do anything we want along the road , just as long as we don’t break the rules. Imagine if people suddenly decide that they don’t feel like following the traffic rules, there would be motoring chaos!”

In our case, our destination is clearly defined , we all want to go to Jannah – so we will have to follow any one of the routes to Jannah without breaking the rules.Allah is so merciful that even if we do mistakenly break the rules once in a while, He doesn’t issue us with hefty fines but gives us a chance to repent and seek forgiveness,Allahu Akbar! Of course we have faults and we’ve done things we do regret, but that doesn’t mean we must lose hope in Allah!ALLAH LOVES US MORE THAN OUR MOTHERS!Even though we continually show ingratitude to our Lord…we continually commit sins with these gifts that Allah has given us,HE STILL LOVES US!HIS DOOR IS STILL OPEN and GUESS WHAT…Alhumdulillah we are still alive!We can still repent!ALLAH’s Telephone number is TOLLFREE and ALWAYs AVAILABLE!

EVERYTHING is from ALLAH!We were not sent on this Earth 2 impress others with our great amount of friends,with fashionable and trendy phones , clothes , cars and houses,with our fame n popularity…with our PIETY…with ANYTHING!!!!!!!!IS IT WORTH IT 2 SACRIFICE TRUE happiness in return 4 fleeting and effervescent fame n popularity…?????is it REALLY WORTH IT????is it all an act??? we were SENT into this world by Almighty Allah to WORSHIP HIM and HIM alone…to SERVE Him!!!!!!!not to fill our base desires…not to prove anything to anyone…EXCEPT ALLAH…so that means that we’ve lost ur purpose in life…we’ve began 2 lose our way…we’ve stumbled…but WAIT…GUESS WHAT!There’s hope …there’s so much of hope it’s overwhelming…illuminating….it’s mystifying and mind boggling and really incomprehensible…the MERCY of ALLAH is so vast and great … it is so precious!Can u feel it racing around u like a beautiful rope of light?…it is there for us 2 grab! THIS is the only way we are gonna move up in life – by climbling the Rope of Allah!

Ya Allah, grant me and all the Muslimeen Hidayah to live our lives in a manner that YOU are pleased with!Give us the ability to utilize our youth and good health to increase our bank account in the Akhirah and serve the Deen of Islam!Ameen.





Sunday, October 17, 2004

Dear Hafiz...part 3

BEARD

Another aspect that the Fuqaha (jurists) have unanimously regarded as an open sin is the shaving off of the beard or trimming it to less than the extent of one fist length. The beard is not "just a sunnat." According to all the four Imaams of fiqh it is waajib to keep a beard to the extent of one fist length. This compulsion has been derived from various Ahadith wherein Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has greatly stressed the keeping of the beard. In many Ahadith Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has given the imperative command of lengthening the beard.

It is reported that once a fire-worshipper, who had shaved his beard and lengthened his moustache, came to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Upon seeing him in this condition Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: "What is this you have done?" He replied: "This is our religion." Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: "In our religion WE ARE COMMANDED to lengthen the beard and cut the moustache" (Hukmul Lihya Fil Islam).

In another Hadith it is recorded that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) DISLIKED looking at the emissaries that came from the court of Kisra because they shaven their beards. He said to them: "Woe unto you! Who has told you to make your appearance like this?" They replied: "Our lord, the emperor Kisra ordered us to do so." Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: "But I have been COMMANDED by my Lord, Allah, to lengthen the beard and cut the moustache" (Al Bidaya wan Nihaya). Consider this narration carefully. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) DISLIKED looking at the emissaries BECAUSE they had shaven off their beards. The gravity of this matter is apparent from these Ahadith.

COLLECTIVE BURDEN
When this is the injunction for ordinary Muslims, it becomes even more important and significant for an Imaam. Due to the great stress in the Ahadith on having a lengthened beard, the Fuqaha (jurists) have stated that it is makrooh tahrimi to appoint such a person as the Imaam who shaves his beard or trims it to less than one fist length. Makrooh tahrimi is a category that is next to Haraam, therefore such an aspect is also forbidden. If one who shaves his beard is nevertheless appointed as the Imaam, the salaah of the muqtadis (followers) will be makrooh. However, the collective burden of the deficiency in the salaah of the entire congregation will be upon the Imaam and upon those who appointed him to lead the salaah1.

What a huge burden to carry! Can any person afford to take on such a burden? And that also in the month of Ramadhaan, the month wherein you should be earning more rewards, not extra sins? Thus, dear Hafiz, never shave off your beard or trim it to less than the extent of one fist.

PANTS BELOW THE ANKLES
Likewise it is also Makrooh Tahrimi to wear one’s pants below the ankles at all times, whether in salaah or outside it. The salaah that is performed by a person whose pants are below his ankles is makrooh. In numerous Ahadith Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has warned against wearing the pants below the ankles. It is reported from Abu Hurairah (R.A.) that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: "Whatever is below the ankles from the izaar (pants or any garment which covers the bottom half of the body), that (portion of the leg which is covered below the ankle) is in the fire" (Sahih Bukhari). In another narration it is reported that Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: "Beware of lowering your izaar below your ankles, for verily that is from pride. And Allah Ta’ala does not love pride" (Abu Dawood). Therefore, dear Hafiz, totally refrain from this as well at all times, especially while in salaah.

GIFTS
Upon the completion of the Qur’an in Taraweeh salaah many Huffaaz are presented with gifts. If a person makes it a condition that he will only perform Taraweeh if he is given some gift upon completion, such a condition will be impermissible. The thawaab of performing the salaah is totally lost. But what if no formal condition was made? In this regard the Fuqaha have stated the following principle: "al ma’roof kal mashroot," which simply means that something that is customary will be considered to be a condition. Hence since it is a common practice in many places that the Huffaaz are given money, etc., upon the completion of the Qur’an, such "gifts" will be regarded as remuneration for performing Taraweeh. Therefore it will not be permissible to accept such "gifts." All the thawaab (reward) for performing the salaah will be lost in this case as well if such a "gift" is accepted. The Hafiz should therefore respectfully decline such "gifts." Rather, he should make it known from the moment that he accepts to perform the Taraweeh that he will not accept any gifts upon completion. Thus the trustees will be aware of this in advance and any possible embarrassing situation will be averted. Do not ruin your thawaab for a few coppers. Remember that what is in store for you in the Aakhirah is more valuable than the entire world and what it contains.

CONCLUSION
Finally, dear Hafiz, always keep in mind the elevated status and position that Allah Ta’ala has granted you. Never forget that you are a member of Allah Ta’ala’s "family." Hence let the radiance of the Qur’an shine forth from every action and remain eligible for the great rewards that Allah Ta’ala has promised a true Hafiz. Furthermore, when you are appointed as the Imaam to lead the Taraweeh salaah, keep in mind all that has been mentioned above. Also carefully study the masaa’il of Taraweeh that are recorded hereunder.

May Allah Ta’ala keep you steadfast and grant you the best of both the worlds. May He enable you to remain steadfast upon the injunctions of the Qur’an. May He raise you on the day of Qiyama with Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and accept the intercession of the Qur’an in your favour.

Aameen.
Was Salaam



Dear Hafiz...part 2

RESPONSIBILITIES OF IMAAM

As the month of Ramadhaan approaches, the Huffaz (plural of Hafiz) will be selected to lead the people in Taraweeh salaah. Thus you will be appointed as the Imaam to enable the people to perform the special Ibadah of Taraweeh salaah. According to the Ahadith the Imaam enjoys a superior status. It is reported in a Hadith that the Imaam who performs salaah in such a manner that the congregation is pleased will have a mount of musk on the day of Qiyamat (Tirmizi vol.2, pg.84). Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) also made dua for the hidayat (guidance) of the Imaams (Tirmizi vol.1, pg.51). This is indeed an honour – but more than that it is a tremendous responsibility. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: "The Imaam is responsible (Haakim)."If the Imaam performs the salaah correctly, the salaah of the congregation will likewise be correct. If the Imaam is negligent, he will bear the burden of the deficiency that occurred in the salaah of the entire congregation due to his negligence. The Imaam should also be an Imaam in the Musjid while leading the salaah, as well as conduct himself as an Imaam when out of the Musjid. This applies even though you may just be an Imaam for the Taraweeh salaah only. Hence the Hafiz who will lead the Taraweeh salaah should at all times posses, among others, the following qualities of an Imaam:

1. He must be upright and pious
2. He must be able to recite the Qur’an correctly
3. He must know the basic masaa’il of Deen pertaining to taharah, salaah, etc.
4. He must be one who knows the Sunnah and adheres to it
5. He must not be one who openly commits sins
6. He must at all times be humble

KNOWLEDGE OF MASAA’IL
Among the qualities of the Imaam stated above is the essential quality that he should be well acquainted with the basic masaa’il of taharah, Salaah, etc. The ghusal and wudhu must be performed completely in the sunnah manner. Neglecting to perform the ghusal and wudhu in the sunnah manner will cause a deficiency in the quality of the salaah. Thus the Imaam has to be even more careful that the sunnah procedure is carefully observed while performing ghusal and wudhu.

TARAWEEH SALAAH
Eventually that day will come when the crescent of Ramadhaan will be sighted. On that night you will have to assume your position as the Imaam of the Taraweeh salaah and lead the congregation. It is extremely important to keep in mind that Taraweeh salaah is also SALAAH. While the pace of reciting the Qur’an may be a little faster in Taraweeh salaah, the same care must be taken in performing Taraweeh as is necessary in the daily Fardh (obligatory) salaah.

COMMUNICATING WITH ALLAH TA'ALA
Consider that even while performing Taraweeh salaah you are communicating with Allah Ta’ala. Ponder over the following hadith: Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said that when the musalli recites the first aayah of Surah Fatiha in salaah, Allah Ta’ala replies and says: "My servant has praised Me." When he recites the second aayah Allah Ta’ala says: "My servant has glorified Me." When he recites the third aayah Allah Ta’ala says: My servant has extolled My praises." When he recites the verse "You Alone do we worship and You Alone do we ask for assistance," Allah Ta’ala says: "This is between Me and My servant." Finally when he completes the rest of the Surah, Allah Ta’ala declares: "This is for My servant - and for My servant is what he has asked" (Mishkaat).

TAJWEED
Hence, when the salaah is a means of communication with Allah Ta’ala, it must be performed in a most dignified manner. The speed of the recitation must not be so fast that some of the words cannot be clearly heard. The recitation must be absolutely clear. The rules of Tajweed must be adhered to. Of utmost importance is the correct pronunciation of the letters. Often due to "high speed" recitation, the letters are not pronounced clearly. In many instances such incorrect pronunciation results in the meaning being completely changed. This is a major sin and one must therefore totally refrain from it. Remember! Taraweeh is salaah. It is an ibadah. Like in any other salaah, one is communicating with Allah Ta’ala in Taraweeh also. Thus be particular with the speed of recitation as well as all other aspects.

NO HASTE!
Extremely important is the proper performance of ruku, qaumah (the standing posture after ruku before going into sajda), sajda and jalsa (the sitting posture between the two sajdas). It is waajib to remain AT LEAST for the duration of one tasbeeh in ALL the above four postures. The duration of one tasbeeh in this context is the extent it takes to say subbahana rabbiyal azeem once. It is sunnatul muakkadah to recite the tasbeehs of ruku and sajda at least thrice. The Imaam must recite the tasbeehs at least three times each in such a manner that the muqtadies also manage to recite the tasbeehs thrice. It is makrooh to recite the tasbeehs so quickly that (in general) the muqtadies do not manage to recite the tasbeehs thrice (see Fatawaa Mahmoodia v. 2, p. 108). Keep in mind that you have not been appointed as the Imaam to break any speed records. You are not in some sort of marathon that you want to complete in record time. Do not perform the Taraweeh in such a manner as if you "just want to get over with it." You are carrying on your shoulders the responsibility of the salaah of the entire congregation. You can NEVER dare to be hasty or negligent. Always keep in mind the Hadith wherein it is stated that the salaah that is not performed properly rises up in an ugly and dark shape and curses the one who performed it. It is then flung back like a dirty rag on the face of the person (Tabrani).

CONSIDER MUQTADIES
While refraining from being hasty, one should also consider the ease of the muqtadies. Therefore a moderate pace should be adopted, not such a slow pace which tires the muqtadies. The rakaats should also be approximately of even length. To recite a very lengthy portion in the first rakaat and just a few aayats in the second rakaat tires most muqtadies.
SINS
The qualities of an Imaam have already been listed. Among them is the important aspect that the Imaam must not be one who commits sins openly. Among the common sins which are committed openly in our time is the watching of T.V. and the intermingling of the sexes. As for T.V., people all sit together engaging collectively in the zina of the eyes and ears. Besides this open sin rendering the Imaamat of such a person to be makrooh, with what purity of the heart can a Hafiz lead the Taraweeh salaah when the filth of the T.V. is in his heart and mind.
Similarly, to freely intermingle with ghair mahrams (those with whom marriage is not perpetually haraam) is not permissible even if such ghair mahrams are closely related to one (such as sisters-in-law, cousins, etc.). This also results in zina of the eyes, ears, etc. The Imaam should therefore be extra careful in this regard.

Dear Hafiz...part 1

by Madrasah Ta'leemuddin (Isipingo Beach)
,Durban , South Africa

Most Honoured Hafizul Qur’an

Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu

PRICELESS TREASURE

All praise be to Allah Ta’ala! Salutations be upon our most beloved Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). Indeed, how greatly Allah Ta’ala has blessed you. What a priceless treasure you have been granted. The entire world, together with all its wealth and riches, cannot match even one verse of the Qur’an you have in your heart, let alone the entire Qur’an. You have become a special person of Allah Ta’ala (a VIP in the true sense of the word) and a member of His "family." Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said: "Verily Allah Ta’ala has family members among the people." "Who are is Family?" asked the Sahaaba (Radhiallahu Anhum). Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: "The people of the Qur’an. They are the family of Allah and His special people!" (Targheeb). Thus you, dear Hafiz, have become a special person in the sight of Allah Ta’ala.

BEST

Furthermore, you are also among the BEST of people. This title comes to you from none other than our most beloved Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), as he declared in the following hadith: "The best among you is he who learns the Qur’an and teaches it" (Tirmizi).

INSIGNIFICANT WEALTH

Wallah! ... Wallah! The wealth in your bosom is more valuable than the sun, moon, the oceans and the entire universe. Those who own gold and diamond mines or oil wells have NOTHING, indeed nothing, compared to what you have in your heart. When all the gold and diamond mines and all the oil wells of the world cannot compare to what you have, it is obvious that the one little flashy car, or the tiny little "mansion", or the few million rands are totally insignificant when compared to the wealth of the Qur’an-al-Kareem that is in your heart. What a wealth! Subhanallah! What a gift! Allahu Akbar! All praise be to Allah Ta’ala in the Heavens and on the earth.

PARENT’S HONOUR

Yes, you undoubtedly have the greatest treasure in your bosom. The reality of this treasure will truly become apparent in the Hereafter when, on the day of judgement, the PARENTS of the Hafiz will be made to wear such crowns that will outshine the sun while the Hafiz himself will be permitted to intercede on behalf of ten sinful Believers who were destined for Jahannum. Both these astounding virtues are mentioned in the following Ahadith:

"He who learns the Qur’an and practices upon it, his parents will be made to wear a crown on the day of Qiyamah, the brilliance of which will excel that of the sun if the same were within your worldly houses. Hence, what do you think about the person who himself acts upon it?" (Abu Dawood).
Whoever reads the Qur’an and memorises it, while he regards what it makes lawful as lawful and its unlawful as forbidden (i.e. he practices according to it), Allah Ta’ala will admit him into Jannah and will accept his intercession on behalf of ten such persons of his family who were doomed to the fire of Jahannum (Tirmizi).
While the great virtues are evident from these Ahadith, nevertheless both virtues are subject to a precondition which is absolutely clear – the condition of practicing according to the Qur’an-al-Kareem. Thus, these rewards are not for merely memorising the Qur’an. Rather, they are promised to the one who memorises the Qur’an and also acts according to the injunctions therein.

SELECTED

Remember, the memorising of the Qur’an is only possible with the help and assistance of Allah Ta’ala. Allah Ta’ala selects who He wishes for the protection of His Pure Word (the Qur’an-al-Kareem). Many cherished the desire to become a Hafiz, but they passed on to their graves with that desire not fulfilled. Allah Ta’ala has specially selected YOU to receive this special favour and this great status. Hence it must be appreciated and its rights must be fulfilled.

KNOWLEDGE OF PROPHETHOOD

Considering the superior status of a Hafiz, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has given special instructions to him to adopt a superior conduct. Hazrath Abdullah bin Amr (Radhillahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: Whoever reads the Qur’an secures the knowledge of Prophethood between his ribs (in his bosom), though divine revelation is not sent upon him. It does not befit the one endowed with the Qur’an that he be indignant (upset) with those that are in anger, nor should he indulge in any act of ignorance with those who are ignorant, while the Qur’an is there in his bosom" (Haakim).

TRUE HAFIZ

Therefore when the Hafiz has gathered the knowledge of Prophethood in his bosom, his conduct should be the conduct of the Ambiya (Alaihimus Salaam). The true Hafiz will therefore shun all evil habits, he will never attend places of evil and sin and the company he keeps will be of those who are pious. His character with his parents, Ustaads, family members, the elders, the young and with every person will be such that the life of a true Muslim and of a bearer of the Qur’an will shine forth. He will be clothed with piety and will be adorned with humility. His conduct will automatically reflect that he is a different person, not just another fellow who cannot be distinguished from others on the street. The Hafiz will thus respect himself – not just his physical self – but the Qur’an-al-Kareem that is in his heart. As a result he will be bestowed with great honour in this world as well as in the Hereafter.




HOW TO SPEND RAMADHAAN

...

The month of Ramadhaan is the season of Divine Blessings. It is the month of purification and meant for annual renovation of the inner spiritual qualities. It is a golden opportunity for every Muslim to strengthen his Imaan, purify his heart and soul and remove the evil effects of the sins committed. This month invites a Muslim to minimise his mundane involvements and maximise the acts of worship. One should plan his schedule for this month beforehand, so as to spare maximum time for 'ibaadah.

Below is a brief list of the acts which should be carried out in Ramadhaan with due care:

1. To offer every prayer with congregation in the Musjid.
2. To rise up a little earlier than the exact time of suhoor and to offer the Salaah of Tahajjud. There is no prescribed number of the Tahajjud prayer, yet, it is better to pray 8 rak'ats.
3. To offer the nafl (optional) prayers of Ishraaq (two rak'ats after sunrise), Dhuhaa (Four rak'ats which may be performed at anytime after Ishraaq before noon) and Awwaabeen (six rak'ats after Maghrib).
4. The recitation of the glorious Qur'aan. No specific limit is prescribed, but one should recite as much of it as he can.
5. To remember Allah frequently through different prophetic recitations, such as the following: Subhaana Allaah wa bihamdihi subhaana Allaahu al-Adheem, Laa hawla walaa quwwata illaa bi-llaahi al-aliyy al-adheem, subhaana Allaahu wa alhamdulillaah wa laa ilaaha illa Allaahu wa Allaahu Akbar, Astaghfiru-llaah lladhee laa ilaaha illaa huwa al-hayy al-qayyoom wa atoobu ilayhi, Allaahumma salli alaa muhammadin al-nabiyy al-ummiy wa-alaa aalihi wa-sallim tasleeman.

Apart from reciting these phrases, one hundred times each, at a particular time, they may also be continued frequently throughout the day, even if one is engaged in some light work, when walking and when in bed.

6. Prayers and supplications (du'aa): No particular prayer is prescribed. One can pray for everything he needs both in this world and in the Hereafter. However, the supplications of the noble Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam are so comprehensive that they encompass all that a Muslim can need in his life and after his death. It is therefore, much advisable to pray to Allah Almighty in words used by our noble Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam.

There are several books wherein these prophetic supplications have been compiled. Below are the names of two books which should be kept by every Muslim in his home and be used for praying daily: Al-Hisnul Haseen by Allaamah Al-Jazri and Munaajaat-e-Maqbool by Maulana Ashraf Ali Thaanvi

7. Giving Sadaqah (charity): Apart from paying Zakaat, which is obligatory, one should also spend optionally in Ramadhaan to the best of his ability. It is reported in authentic Ahaadeeth that the noble Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam used to pay special attention in Ramadhaan to look after the poor and help them financially. Therefore, a Muslim should give as much money in Sadaqah as he can afford.

WHAT SHOULD BE AVOIDED IN RAMADHAAN

All sinful acts should be avoided completely during the month of Ramadhaan. Although the sinful acts are totally prohibited in the Sharee'ah, whether in Ramadhaan or at any other time, but their prohibition becomes more severe in this month. It is evident that every Muslim avoids certain lawful acts, like eating and drinking during the fasts. If he continues to commit sins, it will be a mockery to avoid lawful things and yet be engaged in unlawful acts that were never allowed in the Sharee'ah. Thus, the abstinence from sins becomes all the more necessary in this month.

The following acts in particular, should be avoided totally:

1. Telling a lie.
2. Backbiting.
3. Quarrelling.

The noble Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam has particularly forbidden from quarrelling during the fast. He has directed us that, if someone wants to quarrel in Ramadhaan, we should tell him that we are fasting, hence we are not prepared to indulge in any quarrel.

4. Eating unlawful things.

5. Earning through unlawful means.

6. Any act which may harm a person.

7. Burdening one's servants or employees with a toilsome job that is beyond their ability, without providing them facilities to carry it out.

In short, one should try his best to refrain from all kinds of sins and protect his eyes, ears, tongue, and all other organs from indulging in any unlawful activity.

Once a Muslim spends the month of Ramadhaan in this way, he will insha'allah, find himself equipped with spiritual strength which will facilitate for him to conduct a good Islamic life in accordance with the Pleasure of Allah throughout the year.

Justice Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani

OBJECT OF RAMADHAAN

On a sweltering hot day your throat has become parched. You are in the privacy of your home and the refreshingly cool water is within reach. You desire to drink it, but you do not. Why? Simply because you are fasting and while fasting you cannot eat and drink. If somebody prompts you to nevertheless drink it and says: "Nobody is watching," you will immediately rebuke him with the words: "But Allah is watching!"

ALLAH TA’ALA IS WATCHING!
Subhanallah! Allah Ta’ala is watching. Allahu Akbar! Allah Ta’ala is All Hearing, All Knowing, He is Omnipresent. He sees and knows when we cheat while fasting, thus we resist all temptations of food, drink and lawful conjugal relations from dawn to dusk. We have learnt the lesson of Taqwa. We have learnt that lesson which fasting was meant to teach us. Allah Ta’ala is watching! Yes, Allah Ta’ala is Watching! Every time there is an urge to eat or drink while fasting, the voice from within cries out: "Allah Ta’ala is watching!" Dozens of times daily for an entire month this reality is reaffirmed. Allah Ta’ala is watching. So deeply is it embedded in the heart that by the time Ramadhaan is over, a person becomes conscious of Allah Ta’ala to such an extent that he is now guided by an inner force that propels him in the direction of righteousness and turns him away from sin.

TAQWA
The fasts of Ramadhaan were prescribed for the purpose and object of attaining Taqwa. This is clearly declared in the Qur’an-al-Kareem. Taqwa simply is to obey the commands of Allah Ta’ala and refrain from all sin. The increased rewards for lbaadah (worship) in Ramadhaan and all the blessings of this great month should be considered as the bonus. The object is Taqwa. If one performs an abundance of Salaah, completes the recitation of the Qur’an thirty times and engages in many other acts of lbaadah, but fails to give up sins - one has failed to achieve the object and purpose of Ramadhaan. One has failed to firmly embed the reality of Taqwa in the heart, the Taqwa that cries out "Allah is watching" whenever one contemplates committing any transgression.

TEMPTATION
The dictates of Taqwa are not restricted to abstaining from drinking, gambling, adultery, transacting in interest and other such vices. Indeed Taqwa demands that while abstaining from all the above vices one also observes Taqwa in one’s business. When the temptation to cheat the customer beckons, or when one is tempted to buy stolen goods, or to indulge in fraud, at that time also the heart should cry out "Allah is watching" and it should restrain one from the sin.

RIGHTS
Similarly, Taqwa demands the fulfillment of the rights of the husband/wife. It also demands the joining of family ties. It demands respect for the elders and kindness to the young. Taqwa entails, among other aspects, being honest and clear in all monetary dealings and social interactions. Hence when there is a wedding or funeral, or at the time of distributing the inheritance of the deceased, the same level of Allah consciousness must be displayed as was apparent when refraining from drinking the cold water while fasting.

PURDAH
Likewise, when the laws of purdah are violated, does the heart cry out "Allah is watching"? Or when one intends to watch something on TV, which will most definitely involve one in zina of the eyes and ears, does one hear the voice from within: "Allah is watching," as a result of which one refrains from that sin? The same pertains to the Shari’ aspects of appearance and clothing. How often have we done things to appease and please even the enemies of Allah Ta’ala and Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)? How often have we abandoned the dictates of Taqwa in order to earn a few coppers? Now is the time to sincerely repent. It is the time to say "Allah is watching" and to do everything to please Him. It is a time to acquire Taqwa.

ABSTAIN FROM SIN
This then is the object of Ramadhaan. This will only be achieved if we conduct ourselves in this great month with Taqwa. Or else the object of Ramadhaan will be defeated. Hence Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said: "He who does not forsake lying and other futile actions, Allah Ta’ala has no need for him to give up his food and drink." Thus together with fasting, performing Salaah, reading the Qur’an, serving the cause of Deen, etc., one must totally abstain from every sin in the month of Ramadhaan and adorn oneself with Taqwa. Insha-Allah this will then carry one along for the rest of the eleven months to abstain from all sins.

May Allah Ta’ala enable us to make this Ramadhaan a month where we will truly attain Taqwa. Aameen.
Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The Logic of God's Existence


Allah mentions to us in the Holy Quran:
"And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and Allah is over all things competent. Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding-Who remember Allah while standing or sitting or [lying] on their sides and give thought to the creation of the heavens and the earth, [saying], "Our Lord, You did not create this aimlessly; exalted are You [above such a thing]; then protect us from the punishment of the Fire."
(Surah 3: Ayahs 189-191)

Now here in these verses, Allah draws our attention to the creation of the heavens and earth, the alternation of the night and the day, the creation of the universe. HE calls our attention to their creation and their precision, and mentions those who contemplate the wonders of creation and realize that this was not created for any foolish purpose, [that Allah is exalted above doing such a thing] and they seek refuge with Allah from the punishment of Hell. Truly, when you see the design of all that Allah created, you realize it is very powerful and very precise. Something very powerful and very precise; something beyond your own calculation and imagination, cannot be foolish. It cannot be just "thrown together".

There are many examples of things that happen by chance. Let me offer one situation. If you took ten colored marbles, then numbered them on to ten and you put them inside a bag. Next, you shook that bag to mix them up. Then, closing your eyes and reaching into the bag, you tried to pull out the marbles in order-1 to 10. What is the chance of pulling out the marbles in order? Do you know what the chances are? It is twenty six million to one (26,000,000 to 1). And this is something within our ability to do. So now I ask you, what is the chance that the heavens and the earth just came together as they are [with the exact precision and orchestration in their existence]?

My dear respected brothers and sisters, we have to ask ourselves a further question. When you see a bridge, a building or an automobile, you automatically consider the person or company that constructed it. When you see a large ship, an airplane, a rocket, a satellite; you also think about how incredible it is. [You know by its design who the maker is.] When you see a super international airport, nuclear plant or an orbiting space station you have to be thoroughly impressed with the engineering dynamics that are involved. Yet, these are just things that are manufactured by human beings. So what about the human body with its massive and intricate control systems? Think about it.

Think about the brain: how it thinks, functions, analyzes, retrieves and stores information, as well as distinguishes and categorizes information in a millionth of a second, all of this constantly. Think about the brain for a moment. (And don't forget the fact that you are using your brain to consi! der itself!) This is the brain that made the automobile, the rocket ships, the boats, and so on. Think about the brain and who made that! Think about the heart. Think about how it pumps continuously for sixty or seventy years [taking in and discharging blood throughout the body] maintaining steady precision throughout the life of the person. Think about the kidneys and the liver and the various functions they perform. The purifying instruments of the body that perform hundreds of chemical analyses simultaneously and also controls the level of toxicity in the content of the body. All of these are done automatically. Think about your eyes, the human cameras, that adjust, focus, interpret, evaluate, discern color automatically, naturally receiving and adjusting to light and distance. Think about it-Who created them? Who has mastered their design and function? Who plans and regulates their function? Human beings do this? No, of course not. What about this universe? Think about this!

. This earth is one planet in our solar system, and our solar system is one [of possible many] solar systems. Our galaxy, The Milky Way, is one of the galaxies. There are ONE HUNDRED MILLION GALAXIES in the universe. They are all in order and they are all precise. They are not colliding with each other. They are not conflicting with on another. They are swimming along in an orbit that has been set for them. Did human beings set that into motion and are human beings maintaining that precision? No, of course not. Think about the oceans, the fish, the insects, the birds, the plants, bacteria, and chemical elements that have not yet been discovered and cannot be detected even with the most sophisticated instruments. Yet each of them has a law that they follow.
Did all of this synchronization, balance, harmony, variation, design, maintenance, operation and infinite numeration happen all by chance? Do these things function perfectly and perpetually also by chance? No, of course not. That would be totally illogical and foolish.

In the least, it indicates that however it came to exist-it exists beyond the realm of human capability. We will all agree to that. The Being, The Almighty Power, God, The Creator who has the knowledge to design and proportion crated all of this and is responsible for maintaining it.
HE is the Only One that deserves our praise and gratitude.


Source: Extracts from a lecture by Khalid Yasin

"Invite all to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching;
And consult with them in ways that are best and most gracious."
(Al Qur'an, 16:125)

Feelings of Hope and Fear

Anas bin Malik reported that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, once visited a man who was sick. Messenger of Allah said to him, "How do you feel, my brother?" He replied, "O Messenger of Allah! My state is that I am hopeful of Divine Mercy, but, at the same time, there is fear of punishment for the sins I have committed." Messenger of Allah remarked, "Be sure, in whose heart the feelings of hope and fear are present together, Allah will surely bless him with Paradise." [Tirmidhi]

A Muslim is asked to call upon Allah with fear and hope. This means that humans should fear Allah alone, and to Him alone should we look for the fulfillment of our wishes. While calling upon Allah, we should realize that we are totally dependent on His favour and can attain success only if He helps and guides us to it. Similarly, we should also bear in mind that we cannot succeed without Allah's support.

If a person is always hopeful of Divine Mercy, and has no fear of Allah, he is likely to slip and commit mistakes. He will be careless and negligent. On the other hand, if he is simply afraid of punishment for the sins he committed he will be disappointed of Allah's Mercy. He will not perform any good or virtuous acts, thinking that he has already been doomed and cursed. Thus we see that the only proper combination in our hearts is the balance of fear and hope.

Source:
"A Study of Hadith" - By Khalid Mahmood Shaikh, pp. 140, 141

Israel Kills Palestinian Girl in Classroom

Doctors tried in vain to save fatally wounded Ghadeer

GAZA CITY , October 13 (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) – A 10-year-old Palestinian schoolgirl died Wednesday, October 13, of her wounds after Israeli occupation troops shot her in the chest while sitting inside a United Nations school in a Gaza refugee camp.

Fifth-grade Ghadir Mukheimar breathed her last at Naser hospital in the Gaza Strip city of Khan Yunis after undergoing an emergency surgery to save her life Tuesday, October 12.

“She was inside the classroom, sitting at her desk,” Paul McCann, a spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

“We have repeatedly called on the Israeli army to control the fire of their soldiers in the vicinity of schools.”

Mohammad Mukheimar, Ghadir’s uncle, told Al-Jazeera satellite channel that they still wait for a permission from Israeli occupation authorities to lay the child to rest.

UNRWA said it was the fourth shooting of a student at one of its schools in Gaza in the past two years.

The incident is a grim reminder of 13-year-old Iman Al-Hams, who was riddled with 20 bullets by three Israeli soldiers while on her way school in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah .

Iman was left lying in a pool of blood because ambulances had been denied access.

Officer Suspended



A file photo of Iman Al-Hams

Meanwhile, the Israeli occupation army said early Wednesday it had suspended an officer under investigation for firing multiple shots at the dead body of Hams.

“I found it necessary to suspend the platoon commander for now,” Israeli Col. Eyal Eisenberg told Israel Army Radio. “The accusations are grave. We will get to the bottom of the truth.”

Witness soldiers said the officer fired two bullets from close range to confirm that she was dead and then went back a second time and sprayed her with automatic-weapon fire.

They, speaking on condition not to be named, told the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahranot that they shouted to the commander over the two-way radio: “Don't shoot, she's a little girl.”

"We saw her from a distance of 70 meters. She was fired at ... from the outpost. She fled and was wounded. I understood that she was dead. The platoon commander neared her, shot two bullets at her, returned toward the force, turned back to her, put the weapon on automatic and emptied his entire clip," one soldier said.

They further revealed that the officer tried to intimidate them and buy their silence.

Moral Bankruptcy

Yossi Sarid, Member of Knesset for Meretz party, was quoted by the respected London-based Al-Hayat newspaper as saying that the Israeli army was “morally bankrupt”.

“The talk about army values and gallantry is a charade now,” he said.

The occupation army acknowledged the girl’s satchel did not contain any explosives.

Last month, four senior officers of an elite Israeli air force unit hit out at the military's “immoral” policies in the occupied territories in a letter published by Israeli newspapers.

An Israeli reservist said last March that a growing number of reservists are skeptic about the “moral principles” of the army.

Erlik Alhanan said 80 percent of reservists have lost confidence in the declared moral principles of the Israeli army due to the practices in Lebanon and the crackdown on the Palestinians.
Sunday, October 10, 2004

Why I choose to be ‘Undercover’...

p.s a long article but please do take the time off to read it as it contains may jewels of wisdom from 'the horses mouth' as we would say.Our message to the world - In the words of Dawud Wharnsby Ali :

--> They say, "Oh, poor girl, you're so beautiful you know
It's a shame that you cover up your beauty so."
She just smiles and graciously responds reassuringly,
"This beauty that I have is just one simple part of me.
This body that I have, no stranger has the right to see.
These long clothes, this shawl I wear, ensure my modesty.
Faith is more essential than fashion, wouldn't you agree?

This hijab,
This mark of piety,
Is an act of faith, a symbol,
For all the world to see.
A simple cloth, to protect her dignity.
So lift the veil from your heart to see the heart of purity.

They tell her, "Girl, don't you know this is the West and you are free?
You don't need to be opressed, ashamed of your femininity."
She just shakes her head and she speaks so assuredly,

"See the bill-boards and the magazines that line the check-out isles, with their phony painted faces and their air-brushed smiles?
Well their sheer clothes and low cut gowns are really not for me.
You call it freedom, I call it anarchy."

This hijab,
This mark of piety,
Is an act of faith, a symbol,
For all the world to see.
A simple cloth, to protect her dignity.
So lift the veil from your heart to see the heart of purity.
Lift the veil from your heart and seek the heart of purity. <--

To all those considering going into Hijab or Niqab , Alhumdulillah your thoughts are facing in the right direction.Take the first step and Allah will assist you.We don't know when our time in this world will be up.

To all those Muslimahs who wear the Hijaab and Niqab even though people may look down on you or taunt you , we salute you!Lets keep the flag of Islam flying high!

Why I choose to be ‘Undercover’...
www.hidayaonline.com
By Binte Abdul Khaliq

“Excuse me,I’m just curious , why do you wear that?” I stopped in mid-turn and faced the lady at the cellphone counter at Woolworths. ‘THAT’ of course referring to my Niqab. For a second I was caught off-guard.I have been asked this question many times before by non-muslims. “Its for protection..” I mananged to stumble out.Inwardly I gave myself a little shake-you can do better than that! That must have sounded so lame! So I used the example of a jewel and pointed out that something so valuable wouldn’t be just left out for all to see,you would cover it up to protect it.She nodded her head as if she understood and I knew what was coming next.. “ Do you have to wear it because you are married?” I told her no,I’m not married and both her eyebrows shot up. “So how are you going to get married??” If I had to compile a FAQ,this would be one of them.I explained it to her. “But you might be hiding a lot of beauty under there?”she quipped.
“But that’s the point!” I told her. “I don’t want to be judged by my LOOKS,I want to be judged by WHO I AM.” When I left her she seemed to understand.At least I hope she did.

This incident once again reminded me how misunderstood Islam is,especially about why we Muslim females have to cover up.It is seen as a stigma of oppression.Forced on us by our oppressive husbands who wish to impede us from being liberated…

What IS the ‘liberation’ of woman all about? We hear it all the time: Woman need to be ‘free’. They need to release themselves from the cruelty of ‘oppression’. But what is the yardstick for deciding whether a female is oppressed or not? You cannot judge something if there is no standard to judge by.In today’s western societies, this yardstick very much seems to be the length of a woman’s skirt…The sister who is covered under the Burqa in Afghanistan in ‘oppressed’,but the one who poses naked for millions to see is tasting the fruits of ‘liberation’? It makes me sick! If that is freedom,then it comes at a cost,and that cost is her Haya! Her Modesty.

Narrated Abu Huraira (R.A)
The Prophet said, "Faith (Belief) consists of more than sixty branches.And Haya is a part of faith."


Hazrat Abu Hurairah narrates that the Holy Prophet (SWAS) said, “Modesty is part of Imaan and Imaan is in paradise and obscenity is part of hard-heartiness is in hell."(Ahmad, Tirmizi )

"Verily! Allah is Hayaa (modest, bashful) & Sitteer (i.e. the One Who Shields - from disobedient acts). He loves Hayaa (i.e. He loves for one to practice modesty and bashfulness) and Siter (shielding; covering)." [Collected by Abu Dawud; An-Nissa’ee; Al-Baihaqee; Ahmad; & in Saheeh An-Nissa’ee]

Hazrat Ibn Mas'ood reports that the Holy Prophet said, "Verily, amongst the words people have obtained from the sayings of the past prophets is that when you are immodest (unashamed) then do whatever you desire."(Ibn Majah)

Women are sacred in Islam. The amount of respect that Islam accords to us females, would turn a woman of any other faith green with envy,if she only understood what respect meant.That leads us to the question: What is respect? To receive respect we have to respect ourselves.We have to value this body of ours that ALLAH has blessed us with.We have to realize that we aren’t cheap playthings for any male to gaze at .We are worth much more than that.

I feel inferior when I am judged by my looks, the type of clothing that I wear, the amount of skin that I am showing off. Infact, I feel down right oppressed when judged by those standards! The woman who feels that to feel respected,she needs to live up to the disgusting standards of the west-is actually a slave.She has no freedom.She is trapped in this cruel prison of insecurities,of demoralization ,of unsatisfaction.She loses her self respect by constantly putting herself down and comparing herself to others.And yet she tries , desperate to be noticed-to feel RESPECTED.

Let us use the illustration of a beautiful bird, which boasts exquisite feathers but it’s internal organs are not in order ,it would die.On the other hand, if it’s inner body was perfect but externally it had no feathers or wings it would not survive either. Similarly, total spiritual perfection cannot be complete by just the inner or the outer purification alone.It goes hand in hand.It often happens that people think that their outer dress does not matter as long as ‘their heart is clean’.On the other extreme,it means nothing if a sister is dressed in full hijaab and niqaab if she is not protecting herself from impure thoughts and her inner self is corrupted.Again,it works hand in hand.

I know that it is not easy,living in western societies.We are bombarded by immorality at every turn.Open any magazine or newspaper-You will have to see it. Driving home and if your gaze happens to fall on the billboards surrounding you-you will have see to it.Innocently checking your e- mail,you will have to see it.Immorality stares us in the face. Subconciously we are being programmed. We are being told the way to dress.We are being told what makes a successful,liberated woman: looks,make-up,perfect figures and skimpy clothing. And the markets are BOOMING…we are falling into their traps,and some businessmen are out there rubbing their hands in glee!

Who are our role models? Hollywood and Bollywood stars? Supermodels? Kuffar who are paid millions to commit zina for all to see and enjoy.For that’s what it boils down to.If their looks were taken away,if they weren’t prepared to act so shamelessly ,if their natural,God given modesty came between them and their careers-They would be sacked faster than you can say they “Lights..camera..action!” and the next money hungry,beautiful woman would not hesitate to grab the opportunity at any cost and would do anything to please.It’s sad.

If I choose to cover myself,that does not make me weak.It strengthens my identity as a Muslim Woman and reminds me to be modest at all times.It protects me from many sins that otherwise I might have been tempted by shaaitaan to fall into. For example, I would not be seen dead near a Cinema or a nightclub or some other fitna-filled place while I am dressed in full Islamic attire. I don’t have to be suffering everyday by painfully spending hours of preening before I feel I am of a socially acceptable appearance. I don’t have to subject myself to undue stress since I have much more chance of escaping the swinging pendulum of the fashion industry and the desires of the male population. Islam has given me rights and it has given me rules.If I abide by them, I am promised a content,happy life in this temporary world and I am promised the unimaginable,uncomparable pleasure of the everlasting Akhirah.I am happy to be seen as a Muslim Woman who chooses to veil herself by choice. I am not oppressed and I am not uneducated but I am respected.I have been given freedom by my creator ALLAH TA’ALA who knows what is best for me and what will harm me,after all-HE created me.

Gossip, Nobody's Friend !

Gossip, Nobody's Friend !
by Unknown

My name is gossip.

I have no respect for justice.

I maim without killing.

I break hearts and ruin lives.

I am cunning and malicious and gather strength with age.

The more I am quoted the more I am believed.

I flourish at every level of society.

My victims are helpless.

They cannot protect themselves against me because I have no name

and no face.

To track me down is impossible for you.

The harder you try, the more elusive I become.

I am nobody's friend.

Once I tarnish a reputation, it is never the same.

I topple governments and wreck marriages.

I ruin careers and cause sleepless nights, heartache and

indigestion.

I spawn suspicion and generate grief.

I make innocent people cry in their pillows.

Even my name hisses. I am called Gossip.

Office gossip. Shop gossip. Party gossip. Telephone gossip. School gossip.

I make headlines and headaches.

SO Before you repeat a story ask yourself, is it true?

Is it fair? Is it necessary? If not--- KEEP IT TO YOURSELF!

If you spend as much time praying as you do talking about others
behind their backs,

you would be further ahead Spiritually.

Allah answers us in Salaah


Abu Hurayra [Radhiallaahu anhu] narrates from Rasulullah [Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam] that Allah Ta'ala states,

'I have distributed the Salaat equally between myself and my servant and for my servant is what he asks.

When the servant says, 'Alhamdulillaahirabbil aalamee', Allah Ta'ala says, 'My servant has praised me.'

And when he says, 'ar-rahmaanir raheem', Allah Ta' ala says, 'My servant has commended me.'

When he says, 'Maalik yawmid-deen',
Allah says, 'My servant has glorified me.'

And sometimes, Allah says 'My
servant has entrusted me with all his affairs.'

When he says, 'Iyyaaka na'abudu, wa iyyaaka nasta'een', Allah says, 'This is between me and my servant.'

When he says, 'Ihdinas-siraatal mustaqeem.Siraatal ladheena an'amta alayhim. Ghayril maghdhoob alayhim walad-dhaalleen ', Allah says, 'This is for my servant and for my servant is what he seeks.'
(Muslim vol.3 pg.324-325)

and Allah Ta'ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Saturday, October 09, 2004

Quran: Witness the Miracle

Quran: Witness the Miracle
By Khalid Baig

Night after night in Ramadan, the believers witness a unique spectacle at mosques around the world. They stand in special Taraveeh prayers in which the prayer leader will recite the entire Quran from memory. Those who have accomplished this extraordinary feat of memorizing all of the 6246 verses are not a handful of devotees but there are hundreds of thousands of them. Most, just like most Muslims in the world today, do not speak Arabic. Yet they have painstakingly learnt to pronounce each and every word of the Quran correctly. The phenomenon is not a result of some religious resurgence that would pass. From the very first day that the Quran was revealed, it was memorized. And the number of those who have memorized it has been increasing ever since. Memorization of Quran has been going on all through the centuries, all over the globe wherever Muslims are.

There are other religions that claim to possess the Word of God. There are none that can show a book that has commanded anything remotely comparable to this level of devotion. Quran is the most read and the only completely memorized book in the whole world. It is also the most studied book in the world. It has stimulated development of entire disciplines of knowledge dealing with its reading, writing, and interpretation.

Miraculous as it is, this is not the only unique aspect of the Quran.

Quran was the first book in the Arabic language. Yet fourteen centuries later, its language is as alive as it was when it was revealed. And there is no other example when the very first book in a language became any masterpiece let alone the eternal masterpiece that Quran is.

This Book is meant to command and guide humanity until the end of time. That the passage of fourteen centuries has not made the slightest dent in its language or literary beauty is only one evidence of that unique role; its contents have also been unassailable by the passage of time. It makes statements of scientific facts that science would discover centuries later but none that science could ever refute. It tells about ancient history, like the civilization of the 'Aad people in the Empty Quarter of the Arabian desert that no other historical sources, then or since, contain any information about. Yet, its veracity has only recently been verified by scientific discoveries. Above all, it provides a system of beliefs and a code of conduct for life which is as relevant, illuminating, and true today as it was fourteen centuries earlier and during all the centuries in between.

The believers know that this Book had to be above space and time because this is the Word of the Creator of space and time. And He has promised that it will always be above space and time. But those who are looking from the outside and are just curious may consider these additional facts:

· Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, did not go to any school, study from any teacher, or even learn how to read and write. He even had no interest in poetry, which was one of the most prized disciplines of his time. Yet suddenly at age forty, he began to recite this marvelous revelation.

· The style of Quran is very distinct from the words of the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, himself, which also have been preserved in Hadith collections. His own sayings are embodiments of eloquence, but they have a different style. Moreover, they clearly are the words of a human being. Although never deviating from the truth, they do show human emotions and the effects of the circumstances in which they were said. Quran, on the other hand, never shows the slightest trace of these effects. It always speaks from above.

· It was revealed over a twenty-three year period and covers a very wide range of subjects yet it shows neither a gradual development of style nor any self- contradictions in the voluminous text.

· The twenty-three years of Prophetic life was not a period spent in isolation. He did not retire to a cave to produce this miraculous work. The Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, did spend long periods of time in quiet meditation in Cave Hira before becoming a Prophet. But after Prophethood was conferred upon him, his life was one of constant struggle with the pagans, and later the Jews, of Arabia who spared no effort to stop and persecute him. It was during this period of persecution, wars, campaigns, and solving problems associated with the bringing about of greatest civilizational revolution of all times --- an extremely busy and challenging period --- that Quranic Revelation was also received and compiled.

· The Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, himself was most deeply moved by the Book. He used to stand for hours in solitary midnight prayers reciting from the Book until his feet used to get swollen. How preposterous that one should attempt to attribute the Book to him. Has there ever been another example of somebody getting so moved by his own words?

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of all the evidence that proves Quran to be the Word of God. Scholars have written books expounding the miracle of miracles that Quran is. But even this small sampler may propel an inquiring mind to go and read the Book himself.

To read this Book with an open mind is to believe in it. Those who sincerely seek guidance will find their questions answered, their confusions removed, their problems solved in its pages. From the beginning until the end, every word in the Quran tells the reader that it is the Word of Allah. And those who ignore it do so at their own peril.

"And if you are in doubt as to what We have revealed to Our servant, then produce a Sura like thereunto; and call your witnesses or helpers (if there are any) besides Allah, if your (doubts) are true. But if you cannot - and of a surety you cannot - then fear the Fire whose fuel is men and stones which is prepared for those who reject Faith." [Al-Baqarah 2:23-24]

Thought 4 the Day

Today is Now - And yesterday's gone, The future is uncertain - And still we long to change the past - make each moment count, love and care for each other, that's what life is all about.
Don't live in regrets - Make the most of today its all up to you, to find your own way, find peace in yourself - Help others in need, bring joy to the world - And remember Allah is with you......ALWAYS!!!!!

Onscreen, In Life: The Psychological Effects of Viewing Sexual Violence

By Zeba Khan

In the United States, a woman is raped every two minutes. In Gujarat from Feb 28th to March 3rd, thousands of women were raped, some as young as 13, and were then tortured or burnt to death. In Bosnia, Serbian soldiers set up rape camps to serve the dual purpose of torturing Muslim women and satisfying their animal instincts at their own convenience. And yet, despite its pervasiveness, rape is not an acceptable part of life. It is shocking, appalling, infuriating. We, as Muslims, should be especially appalled by rape because religiously, the integrity and honor of women is of inestimable importance. Their abuse is simply not acceptable.

And yet, as Muslims, we find the following acceptable: on screen, the heroine cries, tears streaming down her face, her hands trembling and her words flowing quickly and franticly as she pleads with her would-be rapists and murderers to spare her. They laugh cruelly, strike her face and begin one of thousands of movie rape scenes that are welcomed into the homes and minds of movie and TV viewers every day. Why? Why do we Muslims condemn rape in all its forms, but take pleasure in watching it portrayed on screen? How can we justify this contradiction?

“IT’S JUST ACTING!”

“It’s just acting,” some people say, “It’s not like the actress is being raped for real…” The use of force may be fake, but the nudity (forbidden to Muslim eyes) is authentic, and the effect of watching is undeniably real as well.

Watching scenes of sexual violence affects men the most. Male viewers tend to be more aggressive toward women, less responsive to pain and suffering of rape victims, and more willing to accept various myths about rape. This is a direct effect of seeing rape in the glamorous way it is portrayed on screen, attractively packaged and streamlined to be pleasurable to the viewer, and it’s our children that are those most affected by what they see onscreen. “…Their perceptions and attitudes and values about violence change."

Studies involving onscreen sex and violence from main-stream movies and television have shown that children, easily taught by the ‘examples’ shown onscreen, begin engaging in sexual activities at earlier and earlier ages. In the United States, where the average child watches several movies a week and 6-7 hours of television a day, instances of 12-year old girls giving birth to the children of 13 and 14 year old fathers is far from unheard of.

In countries all over the world, wherever there is a high incidence of sexual violence in the media, there is a high incidence of sexual violence in the community. This is because watching scenes of sexual violence, however brief, has a long list of psychological side-effects on the viewer.

“A study by Belson (1978) has substantiated other long-term effects and has helped pin down which types of programs have the most influence. Belson interviewed 1565 youths who were a representative sample of thirteen to seventeen-year-old boys living in London. These boys were interviewed on several occasions concerning the extent of their exposure to a selection of violent television programs broadcast during the period 1959-71. The level and type of violence in these programs were rated by members of the BBC viewing panel. It was thus possible to obtain, for each boy, a measure of both the magnitude and type of exposure to televised violence (e.g. realistic, fictional, etc.). Furthermore, each boy's level of violent behavior was determined by his own report of how often he had been involved in any of 53 categories of violence over the previous six months. The degree of seriousness of the acts reported by the boys ranged from only slightly violent aggravation such as taunting, to more serious and very violent behavior such as: 'I tried to force a girl to have sexual intercourse with me; I bashed a boy's head against a wall; I threatened to kill my father; I burned a boy on the chest with a cigarette while my mates held him down'…When Belson compared the behavior of boys who had higher exposure to televised violence to those who had lower exposure (and had been matched on a wide variety of possible contributing factors), he found that the high- violence viewers were more involved in serious violent behavior..”

MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DO

Like a free sample given by manufacturers to lure customers into purchasing their products, scenes of sexual violence leave the viewer wanting more. Studies have shown that there is an inevitable progression of the desire for more and more sexually explicit material, which also leads the viewer down the path of sadomasochism and other deviant sexual acts.

Sexual violence on screen and in print is directly connected to actual incidents of sexual violence. Research has found that such exposure can lead to increased use of coercion or rape, increased fantasies about rape, and desensitization to sexual violence and trivialization, or downplay of the seriousness of rape. Being so well acquainted with rape, the viewer becomes desensitized to it and no longer finds it appalling or infuriating, but arousing.

It is interesting to note that as the lines between pornography and mainstream sexual violence become blurred, there are few indicators left to determine which separates the two categories. Many research cases used a mixture of both of what is considered ‘pornographic’ and ‘mainstream’ in their studies because they found the content and nature to be the same. Aside from instances of child pornography, one of the few distinguishing factors left between pornography and mainstream movies is plot or the lack thereof. In his introduction to a reprint of the Final Report of the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography, columnist Michael McManus noted that:

“The FBI interviewed two dozen sex murderers in prison who had killed multiple numbers of times. Some eighty-one percent said their biggest sexual interest was in reading pornography. They acted out sex fantasies on real people.”

The same applies to non-sexual violence in the media as well. Recent incidents in the US show that children, and even young adults who watch TV wrestling, tend to imitate what they see; this results in increased aggression, increased violence against women, and even deaths directly resulting from children imitating the wrestling moves they see on TV.

As Muslims, as parents of young children, as brothers who wish to protect our sisters and as sisters who wish to protect our honor, it is of utmost importance that we remove all scenes of sexual violence out of our viewing, regardless of whether they are in Bollywood films, Hollywood films, in any films, or on TV. Onscreen rape should be as shocking to us as rape in real life because the end results of both are the same: women get violated.

The task of removing this influence rests mostly on the shoulders of our Muslim fathers and brothers. Our fathers can take responsibility for the healthy mental development of their children, and our brothers can stand up and refuse to tolerate the rape of women in whatever form they find; authentic or staged, criminal or ‘artisitic’.


May Allah guide us and grant us all the strength to stand up for the dignity of woman and the sanctity of her honor. May Allah forgive us for the sins we have already committed against our own eyes and ears and hearts and save us from repeating them. Ameen.


------
[National Crime Victimization Survey. Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, 1997.]
Edward Donnerstein, "Pornography and Violence Against Women," Annals of the New York Academy of Science, 347 (1980), 277-88.
Edward Donnerstein, "What the Experts Say," a forum at the Industry-wide Leadership Conference on Violence in Television Programming, 2 August 1993, in National Council for Families and Television Report, 9.
W. Marshall, "Pornography and Sex Offenders," in Dolf Zillman and Jennings Bryant, eds.,Pornography: Research Advances and Policy Considerations (New York: Academic Press, 1989).
Belson, W. (1978). Television Violence and the Adolescent Boy. Franborough: Teakfield.
Zillman, Bryant, Carveth, "The Effect of Erotica Featuring Sadomasochism and Beastiality of Motivated Inter-Male Aggression," Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 7 (1981): 153-59.
Edward Donnerstein, "Pornography: Its Effects on Violence Against Women," in Malamuth and Donnerstein, eds., Pornography and Sexual Aggression (New York: Academic Press, 1984).
Neil Malamuth, "Rape Fantasies as a Function of Repeated Exposure to Sexual Violence," Archives of Sexual Behavior, 10 (1981): 33-47.
Linz, Donnerstein, and Penrod, "The Effects of Multiple Exposures to Filmed Violence Against Women," Journal of Communication, 34 (1984): 130-47.
Final Report, ed. McManus, xvii.
Katy Abel, “Kids Get Slammed By Wrestling,” www.familyeducation.com


Friday, October 08, 2004

My name is Sarah, I am but three...

My name is Sarah

I am but three,

My eyes are swollen

I cannot see,

I must be stupid

I must be bad,

What else could have made

My daddy so mad?

I wish I were better

I wish I weren't ugly,

Then maybe my mommy

Would still want to hug me.

I can't speak at all

I can't do a wrong

Or else I'm locked up

All the day long.

When I awake I'm all alone

The house is dark

My folks aren't home.

When my mommy does come

I'll try and be nice,

So maybe I'll get just

One whipping tonight

Don't make a sound!

I just heard a car

My daddy is back

From Charlie's Bar.

I hear him curse

My name he calls

I press myself

Against the wall.

I try and hide

From his evil eyes

I'm so afraid now

I'm starting to cry.

He finds me weeping

He shouts ugly words,

He says its my fault

That he suffers at work.

He slaps me and hits me

And yells at me more,

I finally get free

And I run for the door.

He's already locked it

And I start to bawl,

He takes me and throws me

Against the hard wall.

I fall to the floor

With my bones nearly broken,

And my daddy continues

With more bad words spoken.




"I'm sorry!", I scream

But its now much too late

His face has been twisted

Into unimaginable hate.

The hurt and the pain

Again and again

Oh please God, have mercy!

Oh please let it end!

And he finally stops

And heads for the door,

While I lay there motionless

Sprawled on the floor.

My name is Sarah

And I am but three,

Tonight my daddy

Murdered me.

--> Author unknown <--

THIRTEEN "HYPOCRTICAL" TIME - WASTING GAMES

*ahem*...my-my this seems sooo familiar!

-->

1.Shuffling through the same papers or clutter over and over.

2.Playing computer games.

3.Having long, chatty telephone calls that aren’t important to you.

4.Lingering with unimportant visitors who aren’t important with you.

5.Surfing the web.

6.Attending unnecessary meetings.

7.Working aimlessly without objectives, priorities, or deadlines.

8.Trying to do too many things at once and underestimating the time available to do them all.

9.Being indecisive.

10.Saying “yes” when you should be saying “no.”

11.Pushing yourself when you’re too tired to function well.

12.Doing things that don’t need to be done (or that somebody else could do).

13.Doing an excessive amount of preparation.

Extract from: Stop Procrastinating! by Rita Emmett
<--
Wednesday, October 06, 2004

WHO IS DISABLED?

If you fail to see
The person
But only the disability
Then who is blind?

If you cannot hear
Your brother’s
Cry for justice
Who is deaf?

If you do not communicate
With your sister
But separate her from you
Who is disabled?

If your heart or mind
Does not reach out to
Your neighbour
Who has the mental handicap?

If you do not stand up for the
Rights of all persons
Who is cripple?

Our attitude towards persons with disabilities
May be our biggest barrier
And yours too.

--Author unknown--
Sunday, October 03, 2004

THE PAOMNNEHAL PWEOR OF THE HMUAN MNID

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer
In waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is
that the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae.

The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm.

Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef,
But the wrod as a wlohe.

> > Amzanig huh? < <