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Friday, April 28, 2006

Our Youth, How Safe Are They on the Internet?

By Fatin Khairallah
Apr. 16, 2006

So many of you must be thinking, "Drugs, guns, pregnancies, our kids could never do these things." In fact, these activities don't even cross our minds when thinking about our MUSLIM youth. We automatically assume that, ""these things don't happen to Muslims."" Unfortunately, we need to undergo a reality check and accept that this is not the case anymore. .
Muslim youth are hooked into the same dangers as non-Muslim youth of today's society. The statistics show it all. . Ninety percent of Muslim children, as young as 11, are using chat rooms and Internet sites to contact strangers. At the same time, they are providing these strangers with all of their personal details.
As a counselor for Muslim Youth Social Services (MYSS), I handle numerous cases whereby Muslim youth have been harmed by socializing via the Internet on sites such as myspace.com, facebook.com, friendster.com, and xanga.com.

Why?

When asking youth why they are so fond of such websites, girls in particular respond emotionally when explaining that they feel this is the "safest" way to vent out their feelings. They feel their parents are clueless about how they feel and they want to reach out, even if it means talking to strangers through the Internet. From personal observations and conversations with these youth, it appears they are using these sites as a form of attention seeking.
There is a strong communication barrier between parents and children that is causing these young teenagers to search for alternatives to fill this void in their lives. They are desperately calling out to their parents for love and care. These Internet chat websites provide them with that window to the outside world without them having to leave their room or face disapproval from their parents.
Another striking factor for losing our children to the Internet is that a majority of parents assume they "know it all." They feel they are educated, active members of local organizations and masjids, so they instill in their hearts that nothing bad could happen to their kids. Yet from the cases I handled, I discovered the total opposite, and, in reality, no one is exempt from this problem. In fact, those who have busy lives have to be more cautious than others because they may be too busy, and as a result, their children might slip between their fingers when they expect it least. They may overlook clear signs of behavioral changes resulting from an unhealthy Internet addiction (try this test).
Once our children turn to this destructive resource for "enjoyment," it is not just fun, but it is in actuality making our kids lose the most valuable blessing Allah gave them - haya' (shyness). Their innocence is being sacrificed at the cost of a product of modern technology, the Internet. Not only are children stripped of their shyness, but they become easily accessible to child predators. In just the past two weeks, 9 girls, aged 12 to 14, were raped by child predators whom they had met on Internet websites.

Finding a Solution

The problem is clear, but what can we do to protect and save our youth from dangers such as these? One possible solution which parents can start with is to make sure their computer is set up in an open area of the home. Children should access it in their parents' presence and for limited time periods. Parents must establish open communication with their children and educate them, as well as themselves, about the dangers of the Internet. One can take it even further and contact the local FBI community service or juvenile division, the prosecutor's office, and the local board of education to present awareness workshops at their child's school. People from these organizations would be more than willing to come in and assist you.

Role Models

Most importantly, we need increase the desire of Muslim youth to learn about Islam and love their deen. Once our youth have a firm awareness of Allah and knowledge of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), their taqwa will increase, in sha 'Allah. Their faith will be exemplified through their actions and they will readily protect themselves from sin and the evils of this time.
One of the best ways to make sure that young people grow up as strong Muslims is to set the example as good Muslim parents and adult who also have the desire to learn about their deen and to be firm on the straight path. Youth look up to their parents who guide them through life. Children should love and respect their parents, thereby following them in their proper conduct. This is the best way that we can protect our youth from the dangerous habits and actions that arise from non-Muslim activities, which are so widespread, yet hidden in this society. May Allah raise our youth to be free from impurities, strong in their faith, and guardians of their chastity. Ameen.
May God give us the wisdom, courage, and strength to strive for change in ourselves, to guide us and to guide others through us, and make us realize and fulfill the responsibilities we owe to our spouses, children, families, communities, and the living and future generations.

Fatin Khairallah is a licensed social worker who specializes in working with troubled youth, especially Muslims. She is also the founder of Muslim Youth Social Services in New Jersey, United States.

Don’t treat the evil doer with evil

There was a companion of the king who visited him all the time. He would sit beside him and say, ‘Treat the good-doer with good and don’t treat the evil-doer with evil for his evil will be sufficient for him.’

Another man envied his position with the king and his good speech. The envious man came to the king and related: ‘Your companion that sits beside you claimed that you had a bad smell.’

The king inquired, ‘But how can I verify this?’

The man replied, ‘Call him to you. He will put his hand on his nose as he gets closer to you.’

The king said, ‘Leave, and I will see! ‘This man left the king and invited the king’s companion to a meal that he had placed much garlic in.

The companion ate and then went to the king as usual and said, ‘Treat the good-doer with good and don’t treat the evil-doer with evil, for his evil will be sufficient for him.’

The king said to him, ‘Get closer to me!’ The man moved closer, and placed his hand over his mouth so that the king would not smell the odor of garlic.

The king thought to himself, ‘That man was truthful.’ The king then hand-wrote a letter and gave it to the companion. The king never wrote anything unless he wanted to give someone a prize or gift.

But this letter was written to one of his administrators and contained the following message: ‘When the bearer of this letter comes to you, slaughter him and skin him. Then fill his skin with straw and send him back to me.’

Later, the envious man met the companion on his way and asked, ‘What is this letter?’

The companion replied, ‘The king has given me a gift.’

The envious man asked, ‘Would you give it to me.’

The other companion said, ‘It’s yours.’

The envious man took it and went to the administrator. The administrator said to him, ‘This letter is a command from the king to slaughter you and skin you.’

The envious man announced, ‘This letter is not mine. I beseech you in the Name of Allah to check with the king before you do anything.’

The administrator informed him that there would be no changes to what the king had written. Then he slaughtered him, skinned him, filled his skin with straw, and sent him back to the king.

In the meantime, the companion returned to the king as usual. The king was shocked and demanded, ‘What happened to the letter?’

He said, ‘So-and-so met me and asked me for it, so I gave it to him.’

The king then challenged, ‘Have you said that I have a bad smell?’

The man rebutted, ‘No!’

So the king asked, ‘Then why did you place your hand over your mouth?’

The man answered, ‘So-and-so provided me with food that had much garlic in it and I hated that you might smell it.’

The king declared, ‘You are truthful. The evil of the evildoer is sufficient for him.’”

Holy Quran says: “Whoever works righteousness benefits his own soul; whoever works evil, it is against his own soul: nor is your Lord ever unjust (in the least) to His Servants.” (41:46)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Man With Two Lights

(Part 1)

`A'ishah (ra - may Allah be pleased with her) reported: The Prophet (saw- may the peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) was lying down in his house with his thighs or his calves exposed. Abu Bakr (ra) asked permission to enter and was permitted while the Prophet (saw) was in that position and he came in and spoke with him. Then `Umar (ra) asked permission to enter. He was granted permission and came in and spoke with him while in that position. Then `Uthman (ra) asked permission and the Prophet (saw) sat up and straightened his clothing. He was then permitted and came in and spoke with the Prophe (saw). After he had gone, `A'ishah (ra) said, "Abu Bak (ra) entered and you did not get up for him or worry about him and `Umar (ra) came in and you did not get up for him nor worry about him but when `Uthman (ra) came in, you straightened out your clothing!" The Prophet (saw) said, "Should I not be shy of a man around whom the angels are shy?" (Muslim).

`Uthman ibn `Affan (ra), one of the close Companions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), was the fourth man to accept Islam and the third of the four rightly guided caliphs of Islam. During his reign the Islamic state expanded vastly. Uthman (ra) accomplished a lot during his rule; one of his notable accomplishments was the distribution of single-volume copies of the Qur'an to the Muslim provinces. These copies were made from the master compilation produced under the first caliph, Abu Bakr (ra).

Background

His views about the idols, and the life of Arabs, changed when he got to know the Christian and Jewish beliefs. `Uthman (ra) came from a wealthy Ummayad clan of the Quraish tribe in Makkah. His father was a well-known and successful businessman.
`Uthman's (ra) father provided him with everything he needed to lead a comfortable life. He was brought up in a manner like any other child born into a wealthy family. Thus `Uthman (ra) enjoyed luxuries in life right from childhood. He was a distinguished child who had high morals. He was unique in his bashfulness and honesty, which distinguished him from his peers, and he grew up to become a man of great virtue, generosity, integrity, and modesty.

Successful Businessman

After his father's death, `Uthman (ra) although he was young—took charge of his father's business and proved to be very efficient and successful just like his father. The business expanded and grew. He was very truthful and honest in his dealings and, unlike others, he spent most of his profits to help the needy. He did all that he could to bring a smile to the faces of the poor and needy, and so he became respected and adored by many.

Journey to Islam

During that time the Arabs were worshiping idols and indulging in many evil practices like burying their daughters alive and shedding blood for little or no reason. Racism was prevalent, and this racism made the masters treat their slaves cruelly. Women were also treated badly and were considered as objects. The woman's sole purpose was giving birth and pleasure.

As a young man, `Uthman (ra) was full of energy. He traveled to many places for business. Due to this he got a chance to meet different people from different nations and to learn a lot about other beliefs, which were different from his own. His views about the idols and the lifestyle of the Arabs changed when he got to know the Christian and Jewish beliefs.

One day when `Uthman (ra) returned to Makkah after his usual business trip, people were speaking about Muhammad ibn `Abdullah. The whole city seemed to be in a state of chaos because Muhammad (saw) presented himself as Messenger of Allah and told everyone that there was only one God worthy of worship and that one should not associate any partners with Him. Muhammad (saw) asked them to forgo all the false deities and worship Allah alone. Although the Arabs knew Allah, Muhammad's (saw) message seemed strange, as they had long since worshiped other deities in addition Allah.

`Uthman (ra) knew Muhammad (saw) very well. Muhammad (saw) was a man of remarkable personality and excellent morals. Though he did not accept this belief immediately, he never opposed Muhammad (saw) or Islam as the other leaders of the Quraish did. He remembered that on many of his travels he had heard the Christian and Jewish scholars speaking about the coming of the final Prophet in the land of Arabia. Whenever `Uthman (ra) heard about the final prophet from the Christian
and the Jews, he hoped that this prophet whom they spoke of would lead the Arabs into the light of guidance and knowledge. He pondered over the Christian and Jewish talk on the final prophet and finally he decided to visit one of his friends, Abu Bakr (ra), to find out about this new belief. He knew that Abu Bakr (ra) had accepted Islam and that he was very close to the Prophet (peace be upon him). Abu Bakr (ra) explained things about Islam. He told him that Islam asked people to worship Allah alone and to give up the worship of all false gods or
idols. Then Abu Bakr (ra) invited him to embrace Islam. `Uthman (ra) felt that Islam was the true religion of Allah and immediately embraced Islam on Abu Bakr's (ra) invitation. After that, `Uthman (ra) met the Prophet (peace be upon him) and declared that he accepted Islam.

Those who accepted Islam became prone to hardships, suffering, and oppression. The Quraish tortured the Muslims in every possible way, attempting to force them to leave Islam. `Uthman (ra) faced a lot of oppression at the hands of his pagan uncle Al-Hakam ibn Abi Al-`Aas, who was angry with him for leaving their forefathers' religion. He tied `Uthman (ra) up and tried to force him to leave Islam. Nevertheless, `Uthman (ra) remained firm in his belief and never gave in to this oppression. Finally, when his uncle realized that `Uthman (ra) would never leave Islam, he left him to himself. `Uthman (ra), with all his
might, defended Islam and never gave in to the torture and
oppression. Right from the time he accepted Islam, he became close to Prophet Muhammad (saw) and married the Prophet's (saw) second daughter, Ruqayyah (ra - may Allah be pleased with her), who was a divorcee. Uthman's (ra) marriage to Ruqayyah (ra) was a happy union; they both loved each other and led a blissful life.

Migration to Abyssinia

At that time, most of the people who embraced Islam were the less privileged and poor. The Muslims became a target for the pagans, and they tortured the Muslims, even to death, because they refused to leave Islam. Because of this, some Muslims left Makkah and migrated to Abyssinia (Ethiopia) to seek refuge.

`Uthman (ra) along with his wife Ruqayyah (ra) migrated to Abyssinia. He was one of the first to do so, and later other Muslims who were agonized by the Quraish to desert Islam followed him.


A 16th century map of Abyssinia, modern day Ethiopia

An-Najashi (the Negus), a Christian king who ruled Abyssinia at that time, was well known for being a just ruler. An-Najashi, in his power, provided the immigrants with all necessary facilities for their stay. The Quraish sent a delegation to Abyssinia and hoped that they would convince the king to expel the Muslims from his state. The king heard both the Quraish and the Muslims, and refused to expel the Muslims. The Quraish delegation saw `Uthman (ra) and tried to persuade him to return to Makkah, but their aim failed.

While the Muslims lived peacefully in Abyssinia, `Uthman (ra) started a business. Though he faced some difficulties in the beginning, his business flourished because of his hard work. His wife, Ruqayyah (ra), gave birth to a boy whom they named `Abdullah (ra). After this `Uthman (ra) came to be known as Abu `Abdullah. `Uthman (ra) remained very popular among Muslims because of his generosity to the poor.

He returned to Makkah from Abyssinia because of the false news that had spread among Muslims living in Abyssinia that the lives of the Muslims in Makkah were better, as the Quraish of Makkah had accepted Islam.

In Makkah, `Uthman (ra) spent most of his time in the company of the Prophet (peace be upon him). He always tried his best to help the Muslims who were poor and needy.

Death of Ruqayyah (ra)

He then again migrated with his wife to Madinah, which was known as Yathrib at that time, in 622. `Uthman (ra) carried on his business as a merchant and was successful. `Uthman (ra) and Ruqayyah (ra) lived on happily for sometime in Madinah.

The Muslims knew about Makkah's merchant caravan that was coming back from Syria, and was led by Abu Sufyan. They wanted to attack this caravan, but Abu Sufyan was aware of their plan and changed the path of his return to Makkah. At the same time he sent a message to Makkah's leaders, telling them of the Muslims' plan.

The Makkans gathered a huge army and headed towards Madinah to put an end to Islam and the Muslims, while the army of the Muslims had only 314 men. The Makkan and Muslim armies met at a place called Badr near Madinah. `Uthman (ra) was unable to take part in this battle, as his wife Ruqayyah (ra) fell ill. She died after a few days, leaving `Uthman (ra) in grief and sadness. At that time, the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the Muslims were fighting with the Quraish at the battlefield of Badr. The Muslims emerged victorious, and the news of victory reached Madinah when Ruqayyah (ra) was being buried.

Union With Umm Kulthum (ra - may Allah be pleased with her)

After Ruqayyah's (ra) death `Uthman (ra)was deeply saddened. At this time `Umar ibn Al-Khattab (ra) proposed that `Uthman (ra) marry his daughter Hafsah (ra), who was a widow. He refused the offer, as he knew that the Prophet (saw) was going to propose to her. Towards the close of the year 625, the Prophet (saw) married Hafsah (ra).

Umm Kulthum (ra) was the Prophet's (saw) third daughter and he married her to `Uthman (ra). `Uthman (ra) thereby earned the name Dhun-Nurain, "the Possessor of Two Lights," because he had married the Prophet's (saw) two daughters (may Allah be pleased with them both), one after another. `Uthman's (ra)marriage with Umm Kulthum (ra) was as happy as that of the marriage between him and Ruqayyah (ra). Unfortunately, such happiness was shortly lived, for Umm Kulthum (ra) died barely six years after her marriage. She bore no children.

A year after the battle of Uhud—two years after the death of Ruqayyah (ra) —`Uthman's son `Abdullah (ra) passed away. `Uthman (ra) loved his son dearly and his death caused him intense grief. The Prophet (saw) consoled `Uthman (ra), and advised him that as a true Muslim, he should accept the will of God.

By Amatullah Abdullah**
November 21, 2005

Uthman ibn `Affan The Man With Two Lights (Part Two) In the sixth year
after the emigration to Madinah, the Prophet (saw - may the peace &
blessings of Allah be upon him) decided to perform the `Umrah, so he set
out with 1,400 Muslims in pilgrim's dress, heading towards Makkah, but
the Quraish did not allow them to enter the city. The Muslims halted at
a place called Hudaibiyah. From there, the Prophet (peace and blessings
be upon him) sent a messenger to the Makkans to tell them that the
Muslims were there only to perform `Umrah and had not the slightest
intention to fight. But the Makkans humiliated the messenger (saw), and
he returned without success. The Prophet (saw) then wanted to send
someone highly respected by the Quraish, so he chose `Uthman (ra - may
Allah be pleased with him), who was
from one of the most powerful families in Makkah, the Umayyah family.
The Makkans detained him for three days and a rumor reached the Muslim
camp that `Uthman (ra) was killed. This outraged the Muslims and,
without exception, all of the 1,400 Muslims present pledged that they
would stand firm together to avenge `Uthman' (ra) murder. After
everybody had taken the pledge, the Prophet (saw) placed his own right
hand on his left hand and took the pledge on behalf of `Uthman (ra).
`Uthman (ra) thus secured the unique honor that the Prophet (saw)
himself took the pledge on his behalf. The Muslims' pledge pleased Allah
and it was revealed in the Qur'an: [Surely, Allah was pleased with the
believers when they took the pledge under the tree. Allah knew what was
in their hearts. He sent down tranquility upon them, and rewarded them
with near victory.] (Al-Fath
48:18) Soon they learned that the rumor of `Uthman's (ra) death was
false. `Uthman (ra) returned from Makkah in the company of an emissary
from the Quraish. When `Uthman (ra) came to know about the pledge the
Muslims in the camp had taken in his absence, and that the Prophet (saw)
had taken the pledge on his behalf, he immediately took the pledge in
person. The Treaty of Hudaibiyah After considerable discussion, an
agreement was arrived at, which came to be known as the Treaty of
Hudaibiyah. According to the pact there was to be a truce between the
Quraish and the Muslims for a period of 10 years. Each party was free to
make its own alliances, but they were not to resort to war. Any person
who deserted the Muslims and sought refuge with the Quraish was not to
be returned, but any person who escaped from the Quraish to the Muslims
was to be returned to the
Quraish. It was stipulated that the Muslims were to return to Madinah
that year without performing the `Umrah, but they could come to Makkah
for three days the following year to perform it, during which time the
Quraish would vacate the city for them. After the pact had been signed,
the Muslims sacrificed the animals they had brought with them, broke
camp, and started on the return journey to Madinah. On the face of it,
the Treaty of Hudaibiyah appeared to be loaded in favor of the Quraish.
Some of the Muslims, particularly `Umar (ra), felt dissatisfied with the
terms of the pact and expressed their dissatisfaction. `Uthman (ra),
however, felt satisfied with the terms of the agreement. He was
confident that the pact, though apparently in favor of the Quraish,
would ultimately turn out to be against them. He said that the Quraish
were fast losing their will to
resist Islam, and in pursuance of the pact the Muslims and the Quraish
would come into contact, and most of the Quraish were likely to accept
Islam. While on the way to Madinah, Allah revealed to the Prophet (saw)
that the Hudaibiyah pact was indeed a victory for the Muslims, as it
would work to their advantage and the disadvantage of the Quraish. When
the Prophet (saw) told of these tidings to `Umar (ra) and his other
Companions, all of them felt happy. The assessment of `Uthman (ra) also
proved correct, for in the period following the Hudaibiyah pact, many
Quraish including such stalwarts as Khalid ibn Al-Walid and `Amr ibn
Al-`Aas (ra - may Allah be pleased with them both) accepted Islam.
`Uthman's (ra) Generosity `Uthman's (ra) generosity was boundless. Even
before he became caliph, he was always ready to spend in the cause of
Islam and to help the
needy with his wealth. On two special occasions he proved to be one of
the most generous men of his time. In AH 9 the Prophet (peace and
blessings be upon him) got the news that the Romans were plotting to
destroy the newly emerging Islamic state, so he wanted the Muslims to
equip themselves and prepare for the attack. That seemed impossible
because in that year the Muslims suffered from reduced crops and limited
resources, as they had faced an extremely hot summer. They did not have
enough resources to meet such a powerful army, and most of the Muslims
were poor. This situation did not stop the Prophet (peace and blessings
be upon him). He urged his Companions to prepare for the battle. Every
Companion tried his or her best to strengthen the army. The women sold
the few jewels they had to help the men prepare for the battle. Though
hundreds of Companions were
ready to enter the battlefield, they were short of many things that were
required for the battle, such as horses, camels, even swords and spears.
The Prophet (saw) told them that this was a matter of life or death for
the new Islamic state. The Prophet (saw) made a loud and clear
announcement: "Anyone who provides outfits for the soldiers will have
all his sins forgiven by Allah." The moment `Uthman (ra) heard this, he
outfitted two hundred saddled camels that were to travel to Ash-Sham,
and presented them all with 200 ounces of gold as charity. He also
fetched 1,000 dinars and cast them into the lap of the Prophet (peace
and blessings be upon him). Again and again `Uthman (ra) gave till his
charity topped 900 camels and 100 horses, besides the money he paid.
Seeing `Uthman's (ra) generosity, the Prophet (saw) made the following
statement: "From this day on,
nothing will harm `Uthman (ra) regardless of what he does." In another
incident during Abu Bakr's (ra) caliphate, people faced great hardships.
The land became arid and very few people could find something to eat.
The people of Madinah came to Abu Bakr (ra) and asked him to provide
them with something that they could survive with. However, the caliph
could not do anything to help them. The treasury was empty and there
were no other means to feed the hungry people. At that time, `Uthman
(ra) received a huge caravan from Damascus carrying food and other
goods. All the merchants gathered at his house asking him to sell them
some of the items he received so that they could sell them to the
people. `Uthman (ra) asked them to offer him a good price. Though the
merchants offered a high price, he kept asking them for a
higher price. They offered him the highest price they could and told him
that no merchant would be able to pay more than what they had offered.
But `Uthman (ra) told them that he would sell the goods to the One Who
would pay him 10 times what the merchants had offered, that is, Allah
Almighty. `Uthman (ra) then gave away the whole of caravan to the
starving people of Madinah and did not charge them anything. `Umar ibn
Al-Khattab (ra), the second caliph of Islam, was stabbed by a Persian
slave Abu Lu' lu' a Al-Majussi while performing Fajr Prayer. As `Umar
(ra) was lying on his death bed, the people around him asked him to
appoint a successor. `Umar (ra) constituted a committee of six people to
choose the next caliph from among themselves. This committee comprised
`Ali ibn Abi Talib, `Uthman ibn `Affan, `Abdur-Rahman ibn `Awf, Sa`d ibn
Abi Waqqas, Az-Zubayr ibn
Al-`Awam, and Talhah ibn `Ubayd Allah, who were among the most eminent
Companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and who had
received in their lifetime the tidings of Paradise (ra - may Allah be
pleased with them all). The instructions of `Umar (ra) were that the
Selection Committee should choose the successor within three days, and
he should assume office on the fourth day. As two days passed by without
a decision, the members felt anxious that the time was running out fast,
and still no solution to the problem appeared to be in sight.
`Abdur-Rahman ibn `Awf (ra) offered to forgo his own claim if others
agreed to abide by his decision. All agreed to let `Abdur-Rahman (ra)
choose the new caliph. He interviewed each nominee and went about
Madinah asking the people for their choice. He finally selected `Uthman
(ra) as the new caliph as the majority of the people
chose him. Reign of `Uthman ibn `Affan (644-656 CE) During the reign
of Caliph `Umar (634-644 CE), the Islamic state expanded beyond the
borders of the Arab Peninsula into Egypt, Syria, and Iraq. In the
subsequent reign of Caliph `Uthman (ra), the expansion continued on into
Persia, India, Russia, China, Turkey, and across North Africa. The
Islamic state became rich and powerful, and many people of these regions
accepted Islam and learned the recitation of the Qur'an from the early
Muslims. His Life as a Caliph `Uthman (ra) led a simple life even after
becoming the leader of the Islamic state. It would have been easy for a
successful businessman such as him to lead a luxurious life, but he
never aimed at leading such in this world. His only aim was to taste the
pleasure of the hereafter, as he knew that this world is a test and
temporary. `Uthman's (ra)
generosity continued after he became caliph. The caliphs were paid for
their services from bait al-mal the treasury but `Uthman (ra) never took
any salary for his service to Islam. Not only this, he also developed a
custom to free slaves every Friday, look after widows and orphans, and
give unlimited charity. His patience and endurance were among the
characteristics that made him a successful leader. His great love and
trust in Allah were steadfast. Whatever happened, he never lost trust in
Allah and resigned himself completely to the decree of Allah. He was
always mindful of Allah, and that guided his actions. `Uthman's (ra)love
for the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was evident from the
way he lived his life. He followed the teachings of the Prophet (saw)
and took them as his source for guidance. As a way of taking care of the
Prophet's (saw) wives,
he doubled their allowances. Opposition and the End During his
caliphate, `Uthman (ra) faced a lot of hostility. His rivals started
accusing him of not following the Prophet (saw) and the preceding
caliphs. However, the Companions who were true defended him. These
accusations never changed him. He remained persistent to be a merciful
governor. Even during the time when his foes attacked him, he did not
use the treasury funds to shield his house or himself. As envisaged by
Prophet Muhammad (saw), `Uthman's (ra) enemies relentlessly made his
governing difficult by constantly opposing and accusing him. His
opponents finally plotted against him, surrounded his house, and
encouraged people to kill him. Many of his advisors asked him to stop
the assault but he did not, until he was killed while reciting the
Qur'an exactly as the Prophet (saw) had predicted.
`Uthman (ra) died as a martyr. Anas ibn Malik (ra) narrated the
following hadith: The Prophet (saw) once climbed the mountain of Uhud
with Abu Bakr, `Umar, and `Uthman (ra - may Allah be pleased with them
all). The mountain shook with them. The Prophet said (to the mountain),
"Be firm, O Uhud! For on you there is a Prophet, a Siddiq, and two
martyrs." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 5, Book 57, Number 24)
Sources: Ahmad, Abdul Basit. `Uthman bin `Affan, the Third Caliph of
Islam (Jeddah: Darussalam). Al-Mubarakphuri, Safi-ur-Rahman. Ar-Raheeq
Al-Makhtum (The Sealed Nectar). Riyadh: Dar-us-Salam Publications, 1996.
By Amatullah Abdullah** November 29, 2005

To those recently acceptly Islam (Reverts/Converts): Stories needed!

IslamiTV is proud to introduce "The Sun Is Rising In The West," as another chapter to its original online programming shows.

Join us as our host Angela Collins (a Muslim convert herself) explores the lives of newly converted Muslims in an in-depth interview of how and why they choose to take the path of Islam.

This show will also provide a platform for Muslims convert to discuss day-to-day issues they face inside and outside of the Muslim community.

Listed below are few sample questions:

What were the factors that brought you to Islam?

What was the response of your family and friends?

Do you have any advice for the Muslims of America

Do you feel accepted into your Muslim community?

How has your life improved since accepting Islam?

Averaging two guests per show, the approximate length of the show will be 30 minutes and will be available to anybody who has access to the Internet.
"The Sun Is Rising In The West" is an adaptation of the book "The Sun Is Rising In The West" written by Muzaffar Haleem and Co-author Betty (Batul) Bowman.
to watch "The Sun is Rising in the West" go tohttp://www.islamicity.com/islamitv/default.asp?ref=5702

Teach Yourself not to Fall?

By Latiefa Achmat

I was at the park recently and I was watching a caring mother with her little child looking at the ducks swimming around a large pond. There was a metal fence around the pond that had a bar running along the bottom, which was perfect for little feet to climb up onto to see clearly over the top of the fence. As I expected, the little feet did climb up and the little face was glowing with joy at being able to see the ducks, until a loud booming voice called out, "Get down! Quick! You'll fall!" The shock of the tone of voice startled the child, and she fell. The mother said, "See, I told you!" I wondered how many young people today had similar experiences when growing up.
Some parents are so afraid for their kids that they do not want any kind of harm or difficulty to touch them, to the point that the child becomes nervous and afraid to do anything new. Imagine a child who grows up like that and takes the fear and uncertainty into the teenage years and adult life.
Is this you? Have your parents or your schooling or life in general taught you to be afraid of falling? If it has, then chances are you are also afraid to climb, based on the assumption that you might fall. So it may seem better to stay where you are; to stay safe.
I wonder what would have happened if the great thinkers of the world, the great social reformers, the great artists, and the great inventors thought like that? By the way, most of these now famous people were not recognized or respected until after they were dead. While living they were just like you and me - except that people might have considered them to be a little eccentric.
One thing they all had in common, though, was that they were not afraid to take the leap - to take a chance and dare to be different, dare to try something better, and stand firm in their beliefs, regardless of what people said. What do people usually say? "You'll never do it!" "May as well quit now while you're ahead," or, "Who do you think you are?"
Most people do not like change, in fact, they fear it. But deep inside they wish they could change and reach for something better. So when such people see someone willing to take the chance and reach for the sky, they become skeptical and scorn all such efforts. All this is driven by their own inability and fear.
Maybe the mother who was afraid her child would fall was inwardly referring to her own insecurities rather than the possibility of the child being hurt. Wouldn't it be so much better, and so much healthier to teach yourself to get up when you fall rather than live in fear that you might?
We learn much more from our mistakes than from our successes, so what is the wisdom in trying to teach yourself not to make any mistakes? If we can roll with the punches that life deals out to us, if we can pick up the pieces after being defeated and move forward, and if we can get up and shake off the dust if we fall or fail, then ultimately we'll be better, stronger, and wiser people. And the taller we grow (spiritually), the more we will see, just like that little child who could see so much more clearly when he took the chance to climb up on the bar of the fence.

Prophet Muhammad(SAW) A Mercy for all Creatures

Mercy for Animals

Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) was kind to every living creature
and this kindness knew no limits. He was very kind to animals as well.
Arabs, like all ignorant and illiterate people, were very unkind to
their animals. It was very common in Arabia to put a collar round the
neck of a camel, but this practice was stopped on the Prophet's
orders. People used to cut pieces of flesh from living animals and
cook and eat them. This common practice was forbidded.

It was also forbidden to shear their hair or tails. Prophet Muhammad
said that the tail was the brush and fan (of these animals and their
hair was their quilt. He also forbade people to keep animals tied to
their working equipment for long time and said, "Don't make the backs
of animals your chairs." Animals' fights were also made unlawful.
Another custom was to tie up an animal and practice arrow shooting on
it. This was also prohibited.

Once prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) saw a donkey on the road with
a brand on its face, and said, "Allah's curse is on him who branded
it." As people had to brand their camels and sheep in order to
identify them, they were told to brand them on parts which were not so
tender. Anas reported that he went into a herd of sheep and saw
Allah's Messenger branding them on the ears.

Once the Prophet was on a journey with his companions and they stopped
for rest at a certain place. A bird had laid an egg there. A man took
away the egg and the bird began beating her wings in a state of great
distress. The Prophet enquired who had hurt her by taking her egg.
When the man admitted that he had done that, the Prophet asked him to
return the egg to the nest.

A companion who had some baby birds wrapped in a peice of cloth came
to the Prophet. On enquiry, he told Prophet Muhammad, " I heard a
noise from a bush, went there, saw these chicks, and took them out.
When their mother saw what had happened, she began to hover over my
head." The Prophet told him to go back and return the chicks.

Once he saw a camel on the road, whose belly had shrunk so much
because of extreme hunger that it had become one with its back. He
said, " Fear Allah in your treatment to these animals who cannot
speak. " Muhammad himself fed animals, tied carriers and milked goats.

Prophet Muhammad ( peace be on him) once told a story to his
companions. There was a man who went on a journey and on his way felt
very thirsty. He found a well and went down into it and drank water.
When he came out of the well he saw a dog who was also very thirsty
and was licking the salty ground with his tongue. Thinking that the
animal was thirsty like him, he again went down into the well, filled
his leather socks with water and gave it to the dog. Allah was so
pleased with this action of the man that he granted him Paradise.
There is another story about a woman going to Hell who starved her cat
to death.

Prophet Muhammad ( peace be on him) was so kind and gentle that he
advised his companions to be nice and considerate even while
slaughtering animals for food. He asked them to slaughter them with
the sharpest weapon, thus causing the minimum pain and suffering to
the animal. He also forbade them to sharpen the weapon in front of the
animal or when the animal was ready for slaughter, but told them to do
these preliminaries before the animal was brought for slaughter.

Prophet Muhammad ( peace be on him ) taught people by word and deed to
be kind and polite to everyone. Abu Hurairah reported the Prophet as
saying, " A believer is friendly ( and kind). " Ayeshah reported
Allah's Messenger as saying, " Allah is gentle and likes gentleness.
He gives for gentleness what he does not give for harshness and what
He does not give for anything else."

Ayeshah also reported Allah's Messenger as saying, "He who is given
his share of gentleness is given from his share of good of this world
and the next, but he who is deprived of his share of gentleness is
deprived of his share of the good of this world and the next."
Abdullah Ibn Masud reported Allah's Messenger as saying, "Shall I not
tell you about the man who is kept away, from Hell and from whom Hell
is kept away? From the person who is gentle and kind, accessible and
of an easy disposition.

Prophet Muhammad, by his own example, had instilled this kind of
behaviour in his companions, who, after him, set an example for other
people. This is shown by the following incident. It is reported by
Abdullah Ibn Jafar that he passed by a grazing feild and saw an
Abyssinian slave guarding a herd of goats. A dog came and sat in front
of him. He took out a loaf of bread and gave it to the dog, who ate
it. Then he gave the second and third loaves of bread to the dog who
ate them all. He enquired of the slave how many loaves of bread he got
daily from his master. He replied that he got as many as he saw.

At this, he asked why he gave all his bread to the dog. The slave
replied that the dog did not belong to that place and must have come
hoping for food from a long distance, hence he did not like his effort
to be wasted. Abdullah said that he liked his action so much that he
bought the slave along with the goats and the grazing field from his
master, set him free and give him all the goats and the grazing field.
The slave thanked him and prayed for him and gave all the goats and
the grazing field in charity and went away.

Source: alinaam.org

Free Air Flight ... Fly Air-Janaazah

Fly Air-Janaazah

1.When we are leaving this world for the next, it shall be like a trip to a
foreign country. Where details of that country will not be found in
glamorous travel brochures but the Holy Quran and Hadith.

2.Where our plane won't be British Airways, Gulf Air, Singapore Airlines or
Emirates but Air Janaazah.

3.Where our luggage won't be allowed to be 30kg, but our deeds, no matter
how heavy they weigh. You don't pay for excess luggage, they are carried
free of charge, with compliments from our Creator.

4.Where our dress won't be Pierre Cardin or the like, but the white cotton
shroud.

5.Where our perfume won't be Channel or Paco Rabane, but camphor and attar.

6.Where our passport won't be Singaporian, British or Indian but Al-Islam.

7.Where our visas won't be six months leave to stay or else, but Laa Ilaaha
Illalah Muhammadur Rasool Allah.

8.Where our air hostess won't be a gorgeous female, but his name is Isra-eel.

9.Where the in flight service won't be 1st class or economy but a piece of
beautiful scented or foul smelling cloth.

10.Where our destination won't be Jeddah International or Chennai Airport
but the last terminal graveyard.

11.Where our waiting lounge won't be nicely carpeted and air-conditioned
rooms, but the six- feet deep gloomy qabr.

12.Where the immigration officer won't be his Majesty's officer but Munkar
and Nakeer. They only check out whether you deserve the place, you yearn to
go.

13.Where there is no need for custom officers or detectors.


14.Where the transit airport will be Al-Barzakh.

15.Where our final place of destination will either be the garden under
which rivers flow or the hell fire.

16.The trip does not come with a price tag. It is free of charge so your
Savings would not come handy.

17.The flight can never be hijacked, so you don't worry about terrorist.

18.Food won't be served on this flight, so do not worry about allergies or
whether the food is Halal.

19.Do not worry about leg room; you won't need it, as it will become things
of the past.

20. Don't worry about delays. This flight is always punctual. It arrives
and leaves on time.

21.Don't worry about the in-flight entertainment program because you would have
lost all your sense of joy.

22.Do not worry about booking this trip it has already been booked (return
ticket) the day you became a fetus in your mother's womb.

23.At last the good news! Do not worry about who will be sitting next to
you. You will have the luxury of being the only passenger.

One small snag though, this trip comes with NO WARNING!! ARE YOU
PREPARED????

In Search of the Prophet

By: Sadullah Khan

O Prophet of Allah, where shall I find the source of my adoration for you? I have memorized hundreds of your sayings since my youth, taught your seerah (example) to numerous students, grown a beard, used the miswaaq, sang and proudly taught others odes (qasidahs) in praise of you. But I did not find you in these rituals nor did any of these make me any more like you; rather they merely flung me into the fray of insignificant debates in the arena of so many of the sunnahless Muslims who see your sunnah only as an endless array of harsh laws and practices or as some justification for their cultural tendencies. O Allah, save me from being of those who consider the sunnah of Thy beloved as being expressed only through aimless imitations and who know Thy Prophet only as a conveyor of commands and warnings.
O Prophet of Allah, I did not truly find you in the books of fatawa (religious edicts), nor in grand seminars and conferences throughout the world, and certainly not in the harsh arguments between groups proclaiming mutually exclusive rights over you.
I found my source of adoration for you in the love and respect that the Almighty has proclaimed for you; in the honor that He bestowed upon you; in His confirmation of you as "the ultimate exemplar"; "seal of Prophets" and "mercy unto all existence". Allah has elevated the very memory of you and has made His boundless love accessible through obedience to you.
I catch but a dimension of you through the instances of compassion you extended to others; how you played with the poor orphaned boy when other children refused to play with him, how you prolonged your prostration out of consideration that your change in posture may inconvenience or hurt your beloved grandson who had climbed on your back; how you commanded your army away from the anthill in order not to disrupt the ants' activities; how you blessed with Paradise the sinful woman for saving the life of a cat by making the water of the well accessible with her shoes; how you intervened and prevented a man from abusing his wife by teaching him that "the best of men are those who treat their wives the best"; how you patched your clothes, mended your shoes and did your daily household chores; how you wrestled with your nephew and raced with your wife; how you joked with the kids and carried the baggage of the elderly; how you hosted the Christians of Najran in your mosque and stood up to honor the bier of a Jew.
O Prophet of Allah, why is it that so many of us who claim to be of you refuse to be like you. We sing for you and dress like you, but do not come near fulfilling the expression of love, care and beauty that generated from yourself. Why is it that we see in you that which suits our cultural, organizational and chauvinistic interests, yet ignore the essence of what is essential to your being. Others who are not of you proclaim the multi-dimensional and multi-faceted nature of your personality. "The personality of Muhammad is most difficult to get the whole truth of it. Only a glimpse of him I can catch. What dramatic succession of picturesque scenes? There is Muhammad the Prophet; there is Muhammad the General; Muhammad the King; Muhammad the Warrior; Muhammad the Businessman; Muhammad the Preacher; Muhammad the Philosopher; Muhammad the Statesman; Muhammad the Orator; Muhammad the Reformer; Muhammad the Refuge of Orphans; Muhammad the Protector of Slaves; Muhammad the Emancipator of Women; Muhammad the Judge; Muhammad the Saint.. In all these magnificent roles and in all these departments of human activities he is equally a hero." (Professor Ramakrishna Rao). O Prophet! Your life-example is an integrated biography, history and law; it is above all a model of excellence.
O Prophet of Allah, you have certainly been adored by many much more worthy than I. Yet, neither the inability to capture my appreciation of you with the eloquence of poets nor my weakness as a believer debars me from qualifying as one who adores you; for in the commemoration of your being do I find the dignity and honor of my existence.

Imam Sadullah Khan is Professor of Islamic Studies at California State University in Dominguez Hills.

HOW BAD IS YOUR TEMPER ACCORDING TO YOUR HOROSCOPE?

AQUARIUS JANUARY 20 - FEBRUARY 18

You are noble and kind and dislike losing control over your emotions. It is
very rare for you to get angry. You are also the pacifier in situations that
involve arguments. It is always your endeavor to be perfect and socially
correct in your behavior and attitude, but if misunderstood and slighted you
can give in to an angry outburst. You will shout and scream and then walk
out from the scene. You cannot easily forget the situation
and will be bitter about it for a long time.

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PISCES FEBRUARY 19 - MARCH 20

The only thing that can be said about you dreamers is that you appear even
more attractive when angry. You are very sensitive to others' feelings, so
you rarely hurt them. But when others tend to hurt you, then things take a
nasty turn. You will yell and use harsh words and feel inclined to shake
everything and everyone up. Your creative imagination is at its best when
angry, and you tend to get pretty dramatic. When upset, you refuse to listen
to reason and wish to be left alone. But once you calm down, you repent your
tantrums and seek forgiveness. So nobody can be upset with you for too long.

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ARIES MARCH 21 - APRIL 20

Nothing seems to ruffle you more than a lack of discipline, disloyalty and
decorum. But Arians are also known to go into a rage very easily when
challenged. Those of you who have been on the receiving end of the Aries
temper know that if not calmed down they can even get violent. But one thing
is certain if the opponent remains calm and does not react to their
outburst, Arians cool down very fast. They are also the first to
apologies, which makes them easier to forgive.
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TAURUS APRIL 21 - MAY 20

You are generally quiet and have control over your emotions. It is difficult
to predict what will upset you, so when you do lose your cool, people don't
know how to react. Your temper is like that of a raging bull, and anyone
trying to pacify you will be the first one to get a verbal bashing. You
generally get upset when you are concerned or when people accuse you of
doing something wrong. You also hate being reminded about mistakes you've
made in the past. You also have the potential to be terribly vindictive if
rubbed the wrong way.

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GEMINI MAY 21 - JUNE 29

You are recognized by your cheerful disposition and your jovial nature is
easily susceptible to anger. In fact, you are the best person to have around
when there is an ugly scene at a party you can bring the warring factions
together quite diplomatically. But when you lose cool, you yell and scream
and will not listen to reason. You must have the last word in a wordy duel.
Your capacity to argue aggressively is matched only by your seductive charm.


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CANCER JUNE 21 - JULY 21

Considering how charming, caring and kind you are, you dislike unpleasant
scenes, much less creating one yourself. You have great tolerance and rarely
get provoked into losing your temper. If someone is unreasonable or trying
to create trouble, you are more likely to walk away quietly. But that does
not mean you do not have a temper. When angry, in your effort to control
your emotions, you tremble, your hands get sweaty and sometimes you fumble
for words. Tears roll down your eyes easily and the opponent is touched by
your innocence and will seek an apology immediately.

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LEO JULY 22 - AUGUST 21

If anyone has total control over their emotions, it is you. But then, you
can be described as stiff, cold and uncaring. You are known to lack
spontaneity but you really don't care about opinions. You don't like to
create scenes and will never accept invitations to a party where you suspect
the presence of an unruly lot. But your very presence seems challenging to
some and they take vicarious pleasure in your disquiet. When angry you can
use critical language. A dressing down can humiliate
your opponent, causing a strain between both of you forever.

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VIRGO AUGUST 22 - SEPTEMBER 21

Most of you are gentle and have full control over your emotions but those of
you given to temper tantrums can certainly get violent. When see things with
rage, you yell and shout and tend to break things lying close at hand. You
can even harm yourself by banging your hands on a glass top table or wall.
You should never get into any argument, for you are a sore loser. You feel
that others are trying to persecute you and don't quite respect your
opinions. When hurt, you can also hold grudges forever.

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LIBRA SEPTEMBER 22 - OCTOBER 22

Did someone say that you are the charmers of the zodiac? Well, it's true.
Few have ever seen you ruffled or angry. You are very conscious of your
image, and you believe that anger distorts your face and personality. You
also think you are above things like anger. But wait before you get into
self-congratulatory mood. Your family or those very close to you know you
better. You have an unmatched temper amongst all the zodiac signs, and what
makes it worse is your capacity to justify it.

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SCORPIO OCTOBER 23 - NOVEMBER 21

Of course you don't lose your cool. But your very demeanor (manner) projects
haughtiness (arrogance, pride), pride and grand disdain (disregard) for
lesser mortals (human). Others are often found saying that anger sits on
your nose and you are raring to give your piece mind to the first person
that try to be funny with you. You are selective in the choice of your
friends, and have a low tolerance for the superfluous
(extra) types. Your tongue-lashing (attack) is generally in a soft hissing
tone for when you scream, your voice tends to get shrill and loud and you do
hate drawing attention to yourself! When upset, you are angrier with
yourself for having shown weakness, for the last thing that Scorpio wants to
show is being out of control.

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SAGITTARIUS NOVEMBER 22 - DECEMBER 20

You are insensible and generally have no complete control over your
emotions. You do get angry quickly and others marvel at your anger levels
even when provoked. Actually, you get tongue-tied when angry and you will
remove your anger waiting for the other person to calm down. Then you will
reason with your opponent and convince the other person in a very gentle
manner that the whole thing was just his mistake. You're also likely to
totally sever ties with someone when you're upset with them.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CAPRICORN DECEMBER 21 - JANUARY 19

Few will believe that a hardcore practical and materialistic person like you
is capable of sensitivity and genuine emotions. You project a hard exterior
but are actually very sensitive, a trait you successfully hide from others.
You can see thing with anger but will not betray your feelings. But then,
there are times that even you cannot control your temper. Under such
circumstances you can shout and scream, more with
frustration at the situation than with anger at any particular person. Your
outbursts can shock others and can make them feel guilty too.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Never take some one for granted,Hold every person Close to your
Heart because you might wake up one day and realise that you have
lost a diamond while you were too busy collecting stones."

Remember this always in life.

Love Tips for Gurl's and Guy's

4 Gurl's
Do something he would probably never expect -
Send "Him" flowers!
Spend intimate time with him. No television, no telephone, no computer, just you and him.
Always respect him. Respect is one of the things men treasure the most in relationships.
Touch him affectionately: put your hand on the small of his back, run your fingers through his hair, using your fingertips, lightly trace the inside of his forearm.
Tell him he is "handsome,","rugged," and "strong", try not to use "cute."
Surprise him with a candle-lit dinner.
Tell him that you feel safe when you're in his arms.
Encourage him in whatever he does--sports, work, whatever.
Watch sports with him, even if it isn't your thing.
Forgive him when he messes up.

4 Guy's
Make a cassette tape of your and her favorite love songs, then record (in your voice) a special, romantic message at the end!
Write her a poem.
Leave little notes around telling her things you love about her.
Let her rest her head in your lap.
If she's feeling stressed out, give her a massage and help her work out a better way to do things.
If she makes dinner, offer to do the dishes.
Always be a gentleman--hold the door for her.
Give her the same respect you enjoy from her.
Make an effort to get to know (and if you can, love) her family.

4 Both
Take time to enjoy each other's company.
Make every effort to become each other's best friend.
Share your dreams with each other. Don't keep them to yourselves, thinking your partner should know them. I know of very few, if any, people that are mind readers.
Forgive each other quickly of their mistakes. NEVER go to bed mad. Regardless of how angry you are, forgive quickly, and never sleep apart.
Tell your partner, "Drive safely please. I love you!."
Give each other hugs at least twice a day.
Take time to meditate and/or pray together.
Spend time with other happy couples - it might just rub off on you.
Go to a dance instructor and take dance lessons together.
Be the first one to say "I'm sorry" after a disagreement.
Respect each other's need for quiet private time.
Take long moon-lit walks on the beach, or through the park, while holding hands.
Make your anniversary celebration an all day event. If possible take the day off from work, and celebrate your love all day.
In The Name Of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Gracious, the most Merciful!

Rasulullah S.A.W. said, "Jannat lies under the feet of your mother."
Rasulullah S.A.W. said, "If you read the kalima with conviction just once, Jannah becomes upon you."
Rasulullah S.A.W. said, "A women who reveals her body or even wears tight fitting clothes wont come within 500 years of the smell of Jannah."
Rasulullah S.A.W. said, "The dust which settles on a man while he is out in the path of Allah; not only the fire, but the smoke of Jahannam is haraam for those parts of the body."
Rasulullah S.A.W. said, "I only curse 3 types of people;

1. Those people who do not look after their parents when they are in old age.
2. Those people who do not take full advantage of the blessed month of Ramadan.
3. Those people who don not say, 'Salallahu -Alayhay- -Wa-Aalahay Wasallam' when my name is mentioned."

Rasulullah S.A.W said, "An intelligent person is one who is constantly thinking about and preparing for death."
Rasulullah S.A.W. said, "It is better for a man that a steel nail be driven through the centre of his head rather than if he touches the palm of a strange women."

PLEASE TAKE 2 MINUTES OF YOUR TIME TO READ THIS.

Imagine this happening to you...
One day during Jummah Salah, a 1,000 member congregation was surprised to see two men enter, both covered from head to toe in black and carrying sub-machine guns.
One of the men proclaimed, "Anyone willing to take a bullet for Allah remain where you are."
Immediately, the congregation fled, and out of the 1,000 there only remained around 20.
The man who had spoken took off his hood, looked at the Imaam and said,
"Okay Maulana, I got rid of all the hypocrites. Now you may begin your sermon."
The two men then turned and walked out."

Too deep not to pass on?

"Funny how simple it is for people to trash Allah ... and then wonder why the world's going to hell."
"Funny how we believe what the newspapers say ... but question what the Qu'ran says."
"Funny how everyone wants to go to heaven ... provided they do not have to believe, think, say, or do anything the Quran says."
"Funny how someone can say 'I believe in Allah' ... but still follow Shaitaan (who, by the way, also 'believes' in Allah)."
"Funny how you can send a thousand 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire ... but when you start sending messages regarding Allah, people think twice about sharing."
"Funny how the lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene pass freely through cyberspace ... but the public discussion of Allah is suppressed in the school and workplace."

Funny, isn't it?

"Funny how someone can be so fired up for Allah on Friday ... but be an invisible Muslim the rest of the week."

Are you laughing?

"Funny how when you go to forward this message ... you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it to them."
"Funny how I can be more worried about what other people think of me ... than what Allah thinks of me."

Are you thinking?

Will you share this with people you care about?
Or not?

Death Bed

It was early in the morning at four,
When death knocked upon a bedroom door,

Who is there? The sleeping one cried.
I'm Malakul Mawt, let me inside.

At once, the man began to shiver,
As one sweating in deadly fever,

He shouted to his sleeping wife,
Don't let him take away my life.

Please go away, O Angel of Death!
Leave me alone; I'm not ready yet.

My family on me depends,
Give me a chance, O please prepense!

The angel knocked again and again,
Friend! I'll take your life without a pain,

This your soul Allah requires,
I come not with my own desire.

Bewildered, the man began to cry,
O Angel I'm so afraid to die,

I'll give you gold and be your slave,
Don't send me to the unlit grave.

Let me in, O Friend! The Angel said,
Open the door; get up from your bed,

If you do not allow me in,
I will walk through it, like a Jinn.

The man held a gun in his right hand,
Ready to defy the Angel's stand.

I'll point my gun, towards your head,
You dare come in; I'll shoot you dead.

By now the Angel was in the room,
Saying, O Friend! Prepare for you doom.

Foolish man, Angels never die,
Put down your gun and do not sigh.

Why are you afraid! Tell me O man,
To die according to Allah's plan?

Come smile at me, do not be grim,
Be Happy to return to Him.

O Angel! I bow my head in shame,
I had no time to take Allah's Name.

From morning till dusk, I made my wealth,
Not even caring for my health.

Allah's command I never obeyed,
Nor five times a day I ever prayed.

A Ramadan came and a Ramadan went,
But no time had I to repent.

The Hajj was already FARD on me,
But I would not part with my money.

All charities I did ignore,
Taking usury more and more.

O Angel! I appeal to you,
Spare my life for a year or two.

The Laws of Quran I will obey,
I'll begin SALAT this very day.

My Fast and Hajj, I will complete,
And keep away from self-conceit.

I will refrain from usury,
And give all my wealth to charity,

We Angels do what Allah demands,
We cannot go against His commands.

Death is ordained for everyone,
Father, mother, daughter or son.

I'm afraid this moment is your last,
Now be reminded, of your past,

I do understand your fears,
But it is now too late for tears.

You lived in this world, two score and more,
Never did you, your people adore.

Your parents, you did not obey,
Hungry beggars, you turned away.

Instead of making more Muslims,
You made your children non-Muslims.

You ignored the Mua'dhin Adhaan,
Nor did you read the Holy Quran.

Breaking promises all your life,
Backbiting friends, and causing strife.

From hoarded goods, great profits you made,
And your poor workers, you underpaid.

Horses and cards were your leisure,
Moneymaking was your pleasure.

You ate vitamins and grew more fat,
With the very sick, you never sat.

A pint of blood you never gave,
Which could a little baby save?

O Human, you have done enough wrong,
You bought good properties for a song.

When the farmers appealed to you,
You did not have mercy, tis true.

Paradise for you? I cannot tell,
Undoubtedly you will dwell in hell.

There is no time for you to repent,
I'll take your soul for which I am sent.

The ending however, is very sad,
Eventually the man became mad

With a cry, he jumped out of bed,
And suddenly, he fell down dead.

O Reader! Take moral from here,
You never know, your end may be near

Change your living and make amends
For heaven, on your deeds depends.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Dalai Lama defending Islam

1. Organizers seek to help Islam's image - Mercury News
2. Dalai Lama de-links religion from terror - Al Jazeerah
3. The fifth Commandment of Pluralism

Islam is indeed an all inclusive faith and is universal. Islam is
as natural as you and I are... to get along with others, respect others,
not create a mess for other people or mess for our own people.
Islam is live and let live. Islam is easy to live and is simply peace.
The presence of a Muslim ought to give a sense of peace to the
other person and not frighten, at this time unfortunately it is not.
Insha Allah we have to regain our status to pre-1971 respect.
We just need for the silent people to speak up. We will have
a forum for you to do that.

Thanks to Dalai Lama for stating what he stated. While more than
95% of Muslims appreciate this gesture and most likely to reciprocate,
a few will always go berserk, shouting 'invention'. They simply do not
represent the sentiments of Muslims or the values of Islam. What
Dalai Lama has stated is the 5th commandment of pluralism below.

Let's care for the 95% of Muslims and
pray for that 0.001% who are difficult, and
pray for the 4.999% who are indifferent.

We will be assigning the research task to an university soon
and it will be done by a non-Muslim for authenticity. I am
certain about the numbers, but let's wait for the truth.

Respecting other religions does not mean denigrating our own
and to study other faiths does not mean disloyalty either. A
column on the issue is underway, and hope people can value
the value pluralism adds to Islam and every faith. We have
got to honor every faith and give them full value of divinity.

Insha Allah, on our own, in our writings and notes, lets commit
not to use any pre-fix or suffix like Terrorism to the beautiful
name of Islam and Muslim. That would be a good start.

Jazak Allah Khair

Mike Mohamed Ghouse
_www.WorldMuslimAgenda.com_ (http://www.worldmuslimagenda.com/) - coming
soon.

Dalai Lama promotes harmony of religions
ORGANIZERS SEEK TO HELP ISLAM'S IMAGE

By Kim Vo
Mercury News

The Dalai Lama proclaimed himself a ``defender of Muslim teachings''
Saturday during a groundbreaking interfaith conference in San Francisco.

Though the conference was intended to start a religious peace movement, it
also served to publicly align Muslims with the Dalai Lama, considered by many
the incarnation of divine compassion whose iconic image has become an
international symbol of peace.

Representatives from the world's major religions -- Christianity, Judaism,
Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and American Indian traditions -- came from as far
away as Egypt, some with just two weeks' notice.
Organizers hoped that the Dalai Lama's support would help mend Islam's
reputation in the West. The religion's image has been battered by world events
including the attacks of Sept. 11, the subsequent war in Iraq and the riots
following Danish cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad, including one showing
him wearing a bomb in his turban.

``He has a lot of energy in the United States. People like him, respect
him,'' said Imam Seyed Mehdi Khorasani, who invited the Nobel peace laureate to
the two-day conference after befriending him in September. ``Why should we not
use him for our cause?''

In Western society, Buddhism probably has the best public image because of
its association with peace, said Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, founder of the Zaytuna
Institute. Islam, he said, has the worst, because people have linked it with
violence.

Yusuf cited recent polls showing more than 40 percent of Americans had
negative views of Islam. A Washington Post/ABC News poll last month found that
nearly 60 percent of those polled thought there were more violent extremists
within Islam than other religions.

Followers want to change those perceptions, noting that they too are part of
the Abrahamic faiths. Muslims believe that Muhammad is the last in a line of
prophets that include Moses and Jesus.
``Ordinary people have these great misconceptions, which fuels more
extremism,'' Yusuf said to reporters, noting that the current tensions were
``untenable.''

``You better change perceptions,'' he said. ``Not to reach extremists like
bin Laden -- I don't think we'll reach him with the Dalai Lama, to be honest
with you.''
Speakers at the private event, held at the Mark Hopkins hotel on Nob Hill,
said people must emphasize the commonalities among religions -- love, justice,
compassion, charity -- instead of the divisions.

``Their suffering is my suffering; their joy is my joy. This is the attitude
we should strive for,'' said Pravrajika Vrajaprana, a nun with the Vedanta
Society of Southern California. ``They are not a Hindu, not a Muslim, not a
Buddhist. They are our own people, they are our brothers and sisters.''
The divine is too great for human minds to fully comprehend, the Dalai Lama
said. So people understand it in different ways -- as Buddhists, as Muslims,
as Jews, as Christians, as Hindus. In ancient times, different cultures were
isolated so differences mattered little, he said. But with globalization,
people must learn to work together since the ``whole world is becoming one
entity, one community.''

There are problems, such as suicide bombers, he admitted, but such
``mischievous people'' exist in every faith.

``Muslim tradition, like others, also deserves respect,'' said the Dalai
Lama, noting that Muslims and Buddhists had co-existed peacefully in Tibet for
four centuries.

His words heartened Ingrid Mattson, a professor of Islamic Studies at the
Hartford Seminary in Connecticut who was among the more than 500 people in
attendance Saturday.
``It was such a wonderful act of generosity,'' she said. ``Muslims in
America are feeling so isolated and alone and we're always on the defensive. This
act of solidarity and compassion -- it gives me so much hope and courage to
feel I can go forward and not feel alone.''

Samina Sundas of Palo Alto agreed with the Dalai Lama's advice not to simply
talk about getting along, but also to put action behind it.

``What we need to do is take this to the living room of every American,''
said Sundas, who is Muslim and holds an open house every year. Last year, 265
people came.
``When you bring people face to face, when you have eye contact,'' she said,
``it's hard to call them `terrorists.' ''
She hoped the Dalai Lama's actions would inspire more prominent people to
defend Islam.
``I would like the pope to come next,'' she said.


____________________________________
Contact Kim Vo at _kvo@mercurynews.com_ (mailto:kvo@mercurynews.com) or
(408) 920-5719.


Dalai Lama delinks religion from terror
_http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/C8EE0396-F665-4B1A-95B4-D5371025C628.h
tm
_
(http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/C8EE0396-F665-4B1A-95B4-D5371025C628.htm)
Sunday 16 April 2006, 8:50 Makka Time, 5:50 GMT
The spiritual leader regretted the skewed perception of Islam
Related:
_Tibetans vote for government in exile_
(http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/F20C4560-4248-423E-825A-2BB3F61A76FE.htm) _Dalai Lama wants to visit
China _
(http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/EB7812A2-C07A-4259-A4C4-037879A68ECD.htm) _Dalai Lama: Abu Ghraib abuse shocking_
(http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/BDBE2FB6-07E5-4F87-B6E4-ACF8CF1B4F19.htm)

The Dalai Lama has defended Islam at an historic religious gathering in San
Francisco, saying suicide bombings were tragic "mischief" that could plague
any religion.
The Dalai Lama took centre stage on Saturday at an anti-terror summit with
Muslim clerics and other religious leaders from around the world.
Tibet's spiritual leader came in response to a prominent California imam's
invitation to help form a "United Nations of Religion" devoted to countering
extremist violence.
Imam Seyed Mehdi Khorasani said the idea came after he met Dalai Lama Tenzin
Gyatso in the US state of Idaho late last year.
Religious leaders and scholars from approximately 30 countries were brought
to San Francisco, which Khorasani said was selected because it was where the
United Nations was founded.
Organisers heralded the assembly as the establishment of a multi-religious
body that will work to quell violence and promote harmony between people of
different faiths.
The Dalai Lama said: "Nowadays, to some people, the Muslim tradition appears
more militant. I feel that's totally wrong. Muslim, like any other
tradition, is the practice of compassion."
He said suicide bombings and other violence by extremists have unfairly
skewed the world's perception of Islam.
"Such mischievous people are not just in the Muslim community, but among the
Hindus, the Christians, the Buddhists. In any community, a few mischievous
people are always there."
Unity urged
The Dalai Lama urged the leaders of all faiths to stand together on their
common ground to defend Islam and promote the ideal of respecting the faiths of
individuals while embracing religious diversity in communities.
He said: "In some respects, I am one of the defenders of Muslim tradition.
If one believer, one tradition, is getting criticism, we have to act.
"I feel, this moment, we Buddhists and other traditions must come together."

THE SEVEN COMANDMENTS OF PLURALISM
1. We shall not ridicule anyone that God has created. It amounts to
ridiculing the creator God himself, herself or itself.
5. We shall not blame any religion or a group for the acts of the
individuals just because they belong to that faith or group. Letâ?Ts learn to
differentiate the wrong doers from the religion, while appreciate the goodness of each
religion.
for 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 - log on to:
_http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/index_Commandments.asp_

Every religion frees us from the negative engagements. When we truly believe
in the ultimate oneness of God and the ultimate oneness of mankind, we have
accepted Godâ?Ts greatness and parity of human beings.
If you wish to learn more about pluralism, log on to:
_www.FoundationforPluralism.com_ (http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/)

Islam and Psychology

By A Staff Writer

World over, experts from various fields are approaching the Quran and Sunnah to discover the human behaviour pattern.

How often do you suffer pain? Isn't human behaviour the most frequent source of pain and sorrow? One of the most difficult tasks is to understand human behaviour. Nothing is so powerful as an insight into human nature, what compulsions drive a man, what instincts dominate his action, even though his language so often camouflages what really motivates him. For if you know these things about a man, you can touch him at the core of his being.

From preachers to management gurus, motivation experts to psychologists, all have pondered since ages to understand human behaviour and methods to influence them. Islam recognises differences among people, whether in physical aspects, psychological aspects, or both. Responsibility about deeds and behaviour in Islam is individual.

We clearly see from the Quran that people were created out of one soul. This is repeated four times in Surah al-Nisa. World over, experts from various fields are approaching the Quran and Sunnah to discover the human behaviour pattern and apply those findings in their day to day practice.

Dr Syeda Ruksheda, a practising psychotherapist, says, "Islam teaches surrender of the ego. Lot of practising professionals identified with this theory". She is interacting with like-minded people with regard to practice of psychiatry with focus on Islam. Recently, Dr Ruksheda participated in an "International conference on media and mental health" organised by World Psychiatric Association, South Asian Forum on Mental Health and Indo- Pak Punjab Psychiatric Society. She presented a paper on "Islam and Psychology". With other Muslim psychotherapists, Dr Ruksheda is working on some interesting on-going psychiatric research projects such as Surah Rahman and depression.

The most important dimension of human behaviour is the 'Spiritual Dimension.' What is meant by "spiritual" here is the aspect of "faith" that is, the belief in Allah, His angels, messengers, scriptures, the day of judgement and destiny (good or bad). These are the articles of faith which bear no discussion or compromise. But "faith" is higher in degree than "Islam" as it is what is settled in the heart and endorsed by deed. There is no room in Islam of talking about faith that is separate from deeds and behaviour. The Quran reproached the believers for expressing their "belief" and stopping short of action. "O, ye who believe! Why say ye that which ye do not do? Grievously odious is it in the sight of Allah that ye say that which ye do not Do." (Al-Saff-61, verse 2-3).

Behavioural dimension of man, concerns about his education, development and change. Even the basis of worship in Islam, like salat, fasting, zakat and hajj are all an expression of behaviour which has two sides: internal and external or spiritual and material.

The future is an important dimension in the formation of the personality of the Muslim. This is because the future in Islam is not limited to this world alone, but it extends to the Day of Judgement. Therefore, the future is a significant dimension in the formation of the Muslim personality and directing it to good deeds in the present and the future.

The best summary of the Islamic attitude on this subject may be found in the following verse: "But seek, with the (wealth) which Allah has bestowed on thee, the Home of the Hereafter, nor forget thy portion in this world: but do thou good, as Allah has been good to thee." (Al-Qasas, 77).

The first step in empowering the community is to help individual Muslims to understand themselves with the help of Quran and Sunnah and then act to eliminate their weaknesses and achieve success in the world and hereafter.

A Film

Munich*
Reviewed by Muhammed Abdelmoteleb **


Starring: Geoffrey Rush, Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, Mathieu Kassovitz, Hanns Zischler, Ciaran Hinds

Director: Steven Spielberg

Screenwriter: Eric Roth, Tony Kushner, Charles Randolph

Producer: Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy, Barry Mendel

"Every civilization finds it necessary to negotiate compromises with its own values."

This line from Munich, said by the former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, sums up the message behind the film. Had the film supported this view, it would have been shallow and thoughtless. However, the inherent immorality and ruthlessness of the quote is demonstrated as the story unfolds.

Preceded by the disclaimer that states the film was "inspired by real events," the film opens with a night scene at the 1972 Munich Olympics as 8 Palestinians take 9 Israeli athletes hostage. All nine athletes are eventually killed. In an act of reprisal, Israel bombs Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) bases inside refugee camps in Lebanon and Syria, killing and wounding over 200 Palestinians, the majority of them civilians.

This is not enough though, and the Israeli government, at the behest of Prime Minister Golda Meir (in a brilliant scene-stealing performance by Lynn Cohen), organizes a more targeting revenge. Meir bemoans the fact that Jews were killed in Germany and yet the Olympic Games still went ahead. She explains that after Munich, she started hearing with new ears and that in order to "bring peace," the deaths of the Israeli athletes had to be avenged. A four-man hit squad, which doesn't officially exist, is put together to assassinate eleven Palestinian men who have tenuous links to the Munich massacre. The hit squad is led by Avner, an up-and-coming Mossad [Israeli secret service] agent, and his role is played with conviction and yet vulnerability by Eric Bana.

The Story of a Man and a Homeland

The film is as much Avner's story as it is Israel's. He starts off starry-eyed and enthusiastic to serve his country and slowly descends into paranoia and self-doubt as the killings and bombings smear the screen with blood. He eventually doubts his country's moral high ground that enables it to "compromise with its values." Initially, he seemingly kills without compunction but, later in the movie, when wracked by guilt and fear, he ends up threatening to kill other people's children if his family is harmed.

A recurring theme in the film is that of the homeland. Avner's mother makes it clear that the Jews were in need of a homeland after the suffering of the Holocaust, recounting how most of her family had been wiped out. For her, the birth of Israel was a new start, a new beginning. She is proud of Avner for doing his duty to defend and protect his homeland.

When Avner offers to tell her the grisly details of what it is that he actually does for Israel, she doesn't want to know; it is enough that he is doing something. Here, the desire for the maintenance of the homeland land is so strong that it creates a new moral high ground, a Holocaust redemption theory - whatever is done by Israel is done to prevent another Jewish Holocaust and therefore cannot be criticized.

In a conversation with Avner, who is posing as a member of ETA (basque separatist organization), a PLO member named Ali goes on to lament his lack of a homeland, "The IRA, ETA, the ANC, we all pretend we're interested in the international revolution . but you all have a home to go to. You don't know what it is to have no home." The narrative here shows how people's desire for a homeland is so strong that it leads them to kill. Ali's words haunt Avner, not only because he hears a Palestinian describing the Palestinian case (the opposite of his mother's view), but also because these words eventually come to apply to Avner as he spends his time in hotels in London, Paris, Amsterdam, Athens, until he eventually finds a home away from home in New York.

Munich and Media

Steven Spielberg


Media coverage of the Munich massacre is skillfully interwoven with actual archive news footage, which lends the event an air of immediacy. We see the media circus descend in a feeding frenzy on Munich with cameras, lights, and journalists fishing for the latest news on the hostages. We hear at one point that the Palestinian kidnappers were watching themselves on TV and when they see snipers moving in around them, the terrorists tell the authorities to call them off. This scene raises the question of the morality versus sensationalism of the media.

The media, at least according to the film, is amoral and seeks only to bring the story to its viewers and readers. This is also highlighted as viewers view actual footage of three of the surviving Munich operatives who were granted amnesty in Libya. "They're turning them into stars," remarks Steve, one of the members of the Israeli hit squad, as the team stares with disbelief at the TV screen. One of the Palestinians avoids answering a question about whether he killed any of the Israeli athletes and in bad taste starts to make the case for the Palestinian people. Should such men be allowed prime airtime to put forth their views? A pertinent question today as Al-Jazeera broadcastings of Usama bin Laden and Ayman Zawahiri tapes cause much controversy.

Steven Spielberg was branded as being "no friend of Israel" by the Israeli consulate in the United States after the film's initial screening. The consulate also claimed that Spielberg showed that the Israeli hit squad was no better than the Palestinian assassins. This is quite a shocking charge to level at someone of the caliber of Spielberg, who is known to be a supporter of Israel and who even owns historical film footage of the founding of the state of Israel.

The Munich perpetrators are shown to be terrorists who do not hesitate to kill civilians in cold blood. Yet members if the Israeli hit squad also do not hesitate to kill in cold blood, despite the lack of concrete evidence that links the men they kill to the Munich massacre. Nonetheless, although we are shown the Israeli's and Palestinian's callousness, we are also shown their humanity; neither side is purely evil.

Intelligent Script and Direction

Maybe it is also because Tony Kushner's intelligent script - which surely should have won the Oscar for the Best Adapted Screenplay - that veers out of the narrow, acceptable, and mainstream American discourse on Israel. The film does contain some surprising lines, such as the following:

"Do you think the Palestinians invented bloodshed? How do you think we took the land from them?"

"The only blood I care about is Jewish blood."

[On the creation of the state of Israel] "We had to take it because no one would ever give it to us"

Particularly poignant is the scene between Avner and Ali. Ali makes a hyperbolic case for the Palestinians in which he envisages Israel's eventual destruction. However, he also manages to castigate Israel's exploitation of Holocaust guilt to keep the Palestinians in submission - a brave cinematic moment for the director who brought us the moving and tragic Schindler's List.

Spielberg, not having given us much in the last few years (only last summer's The War of the Worlds, Catch Me if You Can, and The Terminal), once again demonstrates that he is a master filmmaker who can make classic cinematic entertainment (Jaws, Indiana Jones, E.T., and Jurassic Park) and who is also capable of producing in-depth cinematic art (The Color Purple, Empire of the Sun, Schindler's List, and Saving Private Ryan).

Munich is beautifully shot, with an adroit use of editing (which creates what is tempting to call Hitchcockian suspense, but which can comfortably be called Spielbergian suspense) and cinematography. Shadows, rain, dark, light, slow motion, awkward camera angles, and John Williams' tense and haunting score are all effectively used to show the tragic undoing of a man. Avner, who originally believed he was doing the right thing for his country, eventually finds that his country turned its back on him. By the end of the film, Avner reaches the conclusion that the murder of the eleven Palestinian men on the hit list would only result in more bloodshed and revenge.

Munich is Spielberg's only film that doesn't have heroes. The movie is a world of tragedy, deception, ruthlessness, and murder. Its final shot of the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York, as a broken and exiled Avner walks off, is the last mournful touch that leaves you with a bitter taste in your mouth.


* For those who may be encouraged to watch the film, it is the writer's wish that our readers know about the presence of some nude scenes interwoven with the plot.

** Muhammed Abdelmoteleb is the head of the English department at an international school in Cairo. He is a graduate of both the University of Wales, Cardiff, and Cambridge University, and has been a contributor to Q-News, the British Muslim magazine. He resides in Cairo with his wife. You can contact him at mabdelmoteleb@gmail.com.

father n child -- read it

An 80 year old man was sitting on the sofa in his house along with his
45 years old highly educated son. Suddenly a crow perched on their
window.

The Father asked his Son, "What is this?"

The Son replied "It is a crow".

After a few minutes, the Father asked his Son the 2nd time, "What is this?"

The Son said "Father, I have just now told you "It's a crow".

After a little while, the old Father again asked his Son the 3rd time,
What is this?"

At this time some ex-pression of irritation was felt in the Son's tone
when he said to his Father with a rebuff. "It's a crow, a crow".

A little after, the Father again asked his Son t he 4th time, "What is this?"

This time the Son shouted at his Father, "Why do you keep asking me
the same question again and again, although I have told you so many
times 'IT IS A CROW'. Are you not able to understand this?"

A little later the Father went to his room and came back with an old
tattered diary, which he had maintained since his Son was born. On
opening a page, he asked his Son to read that page. When the son read
it, the following words were written in the diary :-

"Today my little son aged three was sitting with me on the sofa, when
a crow was sitting on the window. My Son asked me 23 times what it
was, and I replied to him all 23 times that it was a Crow. I hugged
him lovingly each time h e asked me the same question again and again
for 23 times. I did not at all feel irritated I rather felt affection
for my innocent child".

While the little child asked him 23 times "What is this", the Father
had felt no irritation in replying to the same question all 23 times
and when today the Father asked his Son the same question just 4
times, the Son felt irritated and annoyed.

So..

If your parents attain old age, do not repulse them or look at them as
a burden, but speak to them a gracious word, be cool, obedient,
humble and
kind to them. Be considerate to your parents.From today say this
aloud, "I want to see my parents happy forever. They have cared for me
ever since I was a little child. They have always showered their
selfless love on me. They crossed all mountains and valleys without
seeing the storm and heat to make me a person presentable in the
society today".

Say a prayer to God, "I will serve my old parents in the BEST way. I
will say all good and kind words to my dear parents, no matter how
they behave.

In Arabic "Rab bir ham huma kama rob baiyani sagira"

Youth Feeling Isolated

How to Overcome This Feeling
By Ibtisaam Riad**
6 April, 2006


It can be said that the most trying time of our lives is the transition from childhood into mature adulthood, in other words, youth. This period lasts until young people develop free thinking and independent personalities with their own identity consisting of principles, values and belief systems.

During this time, many youth become hedonistic, seeking short term pleasures, cheap thrills, and quick fixes. Many of them become obsessed with extreme culture and make rash decisions which adversely affect the rest of their lives. Interacting or socializing with the wrong kind of friends or company will affect young people.

On the positive side, there are the youth who are driven to search for more meaning to their lives and to expand their energy with values that are lasting investments for their future and the life to come — these type of youth revert to Islam! For young people born into a Muslim family, reverting to Islam means reinventing an Islamic identity based on Qur'an and Sunnah of our beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and the examples of the great salaf (forbearers).

It is during this time that young people experience opposition from previous friends and usually have to withdraw themselves from their usual crowd to keep on the straight path. They undergo many internal battles in their attempt to discipline their once wayward self. As a result, many of them may feel isolated, despondent, fearful, and anxious. It is crucial at this time to surround themselves with good friends, strong family, and community support that can provide them with Islamic outlets for social and leisure time and support them in maintaining strong Islamic morals and principles in their everyday life. It would be good for youth who feel this isolation to mix with friends on their level, getting their family to praise and help them in anyway possible and for them to attend lectures, social gatherings, and youth centers. This may help them to overcome the isolation they feel.

For good role models, we can direct youth towards studying the lives of the magnanimous youth that surrounded the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) during his life time, such as `Ali bin Abi Talib, Zaid ibn Thabit, Abdullah ibn `Abbas, Usamah ibn Zaid (may Allah be pleased with them all) as well as `A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her). They all faced complete isolation and rejection from other youth in their small and confined community, but it was their intense sincerity and piety that pushed them to heights that astonished their generations as well as the older generations. In actual fact, in our modern century, they are still taken as role models amongst the youth. The brave acts of `Ali (may Allah be pleased him) before the Hijrah are still viewed as good examples — `Ali was prepared to lie in the bed of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and to sacrifice himself for the love of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). Another example of how Allah raised the status of these youth is that of Abdullah ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) who was seen as too young by the older Companions to sit in their company. He then proved himself by giving a tafseer, which the older companions didn't know, of Surah An-Nasr (Surah 110). In addition, Usama ibn Zaid was made the general of the Muslim army at the age of 20, while the older Companions were only soldiers in the army.

These great pioneers of Islam overcame many obstacles, such as rejection and isolation in their youth, in a community where they were made to be the outcasts because of their beliefs. Yet despite all of their hardships, they kept the light of Islam shining.

As for my personal experience, as well as other students studying deen with me, we have learned to live with and overcome isolation and rejection from peer groups in a Western society by being an example of youth who combine piety (love of deen) with fun. In other words, being pious doesn't mean that you have to be boring. My friends and I still love going out, going to movies, or having a barbecue, but all of our activities are within the laws of the deen.

Let us take our Islam as an amanah (security). I can only call you towards being patient in the face of adversity and trials as surely Allah rewards the patient ones and promises them relief, "Surely with every difficulty comes ease." (Ash-Sharh 94:5)

Suhayb (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "A believer's affair is a wonderful thing. All of his affairs are good, and that is not the case of anyone but a believer. If good times befall him he is thankful, and thus it is good for him and if bad times befall him he is patient, and thus it is good for him." (Muslim)

[Oh you who believe! Seek help in patience and prayer; truly Allah is with the patient ones.] (Al-Baqarah 2:153)

I ask Allah to keep us steadfast on the straight path and to reward us for our strivings so that it may benefit our communities, families, and the rest of the Muslim Ummah.

May Allah forgive us, guide us, and have mercy on us. Ameen.


**Ibtisaam Riad is a youth worker from Cape Town, South Africa, currently furthering her studies at Al-Azhar in Cairo, Egypt.

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