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LANALLAH __Islamic BlogZine__
Wednesday, February 23, 2005

SICKNESS REMINDING US OF ALLAH...


The main cause of flu is a virus so tiny as to be invisible to the naked eye. However, such a tiny organism is enough to cause a man of 60-70 kg to lose his strength, and make him so exhausted as to prevent him walking or talking. Most of the time, the pills we take or the meals we eat do not do any good. The only thing we can do is rest and wait. In the body, a war takes place in which we cannot intervene. We are tied hand and foot by a tiny organism. In such a situation, what we should first remember is the following verse of Allah, in which prophet Ibrahim says:

He Who created me and guides me;
He Who gives me food and gives me drink;
And when I am ill, it is He Who heals me;
He Who will cause my death, then give me life;
He Who I sincerely hope will forgive my mistakes on the Day of Reckoning.
My Lord, give me right judgement and unite me with the righteous.


(Surat Ash-Shu'ara': 79-83)
Sunday, February 20, 2005

THE THIRD PARENT

by Muhammad Alshareef

As Allah ta'ala states, it is part of our belief that we shall be questioned and are responsible for the following:
[Verily! Hearing, Sight, and the heart, all will be questioned (by Allâh).]
(Al-Israa )

And as Rasul Allah - sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam - said, on the Day of Repayment, no one will move until they are asked about three things ... "And his youth - what he exhausted it with?"

A close friend of mine told me his experience when leaving Canada to go overseas and study Islam. He said that he went to a person's house to say Salaam to the family and as he left he noticed the son - who was 7 years old at the time - slacked out on his stomach, chin locked in his two hands, staring deathly at the TV. He says, when he returned after a full 4 years, he entered the same house and found the same boy slacked out on his stomach, chin locked in his two hands, staring deathly at the TV - only now he was 4 years older.
Today - in sha' Allah - we would like to speak about TV and it's dark side.

It is not our intention to make you race home to throw the TV off the balcony - although that would be nice. It is our hope that you will leave today in sha' Allah with a better understanding of the destructive nature the TV has on a persons life and hereafter, not only his own, but also his family and children.

In Qawaa'id Fiqhiyyaah there is a principle that says, 'Al Waasaa'il ta'khudhu Hukm al-Ghaayaat' that "The means takes the same ruling as the intention of what is trying to be attained." A Television set, with the wires, screen, box, and plug is nothing more than a means. It is what is trying to be attained by that box that makes it Haram or Halal. Similar to a gun, something that can be used for noble purposes, such as defending one's land from aggression, or can be a means of considerable harm - especially when given to a child.

In an Arab ESL class, the teacher - as his opening class - would ask the students what English words were taken from the Arabic. A few hands would jerk up and say things like, "Chemistry from Keemiyaa, Algebra from AlGebr, Physics from Feesiyaa", etc. Then he would interestingly ask them what Arabic words were taken from the English, the answers come quick, "Raadiyo from Radio, Dosh from Satellite Dish, and of course Tilfaaz from TV."
What did the west take from us, and what did we take from them?

Hence Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Fataawa 3/227: [With regard to television, it is a dangerous device and its harmful effects are very great, like those of the cinema, or even worse.

We know from the research that has been written about it and from the words of experts in Arab countries and elsewhere enough to indicate that it is dangerous and very harmful to Islamic beliefs ('aqeedah), morals and the state of society.This is because it includes the presentation of bad morals, tempting scenes, immoral pictures, semi-nakedness, destructive speech, and Kufr.

It encourages imitation of their conduct and ways of dressing, respect for their leaders, neglect of Islamic conduct and ways of dressing, and looking down on the scholars and heroes of Islam. It damages their image by portraying them in an off-putting manner that makes people despise them and ignore them.

It shows people how to cheat, steal, hatch plots and commit acts of violence against others.Without doubt, anything that produces so many bad results should be stopped and shunned, and we have to close all the doors that could lead to it. If some of our brothers denounce it and speak out against it, we cannot blame them, because this is a part of sincerity towards Allaah and towards other people.]

In Sahih Al-Bukhaari, when Guraayj was praying and his mother called him, he said to himself, "O Allah, my Salah or my mother?" He did not know whether to continue his prayer or discontinue it and reply the wishes of his Mother. She cursed him. And her curse was one that we may inadvertently be doing to our children the day we sanctioned the introduction of the third parent called TV. She said, "May you see a prostitute!" She did not say, may there be any relationship between you and a prostitute, no she just said may you see one. HOW many times has the main theme of prime time TV revolved around prostitutes? HOW MANY TIMES have our children witnessed it? How many times have they been cursed to be in such a situation?

Abdullaah ibn 'Umar - radi Allahu 'anhu - once passed by some people killing time by playing chess. He became shocked at what was happening and angrily said to them - quoting the verse of Qur'an, "What are these IDOLS that you are standing in vigilance over?" What would he think if he saw the Ummah and it's welcomed hug in most Muslim homes.

When a Muslim nation watches their country play in the world cup, over 3 million Muslims from that one country tune in. Times that by the duration of the match, 3 hours, and you'll have 9 million hours of the Ummah's time wasted on a football game. In one sweeping night. If Karl Marx said in 1844 that 'Religion is the opium of people ", then what about TV?

Dear brothers and sisters, Rasul Allah - sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam - said, "The person shall be (on the day of Judgement) with those that they love." Tell that to a Muslim child, that on the Day of judgement, if they love Michael Jordan sooo much they'll get to be with him on that horrific day. It's sad, but most Muslim children would get happy and excited about the prospect - isn't that enough to strike fear into our hearts? Who are the Muslim children really going to be with on the Day of Repayment? Most of them cannot tell you the names, just the names, of those people that we hope them to be with!

Let's ask ourselves, if we gave a chance for our sons or daughters to put up a poster of their hero, the one whom they think is the 'coolest' - would it be their father or mother? Would it be the Prophet or his Companions? OR would it be a basketball player that he saw on TV? Or an actor (even cartoon) that he saw on TV? Or a model that she saw on TV? Or a musician that he/she saw on TV? Who would it be?

Ok, the TV is monitered in the house by the parent, correct? (95% of parents with children 8 and up don't monitor). Now what happens if the parent dies on the way to work one day and the children inherit the TV? Rasul Allah - sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam - said, "There is not a single sheperd (Ameer) that Allah entrusted with a flock - who dies and in a state where he cheated them - except that Allah shall forbid him from entering paradise!" The 'Ulumaa would quote this hadith in light of the father in a Muslim country that would allow a Satellite Dish to enter his family which Allah entrusted him with.

Dear brothers and sisters, we are not here on earth to entertain ourselves to death. We are an Ummah with a Risaalah! When Rib'ee ibn 'Aamir - radi Allahu 'anhu - stood in the hands of the king of Persia, he announced the message as clear and as proud as every Muslim should, "Allah sent us to rescue humanity from slavery to slaves - to the slavery of the Lord of all slaves; And to rescue them from the choke of the material life to the expanse of this life and the next, and from the corruption of the cults to the justice of Islam!"

If we don't know how to read Qur'an, why aren't we registering for the Qur'an institute here at Al-Huda. If we don't know the language of the Qur'an and Sunnah, why aren't we registering for the Arabic institute? If we don't know about the life of Rasul Allah - sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam - and his companions - radi Allahu ‘anhum - why aren't we coming to the Seerah and Fiqh classes on Fridays and Saturdays.

Doesn't Allah ta'ala tell us in the Qur’an:
(An-Nur 030)
"Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts). That is purer for them. Verily, Allâh is All-Aware of what they do."

How do reconcile those verses with the television that assaults our eyes with Haram almost every second that it is on? How do we reconcile it?

Have you heard of Cupid? Of course we have. They portray Cupid in cartoons and comedies as a chubby child with wings who is supposed to be the Angel of Love, shooting arrows of 'love' when the male looks at the female. Rather dear brothers and sisters, it is Iblees! For Rasul Allah - sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam - told us, "Verily the 'look' is a poisoned arrow from the arrows of Iblees!"

Shaykh At-Tahhaan once told his students, "It was late at night when our phone rang one day. This Muslimah whispered into the phone, "Is this Shaykh At-Tahhaan?" I said, "Yes it is me." She kept saying is it really you? And he said, "Yes, what is wrong?" At that she just started sobbing and sobbing into the phone. After some time, she explained, "The children's father bought a TV and video 2 days ago. Tonight I found my young son practicing the Haraam that he saw on his younger sister!" Then she collapsed sobbing again."
Everything starts with a look / and big fires start from a little spark

Turn OFF TV, Turn ON Life

After a grueling first year in the Faculty of Shari'ah, I came home to Canada where I spoke to a friend whom I hadn't spoken to for over a year. In the conversation he said, "last night on TV Seinfeld said..." I was puzzled and realized that for an entire year I had not heard anything other than Imam Shaafi'ee said, and Imam Abu Hanifa said. It was an ignorance that as Shaykh Abdul Muhsin 'Al-Abbaad would say "that we ask Allah ta'ala to increase us in it's ignorance."

Some people argue that TV is just a harmless avenue of entertainment and that there should not be a big deal made about it. It is interesting however that we see in Shari'ah that what is more deadly than Haram is Bid'ah. Why you ask? Because when someone does Haram like eating pork, he knows it is Haram and that one day it is hoped that knowledge will lead him to fear Allah and refrain. Bid'ah - on the other hand - is something a person does with the hope of reward from Allah, something that the person considers to be 'harmless'. It is deadlier because the chances of this person correcting the situation are less due to the ignorance which causes lack of motivation.

Other people will say that we have a TV for the news and Islamic or educational programs? Dear brothers and sisters, is there no other avenue to get the news? Is there no other means by which a child can be educated and stimulated to learning?

Didn't anyone ask why we get all this 'FREE' TV? What does the TV sell? No it doesn't sell Coke or Nike or McDonalds burgers, it sells the AUDIENCE TO ADVERTISING COMPANIES! Why do you think they charge $1 million for 30 seconds of advertising in a Superbowl game?

Consider these facts:

Brand loyalty starts at age 2 - they can snatch a child into a lifetime of allegiance to their product from that tender age. How old were you when you started loving Coke or Pepsi?

On average, a viewer watches 20,000 commercials each year. If we repeated a page of Qur'an to you that many times, do you think you would memorize it?

This is just for the products, what about the 'Aqeedah that they are being taught, a whole stack of beliefs that gets fed to them every time they sit to listen to their third parent. Where are the horrific stats for that?

To give just a simple example that we all know, go to a lecture where the Imam is talking about women's rights in Islam. Listen to the Muslim males and females debate with the Imam. Where did they get their points? Where did they become so hostile to anything that contradicts the Western view of women's rights? Why is there no hostility to the Western view?
Most of it was learnt on TV, the rest was learnt in the public school curriculum.

If this is the programming, the brain washing of our youth, then where shall they be reprogrammed when they prefer the TV over anyone else. Dear brothers and sisters, it is a fact that more than half of American children would rather watch TV than spend time with their mother or father.

After surveying a lot of young children and asking them what is the one thing that they would sacrifice their favorite TV shows for, many replied that if there were some sort of outside activity they would give preference to that. Meaning, if someone took them by the hand and organized some after school activities they would embrace the idea.

Here are some other things that you can do instead of being shackled to the TV, the option is yours:

- Play outdoor games

- Build extra curricular skills, such as martial arts or calligraphy or sewing or

- Visit the library.

- Take on a job where they one can become serious about life and work.

- Do acts of worship such as reciting dhikr and wird, salaah, reading Qur'aan, fasting, and thinking about the signs of Allaah in His creation.

- Adopt an Islamic cause in the place where you live, and take part in it, such as teaching Muslim girls.

- Support an Islamic magazine by sending articles, statistics and useful information of interest concerning Muslims in the West.

- Take part in charitable projects to help Muslim orphans, widows, divorcees and elderly, or joining a committee to help organize social programs and celebrations for Muslims on Eid.

- Find righteous friends to meet with and good neighbors to visit.

- Read Islamic books in particular and useful stories in general.

- Take part in da'wah activities, men or women's activities and preschool programs in Islamic centers.

- Listen to tapes and lectures, write summaries of them, and distribute the summaries to anyone who could benefit from them.

- Do arts and crafts

- Cook items to be sold to raise funds for the Islamic center.

- Take an interest in computers and computer programs. This is a vast field that can fill a lot of time, and the computer can be used to do a lot of good things as well as providing entertainment in the form of permissible games.

- Spinning, weaving, cutting out and sewing.

- Gardening

- Exercising outside or at home.

In conclusion dear brothers and sisters, today is the beginning of a new day. Allah gave us this day to use as we will. We can waste it or use it for something good and beneficial.But let us know that what we do today is important because we are exchanging a day of our life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever; and in it's place shall be something that we left behind ... lets let it be something good and something beneficial.

THE OBVIOUS EXISTENCE OF GOD..


By: Harun Yahya

From the moment man opens his eyes to this world a great order surrounds him. He needs oxygen to survive. It is interesting that the atmosphere of the planet on which he lives provides more than just the adequate amount of oxygen he needs. This way, he breathes without difficulty. For the existence of life on this planet, the existence of a source of heat is essential. In response to this need, the sun is located just at the right distance to emit just the exact amount of heat and energy man needs. Man needs nourishment to survive. Every corner of the world abounds in astonishingly diversified provisions. Likewise, man needs water. Surprisingly, three-fourths of the planet is covered with water. Man needs shelter, and in this world, there is land on which it is suitable to build and all sorts of materials to make shelters.
These are only a few among billions of details making life possible on earth. In brief, man lives on a planet perfectly designed for his survival. This is certainly a planet "created for human beings".
A person's interpretation of the world rests on "acquired methods of thought." That is, he thinks in the way he has been taught, or, less kindly, the way in which he is indoctrinated. Under this misguidance, he often dismisses all the aforementioned as "trivial realities." However, if he does not side-step the matter, and start questioning the conditions making our existence possible, he will surely step out of the boundaries of habitual thinking and start to think:
How does the atmosphere serve as a protective ceiling for the earth?
How does each one of the billions of cells in the human body know and perform its individual tasks?
How does this extraordinary ecological balance exist on earth?
A person seeking answers to these questions surely proceeds on the right path. He does not remain insensitive to things happening around him, and doesn't plead ignorance about the extraordinary nature of the world. A person who asks questions, who reflects on and gives answers to these questions will realize that on every inch of the planet, a plan and an order reigns:

How did the flawless order in the whole universe come into being?
Who provided the delicate balances in the world?
How did living beings, incredibly diversified in nature, emerge?
Keeping oneself occupied with relentless research to answer these questions results in a clear awareness that everything in the universe, its order, each living being and structure is a component of a plan, a product of design. Every detail, the excellent structure of an insect's wing, the system enabling a tree to carry tons of water to its topmost branches, the order of planets, and the ratio of gases in the atmosphere, are all unique examples of perfection.

In every detail of the infinitely varied world, man finds his Creator. God, the owner of everything in the whole universe, introduces Himself to man through the flawless design of His creation. Everything surrounding us, the birds in flight, our beating hearts, the birth of a child or the existence of the sun in the sky, manifest the power of God and His creation. And what man must do is to understand this fact.

These purposes owe their existence to the fact that everything has been created. An intelligent person notices that plan, design and wisdom exist in every detail of the infinitely varied world. This draws him to recognition of the Creator.

So you never plead ignorance that all living beings, living or non-living, show the existence and greatness of God. Look at things around you and strive to show appreciation in the best manner for the eternal greatness of God.

The existence of God is OBVIOUS. Ignoring it would only be the beginning of the greatest damage we could ever do to ourselves. That is simply because God is in no need of anything. He is the One Who shows His greatness in all things and in all ways. God is the owner of everything, from the heavens to the earth. We learn the attributes of God from the Qur'an:

God! There is no god but Him, the Living, the Self-Sustaining. He is not subject to drowsiness or sleep. Everything in the heavens and the earth belongs to Him. Who can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them but they cannot grasp any of His knowledge save what He wills. His Footstool encompasses the heavens and the earth and their preservation does not tire Him. He is the Most High, the Magnificent.

(Surat al-Baqarah: 255)

RISKS INVOLVED IN TREATING SINS TOO LIGHTLY

You should know, may Allah (Azzawajal) have mercy upon you and me,
that Allah (Azzawajal), glorified be He, has made repentance
obligatory saying:


"O you that have believed, turn to your Lord in a
goodly way." (Al-Tahrim:8),


and has granted us time to repent until the Scribes register the sin in our names.

The Prophet (SAWS) has said: "The
Scribe on the left hand delays registering the sin of a Muslim for six
hours. If he repents (within these six hours), and seeks Allah's
forgiveness, they drop if off. If he doesn't, they write is down as a
single sin."


That is the first respite.

The second respite, even if it is registered, is until the appearance
of death before our eyes. (If a man repents sincerely before that
hour, it is taken off the records then).

But the problem with most people, is that they estimate not the
Majesty of the Lord as they should. They disobey Him in multiple ways
- day and night. To make things worse, there are some that are misled
by the notion of what they call "minor sins", so that you will see
them treating certain sins as inconsequential saying, for instance:


"Of what harm will be a look (at that woman), or of what consequence a
hand-shake with her?" In consequence, they stare freely at pictures of
women in the magazines, or those appearing in the television. Some of
them, when told about the sin in it, go a step further and inquire
amusingly: "O.K. What's the magnitude of the sin involved? Is it a
major one or minor?"

Compare this attitude with that of the Companions of the Prophet(SAWS) , on
whom be peace, as recorded by Bukhari in his Sahih: 1.


Said Anas, may
Allah be pleased with him (to one of the followers): "You imagine
certain sins to be more insignificant than a straw. But, at the time
of the Prophet (SAWS)we used to count them among those that can destroy a
man."


2. Ibn Mas'ud says: "A believer treats a sin as if it is a
mountain over his head that may fall on him any moment. Whereas a
regular violator looks at them as a fly that perked on his nose and he
waived it away with his hand."

Will these people then learn something from the above, and from the
hadith of the Prophet(SAWS) who said: "Beware of the minor sins. For the
example of the minor sins is like that of a group of travelers who
broke their journey in a valley. Then one of them brought in a straw.
Another came up with another (and a third with one more) until with
their collection they were able to gather enough t o cook their food.

Remember! If a man is held for questioning (on the day of Judgment)for
his minor sins, surely they will destroy him." In another version he
is reported to have said: "Beware of minor sins. For they add on until
they destroy the man."

The scholars say therefore that when minor sins are committed without
any remorse, without the fear of Allah, and accompanied by contempt
then they there is all the fear they will be counted as major sins.


Hence the saying: "There isn't a minor with persistence, and there
isn't a major with repentance." Hence we say to him who commits minor
sins: 'Do not look at the sins if they are small or big. Look at Him
in whose defiance you are committing them.'

It is hoped that these words about taking sins lightly will benefit
those who are true in their faith, are not seduced by their
delinquencies, nor are of those that insist upon their wrongs. These
words will in fact benefit those who believe in the following words of
Allah:


"Tell My slaves: that I am very Forgiving, very Kind,"
(Al-Hijr: 49), and those who believe in: "But My chastisement is a severe chastisement indeed." (Al-Hijr: 50)
Saturday, February 19, 2005

Television Kills, Says German professor

By Kate Connolly in Berlin

The Telegraph - UK
2-19-5

Television is responsible for the deaths of 20,000 Germans a year, according to a professor of psychiatry. Professor Manfred Spitzer, a neuroscientist at the University of Ulm, says he has found a direct correlation between watching excessive amounts of television and death caused by obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and diabetes. He said: "People who watch too much have little time for sport or movement of any kind. They eat more in turn and that leads to them becoming overweight and dying earlier."


The findings are based on studies of the habits of 15,000 children carried out across the western world. The professor focused on Germany but argued that the scale of the crisis was the same across Europe. In a book published yesterday, Beware of the TV Screen, Prof Spitzer also quantifies the damage television inflicts on the mind. "Children who watch TV have narrow horizons," he said. He told The Telegraph: "It reduces the plasticity of their brains which remain unstimulated and fail to develop properly.

"Later they smell and taste things differently because their senses are warped, and, as adults, go on to buy unhealthy foods, similar to those they have seen advertised on television." Television in early childhood also often led to attention deficiency, violence and depression that affected children's performance in the classroom, he said.

TRUE FAITH..



When I have true faith, I fear nothing and no one.
I experience Divine attention and care.
When my loved ones are in "danger", I trust that there is a Divine wisdom greater than my needs and desires.
Although I fight with love for a world of equality and well being for all, I am able to perceive divine justice and wisdom behind the apparent injustices.

When I have true faith, I do not complain when my desires are not fulfilled.
I do not feel that I have been forgotten when my prayers "are not answered", because I trust that the Divine knows better the needs of my soul.

When I have true faith, I am liberated from the need to control all and everyone. I allow each to follow his or her own inner voice.
I neither criticize nor condemn others or myself.

When I have true faith, I forgive easily, as I am aware that each experience is a just and wise opportunity for my growth process.
I feel secure in my confidence that all results of my efforts will be the best possible outcome for our mutual evolution.
I have patience because I know that the Divine knows better when my desires should be satisfied.

When I have true faith, I love all unconditionally - even those whom I do not know, and those who behave egotistically because I remember that each being is a unique Divine expression.
I never feel lonely. I feel the Divine close to me around me and within me.
I am sincere and truthful in all my transactions and communications. Doing otherwise would be to lie or cheat my own Self.
I give to all, serving the Divine in each. I remember that it is the one Universal Consciousness (my "Self") who is hungry who is homeless, orphaned or in jail.

When I have true faith, I am simple and humble. I have no need to boast of myself in order to feel my self-worth
My divine nature is my self-worth. What more then can I have or do in order to be worthy?
As divine energy is it possible that my self-worth can be change because of other people's opinions?

When I have true faith, I have clarity and power.
My energy is free to focus in the present and to express itself creatively and effectively.

When I have true faith, I am happy. I perceive Divine beauty everywhere and in everyone. Also in myself
My mind is free to experience the present, which is much more beautiful than the past and future.


When I have true faith, I proceed with courage even into the unknown because I know very well that all is Divine.
I radiate Joy, Light and Love.
There is peace and exhalation.
All is Divine.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

In Search of Sincerity

by Muhammad Alshareef

In one of the battles that the Muslims waged against the Romans, the Muslims - under the commandment of Maslamah (rahimahullaah) - surrounded a city that had a tall and well-fortified wall. The siege went on for months.

Then one night, one of the Muslim soldiers came to General Maslamah and told him of a hole that he had accomplished to bore through the wall. "It is only large enough for a slim soldier." He knelt closer. "Quickly, send with me someone who can squeeze through and fight the army on the inside until he has opened the gates for all of us to enter."

Maslamah sent out the news, and that night someone volunteered. In a sweeping assault, the gate was opened and the Muslims were victorious.

Maslamah, overwhelmed with happiness, sent out the word that the soldier that entered the hole should come forward. No one showed. A day passed and the request was repeated. Another day, then another. No one arrived to take credit.

On the fourth day, a soldier approached Maslamah, his face wrapped in a scarf. He said to him, "I have news of the soldier that entered the hole."
Maslamah sat up sharp, "Tell me who it is?"
"First, however," said the soldier, "he has three conditions before exposing himself. Do you agree to this?"
"Of course," Maslamah said.
"The first is that you do not try to compensate him for what he did. The second is that you do not tell anyone who he is. And the third is that you shall not ask for his presence ever again. Do you agree to these conditions?"
"It is agreed," Maslamah said.
The soldier, uncovering his scarf, said, "It is I. I went through that hole only for the sake of Allah." Then, turning, he walked away.


After that day, Maslamah was often heard praying to Allah, "O Allah, (on the Day of Resurrection) grant me companionship with the soldier of the hole."

Sometimes at any Islamic school, there are children who pray at the back, but the actions are better described as 'playing' (no, not with a lisp). Then when the head master or whoever they consider to have authority above them approaches, they all stand erect in complete devotion.
They are children and Allah will not take them to account. However, there are many adults that do this exact thing but on a more serious scale. The ingredient that we all need to work on throughout our lives as Muslims is Ikhlaas (sincerity).


Sincerity in all we do is a commandment of Allah:

[Say, "Indeed my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds. No partner has He. And this I have been commanded, and I am the first (among you) of the Muslims."] Surah Al-An'aam 6/162,163

[And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give Zakah. That is the correct Deen.] Surah Bayyinah 98/5

In defining Ikhlaas, Al-Jurjaani - rahimahullaah - said that it is to not seek any audience for your deeds other than Allah.

When one looks over the text of the Qur'aan and Sunnah, they will come to the realization that Allah Ta'ala and His Messenger - sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam - speak about sincerity in different aspects: Sincerity in Tawheed of Allah and sincerity in our intentions. Sincerity in our worship, such as in Salah, Sujood, Fasting, standing in Ramadan, standing in the night of Qadr, sincere love for the Masjid, Zakah, Sadaqah, Hajj, Jihaad, repentance, supplications, recitation of the Qur'aan, and so much more.

The Qur'aan and Sunnah speak about sincerity in all our verbal statements, sincerity in our refined and upright AKhlaaq (character), sincerity in our Tawakkul (placing of our trust) in Allah, and sincerity in all actions.

With Ikhlaas one will be saved from Hellfire and granted a lofty position in Jannah. [And they give food out of love for (Allah ta'ala) to the needy, the orphan and the captive. (Saying) "We feed you only for the countenance of Allah, we wish no reward from you nor gratitude. Indeed, we fear from our Lord a Day severe and distressful. So Allah will protect them from the evil of that Day and give them radiance and happiness. And will reward them for what they patiently endured (with) a garden (in Jannah) and silk (garments).] Surah Ihsan 76/8-12

Dear brothers and sisters, we must understand that there are certain things that contradict our Ikhlaas to Allah. Of these things are three, Reyaa', Sum'ah and 'Ujb.

Reyaa' is to perform an act of worship with the intention of showing it off to people, seeking their praise or some other vanity. Thus this person is seeking to be glorified or praised or hoped for or feared through this action. An example of this would be such as donating a large sum of money in order that people may think the contributor is generous.

Sum'ah is similar to Reyaa', but as the Ulama have said, it is those verbal statements that a person does for the sake of people.

Ibn Al-Mubaarak - rahimahullaah - said, "Perhaps a great deed is belittled by an intention. And perhaps a small deed, by a sincere intention, is made great."

'Ujb is the cousin of Reyaa'. It is when a person becomes impressed with himself for the 'great' deeds that he has done. This and all the other types are viruses that can kill our actions and turn them against us on the day of Resurrection.

Ya'qoob al-Makfoof - rahimahullah - used to say, "The sincere one is he who hides his good deeds in the same way that he would hide his bad."

Indeed insincerity in our actions is something very dangerous and can lead a person to ruin. Ibn Masood - radi Allahu 'anhu - would advise his students, "If your intention is one of these three, do not seek knowledge: To shame the ignorant, or to argue with the Fuqahaa', or to cause people to turn their faces in your direction. Intend with your actions and words that which is with Allah, for indeed that which is with Allah shall remain and everything else shall perish."

In conclusion, Ibn Al-Qayyim - rahimahullaah - said, "Deeds without sincerity are like a traveler who carries in his water-jug dirt. The carrying of it burdens him and it brings no benefit."

May Allah Ta'ala make us all from those whose deeds are done in accordance with the Sunnah, deeds that are done sincerely for the sake of Allah.
Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The Guantanamo Bay Tragedy Justice or Revenge?




http://www.islamonline.net/English/Views/2002/06/article13.shtml

THE CURE FOR RACISM..




When he was in Makkah, Al-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X) wrote a letter to his loyal assistants in Harlem... from his heart:

"Never have I witnessed such sincere hospitality and overwhelming spirit of true brotherhood as is practiced by people of all colors and races here in this ancient Holy Land, the home of Abraham, Muhammad and all the other Prophets of the Holy Scriptures. For the past week, I have been utterly speechless and spellbound by the graciousness I see displayed all around me by people of all colors.

"I have been blessed to visit the Holy City of Mecca, I have made my seven circuits around the Ka'ba, led by a young Mutawaf named Muhammad, I drank water from the well of the Zam Zam. I ran seven times back and forth between the hills of Mt. Al-Safa and Al-Marwah. I have prayed in the ancient city of Mina, and I have prayed on Mt. Arafat.

"There were tens of thousands of pilgrims, from all over the world. They were of all colors, from blue-eyed blonds to black-skinned Africans. But we were all participating in the same ritual, displaying a spirit of unity and brotherhood that my experiences in America had led me to believe never could exist between the white and non-white.

"America needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem. Throughout my travels in the Muslim world, I have met, talked to, and even eaten with people who in America would have been considered white - but the white attitude was removed from their minds by the religion of Islam. I have never before seen sincere and true brotherhood practiced by all colors together, irrespective of their color.

"You may be shocked by these words coming from me. But on this pilgrimage, what I have seen, and experienced, has forced me to rearrange much of my thought-patterns previously held, and to toss aside some of my previous conclusions. This was not too difficult for me. Despite my firm convictions, I have always been a man who tries to face facts, and to accept the reality of life as new experience and new knowledge unfolds it. I have always kept an open mind, which is necessary to the flexibility that must go hand in hand with every form of intelligent search for truth.

"During the past eleven days here in the Muslim world, I have eaten from the same plate, drunk from the same glass, and slept on the same rug - while praying to the same God - with fellow Muslims, whose eyes were the bluest of blue, whose hair was the blondest of blond, and whose skin was the whitest of white. And in the words and in the actions and in the deeds of the white Muslims, I felt the same sincerity that I felt among the black African Muslims of Nigeria, Sudan and Ghana.

"We were truly all the same (brothers) - because their belief in one God had removed the white from their minds, the white from their behaviour, and the white from their attitude.

"I could see from this, that perhaps if white Americans could accept the Oneness of God, then perhaps, too, they could accept in reality the Oneness of Man - and cease to measure, and hinder, and harm others in terms of their 'differences' in color.

"With racism plaguing America like an incurable cancer, the so-called 'Christian' white American heart should be more receptive to a proven solution to such a destructive problem. Perhaps it could be in time to save America from imminent disaster - the same destruction brought upon Germany by racism that eventually destroyed the Germans themselves.

"Each hour here in the Holy Land enables me to have greater spiritual insights into what is happening in America between black and white. The American Negro never can be blamed for his racial animosities - he is only reacting to four hundred years of the conscious racism of the American whites. But as racism leads America up the suicide path, I do believe, from the experiences that I have had with them, that the whites of the younger generation, in the colleges and universities, will see the handwriting on the walls and many of them will turn to the spiritual path of truth - the only way left to America to ward off the disaster that racism inevitably must lead to.

"Never have I been so highly honored. Never have I been made to feel more humble and unworthy. Who would believe the blessings that have been heaped upon an American Negro? A few nights ago, a man who would be called in America a white man, a United Nations diplomat, an ambassador, a companion of kings, gave me his hotel suite, his bed. Never would I have even thought of dreaming that I would ever be a recipient of such honors - honors that in America would be bestowed upon a King - not a Negro.

"All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all the Worlds.

Sincerely,
Al-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz" (Malcolm X)
(From the "Autobiography of Malcolm X" with assistance from Alex Haley, the author of ROOTS)
Sunday, February 13, 2005

Allah Promised to Protect the Qur’an

By: Harun Yahya

One of the Qur’an’s most important attributes is that it reached us in the very same form in which it was revealed to our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). In: [We have sent down the Reminder, and We will preserve it.] (Al-Hijr 15: 9), Allah promised to protect it.

The Divine Scriptures that were revealed before Islam lost their original forms over time; they are either incomplete or not fully accurate. In the case of the Qur’an, however, Allah placed the revelations into our Prophet’s (peace and blessings be upon him) memory. In addition, after he received each revelation, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) told his numerous Companions to write them down, thereby ensuring the Qur’an’s preservation in its original textual form. Caliph Abu Bakr (632-634) had the Qur’an compiled into a single copy, and Caliph Uthman (644-656) had copies of it sent to important Islamic cities. The following verses explain how our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) tried to remember the revelations, and how Allah helped him do so:

[Do not move your tongue trying to hasten it. Its collection and recitation are Our affair. So when We recite it, follow its recitation. Then its explanation is Our concern.] (Al-Qiyamah 75: 16-19)

As the verses maintain, our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) remembered the Qur’an in a unique way, for Allah implanted its verses in his mind. As his Companions wrote it all down while he was still alive, in compliance with His promise, each of its letters has remained unaltered since the beginning of its revelation over 1,400 years ago. Therefore, Allah’s revelation has survived intact to our day.

The Qur’an’s lack of any internal contradiction and discrepancy also shows that it is from Allah and is immune to change. The Qur’an is internally consistent and in full agreement with historical developments and scientific discoveries. This attribute is so certain and explicit that our Lord stated:

[Will they not ponder the Qur'an? If it had been from other than Allah, they would have found many inconsistencies in it.] (An-Nisaa’ 4: 82)

Many contradictions can be found in regular books. However, every word of the Qur’an is in full agreement with the others. In addition, the Qur’an provides information about previous generations, communities, different forms of administration, military strategies, and many other subjects, as well as about past and future events. The Qur’an is also in absolute agreement with historical facts as well as all developments that occurred after its revelation. For instance, the first verses of Surat Ar-Rum (the Byzantine Empire) state that the Byzantine Empire would suffer a great defeat, but nevertheless would be victorious shortly thereafter, as follows:

[Alif, Lam, Mim. The Romans have been defeated in the lowest land, but after their defeat they will be victorious in a few years’ time. The affair is Allah’s from the beginning to the end.] (Ar-Rum 30: 1-4)

These verses were revealed around 620 CE, almost 7 years after the idolatrous Persians vanquished the Christian Byzantines. In fact, Byzantium had been so severely defeated that its very survival was in question. Thus, its predicted victory seemed impossible to many, including the Arab polytheists.

In December 627 CE, the Byzantine and Persian empires fought a decisive battle at Nineveh . This time, the Byzantines unexpectedly defeated the Persians. A few months later, the Persians had to make an agreement with Byzantium , which obliged them to return Byzantine territory. In the end, “the victory of the Romans” that Allah promised, miraculously came true. This one example alone provides evidence that the Qur’an is the Word of Allah.

Another attribute of the Qur’an is that it contains key facts about many subjects (for example, astronomy, physics, and biology), at a time when people knew very little about such things. The Qur’an was revealed to the inhabitants of seventh-century Arabia , whose society contained many superstitious and groundless beliefs that were considered “scientific”. Lacking the technology to examine the universe and nature, they believed in legends inherited from past generations. For example, they thought that the mountains supported the sky, that the Earth was flat and had high mountains at both ends, and that these mountains served as pillars to keep the vault of heaven high over their heads. The Qur’an removed such superstitions, as we read in:

[Allah raised up the heavens without any support – you can see that... ] (Ar-Ra`d 13: 2)

Several scientific truths only recently uncovered by technology were stated in the Qur’an 1,400 years ago. Such facts are further evidence that the Qur’an is the Word of Allah.

The Qur’an is written in a language of such surpassing beauty and richness of reference that it transcends ordinary speech. At the time of its revelation, the poets of Arabia competed with each other to produce the best literary works. However, the Qur’an’s uniquely beautiful style earned their admiration, and they could not help themselves from accepting its wondrous nature in the literary sense.

This aside, an intricate mathematical code, far beyond the ability of human intelligence, is imbedded in the Qur’an’s fabric. Some related words are repeated the same number of times throughout the Qur'an. For instance: day is repeated 365 times, days is repeated 30 times, month is repeated 12 times, satan and angel are repeated 88 times, world and hereafter are repeated 115 times, summer-hotness and winter-coldness are repeated 5 times, punishment is repeated 117 times, forgiveness is repeated 234 times (twice as much as punishment), wealth is repeated 26 times, and poverty is repeated 13 times.

Such facts clearly show the Qur’an is the Word of Allah, not of humanity. It is Allah’s revelation to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), and has remained unaltered since it was revealed.

Allah expresses this superior attribute as follows: [If you have doubts about what We have sent down to Our servant, produce another surah equal to it, and call your witnesses, besides Allah, if you are telling the truth. If you do not do that – and you will not do it – then fear the Fire whose fuel is people and stones, made ready for the unbelievers. ] (Al-Baqarah 2: 23-24)

[Say: “If both humanity and jinn banded together to produce the like of this Qur’an, they could never produce anything like it, even if they backed each other up.” ] (Al-Israa’ 17: 88)


---------------------------------------------------------------------

Harun Yahya was born in Ankara in 1956. He studied arts at Istanbul’s Mimar Sinan University, and philosophy at Istanbul University. Since the 1980s, he has published many books on political, faith-related and scientific issues.

THE PAGAN ORIGINS OF ST.VALENTINE's DAY




Every community observes some festivals. The festivals fulfil a fundamental human need, and, hence a few days are set aside for rejoicing and entertainment. In Islam also two such days have been fixed, those of Eidul Fitr and Eidul Adha. These two holidays alone are the real religious and communal festivals of Muslims. Whatever is celebrated beside these two holidays has no religious basis at all.


The following hadith is Narrated by Anas ibn Malik (RA):
When the Apostle of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) came to Medina, the people had two special days in which they engaged in feasting and celebration. He asked: What are these two days (what is the significance)? They said: We used to engage ourselves on them in the pre-Islamic period. The Apostle of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said: Allah has substituted for them something better than them, the day of sacrifice and the day of the breaking of the fast.
With this hadith in front of us the question now is how can any Muslim with an atom's weight of iman celebrate Christian and other unislamic holidays that are steeped in paganism? One of these being the upcoming holiday known as St. valentine's day.

It is sad to see in this day and age people professing to be Muslim celebrating holidays that were started by pagans hundreds of years ago. The Catholic Church at first celebrated St. Valentine's Day. Later it was taken off of the list of official church holidays. However St. Valentine is still regarded as a saint in the eyes of the church. Here in Pakistan and also in other Muslim countries around the globe the fashion of celebrating this pagan holiday is taking hold. One sees in the newspaper advertisements for St. Valentine's day.

How many of us really know the origin of this day? The pagans of Rome first celebrated it before Christianity came to that part of the world. All kinds of haraam activities are associated with this day. Clearly this is an event that any rational thinking Muslim will avoid. For the Muslim there are only two holidays (eidain) and no others. We are not in need of any others. The holy Qur'an and the sunnat are replete with advise on who to love and how to love. We should not be following the ways of the ones who are destined for the hellfire.


The Origins of St. Valentine's Day

Although the mid-February holiday celebrating love and lovers remains wildly popular, the confusion over its origins led the Catholic Church, in 1969, to drop St. Valentine's Day from the Roman calendar of official, worldwide Catholic feasts. Some parishes, however, observe the feast of St. Valentine.

The roots of St. Valentine's Day lie in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, which was celebrated on Feb. 15. For 800 years the Romans had dedicated this day to the god Lupercus. On Lupercalia, a young man would draw the name of a young woman in a lottery and would then keep the woman as a sexual companion for the year. Among the other equally despicable practices associated with this day was the lashing of young women by two young men, clad only in a bit of goatskin and wielding goatskin thongs, who had been smeared with the blood of sacrificial goats and dogs. A lash of the 'sacred thongs' by these 'holy men' was believed to make them better able to bear children.

Pope Gelasius I was, understandably, less than thrilled with this custom. So he changed the lottery to have both young men and women draw the names of saints whom they would then emulate for the year. Instead of Lupercus, the patron of the feast became Valentine. For Roman men, the day continued to be an occasion to seek the affections of women, and it became a tradition to give out handwritten messages of admiration that included Valentine's name.

Due to the serious troubles that accompanied such a lottery, the French government banned the practice in 1776. In Italy, Austria, Hungry, and Germany also the ritual vanished over the years. Earlier, it had been banned in England during the 17th century when the Puritans were strong. However in 1660 Charles II revived it.

Esther A. Howland produced the first commercial American Valentine's Day cards in the 1840's and sold $5,000 worth in the first year. The valentine industry has been booming ever since.

There was also a conventional belief in Europe during the Middle Ages that birds chose their partners in the middle of February. Thus the day was dedicated to love, and people observed it by writing love letters and sending small gifts to their beloved. Legend has it that Charles, duke of Orleans, sent the first real Valentine card to his wife in 1415, when he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. (He, however, was not beheaded, and died a half-century later of old age.)

The next time someone mentions something about celebrating this unislamic event, it is your duty to remind him that Islam was brought to eradicate paganism not support it.

May Allah the All-Mighty guide us all to His straight path! Ameen!
Saturday, February 12, 2005

MUHARRAM: THE START OF THE ISLAMIC CALENDER


By: Muhammad Taqi Usmani

Muharram is the month with which the Muslims begin their lunar Hijrah Calendar. It is one of the four sanctified months about which the Holy Quran says, "The number of the months according to Allah is twelve months (mentioned) in the Book of Allah on the day in which He created heavens and the earth. Among these (twelve months) there are four sanctified".


These four months, according to the authentic traditions are the months of Zulqadah, Zulhijjah, Muharram and Rajab. All the commentators of the Holy Quran are unanimous on this point, because the Holy Prophet in his sermon on the occasion of his last Hajj, has declared:
"One year consists of twelve months, of which four are sanctified months, three of them are in sequence; Zulqadah, Zulhijjah, Muharram, and the fourth is Rajab."


The specific mention of these four months does not mean that any other month has no sanctity, because the month of Ramadan is admittedly the most sanctified month in the year. But these four months were specifically termed as sanctified months for the simple reason that their sanctity was accepted even by the pagans of Makkah.


In fact, every month, out of the twelve, is originally equal to the other, and there is no inherent sanctity, which may be attributed to one of them in comparison to other months. When Allah Almighty chooses a particular time for His special blessings, then it acquires sanctity out of His grace.


Thus, the sanctity of these four months was recognized right from the days of Sayyidina Ibrahim. Since the Pagans of Makkah attributed themselves to Sayyidina Ibrahim they observed the sanctity of these four months and despite their frequent tribal battles, they held it unlawful to fight in these months.


In the Shariah of our Holy Prophet the sanctity of these months was upheld and the Holy Quran referred to them as the "sanctified months".
The month of Muharram has certain other characteristics peculiar to it, which are specified below.


Fasting during the month


The Holy Prophet has said:


"The best fasts after the fasts of Ramadan are those of the month of Muharram."


Although the fasts of the month of Muharram are not obligatory, yet, the one who fasts in these days out of his own will and choice is entitled to a great reward by Allah Almighty. The Hadith cited above signifies that the fasts of the month of Muharram are most reward-able ones among the Nafl fasts i.e. the fasts one observes out of his own choice without being obligatory on him.
The Hadith does not mean that the award promised for fasts of Muharram can be achieved only by fasting for the whole month. On the contrary, each fast during this month has merit.

Therefore, one should avail of this opportunity as much as he can.


The Day of Ashurah


Although the month of Muharram is a sanctified month as a whole, yet, the 10th day of Muharram is the most sacred among all its days. The day is named Ashurah.
According to the Holy companion Ibn Abbas. The Holy Prophet , when migrated to Madinah, found that the Jews of Madinah used to fast on the 10th day of Muharram. They said that it was the day on which the Holy Prophet Musa (Moses) and his followers crossed the Red Sea miraculously and the Pharaoh was drowned in its water.


On hearing this from the Jews, the Holy Prophet said, "We are more closely related to Musa than you" and directed the Muslims to fast on the day of Ashurah. (Abu Dawood)
It is also reported in a number of authentic traditions that in the beginning, fasting on the day of Ashurah was obligatory for the Muslims.


It was later that the fasts of Ramadan were made obligatory and the fast on the day of ''Ashurah was made optional. Sayyidah Aishah has said:


"When the Holy Prophet came to Madinah, he fasted on the day of Ashurahh and directed the people to fast it. But when the fasts of Ramadan were made obligatory, the obligation of fasting was confined to Ramadan and the obligatory nature of the fast of Ashurah was abandoned. One can fast on this day, if he so wills, or can avoid fasting, if he so wills."


However, the Holy Prophet used to fast on the day of Ashurah even after the fasting in Ramadan was made obligatory.


Abdullah Ian Masud reports that the Holy Prophet preferred the fast of Ashurah to the fast of other days and preferred the fast of Ramadhan to the fast of Ashurahh. (Bukhari and Muslim)
In short, it is established through a number of authentic hadith that fasting on the day of Ashurah is Sunnah of the Holy Prophet and makes one entitled to a great reward.


According to another Hadith, it is more advisable that the fast of Ashurah should either be prefixed or suffixed by another fast. It means that one should fast two days: the 9th an 10th of Muharram or the 10th and 11th of it. The reason of this additional fast as mentioned by the Holy Prophet is that the Jews used to fast on the day of Ashurah alone, and the Holy Prophet wanted to distinguish the Islamic-way of fasting from that of Jews. Therefore, he advised the Muslims to add another fast to that of Ashurah.


Some traditions signify another feature of the day of Ashurah.


According to these traditions one should be more generous to his family by providing more food to them on this day as compared to other days. These traditions are not very authentic according to the science of Hadith. Yet, some Scholars like Baihaqi and Ibn Hibban have accepted them as reliable.


What is mentioned above is all that is supported through authentic sources about Ashurah.
However, there are some legends and misconceptions with regard to Ashurah that have managed to find their way into the minds of the ignorant, but have no support of authentic Islamic sources, some very common of them are these:


This is the day in which Adam was created.
This is the day in which Ibrahim was born.
This is the day in which Allah accepted the repentance of Sayyidina Ibrahim.
This is the day on which the Qiyamah (dooms-day) will take place.
Whoever takes bath in the day of Ashurah will never get ill.
All these and other similar whims and fancies are totally baseless and the traditions referred to in this respect are not worthy of any credit.
Some people take it as Sunnah to prepare a particular type of meal in the day of Ashurah. This practice, too, has no basis in the authentic Islamic sources.


Some other people attribute the sanctity of Ashurah to the martyrdom of Sayyidina Husain during his battle with the Syrian army. No doubt, the martyrdom of Sayyidina Husain is one of the most tragic episodes of our history. Yet, the sanctity of Ashurah cannot be ascribed to this event for the simple reason that the sanctity of 'Ashurah was established during the days of the Holy Prophet much earlier than the birth of Sayyidna Husain.
On the contrary, it is one of the merits of Sayyidna Husain that his martyrdom took place on the day of Ashurah.


Another misconception about the month of Muharram is that it is an evil or unlucky month, for Sayyidna Husain was killed in it. It is for this misconception that people avoid holding marriage ceremonies in the month of Muharram. This is again a baseless concept which is contrary to the express teachings of the Holy Quran and the Sunnah. Such superstitions have been totally negated by the Holy Prophet . If the death of an eminent person in a particular day renders that day unlucky for all times to come, one can hardly find a day, free from this bad luck, out of 365 days of the whole year, because each and every day has a history of the demise of some eminent person. The Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet have made us free from such superstitious beliefs, and they should deserve no attention.


Another wrong practice related to this month is to hold the lamentation and mourning ceremonies in the memory of martyrdom of Sayyidna Husain.


As mentioned earlier, the event of Karbala is one of the most tragic events of our history, but the Holy Prophet has forbidden us from holding the mourning ceremonies on the death of any person. The people of Jahiliyyah (Ignorance) used to mourn over their deceased relatives or friends through loud lamentations, by tearing their clothes and by beating their cheeks and chests. The Holy Prophet stopped the Muslims from doing all this and directed them to observe patience by saying "Inna lillaahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji oon". A number of authentic hadith are available on the subject.


To quote only one of them:
"He is not from our group who slaps his cheeks, tears his clothes and cries in the manner of the people of jahiliyyah."


All the authentic jurists are unanimous on the point that the mourning of this type is absolutely impermissible. Even Sayyidna Husain shortly before his demise, had advised his beloved sister Sayyidah Zainab not to mourn over his death in this manner. He said:


"My dear sister, I swear upon you that you, in case I die, shall not tear your clothes, nor scratch your face, nor curse anyone for me or pray for your death".


It is evident from this advice of Sayyidna Husain that this type of mourning is condemned even by the blessed person for the memory of whom these mourning ceremonies are held. Every Muslim should avoid this practice and abide by the teachings of the Holy Prophet and his beloved grand child Sayyidina Husain.


Blessings of Muharram


It is the first month of the Islamic Calendar.


The meaning of the word:- The word "Muharram" means "Forbidden." Even before Islam, this month was always known as a scared month in which all unlawful acts were forbidden, prominently the shedding of blood.


A blessing of Muharram:- There are many bounties of this month, especially the tenth of Muharram.


Two of the many virtues of the 10th of Muharram:-


On this day he who spends more lavishly for the sake of his family members, Allah Taala will bestow blessing upon the sustenance of the following year.
Abu Qataada has related that the Prophet has reported to have said, It is my thought that by fasting on the 10th of Muharram Allah Taala will pardon the sins of the past year. (Tirmizi)


Events of Muharram


Hadhrat Hussain was martyred in this month.


Shaykhain Tirmizi & Haakim has narrated from Anas that the following verse:


"Allah may forgive thee of thy sins that which is past and that which is to come." (Al-Fath) was revealed on the 10th of Muharram.


The Prophet Muhammed went to defeat Bani Muhaarin and Bani Tha'laba (Tribes of Bani Gatfan) in the year 4 A.H. (Asahhus-siyar)

Friday, February 11, 2005

AFFLICTING A MUSLIM WITH THE TONGUE

The Messenger of Allah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said:
"The whole of the Muslim is sacred, his blood, his property and his
honor. " [Muslim]

Backbiting
Allah, the Most High said:
"Do not backbite one another, would any one of you love to eat the
flesh of his dead brother, verily you detest this...." [Al-Hujuraat
43:12]

The Messenger of Allah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said: "Backbiting is
mentioning something about your brother that he dislikes. " [Maalik &
Ibn Mubaraak]

And in another narration, he Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said:
"Backbiting is to mention about a person something about him in his
absence". [Abu Dawood]

The Messenger Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said: "Do you know what is
gheebah (Backbiting)? They said "Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon
him) know best." He (peace be upon him) said: "Mentioning about your
brother what he would hate (in his absence)'. It was said: 'What about
if what I say about my brother is true?' He (peace be upon him) said:
"If what you said about him is true then you would have backbited him,
and if it is not true, then he is slandered (buhtaan). [Muslim]

Based on the above Hadeeth backbiting can be defined as:
"Mentioning about a person in his absence something he would hate even
if it is a characteristic he possesses."

Backbiting is haraam and the person who involves in it must repent.

When is talking about your brother not considered to be backbiting:
Hind, the wife of Abu Sufyaan, came to the Messenger (peace be upon
him) and said:

"Abu Sufyaan is a miserly man and he does not give me enough for me and
my child except if I take from him and he does not know. " The
Messenger (peace be upon him) said: "Take what is commonly known as
enough for you and your child".
[Bukhari & Muslim]

It is clear from the above Hadeeth, that, in certain specific cases, a
Muslim is permitted to talk about someone behind his or her back. For
example:

a) If a man is oppressed, he can go to the ruler or judge or someone
who has the ability to stop the oppression, and make a petition, as
Hind did.

b) Also, when seeking an Islamic ruling, it is allowed to mention a
person's bad quality, as is established in the hadeeth of Hind above,
as when Hind asked: "Abu Sufyaan is a miserly man and he does not give
me enough for me and my child except if I take from him and he does not
know".

c) Seeking help to change a wrong by taking one's right. If someone
cannot change it himself, then he can go to someone who is in a
position to change it. Thus, he will have to backbite his oppressor to
inform the person who can give him authority. The hadeeth of Hind above
exemplifies this.

In the case of "commanding good and forbidding evil", a person is
allowed to mention the known innovation or sin of another person, in
order to warn others about it. However, if one declares the actions of
people that are done in secret, this is considered to be backbiting.

One is also permitted to inquire about a person who has a specific
callname, like the deaf man, or blind man. However, if his correct name
is known, then it would not be allowed to use other false names.

In the same vein, one is allowed to forewarn and caution his brother or
sister, about someone who is a sinner or innovator, in order for them
to be free from their influence. Allah, the Most High said:

"Help one another in righteousness and piety; but do not assist one
another in sin or transgression" [Al-Maaidah 5:2]


Some factors that cause backbiting and their cures:
1. Subsiding anger.
This is done by backbiting the person who kindles his anger -so
everytime this person makes him angry, he subsides it by backbiting the
person. Through this (the backbiting), he feels he is getting even with
the other person. The cure for this is the advice of the Messenger
Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam "Whoever suppresses his anger while in a
position to enforce it, Allah will call him at the head of the creation
until he chooses for him from the hoor'een (special women of Jannah
that are promised to the believer), for him to marry from them as he
pleases. [Ahmad and At-Tabaraanee]

2. Wanting to keep Mends.
In order to maintain friends with others, a person indulges in
backbiting because he is afraid of losing their friendship. Thus he
does not reprimand them when they backbite, but indulge in it with
them. To cure this he must remember the saying of the Messenger
Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam "Whoever solicit the pleasure of men by
displeasing Allah, Allah will consign him to mankind. [At-Tirmidhi]

3. Wanting to raise one's status with other people.
This is done by debasing others, by saying things like such and such a
person, is ignorant or his understanding is weak, thus indirectly
implying that he is more knowledgeable than the one he debases. In
order to cure this sickness, the perpetrator must be reminded that
Allah is the final judge and this person that he is claiming is
ignorant, might be better than him with Allah. Furthermore, that person
may be excused because of his lack of understanding.

4. Playing around and making fun of others.
This could involve mockery and sarcasm. It is enough to remind those
indulging in this practice of what Allah, the Most High said:

"O you who believe! Let not a group scoff at another group, it may be
that the latter is better than the former..." [Al-Hujuraat 49:11]

At other times, it could involve lies, as mention is made of some
people in a way to make others laugh. It is enough to answer with the
statement of the Messenger Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam: "Woe to the one
who speaks and lies to make people laugh, woe to him, woe to him"
[Ahamad, Abu Dawood & others]

5. Envy.
Through envy, a person is backbited because of his noble position and
high standing, in order to debase and reduce his worth in people's
eyes. The envier should reflect upon the statement of the Messenger
Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam: "Faith and envy cannot exist together in
the heart of the slave". [Ahmad 8: 436]

6. Fear of Blame.
Something is attributed to a person who wants to free himself from it,
by blaming another person totally, although they both had shared in the
act. He does this so that he can free himself from being blamed. The
correct thing to do is to acquit himself honestly, and not try to throw
the blame upon anyone else.

7. Having too much spare time.
This can cause a person to fall into backbiting, because it is easy for
such an idle mind to become busy with men, their honor and their
faults. To correct this a person must spend his time in acts of
obedience to Allah, worship, seeking knowledge, and teaching others.
The Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said: "Two blessings are
misused by people, good health and spare time to do good." [Bukhari]

8. Trying to get close to a person in authority to acquire material
gains.
In order to get close to those in authority and to gain their favors,
someone may backbite his workmates with his boss. To cure this, he must
realize the true value of this world with Allah, the Glorious, and that
He is the Provider, and that He would allow him to get only what he
deserves. And no boss can give him anything if Allah, the Sublime does
not will such for him. The Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said:

"...know that if the nation (all mankind) were to gather together to
benefit you with something, it would only benefit you with something
that Allah had already prescribed for you..." [At-Tirmidhi]

Sunday, February 06, 2005

MATTHEW C.INGALLS


30/03/2003

Allah guided me to Islam when I was 14 years old. My initial readiness to accept Islam and my reversion to din al-fitrah (the religion that conforms to human nature) at such an age seems to imply that I was all but a Muslim already. But if we were to examine it as a cause and effect relationship, we must first start with the conversion of my friend Nabil in the summer of 1992.
Nabil was born in Africa to Isma?ili Shiite parents of Indian descent, but he spent his childhood in Canada. The only contact he had with anything even remotely Islamic was his infrequent visits to the Isma?ili Jamaat Khana with his parents. Essentially, he knew nothing about Islam. In the summer before he was to attend a Protestant boarding school in Massachusetts, Nabil visited India as a tourist with his cousins.


The majority of the trip was spent in idle pursuits; however three days before he was scheduled to return to Canada, Nabil went to the market of Delhi to buy gifts for his family. While shopping, members of a da?wah (Islamic missionary) group from South Africa, who were in Delhi for a four-month stint, approached him and asked him his name. When he replied,'Nabil' An apparently Muslim name, one of the brothers replied with the Islamic greeting of as-salamu ?alaikum (peace be upon you).

Nabil, though ignorant of even the correct response to such a greeting, was nonetheless intrigued by the genial group of men, and accepted an invitation to join them the next day at the Islamic da?wah center in Nizamuddin, a small city just outside Delhi. They told him to be there at 5:00. He learned from his cousins later that evening that this meant 5:00 a.m.

With the God-given ability to do anything commendable, Nabil made the hour-long journey to the center long before sunrise. He witnessed thousands of worshippers perform the dawn prayer in perfect unison -- an astounding spectacle to him.

Afterward, he listened to a motivational talk by the renowned Indian Sheikh, Molana Umar Palanpourri, which was translated by a member of the South African group that he had met the previous day. Based on a paradigm that was completely foreign to Nabil, the essence of the speech lay slightly beyond his grasp, but the boy listened patiently and attentively. Afterwards, he was invited downstairs to partake in breakfast with the foreign da'wah groups. By the Will of Allah, Nabil sat next to a group from Egypt. The head of the group, an elderly soft-spoken gentleman, glanced compassionately at the boy who was eating what he could of the simple food. He asked the boy his name, reflected for a moment, and then asked, 'Nabil, why are you here??
'

'Well, I was invited by the group from South Africa to come this morning'

'No, no, this is not what I mean,' replied the old man with a remarkably fluent command of the English language. 'Why are you here, on this earth' breathing, living, waking up every morning' For what purpose is all this??'

Nabil was silent. In the fourteen years of his existence on earth, he had never once even thought of such a question. Taking the boy's reticence as ignorance, the man continued, 'You are here to perform a great job -- the greatest and noblest job there is. You are here to know the One Who gave you everything -- everything you have, have had, and ever will have. And then you are to tell others about this One. If you do this correctly, you are successful; if you don't do this, then you have failed to fulfill the purpose for which you were created.'


The man's words were simple, but Allah had opened Nabil's heart to their weightiness. He remained in the center for the next two days, and before he left for home on the third day, he announced his conversion to those present with the shahadah, the testimony of faith. The rest of the summer he spent in Canada learning as much as he could about his new religion.


That fall, Nabil's parents sent him to St. Mark's boarding school in Massachusetts, where he would struggle to fulfill the purpose for which he was created.

I was in the height of my awkward stage that freshman year at St. Mark's. I met Nabil in passing during the first week of school, and my first impression of him was that he was Indian and wore a fuzzy beard. A month later, we sat next to each other on a long bus ride to the school of a rival sports team. We spoke the entire ride. Nabil struck me as jovial, polite, and intelligent. In a short time, he became one of my closest friends.

I was particularly attracted to his generosity. While all the other prep-school students would get food from their parents and horde it, eating it secretly when alone or cruelly in front of other students, Nabil would buy food specifically with the intention of sharing with others, be they friends or not. As I was completely ignorant of Islam at that point, the only thing that struck me about his religious identity was that he did not eat pork and that he would explode in rage when anybody touched the strange sacred book that he kept in a mother-of-pearl jewelry box on top of his bureau.

One day Nabil, in a moment of spiritual zeal, burst into my room, where I was sitting with another student, and without establishing the customary rapport, blurted out, 'I'm going to tell you guys something that if you say it, one day you will be happier than you can imagine, and you will wish that you had said it more than you did.'

Intrigued, we pressed Nabil to tell us, to which he replied,

"La ilaha illa Allah; Muhammadu rasulu Allah."

We repeated the words after him and he corrected our pronunciation, promising to tell us the meaning later. Though the strange language meant nothing to me, I took it upon myself to write down the transliteration of the words. I read the sentence to myself repeatedly that week, and within a few days, I had memorized it. Allah was meanwhile opening my heart to its meaning without my knowledge.

Dave from Texas was a notoriously racist student. Every black student at St. Mark?s hated him. He had been beaten bloody earlier that year by the token Native American student because of his particularly skewed racial outlook on society, which had already landed him in the dean?s office three times within the first six months of school. When he first learned that Nabil was Muslim, Dave remarked in his affected southern twang,

"Yea, well I saw that movie Not Without My Daughter, and ya'll worship the devil as far as I see it." Perhaps it was not a deep-rooted hatred in Dave that produced such comments, but rather his love of confrontation as a product of his own insecurities. Nabil sensed this, and bore Dave's bigotry with patience and sympathy for the troubled boy. Eventually he managed to explain the true message of Islam to the Texan, and he accepted it at once. By the second half of freshman year, Dave was waking Nabil up daily to perform the dawn prayer.

In the meantime, Nabil was conducting intensive late-night Islamic talks with another young student named Hammer, who had recently become disenchanted with Christianity. On an average Saturday night, Nabil would answer Hammer's questions and field his objections until 2 a.m., after which he would come talk to me, either continuing with the religious discourse or delving into the worldly.

He explained the meaning of the foreign words that I had previously memorized and used this as a launching point to explain the greater purpose to human existence, namely the knowledge and worship of One God, as had been generally explained to him by the Egyptian Sheikh that previous summer.

I found the teachings logical; I knew God to be one already, and the role of Jesus (peace be upon him) as a prophet and not the son of God cleared my head of the problematic tenets of faith that I had encountered in Christianity. But to consider my eventual conversion to Islam a logical journey, particularly at the age of fourteen, is erroneous. In retrospect, I believe that due to my age, I was close enough to the natural predilection (fitrah) toward belief in One God with which we are all born.

The memorization and repeated recitation of the Islamic credo, La ilaha illa Allah; Muhammadu rasulu Allah (There is none worthy of worship except Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah), opened my heart to the reality of this natural predilection and facilitated my submission to what it required of me.

One late evening, after a particularly exhausting religious discourse, I abruptly interrupted my companion's thought and said, "Nabil, I'm ready."
"Ready for what? "
"I'm ready."

I looked at him in the eyes with the recalcitrant stoicism of a man who knows, with certainty, of the thunder that he is calling down upon himself with the choice he is about to make. Nabil narrowed his eyes, reading my resolution. He smiled and slapped my palm.


Nabil took Hammer and me to the mosque for the first time on a Thursday night in May of 1993. Referring to a visit to St. Mark's earlier that year by a Muslim man named Issa from Providence, Hammer confided in me on the way to Boston that night, "The moment it clicked for me was when Issa was speaking to us. He was saying, "A car's purpose is to take its owner from place to place, and if it breaks down and isn't able to fulfill its purpose, the owner has no use for it. Likewise, if we don't fulfill the purpose for which the Creator and Owner of all created us, then He has no use for us." I figured we owe it to Allah to find out what our purpose is, and then to do it, or else we're useless and ungrateful."

After the evening prayers and an informal talk to a medium-sized audience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology mosque that night, the Sheikh of the mosque, Abdul Badia', explained to Hammer and me the basic pillars of Islamic belief, the pillars of worship, and a few the things we must not do.

He spoke with a certainty and wisdom that I had never encountered in a religious figure before him, as if the unseen Truths were as manifest as those of the seen world. He asked us if we accepted these principles, to which we replied in the affirmative. We recited the shahadah before the Muslim audience, made du'a (supplication) in a group, and then braced for the deluge of congratulatory hugs and handshakes from our new brothers in Islam.

I later learned that Allah had guided over five thousand people to Islam at the hands of Sheikh Abdul Badia'

Hammer and I returned to St. Mark's the next day as new people. There were only few weeks left in the school year before summer vacation, but we managed to establish the five daily prayers among the Muslim students.

Another student, Marshall, began to join the prayers by his own impetus, and he would come back the next school year as an official Muslim. Nabil would take time daily to teach us verses of the Qur?an and the method of prayer, ritual ablution, and Islamic purification. The school year soon ended, and each student went home for the summer.

My parents at first dismissed my conversion as merely a passing phase, but with time they realized that I was committed to my new beliefs. Nevertheless, they never opposed my decision once, and through the years they have taken great pains to help me fulfill the obligations of my religion -- buying me halal (Islamically slaughtered) meat, delaying dinner for prayer times, paying for my trips around the world to study Islam, even helping me to wake up for the pre-dawn meal during Ramadan. Thank Allah for American relativist noncommittal liberalism! Marshall experienced a similar reaction from his parents, while Hammer bore through several years of hostility from his.

The next year, our small band of Muslims braved a series of trials. Reverend H. W., the school's official (female) minister, warned our parents of the evils of our conversion, and even lobbied the school?s administration to have Nabil expelled from school.

The next year she was fired for her Bible-thumping fundamentalism. Another Armenian Christian teacher derided our religious beliefs at every opportunity and openly voiced his animosity towards Islam and the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). Allah, Who has promised the believers an egress from where they could never have imagined, disgraced him by exposing his molestation of a female student, for which he was fired that spring.

Our group has been through several ups and downs throughout the ten years in Islam.

Nevertheless, we have held together and, by the Mercy and Guidance of Allah, have maintained our religious observance. As I have experienced firsthand, Allah increases the faith of those who are steadfast and patient in the face of hardship.

I pray that Allah uses my story to increase the faith of those who read it.
Saturday, February 05, 2005

AADAAB9ETIQUETTE0 OF RECITING THE HOLY QUR'AAN

Allah Ta'ala says in the Quraan: (and recite the Quraan fluently and correctly.) "Surah 73"

The Quraan being the most glorious book and the word of The One and only Supreme Monarch -Allah.

It is thus most important for every Muslim to recite the Quraan with all due respect and at the same time consider it a privilege to be able to recite the words of Allah.

Those who experienced the emotion of love will know how worthy of adoration a letter or speech of the beloved is for one who has lost his heart. The ecstacy and emotions that follow are beyond all the rules and regulations, as it is said "Love will teach you the rules of love."

While reciting the Quraan, if we attempt to visualize the beauty and limitless bounty of our beloved Allah, our hearts will be swayed with emotions of heavenly love. At the same time, the fact that the Quraan is the word of the Master of masters and the ordinance of the King of Kings. It is the law promulgated by the most powerful Monarch that never was equalled by the greatest of humans and never will be equalled.

Those who have been involved in matters pertaining to the courts of rulers know and those who were not involved can assume or imagine what awe the order of the King has on the hearts of those involved. The Quraan being the word of our beloved Allah and the order of the Supreme Monarch both the love and awe of Allah must be present while reciting the Quraan.

When Hazrat lkrimah (R.A.) opened the Quraan to recite he would fall unconscious and after regaining consciousness he would immediately say, "These are the words of my Allah, these are the words of my Allah."

The above mentioned is briefly the Aadaab of reciting the Quraan. However, the few Aadaab that the great scholars and mashaaikh have written in great numbers will very concisely be put forward for the readers.

A person when reciting the Quraan should recite it as a slave before the Most Gracious whose words these are. The sufis have stated that a person who recites the Quraan with all the rules and yet feels that he is not reciting the Quraan correctly will gain nearness to Allah and that person who feels that he is reciting the Quraan very well is surely drifting away from Allah.

The Aadaab before reciting,

1.Perform wudhu and also use the Miswaak.

2.Sit in a secluded place.

3.Face towards the Qibla.

4.With contentment of heart sit and recite the Quraan in such a manner as if one is reciting it in the presence of Allah.

5.If one understands what he is reciting then when he recites an ayat of mercy he should ask Allah to have mercy on him, if he recites an ayat in which the punishment of Allah is mentioned then he should ask Allah to save him from that punishment, and if an ayat in which the grace and glory of Allah is mentioned then one should say " Subhaanallah."

6. While reciting one should shed tears, if this is not possible then one should at least by force even let a few drops flow.

7.If one is reciting the Quraan and the niyat is not for memorising it, then one should recite slowly and not hastily.

8.The Quraan should be placed on a desk, pillow or any elevated place while reciting.

9.While reciting the Quraan one must not talk to any person, if it is very important then the Quraan must be closed, thereafter if one desires to continue reciting, the "Taowwuz" should be recited first and thereafter the recitation be carried on.

10.To recite the Quraan audibly is recommended; however, if one is reciting in such a place where others are present i.e. Masjids or gatherings, then it is better to recite softly.

11.All the rules and regulations pertaining to the recitation of the Quraan i.e. tajweed and makhaarij should be adhered to.

12.One should recite in a melodious tune, as this has been mentioned in many ahaadith. However to recite in the tunes of singers and non- believers is strongly forbidden.

13.The use of Itr (perfume that does not contain alcohol) is also recommended.

14.While reciting from the Quraan one must not lean on to anything or lie down or stretch ones legs out.


15.While reciting if one feels tired or starts to yawn then the recitation should be stopped and only after resting or when the tiredness is over should the recitation continue.

16.One should not recite the Quraan while walking and at the same time looking into the Quraan.

The abovementioned are a few of the important aadaab, if these are given due attention, lnsha Allah we will find the true benefits as promised by Allah and his beloved Rasool (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam )