Local Time

Friday, June 18, 2004

Purpose of Life

Purpose of Life

We are faced with a very common issue or question in this era we live in. What is our purpose here? why are we here? Well, the only way you shall find out the correct answer is no where other than the Quran, the true words of Allaah the Exalted.Now first of all, we can all confirm that the Quran is the true word of Allaah, and there is no doubt about it. Now if you turn to Surah Da'riat, Aya 56, we read," WA MAA KHALAKTUL JINNAH WAL INSAH ILLA LI YA'BUDOON,"
'And I have not created Jinn & Mankind for any other purpose but to worship Me' (i am very sure that this is the correct translation but please check the 1% doubt that i have)

Now look, Allaah has made it crystal clear for us, that we (his creation) are only here for one reason, and that is to worship our most perfect Lord, in the way He has told us.

Today we have forgotten our purpose and have gone astray. Let me set it to you in form of a short story:

A man enters the forest and his aim is obviously to get to the other end. As he is walking he looks back and notices that a lion has begun to chase him so he begins to run but the lion is gaining on him. So as he runs and he sees a well and jumps in and holds the rope. After a while he realises that the lion is waiting on top next to the well and is not going away. So he looks down and sees that the well instead being full of water is full of snakes, he then looks up and notices two mice one black one white and they are eating away at the rope. As he begins to panic he looks up past the mice and sees a tree is over shadowing the well and on a branch is a honey comb and a drop falls and lands in his mouth. He thinks he has never tasted better honey and eventually the drops turn into a stream falling straight into his mouth. He then forgets about the snakes at the bottom of the well which is his grave waiting for him. Forgets about the mice one black and white representing night and day and how soon it will be over. He also forgets about the lion which represents death and after forgetting his destination to reach the end of the jungle he is engulfed with the honey which represents this duniya and when the night and day finish, death will come and he will fall into his grave leaving this deceiving honey behind.
If the purpose of life is to become wealthy, there would be no purpose after becoming wealthy.

The fact is that when people approach their purpose here in this life from the aspect of only gaining wealth, after collecting the money they have dreamed of their lives loose purpose and then they live in restless tension suffering from a feeling of worthlessness.

How could wealth then be considered as the aim of life?

Could the acquisition of wealth guarantee happiness? Of course not.
When we hear of millionaires or members of their families committing suicide, how could we consider the purpose of life would be to gain great wealth?

A child of 5 years would obviously prefer a new toy to a deposit slip for a million dollars.
A teenager does not consider millions of dollars in the bank a substitute for movies, videos, pizza and hanging out with his friends.
A person in their 80s or 90s would never consider holding on to their wealth in place of spending it to hold on to or regain their health.

This proves that money is not the main purpose at all the stages of one's life.

Wealth can do little or nothing to bring happiness to one who is a disbeliever in Almighty God, because regardless of what he or she would gain in this life they would always live in fear of what will happen to them in the end. They would wonder what would become of them and how they would end up.

Wealth and its accumulation as a purpose would be doomed to a temporary success at best and in the end it would only spell out self destruction.

So, what is the use of wealth to a person without belief? He would always fear his end and would always be skeptical of everything. He may gain a great material wealth but he would only lose himself in the end.

Worship of the One True Almighty God of the Universe [Allah in Arabic] as a primary goal or aim in life provides a believer with everything he needs to succeed in both this life and the Next Life.

The word for total surrender, submission, obedience, purity of heart and peace in the Arabic language is "Islam". Those who try to perform these actions are called "MU-slims" [Islam-ERs].

To a Muslim the whole purpose of life is "ibadah" or worship to the One True Almighty God on Terms and under His Conditions.

The term "worship" to a Muslim includes any and all acts of obedience to Almighty Allah.

Why I Chose Islam - Jemima Goldsmith

Why I Chose Islam - Jemima Goldsmith (Wife of Imran Khan)

The media presents me as a naive, besotted 21-year-old who has made a hasty decision without really considering the consequences—thus effectively condemning herself to a life of interminable subservience, misery and isolation. Although I must confess I have rather enjoyed the various depictions of a veiled and miserable "Haiqa Khan" incarcerated in chains, the reality is somewhat different. Contrary to current opinion, my decision to convert to Islam was entirely my own choice and in no way hurried.

Whilst the act of conversion itself is surprisingly quick—entailing the simple assertion that "there is only one God and Muhammad is His Prophet"—the preparation is not necessarily to speedy a process. In my case, this began last July, whilst the actual conversion took place in early February—three months before the Nikah in Paris.

During that time I studied in depth both the Qur’an and the works of various Islamic scholars (Gai Eaton, the Bosnian president Alia Izetbegovic, Muhammad Asad), thus giving me ample time to reflect before making my decision. What began as intellectual curiosity slowly ripened into a dawning realisation of the universal and eternal truth that is Islam. In the statement given out of week ago, I particularly stressed that I had converted to Islam entirely "through my own convictions". The significance of this has been largely ignored by the press. The point is that my conversion was not, as so many have assumed, a pre-requisite to my marriage. It was entirely my own choice. Religiously speaking there was absolutely no compulsion for me to convert prior to my marriage. As it explicitly states in the Qur’an, a Muslim is permitted to marry from "the People of the Book"—in other words, either a Christian or a Jew. Indeed, the Sunnah—which describes the life of the Prophet—shows that the messenger of Islam himself married both a Christian and a Jew during his lifetime.

I believe that much of this hostility towards my marriage and conversion stems from widespread misconceptions about an alien culture and religion. Not only is there a huge gulf between the Western view of Islam and the reality, but there is in some cases also a significant distinction between Islam based directly on the Qur’an and the Sunnah and that practised by some Islamic societies. During the last year I have had the opportunity to visit Pakistan on three separate occasions and have observed Islamic family life in practice. Thus, to some extent I now feel qualified to judge for myself the true role and position of women in the religion. At the risk of sounding defensive, I would like to point out that Islam is not a religion which subjugates women whilst elevating men to the status of mini-dictators in their homes.I was able to see this first-hand when I met Imran’s sisters in Lahore: they are all highly educated professional women. His oldest sister, Robina, is an alumnus of the LSE and holds a senior position in the United Nations in New York. Another sister, Aleema, has a master’s degree in business administration and runs a successful business; Uzma is a highly qualified surgeon working in a Lahore hospital, whilst Rani is a university graduate who co-ordinates charity work. They can hardly be seen as "women in chains" dominated by tyrannical husbands. On the contrary, they are strongminded independent women—yet at the same time they remain deeply committed both to their families and their religion. Thus, I was able to see—in theory and in practice—how Islam promotes the essential notion of the family unit without subjugating its female members.

I am nevertheless fully aware that women are sometimes exploited and oppressed in Islamic societies, as in other parts of the world. Judging by some of the articles which have appeared in the press, it would seem that a Western woman’s happiness hinges largely upon her access to nightclubs, alcohol and revealing clothes; and the absence of such apparent freedom and luxuries in Islamic societies is seen as an infringement of her basic rights. However, as we all know, such superficialities have very little to do with true happiness. Besides, without in any way wishing to disparage the culture of the Western world, into which I was born, I am more than willing to forego the transient pleasures derived from alcohol and nightclubs; and as for the clothes I will be wearing, i find the traditional shawlar kameez (tunic and trousers) worn by most Pakistani women far more elegant and feminine than anything in my wardrobe. Finally, it seems futile to speculate on my chances of marital success. Marriage, as Imran’s father has been quoted as saying, is indeed "a gamble". However, when I see that in a society based on family life the divorce rate is just a fraction of that in European or American society, I cannot see that my chances of success are any less than if I had chosen to marry a Westener. I am all too aware of the enormous task of adapting to a new and radically different culture. But with the love of my husband and the support of his family I look forward to the challenge wholeheartedly, and would like to feel that people wish me well. Whilst I do appreciate the genuine concerns of many, I must confess to feeling somewhat bewildered by all of the commotion.

“Don’t Be Sad” by Shaykh Aaidh Al-Qarni.

Ibn al-Qayyim enumerated some of the factors that bring about tranquillity:

1. Islamic Monotheism, or worshipping Allah exclusively without associating any partners with him (in worship), and without associating any partners with Him in all qualities that belong to Him alone. The disbeliever and the one who associates partners with Allah, the Almighty, are, for all effective purposes, dead and not alive.

“But whosoever turns away from My Reminder [i.e. neither believes in this Qur’an nor acts on its orders, etc.] verily, for him is a life of hardship and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection.” Surah Ta-Ha – Ayah 124.

“And whosoever Allah wills to guide, He opens his breast to Islam...” Al-An’am – Ayah 125.

“Is he whose breast Allah has opened to Islam, so that he is in light from His Lord [as he who is non-Muslim]?” Surah Az-Zumar – Ayah 22.

Allah, the Exalted, warned His enemies with the following verse:

“We shall cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve, because they joined others in worship with Allah, for which He had sent no authority...” Surah Al-Imran – Ayah 151.

“So, woe to those whose hearts are hardened against remembrance of Allah.” Surah Az-Zumar – Ayah 22.

“And whosoever He wills to send astray He makes his breast closed and constricted, as if he is climbing up to the sky.” Surah Al-An’am – Ayah 125.

2. Useful knowledge, because the most happy, easy-going, and contented kind of person is the scholar. Why should scholars not be, for they are the inheritors of Muhammad Sallalahu Alayhi Wasalam.

“And [Allah] taught you that which you knew not.” Surah Al-Nisa – Ayah 113.

“So know [O’ Muhammad] that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah...” Surah Muhammad – Ayah 19.

3. Good deeds. A good deed brings light both to the heart and to the face. Doing good deeds results in being blessed in one’s sustenance, and the hearts of people are naturally attracted to the doer of good.

“We should surely have bestowed on them water [rain] in abundance.” Surah Al-Jinn – Ayah 16.

4. Bravery, for the courageous person is firm and strong and fears Allah alone. Difficulties and hardship neither shake nor disturb him.

5. Avoiding sins. Sinning ruins one’s peace of mind and makes one feel lonely and in the dark: “I saw that sins cause the heart to die and addiction brings disgrace to the addicted.”

6. Not being extravagant in that which is lawful. In other words, one should be moderate in speaking, sleeping, and mixing with people, and likewise one should be abstemious in one’s eating habits.

“And those who turn away from Al-Laghw [dirty evil vain talk falsehood and all that Allah has forbidden].” Surah Al-Mu’minun – Ayah 3.

“Not a word does he [or she] utter but there is a watcher by him ready [to record it].” Surah Qaf – Ayah 18.

“And eat and drink but waste not by extravagance...” Surah Al-A’raf – Ayah 31.

Arab poet said:

“O’ companion of the bed, you have slept excessively, don’t you know that after death is a long sleep.”

Details Taken From – “Don’t Be Sad” by Shaykh Aaidh Al-Qarni.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Put NESTLE on your NON-shopping list!

NESTLE'S INVESTMENT IN ZIONISM:

Employing 224,541 people in 479 factories worldwide, Nestle is not only Switzerland's largest industrial company but also the world's largest food company.
(1) This corporate prominence means that what Nestle does sets an example for thousands of aspiring businesses.According to the Swiss-Israeli chamber of commerce, one of the most important examples Nestle has set is that it is advantageous to invest in Israel.
(2) Nestle began investment in Israel in 1995 by buying 10% of Israeli food maker Osem Investments. Two years later Nestle increased its ownership, at a cost of $140 million, to 50.1% giving it the controlling share.
(3) A January 2002 agreement between the Swiss and Israeli governments to avoid double taxation for Swiss companies that produce in Israel and sell in Europe led Nestle to announce in September 2002 vast expansion in Israel that will pour $80 million more into the Israeli economy. (4) Nestle's main presence in Israel is in Sderot, a settlement founded in 1951 one kilometer from the Gaza Strip to accommodate an influx of Sephardic Jews in and to spread Jewish presence uniformly throughout Israel.
(5) Sderot is built on the lands of the Palestinian town Al-Najd, which was ethnically cleansed in 1948.
(6) Today Sderot is home to 23,000 Jewish immigrants from Morocco, Ethiopia, and the
former Soviet Union, half of whom came in the last ten years.
(7) Like many sites for immigrant settlement, or "development zones" as they are known to the Israeli state, Sderot lacks basic facilities that make for a comfortable living. It has the highest unemployment rate in Israel (10%) and a full 30% of the children living in Sderot depend on private and government charity.
(8) 25% of the recent immigrants' children do not finish school.
(9) Enter Nestle: Jointly with Osem, Nestle already runs a 700 m2 factory in Sderot, and last year the company announced that it intended to open a 1,700 m2 research and development center there.
(10) Such operations provide a decent wage and living in an other-wise poverty-stricken town. They, also, enable the Israeli government to continue to import Jews who will fill the land of Israel while denying Palestinians their right of return. In 2002 Nestle received a grant for 24% of the $5.6 million cost from the Israeli government, which offers various incentives to encourage investment in development zones.
(11) The Israeli government gives these grants, funded in turn by US economic assistance, to companies that can help it solve the difficult social problems accompanying mass absorption of
ethnically distinct groups. At the same time, building in development zones means building over the remains of Palestinian habitation. When the old stone buildings and stubborn cactus plants are covered over, so, too, it is hoped, are the grounds for a Palestinian history and right of return. In total, Nestle currently has over 4000 Israeli employees at 11 plants, with the following all in "development zones":Tzabar Salads (an Osem subsidiary) plant in Kiryat Gat (on the former site of Palestinian village Iraq al-Manshiyya, destroyed by Israelis after 1948); a ready-baked cakes factory in Ahihud; and a logistics center will be built in Nachsholim (Al-Tantura)
(12) But Nestle's benefits to the Israeli economy don't stop with just factories and jobs. The research & Development center in Sderot is considered particularly beneficial to Osem's growth as it " gives [Osem] advantages in technological know-how and increased export opportunities through Nestle's distribution network." Consequently, Osem's shares are growing five times faster than the rest of the Tel Aviv stock market.
(13) Also, Nestle's investment in Osem has meant that its products can reach a global market which is necessary not only to continued growth of the company but to its very survival in a
time of deep local recession caused by the Intifada. Osem's sales turnover in 2001 was $460 million, of which 15% came from exports
(14). Furthermore, Nestle-Osem contributes to community development through numerous charity projects. "Schools receive assistance through the Join the Industry project which introduces various aspects of Israeli industry to the classroom. Senior managers visit schools and teach
classes about their industry. Schools are also welcome to visit the Company's factories. Students receive guidance from Osem's executives"
(15). These educational projects relieve the Israeli government of having to furnish a budget for educational advancement. At the same time, because they are carried out by a private company, they can be directed to the benefit of Jewish Israelis only. It is through such private efforts that the Israeli state can claim to act democratically - treating all its citizens equally - while Palestinians are
flagrantly discriminated against. Detractors from a boycott against Nestle point to the factory Nestle has on PA territory, in the Karni industrial zone in Gaza
(16). Many companies active in Israel employ low-skilled Palestinian labor, finding it advantageous to use a captive resident population that is at once socially deprived (no insurance or union), politically oppressed, and able to provide its own food and board
(17). The opening of Nestle's factory in Karni, in spring 2000, should be understood in this context of abetting and benefiting from an apartheid system of social rights. In sum, Nestle builds on stolen Palestinian lands, covers up the ruins, provides jobs and opportunities that realize the Zionist goal of a purely Jewish presence in Israel and then sells the products of such an apartheid system abroad so that the Israeli economy can flourish while spending vast amounts on the oppression of Palestinians demanding their rights. No wonder Nestle received from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 1998 the Jubilee Award, "the highest tribute ever awarded by the State of Israel in recognition of those individuals and organizations, that through their investments and trade relationships, have done the most to strengthen the Israeli economy."
(18) A CONSISTENT CORPORATE CRIMINAL: Since 1977, Nestle has been the subject of an international boycott for its deceptive promotion of artificial baby milk as a superior alternative to mother's milk. Artificial baby milk can harm babies because it does not contain the natural antibodies which a mother's milk provides, and because it is extremely expensive causing many
mothers to mix it with too much water resulting in mal-nutrition. Also, in many places the water used to dilute it is not potable. Once a mother starts giving her baby formula, her own supply of
milk dries up. Nestle provides free packages of formula in hospitals with the result that many babies never even get a chance to start nursing. In 1984 the boycott forced Nestle to agree to abide by the World Health Organization's International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes. However, when it was discovered that the company has not abided by its promise, the boycott was re-launched in 1988. It continues vigorously to this day.
(19) Nestle has also attracted criticism for its use of genetically modified ingredients, and for its cocoa and coffee-buying policies which encourage slavery. For example, Nestle purchases cocoa
from the Ivory Coast where cocoa plantations use child slavery.
(20) Most recently, the company has been implicated in lobbying against vaccination of livestock during the British Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak in 2001.
(21) Does Nestle ever recognize corporate responsibility for human suffering caused by its management and production practices? In 2000, Nestle donated $20 million to Holocaust reparations funds, saying, " As the legal successor of [Nazi] corporations, Nestlé nevertheless
accepts its moral responsibility to help alleviate human suffering, all the more so since this injustice was committed in the Company's domain." (22) Such commitment to redressing wrongs visited on one sector of humanity makes Nestle's hypocritical exploitation of Palestinian factory workers and investment in the apartheid structure of Israel all the more worthy of attack.
WHAT DO WE DEMAND FROM NESTLE?
A "consumer-driven company" like Nestle must have its finger close to the pulse of consumers' demands
(23) Nestle's corporate administration should know that Arabs and people of conscience throughout the world condemn Nestle's economic and moral support for a corrupt, racist social system. Nestle must close its factories in Israel and sell its shares of Osem until Israel acknowledges the Palestinian right of return and right of nation on all historical Palestine. If consumers in countries where Osem's products are marketed today boycott these products, then Osem's Israeli factories will be rendered "under-productive" and face closure. If Nestle knows that it cannot ever produce enough in Sderot/al-Najd, Kiryat Gat/Iraq al-Manshiyya, Nachsholim/Al-Tantura to cover the costs of business lost in the Arab world and abroad, then it will have no choice but to
divest from Israel.
Arabs are not alone in their boycott of Nestle. In addition to the groups mentioned above who boycott Nestle for other, laudable, reasons, Britain's largest union, UNISON and a major Christian
group, Christian Aid, have added Nestle to their boycott of Israel goods.
(24) Nestle's Israeli adventure began only after the thawing of the Arab boycott in 1993, so let the company know that our objections to Israel have not been reduced by the "peace process" but rather increased.
HOW TO BOYCOTT NESTLE?
Nescafé, Taster's Choice, Hills Bros, Cerealac, Nido, Fitness & Fruit, Appleminis, Cheerios, Chocapic Cornflakes (in some countries) Shreddies, Golden Grahams, Trix, Perrier, Poland Spring, Deer Park, Calistoga, Sohat, Vittel, Pure Life, Carnation, Libby's, Nesquik, Maggi, Buitoni , Milkybar, KitKat, Quality Street, Smarties, Oreo, After Eight, Lion, Aero, Polo, Toll Hosue Morsels, Crunch, L'Oréal, Alcon Eyecare, Goobers, Mint Royal, Nerds, Oh Henry!, Rowntree, Rolo, Del Monte Real Fruit Bar, Minute Maid, Petit Gervals, Contadina, Alpo, Purina, Tidy Cats, Meow Mix, Mighty Dog, Friskies, Felix, Stouffers
Be sure to write a letter or e-mail to Nestle Headquarters letting them know of your objection to their support for Israel.
http://www.nestle..com/Data/ContactUs/index.asp
Or Nestlé USA, Inc.
800 North Brand Blvd.
Glendale, CA 91203
Telephone: 1-818-549 60 00
Fax: 1-818 549 69 52
Nestlé Consumer Services:
Direct Telephone: 1-818 549 6818

1)http://www.nestle.com/all_about/at_a_glance/index.html
2) Swiss Embassy - Tel Aviv, "Economic relations with Israel,"
http://www.eda.admin.ch/telaviv_emb/e/home/comeco/econo.html
3) "Nestle to Set Up Research Center in Israel," Kosher Today, Dec 26, 2000,
http://www.koshertoday.com/weekly%20news%20archives/2000/122
http://www.koshertoday.com/weekly news archives/2000/122 600.htm
4) "Stories of Success II," Israeli Ministry of Industry,
http://www.moit.gov.il/root/Hidden/ipc/advantages-stories2.html#osem; Tal Muscal, "Treasury: Swiss companies plan to expand investments here," Jerusalem Post, January 24, 2002,
http://www.jpost.com/Editions/2002/01/24/Digital/Digital.42264.html
5) Janine Zacharia, "Rockin' Moroccans," in The Jerusalem Report,Jan. 7,1997, http://www..jrep.com/Info/10thAnniversary/1997/Article- 1.html
6) Palestine Remebered.com, "Najd,"
http://netfinity2.palestineremembered.com/Gaza/Najd/
7) Yedid - Citizens' Rights Center, "Background,"
http://www.yedid..co.il/whatwedo/crc/sderot.htm
8) Gvanim Association, "Background,"
http://www.gvanim.org.il/info/english/welcome.htm
9) Yedid, op cit.
10) "Rockin' Moroccans," op cit.; Mir Arielli, "Economy More Threatening Than Rockets," March 19, 2003,
http://www.themedialine.org/news/news_detail.asp?NewsID=1365
11) "Nestle Applies for Grant," in ATID, March 3, 2002,
http://www.atid-edi.com/bw3-3-02.htm
12) Ibid.; "Union upgrades Osem to Buy," TheMarker.com, Sept. 23, 2002,
http://www.thestreet.com/_yahoo/tech/themarker/10043621.html
"Incentives to Invest in Israel," Israel Export Institute,
http://www.export.org.il/IsraelExportInstitute/buildagate/general2/data_card.php3?NewNameMade=10&ValuePage=Prod; Elmer Winter,
a_card.php3?NewNameMade=10&ValuePage=Prod; Elmer Winter,
"How to Make Money in Israel," Committee for Economic Growth for Israel March Newsletter, (March 8, 1999),
http://www.cegi.org
13) Osem to invest $80m in new development region plants," Sept. 2002,
http://www.israeltrade.org.au/comnews0902.html#ciii2
http://www.israeltrade.org.au/comnews0902.html
14) "Union upgrades Osem to Buy," op cit.
15) Osem to invest $80m," op cit.
16) Vered Sharon-Rivlin, "Marketing 2001 - Ups and downs for Israel's top tier execs" Globes, Dec. 30, 2001,
http://www.globes.co.il/serveEN/globes/special_temp.asp?fid=1652
17)http://www.community.nestle.com/mosaic.asp?pays=16
18) Haggay Etkes,"Nestle, Pepsi-Cola, Japan Tobacco To Open Plants in Karni
Industrial Zone," Globes/Israel's Business Arena, April 30, 2000,
http://www.tobacco.org/articles/country/israel/?&total_count=147&s tarting_at=100
19) BT'selem, "Builders of Zion: Human Rights Violations of Palestinians from the Occupied Territories Working in Israel and and in the Settlements," Sept. 1999,
http://www.btselem.org/
20) From the Virtual Israel website, quoted by Friends of Al-Aqsa, http://www.aqsa.org.uk/flyers/boycott.html
21) Baby Milk Action, "The Nestle Boycott,"
http://www.babymilkaction.org/pages/boycott.html
22) http://www.jsonline.com/bym/news/jun01/response24062301.asp
23) Corporate Watch, Nestle Profile, http://www.corporatewatch.org.uk/profiles/food_supermarkets/nestle/
Nestle_Profile.rtf
24) "Nestlé: Solidarity Contribution of CHF
25)Million to US Settlement," Corporate Web-Site, August 28, 2000
http://www.ir.nestle.com/home-frameset.asp?largeur=800
25) William Echikson, "Nestle: An Elephant Dances ,"Business Week, Dec. 11, 2000,
http://www.businessweek.com/2000/00_50/b3711064.htm
27)FelicityArbuthnot, "Boycott Israeli outlaws," The Guardian May 29, 2002,
http://www.cpa.org.au/garchve5/1093boycott.html

Contacts again
Nestlé USA, Inc.
800 North Brand Blvd.
Glendale, CA 91203
Telephone: 1-818-549 60 00
Fax: 1-818 549 69 52
Nestlé Consumer Services:
Direct Telephone: 1-818 549 6818
Direct Fax: 1-818 549 63 30
http://www.nestle..com/Data/ContactUs/index.asp
_________________________________________________________________

RESEARCH AND INFORMATION NETWORK (RAIN)
__________________________________________
P O Box 26119, Isipingo Beach, Durban South Africa.
0027 31 9029174 0027 31 9024523 (fax)
mobile: 0027 823523526
director: Abie Dawjee

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Falling pregnant is a great bounty of Allah Ta'ala

Falling pregnant is a great bounty of Allah Ta'ala

Once a woman has confirmed her pregnancy, she should express her gratitude before Allah Ta'ala as this is indeed a great bounty of Allah Ta'ala. This is such a boon that many people beseech Allah Ta'ala throughout their lives for pious children but Allah Ta'ala has destined otherwise. In fact one of the greatest Nabîes of Allah Ta'ala, Hadrat Ibrahim (Alayhis salaam) used to supplicate to Allah Ta'ala most profoundly and frequently. Even Hadrat Zakariyya (Alayhis salaam) used to supplicate for children most passionately and fervently during the latter part of his life.

Hence, a Muslim woman is required to express her gratitude unto Allah Ta'ala for this great bounty. Gratitude may be expressed in the following ways:

1. Recite the following Du’aa very frequently:

Allahummâ Lakal Hamdû Wa Lakash-Shukru
Translation: O Allah! All praises are due to You alone and I express my gratitude unto You alone (for granting me the honour of motherhood).

2. Allocate a fixed time for two Rak‘aat of Nafl Salaat. Whilst in Sajdah, make Du‘aa abundantly. Recite the following Du’aa as well:

Rabbi Hab Liy Min-Ladunka Zurriyatan-Tayyibah Innaka Sam‘iud-Du’aa
Translation: O my Lord! Bless me from your side with pure children. Verily You are all-hearing of the Du’aa.

3. Recite the following Du’aa as well:

Rabbi-j‘alniy Muqeema-Salaati wa min Zurriyatiy Rabbanaa wa Taqabbal Du’aa
Translation: O my Lord! Render me as well as my progeny as establishers of Salâh and accept our Du’aas.

4. Similarly, express your gratitude from the heart in such a manner that you stay happy and try to stay happy at all times. Try to forget all your past sorrows. Build your dreams and keep your hopes and spirits high. Ponder over the bounties of Jannat.

Instead of embroiling yourself in the daily disputes with the mother-in-law and sisters-in law and instead of involving yourself with the unbecoming behaviour of your husband, maintain strict silence. On the impending happiness of the birth of your child, maintain a friendly and trouble-free relationship with all. If you do tend to hurt anyone, apologise immediately and try to forget about the dispute. If you continue vexing others, the evil effects of this nature will fall on the unborn child as well. The conditions of the mother during pregnancy, in fact even her spirit and perceptions during this state has a profound effect on the unborn child.

Hence, a Muslim woman should express gratitude at all times especially during the period of her pregnancy. This gratitude should in turn develop in her the love of Allah Ta'ala. She should ponder that since Allah Ta'ala has blessed us with so many bounties, we should also devote ourselves to Him. To disobey such a majestic benefactor – by strutting about veil-less, watching television, videos, backbiting etc. – at any time and especially during pregnancy is not acceptable. Allah Ta'ala showers His bounties upon us and we in turn disobey Him!?

The first month of pregnancy
Remember that you are not a single entity now. Now a child is being nourished within your own body. With a bit of precaution on your part, this child may become healthy, intelligent, understanding, pious and religious. However, with your negligence and indifference, the child may turn out to be weak, sickly and incompetent.

Hence, your life should not be the same as it was before you fell pregnant. Every moment should be passed with caution and concern over the well-being of yourself as well your child. Therefore, pay careful attention to the following points:

1. Be careful with your diet. Chew your food thoroughly before swallowing. Avoid over-eating and abstain from food that can cause constipation.

2. Eat green, fresh vegetables, like salads, cucumbers etc. in abundance. Make sure that they are clean and washed before use.

3. Drink lots of sour-milk and milk. Drink as much milk as your digestive system can handle. Milk is a very blessed form of nutrition. After consuming other types of food, Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) would utter:

Allahummâ At‘imnâ Khayran-Minhu
Translation: O Allah! Grant us food better than this (in Jannat).

However, milk is of such a blessed nature that there is no food better than milk since after drinking milk Rasûlullâh ? recited the following Du’aa:

Allahummâ Bârik Lanâ Fîhî wa Zidnâ Minhu
Translation: O Allah! Bless us in this and increase it for us.

In other words, whilst drinking milk, Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) did not ask for something better (as he did in the case of other foods), because there is no better food than milk. This is why he beseeched Allah Ta'ala for Barkat (blessing) and increase in it.

In short, a pregnant woman should drink lots of milk because Allah Ta'ala has placed the vitamins and proteins required by the human body in milk.

If pure or raw milk is detrimental to you, consume it in other forms like Lassî (curds), sour-milk, custard, Khîr etc. This is beneficial to the mother as well as the child.

4. Abstain from tea, coffee, Pân (betel leaf), oil, Ghee, chillies and oily foods. Besides affecting the digestive system, these foods are detrimental to the muscles and nervous system of the mother and may also affect the child.

5. Ensure that you refrain from all types of medication during pregnancy especially pain-relievers. If you are really desperate, consult a reliable female (or male) doctor explaining your pregnancy and conditions to her. It should not be such that you are prescribed medication that is injurious to pregnant women. Some medication clearly states on the lable that it is not advisable for pregnant women. Hence, if you are really desperate to use some medication, make sure you scrutinize the lable and make thorough investigation before use.

6. In the first three months and the last month, in fact from the seventh month onwards, avoid sexual contact with your husband. This at times, adversely affects the mother and the child.

7. Avoid sleeping late. Try to get at least eight hours of peaceful sleep. This will ensure that your body and mind is well rested. This in turn is beneficial for the child as well and it may simplify delivery of the child.

8. Avoid excessively hard work and picking up very heavy objects as this may lead to a miscarriage. If your cruel mother-in-law or hard-hearted sister-in-law compels you to pick up heavy objects or forces you to carry out some difficult task, then excuse yourself very politely and explain to them that this task is beyond you and that you will pay a labourer to carry out this task.

However, if your cruel mother-in-law or hard-hearted sister-in-law fails to take pity on your condition, explain your helplessness to your husband and with his permission, go to your mother's house to rest. If you are a sister-in-law to another woman (your brother's wife), don’t be cruel to her as well. The moment she falls pregnant, try to make her comfortable and relaxed at all times. Your benevolence won’t be directed to your sister-in-law alone but you will be showing mercy to a sinless child, a priceless gem, a blossoming flower, the coolness of your brother’s eyes, a luminance of this worldly life and a source of perpetual reward for the hereafter. The degree of happiness and comfort of your sister-in-law or daughter-in-law will, Inshâ Allah Ta'ala, determine the well-being, health, robustness and happiness of the new arrival.

"How to make your wife

The following is part ONE of a summary of the book "How to make your wife
happy" by Sheikh Mohammed Abdelhaleem Hamed.

1. Beautiful Reception

After returning from work, school, travel, or whatever has separated you:
* begin with a good greeting.
* Start with Assalamau 'Aliaykum and a smile. Salam is a sunnah and a du'aa for her as well.
* Shake her hand and leave bad news for later!

2. Sweet Speech and Enchanting Invitations

* Choose words that are positive and avoid negative ones.
* Give her your attention when you speak of she speaks.
* Speak with clarity and repeat words if necessary until she understands.
* Call her with the nice names that she likes, e.g. my sweet-heart, honey, saaliha, etc.

3. Friendliness and Recreation

* Spend time talking together.
* Spread to her goods news.
* Remember your good memories together.

4. Games and Distractions

* Joking around & having a sense of humor.
* Playing and competing with each other in sports or whatever.
* Taking her to watch permissible (halal) types of entertainment.
* Avoiding prohibited (haram) things in your choices of entertainment.

5. Assistance in the Household


* Doing what you as an individual can/like to do that helps out, especially if she is sick or tired.
* The most important thing is making it obvious that he appreciates her hard work.

6. Consultation (Shurah)

* Specifically in family matters.
* Giving her the feeling that her opinion is important to you.
* Studying her opinion carefully.
* Be willing to change an opinion for hers if it is better.
* Thanking her for helping him with her opinions.

7. Visiting Others

* Choosing well raised people to build relations with. There is a great reward in visiting relatives and pious people. (Not in wasting time while visiting!)
* Pay attention to ensure Islamic manners during visits.
* Not forcing her to visit whom she does not feel comfortable with.

8. Conduct During Travel

* Offer a warm farewell and good advice.
* Ask her to pray for him.
* Ask pious relatives and friends to take care of the family in your absence.
* Give her enough money for what she might need.
* Try to stay in touch with her whether by phone, e-mail, letters, etc..
* Return as soon as possible.
* Bring her a gift!
* Avoid returning at an unexpected time or at night.
* Take her with you if possible.

9. Financial Support

* The husband needs to be generous within his financial capabilities. He should not be a miser with his money (nor wasteful).
* He gets rewards for all what he spends on her sustenance even for a small piece of bread that he feeds her by his hand (hadeith).
* He is strongly encouraged to give to her before she asks him.


10. Smelling Good and Physical Beautification


* Following the Sunnah in removing hair from the groin and underarms.
* Always being clean and neat.
* Put on perfume for her.

11. Intercourse

* It is obligatory to do it habitually if you have no excuse (sickness, etc.)
* Start with "Bismillah" and the authentic du'a.
* Enter into her in the proper place only.
* Begin with foreplay including words of love.
* Continue until you have satisfied her desire.
* Relax and joke around afterwards.
* Avoid intercourse during the monthly period because it haram
* Do what you can to avoid damaging her level of Hiyaa (shyness and modesty) such as taking your clothes together instead of asking her to do it first while he is looking on.
* Avoid positions during intercourse that may harm her such as puttingn pressure on her chest and blocking her breath, especially if you are heavy.
* Choose suitable times for intercourse and be considerate as sometimes she maybe sick or exhausted.

12. Guarding Privacy


* Avoid disclosing private information such as bedroom secrets, her personal problems and other private matters.

13. Aiding in the Obedience to Allah


* Wake her up in the last third of the night to pray "Qiam-ul-Layl" (extra prayer done at night with long sujood and ruku'ua).
* Teach her what you know of the Qur'an and its tafseer.
* Teach her "Dhikr" (ways to remember Allah by the example of the prophet) in the morning and evening.
* Encourage her to spend money for the sake of Allah such as in a charity sale.
* Take her to Hajj and Umrah when you can afford to do so.

14. Showing Respect for her Family and Friends


* Take her to visit her family and relatives, especially her parents.
* Invite them to visit her and welcome them.
* Give them presents on special occasions.
* Help them when needed with money, effort, etc..
* Keep good relations with her family after her death if she dies first. Also in this case the husband is encouraged to follow the sunnah and keep giving what she used to give in her life to her friends and family.

15. (Islamic) Training & Admonition


This includes
* The basics of Islam
* Her duties and rights
* Reading and writing
* Encouraging her to attend lessons and halaqahs
* Islamic rules (ahkam) related to women
* Buying Islamic books and tapes for the home library

16. Admirable Jealousy


* Ensure she is wearing proper hijab before leaving house.
* Restrict free mixing with non-mahram men.
* Avoiding excess jealousy. Examples of this are:
1- Analyzing every word and sentence she says and overloading her speech by meanings that she did not mean
2- Preventing her from going out of the house when the reasons are just.
3- Preventing her from answering the phone.
4- etc.

17. Patience and Mildness

* Problems are expected in every marriage so this is normal. What is wrong is excessive responses and magnifying problems until a marital breakdown.
* Anger should be shown when she exceeds the boundaries of Allah SWT, by delaying prayers, backbiting, watching prohibited scenes on TV, etc..
* Forgive the mistakes she does to you (See item 18).
* How can you best correct her mistakes?
1- First, implicit and explicit advice several times.
2- Then by turning your back to her in bed (displaying your feelings). Note that this does not include leaving the bedroom to another room, leaving the house to another place, or not talking with her.
3- The last solution is lightly hitting (when allowable) her. In this case, the hsuband should consider the following:
- He should know that sunnah is to avoid beating as the Prophet PBUH never beat a woman or a servant.
- He should do it only in extreme cases of disobedience, e.g. refusing intercourse without cause frequently, constantly not praying on time, leaving the house for long periods of time without permission nor refusing to tell him where she had been, etc..
- It should not be done except after having turned from her bed and discussing the matter with her as mentioned in Qur'an .
- He should not hit her hard injuring her, or hit her on her face or on sensitive parts of her body.
- He should avoid shaming her such as by hitting her with a shoe, etc.

18. Pardoning and Appropriate Censure

* Accounting her only for larger mistakes.
* Forgive mistakes done to him but account her for mistakes done in Allah's rights, e.g. delaying prayers, etc..
* Remember all the good she does whenever she makes a mistake.
* Remember that all humans err so try to find excuses for her such as maybe she is tired, sad, having her monthly cycle or that her commitment to Islam is growing.
* Avoid attacking her for the bad cooking of the food as the Prophet PBUH never blamed any of his wives for this. If he likes the food, he eats and if he doesn't then he does not eat and does not comment.
* Before declaring her to be in error, try other indirect approaches that are more subtle than direct accusations
* Escape from using insults and words that may hurt her feelings.
* When it becomes necessary to discuss a problem wait until you have privacy from others.
* Waiting until the anger has subsided a bit can help to keep a control on your words.

HIKMAH OF MARRIAGE IN ISLAM

HIKMAH OF MARRIAGE IN ISLAM

Allah has created men and women as company for one another, and so that they can procreate and live in peace and tranquility according to the commandments of Allah and the directions of His Messenger. The Qur'an says: And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your hearts. Undoubtedly in these are signs for those who reflect. (30:21)

And Allah has made for you your mates of your own nature, and made for you, out of them, sons and daughters and grandchildren, and provided for you sustenance of the best. (16:72)

These verses of the Noble Qur'an clearly show that in contrast to other religions like Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism etc. which consider celibacy or monasticism as a great virtue and a means of salvation, Islam considers marriage as one of the most virtuous and approved institutions. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) declared, "There is no monasticism in Islam." He further ordained, "O you young men! Whoever is able to marry should marry, for that will help him to lower his gaze and guard his modesty." (Al-Bukhari)

Modesty was regarded as a great virtue by the Prophet. He said, "Modesty is part of faith." (Al-Bukhari)

The importance of the institution or marriage receives its greatest emphasis from the following hadith of the Prophet, "Marriage is my sunna. Whosoever keeps away from it is not from me."

With these Qur'anic injunctions and the guidance from the Prophet (peace be upon him) in mind, we shall examine the institution of marriage in the Shari'ah.

The word zawaj is used in the Qur'an to signify a pair or a mate. But in common parlance it stands for marriage. Since the family is the nucleus of Islamic society, and marriage is the only way to bring families into existence, the Prophet (peace be upon him) insisted upon his followers entering into marriage The Shari'ah prescribes rules to regulate the functioning of the family so that both spouses can live together in love, security, and tranquility. Marriage in Islam has aspects of both 'ibadah (worship) of Allah and mu'amalah (transactions between human beings).

In its 'ibadah aspect, marriage is an act pleasing to Allah because it is in accordance with his commandments that husband and wife love each other and help each other to make efforts to continue the human race and rear and nurse their children to become true servants of Allah.

In its mu'amalah aspect, marriage being a lawful response to the basic biological instinct to have sexual intercourse and to procreate children, the Shari'ah has prescribed detailed rules for translating this response into a living human institution reinforced by a whole framework of legally enforceable rights and duties, not only of the spouses, but also of their offspring.

These aspects are beautifully explained in a tradition of the Prophet. It is narrated by Anas that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, "When a man marries, he has fulfilled half of his religion, so let him fear Allah regarding the remaining half."

The Prophet considered marriage for a Muslim as half of his religion because it shields him from promiscuity, adultery, fornication, homosexuality etc., which ultimately lead to many other evils like slander, quarreling, homicide, loss of property and disintegration of the family. According to the Prophet (peace be upon him) the remaining half of the faith can be saved by taqwa.

RIGHTS DICTATED BY NATURE

RIGHTS DICTATED BY NATURE
Rights of both Spouses on each other

Marriage produces important effects and significant requisites. It is a sacred relation that binds spouses to reciprocal, physical, social and financial commitments. Both spouses have to live with each other on a footing of kindness and equity and fulfill his or her obligations wholeheartedly with neither reluctance nor procrastination.

Allah Almighty says:

"... And live with them honorably..." (4:19)
And also says:

"...And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses, etc.) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect, etc.) to what is reasonable, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them..." (2:228)
The wife has to do her best to please her husband because when both has fulfilled their obligations towards each other, their life will turn into a happy one. However if they do otherwise, dispute and dissension will result and they will experience a troublesome state of affairs.

A lot of holy texts have come to consider deeply the special status of woman and remind husbands that it is futile or even impossible to seek perfection in women. The Noble Prophet (peace be upon Him) said:

"Treat women kindly. Woman has been created from a rib (the rib is crooked) and the most crooked part of the rib is in the upper part. If you try to straighten that rib, it will break, and if you leave it as it is, it will remain curved. So treat women kindly." (Bukhari and Muslim)

In another version

"Woman has been created from a rib and you cannot straighten her. If you wish to draw benefit from her, do so despite her crookedness. If you try to straighten her, you will break her, and breaking a woman means divorcing her" (Muslim)

In the same context, the Noble Prophet (peace be upon Him) said:

"Let no Muslim male entertain any malice against a Muslim female. He may dislike one habit in her, but may find another in her which is pleasing." (Muslim)

Such Ahadith (Prophetic sayings) give the believers priceless admonition relating to treating women, and enjoin the Muslim male to make use of what the Muslim female can afford to give only. Her natural disposition in itself implies crookedness and does not make allowance for perfection. The man has to weigh her good and bad habits and if he happens to see something disagreeable in her, he should not be heedless of her agreeable merits. The man must not look at woman through the perspective of abhorrence and dissatisfaction only.

Some husbands seek perfection in the person of their wives whereas this is something contrary to the latter"s nature, consequently marriages run into trouble and undergo various hardships with the natural corollary of incomplete wedlock enjoyment and tarnished marital relations to be eventually crowned with divorce. A wise husband has got to be lenient and connive at various mishaps so long as they do not vitiate the canons or morality and religion.

Some of the Wife"s Rights on her Husband:

The wife has full right, on her husband, to food, clothing, housing and other relevant needs.

Allah Almighty says:

"...but the father of the child shall bear the cost of the mother"s food and clothing on a reasonable basis..." (2:233)
And the Prophet (peace be upon Him) said:

"The feeding and clothing of your wives is your responsibility." (Tirmidhi)

When the Prophet (peace be upon Him) was asked: "What is the right of a wife on her husband"" He said:

"Feed her as and when you feed yourself; clothe her as and when you clothe yourself; do not beat her on her face; do not abuse (or curse) her and do not separate yourself from her except inside the house." (Ahmed, Abu Da"ûd, Ibn Majah)

It is crucial that the man should keep balance between his wives, in case of polygamy, in spending, clothing, housing and cohabitation. The Noble Prophet (peace be upon Him) warned against giving preference to one over the other describing this behavior as a heinous sin. He (peace be upon Him) said:

"When a man has two wives and he is inclined to one of them, he will come on the Day of Resurrection with a side hanging down."

However, it is humanly impossible for a man to keep a perfect balance between his wives in all respects; for instance love being an affair of the heart over which man has no control, a husband cannot be expected to have equal love for all his wives.

Allah Almighty says:

"You will never be able to do perfect justice between wives even if it is your ardent desire..." (4:129)
The Noble Prophet (peace be upon Him) used to do his best in treating his wives on equitable terms in areas he had full control over. He used to say:

"O Allah, this is my division concerning what I possess so do not blame me concerning what you possess and I do not."

Man, at any rate, could single out one of his wives for more nights of cohabitation provided that the others are in agreement on this issue. The Messenger"s wives gave him permission to stay wherever he desired during his illness and he chose to spend his last days at "Aisha"s room until he died.

Some of the Husband"s Rights on his Wife:

The husband"s rights on his wife are greater than hers over him because Allah says:

"...And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses, etc.) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect, etc.) to what is reasonable, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them..." (2:228)
Men have a supervisory authority on account of the physical advantage they possess, the financial responsibility they carry for providing for the household and the instructional task they are bound to fulfill.

Allah says:

"Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means..." (4:34)
Thus, and in the light of Allah"s Words, we could say that a righteous wife is obedient and harmonious in her husband"s presence; and in his absence guards his reputation, property and her own virtue, as ordained by Allah. The Noble Prophet (peace be upon Him) , in this regard, said:

"If it were permissible that a person may prostrate himself before another, I would have ordered that a wife should prostrate herself before her husband." (Tirmidhi)

He (peace be upon Him) also said:

"When the husband calls his wife to his bed and she disobeys, and he spends the night in anger against her, the angels keep cursing her till the morning." (Bukhari and Muslim)

A wife cannot even observe a voluntary ritual act that might mar her husband"s full enjoyment without his consent; this is explicitly attested by the Noble Prophet"s words:

"A woman should not observe an optional fast when her husband is present at home, except with his permission. She should not permit anyone to enter his house without his consent." (Bukhari and Muslim)

He also stipulated the husband"s satisfaction for the wife to enter into Paradise:

"If a woman dies while her husband was pleased with her, she will enter into Paradise." (Ibn Majah and Tirmidhi)

The ideal Muslim’s wife

The ideal Muslim’s wife

On the basis of this view of marriage and of women, the Muslim is not attracted by the empty-headed attitude displayed by some girls nowadays. Rather, he is attracted by a sound Muslim personality, and he takes his time in choosing a partner for life, looking for a partner who has the right Islamic characteristics which make for a stable and happy married life. Therefore he is not interested in the superficial physical beauty, grace and elegance that are the sole concern of empty-headed youngsters. While he may not ignore physical looks, he must look for strong religious beliefs and practice, intelligence, and good behavior, following the advice of the Prophet (S.A.W): “A woman may be married for four things: for her wealth, for her noble descent, for her beauty or for her religion. Choose the one who is religious, lest your hands be rubbed with dust!” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Although the Prophet (S.A.W.) advised the young Muslim to look for a religious wife, this does not mean that he should ignore his preferences regarding physical beauty. The Prophet (S.A.W.) encouraged seeing a woman before finalizing the marriage, so that a Muslim will not find himself trapped in a marriage with a woman he finds unattractive.

A man who had got engaged to a woman of the Ansar came to the Prophet (S.A.W), who asked him: “Have you seen her?” He said, “No.” so the Prophet (S.A.W.) ordered him to go and see her.

The Prophet (S.A.W.) emphasized, in more than one hadith, the fact that beauty is one of the basic characteristics that a man should look for in a woman, besides the other, moral, characteristics that are desirable. Indeed, the two are inseparable. For example, he told Ibn ‘Abbas (R.A.A): “Shall I tell you the most precious thing a man can have? It is a righteous wife: when he looks at her he is pleased, when he tells her to do something she obeys, and when he is away she is faithful and loyal to him.”

Abu Hurayrah (R.A.A.) said: “The Prophet (S.A.W.) was asked: ‘Which woman is the best?’ He said, ‘The one who pleases him when he looks at her, who obeys him when he tells her to do something, and who does not do something he dislikes with regard to herself or to his wealth.”

This is the guidance given by the Prophet (S.A.W.) regarding the personality of the woman who can bring happiness, tranquility and stability to a man, and who can make a cheerful, pleasant and secure home in which to raise a brood of successful, courageous, intelligent children. The Prophet (S.A.W.) insisted that marriage should be firmly built on a solid foundation, striking a balance between physical, mental, spiritual and emotional needs, so that it will not be rocked by personality clashes or differences in attitude. Therefore the true Muslim who is guided by the shari‘ah of Allah (S.W.T.) in all his affairs, does not fall for the wiles of the “jezebels” who are the beautiful women of bad character; rather he (S.A.W.) tells people: “Beware of the ‘jezebels’.”


"How to make your husband happy"

The following is part ONE of a summary of the book "How to make your husband happy" by Sheikh Mohammed Abdelhaleem Hamed.

1- Beautiful Reception
After returning from work, school, travel, or whatever has separated you ,begin with a good greeting.
* Meet him with a cheerful face.
* Beautify and perfume yourself.
* Start with good news and delay any bad news until he has rested.
* Receive him with loving and yearning sentences.
* Make hard efforts for excellence of the food & having it ready on time.

2- Beautify and Soften the Voice
* For your husband only, it shouldn't be used in front of non-mahram men(men who can marry you if you were unmarried).

3- Smelling Good and Physical Beautification
* Taking good care of your body and fitness.
* Put on nice and attractive clothes and perfumes.
* Bath regularly and, after the monthly period, remove any blood traces or bad smells.
* Avoid that your husband observes you in dirty clothes or rough shape.
* Avoid prohibited types of ornamentation, e.g. tatoo.
* Use the types of perfumes, colors, and clothes that the husband likes.
* Change hair style, perfumes, etc. from time to time.
* However with these things you should avoid excessiveness and, of course,only act as such in front of mahrem men and women.

4- Intercourse
* Hasten for intercourse when your husband feels compulsion for it.
* Keep your body clean and smelling good as possible including cleaning yourself of released fluids during intercourse.
* Exchange loving phrases with your husband.
* Leave your husband to fully satisfy his desire.
* Choose suitable times and good occasions for exciting your husband, and encouraging him to do intercourse, e.g. after returning from a travel, weekends, etc.

5- Satisfaction With What Allah (SWT) Has Allotted

* You shouldn't be depressed because your husband is poor or works in a simple job.
* You should look at poor, sick, and handicapped people and remember Allah (SWT) for all that was given to you.
* You should remember that real wealth lays in Imaan and piety.

6- Indifference to Worldly Things
* You should not consider this world as your hope and interest.
* You should not ask your husband for many unnecessary things.
* Asceticism does not mean not to enjoy what is good and permissible (Halal), but it means that one should look forward to the hereafter and utilize whatever Allah SWT gave them to achieve paradise (Jannah).
* Encourage your husband to reduce expenses and save some money in order to give charity and feed poor and needy people.

7- Appreciation
* By the saying of the prophet, the majority of people in hell were women because they were ungrateful and deny the good done to them.
* The result of being grateful is that your husband will love you more and will do his best to please you in more ways.*
The result of being ungrateful is that your husband will be dissappointed and will start asking himself: Why should I do good to her, if she never appreciates?

8- Devotion and Loyalty
* In particular in times of calamities in your husband's body or business, e.g. an accident or a bankruptcy
* Supporting him through your own work, money, and properties if needed.

9- Compliance to Him
* In all what he commands you, unless it is prohibited (Haram).
* In Islam, the husband is the leader of the family, and the wife is his support and consultant.

10-Pleasing Him If He Is Angry
* First off, try to avoid what will guarantee his anger.
* But if it happens that you can't, then try to appease him as follows:
1- If you mistaken, then apologize.
2- If he mistaken then:
# Keep still instead of arguing or
# Yield you right or
# Wait until he is no longer angry and discuss the matter peacefully with him.
3- If he was angry because of external reasons then:
# Keeping silent untill his anger goes
# Find execuses for him, e.g. tired, problems at work, some one insulted him
# Do not ask many questions and insist on knowing what happened,e.g. 1) You should tell me what happened? 2) I must know whatmade you so angry. 3) You are hidding something, and I have the right to know

11-Guardianship While He is Absent
* Protecting yourself from any prohibited relations.
* Keep the secrets of the family, particularly intercourse and things that the husbands don't like other people to know.
* Take care of the house and children.
* Takecare of his money and properties.
* Do not go out of your house without his permission and put on full hijab.
* Refuse people whom he does not like to come over.
* Do not allow any non-mahram man to be alone with you in any place.
* Be good with his parents and relatives in his absence.

12- Showing Respect for his Family and Friends
* You should welcome his guests and try to please them, especially his parents.
* You should avoid problems as much as you can with his relatives.
* You should avoid putting him is a position where he had to choose between his mother and his wife.
* Show good hospitality for his guests by arranging a nice place for them to sit in, perfection of food, welcoming their wives, etc.
* Encourage him to visit his relatives and invite them to your home.
* Phone his parents and sisters, send letters to them, buy gifts for them, support them in calamities, etc..

13- Admirable Jealousy
* Jealousy is a sign for wife's love for her husband but it should be kept within the limits of Islam, e.g. not insulating or backbiting others, disrespecting them, etc..
* You should not follow or create unfounded doubts.

14-Patience and Emotional Support
* Be patient when you face poverty and strained circumstances.
* When you face calamities and disasters that may happen to you, your husband, your children, relatives or properties, e.g. diseases,accidents, death, etc.
* When facing hardships in Da'wah (imprisonment, getting fired, arrested,etc.), be patient and encourage him to keep on the path of Allah and remind him of paradise.
* When he mistreats you, counteract his ill-treatment by good treatment

15- Support in Obedience to Allah, Da'wah and Jihad
* Cooperate with your husband and remind him of different obligatory and voluntary worships.
* Encourage him to pray at night.
* Listen and reciting the Qur'an individually and with your husband.
* Listen to Islamic tapes and songs individually and with your husband.
* Remember Allah SWT much, particularly after Fajr and before Maghrib.
* Share in arranging Da'wah activities for women and children.
* Learn Islamic rules (ahkam) and good manners ('adab) for women.
* Support your husband's activities by encouraging him, offering wise opinions, soothing his pains, etc.
* Yielding some of your rights and a part of your time with your husband for Da'wah.
* Encourage him to go for Jihad when needed and remind him that you and children will be in the preservation of Allah SWT.

16-Good Housekeeping
* Keep it clean, decorated and well arranged.
* Change house arrangements from time to time to avoid boredom.
* Perfect of food and prepare healthy foods.
* Learn all the necessary skills for managing the house, e.g. sewing.
* Learn how to raise children properly and in an Islamic way.


17-Preservation of Finances and the Family

* Do not spend from his money, even for charity without his permission unless you are sure that he agrees on this.
* Protect his house, car, etc. while he is absent.
* Keep the children in good shape, clean clothes, etc. Take care of their nutrition, health, education, manners, etc. Teach them Islam and tell them the stories of the Prophets and companions.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Malcolm X - In His Own Words

Malcolm X - In His Own Words

Adapted from the pamphlet Malcolm X: Why I Embraced Islam by Yusuf Siddiqui. Quotes taken from The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley

Malcolm X Timeline

May 19, 1925 - Born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska

1940 - Drops out of school at age 15

1946 - Convicted of burglary and sent to prison

1949 - 1951 - Studies the Nation of Islam

1952 - Leaves prison, dedicates himself to Nation of Islam, changes name to Malcolm X

Jan. 14, 1958 - Marries Betty X

Dec. 4, 1963 - Suspended from the Nation of Islam

March 1964 - Leaves Nation of Islam, starts the Muslim Mosque, Inc.

Apr. 22, 1964 - Makes his Hajj and becomes El-Hajj Malik al-Shabazz

Jun. 28, 1964 - Forms the Organization of Afro-American Unity

Jul. 17, 1964 - Speaks at the Organization of African Unity in Cairo

Aug. 13, 1964 - U.S. State and Justice Departments take notice of his influence on African leaders at the U.N.

Feb 21, 1965 - Al Hajj Malik assassinated in New York

Early Life
On May 19, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska, Malcolm Little was born to Reverend Earl and Louise Little. Rev. Little, who believed in self-determination and worked for the unity of black people. Malcolm was raised in a background of ethnic awareness and dignity, but violence was sparked by white racists trying to stop black people such as Rev. Little from preaching the black cause.

The history of Malcolm's dedication to black people, like that of his father, may have been motivated by a long history of oppression of his family. As a young child, Malcolm, his parents, brothers, and sisters were shot at, burned out of their home, harassed, and threatened. This culminated in the murder of his father by white racists when Malcolm was six.

Malcolm became a drop-out from school at the age of fifteen. Learning the ways of the streets, Malcolm became acquainted with hoodlums, thieves, dope peddlers, and pimps. Convicted of burglary at twenty, he remained in prison until the age of twenty-seven. During his prison stay he attempted to educate himself. In addition, during his period in prison he learned about and joined the Nation of Islam, studying the teachings of Elijah Muhammed fully. He was released, a changed man, in 1952.

The Nation of Islam
Upon his release, Malcolm went to Detroit, joined the daily activities of the sect, and was given instruction by Elijah Muhammad himself. Malcolm's personal commitment helped build the organization nation-wide, while making him an international figure. He was interviewed on major television programs and by magazines, and spoke across the country at various universities and other forums. His power was in his words, which so vividly described the plight of blacks and vehemently incriminated whites. When a white person referred to the fact that some Southern university had enrolled black freshmen without bayonets, Malcolm reacted with scorn:

When I "slipped," the program host would leap on the bait: "Ahhh! Indeed, Mr. Malcolm X -- you can't deny that's an advance for your race!"

I'd jerk the pole then. "I can't turn around without hearing about some 'civil rights advance'! White people seem to think the black man ought to be shouting 'hallelujah'! Four hundred years the white man has had his foot-long knife in the black man's back -- and now the whit man starts to wiggle the knife out, maybe six inches! The black man's supposed to be grateful? Why, if the white man jerked the knife out, it's still going to leave a scar!

Although Malcolm words often stung with the injustices against blacks in America, the equally racist views of the Nation of Islam kept him from accepting any whites as sincere or capable of helping the situation. For twelve years he preached that the white man was the devil and the "Honorable Elijah Muhammad" was God's messenger. Unfortunately, most images of Malcolm today focus on this period of his life, although the transformation he was about to undergo would give him a completely different, and more important, message for the American people.

The Change to True Islam
On March 12, 1964, impelled by internal jealousy within the Nation of Islam and revelations of Elijah Muhammad's sexual immorality, Malcolm left the Nation of Islam with the intention of starting his own organization:

I feel like a man who has been asleep somewhat and under someone else's control. I feel what I'm thinking and saying now is for myself. Before, it was for and by guidance of another, now I think with my own mind.

Malcolm was thirty-eight years old when he left Elijah Muhammad's Nation of Islam. Reflecting on reflects that occurred prior to leaving, he said:

At one or another college or university, usually in the informal gatherings after I had spoken, perhaps a dozen generally white-complexioned people would come up to me, identifying themselves as Arabian, Middle Eastern or North African Muslims who happened to be visiting, studying, or living in the United States. They had said to me that, my white-indicting statements notwithstanding, they felt I was sincere in considering myself a Muslim -- and they felt if I was exposed to what they always called "true Islam," I would "understand it, and embrace it." Automatically, as a follower of Elijah, I had bridled whenever this was said. But in the privacy of my own thoughts after several of these experiences, I did question myself: if one was sincere in professing a religion, why should he balk at broadening his knowledge of that religion?

Those orthodox Muslims whom I had met, one after another, had urged me to meet and talk with a Dr. Mahmoud Youssef Shawarbi. . . . Then one day Dr. Shawarbi and I were introduced by a newspaperman. He was cordial. He said he had followed me in the press; I said I had been told of him, and we talked for fifteen or twenty minutes. We both had to leave to make appointments we had, when he dropped on me something whose logic never would get out of my head. He said, "No man has believed perfectly until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself."

The Effect of the Pilgrimage
Malcolm further continues about the Hajj:

The pilgrimage to Mecca, known as the Hajj, is a religious obligation that every orthodox Muslim fulfills, if able, at least once in his or her lifetime.

The Holy Quran says it, "Pilgrimage to the House [of God built by the prophet Abraham] is a duty men owe to God; those who are able, make the journey." (3:97)

Allah said: "And proclaim the pilgrimage among men; they will come to you on foot and upon each lean camel, they will come from every deep ravine" (22:27).

Every one of the thousands at the airport, about to leave for Jeddah, was dressed this way. You could be a king or a peasant and no on e would know. Some powerful personages, who were discreetly pointed out to me, had on the same thing I had on. Once thus dressed, we all had begun intermittently calling out "Labbayka! (Allahumma) Labbayka!" (Here I come, O Lord!) Packed in the plane were white, black, brown, red, and yellow people, blue eyes and blond hair, and my kinky red hair -- all together, brothers! All honoring the same God, all in turn giving equal honor to each other. . . .

That is when I first began to reappraise the "white man." It was when I first began to perceive that "white man," as commonly used, means complexion only secondarily; primarily it described attitudes and actions. In America,"white man" meant specific attitudes and actions toward the black man, and toward all other non-white men. But in the Muslim world, I had seen that men with white complexions were more genuinely brotherly than anyone else had ever been. That morning was the start of a radical alteration in my whole outlook about "white" men.

There were tens of thousands of pilgrims, from all over the world. They were of all colors, from blue-eyed blonds to black-skinned Africans. But we were all participating in the same ritual displaying a spirit of unity and brotherhood that my experiences in America had led me to believe never could exist between the white and the non-white...America needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem. Throughout my travels in the Muslim world, I have met, talked to, and even eaten with people who in America would have been considered white -- but the "white" attitude was removed from their minds by the religion of Islam. I have never before seen sincere and true brotherhood practiced by all colors together, irrespecitve of their color.

Malcolm's New Vision of America
Malcolm continues:

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

I believe that God now is giving the world's so-called 'Christian' white society its last opportunity to repent and atone for the crimes of exploiting and enslaving the world's non-white peoples. It is exactly as when God gave Pharaoh a chance to repent. But Pharaoh persisted in his refusal to give justice to those who he oppressed. And, we know, God finally destroyed Pharaoh.

I will never forget the dinner at the Azzam home with Dr. Azzam. The more we talked, the more his vast reservoir of knowledge and its variety seemed unlimited. He spoke of the racial lineage of the descendants of Muhammad (PBUH) the Prophet, and he showed how they were both black and white. He also pointed out how color, and the problems of color which exist in the Muslim world, exist only where, and to the extent that, that area of the Muslim world has been influenced by the West. He said that if on encountered any differences based on attitude toward color, this directly reflected the degree of Western influence.

The Oneness of Man Under One God
It was during his pilgrimage that he began to write some letters to his loyal assistants at the newly formed Muslim Mosque in Harlem. He asked that his letter be duplicated and distributed to the press:

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

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

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

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

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

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

They asked me what about the Hajj had impressed me the most. . . . I said, "The brotherhood! The people of all races, color, from all over the world coming to gether as one! It has proved to me the power of the One God. . . . All ate as one, and slept as one. Everything about the pilgrimage atmosphere accented the Oneness of Man under One God.

Malcolm returned from the pilgrimage as El-Hajj Malik al-Shabazz. He was afire with new spiritual insight. For him, the struggle had evolved from the civil rights struggle of a nationalist to the human rights struggle of an internationalist and humanitarian.

After the Pilgrimage
White reporters and others were eager to learn about El-Hajj Malik's newly-formed opinions concerning themselves. They hardly believed that the man who had preached against them for so many years could suddenly turn around and call them brothers. To these people El-Hajj Malik had this to say:

You're asking me "Didn't you say that now you accept white men as brothers?" Well, my answer is that in the Muslim world, I saw, I felt, and I wrote home how my thinking was broadened! Just as I wrote, I shared true, brotherly love with many white-complexioned Muslims who never gave a single thought to the race, or to the complexion, of another Muslim.

My pilgrimage broadened my scope. It blessed me with a new insight. In two weeks in the Holy Land, I saw what I never had seen in thirty-nine years here in America. I saw all races, all colors, -- blue-eyed blonds to black-skinned Africans -- in true brotherhood! In unity! Living as one! Worshipping as one! No segregationists -- no liberals; they would not have known how to interpret the meaning of those words.

In the past, yes, I have made sweeping indictments of all white people. I will never be guilty of that again -- as I know now that some white people are truly sincere, that some truly are capable of being brotherly toward a black man. The true Islam has shown me that a blanket indictment of all white people is as wrong as when whites make blanket indictments against blacks.

To the blacks who increasingly looked to him as a leader, El-Hajj Malik preached a new message, quite the opposite of what he had been preaching as a minister in the Nation of Islam:

True Islam taught me that it takes all of the religious, political, economic, psychological, and racial ingredients, or characteristics, to make the Human Family and the Human Society complete.

Since I learned the truth in Mecca, my dearest friends have come to include all kinds -- some Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, agnostics, and even atheists! I have friends who are called capitalists, Socialists, and Communists! Some of my friends are moderates, conservatives, extremists -- some are even Uncle Toms! My friends today are black, brown, red, yellow, and white!

I said to my Harlem street audiences that only when mankind would submit to the One God who created all -- only then would mankind even approach the "peace" of which so much talk could be heard...but toward which so little action was seen.

Too Dangerous to Last

El-Hajj Malik's new universalistic message was the U.S. establishment's worst nightmare. Not only was he appealing to the black masses, but to intellectuals of all races and colors. Now he was consistently demonized by the press as "advocating violence" and being "militant," although in actuality he and Dr. Martin Luther King were moving closer together in outlook:

The goal has always been the same, with the approaches to it as different as mine and Dr. Martin Luther King's non-violent marching, that dramatizes the brutality and the evil of the white man against defenseless blacks. And in the racial climate of this country today, it is anybody's guess which of the "extremes" in approach to the black man's problems might personally meet a fatal catastrophe first -- "non-violent" Dr. King, or so-called "violent" me."

El-Hajj Malik knew full well that he was a target of many groups. In spite of this, he was never afraid to say what he had to say when he had to say it. As a sort of epitaph at the end of his autobiography, he says:

I know that societies often have killed the people who have helped to change those societies. And if I can die having brought any light, having exposed any meaningful truth that will help to destroy the racist cancer that is malignant in the body of America -- then, all of the credit is due to Allah. Only the mistakes have been mine.

The Legacy of Malcolm X
Although El-Hajj Malik kenw that he was a target for assassination, he accepted this fact without requesting police protection. On February 21, 1965, while preparing to give a speech at a New York hotel, he was shot by three black men. He was three months short of forty, the age of maturity according to the Qur'an. While it is clear that the Nation of Islam had something to do with the assassination, many people believe there was more than one organization involved. The FBI, known for its anti-black movement tendency, has been suggested as an accomplice. We may never know for sure who was behind El-Hajj Malik's murder, or, for that matter, the murder of other national leaders in the early 1960s.

Malcolm X's life has affected Americans in many important ways. His conversion must have had an influence on Elijah Muhammad's son, Wallace Muhammad, who, after his father's death, led the Nation of Islam's followers into orthodox Islam. African-Americans' interest in their Islamic roots has flourished since El-Hajj Malik's death. Alex Haley, who wrote Malcolm's autobiography, later wrote the epic Roots about an African Muslim family's experience with slavery. More and more African-Americans are becoming Muslim, adopting Muslim names, or exploriing African culture. Interest in Malcolm X has seen a surge recently due to Spike Lee's movie, Malcolm X. El-Hajj Malik is a source of pride for African-Americans, Muslims, and Americans in general. His message is simple and clear:

I am not a racist in any form whatever. I don't believe in any form of racism. I don't believe in any form of discrimination or segregation. I believe in Islam.

Testimony of Yusuf Islam(Formerly Cat Stevens)

Testimony of Yusuf Islam (Formerly Cat Stevens) ... So what happened was that I became very famous. I was still a teenager, my name and photo were splashed in all the media. They made me larger than life, so I wanted to live larger than life and the only way to do that was to be intoxicated (with liquor and drugs)...


Testimony of Yusuf Islam (Formerly Cat Stevens)

All I have to say is all what you know already, to confirm what you already know, the message of the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) as given by God - the Religion of Truth. As human beings we are given a consciousness and a duty that has placed us at the top of creation. Man is created to be God's deputy on earth, and it is important to realize the obligation to rid ourselves of all illusions and to make our lives a preparation for the next life. Anybody who misses this chance is not likely to be given another, to be brought back again and again, because it says in Qur'an Majeed that when man is brought to account, he will say, "O Lord, send us back and give us another chance." The Lord will say, "If I send you back you will do the same." I was brought up in the modern world of all the luxury and the high life of show business. I was born in a Christian home, but we know that every child is born in his original nature - it is only his parents that turn him to this or that religion. I was given this religion (Christianity) and thought this way. I was taught that God exists, but there was no direct contact with God, so we had to make contact with Him through Jesus - he was in fact the door to God. This was more or less accepted by me, but I did not swallow it all. I looked at some of the statues of Jesus; they were just stones with no life. And when they said that God is three, I was puzzled even more but could not argue. I more or less believed it, because I had to have respect for the faith of my parents. Gradually I became alienated from this religious upbringing. I started making music. I wanted to be a big star. All those things I saw in the films and on the media took hold of me, and perhaps I thought this was my God, the goal of making money. I had an uncle who had a beautiful car. "Well," I said, "he has it made. He has a lot of money." The people around me influenced me to think that this was it; this world was their God. I decided then that this was the life for me; to make a lot of money, have a 'great life.' Now my examples were the pop stars. I started making songs, but deep down I had a feeling for humanity, a feeling that if I became rich I would help the needy. (It says in the Qur'an, we make a promise, but when we make something, we want to hold onto it and become greedy.) So what happened was that I became very famous. I was still a teenager, my name and photo were splashed in all the media. They made me larger than life, so I wanted to live larger than life and the only way to do that was to be intoxicated (with liquor and drugs).

IN HOSPITAL

After a year of financial success and 'high' living, I became very ill, contracted TB and had to be hospitalized. It was then that I started to think: What was to happen to me? Was I just a body, and my goal in life was merely to satisfy this body? I realized now that this calamity was a blessing given to me by Allah, a chance to open my eyes - "Why am I here? Why am I in bed?" - and I started looking for some of the answers. At that time there was great interest in the Eastern mysticism. I began reading, and the first thing I began to become aware of was death, and that the soul moves on; it does not stop. I felt I was taking the road to bliss and high accomplishment. I started meditating and even became a vegetarian. I now believed in 'peace and flower power,' and this was the general trend. But what I did believe in particular was that I was not just a body. This awareness came to me at the hospital. One day when I was walking and I was caught in the rain, I began running to the shelter and then I realized, 'Wait a minute, my body is getting wet, my body is telling me I am getting wet.' This made me think of a saying that the body is like a donkey, and it has to be trained where it has to go. Otherwise, the donkey will lead you where it wants to go. Then I realized I had a will, a God-given gift: follow the will of God. I was fascinated by the new terminology I was learning in the Eastern religion. By now I was fed up with Christianity. I started making music again and this time I started reflecting my own thoughts. I remember the lyric of one of my songs. It goes like this: "I wish I knew, I wish I knew what makes the Heaven, what makes the Hell. Do I get to know You in my bed or some dusty cell while others reach the big hotel?" and I knew I was on the Path. I also wrote another song, "The Way to Find God Out." I became even more famous in the world of music. I really had a difficult time because I was getting rich and famous, and at the same time, I was sincerely searching for the Truth. Then I came to a stage where I decided that Buddhism is all right and noble, but I was not ready to leave the world. I was too attached to the world and was not prepared to become a monk and to isolate myself from society. I tried Zen and Ching, numerology, tarot cards and astrology. I tried to look back into the Bible and could not find anything. At this time I did not know anything about Islam, and then, what I regarded as a miracle occurred. My brother had visited the mosque in Jerusalem and was greatly impressed that while on the one hand it throbbed with life (unlike the churches and synagogues which were empty), on the other hand, an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity prevailed.

THE QUR'AN

When he came to London he brought back a translation of the Qur'an, which he gave to me. He did not become a Muslim, but he felt something in this religion, and thought I might find something in it also. And when I received the book, a guidance that would explain everything to me - who I was; what was the purpose of life; what was the reality and what would be the reality; and where I came from - I realized that this was the true religion; religion not in the sense the West understands it, not the type for only your old age. In the West, whoever wishes to embrace a religion and make it his only way of life is deemed a fanatic. I was not a fanatic, I was at first confused between the body and the soul. Then I realized that the body and soul are not apart and you don't have to go to the mountain to be religious. We must follow the will of God. Then we can rise higher than the angels. The first thing I wanted to do now was to be a Muslim. I realized that everything belongs to God, that slumber does not overtake Him. He created everything. At this point I began to lose the pride in me, because hereto I had thought the reason I was here was because of my own greatness. But I realized that I did not create myself, and the whole purpose of my being here was to submit to the teaching that has been perfected by the religion we know as Al-Islam. At this point I started discovering my faith. I felt I was a Muslim. On reading the Qur'an, I now realized that all the Prophets sent by God brought the same message. Why then were the Jews and Christians different? I know now how the Jews did not accept Jesus as the Messiah and that they had changed His Word. Even the Christians misunderstand God's Word and called Jesus the son of God. Everything made so much sense. This is the beauty of the Qur'an; it asks you to reflect and reason, and not to worship the sun or moon but the One Who has created everything. The Qur'an asks man to reflect upon the sun and moon and God's creation in general. Do you realize how different the sun is from the moon? They are at varying distances from the earth, yet appear the same size to us; at times one seems to overlap the other. Even when many of the astronauts go to space, they see the insignificant size of the earth and vastness of space. They become very religious, because they have seen the Signs of Allah. When I read the Qur'an further, it talked about prayer, kindness and charity. I was not a Muslim yet, but I felt that the only answer for me was the Qur'an, and God had sent it to me, and I kept it a secret. But the Qur'an also speaks on different levels. I began to understand it on another level, where the Qur'an says, "Those who believe do not take disbelievers for friends and the believers are brothers." Thus at this point I wished to meet my Muslim brothers.

CONVERSION

Then I decided to journey to Jerusalem (as my brother had done). At Jerusalem, I went to the mosque and sat down. A man asked me what I wanted. I told him I was a Muslim. He asked what was my name. I told him, "Stevens." He was confused. I then joined the prayer, though not so successfully. Back in London, I met a sister called Nafisa. I told her I wanted to embrace Islam and she directed me to the New Regent Mosque. This was in 1977, about one and a half years after I received the Qur'an. Now I realized that I must get rid of my pride, get rid of Iblis, and face one direction. So on a Friday, after Jumma' I went to the Imam and declared my faith (the Kalima) at this hands. You have before you someone who had achieved fame and fortune. But guidance was something that eluded me, no matter how hard I tried, until I was shown the Qur'an. Now I realize I can get in direct contact with God, unlike Christianity or any other religion. As one Hindu lady told me, "You don't understand the Hindus. We believe in one God; we use these objects (idols) to merely concentrate." What she was saying was that in order to reach God, one has to create associates, that are idols for the purpose. But Islam removes all these barriers. The only thing that moves the believers from the disbelievers is the salat. This is the process of purification.

Finally I wish to say that everything I do is for the pleasure of Allah and pray that you gain some inspirations from my experiences. Furthermore, I would like to stress that I did not come into contact with any Muslim before I embraced Islam. I read the Qur'an first and realized that no person is perfect. Islam is perfect, and if we imitate the conduct of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) we will be successful. May Allah give us guidance to follow the path of the ummah of Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam). Ameen!
By Yusuf Islam
January 1st, 1985

From TheTrueReligion

Dictionary

English to Arabic to English Dictionary
Find word:
Exact Word / Starting Word Sub Word
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
www.SearchTruth.com

Please Feel Free to Donate