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Friday, September 9, 2011

Seven Habits of Highly Successful Muslim Youth

Friday, September 9, 2011 - by King slaveofAllah · - 0 Comments

Seven Habits of Highly Successful Muslim Youth
By  Altaf Husain - Social Worker — USA

You cannot escape it. The discussion about habits is all around you: Mom and Dad are constantly telling you to break your bad habits; your teachers are telling you to develop good habits; your friends are pressuring you to adopt their habits; and the television and media are influencing you to explore new and supposedly cool habits. "You will never be successful," the constant refrain goes, "unless you drop your bad habits and develop some good habits." In the end, it's all up to you. You have to decide what your habits are going to be. Have you given this matter some thought?

If you are alive and breathing, you should constantly be engaged in an inner struggle to develop habits which draw you closer to Allah Most High. Success in this world is directly related to the strength of your relationship with Allah. The farther one is from Allah and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), the less likely one is to achieve success in this world and, for sure, even less likely to achieve success in the hereafter. Is it not time for us to reflect upon Islamic teachings to discern the necessary habits of highly successful Muslim youth?

Here are at least seven habits indispensable for highly successful Muslim youth, derived entirely from the Qur'an and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).

Be Truthful

Being truthful is not always easy, especially when we make a mistake. We fret over whether or not to disclose exactly what happened. We sweat, we are afraid, we feel nervous and anxious. We are often afraid that if we tell the truth about what we have done or said, we will be in trouble with our parents or friends. What we forget is that whether we tell the truth or not, Allah Most High knows exactly what took place, even those things that were never manifest or visible to people around us. Despite how burdensome telling the truth might seem, all of us are aware of the feeling of relief we experience when we tell the truth, even if the consequence of telling the truth is punishment. Casting the telling of truth and the fate of the truthful in terms of profit and loss, Allah Most High tells us in the Qur'an

[This is a day on which the truthful will profit from their truth: theirs are gardens, with rivers flowing beneath — their eternal Home: Allah well-pleased with them, and they with Allah. That is the great salvation, (the fulfillment of all desires).] (Al-Ma'idah 5:119)

So much is to be gained from being truthful as opposed to escaping punishment or blame because of not being truthful. Not being truthful, in fact, leads us down a slippery slope, guaranteeing that with one lie, more lies must be told. Being truthful is not an option for Muslims, but rather an obligation, because our goal in being truthful is Paradise. The beloved of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), said, as narrated by `Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him),

Truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise. And a man keeps on telling the truth until he becomes a truthful person. Falsehood leads to al-fujur [wickedness, evil-doing], and al-fujur leads to the (Hell) Fire, and a man may keep on telling lies till he is witten before Allah, a liar." (Sahih Bukhari, Book #73, Hadith #116)

Ultimate success is therefore achieved by living one's entire life — the youthful years, the adult years, and the elderly years — being truthful.

Be Trustworthy

Who do you rely on? Of course, Allah. He is indeed the Most Trustworthy. But among humans, who do you rely on? Who can you trust to come through for you all the time? Do people rely on you? Are you considered trustworthy?Moving ahead in life, achieving ultimate success, requires that people consider you trustworthy and reliable. Being trustworthy should not be an arbitrary activity but rather a habit so that you can be relied upon in all instances, big or small, convenient or inconvenient, easy or difficult.

In colloquial terms, we often hear "I've got your back," implying, in the most literal sense, that people cannot see what is behind them so they need to rely on their friends to cover that angle, just in case a threat occurs from the back. Just imagine what it would be like if a friend were climbing a tree and was heading out onto a very thin branch to get a kite that got stuck there. She asks you if you "have her back." In this instance, she is relying on you entirely to hold on to her in case the branch breaks. There is no room for joking around or for being distracted: your friend is trusting you with her life.

When we say Allah is the Most Trustworthy, we are coming to terms with the fact that Allah Most High will never let us down, will never leave our side. He, Most High, says about someone who willingly accepts Islam,

[Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah Heareth and Knoweth all things.] (Al-Baqarah 2:256)

Indeed, the prophets of Allah were all trustworthy people and Allah attested to the trustworthiness of those who were doubted by their communities. Prophet Hud, appealing to his community, declared to them,

[I but fulfill towards you the duties of my Lord's mission: I am to you a sincere and trustworthy adviser.] (Al-A`raf 7:68)

Practice daily developing the habit of being trustworthy. Accept responsibility and then fulfill it. When others trust you, do not betray their trust.

You can read in the beautiful biography of our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) how people used to entrust him with their valuables, knowing that upon their return they would find their valuables safe and unharmed. His personal and business practices were commendable to the degree that he was known for it in his community, even before he became aware that he was the Prophet of Allah, literally one who is most truthful and trustworthy.

Have Self-Restraint and Be God-Conscious

Perhaps the most difficult challenge while navigating adolescence is to restrain oneself from falling victim to one's desires — especially one's lower desires.

Our success in life depends to a great extent on how well we are able to restrain ourselves and to be moderate in what is permissible, as well as how capable we are of distancing ourselves from what is impermissible.

Why is self-restraint so critical? Satan's goal is to make you a slave of your desires to the extent that you eat until you are actually uncomfortable; that you consume without restraint beverages made of caffeine, sugar, and artificial flavors; that you find yourself longing for sleep more than prayer; and that you yearn to satisfy your sexual desires. Developing self-restraint as a habit entails making self-restraint your second nature — something which is done almost without thought, without too much effort. We are reminded by Allah Most High,

[And no one will be granted such goodness except those who exercise patience and self-restraint, — none but persons of the greatest good fortune.] (Fussilat 41:5)

In seeking to be highly successful Muslim youth, that is, youth deserving of the greatest fortune, it is imperative that you develop self-restraint.

An interesting parallel is that, throughout his Qur'an translation, the late Abdullah Yusuf Ali translates taqwa as self-restraint. While taqwa is most commonly translated as "God-consciousness," one realizes without much effort that the height of self-restraint is full and complete understanding that one is indeed conscious of one's duty to one's Lord. How awesome will it be if you can look back at your life and say to yourself, all praise is due to Allah that I did not succumb to my lower desires and instead exercised self-restraint consistently!

Be Thorough

Look around your room. How many unfinished projects do you have? When you work on homework, are you likely to rush through the assignment just so you can be done with it or are you more likely to take your time, to check your work, and most importantly, to be thorough?

Often teachers will grade a report based on how well and to what extent the student covered the topic at hand. Being thorough is not a habit that is developed overnight. The opposite of being thorough is being incomplete, being rushed, and working in haste without any regard for accuracy or quality. The most perfect is Allah Most High, Who perfected creation, Who perfected our religion, and Who guided His Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) to be the most perfect among humans in behavior and in character.

We read in the Muwatta of Imam Malik "Yahya related to me from Malik that he had heard that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'I was sent to perfect good character'" (Book #47, Hadith #47.1.8).

To be thorough stems from a desire to be perfect to the extent that this is humanly possible. Seeking perfection in our actions and speech from an early age helps us to develop a keen eye, not only for thoroughness in our own life, but also for thoroughness in the lives of those around us. Being thorough in prayer, for example, teaches us to be patient and to concentrate upon the words we are reciting and the different positions of the prayer.

Be Focused


One thousand ideas go through your head the moment you stand up for prayer. Is that you? Really? What do you make of those ideas? Do you process them? What about when you are sitting in class? Do you find your mind wandering, daydreaming, and unable to focus on the lecture at hand? Are you likely to use any excuse whatsoever to leave what you are doing?

Developing the habit of being focused ensures that you are awake, alert, and totally motivated to work on and complete the task at hand, whatever it may be. Being distracted early on in childhood by video games, fast-paced imagery, and constantly changing scenes on television shows contributes to an inability to concentrate, to focus. Among the best ways to develop focus is to practice praying with deep concentration to the extent that you are almost unaware of your surroundings. Allah Most High tells us in the Qur'an that the believers are

[those who humble themselves in their prayers] (Al-Mu'minun 23:2)

The humility referred to here results from total focus and concentration on the fact that one is in the presence of Allah, standing before Him, Most High. Do your best to develop focus, no matter what activity you are engaged in — whether in prayer, in academics, in athletics, or some other pastime.

Be Punctual

Stop saying over and over again that you are late because of "Muslim standard time," or the "standard time" of your particular ethnicity. The last thing we should attribute to Islam is the notion that its teachings somehow make us late, slow, slugging, and anything but punctual. What a sad state of affairs, indeed, that we attribute our own weaknesses to our religion or ethnicity!

Highly successful individuals, be they Muslim or not, understand and appreciate the value of not only their time but the time of everyone else with whom they interact. Keeping people waiting for hours on end is neither something to be proud of nor a habit that has a place in the mindset of a person who tries to be successful.

One of the central pillars of Islam is prayer, and Allah and the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) have given us clear reminders that we are to establish prayers at their due times.

When `Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) asked "which deed is the dearest to Allah?" the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, "To offer the prayers at their early stated fixed times" (Sahih Bukhari, Book #10, Hadith #505).

If indeed your day is to be considered successful, you must have prayed all the obligatory prayers at their established times and as many voluntary prayers as possible. If your day is planned around the times of prayer, you should not pray exactly at the time when you are to pray but then come late to all other appointments. Being punctual is a habit which, when perfected, demonstrates to others the tremendous value that Islam places on time — not only ours but that of everyone else with whom we interact.

Be Consistent


Apart from all the habits listed above, perhaps the one that is sure to help you become a highly successful Muslim youth is that of being consistent. One cannot be truthful one day and a liar the next; one cannot be trustworthy in one instance and totally unreliable in the next; and so on for each of the other habits. A Muslim understands from an early age that it is easier to do something once or whenever we feel like it but much harder to do something regularly and consistently.

Indeed, the Mother of the Believers `A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrates that "the most beloved action to Allah's Apostle was that which is done continuously and regularly" (Sahih Bukhari, Book #76, Hadith #469).

Regular and consist actions show that a person has thought about it, has intended to do it, has planned to do it, and therefore does it.

We urge you to be as consistent as possible, especially in those areas of your life which need constant improvement, such as your prayers, your fasting, your manners, your studying habits, etc. Do not say, I am going to pray all day every day, or fast voluntarily all of the days of every month, or study all night every night, because such actions cannot be humanly sustained over a long period of time. Say on the other hand, I am going to be sure to read at least one part of the Qur'an every day, or I will strive to help my parents with at least one household chore every day, or I will try to study at least one new item every week so that I can be ahead of the lesson plan.

Conclusion


Finally, Muslims aspire to develop all of these habits because, in doing so, we draw nearer to Allah Most High. If you are intent on being a highly successful Muslim youth, then you owe it to yourself to reflect upon your own life and see how many of these habits are already a part of who you are and how many you need to further develop or acquire.

We end with a reminder that developing these habits will help you to emulate the life of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). His message and his life are summarized well in a narration of `Abdullah ibn `Abbas:

Abu Sufyan told me that Heraclius said to him, "When I enquired of you what he (Muhammad) ordered you, you replied that he ordered you to establish the prayer, to speak the truth, to be chaste, to keep promises, and to pay back trusts." Then Heraclius added, "These are really the qualities of a prophet." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Book #48, Hadith #846)

Strive to develop the seven habits listed above and many others from the Islamic teachings so that you will be among the highly successful Muslim youth.

10 Steps to Draw Closer to Allah

- by King slaveofAllah · - 0 Comments

10 Steps to Draw Closer to Allah
Ten steps to Draw Closer to Allah
It should be the desire of every Muslim to draw nearer and closer to Almighty Allah the most compassionate and the most merciful. By drawing closer and near to Allah we gain his help in every aspect of our lives in this world and to be merciful to us so that we may gain mercy in the hereafter in order to enter Jannah in the next world.

When we call upon him he would answer our calls and when we ask of him for anything he would give it to us and when we draw nearer to him then our sincerity and intentions will enable us to become closer to him.

So we should strive to draw nearer to Allah, the Glorified the Exalted, who is the majesty of honour and generosity and the giver of peace, the most high and the most honoured.

So what can we do to draw closer to him? The following are 10 steps for us to draw closer to our Almighty Allah:

1. Fulfilling obligatory duties and abstaining from prohibited matters


The Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) has guided us. And Allah, the Glorified and the Exalted, has guided us how to draw near to Him. As He said According to Hadith Qudsi:

“Whoever draws near to Me among those drawn near by fulfilling what I have made obligatory on them….

You do not draw near to Allah except by fulfilling the obligatory duties which Allah has made obligatory on you; (that is) the obligatory duties from the obligatory duties (Faraid) such as Prayers, and Zakat (obligatory charity), and Hajj, and Fasting and being good to Parents and all these obligatory duties on you draw you near to Allah, the Glorified and the Exalted. And the faraid (obligatory duties) are the first things that draw you near to Allah. You do not reach the door of nearness nor do you reach to the presence of nearness except by fulfilling the obligatory duties. This is the first thing that draws you near to Allah, the Glorified and the Exalted, and you are in His Presence.

So the first thing we need to do is fulfil ALL of our obligatory duties and abstain from that which Allah and his messenger have forbidden us from.

2. Nawafil prayers (superogatory prayers)

Allah says in Hadith Qudsi:

….and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (voluntary deeds) until I love him, so I become his sense of hearing with which he hears, and his sense of sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he grips, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks Me, I will give him, and if he asks My Protection, I will protect him..." [Bukhari]


A Source of Elevation for you

The Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam) said: "Ask (anything)." Rabi'ah said: "I ask of you to be your companion in paradise." The Prophet said: “Anything else?" Rabi'ah said: "That is it." The Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam) said to him: "Then help me by making many prostrations (i.e., supererogatory prayers)." [Muslim]

Tahajjud

Allah Most High said, “Establish worship at the going down of the sun until the dark of the night, and (the recital of) the Qur’an at dawn. Lo! (the recital of) the Qur’an at dawn is ever witnessed. And some part of the night awake for its recital, as voluntary worship for you. It may be that your Lord will raise you to a praised estate.” [Qur’an, 17: 78-79]

Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) said, “The best prayer after the obligatory prayers is the night prayer.” [Muslim]

Abu Umama al-Bahili (Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him, his family, and companions) said, “Hold fast to night prayer, for it was the way of the righteous before you, a way of drawing closer to your Lord, an expiation for wrong deeds, and a shield from sin.” [Tirmidhi, and others] In some narrations, there is an addition, “And it repels sickness from the body.”

And because night vigil time is the best of times for voluntary worship and prayer, and the closest a servant is to his Lord.

So let us make the habit of reading as many Nawafil prayers as we can for more prayers means more prostrations and one is truly the closest to Allah in prostration.

….bow down in prostration and bring yourself the closer (to Allah)." (96:19)

3. Zikr (remembrance of Allah) and glorification of Allah


"…Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest." (13:28)

Remembrance of Allah indeed is the greatest virtue.(29:46).

O ye who believe, remember Allah much. And glorify Him morning and evening (33:42-43)

Remembrance of Allah is the foundation of all good deeds. Whoever succeeds in it is blessed with the close friendship of Allah. That is why the Prophet, peace be upon him, used to make remembrance of Allah at all times. When a man complained, "The laws of Islam are too heavy for me, so tell me something that I can easily follow," the Prophet told him, "Let your tongue be always busy with the remembrance of Allah." [Ahmad].

Remembrance of Allah the best of deeds

The Prophet, peace be upon him, would often tell his Companions, "Shall I tell you about the best of deeds, the most pure in the sight of your Lord, about the one that is of the highest order and is far better for you than spending gold and silver, even better for you than meeting your enemies in the battlefield where you strike at their necks and they at yours?" The Companions replied, "Yes, O Messenger of Allah!" The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "Remembrance of Allah." (Tirmidhi,Ahmad)

Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "The similitude of one who remembers his Rubb and one who does not remember Him, is like that of the living and the dead.'' [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Zikr can be done anywhere and anytime

A person may ask, ‘How can we do Zikr all the time whilst we have so many things to do in life such as we go to work, feed the family, pay bills, etc.? Well, the answer to this is that, firstly, it is the Sunnah of Allah's Messenger to work and feed the family which is rewarded by Allah and, secondly, that when a person is working or at school or wherever a person may be this does not mean that he should stop remembering Allah while he is working, while he is serving his customers or while he is programming his computer.

In fact the heart of the believer should be attached to Allah's remembrance throughout his day to day activities such that he protects himself from falling in love with the materials and temptations of this world and that his love for Allah and his Messenger becomes stronger and stronger as time goes by. When a person begins to remember Allah all the time it is then that he becomes conscious of his actions.

Remember: in a place where people are oblivious to dhikir, remembrance of Allah is like being steadfast in jihad, when others are running away. (Targhib, p. 193, vol. 3 ref. Bazar and Tibrani)

"... And the men and the women who remember Allah much with their hearts and tongues. Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward (i.e., Jannah).'' (33:35)


4. Calling upon Allah in Dua (supplication)

Allah the most compassionate says in the Holy Quran, "Call on Me. I will answer your prayer, but those who are too arrogant to serve me will surely find themselves humiliated in Hell" (40:60).

Allah the Exalted, has said: "And your Lord says: Pray unto me: and I will hear your prayer" (Quran 40:60),

"Call upon your Lord Humbly and in secret" (Quran 7:55),

"When My servants question thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me" (Quran 2:186),

"Is not He (best) who listens to the (soul) distressed when it calls on Him, and who relieves its suffering." (Quran 27:62)

Dua’s are never wasted

Aisha radhiallaahu anha said, "No believer makes Dua and it is wasted. Either it is granted here in this world or deposited for him in the Hereafter as long as he does not get frustrated."

Allah’s anger at those who don’t make dua

In fact, it is even wrong to never make Dua, "Whosoever does not supplicate to Allah, He will be angry with Him." [Saheeh Jaami`as-Sagheer #2414]

Dua is a weapon for the believers

Rasullullah is reported to have said, “Dua is the weapon of a Muslim”.

Dua for ones brother in his absence

"The supplication that gets the quickest answer is the one made by one Muslim for another in his absence." [Abu Daw'ud and Tirmidhi]

So let us build a close relationship with Allah by making much dua to him. He loves it when his slave calls upon him and it angers him if his slave does not call upn him.

Let us have full hope that our dua’s will be accepted and if you think they won’t they know Allah is keeping the rewards for you in the hereafter and those rewards are so great that one would wish that none of there duas were excepted in this world just so that one can gain all the rewards for their duas in the next world.

5. Building a close relationship with the Qur’an

Recite the Holy Qur’aan as much as we can for It will come as an intercessor for its reciter’ on the Day of Judgement [Muslim]
Learn the Qur’an and recite it, because the example of one who learns the Qur’an, reads it and recites it in Tahajjud is like an open bag full of musk whose fragrance permeates the entire place. And the person who has learnt the Qur’an but sleeps while the Qur’an is in the heart is like a bag full of musk but with its mouth closed.

Virtues of reciting the Qur’an

“Whoever reads a letter from the Book of Allah will receive a hasanah (good deed) from it (i.e. his recitation), and the hasanah is multiplied by ten. I do not say that Alif-Laam-Meem is (considered as) a letter, rather Alif is a letter, Laam is a letter, and Meem is a letter.” [At-Tirmidhi, Ad-Darimi]

“There is no envy (acceptable) except in two (cases): a person whom Allah has given the Qur’an and recites it throughout the night and throughout the day. And a person whom Allah has given wealth, that he gives out throughout the night and throghout the day.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

It was narrated that Abdullah ibn Mas’ud said: Whoever reads Tabarakallahi Biyadihil Mulk [i.e. Surah al-Mulk] every night, Allah will protect him from the torment of the grave. At the time of the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) we used to call it al-mani’ah (that which protects). In the Book of Allah it is a surah which, whoever recites it every night has done very well. (an-Nasa’i)

Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas and Anas Ibn Malik (Ra) reported that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said, ‘Whoever recited Surah Zilzilah (99) would get the reward of reciting half the Qur’an. Whoever recited Surah al Kaafirun (109) would get a reward as if reading a quarter of the Qur’an. Whoever recited Surah al Ikhlas (112) would get a reward as if reading one third of the Qur’an’. (At-Tirmidhi 2818/A)

Reading, understanding and implementing the Qur’an in our daily lives

The virtues of reciting the Qur’an are too numerous to list. In order to get closer to Allah we need to recite the Qur’an, understand it and implement it in our daily lives.

We should make a target of reading at least a chapter a day. If one can’t manage that then at least half a chapter. If one still can’t manage that then recite at least quarter of a chapter or even a page a day. However much we can manage we should try to recite each day with its meanings and implement what we learn into our daily lives.

Reading a little each day is better than reciting a lot once in a while. We should build a close relationship with the Qur’an which is in fact building a close relationship with Allah!

“Verily Allah raises nations by this book (the Qur’an) and puts down (i.e. destroys) others by it.” [Muslim]

6. Keeping good company

One of the most important things we must do, which sadly many people neglect, is that we should avoid bad company. People we should avoid taking as friends those who speak too freely, who miss Salah, who do not dress modestly, who backbite, slander etc.

The company of such people is poison; just even sitting and talking with them will lead one to commit sins. Just as a person who sits for a long time with a perfume seller begins to smell nice, and a person who sits by a gutter cleaner begins to smell awful, similarly a person who spends time in the company of the wicked eventually gets affected badly by them.

Rather, we should seek out pious friends who fear Allah taala and who have the qualities of humility, charity, compassion, modesty and knowledge. If we sit with them we will always benefit and they will be a means for us to get closer to Allah taala!

The Prophet (saws) said, “The case of the good companion and the bad companion is like that of the seller of musk and the blower of the bellows (iron-smith). As for the seller of musk, he will either give you some of the musk, or you will purchase some from him, or at least you will come away having experienced its good smell. Whereas the blower of the bellows will either burn your clothing, or at least you will come away having experienced its repugnant smell.” [Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]

Remember: “All friends will be enemies of one another on that Day (Day of Judgment) except those of the virtuous.” (al-Qur’an 43:67)

7. Having fear and hope in Allah


Indeed, no one despairs of relief from Allah except the disbelieving people. (Surah Yusuf 12:87)

One must be hopeful of Allahs mercy and forgiveness and fearful of His punishment. It is this fear that should lead one to seek Allahs forgiveness with hope. Allah says:

Know that Allah is severe in punishment and that Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. (Surat al-Maaidah 5:98)

In the above verse, Allah gives us reason to fear because His punishment is justly severe, as well as good reason to have hope, since He is the Most Forgiving and Merciful. There should be a balance between fear and hope and not too much or too less of one or the other.

We should always remain between fear and hope. For, the right and the approved kind of fear is that which acts as a barrier between the slave and the things forbidden by Allah. But, if fear is excessive, then the possibility is that the man will fall into despair and pessimism.

On the other hand the approved state of optimism is of a man who does good in the light of the Shari'ah and is hopeful of being rewarded for it. Or, conversely, if a man committed a sin, he repents sincerely, and is hopeful of being forgiven. Allah (swt) said:

"Verily, those who believed, and those who migrated and fought in the way of Allah, it is they who are hopeful of Allah's mercy. And Allah is very Forgiving, very Merciful." (Al-Baqarah, 218)

In contrast, if a man indulges in sins and excesses, but is hopeful that he would be forgiven without doing anything good, then, this is self-deception, mere illusion and false hope. Abu 'All Rowzbari has said, "Fear and hope are like the two wings of a bird. If they are well balanced, the flight will be well balanced. But, If one is stunted, the Right would also be stunted. And, to be sure, if the two are lost, the bird will soon be in the throes of death." Allah has praised the people of hope and fear in the following verse:

'Is one who worships devotedly during the night, prostrating himself or standing, fearing the Hereafter, and hoping for the mercy of his Lord (is equal to him who doesn't do these things)?' (Al Zumar, 9)

Hope then also demands fear. If that was not the case, one would be in a state of false security. Conversely, fear demands hope. Without that it would be despair.

Fear and hope, both should be equally proportioned in our hearts, in our worship, and in our dua to Allah. Allah says:

Call out to Him with fear and hope. (Surat al-Araaf 7:56)
They forsake their beds to call their Lord in fear and hope. (Surat as-Sajdah 32:16)

8. Voluntary fasting for the pleasure of Allah

Fasting in general and voluntary fasting in particular is a great worship. Fasting is not restricted to Ramadhan, but it is an act of worship that can be [and should be in some cases] performed at any time and at any place except when not recommended. Indeed, it is a worship that draws the believer closer to Allah and closer to perfection.

Fasting Mondays and Thursdays:

`Aa'ishah said: The Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa salam, used to fast Mondays and Thursdays". [An-Nasaa’i; Sahih]

Abu Hurairah reported that the most the Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa salam, would fast would be Monday and Thursday. He was asked about that and he said: "The deeds of people are presented to Allah on every Monday and Thursday. Allah forgives every Muslim except for those who are deserting each other. He says: "leave them for later." [Ahmad; Hasan]

Intention for voluntary fasting

As opposed to Ramadan, the intention does not have to be made before dawn. The person can intend fasting [and start fasting] after dawn any time [even after noon] given that he did not eat anything. `Aa'ishah said : The Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, came to us one day and said, "Do you have any [food]?" We said "No". He said: Therefore, I am Fasting". [Muslim and Abu Dawood]

Fasting three days of every month(White days):

Abu Tharr Al-Ghefari said: "The Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, said "O Abu Tharr! if you fast three days of every month, then fast the 13th, the 14th and the 15th [these are call the al-ayaam al-beedh, the white days]". [Ahmad, an-Nasaa'i and at-Tirmithi; Sahih]

“Fasting and the Qur’an will intercede for the slave on the Day of Resurrection. Fasting will say: ‘O My Rabb! I prevented him from food and desires, so accept my intercession for him.’ And the Qur’an will say: ‘I prevented him from sleep during the night, so accept my intercession for him.’ He (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘And they will (be allowed to) intercede.’” [Ahmad, at-Tabarani, Al-Hakim, Sahih]

So let us get closer to Allah by fasting Mondays and Thursdays or at least 3 days every month on the 14th,15th and 16th. If we leave something for the pleasure of Allah then we will get MUCH greater in return!

9. Sincerely repenting to Allah

Allah says: O son of Adam, if your sins were to reach the clouds of the sky and you would then seek My forgiveness, I would forgive you.

When a person sins and then sincerely turns to Allah for forgiveness, one will find Allah ready to accept his repentance and to forgive him, as this verse indicates:

And whoever does a wrong or wrongs himself, but then seeks forgiveness from Allah, he will find Allah forgiving and merciful. (Surat an-Nisaa 4:110)

Everyone commits sin and does wrong, but Allah is always willing to forgive and He always gives them a chance to repent and seek His forgiveness. A believer should never forget the fact that Allah is so forgiving. If Allah had willed, He could have held everyone accountable for his or her sins, but He has decreed that He shall allow His servants to seek His forgiveness and that He shall in fact forgive who and what He wills. In fact, Allah commands that His servants seek His forgiveness:

And seek Allahs forgiveness. Certainly, Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
(Surat al-Muzzammil 73:20)

Repentance is an act, which purifies the soul and brings the servant closer to Allah. It puts the heart at rest from guilt. It protects one from falling prey to his desires and lusts and increases his faith.

We must ask ourselves this question: Would we be willing to forgive anyone who hurts us and disobeys us constantly as easily as Allah is Able to forgive? Most probably, the answer would be no. But our Creator is the Most Kind and He is the Most Perfect.

Lo! Allah is a Lord of Kindness to mankind, but most of mankind give not thanks. (Surat al-Baqarah 2:143)

In this Hadithi Qudsi, mankind is encouraged to seek Allahs forgiveness and repent, but there are five conditions of repentance, which must be met for ones repentance to be accepted. The first and most important is that the act of repentance be sincerely for Allah alone. Secondly, the person must feel remorse and guilt over his actions so much so that he wished he had never done it in the first place. The third condition is that the person must immediately cease performing the wrong and sinful act. Fourthly, the repentant person must have a firm intention to never commit the sin again. And lastly, the person must repent before it is too late, meaning before death approaches.

However, there is a condition. One must not associate any partners with Allah, which is shirk. And Allah does not forgive shirk and if one dies without believing in Allah alone as ones Creator, then he will be doomed to the Hellfire for all of eternity. So, Allah emphasizes the importance of calling on Him alone. He has no and needs no partners, associates, wives, children, etc. There is no god, but Allah. None forgives sins except Him, so one who is seeking forgiveness should seek it only from Allah.

Allahs forgiveness and mercy is far greater and vaster than the sins of the creation. One must always have trust and hope in Allah in both good times and bad times and especially when seeking Allahs forgiveness. And the believer who calls out to his Lord for forgiveness demonstrates his true weakness and that he is totally dependent on the Creator.

When one confesses his sins to Allah and sincerely repents with hope in Allahs mercy, the heart should come to peace and the soul should feel rest. When a person has hope, he has no reason to despair because it only leads to destruction. Allah gives hope to all, especially those who despair that there is no reason to despair because Allah is the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy. Allah praises those who repent and turn to Him:

And those who, when they commit a lewd act or wrong themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins and who forgives sins except Allah? And they do not persist in what (wrong) they were doing while they knew it. For such, the reward is forgiveness from their Lord and Gardens with rivers flowing through, wherein they shall abide forever. How excellent is the reward of the doers (of good)! (Surah Ali Imran 3:135-136)

10. Having good manners, character and being humble

Many of us think that “a perfect Muslim” is simply one who is correct in the observance of the salah (ritual Prayer), the fasting, the zakah (payment of a certain portion of one’s wealth to the poor), and the Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah). This indeed is not the case.

If the ritual observances do not help the person to be humble, virtuous and truly God-fearing, then he or she is not a real Muslim. A Muslim should be good and just in dealing with others, no matter their religion, and take special care to keep away from all the shameful and sinful things Allah (God) has forbidden.

One can never get close to Allah by being arrogant, full of pride and having a bad character and manners. Those who have humility and are humble and have good character and manners are the closest to Allah and Allah raises their ranks in the hereafter.

The superiority of good character:

Hadrat Abu Darda, may Allah be pleased with him, relates that the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Nothing is heavier in the scales of a believer on the Day of Judgement than his good behaviour. Allah detests a person who is obscene and shameless”. (Tirmidhi)

Having humility and being humble:

The Prophet (PBUH) said: "He who was humble for the sake of God by one degree, God (SWT) would then elevate them to a degree till they reach the uppermost of high Orders, and he who was arrogant to God (SWT), God (SWT) would then lower him for a degree till he reaches the lowest of low Orders", (Narrated by: Muslim (Hadeeth: 6535).
Al-Nawawi said:

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “And no one humbles himself before Allaah but Allaah will raise him (in status).”

Humbleness is to know the value of oneself, to avoid pride, or disregarding the truth and underestimating people. As the Prophet sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam said, according to Muslim and others, "Al-Kibr is rejecting the truth and looking down upon people" [Muslim, Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud].

Humbleness is for one who is important and significant and he fears to gain notoriety or to become too great among people. Humbleness is that one should humble himself with his companions.

Humbleness is to humble oneself to one who is below you. If you find someone who is younger than you, or of less importance than you, you should not despise him, because he might have a better heart than you, or be less sinful, or closer to Allah than you. Even if you see a sinful person and you are righteous, do not act in arrogance towards him, and thank Allah that He saved you from the tribulation that He put him through. Remember that there might be some riyaa' or vanity in your righteous deeds that may cause them to be of no avail, and that this sinful person may be regretful and fearful concerning his bad deeds, and this may be the cause of forgiveness of his sins.

Humbleness is that your deed should not become too great in your eyes. If you do a good deed, or attempt to get closer to Allah ta`ala through an act of obedience, your deed may still not be accepted, "Allah only accepts from those who have taqwa (fear of Allah)." (Surat al-Maida: 27)

Humbleness is that, when you are advised, if Shaytaan calls you to reject the advice, you must negate him. Because the purpose of advice is that your brother points out the defects that you have.

The arrogant never gives credit to anybody or mentions good about someone, and if he needed to do so, he would also mention five defects of that person. But if he hears somebody reminding him about his own defects, he will not be flexible nor comply due to his inferiority complex. This is why it is among man's moral integrity to accept criticism or comment without any sensitivity or discomfort or feelings of shame and weakness.

We can summarize the teachings of Islam about the Muslim character in the following list:

Be truthful in everything, don’t lie.
Be sincere and straightforward, don’t be hypocritical.
Be honest, don’t be corrupt.
Be humble, don’t be boastful.
Be moderate, don’t be excessive.
Be reserved, don’t be garrulous.
Be soft-spoken, don’t be loud.
Be refined and gentle in speech, don’t curse and use foul language.
Be loving and solicitous to others, don’t be unmindful of them.
Be considerate and compassionate, don’t be harsh.
Be polite and respectful to people, don’t be insulting or disrespectful.
Be generous and charitable, don’t be selfish and miserly.
Be good natured and forgiving, don’t be bitter and resentful.
Share and be content with what Allah has given you, don’t be greedy.
Be cheerful and pleasant, don’t be irritable and morose.
Be chaste and pure, don’t be lustful.
Be alert and aware of the world around you, don’t be absent-minded.
Be dignified and decent, don’t be graceless.
Be optimistic and hopeful, don’t be cynical or pessimistic.
Be confident and have deep faith, don’t be doubtful and wavering.
Be spiritually oriented and not materialistic.
Be confident of the mercy of Allah, don’t be despairing and lose heart.
Be diligent and vigilant of your duties, don’t be negligent.
Be thankful to Allah and constantly pray to Him, don’t be forgetful of His innumerable blessings.

Finally as the righteous say, "The love of Allah is the axis around which all good revolves." If you fall in love with Allah, and then strive to be true in your love--in accordance with the way of the Beloved of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), then you'll find nothing but increasing light and contentment in your life.

And Allah alone gives success.

Did Prophet Muhammad marry a 6 year old?

- by King slaveofAllah · - 0 Comments


Muhammad Married 6 Year Old Girl"  

Is It True?



Note:

1. This was not her age at marriage.
2. Her parents offered marriage of their daughter to Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him).

First of all, not all questions are fair. Sometime people put statements in the questions which are not true. Therefore, we have to clarify some facts before we go any further:
"Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) did not marry Ayesha when she was only 6 years old. Her parents offered marriage as was customary in their culture at the time. However, the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) did not accept this and they waited a number of years before offering marriage to him again."

Next thing is, we have to understand that Islam is all about "Rights and Limits". The Quran clarifies what everyone's rights are and what the limits are as well.
It was through this matrimony of marriage to the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) that we found the example of the meaning of the limitations set forth in the fourth chapter of the Quran, entitled "The Women":
"O you who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will." -[Noble Quran 4:19]

Women around the world had no rights in those days and men knew no limits in their dealings with the women. One of the problems was that a man could marry off his daughter at any age and she could not refuse.
Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) was offered the marriage to Ayesha by her father and mother on more than one occasion. Once when Ayesha was six, her mother summoned her into the house where she heard the proposal of marriage being offered by her father to his life long friend, Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) as was the custom of the Arabs in those days. Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) did not accept this offer at that time, even though it was customary for them, as she was not yet of age.

Note: her father is the one offering the marriage to his lifelong friend (Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him). The Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) did not marry her and take her to his home at the time and she says she returned back to play outside.

Again - please note: they did not get married at all on this occasion

A few years later when she was old enough to marry according to Islam (she was able to bear children) she did accept the proposal of marriage and she did marry the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him).

We find that the girl must be old enough to have children and to be able to determine what her will is. The Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) married her at the youngest age a girl can get married. That is, she was old enough to be considered eligible for marriage and having enough wisdom to make such a choice even at her young age.

Also, she was a virgin. This was to show Muslims about how to treat the young girls when they get married and not to rush into having sex with them until they are ready and fully prepared.

All of this is recorded in the Hadiths narrated by Ayesha herself in regard to the treatment that she received from the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him).

As a reward for her commitment to Allah and to Islam, Allah honored her in Surah an-Nur by clearing her of any suspicion of illegal sex with a companion, as some liars had charged against her. There were ten verses revealed in regard to this incident alone about Ayesha.

Allah Says:

“Verily! Those who brought forth the slander (against Ayesha) are a group among you. consider it not a bad thing for you. Nay, it is good for you. Unto every man among them will be paid that which he had earned of the sin, and as for him among them who had the greater share therein, his will be a great torment.

Why then, did not the believers, men and women, when you heard it (the slander) think good of their own people and say: "This is an obvious lie?"

Why did they not produce four witnesses? Since they have not produced witnesses; then with Allah they are liars.

Had it not been for the Grace of Allah and His Mercy unto you in this world and in the Hereafter, a great torment would have touched you for that whereof you had spoken.

When you were propagating it with your tongues, and uttering with your mouths that whereof you had no knowledge, you counted it a little thing, while with Allah it was very great.

And why did you not, when you heard it, say: "It is not right for us to speak of this. Glory be to You (O Allah) this is a great lie."?

Allah forbids you from it and warns you not to repeat the like of it forever, if you are believers.” [Noble Quran 24:11-21]

Ayesha was also given the distinct title of "Mother of the Believers" even though she never had a single child. Allah did honor her so much for her patience and dedication.

Finally, Ayesha, may Allah be pleased with her, tells us in her own words all about the offers of marriage from her father to the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) and of the actual marriage when it did take place years later. She also describes in glowing terms their engagement, marriage, life together and life after his death - all in the best of terms. She never said a single bad thing against her husband and described him as the best of men and the example of the Quran itself. She learned from him and passed on the most valuable knowledge of family relations in general and marriage in particular through her explanation of her own relationship of our Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him).

She tells of running races and playing together, enjoying sporting and competition events together, and mentions her personal intimacy with Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) in the most wonderful terms. Her advice and instructions to both men and women regarding establishing and maintaining the best relationship between man and wife is still the best of counsel we find today.

As noted above, even Allah the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, has defended her honor and integrity in His Book. Her own account of marriage to Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) and her many detailed descriptions of events and happenings before and during their marriage and her continued commitment to the memory of her husband and faith in their reuniting together in Paradise can only lead us to believe, in fact, this was indeed the best of marriages in human history.

A Comparison Between: The English Love Story "Romeo & Juliet" and Muslims Love Story of: "Muhammad & Ayesha"

Shakespeare could have done the western world a better service, instead of telling a story of two young teens sneaking around having an affair behind their parents backs, and then committing a double suicide - when they didn't get their way, in "Romeo and Juliet" -

Suppose he had told the true story of "Muhammad and Ayesha" - these were real people who believed in God and lived a blessed life on earth and will live together in Paradise - "Happily ever after."

Goodness only comes to those who are the true believers and only the bad reaches to those who are the disbelievers.

This life is but a test for all of us. And in the end, Allah will bring us all back in front of Him for the Judgment. Then the disbelievers will see what it was that they were denying and lying about.

We ask Allah to guide all the people and save us all, Ameen.

Sheikh Yusuf Estes


More Readings : 



Thursday, January 13, 2011

An Islamic Perspective on the Bee

Thursday, January 13, 2011 - by King slaveofAllah · - 0 Comments

An Islamic Perspective on the Bee

 
{Qur'an 16:68} "And your Lord inspired the Bee, build your dwellings in hills, on trees, and in (human's) habitations."

The imperative "build" above is the translation of the Arabic word "attakhithi", which is feminine form (Arabic unlike English, differentiates between the sexes). The feminine form is used when all of those it refers to are female, whereas the masculine is used when a group consists of at least 1 male.

Therefore the Quran is in fact saying "build, you female bees.." A swarm of bees (which collect honey and build the hive), are female only. Thus, the phrasing of this command is in agreement with the Fact that male bees do not partake in the construction of the hive.


"And your Lord inspired the Bee, saying: 'Take your habitations in the mountains and the trees and in what they erect. Then eat of all fruits, and follow the ways of your Lord, made easy (for you).' There comes forth from their bellies a drink of varying colour wherein is a healing for men. Verily, in this is indeed a sign for people who think." [Al-Quran 16:68-69]

Let us for a while be one of those who reflect and think about the wonders of Allah (swt) and what He in His supreme wisdom, created. We may compare our factories to the factories of Allah (swt). The lovely honey bees may be small, yet quick and efficient. When they fly it seems as if they are programmed, following the tracks ordained for them.

For a pound of honey around 2 million flowers are visited by the bee. So next time we gulp down that liquid maybe we can be grateful for all that went into producing it and realize the numerous favors of Allah (swt) on us. They travel about 50,000 miles. At the first step the liquid is like water, which is then fluttered upon by their wings till a sweet liquid is left. They then suck it and by using their special glands convert it into honey. Once ready the honey is packed into its special compartments in the hive and sealed with wax thus becoming secure.

Such a small insect makes such a pure thing, so what have we done or are proud of? There are many characteristics of a bee that man can learn from and the wise already have them embedded in them. The following is a comparison between the two and we pray that Allah (swt) also helps us to learn from them and be like them - Ameen

The Bee A Mumin (believer)
How does the bee manage to fulfill all her tasks? She knows the purpose of its being. She has a goal in front of her and she goes out and does it. If a Mumin was to realize his purpose in life; conveyance of the message then he can move forward and attain his goal.
The submission of the bee helps her to complete her task. The submission of the Mumin helps him to stay steadfast and persist in his cause and reach his goal.
The honey bee never rests until she has finished a full days work and is satisfied. A Mumin who has realized his purpose will never rest until he reaches his goal. (Here-After)
The bee travels far distances to get what is essential for the making of honey. A Mumin is prepared to go through any-thing for the sake of his Lord.
If the honey bee wasn't to realize its skill then she would be no different to a house fly. If a Mumin doesn't realize his duty (responsibilty) then he is no different to a disbeliever.

Experiences of a Recently Converted Hindu Woman

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Experiences of a Recently Converted Hindu Woman
My Experiences and How I Find that Islam does not Oppress Women"

by Sister Noor, University of Essex

I came from a purely Hindu family where we were always taught to regard ourselves (i.e. women) as beings who were eventually to be married off and have children and serve the husband-- whether he was kind or not. Other than this I found that there were a lot of things which really oppressed women, such as:
  • If a woman was widowed, she would always have to wear a white sari (costume), eat vegetarian meals, cut her hair short, and never re-marry.
  • The bride always had to pay the dowry (bridal money) to the husband's family.
  • And the husband could ask for anything, irrespective of whether the bride would have difficulty giving it
Not only that, if after marriage she was not able to pay the full dowry she would be both emotionally and physically tortured, and could end up being a victim of "kitchen death" where the husband, or both the mother-in-law and the husband try to set fire to the wife while she is cooking or is in the kitchen, and try to make it look like an accidental death. More and more of these instances are taking place. The daughter of a friend of my own father's had the same fate last year! 

In addition to all this, men in Hinduism are treated literally as among the gods. In one of the religious Hindu celebration, unmarried girls pray for and worship an idol representing a particular god (Shira) so that they may have husbands like him. Even my own mother had asked me to do this. This made me see that the Hindu religion which is based on superstitions and things that have no manifest proof (1), but were merely traditions which oppressed women could not be right.

Subsequently, when I came to England to study, I thought that at least this is a country which gives equal rights to men and women, and does not oppress them. We all have the freedom to do as we like, I thought. Well, as I started to meet people and make new friends, learn about this new society, and go to all the places my friends went to in order to "socialise" (bars, dance halls, ...etc.), I realised that this "equality" was not so true in practice as it was in theory.

Outwardly, women were seen to be given equal rights in education, work, and so forth, but in reality women were still oppressed in a different, more subtle way. When I went with my friends to those places they hung out at, I found everybody interested to talk to me and I thought that was normal. But it was only later that I realised how naive I was, and recognised what these people were really looking for. I soon began to feel uncomfortable, as if I was not myself: I had to dress in a certain way so that people would like me, and had to talk in a certain way to please them. I soon found that I was feeling more and more uncomfortable, less and less myself, yet I could not get out. Everybody was saying they were enjoying themselves, but I don't call this enjoying.

I think women in this way of life are oppressed; they have to dress in a certain way in order to please and appear more appealing, and also talk in a certain way so people like them. During this time I had not thought about Islam, even though I had some Muslim acquaintances. But I felt I really had to do something, to find something that I would be happy and secure with, and would feel respected with. Something to believe in that is the right belief, because everybody has a belief that they live according to. If having fun by getting off with other people is someone's belief, they do this. If making money is someone's belief, they do everything to achieve this. If they believe drinking is one way to enjoy life then they do it. But I feel all this leads to nowhere; no one is truly satisfied, and the respect women are looking for is diminishing in this way.

In these days of so called "society of equal rights", you are expected to have a boyfriend (or you're weird!) and to not be a virgin. So this is a form of oppression even though some women do not realise it.(2) When I came to Islam, it was obvious that I had finally found permanent security. A religion, a belief that was so complete and clear in every aspect of life. Many people have a misconception that Islam is an oppressive religion, where women are covered from head to toe, and are not allowed any freedom or rights. In fact, women in Islam are given more rights, and have been for the past 1400 years, compared to the only-recently rights given to non-Muslim women in some western and some other societies. But there are, even now, societies where women are still oppressed, as I mentioned earlier in relation to Hindu women.

Muslim women have the right to inheritance. They have the right to run their own trade and business. They have the full right to ownership, property, disposal over their wealth to which the husband has no right. They have the right to education, a right to refuse marriage as long as this refusal is according to reasonable and justifiable grounds. The Quran itself, which is the word of Allah, contains many verses commanding men to be kind to their wives and stressing the rights of women. Islam gives the right set of rules, because they are NOT made by men, but made by Allah; hence it is a perfect religion.

Quite often Muslim women are asked why they are covered from head to toe, and are told that this is oppression--it is not. In Islam, marriage is an important part of life, the making of the society. Therefore, a woman should not go around showing herself to everybody, only for her husband. Even the man is not allowed to show certain parts of his body to none but his wife. In addition, Allah has commanded Muslim women to cover themselves for their modesty:

"O prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) over their bodies (when outdoors). That is most convenient that they could be known as such (i.e. decent and chaste) and not molested." (Quran 33:59)

If we look around at any other society, we find that in the majority of cases women are attacked and molested because of how they are dressed. Another point I'd like to comment on is that the rules and regulation laid down in Islam by Allah (God) do not apply just to women but to men also. There is no intermingling and free-running between men and women for the benefit of both. Whatever Allah commands is right, wholesome, pure and beneficial to mankind; there is no doubt about that. A verse in the Quran explains this concept clearly:

"Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and protect their private parts (i.e. from indecency, illegal sexual acts); that will make for greater purity for them. And Allah is well aware of what they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and protect their privaate parts (from indecency, illegal sexual intercourse); and that they should not display their beauty and ornaments...." (Quran, surah "Al-Nur" 24:31)

When I put on my hijaab (veil), I was really happy to do it. In fact, I really want to do it. When I put on the hijaab, I felt a great sense of satisfaction and happiness. Satisfied that I had obeyed Allah’s command. And happy with the good and blessings that come with it. I have felt secure and protected. In fact people respect me more for it. I could really see the difference in behaviour towards me.

Finally, I'd like to say that I had accepted Islam not blindly, or under any compulsion. In the Quran itself there is a verse which says "there is no compulsion in religion" (3). I accepted Islam with conviction. I have seen, been there, done that, and seen both sides of the story. I know and have experienced what the other side is like, and I know that I have done the right thing. Islam does not oppress women, but rather Islam liberates them and gives them the respect they deserve. Islam is the religion Allah has chosen for the whole of mankind. Those who accept it are truly liberated from the chains and shackles of mankind whose ruling and legislating necessitates nothing but the oppression of one group by another and the exploitation and oppression of one sex by the other. This is not the case of Islam which truly liberated women and gave them an individuality not given by any other authority.

Sister Noor has been a muslim for over a year and a half and is currently in her second year of undergraduate study in the Department of Biology

Notes:
(1) In Islaam, strong emphasis is placed on proof and evidence. Superstition, conjecture and following the ways of ones ancestors is heavily censured. Allaah says:

{Say : Bring your proof if indeed you are truthful} {Baqarah 2:111} {Inform me with knowledge if indeed you are truthful} [An’aam 6:143] {And they do not possess any knowledge regarding it. They do nothing but follow conjecture and conjecture avails nothing against the Truth} [Najm 53:28] 

{And when it is said to them: ‘Follow that which Allaah has sent down’, they say: ‘Nay! We shall follow that which we found our fathers following} [Baqarah 2:170]

If the scientists among the non-muslims were to follow this advice and research objectively many of the rulings regarding women in Islam they would find that they are in perfect harmony with the biological/psychological knowledge they have arrived at regarding the nature of women. It is the reaction of the feminist movement to western hypocrisy that has led to the debasement of ‘perceived’ female roles in Islam. That is why most of what is portrayed regarding women in Islaam is pure conjecture and distortion, not fact and truth.

(2) This is where muslims consider the fallacy of the freedom and non-oppression of women lies. Under the name of ‘freedom’ women are told that they have complete automonomy to do as they wish. However, ‘do as they wish’ means that they are encouraged to conform to the trends and fashions that are set for them and imposed upon them by means of the media machine and by means of the multi-billion dollar film industry which makes, fashions, and nurtures the ideas of people and their principles, morals and conduct. As a result they are made the objects of the fantasies of menwho harass them, oppress them and reduce them to nothing but a source of temporary joy and pleasure. Men themselves have been made to let loose the reins of their desires due to the high exposure to naked women they receive, day in day out. This results in provocation, frustration and eventually - a deserving punishment - desensitization. Impotence is a widespread ‘disease’ in the West! This is the position of women in the west. The mere mention of the words sexual harrasment, date-rape - which includes men deliberately getting women tipsy or drunk so that they can have their way with them - and slogans such as NO MEANS NO are sufficient as proof for this reality of the oppression of women in the west. These problems are unknown to the muslim world and are not issues in Islaam. 

(3) {There is no complulsion in religion. The truth has been made clear from error} [Baqarah 2:256]

My Shadah :: A Revert Sister

- by King slaveofAllah · - 0 Comments

Islamic Advice On Dealing With Anger

- by King slaveofAllah · - 0 Comments

Advice On Dealing With Anger




Anger is one of the evil whispers of Shaytan, which leads to so many evils and tragedies, of which only Allah knows their full extent. For this reason Islam has a great deal to say about this bad characteristic, and the Prophet (saws) described cures for this “disease” and ways to limit its effects, among which are the following:

(1) Seeking refuge with Allah from the Shaytan:

Sulayman ibn Sard said: “I was sitting with the Prophet (saws), and two men were slandering one another. One of them was red in the face, and the veins on his neck were standing out. The Prophet (saws) said, ‘I know a word which, if he were to say it, what he feels would go away. If he said “I seek refuge with Allah from the Shaytan,” what he feels (i.e., his anger) would go away.’” (Reported by al-Bukhari, al-Fath, 6/337)

The Prophet (saws) said: “If a man gets angry and says, ‘I seek refuge with Allah,’ his anger will go away.” (Saheeh al-Jaami‘ al-Sagheer, no. 695)

(2) Keeping silent:

The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: “If any of you becomes angry, let him keep silent.” (Reported by Imam Ahmad, al-Musnad, 1/329; see also Sahih al-Jaami‘, 693, 4027)

This is because in most cases, the angry person loses self control and could utter words of kufr (from which we seek refuge with Allah), or curses, or the word of divorce (talaaq) which would destroy his home, or words of slander which would bring him the enmity and hatred of others. So, in short, keeping silent is the solution which helps one to avoid all that.

(3) Not moving:

The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: “If any of you becomes angry and he is standing, let him sit down, so his anger will go away; if it does not go away, let him lie down.”

The narrator of this hadeeth is Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him), and there is a story connected to his telling of it: he was taking his camels to drink at a trough that he owned, when some other people came along and said (to one another), “Who can compete with Abu Dharr (in bringing animals to drink) and make his hair stand on end?” A man said, “I can,” so he brought his animals and competed with Abu Dharr, with the result that the trough was broken. (i.e., Abu Dharr was expecting help in watering his camels, but instead the man misbehaved and caused the trough to be broken). Abu Dharr was standing, so he sat down, then he laid down. Someone asked him, “O Abu Dharr, why did you sit down then lie down?” He said: “The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: . . .” and quoted the hadeeth. (The hadeeth and this story may be found in Musnad Ahmad, 5/152; see also Sahih al-Jaami‘, no. 694).

According to another report, Abu Dharr was watering his animals at the trough, when another man made him angry, so he sat down . . . (Fayd al-Qadeer, al-Manaawi, 1/408)

Among the benefits of this advice given by the Prophet (saws) is the fact that it prevents the angry person from going out of control, because he could strike out and injure someone, or even kill - as we will find out shortly - or he could destroy possessions and so on. Sitting down makes it less likely that he will become overexcited, and lying down makes it even less likely that he will do something crazy or harmful. Al-‘Allaamah al-Khattaabi, may Allah have mercy on him, said in his commentary on Aboo Daawood: “One who is standing is in a position to strike and destroy, while the one who is sitting is less likely to do that, and the one who is lying down can do neither. It is possible that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told the angry person to sit down or lie down so that he would not do something that he would later regret. And Allah knows best.”(Sunan Abee Daawood, with Ma‘aalim al-Sunan, 5/141)

(4) Following the advice of the Prophet (saws):

Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that a man said to the Prophet (saws), “Advise me.” He said, “Do not become angry.” The man repeated his request several times, and each time the Prophet (saws) told him, “Do not become angry.”(Reported by al-Bukhari, Fath al-Baaree, 10/456)

According to another report, the man said: “I thought about what the Prophet (saws) said, and I realized that anger combines all kinds of evil.”(Musnad Ahmad, 5/373)

(5) Do not become angry and Paradise will be yours (a saheeh hadeeth, see Saheeh al-Jaam‘, 7374. Ibn Hajr attributed it to al-Tabaraanee, see al-Fath 4/465):

Remembering what Allah has promised to the righteous (muttaqeen) who keep away from the causes of anger and struggle within themselves to control it, is one of the most effective ways of extinguishing the flames of anger. One of the ahaadeeth that describe the great reward for doing this is: “Whoever controls his anger at the time when he has the means to act upon it, Allah will fill his heart with contentment on the Day of Resurrection.”(Reported by al-Tabaraanee, 12/453, see also Sahih al-Jaami‘, 6518)

Another great reward is described in the Prophet’s (saws) words: “Whoever controls his anger at the time when he has the means to act upon it, Allah will call him before all of mankind on the Day of Resurrection, and will let him choose of the Hoor al-‘Ayn whoever he wants.”(Reported by Aboo Daawood, 4777, and others. It is classified as hasan in Sahih al-Jaami‘, 6518).

(6) Knowing the high status and advantages offered to those who control themselves:

The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: “The strong man is not the one who can overpower others (in wrestling); rather, the strong man is the one who controls himself when he gets angry.” (Reported by Ahmad, 2/236; the hadeeth is agreed upon) . The greater the anger, the higher the status of the one who controls himself. The Prophet (saws) said: “The strongest man is the one who, when he gets angry and his face reddens and his hackles rise, is able to defeat his anger.” (Reported by Imam Ahmad, 5/367, and classified as hasan in Saheeh al-Jaami‘, 3859)

Anas reported that the Prophet (saws) passed by some people who were wrestling. He asked, “What is this?” They said: “So-and-so is the strongest, he can beat anybody.” The Prophet (saws) said, “Shall I not tell you who is even stronger then him? The man who, when he is mistreated by another, controls his anger, has defeated his own Shaytan and the Shaytan of the one who made him angry.”(Reported by al-Bazzaar, and Ibn Hajr said its isnaad is saheeh. Al-Fath, 10/519)

(7) Following the Prophet’s (saws) example in the case of anger:

The Prophet (saws) is our leader and has set the highest example in this matter, as is recorded in a number of ahaadeeth. One of the most famous was reported by Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, who said: “I was walking with the Messenger of Allah (saws), and he was wearing a Najraanee cloak with a rough collar. A Bedouin came and seized him roughly by the edge of his cloak, and I saw the marks left on his neck by the collar. Then the Bedouin ordered him to give him some of the wealth of Allaah that he had. The Prophet (saws) turned to him and smiled, then ordered that he should be given something.”(Agreed upon. Fath al-Baaree, 10/375)

Another way in which we can follow the example of the Prophet (saws) is by making our anger for the sake of Allah, when His rights are violated. This is the kind of anger which is praiseworthy. So the Prophet (saws) became angry when he was told about the imam who was putting people off the prayer by making it too long; when he saw a curtain with pictures of animate creatures in ‘Aa’ishah’s house; when Usaamah spoke to him about the Makhzoomee woman who had been convicted of theft, and he said “Do you seek to intervene concerning one of the punishments prescribed by Allah?”; when he was asked questions that he disliked, and so on. His anger was purely for the sake of Allah.

(8) Knowing that resisting anger is one of the signs of righteousness (taqwaa):

The righteous (al-muttaqoon) are those praised by Allah in the Qur'an and by His Messenger (saws). Paradise as wide as heaven and earth has been prepared for them. One of their characteristics is that they (interpretation of the meaning) “spend (in Allah's Cause) in prosperity and in adversity, [they] repress anger, and [they] pardon men; verily, Allah loves al-muhsinoon (the good-doers).” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:134]

These are the ones whose good character and beautiful attributes and deeds Allaah has mentioned, and whom people admire and want to emulate. One of their characteristics is that (interpretation of the meaning) “. . . when they are angry, they forgive.” [al-Shooraa 42:47]

(9) Listening to reminders:

Anger is a part of human nature, and people vary in their anger. It may be difficult for a man not to get angry, but sincere people will remember Allah when they are reminded, and they will not overstep the mark. Some examples follow:

Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that a man sought permission to speak to 'Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allah be pleased with him), then he said: “O son of al-Khattaab, you are not giving us much and you are not judging fairly between us.” ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) was so angry that he was about to attack the man, but al-Hurr ibn Qays, who was one of those present, said: “O Ameer al-Mu’mineen, Allah said to His Prophet (saws) (interpretation of the meaning): ‘Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the foolish’ [al-A‘raaf 7:199]. This man is one of the foolish.” By Allah, ‘Umar could go no further after al-Hurr had recited this aayah to him, and he was a man who was careful to adhere to the Book of Allah.(Reported by al-Bukhari, al-Fath, 4/304).

This is how the Muslim should be. The evil munaafiq (hypocrite) was not like this when he was told the hadeeth of the Prophet (saws) and one of the Companions said to him, “Seek refuge with Allah from the Shaytan.” He said to the one who reminded him, “Do you think I am crazy? Go away!”(Reported by al-Bukhari, al-Fath, 1/465). We seek refuge with Allah from failure.

(10) Knowing the bad effects of anger:

The negative effects of anger are many; in short they cause damage to one’s own self and to others. The angry person may utter words of slander and obscenity, he may attack others (physically) in an uncontrolled manner, even to the point of killing. The following story contains a valuable lesson:

‘Ilqimah ibn Waa’il reported that his father (may Allah be pleased with him) told him: “I was sitting with the Prophet (saws) when a man came to him leading another man by a rope. He said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, this man killed my brother.’ The Messenger of Allah (saws) asked him, ‘Did you kill him?’ He said, ‘Yes, I killed him.’ He asked, ‘How did you kill him?’ He said, ‘He and I were hitting a tree to make the leaves fall, for animal feed, and he slandered me, so I struck him on the side of the head with an axe, and killed him.’ . . .” (Reported by Muslim, 1307, edited by al-Baaqi).

Anger could lead to less than killing, such as wounding and breaking bones. If the one who caused the anger runs away, the angry person turns his anger in on himself, so he may tear his clothes, or strike his cheeks, or have a fit, or fall unconscious, or he may break dishes and plates, or break furniture.

In the worst cases, anger results in social disasters and the breaking of family ties, i.e., divorce. Ask many of those who divorced their wives, and they will tell you: it was in a moment of anger. This divorce results in misery for the children, regret and frustration, a hard and difficult life, all as a result of anger. If they had remembered Allah, come to their senses, restrained their anger and sought refuge with Allah, none of this would have happened. Going against the Shariah only results in loss.

The damage to health that results from anger can only be described by doctors, such as thrombosis, high blood pressure, tachycardia (abnormally rapid heartbeat) and hyperventilation (rapid, shallow breathing), which can lead to fatal heart attacks, diabetes, etc. We ask Allah for good health.

(11) The angry person should think about himself during moments of anger:

If the angry person could see himself in the mirror when he is angry, he would hate himself and the way he looks. If he could see the way he changes, and the way his body and limbs shake, how his eyes glare and how out of control and crazy his behaviour is, he would despise himself and be revolted by his own appearance. It is well-known that inner ugliness is even worse than outer ugliness; how happy the Shaytan must be when a person is in this state! We seek refuge with Allah from the Shaytan and from failure.

(12) Du‘aa’:

Du'a’ is always the weapon of the believer, whereby he asks Allah to protect him from evil, trouble and bad behaviour and seeks refuge with Him from falling into the pit of kufr or wrongdoing because of anger. One of the three things that can help save him is: being fair at times of contentment and of anger (Saheeh al-Jaami‘, 3039). One of the du‘aa’s of the Prophet (saws) was:

“O Allah, by Your knowledge of the Unseen and Your power over Your creation, keep me alive for as long as You know life is good for me, and cause me to die when You know death is good for me. O Allah, I ask You to make me fear You in secret and in public, and I ask You to make me speak the truth in times of contentment and of anger. I ask You not to let me be extravagant in poverty or in prosperity. I ask You for continuous blessings, and for contentment that does not end. I ask You to let me accept Your decree, and for a good life after death. I ask You for the joy of seeing Your face and for the longing to meet You, without going through diseases and misguiding fitnah (trials). O Allah, adorn us with the adornment of faith and make us among those who are guided. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.”

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