Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Heirs of the Prophets

The Heirs of the Prophets
Grazing the Gardens
Reluctance in giving religious verdicts

Written by : Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali
Translated by: Imam Zaid Shakir

The early imams were cautious about speaking about [the lawful and unlawful], because one who speaks about these matters is relating information from Allah, enunciating His commandments and prohibitions, and passing on His sacred law. It was said about Ibn Sirin, "If he was asked about something regarding the lawful or unlawful, his color would change. He would be transformed until he no longer seemed the same person." Ata ibn al-Saib said, "I met people who, when asked for a religious verdict, would tremble as they spoke." It is related that when Imam Malik was asked about a legal matter, it was as if he were suspended between Heaven and Hell.

Imam Ahmed was extremely hesitant to speak on the lawful and unlawful, to claim that something was abrogated, or related matters which others would too readily expound. He frequently prefaced his answers with phrases such as, "I hope that...," "I fear...," or "It is more beloved to me..." Imam Malik and others used to say, "I do not know." Imam Ahmed would often say on an issue about which the righteous forbears had various opinions, "The most likely answer is, 'I do not know.'"

Friday, December 25, 2009

Muslims are Cool

Check out this excerpt from Imam Suhaib's talk:

"I remember I met a brother named Ali who became Muslim in Wichita, Kansas of all places. He had a stereo that broke the sound barrier. The brother would pull up to the masjid and the windows would start shaking. Step by step he became Muslim. Alhamdulilah he’s all right.

So I asked Ali, “Brother Ali, how did you become Muslim?”

He said, “Muslims are cool.”

I said, “Cool?” I thought maybe he was like me, you know I read the Qur’an, I read Ahmed Deedat, and got into intellectual debates about Paul and the concept of the trinity.

He was like, “No. Muslims are cool, man. Muslims are cool.”

I said, “Could you elaborate on that coolness?” Let’s get into our core coolness here and try to understand why Muslims are cool. Listen to this, sisters.

He said, “From middle school to high school in Wichita, Kansas there were these girls that used to wear this thing on their head. I couldn’t believe that they could do that.”

I said, “Why?”

He said, “Because of the pressure in my school for them to lose their virginity and dress like prostitutes. I watched those women from seventh grade to my senior year in high school and I came to a conclusion.”

I said, “What?”

He said, “Those girls are onto the truth.”

I said, “How?”

He said, “They didn’t waver, brother. Everyone wavered but them. To wear that in the nineties? The age of J. Lo? To wear that, something had to be stronger than the human spirit. Something had to cause them to transcend popular culture and cling to principles. The only thing that can do that is al-Haqq (the truth). That’s why Muslims are cool.”

I said, “I agree, brother. Muslims are cool.”

He became Muslim and he said, “I never talked to those girls. Those girls don’t even know me.”

By watching a living example of someone in the age of post-modernity, where there is supposedly no “fixed truth”, cling to the truth, and to look how he watched them from middle school to high school; he said, “From middle school to high school I realized that these women were holding onto a higher power. Something that they were clinging to gave them the ability to transcend the jahiliya (ignorance) that was around them and I realized it had to be the truth. So I stopped to ask questions and I found out that they were Muslims.”


Sunday, December 6, 2009


I think that I shall never see
A poem as lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day.
And lifts her leafy arms to pray:
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair:
Upon whose bosom snow has lain:
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me.
But only God can make a tree.

- Joyce Kilmer

"One thing that intrigued Kilmer, and possibly all others who would take time to reflect on that marvelous creation,
is the tree's constant and intimate communication with God. As he states ' A tree that looks at God all day, and lifts her leafy arms to pray'
Before such a powerfully reverent creation, Kilmer can only sense his own inadequacy and weakness. We humans can produce wonderful, eloquent
poetry; but what is a poem that emerges from our frail quills compared to the timeless wisdom and inspiring beauty embodied in a tree, a simple yet infinitely
complex creation wrought by the hand of God?"

Have you not seen how God sets forth a parable?
A good word is like a good tree whose roots are firm
and whose branches reach heaven.
It gives its fruit during every season, by leave of its Lord.
And God sets forth parables to people
that they may be reminded. [14:24-25]

Commentary by Imam Zaid Shakir
"Scattered Pictures: Reflections of an American Muslim"
(pages 99-101)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Your Rice

i remember one of my islamic studies teachers told me that every single thing that is your rizq (earnings, profit, wealth) will come to you some how in some way, and that Allah wills for it to be your rizq from before it comes into existence...

she explained that even rice when it grows on a stalk somewhere in some other country has your name written on it...then after it's picked, packaged, shipped, bought, cooked and think it's your plate of rice...
but the ones that spill off the edge and end up on the floor never belonged to you...they didn't have your name on it

out there in the world there are things that belong to you that will come your way when it is time...and right now on your plate or in your wallet there are things you might think are yours...but they're just not :-/

Subhanallah wa Alhamdullilah

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Grass is Always Green

So we’ve all seen those emo statuses on Facebook, AIM, Twitter, you name it. Or you may even hear someone complaining about something terrible that happened in their life (big or small), some exam coming up or some paper they have to write and how it’s the end of the world and life is so very difficult and their life is hell. Either one of two things are happening: 1) they’re genuinely going through hell or 2) they’re just seeking attention.

Most of the time we may find ourselves in the second category. Now if we really look at our so-called problems (regardless of what you’re going through), are they really THAT bad? I mean some of us may have serious issues we’re dealing with, but at the end of the day when we step back and see what we’re going through and see that the problem really isn’t that bad or even that it could be a lot worse, we’ve taken some good out of that problem. If we realize that our so-called “problem” isn’t really a problem, rather it's either a test, reminder from Allah, or a sign from Allah to check ourselves for where we’re heading.We have so much to be thankful for (blessings we can't even count), yet we choose to stress the negative things that really are insignificant in the spectrum of things. Let’s look at the hadith of the Prophet SAW:

Abu Yahya Suhaib b. Sinan said that Rasulullah saw said : " Wondrous are the believer's affairs. For him there is good in all his affairs, and this is so only for the believer. When something pleasing happens to him, he is grateful, and that is good for him; and when something displeasing happens to him, he is enduring (sabar), and that is good for him " (Muslim)

So it comes down to us looking at the events in our lives not in a negative light, rather in a positive one. What is Allah trying to tell us? What am I doing wrong? Is it a test or is it a punishment? And the way to approach our problems is always two-fold. We always have shukr (gratitude) and sabr (patience). We have gratitude to Allah that the event/problem could have been much worse and/or it is an opportunity to get closer to Allah. As for sabr, we must be patient in whatever trial is put in our path. If you think about it logically, if you see a house on fire are you going to complain, “Oh man that house is on fire, I wish it wasn’t on fire” or are you going to take action and put the fire out? You can complain and complain about your situation or you can find a way out of it. Allah says in the Quran:

Verily never will Allah change a condition of a people until they change what is within their souls [Ra'd 13:11]

Therefore it’s up to us to change our perception of our trials/problems we may face and ponder upon the signs that Allah’s trying to put in front of us. Only you can change your condition at the end of the day, no one else. Tie your camel and leave the rest to Allah. Try your best and leave the outcome to Allah. Allah guarantees his reward for those who’re patient and persevere:

An excellent reward for those who do [good]! - those who persevere in patience, and put their trust in their Lord and Cherisher (29:58-59).

And we will be tested with good and bad:

And We test you by evil and by good by way of trial. To Us must you return (21:35).

So everything in our life is a trial. It’s up to us to see how to approach and learn from those trials. We may be asking, how is Allah testing us if he gives us good? We have so many blessings from Allah, but we’re not thankful or we’re not aware that it comes from Allah. That is our test---to realize that everything we gain in this dunya (world) is from Allah, not just us doing something by ourselves to get what we want. We all know the trials of evil….
What we need to realize is that Allah desires for us good only in this world and the Hereafter:

Abu Sa`id and Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (PBUH) said: "Never a believer is stricken with a discomfort, an illness, an anxiety, a grief or mental worry or even the pricking of a thorn but Allah will expiate his sins on account of his patience".
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "When Allah intends good for His slave, He punishes him in this world, but when He intends an evil for His slave, He does not hasten to take him to task but calls him to account on the Day of Resurrection.''

We’ve all heard the saying, “the grass is always greener on the other side”, but when you look at it from an Islamic point of view, you should never look to those who have more or are better off than you, you should rather look at those who have less than you and be thankful to Allah that we’re given so many blessings that we can’t even begin to count. Our problems/trials we face, really aren’t that bad compared to others when we compare them with others’ problems. It all boils down to our perception of our problems/trials. We just need to be patient and have thankfulness to Allah that our situation could be ten times worse than it actually is and that it is an opportunity to get closer to Allah. It’s up to us to realize that the grass isn’t greener on the other side, rather the grass is always green.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Illusion of Piety

We’ve all heard the old adage “don’t judge a book by its cover.” Well it certainly is true when we apply it to how we see ourselves and see others. We may see a brother with a long beard and kufi and say “Mashallah, that brother is such a good guy, he’s so religious” or we may see a sister wearing a hijab and say “Mashallah, that sister is so modest and religious.” Well the matter of the fact is the exterior does not always match the interior for some. For some it’s like they’re actors playing a role on a stage, but inside they’re fake. They play a part, but what’s really in their hearts? They wear hijab or they grow a beard to put on the front of being religious so they may be seen by people or be perceived in a certain way by others, thus hiding a deeper uglier spiritual state.

We stress the exterior so much, although I am not disregarding the sunnah or the importance of the hijab, but merely pointing out wearing a hijab or wearing a kufi and growing a beard does nothing if one’s interior spiritual state is in ruins, intentions are not pure or the heart is diseased with hypocrisy, ostentation, or self-glorification, etc. There are some of the so-called pious/righteous amongst us who we perceive as righteous/pious who we trust with our lives and our deen, namely some imams, who have done unspeakable crimes against Muslims and society. This is dangerous as it not only places doubt in the minds of Muslims and creates a fitnah amongst Muslims and doesn’t allow us to trust one another. How can we trust those who claim to be the leaders of our ummah, masaajid, and communities when they deceive us? Also, brothers may put on a religious front and abuse their wives or they may treat their own families terribly. Sisters may wear hijab, yet may also cuss, backbite, gossip or may overstep boundaries we won’t talk about. What good did the hijab or the kufi and beard do? Did it remind them of Allah? Also, this shows the backwardness of stressing the exterior and not focusing on cleansing and improving the interior spiritual state of the heart. The Prophet SAW said in a hadith:

‘Surely there is in the body a small piece of flesh; if it is good, the whole body is good, and if it is corrupted, the whole body is corrupted, and that is surely the heart’.
(Sahih Bukhari)

So those who stress the exterior and think that their exterior look will make them more pious are mistaken as the heart must be purified, then the exterior will show. This can be seen amongst us as we see there is sometimes sisters who don’t wear hijab who are in fact more modest than the sisters who wear hijab. This definitely shows you the fallacy of the exterior argument and the stress on the outer state rather than the inner spiritual state. Again I am not discounting or diminishing the importance of hijab, but one must not merely put it on and think that they’re any more pious or religious than any one if the hijab does not remind them of Allah and their actions and character don’t change, then the hijab is merely a piece of clothe on one’s head. The hijab is not only a clothe, rather it includes the behavior of a woman. When a sister puts on hijab she should be reminded of WHY she’s putting on and for WHO and for WHAT intention. If any of those questions have any doubt in them, the sister should question her intentions. The greatest examples sister’s have are the Prophet SAW’s wives, who carried themselves with dignity and honor and only spoke the truth, carried themselves in a certain manner in which they protected their modesty. Sisters often erroneously complain “Oh in Islam we don’t have a role model for women.” This is clearly false if you’re to look in the Quran and the Seerah of the Prophet SAW, there have been great women whose lives not only women can learn from, but men too.

Modesty isn’t merely a cloth on one’s head, it’s in the character, demeanor and actions of a person. This modesty is not only limited to dress, it’s modesty of the tongue (not saying bad things, backbiting, gossiping, lying,etc.), actions of the hands (not hurting anyone or harming anyone) and modesty of the eyes (not seeing that which is haraam). Modesty is extended to brothers too as they are meant to carry themselves in an honorable way and treat sisters in a certain manner in a way to not compromise either’s reputation or modesty. Brothers need to hold themselves to a certain moral and ethical standard according to Quran and Sunnah.

And we may have sincere brothers and sisters who wear the hijab and grow the beard and wear what they wear out of sincere piety, but we need to check our sincerity in our actions and what we do. Are we wearing the hijab because of family pressure, culture or because we’re hiding behind it? Are we wearing the kufi, growing the beard just to be seen by people and have people praise you? In the Quran Allah says:

Among the people there are some who say, "We believe in Allah and the Last Day," when they are not believers. They think they deceive Allah and those who believe. They deceive no one but themselves but they are not aware of it. There is a sickness in their hearts and Allah has increased their sickness. They will have a painful punishment on account of their denial. (Surah al-Baqara, 8-10)


When you see them, their outward form appeals to you, and if they speak you listen to what they say. But they are like propped-up planks of wood. They imagine every cry to be against them. They are the enemy, so beware of them. May Allah destroy them! How they are perverted! (Surah al-Munafiqun, 4)

The hypocrites think they deceive Allah, but He is deceiving them. When they get up to pray, they get up lazily, showing off to people, and only remembering Allah a very little. (Surah an-Nisa', 142)

[O you who believe! do not make your charity worthless by reproach and injury, like him who spends his property to be seen of men and does not believe in Allah and the last day; so his parable is as the parable of a smooth rock with earth upon it, then a heavy rain falls upon it, so it leaves it bare; they shall not be able to gain anything of what they have earned; and Allah does not guide the unbelieving people.] (Al-Baqarah 2:264)

There are several other ayahs from the Quran that relate to hypocrisy and hypocrites, but the fact of the matter is ultimately hypocrites are deceiving themselves and may be deceiving others, but they cannot deceive Allah:

Say: "Whether ye hide what is in your hearts or reveal it, Allah knows it all: He knows what is in the heavens, and what is on earth. And Allah has power over all things.] (Aal `Imran 3:29)

May Allah protect us all from hypocrisy and from being hypocrites and purify our spiritual states, forgive our sins, and grant us Jannat al Firdaus. Ameen.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Forgetting Ourselves

We all remember that one time we wanted to fit in to the “cool people” group/club and/or fell into peer pressure when we were younger. However, we’re still doing that to a lesser degree while we’re older, whether we are aware of it or not. We do so when we give into the fashion trends, give into what the companies tells us to wear, eat and do. Sometimes it may go against our values, morals, etc. to eat, drink and wear some of the things we wear. We give into these images of success as defined by companies, but who's to define what success is?

Also, these companies sell us what the standard of beauty is. Why are we letting companies define what beauty is? Beauty isn't a superficial outer beauty. We try so hard to fit into these images companies sell that are so unrealistic that we eventually lose our genuine nature and lose who we are. It's a harsh reality we need to face---not everyone's white, blonde, blue-eyed and has a skeleton for a body...not every guy is a bodybuilder. We place so much emphasis on outer beauty, that we often fail to see that inner beauty is someone's character, values, morals, etc. Look at our own marriage processes---there are girls who're turned down marriage for the sole reason of not being "white enough" or "she's not that skinny" There are guys who're turned down for the sole reason of being "too short" or "too dark", etc. etc. the list goes on and on.... We base beauty off of stupid superficial images sold by companies. Beauty as defined by companies is: white skin complexion, skeleton-esque body(or super jacked for guys), perfect hair, teeth, etc. Unfortunately, not all of us are any of the above---we're human for Godsake and we're different--ALHAMDULLILAH (that's the beauty of Allah's creation).I'm not saying that we at a personal level we can't have our own perception of beauty, that's totally fine, but when we let others define beauty to us that's where the problem lies. Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder. It's sad due to us buying into the lies of these companies that so many of us have unrealistic perceptions of what we want in a potential spouse and/or are disappointed by them.
I wonder if instead of white colonists and white slave traders if an African nation or any other nation/ethnicity had become the dominant superpower---our perception of beauty would have certainly been different today.

Now we come to the part of the Quran where it says:

And be not like those who forgot Allah (i.e. became disobedient to Allah) and He caused them to forget their ownselves. Those are the Fasiqun (rebellious, disobedient to Allah). (Surah 59:19)

From this we realize that we do forget Allah, we forget ourselves. How many of us have done this by buying into stuff that's in contradiction to Islam, Quran and Sunnah? So we may be thinking, “Psssssh, not me, I’m so much older, I’m not stupid and young….I don’t’ give into peer pressure.” I’m sorry…. but we do unfortunately. Let’s look at social situations we often find ourselves in. For example, when we’re amongst some friends who gossip, backbite, etc. we fall into the same trap without knowing it or being aware of it. When a friend says a inappropriate joke do we find ourselves laughing or finding it acceptable or do we say “No, I don’t think that’s appropriate.” Seriously, some brothers got to grow up---their humor is middle-school-esque humor that isn’t funny anymore, we’re in college, we’re older and hopefully more mature than middle school humor. Some sisters too…..

How many times do we let things slide and just let it be when it really shouldn’t be condoned or acceptable? I speak to myself first, because I’m responsible for this just as anyone is. The Prophet SAW never used to use bad language or say dirty/inappropriate jokes and neither should we. I could go on about the evils, trouble and sins of the tongue, but that’s not the point of this reminder. What I’m trying to focus on is the fact that when we forget Allah, we forget ourselves. Again as mentioned earlier, it says in the Quran:

And be not like those who forgot Allah (i.e. became disobedient to Allah) and He caused them to forget their ownselves. Those are the Fasiqun (rebellious, disobedient to Allah). (Surah 59:19)

And as we give into peer pressure and those around us we forget not only Allah, His commands and the Prophet SAW’s commands. We become so consumed by what others want us to be and try so hard to please people that we forget Allah and ultimately become something we’re not. We change our names, dress differently; bend our morals, ethics and values to please our friends, families, colleagues. We even dumb down our Islamic identity to fit in and climb up the corporate ladder and/or achieve our career goals. Are we so concerned about fitting in and not feeling like an outcast that we'll temporarily put aside our beliefs, morals and values to fit in? Is it really THAT important to please others? That is what it means when we "forget ourselves"---when you change yourself for others so much that you eventually forget who you were in the first place.

Look at some people when their non-Muslim friends ask them “Aren’t you Muslim aren’t you meant to not drink? Aren't you not met to do.....” It sort of hits you then when we realize just how far we’ve forgotten our identity and ourselves. And the most dangerous losses of identity can happen with the people closest to us, who we trust and are our friends and family. In a hadith the Prophet SAW said:

"A person is likely to follow the faith of his friend, so look at whom you befriend."
(Abu Dawud)

The translation is deceiving, but “deen” is often translated into faith, yet it means “way of life” in this context. So if we find ourselves hanging out with friends who cuss or say inappropriate jokes it’s a real test of our character and imaan to make that decision to join in and laugh along or put your foot down and remind them of Allah and make sure that it’s not acceptable for that language to be used in front of you. To illustrate the point further, the Prophet SAW said:

"The example of a good companion and a bad companion is like that of the seller of musk, and the one who blows the blacksmith's bellows. So as for the seller of musk then either he will grant you some, or you buy some from him, or at least you enjoy a pleasant smell from him. As for the one who blows the blacksmith's bellows then either he will burn your clothes or you will get an offensive smell from him."(Bukhari and Muslim)

So, if you hang out with the wrong people you’ll be affected directly or indirectly by them and/or if you hang out with good people, they’ll help you become a better person, a better Muslim, and a better believer indirectly or directly. How many times have we been in a group of friends and we’ve wanted to pray, but that certain group of friends was doing something else or really didn’t place emphasis on prayer at all? We’ve all done it to a certain degree. We’ve put aside our morals, beliefs, practices to please others and let the group have fun rather than bother them. “Oh man what will they think of me reminding them to pray, they’ll think I’m no fun and super religious” or “Oh I don’t want to bother them, we’re having fun/watching the game/eating/chilling, etc.” But on the other hand if you hang out with friends who emphasize prayer, good behavior, good language, etc. they will eventually help you boost your imaan and help you become a better Muslim and believer.

Also, unfortunately when we hang around a certain group of people we’re associated with them and sometimes it becomes an issue of guilt-by-association with some people. And as was said before your family and friends may make you forget yourself and Allah. In the Quran it says:

"And (remember) the Day when the wrong-doer will bite his hands and say: Woe to me! Would that I had taken a path with the Messenger. Woe to me! If only I had not taken so- and-so as a friend! He has led me astray from this Reminder (the Qur'an) after it had come to me. And Satan is ever a deserter to man in the hour of need." [25:27-29]

We should be careful of the company we keep as they may bring our imaan down or may bring ourselves down to their spiritual level and ultimately lead us down the wrong road. So if we keep the company of those who remind us of Allah rather than those who make us forget Allah, we won’t forget ourselves inshallah.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Where are the Brothers?

I think the topic of men/boys in Muslim ummah and their role and responsibilities is a topic that has been neglected for far too long in our community. We often stress the propriety and the rules of modesty, etc. upon the women/girls/sisters. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be modest or encourage modesty or even that we’re oppressive to women. Rather I’m saying that if we are just as adamant about stressing modesty and propriety on the sisters, why aren’t we stressing the same on the brothers?

We brothers get away with so much because we believe in our minds that we are not ordained by Allah or His Prophet SAW to dress a certain way, act a certain way, etc. We definitely do get away with a lot more than sisters. Brothers can easily dress a certain way and get away with it, but when a sister does it’s like “Oh man, I can’t believe she dressed like that” and then the talking/gossip ensues. Similarly a guy can do certain things if a girl were to do she’d be looked down upon by other as a “social butterfly” or “flirtatious.” This is obvious when we see guys talking to girls (all be it innocently), but people talk/gossip/slander them and say “oh he’s interested in her/she’s interested in him.” But, in that scenario who’s the one that’s the one blamed? It’s the girl. She’s seen as flirtatious and loose. The guy gets away clean and moves on. A girl’s image/character tarnishes so much more easily than a guy’s in my opinion. I could be wrong, but that’s what I see. I’m not saying that the sister may not be flirtatious or social, but I’m speaking about when talking is done innocently without any motives/intentions behind it, the girl is often seen as the perpetrator/criminal.

A guy has more freedom to talk to whom he wants, go where he wants, and do what he wants. A sister on the other hand, when she approaches a brother or talks to him, she’s seen as loose or flirtatious. But if a guy approaches a sister and talks to her, no blame is put on him. What the brothers forget is that while the sisters are required to wear hijab, they have to observe hijab as well. Not in the head-scarf term of speaking, rather hijab in their dress, adab (character), speech, etc. Funny that in the Quran it mentions the brothers are mentioned first before the sisters in regards to modesty, yet we always stress the modesty of women:

"Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty, that will make for greater purity for them¦ Say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty O you believers! Turn you all together towards Allah that you may attain success." (Quran 24:30-31)

So brothers need to be modest in that respect in the sense of adaab, speech, dress, etc. Now we come to the treatment of sisters by the brothers. We often find the brothers amongst us as harsh with the sisters, yet soft with the non-Muslim girls (talking to them more freely and openly). We see them often put down the sisters verbally, emotionally, psychologically. This obviously is not the Sunnah of the Prophet SAW or the Quran. Rather the Quran says:

Men are the protectors and maintainers of women…” (Surah Nisa: 34)

Brother back home in Egypt, Pakistan, etc. act like dogs (yes DOGS) and harass covered from head to toe, sisters in hijab and abayas. They do unspeakable things that I don’t want to mention. Stuff that if it happened to your own biological sister or mother you’d turn red with anger. The Prophet SAW said:

"None but a noble man treats women in an honorable manner. And none but an ignoble treats women disgracefully"(At-Tirmithi)

If we aren’t respecting our own women, how is anyone meant to respect us? How do you expect non-Muslims to respect Islam if this is the way we treat our sisters? They say “Oh this is Islam since Muslim men are doing it.” How dare we treat our sisters like this. Shame on us brothers for neglecting our sisters when they’re in need, in trouble or are in harms way, may Allah forgive us for all the harm that could have been prevented by us, but we failed to act, Ameen. If we brothers remember our mothers, we wouldn’t dare to treat our sisters like we do now. Imagine treating your own mother the way we do. The same woman who went through pain to bear you, woman who raised you, stayed up at night when you were sick, fed and clothed you.

"O Messenger of Allah! Who is most deserving of my fine treatment?'' He (PBUH) said, "Your mother, then your mother, then your mother, then your father, then your nearest, then nearest"(Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

And another thing must be mentioned is when our sisters are in trouble and cry out for help, where are the so-called MEN of the ummah to stand up for them? Where are we to protect them? Where are we when they call out and are telling us their husbands are abusive, they need financial help, or are homeless/hungry? A man who places his hand on a woman, is not a man and deserves the utmost punishment of the law. A man who psychologically, emotionally and physically abuses his wife is not a man. We brothers are doing this knowingly or unknowingly to our sisters, it’s time for us to wake up to this problem and solve it. This whole image of Manhood (i.e. don’t show emotion, don’t show your feelings, etc.) is a thing of the past and is counter-productive. We need to get rid of this inferiority complex/insecurity of feeling inadequate and putting sisters down. You show no respect, you deserve none. You show no mercy, you deserve none. This is a wakeup call for all of us, this is reality. We’ve been neglecting the protection of our sisters from harm’s way and have neglected implementing Quran and Sunnah to ourselves. We are complacent being harsh on the sisters, but never on the brothers. We need to be modest just as badly as the sisters need to be modest. We need to step up and become the sources of strength and protection for the sisters. The Prophet SAW said:

"Treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers." (From the last sermon of Prophet Mohammed SAW)

"The best of you are those who best treat their women with kindness"

(Narrated by Tirmidhi and graded as Saheeh by Albani)

It’s about time the brothers did some introspection and evaluated their treatment of the sisters and started applying the modesty which the push so hard on the sisters and started applying it to themselves. It's about time the brothers stepped up to the plate and learned their responsibilities to the sisters. People say "boys will be boys" because they're young but I say, boys will be boys, but let them be MEN!

Monday, September 7, 2009


In the Quran it says in a surah we all know well:

1. By Al-'Asr (the time).
2. Verily! Man is in loss,
3. Except those who believe and do righteous good deeds, and recommend one another to the truth and recommend one another to patience. (Surah Al-Asr 103:1-3)

Imam Malik said that if this surah itself were revealed to Mankind it would be sufficient enough guidance for Man, because it essentially summarizes Man's condition. If we are to use this as we contine our discussion in prioritizing thing in our life it's simple: time is running out and it's working against us. Taking advantage of the moment you are in is crucial. In Islam, we know wastefulness is discouraged and forbidden in the Quran and Sunnah of the Prophet SAW.

We think we're young and will live forever, we can have fun now and get religious later. Who guarantees tomorrow? There are brothers I know who have died young. I know brothers who have been in accidents, good brothers who are now paralyzed, wishing they could walk again. Your life can end at the blink of an eye. But again, why are we so arrogant to think we'll live long into old age and even then who guarantees then we'll change or even have the time to repent for our wrong doings in our youth? This topic's been beaten to death, but seriously when will we change and realize the importance of time?

Now in relation to priorities how does time teach us to prioritize? Well it's simple we have challenges every day: do we wake up for fajr or do we sleep, do we pray dhuhr or do we watch the TV show, do we read Quran or do we go out at night and waste time with friends? We waste our time talking about the most useless and mundane things that have no benefit. Sad thing most of us are doing this during Ramadaan, a time where every second, minute and hour is blessed in which should be filled with ibaddah (worship), not idle talk and useless comments, jokes, etc.

We place such an emphasis on parties/hanging out and dress up for those occasions and are on time for those occasions. We go to Eid parties, MSA parties, parties with friends dressed up and looking nice, yet when we come to masjid or for jumuah we're dressed in street clothes. We give more respect and importance to parties and hanging out with our friends. We look nice for our friends, but we're standing in front of Allah SWT on the blessed day of Jumuah in street clothes. We don't even come on time to Jumuah, yet we come on time for our own parties/hang outs. Maybe that's an exaggeration, but think about how we treat our deen and the importance we give it and think about how much importance we give other things in our lives.

There is a sense of urgency we must show those who don't have it and remind them of Allah and our short time here on Earth. When we see our fellow brothers or sisters going down the wrong path, don't think twice about whether or not to help them, advise them in an intelligent and effective manner. Remind them of their short time here on Earth. Spread knowledge even if it's an ayah. Change yourself for the better and people will in turn change too.

We always complain about not having enough time, but when it's given to us we waste it. How many of us actually use that time wisely or productively? And then we have the gaul to complain about not having enough time in our "busy" lives to pray, read Quran, etc. Thing is, we put everything that doesn't involve Allah above our fard (obligatory) deeds that need to be done. We complacently say "Oh Allah will forgive us," who guarantess that forgiveness? If the Sahabah, the greatest of people after the Prophet SAW feared Hellfire as much as they did, then where does that put us with our complacency. Sometimes we stress Allah's Rahma (Mercy) so much, but forget His wrath and punishment. I don't mean to diminish Allah's mercy which is all encompassing, but it's a cop out for alot of us when we neglect fard deeds.

How many times have we asked our friends to pray with us and gotten the answer "We'll pray later." Who guarantees there will be a "later"? Your'e turning down a good deed to pray in jam'aah. We have so many deeds we turn down that are in front of us. We're young and we think we'll live forever, but no one guarantees tomorrow.

Ibn Abbas narrated that Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said:
"There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) health and free time for doing good." (Bukhari 8/421)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Ramadaan: Just You and Allah

So we're finally in the month of Ramadaan--- fasting and inshallah gaining the blessing of this month. However, we might feel that we're not truly taking advantage of the time that is given to us. We really haven't really committed that much time and energy perhaps into ibadah (worship) and/or dhikr (remembrance), perhaps we're not feeling the "Ramadaan spirit."

Personally for me, I try to read more Quran and understand the meaning by complementing it with an English translation after I read. However, sometimes this isn't enough for me. I feel the need to do more dhikr, ibadah, etc. What's sad though is that alot of us aren't doing enough and/or taking advantage of this time for introspection and spiritual improvement. In a hadith it says:

Narrated AbuHurayrah Allah's Messenger said, "Many a one who fasts obtains nothing from his fasting but thirst, and many a one who prays during the night obtains nothing from his night prayers but wakefulness." Hadith - Al-Tirmidhi #1989, [Darimi transmitted it.]

What's scary is sometimes we find ourselves just doing the fasting rites mechanically and without much thought or effort. We go to taraweeh prayers perhaps (complain how long it is ) and pray the five daily prayers without much thought (for some---rushed and incomplete). We find that we become lax and/or mechanical and lose focus during Ramadaan and end up forgetting why we're doing what we're doing.Sometimes we get caught up with the social aspect of Ramadaan and focus on the food preparation and iftaars (go overboard when we break our fasts and forget the reason we've fasted). What we should ponder upon is how during this time it's just us and Allah. We can't blame any shaytaan, jinn or other human being for our thoughts,actions, etc---it's all you, just you and Allah.

This is your time to get closer to Allah. The gates of Jannah are open and the gates of hell are closed. Thus Allah is calling us to Jannah. If you haven't changed for the better during Ramadaan and are continually going down the opposite direction, then in essence you're knocking on the doors of hell. There are two options: you can answer Allah's invitation to Jannah and getting closer to Him or you can continue to disobey and go further down the wrong direction, the choice is yours---it's just you and Allah.

`Arfajah said "We were with `Utbah ibn Farqad while he was discussing Ramadan. A companion of the Prophet entered upon the scene. When `Utbah saw him, he became shy and stopped talking. The man [the companion] spoke about Ramadan, saying "I heard the Messenger of Allah say during Ramadan: "The gates of Hell are closed, the gates of Paradise are opened, and the devils are in chains. An angel calls out : 'O you who intend to do good deeds, have glad tidings. O you who intend to do evil, refrain, until Ramadan is completed. (Hadith - Ahmad and an-Nasa'i)

And alot of times our fasts feel incomplete. That may be due to our lack of change for the better. In a hadith it's related that:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Whoever does not leave off false speech and false conduct, Allah has no need of his leaving off food and drink."

[Sahih Bukhari]

Thus, some of us do not change during Ramadaan or for some it's a temporary Ramadaan change. There is the phenomenon of "Ramadaan Muslims" i.e. those who treat taraweeh prayer as fard, temporarily stop bad deeds during Ramadaan and only come to the masjid during Ramadaan. If we're to truly benefit from this Ramadaan, we should definitely make sure these deeds we're doing during Ramadaan are sincere, lasting and are deeds we can continue throughout the year. We can tell our spiritual progress if we check our spiritual standing by comparing it to last Ramadaan---are we the same or have we improved spiritually? Have we made progress?

This is a time to come closer to Allah and gain taqwa (God-consciousness):

O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqûn (the pious - see V.2:2). (2:183)

If we don't gain this from Ramadaan the quality of our ibadah should be examined more closely. We are fasting for the sake of Allah only:

On the authority of Abu Harayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (peace be upon him), who said: Allah (mighty and sublime be He) says:

Fasting is Mine and it I who give reward for it. [A man] gives up his sexual passion, his food and his drink for my sake. Fasting is like a shield, and he who fasts has two joys: a joy whin he breaks his fast and a joy when he meets his Lord. The change in the breath of the mouth of him who fasts is better in Allah's estimation than the smell of musk.

It was related by al-Bukhari (also by Muslim, Malik, at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah).

If we have started doing good deeds during Ramadaan, we should make intention to continue these acts of worship throughout the year inshallah. The best deeds are those that are small, but done consistently. So we should start of small and eventually with these small deeds improve ourselves spiritually. These small deeds polish the heart and eventually over time heal it of the distractions in our life that keep us away from Allah and His remembrance. We should make dua to Allah as our duas are most likely to be accepted during our fast and during the month of Ramadaan:

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said; Three supplications will not be rejected (by Allah (SWT)), the supplication of the parent for his child, the supplication of the one who is fasting, and the supplication of the traveler.

[al-Bayhaqi, at-Tirmidhi - Sahih]

On the authority of Anas (may Allah be pleased with him), who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say: Allah the Almighty said:

O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great at it.

It was related by at-Tirmidhi (also by Ahmad ibn Hanbal). Its chain of authorities is sound.

So answer Allah's invitation to Jannah, because this is some one on one time with Allah you won't find anytime else. Let this be the time you truly change for the better, forgive those who've hurt you in the past, improve yourself spiritually and in every other way. Start making dua to Allah more frequently and know that Allah's listening because during Ramadaan---it's just you and Allah.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

thinkin fast like Ramadan

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

" The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) addressed his companions on the last day of Sha`ban, saying, 'Oh people! A great month has come over you; a blessed month; a month in which is a night better than a thousand months; month in which Allah has made it compulsory upon you to fast by day, and voluntary to pray by night. Whoever draws nearer (to Allah) by performing any of the (optional) good deeds in (this month) shall receive the same reward as performing an obligatory deed at any other time, and whoever discharges an obligatory deed in (this month) shall receive the reward of performing seventy obligations at any other time. It is the month of patience, and the reward of patience is Heaven. It is the month of charity, and a month in which a believer's sustenance is increased. Whoever gives food to a fasting person to break his fast, shall have his sins forgiven, and he will be saved from the Fire of Hell, and he shall have the same reward as the fasting person, without his reward being diminished at all.' " [Narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah]

Assalaam Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu

There’s always something special about Ramadan that I can’t quite put my finger on; a certain distinctness about it that really isn’t felt at any other time of the year. And I’m really not being politically correct here. In years past, I couldn’t wait until Ramadan ended, but over time, I’ve grown to feel an emptiness and a longing whenever the blessed month ended each year. I never feel that calmness and serenity at any other time of the year. When else have you gotten the same feeling at some other time of the year that you experience during Iftaar and Taraweeh prayers? So it’s gotta be SOMETHING.

Is it the shayateen being enchained?

You definitely experience something change once Ramadan begins. In my opinion, the significance is two-fold: 1) less temptation from their whisperings, 2) you realize your own shortcomings, and now have the opportunity to better yourself without their obstruction. A couple of points we really need to take advantage of.

Is it Lailatul Qadr?

If you do the math, 1000 months come out to roughly 83 years.1000/12 = 83.3(repeating). So the night of Lailat’ul-Qadr is better than 83 years (roughly) without a similar night. Factor in the fact that the current average life span is somewhere in the 60s-70’s and you start to see the value of this blessed night. Now I’ve heard that even 1000 months is just to indicate a lengthy period of time, but regardless, a single night being more important and special than 83 YEARS is pretty significant. It’s almost like an entire lifetime within a span of hours. I remember Br. Suleiman Jalloh doing the math with us in class, and then dropping another gem on us…Just like any other night, if you catch Isha and then Fajr in congregation, it’s as if you prayed the entire night….now imagine that on a night worth more than 1000 months…subhanAllah

Is it b/c this is the month in which the revelation of Scripture took place?And I’m not talking about just The Glorious Qur’an, but other scriptures as well. I just learned today, the Torah, the Zaboor, the Injeel were all revealed or started to be revealed during this month…I kid you not.

Is it because through fasting one attains Taqwa?

Is it because one gains a better understanding of what those less fortunate than us experience through fasting?

Is it the patience that one can gain by fasting?

Is it the inclination towards worship and dhikr while fasting, and restraining from haram, and/or the makrooh and halal while fasting?

What about the special status of fasting? As the reward, is with The Most Merciful.

What about the special gate of Ar-Rayyan through which those who fasted will enter Paradise?

…starting to get the picture about fasting?

By restraining ourselves from our appetites for food, water, marital relations, etc., one leans more towards his/her relationship with their Lord. The beautiful thing about fasting is unlike giving to charity or performing your prayers, other people do not know if you’re fasting or not. There’s less of a possibility for showing off. Controlling our carnal instincts allows us focus more on our spiritual state (even though what we’re abstaining from, may be Halal). So then the question I have to ask myself, and so do you: if we can abstain from the Halal, shouldn’t we make more of a concerted effort to abstain from the Haraam throughout the year? I am not a perfect person by any stretch of the imagination. I do not consider myself a role model. Many times, the same things I prohibit others from doing, I may fall into committing myself. But that shouldn’t stop me or anyone else who may feel similarly, from trying to better themselves inshAllah.

What about the constant recitation of the Qur’an?

Or what about standing for prayers throughout the night?

Did I mention that Allah SWT multiplies and increases His rewards during Ramadan?

Is it the possibility of having our sins wiped away?

Is it because the doors of Heaven are opened and the doors of Hell are closed?

…I hope I don’t have to keep going.

I don’t want to get into a lecture about doing this and doing that during Ramadan. That should be left to a more qualified person. I’m sure there are other aspects of Ramadan I either forgot to mention or don’t know about myself, but I just want us to realize some of these blessings, and make sure that we try to seize the opportunities presented to us inshAllah.

May all of us make the most out of this Ramadan, worshipping and making dhikr to the max, performing good deeds to the max, and growing spiritually to the max. Ameen. And may the Most Gracious shower His Blessings on us, forgive our sins, and keep us on The Straight Path. Ameen. May He save us from ourselves, from His Punishment, from the fire of Hell, and may He bless us to be amongst those who enter Jannat-al-Firdaus through His never ending Mercy. Ameen.

"Fasting is a shield with which a servant protects himself from the Fire." - The Prophet (pbuh)[Ahmad, Saheeh]
If you have seen or heard any goodness in this message, that goodness comes from The Strong, The Firm, and you should be thankful to Him for that. If you see any weakness or shortcomings in this message, it is from my own weakness and shortcomings, and I ask The All-Powerful and the people to forgive me for that. Ameen.

Assalaam Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

His Bounty is Infinite

From: "A Thematic Commentary on the Quran" - Muhammad al-Ghazali

Ibn Kathir reported that an influential man from Syria used to visit Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second Caliph, in Madinah regularly; then, one day, having been away for longer than usual Umar enquired after him and was told that the man had taken to drinking heavily. Umar wrote him a letter saying:

For your sake, I praise God, there is no God but He. He forgives sins and accepts repentance; His punishment is severe and His bounty is infinite. There is no God but He, and all shall return to Him.

He then turned to those around him and asked them to pray that God might accept the man's repentance. When the letter arrived, the man kept repeating the words: "He forgives sins and accepts repentance; His punishment is severe." He was heard saying: "I am being warned of God's punishment and promised His forgiveness," until he broke down sobbing, and from that day he abstained from drinking for good. When the news reached Umar, he said: "This is what you should do when someone commits a misdemeanour.

"Advise him, reassure him gently, never let him lose his self-confidence, pray to God for his sake, and do not help Satan to mislead him."

Today there are professed Muslims who have all but given up on God's mercy, and whose sole preoccupation seems to be to castigate and belittle others.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

the simple life...

Ryokan, a Zen master, lived the simplest kind of life in a little hut at the foot of a mountain. One evening a thief visited the hut only to discover there was nothing in it to steal.

Ryokan returned and caught him. "You may have come a long way to visit me," he told the prowler, "and you should not return empty handed. Please take my clothes as a gift."

The thief was bewildered. He took the clothes and slunk away.

Ryokan sat naked, watching the moon. "Poor fellow, " he mused, "I wish I could give him this beautiful moon."

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

In response to a quote...

"love isn't real, its just a fantasy"---500 days of summer

A friend quoted this movie...which i have not seen...but i liked the quote..
I used to wonder if love was real in like...8th grade.
i don't mean ooh lala lovey dovey - love at first sight junk...i mean every kind of love - love of your family, friends, wealth, health...anything that can be loved.

i came to this conclusion - love is only real when it's love for Allah (God,) all other loves are really just infatuations...

an infatuation for anything...a lust.
i.e. anything that is not loved for the sake of Allah is a vain attempt at love....just an infatuation...a false hope...a lust or a desire from the nafs/ego that we need to learn to suppress.
when you love for anything other than Allah you can trust that you will be disappointed by that thing - it can never make you truly happy
when your ultimate goal for happiness is Allah, then it doesn't matter what happens to you. you are happy with any outcome because you know Allah is the best of Planners and that being upset with something that has happened to you, is ultimately being upset with the will of Allah.

What wisdom is there in being upset with the one most deserving of your love? At the very least - what wisdom is there in being upset with the one who decides your eternity?

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“How wonderful is the affair of the believer, for it is all good, and this does not apply to anyone except the believer. If something good happens to him, he gives thanks for it and that is good for him, and if something bad happens to him he bears it with patience and that is good for him.” Narrated by Muslim, 2999.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Your face is sarcastic!

"O ye who believe! Let not some men among you laugh at others: It may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): Nor let some women laugh at others: It may be that the (latter are better than the (former): Nor defame nor be SARCASTIC to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames: Ill-seeming is a name connoting wickedness, (to be used of one) after he has believed: And those who do not desist are (indeed) doing wrong. (The Noble Quran, 49:11)"

I HATE it when people say something really rude and insulting, and then when you show you're annoyed they say, "oh come on, I was just being sarcastic!"
If you're gonna be mean, be mean...don't give a stupid excuse afterwards...especially one that really does absolutely nothing for your case!

First - most people don't ever use the word 'sarcasm' in the proper context...
if you say something that is ironic and you're just trying to be funny...that's NOT sarcasm...that's just IRONY...loser.
if you are just saying something mean...and there is not any irony involved..that's just being mean...
if you are being ironic and intentionally mean...that is sarcasm....if you don't know how the person will take it...well it worth possibly pissing someone off? If you don't care, go ahead.
Main Entry:
sar·casm Pronunciation: \ˈsär-ˌka-zəm\ Function:noun Etymology:French or Late Latin; French sarcasme, from Late Latin sarcasmos, from Greek sarkasmos, from sarkazein to tear flesh, bite the lips in rage, sneer, from sark-, sarx flesh; probably akin to Avestan thwarəs- to cutDate:1550 1: a sharp and often satirical or ironic utterance designed to cut or give pain
2 a: a mode of satirical wit depending for its effect on bitter, caustic, and often ironic language that is usually directed against an individual b: the use or language of sarcasm

...did everyone catch that part about tearing flesh and biting the lips in rage!?

You are insulting me, and I don't think it is ok, and I don't think it's funny. I guess it really is my ego that get's the most of it...because it pisses me off to
think someone would think they're clever enough to say something like that to me...and think I'm too dumb to understand I'm being insulted.....and when they realize I'm not, think that I should be ok with it....? nein...das ist nicht gut.
"...aww shucks, I didn't know you were being sarcastic! foolish of me! Never you mind! go right ahead (and insult me)..."

I love satire and ironic statements...
and I'm not even saying for people to not be sarcastic...I do think that would be best, but I would be a complete hypocrite if I told people to stop...I think it's hilarious when aimed at inanimate objects, political figures I don't like, people who are sarcastic towards me...

I'm just saying,
1. Use it in the right context - if you say you're being sarcastic but you're not actually being mean...then stop calling it sarcasm.
2. If you are fully aware of the meaning, and you know you are using it properly, don't say, "i was just kidding" or,
"I'm sorry...I was being sarcastic" ...that's just stupid. (see, that's not sarcasm, because im actually saying you're stupid, and it's also not ironic because it really is stupid)
I'll probably give an annoyed look and say nothing (for some reason the person who acts defensively, is the one who is looked at strangely...wth?)
...and in my mind I will God, how this person bothers me...
I might say "that's not funny." with a straight face (it intimidates)...
or I might just look confused and say "hmm?" annoys the crap out of the person because they really do want people to get their sarcasm, and it's not like they can clarify...I mean God forbid they actually express what they're thinking...cowards...

There is of course wanting genuine forgiveness for something you feel remorseful for...
this won't take back what you said...or what you were thinking :ahem:...
but when a person is absolutely guilt ridden about how bad they made a person feel...and they go to that person for forgiveness...
it like makes you think... "aww, what did they ever do to me again?" and then that thing just disappears...hmm...maybe only with me? ok.

Peace izzle' shizzle

loser-person - you just take everything too seriously...
torpekai - ok...
loser-person - HAHA..j/k j/k i'm just being sarcastic...:looks knowing:
torpekai - idiot.

enjoy this clip on sarcasm by the awesome Jon Stewart

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mona lisa smile...or don't...whichever you want

I don't label myself as a feminist...but because I do speak against men who say things or act in manners lessening the
status of a woman I get labeled as one by others...

but...I like men just as much as I like women...which isn't very much.

For years as I was growing up I blamed women for allowing themselves to be oppressed.
I asked why Afghan women who saw and felt how they were treated by their fathers, brothers, and husbands, raise their
sons to be exactly the same: spoiled princes (without the charm or wealth).

Recently, after working with more males and people coming to me to listen to their marriage woes (why? what the hell do i know??), and studying male-female styles of communication in school, I started seeing this pattern of male insecurity leading to the need to control others; not just women...and so now I blame for their own emotional issues and women for theirs...stop being emotional people!

I have become convinced that it is (mostly) a woman's stupidity and/or need to care (which is at least innocent)
and a man's insecurity (inflated ego), which has made it ok for men to have such a controlling nature - men try to make women insecure about themselves, in order to heighten their own
security...and women just let it happen because they fall for it...they believe it. They don't question the logic of what the guy says
because they trust the person who helps take care of them...stupid.

My way of thinking has nothing to do with the roles I believe the genders take on...
I do believe men are the caretakers of women...but what happens when they are not taking care at all or when
they go too far for their own selfish reasons (which I believe are based on their insecurities)...someone like me stands up
to it and depending on the time/location/society gets called something like a feminist, liberal, shameless...

I see how our society has developed into one where women are encouraged to take on higher education
and have careers while also taking care of their households...
How fair is that? Now they are career women and house wives as well? (and still on a national average get paid less than men!) I think it's great for women to have a choice to do what they want, but personally I don't see the luxury in doing both at once...actually, personally I want an education because I love learning, but don't WANT to work...i just want to be able to work if I want to work, which i don't want...sometimes the stress I feel from thinking about work is overwhelming, and it makes me grateful that it will not be my duty to take care of my family even makes me sympathetic towards whoever will be :(
I just want to keep learning things and helping out at different non-profit organizations that I like...and live off my dad/future husband's $$
oh...and not send my kids off to a day care Inshallah...
oook...i do believe these things are situational...Allahu Alam

end point - people need to sthu and be happy with what they have and not take their own shortcomings out on others...
Men - stop being crazy egotistic and insecure
Women - start being supportive and not too demanding...and stop letting men treat you like shaysa

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Your (insert anything you feel like) is haram!

The Heirs of the Prophets
Grazing the Gardens
Reluctance in giving religious verdicts

Written by : Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali
Translated by: Imam Zaid Shakir

The early imams were cautious about speaking about [the lawful and unlawful], because one who speaks about these matters is relating information from Allah, enunciating His commandments and prohibitions, and passing on His sacred law. It was said about Ibn Sirin, "If he was asked about something regarding the lawful or unlawful, his color would change. He would be transformed until he no longer seemed the same person." Ata ibn al-Saib said, "I met people who, when asked for a religious verdict, would tremble as they spoke." It is related that when Imam Malik was asked about a legal matter, it was as if he were suspended between Heaven and Hell.

Imam Ahmed was extremely hesitant to speak on the lawful and unlawful, to claim that something was abrogated, or related matters which others would too readily expound. He frequently prefaced his answers with phrases such as, "I hope that...," "I fear...," or "It is more beloved to me..." Imam Malik and others used to say, "I do not know." Imam Ahmed would often say on an issue about which the righteous forbears had various opinions, "The most likely answer is, 'I do not know.'"

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Crisis in Iran: A Glimpse Into State of the Ummah

As we hear terrible stories of violence and unrest coming out of Iran, we are reminded of the state of the Muslim Ummah. Just as Iran is suffering from a identity crisis, the ummah as a whole is suffering from this exact identity crisis. In Iran, a country with a rich history and culture has always had to struggle between three identities: Persian-cultural identity, Iranian-secular, and Islamic identity. Likewise the ummah has strayed from it's Islamic identity and has replaced it with man-made ideologies and other identies that have failed miserably. Nationalism and other forms of identity are forbidden in Islam as the Prophet SAW said in a hadith:

"He is not one us who calls for `Asabiyyah, (nationalism/tribalism) or who fights for `Asabiyyah or who dies for `Asabiyyah." (Abu Dawud)


"Undoubtedly Allah has removed from you the pride of arrogance of the age ofJahilliyah (ignorance) and the glorification of ancestors. Now people are of two kinds. Either believers who are aware or transgressors who do wrong. You are all the children of Adam and Adam was made of clay. People should giveup their pride in nations because that is a coal from the coals of Hell-fire. If they do not give this up Allah (swt) will consider them lowerthan the lowly worm which pushes itself through Khara (dung)." [Abu Dawud

and Tirmidhi]

Thus any nationalism we display our love for dirt and our so-called identities we ascribe to ourselves are nothing in the site of Allah. And it has been seen moreso in the Iranian struggle for identity which has erupted recently. All forms of identity that are seen today are man-made and have hurt Muslims more than helped. In fact all the identies given by colonialists and imperialists who's objective was to divide and conquer Muslim lands. So why should we ascribe degrade ourselves and ascribe ourselves to identities given to us by someone else? Did we not learn our lesson from the Prophet SAW’s last sermon?

All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood.

We are MUSLIMS first and everything else second. I am not saying to throw culture/tradition out the window, rather we need to make sure our cultures do not contradict Quran or Sunnah and if it does we must throw out those contradictions. Culture and tradition are what we are, but we should be weary of falling into the same trap as those who were given the message and said “this is what our forefathers did….” Just because our forefathers did it, doesn’t make it legitimate or even Islamic.

It is due to this identity struggle the ummah is suffering today. We have replaced Man-made identities with our true Islamic identity and in turn has weakened and harmed Muslims greatly. We all complain about how bad things are but rather the change comes from within. As it says in the Quran:

“Truly, God does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” (Quran 13:11)

Thus, it’s up to us and us only to create a solution and get ourselves out of this mess. The Iranian uprising and unrest is a reaction to a problem that has been in the ummah for far too long. We have a lack of leadership, a lack of Islam and a lack of spirituality in ourselves. Our leaders have failed us, but so have we. We have turned from Islam---turned from Quran and Sunnah and it is for this reason we have been weakened and divided. Our spiritual state is just as relevant to today as is the oppression of dictators, oligarchies and governments that claim to be implementing the will of the people. It is time for a revolution not to overhaul political systems or dictators, but we should have a spiritual revolution to bring Islam back into our lives---change begins from within.

In the name of The Creator

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalaam Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu.

On behalf of the contributors to this blog, we wanted to begin in the name of The Creator, Who is the eternal source of all peace and good. By Him we were created, and to Him is our return. There is no one who resembles Him and He is capable of what He wills. The most righteous of us cannot add an iota to His kingdom and the most wicked of us cannot take anthing from it. We have no escape from You but to seek refuge in You. We pray that Allah SWT makes this blog successful, and as contributors, we do things for His sake only. ameen. If you see or read any goodness in this blog, that goodness comes from The Light, The Lord of the two Easts and the two Wests. If you see or read anything bad in this blog, it is from our own weaknesses and shortcomings, and we ask The Majestic, and the people to forgive us for that. ameen.

The following is the Dua Istikhara, and is applicable to all of the contributors of this blog, InshAllah.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْتَخِيرُكَ بِعِلْمِكَ وَأَسْتَقْدِرُكَ بِقُدْرَتِكَ وَأَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ فَضْلِكَ الْعَظِيمِ فَإِنَّكَ تَقْدِرُ وَلَا أَقْدِرُ وَتَعْلَمُ وَلَا أَعْلَمُ وَأَنْتَ عَلَّامُ الْغُيُوبِ اللَّهُمَّ إِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الْأَمْرَ خَيْرٌ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي فَاقْدُرْهُ لِي وَيَسِّرْهُ لِي ثُمَّ بَارِكْ لِي فِيهِ وَإِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الْأَمْرَ شَرٌّ فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي فَاصْرِفْهُ عَنِّي وَاصْرِفْنِي عَنْهُ وَاقْدُرْ لِيَ الْخَيْرَ حَيْثُ كَانَ ثُمَّ ارْضِنِي بِهِ

"Allâhumma inni astakhiruka bi ilmika wa astaqdiruka biqudratika wa as’aluka min fadlikal-azimi, fa innaka taqdiru walâ aqdiru wa ta'lamu walâ a'lamu wa anta allamul ghuyâbi. Allâhumma in kunta ta'lamu anna hâdhal amra khayrun li fi dini wa ma-ashi wa aqibati amri faqdir-hu li wa yassir-hu li thumma barik li fihi wa in kunta ta'lamu anna hâdhal amra shari-un li fi dini wa maâshi wa aqibati amri fasrifhu anni wasrifni anhu waqdir liyal-khayra haythu kâna thumma ardini bihi."

"O Allah! I seek goodness from Your Knowledge and with Your Power (and Might) I seek strength, and I ask from You Your Great Blessings, because You have the Power and I do not have the power. You Know everything and I do not know, and You have knowledge of the unseen. Oh Allah! If in Your Knowledge this action, contributing on this blog (which I intend to do) is better for my religion and faith, for my life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then make it destined for me and make it easy for me and then add blessings [baraka'] in it, for me. O Allah! In Your Knowledge if this action is bad for me, bad for my religion and faith, for my life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then turn it away from me and turn me away from it and whatever is better for me, ordain [destine] that for me and then make me satisfied with it."

Assalaam Alaikum.