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Thursday, September 30, 2004

15-tips for brothers talking about "Women in Islam".

Whether it's Muslim scholars, brothers at the Muslim Students'
Association (MSA), or the average Jameel on the street, Muslim men
also have to deal with the stereotypes and misperceptions about
women in Islam.

Sadly, a number of brothers make the problem worse without realizing
it, instead of clarifying the issue. This is rarely, if ever, done
intentionally. However, what's clear is that some guidelines are
necessary for brothers when talking about the issue of women in
Islam. Here are some suggested tips:

1. Let the sisters speak
No matter how well-spoken, eloquent or intelligent a brother is, the
bottom line is this: he is not a Muslim woman.

That means no matter how much you, as a Muslim man tell a non-Muslim
woman how wonderful hijab is, it will be harder for her to accept
this because you have never worn Hijab and you are not a woman.

Whenever possible, have sisters answer questions pertaining to Islam
and women.

2. Be careful of mixing up the ideal with the reality

One non-Muslim writer once remarked how when talking to Muslims
about Islam compared to the West, Muslims take the ideal of Islam
and compare it to the reality of the West.

The fact of the matter is there are very ugly realities when it
comes to the treatment of women in many parts of the world,
including the Muslim world. Muslims must recognize the reality of
domestic violence in the community, even though Islamic ideals would
never condone such ugly behavior.

3. Don't sacrifice speaking out against injustice in the name of
protecting Islam's "image"


"Tackle the issue and the image will take care of itself," advises
Sr. Kathy Bullock, a convert to Islam based in California. Don't
fall into the tendency to ignore pressing issues for the sake of
protecting Islam's reputation.

In other words, if someone brings up the issue of honor killing in
Jordan, acknowledge the reality but make it clear that this is a sin
and a crime in Islam and as a Muslim you condemn it. This in itself
is enough. Trying to justify or make excuses for it or covering it
up is not going to score image points for Islam.

4. Don't respond to unspoken accusations

A number of times, Muslims automatically start an apologetic tirade
defending the status of women in Islam before a person has even said
a word. Let the other person initiate questions, and answer calmly
and confidently. You may be responding to an accusation that was
never even in the person's mind in the first place.

5. Ask WHY

Do this before launching an apologetic tirade against any
accusation. For instance, a man in Spain once approached a scholar,
saying he felt Islam was a man's religion. Before rebutting him, the
scholar asked him why he thought this way. The man replied that
whenever he looked at mosques, he saw only men.

By knowing why, you can develop your answer accordingly, and tackle
the issue head-on in an honest and direct way.

6. Agree with people as much as possible

Start off agreeing with a person. It will completely turn the tables
on the discussion, as many people begin discussions on women in
Islam assuming Muslims are completely against the notion of women's
rights.

7. If you don't know something SAY SO

If a person tells you they're from X country you've never heard of
and Muslim women are treated in a horrible fashion what can you say
about it?

I have never heard of that, and I don't know are simple enough.
Don't start apologizing, or denying that it happens. Tell the truth.

8. Don't be condescending

In Islam, looking down on a fellow human being is a sin, whether the
person is a male or a female. Don't think you know all there is to
know about women in Islam, and don't speak in this manner either.
Allah does not love arrogance, and only Allah has full knowledge of
all things.

9. Don't interrupt

This is a problem in a number of cultures, men interrupting women
and other men when they speak. Not only is this rude behavior, it
takes away from your message. People are less likely to listen to
you if you come across as a rude boorish individual. Don't do this
to others, especially sisters.

10. Don't assume all Muslim sisters are the same

Just because your mom, who was born and brought up in a Muslim
country, and has never had a problem with hijab does not mean that
other Muslim sisters have the same experience.

Muslim sisters are as different as brothers, as are their
experiences with issues like hijab.

11. Become more attuned to the "new Muslim woman"

Muslim sisters today are not the same as those of yesterday. Many
Muslims sisters know more, and they prefer more interactive lectures
as opposed to the passive style normally used. If you're giving a
talk, be ready to have interjections from Muslim sisters. Welcome
these, don't shun them.

12. Choose your words very carefully

If you're doing a presentation on women's issues in Islam or
responding to a basic question, make sure to choose your words
extremely carefully. Know the exact dictionary meaning, as well as
the meaning in everyday usage. Words are extremely powerful, and
they leave an imprint on the hearts and minds of people. You want
that imprint to be positive, so be careful.

13. Actions speak louder than words


You can speak beautifully about women in Islam but if throughout
the year, sisters have been denied access to the prayer room, or the
right to participate in decision-making .Make sure your personal and
organizational behavior falls in line with your words.

14. Don't stereotype all Western women

"Table dancers" or "cheerleaders" is how one Muslim sister described
the way Muslims tend to stereotype all Western women. Let's not
forget: we hate it when Muslim women are stereotyped as oppressed,
so we should not be doing the same to others.

And lest we forget, a growing number of Western women are becoming
our Muslim sisters, and very practicing ones at that.

15. Seek women's perspective on issues

You know mom, who loves you so much and makes your dinner? She's a
woman. Your sister in school? She's a woman. If you're blessed to be
surrounded by practicing Muslim sisters in your home, take advantage
of this by seeking their views on issues like hijab, domestic
violence, community participation, and media stereotypes. There's
nothing like hearing the truth presented from those who truly live
it.

026.083 "O my Lord! bestow wisdom on me,and join me with
the righteous;
026.085 And place me among the inheritors of the Garden of
Delight, (THE HOLY QUR'AN)
MODERATOR
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/islam4all/

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

The Celebration of Miladun-Nabi - Prophet (saw) Birthday

Time and time again, we get involved in baseless, and the traditions of the kuffar, and at same time we think it is a act of good deed, or an act which is liken by Allah AzaWajal. However, we do not realize that we are diving into a sinful act. We should try and ponder upon the words of the Holy Prophet (saw), and then try and reflect our lives upon his teachings.

The Prophet (Sal-allahu-aleihi-wassallam) said, "You will follow the ways of those nations who were before you, span by span and cubit by cubit (i.e., inch by inch) so much so that even if they entered a hole of a mastigure, you would follow them." We said, "O Allah's Apostle! (Do you mean) the Jews and the Christians?" He said, "Whom else?" [Vol 9:#422] Narrated by Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri Sahih Bukhari

The Celebration of Miladun-Nabi - Prophet (saw) Birthday

There is nothing in the Qur’aan to say that we should celebrate the Mawlid or birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The Prophet himself (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not do this or command anyone to do it, either during his lifetime or after his death. Indeed, he told them not to exaggerate about him as the Christians had exaggerated about Jesus (upon whom be peace).

He said: “Do not exaggerate about me as the Christians exaggerated about the son of Maryam. I am only a slave, so say, ‘The slave of Allaah and His Messenger.’” (Reported by al-Bukhaari). What has been reported is that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) made the day of his birth a day of worship, which is different to celebration. He was asked about fasting on Mondays, and he said: “That is the day on which I was born and the day on which I was entrusted with the Mission or when I was first given Revelation.” (Reported by Muslim, al-Nisaa’i and Abu Dawood).

Moreover, we know that the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) were the people who loved the Prophet most. Was it reported that Abu Bakr, who was the closest of people to him and the one who loved him the most, celebrated the birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)? Was it reported that ‘Umar, who ruled for twelve years, or ‘Uthmaan, did this? Was it reported that ‘Ali, his relative and foster son, did this? Was it reported that any of the Sahaabah did this? No, by Allaah! Is it because they were not aware of its importance, or did they not truly love the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)? No one would say such a thing except one who has gone astray and is leading others astray.

Did any of the imaams – Abu Haneefah, Maalik, al-Shaafi’i, Ahmad, al-Hasan al-Basri, Ibn Seereen – do this or command others to do it or say that it was good? By Allaah, No! It was not even mentioned during the first and best three centuries. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said in a saheeh hadeeth: “The best of mankind are my generation (or my century), then those who come after them, then those who come after them. Then there will come a people who will not care if their testimony comes before their oath or vice versa (i.e., they will not take such matter seriously).” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, Muslim and al-Tirmidhi). The celebration of the Prophet’s birthday appeared many centuries later, when many of the features of true religion had vanished and bid’ah had become widespread.

Thus this celebration became a sign of one’s love for the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)? But can it be possible that the Sahaabah, the imaams and the people of the best three centuries were unaware of it, and it was only those who came later who were aware of its importance?! What the Qur’aan tells us is that love of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is demonstrated by following the guidance he brought. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Say (O Muhammad): ‘If you (really) love Allaah, then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Say: ‘Obey Allaah and the Messenger.’ But if they turn away, then Allaah does not like the disbelievers.” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:31-32]

The first aayah explains that love is just a claim, but the proof of sincerity is following what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) brought. The second aayah reaffirms the importance and necessity of obeying Allaah and His Messenger. Hence Allaah ended the aayah with a very stern warning in which those who refuse to obey are described as kaafirs, and Allah does not love the disbelievers. We ask Allaah to keep us safe from that. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told us of the danger of not obeying him, and the danger of adding to what he brought. The celebration of Mawlid or his birthday is indeed an addition to what he brought – as all the scholars agree. He said: “The best of speech is the Book of Allaah, and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad. The most evil of things are those which are newly-invented (in religion), and every innovation is a going astray.” (Reported by Muslim and al-Nisaa’i).

Allah's Apostle (Sal-allahu-aleihi-wassallam) said, "If somebody innovates something which is not in harmony with the principles of our religion, that thing is rejected." (means not accepted and will be unbeneficial). [Vol 3:#861Narrated by Aisha Ummul Mu'minin Sahih Bukhari

We ask Allaah to protect us from bid’ah and to bless us by helping us to follow. Allaah knows best. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad.

The True, Peaceful Face Of Islam

BY KAREN ARMSTRONG

Time Magazine
October 1, 2001 Vol. 158 No. 15

There are 1.2 billion Muslims in the world, and Islam is the world's fastest-growing religion. If the evil carnage we witnessed on Sept. 11 were typical of the faith, and Islam truly inspired and justified such violence, its growth and the increasing presence of Muslims in both Europe and the U.S. would be a terrifying prospect. Fortunately, this is not the case.

The very word Islam, which means "surrender," is related to the Arabic salam, or peace. When the Prophet Muhammad brought the inspired scripture known as the Koran to the Arabs in the early 7th century A.D., a major part of his mission was devoted precisely to bringing an end to the kind of mass slaughter we witnessed in New York City and Washington. Pre-Islamic Arabia was caught up in a vicious cycle of warfare, in which tribe fought tribe in a pattern of vendetta and countervendetta.

Muhammad himself survived several assassination attempts, and the early Muslim community narrowly escaped extermination by the powerful city of Mecca. The Prophet had to fight a deadly war in order to survive, but as soon as he felt his people were probably safe, he devoted his attention to building up a peaceful coalition of tribes and achieved victory by an ingenious and inspiring campaign of nonviolence. When he died in 632, he had almost single-handedly brought peace to war-torn Arabia.

Because the Koran was revealed in the context of an all-out war, several passages deal with the conduct of armed struggle. Warfare was a desperate business on the Arabian Peninsula. A chieftain was not expected to spare survivors after a battle, and some of the Koranic injunctions seem to share this spirit. Muslims are ordered by God to "slay [enemies] wherever you find them!" (4: 89). Extremists such as Osama bin Laden like to quote such verses but do so selectively. They do not include the exhortations to peace, which in almost every case follow these more ferocious passages: "Thus, if they let you be, and do not make war on you, and offer you peace, God does not allow you to harm them" (4: 90).

In the Koran, the only permissible war is one of self-defense
Muslims may not begin hostilities (2: 190). Warfare is always evil, but sometimes you have to fight in order to avoid the kind of persecution that Mecca inflicted on the Muslims (2: 191; 2: 217) or to preserve decent values (4: 75; 22: 40). The Koran quotes the Torah, the Jewish scriptures, which permits people to retaliate eye for eye, tooth for tooth, but like the Gospels, the Koran suggests that it is meritorious to forgo revenge in a spirit of charity (5: 45). Hostilities must be brought to an end as quickly as possible and must cease the minute the enemy sues for peace (2: 192-3).

Islam is not addicted to war, and jihad is not one of its "pillars," or essential practices. The primary meaning of the word jihad is not "holy war" but "struggle." It refers to the difficult effort that is needed to put God's will into practice at every level--personal and social as well as political. A very important and much quoted tradition has Muhammad telling his companions as they go home after a battle, "We are returning from the lesser jihad [the battle] to the greater jihad," the far more urgent and momentous task of extirpating wrongdoing from one's own society and one's own heart.

"It would be as grave a mistake to see Osama bin Laden as an authentic representative of Islam as to consider James Kopp, the alleged killer of an abortion provider in Buffalo, N.Y., a typical Christian..."

Islam did not impose itself by the sword. In a statement in which the Arabic is extremely emphatic, the Koran insists, "There must be no coercion in matters of faith!" (2: 256). Constantly Muslims are enjoined to respect Jews and Christians, the "People of the Book," who worship the same God (29: 46). In words quoted by Muhammad in one of his last public sermons, God tells all human beings, "O people! We have formed you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another" (49: 13)--not to conquer, convert, subjugate, revile or slaughter but to reach out toward others with intelligence and understanding.

So why the suicide bombing, the hijacking and the massacre of innocent civilians?
Far from being endorsed by the Koran, this killing violates some of its most sacred precepts. But during the 20th century, the militant form of piety often known as fundamentalism erupted in every major religion as a rebellion against modernity. Every fundamentalist movement I have studied in Judaism, Christianity and Islam is convinced that liberal, secular society is determined to wipe out religion. Fighting, as they imagine, a battle for survival, fundamentalists often feel justified in ignoring the more compassionate principles of their faith. But in amplifying the more aggressive passages that exist in all our scriptures, they distort the tradition.

It would be as grave a mistake to see Osama bin Laden as an authentic representative of Islam as to consider James Kopp, the alleged killer of an abortion provider in Buffalo, N.Y., a typical Christian or Baruch Goldstein, who shot 29 worshipers in the Hebron mosque in 1994 and died in the attack, a true martyr of Israel. The vast majority of Muslims, who are horrified by the atrocity of Sept. 11, must reclaim their faith from those who have so violently hijacked it.

Karen Armstrong has written many books on religion, including 'Islam: A Short History', published last year by Modern Library

SEPTEMBER 11 AND CONVERSIONS TO ISLAM

By Sajid Iqbal. Editor, The Revival

A year and a half has passed since September 11th 2001. Now you would have thought that the events of 9/11 would have made non-Muslims hate Islam and the Muslims forever.
You would have thought that the September 11 attacks would have damaged the name of Islam forever but you know what…. It made many people study Islam to understand who exactly the Muslims are and what they’re all about. It made people go out and buy the Koran and as a result many British, Americans and non-Muslims across the world have accepted Islam! The huge interest in Islam since September 11 has brought a massive increase in conversions to Islam as never ever seen before. Now let’s check out the facts:

MASSIVE INTEREST IN ISLAM


The Observer
’Interest in Islam mounts after hijacking atrocity’
Martin Bright, Sunday September 1, 2002
“..A year ago they feared their religion would be tarred by the atrocities that left over 3,000 dead in the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. But Muslims across Britain are now crediting an '11 September factor' for the upsurge of interest in their religion.
From Islamic bookshops and university comparative religion courses to the dusty corridors of Whitehall, non-Muslims are rushing to find out more about the beliefs of Islam and the life of the Prophet Mohammed.
Sales of the Muslim holy book, the Koran, have gone through the roof. Penguin, the publishers of the best-known English-language translation of the Koran, registered a 15-fold increase in the three months following 11 September and sales have held up well since. “

MASSIVE INCREASE IN CONVERSIONS TO ISLAM

The Times
7 January 2002
'Allah came knocking at my heart' by Giles Whittell
“There is compelling anecdotal evidence of a surge in conversions to Islam since September 11, not just in Britain, but across Europe and America. One Dutch Islamic centre claims a tenfold increase, while the New Muslims Project, based in Leicester and run by a former Irish Roman Catholic housewife, reports a steady stream of new converts.
These are some of Islam’s more surprising converts. They have chosen their new creed over the world’s other great religions having had the privilege of choice, often confounding their own and their families’ prejudices in the process. They are highly articulate and tolerant to a degree. They’re people like us, only they’re not. They’re Muslims. They pray five times a day, fast during Ramadan and hope to go to Mecca before they die. They answer their mobiles with salaam alaikum.”

Californian North County Times
Islam stirs converts after September 11
Agnes Diggs, Staff Writer
“According to a study conducted in 2001 under the auspices of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington D.C. and headed by Ihsan Bagby, a professor of International Studies at Shaw University in North California , 20,000 Americans convert to Islam, and about 7,000 of them are women. Some clerics reported conversion rates quadrupled after Sept. 11.”

Middle East Media & Research Institute
Excerpts from "Muslim American Leaders: A Wave of Conversion to Islam in the U.S. Following September 11" ©
‘A Wave of Conversion to Islam in the U.S. Following September 11’
"…34,000 Americans have converted to Islam following the events of September 11, and this is the highest rate reached in the U.S. since Islam arrived there."

The New York Times, October 22 2001 ’Islam Attracts Converts by the Thousands, Drawn Before and After Attacks’
By Jodi Wilgoren,
“..With some 6 million adherents in the United States, Islam is said to be the nation's fastest-growing religion, fuelled by immigration, high birth rates and widespread conversion. One expert estimates that 25,000 people a year become Muslims in this country; some clerics say they have seen conversion rates quadruple since Sept. 11.”

National Post
, January 19 2002 CE
'New Muslims' by Marina Jiménez, ”There has been a surge in conversions since Sept. 11 both in the United States and in Europe. Many American and European converts are similar to those in the New Muslim class for converts run by the Islamic Society of Boston. They do not support terrorism, nor share the al-Qaeda credo. They are well-educated, articulate, former Christians; some are even Jewish and Hindu.
These new Muslims, like the approximately 25,000 Hispanic converts in New York and California, are surprise converts to a religion that is the fastest growing in the United States. There are now six million adherents across the country, and more than 30% of mosque attendees are converts, according to a recent survey by four Muslim-American groups.
Some had studied Buddhism, flirted with Roman Catholicism or spent time with Quakers, but ultimately found them lacking.”

Thehonoluluadvertiser.com
By Mary Kaye Ritz, Advertiser Religion Writer

“…Some Muslim clerics across the country say they are seeing a fourfold increase in conversion since September 11, when stories about Islam jumped from the back pages of the religion section to front pages world wide. Hakim Ouansafi, the president of the Muslim Association of Hawaii, said that prior to Sept 11, there had been an average of three converts per month. In the two months since then there had been 23. On the West coast, most of the O’ahu converts are former Christians. One’s even a single cosmetics saleswoman. More people are looking into this religion and liking what they see, despite the relentless media coverage of Muslim terrorists. One thing Sept 11 did was remind people that life is too short: ‘If I’m going to die, I want to die as a Muslim’, one convert said.”

So there you have it. September 11th has made people across the world seriously look into Islam. It is attracting everyone from across the globe. Black or white, rich or poor, American, European, Asian or African. Islam gives you a purpose of life. It gives you a peace of mind. It answers all your questions. That is why it is the fastest growing religion on the planet. So if you are afraid of Islam or you think it’s a religion for terrorist sand extremists then I suggest you study it and speak to educated Muslims and you know what; you will be assured that Islam is a peaceful religion which offers you a complete way of life and peace of mind.

Have you packed your suitcases?

Destination the Hereafter

Her cheeks were worn and sunken and her skin hugged her bones. That didn’t stop her though, you could never catch her not reciting Qur’an. Always vigil in her personal prayer room Dad had set up for her. Bowing, prostrating, raising her hands in prayer. That was the way she was from dawn to sunset and back again, boredom was for others.

As for me I craved nothing more than fashion magazines and novels. I treated myself all the time to videos until those trips to the rental place became my trademark. As they say, when something becomes habit people tend to distinguish you by it. I was negligent in my responsibilities and laziness characterized my Salah.

One night, I turned the video off after a marathon three hours of watching. The adhan softly rose in that quiet night. I slipped peacefully into my blanket.

Her voice carried from her prayer room. “Yes? Would you like anything Noorah?”

With a sharp needle she popped my plans. ‘Don’t sleep before you pray Fajr!’

“Agh ... there’s still an hour before Fajr, that was only the first Adhaan!”

With those loving pinches of hers, she called me closer. She was always like that, even before the fierce sickness shook her spirit and shut her in bed.

‘Hanan can you come sit beside me.’

I could never refuse any of her requests, you could touch the purity and sincerity. “Yes, Noorah?”

‘Please sit here.’

“OK, I’m sitting. What’s on your mind?”

With the sweetest mono voice she began reciting:

[Every soul shall taste death and you will merely be repaid your earnings on Resurrection Day]

She stopped thoughtfully. Then she asked, ‘Do you believe in death?’

“Of course I do.”

‘Do you believe that you shall be responsible for whatever you do, regardless of how small or large?’

“I do, but … Allah is Forgiving and Merciful and I’ve got a long life waiting for me.”

‘Stop it Hanan ... aren’t you afraid of death and it’s abruptness? Look at Hind. She was younger than you but she died in a car accident. So did so and so, and so and so. Death is age-blind and your age could never be a measure of when you shall die.’

The darkness of the room filled my skin with fear. “I’m scared of the dark and now you made me scared of death, how am I supposed to go to sleep now. Noorah, I thought you promised you’d go with us on vacation during the summer break.”

Impact. Her voice broke and her heart quivered. ‘I might be going on a long trip this year Hanan, but somewhere else. Just maybe. All of our lives are in Allah’s hands and we all belong to Him.’

My eyes welled and the tears slipped down both cheeks.

I pondered my sisters grizzly sickness, how the doctors had informed my father privately that there was not much hope that Noorah was going to outlive the disease. She wasn’t told though. Who hinted to her? Or was it that she could sense the truth.

‘What are you thinking about Hanan?’ Her voice was sharp. ‘Do you think I am just saying this because I am sick? Uh - uh. In fact, I may live longer than people who are not sick. And you Hanan, how long are you going to live? Twenty years, maybe? Forty? Then what?’ Through the dark she reached for my hand and squeezed gently. ‘There’s no difference between us; we’re all going to leave this world to live in Paradise or agonize in Hell. Listen to the words of Allah:

[Anyone who is pushed away from the Fire and shown into Jannah will have triumphed.]

I left my sister’s room dazed, her words ringing in my ears: May Allah guide you Hanan - don’t forget your prayer.

Eight O’clock in the morning. Pounding on my door. I don’t usually wake up at this time. Crying. Confusion. O Allah, what happened?

Noorahs condition became critical after Fajr, they took her immediately to the hospital ... Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji‘un.

There wasn’t going to be any trips this summer. It was written that I would spend the summer at home.

After an eternity...

It was one O’clock in the afternoon. Mother phoned the hospital. ‘Yes. You can come and see her now.’ Dad’s voice had changed, mother could sense something had gone deathly wrong. We left immediately.

Where was that avenue I used to travel and thought was so short? Why was it so long now, so very long. Where was the cherished crowd and traffic that would give me a chance to gaze left and right. Everyone, just move out of our way. Mother was shaking her head in her hands – crying – as she made dua’ for her Noorah.

We arrived at the hospitals main entrance.

One man was moaning, another was involved in an accident and a third’s eyes were iced, you couldn’t tell if he was alive or dead.

We skipped stairs to Noorahs floor. She was in intensive care.

The nurse approached us. ‘Let me take you to her.’ As we walked down the aisles the nurse went on expressing how sweet a girl Noorah was. She reassured Mother somewhat that Noorah’s condition had gotten better than what it was in the morning.

‘Sorry. No more than one visitor at a time.’ This was the intensive care unit. Through the small window in the door and past the flurry of white robes I caught my sisters eyes. Mother was standing beside her. After two minutes, mother came out unable to control her crying.

‘You may enter and say Salam to her on condition that you do not speak too long,’ they told me. ‘Two minutes should be enough.’

“How are you Noorah? You were fine last night sister, what happened?”

We held hands, she squeezed harmlessly. ‘Even now, Alhamdulillah, I’m doing fine.’

“Alhamdulillah ... but ... your hands are so cold.”

I sat on her bedside and rested my fingers on her knee. She jerked it away.

“Sorry ... did I hurt you?”

“No, it is just that I remembered Allah’s words

[One leg will be wrapped to the other leg (in the death shroud)]

... Hanan pray for me. I may be meeting the first day of the hearafter very soon. It is a long journey and I haven’t prepared enough good deeds in my suitcase.’

A tear escaped my eye and ran down my cheek at her words. I cried and she joined me. The room blurred away and left us – two sisters - to cry together. Rivulets of tears splashed down on my sister’s palm which I held with both hands. Dad was now becoming more worried about me. I’ve never cried like that before.

At home and upstairs in my room, I watched the sun pass away with a sorrowful day. Silence mingled in our corridors. A cousin came in my room, another. The visitors were many and all the voices from downstairs stirred together. Only one thing was clear at that point ... Noorah had died!

I stopped distinguishing who came and who went. I couldn’t remember what they said. O Allah, where was I? What was going on? I couldn’t even cry anymore.

Later that week they told me what had happened. Dad had taken my hand to say goodbye to my sister for the last time, I had kissed Noorah’s head.

I remember only one thing though, seeing her spread on that bed, the bed that she was going to die on. I remembered the verse she recited:

[One leg will be wrapped to the other leg (in the death shroud)] and I knew too well the truth of the next verse: [The drive on that day we be to your Lord (Allah)!]

I tiptoed into her prayer room that night. Staring at the quiet dressers and silenced mirrors, I treasured who it was that had shared my mother’s stomach with me. Noorah was my twin sister.

I remembered who I had swapped sorrows with. Who had comforted my rainy days. I remembered who had prayed for my guidance and who had spent so many tears for so many long nights telling me about death and accountability. May Allah save us all.

Tonight is Noorah’s first night that she shall spend in her tomb. O Allah, have mercy on her and illumine her grave. This was her Qur’an, her prayer mat and …and this was the spring rose-colored dress that she told me she would hide until she got married, the dress she wanted to keep just for her husband.

I remembered my sister and cried over all the days that I had lost. I prayed to Allah to have mercy on me, accept me and forgive me. I prayed to Allah to keep her firm in her grave as she always liked to mention in her supplications.

At that moment, I stopped. I asked myself: what if it was I who had died? Where would I be moving on to? Fear pressed me and the tears began all over again.

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar...

The first adhan rose softly from the Masjid, how beautiful it sounded this time. I felt calm and relaxed as I repeated the Muadhdhins call. I wrapped the shawl around my shoulders and stood to pray Fajr. I prayed as if it was my last prayer, a farewell prayer, just like Noorah had done yesterday. It had been her last Fajr.

Now and in sha’ Allah for the rest of my life, if I awake in the mornings I do not count on being alive by evening, and in the evening I do not count on being alive by morning.

We are all going on Noorah’s journey – what have we prepared for it?

The Marriage Contract: Its Basic Elements

By Bilal Abu Aisha

All praise is due to Allah, the Creator of our world and the laws that govern it. And Peace and blessings of Allah be upon His slave and final Messenger Muhammad (saws), the one sent to all of mankind, the one sent to guide people out from the darkness of shirk (polytheism), into the light of Tawheed (montheism). Know dear reader that Allah (swt) has created things in pairs. Those pairs must get together in certain ways in order for reproduction to occur. The way for reproduction to occur amongst humans – males and females, is through marriage, known in Arabic as nikaah. Islam urges Muslims to marry, and prohibits pre-marital relationships. Allah Most High says in the Qur’an: “Marry the unmarried among you…”1 Also, Allah’s Messenger (saws) in the hadith found in Bukhari and Muslim, commanded young people to marry, and advised those of them who could not afford it to fast as a means of controlling their sexual desire. From an Islamic perspective, marriage is not viewed merely as a means of satisfying natural desires and passions. Its goals are much deeper than just obtaining legal sex. Allah (swt) points out one of the main objectives behind marriage by saying: “And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves that you might live with tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your hearts (hearts)…”2

Therefore, the phenomenon of bachelorship or celibacy are UN-Islamic practices that result in devastation, effecting the Muslim community, and posing a threat to the Islamic world. What devastation? What threat on the Islamic world? The answers to these questions are found in the non-Muslim communities. Every day we hear and observe with our very eyes the perverted and sinful ways of the Kuffar (disbelievers). These ways which they find acceptable in their societies have ultimately led to many types of diseases such as A.I.D.S, syphilis and the like, as a result of their choice to follow the unnatural way of abstaining from marriage.

The marriage contract is the formal bond that turns two individuals from strangers to husband and wife. It is the most important contract that most people execute throughout their lives. Since the marriage contract has such great significance, the deen of Islam imposes a number of guidelines that it must fulfill. Many Muslims who are engaged in pre-marital relationships hold back from having the contract executed due to their ignorance about its elements. So they continue to live a sinful lifestyle due to cultural influences which lead them thinking the process is too demanding. Before delving into the basic elements of marriage, it worth mentioning here that marriage is a serious matter and should be dealt with seriously. It is not allowed for a man to marry and then claim he did not really mean it, or that he was joking. The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: “There are three matters in which it is not permissible to joke: marriage, divorce, and emancipation (of slaves).”3

The Islamic marriage contract has conditions, requirements, pillars and optional elements. A contract must fulfill the following conditions and pillars in order to be valid.


Eligibility of Bride and Groom

The first of these conditions is that both the bride and groom must fulfill certain requirements. The groom must be a chaste Muslim having attained the age of puberty. He must not be related to the bride by any of the permanently prohibiting blood, milk, or marital relationships such as his sisters, paternal and maternal aunts, daughters, grand daughters and others. He must not be prohibited from marrying the bride for any of the temporary reasons stipulated in the Qur’an and Sunnah. So if a man has four wives, all other women become temporarily prohibited from him. Another example of a temporary reason is that as long as a man is married to a particular woman, all of her sisters become temporarily prohibited for him; that is he may not marry any of them unless he divorces their sister. Others include: women married to other men, simultaneously marrying aunts and their nieces, adulteresses and prostitutes that have not sincerely repented, including others in which the Islamic shari ‘a may have listed. The requirements a bride must fulfill is that she must be a chaste Muslim, Christian or Jew. She must not be married to another man, and must not be related to the groom by any of the permanently prohibiting blood, milk, or marital relationships in addition to not being prohibited from marrying the groom for any of the temporary reasons as stated above.

Bride’s Permission

The next required element of the marriage contract is the bride’s permission. Without her permission, the contract is either null and void, or may be invalidated by the Islamic authorities at the bride’s request. The minimum required permission may be done by either voicing her approval or through a passive expression such remaining silent when asked about a potential husband and simply nodding her head, or making any other motion to indicate that she does not object to the marriage. The Prophet (saws) said: “A deflowered unmarried woman (i.e. widow or divorcee) may not be married without her instructions; and a virgin may not be married without her permission, and her silence indicates her consent.”4

The Woman’s Wali

The next requirement of for a valid contract is the approval of the woman’s guardian known as the wali. The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: “A marriage (contract) is not valid without a wali.”5 Normally, a woman’s wali is her father. If, for any reason, her father is unable to be her wali, her wali would then be her next closest blood relation: the grandfather, uncle, brother, son and so on. It is not permissible for a woman to take another woman as her wali. The Prophet (saws) said: “A woman may not give another woman in marriage, nor may a woman give herself (independently) in marriage.”6 If the bride does not have a Muslim blood-relative as a wali, the Islamic authority, represented by the ruler or judge, would appoint a wali for her. In non-Muslim communities the local imam is the one to be appointed as the wali of a woman who has no wali. The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: “A marriage (contract) is not valid without a wali. And the authority is the wali of the one who does not have a wali.”7 The presence of the wali or a representative he has appointed is an integral element of the contract or else the contract is deemed invalid. The Prophet (saws) said: “Whichever woman marries without her wali’s permission, her marriage is void, her marriage is void, her marriage is void. If he (i.e. the husband) performs intercourse with her, the mahr (dowry) becomes her right because he had access to her private parts. And if they dispute, the ruler would then be the wali of the one who does not have a wali.”8

The witnesses

Another condition for the validity of a marriage contract is the presence of at least two trustworthy Muslim male witnesses. The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: “A marriage is not valid without a wali and two trustworthy witnesses.”9

The Mahr (Dowry)

The next element of the marriage contract is a mandatory marriage gift given by the husband to his wife. In Arabic, this gift is called mahr or sadaaq. Allah Most High said: “And give the women their dowry as a free gift.”10 He also made a commandment regarding by saying: “And give them their compensation as an obligation.”11 The mahr is the sole right of the wife and no one may take any of it without her permission – not even her parents. The dowry can be in the form of money, jewelry, clothing, or other material things. It can also be a non-material gift. The Islamic sharia has not specified any amount, but it should be in accordance with the husband’s financial ability and with what is reasonable for the bride in her social status. It is normally determined by agreement between the husband and the bride or her wali. A woman came to the Prophet (saws) and offered herself to him. He declined, so a man who was present with him said: “O Messenger of Allah! Marry her to me.” The Prophet asked him: “Do you have anything to give her?” He said: “No!” The Prophet (saws) said: “Give her at least an iron ring.” But he still could not afford it. The Prophet (saws) then asked him: “Do you memorise any portion of the Qur’an?” He replied: “I have memorised such and such chapters.” The Prophet (saws) then said: “…I marry her to you for the portion of the Qur’an that you have memorised.” This means that he is expected to teach her some of what he has memorised, and treat her kindly based on this memorisation. All of that would be much more beneficial to the bride than lots of material gift. Know that the best of dowry is that which is light and easiest upon the husband. This is actually a sign of blessing for the bride as the Messenger of Allah (saws) said: “Verily, a sign of blessing for a woman is that her engagement, dowry, and giving birth, are all made easy.”12 Umar ibn al-Khataab (r.a) once gave a sermon in which he said: “Do not be excessive in regard to the women’s dowries.” It is recommended to give the bride her dowry immediately after executing the marriage contract. Yet, it is a very common practice to divide the mahr into two portions, an advanced and postponed portion. Postponement of the mahr is, in general, an innovated inconvenience that departs from the normal practice found in the Sunnah. It defeats the very purpose, which is to be a gift prior to having any intimacy with the bride.

Conditions

At the time of carrying out the marriage contract, the two parties my wish to set conditions whose violation would invalidate the contract. This is acceptable as long as the conditions do not violate any Islamic principles. Prophet Muhammad (saws) said: “Every condition not according to the book of Allah is void, even if it be a hundred conditions.”13 An example of a condition may be that a woman stipulates that she remain in a particular homeland during their marriage. The conditions are normally set by the wife’s side, because the husband can terminate the marriage by uttering the divorce.

Carrying out the Contract

It is recommended for the person conducting the marriage ceremony to start with Khutbat-ul Haajah that was reported by Ibn Masoud and Jabir in at-Tabaraani and Bukhari in At-Taareekh. The main and actual pillars of the contract are the offering and acceptance known as Ijaab and qabool. They signify the mutual agreement and acceptance between the two parties to join in this marriage bond. The Ijaab and qabool must be stated in clear, well defined words, in one and the same sitting, and in the presence of the witnesses. The person conducting the ceremony may help the two parties say offering and accepting words. Documenting the marriage contract is not a requirement for the contract’s validty. However, it is important to document it for future reference and to preserve the rights of the husband and wife. Once the marriage contract is executed, all rights and responsibilities for the two parties become immediately due.

We ask Allah to bless us with beneficial knowledge and cure us from the ailment of ignorance and blind following, and Allah knows best!

Footnotes:

1. An-Noor, 24: 32
2. Surat Ar-Room
3. Sunan At-Tirmidhi – its chain is verified to be hasan by al-Albaani
4. Bukhari & Muslim
5. Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, and others – verified to be authentic by al-Albaani
6. Ibn Majah, al-Bayhaqi and others – verified to be authentic by al-Albaani
7. Ahmad and Abu Dawud – verified to be authentic by al-Albaani
8. Ahmad and Abu Dawud – verified to be authentic by al-Albaani
9. Ahmad, Ibn Hibbaan, and others – Authentic according to al-Albaani
10. Surat an-Nisaa, 4:4
11. Surat an-Nisaa, 4:24
12. Ahmad, al-Haakim, and others –its chain is hasan according to al-Albaani
13. Bukhari & Muslim

Hollywood Crusades film labelled anti-Muslim

Los Angeles
August 14, 2004


With bloody images of Muslims and Westerners battling on the nightly news, it may seem like odd timing to unveil a Hollywood epic depicting the ferocious fight between Christians and Muslims over Jerusalem in the Third Crusade, late in the 12th century.

But 20th Century Fox is planning a release next year for Kingdom of Heaven, a $US130 million ($A184 million) production by Oscar-nominated director Ridley Scott, shot in Morocco with hundreds of extras, horses and elaborate costumes.

William Monahan's script is based on real characters, including Balian of Ibelin, a Crusader knight who led the defence of Jerusalem in 1187, and the Muslim leader Saladin, who defeated him. Balian is to be played by British actor Orlando Bloom.

While the studio has tried to emphasise the romance and thrilling action, some religious scholars and interfaith activists who were provided a copy of the script by The New York Times questioned the wisdom of producing a movie about an ancient religious conflict when many people believe those conflicts have been reignited in a modern context.

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"My real concern would be just the concept of a movie about the Crusades, and what that means in the American discourse today," said Laila al-Qatami, a spokeswoman for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee in Washington. "I feel like there's a lot of rhetoric, a lot of words flying around, with prominent figures talking about Islam being incompatible with Christianity and American values."

But George Dennis, a Jesuit priest and a history professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, said he was impressed by its nuance and accuracy of the script. "Historically I found it pretty accurate," he said. "I can't think of any objections from the Christian side. And I don't think Muslims should have any objections."

Khaled Abu el-Fadl, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, who studies Islamic law, vehemently disagreed, calling the screenplay offensive and a replay of historic Hollywood stereotypes. "I believe this movie teaches people to hate Muslims," he said. "In this climate, how are people going to react to these images of Muslims attacking churches and tearing down the cross and mocking it?" he asked.

Scott said he was not concerned about disturbing the sensitivities of any religious group. The film "talks about using your heart and your head, being ethical. How can you argue with that?" he said. "There's no stomping on the Koran, none of that."

- New York Times

HISTORICAL ORIGINS OF HALLOWEEN

With the Name of Allâh, the Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy

Every year, on the evening of October 31st, millions of children across North America paint their faces, dress up in costumes, and go door-to-door collecting treats. The adults often decorate their houses and yards with ghostly figures, carve scary faces on pumpkins, and put candles in them to create “Jack-O-Lanterns”.

Unfortunately, among the millions indulging in “Halloween” are many Muslims. This article sheds some light on the significance and origins of Halloween, and warns the Muslims against taking part in its satanic practices.


HISTORICAL ORIGINS OF HALLOWEEN

Ancient Celtic Pagans

For many centuries before Christianity, the pagan Celts in ancient Britain and Ireland celebrated the eve and day of their New Year, called the Samhain, on October 31st. In the Celtic language, Samhain (or Samain) meant “End of Summer”.

During Samhain Eve, it was believed that the world of the gods became visible to mankind, and that they played many tricks on their mortal worshipers; it was a time loaded with danger, fear, and supernatural episodes. The Celts made sacrifices and offerings to ward off the perils of the season and the anger of the deities.

Samhain was also the Day of the Dead. During it, it was believed that the souls of those who had died during the year were allowed access into the “land of the dead”.

Furthermore, the ancient Celts believed that on that evening the Lord of the Dead called forth hosts of evil spirits, and the souls of the dead were believed to revisit their homes. Thus, Samhain acquired sinister significance, with spirits, ghosts, witches, hobgoblins, black cats, fairies, and demons said to be roaming about. Huge bonfires were set on hilltops to frighten away evil spirits.

In addition, being the last evening of the year, Samhain Eve was regarded as a most favorable time for examining the portents of the future. Divinations were performed concerning marriage, luck, health, and death; and the devil’s help was invoked for such purposes.


Romans and Early Christians

After the Romans conquered Britain, they added to Samhain features of the Roman harvest festival, held on November 1st in honor of Pomona, goddess of tree fruits.

The pagan practices influenced the Christian festival of Halloween (Hallow-Eve), celebrated on the same date (October 31st), and elements of the Samhain festival were incorporated into it. Hallow-Eve (or All Hallows’ Eve) is the Christian festival of the night preceding All Saints’ (Hallows’) Day, celebrated on November 1st in the Western churches.

In some parts of Europe, the people continued to believe that on this night the dead walked among them, and that witches and warlocks flew in their midst. Thus, bonfires were lit to ward off those malevolent spirits.

Therefore, most historians consider Samhain the predecessor of Halloween, which has preserved many of the practices and beliefs of its precursor: Samhain.


Contemporary Europe and America

By the 19th century, witches’ pranks were replaced by children’s tricks. Immigrants to the U.S., particularly the Irish, introduced Halloween customs that became popular in the late 19th century. Boys and young men performed mischievous acts on this occasion, often causing severe damage to properties.

Halloween thus gradually became a secular observance, and additional customs and practices developed, many of which turning to games played by children and young adults. In recent years, the occasion has come to be observed mainly by small children; they go from house to house, often in costume, demanding “trick-or-treat”. The treat, often candy, is generally given, and the trick is rarely played.

Many traditional beliefs and customs associated with Samhain, however, continue to be practiced on the 31st of October. Most notably, the practice of leaving offerings of food and drink (now candy) to masked and costumed revelers, and the lighting of bonfires. A common symbol of Halloween is the jack-o-lantern, which is a hollowed-out pumpkin carved in the appearance of a demonic face and with a lighted candle fixed inside.


Satan Worship

Since Halloween was largely based on rituals involving dead spirits and devil worship, it now represents, among other things, a most sacred day for the devil worshipers.

Because of this sinister nature, many devout Christians condemn the Halloween festival. They realize that the spiritual forces that some people experience during this festival are indeed real, but are manifestations of Satan. Thus, they reject the customs associated with Halloween, including all symbols of the dead (ghosts, vampires, and human skeletons), the devil, and other malevolent and evil creatures.


THE ISLÂMIC STANDPOINT

Islâm Is the Perfect Dîn

By Allâh’s blessing and grace, Islâm contains the complete and perfect guidance for humanity:

«This day I have perfected your religion for you, have completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islâm as your religion.» [1]

Islâm does not neglect any information that the people need to achieve happiness and avoid harm, in all aspects of their lives. It directs them to all that would save them from the Fire and admit them into the gardens of Paradise. This was the mission of all of the prophets, including the Final Messenger () who said:

‹There is nothing that would bring you closer to Jannah and farther from the Fire but it has been clarified [by me] to you.› [2]

Because of this, it is a major atrocity to seek guidance (whether partially or totally) in any religion other than Islâm. Allâh says (what means):

«He who seeks a religion other than Islâm, it will not be accepted from him; and he is among the losers in the Hereafter.» [3]



The Islâmic Concept of Festivities

Part of the perfection of Islâm is the Islâmic festivals. The Muslims have only two annual festivals: al-Fitr and al-Adhâ. They are both Allâh’s choice for this Ummah. Anas t reported that once the Prophet () said:

‹When I came to al-Madînah, its people had two days that they celebrated from the times of Jâhiliyyah; indeed, Allâh has substituted them for you with two better days: the day of Sacrifice and the day of Fitr.› [4]

This indicates that festivals are religious occasions that Allâh granted for the Muslims. Furthermore, Allâh alone has the right to prescribe festivals and set their dates and the manner of celebrating them. Thus, festivals and their celebration in Islâm carry a special meaning and spirit. They are totally different from the celebrations of other nations and cultures.



Differing from the Non-Muslims

A true Muslim associates with the believers and adheres to their ways. He strives to be distinctive and different from the non-believers. The Messenger () said:

‹Differ from the Jews and the Christians.› [5]

‹Differ from the disbelievers› [6]

‹Whoever imitates a people is one of them.› [7]

The Muslims are blessed with the best guidance. The disbelievers are misguided, and their ways are based on wrong views. Their actions frequently reflect their deviant views. Why, then, would one wish to imitate them? Yet, sadly, some Muslims imitate them, even in meaningless acts! The Messenger () said:

‹You will follow the ways of the nations who preceded you so closely that even if they entered a lizard’s hole you would enter it.› [8]

Indeed, outwardly resemblance leads to harmony of the hearts. Resembling the disbelievers is Satan’s first step in leading the Muslims to behave and believe like them. The worst form of imitation of the non-Muslims is in practices that involve shirk or are based on their deviant religious beliefs.


Differing from the Non-Muslims in Celebrations

A true Muslim holds a correct Islâmic understanding regarding celebrations. He only celebrates the festivals that have been legislated by Allâh. Festivals are religious occasions characteristic of every nation’s religion or beliefs. Thus, it is compulsory on the Muslims to avoid imitating the disbelievers in their festivals or join in any of the practices that are associated with them. This includes answering their invitations, congratulating them, giving them presents, displaying their symbols, or doing any other act, regardless of how small it might appear, that indicates approval of their festivals. Allâh says (what means):

«And those (the servants of Allâh) who do not witness falsehood, and when they pass by vain practices, they pass with dignity.» [9]

Many of the companions and scholars of the salaf explain that “falsehood” in the above âyah refers to the holidays of the disbelievers. A Muslim should never join the non-Muslims in their celebrations, particularly those that involve clear shirk and kufr. Knowingly doing this subjects one to Allâh’s anger and punishment. `Abdullah Bin `Umar ® said:

“One who settles in the lands of the non-Muslims, celebrates their festivals, and behaves like them until he dies, will be raised among them on the Day of Resurrection.”



Celebrating Halloween Is a major Sin

Since Halloween carries a strong pagan symbolism, observing it is an endorsement of its historical diabolical origin. Furthermore, the Halloween’s seemingly innocent practices still carry a good deal of its pagan roots.

Therefore, taking any part in celebrating it is greatly prohibited in Islâm. It is worse than joining with sinners in their sins or congratulating them for drinking wine, fornication and so on. Celebrating Halloween is similar to celebrating Christmas or Easter, or congratulating the Christians for their prostration to the crucifix. The Muslim parents should caution their children and prevent them from participating in any of its practices. Despite its clear prohibition, it is sad to see some Muslims participate in Halloween, purchase and wear silly Halloween costumes, and send their kids “trick-or-treating”. They try to justify this by that they want to make their children happy. But what is the duty of the Muslim parents? Is it to follow the wishes of their children without question, or to mould them within the correct Islamic framework as outlined in the Qur’ân and Sunnah? Is it not the responsibility of the Muslim parents to impart correct Islamic training and instruction to their children? How can this duty be performed if, instead of instructing the children in Islâm, their parents allow and encourage them to follow the ways of the unbelievers? If the children are taught to be proud of their Islâmic heritage, they themselves will abstain from Halloween and other non-Muslim celebrations, such as birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, Valentines Day, etc. Islâm is a pure religion with no need for accommodating any custom, practice or celebration that is not a part of it. The question arises as to what to do on Halloween night. The Muslim parents must not send their kids “trick-or-treating”. Our children must be told why we do not celebrate Halloween. Simplifying the above material may be very suitable for this purpose. Most children are very receptive when taught with sincerity.

It must also be noted that, even the Muslims who stay home and give out treats to those who come to their door are thereby participating in this festival. In order to avoid this, they should leave their front lights off and should not open their door. Furthermore, they should educate their neighbors about the Islâmic teachings and inform them in advance that the Muslims do not participate in Halloween. Finally, we must remember that we are fully accountable to Allâh for all of our deeds. If we insist on rejecting the Truth and joining Halloween or other non-Islâmic practices, we would be liable to Allâh’s anger, as He warned in the Qur’ân:

«Let those who reject his (the Messenger’s) command beware lest a tribulation or a severe punishment be inflicted upon them!» [10]

May Allah guide us, help us to stay on the right path, and save us from all deviations and innovations that would lead us into the fires of Hell.

The Excellency of the 15th Night of ‘Shabaan’

By Shaykh Muhammed Abu Ammar


*Source - Traditional Scholarship and Modern Misunderstandings: Understanding The Ahl al-Sunna
http://www.islamicinformationcentre.co.uk

Many Muslims in various countries pray on the 15th night of Shabaan, and ask for forgiveness of their sins and on the following day proceed to fast. To do this is in no way against the Qur’an nor the Sunnah. There are many narrations that support its validity.

There is one night in the year when Allah (Soobha Nahu Wata’ala) gives the knowledge to the Angels, about what is going to happen in the following year, for example, who is going to die, who will be born, who will be ill and how much food people will have in the year, etc.

The Majority of the scholars of Islam say:

That night is Laila-tul-Qadar in the month of Ramadan but the other scholars like Ikramah who is student of Abdullah bin Abbas (Radi allahu unho) says that night is 15th of Shabaan. There is a Hadith which Imam Tabari (Radi allahu unho) writes: Prophet [May Allah bless Him and grant Him peace] said, ‘From Shabaan to Shabaan there is a decision made of who is going to die, be married and some people get married but their names are written in the death program. [Tafsir Tabari, under Surah Dukhan, verse 1 by Imam Tabari]

This narration is Ikrama’s, the other scholar’s statements are proven that 15th night of Shabaan is a holy night but there is no doubt that Allah (Soobha Nahu Wata’ala) gives the full knowledge to the Angels in the night of Laila-tul-Qadar, which is in the month of Ramadan.

If we read all the narration's regarding Laila-tul-Qadar and the 15th night of Shabaan we can reach the conclusion that the yearly program started on the 15th night of Shabaan and completed on Laila-tul-Qadar. There might be a suspicion as to ‘why does a year program take so long from Shabaan to Ramadan? The answer is Allah knows the best. No one can understand for sure the philosophy of Allah’s work. He made the worlds in six days. Who knows why He took six days to make the worlds. To examine all of the above statements consult these books:

“Tafsir Tabari, Fathul Qadeer by Qadi Shawkani, Tafsir Qurtabi, Tafsir Bagawi, Tafsir Mazhari, Tafsir Ma’ah riyful Qur’an, Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Tafsir Zia-ul-Qur’an under the verse of Surah Al- Dokhan verse 1 to 5”

There are some other narrations that inform us about the Excellency of the 15th night of Shabaan.
Imam Ibn Majah states:

It is narrated by Ali (Radi allahu unho) that the Prophet [May Allah bless Him and grant Him peace] stated; “ when it is the 15th night of Shabaan, do Qiyaam in the night, and fast in the morning, and ask for forgiveness. Because on that night Allah calls: ‘Is there anyone who is asking for forgiveness so that I can forgive them, who is in distress that I may relieve his distress, is there anyone who needs (rizq) food that I may give it to him.’ And this continues till the morning.” [Ibn Majah chapter Salaah]

Imam Tirmidhi writes:

Aisha Radi Allahu unha said: “On this night the Prophet [May Allah bless Him and grant Him peace] went to Jannat-ul-Baqee to make du’a, I followed him. The Prophet [May Allah bless Him and grant Him peace] said to me: Allah puts His attention towards the first Heaven, and forgives the sins of the people, even if they were equivalent to the hairs of the goats of Bunn Qalb. (A tribe who at the time had a lot of goats)
[ Tirmidhi , Kitab-us-Siyaam]

Imam Bukhari has objected upon one narrator but this is compensated by the fact that Ibn Maja has narrated it with different narrations (chains).

Allama Dhahabi, and Hafidhh Ibn Kathir quoted from Hafidhh Abu Zurah that only 30 Hadith in Ibn Majah are weak. [Tadhkaratul- Hufaadh by Hafidhh Dha'ha'bi and Tareek Ibn Kathir biography Ibn Majah

Some other people have stated that more than 30 Hadith are da’eef, (weak) but the narrations we have are not amongst those 30, that is why these Hadith can be used to support the validity of 15th Shabaan night.

Even Imam Tirmidhi’s narration is weak but this does not belittle the subject, when it concerns its merits and excellence - since weak narrations are still acceptable. However, we would like to ask those people who are so against the Mid Shabaan, wether they have even a weak hadith to disprove the prayers on the 15th of Shabaan? In reality they have no narration against the 15th night of Shabaan. If there are any they should prove it. Those who are against the 15th night of Shabaan usually say ‘Why do you celebrate the 15th night of Shabaan?’ The answer is why do all of the Saudi Arabian scholars celebrate Laila-tul-Qadar on the 27th of Ramadan in Haramain (Makkah and Madinah). ‘Did the Prophet [May Allah bless Him and grant Him peace] and his companions' celebrate the Laila-tul-Qadar on the 27th of Ramadan?’ The answer is no, they did not. So if this is permitted the 15th night of Shabaan is also permitted as well.

The Ahl-Sunnah say this is a permissible act, but it is not a Sunnah. There is enough proof that if the majority of the Muslims consider it to be good then it is sufficient. As the Prophet [May Allah bless Him and grant Him peace] stated: The thing that group of a Muslims says is good, it is accepted to Allah.
[ “Mishkat chapter Ihtisaam”]

Two great followers of Ibn Taymiyah and Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab Al Najdi, are Hafidhh Abdullah Rawpari and Thanaa’ullah Amritsari, both state that to worship on the 15th night of Shabaan is not Bid’ah and the person who does Ibada (Worship) on this night will obtain reward for it. The narrations concerning this night are weak but this does not matter since weak Ahadith are acceptable for virtuous actions.
[Fatawa Ahl-e-Hadith by Hafidhh Rawpari and Fatawa Thanaa’iya by Thana’ullah Amritsari, chapter on fasting]

Hafidhh Ibn Tayymiya writes:

The excellency regarding the 15th of Shabaan is an area of dispute between the Scholars, some of them say that there is no significance of this night, but Imam Ahmed recognises the excellency of this night, our other Hanbli Scholars also agree with Imam Ahmed. There are Ahadith on this night being significant, some of them are from Sunnan
(Tirmizy, Ibn Majah) and the other Ahdeeth books as well
[Iqtidah Siratul Mustaqeem page 203 by Hafidhh Ibn Taymiyah]

The people who reject the significance of this night argue that the holy Qur’an was not revealed on this night so that is why there is no significance of this night It is true that the Holy Qur’an was revealed in Ramadan, but the significance is because the Ahadeeth that tells us bout the reward one will get if he/She worshipped on15th night of Shabaan. We pray to Allah if everything stated is correct eccept it, but if there is any mistake may Allah forgive us. (Amin)

The Night of the 15th of Sha`ban
By Sidi Faraz Rabbani

It is a sunna to worship Allah at every moment and with every breath.

It is clearly stated in the fiqh works of the madhhabs that it is recommended to worship on this night. Even Ibn Taymiyya says this…

1. Imam Haskafi said in his Durr al-Mukhtar, one of the primary references in the Hanafi school:

"Among the recommended [prayers] are on. . . . the nights of the two Eids, the middle of Sha`ban, the last ten of Ramadan, and the first [ten] of Dhul-Hijjah."

2. Ibn Taymiyya was asked about the prayer of mid-Sha`ban [i.e. the night of].

He answered:

“If a person prays that night alone, or in a select congregation, as many groups (tawa’if) of the Early Muslims used to do, it is very good.

“As for gathering in the mosque for a particular fixed prayer, such as gather for 100 rakats in which 1,000 “QulhuwaAllahuAhad” are read every time, this is a reprehensible innovation, which none of the imams have allowed.” [Ibn Taymiyya, al-Fatawa al-Kubra, 2; 222-138]

3. This corresponds to what Imam Nawawi mentioned in his Majmu`, where he also quoted Imam al-Shafi`i from the latter’s al-Umm that it has reached him that there are 5 nights when dua is answered, one of them being the night of the 15th of Sha`ban.

Note, of course, that the night of the 15th is the night before it.

It is reported from Sayyiduna `Ali (Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: "Let all of you spend the night of mid-Sha`ban in worship (i.e. partly) and its day in fasting. Allah descends to the nearest heaven during this night, beginning with sunset, and says: ‘Is there no one asking forgiveness that I may forgive them? Is there no one asking sustenance that I may grant them sustenance? Is there no one under trial that I may relieve them? Is there not such-and-such, is there not such-and-such, and so forth until until dawn rises.’” [Narrated by Ibn Majah with a weak chain.]

There are many other narrations from the Companions and early Muslims confirming this matter, as mentioned by Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali in his Lata’if al-Ma`arif, and others.

There is general consensus that weak hadiths may be acted upon for virtuous acts, such as voluntary fasting and prayer, as long as the hadith is not excessively weak, returns to a general basis in the Shariah, and one is not convinced that the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) specifically prescribed it.

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,
Faraz Rabbani
www.sunnipath.com

The Significance of Sha‘baan

by Shaykh Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullah

Sha‘baan, the eighth Islamic month is second only to Ramadhaan in virtue, blessings and greatness. It is due to this virtue and greatness that the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam used to emphasise its importance not only verbally but practically too.

Aa'ishah radhiallahu anha narrates, “Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam used to fast till we would say that he would never stop fasting and he would abandon fasting till we would say that he would never fast. I never saw Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam fasting for a whole month except the month of Ramadhaan and did not see him fasting in any month more than in the month of Sha‘baan.” (Bukhaari, Muslim, Aboo Daawood, Nasa’i)

Aa'ishah radhiallahu anha narrates, “Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam used to fast the (whole) month of Sha‘baan except for a few days.” (Nasaa’i)

Usaamah radhiallahu anhu asked, “O Rasoolullah! I do not see you fasting in any month as much as in Sha‘baan.” He replied, “It is a month people are negligent of between Rajab and Ramadhaan. It is a month in which deeds are raised towards the Lord of the worlds. Therefore, I like my deeds to be raised whilst I am fasting.” (Nasa’i)

Fifteenth of Sha‘baan
Amongst the days and nights of Sha‘baan, there is one night called Laylatul Baraa’at or Shabe Baraa’at, a night noted for its great blessings and virtues. The Glorious Qur’aan describes it as the blessed night.

Lo! We revealed it on a blessed night. (44:3)

According to Ikrimah radhiallahu anhu and a group of muffassireen, the ‘blessed night’ referred to in this verse is the fifteenth night of Sha‘baan.
Fortunate indeed are those who attain the full blessings and benefits of this night by spending it in performing good and refraining from evil. One must strive his utmost to attend to ‘ibaadah (worship) in this auspicious night as this night indeed is a great favour of Allah ta'aalaa for the believers. There are a number of ahaadeeth in regard to this night.
‘Ali radhiallahu anhu narrates that Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said, “When it is the fifteenth of Sha‘baan, then stand (in worship) at night and fast during the day. Because Allah ta'aalaa descends in this night at sunset to the first heaven and says: ‘Is there any seeker of forgiveness, that I may forgive him? Is there any seeker of sustenance, that I may sustain him? Is there anyone in affliction, that I may remove his affliction? Is there anyone like this, like that (and so on)’. This continues until Fajr.” (Ibne Maajah)

Aboo Moosaa Al-Ash‘ari radhiallahu anhu narrates that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said, “In the fifteenth night of Sha‘baan, Allah ta'aalaa manifests and forgives all His creation except for the Mushrik (idolater) and the spiteful.” (Ibne Maajah)

Aa'ishah radhiallahu anha narrates: “The Messenger of Allah sallallahu alayhi wasallam came to me (one night) and took off his clothes, but he had hardly sat down when he got up again, put on his clothes and left. A strong ghayrat (sense of honour and self-respect) overtook me as I thought he was going to one of his other wives. I followed him and found him in the graveyard of Baqee‘ seeking forgiveness for believing men and women and the martyrs. I said (to myself), ‘May my parents be sacrificed for you. You, (the Prophet) are in want of your Lord and I am in want of the world.’
I returned to my room (quickly) and I was breathless. The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam arrived shortly and said, ‘Why are you breathless, O Aa'ishah?’ I said, ‘May my parents be sacrificed for you. You came to me and took off your clothes, but you had hardly sat down when you got up and put on your clothes (and left). A strong ghayrat overtook me and I thought you were going to one of your (other) wives until I saw you in (the graveyard of) Baqee‘ doing whatever you were doing.’
He said, ‘O Aa'ishah! Did you fear that Allah and his Messenger will treat you with injustice? Jibra’eel came to me and said, ‘This night is the fifteenth night of Sha‘baan. Allah sets free from Hell during this night, souls equivalent to the hair (and wool) of the goats of Bani Kalb’ (Bani Kalb possessed the largest number of goats in the Arabian peninsula).
‘However, Allah will not look (with mercy) even on this (auspicious) night towards idolaters, one who harbours illwill against his fellow beings, one who cuts himself off from his near relatives, one who dangles his clothes over his ankles, one disobedient to parents and a habitual drunkard.’”
Aa'ishah radhiallahu anha says, “He took off his clothes, then said, ‘O Aa'ishah! Will you permit me to spend this night in worship.’ I replied, ‘Certainly. May my parents be sacrificed for you.’ The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam got up and remained in sajdah (prostration) for a very long time until I thought he had passed away. I got up to inquire and placed my hand on his feet to feel that he was alive, thus I became happy. I heard him say in his prostration:

‘I take refuge of Your forgiveness from Your punishment. I take refuge of Your pleasure from Your anger. I take refuge from You. Great is Your eminence. I cannot praise You (as You are worthy of praise). Your eminence is exactly as You have praised yourself.’

In the morning I mentioned these words to him. He said, ‘O Aa'ishah! Learn them and teach them (to others) because Jibra’eel taught me and ordered me to repeat them over and over again in sajdah.’” (Bayhaqi)

Note: Mufti Taqi ‘Uthmaani haafizahullah states: “Although the chain of narrators of some of these traditions suffers with some minor technical defects, yet when all these traditions are combined together, it becomes clear that this night has some well founded merits, and observing this night as a sacred night is not a baseless concoction as envisaged by some modern scholars who, on the basis of these minor defects, have totally rejected to give any special importance to this night. In fact, some of these traditions have been held by some scholars of hadeeth as authentic and the defects in the chain of some others have been treated by them as minor technical defects which, according to the science of hadeeth, are curable by the variety of their ways of narration. That is why the elders of the Ummah have constantly been observing this night as a night of special merits and have been spending it in worship and prayers.”


Recommended Deeds
The following practices are derived from the traditions of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam which have been mentioned above for Sha‘baan and its virtuous 15th night.
It is desirable that one fasts in the month of Sha‘baan as much as one can. However, if fasting in Sha‘baan is going to affect the fasting of Ramadhaan then one should refrain from it.

Although the fast of 15th of Sha‘baan can only be derived from the ahaadeeth which have a weak chain of narration, nevertheless the fast would be desirable considering other factors such as:
a) The fasts of the first half of Sha‘baan have special merits as can be seen from the practice of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam
b) The virtues of the fasts of Ayyaamul Beedh (i.e. 13th, 14th and 15th of the Islamic month) have been mentioned in the ahaadeeth
c) A large number of the elders (salaf) of the Ummah have been observing the fast of the 15th of Sha‘baan.

Although everyday salaah should be performed in Jamaa‘ah (congregation), on this auspicious night, one must participate with deep and solemn care in the Maghrib, ‘Ishaa and Fajr Salaah.

Spend as much time of the night as possible in worship individually. No specific du‘aa or method of worship has been prescribed. One may engage in dhikr, recitation of the Qur’aan, salaah, learning and teaching or any other form of ‘ibaadah. However, one must refrain from worldly talk and wasting of time. If ‘ibaadah is not possible then at least avoid all sinful and useless acts and go to bed as soon as possible.

In one hadeeth it has been mentioned that Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam visited the graveyard of Baqee‘. However, one may not establish the practice to be Sunnah as there is no mention of Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam making it a general practice of this night. Hence, if one visits the graveyard once in a while it will be permissible.

One must refrain in particular from all those practices which are contrary to the Sunnah. Many of us deprive ourselves of the blessings of such auspicious moments and the Favours of Allah ta'aalaa by following those customary acts which have no basis in the Qur’aan and Sunnah.
May Allah ta'aalaa guide us all on the straight path and enlighten us with the blessings of this sacred month and its blessed night. Aameen.

© Islamic Da'wah Academy

Monday, September 27, 2004

Life after Death

You only live once so sit back and enjoy
No time for sorrows so fill it up with joy
This way of thinking is totally wrong
Our total existence is forever long
Life is for eternity its stages are four
The first is in the womb, but hold on there’s more
The second is from birth until the moment we die
The third takes place in the place where we lie
Barzakh is it’s name until judgement day
The fourth is eternity and in heaven we pray!
The soul splits from the body at the time we die
Then with the angel of death, they both will fly
If the person is pious, the angel looks handsome
And the wicked will wish, that they could ransom
For the pious, the soul is taken on a piece of silk
Eventually, they’re in heaven with rivers of milk
The evil person’s soul is dragged out with pain
Then they know, their life was in vain
When Allah swt gives the order, the soul is returned
Either to a bed of paradise, or else to be burned
The soul is returned, while the family are grieving
And then he is questioned while his loved ones are leaving
At that time the person will be in such a state
He is asked three questions which determine his fate
He will be panicking, his heart full of fear
When he sees the angels, Munkar and Nakeer
He will be asked about his God, religion and what did he say
About the person who appears in front of him that day
That will be Muhammed SAWS, who can save us from hell
The pious will recognize him, but others won’t tell
After answering rightly they are saved from the ordeal
Of the torments of the grave, which to us seem unreal
Their grave is extended and in peace they stay
They will praise Allah SWT and continue to pray
A window of paradise is seen and they sleep in bliss
Whereas the unbelievers grave becomes hell’s abyss
Creatures are let loose on their fronts and back
Their graves close in until their ribs will crack
They are in constant agony until judgement day
Nothing will help, it will be too late to pray
They will know because of themselves, their future is wrecked
But they won’t have a clue what to further expect
For the believer , it passes like a good night’s sleep
His good deeds have been done, the rewards he shall keep
Judgement day will pass like the time for a prayer
At the speed of light he crosses the bridge, thin as a hair
And before he knows it, he is in paradise
Whereas the unbeliever, will be paying his price
This life is a journey, death isn’t the end
Real life goes on, so don’t just pretend
So prepare now, we’re not here to stay
Follow Islam, the key is to pray
Brothers and sisters take this advice
You’ll be proud of yourself, when in paradise!

Nail Polish

Ladies use nail polish so that they may look beautiful. But in fact, all types of nail polish destroy the natural beauty of the nails. Allah (SWT) has spread a net of small arteries under the nails. Blood circulates constantly in these arteries, giving the nails a red tint. But when the nail polish is coated on the nails for a long time, they become ugly, colorless and rough. Women are also very fond of growing their nails like the beasts. For this purpose, they seem ready to face every type of difficulty. Seeing their absurd eagerness, different companies are earning a lot. They are producing artificial nails of different colors, which are fixed on real nails. This practice does not befit a Muslim lady because the Holy Prophet (SAW) ordered us to remove the nails and said that cutting nails is one of ten natural things. To grow nails is not an Islamic practice; it has NOTHING to do with Islamic culture and civilization. A Physician of Medical Center New York University said, "The use of nail polish makes nails hard, and the remover makes them harder, and ultimately they become brittle." If blood circulation decreases, the nails become thin, ugly and yellow. The Holy Prophet (SAW) had counted the practice of cutting nails among the ten natural things. A Muslim MUST believe that blessing lies within the limits described by the Prophet (SAW) and no doubt blessing is there. Doctor Saeed Rana observes that germs seek a shelter in long nails and they get themselves mixed in water and other eatables. The nail polish remover destroys the surface of the nails as it removes thin shells from the nails. The shine or luster of the nails also goes and nails become colorless and rough.

From Voice of Islam June 1999

Fatwa on Nail Polish

(2) Letting the fingernails grow is something that goes against the sunnah of the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam). He said, ((From the acts of nature are five: circumcision, removing pubic hairs, trimming the moustache, cutting the nails and plucking the hair from under the armpits.)) It is not allowed to leave them for more than forty nights. This is based on the Hadeeth of Anas who said, "The Messenger of Allaah set a time limit for us for trimming the moustache, trimming nails, removing armpit hairs and removing pubic hairs. They cannot be left for more than forty nights." Letting them grow long resembles animals and some of the disbelievers. As for nail polish, it is better to avoid it. One must remove it when making ablution since it prevents water from reaching the nails.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz
Fataawa al-Mar.ah www.fatwa-online.com

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Foodguide subscribers

The latest questions answered can be found on our homepage: www.foodguide.org.uk:
The entire list can be accessed by following link: http://gmwa.org.uk/foodguide2/listall.php
You may ask questions by emailing: Foodguide@gmwa.org.uk
Reap the rewards and forward this newsletter to someone who may benefit.

Latest Updates

New Answers
Prawn and mayyonaise sandwich
DIAZOLIDINYL UREA, 'Imidazolidinyl urea'
Dunns energy NOURISHMENT drink
Chupa Chups Chupster
The Fiqh of Halal and Haram Animals By Mufti Muhammad Ibne Adam Kawthari
Bendicks Full List 2004 Campinos

UPDATES

RedMill Crisps - Full List
Mars Chocolates and Ice Cream Full List (UPDATED AGAIN) Flyte now suitable
FERRERO ROCHER FULL LIST (Mon Cheri Not Halaal)
Wall's Ice Cream - FULL LIST - More products on the list
Lucozade and Ribena - CHANGED TO INVESTIGATING STATUS - Pork gelatine filter
Gregg's Bakery UK (Cakes statement too now)

Poor response to Alerts

Last issue, we petitioned our "virtual flock" to log a protest with Redmill Crisps. Out of well over 500 subscribers, we received only 4 emails. Obviously, this would not reverse the tenacious decision of Redmill Crisps. Consequently we mobilised some extra resources directing a flood of email protests over a few hours. The result? Well, we had the Managing Director of Redmill practically begging the Foodguide to take down the incriminating write-up with a promise to provide the information required within a calendar month.

Why set-up the 'Protest by E-mail' Programme?
We decided to set-up the protest by email venture as it affords the Muslim Community the opportunity to stregthen its consumer power. We calculated 10 seconds (maximum 15 seconds) to post your protest email. It doesn't take much time and all the information is already pre-prepared - not dissimilar to a petition in the Masjid to the local council. We hoped that those out of the UK who receive this Newsletter would also lend a helping hand after all the Muslims are one body and a fraternity unto each other. AlhamdoLillah, we have a wide range of subscribers from all over the globe.

Muslim Consumer Clout a Necessity

Alhumdolillah, it is a great pleasure and privilege for the Foodguide to assist the Muslim Community. However, we need more "Consumer Clout" to assist us to bring you the product lists that you want! Notwithstanding, we have to regretfully report that unless future "protests" are more successful, we will consider discontinuing such a programme. Our limited resources and time just do not justify the time spent. We can either answer questions or manage the sending scores of emails out - not both. We need 15 seconds of your time for the activism part.

Jewish Consumer Power

We Muslims should learn from the success of other communities and give credit to the Jewish Community in particular for their efforts in lobbying and making themselveves heard. In the USA, the Jewish community number nearly 5,602,000 and though their population is small they have mustered tremendous pressure for companies to clamour for Kosher certification amongst other things. We in the UK have to be satisfied with the "Suitable for Vegetarians" certification. If we worked together as Muslims companies would seek want Halaal certification too Insha-Allah.

The Choice is yours

Please do take part in the email protests in future. It will not take more than 15 seconds of your time and Insha-Allah we would have more leverage over companies. Remember if companies are convinced they might lose Muslim business, they would immediately assist us with our queries. This is the simple fact of the matter. It is up to you. Let us work together on this one.

Confusion about Ferrero Rocher

Ferrerro are in close contact with us about their product range. We have been trying to establish since late last year that the rennet they used was not derived from pig. Ferrerro informed us, as a measure of precaution they would assume that the Ferrero Rocher rennet was derived from pig hence the reason why we posted as such in the interim period. Early this year Ferrero did confirm with certitude that they did not use or are using pork rennet hence the reason why we changed this information on the web-site and regarded them as Halaal.

In short, the confusion arose from the time in between the two alerts unfortunately, this is the way of the food business and we report as and when pertinent information becomes available to us.

See Link: FERRERO ROCHER FULL LIST

Is Whey Rennet Haraam? (no!)
http://gmwa.org.uk/foodguide2/viewquestion.php?foodqid=20&catID=1&compID=1

Please do tell your friends and Ulama about this site.
Allah reward you for using the Foodguide Service. Allah give us tawfique to eat Halaal all the time. Please tell your friends and please pray for us too.

Jazaakumullah and request for Du'aas
and Allah Ta'ala Knows Best

To subscribe to Foodguide updates send a blank email to: foodguide-subscribe@yahoogroups.co.uk

FoodGuide Services Staff
www.foodguide.org.uk
E-Mail:Foodguide@gmwa.org.uk or foodguide-owner@yahoogroups.co.uk
Almighty Allah (SWT) says, "O people of Imaan! Eat of the pure things (Halaal) that We have provided for you, and be grateful to Allah" (Surah Baqarah 2:172)
The Holy Qur'aan

Friday, September 24, 2004

Paradise

Whatever we do, we’ll pay the price
In the depths of hell or in paradise
For the believer ,this life is just like a cage
For the unbeliever, it’s the ultimate stage
Little does he know about the awaiting reward
Which is full of luxuries, where no-one gets bored
You’ll enter the gate of paradise, if it’s in your fate
Your deeds and actions will determine by which gate
No worldly things will you ever miss
On entering the gate, you’ll be surrounded by bliss
Four rivers will be granted by the Divine
containing water and milk, honey and wine
People will live in mansions built high
Where they’ll live forever, no-one will die
It’s bricks will be made of silver and gold
The climate will be perfect, not hot and not cold
A hundred years it will take to circle a tree
Surrounded by loved ones for all eternity
There will be no calls of nature, no-one will sleep
There will be no worries, no one will weep
When people sweat, it will smell of musk
Allah SWT will be praised from dawn till dusk
Everyone will be aged 30 or 33
And they’ll stay at that age for eternity
The inhabitants will be wearing a beautiful green gown
Sitting on thrones, wearing a crown
People will be happy, there’ll be no remorse
To visit others, they’ll have a flying horse
Men will have 2 houris as their wives
Who will remain with them for the rest of their lives
On Friday there will be a dinner for people of all races
And a bazaar where people can exchange their faces!
When walking along there’ll be many meetings
With prophets and angels, exchanging greetings
Such is the ecstasy that will then prevail
When Allah SWT removes His veil
There will be no kings, there will be no peasants
And everyone will see the Divine Allah’s presence
There are 100 levels to paradise and we should pray
That Al Firdaus, the highest will be where we stay
Allah SWT has showered us with His grace
And we have to be worthy to show our face
Whatever we do, we’ll pay the price
In the depths of hell or in paradise

The Torments of Hell

If only you knew the torments of hell
It is the worst of places where anyone could dwell
It is in existence even as we speak
And for its inhabitants the outlook is bleak
On the day of rising, hell will be in view
A terrible sight, if only you knew
It will be brought forward by 70,000 reigns
And 70,000 angels will be on each of those chains
After burning for a thousand years , it’s flames turned white
A thousand more years, now it’s as black as the night
You think the flames are bearable, you’re totally wrong
The flames are of hell are sixty nine times as strong
In a flash it will disintegrate all of your bones
The hellfire will be fuelled by man and stones
The thickness of your skin will greatly increase
Causing your threshold for pain to greatly decrease
The people in hell are there to stay
They will melt to nothing, 70,000 times in a day
70 years it will take, for a stone that is thrown
to hit the bottom of hell and it won’t be alone
the food of hell resembles a devil’s head
and to drink, boiling water and blood bright red
which cuts up the bowels, everything will fall out
the inhabitants of hell will scream and shout
some will be taken out by Almighty Allah’s command
but the polytheists will stay eternally damned
take up islam, the only way to succeed
and if you don’t, you’re unfortunate indeed
brothers and sisters, help determine your fate
once you see hellfire, it’ll be far too late

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Rocks get rounded by Water,Metal Corrodes

By Shaykh Ziad Sikander Hashmi

Rocks get rounded by water. Metal corrodes. Concrete buildings can be toppled by winds. Ice can cut through metal (Titanic come to mind?).

No matter how strong we think we are, we are bound to be affected by our environment.

For some, it may be evident. For others, it may not. But the fact remains that just as carbon monoxide kills without any smell or warning, a bad environment kills our spirituality, sometimes ever-so slowly.

Sometimes, you can just see it. You can see the magical evil spell of the environment around you penetrate through your senses. You can truly feel it making its way through your system and changing things along the way. The heart can sometimes feel it; the ever so slight changes, the relaxing of the guard, and the "oh well, so what" attitude sinking into the mind.

It happens consciously for some, semi-consciously for many others, and subconsciously for almost everyone.

But what to do? How to stop it? How to stop the trend?

On the train today, I wrapped up the reading of an absolutely brilliant booklet entitled "Tasawwuf in Brief" by Sheikh Imran, Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam's elder brother.

In discussing the battle against one's self (i.e. the Nafs that commands evil), often referred to as the "greater Jihad", he writes:

"Three things are used to assist in taming this self (Nafs):

1. Preventing it from lust by denying it nutrition, similar to the way in which a wild horse will become submissive if its food is reduced. In the same way, the self (Nafs) will also become submissive if one does not feed it.

2. The worship of Allah Subhanahu Wata`ala will also help to subdue the self (Nafs) and will make it weak.

3. Last, but not least, is asking the help of Allah Subhanahu Wata`ala, for indeed nothing can happen without His will."

The first one calls for cutting away at the roots of the weeds. Set the limits and try not to cross. If something happens once, try to make sure it doesn't happen again.

If we are punctual in our obligations, then the second means an increase in recitation of Quran, nafils, zikr, etc. Even the smallest of zikr rituals don't hurt. Whatever is manageable. The more istighfaar, the better.

And of course, asking Allah for His help and mercy, because surely we aren't capable of lifting a single pin without Allah's mercy and permission.

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