Archive for September, 2011

Inspirational for Memorizers of Qur’an!

Imaam an-Nawawee said: So the first thing which he should begin with is the memorization of the mighty Qur’aan, which is the most important of the branches of knowledge. And the Salaf did not used to teach hadeeth or fiqh, except to one who had memorized the Qur’aan. So when he has memorized it, then let him beware of pre-occupying himself from it with hadeeth, or fiqh, or other things, to the extent that it leads him to forget anything from the Qur’aan, or makes that likely. [Al Majmoo’ Sharhul Muhadhab (1/38).]

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Al-Fudayl ibn ‘Ayaad said:

“If you cannot pray qiyaam al-layl, or fast during the day, know that you are indeed deprived and restricted, chained by your sins.”

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Kindness to Parents – Muhammad Al Mukhtar Ash-Shinqitee

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A Sign of Knowledge and a Sign of Ignorance

A Sign of Knowledge and a Sign of Ignorance

Masrûq – Allah have mercy on him – said:

Sufficient as knowledge for a person is that he fears Allah, and sufficient as ignorance for a person is that he feels impressed with the knowledge he has.

Al-Âjurrî in Akhlâq Al-‘Ulamâ’ no.40.

Masrûq was one of the major Tâbi’în, or students of the Companions. He accompanied Ibn Mas’ûd and was one of his students who became senior teachers and muftis after him. He reported from numerous other Sahâbah. It is said that he was called Masrûq (literally: stolen) because he was kidnapped as a child but later recovered. He died in 62H or 63H.

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The Third Parent

The Third Parent

by Muhammad Alshareef

A close friend of mine went overseas to study Islam, and before he left he visited a family he knew. He said that as he left, he noticed the son – who was seven years old at the time – slacked out on his stomach, chin locked in his two hands, staring deathly at the TV. When he returned after four full years, he visited the same family and found the same boy slacked out on his stomach, chin locked in his two hands, staring deathly at the TV – only now he was four years older.

This khutbah looks at the dark side of television. It is not intended to make you throw your television set off the balcony – although that would be nice. It is hoped that this khutbah will give you a better understanding of the destructive nature TV has on a person’s life, in this world and in the hereafter, not only on his own life, but also the lives of his family members.

In Qawaa’id Fiqhiyyaah there is a principle which states, “Al Waasaa’il ta’khudhu Hukm al-Ghaayaat,” meaning, “The means takes the same ruling as the intention of what is trying to be attained.” A television set, with its wires, screen, box, and plug is nothing more than a means. It is what is trying to be attained by that box that makes it haram or halaal. Another example is that of a gun; it can be used for noble purposes, such as defending one’s land from aggression, or it can serve as a means of considerable harm, especially when given to a child.

In an Arab ESL class, the teacher, in his opening lesson asked the students what English words were taken from the Arabic language. A few hands went up and students said things like, “Chemistry from keemiyaa,” “Algebra from al-gebr,” “Physics from feesiyaa,” etc. Then he asked them what Arabic words were taken from the English language and answers came quickly. “Raadiyo from radio, ” “Dosh from satellite dish, “and of course “Tilfaaz from television.”

What did the West take from us, and what did we take from them?

With regards to television, Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Al-Fataawa (3/227):

“…it is a dangerous device and its harmful effects are very great, like those of the cinema, or even worse. We know from the research that has been written about it and from the words of experts in Arab countries and elsewhere that it is dangerous and very harmful to Islamic beliefs (aqeedah), morals and the state of society. This is because it includes the presentation of bad morals, tempting scenes, immoral pictures, semi-nakedness, destructive speech and kufr. It encourages imitation of their conduct and ways of dressing, respect for their leaders, neglect of Islamic conduct and ways of dressing, and looking down on the scholars and heroes of Islam by portraying them in an off-putting manner that makes people despise them and ignore them. It shows people how to cheat, steal, hatch plots and commit acts of violence against others.”

He continued, “Without doubt, anything that produces so many bad results should be stopped and shunned, and we have to close all the doors that could lead to it. If some of our brothers denounce it and speak out against it, we cannot blame them, because this is a part of sincerity towards Allah and towards other people.”

In Sahih Al-Bukhari, when Guraayj was praying and his mother called him, he said to himself, “O Allah, my salah or my mother?” He did not know whether to continue his prayer or discontinue it and reply to his mother. Because he did not reply to this mother’s call, she cursed him. She said, “May you see a prostitute!” She did not say, “May there be a relationship between you and a prostitute.” She just said, “May you see [one].” And her curse is one that we may inadvertently be inflicting on our children the day we sanctioned the introduction of the third parent called TV. How many times has the main theme of prime time TV revolved around prostitutes? How many times have our children witnessed it? How many times have they been cursed to be in such a situation?

Abdullah ibn ‘Umar radi Allahu anhu once passed by some people killing time by playing chess. He was shocked at this and angrily said to them, quoting the verse of the Qur’an: What are these IDOLS that you are standing in vigilance over?

What would he think if he saw the television set and the welcoming hug it receives in most Muslim homes? When a Muslim nation plays in the World Cup, over three million Muslims from that one country tune in to television to watch the game. Multiply that by the duration of the match, and you have almost five million hours of the ummah’s time wasted on a football game, in one sweeping night. If Karl Marx said in 1844 that “Religion is the opium of people,” then what about TV?

RasulAllah sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam said:

“The person shall be (on the day of Judgment) with those that he loves.”

Tell a Muslim child that if he loves Michael Jackson so much, then on the Day of Judgment he will get to be with him. It’s sad, but most Muslim children would get happy and excited about the prospect. Isn’t that enough to strike fear into our hearts? Who are the Muslim children really going to be with on the Day of Repayment? Most of them cannot tell you the names, even just the names, of those people that we hope them to be with!

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

Some argue that TV time is monitored in the house by the parent. However, 95% of parents with children aged 8 and over don’t monitor the viewing material. Besides, what happens if the parent dies on the way to work one day and the children inherit the TV? RasulAllah sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam said:

“There is not a single shepherd (Ameer) that Allah entrusted with a flock – who if he dies in a state where he cheated them – Allah shall forbid him from entering paradise!” The ‘ulama would quote this hadith in regard to the father in a Muslim country that would allow a satellite dish to enter into the home of his family which Allah entrusted him with.

Dear brothers and sisters, we are not here on earth to entertain ourselves to death. We are an ummah with a risaalah (message)! When Rib’ee ibn ‘Aamir radi Allahu anhu stood at the hands of the king of Persia, he announced the message as proudly and as clearly as every Muslim should. “Allah sent us to rescue humanity from slavery to slaves – to the slavery of the Lord of all slaves; and to rescue them from the choke of the material life to the expanse of this life and the next, and from the corruption of the cults to the justice of Islam!”

Allah subhaanahu wa ta ‘aala states in the Qur’an:

Verily! Hearing, sight, and the heart, all will be questioned (by Allah) (Al-Israa 17/36).

And RasulAllah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam informed us that on the Day of Repayment, no one will move until they are asked about three things, one of which will be their youth and how they spent it.

How are we spending our time? Why do we waste it watching TV? What do our eyes see, what do our ears hear on TV and how is our heart affected by this?

If we don’t know how to recite Qur’an, why aren’t we registering for a tajweed course at a Qur’an institute? If we don’t know the language of the Qur’an and Sunnah, why aren’t we registering for an Arabic program? If we don’t know about the life of RasulAllah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam and his companions radi Allahu anhum why aren’t we attending the seerah and fiqh classes in our localities?

Also, with regards to TV, we should remember that Allah tells us in the Qur’an:

Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts). That is purer for them. Verily, Allah is all-aware of what they do (An-Noor 24/30).

How do reconcile these verses with the television that assaults our eyes with haram almost every second that it is on?

Who hasn’t heard of Cupid? They portray him in cartoons and comedies as a chubby child with wings who is supposed to be the Angel of Love, shooting arrows of ‘love’ when the male looks at the female. Rather dear brothers and sisters, it is Iblees! For RasulAllah sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam told us, “Verily the ‘look’ is a poisoned arrow from the arrows of Iblees!”

Shaykh At-Tahhaan once narrated an incident to his students:

It was late at night when Shaykh At-Tahhaan’s phone rang. This Muslimah whispered into the phone, ‘Is this Shaykh At-Tahhaan?’

He said, ‘Yes it is me.’

She kept saying, ‘Is it really you?’

And he said, ‘Yes, what is wrong?’

At that she just started sobbing and sobbing into the phone. After some time, she explained, ‘The children’s father bought a TV and video machine two days ago. Tonight I found my young son practicing the haram that he saw on his younger sister! ‘ Then she collapsed sobbing again.

Everything starts with a look. Big fires start with a little spark.

PART II: Turn Off TV, Turn On Life

After a grueling first year in the Faculty of Shari’ah at the Islamic University in Madinah, I came home to Canada where I spoke to a friend whom I hadn’t spoken to for over a year. In the conversation he said, “Last night on TV Seinfeld said… ” I was puzzled and realized that for an entire year I had not heard anything other than “Imam Shaafi’ee said…” and “Imam Abu Hanifah said…” It was this ignorance that Shaykh Abdul Muhsin ‘Al-Abbaad referred to when he would say “We ask Allah ta’aala to increase us in it’s ignorance.”

Some people argue that TV is just a harmless avenue of entertainment and that no one should make a big deal about it. It is interesting however that we see in Shari’ah that what is more deadly than haram is bid’ah. Why you ask? Because when someone does something haram like eating pork, he knows it is haram and that one day it is hoped that knowledge will lead him to fear Allah and refrain. Bid’ah, on the other hand, is something a person does with the hope of reward from Allah, something that the person considers to be ‘harmless.’ It is deadlier because the chances of this person correcting the situation are less due to the ignorance which causes a lack of motivation.

Other people say that they have a TV for the news and Islamic or educational programs. But we have to honestly ask ourselves – is there no other avenue to get the news? Is there no other means by which a child can be educated and stimulated to learn?

Didn’t anyone ask why we get all this ‘free’ TV? What does the TV sell? No it doesn’t sell Coke or Nike or McDonalds burgers; it sells the audience, it sells you to advertising companies! Why do you think they charge $1 million for 30 seconds of advertising in a Superbowl game?

Consider these facts:

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

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

This is just regarding the products. But what about the aqeedah that we are being exposed to on TV. A whole stack of beliefs gets fed to us every time our children sit to watch and listen to their third parent. Where are the horrific stats for that?

Go to a lecture where the imam is talking about women’s rights in Islam. Listen to the Muslim males and females debate with the imam. Where do they get their points? Why do they become so hostile towards anything that contradicts the western view of women’s rights? Why is there no hostility towards the western view? Most of it was learned on TV, the rest was learned in the public school curriculum.

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

In a survey which asked children what the one thing is which they would sacrifice their favorite TV shows for, many replied that if there was some sort of outside activity they would give preference to that. Meaning, if someone took them by the hand and organized some after school activities, they would embrace the idea.

Here is a list of other things that you can do instead of being shackled to the TV:

– Play outdoor games and exercise outdoors or at home.
– Build extra curricular skills, such as martial arts or calligraphy or sewing.
– Visit the library.
– Take on a job, which will ensure that you become serious about life and work.
– Do acts of worship like dhikr, salah, reciting Qur’an, fasting, and reflecting on the signs of Allah and His creation.
– Adopt an Islamic cause in the place where you live, and take part in it, such as teaching Muslim girls.
– Support an Islamic magazine by writing and sending articles, statistics and useful information of interest concerning Muslims in the west.
– Take part in charitable projects to help Muslim orphans, widows, divorcees and the elderly, or join a committee to help organize social programs and celebrations for Muslims on Eid.
– Find righteous friends to meet with and good neighbors to visit.
– Read Islamic books in particular and useful stories in general.
– Take part in da’wah activities and preschool programs in Islamic centers.
– Listen to tapes and lectures, write summaries of them, and distribute the summaries to anyone who could benefit from them.
– Cook items to be sold to raise funds for the Islamic center.
– Take an interest in computers and computer programs. This is a vast field that can fill a lot of time, and the computer can be used to do a lot of good things as well as providing entertainment in the form of permissible games.
Today is the beginning of a new day. Allah gave us this day to use as we will. We can waste it or use it for something good and beneficial.

But let us know that what we do today is important because we are exchanging a day of our life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever and in its place shall be something that we left behind; let that be something good and beneficial.

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Ahmed Abu Ali reciting Qur’an

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Four People we shouldn’t take knowledge from

Four People we shouldn’t take knowledge from

Imâm Mâlik – Allah have mercy on him – said:

Knowledge is not to be taken from four types of people: a foolish person who openly acts foolish, even if he reports the most narrations; an adherent of bid’ah who calls to his desires; a person who lies, even if I don’t accuse him of lying in hadîth; and a righteous pious worshipper who does not accurately retain what he narrates.

Al-Dhahabî , Siyar A’lâm Al-Nubalâ` in his biography of Imâm Mâlik.

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Three Distinctions Often Confused

There are certain things that the soul often confuses and mixes up, and only those with deep insight and wisdom are able to properly distinguish between them. Ibn al-Qayyim points out some of these fine details and distinctions that should be made.

i) Self-Respect vs. Vanity

“Self-respect is to make your soul rise above the petty and insignificant things that cause people to bend their necks pursuing. So, he prevents himself from this.

This is different from arrogance, which is a characteristic that is born from two things: being impressed with oneself and belittling others. So, arrogance is born from these two things, and the first (i.e. self-respect) is born from two things: honoring oneself and making it noble…

The basis for all of this is to prepare and condition the soul, and to place preference for its Owner over it. So, if one fails in his preparation and conditioning, he has failed in everything.”

ii) Protection of Self vs. Arrogance

“The one who protects himself is like the man who puts on some new clothes, pure and white, and expensive. So, he enters upon the kings and those below them in these clothes. He strives to protect these clothes from any stains or dirt that could affect its whiteness and purity. So, you see him looking noble and constantly escaping from the places where he fears could make his clothes dirty. He does not allow any stain or speck of dirt to come onto his clothes.

This is the likeness of the one who strengthens and builds his heart and religion: you see him avoiding any stains of sin, as they stain the heart and dirty it more than any blot of dirt can dirty a pure, white garment. However, the eyes are covered from seeing these stains. So, you see him running from any potential stain, being cautious around the people, seldom mixing with them out of fear that the same thing would occur to his heart that occurred to his white clothing when he was around the butchers and cooks.

This is different from the one who elevates himself, as even if he is similar to the above in his avoidance of these things, he intends with this to step over the people’s necks and to put them under his feet. So, this is a color, and that is another color.”

iii) Humility vs. Humiliation

“Humility is born from a) knowledge of Allah, His Names, His Attributes, and His Loftiness, as well as loving and elevating Him, and b) knowing himself and his faults well.

So, from these two comes the characteristic of humility, and it is the subduing of the heart to Allah and lowering the wing of submission and mercy to His servants. So, he does not see any virtue that he has over others, and he sees no rights of his over others. Rather, he sees the virtue of others over him, and he sees their rights before his own. This is a characteristic that Allah gives to those He Loves and wishes to make noble and close to Him.

As for humiliation, it is lowliness and exertion of the soul in acquiring what it desires, like the humility of the low ones in fulfilling their desires, the humility of the victim to his oppressor, and the humility of anyone who seeks something from someone else to that person. This is all lowliness and inferiority, and has nothing to do with true humility. Allah Loves humility, and He hates lowliness and humiliation. It is reported in the ‘Sahih’ that the Messenger of Allah said: “It was revealed to me that you should be humble such that none should boast over others, and none should transgress against others.”

[‘ar-Ruh’; p. 313-317]

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The Test Called Life by Mohammad Elshinawy

It was narrated that Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “On the Day of Resurrection, those who were hale and hearty will wish that their skin had been cut with scissors, when they see the reward of those who were put to trial.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (2402); classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.

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“Separated” Weddings

Asalamu3alaykum

May Allah swt reward the people who have the best of intentions when having a separate wedding. And may Allah swt guide the people who still have no understanding what it means to have the wedding be separated (even while they are attending one).

Going to a separate wedding is tricky, because they’re not all the same. It’s not all the same degree of separation either. Sometimes it’s entirely separated, which is easiest to deal with if you cover. This means that there are no men in the womens’ section, and no rogue cameras with rogue owners (guests). Sometimes it is half separated, like the hall is separated but in order to get food you have to pass by the guys. That can get pretty annoying, so I’ll post some solutions to that one in a few inshaAllah. And sometimes it’s faux-separated, that’s where like there is no real barrier between the male and female section (or a really silly one, like something you can totally see through), the bride is visible to the men, and there are male waiters walking around like they own the place.

It’s best to ask the bride/groom what exactly will be the setup of the separated wedding way  beforehand (I’m talking like a month or so, or when they start planning), and if you can, to convince the bride/groom/wedding planner to make it so that it is fully separated and that will be easiest for the female guests. For example, suggest that there only be female waitresses on the females’ side. Also, highly recommend that they let their guests know “no videophotography” so that the sisters who uncover can feel safe and not worry that there will be pictures of them floating around the next day. And if you know in advance, that the wedding hall is not going to be entirely separated, then see the rest of the post to know what to do.

HOW TO HANDLE THE FOLLOWING WEDDINGS:

Entirely Separated – not much to worry about here, but just make sure that if you do end up in the background of someone’s picture, or in the forefront for that matter, that you politely ask them if you can see the picture and if you are in it, then just ask them to please delete it because you cover. Do all with the best of manners inshaAllah. So the wrong way to do it would be:

“Yo! Didn’t you see me walking by when you flashed that camera?! Gimme that! *snatch camera* Look! That’s me in the picture – DELETE IT! NOW!”

Half Separated – make sure the outer clothes you bring (hijab, abaya, niqab, etc) are very easy and quick to put on (so something without buttons and pins, preferably) and take off. When you enter the hall, just find out when they’re going to serve the appetizers and if it’s in a little while, then don’t take off your outer clothing until you get the appetizers/food, and then come back in. Then, you can take it off ‘cuz chances are, dinner won’t be served until like 4 hours later. Then, you can put your outer clothing back on and get dinner. OR you can have someone else, who doesn’t mind, get you appetizers and dinner. That way, you don’t ever have to change and leave. But make sure they don’t mind. Not like:

“Hey can you make a plate for me too? ”

“Why can’t you do it yourself? *bitter* …Whatever you say madam, at your service. *bows sarcastically* “

Faux-Separated – make sure you find out way beforehand if the wedding is faux-separated. That will save you a lot of time in getting ready because you will know that you’re not going to be able to take your outer clothing off at all. The plus about this is that at least there is some sort of division, so you can find a nice seat in a corner where the men actually can’t see you, but it’s so risky (especially with the male waiters walking around) that there’s no way you can uncover without having to cover up again 5 seconds later. If you already arrived at the wedding and only found out after you got there that it’s not entirely separated, but that it’s faux-separated, then say alhamdulillah, and remain calm. Greater calamities have happened. Stay for as long as you must, say salam to your friends and the other guests, give the bride your salam, then leave quietly. No need to create a scene or get upset. For example:

“This isn’t separated! …Arghh I got ready for nothing! Why couldn’t they just tell me before, I wouldn’t have wasted all that time!”

“Would you like some appetizer?”

“No I don’t want no appetizer, can’t you see how mad I am?! — I’ll be sure to send the bride a text about this tomorrow morning!”

In all cases, just say alhamdulillah and stay happy. There is fitnah where ever we go. The thing we have to keep our eye on is how we deal with the fitnah, and our imaan. Protect your imaan, no matter what. That is your priority. These weddings come and go and they only last a day or two. Don’t put your imaan on the line for a wedding. Hayaa and imaan go hand in hand. When one of them leaves, the other one goes with it. So protect your hayaa, protect your imaan.

And be grateful for what you have because there are places where the people have no idea what a separated wedding is, and they never even have faux separated weddings. Subhanallah

That’s it for now. I pray that this post is of some benefit to sisters who wear hijab, abaya, niqab.

wasalamualaykum

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