Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Where We Belong

Once, I was drowning in my fears
and the twinkle in my eye disappeared
and I had no way to look on
my horizon seemed to have gone
and my whole life, seemed empty and bleak
each day and night, the answers I seek

Chorus: (1):
But when, the darkness seemed so strong
and I couldn't go on
to the sky I raised my hands
making right what was so wrong
I found the strength to carry on
up to heaven where I belong
In life, there are lessons to be learned
with steadfastness, paradise Is earned
and if, all hope seems to be gone
just hold on till after the storm
and if you ask, what purpose have I
why am I here, and why do I cry?

Chorus: (2):
And when, the darkness seems so strong
and you just cant go on
pray for your helping hand
you'll see the sun will rise again
you'll find the strength to carry on
up to heaven where you belong
Cos life is but a journey for us all
we cry, we laugh, we run sometimes we fall
but through it all, always recall
God never gives, a burden too tall

By Zain Bhikha
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Saturday, December 11, 2010

18 Ways to Achieve Greatness through Gratefulness



Whether you consider yourself a positive, easy-going person or a demanding, hard to please person, these tips can help you become a more grateful, caring, and content individual.

There is much more to gratitude and Shukr (thankfulness) in Islam than a mere “Thank You” that our ears have become so used to ignoring. Discover how you can be more thankful to Allah and His creation.

• Stop Complaining and be positive! This is the first step towards being thankful to Allah and people around you. We have become a community of complainers and whiners, which has lead to a collective psychology of negativity and unproductively.Stop complaining about the economy, weather, politicians, traffic, or ‘the system’. Refrain from blaming your Masjid, Imams, parents, spouse, in-laws, children, or boss. If you think with an open mind, you may find more positives in your circumstances and the people around you than negatives.

• Say “Al-hamdulillah” (All thanks and praise belongs to Allah) often: A constant utterance of this phrase reminds you of the source of all blessings and happiness in this life. This practice of attributing all good actions to Allah keeps you humble and content and has a positive affect on your relations with people.Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, has instructed us to say “Al-hamdulillah” on daily basis: “Allah is pleased with His servant if, when he eats something he thanks Allah for it, and when he drinks something he thanks Allah for it” (Muslim).

• Respect others’ time and schedule: Part of ungratefulness is wastage of time. As a scholar once said, “Time is not just money. It is more expensive than gold, diamonds and pearls. Time is life itself!”Arriving late at a meeting or a class, cancelling appointments last minute, or starting off a program late, are not only a big waste of time and disrespectful to others, but also a lack of appreciation of others’ time on your part.

• Seize the opportunity while you can. Procrastination in offering your prayers, delaying a donation to a humanitarian cause, or filling your leisure time with unproductive or unlawful activities is ingratitude to Allah for the limited time and opportunity He has given you to do good and to achieve Paradise.Prophet Muhammad warned us, “Good health and spare time are two of the blessings of Allah with respect to which many people are deceived.” (Bukhari)Even if you live till tomorrow, what guarantee do you have that there won’t be any obstacles in carrying out a good action. The Prophet used to call on Muslims to take the initiative to do good deeds before any problems arise.

• Spend 15 minutes daily to think about things that you should be thankful for: Recall people in your life, whom you may have taken for granted like your parents, spouse, children, co-worker, or teacher, who were caring and loving.List some of Allah’s gifts that are not tangible or were not obvious to you before. Sulayman, a follower of the Prophet’s Companions, once said: “Remembering His blessings makes one love Allah.”This simple mental exercise not only makes you a grateful person, but also a healthy one. According to a 2001 research bythe Institute for Research on Unlimited Love (IRUL), based in Ohio, just 15 minutes a day focusing on the things you are grateful for will significantly increase your body’s natural antibodies, will make you less vulnerable to clinical depression, and will keep your blood pressure and heart rate stable.

• Be patient and grateful when disasters strike: The depth and strength of your gratitude is tested in difficult times. Allah wants to see how thankful you truly are when you loose your job or a loved one, or when you feel ill and or get injured.It helps to know that in times of calamity and distress, there will be some good for you, provided you respond appropriately. The Prophet said, “How wonderful is the case of a Believer! There is good for him in whatever happens to him -and none, apart from him, enjoys this blessing.” (Muslim)Sufyan al-Thawri, a famous early scholar of Islam, said, “He does not understand religion properly who does not count affliction as a blessing and ease as a trial.”

• Donate your time, talent, money, and advice to social work and non-profit efforts: In our profit-driven culture, it is burdensome to squeeze out time and wealth for others. Your selfless service and generosity towards people in need and non-profit organizations is a sure way of showing gratitude to Allah and to your community.The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him said, “People are dependants of Allah; the closest to Him are those who are most useful to His dependants” (Muslim).”As the blessings from Allah to a servant increase, so will the people’s needs of that blessed servant’s services. If the servant ignores their needs, it will cause those blessings to be removed” (lbn Hibban).

• Visit the sick, the terminally ill, and the disabled: Frequenting patients and families of the deceased, not only brings comfort to them and brings multiple rewards from Allah to you, it also helps you appreciate your own good health and opportunities you have in life to serve others.

• Share the message of Islam: If you appreciate the guidance of Islam as your most precious treasure, don’t hesitate to share it with others. If Islam has changed your life for the better, what’s holding you back from inviting your friends, family, neighbours, and co-workers to explore this message of hope and positive transformation?

• Recite and memorize the Duas of Prophet Muhammad: The most natural and beautiful way to thank Allah is the words of the Prophet himself.The Prophet told Muadh, “By Allah, I love you, so do not forget to say at the end of every prayer, ‘O Allah, help me to remember You and to give thanks to You and to worship You well’” (Ahmad and At-Tirmidhî).

• Fall in Prostration (Sajda) when you receive a blessing from Allah:Prophet Muhammad used to prostrate (Sajda) to Allah whenever he received something pleasant or was told good news to thank Allah for the grace he had received.

• Don’t consider any blessing too small: Treat all gifts of Allah with equal respect
and gratitude, lest you lose it one day for good. Aishah said that the Prophet entered upon her one day and saw a small piece of bread on the floor, so he picked it up and wiped it, then told her: “O Aishah, treat the blessings of Allah with respect, for when it departs from a household it may never come back to them” (Abud Dunya).

• Use and display Allah’s blessings moderately. Part of being grateful to Allah is to look presentable and clean, and spend money on yourself with moderation.Abul-Akhwas nar¬rated that his father said: “I came to the Messenger of Allah looking dishevelled and scruffy. He asked me, ‘Do you have any possessions?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ He asked me what sort, and I told him, ‘I have all sorts. Allah has given me camels, horses, slaves and sheep.’ The Prophet said: ‘If Allah has given you all of that, then let Him see His blessing on you.’”

• Don’t be too picky and accommodate others! Some people express their discomfort (perhaps unintentionally) with anything that they are not used to. They may be too picky about their taste of food, clothing and furniture; they may get irritated easily in new environments; they may like meeting only a certain type of people; they may not like working with others.This insensitivity to other people’s preferences and inability to accommodate others is a sign of selfishness, arrogance, and ungratefulness. Be content in every situation and you will become grateful.

• Admire those below you and keep your expectations low: A lot of times the reason for our ungrateful behaviour is that we are constantly comparing our material success with the wealthier, healthier, and more accomplished. In our race to ‘keep-up-with-the-Ahmad-family’ next door, we forget so many obvious blessings that others may not enjoy and we should be thankful for.The Prophet admonished us, “Look at those people who have less than you and never look at those who have more grants than you, this will ensure that you will not depreciate Allah’s favours” (Muslim).

• Thank people for littlest things: People like to be appreciated for little favours they do for us, which often get ignored in our busy routines. When was the last time you thanked your little son for taking care of simple chore for you? Has your husband heard a compliment from you lately?Take the time to thank them for their thoughtfulness. As the Prophet stated, “The one who does not give thanks for a small blessing will not give thanks for a great blessing, and the one who does not give thanks to people will not give thanks to Allah” (Abud Dunya).

• Compliments & recognition and motivate team members: Whether you are an employer or a manager at work, or lead a volunteer based project, or simply a team player, a personal recognition significantly boosts the employee or volunteer morale.As Stephen Robbins in his book “The Truth about Managing People” explains, several organizational behaviour studies have indicated employees and volunteers rate personal thanks and recognition from a superior for a job well-done as the most motivating of a variety of incentives; yet not many team leaders use this simple, cost-effective technique that works like magic! What kinds of personal recognition and group success incentives does your organization have in place?

• When you thank someone, make sure you mean it: When you say “Jazakallahu Khayran” (May Allah reward you the best) to your wife, does it come from your heart? Or is it received as another cold cliché?Be a little creative when you really want to express your gratitude to someone. Say it with a personal thank you card. Show it with flowers. Accompany it with a genuine smile. Charge it with emotions. Enhance it with a meal or a meaningful gift.

This post was kindly prepared and submitted by Br. Taha Ghayyur
http://www.productivemuslim.com/

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

The miracle of rain




Rain is indeed one of the most important factors for the permanence of life on earth. It is a prerequisite for the continuation of activity in a region. Rain, which carries great importance for all living things, including human beings, is mentioned in various verses of the Qur'an, where substantial information is given about the formation of rain, its proportion and effects. This information, which never could have been known by the people of the time, shows us that the Qur'an is the word of Allah.
Now, let us examine the information given in the Qur'an about rain.

The Proportion of Rain

In the eleventh verse of Surat az-Zukhruf, rain is defined as water sent down in "due measure". The verse is as follows:
He sends down (from time to time) water from the sky in due measure, and We raise to life therewith a land that is dead. Even so will you be raised (from the dead). (Surat az-Zukhruf, 11)


This "measure" mentioned in the verse has to do with a couple of characteristics of rain. First of all, the amount of rain that falls on the earth is always the same. It is estimated, that in one second, 16 million tones of water evaporate from the earth. This number is equal to the amount of water that drops on the earth in one second. This means that water continuously circulates in a balanced cycle according to a "measure".

Another measure related with rain is about its falling speed. The minimum altitude of rain clouds is 1,200 meters. When dropped from this height, an object having the same weight and size as a rain drop, would continuously accelerate and fall on the ground with a speed of 558 km/h. Certainly, any object that hits the ground with that speed would cause great damage. If rain happened to fall in the same way, all harvested lands would be destroyed, residential areas, houses, and cars would be damaged, and people would not be able to walk around without taking extra precautions. What is more, these calculations are made just for clouds at a height of 1,200 meters; there are also rain clouds at altitudes of 10,000 meters. A rain drop falling from such a height could normally reach a very destructive speed.

But this is not how it works; no matter from what height they fall, the average speed of rain drops is only 8-10 km/h when they reach the ground. The reason for this is the special form they take. This special form increases the friction effect of the atmosphere and prevents acceleration when the rain drops reach a certain speed "limit". (Today parachutes are designed by using this technique.)

This is not all about the "measures" of rain. For instance, in the atmospheric layers where it starts to rain, the temperature may fall as low as 400 C below zero. Despite this, rain drops never turn into ice particles. (This would certainly mean a fatal threat to the living things on the earth.) The reason is that the water in the atmosphere is pure water. As is well-known, pure water hardly freezes even at very low temperatures.

The Formation of Rain

How rain forms remained a great mystery for people for a long time. Only after weather radar was invented, was it possible to discover the stages by which rain is formed. The formation of rain takes place in three stages. First, the "raw material" of rain rises up into the air. Later clouds are formed. Finally, rain drops appear.
These stages are clearly defined in the Qur'an centuries ago where precise information is given about the formation of rain:
It is Allah Who sends the Winds, and they raise the Clouds: then does He spread them in the sky as He wills, and break them into fragments, until you see rain-drops issue from the midst thereof: then when He has made them reach such of his servants as He wills, behold, they do rejoice! (Surat ar-Room, 48)

Now, let us look at the three stages mentioned in the verse;

1ST STAGE: "It is Allah Who sends the winds..."

Countless air bubbles formed by the foaming in the oceans continuously burst and cause water particles to be ejected towards the sky. These particles, which are rich in salt, are then carried away by winds and move upwards in the atmosphere. These particles, which are called aerosols, form clouds by collecting around themselves the water vapor, which again ascends from the seas, as tiny drops by a mechanism called "water trap"

2ND STAGE: " ...and they raise the Clouds: then does He spread them in the sky as He wills, and break them into fragments..."

The clouds form from the water vapor that condenses around the salt crystals or the dust particles in the air. Because the water drops in these are very small (with a diameter between 0.01 and 0.02 mm), the clouds are suspended in the air and they spread in the sky. Thus the sky is covered with clouds.

3RD STAGE: "... until you see rain-drops issue from the midst thereof."

Water particles that surround salt crystals and dust particles thicken and form rain drops. So, the drops, which become heavier than air, depart from the clouds, and start to fall on the ground as rain.

Every stage in the formation of rain is told in the verses of the Qur'an. Furthermore, these stages are explained in the right sequence. Just as with many other natural phenomena in the world, it is again the Qur'an that provides the most correct explanation about this phenomenon as well, and more, that has announced these facts to people centuries before they were discovered by science.
Source: http://www.harunyahya.com/
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Monday, December 6, 2010

THE MIRACLE OF TRUST IN ALLAH



If One Puts Their Trust in Allah, He will Always Help & Guide Them
Whoever believes in Allah - He will guide his heart. Allah has knowledge of all things. (64/11)

Whoever puts his trust in Allah - He will be enough for him. (65/3)
Putting ones trust in Allah is a very important part of a Muslims faith and any that wants to follow God's True Religion. To put trust in Allah means one relies on their Lord at all times whether that be something that seems significant or insignificant, whatever it is a true believer always puts their trust in Allah. The awareness that Allah their Lord has power over all things is a great comfort for them. Everything in the heavens and everything on earth glorifies Allah. Sovereignty and praise belong to Him. He has power over all things. (64:1)

Man was actually created to put his trust in Allah and this is how he finds true peace, a lot of people ignorant of Islam and the guidance and morals of Allah’s Qur’an always try to find ways to be peaceful, but they never actually achieve that. The simple reason for this is because they do not follow the Religion God, their Creator, has perfected for His servants and the high morals He has commanded in the Qur’an, also they don’t know how brilliant putting trust in Allah is, they may often hear people telling them ‘Put Your Trust in Allah’ yet they never actually realise what this really means, or fail to grasp the full meaning and effect of trusting Allah;

TRUSTING ALLAH IS ACTUALLY A MIRACLE COMPREHENDED BY THE ONE WHO PUTS HIS TRUST IN HIM & OTHER TRUE BELIEVERS

In truth putting ones trust in Allah is actually a miracle comprehended by the one who puts their trust in Allah, and other true believers. The significance and vast potential of trusting Allah can be seen in the following verse of the Qur’an; If Allah helps you, none can overcome you: If He forsakes you, who is there, after that, that can help you? in Allah, then, Let believers put their trust. (3/160)

A believer who puts his trust in Allah notices the clear difference between not putting his trust in Him, and putting his trust in Him. Many people who will try to assess this fact from a superficial point of view generally will not notice, that is why this miracle is mainly comprehended by the believer himself and other believers. Also the difference that the believer notices in his life since he started putting his trust in Allah is unambiguous, and this change in his life he astonishingly and with great excitement realises is the actual mercy and help of Allah. (This is one thing those who disbelieve can never experience or realise, because they have a distorted and aberrant view of religion and God. In fact if the veil that Allah has placed on their hearts and intellect, which is due to their own arrogance and denial, was lifted, these people would crawl over ice to experience the peace from trusting Allah.)

The believer realises with great astonishment that Allah responds to the trust he places in Him, as He has promised in the Qur’an; Whoever has taqwa of Allah - He will give him a way out and provide for him from where he does not expect. Whoever puts his trust in Allah - He will be enough for him. Allah always achieves His aim. (65/2,3)

The believer compares his new found trust in Allah against his life in the time of ignorance (either before becoming a Muslim or practising Islam properly) before he started putting his trust in Allah, and realises this is what he was missing from his life, as already mentioned this difference is so unambiguous that it is a sign of Allah's existence and a miracle of trusting Allah. The believer actually realises with great excitement and astonishment Allah arranges his affairs in such a way that he knows it is the result of putting his trust in Him, Allah gives him help, answers, solutions, ways of being patient, etc., … from where he does not expect … (65/2), because; Whoever puts his trust in Allah - He will be enough for him. Allah always achieves His aim. (65/2,3)

Once a believer realises the miraculous and beneficial result of his trust in Allah, he never becomes disheartened at anything. He is always prepared to put his trust in his Lord the Al-Waduud (the All-Loving), in fact, it makes him even more confident and devoted to Allah, when he is confronted by difficulty or any problem he looks forward to putting his trust in Allah and waits with excitement to see how Allah arranges his affairs.

Another important fact the believer keeps in mind is that he knows that Allah will never wrong him and that He will never place a burden on him greater than he can bear:

Allah does not impose on any self any more than it can stand. For it, is what it has earned; against it, what it has merited. (2/286)

For this reason any misfortune that comes his way, he knows that is because of his own shortcomings and that Allah never wrongs His slaves by even the smallest amount;

Allah does not wrong anyone by so much as the smallest speck. And if there is a good deed Allah will multiply it and pay out an immense reward direct from Him. (4/40)

Allah informs us in another verse of the Qur’an that He wishes things to be easy for His servants and that He does not want to put them to difficulty, but that any difficulty that comes his way is because Allah, out of His Mercy wishes to purify his servant of all the bad deeds and traits that will cause grief and harm to himself and even others around Him; Allah does not want to make things difficult for you, but He does want to purify you and to perfect His blessing upon you so that hopefully you will be thankful. (5:6)

As a result of taking all the above into account a believer becomes extremely strong and steadfast against all that confronts him, a good example of this can be seen in the following verses of the Qur’an;

Many a Prophet has been fought, when there were many thousands with him! They did not give up in the face of what assailed them in the Way of Allah, nor did they weaken, nor did they yield. Allah loves the steadfast. (3:146)

Say: ‘Nothing can happen to us except what Allah has ordained for us. He is Our Master. It is in Allah that the believers should put their trust.’ (9:51)

(Their Messengers said,) ‘And why indeed should we not put our trust in Allah when He has guided us to our ways? We will be steadfast however much you harm us. Those who trust put their trust in Allah.’ (14:12)

SOURCE: http://www.allahforever.co.uk/index.html

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Friday, December 3, 2010

Balancing matters of Duniya and Aakhirah



Allah has sent us to this world (the duniya) for a purpose, and the purpose is nothing but to worship Him Azza Wajal and do righteous deeds to seek His pleasure. And the religion He wants us to follow is one of total submission and obedience - and a complete way of life.

Allah SWT says:

“He Who created death and life to test which of you is best in action. He is the Almighty, the Ever-Forgiving.” (Surah Al-Mulk: 2)

And Allah says:

"Oh mankind! Worship your Lord (Allah), Who created you and those who were before you so that you may acquire Taqwa.” (Surah Al-Baqara: 21)

Islam should be inculcated into every action and deed in our everyday routine, be it at our work, in our business transactions, our family life (with our spouse and kids), our parents, our social life among our friends, community and everything that surrounds us and to matters of our heart. And inshAllah with this in our mind, all of us will be able to balance our time between the matters of Duniya and matters of the Hereafter. For a believer, all matters of the duniya are also matters of the Hereafter. He does not keep them separate. He indulges in matters of the duniya in such a way that will him benefit for him and not bring harm or evil to him in The Hereafter.

Allah says in the Qur'an:

“The life of this world is nothing but a play and amusement. The hereafter is better for those who guard against evil. So will you not use your intellect?” (Surah al-An'am: 32)

A true believer will always, therefore, remember his final destination. He does not forget the Hereafter, even for a second. He will live in this life as though he is a traveller, and he has to earn and prepare for his eternal abode, a luxurious, successful life.

Ibn 'Umar Radhiyallahu anh narrated that Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalam said: “Be in this life as if you were a stranger or a traveller on a path.” (Sahih Al Bukhari)

Allah SWT says in the Qur'an:

“Verily! It is Allah Who causes the seed grain and the fruit stone to split and sprout. He brings forth the living from the dead, and it is He Who brings forth the dead from the living. Such is Allah, then how are you deluded away from the truth.” (Surah Al-An'am: 95)

The Qur'an is like The GPS and more, that keeps guiding us, and we should pay serious heed to it, with strong faith in the instructions and guidelines it provides endlessly. The Qur'an is perfect in all senses and flawless, and if we stick to it, we will never be led astray with The Mercy and Blessings of Allah Azza Wajal.

Allah says:

“That is the Book in which there is no doubt, guidance for the Muttaqin." (Surah Al-Baqara: 2)

If a matter of Duniya that will not benefit us, attracts us from a distance away from the straight path we are on, we should not think that maybe for once, we can move towards it, and then run back to the path we are supposed to be on, as we never know what is in store for us at that point. Maybe we could end up moving further away because of other worldly mirages, and ultimately leave us in darkness and lead to Hell-fire. Shaytan has a way of making our evil thoughts and actions look like "harmless fun" and nothing more.

Allah says:

“Those are the people who trade the hereafter for the world. The punishment will not be lightened for them nor shall they be helped.” (Surat al-Baqara: 86)

InshAllah, let's be cautious of ourselves so that we will not be included in this type of people, may Allah save us all. Allah says:

“Leave alone those who take their religion to be mere play and amusement, and are deceived by the life of this world.” (Surah Al-An'am: 70)

This does not mean that one cannot have fun in this world. Have fun, but within the boundaries of Islam. And keep it balanced. How do we balance it?.

Firstly,like mentioned above, a true believer tries to make his whole life an ibadah. And his life can be an ibadah only if he is obeying His Lord at all times. For example, at his work place, he follows the etiquettes and laws of Islam by being nice to his colleagues, trying to give Da'wah when he gets a chance (needn't be through speech, his actions speak too), abstaining from intermingling (talking unnecessarily, coming in contact like shaking hands, patting each other etc.), being sincere to his work not just for worldly gains but out of fear of Allah SWT and most of all, having a halal job. In his business transactions, he will be fair, stay away from interest and any other kind of dealings that are against the shariah of Islam. Even when he relaxes and has fun, he keeps thanking Allah SWT.

Secondly, let's weigh the time we spend to make our life here better and the time we spend to make our Aakhirah better, by keeping in mind that the Aakhirah is eternal and this world is for such a short span of life. Surely, we spend quite an amount of unavoidable time for the duniya. How can we then, be satisfied with ourselves for the amount of time we spent only to worship Allah SWT and the little or no time we spend in learning His dheen? (Indeed, He is The Most Merciful that inshAllah, we will enter Paradise, for the little we do here for our own Aakhirah's sake as gratitude for this life he has Blessed us with!)

Allah SWT says:

“Oh mankind! Have Taqwa of your Lord, and fear a Day when no father can avail aught for his son, nor a son avail aught for his father. Verily, the promise of Allah is true, let not then this present life deceive you, nor let the chief deceiver deceive you about Allah.” (Surah Luqman: 33)

Thirdly, let's always stop ourselves and think twice when we feel tempted to think/say, "We have no time", when it comes to doing a good deed or an act or worship. Allah has given each and everyone of us 24 hours a day and 7 days in a week. All men are equal. If the companions of The Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalam and the rightly guided scholars of the Islamic Era, (may Allah be pleased with them all) were able to run homes (sometimes more than one) with many kids, run businesses or do some work in order to earn their bread, govern the nation/state, do da'wah and teach Islam to their people, recite the Qur'an and contemplate on it on a daily basis, participate in battles, travel to seek knowledge of dheen, pray thahajjud and other extra prayers etc, why cannot we find time then?

"O Lord! Give unto us in the world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good and guard us from that doom of the Fire ".

By Umm Hibathain
http://www.areweprepared.ca/
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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Appreciating Beauty






One of the attributes of a true believer is his or her ability to appreciate beauty in all things Allah has created. Whenever he sees things in nature, he is immediately reminded of the great power and majesty of the Creator who made it. In this way, all moments of life are causes for reflection for the true believer.

Such a thinking believer is also free from the prejudices of today’s society, namely the conditioning of the mind by the media. He can see that all human beings have been created in a pleasant form that is appealing to the viewer. He notices in all people, the perfection in the symmetry of the body, the face and the pleasant appearance of the human smile as well as countless other details that makes the human body pleasant to see. This leads him to render thanks to Allah and feel Allah's ever presence in all human beings He has created. The real believer views people as precious creation manifesting Allah's great power and purpose in creation. He can easily see the marvellous complexity involved in the design of the human body and knows that simply appreciating the outer appearance in a superficial manner would be ungratefulness to Allah.

"(People), do you not see how Allah has made what is in the heavens and the earth useful to you, and has lavished His blessings on you both outwardly and inwardly?" (Qur'an 31:20)

That is why, the believers are those who are able see and appreciate beauty in a way disbelievers do not. However, what differentiates a person from another is their fear and love of Allah, which comes from an understanding of the existence of Allah and the purpose of creation. The human body comes to a bitter end only within a few decades. That is why believers only judge one another on the level of their moral perfection and adherence to Allah's commands.
source:http://www.quranicpath.com/

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Monday, November 15, 2010

REMAINING PATIENT IN THE FACE OF DIFFICULTIES



In the Qur’an, God has described Himself as:

"The one who created death and life to test you as to which of you is best in deed." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 67, Verse 2

He draws attention to the fact that the life of this world is a time for testing. Indeed, events which appear to be favorable or unfavorable in the course of this life are critical in terms of revealing a person's actual character. Calamities, in particular, serve to reveal the degree of a person's sincerity.

One of the most noticeable qualities of believers is their stable character. In times of prosperity and hardship alike, they display the same sincerity and enthusiasm.Their unique perception of the concept of "difficulty" accounts for this, for they consider times of difficulty as opportunities by which they can prove their devotion to God and the strength of their faith. They acknowledge that they are special situations created by God to discriminate between "those in whose hearts is a disease" and "those who are sincere in faith to Him." In the face of all they encounter, they show forbearance and put their trust in God in compliance with His words:

"So be patient with gracious patience." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 70, Verse 5

The Qur’an also states:

"God does not charge a soul except [within] its capacity. It will have whatever [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] whatever [evil] it has earned." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 2, Verse 286

Believers feel the security and comfort of knowing that God does not impose on them more than they can bear. In the face of an ordeal they remember that this is an incident they will manage to overcome, and therefore they meet it with patience.

Thus, no matter how trying an ordeal may be, they earnestly strive while displaying a submissive attitude to God.

In addition, they know that ordeals befell believers in the past and that the trials people of the past encountered will come to them as well. A believer aware of this fact is prepared long before he actually encounters difficulties; he has determined that he will remain loyal to his Lord and is thus committed to display patience and submission and put his trust in God under all circumstances.

"And they had already promised God before not to turn their backs. And ever is the promise to God [that about which one will be] questioned." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 33, Verse 15

A believer fulfills his commitment to God. He faces hunger, poverty, fear, injury or death with steadiness, accepts them and shows a thankful attitude towards his Lord. Even if innumerable difficulties should come upon him one after another and his entire life is spent in hardship, he knows that when he accepts difficulties in this life (lasting but a few decades) with good patience for God, he will experience no difficulty throughout eternity – not for a single moment. His earnest behavior will, by God’s will, earn him the most beautiful blessings: the pleasure and mercy of God and His Paradise.

This good news is given in the Qur’an:

"And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to the patient." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 2, Verse 155


There is a final point to be kept in mind. The way believers face difficulties with patience is different from the ignorant person's understanding of patience, which is simply to endure. Believers' understanding, however, is not only "endurance" but facing the problems that one must solve and overcome. Therefore, believers do their best to provide solutions by exercising their reason and resorting to all material and physical means. While doing so, they pray to God to give them strength and relief:

"Our Lord, do not impose blame upon us if we have forgotten or erred. Our Lord, and lay not upon us a burden like that which You laid upon those before us. Our Lord, and burden us not with that which we have no ability to bear. And pardon us; and forgive us; and have mercy upon us. You are our protector, so give us victory over the disbelieving people." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 2, Verse 286

It is indeed this attitude in the face of hardship – sincere efforts coupled with acceptance – which reveals genuine zeal. The strength of their faith in God and the Hereafter enables believers to struggle hard against difficulties without ever feeling weak-hearted.

Excerpted from Zeal and Enthusiasm by Harun Yahya


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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Signs of HYPOCRISY


In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
Imam Bukhari and Muslim reported that the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said, "The signs of the hypocrite are there: That he utters falsehood when he speaks and that he breaks his promise and that he betrays when entrusted", Imam Muslim added in another narration, "Even though he fasts, prays, and claims he is a Muslim."

Hypocrisy is a contradiction between what appears and what is concealed and, thus, a hypocrite is one who shows different to what he conceals.

Hypocrisy is divided into two types:

• Hypocrisy in belief.

• Hypocrisy in action.

Hypocrisy in belief is when one shows Islam and conceal Kufr (disbelieve), and this was the status of the hypocrites during the time of the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) after his migration to Medina. This is the most dangerous and malignant form of disbelieves.

To that effect, Allah (S.W.T.) said in surat An-Nisa’, (Verse 140), what can be translated as, "Allah will gather the Hypocrites and the disbelievers all in the Hell-Fire." Allah (S.W.T.) also says in the same surat in (Verse 145), what can be translated as, "The Hypocrites will be in the lowest depth of Hell-Fire."

Allah (S.W.T.) mentioned many of their attributes, and exposed much of their reality and uncovered the extent of their hostility towards Muslims in many verses of the Qur’an, for the purpose of alerting the Muslims to their danger and conspiracies;

Later on, Gabriel, mentioned their names to the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.), and the prophet told that to his most trusted companion, Huzaifah-Bn-Alyaman. This was on the hypocrisy of belief.

For the second As type of hypocrisy, which is hypocrisy in action, It is to abandon all or some religious act in privacy, while complying with it publicly. This conduct fits under the terminology of Hypocrisy, but not under that of disbelief.
The hadith that was mentioned earlier has specified for us three of the signs of hypocrisy.

The first sign is lying. Which is one of the worst and gravest sins, since it is a means to immorality, and leads the person to the hell fire (we ask Allah (S.W.T.) for refuge from that). Imam Bukhari and Muslim reported that the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said, "Honesty guides to righteousness, and righteousness guides to paradise, and a person does preserve his honesty until Allah (S.W.T.) gives him recognition for being honest." The prophet added, "and dishonesty guides to immorality, and immorality leads to the Hell-Fire, and a person does preserve his dishonesty until Allah (S.W.T.) gives him recognition for being dishonest."

In another authentic hadith reported by Imam Ahmad, Ibn-Hibban and Al-Baihaqi, that the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said, "Maintain six virtues and I guarantee you paradise: Tell the Truth when you talk, fulfill your promises, and give what has been entrusted with you, preserve your chastity, lower your gaze, and do not harm anyone."

Imam Ahmad and others reported in an authentic hadith that the Aisha’, may Allah be pleased with her said, "There had not been worse conduct than lying in the eyes of the companions. And the prophet (S.A.W.) would know the man of his companions who has been lying, and that would not clean away from the heart of the prophet, until he (S.A.W.) knows that person made repentance to Allah."

The second sign of hypocrisy is breaking the promise. Thus whoever promised another of good thing and did not fulfill it, then he would have a quality of hypocrisy. Allah (S.W.T.) has ordered us Muslims to fulfill our promises, when he said in surat Al-Israh, (Verse 34), what can be translated as, "And fulfill (every) covenant. Verily! The covenant, will be questioned about."

Imam Bukhari reported that the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said, "A man form the children of Israel, asked someone to lend him a thousand dinars until a set date. Someone lent him the money, and when the time came that man wanted to pay it off. He went out to the sea to go to the lender, but could not find a ship; thus, he took a piece of wood and drilled a hole through it, then he put in it a thousand dinar and threw it in the sea. The lender came out in another sea shore to find the log before him, and he took it as a fire wood to his family and when he sawed it, he found his money in it". Because of his eagerness to payoff the debt on time, Allah (S.W.T.) has helped him in directing the money to its owner.

The third sign of hypocrisy is the betrayal when entrusted, and not returning this trust to which it belongs to or using it without permission given from the owner. Allah (S.W.T.) has commanded us in surat An-Nisa’, (Verse 58), what can be translated as, "Verily! Allah commands that you should render back the trusts to those, to whom they are due…"

Trusts are of many types. It may be in the form of money and in the form of rights. There are some Muslims who are conscious about money trusts, but are not conscious about the rights and duties that Allah trust every one of us with. Thus, yourself is a trust given to you by Allah. Your wealth, which you gather is a trust, entrusted to you by Allah, the time that you made use of is also a trust, again your health, your youth, your mind, your hearing, and your vision, are all trusts to you from Allah. Also your wife and children are a trust entrusted to you by Allah. Also your community is a trust entrusted to you by Allah. And the most important trust is the deen of Allah that entrusted you with. So let us be ware from the betraying all of these trusts or the loss of them, surely Allah will question us, on that, on the day of Judgment.

The preservation of all of these trusts that we have mentioned lies in observing Allah’s rights in them. And to follow the commands of Allah in all of them. Allah (S.W.T.) has praised the believers in surat Al-Mu’minoun, (Verse 8), what can be translated as, "Those who are faithfully true to their trusts and to their covenants."

http://www.raleighmasjid.org/
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Friday, October 22, 2010

TIPS TO MAINTAIN CONCENTRATION IN PRAYER


A Muslim should be mindful and attentive while offering the Prayer. He should reflect on the meaning of the Qur’anic verses and du`aa’ he reads. He should be humble and concentrate while praying.

In order to gain proper concentration in Prayer, it is important to keep one’s mind free of all pre-occupations with worldly affairs. Since our minds tend to dwell on the things which we are currently absorbed with, it is important to break the hold of this world upon our minds by conditioning ourselves to think consistently of Allah and the Last Day. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “A true believer is one who has made all of his thoughts subservient to the bigger thought: Allah.”

Another important point to remember is that often because of our indulgence in major sins, we may be deprived of true joy in Prayer as a penalty for these sins. Such sins include displeasing one’s parents, fornication or adultery, indiscriminate mingling and mixing with members of the opposite sex, unethical conduct and behavior in financial dealings, and so on.

Therefore, as a prerequisite step towards improving our concentration in Prayer, we must examine our life and purge it of all the major sins according to the best of our ability. After having done so, we can follow these tips which have been gleaned from the discussions of the salaf as-salih (pious predecessors):

1. Before standing up for Prayer, try to deal with all the minor urgent matters which demand your attention. If you are pressed by hunger, eat first; if you are pressed to attend to the call of nature, relieve yourself; if you are the parent of an infant, feed him or her, or keep him or her busy.

2. Perform your wudu’ (ablution) well, paying due care and attention.

3. Approach the Prayer with zest and passion as if it is the most important task in your life. Actually the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) taught us that we could do nothing in this world that could ever surpass Prayer in merit and excellence.

4. Visualize that in your Prayer you are going to have a special audience with Allah, Lord of the worlds, and that you are enjoying a direct communion with Him—which, in fact, is true.

5. Think of the Prayer you are performing as if it were the last Prayer of your life. In fact, it could very well be the last one, since no one is given a guarantee that he would live to perform another Prayer.

6. Picture the scene of the Last Day when people will be lined up into two groups, one destined for Heaven, and another for Hell, and ask yourself where you would be placed

7. Focus your mind on what you are reading in your Prayer.

8. If, in spite of your best efforts, your mind is still wandering, seek refuge in Allah and bring your mind back to Prayer.

9. Pray to Allah and beg Him to grant you true the joy of concentrating in your Prayer and protection against the wanderings of your mind

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

The pleasures of seeking knowledge


The rise of Muslims to the zenith of civilization in a period of four decades was based on lslam's emphasis on learning. This is obvious when one takes a look at the Qur'an and the traditions of Prophet Muhammad which are filled with references to learning, education, observation, and the use of reason. The very first verse of the Qur'an revealed to the Prophet of Islam on the night of 27th of Ramadan in 611 AD reads:

"Recite: In the name of thy Lord who created man from a clot. Recite: And thy Lord is the Most Generous Who taught by the pen, taught man that which he knew not." (Quran, 96:1-5)

"And they shall say had we but listened or used reason, we would not be among the inmates of the burning fire." (Quran, 67:10)

"Are those who have knowledge and those who have no knowledge alike? Only the men of understanding are mindful. " (Quran, 39:9)

The Qur'an encourages people towards scientific research:.
"And whoso brings the truth and believes therein such are the dutiful." (Quran, 39:33)

Every Muslim man's and every Muslim woman's prayer should be:

"My Lord! Enrich me with knowledge.." (Quran, 20:114)


The pursuit of knowledge and the use of reason, based on sense and observation is made obligatory on all believers.

The following traditions of the Prophet supplement the foregoing teachings of the Qur'an in the following way:

Seek knowledge "even though it be in China."

• "The acquisition of knowledge is compulsory for every Muslim, whether male or female."

• "The ink of the scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr."

• "Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave."

• "God has revealed to me, 'Whoever walks in the pursuit of knowledge I facilitate for him the way to heaven.'

• "The best form of worship is the pursuit of knowledge."

• "Scholars should endeavor to spread knowledge and provide education to people who have been deprived of it. For, where knowledge is hidden it disappears."

• Some one asked the Prophet : "Who is the biggest scholar?" He replied: "He who is constantly trying to learn from others, for a scholar is ever hungry for more knowledge."

• "Seek knowledge and wisdom, or whatever the vessel from which it flows, you will never be the loser."

• "Contemplating deeply for one hour (with sincerity) is better than 70 years of (mechanical) worship."

• "To listen to the words of the learned and to instill unto others the lessons of science is better than religious exercises."

• "Acquire knowledge: it enables its possessor to distinguish right from the wrong, it lights the way to heaven; it is our friend in the desert, our society in solitude, our companion when friendless - it guides us to happiness; it sustains us in misery; it is an ornament among friends and an armor against enemies."


Learning is a natural pleasure. This pleasure is inborn and instinctive. The pleasure of learning is one of the essential pleasures of the human race. Without learning, survival itself is threatened.

The process of learning starts right after birth. It is true that babies who can barely talk investigate problems with all the zeal and excitement of explorers, make discoveries with the passion and absorption of dedicated scientists. At the end of each successful investigation, one can see on the tiny face an expression of innocent and pure heartfelt pleasure. The process of physical growth stops when a boy or girl reaches puberty, that is with the on set of menarche in the girls and with the change in the voice and growth of moustache and beard in boys. After puberty it is impossible to increase the height both in boys and girls.

On the other hand the mental faculties grow from birth until death. At some point in our lifetime, the physical body becomes sick or ill and gradually dies; even the emotions become duller. But the mind continues to live, and even grows more lively and active, enjoys itself more, works and plays with more expansion and delight. I have seen grandparents obtaining Bachelors, Masters and Ph. D. degrees at the ages of 70, 80 or 90.

The pleasure of learning is not confined to learning from textbooks, which are too often tedious. But it does include learning from book magazines (periodicals), newspapers, movies, television, radio and traveling.

When you stand in a big library in front of thousands of books do not think they are lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves. Each has its own voice, which is as inaudible as the radiobroadcast waves falling directly on ears. Just as one switches on the radio to listen, similarly a person needs to open a book to hear the voice far distant in time and space. One can hear the voice speaking, mind to mind, and heart to heart. Reading of books gives you two different delights. One is the pleasure of understanding the unknown and the unexpected. The other pleasure is of deepening one's knowledge of a specified field.

Apart from books, learning means keeping the mind open and active to receive all kinds of experience. As pointed out earlier there is great emphasis on learning and seeking knowledge in Islam.

The Prophet Mohammed ordered Muslims to be active in their search for learning, crossing oceans and continents if necessary. " Seek knowledge even in China" he said. Learning also means learning to practice one' s own professional skills - that of a physician, engineer, musician or craftsman.

Crafts and hobbies lead you into fresh fields of enjoyment and give you relaxation and activity without tension. One should know that tension is the prime cause of heart attacks, ulcers, hypertension, and most of the human diseases.

Traveling is an important activity in the pleasures of learning. There are many examples of exceptionally informed people who never read books and newspapers, but acquire knowledge through traveling. One should travel with an open mind, an alert eye and a wish to understand other people and other places.

A saying of Prophet Muhammad is ... With knowledge man rises to the heights of goodness and to a noble position, associated with sovereigns in this world, and attains the perfection of happiness in the next.

There are many people in this world who have played themselves to death, or eaten and drunk themselves to death. Nobody ever died because of thinking or learning. People who avoid learning, or abandon it, find no joy in life, find that life is dry. No learner has ever run short of subjects to explore. The pleasures of learning lead to happiness. One can live a long, healthy and rewarding life by attaining and preserving the happiness of learning. Learning is everyone's birthright. Everyone - young or old, rich or poor, male or female, has access to learning. Exercise your birthright. Remember what you have learned cannot be taken away by others.

Source: article By: Ibrahim B. Syed, Ph. D. IslamiCity* -



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Saturday, October 16, 2010

How To Overcome Inferiority Complex


Lack of confidence and low self esteem can make a person feel inferior and much less talented than the people around him/her. Difficult though, overcoming inferiority complex is vital, because it builds up negative thoughts in a person's mind. As a result, he/she finds it difficult to do even those things that he/she could accomplish very easily earlier. If you are also facing the same problem, then you should learn to get rid of it as soon as possible. The tips listed below will help you learn how to overcome inferiority complex and increase your self esteem as well as your confidence tremendously.

Overcoming Inferiority Complex

Positive thinking is essential for the development of a good personality. Discard all the negative thoughts and replace them with optimistic ones. You should think about yourself as well as the people around you, in a positive light.

• People often feel inferior for the things lacking in them. To overcome the complex, you need to concentrate on your positive attributes, rather than regretting about what you do not have. Write down all the things that you like about yourself, on a piece of paper, and make the most of them. Remember, no one in this world is perfect.

• Physical appearance often triggers inferiority complex in people and leads to a lack of self confidence. If you feel that you look less attractive than others, groom yourself. Improve your dressing sense and wear clothes that flatter your body structure. This will boost your self confidence and make you feel pleased about yourself. You would not feel inferior to others, when you score on your good looks!

• The lack of proficiency also makes one feel inferior to others. If you are in the same situation, then you need to concentrate on improving your skills. Develop your aptitude. Keep yourself updated about the events happening around you. If you are more talented, at least equally skilled, than others, you won’t feel inferior at any point of time.

• Some people enjoy degrading others. They deliberately wish to hurt and humiliate other people, in order to feel superior about themselves. If you are surrounded by such people, learn to handle them. Answer them back confidently. Remember, you should not let anyone hurt your self esteem.

• Every person is gifted in at least one way. Give time to yourself. Explore your talents and try to improve them. This will build up your self esteem and make you feel good about yourself, banishing the inferiority complex.

• Last, but not the least, learn to be happy and enjoy life to the fullest. Smile whenever you can. Do not frown. Do things that you enjoy. This will help you a great deal in overcoming inferiority complex.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Qur’an Says, “Be Good to Your Parents”


Islamic morality guarantees all people's social and personal lives and shows them how to live the easiest, most content, and happiest life. This morality prescribes justice, tolerance, compassion, and helpfulness toward all people, regardless of gender, age, and economic status. Irrespective of whom they are dealing with, Muslims are required to always abide by this morality as best they can. Muslims adopt these superior moral characteristics because Allah tells them to do so. As a result, a person's social status, gender, age, and other such characteristics are irrelevant to them.

Allah states the importance of treating parents well. Parents do their best to give their children a good education, a decent character, and teach them to treat all other people properly. Given that they make many sacrifices, financial or otherwise, for many years, the children are obligated to return their efforts and selfless support with respect and service. Allah reveals this responsibility in the Qur'an:

We have instructed man to honor his parents. (Surat al-'Ankabut: 8)

We have instructed man to be good to his parents. (Surat al-Ahqaf: 15)

Say: "Come, and I will recite to you what your Lord has made forbidden to you: that you do not associate anything with Him, that you be good to your parents, that you do not kill your children because of poverty-We will provide for you and them, that you do not approach indecency-outward or inward, and that you do not kill any person Allah has made inviolate-except with the right to do so. That is what He instructs you to do so that, hopefully, you will use your intellect." (Surat al-An'am: 151)

The Qur'an also reveals that one must treat parents well and avoid arrogance and pride:

Worship Allah, and do not associate anything with Him. Be good to your parents and relatives, orphans and the very poor, neighbors who are related to you and neighbors who are not related to you, companions and travelers, and your slaves. Allah does not love anyone vain or boastful. (Surat an-Nisa': 36)

Clearly, Allah advises people to always be tolerant, understanding, compassionate, and respectful toward their parents, especially toward their mothers. He also reminds us of the difficulties that mothers suffer while giving birth and raising their children. For example:

We have instructed man concerning his parents. Bearing him caused his mother great debility, and the period of his weaning was two years: "Give thanks to Me and to your parents. I am your final destination." (Surah Luqman: 14)

We have instructed man to be good to his parents. His mother bore him with difficulty and, with difficulty, gave birth to him; and his bearing and weaning take thirty months. Then when he achieves his full strength and reaches forty, he says:

"My Lord, keep me thankful for the blessing You bestowed on me and on my parents, and keep me acting rightly, pleasing You. Make my descendants righteous. I have repented to You, and I am truly one of the Muslims." (Surat al-Ahqaf: 15)

Every mother suffers for many months and displays great devotion in order to give birth. As Allah reveals, this is an agonizing process for her. After this period, she adopts a selfless devotion and begins to feed and nurture her child. Allah reminds people of this reality and points out that mothers are very special beings.

In addition, He advises people not to forget their parents' selfless devotion to them and to treat them equally well when they reach old age and become dependent:

Your Lord has decreed that you should worship none but Him, and that you should show kindness to your parents. Whether one or both of them reach old age with you, do not say "Ugh!" to them out of irritation, and do not be harsh with them; rather, speak to them with gentleness and generosity. Take them under your wing, out of mercy, with due humility and say: "O Lord, show mercy to them as they did in looking after me when I was small." (Surat al-Isra': 23-24)

As we all know, old age means the loss of physical strength, dynamism, health, and energy. Such people become dependent on other people's care, protection, and help. Their mental faculties decrease, and they come face to face with memory loss and other problems. Muslims, as required by Allah, treat their elderly parents with compassion, tolerance, understanding, and care.

In the verses cited above, Allah reveals how Muslims should treat their elderly parents. As we see, He forbids Muslims to show even the slightest disrespect toward their parents and commands them to say nice things and treat them gently so that they will have no reason to become upset. As a result, Muslims are very understanding, considerate, and careful with their elderly parents. They do their best to make their parents comfortable and continue to love and respect them.

Considering the difficulties and complaints associated with old age, Muslims try to provide for their parents' needs before being asked to do so. Whatever the circumstances, they are always polite and giving.

Muslims not only provide for their parents' spiritual and psychological needs, but also do everything to meet their material and financial needs. Allah reveals that parents have rights to their children's financial assistance:

They will ask you what they should give away. Say: "Any wealth you give away should go to your parents and relatives, orphans and the very poor, and travelers." Wher good you do, Allah knows it. (Surat al-Baqara: 215)

Prophet Yusuf's (Joseph's) (as) exemplary treatment of his parents is a perfect example for all people ("as" is short for "alayhis salam", which means "peace be upon him".) Following his appointment by the King as treasurer of Egypt, he hosted his parents in the most respectable manner and then expressed his gratitude and devotion to them by seating them on the throne. Allah reveals Yusuf's (as) behavior:

Then when they entered into Yusuf's presence, he drew his parents close to him and said: "Enter Egypt safe and sound, if Allah wills." He raised his parents up onto the throne. The others fell prostrate in front of him. He said: "My father, truly this is now the interpretation of the dream I had. My Lord has made it all come true, and He was kind to me by letting me out of prison and brought you from the desert when Satan had caused dissent between me and my brothers. My Lord is kind to anyone He wills. He is indeed All-Knowing and All-Wise." (Surah Yusuf: 99-100)

The Qur'an reveals that believers pray for their parents and for Allah's forgiveness and mercy for them. From some of the verses, we gather that the Prophets made similar prayers. Allah reveals that Prophet Nuh (Noah) (as) prayed for his parents:

"O My Lord, forgive me and my parents and all who enter my house as believers, and all the men and women of the believers. But do not increase the wrongdoers except in ruin" (Surah Nuh: 28).

We understand from the Qur'an that Islamic morality places a great value on parents. Allah makes clear that such character traits are important for all Muslims when they are young as well as when they are old.

However, in certain cases believers are required to disobey their parents. For example:

But if they try to make you associate something with Me about which you have no knowledge, do not obey them. Keep company with them correctly and courteously in this world, but follow the way of him who turns to Me. Then you will return to Me, and I will inform you about the things you did. (Surah Luqman: 15)

Through this verse, Allah advises Muslims to disobey their parents only if the latter choose to rebel against Allah and encourage their children to do the same. But still, as required by Islam's morality, one must not be disrespectful toward them and must honor their wishes and treat them well.


Source:
http://www.womaninthequran.com/

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Monday, October 11, 2010

The Quran Speaks of Happiness


The concept of happiness in Islam is expressed in the Qur’ân and Sunnah in a number of different ways. First, we find the Qur’ân discussing the “good life”. Allah says: “Whosoever does right, whether male or female, and is a believer, we shall make them live a good life, and We shall pay them a recompense in proportion to the best of what they used to do.” [Sûrah al-Nahl: 97]


This “good life” is happiness itself. It is realized through faith and good deeds. This does not mean that we will not face difficulties in our good life. Our worldly lives, even when they are bolstered by faith and good works, are never free from distress and vexations. This world is the abode of toil, as Allah says: “Certainly We have created man to be in toil.” [Sûrah al-Balad: 90]


This world is the abode of tests and trials. Allah says: “Verily We created Man from a drop of mingled sperm, in order to try him: so We gave him (the gifts) of hearing and sight.” [Sûrah al-Insân: 2]


Allah also says: “Every soul shall have a taste of death: and We test you by evil and by good by way of trial, and to Us is your return.” [Sûrah al-Anbiyâ’: 35]


The concept of happiness is also expressed in the Qur’ân as a negation of wretchedness and misguidance. It is also expressed through by contrasting it with the description, of a narrow, straightened life.

Allah says: “But he who turns away from remembrance of Me, his will be a narrow life, and I shall bring him blind to the assembly on the Day of Resurrection.” [Sûrah TâHâ: 124]

Wretchedness is the opposite of happiness. It is a state of being bereft of Allah’s remembrance. The way to distance oneself from wretchedness is to follow the path of guidance. This is what brings about happiness.

The Qur’ân also uses the concept of “the openness of the heart” to express happiness. Allah says: “Those whom Allah wills to guide, He opens their breast to Islam; those whom He wills to leave straying, He makes their breast close and constricted, as if they had to climb up to the skies: thus does Allah (heap) the penalty on those who refuse to believe.” [Sûrah al-An`âm: 125]

Another expression is the “contentment of the heart”. Allah says: “Those who believe, and whose hearts find contentment in the remembrance of Allah: for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find contentment.” [Sûrah al-Ra`d: 28]

The contentment and openness of the heart are aspects of happiness which are achieved through keeping up the remembrance of Allah and through following the guidance of Islam.

Total and perfect happiness is achieved through true devotion in worship to Allah, salvation from Hell, and admission to Paradise in the Hereafter.

Allah says: “On the day when it shall come, no soul shall speak except with His permission, then (some) of them shall be unhappy and (others) happy. Those who are wretched shall be in the Fire: There will be for them therein (nothing but) the heaving of sighs and sobs. Abiding therein so long as the heavens and the earth endure, except as your Lord please; surely your Lord is the mighty doer of what He intends. And as to those who are made happy, they shall be in the garden, abiding in it as long as the heavens and the earth endure, except as your Lord please; a gift which shall never be cut off.” [Sûrah Hûd: 105-108]

Believers can be tested with tribulations and illness, though when they are granted patience to endure and they seek their reward with their Lord, it is best for them.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “How amazing are the believer’s affairs; all his affairs are good for him. If good befalls him, he is grateful and that is good for him, and if he is afflicted by calamity he is patient and that is also good for him. This is only for the believer.” [Sahîh Muslim]

Ibn Mas`ûd said: “Allah has placed ease and happiness in certainty of faith and contentment. He has placed worry and misery in discontent and doubt.”

The contentment that Ibn Mas`ûd is referring to here is to be reconciled to Allah’s decree and with the portion that Allah has allotted to His servant. This is the way to attain peace of mind and happiness. By contrast, being discontented and resentful about one’s circumstances, unsatisfied with one’s portion that Allah has allotted, and having doubts about one’s faith, this is the way to anxiety, misery, and distress.


I ask Allah to make us all among those who attain happiness.

by Sheikh `Abd Allah b. Abd al-Aziz al-Zayidi
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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Effects Of Arrogance On The Soul


The arrogant are distinctly avaricious and desirous of prestige. They are known both for their ambition as well as their desire to gain prestige. Wherever they are, they want to be the supreme, unique and most powerful one. They rely on their beauty, possessions, intelligence or status, that is, in the things of which they boast. Moreover, they believe they will never lose these qualities or possessions. Not for a moment do they feel any doubt about their flawed way of thinking. Although those around them are aware of their shortcomings, they believe themselves irreproachable. In actuality, they suffer many weaknesses due to their failure to grasp these facts. This mental deficiency is related in the Qur' an as follows:

Among them there are some who listen to you. But can you make the deaf hear even though they cannot understand? Among them there are some who look at you. But can you guide the blind, even though they cannot see? (Surah Yunus: 42-43)
Though the reasons for arrogance differ from one person to another, depending on their respective traits, there is a state of mind common to nearly all arrogant people. In the following section, we will consider some general character traits that result from this state of mind.
They are in a Diseased and Disturbed State of Mind
A normal person, who enjoys a stable state of mind, is extroverted, open and sincere. An arrogant person, however, suffers a darkened and disturbed state of mind. Being deceived and carried away by his pride, his inner-world is a sombre place of distress and anxiety; consumed with devious thoughts and schemes. Such a state of mind becomes exhausting, and causes them to age before their time.
Lacking in character, they are cold and ill-tempered. It is rare to see a pleasant expression or sign of affection or appreciation on their face, or to hear an encouraging word from them. One cannot feel relaxed among them or enjoy their company. Men tend to become aggressive and irascible. In woman, on the other hand, arrogance manifests itself as uneasiness. Wherever they are, a minor problem is likely to cause tension in them and absorb them in quarrel.
They Greatly Fear Making Mistakes
All acts and thoughts of those who are abundantly proud are directed towards earning the appreciation of others, and of making themselves out to be superior. For this reason, they excessively fear making mistakes. For them, making mistakes is a form of humiliation. They have total confidence in themselves, yet, paradoxically, feel the constant worry of doing the wrong thing. The arrogant ardently avoid all kinds of mistakes; making a mistake for them is an embarrassment. Therefore, they deny even the possibility. They are in a constant struggle to escape accusation of any faults. In a verse, Allah describes a disposition of these people:
Do you not see those who praise themselves for purity? No, Allah purifies whoever He wills. They will not be wronged by so much as the smallest speck. (Surat an-Nisa' : 49)

The arrogant humiliate others when they discover their mistakes. They exaggerate the errors other people make, taking every opportunity to bring these to light. They show no pity for anyone who commits an error, and become condescending towards them. They erroneously assume that if they reveal others' mistakes they make apparent their own faultlessness. Therefore, no one can feel at ease in their company. Such people always create an atmosphere of negativity.

Due to these reprehensible qualities, the arrogant can never master sincerity in its true sense. They remain deprived of this quality because they are aloof, always scheming. Such traits hinder them from being sincere towards others, being the reason why others distance themselves from them. They always fear that sincere behaviour, or natural shortcomings may become an object of ridicule. Due to their bad character, the arrogant are usually abandoned by others when they lose their power or fortune. Yet, we need to remember that, even at those times when they feel they are powerful, they are still alone in their own inner-world, so distant from the morality of the Qur' an.

They Cannot Stand Criticism


Being subject to criticism is something an arrogant person dislikes immensely. When criticised, his facial muscles tense up, and his expression dulls. Concerned about damage to his prestige, he is dismayed. He assumes that, if he makes a mistake, he will be ridiculed or humiliated by others, just as he is accustomed to reprove others in similar situations. He believes that being subject to criticism or admonition is degradation. To adopt such a state of mind is detrimental both in the spiritual and physical sense. Their tone of voice fluctuates, they are impaired by twitching, and in their face, you will not find signs of sincerity. Ultimately, they never find peace and comfort.

They maintain goals such as being "the most beautiful," "the most clever" or "the most qualified." Such pursuits place them under constant pressure. Seeing themselves as so perfect or superior, (or rather that they aim to prove themselves to be so), even a minor admonishment suffices to infuriate them. However, there is a point on which they are forgetful; they may seek to present themselves as perfect and infallible, and in some cases even succeed at doing so. Yet, on the Day of Judgment, they will be confronted with all their wrongdoings, whether minor or grave. As Allah informs us in the Qur' an, "Do they not know that Allah knows what they keep secret and what they make public?" (Surat al-Baqara: 77), everything about them is known to Allah, the Almighty. But being forgetful of their Lord and the Day of Judgment, they only deceive and humiliate themselves.

Praise Is What Pleases Them


That state of mind peculiar to the arrogant is discernible in their looks and their manner of speaking. These people either praise themselves openly, or place themselves in those circumstances by which they will gain praise. On the other hand, other people' s good qualities make them envious. This envy becomes immediately perceptible in their facial expression. Because of their arrogance, they become unsociable. Basically, they are tense and distressed, trying to appear "cool" and different to others. What they enjoy most is praising themselves or to be praised by others.

On the contrary, believers are aware that they are merely servants of Allah, and only Allah is Praiseworthy. The Prophet Muhammad (saas) sets an example of modesty for all Muslims, as revealed in his saying:
Do not exceed bounds in praising me; I am only the Lord' s servant; then call me the servant of Allah and His messenger. (Bukhari, Muslim)

Arrogance Prevents Man from Loving and Being Loved


The arrogant love themselves most, and thus, can never experience true love. At most, they can only pretend to love. They find it demeaning to show their love to others; they always desire to be the one to whom love and attention is shown. They deem it to be a kind of weakness to love others and to show them affection.

Due to their overbearing pride, they are incapable of love. Loving another person demands, primarily, that one be able to discern those qualities that are deserving of love. Yet, an arrogant person is loath to recognise these favourable qualities in people. Indeed, in their eyes, it is they who are most worthy of love. For this reason, they feel jealous of the beauty, intelligence, virtue or possessions of others. Sometimes, this jealousy reaches to such an extent that they wish others to lose all their good.

Another reason why they are incapable of showing love is that they cannot appreciate other people' s good qualities. Moreover, even if they were to recognise them, they expressly avoid mentioning them. The presence of someone else with better qualities than they make them feel uneasy. Consumed with jealousy, they are malicious and hostile.

The arrogant, with such disquieted spirit, are, in actuality, in great loss; throughout their lives, they are never able to experience true love, a feeling which is a great blessing from Allah. Apart from not being able to love, they are also not loved in the true sense, though they may be good-looking or intelligent. Because they share certain mutual interests, they may have established relationships with some people. Otherwise, most dislike their company. There is something unpleasant about their character and air. Considering the absence of tenderness, warmth, sincerity and modesty in their character, it is not difficult to understand why people avoid such people, no matter what their status or privilege.

They Are Unable to Enjoy Anything


An arrogant person is also unable to enjoy anything. Events and places that others generally take pleasure in do not meet up to their taste. In such circumstances, they seek the imperfections of others, and, all the while, strive to make known their supposed superiority. They consider being "cool" and "indifferent" as a mark of that superiority, and find it degrading to enjoy themselves.

Nevertheless, it is again only themselves who suffer from the consequences of such a disposition; they cannot taste the blessings of having joy, constantly submerged in their gloomy world. Curiously, they are incapable of understanding the reason for their uneasiness. Although they possess many superior features, according to them, they cannot rid themselves of distress and unhappiness. This demonstrates the fact that those who are arrogant towards Allah are bereft of understanding; they cannot grasp that it is Allah Who inspires this anxiety into their hearts.
A verse gives a detailed account of the sort of the arrogance of these people:
When he is told to have fear of Allah, he is seized by pride which drives him to wrongdoing... (Surat al-Baqara: 206)

Allah causes these people to feel depressed and buries them in ignominy, on account of their "pride" and "forgetfulness" of Him:
When Allah desires to guide someone, He expands his breast to Islam. When He desires to misguide someone, He makes his breast narrow and constricted as if he were climbing up into the sky. That is how Allah defiles those who disbelieve. (Surat al-An' am: 125)

Surely these are the troubles inflicted upon people in this world; their repayment in the hereafter will be much severer.
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Jihad al-Nafs: Spiritual Striving


There's a hadtih regarding jihad an nafs: "The best type of jihaad is the jihaad of the one who strives against his own self (jihaad al-nafs) for the sake of Allaah." it doesnt state which hadith it is from. But some people also say that this is fabricated? is this correct?

Allah Most High said:

{And whosoever STRIVES (JAAHADA), STRIVES (YUJAAHIDU) only for himself} (29:6). {As for those who STRIVE (JAHADU) in Us (the cause of Allah), We surely guide them to Our paths, and lo! Allah is with the good doers.} (29:69) This is a Meccan Sura and the two verses refer to Jihad al-Nafs. There was no military jihad then.
Without jihad of the nafs, fighting leads to Hellfire.

Allah Most High said:

{WA NAFSIN WA MAA SAWAAHA, FA-ALHAMAHA FUJURAHA WA TAQWAHA. QAD AFLAHA MAN ZAKAAHA WA QAD KHAABA MAN DAS- SAAHA} "By the nafs and the proportion and order given to it, and its inspiration as to its wrong and its right; Truly he succeeds who purifies it, and he fails that corrupts it" (91:7-10). This is also a Meccan Sura.
Without purification, the nafs remains a "soul that enjoins evil" (al-nafs al-ammara bil-su') until it surrenders itself in total obedience to the call of animal passions and shaytan.

Allah Most High said:

{Have you seen the one who chooses for his god his own lust?} (25:43). {He followed his own lust. Therefore his likeness is as the likeness of a dog; if you attack him he pants with his tongue out and if you leave him he pants with his tongue out} (7:176). These are both also Meccan Suras.

About the person who controlled the passion of his ego Allah says: {But as for him who feared to stand before his Lord and restrained his soul from lust, Lo! The garden will be his home} (79:40-41). This is also a Meccan Sura.
The above are among the many Meccan verses and Suras enjoining jihad al-nafs. One that denies that there was/is such a Divine command commits kufr. Such a command cannot mean military jihad, as there was no permission - much less an order - for such a jihad until the Madinan period.

Further, the Prophet said upon him peace:

1. "The mujahid is he who makes jihad against his nafs (ego) for the sake of obeying Allah.
- Ibn Hibban (#1624, 2519): Authentic;
- Shu`ayb al-Arna'ut (Commentary on Ibn Hibban): authentic;
- al-Hakim: sahih;
- `Iraqi confirms him;
- it is also in Tirmidhi, Ahmad, and Tabarani;
- Albani included it in the "Sahiha".

2. "`A'isha, Allah be well-pleased with her, asked: 'Messenger of Allah, we see
jihad as the best of deeds, so shouldn't we join it?' He replied, 'But the best jihad is a perfect Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah).'" (Sahih Al-Bukhari #2784)

3. On another occasion, a man asked: "Should I join the jihad?" The Prophet asked upon him peace, "Do you have parents?" The man said yes. The Prophet said: "Then do jihad by serving them!" (Sahih Al-Bukhari #5972)

4. Another man asked: "What kind of jihad is better?" The Prophet replied upon him peace: "A word of truth spoken in front of an oppressive ruler." (Sunan Al-Nasa'i #4209)

5. The Prophet also said upon him peace: "The strong one is not the one who overcomes people, the strong one is he who overcomes his nafs [ego]. Al-Haythami declared it authentic in Majma` al-Zawa'id.

6. The Prophet upon him peace, said to Abu Sa`id al-Khudri: "Even if one strikes unbelievers and idolaters with his sword until it breaks, and he is *completely* dyed with their blood, the Rememberers of Allah are above him one degree."

The above authentic hadiths provide additional explicit evidence - especially 1 and 5 - refuting the lie that "all the evidence for jihad al-nafs is fabricated or weak."

Further:

Allah Most High is Tayyibun and accepts only the Tayyib. He declares in the Qur'an that He accepts acts of worship only if they are based on:
- purification of the self (qad aflaha man zakkaha)
- soundness of the heart (illa man ata Allaha bi-qalbin salim)
- an humble spirit (wa-innaha lakabiratun illa `alal khashi`in)
Purification of the Intention is the general heading for these. That is why the Imams (eg Bukhari, Shafi`i, Nawawi) always began their books of fiqh with the hadith of intention: "Actions count only according to intention."
An act outwardly considered worship but performed without pure intention is not considered worship, even fighting and dying in defense of Muslims. The Prophet upon him peace, explicitly said of one such fighter that he was bound for the fire.
In fact, purification of intention is needed for all five pillars of Islam. Such purification is a fard `ayn and is required of all.

Thus those that claim there is no jihad al-nafs in Islam have imperiled their Islam and might make their shahada, salat, zakat, sawm, hajj, AND jihad worthless. Allah is our refuge from this.

Source:livingislam.com by Hajj Gibril GF Haddad
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Thursday, September 9, 2010

HAPPY HARI RAYA EIDUL FIRTI



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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Zakat Al-Fitr


What is Zakat Al-Fitr?

Zakat Al-Fitr is a small amount of alms that Muslims are obliged to pay as charity at the end of Ramadan.The origin of the obligation can be dated to the month of Sha`ban in the second year of Hijrah. Ibn `Umar said: “Allah’s Messenger enjoined the payment of one Sa` of dates or one Sa` of barley as Zakat Al-Fitr on every Muslim slave or free, male or female, young or old, and he ordered that it be paid before the people went out to offer the `Eid prayer.”

What is the purpose of Zakat Al-Fitr?

1) For the individual, his or her payment of Zakat Al-Fitr is to ensure the completion of their fast and compensation for any shortcomings in their acts or speech.
2) For the society it is for spreading love and happiness among its members, particularly the poor and needy, during the day of Eid.
3) It also purifies one’s soul from such shortcomings as the adoration of property, and from miserliness.
4) It purifies one’s property from the stain of unlawful earnings.

When is Zakat Al-Fitr paid?

It is not permissible to delay giving Zakat Al-Fitr after the day of Eid.
Most scholars believe that it is permissible to pay Zakat Al-Fitr a day or two before Eid. Ibn Umar reported that the Prophet Mohamed PBUH ordered them to pay Zakat Al-Fitr before the people went out to perform the `Eid prayer. However some scholars like Al-Shafii & Abu Hanifa reported that it is permissible to pay Zakat Al-Fitr even in the beginning of Ramadan. Scholars who supported this opinion explained that it is better for the needy, and also to make sure that the payment reaches its intended destination. This is especially important these days as Zakat Al-Fitr is transferred from country to another and that may take at least several days.

What is the amount of Zakat Al-Fitr?

The amount of the Zakat Al-Fitr mentioned by the Prophet Mohamed PBUH is a Sa' (four handfuls with the two hands together, not closed and not opened) of dates, raisins, wheat or barley. Some scholars say it is permissible to give any kind of food as long as it is the main staple in that particular region or the normal food of the person.

However, it is permissible to give the amount of the Zakat Al-Fitr in money. This can be calculated according to the amount of food mentioned previously.
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