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Thursday, November 25, 2004

The Rainbow - a sign from Allah!

SubhanAllah!!! Let us ponder on the Greatness and Mercy of the One who created this Beautiful Rainbow.He is the Creator of Beauty, He is the Creator of all things.How grateful we should be to ALLAH for creating such a thing as the Rainbow! Allahu Akbar have we ever thought about it? Allah sends us such a heartwarming sign in the form of the Rainbow!

Even after gigantic storms, Allah's sends the Rainbow. A sign of hope and mercy. We can take a lesson from this, don't you think? No matter how sinful we may be, whatever the condition of our life - be it rainy or stormy - if we turn to ALLAH, BEGGING Him for forgiveness and help...He will grant us peace and contentment. He will shine the Nur and Sweetness of Imaan into our hearts...just as He shines the Rainbow onto the land after the storm.

Food 4 Thought

Allah's Beloved
“ He in who there are 3 attributes
is the beloved of Allah: generosity
like the oceans; affection like the
sun ;humility like the earth”
( Hadrat Uthmaan Haaruni)

“ Those who befriend Allah,
His Rasool and the people
of imaan, (they are the Army
of Allah and), and verily the
Army of Allah will be victorious.”

Three Solid Truths

Once, a person was verbally abusing Abu Bakr (RA) while the Prophet (SAW) was curiously watching with a smile. After taking much abuse quietly, Abu Bakr responded to a few of his comments. At this, the Prophet exhibited his disapproval, got up and left. Abu Bakr caught up with the Prophet and wondered, 'O Messenger of Allaah, he was abusing me and you remained sitting. When I responded to him, you disapproved and got up.' The Messenger of Allaah responded,

'There was an angel with you responding to him. When you responded to him, Shaytaan took his place.'

He then said,

'O Abu Bakr, there are three solid truths: If a person is wronged and he forbears it (without seeking revenge) just for the sake of Allaah (SWT), Allaah will honour him and give him the upper hand with His help; if a person opens a door of giving gifts for cementing relationships with relatives, Allaah will give him abundance; and, if a person opens a door of seeking charity for himself to increase his wealth, Allaah will further reduce his wealth.'

Reported from Abu Hurairah in Mishkaah and Musnad Ahmad.
Wednesday, November 24, 2004



In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Aasiyah, the wife of Fir'own. Her Eeman in Allah thrived under the shadow of someone that said, "I am your Lord, Most High!" When news reached Fir'own of his wife's Eeman he beat her and commanded his guards to beat her. They took her out in the scalding noon heat, tied her hands and feet and beat her perpetually. Who did she turn to? She turned to Allah! She prayed, "My lord, build for me a home with you in Paradise and save me from Fir'own and his deeds and save me from the transgressive people."

It was narrated that when she said this, the sky opened for her and she saw her home in Paradise. She smiled. The guards watched astonished, she's being tortured and she smiles? Frustrated, Fir'own commanded a boulder to be brought and dropped on Aasiyah, to crush her to death. But Allah took her soul before the boulder was brought and she became an example for all the believing men and women till the end of time:

[And Allah has set forth an example for those who believe: the wife of Fir'own (Pharaoh) - when she said, "My Lord, Build for me a home with You in Paradise, and save me from Fir'own and his deeds, and save me from the transgressive-disbelieving people.] -Tahreem 66/11

In the hadith of Jibreel, when he came to the Prophet (SAL ALLAHU ALAYHI WA SALLAM) and asked him about Islam, Eeman, and Ihasan, the Prophet SAL ALLAHU ALAYHI WA SALLAM said about Eeman, "Eeman is to believe in Allah, His angels, His books, His Messengers, the Final Day, and the divine decree, the good and the bad thereof." ( we shall conclude with the last article of Eeman: to believe in the Divine decree, the good and the bad thereof.)

As you and I travel though life we find ourselves in one of two situations. Either something good is happening in our lives and in which case - as Muslims- our role is to thank Allah for the blessing. Or something bad is happening to us, something we dislike and our role here is to be patient (Sabr). This is the formula for a happy life, a life cruising towards the pleasure of Allah. Sabr or Shukr, the worry stops here.

The Messenger of Allah (SAL ALLAHU ALAYHI WA SALLAM) said, "Strange is the affair of the Mu'min (the believer), verily all his affairs are good for him. If something pleasing befalls him he thanks (Allah) and it becomes better for him. And if something harmful befalls him he is patient (Saabir) and it becomes better for him. And this is only for the Mu'mmin."

Ibn Al-Jowzee said, "If this Dunya was not a station of tests it would not be filled with sicknesses and filth. If life was not about hardship, then the Prophets and the pious would have lived the most comfortable of lives. Nay, Adam suffered test after test until he left the Dunya. Nuh cried for 300 years. Ibrahim was thrown into a pit of fire and later told to slaughter his son. Ya'qub cried until he became blind. Musa challenged Fir'own and was tested by his people. Eeasa had no provision except the morsels his disciples provided him with. And Muhammad (Sal Allahu Alayhi wa Sallam) met poverty with patience, his uncle - one of the most beloved relatives to him - was slain and mutilated and his people disbelieved in him ... And the list of Prophets and the pious goes on and on."

What happens to us happens by the will of Allah. It is an article of our Eeman in Qada' and Qadr that we are pleased with Allah's choice, Good or seemingly bad it is all the test of this Dunya. How could we imagine that we shall not be tested when those who were better than us suffered what they suffered. They however came away with the pleasure of Allah, Subhaanahu wa Ta'Aala.

Al Hasan ibn Arafah narrated, "I visited Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal after he was whipped and tortured. I said to him, "O Abu Abdillaaah, you have reached the station of the Prophets!" He said, "Keep quiet. Verily, I saw nothing more than people selling their Deen. And I saw scholars that were with me sell their Faith. So I said to myself, 'Who am I, what am I. What am I going to say to Allah tomorrow when I stand in front of Him and He ask me, "Did you sell your Deen like the others did?" So I looked at the whip and the sword and chose them. And I said, "If I die I shall return to Allah and say: 'I was told to say that one of Your Characteristics was something created but I did not.' After that, it will be upto Him - either to punish me of be Merciful on me."

Al-Hasan ibn Arafah then asked, "Did you feel pain when they whipped you?" He said "Yes, I felt the pain up to 20 lashes then I lost all feeling (They whipped him over eighty times). After it was over I felt no pain and that day I prayed Dhurhr standing."

Al-Hasan ibn Arafah started weeping when he heard what had happened. Imam Ahmad questioned him, "Why are you crying? I did not lose my Eeman. After that why should I care if I loose my life." They were better than us but this was how they were tested.

Let us discuss some facts about these tests of life, the good and the bad that befalls us:

§ Much of what befalls us - the hard times - is the direct result of our own sins. Allah Ta'aala says [And whatever misfortune befalls you it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much.] - Sura 42/30

Muhammad ibn Seereen used to say when his debts piled up and he felt sad, "I know that the cause of this sadness is a sin I committed over 40 years ago."

§ People understand that when something bad happens it is a test from Allah. But , the good things that happen to us are also a test.

Allah ta'aala says [And we tested them with good (blessings) and evil (calamities) in order that they might turn back] - A'raf 7/168

Abd alMalik ibn Ishaq said, "There is no one that is not tested with health and prosperity to measure how thankful he is (Shukr)."

And the Companion - AbdurRahman ibn 'Awf (RADI ALLAHU ANHU) said, "We were tested with hardship and were patient. And then we were tested with prosperity and we were not patient. Because of this Allah states:

[O ye who believe! Let not your wealth or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allah. And whosoever does that, then they are the losers.] - Munafiqun 63/9

§ Patience must happen from the beginning, not three days later or one day later, at the first news of the calamity, when it first happens. The Prophet (SAL ALLAHU ALAYHI WA SALLAM) said, "Verily patience (is only Sabr when practiced) at the first hit (of news)."

§ There are things that contradict Sabr. Tearing ones shirt, for example, slapping ones face, slapping hands, shaving ones head, and cursing and wailing. Umm Salamah narrates: I heard the Messenger of Allah (SAL ALLAHU ALAYHI WA SALLAM) say, "Any Muslim that says when a calamity befalls him that which Allah commanded him: To Allah we belong and to him we return. O Allah reward me in this calamity and give me better then it - (any Muslim that says this) Allah will grant him better than (that which he lost)." - Muslim

§ These tests and hardships wash our sins. Aisha (RADI ALLAHU ANHA) said, "Verily fever sheds sins like a tree sheds leaves."

§ The hardships that befall us distinguish the believers from the insincere. Shumayt ibn Ajlaan said, "The pious and the ungrateful are hidden by health. Yet when calamities befall the two men are separated (by how they react)."

Allah says in the Quran [Alif/Laam/Meem..Do people think that they will be left alone because they say, "We believe," and will not be tested? Indeed We tested those who (lived) before them] Al-Ankaboot 29/1-3

Towards Sabr

Ali (RADI ALLAHU ANHU) said, "Verily Sabr is to Eeman what the head is to the body. When the head is cut off, the body falls. (He then raised his voice) Verily there is no Eeman for he who has no Sabr (patience)."

There are three types of Sabr that the Muslim must have:

a. Sabr in the obedience of allah. For example, One must be patient and perform their Fajr at it's time.

b. Sabr in not disobeying Allah. Like someone might say, "I have to listen to music in the car." No you are commanded by He who gave you those ears to not listen to those lullabies of the Devil. And you must have Sabr in not disobeying Allah.

c. Sabr in what Allah Decrees on us. For example, if our child was to pass away we should be patient and seek the reward of Allah in our patience and say only that which is pleasing to Allah.
There are two keys. If we understand them we shall open the door to Sabr in our lives:

The First Key: know that our souls, families and wealth do not belong to us, they belong to Allah. He gave it to us as a loan to see what we would do with it. And when he takes it back He is taking back what belongs to Him. We had nothing before the blessing and we'll have nothing after it. We did not create the blessing from nothing, so how can we claim that it belongs to us.

The Second Key: We are on a journey and the destination is the hereafter - Paradise or Hell. We'll be leaving the Dunya behind us and we'll come back to Allah by ourselves. This is what needs our focus. And if Allah is pleased with us then no worry. If He is not pleased with us then all worry.

Let me draw your attention to a verse. Listen carefully. Allah revealed: [Guard strictly the (five obligatory) prayers, especially the middle Salah and stand before Allah in obedience.]- alBaqarah 2/238

The verses before this deal with divorce. The verses after it deal with divorce. Why was this verse placed in the middele. The Ulama' have suggested, Wa Allaahu a'lam, that in the hard times that a person goes through they should not forget the rememberance of Allah, the Salah. And it is that Salah coupled with Sabr that will pull them through.

[O you who believe! Seek Help in Patience and Salah. Truly, Allah is with those that are patient.]-Baqarah 2/153

There is good news for those who intend to act on their Sabr. Allah promised them three things: His prayer for them, His Mercy, and their guidance. [Who, when afflicted with calamity say, "Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return."/They are those on whom the Salawat (i.e. the blessing and forgiveness) of their Lord is upon them, and who shall receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided ones] -Baqarah 2/157

Allah says [And We made from among them leaders, giving guidance under Our Command, when they were patient.]-asSajdah 32/24.

Sufyan ibn Uyaynah commented, "i.e. When they took hold of the leading issue, we made them leaders!"

Muhammad Al-Shareef

 Posted by Hello

Beautiful Children suffer at the hands of an Ugly War

Another round of misery for the children of Iraq
By César Chelala
Special to The Times

Before the Iraq war, Physicians for Human Rights had warned about the serious public-health and human-rights risks to the already vulnerable Iraqi population, should the war take place.

Its predictions have been recently, and sadly, confirmed by an article in the medical magazine The Lancet. According to the article, there have been in excess of 100,000 civilian deaths since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, including a substantial number of children. Carol Bellamy, UNICEF's executive director, has called the death of 34 children in recent bomb attacks "an unconscionable slaughter of innocents."

This is the third time that Iraqi children have been victims of war in that country's recent history. The two conflicts previous to the present one were the eight-year war with Iran in the 1980s and the Gulf War in 1991, which caused considerable damage to Iraq's infrastructure.

In addition, the country has suffered from over 12 years of comprehensive United Nations' sanctions and from Saddam Hussein's perverse policies to use funds for personal gain rather than to improve the basic-services infrastructure in the country.

Prior to the present conflict, Iraqi children were already highly vulnerable to disease and malnutrition. One in four children under 5 years of age was chronically malnourished, and one in eight children died before their fifth birthday. This was happening in a population with almost half the inhabitants under the age of 18.

A limited post-war nutritional assessment carried out by UNICEF in Baghdad found that acute malnutrition has nearly doubled compared with before the war. That assessment also found that seven out of 10 children suffered from various degrees of diarrhea, which leads to a loss of nutrients and often to death if not properly treated.

Hundreds of thousands of tons of raw sewage are still pumped into the Tigris and Euphrates rivers every day. Because water-cleaning chemicals have been looted or destroyed, the quality of water being pumped into homes is extremely poor and leads to more-frequent illness and malnutrition among children. The collapse of the water and sewage systems is probably the cause of an outbreak of a virulent form of hepatitis that is particularly lethal to pregnant women.

It is estimated that 270,000 children born after the war have had none of their required immunizations and routine immunization services were all but disrupted. In addition, the existing stock of vaccines became useless as a result of the destruction of the vaccines' refrigeration system.

Antibiotics of minimal cost in the international market are in short supply, increasing the population's risk of dying from common infections. Many hospitals go dark at night for lack of lighting fixtures.

As a consequence of all these public-health failures, Iraq has the distinction of being the country that has least progressed in reducing child mortality since 1990.

In the 1990s, the most significant increases in child mortality occurred in southern and central Iraq, where under-5-year-old child mortality rose from 56 to 131 per 1,000 live births. Due to lack of security, many babies are now delivered at home, and many mothers do not receive any prenatal care. There is a maternal mortality rate of over 300 per 100,000 live births, compared with a rate of 49.2 per 100,000 for neighboring Turkey.

In the main cities, every day children are killed or injured when in contact with unexploded ordnance, land mines and other kinds of live ammunition littering the country. In Baghdad alone, there are approximately 800 hazardous sites containing cluster bombs and dumped ammunition. Anti-personnel landmines have caused the deaths of both U.S. and allied soldiers and innocent Iraqi civilians.

The Iraq Education Survey, carried out by the Iraqi government with support from UNICEF, describes how children's educational opportunities have been affected by the war. In the most affected governorates, more than 70 percent of primary-school buildings lack water service. The survey shows that since March 2003, bombing has damaged over 700 primary schools, more than 200 have been burned and over 3,000 have been looted.

After a year and a half of hostilities, the suffering of civilians seems only to increase, affecting all sectors of the population.

Even more poignantly, that over half of the deaths caused by the occupation forces are women and children is a severe indictment against the war.

Dr. César Chelala, an international public-health consultant in New York City, writes extensively on public health and human-rights issues.

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company

 Posted by Hello


Some years ago on a hot summer day in south Florida, a little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole behind his house. In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as he went. He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward him.

His mother, in the house, was looking out the window and saw the two as they got closer and closer together. In utter fear, she ran toward the water, yelling to her son as loudly as she could. Hearing her voice, the little boy became alarmed and made a U-turn to swim to his mother. It was too late.

Just as he reached her, the alligator reached him. From the dock, the mother grabbed her little boy by the arms just as the Alligator snatched his legs. That began an incredible tug-of-war between the two. The alligator was much stronger than the mother, but the mother was much too passionate to let go. A farmer happened to drive by, heard her screams, raced from his truck, took aim and shot the alligator.

Remarkably, after weeks and weeks in the hospital, the little boy survived. His legs were extremely scarred by the vicious attack of the animal, and on his arms,were deep scratches where his mother's fingernails dug into his flesh in her effort to hang on to the son she loved. The newspaper reporter who interviewed the boy after the trauma asked if he would show him his scars. The boy lifted his pant legs. And then, with obvious pride, he said to the reporter, "But look at my arms. I have great scars on my arms, too. I have them because my Mom wouldn't let go."

You and I can identify with that little boy. We have scars, too. No, not from an alligator, or anything quite so dramatic, but the scars of a painful past. Some of those scars are unsightly and have caused us deep regret. But some wounds, my friend, are because Allah has refused to let go. In the midst of your struggle, He's been there holding on to
you. Islam teaches us that Allah loves us. He wants to protect us and provide for us in every way. But sometimes we foolishly wade into dangerous situations. The
swimming hole of life is filled with peril and we forget that the enemy(Satan) is waiting to attack. That's when the tug-of-war begins, and if we have the scars of Allah’s love on our arms, be very, very grateful. He did not and will not let us go.

Please pass this on to those you love. Allah has blessed you, so that you can be a blessing to others. You just never know where a person is in his/her life and what they are going
through. That is why it is so important that we make duaa for each other and hope for the best for each other. Insha Allah take a few seconds out of your busy schedules and relate this story to as many brothers and
sisters that you love and care about.
Friday, November 12, 2004

Shawwal: What to Do On Eid Night, Eid Day, and During the Month

By Mufti Taqi Usmani

- Beginning of the Ashur-ul-Hajj
- Eid-ul-fitr
- The Night Preceding 'Eid-ul-Fitr'
- Before Going to Eid Prayer
- Sadaqat-ul-fitr
- The 'Eid Prayer
- How to Perform Eid Prayer
- Khutbah: The Address of 'Eid-ul-fitr
- Six Fasts in the Month of Shawwal

Inform yourself of the above at :


Blogging: an Islamic perspective

Monday, November 08, 2004
Blogging: an Islamic perspective
Sikander Ziad Hashmi, sunniforum.com


Blogging is becoming increasingly popular. Thousands of new blogs pop up daily. Many Muslims have joined in on the blogging phenomenon.

Obviously, blogging is a fairly new online activity. The Merriam-Webster dictionary still does not recognize the word “blog”. The few dictionaries that do so define it in various ways:

Weblog (noun): a personal Web site that provides updated headlines and news articles of other sites that are of interest to the user, also may include journal entries, commentaries and recommendations compiled by the user; also written web log, Weblog; also called blog (Webster's New Millennium™ Dictionary of English)

Blog (n): a shared on-line journal where people can post diary entries about their personal experiences and hobbies (WordNet ® 2.0)

Personal journals and diaries are nothing new. People have been keeping diaries for hundreds of years. What is new though is the added interactivity and the wide reach of these new online journals (blogs).

At the outset, it seems like blogging is a harmless activity for Muslims. After all, it’s simply a journal about one’s personal experiences, hobbies, and other ramblings, compiled publicly for others to read and often comment on. But after scratching the surface, we realize that it’s not as simple as it seems.

Many Muslims have begun to wonder about the religious ruling regarding blogs. Armed with personal experience from being an avid blogger in the past, this humble servant will try to wrestle with that question in this article.

Types of Blogs

Generally, blogs can be classified into one of the following three categories:

1. Personal journal: The author writes about whatever comes to mind. That can include feelings, events and happenings in their life, what they did on a particular day, etc.

2. Topic-specific journal: The author picks one area of interest (such as news, Islam, a certain sport, area of study, etc.) and posts his/her experiences, thoughts, and other relevant information regarding the specified topic.

3. Personal/topic-specific journal: The author combines both 1) and 2) in his/her blog.

The first category merits some discussion.

For starters, all bloggers know that since their blogs are public, their entries are accessible by anyone and everyone. As such, every blogger (but specifically a Muslim one) should be extremely cautious about what he/she is divulging in the blog entries. Many times, the contents of a single entry don’t seem to be of much concern, but when read collectively with past entries, they can provide an entire profile on the personality, character, and even physical traits of a person.

This presents some problems from an Islamic point of view. Islam, with its emphasis on modesty and its cautious approach to gender interaction, strongly discourages members of the opposite sex from openly divulging their personality, character, and physical traits (among other things) to each other.

Originally, when the concept of distant communication in real-time was non-existant, the prohibitions that were laid down were for physical, face-to-face contact. However, the advent of telephones, the Internet, SMS, digital cameras, and e-mail, has made it possible to have unhindered communication and interaction without any physical contact whatsoever. As a result, it has become increasingly difficult to differentiate between the two forms of communication (in terms of actual presence vs. distant) from a religious ruling point of view. Therefore, the entire concept of modesty, “lowering the gaze”, and “covering ones self properly” must be extended to all forms of contact. Thus, they must be applied in a holistic sense, to all our actions, and not only to physical interaction.

In essence, blogging about one’s personal life is similar to writing a journal entry and then posting it outside one’s house or at a street corner for all to read. There isn’t anything really wrong with doing that (if one wishes to be so public about one’s private life), as long as one doesn’t divulge any information that doesn’t lead members of the opposite gender to envision and imagine the author, and doesn’t let their hearts and minds become impressed and eventually lean towards the author.

Now, that may seem simple, but the fact is that nobody can really ascertain as to what may cause the above in the minds of the opposite gender. It may seem tempting to write-off this whole notion by saying that what goes through the minds of the readers is not the responsibility of the author. While that may hold true for truly objective pieces of work and in matters of true need, the onlookers would not be completely to blame for not “lowering their gaze” if a muscular, handsome man wearing boxers and a t-shirt were to unnecessarily walk through a group of women. The bulk of the blame would fall squarely on the shoulders of the one committing the unnecessary action, though the onlookers would be responsible for continuing to look even after they knew they weren’t supposed to.

Similarly, bloggers must be careful about what they write, lest they divulge traits about themselves that they should otherwise not be making known to the opposite gender, while at the same time, leading the readers into sin by hooking them on to reading on and learning more about the things they really don’t need to know, and shouldn’t know. Some devoted readers even end up forming an affectionate, emotional attachment with the author.

The fact that the above is in fact possible has proven itself time and time again, with bloggers receiving marriage proposals and other suggestive comments through various means such as e-mail, the comments box on their blogs, etc. It is highly unlikely that a stranger would send off a marriage proposal unless he/she was able to get to know the author well enough to feel comfortable in taking such a step.

It should be noted though that the above is regarding personal journal entries.

The second category, topic-specific journals, isn’t much of an issue. Since the journal is centered on a specific subject or theme, there usually isn’t room for personal details. This is similar to writing a column on a topic of choice for a magazine or a newspaper. Even if the journal contains commentary by the author, it will still be centered on the topic, so there isn’t much of an issue here, provided the subject or theme itself is not an immodest and shameful one.

The third category can pass, as long as some conditions are met. Some people like to discuss issues or make certain points through giving examples of events or situations they face in their personal life. This is fine, as long as it doesn’t reach the point described earlier in the discussion about the first category of blogs (e.g. personal journals).

Proponents of personal journals may argue that there are many benefits in having such a blog. For instance, the blogs help bloggers relieve stress by writing about their problems; they are chronicles for future reading; they inform, entertain, and educate others; they help build bonds of friendship; they allow an exchange of ideas; they give insight and help the bloggers improve their writing skills; and perhaps even allow the readers to “see how I apply Islam in my life”.

While some of the benefits of personal blogs cannot be denied, it becomes a matter of harms outweighing the benefits. Something that can lead to immodesty should be avoided, especially if it doesn’t offer any concrete benefits. Moreover, many of the benefits mentioned can be achieved without having a public personal journal. The entire problem lies in the public part. If the personal journal is limited to same-gender viewing only, there is no problem whatsoever.

Communication and Interaction

As long as the readers of the personal journal can’t communicate with the author, it is a one-way communication. However, the negative aspects of personal journals are multiplied when a mechanism is made available for readers to leave comments for and interact with the author and with others, without any restrictions. As witnessed on some blogs, the ability to leave comments on the blog (either in the form of a ‘comments’ link after each post or a ‘shout’ box) can lead to unhindered communication between members of the opposite gender.

With the Islamic principles of modesty as a backdrop, it must be made clear that cross-gender interaction is permissible when needed, for as much as it is needed. Anything beyond that is impermissible.

When a ‘comments’ page and a ‘shout’ box are made available on a personal journal blog, it becomes almost impossible for at least some members of the opposite gender to not interact with the author and perhaps even other readers about matters pertaining to the author’s personal life. Such needless discussions and ‘light talk’ between members of the opposite gender cannot be deemed as being permissible in Islam.

It is somewhat similar to, though not as extreme as, standing at a street corner and chit-chatting, cracking jokes, and conducting superfluous discussions with the other gender about their personal life and other unimportant matters that neither educate nor help in anything whatsoever – total idle talk.

Such discussions often very clearly lead to immodest behaviour. Some may see the fact that these discussions are held in public as a measure of security. In fact, the opposite is true. The fact that such discussions are held in full view of strangers is even more shameful.

The same rules would apply to such discussions as described by Shaykh Abdurrahman ibn Yusuf Mangera at http://www.sunnipath.com/resources/Questions/qa00001336.aspx .

If the above elements are not found in ‘comments’ pages and ‘shout’ boxes on topic-specific and personal/topic-specific blogs, then they may be used, as long as they are not used as a conduit for unnecessary and immodest discussions between members of the opposite gender, and the discussions are kept on subject.

Anonymous Blogging

Some bloggers resort to blogging anonymously, since it seems like hiding one’s identity can be a remedy for many of the potential problems that personal journals may lead to.

Unfortunately, this notion is incorrect.

The Islamic principles of modesty and cross-gender interaction apply to all Muslims, whether they let others know who they are or not.

Nobody would condone committing shameless and immodest acts in the midst of a group of strangers, simply because nobody recognizes him/her. Similarly, holding indecent discussions is impermissible, regardless of whether or not one divulges his/her gender and identity.

Therefore, rules of modesty and cross-gender interaction apply to all Muslims, regardless of how much others know about them. Holding a needless conversation with a member of the opposite gender doesn’t become OK simply because the other party doesn’t know if he/she is communicating with a male/female.

The onus is one each Muslim to follow the rules and guidelines prescribed by Allah and His Messenger (SAW). It isn’t based on how much others know or don’t know about the person.

In addition, hiding one’s gender is extremely difficult in a personal journal. Sooner or later, something will be said that will enable the readers to discover the gender of the author.

In conclusion, before embarking on a blogging journey, all Muslims are humbly requested to take the above points into consideration. Just think: is a personal journal blog truly needed? Do you really want to share your personal details with the world? Is it really worth it? Do you really want strangers (guys and girls) reading about your life? Do you really want to step into an area you probably shouldn’t be getting into, Islamically? Do you want your life to be indexed by Google?

As an alternative, one can have a private blog on one’s own computer. As well, a gender-specific Yahoo! group can be created for members of the same gender to post their entries. Some blogging sites allow for password-protected entries, through which one can restrict and limit who can read the entries. Soon, some Islamic sites may begin brother- and sister-only blogging services, Insha-Allah.

This humble servant blogged for almost 9 months, writing over 170 000 words. In the end, though he had never thought it possible, he pulled his personal journal blog off the Internet.

It was just not worth it.

Allah knows best.
Sunday, November 07, 2004

Fasting Insects on Peaks of Mountains

By Dr. `Abd Al-Hakam `Abd Al-Latif As-Sa`idi
Lecturer of Entomology – Faculty of Agriculture – Al-Azhar University

Wonderfully, in the world of insects beetles tend to spend the winter season on peaks of mountains, with their freezing temperature. As soon as they feel the coldness of air and the approach of the winter season, they hasten to peaks of mountains as if they call their species to swim against the current.

It is well known that peaks of mountains and lofty locations in the European countries are very cold to the extent that they are covered with snow and consequently the (degree of) temperature lowers to thirty degrees centigrade below zero. No doubt, such a freezing temperature will have effect on these insects, in the sense of making them in dire need of extra amount of energy, though their bodies are filled with fatty substances on which they can depend throughout the hibernation and fasting period; that extra energy will provide them with warmness, especially in the latter days of the winter season, when alimentary canal normally runs out of its reserves. A question arises here: What about those insects whose time of breaking fast isn’t due yet? Do they give in to such critical condition or Allah Almighty grants them a proper means to overcome it?

Of course, Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He, Who has fashioned all His creatures in a very beautiful manner and perfection, has bestowed on each creature the proper means to lead a satisfied life. So, Allah does not let these insects or other creatures down. Actually, an important process happens within bodies of these insects during their migration to mountains' peaks. During this period, they eat voraciously and store the extra amounts in the form of fats.

At the same time, they abstain from drinking water. Hence, the ratio of water diminishes in their bodies and the free water existing in their bodies takes another form, i.e. bounded water. This kind of water dissolves some alimentary ingredients and turns them into a high-condensed shape of water. This process is of paramount importance for these insects which, thereby, gain the ability to endure the low degrees of temperature. Consequently, water in their bodies does not freeze when (the degree of) temperature becomes below zero.

If the temperature diminishes severely to an unprecedented degree that cannot be endured, Allah's mercy with these creatures provides them with another important characteristic, which enables them to get a wondrous thermal energy through the water reserved in their bodies, and it’s normally within the inherent temperature of water. If the air temperature lowers to thirty degrees centigrade below zero, the insects will release water's energy and thus the temperature of their bodies will rise to zero.

6 year old hafidha

This child is a 6 years old hafidha. She has memorized the Qur'aan with:

1- its ayaat (she would tell you the number of ayaat in each surah)
2- its ayat number
3- its meanings
4- its place of "tanzeel" ( madaneeyah or makeeyah)
5- its location on left or right of the page
6- she can also tell you all the ayaat in the Qur'an that talk about a special subject (e.g. Zakaat: she would recite all the ayaat that talk about zakat in the Qur'aan). Watch here: http://www.bolbol.net/islamics/videos/quranic_girl.ram
may Allah bless us all with children like her insha-Allah.

Health Benefits of Saying "Alhamdulillah"

By Karima Burns

There are many examples in the Qur'an and Hadith of the virtues of a positive mental attitude, perseverance and optimism in the face of adversity. However, did you know that patience and a positive outlook on life are two of the greatest healing tools that you can use?

The Qur'an (2:155) says, "Give glad tidings to those who exercise patience when struck with adversity and say, 'Indeed, we belong to God and to Him is our return.' Such ones receive [the] blessings and mercy of their Lord, and such are the guided ones." According to the findings of modern science, it appears that this mercy may often come in the form of improved health.

Bernard Jensen says, in his book The Science and Practice of Iridology, "The doctor of the new day will recognize that a man's most important workshop is not the physical body, but the mind that controls it." Dr. Ted M. Morter confirms this in his book, Your Health... Your Choice, when he says that "negative thoughts are the number one acid producer in the body (and high body acidity levels are a major cause of disease)… because your body reacts to negative mental and emotional stress brought about by thought the same way it reacts to 'real' threats of physical harm."

In fact, hospital studies show that, of all the patients who consult outpatient clinical facilities in the United States, an astounding seventy percent are found to have no organic basis for their complaint. That figure is amazingly high. However, although medically these patients are not found to have an obvious organic source for their complaints, there actually is a physical basis for this phenomenon. Since Freud popularized the idea of psychoanalysis, people have often focused exclusively on the mental realm to solve certain problems, forgetting that we cannot separate the physical and mental realms. The mind is in the brain, and the brain is an organ. Like all other organs, it feeds from the same pool of nutrients that other body organs feed from and is susceptible to all of the same problems. Ultimately, the brain is just a part of our body like all of the other parts and is completely dependent on the body. It requires sugar to develop energy unlike other tissues that can develop it from potassium and fats. Consequently, it is the first organ to suffer from low blood sugar and it reacts most severely. Freud himself said that psychoanalysis was not suitable for treating diseases such as schizophrenia, and he postulated that their causes eventually would be found to be biochemical.

If we keep in mind that the brain is an organ and that it works in harmony with the other organs and feeds from the same bloodstream, we can understand how various mental events can affect us physically. For example, simply using our brains to think and study burns up nutrients in our system, particularly phosphorus. Heavily exercising the brain can cause us to suffer from a phosphorus deficiency. And we find that the reverse is also true in this relationship. People who have high intellectual capacity usually have high levels of phosphorus in their system.

There is much wisdom in the Prophet's (SAW) statement (narrated by Abu Huraira), "The strong [person] is not the one who overcomes the people by his strength, but the strong [person] is the one who controls himself while in anger." In fact, staying patient and calm is key to physical strength.

Phosphorus is not the only nutrient that can be depleted by mental stress and a lack of spiritual calm. If the thyroid gland, the primary organ to handle our emotions, works overtime, we can suffer from a deficiency in iodine. Stress from a demanding job, a divorce or relocating can cause a loss of potassium and sodium in the body because it effects the adrenal glands creating more of a need for these minerals.

Even hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can be caused by excitement. The prophet (SAW) recommended our taking the more moderate path in life; however, we often engage in or expose ourselves to intense excitement by yelling, excessively watching television, and going to the mall, movies, parties, amusement parks, etc. When we see something exciting, our adrenal cortex is stimulated and there is an increase in our blood sugar. This, in turn, stimulates the pancreas to secrete insulin into the blood to lower the sugar level, causing us to then feel tired or weak.

It produces calm and health to practice saying, "Alhamdulillah" for what we have and for what we are faced with. We should try to keep our home and work environments peaceful and as free from stress as possible. One way we can counteract the effects of stress are to simply be aware of the stress we are encountering, and to consume sufficient nutrients and supplements such as herbs.

For instance, if a person is up late praying or reading Qur'an during Ramadan, they can eat phosphorus rich foods and those that will help them maintain their phosphorus intake. If a person is moving, traveling or making Hajj or Umra, they may want to increase their intake of foods high in potassium and sodium as well as vitamin B complex.

If we completely ignore the relationship between mental and physical health, we are missing an important detail in the picture of personal health. And, as in most health problems, practicing prevention is superior to finding a cure. Therefore, the best manner to avoid having negative attitudes and emotions control our bodies is simply to practice the wisdoms that we have been given throughout the Qur'an and Hadith. We should say, "Alhamdullilah" for what we have; "Insha'Allah" for what we intend; and, "Subhana' Allah" when we see something exciting or amazing. We should remember to say, Astaghfir'Allah" when we lose our tempers or become weak, and most importantly, "Allahu Akbar" when we are faced with the challenges of life. These five phrases, said regularly, are like taking a multi-vitamin for holistic health.

Courtesy : Islamonline.net
 Posted by Hello
Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Reward of Mercy

Love for Allah’s creation and tenderness of heart were outstanding attributes of Hadrat Sufyaan Thauri (rahmatullah alayh). Once while walking in the market-place he saw a little wild bird suffeing in captivity in a cage. Overcome with pity, he purchased the bird and set it free.

The bird would daily visit the home of Hadrat Sufyaan Thauri (rahmatullah alayh). It would remain for some time staring at him. At times it would alight and settle on his body.

When the janaazah of Hadrat Sufyaan was being carried, this bird flew above and repeatedly settled on the janaazah chirping a sorrowful song. The sorrow of the bird brought grief to the people who were reduced to tears.

After Hadrat Sufyaan was buried, the bird repeatedly struck itself on the grave until a voice was heard from inside the qabr saying: “Allah Ta’ala has forgiven Sufyaan by virtue of the love he had for creation”